The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, July 30, 2014


News of: Sunday, 22nd of August, 2010

Front Page

BNP, Jamaat had direct links

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has claimed that the previous BNP-Jamaat coalition government had direct links with the August 21 grenade attack on an Awami League rally in 2004.

Toxic liquor kills ten

At least 10 people died and three were hospitalised in a span of 24 hours due to drinking of toxic liquor at a village in Osmani Nagar till yesterday.

Tailbacks mock bids to tackle traffic

Vehicular movement on the city streets has apparently been left to its own device resulting in tedious tailbacks while the Dhaka Metropolitan Police is trying to figure out a fitting traffic management system for Dhaka.

Koko placed 2009's medical certificate

Violation of conditions and the opposition's threat to forge movement to bring BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's sons Arafat Rahman Koko and Tarique Rahman back to the country apparently led to Koko's parole cancellation.

CNG station shut boosts electricity

The country achieved a new record of electricity generation Friday as the evening shutdown of CNG stations boosted gas supply to power plants and a new rental power plant of a British company launched operation.

Small firearms drive in the doldrums

Most criminals using small firearms stay out of police dragnet in crime prone areas of the capital due to lack of proper vigilance in the areas, causing a sense of insecurity among the city dwellers.

Autopsy says homicide, cops find no proof

Investigator did not find any evidence of homicide in the case of deceased Awami League activist Ibrahim Ahmed even though Dhaka Medical College morgue mentioned the word "homicidal" in its autopsy report.

Iftar party, trade fair on playfields

A political party and a forum of businessmen have occupied two playgrounds at the capital's Banani to arrange a ten-day iftar party and a trade fair throughout the rest of the Ramadan.

Govt waits on CID report

There was not enough security on August 21 as Sheikh Hasina deserved as the leader of the opposition, said Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday adding that the persons responsible should be made accountable for the loose security on that day.

Blair hails Hasina's climate role

Visiting former British prime minister Tony Blair has highly praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's strong leadership in consolidating democracy and combating negative impact of the climate change.

Rain-fed rivers overflow

Water level of the country's rivers is rising alarmingly for the last few days following the monsoon rain, increasing the possibility of flood.

Rejoinder, our reply

In a rejoinder to our report headlined "20-storey building, Noor Ali admits to crime" published on August 6, Unique Group said the report based on different sources is not informative and is completely confusing.

Highway robbers kill 2

Two people were killed and five others injured in a bus robbery Friday night on the Dhaka-Aricha highway at Dhamrai upazila of the district.

CPJ requests SC to review its judgment

The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based rights body, requested the Supreme Court (SC) to review its judgment on journalists in Bangladesh, which sentenced them to jail and fines on charge of contempt of court.

3 Shibir men held at CU

Police arrested three leaders of Islami Chhatra Shibir of Chittagong University (CU) unit including its general secretary yesterday afternoon for their alleged involvement in injuring a Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activist on the campus.

One week needed to confirm anthrax

The laboratory tests will take one week to confirm whether anthrax has invaded Shahzadpur upazila in Sirajganj, said the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) yesterday.

Mexico officers held over murdering mayor

Authorities have arrested six police officers in connection with the kidnapping and murder of a mayor in northern Mexico.

Rebels kill 8 Philippine police officers in ambush

Communist rebels killed eight police officers in the central Philippines and took their weapons and uniforms in an ambush Saturday as they escalate attacks against security forces, police said.

No evidence Khadr was tortured: Guantanamo judge

There is "no credible evidence" Canadian-born Omar Khadr was tortured or even threatened after he was arrested in Afghanistan in 2002, wrote the military judge presiding his trial at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo, Cuba.

N Korean ex-premier returns to power

A news report says a former North Korean premier who was apparently sacked for proposing a wage system deemed too similar to US-style capitalism has returned to power after being demoted to being manager of a chemical plant.

Editorial

Six years after 21 August 2004

Six years after the carnage of 21 August 2004, the nation is yet to know the full, unadulterated truth behind the conspiracy which claimed the lives of 24 people and left more than 200 others severely wounded at a rally of the Awami League. Among the dead were the prominent AL politician Ivy Rahman. It was a tragedy which left the nation in a state of the deepest shock. It was expected that the government of the day, led by the BNP, would move swiftly and professionally to unmask those responsible for the grenade blasts. Unfortunately, nothing of the sort was done. What was done, as was clear at the time, was a despicable attempt to cover up the whole conspiracy through measures that left no one convinced the government was sincere in its actions.

