The Daily Star

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Friday, July 25, 2014


News of: Friday, 16th of July, 2010

Front Page

GPA-5 galore in HSC

The results of Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent examinations 2010 show a significant rise in the number of students passed and GPA-5 achievers.

Factors behind good results

Competitive attitude of students, them being conscious of matters related to studies, better care by guardians and teachers, and copy-free exams contributed to better results in this year's HSC exams, educationists observed.

MK Alamgir to lose JS seat

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the High Court order declaring legal the Election Commission's decision to cancel Awami League lawmaker Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir's candidature in the 2008 parliamentary election.

Sale of questions made them rich

Information on money and properties amassed over the years by the members of the syndicate that leaks question papers of government exams is pouring in thick and fast.

Girls perform better

The female candidates of this year's Higher Secondary Certificate examinations outshone their male counterparts in terms of pass percentage under the eight general education boards.

Madrasas top success list

Madrasa Education Board has topped the success chart, for the fifth straight year, among the 10 education boards securing a staggering 86.55 percent pass rate in this year's Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent examinations.

Bangladesh, Nepal move on transit deal

Bangladesh and Nepal have moved again on a deal signed more than three decades ago. The modalities of the deal -- if ratified by both countries -- will allow Nepal to use Mongla Port to transport goods.

Unfit buses off the streets as drive starts

At least 236 buses and minibuses were fined Tk 1.94 lakh in the capital for not having fitness, tax and insurance certificates yesterday, the first day of a drive launched by the communications ministry against unfit vehicles.

Grassroots AL leaders worried at party image

Grassroots level leaders of the ruling Awami League will urge Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to take tough action against those AL men including lawmakers, and Chhatra League and Jubo League leaders and activists who are destroying the image of both the party and the government through their activities.

Law enforcers hunt for hidden JMB arms

Banned militant organisation Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh has destroyed all the explosives it had in northern region, claimed detained outfit leader Anwar Alam. Law enforcers, however, have doubt over the account.

Arrests put Jamaat in deep trouble

Jamaat-e-Islami now struggles to come up with an effective strategy to face the current crisis arising from the large number of arrests of its party leaders across the country.

Institutions outside city show strength

None of the colleges in Dhaka city could keep the first two places under Dhaka Education Board after yesterday's HSC results due mainly to the newly introduced criteria.

Mahmudur charged with not placing wealth report

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against Mahmudur Rahman, acting editor of the recently shut daily Amar Desh, in connection with a case filed for not submitting wealth statement within given period.

Mojahid on fresh remand

A Dhaka court yesterday placed Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid on a three-day fresh remand in a case filed for killing 345 people during the country's Liberation War in 1971.

Bulbul Ahmed no more

Bulbul Ahmed, the celebrity silver screen actor popularly known as Devdas, passed away at 1:00am yesterday at the age of 69.

Two held with links to illegal share trade

Rab yesterday nabbed two men with alleged links to illegal trade through private placement in capital market.

Ministries not paying heed to JS body suggestions

Chiefs of different parliamentary standing committees yesterday raised allegation before Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that many ministries are not sincere to implement their recommendations to improve governance.

Editorial

Another victim of violence against women

THE burn unit of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) bears witness to another act of barbarity on a woman by her husband. As reported on the back page of the Thursday issue of this paper, day labourer Swapan scalded her wife Shikha Khandaker with boiling water because she failed to bring the one lakh taka he had de-manded a second time as dowry, though he already re-ceived one lakh taka during their wedding 15 years back. Hapless Shikha, as the report goes, was no stranger to tortures like regular beating at her husband's hands, but she suffered all through silently. This last act of outrage might also have gone unnoticed had she not landed up in the burn unit of DMCH.

Drive against old vehicles

THE authorities launched a fresh drive against old vehi-cles on city streets yesterday. When the decision was made to go after vehicles that were between twenty and twenty-five years old, we welcomed the move, albeit with the suggestion that it be implemented in such a way that left commuters' movement undisturbed. We reiterate the same point today, for the particular reason that the drive against old vehicles must not in any way create any dislo-cation for the thousands of city dwellers who happen to use such transport on a daily basis while commuting back and from work.

