The Daily Star

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Friday, October 31, 2014


News of: Sunday, 23rd of January, 2011

Front Page

Gas prospects made gloomy

The country will continue to suffer from gas crisis for the next few years as Petrobangla has failed to increase gas production and its capability to supply gas in line with the rising demand.

Steel will

Peter Donnelly, a spirited 24-year-old from St Helens in Liverpool, who is paralysed from the neck down, started rolling back towards his hometown in his wheelchair yesterday.

Free upazila from fetters

Upazila parishad chairmen and vice-chairmen and leaders of different political parties yesterday blamed lawmakers and bureaucrats for making the local bodies weak and ineffective.

Railway to offer 25 new services

In an effort to ease traffic hold-ups, Bangladesh Railway yesterday launched two new commuter train services on the Dhaka-Narayanganj route.

Private cars fill 70pc city roads

Public vehicles like bus; and cycling and walking must get priority over private vehicles to prevent perennial traffic congestion and air pollution in the capital, said environmentalists at a media briefing yesterday.

Pvt project on public land

"Deliberate" neglect by the Ministry of Land during the four-party alliance rule paved way for a developer to take over 202.76 acres of public land.

1 dies at fake doctor's clinic

Police yesterday arrested a fake doctor and a landlord in connection with the death of a patient at Kalabagan in the capital.

Arms smuggling, trading double

Smuggling and illegal trade of different types of local and foreign-made firearms in 2010 have almost doubled those in the previous year in the country's south-western region, the law enforcement agencies said.

Border forces to start anew

Bangladesh Rifles that has a history of more than 200 years officially takes on the name Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and its flag today, nearly two years after the bloody mutiny at the Pilkhana BDR headquarters.

Gas crisis changes city life

Ananya Begum, a resident in the city's South Kafrul, wakes up around 5:00am every day. She hurriedly prepares breakfast and lunch, as gas supply runs out in two hours.

Akheri Munajat today

The first phase of Biswa Ijtema, one of the largest congregations of the Muslims, ends today with Akheri Munajat (concluding prayers) on the bank of Turag in Tongi.

CJ may pick probe team today

The chief justice is likely to form a five-member probe committee led by an Appellate Division judge today to identify corrupt people in the judiciary.

Stock loser kidnaps student

Police arrested a private tutor here yesterday for kidnapping a girl student, which he said was an attempt to recover his loss due to the recent stockmarket plunge.

Direct flights to Myanmar soon

Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to amend the existing air services deal as soon as possible to establish a direct link between the two countries.

Doctor accused of stalking

A doctor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) was suspended yesterday following an allegation of physically harassing a teenage female patient.

1,000 tolas of gold looted from jeweller's

Robbers looted 1,000 tolas of gold ornaments and Tk 10 lakh from a jeweller's at Kapasia Bazar in Gazipur early yesterday.

BIMSTEC to have HQ in Dhaka

The Permanent Secretariat of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) would be set up in Dhaka.

Muggers stab 1, push him off train

Muggers attacked two rail passengers, stabbed one of them and pushed him off a running train in the capital's Khilkhet area yesterday.

Hillary to discuss drug war in Mexico

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will make a one-day visit to Mexico tomorrow as the country struggles with drug-related violence that has left over 34,000 people dead in four years.

Boy drowns as trawler sinks in Buriganga

A 13-year-old boy drowned when a launch hit a trawler with 80 passengers on board in the Buriganga in Keraniganj yesterday.

Editorial

Women's empowerment in Asia

Women's empowerment has certainly come quite a long way in Bangladesh. Even a cursory glance at the figures relating to women's advancement in the past two decades will testify to this truth. And yet the fact that a whole lot of distance yet needs to be covered by Bangladesh's women as well as women in other regions of Asia was highlighted once more at a discussion organized by Asian University for Women (AUW) on Friday. The plain fact is that there needs to be more investment in women's education and training regarding the varied regions of life and experience. Interestingly, the meeting at AUW, which has just seen Mrs. Cherie Blair stepping in as its chancellor, brought together a number of eminent figures from around Asia and elsewhere to focus on this very issue. The results, we are happy to note, appear rather encouraging.

