The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, August 1, 2014


News of: Sunday, 26th of December, 2010

Front Page

Burnt warehouse lacked fire safety

The warehouse of Goodknight Mosquito Coil and Spray at the capital's Khilkhet had no fire-extinguishers and the workers there were not trained to do their jobs properly.

Govt moves to formulate anti-stalking guidelines

The government has taken a host of decisions that include formulation of a policy and guidelines, and enactment of a law providing for up to seven years' imprisonment to prevent incidents of stalking in the country.

Today's hartal postponed after talks with govt

Sammilita Ulama Mashaikh Parishad yesterday postponed today's countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal following a negotiation with the government.

Grenade, ammo found again

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel recovered ammunition including bullets, fuses used for detonating mines and a grenade from bordering Bakakura village in Jhenaigati upazila of Sherpur district yesterday.

Somali pirates seize ship heading for Bangladesh

Somali pirates yesterday captured a Thai bulk carrier with its 27 crew members in the Arabian Sea, a maritime official said.

PM sits with intelligence men today

Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina will sit with the intelligence agencies today to review the current law and order situation, including possible threat to national security.

Grameen does not require registration with MRA

Grameen Bank does not require registration with the Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) to run microfinance activities since the bank operates under a special ordinance, the bank has said.

OMS of rice starts in city

The government yesterday started Open Market Sale (OMS) of rice in the capital in response to rising prices of food grains. The move came to make rice available to the lower income group at a cheaper price.

HC case disposal rate improves

The rate of disposal of cases at the High Court has lately gone up in a marked improvement in the court's case management. However, more than 3.12 lakh cases still remain pending with the court.

Woman suicide bomber kills 43 in Pakistan

More than 80 were killed in a suicide bombing on a World Food Programme project and a series of helicopter raids against militant camps in northwestern Pakistan yesterday, officials said.

PM visits UAE January 16-18

Manpower export and trade and investment will figure prominently in talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's three-day state visit there from January 16.

Salma's dream shattered in Khilkhet fire

Salma Begum could not set out for Dhaka when she heard that her son suffered severe burns in the warehouse fire on Friday night. She did not have the money to travel.

4 suspected female Hizb ut Tawhid activists held

Police arrested four female suspected activists of Islamist organisation Hizb-ut-Tawhid at Dakkhin Shihipasha village at Goila union in Agoiljhara upazila yesterday.

Army starts process to build 3 high-rises

The army has decided to build three high-rises for its mid-ranking officers on the Dhaka cantonment land where stands the much-talked about residence once lived in by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.

Pro-AL SC Bar leaders reject TIB graft report

Pro-Awami League lawyers of the Bangladesh Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) yesterday rejected the latest survey report of Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) in which the judiciary has been deemed the most corrupt.

Don't take action before fresh probe

The parliamentary sub-committee investigating the Narsingdi train crash has asked the communications ministry not to take further actions on the report of the ministry's probe.

Body of engineer arrives today

The body of Kazi Altaf Hossain, a Bangladeshi engineer who was gunned down by Afghan miscreants on December 17, is expected to arrive in Dhaka today.

ALPB sits to finalise its candidates

Awami League Parliamentary Board at a meeting at Ganobhaban yesterday decided to finalize the party's candidates on December 30 to contest in by-elections in Habiganj-1 and Brahmanbaria-3 constituencies.

BNP MPs to complain to speaker

Lawmakers of the main opposition BNP would complain to Speaker Abdul Hamid that they have recently been barred from entering the VIP lounge of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.

Christmas celebrated

Christians in Bangladesh celebrated their biggest religious festival, Christmas, yesterday wishing peace and prosperity in the country.

Tunisia security forces shoot dead protester

A protester was shot dead and several people injured in Tunisia after security forces opened fire during violent clashes.

Queen highlights unifying power of sport in Christmas speech

Queen Elizabeth II used her Christmas Day message yesterday to highlight the importance of sport as a way of building communities, 19 months ahead of the London Olympic Games.

Ecuador recognizes independent Palestinian state

The Ecuadorean government is the latest in Latin American to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state.

Editorial

TIB impeding war crimes trial?

