News of: Saturday, 24th of April, 2010
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All eyes are on Bhola-3 constituency that goes to poll today amid high tension and tight security, generating much heat in the country's politics since the by-election appears to be a crucial test for the Election Commission as well as the Awami League and BNP.
The employer of the stranded Bangladeshi crewmembers of the eight ships offshore Benin has expressed inability to provide them with food, water or fuel due to financial constraints, leaving them in uncertainty.
People in upazilas get very poor public service due to negligence and corruption of government officials, bureaucratic tangles, political influence and little access to information, says a recent study.
The eve of today's Bhola-3 parliamentary by-poll was marked by violence in the constituency, while law enforcers barred a group of BNP leaders led by Standing Committee Member Moudud Ahmed from entering the electoral area.
Awami League and BNP yesterday traded blames over today's by-election to Bhola-3 constituency.
Police detained about 76 BNP activists including two ward councillors during a clash between Awami League and BNP that left 25 people injured at Mirpur-6 in Pallabi.
A devastating fire broke out on the ground floor of Tung Hi Knit and Sweater factory at Zirani in Gazipur yesterday morning, injuring at least 20 people including fire fighters.
The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs has proposed fully paid maternity leave for six months instead of four months for the women in government services.
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) authorities have finalised formation of its new full-fledged intelligence agency with three wings--Border Security Bureau (BSB), Regional Intelligence Bureau (RIB) and Unit Intelligence Branch (UIB).
Five unions under Bhola-3 constituency are being considered to be most crucial with over 70,000 voters in determining the winner in today's by-election.
Trade union leaders yesterday demanded that the government fix the national minimum wage at Tk 5,000 given the rising prices of most essentials and services that had left the lower income groups in trouble in the recent years.
Twenty-one grenades and 18 mortar shells were found when labourers were digging into a hill at Ghagra Bazar under Kaukhali upazila of the district Thursday evening.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leaves here for Bhutan on April 27 to attend the 16th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit in Thimpu.
The chairman of Ekushey Television Ltd (ETV) was arrested yesterday at Mumbai International Airport for carrying arms illegally, said Mumbai police.
Students of Pabna Edward College are leaving dormitories in the face of threats from alleged Chhatra League activists following the college unit BCL council on Thursday.
Bangladesh Chhatra League activists of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) barricaded the Dhaka-Rajshahi highway for over three and a half hours on Thursday night.
Four people were killed and another was injured in separate road accidents in Narsingdi and Chapainawabganj yesterday.
A college student died after he was allegedly pushed out of a running train in the city's Malibagh early yesterday.
A man was killed and 15 others were injured in a clash between the activists of BNP and Awami League over land dispute at Bokter Char in South Keraniganj yesterday.
China has assured India that the dam it is building on the Tsang Po river (known as Brahmaputra in India which flows into Bangladesh) would not affect the water flow downstream.
US President Barack Obama has attacked critics of his banking reforms in a speech which warned that without change the financial crisis will be repeated.
The United States and the African Union have pledged to step up cooperation, saying that they shared interests in promoting democracy and development.
Bolivia's president says he is creating a "Mother Earth Ministry" to promote the planet's rights and says that he would like to establish an international court with the power to punish nations that fail to obey emissions-reduction agreements.
Iran's president is in Africa this week to build alliances to evade stronger U.N. sanctions for his country's nuclear program, ease its international isolation and strengthen its economy.
Nato and Afghan forces came under heavy fire while searching a compound in eastern Afghanistan, sparking a gunbattle that killed two US soldiers and five insurgents, Nato said yesterday.
THE Bhola by-election is being held today in the backdrop of allegations of intimidation, recrimination and blame and counter-blame by both the major parties. Through this column we had in the past stressed the need for a fair and peaceful by-election in Bhola, and we would like to underscore again the need to ensure that it is so.
THE need for proper and, more particularly, corruption-free untilisation of funds in the education sector, as stressed by the education minister recently at a seminar, cannot be over-emphasised. And since, the sector is considered prone to corruption and the allocation to it is increasing by the year, especial attention is to be paid to see that the funds allocated in this sector are not misused or wasted.