Toxic chemicals in food chain

We are alarmed at the news item that scientists have discovered high concentration of toxic chemicals like cadmium, lead and chromium in fertilisers that are being used by our farmers for better yield of agricultural produce. Zinc, cadmium and lead are basic ingredients for manufacturing batteries and tin but zinc fertiliser is being used in Bangladesh for the last three decades to save soil from sterility.

Sports

Academy building faulty

The GP-BCB National Cricket Academy has so far been limited to being just a concrete structure, in every which way. It hasn't yet been furnished with all the components that will make it functional.

Pakistan make heavy weather of the task

Pakistan beat England by four wickets in the third Test at The Oval on Saturday but not before some nervous moments as they lost three quick wickets in their pursuit of a modest winning target of 148.

Win Tigers' tonic: Mashrafe

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza said that his team will try their best to win at least two games in the upcoming five-match one-day series against New Zealand.

Rach puts pen to paper

“We have been able to achieve only a part of what I had hoped with the team. Our performance has been up and down in the time I have been at the helm. After the tour of Europe last year, our performance graph went up, but then it again came down. I hope it will go up once again after the tour this time.”

Nobleness of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's cricket team has offered to tour Pakistan to raise funds for the victims of the country's massive floods, despite the suspension of foreign visits following a militant attack last year.

Milon's run ends in quarters

Bangladeshi archer Emdadul Hoque Milon's run in archery event of the Youth Olympic Games came to an end when he lost to a Russian opponent in the second stage of quarterfinal in Singapore yesterday.

Serena out of US Open

Serena Williams has pulled out of the US Open because she is still recovering from surgery on her right foot, the American world number one said on Friday.

2nd Indo-SL tie today

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday conceded that the no-ball controversy in the last Micromax Cup tri-series match against Sri Lanka has turned his players into a more aggressive lot but the team will take care not to cross the line.

Nadal bites the dust

World number one Rafael Nadal fell to Cyprus's Marco Baghdatis 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the Cincinnati Masters Friday as three of the top four seeds lost out.

Clijsters beaten, US Open looks cloudy

An injured Kim Clijsters hobbled to a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 quarterfinal loss to Vera Zvonareva at the Montreal Cup on Friday, casting doubt on the Belgian's ability to defend her US Open crown.

Ribery best paid in Bundesliga

Bayern Munich's France midfielder Franck Ribery is the best paid player in the Bundesliga with a gross salary of 833,000 euros per month, German daily newspaper Bild reported on Saturday.

Bayern leave it late

Bayern Munich needed a stoppage-time winner from Bastian Schweinsteiger to beat VfL Wolfsburg 2-1 and successfully kick off their Bundesliga title defence on Friday.

Fergie eyes revenge

Sir Alex Ferguson has backed Mark Hughes to become a success at Fulham, but has told his former player there is no chance of a shock win over Manchester United on Sunday.

Neymar snubs Chelsea

A decision by Brazilian midfielder Neymar to renew for five years with home club Santos instead of signing a 35-million-euro offer from Chelsea dominated Brazilian sports pages Friday.

Demichelis wants out

Argentine centre-back Martin Demichelis said on Friday he wants to leave Bayern Munich after being left out of the starting line-up for the opening Bundesliga match against Wolfsburg.

Botha SA's T20 captain

Off-spinner Johan Botha has replaced Graeme Smith as South Africa's Twenty20 captain, Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced on Saturday.

Ireland 'forced out'

Former Republic of Ireland midfielder Stephen Ireland says he is delighted to have moved to Aston Villa despite claiming to have been "forced out" of Manchester City.

Bremen sign Brazilian starlet

Werder Bremen on Friday announced that they have reached an agreement with Santos over the transfer of Brazilian attacking midfielder Wesley to the German club.

Mano reveals training squad

New Brazil coach Mano Menezes on Friday announced a get together of 22 European-based players for a training camp in Barcelona in September.

Huang won't buy L'pool

Chinese businessman Kenny Huang on Friday ruled himself out of the running to buy English Premier League club Liverpool.

Vidic extends United stay

Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic signed a new four-year contract with the Premier League club on Friday.

Argentina recall trio

Interim Argentina coach Sergio Batista on Friday recalled Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso and Andres D'Alessandro to face world champions Spain in a September 7 friendly in Buenos Aires.

Naved hearing adjourned

A tribunal has adjourned an appeal by allrounder Navedul Hasan against a one-year ban and heavy fine, an official said Saturday.