Sports

Porterfield smacks Tigers

Captain William Porterfield led from the front with a century as Ireland outplayed Bangladesh by seven wickets in the first one-dayer of the two-match series at Stormont in Belfast yesterday.

'Super Cup will be held regularly'

Bangladesh Football Federation president Kazi Salahuddin has assured that Taka 1-crore Super Cup will be held regularly as long as he is at the helm.

Nadimul first day's hero

Nadimul Islam of Savar Sena Shooting Club picked up two gold medals in the opening day of the 3rd National Air Gun Championship at the National Shooting Complex in Gulshan yesterday.

AFC women's qualifiers in Bangladesh

Bangladesh will host the Group B matches of the AFC U-19 Women's Cham-pionship qualifiers over September 20-24 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Nazma, Jewel set 6 records

Three records each from Jewel Ahmed and Nazma Khatun of Bangladesh Ansar headed the opening day of the BRB Cables 26th National Age-Group Swimming Championship to set eight national records at the National Swimming Complex in Mirpur yesterday.

Bumper round draw today

The bumper round draw of The Daily Star-Rangs Toshiba World Cup quiz will be held at the National Press Club auditorium today.

New 4-year deal for Maradona

Diego Maradona will be offered a new four-year contract to stay on as Argentina coach, the Argentinian Football Association has announced.

Navy overrun Matuail

Bangladesh Navy destroyed Matuail Milon Smriti Sangsad with a victory margin of 80-17 in the Pubali Bank Premier League Kabaddi at the Kabaddi Stadium yesterday.

Ready for more Diego?

Four years ago, Jose Mourinho was in charge at Chelsea, Tony Blair was British Prime Minister, Esteban Cambiasso had hair, Leo Messi was an unused substitute and Carlos Tevez was playing his club football in Brazil.

Rooney will be back

The Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has said Wayne Rooney will soon shake off the frustration of his World Cup performance, adding that Rooney would be disappointed to have missed an opportunity to impress on the world stage.

Silva finally Man City's

Spain's World Cup winning winger David Silva completed his move to Premier League club Manchester City from Valencia on Wednesday.

Is Khedira the Real deal?

Stuttgart have denied a report in Marca that midfielder Sami Khedira has agreed a 10 million euro transfer to Real Madrid.

Inter not selling duo

Striker Mario Balotelli does not have a price and right-back Maicon is also not on the market, Inter Milan sporting director Marco Branca said on Wednesday.

Heskey ends int'l career

Emile Heskey has announced his retirement from international football after winning 62 caps and scoring seven goals for England.

Bayern for life: Mueller

Bayern Munich striker Thomas Mueller has indicated he would be happy to remain at the club for the rest of his career.

Oezil might be sold, say Bremen

Werder Bremen general manager Klaus Allofs has hinted the club may consider selling Mesut Oezil this summer if they cannot convince the playmaker to sign a new contract.

Aduriz signs for revamped Valencia

Valencia have agreed to sign striker Aritz Aduriz from Real Mallorca subject to a medical, the Spanish club said on their website (www.valenciacf. com).

Pakistan against record

Pakistan faced a record-breaking pursuit of 440 to win the first Test against Australia at Lord's here on Thursday.

Imran in Hall of Fame

Pakistan legend Imran Khan became the fourth Pakistani to be inducted formally into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame at Lord's on Wednesday.

Sagar unbeaten champ

FM Minhazuddin Ahmed Sagar emerged unbeaten champion in the Mercantile Bank 36th National Championship after drawing against Debaraj Chatterjee in the final round at the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall-room yesterday.

Mohammedan thump Ajax

Titans Mohammedan got off to a flying start in the Super League of the Green Delta Insurance Premier Division Hockey League with a massive 8-1 win over Ajax Sporting Club at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

CA plans huge changes

Split-innings games offering bowlers more incentives and the possibility of a batsman getting two lives are some of the options being considered by Cricket Australia as it plans a comprehensive makeover to revive the one-day format. The radical changes are part of an overhaul that will be trialled in next summer's domestic competition if the ideas gain board approval next month.

