The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, July 30, 2014


News of: Sunday, 7th of February, 2010

Front Page

No room for new vehicles

The number of vehicles is around seven times the capacity of the roads in the capital.

Admission trade nets Tk 1cr in 3 colleges

Leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League have made a huge sum of money from students seeking admission to first-year honours courses at different city colleges under National University.

Some HC judges warned over bail

The Appellate Division in a verdict cautioned a few High Court judges for granting bail to convicted fugitive Awami League leader HBM Iqbal, and for staying the order of his conviction ignoring "established principles of the law".

Sylhet grassroots see Tarique adoration

Bangladesh Nationalist Party started its meetings with grassroots leaders from Sylhet yesterday but the programme turned into a rally to praise Tarique Rahman with a mega participation of central leaders, who were mostly known as Hawa Bhaban men during the BNP-led government 's rule.

Dulal's double glory

Golfer Dulal Hossain completed a delightful double when he won the individual gold of the 11th South Asian Games at the Kurmitola Golf Course yesterday.

Empowered beyond jurisdiction

The Election Commission in its draft rules for administering city corporation polls has empowered executive magistrates beyond their jurisdiction to try some electoral offences in mobile courts.

Inspectors visited SA for a bad buy

A committee investigating the deaths of three giraffes at Dhaka Zoo has blamed the Animal Inspection Committee for failing to disclose the age of the giraffes and misleading the government into procuring aged ones.

Research, latest tech the need

Bangladesh needs to focus on intensive agriculture researches and collaboration with other countries for next generation technologies, which will increase productivity and reduce input cost to face the challenges of climate change and rising energy prices.

Consultant considered, 'poor record' ignored

In a tender to study the country's coal sector, the Hydrocarbon Unit of power, energy and mineral resources ministry has short-listed a British consultant ignoring the company's past 'poor performance' in the Barapukuria coal mine.

Reeling from road terror

Monjur Sarkar, father of minor girl Sumi who was killed in a road accident on Friday, is facing a double blow as after losing his daughter his wounded 14-month-old son and wife are now lying untreated on the floor of Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

800 more buses to hit city roads

The government is set to import 800 buses, including 400 from India, to ease transport in Dhaka city by replacing unfit buses gradually.

DU probing Abubakar's death

The committee formed to investigate the death of Dhaka University student Abubakar Siddique started its enquiry yesterday morning.

Book sale makes all happy

All publishers excepting some NGO and research-based publishers were happy with the sales of their books on the sixth day of the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela yesterday.

JP lawmaker 'assaulted'

Awami League activists allegedly assaulted Jatiya Party lawmaker Abu Talha following an altercation over rice distribution under the Test Relief programme at Bagatipara Guest House in Natore Friday night.

Kuwaiti emir sends plane for PM

The Emir of Kuwait has sent a special aircraft to carry Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to his country for a three-day bilateral visit beginning today.

Jubo Dal man killed

Local Jubo League activists of Sonagazi in Feni allegedly kidnapped, then killed and later hid the body of a Jubo Dal activist on Friday.

30 hurt in clash at city madrasa

A group of people equipped with bamboo sticks ransacked a madrasa at Shah Saheb lane in capital's Gendaria area yesterday and looted belongings, leaving at least 30 persons injured.

One killed in boiler explosion 1 injured

An air compressor explosion at Pran Factory in Ghorashal left a compressor operator dead and another worker seriously injured yesterday.

Editorial

Mid-term budgetary review is a good move

IT is encouraging that the finance ministry has carried out, for the very first time, a mid-term review of the current fiscal year's utilisation of ADP and revenue budget allocations. On the other hand, it is disappointing to note that ten major ministries could not even utilise 40 percent of their allocated resources.

Death, hardly a matter for casual remark!

WHILE the family and friends of the slain Dhaka University student Abu Bakar have been mourning his untimely demise, the comments of the home minister Shahara Khatun came as a rude shock to all of us. One wonders what prompted her to say that it was an isolated incident and suggest that such things could happen anytime? Her remarks may have been construed to make light of a tragedy in which a whole family is reeling and the nation left shocked. This is completely out of sync with her position as the home minister.

The murderous transports

DEATHS due to road mishaps are on the rise. Reports on such fatal mishaps, taking a human toll, appear routinely in print and electronic media. Each death is a tragedy and, if given a closer and deeper look, has a moving human side to it. But all those deaths are not lucky to get wide media coverage and draw the general public's attention. Only a few of these sad incidents, that get extensive public attention thanks to the media, make the public aware and the authorities concerned to a new level.