Gunfight in the hills

In what appears to be a disquieting eruption of violence in Rangamati between Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti (PCJSS) and United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF), altogether seven persons died of gun wounds. Judging by the witness accounts and local administration's version, it was the outcome of a turf war to extend two feuding parties' area of influence. The common aim seems to be collection of tolls; in other words, it is put down by the local authorities to a motive for extortion. This rakes up the memory of the days of insurgency when fugitive tribal groups used to thrive on toll collection. But the people of CHT have come a long distance away from those nightmarish days by virtue of a peace accord.

Sports

Brothers' maiden win

Brothers Union notched up their first win of the Grameenphone Bangladesh League as they handed a 2-0 defeat to Mohammedan Sporting Club at the Birshreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

'An unforgettable experience'

Shahriar Nafees had a very poor 2007 World Cup. He only made 31 runs from six matches, subsequently lost his role as deputy and ended up in the rebel ICL. Now back into the mainstream, Nafees will look to remove all his bad memories from the previous tournament as he gears up for the home World Cup. He talks to The Daily Star Sport about the tournament in West Indies.

Ten years in Test cricket celebrated

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) celebrated the country's one decade in Test cricket with a colourful function at the Army Stadium yesterday.

Nadal stays on course

World number one Rafael Nadal progressed to the fourth round at the Australian Open as expected but Australian teen Bernard Tomic announced himself as a player of the future on Saturday.

Salahuddin quits BCB

Coach Mohammad Salahuddin has tendered his resignation to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday to take up a new job in Malaysia.

Solid start by Barisal Abahani

Barisal Abahani crushed Mukul Fauj of Pirojpur by 200 runs in their opening match of the Inter-District Club Cup cricket tournament in Patuakhali yesterday.

Stamford lift ULAB Cup

Stamford University lifted the ULAB Cup trophy for the first time after they beat State University of Bangladesh by 31 runs in the final at the ULAB cricket ground yesterday.

Kiwis out of jail

A five-wicket haul for Tim Southee and a blistering 55 by Jesse Ryder saw New Zealand shatter an 11-match losing streak in style with a nine-wicket win over Pakistan in their one-day match Saturday.

Kim, Andy thru'

Favourite Kim Clijsters subdued a battling Alize Cornet to reach the Australian Open last 16 Saturday, as Andy Murray and Robin Soderling remained in impeccable form.

Kohli can't resist SA

Virat Kohli struck a sparkling 87 not out and had a hand in three dismissals but couldn't stop South Africa from winning the fourth one-day international against India at St George's Park on Friday.

'Vamos' causes uproar

"Vamos!" shouted the Indian doubles player. His Spanish-speaking opponents were clearly not amused.

Akhtar's plea for early hearing

A court has issued a notice to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in response to an application by fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar seeking an early hearing of his appeal challenging the one and a half year ban and fine of 7 million rupees imposed on him.

Victory Day badminton

Young Cricketers emerged champions as the six-day Victory Day Badminton Tournament ended yesterday at Pallabi in the city.

SL impatient to test new Cup venues

Sri Lanka are eager to test the island's new cricket venues ahead of next month's World Cup, skipper Kumar Sanga-kkara said on Friday.

Liverpool win at last

Kenny Dalglish recorded his first win since eturning as Liverpool manager on Saturday as the Merseyside giants secured a 3-0 away victory at Wolves.

Inoha Japan's hero

Ten-man Japan twice came from behind to battle past hosts Qatar and reach the Asian Cup semifinals on Friday, where they will be joined by a history-making Uzbekistan.

Petric fires Hamburg

Hamburg SV edged past Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 on Friday thanks to a second half goal from substitute Mladen Petric to move up to sixth place in the Bundesliga.

'MU can stay unbeaten'

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes that Manchester United could match his achievement of seven seasons ago by completing a Premier League season unbeaten, but believes the Old Trafford giants have had luck on their side.

Benitez lost dressing room: Eto'o

Cameroon international striker Samuel Eto'o on Friday revealed that his former Inter Milan coach Rafael Benitez was sacked after losing part of the dressing room.

Kaka warns Benzema

Brazilian star Kaka warned out-of-favour Real Madrid attacker Karim Benzema that he needs to do more to convince coach Jose Mourinho that he is the answer to the Spanish giants' striker crisis.