Business

Private river port by June

A home-grown cargo handler is racing to set up the country's first privately run river container port.

Tax on local garments irks boutiques

Customers of local fashion boutique houses pay more than those who buy garments from entirely import-based stores, manufacturers-cum-retailers claim because of the value added tax (VAT).

Committee for bankers' promotion

The government has formed a four-member committee to recommend the officials of state banks for promotion to general manager.

The hidden costs of traffic

The city's traffic has grown increasingly crowded and chaotic for more than a decade, and is a disaster even by the standards of less developed countries (LDCs). Productivity is suffering, as workers with once-short commuting distances now make glacial progress in gridlocked daytime traffic that averages barely five miles an hour. Crowded into dilapidated, steamy, fume-belching private buses, they arrive to work tired, perspiring, short of breath and tainted by dust. Those with cars inch along, tapping their horns their cell phone out and A/C blasting, getting atrocious fuel efficiency. Three-wheeled taxis sometimes jump ahead, but the breezes are short-lived and no healthier. Densities of air pollution reach more than six times those considered “highly polluted” by the World Health Organisation.

McAfee buy may trigger more M&As

Intel Corp's surprise $7.7 billion bid for McAfee Inc may trigger more deals as competitors scramble for a piece of the rapidly growing software security sector.

Stockmarket hits new records

The Dhaka market set some new records last week, as stock prices continued to fly high.

UBS hires Bangladesh-born banker for Asia-Pacific

Swiss bank UBS has appointed Lutfey Siddiqi as its managing director and head of the corporate coverage group for the Asia-Pacific region, according to a statement.

Rajshahi-Dhaka air link resumes soon

Air communication between Rajshahi and Dhaka is likely to resume very soon under a public-private partnership system.

Workshop on e-govt procurement today

A government body will organise a workshop on e-government procurement on the Planning Commission campus at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in Dhaka today.

Japan talks to G7 on currencies

Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said on Friday his ministry is communicating with other Group of Seven countries on currencies amid growing concern the strong yen will further dent Japan's export-reliant economy.

India festive gold sales look bright, may bolster imports

India's gold merchants are expecting a sustained pick-up in sales for the second round of festivals, as a reviving economy and stable prices may aid sentiment, triggering a reversal in declining trend in imports.

Google to hire 200 in Ireland

Google Inc plans to hire 200 people in a new operations center in Dublin. Google already employs 1,500 in the Irish capital where its European headquarters are based.

Gap renews India retail talks

The San Francisco firm may be buoyed by global rival Zara's initial success in India.

Regulators close Shore Bank in Chicago

US regulators on Friday seized notable Chicago-based community development bank ShoreBank after Wall Street backers failed to rescue the institution, and its deposits will be taken over by a newly chartered bank.

India approves Chinese telco gear orders

India has allowed two telecoms firms to buy equipment from China's Huawei and ZTE after the Chinese firms agreed to New Delhi's tighter rules to address security concerns, sources said on Friday.

Japan's Panasonic to boost plasma panel output in China

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic said Friday it will boost its plasma panel production in Shanghai to meet growing demand for flatscreen televisions in China.

Malayan Banking announces profits soar

Malaysia's biggest lender Malayan Banking reported Friday that its fiscal year 2010 net profit surged due to an all-round improvement in business activities.

Oil up

Oil prices were up in volatile Asian trade Friday but gains were being capped by concerns over a rise in US jobless claims.

Wall Street gloom set to stretch

Wall Street stocks ended mostly lower the past week despite positive company earnings and corporate activity as pessimism over the US economic recovery prevailed.

Soros buys 4pc in India's BSE for $35m

Billionaire financier George Soros has bought a 4 percent holding in Bombay Stock Exchange for about $35 million, two sources with direct knowledge of the deal told Reuters on Friday, valuing the bourse at around $875 million.

Weekly Currency Roundup

International Markets
Major G10 currencies more or less range bound this week. The dollar edged up against the yen on Thursday with investors reluctant to chase the yen higher as they waited to see if the Bank of Japan or the government will take new steps to rein in the yen's rise. Earlier, rumours had circulated in the market that the BOJ would hold an emergency policy meeting at 2 p.m. That followed a media report that the central bank had started considering additional monetary easing steps. The dollar briefly pared its gains against the yen after sources familiar with the matter said the Bank of Japan is highly unlikely to hold an emergency meeting on Thursday. But the dollar remained firm against the yen due to short-covering, traders said. Investors are watching to see if the Japanese central bank or the government will take new steps to rein in the yen's export-sapping rise ahead of a meeting between Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa expected next Monday. The Sankei newspaper said on Thursday that the BOJ has started considering additional monetary easing steps in line with government efforts to support the country's economy. The most likely option under consideration is expanding the BOJ's fund-supply tool put in place in December, the Sankei said without citing sources.