Afghanistan: An exit strategy?

BRITAIN, Afghanistan and the United Nations co-hosted the 70-nation International Conference on Afghanistan in London on January 28. The main themes of the daylong conference were: security; governance and development; and regional support. Actually, the focus of the discussion was on reintegrating the Taliban into the current political system of Afghanistan, and devising a strategy for Western forces to quit Afghanistan. This conference came ten months after the one held in The Hague on March 31, 2009.

Sports

Double-up Dulal

When Bangladesh won the team event golf gold of the 11th South Asian Games three days back, it was in the air that one of our golfers was heading to create a small piece of history by also lifting the individual gold.

Rumi brings gold in taekwondo

Sharmin Farjana Rumi made the nation proud when she clinched the gold medal in women's under-46kg event in taekwondo of the 11th South Asian Games at the National Sports Council Gymnasium yesterday.

Eti's tears of joy

When the national anthem of Bangladesh blared from the sound system, Eti Islam, standing tall above everybody on the winners' podium at the Sylhet BKSP, could not hold back her emotions. She was virtually crying and singing to the tune of "Amar Sonar Bangla".

Hosts fight for gold today

Bangladesh face off with Sri Lanka for the cricket gold of the 11th South Asian Games today.

India, SL dominate

Two bronze medals were all to show for Bangladeshi athletes on the opening day of the 11th South Asian (SA) Games' showpiece track and field event. The two medals came in men's long jump and men's discuss throw as the successful athletes were Al Amin and Azharul Islam.

Hosts lose to Sri Lanka

Bangladesh's hopes of winning silver in the men's team event of table tennis was dashed when they went down 3-0 to Sri Lanka in the semifinals of the 11th South Asian Games at the newly-build Wooden Floor Gymnasium yesterday.

Bangladesh win bronze in wrestling

Bangladesh won the bronze medal in 66kg wrestling category of the 11th South Asian Games while India and Pakistan grabbed gold and silver respectively at the Outer Stadium Kabaddi Court yesterday.

Pakistan retain squash gold

Pakistan retained the squash team's gold when they handed a 2-0 defeat to India at Dhaka Club Squash Court yesterday.

A silver on 5th day of shooting

There were hopes for the hosts at the National Shooting Range in the women's 50m rifle 3x20 events on Saturday but the local shooters led by experienced Sabrina Sultana could manage only the team's silver as India's domination continued in the 11th South Asian Games yesterday.

India-SA 2nd ODI shifted to Gwalior

The second one-day international of South Africa's India tour, on February 24, has been shifted to Gwalior.

India, Nepal in women's football final

Bangladesh's hopes of making it to the final in women's football of the 11th South Asian Games evaporated when they were handed a 7-0 drubbing by favourites India in their last group match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Kallis, Amla lead SA

Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla slammed unbeaten centuries to help South Africa seize the momentum on the opening day of the first Test against India on Saturday.

Australia-Windies first ODI today

West Indies kicked off Australia's home summer and now they're back to finish it off with five ODIs and two Twenty20s after the Australians completed a tri-format clean-sweep of Pakistan.

Akmal vows to improve

Kamran Akmal, the Pakistan wicketkeeper, has said he is keen to move on and improve as a wicketkeeper following a tough tour of Australia, where he came under great scrutiny. He said it was normal for all players to go through a bad patch once in a while and that the important thing was to learn from each experience.

Ricky rates bowlers high

Ricky Ponting believes Australia's pace attack is the best in the world and hasn't ruled out Shaun Tait being used in one-day internationals after breaking the 160kph barrier in Friday night's Twenty20 win. Tait's man-of-the-match performance in his first game for Australia in a year served as another reminder of the depth in the country's fast-bowling ranks, which has been tested over the past few months.

Greatbatch praises his charges

New Zealand coach Mark Greatbatch, in his first series in charge, has praised the way his players powered to a 146-run win in the first ODI in Napier, after Bangladesh had them under pressure early on.

Dibaba eyes record

Double 2008 Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia has her sights set on reclaiming the indoor 5,000m world record at the Boston Indoor Games on Saturday.

Records roll in the pool

There was no exception on the second day of the 11th South Asian Games swimming competition as India maintained their supremacy at the National Swimming Complex in Mirpur yesterday.

Press hails sacking

British papers applauded the sacking of England captain John Terry Saturday, praising manager Fabio Capello for stamping his authority on the team ahead of the looming World Cup.