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan said that it would be tough but not impossible to beat Pakistan in the ICC World Twenty20, which will get underway on April 30 in West Indies.
" I missed the NCL T20s because I had exams, so you can say that I enjoyed a bit of rest. But I worked hard mentally and I believe this will help me with my game." - Mushfiqur Rahim
Bangladesh A batted purposefully on the opening day of their first unofficial Test match against South Africa A at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Holders Abahani recorded their sixth straight victory in the second leg of the Bangladesh Football League when the hosts handed an effortless 6-2 defeat to their Chittagong namesakes at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
The Indian taxman's scrutiny of the mess surrounding the IPL mess is not necessarily limited to the league's officials, franchise owners/managers and partner companies. It is understood the income-tax department is also acting on information of certain players receiving illegal payments from their employers.
AB Bank has come forward to sponsor the national cricket team for the ICC World Twenty20 that will begin on April 30 in West Indies.
Rabeed Imam has resigned as the media manager of the Bangladesh Cricket Board. He gave the resignation letter on Thursday, although it is yet to be granted by the cricket board.
Rony Talukdar's superb century was not enough to help out the GP-BCB National Cricket Academy on the second day of the four-day match against South Africa National Academy at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong yesterday.
Footballers of Mohammedan Sporting Club skipped their training session yesterday, ahead of today's Bangladesh League match against Rahmatganj MFS at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
A potentially significant day in the IPL controversy saga has begun on a stormy note as opposition MPs in the Indian Parliament demanding a Parliamentary probe, in addition to the investigations currently being carried out by government agencies, into the allegations that have been swirling around since the story broke a fortnight ago.
The IPL controversy has left Indian cricket in complete chaos but senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar said he is optimistic that the game would tide over this crisis.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga needed a fast change of tactics to reach the quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open as he defeated Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 on Thursday.
Ansar & VDP have moved into the final of the Women's Club Cup Tournament after beating BKSP by 48 runs in the first semifinal at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.
Newly-wed star couple Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik today met Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal, following which the Pakistani cricketer was granted one year visa extension.
Bewtha Mukul Fouz defeated Manikganj United City by four wickets to move into the second round in the Khan Real Estate Second Division Cricket League at Manikganj Government Boys' High School play ground here yesterday.
The Mercedes-Benz Tour will offer its members a direct pathway into the Barclays Singapore Open this year after announcing it has secured seven spots in one of the world's most lucrative national Opens.
Mamun caged 20 points to help Rangers Club thrash Old DOHS Club 44-9 in the Premier Bank First Division Basketball League at the Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnasium yesterday.
A toothless Liverpool failed to get the away goal they craved as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon on Thursday in the first leg of the Europa League semifinal.
Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher believes Chelsea will start to feel the strain if the champions reclaim first place in the title race with a win over in-form Tottenham on Saturday.
Fulham will take a slight advantage into next week's Europa League semifinal, second-leg at home to Hamburg having earned a 0-0 draw in the Hanseatic City in Thursday's first leg.
After their Champions League success in midweek, Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal plans to keep the treble dream alive when they return to Bundesliga action at Moenchengladbach on Saturday.
With five games left and Real Madrid standing one point behind leaders Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo is sure that he will finish his first season in Spain with a championship medal.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson won't be going anywhere soon, after he vehemently denied talk that he was looking to quit Old Trafford at the end of the season.
French striker Florent Sinama-Pongolle will not play again this season due to "family problems", his Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon announced on Thursday.
AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini and his wife are being investigated over corruption and the illegal access to tax records, Ansa reported Thursday.
Sevilla striker Luis Fabiano has suggested he would be keen to seal a move to Manchester United.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith said the international community needs to work together to ensure food security for all.
A student and his family members beat up a school teacher in Chuadanga on Thursday as he punished the student for stalking a girl student.