Chelsea get Terry boost

Key defender John Terry handed Premier League champions Chelsea a fitness boost on Friday when he insisted he will start Monday's crucial clash at Bolton.

Indian tycoon buys Racing

Indian tycoon Ahsan Ali Syed has bought indebted Spanish football club Racing Santander, his Bahrain-based company announced Friday.

Marchetti joins Genoa

Italian international goalkeeper Federico Marchetti, who had fallen out of favour at Cagliari where he hadn't played since the beginning of the season, has signed for Serie A rivals Genoa, the club confirmed on Friday.

Harry mugged in Madrid

Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp's scouting mission to Madrid this week proved costlier than expected as he had money and credit cards stolen by pickpockets outside Atletico Madrid's stadium.

Business

Banglabandha port opens to trade with India

Bangladesh and India yesterday started their long-awaited trade through Banglabandha port in a major bilateral decision. From now, goods from both countries can pass through the land port.

Stock probe, reforms to top agenda

The government sits with stakeholders today to find ways to help stocks bounce back from the current slump and take steps to reform the markets.

Investors offer recipe for recovery

A forum of retail investors yesterday proposed some recommendations to the government to restore stability to the stockmarket.

Go by the book: PM's adviser

Investors should abide by the rules of the game at the stock market and be prepared to accept losses instead of expecting profit continuously, the economic adviser to the prime minister said yesterday.

New deals to fight power crisis

The government is set to sign 18 deals for 4,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity by the year-end to meet an additional 5,000MW demand for the next five years, said Bangladesh Power Development Board Chairman ASM Alamgir Kabir yesterday.

Take long-term steps against price shocks: analysts

South Asian countries should take up long-term and sound policy measures instead of short-term steps popular among political parties to counter food price shocks, experts said yesterday.

RCCI faces notice for forged voter list

The commerce ministry last week served notice on Rajshahi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) for listing members of different nonexistent and inactive business groups as voters.

Etihad, Emirates win awards

Frequent flyers have recognised Etihad Airways as the best airline, Emirates the best cargo airline and Kuala Lumpur the most popular destination for tourists.

Thin fund flow restricts LDC's development

The development activities of the least developed countries are not taking place at the expected rate for thin flow of aid from the developed countries, said a top government official yesterday.

Govt should stop taking undue charges

The government should not collect any service or utility charges from the ready made garment sector if the services are not given at all, said former commerce minister Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury yesterday.

Being human in a digital world

If Bangladesh can tap into the global outsourcing market, a $40 billion business for India, even 20 percent of that would pay huge dividend for the country's economy and reduce our dependence on readymade garment exports

Music industry works on global copyright database

The music industry is working to create a global repertoire database to make it easier and faster for new online music services to come to market.

Hunt for best talents

A shift has opened in the hiring pattern: companies now reach out to the best talents. Human resource, the bastion of any organisation, keeps a company running. Thus, most of the leading companies in the world relentlessly try to attract and appoint the best talents.

Lack of jobs is not the concern, poor skills are

'There is no shortage of jobs,' said AKM Fahim Mashroor, chief executive officer of bdjobs.com, the country's first on-line job portal. 'But there is a dearth of skilled human resources to fill the vacant posts'

IT top brass quits Wipro

Wipro overhauled the management of its key outsourcing business and reported third-quarter profit growth that lagged its main rivals, sending its shares down the most in a year.

Google in shake-up, tries to hold off new threats

Google is richer than ever, but it's not as cool as it once was.

Tata Steel's $770m offer covered over 6 times

Tata Steel's up to $770 million share sale was covered more than six times on the final day, reflecting investor confidence in the steelmaker's growth prospects in a fast-expanding economy.

Facebook raises $1.5b, valued at $50b

Facebook announced Friday that it had raised $1.5 billion from investors in a private share offering that valued the booming social network at approximately $50 billion.

Citi CEO's salary soars to $1.75m

Citigroup Inc Chief Executive Vikram Pandit got a $1,749,999 raise on Friday.

Asian markets mixed

Asian markets were mixed Friday, with Shanghai rebounding from the previous day's losses but concerns persisting that China will announce more policy tightening to rein in its economy.