Games Gallery

Bangladesh's hopes of winning silver in the men's team event of table tennis was dashed when they went down 3-0 to Sri Lanka in the semifinals of the 11th South Asian Games at the newly-build Wooden Floor Gymnasium yesterday.

Ancelotti backs Terry

Carlo Ancelotti believes Chelsea can shrug off the controversy surrounding captain John Terry by delivering a knock-out blow to title rivals Arsenal on Sunday.

Kuyt sinks Everton

Dirk Kuyt's 50th goal for Liverpool gave Rafa Benitez's 10 men a 1-0 victory over Everton after Sotirios Kyrgiakos's first Merseyside derby ended with the Greek defender being sent off at Anfield on Saturday.

DFB wants Loew to stay

Germany football boss Theo Zwanziger insisted Saturday he wants Joachim Loew to remain as coach of the national side, despite contract negotiations being delayed until after the World Cup in South Africa.

Football fan shot dead in Argentina

A 14-year-old Argentine football fan has died after being shot three times in the head, a medical official said.

Pakistan take h'ball gold

Pakistan won the gold medal in men's handball of the 11th South Asian Games with a hard-fought 37-31 win over India in the final at the newly-built handball stadium adjacent to Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Business

Shipbuilding shows signs of pick-up

Two local firms gear up to resume the construction of shipyards expecting foreign orders for vessels, as demand has showed signs of a pick-up with recovery from the global recession.

Nitol plans tie-up with India's Meru to launch cabs

Nitol Motors Ltd and Indian taxi service provider Meru Cabs are set to go into a joint venture to introduce 10,000 "high-tech" cabs in phases in Dhaka.

Biman flies to London non-stop

Biman opened its non-stop Dhaka-London flight yesterday with 297 travellers on board. It was a journey without a break, officials said.

NBR to scan dodgy tax files

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is set to examine tax files of both companies and individuals -- submitted under a universal self-assessment system -- as the board has fallen short of the revenue target under the system.

Wal-Mart chief meets RMG leaders

C Douglas McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart International, left Dhaka on Friday after a short, unannounced visit.

DBH mutual fund debuts today

DBH First Mutual Fund, a Tk 120 crore closed-end fund, debuts on bourses today.

Banking reforms law on cards

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith has said the government is determined to ensure transparency and good policy for the country's banking sector.

Transit promises to bring big opportunity to Bangladesh

Bangladesh could benefit by taking advantage from its geographic location, said top policymakers of the government, referring to the recent cooperation agreement with India on broad based issues including transit.

Experts emphasise transport links for South Asia

Experts have reiterated that regional transport connectivity in South Asia will make Bangladesh a business hub with enormous potential for trade in services of ports, rail and road.

Seminar stresses export diversity

Speakers at a seminar in Chittagong yesterday stressed the need for proactive polices and capacity-building programmes to help diversify Bangladeshi apparel exports.

Software expo kicks off Wednesday

The country's biggest software and information technology exposition will start at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka on February 10.

Focus on fragile global recovery

A crisis in Europe over unsustainable government debts that sparked renewed global market turmoil leapt to the top of the agenda Saturday for global financial leaders meeting half a world away in the Canadian Arctic.

Media criticise Toyota chief for response

Japanese media sharply criticised Toyota's president Saturday for what they called a delayed and unconvincing explanation for the massive car recall that has sullied the world's biggest automaker, a Japanese corporate icon.

Commodity prices slump on debt woes

Commodity prices slumped this week as confidence in the global economy was shaken by growing fears about soaring European debt and weaker-than-expected US jobs data.

Goldman CEO gets $9m stock bonus

Goldman Sachs Group Inc CEO Lloyd Blankfein is getting a $9 million stock bonus for 2009, a modest payday by Wall Street standards that appears aimed at quelling criticism of the bank's compensation practices.

Chinese luxury sales shine

Despite the economic crisis, 2009 ended better than it began for the French luxury goods sector, thanks largely to China's growing taste for high-end products, encouraging thoughts of a better 2010.

Obama proposes measures to shore up small businesses

US President Barack Obama called Saturday for new steps to support America's small businesses, saying they are key to rebuilding the economy on a new, stronger foundation and creating jobs.

US, Canada end trade dispute over 'Buy American' provisions

The United States and Canada ended a year-old dispute Friday as Washington agreed to waive "Buy American" provisions barring Canadian firms from projects under a massive stimulus package.

Rio mulled $35b iron ore tie-up with Chinalco

Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto in 2008 considered selling state-owned Chinalco a 19.9 percent stake in its iron ore operations under a mammoth 40 billion dollar (35 billion US) tie-up, a report said Saturday.