The much-expected election of Baira, the apex body of the international recruiting agencies, will be held today amid candidates' promises to restore the labour markets where overseas jobs have declined in the recent years.
Extortionists assaulted a physician at Sunderganj Upazila Health Complex and ransacked its emergency unit Thursday afternoon as he denied to pay toll.
The police rescued an expatriate and a cattle trader in Meherpur district on Thursday night, about 24 hours after they were abducted.
Police arrested a fugitive in an arms case from Lakherazpara in Chapainawabganj town yesterday.
At least 10 people, including three policemen, were injured in a clash between police and locals during an open-air concert at Sea World of Concord Water Park at Foy's Lake here yesterday.
The Sylhet region remained without electricity for around 15 hours till yesterday noon after severely hit by nor'wester on Thursday.
A man was arrested on charges of killing his five-month-old son at Dhakeshwar village in Sreepur upazila yesterday.
Nurses of Shaheed Suhrawardy Hospital yesterday called an indefinite strike in protest against an attempt to sexually harass one of their colleagues inside a lift at the hospital, reports Channel i.
Commuter train service connecting Dhaka city with surrounding districts is gradually attracting more passengers but it has become difficult to increase frequency of services as per demands for a number of reasons.
Liberation War Museum has called on institutions as well as individuals of the country to come forward with an offer of financial help to establish its permanent building on own land in the city.
Five people, including three Ansar members, were injured in a clash over a land dispute at Moulvi Pukurpar under Chandgaon police station in the port city on Thursday.
Bishwa Sahitya Kendra awarded the 40 best readers of its Study Circle at a programme yesterday.
Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata will award D Lit (Honoris-causa) degree to Dr Enamul Haque,the founder director general (rtd) of Bangladesh National Museum, on May 8 in recognition of his contribution to museology.
East West University (EWU) will hold its 9th convocation at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre tomorrow.
Noted personalities have called on the government to formulate a comprehensive power policy to ensure 100 percent state ownership of the country's power sector in order to mitigate the excruciating power crisis.
A community radio station mostly highlighting agriculture will be set up in a remote area of Barguna district with a view to empowering nearly 3,00,000 rural people.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested seven persons, including four arms traders, in Mymensingh town and Dhubaura upazila and recovered arms and bullets from their possession early yesterday.
At least 3,792 bottles of Phensidyl were seized and two people arrested during three separate raids at Birampur and Nawabganj upazilas here yesterday.
Flood situation deteriorated in Khaliajuri, Kalmakanda and Madan upazilas in Netrakona yesterday, with damage to 20,000 hectares of Boro crops.
The University Press Limited (UPL) celebrates World Book and Copyright Day today in solidarity with one of UNESCO's missions -- "to pro-mote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright".
Police arrested an alleged member of the banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) at Bamonitola village of Atrai upazila in the district on Thursday evening.
A gang of robbers looted over Tk 56000, four cellphone sets and gold ornaments from two houses at Purba Hashli village in Manikganj Sadar upazila early yesterday.
The body of a jewellery shop employee was recovered yesterday morning in the capital's Bangshal area.
A lift man of Shaheed Suhrawardy Hospital in the city was arrested on charges of attempting to sexually harass a nurse yesterday.
A series of five car bombs, three during prayers at Shiite mosques in Baghdad, and other attacks across Iraq killed 58 people yesterday, just days after the government said Al-Qaeda was on the run.
Finance officials from major countries believe the global economy is in far better shape than a year ago, but they are wrestling with a growing debt crisis in Greece that could unravel the hard-won gains.
Greece went cap in hand to the EU and IMF yesterday, appealing for up to 45 billion euros of urgent aid at low rates this year in a grim turn for the eurozone now threatened by Greek contagion.
Thailand's red-shirt protesters have issued a conditional offer of talks with the government, amid protests that have paralysed parts of Bangkok.
Kyrgyzstan's ousted president said yesterday from exile in Belarus that he does not intend to return to his homeland as its leader, but said his resignation was invalid because he signed it under pressure.