It is both surprising and deeply disturbing to note that of late the government has not been taking criticism in the spirit it should. Besides, even when significant public opinion surveys point to the many things which are going wrong in the country, the authorities have quickly adopted a posture that is truly disappointing for the nation. Last week, the government in general and the police administration in particular came down heavily on Transparency International Bangladesh over its findings that the police in the country conveyed an extremely corrupt image before the public. Where introspection and careful analysis of the TIB report was called for, the government simply went for a knee-jerk response and questioned the modalities upon which the report had been prepared. It left broad sections of society wondering why the government was displaying such thin skin when it came to a revelation of some harsh truths.

Neglected ferry services

Passenger traffic and operators of lorries with cargo on the Dhaka-Aricha highway set to use ferries at Paturia-Daulatdia to cross the Padma are hard done by. Given the volumes of passenger and goods on this route 14 ferries are required. As against this pressing need, only eight ferries are said to be operating, that too virtually on paper. Since the conditions of these ferries are deplorable one or the other would be found out of order at any given time. In fact some of them have outlived their utility thanks to poor maintenance or sloppy repair work.

Sports

Mash could be back in four weeks' time

The good news for Bangladesh and the country's cricket lovers is that pace bowler Mashrafe Bin Mortaza may return to the sport as early as three weeks. But while he is expected to start batting in the nets by this time, it may take another week for him to go back to his bowling mark.

Match of Ricky's career

Australia captain Ricky Ponting declared himself fit for the all-important fourth Ashes Test after a strong training session Saturday, saying it could be the match of his career.

Victoria victors

A fighting unbeaten 91 from Myshukur Rahman toppled Mohammad Ashraful's Cricket Coaching School (CCS) in Victoria's three-wicket win in the Premier Cricket League at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra yesterday.

Aussies score, Tigers impress

The exploits of teams and players will be fresh in viewers' minds as the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies was the most recent one. Many players now hailed as the future of cricket emerged during this tournament.

SA look for series

South Africa will be seeking to wrap up a series victory against India, the team ranked number one in Test cricket, in the second Test which starts at Kingsmead on Sunday.

Sheikh Jamal, BU promoted

Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club and Brothers Union earned promotion to next season's Premier Cricket League although the latter lost to big-spending Sheikh Jamal in a Super League game yesterday.

Gambhir scare

Gautam Gambhir is not a sure starter for the crucial Boxing Day Test in Durban. He was hit on his left hand, around the knuckles area, and it has swollen a bit. He had batted in the nets all three days of India's training leading into the Test. What is a concerning bit of news for India, though, is that the swelling seems to have grown on the match eve, and Gambhir spent a long time in the nets sitting on an ice box, with an icepack on his left hand.

Cork to shake legs on ice

He was never known for twinkle-toed elegance on the field, but Dominic Cork is following in the footsteps of other former England cricketers Darren Gough, Mark Ramprakash and Phil Tufnell in signing up for a dancing-themed reality TV show.

Teams want honour back

With New Zealand cricket in turmoil on the field and Pakistan in tumult off it, there is plenty at stake for both sides when they launch an 11-match series with a Twenty20 game in Auckland Sunday.

Jimmy boost for England

England's main strike bowler James Anderson and Steve Finn are fit to play in the crucial fourth Ashes Test against Australia, captain Andrew Strauss said on Saturday.

India's away exam

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni faces one of the biggest challenges of his career when his team take on South Africa in the second Test which starts at Kingsmead on Sunday.

'Haider mentally weak'

A fact-finding committee looking into Pakistan cricketer Zulqarnain Haider's sudden flight to England, saying he had received death threats to influence matches, called him mentally "weak".

Mashud mugged

Former national captain Khaled Mashud was mugged on Thursday night in Dhanmondi Road 2.

Rangpur rout Lalmonirhat

Rangpur posted a massive nine-wicket victory over Lalmonirhat in the Standard Chartered Young Tigers Divisional Cricket Tourna-ment at the Gaibandha Stadium yesterday.

BKPS maul Barnak

BKSP blanked Barnak Samaj 7-0 in the Dhaka Bank Victory Day Hockey Tournament at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

V-Day tennis

The second round matches of the Runner Group Victory Day Open Tennis Tournament were held at the Naogaon Tennis Club yesterday.

Nat'l kabaddi

Bangladesh Rifles and Bangladesh Police made it to the final round from the services group in the Standard Chartered National Kabaddi Championship yesterday.

Nat'l taekwondo from tomorrow

The Trust Bank 10th National Taekwondo Championship starts tomorrow at the National Sports Council Gymnasium in the capital. Senior vice-president of Bangladesh Taekwondo Federation Wahiduzzaman Majumdar revealed this at a press conference yesterday.