Telefonica says Venezuelan policies hurting profits

Spain's Telefonica said Friday its 2009 net profits will be diminished by 548 million euros due to Venezuela's rising inflation, the devaluation of the bolivar and other factors in the country.

Currency

Jan 31- Feb 4, 2010
International Markets
There was very contrasting mood on the two sides of the Atlantic this week, as the news from the US was very encouraging that the economy was on a strong recovery path. News from the euro region however increased worries that the fiscal health in the euro zone was a cause for concern. The euro hit a seven-month low against the dollar, knocked by concerns over the fiscal health of peripheral euro zone countries ahead of a European Central Bank policy decision later on Thursday. Worries over Spain and Portugal have increased as investors speculate the two countries may face similar debt problems to Greece. Such concerns pushed the safe-haven dollar to a six-month high versus a currency basket. Traders said moves in the euro could become volatile should ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet make any strong reference to fiscal problems in the euro zone. He will speak after a policy meeting at which the ECB is widely expected to keep interest rates on hold. Traders sold the single European currency on the view that dismal finances in euro zone countries may hinder any economic improvements in the region, increasing the probability that the US economy may recover faster. Strong US data this week supported this view ahead of non-farm payrolls numbers due on Friday. A Reuters poll estimates 8,000 jobs were added to the economy last month.

Metropolitan

40,000 die of kidney failure a year

Experts at a seminar yesterday termed chronic kidney disease as a major public health concern in the country as its 90 percent people are unable to bear treatment cost.

Scope for secular education created

The Supreme Court verdict regarding the fifth amendment to the constitution cleared the way for reintroducing the education system based on secularism, equality, and the spirit of the Liberation War, said Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday.

Sohel Taj seeks implementation of road safety project

Awami League lawmaker Tanjim Ahmad Sohel Taj has reiterated that he is no longer a state minister for home, but as a lawmaker he wants the government to implement the road safety project he had initiated when he was in office.

Globalisation increases income inequalities

Globalisation increases income inequalities, having a further bad impact on people's health, said globalisation expert Prof Ronal Labonte.

Ensure proper environment for children with autism

Experts at a workshop yesterday called for ensuring friendly and proper environment for bringing up children with autism in order to foster their proper physical and mental growth.

City residents exposed to health hazards

Dhaka residents are being exposed to serious health hazards by consuming vegetables contaminated with chemicals, said speakers yesterday during a seminar organised by Save the Environment Movement (POBA) in the capital.

Development issues discussed with US official

Visiting US Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale met with Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday to discuss development issues including climate change, women' s empowerment, education and health.

PM joins picnic of PMO staffs

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday took off time from her busy schedule and joined a picnic organised by officials and employees of the Prime Ministers' Office at Savar Military Farm.

Khairul Kabir's 13th anniversary of death today

Today is the 13th death anniversary of eminent journalist Khairul Kabir, founder-editor of the daily Sangbad, says a press release.

Superb musical performance by English medium students

Patriotic Bangla songs, often accompanied with dance items, short plays and pantomimes, and recitation, performed by the students of six English medium schools of Chittagong and all depicting the beauty of Bangla language and the country's traditional culture, enthralled a huge audience yesterday.

Hold UP polls in time

Leaders of Bangladesh Union Parishad Forum (BUPF) yesterday urged the government to hold union parishad election in time amending some provisions of the Union Parishad Act 2009.

'Promised Land?' to help better understand ME politics

A book on Israeli-Palestinian conflict by former secretary and columnist Muslehuddin Ahmad was launched at Cirdap auditorium in the city yesterday.

Road crashes kill schoolboy, 3 others

At least four people, including a schoolboy, were killed in separate road accidents Tangail, Narayanganj, Brahmanbaria and Chapainawabganj yesterday.

'Protect sanctity of Shaheed Minar'

A legal notice was served yesterday to the government and the Dhaka University vice-chancellor, asking them to protect the sanctity and honour of the Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka.

Obituary

Comrade Paresh Chandra Saha, former central committee member of Workers Party of Bangladesh and former news editor of the weekly 'Natun Katha', passed away at the Renaissance Hospital at the city yesterday at the age of 62 years, says a press release.

Future Park demolition suspended

Though Rajuk authorities were scheduled to carry on with the demolition of illegally-built top four floors of Jamuna Future Park Shopping Complex, they have stopped it following an appeal petition scheduled for hearing today.

Police urged to help ease traffic jam

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday called on the police to play an effective role in easing traffic congestions in Dhaka.