Scots call back Hamilton for Tigers ODI

Former captain Gavin Hamilton has been recalled to Scotland's strong 14-member squad to face Bangladesh in the one-off ODI in Glasgow on July 19. Hamilton, who stepped down from his post last month, didn't participate in the ICC World Cricket League Division One in Netherlands recently.

India draw tour game

Lahiru Thirimanne joined the centuries club as Sri Lanka Board President's XI once again dominated the Indians, on the final day at Colts Cricket Club. Pragyan Ojha was the only Indian player to gain as he finished with three wickets -- to go with his first innings five -- to push his selection for the second spinner in Galle, assuming Harbhajan Singh recovers from his illness on time.

Business

Dhaka, Kathmandu put transit deal on course

Bangladesh and Nepal have finalised the modalities of putting a decades-old transit agreement into operation.

Soaring yarn prices hit Tangail weavers

Rising yarn prices frustrate weavers in Tangail, as they can hardly make profit from sales amid soaring production costs.

Deals on 100MW rental power

Power Development Board (PDB) yesterday signed agreements with two quick rental power companies to purchase 100 megawatts (MW) of electricity for the national grid.

Govt moves to calm chick prices

The government has asked poultry breeders to charge Tk 30 as the retail price for a day-old broiler chick and Tk 32 for layer chick amid demand from poultry farmers to cut down the existing high prices.

Power loom workers strike in Narsingdi

Some 10,000 power looms remained closed yesterday in Narsingdi after workers went on strike for a wage increment, bonus and job regularisation.

M&S faces down protest over executive pay

British retailer Marks & Spencer comfortably saw off protests at its annual shareholder meeting over the 15-million-pound ($22.8 million) pay package awarded to new chief executive Marc Bolland.

BB streamlines guideline on banks' CSR

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has streamlined the monitoring system for corporate social responsibility (CSR) to ensure all banks follow a guideline in CSR efforts.

JPMorgan earns $4.8b in Q2

JPMorgan Chase & Co said Thursday its second-quarter net income soared 77 percent to $4.8 billion as a slowdown in losses from failed loans helped offset a difficult spring in trading and investment banking.

Indian drugmakers to see rupee dent on robust growth

Mid-cap Indian drugmakers are likely to post healthy quarterly earnings on rising sales across geographies but a strong rupee against the dollar through two-third of April-June period might shave off margins for some.

Stocks finish nearly flat

Stocks closed the last trading session of the week nearly flat amid choppy trading, as investors were gripped with volatility fears over the market regulator's latest move on portfolio statements of big individual investors.

Global PC shipments up 22pc as businesses spend

Market research group IDC said Wednesday that worldwide shipments of personal computers climbed 22.4 percent in the second quarter as businesses replaced aging computers and consumers continued to show interest in inexpensive laptops.

Minister urges crop variety invention

Planning Minister AK Khandaker said yesterday there is no other alternative to inventing new crop varieties by intensive research to meet up the growing national demand.

Oil rises

Oil reversed early losses and rose toward $78 a barrel on Thursday after a bounce in equities overshadowed earlier news pointing to flatter economic growth in the world's number two oil consumer China.

Corporate Briefs

NCC BANK
The bank's Board of Directors has decided to approve the following subjects from the shareholders in the EGM and regulatory authorities: (a) The denomination of share value (face value) will be Tk 10 and market lot thereof will be 250 shares, (b) The authorised capital will be Tk 1,000 crore divided into 100 crore ordinary shares of Tk 10 each and (c) The relevant clauses/articles of Memorandum and Articles of Association will be amended. The EGM will be held on August 30 at (11am) at Officers Club in Dhaka. The record date for EGM is July 25.

Metropolitan

Follow rules of seniority strictly in recruitment, promotion

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the authorities concerned to strictly follow the rules of seniority, qualification, merit and efficiency during recruitment, posting, and promotion in the armed forces.