Metropolitan

Severe water crisis within next two decades, say experts

Bangladesh will face severe water crisis within next couple of decades due to random contamination of surface and ground water, absence of comprehensive water sharing with neighbouring countries and mismanagement in preserving rain water.

None arrested yet

None of the accused in the killing of police constable Manjurul Islam is yet to be arrested, said police.

Seven killed in road crashes

At least seven people were killed and 40 others injured in separate road accidents in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Gopalganj and Dinajpur yesterday.

30 hurt in AL feud over toll collection in Sunamganj

Rival groups of ruling Awami League clashed over collection of tolls from river vessels at Sreepur Bazar in Tahirpur upazila yesterday afternoon, leaving 30 people injured.

Aug 15 buried plan to build exploitation-free society

Terming the month of August a period of 'sorrow and pain' in the country's history, speakers at a roundtable yesterday said there was a certain link between the August 15, 1975 and August 21, 2005 carnage aimed to undermine the forces that had brought the nation independence in 1971.

UZ chairmen blame UNOs for non-cooperation

Bangladesh Upazila Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Oikya Parishad yesterday blamed the Upazila Nirbahi Officers (UNOs) for non-cooperation in upazila activities.

Trial of perpetrators soon

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday said the perpetrators of the August 21 grenade attack on the Awami League rally will face the trial as soon as possible as the nation is eargerly waiting for it.

Students want new grading system

Hundreds of students of Dhaka University's business faculty demonstrated yesterday demanding a new grading system formulated by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

Homage to Victims of August 21 attack

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Awami League and its different wings and victims of the August 21 grenade attack pay respect to the dead in the incident placing wreaths at a memorial at Bangabandhu Avenue in the city yesterday. President Zillur Rahman held a milad mahfil at Bangabhaban.

Agri varsity celebrates golden jubilee

The golden jubilee of Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) was celebrated with due festivity and elaborate programmers on its campus yesterday, says a BAU press release.

Advance rail tickets from August 31

Bangladesh Railway (BR) will start selling advance tickets from August 31 on the occasion of Eid-ul- Fitr.

4 car lifters held with stolen car

Police arrested four car lifters along with a stolen car from different spots in the port city and Satkania upazila in the district on Friday and yesterday.

JCD to stage countrywide protest today

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), student wing of BNP, yesterday announced countrywide rallies and processions today to protest the government decision to cancel the parole of Arafat Rahman Koko, youngest son of the party chairperson Khaleda Zia.

Bangladesh to honour 100 foreigners for 1971 role

A national committee is expected to finalise a list of some 100 foreigners to be honoured on the 40th independence anniversary next year for their remarkable contribution to the 1971, independence of Bangladesh.

Research on Bangabandhu

Bangalee Shamagra Museum (BSM) has taken a research initiative to commemorate Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's 35th death anniversary, titled 'Speeches of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the East Pakistan Provincial Assembly and Pakistan National Assembly (1954-1958)', says a press release.

Ctg Nursing College students stage sit-in for holding exams

Students of Chittagong Nursing College here yesterday staged a sit-in to press home their demands, including immediate holding of the year-final examination scheduled to be held in December last year.

Trader crushed to death under train's wheel

A cloth trader was crushed under the wheels of a running train at Bogra Railway station yesterday afternoon.

National

Pariza a boon to poor farmers

Farmers have started reaping pariza, a newly developed paddy suitable for cultivation in between boro and aman crops, as different areas of northern region sees successful cultivation of the early yielding variety.

Surma, Kushiyara devour areas as flood control project limps

Much-talked flood control and irrigation scheme styled 'Upper Surma-Kushiyara project' in Sylhet sees only 35 per cent of work done in nine years although it was scheduled to complete by 2005-2006 fiscal year (FY).

Smugglers attack BDR men in B'baria, 10 hurt

At least ten people, including a BDR man, were injured as a gang of smugglers swooped on a team of paramilitary force at Brahmanbaria Railway Station yesterday.