'State policy should not be based on any religion'

State policy should not be dictated on the basis of any particular religion, human rights activists and religious scholars said at a discussion yesterday.

National

Transit planned but rail tracks in sorry state

Hundred-year-old railway tracks and stations in Chapainawabganj are in a deplorable condition although the governments of Bangladesh and India have agreed to use Rohanpur-Singhabad rail link for transporting goods to Nepal from Bangladesh.

Historic Atia mosque about to wear away

Four hundred years old Atia Mosque in Delduar upazila of Tangail district shows signs of all neglect although the Department of Archaeology took its charge in 1978.

Case for bombing Sk Helal's public meet revived

The case for bomb attack on Sheikh Helal's public meeting at Mollahat upazila of Bagerhat district in 2001 has been revived.

'Conspiracy on to thwart trial of war criminals'

Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee has reiterated its demanded for immediate trial of the war criminals and restoration of the 1972 constitution.

Schoolgirl abducted a week ago yet to be rescued

A schoolgirl who was abducted last Sunday by a gang of youths in front of her school gate at Kalmeg village in Baliadangi upazila is yet to be rescued after a week of the incident.

Two housewives commit 'suicide' on trivial issues

A housewife and a college student allegedly committed suicide in Narail and Chuadanga districts yesterday and the day before.

Girl 'abuser' arrested

Police yesterday arrested one of the culprits who abused a schoolgirl at Mushuriapara village of Ishwardi upazila on Wednesday last.

BSF kills Bangladeshi

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday shot dead a Bangladeshi cattle trader on Telipara border under Tentulia upazila. Victim Farid Hossain,28, was son of Dabir Uddin of Sharialjoth village under Tentulia upazila. BDR and locals said, BSF members at Hafthiagoach camp opened fire on a group of cattle traders near pillar no 443 on Telipara border while they were returning home with cattle. Farid died on the spot but his fellows managed to escape unhurt. BSF personnel took away the body immediately after the incident. BDR strongly protested the unprovoked killing and asked its Indian counterpart to return the body.

50,000 yaba tablets seized

Members of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) in a drive recovered 50,000 sex stimulant yaba tablets from Jaluapara in Sadar upazila Friday night. A special patrol team of 33 Rifles Battalion led by Havilder Abu Taher conducted a drive at about 8:00pm on secret information and recovered the tablets worth about Tk 4 crore kept in 50 cartons. However, the border guards could not arrest anybody as the smugglers fled the scene sensing their presence.

One held with fake notes

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested one person with fake notes from Hamdah bazaar in Jibonnagar upazila in Chuadanga on Friday. Arrestee Abdul Hakim, 45, hailed from Bhoirab village in Mohespur upazila in Jhenidah district. With the arrest of Hakim, two top bosses of an organised gang of fake note traders were held in Chuadanga in last four days. Earlier, on Wednesday, Rab arrested Golam Mostafa from Chuadanga town on charge of fake note trade. A local BNP leader, Mostafa is former deputy commander of Bangladesh Muktijoddaha Sangsad, Chuadanga district unit.

27 shops gutted

At least 27 shops and other business establishments were gutted in fire damaging goods and valuables at a local market under Sadar upazila early yesterday. Fire service sources said, the fire originated from a cotton shop and engulfed adjacent 26 shops. It brunt to ashes property worth Tk 80 lakh, according to a primary estimate.

20kg silver seized, 1 held

Members of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) arrested a 'smuggler' along with 20kg Indian silver from Waria village in Sadar upazila Friday. Arrestee Mokhlesur Rahman is son of Anwar Ali of Bamdah village in the upazila. Acting on a tip-off, a team from Jhaodanga BDR camp raided the village at about 10:00am and arrested Mokhlesur while he was going to Dhaka by a motorbike. Later, the border guards recovered the silver from his possession and also seized the bike. The seized goods were handed over to local customs and a case was filed in this connection.

Teenage boy killed

A teenage boy was killed while a man was injured as a pillar of an under-construction shop collapsed on them at fish market in Kalapara upazila headquarters yesterday morning. The deceased was identified as Zahid Hasan, 13. Hospital and local sources said, the pillar collapsed on Zahid and Abdur Rab, 55, at about 10:30am leaving them critically injured. They were rushed to the upazila health complex where the attending doctors declared Zahid dead.

Fertiliser recovered

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel in a drive recovered 310 sacks of smuggled Potash fertiliser from a truck in the town's truck terminal on Thursday. Acting on secret information, a team of the elite force raided the terminal and seized the fertiliser from the truck. Rab sources said, sensing their presence the driver managed to flee the scene.