Oil higher

Oil prices turned higher in Asian trade Friday as market sentiment was buoyed by strong Chinese economic growth last year, analysts said.

Merged BA-Iberia takes off

A multi-billion-euro merger between British Airways and Iberia of Spain, creating Europe's second biggest airline, was completed on Friday, the two companies announced.

Weekly Currency Roundup

Jan 16th- Jan 20th, 2011
International Markets:

Metropolitan

Municipal polls were most peaceful in history: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has described the recently held municipal polls as the most peaceful in the history of Bangladesh.

10 fibre-reinforced plastic boats for 50 fishermen in Savar

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) yesterday in Savar handed over 10 boats, made of fibre-reinforced plastic, to 50 fishermen, one for five men, of the southwestern districts.

Govt will survey to find out cause of leakage

Petrobangla will soon start a survey in Titas gas field to figure out the prime cause of gas seepage from the country's largest gas field, says an official.

Three arrested

Detective Branch (DB) police early yesterday arrested three people in connection with the murder of head imam Hafez Mohammad Ishaque of Police Officers' Quarter Jame Mosque.

Cut dropout to achieve literacy target

Increasing literacy rate cannot be achieved with just bringing hundred percent children to school; instead, the high dropout rate should be reduced, speakers said at the ten-year anniversary programme of Volunteers Association for Bangladesh (VAB) yesterday.

Common dev stressed

The two-day 9th forum of Bangladesh, China, India, and Myanmar on regional economic cooperation was held in Kunming of China's Yunnan province on January 18-19.

Govt plans to dredge 53 water routes

The government has undertaken a plan of Tk 11,500 crore for capital dredging in 53 river routes to ensure smooth water communication across the country.

Four arrested over trucker, helper killing

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in recent drives has arrested four bandits who hijacked a rice-laden truck and allegedly killed its driver and helper on January 2.

Five killed in road accidents

At least five people were killed and nine others injured in separate road accidents in Pabna, Chapainawabganj, Brahmanbaria and Jhenidah on Friday and yesterday.

Students ransack buses

Five bus passengers were injured, one of them critically, as some students vandalised several vehicles following a dispute with transport workers at the city's Banani yesterday.

Prothom Alo wins Gold Standard Award

The Prothom Alo, a leading Bengalee daily, won the Gold Standard Award in Corporate Social Responsibility 2010 for outstanding programmes against acid violence in Bangladesh.

Jute worker suffers burn

A man suffered burns in a fire at a jute depot in Paba upazila of the district yesterday.

'Cases against Milon false, fabricated'

BNP yesterday demanded withdrawal of cases filed against former state minister for education Ehsanul Haque Milon and his immediate release, terming the cases as 'false and fabricated'.

Danish envoy calls on Khaleda

Danish Ambassador Svend Olling called on Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan office yesterday.

Two die in sunshade collapse

Two construction workers were killed and two others injured when a sunshade of an under-construction semi pucca building collapsed at Abul Kasem colony adjoining Kalurghat BICIS industrial area in the port city yesterday.

'UPDF attacked PCJSS'

Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti (PCJSS) in a statement yesterday claimed that United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF) attacked on PCJSS supporters on Friday.

Enayet Karim made Ecosoc consultant

Enayet Karim, editor of the weekly The Industry, has been appointed honourary consultant of United Nations Economic and Social Council (Ecosoc).

Rokeya Hall reunion held

Former students of Rokeya Hall, one of the oldest female dormitories of Dhaka University (DU), gathered at the hall grounds yesterday for the first reunion ceremony of its alumni association.

Orientation for NSU freshers held

North South University (NSU) yesterday held orientation ceremony for its newly enrolled undergraduate students of Spring 2011 semester on its campus in Bashundhara.

1,984 more students awarded on concluding day

The two-day prize giving ceremony among the students for reading books ended in the city yesterday.

Probe report by Jan 25

The probe commission on post-poll repression in 2001 has finalised its report and will submit it by January 25.

National

River erodes forest office, staff hostel in Sundarbans

The Kholpetua River in Shyamnagar upazila of Satkhira district devoured the office building of Satkhira Forest Range and the forest staffs' hostel in the Sundarbans on Friday evening.