9 Nilphamari AL men get life for extortion

A Nilphamari court sentenced nine Awami League men to ten years rigorous imprisonment on extortion charge on Thursday.

Three housewives commit 'suicide,' 3 murdered

Three housewives allegedly committed suicide while three others were murdered allegedly by their husbands on Friday and the day before in five districts.

Eight arrested from Benapole border

BDR arrested eight people yesterday for trying to go to India illegally while Indian Border Security Force (BSF) handed over four fishermen to BDR on Friday.

Stalker throws acid on girl, her grandma

A schoolgirl and her grandmother were severely injured as a stalker threw acid on them at Sharol village under Paikgachha upazila of Khulna district early yesterday.

Elderly man kills son in Sylhet

An elderly man allegedly hacked his son to death at Khaladapnia village in Jokiganj upazila on Friday.

Two boys drown

A schoolboy drowned in a pond at Sukhanpukur Moynatala village in Gabtoli upazila on Friday.

Hizbut Tahrir activist arrested in Comilla

Police arrested an activist of banned Islamic outfit Hizbut Tahrir on Friday when he was distributing anti-government leaflets in front of town's Kandirpar Jame Mosque.

NGO worker killed

Sadullapur police yesterday recovered the body of a female NGO worker from a canal at village Baro Chatragacha and sent it to Gaibandha hospital for autopsy. The victim was identified as Anjona Rani Madol, 35, a field worker of Association for Social Advancement (ASA) Bakshiganj Bazaar branch under Sadullapur upazila. ASA Gaibandha district manager Ashraful Islam said Anjona Rani went out to collect dues from the debtors on Thursday but she did not return to office with the collected money. Finding no trace of the missing worker he later filed a general diary with Sadullapur police station. Anjona Rani, mother of a child, was kidnapped and killed for Tk 13,000 and later dumped into the canal, said Hasan Inam, OC Sadullapur after primary investigation. Police arrested one Zafar in connection with the murder.

College teacher suspended

A college teacher, arrested on Thursday for his indecent remarks on the Father of the Nation at a meeting on August 15, was suspended by the college yesterday. Accused Asadullah Al Galib, son of AKM Abdul Wahed of Bakal area in the town, is a teacher of management department of Safurunnesa Mahila College. He made the remark at a discussion on the National Mourning Day held at the college auditorium with principal Ashrafunnahar in the chair. In his speech, Galib allegedly said that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was gunned down for his sin. I will never recognise him as the Father of the Nation, he added. He was later arrested following a sedition case against him.

Two electrocuted

A young man and a child were electrocuted in separate incidents yesterday at Hingerpara village under Harinakundo upazila and at Collegepara under Kaliganj upazila. The deceased were identified as Akkas Ali, 28, son of Cheton Joarder of Hingerpara village and Tabibur Rahman, 4, son of Rabiul Islam of Collegepara. Officer-in-charge (OC) Jahangir Alam of Harinakundo police station said, Jahangir came in contact with an electric wire while he was removing it from his yard. According to Kaliganj police, Tabibur was electrocuted when he touched a multi plug at his house.

Bid to kidnap woman

Police rescued a woman while being kidnapped by a gang led by her former husband from Dumurkhali Bazar area in Manirampur upazila under Jessore district at dead of night on Thursday. Police also arrested two people with a private car from the spot. Rescued Rikta Khatun, 20, is daughter of Motaleb Hossain of village Shuvankarkati in Kalaroa upazila. The arrestees are Abdul Ahad, 32, son of Abbas Ali of village Khalsi and driver Biplob, 20, son of Eman Ali of village Shankarpur in Jhikargachha upazila in Jessore district. Quoting locals police said, Rikta was married to Anisur Rahman of Jhikargachha upazila about a year ago. As Rikta's parents failed to pay dowry, Anisur divorced her. On Thursday night Anisur along with a gang of criminals tried to pick up Rikta forcibly on a private car. On suspicion, neighbours stopped the car and rescued the victim and held two abductors while Anisur fled the scene.

Two held after gunfight

Rab members after a gunfight arrested two injured criminals from in front of Maya Hotel at Tongi Bazar on Friday night. The arrestees were identified as Rony, 25, and Sayed, 27. Acting on a tip-off, members of Rab-1 in plainclothes conducted a drive in the area at about 9pm when a gang of arms peddlers were preparing to sell arms to another gang. Sensing presence of law enforcers the gang opened fire on Rab forcing the elite force to fire back that left the two injured. Rab also recovered one foreign made revolver and six bullets from their possession.