Indian held in Bandarban

Army and police rounded up an Indian citizen from Ruma Bazar under Ruma upazila of the hill district of Bandarban on Friday. Police said Ram Mohan, 37, was held for his suspicious movement. A citizen of Mizoram state, Ram Mohan illegally entered Bangladesh. He is now being interrogated under police custody. A case was lodged with Ruma police in this connection.

Letters

Food from sunflower!

The AP news item from USA on the matter was published by a local English daily on 23 January. It is exiting news, for the growing world population, acing food and fuel resource shortages, if not today, then in the years hence!

Tribute to a great poet

January 25 is the birthday of Michael Madhusudan Dutt. Though born into a rich family, he suffered a lot throughout his whole life because of his indomitable will to lead a free life.

A peaceful congregation

Bishwa Ijtema is undoubtedly one of the most significant religious congregations of Muslims and has become a global event. It is not sure when the first Bishwa Ijtema was held. Some believe that this event started back in 1946. One facet of this religious congregation that has remained alike over time is that the Tabligh Jamaat of Bangladesh organises it every year. Starting out as a tiny event that was attended by a few devotees, it has grown into a massive congregation that is attended by millions from all over the world.

Justice, at long last

I was reading A.L. Khatib's narration of the sinister night of August 14, 1975 in Dhaka in The Daily Star. The vivid details of the gruesome murders are once again imprinted on my mind. I am so pleased to know that the senseless massacre of Bangabandhu's family is finally avenged through the legal institutions of our democratic nation. This is a day for Bangladeshis to be proud as a nation.

Greed - the green-eyed monster

Just over a year after taking oath to serve the people of Bangladesh, the Fat Cats have duly emerged from Kahn's White Elephant Stables (KWES). There will now be the descent of “Manna from Heaven” for the lucky 345 denizens of KWES in the shape of duty-free Gas Guzzling Monstrosities (GGMs).

Sohel Taj returns

Sohel Taj resigned and left the country for months. A new state-minister was appointed to take over his job. And still the government does not know the exact status of Sohel Taj. On his arrival back to Bangladesh, if the news reports were correct, he was accorded the protocol befitting a state minister. It is heartening that Sohel Taj refused the protocol and took a private transport to his home.

This nuisance must stop

Of late, mobile telephone companies are taking advantage of their knowledge (of our cell numbers) and taking this 'keep connected' mission beyond civic sense even by jungle standards. Mobile telephone companies are rather inquisitive and personal. It is possible that at 2:00am in the morning your sms alert will sound, you would obviously want to know what it is that is so urgent, and the words at the push of your 'read now' button would unveil the company's profoundest desire to learn whether you would like to get the latest ring tone from some Indian movie of a foreign language. And this is a Bangladeshi operator, licensed to operate in Bangladesh in taka and not rupee.

The tragic incident

It is surprising that there is no official reaction to what has happened at the Imperial Hotel, I am not sure whether the PM had been informed of the incident. If she has been, we expect her to visit the wounded players and asked for explanation from the concerned in-charge of the SAF Games and the person in charge of accommodation and safety. Apparently, the hotel management failed to prevent over loading in the lift. This is pure negligence of duty by the hotel management, and do not blame the poor liftman alone.

Support the needy

My attention has been drawn to the advertisement published in your daily on January 23 last “Inviting applications for 2010 higher studies scholarship”. This is undoubtedly a good gesture on the part of a bank of ours when, as far as my knowledge is concerned, I have not seen any such endeavour shown by any other institution or agency as yet. This is a praiseworthy step taken by one of our banks for helping and encouraging higher studies by the meritorious students.

Chhatra League activities

We have become very upset by the activities of cadres of Bangladesh Chhatra League.

A different ministry

The Ministry of Science and Technology is an applied ministry which deals with so many applied subjects like biotechnology, R and D research project, fellowship and funding to the researchers who are engaged in short and long term research, fellowship to the masters and doctoral students, especially with science background in different universities, different type of prestigious scholarship offered by different countries etc. Two national institutes like Bangabandhu Novo theatre, National Institute of Biotechnology are under this ministry.

Request for website

Zia International Airport is one of the important international airports in our region. However, it is a matter of regret that there is no official website of the airport. Many countries in Asia have already launched official websites for their international airports. An airport website helps to promote the airport, its services, and makes it easy for the users to navigate through the airport. Moreover, a website of an airport can help the passengers in many ways. Domestic and international passengers can easily receive relevant information from the website about their travel.