Help maintain law and order

Newly appointed Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) Commissioner Md Abul Kashem sought cooperation from all to maintain law and order in the port city.

Call to expedite functioning of war crimes tribunal

Political leaders yesterday urged the government to expedite the functioning of war crimes tribunal without any hesitation and not to politicise the issue.

'Stop use of tannery waste in poultry feed'

Environmentalists yesterday urged the government to take necessary measures to stop the use of tannery waste in poultry feed to avoid health hazards.

HC asks police not to torture Jamaat trio

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed police not to torture Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami, its Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid and Nayeb-e-Ameer Delwar Hossain Sayedee in any manner after taking them on remand in a sedition case.

President greets PM for taking initiatives to build hospital

President Zillur Rahman in a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday congratulated her for taking initiatives to build an international standard hospital and nursing institute on 20 bighas of land of Awami Foundation at Nabinagar in Savar.

Govt to buy additional 1 lakh tonnes of rice

The government has decided to buy an additional one-lakh tonne of rice from the domestic market at Tk 28 a kg in this Boro season, officials at the food ministry said yesterday.

US embassy official concerned Claims Jamaat

A political officer of the US embassy in Dhaka yesterday expressed concern over the recent arrest of top ranking leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, claimed a Jamaat press release.

100pc pass in 714 institutions, none from 25

The number of institutions securing 100 percent pass in the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and its equivalent examinations came down to 714 this year from last year's 755.

48 Korean volunteers in Dhaka

A group of 48 Korea Internet Volunteers (KIV) from National Information Society Agency (NISA) of the Government of Republic of Korea have arrived in Dhaka to provide one month of voluntary service in different government and private organisations here, says a press release.

BBC Radio to air Fauji Banijjya today

The first episode of the nine-part BBC Bangla documentary titled Fauji Banijjya (Military in business) will be aired on BBC radio service today.

Teachers' facilities should be raised: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed satisfaction over the HSC results and its equivalent examinations of 2010.

Books written by 'war criminals' removed from libraries, JS told

Religious affairs ministry has removed all books written by alleged war criminals and people involved in preaching ideology of Maududi, considered as the think tank of Jamaat-e-Islami, from all countrywide libraries based in mosques and others run by the Islamic foundation.

Help strengthen financial base

President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged the Institute of Cost and Accounting Management Bangladesh (ICMAB) to play a more responsible role to strengthen the country's financial base through appropriate use of accounting.

Slovak envoy calls on FM

Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to Bangladesh Marian Tomasik called on Foreign Minister Dipu Moni at the Foreign Ministry yesterday morning.

Seminar on liver diseases

Two prominent doctors from Gleneagles Hospital spoke at a seminar on diseases of digestive system and liver on July 10 at a local hotel in the city.

National

Expulsion of 5 KU students stayed for 6 months

The High Court (HC) has stayed for six months Khulna University authorities' expulsion order for five students.

Sylhet sees highest pass rate among 10 education boards

The Sylhet education board saw the highest 76.12 per cent pass in this year's HSC examinations while the average of the country's 10 education boards including the madrasa board and the technical education board is 74.28 per cent.

GPA-5 up, pass rate down in Chittagong board

The number of Grade Point Average (GPA)5 achievers increased although pass percentage rate decreased in this year's Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examinations under Chittagong education board.

7 Jamaat men held in Satkhira, two sent to jail in Natore

Seven Jamaat leaders and activists were arrested at their houses in Sadar upazila of Satkhira district on Wednesday night while two arrested activists of the party sent to jail in Natore yesterday.

Health complex used as police camp

People of remote Dhalarchar union in the Jamuna basin in Bera upazila under Pabna district are deprived of healthcare facilities as the union health and family planning complex has been used as a police camp for over three years.

Pirates abduct 4 fishermen

Pirates of the Sundarbans kidnapped four fishermen from Karamjol under Mongla upazila of Bagerhat district on Wednesday.

Outlaw held with gun

Police arrested a cadre of outlawed Gono Bahini with a gun at Madhupur village under Sadar upazila of the district Wednesday night.