Letters

Water pollution

Pollution affects plants and organisms living in water. Although water has been identified on several planets, none has as much water as Earth, of which 70 percent is covered with water. Approximately 97.4 percent of the water on Earth is found in oceans and is too salty for human consumption. An additional 2.6 percent is freshwater found in underground bodies of water called aquifers or frozen in glaciers or polar ice caps. Less than 0.02 percent of Earth's water is present in lakes, rivers, or the atmosphere. The water itself provides the environment for fish, plants and animals. There are several sources of water pollution which work together to reduce overall river water quality. Industries and agriculture discharge liquid waste products. Rain as it falls through the air, or drains from urban areas and farmland, absorb contaminants.

Month of deliverance

Blessed are those who have once again been granted the advantage of observing the holy month of Ramadan.

A good prospect!

Bengalees are famous for their hospitality. Hospitality is the indicator of aristocracy and nobility. Betel leaf is part of that hospitality. In some cases, without this attachment the satisfaction of consumption often remains incomplete. Moreover, people also entertain the guests only with 'khili paan' which is known as 'entertaining in brief' in rural areas. Not only in the rural areas but also after the ending of sumptuous session in urban areas the application of betel leaf is worth mentioning. The enthusiasts of betel leaf use not only the traditional betel nut but also many spicy ingredients in taking betel leaf.

Implementing DAP

The government hurriedly enacted the Detailed Area Plan for greater Dhaka City; when already considerable damage had been inflicted on the environmental conditions. Billions of taka had already been invested by the land and building developers over the decades. Thus the market condition has been changed; and there would be a migratory tendency from the affected areas; and the pricing conditions would mark sharp rise and fall.

Lacklustre cabinet

The prime minister as head of the government seems to retain the exclusive right or absolute power to choose her cabinet colleagues and the state ministers to run the state, of course in a better, if not best, way and so did our PM Sheikh Hasina. She inducted new faces, and there was not an iota of doubt about her sincerity that her first and foremost concern was how the well being of the people through good governance could be ensured. But it was and is still generally believed that the novices who had never walked down near the corridor of ministerial realm and were even unaware of the A B Cs of ministerial stints could hardly be able to steer the nation, bursting with sea of problems, to fulfil Sheikh Hasina's 'great expectation'. The old guards of her party have been left out in the cold for, people guess, Sheikh Hasina while behind the bar, smelt a rat in the activities of the party stalwarts that were purported to be the machinations to minus her. It is true they had caved in to the invisible threats, but they are still obsequiously loyal to her and depriving them of cabinet berth was not a good omen as observed by the countrymen. Political acumen and experience with sagacity and maturity and above all wit and diplomacy with eloquence are the prerequisites for one to hold the reins of the statecraft. The persons chosen to head our Home and Foreign Affairs direly lack the above and their performance as of today in no way goes to give them any kudos. Law and order remains as worse as ever.

Friends

When we're kids we make a lot of friends whether they are friends at parties or school friends, but we all make friends. This is a lot easier when we are young. As we get older this is harder. But we still make friends!

Big brother

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was defending the Obama administration's record and his comments on the so-called professional left. On a range of issues including accountability for torture, detention of terrorism suspects, and use of lethal force against civilians, there is a very real danger that the Obama administration will enshrine permanently within the law policies and practices that were widely considered extreme and unlawful during the Bush administration. And, in fact, in some cases, you see this administration going even further than the last administration did. Some of what was going on under the last administration was going on in spite of federal law that prohibited it. That was true, for example, with the warrant-less wiretapping programme. And then Congress authorized the warrant-less wiretapping that President Bush had authorized in violation of statute. So now you have a statute that authorizes precisely what President Bush was doing illegally between 2001 and 2006. But what we had hoped was that the constitutionality of that statute would be tested in the courts.

End of paradise

There was a Paradise where Adam and Eve were living in peace and harmony. There was abundance and plenty of everything, there was no scarcity, water was as good as pure honey, air was pristine, no poisonous chemicals in food, people could sleep at night with their doors open, children had vast open fields to play games after school and so on.

Gas reserves

One of the major indicators of development or industrialization of any nation is the level of her per capita commercial energy use. The three most important commercial energy used in present world are natural gas, oil and coal. Natural gas is Bangladesh's only significant source of commercial energy, with 2002 production of 384.9 billion cubic feet (bcf). Bangladeshi natural gas production began in 1960 from the Chattak field. There is much uncertainty and debate about the level of natural gas reserves in Bangladesh. Estimates from Petrobangla put net proven reserves at 15.3 tcf as of mid-2004. The US Geological Survey has estimated that Bangladesh contains an additional 32.1 tcf in additional "undiscovered reserves.