Price on heads

Even in the USA, when police fail to net some most wanted criminals like serial killers they declare 'price on heads' for bounty hunters. The bounty hunters in the USA is a group manned by ex-police and military personnel who are well equipped with past experience and hunting for money is their business. Their network is so wide that they can penetrate anywhere in the world and catch the absconding criminals in exchange of declared money.

U-19 World Cup

After an impressive build-up to the Under-19 World Cup Cricket Championship, Bangladesh again comes away with a “plate”. To me, this is like being the best of the worst. Being the worst of the best at least, would have been a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, we are not good enough for even that. From dreaming to be in the last four we slipped to 9th. We do not seem to be able to do the right thing when it matters most, as we witnessed in this tournament. The score in the last match with Ireland is proof of the fact that the boys from Bangladesh actually belonged in the big league. “This is cricket” Maybe. “You can have good days and bad days” Sure. But when you have one bad day after another, this is NOT cricket. This is wandering about in the wilderness. I don't claim to know the answer to this impasse. I know only that there is no quick-fix solution to this problem. But fixed it can be by those who walk the halls of status and prestige of the world of Bangladesh cricket.

BNP's reaction

Our leader of the opposition Madam Khaleda Zia refrained from making any comments and also instructed her party men to do the same after the execution of five killers of Bangabandhu and his family. By the way, what is so surprising about that? This attitude, this exercise of caution, certainly reflects her personal feelings towards the whole matter.

Clinton and Obama

Most people are talking about U.S. President Barack Obama's losing the Senate seat vacated by the demise of Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy without ever mentioning that former President Bill Clinton also lost Congress in 1994 and yet he was re-elected in 1996 with a wider margin.

Pope and Jews

The substantive thing that I agree with Mr. Kokoskl's letter of January 31st is that Nazi Germany was a “complex period of history.” During that period the role of the German Catholic Church in particular and the Vatican in general is at best murky and perplexing. Before the Roman Catholic Church can justify Pope Pius XII's elevation to sainthood there should be responses to numerous answered questions. To begin with, Firstly, why the Vatican was one of the very first independent political entities to recognize Hitler's government, and why it was in such a rush to make its unwise "Reich Concordat" with Hitler, six months after he was in office, thereby giving it unwarranted moral legitimacy in the eyes of the rest of the world?

International

Indo-Pak officials discuss dates, agenda for talks

India and Pakistan Friday discussed the dates for talks between their foreign secretaries and the scope of their dialogue that could include other issues besides terrorism.

Powerful blizzard shuts down US capital

An "extremely dangerous" blizzard expected to dump record amounts of snow pounded the eastern United States Saturday, closing down the US capital and threatening to trap millions indoors for days.

Lanka govt extends emergency rule

Sri Lanka faced criticism yesterday for extending a state of emergency giving sweeping powers to security forces to detain suspects ahead of parliamentary elections due by April.

Talks with Taliban must involve women: UN

Any peace negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan must involve women, a United Nations committee on women's rights warned on Friday following talks in Geneva.

Saarc ministers' meet postponed at Nepal's request

While the ground-breaking meeting of the home ministers of Saarc to be held in Pakistan has been postponed at Nepal's request, the Himalayan republic has, however, sent its home minister to China as per schedule.

Clinton apologises for slow Haiti aid effort

Former US president Bill Clinton pledged Friday to try to get aid flowing here as he was met by angry Haitians protesting the slow arrival of help since last month's quake.

Thousands pack funerals for Pak bomb victims

Beating their chests with hands, thousands of minority Shia Muslims attended a mass funeral Saturday for those killed in a pair of bombings in Pakistan's largest city.

Congress leaders talk price rise issue

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Friday discussed the spiralling price rise at a meeting, after the Congress President Sonia Gandhi declared it a matter of 'high concern'.

Jamal appointed new Pak Taliban chief

Even as the US and Pakistani governments are uncertain over death of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Hakeemullah Mehsud, reports indicate that the banned extremist organisation has appointed its new commander.

US, Europe dismiss Iran's claim on imminent N-deal

Iran's claims to be close to an agreement on its nuclear programme have yet to be backed up by any concrete actions, Western officials said yesterday at a gathering of the world's top defence officials.

Yemen army 'suffers big losses' at hands of Shia rebels

Shia rebels killed 23 Yemeni soldiers in twin attacks in the northern mountains, tribal and rebel sources said on Saturday, as tentative feelers to end their six-year revolt faltered.