Beaten by teacher, hospitalised

Seriously injured due to beating by a teacher on Thursday noon, a class ten student of Keshobpur High School in Baufal upazila under the district is undergoing treatment at Baufal upazila health complex.

PCJSS-UPDF clashes turn CHT volatile

The recent incidents of killing and abduction, especially in the wake of violent clashes between pro-peace treaty Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) and anti-peace treaty United People's Democratic Front (UPDF), has made Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) region tense again.

Arts faculty teachers on strike at KU

Teachers of arts faculty of Khulna University (KU) yesterday began indefinite work stoppage protesting removal of the acting dean of the faculty by the university authorities on January 16.

11-month-old child rescued 18 days into abduction

Mirzapur police yesterday rescued an 11-month-old child after 18 days of his abduction and arrested an abductor couple from Rasulpur in Tangail Sadar upazila and Musinda village in Kalihati upazila.

Gamblers attack police van in Ghatail, 5 hurt

Five policemen, including a sub-inspector (SI), were injured in an attack by gamblers at Deohata village in Ghatail upazila of Tangail district early yesterday.

3 Hizb-ut-Tawhid men arrested in Natore

Three operatives of outlawed Islamist outfit Hizb-ut-Tauhid were arrested at Bhagnagarkandi in Singra upazila of Natore Friday afternoon.

AL backed mayoral candidate sued

An independent mayoral candidate in Gouripur municipality on Thursday filed a case with a Mymensingh court against an Awami League (AL) backed mayoral candidate and his three brothers for their alleged attack on his rally on January 12 evening.

3 killed as boat capsizes in Kaptai lake

One person died and two others went missing as a boat capsized in Kaptai lake on Friday evening. Police recovered the body of Dipshikha Barua,25, son of Pradip Barua of village Bhoirabpur, Kolkata. But two others still remained missing till filling of this report at about 4:00pm yesterday. Dipshikha came to relative's house at Kaptai on Thursday.

Math Olympiad in Manikganj

A Math Olympiad was held for the first time here yesterday.

RU goes on winter vacation

Rajshahi University (RU) went on a nine-day winter vacation yesterday.

Woman killed over land dispute

A woman was killed by rivals following a land dispute at Uttar Kapna village in Biswambhapur upazila Friday.

BGB, BSF agree to keep Sylhet border peaceful

Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) at a sector commander level meeting at Tamabil check post yesterday agreed to maintain peace on Sylhet-Meghalaya border.

OMS rice seized, 1 held

A team of Rab-9 arrested a young man with OMS rice in his possession and seized two vans during a drive from a house at Lamabazar in the city on Thursday.

Rare species vulture rescued

A rare species vulture was rescued by locals when it was hit by a full voltage electricity wire near Srimongal upazila town on Thursday. The near extinct vulture is now under treatment at the mini zoo of Sitesh Ranjan Deb at Srimongal town. Every day a large number of people are visiting the zoo to see the vulture. Zoo owner Sitesh Ranjan Deb, also an eminent wild life expert said, the right wing of the 10-kg vulture was seriously injured after being hit by a full voltage electricity wire at Uttarsur village near Srimongal town on Thursday. Instantly the vulture fell down the ground. Local people caught the injured vulture. Later, Sitesh brought it to his zoo. The zoo owner is giving treatment to the near extinct bird which is rarely seen in our country. Sitesh said about 15 to 20 days will be needed for complete cure of the bird. Afterwards, the vulture will be freed, Sitesh said.

UP member, Imam arrested

A Union Parishad (UP) member and an Imam of a mosque were arrested for helping to solemnize a child marriage here on Friday night. The arrestees were Akkas Ali, member of Doyarampur UP under Bagatipara upazila and Abdus Sattar, son of Jamal Uddin of village Dumrai, also an Imam of Doyarampur mosque. Locals said, marriage of Aktar Hussain, 20, of Katulia village under Pabna Sadar upazila was held with Amena Begum, 14, daughter of Abdul Gafur of village Sardia under Bagatipara upazila on Thursday. Abdus Salam, officer-in-charge of Bagatipara police station said the UP member and the Imam gave fake certificates showing the girl's age over 18 and registered their marriage accordingly. Police sent the two to a Natore court from where they were sent to jail.