Climate change

The disadvantage of being one of the LDCs is that no one cares if you exist or not. During COP (Conference of Parties) 15 that took place in Copenhagen last year, the following was supposed to happen: 1) Developed countries would take responsibility for their actions and compensate accordingly. 2) The Most Vulnerable Countries (MVCs) would get enough financial and technical support to enhance and develop their adaptation processes, 3) A legally binding accord would be created which would limit the carbon emission amount for the developed countries and the G77+China group, 4) The accord would also ensure that the MVCs would get continuous support in the future to battle the climate change impacts. Unfortunately, we all know what really happened, very disappointing indeed but that is the current reality. Bangladesh, for example, is ground zero for a Global Warming induced calamity. Funding is necessary for Bangladesh to tackle the adverse climate change effects; necessary embankment building, infrastructure development, and a lot of researches need to be done. It is forecast that a 1m sea level rise will inundate one third of the land in Bangladesh! The entire Sundarbans will be underwater! If developed countries do not provide these funds, Bangladesh will face frightening consequences. Among the most startling are agricultural devastation, deterioration of health and increasing number of deadly diseases, millions of climate refugees, economic downfall, and even national security issues. Imagine a situation where millions of people lose everything they own and are forced to move towards the cities for a better life. These people are farmers or fishermen; skills which are useless in urban settings. Would these people become beggars or muggers? If even 1% of those millions of helpless people decide to commit crimes, imagine the effects!

Private or public transport?

I totally agree with Humayun Hyder that if we use the public transport, it will be better in all respects. But I will also like to remind my brother of the condition of public transport. The condition is so bad that one cannot travel by public transport. Of course, people are economically weak and they need to travel by local bus, yet this does not mean that they will travel like non-humans. Perhaps this is the reason why poor people are affected by air borne diseases and the problem is not just with public transport, the public hospitals are in deteriorating condition as well. But still the solution lies in improving public transport maintaining the security of the passengers and their assets.

BNP's allegations

While the BNP has alleged through their senior leader Mr M.K. Anwar, that 1.75 percent interest rate for the $1 billion loan and 20 years repayment period which includes grace period of 5 [five Years] from India is very high, but in reality facts and findings about loans taken by different governments including that of the BNP for projects show that this interest rate is not high but in fact lowest so far taken on these grounds from different governments which includes Japan, China, Korea and even the USA and the UK. I am not going to dissect the deals and the agreements signed but trying to pass my concern that the view that Mr Anwar has expressed is just another of BNP”s so called bluff & Anti India stunt on which they do stand & do politics.

Holiday issue

The authorities introduced the system of keeping the factories closed on different days in different areas for electricity load management. We had been maintaining it. But in recent days we have been observing that following this system is not bringing solution to improvement of electric load shedding.

Science education

Recent statistics show that the number of students opting for science studies is declining. Many believe the opportunity for career development is much better for a student studying Business. Whether this assumption is true or not, it is definitely true that more and more meritorious students are moving away from science studies.

International

Australia sets for hung parliament as voters punish PM

Australia faced its first hung parliament in 70 years yesterday after a furious voter backlash against Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who ousted an elected leader just eight weeks ago.

Iran fuels up first nuclear reactor

Iran began fuelling its first nuclear power plant on Saturday, a potent symbol of its growing regional sway and rejection of international sanctions designed to prevent it building a nuclear bomb.

Pakistanis brace for more destructive flooding

Residents of a southern Pakistani town fled rising floodwaters yesterday, a stark reminder the country could face more destruction in a crisis that has raised questions about the government's stability.

Myanmar junta proxy party opens offices

A political party backed by Myanmar's ruling junta opened offices across the country Friday months after the main opposition group was forced to close theirs as preparations begin for a general election in November.

Israel, Palestine agree to direct ME peace talks

Israel and the Palestinians accepted on Friday an invitation by the United States and other powers to restart direct talks on September 2 in a modest step toward forging a deal within 12 months to create a Palestinian state and peacefully end one of the world's most intractable conflicts.

Troops enforce curfew in Kashmir

Indian security forces enforced a strict curfew in parts of Kashmir on Saturday, a day after two people were killed during anti-India protests in the region.