Martial Arts C'ship held

The second Bangabandhu Professional Martial Arts Championship was held at the Martial Art Research Institute in the capital on Friday.

Where's his Test cap?

South Africa captain Graeme Smith has said that his match cap has been stolen ahead of the second Test against India, which begins on Sunday.

PCB quashes ban rumours

PCB has rejected reports that suspended Test captain Salman Butt is set to be banned for 7 years on charges of spot-fixing, saying that ICC will reach a decision only after a hearing in Doha next month.

MU aim to widen gap

Manchester United hope to strike a major Boxing Day blow as the Premier League title race enters its most hectic period of the season on Sunday.

Inter appoint Leonardo

Brazilian coach Leonardo was on Friday named as the new boss of European and Italian champions Inter Milan, taking over from the sacked Rafael Benitez.

Maradona threatens to sue Grondona

Diego Maradona says he is taking the president of the Argentine Football Association to court, accusing Julio Grondona of spreading false information about his problems with drugs and alcohol.

Hughes doesn't fear axe

Fulham manager Mark Hughes insisted on Friday that he has no fears of the axe falling should his struggling side lose to rock-bottom West Ham on Sunday.

Afellay seals Barca deal

Dutch international Ibrahim Afellay completed his transfer to Barcelona from PSV Eindhoven on Friday by signing a four and a half year contract with the reigning Spanish champions.

Hodgson has faith in Torres

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson believes key striker Fernando Torres will rediscover his deadly accuracy in front of goal, starting with Sunday's trip to Blackpool.

Lukaku dreams of Real

Belgian starlet Romelu Lukaku has claimed that it would be a 'dream' to play at Real Madrid.

Business

Loan recovery in slow lane

The default loans recovery remains poor, despite drives from the central bank and state-owned banks.

Single welfare list to curb waste in hand-outs

The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) plans to create a database of the poorest citizens to help other government branches curb waste and duplication in safety-net programmes.

Faruk talks progress in $1b Indian credit

Bangladesh is making progress in completing the preliminary work in connection with the $1 billion credit line from India to develop the country's infrastructure, said Commerce Minister Faruk Khan, now in India.

A turbulent week for stocks

Dhaka stocks suffered the highest-ever fall last week, plunging 551 points, but recovery almost beat the disaster at the end.

Apollo Tyres teams up with Rahimafrooz

India's leading tyre maker Apollo Tyres launched cross-ply tyres in Bangladesh in partnership with Rahimafrooz Distribution Ltd on Tuesday.

West Bengal wants more trade with Bangladesh

The chief minister of West Bengal has proposed to set up a panel to explore the scope of increasing trade between the state and the neighbouring Bangladesh.

India showcases footwear components in Dhaka

A two-day buyer-seller meet and exhibition of Indian footwear components and accessories kicked off at Hotel Purbani in Dhaka yesterday.

Analysts say at a workshop

The government has emphasised building small-range biogas plants to help tackle the energy crisis in Khulna, analysts said at a daylong workshop.

Onions, coconuts and the politics

Food and politics have always been closely intertwined in the developing countries of South Asia, but when national taste buds are at stake the relationship can become especially volatile.

At Christmas, elves in Quebec become lumberjacks

Seven-year-old Marie, wading through snow up to her knees, squealed in delight at one of Santa's helpers: "Elf, elf, come here. I found my Christmas tree!"

Number One

You shouldn't be going to Hong Kong, I cautioned Saria Sadique, as we met at Dhaka airport's international departure lounge. It was early 2003 when the SARS epidemic was at its height, originating in China and had spread throughout the region, including Hong Kong. With a smile on his face, he shrugged off the danger and replied, “I have to go as I have been posted to our Regional Headquarters in Hong Kong as Regional Marketing Manager.”

What to expect in 2011

Markets started 2010 with a fear of a “double dip” recession. Investors feared a repeat of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Even in faster growing regions like Asia there was pessimism. Economists' predictions of positive growth were dismissed as fantasy.

Behind soaring land prices

Syed Ruman Ahsan, a mid-level merchandiser, started saving money to buy a piece of land in Dhaka four years ago. Initially, he planned to find a place in Uttara, near his office, or perhaps in Baridhara. The high prices forced him to look in cheaper areas, such as Goran or Bashabo.