Timber worth Tk 9 lakh seized

About 400 cubic feet (CFT) of teak wood worth Tk 9 lakh was seized from Asambasti area in Rangamati town by the officials of Chittagong Hill Tracts South Forest Division yesterday night. Acting on a tip off, a team of forest officials led by assistant conservator of forest (ACF) Md Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, seized a truck loaded with teak from Asambasti in the town, Forest Division sources said. However, the criminals managed to flee after sensing presence of forest officials, ACF Rezaul said.

Letters

Ekushey and Mamtaj Begum

Women had played an important role in 1952 Language movement. Unfortunately, their contributions were overlooked. Among the participants, Mamtaj Begum (Kalyany Roy Choudhury, b.1930) - the then Headmistress of Narayanganj Morgan Girls' School - demonstrated extraordinary courage. In Narayanganj, she organised one of the largest women's demonstration in protest of the killings of 21st and 22nd February (1952) in Dhaka. She was immediately jailed, condemned and dubbed as a 'communist'. Strength of her character was tested when jailed Mumtaj Begum refused to sign the 'mercy petition' (admitting her mistake) prepared by the Pakistan government. She spent over a year in jail. Due to the dirty tricks of the then government she ultimately lost her job and family. Away from family, friends and the loved ones, Mamtaj Begum died in Armanitola, Dhaka in 1967.

Forty years of success

12th January is celebrated as University Day in Jahangirnagar University, as the university was established on this day 40 years ago.

Traffic jam in Dhaka

There have been many talk-shows, seminars, expert opinions on traffic jam of the capital city Dhaka and the traffic management has been taking numerous steps and measures and doing different experiments to solve the problem but with no success. We listen about big plans of elevated express ways, underground metro rails etc., but in reality it is hard to believe that these plans can ever be materialised by this poor nation having massive corruption in all sectors, from judiciary to education.

Sylhet- a paradise for tourists

The Sylhet valley is formed by a beautiful pair of rivers named Surma and Kushiara, both of which are fed by innumerable hill streams from the north and the south.

Illegal commission to get business!

An informative and interesting front page lead report on the matter was published by a local financial daily on 4th January. It only indicates that instead of paying due taxes on premium income, insurance companies avoid it, to sweeten the palm of the insurers, and possibly themselves too, through clever play of financial figures and supporting paper, making their black deed white! Instead insurance company authorities show it as fictitious costs, and create a 'slush fund', and to satiate the insurer's greed, you pay more and more illegal commission on premiums, beyond the limit set for it!

Special supplement on 6th January

I read it in a few English dailies on 6th January issued by PID of our Ministry of Information, with three lead articles. The first one on the left; written by Syed Abul Hossain and translated by Sahana Akhtar, had grammatical mistakes, both in the 'heading' and the 'sub-heading' too! The heading stated "The Communication Infrastructure is being Changed." Here the definite article "The" was totally superfluous before the expression "Communication Infrastructure" which is a collective noun here. The sub-heading was totally confusing, grammar wise. It was: "Changes will there be in Bangladesh"! Was it not totally confusing? It really takes the cake! What was in the mind of the translator? Did she just substitute suitable (?) English words for 'Bangla' as set in the 'Bangla' expression? I just cannot fathom the reason for this 'original' mistake!

A separate health care strategy?

The article entitled “Health care in slums: No strategy works” published in The Daily Star on 31st December 2010, is an immature research in health care. Although at present Bangladesh don't have any prudent health policy, government and private health care facilities are accessible from rural to urban area either in the form of primary health care or primary to tertiary care. Important aspects are public awareness and education.

TIB's corruption survey

I was quite surprised to read the list of the corrupt in the TIB Survey. Not the ones named, but the undoubted 'champion' who once again got away unscathed. This department of the government operates far from the capital, has the largest area under its control and has institutionalised and refined the art of corruption. Yes, it is the Forest Dept.

Desert turned green!