North Korea said yesterday it would confiscate five South Korean-owned properties at a jointly operated mountain resort in the isolated communist country, a development likely to worsen already-soured relations.
Iran has agreed to give the UN nuclear monitoring agency greater inspection and monitoring rights to a sensitive site where it is enriching uranium to higher levels, diplomats said yesterday.
A White House envoy tried yesterday to get Israelis and Palestinians talking again after more than a year of deadlock, while confronting a second challenge -- navigating the rocky relations between Israel and the US.
The bishop of the Belgian city of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, has resigned after admitting sexual abuse of a boy earlier in his career.
The Vatican's attorney yesterday dismissed as "completely without merit" a lawsuit against Pope Benedict XVI over sex abuse committed by a US priest.
A US court has rejected a bid by film director Roman Polanski to be sentenced in absentia for a child sex case.
Arts & Entertainment
As a tribute to one of its founding members, the late Abu Mohammad Murtaish Kochi, theatre troupe Padatik Natya Shangshad Bangla-desh has arranged a weeklong theatre festival that begins today. Titled 'Kochi Sharok Padatik Natya Utshab 2010,' the festival is being held at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
More Tagore memorabilia, including a manuscript, have been recovered recently at Shahzadpur upazila in Sirajganj and Patisar upazila in Naogaon districts. Unfortunately, the Department of Archaeology has not taken any initiatives to collect the memorabilia for preservation and display in the museum.
Theatre troupe Nagorik Natyangan Ensemble will stage its poetic play “Ami Noi” at a theatre festival in Kolkata, West Bengal. Director of the troupe, Jamaluddin Hossain, informed that the play would be staged as part of Bahurupi Theatre Festival.
The theatre festival organised by the Bangladesh Centre of International Theatre Institute (ITI), in association with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), ended on April 21. The festival started on April 15 and featured 20 theatre productions from home and abroad.
An adolescent Pratul Mukhopadhyay stunned all around him, setting to tune one of Mongolacharon Chattapadhyay's poems. Gradually he started writing songs, composed and rendered them in his unique style, making a major impact on contemporary Bangla inspirational music.
Bhoomi (literally 'earth') is a contemporary Kolkata-based folk-fusion band. It was formed in 1999, with an aim to revive interest in the folk music of Bengal and make it popular with an urban touch. Recently the band performed live in Dhaka. Surojit Chatterjee and Soumitra Roy -- two founding members of the band -- talked to The Daily Star during their stay in Dhaka. They shared notes about the band's journey, inspiration and the contemporary music scenario in Kolkata.
THIS scribe for quite some time has been venturing, apparently unsuccessfully, to impress upon the prime necessity of conducting credible and unbiased criminal investigation of all cases, particularly the nationally significant ones. As such, The Daily Star's editorial premonition (April 16) about the lack of desirable progress in the Ramna Batamul blast case and other such incidents came as a vindication of the public concern of the unsatisfactory state of affairs in this regard.
THE people of Dhaka are passing through a severe water crisis, which may become worse in the near future. Every year, we face this crisis and the situation, as it appears, is deteriorating. The Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) has admitted that it is beyond their capacity to overcome the crisis alone.
BHOLA has a notorious tradition of holding violent and irregular elections. In 1997, hundreds of political workers were forced to leave their homes by ruling party cadres because of their allegiance to the party in opposition. In 2003, Brotee (a non-partisan election monitoring organisation) recorded 117 incidences of attack on workers and supporters of the party in opposition by the cadres of the ruling party. The people of Bhola live through this trauma during every election.
Asociety with a democratic commitment evolves around the dynamics of a multi party system. It is a compelling necessity without which the system simply does not operate. Political parties evolve the programme of social reconstruction and the conduct of the state craft based on certain fundamental political beliefs. A complex process goes into play in firming up their political programmes and a consummate skill of social political engineering to bring it to the people whom it is supposed to serve.