Why small flats are sky high

High costs have slowed the once-torrid growth. But while some see a remedy to a lack of proper planning in this, other see a brake on a mechanism to meet the influx of residents

Japan approves record $1.1tn budget

Japan's centre-left government on Friday approved a record 1.1-trillion-dollar budget for the next fiscal year that aims to boost the flagging economy but adds to a mountain of public debt.

IFIC Bank gets new DMDs

IFIC Bank has promoted Mati-ul Hasan and Zaitun Sayef to deputy managing director recently, the bank said in a statement.

World stocks rise in festive cheer

World stocks held near the previous day's two-year high on Friday while oil hit fresh two-year peaks after strong US data this week encouraged investors to maintain their risk positions into 2011.

Oil mixed in Asia for Christmas

Oil prices were mixed in quiet Christmas eve trade in Asia, coming off two-year highs buoyed by upbeat US consumer confidence figures, analysts said.

Wal-Mart invests in Chinese e-commerce firm

Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's largest retailer, has invested in China's top online seller of consumer electronics and communication products, in a push to extend its reach to more Chinese buyers.

Investors enter 2011 in bullish mood

Investors are entering 2011 in a relatively bullish mood, raising equity holdings to a 10-month high, increasing exposure to high-yield credit and cutting back on government debt, Reuters polls showed on Wednesday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

Dec 19- 23, 2010
International Markets:

This week marked another volatile week for currencies. After having hit all time lows against the Swiss franc, the euro recovered on Wednesday, boosted by a news report that China was ready to buy significant amounts of Portuguese sovereign debt. The Jornal de Negocios daily reported China is looking to buy between 4 billion euros ($5.26 billion) and 5 billion euros of Portuguese sovereign debt to help the country ward off pressure in debt markets, though it gave no details of its sources. China's central bank declined to comment on the report which said the deal reached between the two governments will lead to China buying Portuguese debt in auctions or in the secondary markets during the first quarter of 2011. Despite the bounce, investors are nervous about the single currency's prospects given the euro zone's debt problems. Latest blows this week to the 16-member club's struggling, heavily-indebted economies have came from Moody's, which warned it might cut Portugal's rating, and Fitch, which said the same about Greece.

Metropolitan

Eight killed, 40 injured in road accidents

At least eight people were killed and 40 others injured in separate road accidents in Dinajpur, Chittagong Noakhali and Sunamganj yesterday.

NTPC to finalise power projects in Bangladesh

National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) of India is expected to finalise its proposed 2,640 megawatt (MW) power projects in Bangladesh.

'One home one homestead' scheme soon

State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Jahangir Kabir Nanak yesterday asked the concerned officials to complete the training arranged for the beneficiaries of the 'one home one homestead' project and provide them with necessary resources to implement the programme as quick as possible.

Ulfa claims son of Paresh freed after 'torture'

Two days after United Liberation Front of Assam's (Ulfa's) military Chief Paresh Barua claimed that unidentified people kidnapped his son, the insurgent outfit yesterday alleged that Paresh's son Arindam was released after 'torture' and 'interrogations on his father'.

Govt set to modernise armed forces: Minister

Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Abul Kalam Azad yesterday said the government has undertaken to update the armed forces division of the country.

War crimes trial to build rule of law

Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni yesterday said the rule of law in the country would be established by completing the trial of war criminals.

Criticise govt constructively

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad yesterday hoped that the new executive committee of Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) would put in its best efforts in further helping increase professionalism of journalists.

Shafique terms TIB report 'incorrect'

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday branded Transparency International Bangladesh's (TIB) recent report “confusing” and “incorrect”.

Minister for modernising land management

Land Minister Rezaul Karim Hira here yesterday said the government has undertaken a plan for modernisation of land management to materialise Vision-2021.

Power crisis to end by 2015: Muhith

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith yesterday said power crisis will be resolved by 2015 with improved generation and supply.

Ruhal for another struggle against anti-liberation forces

Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr AFM Ruhal Haque yesterday said the new generation and children of freedom fighters have to wage another struggle.

SEZs, industrial clusters behind Chinese 'miracle'

In the past three decades, China has achieved phenomenal economic growth, an unprecedented development “miracle” in human history, says the World Bank (WB).