Fugitive convict arrested

A fugitive, convicted in a case for misappropriation of money, was arrested at Ghughudima village under Chapainawabganj Sadar upazila early yesterday.

Five sued for implicating shrimp trader in false case

Five people including a district level BNP leader have been sued for implicating a shrimp trader in a false case.

College girls agitate, confine principal to hostel room

The students of Government Saroda Sundori Mohila College staged a demonstration on the campus protesting alleged irregularities of the college authorities and demanding removal of the principal.

Four bodies recovered in Faridpur

Four bodies were recovered from three police stations of the district on Wednesday night.

Kidnapped boys rescued in Sirajganj

Two boys, kidnapped from Manikganj for ransom on Tuesday, were rescued in Tarash upazila on Wednesday.

Two drug smugglers arrested

Police arrested a drug smuggler along with 45 yaba tablets at Dharmanagar-Tripura frontier in Akhaura upazila on Tuesday.

Letters

Why hartal?

In the Oxford Dictionary the meaning of hartal has been mentioned as, “the closing of shops and offices in India as a mark of protest or sorrow.” According to this definition, hartal is a property of India and we have inherited the same. But in the next new edition the authors of Oxford Dictionary would probably correct this definition by replacing the word India by Bangladesh as we are playing the leading role in observing hartal as well as incorporating new strategy / actions such as killing people, damaging and torching vehicles and factories to make the hartal successful.

Chemicals in foods

Rotten, unhygienic, and expired food products, etc cause widespread health problem in Bangladesh. It is a habitual offence that needs to be addressed by public awareness and education. Simply, taking these kinds of date-expired or rotten foods in our stomach will definitely make us sick though not gravely. But consuming formalin mixed fish and mobile mixed oil cooked foods will slowly lead us to death. Stories often appear in newspapers of dried fish being preserved with officially banned DDT powder or other insecticides. Fish is no longer a favourite option for many city dwellers on their everyday menu, as the sale of formalin-laced fish has become a rampant practice in the city's kitchen markets, endangering public health. It is not just fish that is treated with harmful chemicals; urea fertilizer is being used to make puffed rice, an essential item that goes with almost all iftar items to make it whiter and more attractive. These unscrupulous traders invariably claim that the products they sell are fresh and not treated with chemicals for business purposes. Even milk sellers use drops of formalin to keep their pots of milk fresh. If anyone asks the vendors how they keep the fish, fruits and vegetables fresh, some of them may give a simple yet hazardous answer, “medicine”. Medicine here means formalin and calcium carbide. Carbides are used to ripen fruits. Scientists and doctors have warned that sustained consumption of food laced with toxic chemicals has debilitating effect on the human body and could even lead to multiple failures of such vital organs as liver and kidney. But who cares?

Afghanistan's minerals!

An article on the subject, written by an American, was published on 4 July in the pages of a local English daily. The writer, possibly quite rightly criticizes Pentagon's estimated value of the Afghan minerals at US$ one trillion! He is sceptical on how the estimates could be drawn without proper mineral survey and mapping, and based on random finds here and there; in the midst of an ongoing war! Logically it seems to be an irrational, amateurish and totally speculative to be classified as having commercial exploitation potential for mining.

Road accidents

Many a cause may be there behind road accidents but it is recognised that most of the accidents are happening as a result of the recklessness of the drivers who sometimes ignore the rules and discipline of driving.

Here and there

Our Traffic Police Farce: My last letter (DS 4 July) on Dhaka's traffic had concluded with the challenge that only when the controlling authorities found the will and resolve (now totally absent) to book everyone found guilty of breaking the traffic laws, would there be improvement. I am very happy to eat my words. It seems that there is at least one amongst our traffic cops with enough guts to file a complaint against an MP, stuck in a jam, for assaulting him in public!!!

Question leakage

Nowadays we observe that incidence of question leakage is occurring frequently, especially in the selection test of a few public sector jobs and in the admission test of some public universities. These are mainly due to evil deeds of some govt, or university employees. There is a huge lack of morality, transparency, accountability and patriotism among them.