Ban calls for 'global action' on poverty

UN chief Ban Ki-moon yesterday told an international security conference in Germany that poverty, hunger and climate change posed a major threat to humanity in the 21st century.

Google Earth dives into oceans and WW II

Google Earth mapping service is letting people use the Internet to dive into the world's oceans or see the ruin that World War II bombings rained on European cities.

Taliban blow up girls' school in Pakistan

Taliban militants blew up a girls' school yesterday in northwest Pakistan, the latest in a wave of attacks by Islamist extremists targeting educational institutions, a minister said.

Wives are richer than Delhi High Court judges

The judges of the Delhi High Court have invested more in their wives' names, thus making their spouses richer.

Obama hails CIA 'patriots' at memorial service

President Barack Obama on Friday paid tribute to seven CIA officers killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan, hailing them as "patriots" at a rare memorial service at the spy agency's headquarters.

Jackson doctor to be charged tomorrow

Michael Jackson's doctor will be charged in connection with the pop star's death next week, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office confirmed Friday.

'Sena won't block Shah Rukh's film'

Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray called Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan 'a traitor', but said Sena will not stall his latest film 'My Name Is Khan'.

People invited to tweet their way into space

Nasa is inviting the public to send questions for the astronauts' abroad space shuttle Endeavour via Twitter and have them answered live from space.

Arts & Entertainment

Munmun: Lighting up the small screen

Apprehensive under the glare of the spotlight, she took a deep breath to ease the tension and anxiety that had taken hold of her. And why not? It was only natural for a five-year-old girl to be nervous as she spoke to millions of viewers with the camera hovering above her.

Anisul Hoque has reservations about the venue

Litterateur-journalist Anisul Hoque is of the opinion that to continue the Amar Ekushey Book Fair at the Bangla Academy premises will be practically impossible in the near future.

Emotion in Black: Solo Print Exhibition of Sadek Ahmed

'Image of Life”, the first solo print exhibition of Sadek Ahmed, began on February 1 at Zainul Gallery, Faculty of Fine Arts.

A kaleidoscope of colours

A colourful cultural function, titled Ushu, was held on Wednesday night to mark the inauguration of the South Asian Games. Around 15,000 enthusiastic people turned up at the programme, held at the Sylhet Stadium.

Selim Al Deen Fair in Sonagazi

The Natyacharya Selim Al Deen Fair began at Mongalkandi High School ground in Sonagazi upazila of Feni on February 4. Dr. Alauddin Ahmed, adviser to the Prime Minister, inaugurated the three-day fair as the chief guest.

Sachchu directs telefilm after two years

Actor-director Shahidul Alam Sachchu is busy directing his latest telefilm "Bhetorer Manush", after a two year hiatus. The shooting of the telefilm began recently at diverse locations in greater Sylhet. Rubel Sankar has written the telefilm.

Mina Day observed

With the theme 'Build Child-Friendly Education', 'Mina Day' was observed in Pabna last Thursday. The District Primary Education Office (DPEO) organised day long programmes which included a discussion, rally, children's competition and a cultural programme at Pabna PTI premises.

Emma Watson is named Hollywood’s highest paid female actor

There was little doubt that Emma Watson had come a long way since playing the bespectacled swot Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the first blockbuster hit featuring the boy wizard.

Training programme on classical music ends

A five-day training programme on classical music ended at Kushtia Shilpakala Academy on Thursday.

OP-ED

The Next Step

THE recently concluded visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India for the first formal summit meeting of her new regime, with her counterpart Dr. Manmohan Singh, promises much. It would, however, be unreasonable to assume that in such a visit outstanding problems, left festering due to the neglect of previous regimes, would be subject to instantaneous resolution. Nor may we expect that anything would happen to warrant the leader of the opposition laying out a carpet of thorns for the returning delegation or indeed to now launch a political movement to protect our national sovereignty.

Rising Tides

DESPITE solid development performance since independence, at around $600 Bangladesh's per capita income remains very low. Poverty has come down from over 70 percent in the early 1970s to around 40 percent in 2005. Yet this level is very high and rural poverty is even higher at 44 percent.

The Key Issue

IT is a welcome development that the relationship between Bangladesh and India is expected to have turned for the better following Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's recent India visit. It has been reported that trust has been re-established as a result of the goodwill measures taken by Bangladesh in response to India's security and economic needs pertaining to her North-Eastern states.

A Precipitate Outcome

NO one expected that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's state visit to India would resolve all outstanding issues. It was a goodwill visit. It was to set the climate for negotiations and lay down a base for communications.


The Daily Star

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