BNP MP sued

One brother of BNP lawmaker Mostofa Kamal Pasha of Swandwip filed a case against Kamal, accusing him of attempting to grab land here on Friday.

Start fresh politics

Awami League (AL) Advisory Council Member Suranjit Sengupta yesterday urged the main opposition BNP to begin its politics anew after visiting the grave of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Tungipara in Gopalganj.

President hosts Christmas reception

President Zillur Rahman hosted a reception to the Christian community at Bangabhaban here on the occasion of Christmas yesterday.

'Bangladeshis play glorious role in UN peacekeeping'

Minister for Information and Cultural Affairs Abul Kalam Azad said Bangladeshi peacekeepers have brightened the image of Bangladesh by playing illustrious roles in securing peace and stability in the World.

Japanese science team visits BAS

A delegation of Science Council of Japan (SCJ) visited Bangladesh Academy of Sciences (BAS) at the National Museum of Science and Technology Bhaban in the city yesterday.

Mahbubul reinstated in BTV after court order

Mahbubul Alam has been appointed as deputy director general (DDG) of state-owned Bangladesh Television (BTV) as a court ordered to reinstate him with the same dignity.

Four workers wounded in city fire

At least four people were wounded in a fire incident on the Dhaka International Trade Fair premises in the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar last night.

AL mouthpiece 'Uttaran' publication today

The publication ceremony of official mouthpiece of Bangladesh Awami League (AL), “Uttaran,” will be held at Ganobhaban in the city this evening.

Reunion at Ideal school held

Hundreds of ex-students converged on the Motijheel campus of Ideal School and College in the city yesterday to recollect the fond memories of their beloved alma mater amidst fanfare.

Udichi central committee formed

A 75-member central committee of Bangladesh Udichi Shilpigosthi was formed yesterday with Golam Mohammad Edu as its president and Habibul Alam general secretary.

National

Pirates loot 500 shanties, injure 70 fishermen

A gang of pirates swooped on some 500 makeshift shanties of fishermen of three char areas here and looted valuables worth Tk 20 lakh injuring 70 fishermen early yesterday.

Remove justice Khadem as land comission chief: PCJSS

Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) yesterday demanded removal of Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Dispute Resolution Commission (CHTLDRC) Chairman Justice Khademul Islam Chowdhury as he, what it said, is working in favour of a vested quarter.

BCL blocks road as leader held on criminal charge

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists yesterday blocked Nabinagar-Companiganj road for five hours from 10:00am protesting arrest of a leader of the student body in Nabinagar upazila on Friday night.

Charge framing against 61 BDR men tomorrow

A special court of BDR (Bangladesh Rifles) will frame charges against 61 alleged mutineers of Sylhet sector headquarters tomorrow.

3 Jamaat men held in Lalmonirhat

Three activists of Jamaat-e-Islami men have been arrested on charge of assaulting a Chhatra League (BCL) activist at Court Toli village of Patgram upazila.

Bangladeshi 'tortured to death' by BSF

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel recovered the body of a Bangladeshi cattle trader from Khidirpur border in Poba upazila of Rajshahi on Friday.

AL men hurt in clash with cops

At least 10 Awami League (AL) activists were injured in a clash with police in Daulatpur upazila in the district yesterday noon. Two policemen were also injured. The clash took place when the AL activists went to besiege Daulatpur police station. According to police, a group of leaders and activists brought out a procession in the upazila demanding immediate arrest of the criminals involved in bomb attack on the house of AL lawmaker of Kushtia-1 (Daulatpur) Afaz Uddin Ahmed on November 14. The protesters later tried to besiege Daulatpur police station at about 1:30 pm. At one stage, the unruly activists started to throw brickbats at the police station prompting the law enforcers to retaliate.

Grenade, bullets seized

BDR in a drive yesterday recovered ammunitions and explosives from bordering East Bakakora village in Jhenaigati upazila. Sources said, acting on a tip-off, they conducted a drive in the village and recovered a grenade, 96 bullets and some explosives in an abandoned condition at around 10:30am. They also seized 3 walkie-talkie sets, 19 SIM cards, 107 Indian Rupees, magazines, various papers and leaflets printed by 'Osom Gono Muktibahini," from the same spot. Locals suspected that Indian separatist group 'Ulfa' might have brought these and left the place sensing presence of law enforcers. Earlier, police recovered 13,680 bullets from an abandoned house at Adarsha village in Jhenaigati upazila on December 18.