Human rights

I am not a professional HR activist but a firm believer of human rights. The other day we saw the new chairman of the HRC speaking to the press about his conviction and commitment to HR issues in Bangladesh. I regret to mention that I was not quite convinced of his idea of having their own investigative staff well trained in HR violation investigation. The reason, the police dept has eroded their public perception in conducting enquiry. This might encourage others to have their own cell for enquiry. The chairman might rethink or look for practical alternatives to mitigate HR violations, and keep aside the theoretical and academic aspects of the HR issues. The feasible alternative is to have a separate cell in the police dept and train them with the specific need of the HRC i.e. need based job oriented training and retraining.

Jamaat leaders' disclosures

It is very dangerous news for us.

A fair election

We have recently watched a very free, fair, transparent and acceptable election in the Chittagong City Corporation. The opposition candidate M Manzur Alam got elected in the election. After his victory the Prime Minister of the state hailed him and hoped that he would do good for the port city people. And leaders of the govt also welcomed him. There were no complaints regarding rigging of polls from any quarters. This really augurs well for the growth of democracy in Bangladesh. As common people, we wish that both the government and the opposition will do healthy politics and shun the path of violence for the betterment of the country and its people.

Attention: Rajuk

I applied for a plot in Uttara in last year's lottery as an Expatriate. I did not win any plot and submitted my application for refund on January 26, 2010. My receipt number is 558 & the expected refund date was March 29. So far I have not received my refund. I called Rajuk Probashi Kallayan Cell without any success. I sent an email to Rajuk chairman, but no response. I am running out of ideas on how to get my refund back. I would appreciate if the Rajuk authorities can step in.

Do something about it

During the whole 2010 FIFA World Cup, the residents of Mohammadpur area went through a dismal time due to the on going load shedding. Most of the crucial matches were half watched, much to the dismay of the local people. I just think, World Cups come once every four year and bearing that in mind, couldn't the government ensure full power supply during the crucial matches? Bangladesh is football crazy and we crave for watching such big events but our enthusiasm is all drained by some people.

Hijab and some questions

I love hijab and having studied Torah, Bible and the Holy Quran, I can say that modesty has been enjoined in all the Divine Revelations. Appearance is an important aspect of our communication with others and it does make sense that God has defined modesty or the appearance that we should have. God defined it so that we are not divided over the issue of what to wear or what to consider as modest. I agree that hijab minimizes the risk of sexual harassment. However, what bothers me is the notion that not wearing the hijab is the main cause behind eve-teasing. I don't remember the specific details, but not so long ago, a female burkha-clad student was harassed at a public university. Was she at fault too, given that she was modestly dressed? If God has commanded women to dress modestly, He has also commanded men to lower their gaze. Hijab is not just about dressing modestly, but also about behaving modestly and it goes for both men and women. “Everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28). “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest.” ( Holy Quran 24:30). It does not matter whether the girl is covered or not, the men have to lower the gaze. In the above verses, it does not say that a man has to lower the gaze only if the women wear hijab. In fact, logically, a man should lower his gaze even more if the girl is not modestly dressed. Just like women wear hijab irrespective of how the men view them; men have to lower the gaze irrespective of how the women are dressed.

Spirit of entrepreneurship

After the conquering of Mt Everest by a Bangladeshi, comes another good news from our entrepreneurs -- the first jamdanee saree made from super-fine jute threads (exhibited recently in Dhaka).

Hearing delayed

The High Court and the Supreme Court are the highest judicial bodies in every country. They are the protectors of the country's constitution and laws that are made by parliament.