The South Talpatti measuring 81 square miles in the Sunderbans has disappeared due to sea level rise and soil erosion. Its disappearance was confirmed by satellite image and sea patrols. Sugata Hazra, a professor from the School of Oceanographic Studies at Jadavpur University in Calcutta, told reporters, “There's no trace of the island any more,'' He noted that temperatures in the region had been rising at an annual rate of 0.4C. Until 2000, the sea level rose about 3mm a year, but over the last decade it had been rising about 5mm annually, he said. He warned that another ten islands could be at risk.
GREEN' issues are spearheading discussions on resource management, biodiversity and global warming, while the environmental problems known as 'Brown Agenda' have been neglected for a long time. Challenges in addressing and meeting the brown agenda in the cities have acquired prominence among the planning and development professionals around the world. It is well accepted that rapid urbanisation has aggravated problems like sanitation and drainage, solid waste management, degradation of soil and land, uncontrolled emissions from the domestic and industrial activities, street and abode congestions and improper disposal of hazardous waste resulting in poor health of people. Cities and towns have been hubs of economic development but how this economic development must be achieved in the first place? Do the rapid industrialisation, urbanisation and development of communication network add impetus to economic development at the cost of environment?
You will certainly not believe any snowfall in Dhaka! But what about an icy river? And that even not in the winter, just in the month of April, 2010? In fact it is a common scene since long. And what about thinking of a north-bound river? You must be thinking something has gone wrong with me.
Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Somerset Maugham, Tom Stoppard, John Steinbeck, Aldous Huxley, William Faulkner, Pearl S. Buck, Agatha Christie and many other famous writers have used phrases from Shakespeare as titles for their works. Many writers throughout the world have been greatly influenced by the works of Shakespeare, and as a result, they have quoted him, particularly in the titles they have chosen. “I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other men” --- Falstaff's comment is a clue to knowing that Shakespeare's wit inspired others to write and the titles derived from his works reemphasize his greatness over all other writers.
William Shakespeare is the most famous English dramatist and poet. His contemporary and rival playwright Ben Jonson wrote about him thus: “He was not of an age, but for all time.” Stephen Greenblatt, the editor of The Norton Shakespeare, writes, “Indeed, so absolute is Shakespeare's achievement that he has himself come to seem like great creating nature: the common bond of humankind.”
Mathew Arnold paid the highest tribute to Shakespeare when he said in “To Shakespeare”, “Others abide our question. Thou art free.” Arnold's absolution of Shakespeare gives us a measure of the immense influence the Elizabethan bard wields centuries after his death. Again Shakespeare's unquestionable authority is reinforced when A.B. Aldrich heralds in 'King William': “Yet 'twas the king of England's kings /The rest with all their pomps and trains / Are mouldered, half-remembered things---/'Tis he alone that lives and reigns!”
The concluding part of Raana Haider's Bargain Bin Books (the first part of which appeared last week) will be published next week.
For more than 4,000 years, people have been fighting with Malaria. Still, the ancient disease remains the cause of 860,000 deaths every year. Drug resistant malaria, counterfeit anti-malarial drugs, inadequate testing and treatment facility made the fight difficult. It is the high time to shift from the traditional ways, to combat malaria and for counting it out. World Health Organisation (WHO) has published new guideline (2nd edition) for the treatment and procurement of anti-malarial drugs to make the battle successful.
Health is not just absence of disease but it is a state of wellness in which a person enjoys physical, mental, social and spiritual health. Health is connected to the total well being of an individual. Apart form environmental and social factors, there are subtle factors that affect the health of a person. A clean and pure mind is a prerequisite for healthy life. A pure mind enables the use of time, energy and resources in the best way. Stress or negative thinking has been identified as a leading cause of quite a number of major illnesses.
Six years after the insect killer DDT was globally outlawed on grounds of environmental damage, two researchers say there are new reasons for doubting the chemical is harmful and are urging its use against malaria.
Diarrhoea is the most common clinical condition in hot atmosphere. Severe prolonged diarrhoea can lead to dehydration. With little precaution and safety measure we can manage the condition effectively.