15 hurt as rival AL men clash

Two rival groups of Awami League Patuakhali unit clashed on Friday night, leaving at least 15 from both sides injured. After the clash, the rival groups filed separate cases, accusing each other of the incident. Advocate Sultan Ahmed Mridha, chairman of Patuakhali Sadar Upazila Parishad and also a member of district AL, filed a case with the local police station against 19 identified and 50 unidentified people. The main accused in the case are Advocate Tarikuzzaman Moni and Arifuzzaman Roni, sons of state minister Advocate Shahjahan Mia. Local AL leader Naya Mia filed a case against 28. The main accused in the case is Dr Shahfiqul Islam, a mayor candidate for Patuakhali municipality. Musfiqur Rahman, a supporter of Moni, also filed a case against nine people while Mizanur Rahman sued eight people including Dr Shafiqul Islam.

Housewife commits 'suicide'

A housewife allegedly committed suicide by taking pesticide following a family feud at Panch Ani village in Araihazar upazila Thursday. The deceased was identified as Sokhina Begum, 45, wife of Jalal Miah of the village. Police said Sokhina picked up a quarrel with her husband over a trifling matter in the evening. Later, at midnight in a bid to commit suicide she took pesticide. Family members rushed her to the upazila health complex where the attending doctor declared her dead

Hizb-ut Towhid members held

Four female members of Islamist outfit Hizb-ut Towhid were arrested from village Goila under Agoilzhara upazila of the district at about 11:30pm yesterday.

Election Fever

Patuakhali: Moni pulls out of race on party decision

Letters

Private University Act

A well thought article has been published in The Daily Star entitled 'Private University Act: Implementation is more challenging' where Dr. Abdul Mannan, former Vice-Chancellor of CU, has sought practical implementation of the Private University Act-2010. He has emphasized on whether learning and teaching is taking place properly.

Meaning of Christmas

What is the real meaning of Christmas? For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow. They don't have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are saddened at Christmas time when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons. Turkey dinners may be only a wish and not a reality for some.

Asthma - not a contagious disease

Unfortunate but true, some people in our society believe that Asthma is a contagious disease! They usually prevents the little children of the family to come in contact with the elderly family members (e.g. grandpa, grandma, etc.) having Asthma for fear that the former might get infected by the latter as Asthma being a contagious disease, of course according to their assessment. In fact, Asthma is neither a contagious (infectious) nor a communicable (transmitted by the patient to healthy person either by direct or by indirect contact) disease. Asthma is actually a disorder of the respiratory air-passage. Many people around the world suffer from Asthma. The actual cause of Asthma is yet to be identified but several factors which include allergies, hereditary connection, environmental elements, etc., are responsible for triggering asthma. For instance, the present changing of weather in our country is triggering asthma in the patients.

Valerie Taylor- our pride

Valerie Ann Taylor, the founder and coordinator of Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), received an honorary doctorate degree in Health Sciences from York St John University, UK. This is great news for all the citizens of Bangladesh. She is "the chosen agent and the special child of God" who has been serving the weaker section of our country for the last 40 years.

Is it impossible?

I have learnt from a local newspaper of 15th December that there are twenty thousand people living under open sky in Dhaka City. 'Coalition for the Urban Poor', an organisation working for this people, provides this information. These people sleep on the pavements, islands and park benches. They can hardly find any abandoned building for passing the night nowadays, though even a decade back, many homeless people could live in the deserted govt. buildings. Now corridors of the market and community centre also remain closed at night with tight security.

Damaging St. Martin's coral!

Your back page photograph published on December 21st showed a number of makeshift thatched bamboo matted tin-roofed shops. However, the description of the photograph opined that these makeshift shops are 'damaging the coral'! The latter part of the description, that it is 'ruining the beauty of the tourist attraction' is well justified. The reason for the damage to the underlying coral structure covered under the beach sand, is, however, not clear. I will request the concerned 'Star' personnel to kindly explain this phenomenon.

Christmas hopes

Jingle bells, Jingle bells, jingle all the way- Christmas has returned once again in the midst of heavy snowfall in Europe and chilly, wintry weather in Asia, the day commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Preparations have also started among the Christian community in Rajshahi, to celebrate this holy occasion.

Fate of 26 abductees

It has been one month since the pirates have hijacked a Bangladeshi ship. Our govt. remains totally silent about this matter. It seems Bangladesh Navy is not capable of rescuing the 26 crews of that ship. And I think it will be illogical to expect anything from them.