Proper use of tax money

The honourable President of Bangladesh while receiving the annual audit report from the Auditor and Comptroller General advised the team to make all out efforts so that the money realised as tax from the common men is not misused in any way. He realised the facts that the development works funded by the government are not always ended without blame. There is a widespread accusation that the tenders of government works are not fairly done and there are syndicates everywhere. It is a fact that in spite of government's sincere efforts, the pace of development work is very slow and even the money earmarked for many projects is returned at the end of the financial year. The departments concern are not aware of the quality of the works or they even do not properly supervise the work. The lion's share of the project money goes to the pocket of the dishonest contractors and the officers and engineers of the supervising department. Everybody knows that the development works are funded by the money from the government exchequer which is fattened by the tax money realised from the general mass as VAT and income tax. People of Bangladesh whether rich or poor have to pay VAT while purchasing any commodity like edible oil, sugar, gas, cosmetics, clothes and availing services like gas, electricity, WASA etc. VAT is a sort of indirect tax and every consumer is bound to pay it and income tax is levied on a class of people having income above certain limits. So, everyone feels the pain while paying it as extra amount.

Brilliant suggestions

I read with interest the article, “ How to get rid of load shedding?” written by Eng. Abdul Matin in your daily of April 7, 2010. The hot topic of the day has been presented in a very clear and simple language. The study of the background, analysis of the whole situation and the ultimate conclusion on the problem are, to say the least, unbiased and pragmatic. He addressed the problem with an insight into the multifarious aspects of the power supply and demand position of the country. He suggested immediate, medium term and long-term solutions. They appear to be quite feasible and as such deserve serious consideration. It has been concluded, “The blame game will no longer console the power and energy starving people”. I congratulate Engg. Matin for his brilliant ideas.

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International

Gaza aid ship docks in Egypt’s coast

A Libyan aid ship originally bound for the Gaza Strip has been diverted to a port in Egypt after the Israeli navy warned the vessel against trying to break an Israeli blockade on the Palestinian coastal territory.

Iran scientist claims US abduction

An Iranian scientist who said he was kidnapped by the US has arrived home in Tehran, vowing to reveal more details of his claimed abduction while on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia last year.

CIA pays Iranian scientist $5mn

The Iranian nuclear scientist, who returned to Iran early yesterday after claiming he had been abducted by the US, received more than $5 million from the CIA for providing intelligence, The Washington Post reported.

US to hand over last detention centre in Iraq

The US military is to hand over control of its last remaining detention centre in Iraq, as it increases the pace of its withdrawal from the country.

Amnesty warns of healthcare crisis in North Korea

North Korea's healthcare system is in such a state of crisis that doctors are frequently forced to perform surgery without anaesthetics, tying down patients to operating tables to prevent them moving, a report by Amnesty International has said.

India, Pakistan extend talks amid hopes

The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan met here yesterday for the first time after the Mumbai terror attack, with their talks getting extended at midday amid signs that they were on way to putting ties back on track.

India and US discuss terror cooperation

India and the US focused on expanding counter-terror cooperation and discussed UN reforms yesterday, as US National Security Adviser James Jones wrapped up his two-day trip aimed at firming up deliverables for President Barack Obama's visit in November.

4 killed, 44 injured in Swat valley

A suspected suicide bombing yesterday ripped through a busy street outside a bus stand in Pakistan's north-western district of Swat, killing four people and injuring at least 44, police said.

New symbol for Indian rupee approved

The Indian rupee has achieved parity with major currencies such as the dollar, euro, pound sterling and yen in one respect: it now has its own symbol.

Nepal parties to write new statute

After frittering away 24 months, Nepal's major parties yesterday said they would start working on the new constitution from tomorrow.

Arts & Entertainment

Curtain falls on Bulbul Ahmed

Famed for his portrayal of the iconic role Debdas, Bulbul Ahmed would've turned 70 in another three months. Apparently he wanted to celebrate the upcoming birthday but fate had other plans. On July 14, around 1 am, the famed actor passed away.

Passion play: “Pran-er Khela” at Bengal Shilpalaya

An ashor has only one drawback, it cannot accommodate a big audience but it provides an artiste the opportunity to connect with listeners in a way the usual concerts cannot. This was evident at the latest (July 14) instalment of 'Pran-er Khela,' the musical soiree Bengal Foundation regularly holds at the Bengal Shilpalaya in Dhanmondi, Dhaka.