Indian minister fired after 24 die

A minister in southern India has been fired after 24 beggars died in one week at a camp for the destitute in the high-tech city of Bangalore.

Nato strikes kill Afghan police, civilians

Air strikes by the Nato-led force in Afghanistan accidentally killed at least three Afghan police in the country's north and a woman and two children in the west, officials said yesterday.

WikiLeaks founder suspected of rape

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is suspected of rape in Sweden, where authorities have issued a warrant for his arrest, officials said Saturday.

Blackwater 'to pay $42m fine' for violating US rules

The private security contractor previously known as Blackwater, has agreed to pay $42m in fines for hundreds of violations of US export rules, according to the New York Times.

China evacuates 50,000; N Korea hit hard

Heavy rains sparked serious flooding along the China-North Korea border Saturday, with more than 50,000 Chinese evacuated and Pyongyang's state media warning of "devastating" consequences in the North.

Indian MPs to get salary more than triple

India's cabinet has cleared a proposal to raise the salaries of members of parliament by more than three-fold.

Axed PM Rudd wins local seat

Australia's axed former prime minister Kevin Rudd was re-elected to his seat yesterday in knife-edge polls which looked headed towards a hung parliament for the first time in 70 years.

China seized 100 tons of tainted milk powder

China has seized more than 100 tons of melamine-contaminated milk powder in its northern provinces, state media reported late Friday, the latest case of food safety problems in the world's most populous country.

Egg recall in US goes up to half a billion

Half a billion eggs in the US have been recalled in an investigation into a salmonella outbreak, which now includes two farms in the state of Iowa.

Moon is shrinking: Astronomers

The moon is shrinking but it will not be disappearing any time soon and its shrinkage will not affect the earth in any way, astronomers say.

Indonesian train now has women-only carriages

As the train rattled into Indonesia's capital, 19-year-old Wiwit Wahyuningsih leaned back in a soft, pink-cushioned seat in a carriage newly designated exclusively for women.

Arts & Entertainment

A tribute to singer Nilufar Yasmin

As part of their solemn tribute to eminent singer Nilufar Yasmin, Bengal Foundation launched a book of reminiscences titled “Kanthashilpi Nilufar Yasmin” and a video documentary “Shurer Swajan” at Bengal Café, Dhanmondi, in the city on August 20.

A new role for Mou

A talented dancer, trendy model- cum- actress Mou, has a surprise up her sleeves for her fans this Eid: She plans to direct a special TV play to be aired on one of the TV channels.

An artist of many hues

Galleri Kaya will organise a solo painting exhibition of Murtaja Baseer starting from September 25 to continue till October 10. The exhibition will be dedicated to his parents' 100th marriage anniversary.

“My work is akin to worship”

The Daily Star correspondent Shah Alam Shazu recently caught up with noted makeup artist Shamsul Islam. A glimpse of the conversation:

Of Men, Music & Movies

Film music has come a long way since its introduction in the early 1930s. Its impact on films has been so profound -- albeit only for the songs --- that the music director is a star, second only to the lead players.

Children --- tackling nature’s fury

To create awareness about natural disasters and their management among children, daylong painting, quiz and essay competitions were held in the town on August 20.

Single episode play “Kites” on ntv

Single episode play “Kites” will be aired tonight on ntv at 9pm. The play is written by Badrul Anam Soud and directed by Naim Imtiaz Neamul.

OP-ED

Administrative reforms: Professionalise or perish

Every country, developing or developed, carries out administrative reforms intermittently or regularly to make its administrative system efficient, responsive and dynamic to the changing needs and aspirations of the citizens.

Education sector needs a realistic handling

Within a span of a few hours on July 26, two groups of university students, one at Chittagong University and the other in Dhaka's Mohakhali, took to the streets on the same issue, the hike of student fees. The untoward incidents were also repeated the following day.

Enhancing disaster management capacity

Comprehensive Disaster Management Project (CDMP) is a UNDP-led project of the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management, with financing from DFID, EC, SIDA and UNDP. CDMP-I, costing Tk.172.53 crore was completed in 2009. CDMP-II, estimated at Tk.507 crore, has already started, the inception seminar being held in April.

20 reinvented movies

Why be predictable? Let's think of some new ideas for films Thanks for the great comments -- I really had to laugh at the cheeky story of Angela and the mysterious stranger following in his car. Angela, you are one brave mother. Can't wait for the follow-ups.


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