Division of DCC in the offing?

Are we going to split DCC into 2-4 parts and have multiple number of mayors in the city accordingly?

Mobile phone in exam hall

Mobile phone helps us in various ways. Mobile phones have become a very integral part of everyone's life. It has made our life easy. Nevertheless, there are some restrictions in using mobile phones.

Khaleda's demand

We have learned from the media that Begum Khaleda Zia, on the eve of her departure to visit China, demanded the grand alliance government's immediate resign for their failure to run the country.

Share market

The call money rate soared to a preposterous 175 percent on 15th December. The funds have been required to meet the Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) of scheduled banks with Bangladesh Bank. Bangladesh Bank has increased the CRR by another 0.5 percent to 6 percent in total.

Thanks to DS

On behalf of the people of Chittagong, I want to thank The Daily Star for making it possible for us to get this newspaper early in the morning. It is a very thoughtful step and we appreciate it very much.

International

US sanctions policy 'riddled with loopholes'

More Serious Deals
Permission for a US firm to bid on a pipeline job that would have helped Iran sell natural gas to Europe, even though the US opposes such projects
Permission for several US firms to trade with foreign companies believed to be involved in terrorism or weapons proliferation.


US sanctions tend to be riddled with exceptions that are neither humanitarian nor democracy-related, a former US sanctions official has said.

US asks Yemen for 'forceful action' against al-Qaeda

The United States on Friday called on Yemen to step up its fight against al-Qaeda and terrorism one year after a botched attempt to blow up a US passenger plane by a Nigerian with Yemeni links.

West African leaders threaten Gbagbo with force

The West African regional bloc Ecowas has told incumbent Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo to stand down or expect to face "legitimate force" yesterday.

20 years of conflict resolution

Living within the habitat of a dangerous animal is not easy.

WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning's health 'declining'

The only person to visit WikiLeaks suspect Pte Bradley Manning in custody other than his lawyer says his health has declined in the past four months.

Deadly blasts in Nigeria kill 38

Explosions in Nigeria's central region killed 32 people on Christmas Eve and six people died in attacks on two churches in the northeast of Africa's most populous nation, officials said yesterday.

Christmas chaos in Europe as snow strands thousands

Thousands of travellers were stranded at the main Paris airport yesterday after hundreds of Christmas flights were cancelled, as freezing weather and widespread snowfalls caused travel chaos across Europe.

Ahmadinejad calls UN Security Council 'political retards'

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the member states of the UN Security Council were 'political retards' for still believing in the effectiveness of sanctions, the news agency ILNA reported on Friday.

Iran opposition leaders barred from travel abroad

Iran's opposition leaders are barred from leaving the country, a prominent conservative lawmaker said yesterday, hiking up the pressure on the reform movement.

Christians mark sombre Christmas in Baghdad

Iraqi Christians gathered yesterday to mark Christmas in the same church where less than two months ago dozens from their beleaguered community were killed by Muslim extremists intent on driving them from Iraq.

Pope calls for Middle East peace

Pope Benedict XVI has expressed his hope for an end to conflicts around the world, in his traditional Christmas Day message from the Vatican.

Indian rights activist jailed for life

An Indian court has convicted a human rights activist of aiding communist rebels in eastern India and sentenced him to life in prison, his attorney said Saturday.

Raja quizzed again on 2G scam

DMK leader and former communications minister A Raja was questioned here again for the second day yesterday by the CBI that is probing the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Indian rocket explodes after lift-off

An Indian space rocket carrying a communications satellite exploded yesterday minutes after lift-off from a space station in southern India.

Michelle Obama helps kids track Santa Claus

First Lady Michelle Obama on Friday assisted the US military in tracking Santa Claus on his gift-bearing mission across the globe, in a popular Christmas Eve tradition begun more than half a century ago.

'Eternal' solar plane's records confirmed

The UK-built solar-powered Zephyr aeroplane has been confirmed as a record-breaker following its non-stop two-week flight earlier this year.

Ecuador recognises Palestine state

Ecuador formally recognized Palestine as an independent state on Friday, following the lead of its neighbours Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay earlier this month.

Zimbabwe seeks prosecution over leaks

Zimbabwe will appoint a commission to investigate the "treasonous collusion" that led to several embarrassing reports being released by WikiLeaks, the country's attorney-general said yesterday.