Our teeth become stained over time due to various food and also bacterial action. Other than stains, calculus (stones) develops due to food debris in the mouth and the build-up of calculus can cause gum swelling and infection. Scaling is done to remove calculus while polishing is to clean stains on tooth. This procedure helps keep the gum-tooth interface clean and healthy thus reducing the possibility of gum disease, swelling and bleeding.
A brain implant made partly of silk can melt onto the surface of the brain, providing an "intimate" connection for recording signals, researchers reported recently.
Eating a lot of sugar not only makes you fat. It may also increase a person's risk for heart disease, U.S. researchers said recently.
BANGLADESH is not only a riverine country but also a maritime nation that opens to the south toward Indian Ocean through the Bay of Bengal.
UNDERSTANDING Cold War international politics was easy. The world then was fairly evenly divided between the two Super Powers and smaller powers belonged to one of the two camps. There was of course a third camp of Non-Aligned countries but most of them too in one way or the other belonged to one of the two camps. One of the themes of relations among nations then was: “the enemy's enemy is my friend.”
A top Iranian general said April 12 that the military's newly produced aerial drones, which have aroused U.S. concern, are capable of gathering intelligence and striking at targets.
Taiwan has unveiled the first images of a high-tech missile corvette specifically designed to counter the threat of China acquiring an aircraft carrier, officials and media said April 12. A computerized graphic of the 1,000-ton "carrier killer," which has so far been kept secret from the public, has gone on display at Taipei's military museum, run by the defense ministry.
Russia's Black Sea Fleet will receive up to four frigates and four diesel-electric submarines in the next five years, a Navy source told RIA Novosti on Tuesday. The Russian official said that the new warships were needed to replace vessels which have been in service for over 30 years and may soon not be fit for sea missions.
Star Books Review
Running a government, even if it is an interim one, is serious business. And writing about it is a good deal more, which is probably why not many who have had the chance of administering a government have generally opted to stay silent. In Bangladesh, where, constitutionally-ordained caretaker administrations have been the norm in pre-election times since 1990, Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed has clearly not been tempted to recount his experiences as head of the caretaker government following the fall of the Ershad regime in December 1990. But, yes, Justice Latifur Rahman, on whose watch the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-Jamaat e Islami combine triumphed at the October 2001 elections, did have his own story to relate. It did not make much of an impression. As for the future, one will simply need to wait for Fakhruddin Ahmed to enlighten the nation on the tumultuous times during which he presided over a return to parliamentary government in late 2008. Maybe he will come forth with his observations. Maybe he will not. It all depends.
Professor Mozaffar Hossain, though not a very well acquainted literary figure, has been contributing enormously to the liberal arts in the last decade. A teacher of philosophy, Mozaffar Hossain's most praiseworthy book has been Aro Koyekjon Socrates that was published in 2008. Before that his translation from English into the Bangla of Marxism and Poetry by George Thomson, The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy and Islam by Alfred Guillaume drew attention of a good part of the literati of the country. His recent book Pata Ultai, an autobiographical work in nature, is also worth mentioning as a significant work.
Spark of Light In Poverty Alleviation and Rural Development for A Quarter Century is actually a research report composed by two eminent faculty members of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University (SAU), Dhaka, Prof. Mohammad Hossain Bhuiyan and Associate Prof. Dr. Md. Sekender Ali and published on the occasion of 25 years of Dipshikha, an international non-formal education, training, and research society for village development. The book contains data-based information with research findings and interpretations about the development activities rendered by Dipshikha during its 25 years of dedicated service to its client system, donor agencies and development workers. In 1984, Dipshikha took birth as a silent social movement from grassroots level initiated by some self-driven and self-motivated non-elites who ranged from school teachers to local leaders. Since its inception Dipshikha has been working with the least educated downtrodden people in the field of agriculture, education, health and sanitation, human rights and good governance and has succeeded in attaining significant achievement in the sector of socio-economic development in Bangladesh and elsewhere.