Vidya, Husain’s new muse?

After Madhuri Dixit and Tabu, Bollywood actress Vidya Balan appears to be the latest muse of painter-filmmaker MF Husain. Having made “Gajagamini” and “Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities” with Madhuri and Tabu, Husain is now all set to direct his next movie, a comedy, with Vidya Balan in lead role.

Theatre festival on Liberation War ends

The five-day theatre festival featuring plays on the Liberation War ended on July 14. The festival, which featured 10 plays by reputed troupes from Dhaka, was inaugurated on July 9 and was held at the National Theatre Hall and Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. On the last day, Theatre Art Unit staged “Court Martial” at the National Theatre Hall.

Giving artistic shapes to roadside wastes

Mohammad Abullah Al Kafi, a craftsman of Kaharol upazila, Dinajpur district, has discovered an innovative method of bringing in a reasonable income to maintain his family expenses: using roadside waste to make garlands. The middle-aged Kafi has been tirelessly collecting the wastes, usually used to preserve imported fruits.

Painter Shafiqul Amin turns 98

Veteran painter Shafiqul Amin turns 98 today. He is one of the senior most painters in Bangladesh. On the occasion, Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts will hold a celebration programme today at the gallery, says a press release.

Restored Da Vinci painting reveals hidden details

A restoration project for Leonardo da Vinci's “Virgin of the Rocks” has revealed new details and suggest the Renaissance artist may have painted all the picture himself, instead of with his assistants as previously thought, a British gallery said Wednesday.

Pink Floyd reunites for Palestine

For the first time in five years, the two driving forces behind Pink Floyd, Roger Waters and David Gilmour, reunited onstage at a benefit in England over the weekend. The unannounced team-up went down before the 200 attendees of the Hoping Foundation benefit in Oxfordshire, which raised money for young Palestinian refugees.

OP-ED

Six months on

NEW Delhi: It is now 6 months since the groundbreaking summit between Bangadeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised to usher in a new era of mutual cooperation between the two countries.

Policing the police

TRUE story from Moorestown, New Jersey, in the United States where a police officer was charged with molesting children in 2008. But the country was more horrified when it learned that the officer also had a moonlight tryst with a group of cows. Animal cruelty charges were brought against the man, but the grand jury couldn't determine whether the cattle had consented to the apparent one-night stand.

Good governance is a social contract

IN Bangladesh, many politicians, intellectuals and analysts often claim that democracy was restored with the general elections in December 2008, which saw the Awami League come to power. Is "democracy" just holding of elections, or the way a government behaves?

Food procurement and price

FOR the first time in recent years, the government is facing problems in meeting the boro rice procurement target. The drive, which started in May and will end next month, has so far succeeded in procuring about one-fourth of the targeted quantity. This goes against boro rice procurement behaviour in the past years, when the successive governments were criticised for not going for big procurement drives for the benefit of the growers.

Achieving revised vision 2021

ABOUT a year back, AL declared its revised Vision 2021. So far, we have not seen much progress in implementation of the commitments included in the said declaration. It appears that it would be worthwhile for AL to look back, particularly because of its debacle in the recent Chittagong City Corporation election in which the AL-supported candidate for mayoral office lost to the BNP-backed candidate by 95,542 votes.

StarTech

Digital centres in sight

A simplified mobile payment system can reduce the hassles of money transaction across the country.

Facebook launches child safety application

Social networking website Facebook has agreed to adopt an application aimed at improving the online safety of its younger users, a child protection group said on Monday.

Apple to address iPhone issues

Apple Inc has called a surprise press conference for Friday to talk about the iPhone 4, as the company continues to deal with fallout from reported reception problems on its popular smartphone.

'Paul the Octopus' now an iPhone app

Paul, the psychic octopus who predicted World Cup matches with uncanny accuracy, is now an iPhone application.

Intel posts 'best quarter' ever

Intel blew past the expectations of Wall Street analysts on Tuesday as the world's biggest computer chip-maker posted its best quarter ever on stronger demand for servers and personal computers.


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