Quake causes small tsunami in south Pacific

An undersea earthquake yesterday caused a minor tsunami in the South Pacific but islanders said there were no reports of large-scale fluctuations in sea level or of damage or injuries.

Arts & Entertainment

Tagore Classics, European Notes

Rabindranath Tagore and Alain Daniélou met in 1932 at Shantiniketan and formed a deep mutual understanding and cultural affinity. Daniélou was a French artist and scholar, with an intense interest in everything Indian. He learned the languages, as well as Indian art, literature and most of all, the Hindustani classical music tradition. Daniélou found in Tagore an inspiration. And in him, the Nobel laureate poet found a perceptive interpreter.

Udichi's 17th National Conference Ends

The two-day 17th National Conference of Bangladesh Udichi Shilpi Goshthi ended yesterday at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Central Public Library, Shahbagh. With the slogan “Shathider Khuney Ranga Pothey Pothey Hyena'r Anagona Shoibona”, the conference formally opened on December 24 at the Central Shaheed Minar premises. Highlights of the conference were cultural programmes in the evening at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium.

Qubee Junction

Leading rock bands, LRB and Dolchut, and popular singer-musician Arnob played to the delight of young music enthusiasts at a concert on December 24. The concert, titled 'Qubee Junction' at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre was arranged by broadband service provider Qubee. The major attraction of the concert was that the rockstars not only perform their chart-toppers but also covered each other's songs.

Chhayanaut’s grand classical music fest wraps up

Tabla player Swarup Hossain cannot fail to stun. It is not only a matter of the astonishing agility of his fingers. Nor only is it his ability to conceive an orchestral range of sonorities when striking what seems to be nothing more than a stretched skin. There is grandeur in the architecture of his sound creations, and an intense spirituality to a performance that concentrates attention and refreshes the soul.

Celebrating International Year of Forests

The year 2011 has been declared the 'International Year of Forests'. To mark the occasion, Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts is going to hold a group art exhibition, titled “A Return to the Forest”. The exhibition opens tomorrow at Bengal Gallery, Dhanmondi, in Dhaka, and will continue till December 30.

Soumyajit’s solo exhibition at Radius Centre

Radius Centre, Dhaka has organised a solo exhibition of some very unique monoprints by artist Soumyajit Choudhury.

OP-ED

Playing snakes and ladders with India

Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is expected to visit Bangladesh early next year. Our Foreign Office (and curiously our Prime Minister's Office) is working out the dates and other details with the South Block in Delhi. There is anticipation in Dhaka that this visit could be seminal and put our bilateral relationship on a new trajectory. Many think that the last visit of our Hon'ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Delhi had broken new ground. In that context, the visit to Dhaka by the Indian prime minister will allow the growing relationship to now take hold.

The Radialogue wound

New words are an annual media byproduct without a balance sheet. The profit is not immediately visible, and loss not worth the count. The New York Times has produced a thirty-plus list that seems more obligatory than essential. Most words show the strains of artifice. Fortunately, terms like "sofalize" (socialising from home, through the net) will die a natural death after their fifteen seconds of fame. The hideous "mansplainer" just might get fifteen minutes of life, since it denotes a compulsive male opinion-giver and is therefore perfectly suited for TV pundits, but it is really too weak to survive.

Planning for development

In their well circulated book, Politics, Economics and Welfare (1953), Robert Dahl and Charls Lindblom have argued that the critical question is not how to plan but (a) who shall plan (b) for what purpose (c) in what condition and (d) with what devices? Many other economists of the world have endorsed this argument.

Not missing UNMIN

The United Nations Mission to Nepal, UNMIN, is to be thanked profusely for its efforts with the peace process and graciously shown the door when its term expires on January 15. In the meantime, Nepali political actors, including the Maoists, must concentrate on making successful a unique process that was designed by Nepali stakeholders, starting with the 12-point understanding of 2005.

HIV positive people and stigma

World Aids Day 2010 was recently observed. To create awareness, our government also observed the day in collaboration with the NGOs. But do we think really about the situation of the HIV positive persons in our country? They are often discriminated against and stigmatised in different ways. An HIV positive person is considered polygamous, even if he/she is not, in Bangladesh where polygamy is treated negatively by the society. He/she faces hatred, and is often shunned by his/her own friends and family.


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