Agriculture together with livestock, fisheries and forestry is a rapidly flourishing potential economic sector in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE government has attached priority to invest more in the agriculture sector with a view to increasing food production. In the recent days massive agricultural development has put 723738 hectares of barren land under the plough. Greening the country with planting trees is also going on in full swing. Agriculture is being done in green house and in absence of enough water for irrigation hydroponics technique has been adopted to produce vegetables. In fact, UAE has so far achieved a remarkable progress towards modernising its agriculture as reflects in the saying of Late President Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan “They used to say agriculture has no future, but with God's blessing and our determination we have succeeded in transforming the desert into a green land.”

Cyber crimes

Md. Asadullah Khan has aptly stated: “We have borrowed the gloss, but not the ability to fight a crisis” [The Looming Threat of AIDS, published in The Daily Star on 11th December, 2010]. Undoubtedly, the government's pledge to build a digital nation is a commendable one, but I wonder if it is prepared to tackle cyber crime. Fake accounts on social networking sites, uploading inappropriate materials and hacking are already prevalent in this country. Higher levels of cyber crimes can easily creep in. It is very disturbing if hackers gain access to private information and send obnoxious or misleading mails to contacts.

Be aware of taxicabs

It is very sad to say that taxicabs are being used to snatch vanity bags or luggage from the passengers of rickshaws. One of our neighbour had this bad experience. She and her relative were going by a rickshaw and she was aware that her vanity bag might be snatched. So, she held her bag strongly. But a taxicab followed them and a man in the cab snatched away her bag. As she was holding her bag strongly, she fell on the street and broke one of her ankles. She was admitted to a hospital for 2 weeks. The question is- is it not possible for our law enforcing agencies to stop such crimes?

International

Karzai strikes deal with MPs to avert crisis

Afghan President Hamid Karzai yesterday struck a deal with lawmakers to allow the inauguration of parliament next week, ending a standoff that had thrown the country into political turmoil.

BJP to go ahead with 'Ekta Yatra'

In an act of defiance against the J&K government, the BJP has decided to go ahead with its 'Ekta Yatra' and the plan to hoist Indian national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Republic Day.

Sri Lanka book fest blames India on Pamuk pull out

A Sri Lankan literary festival yesterday blamed strict Indian visa rules rather than political pressure for a decision by Nobel-winning Turkish author Orhan Pamuk to pull out of the event.

Malaysian commandos spoil ship hijack

Malaysian naval commandos have rescued 23 crews and captured seven Somali pirates following a gunfight to free a hijacked oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden, reports said yesterday.

Albanian PM defiant after 3 killed in clashes

International organisations appealed for calm after clashes between demonstrators and Albanian security forces during an anti-government protest in Tirana left three people dead and dozens wounded.

Tunisian PM pledges to quit after 'free' polls

Tunisia braced for fresh protests yesterday after the main trade union called for a new government of "national salvation", as the prime minister promised the first democratic elections since independence.

Earth may have another sun

The Earth could soon have a second sun, at least for a week or two.

India shuts 23 iron ore mines

India's biggest iron ore-producing state said yesterday it had withheld permission from 23 mines to operate because they had not supplied proof of environmental and other clearances.

Bomb kills three in Pakistan

Three people including two paramilitary soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb blast in northwest Pakistan's tribal district of Orakzai yesterday, officials said.

Sadr returns to Iran from Iraq

Radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has returned to Iran after having only arrived in Iraq around two weeks ago, two senior officials within his movement said yesterday.

Nuclear talks with Iran fail

Talks between world powers and Iran ended yesterday without progress in tackling concerns over Tehran's nuclear programme, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said no more are planned.

Irish PM quits as party leader

Embattled Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen announced yesterday he was stepping down as leader of his Fianna Fail party but would remain as leader of the country ahead of elections on March 11.

Beijing welcomes inter-Korean talks

Beijing has welcomed proposed talks between military officers from North and South Korea, the first since a deadly artillery attack sent relations on the peninsula into a tailspin.

Shot US lawmaker leaves Tucson hospital

US lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords was given an emotional send off Friday as she was moved close to her family in Texas, where medics called her recovery "outstanding" two weeks after a gun rampage.

Blair sounds warning on Iran

Former prime minister Tony Blair told Britain's Iraq war inquiry that the world had to use force if needed to curb Iran's nuclear drive and expressed regret at the death toll from the 2003 conflict.

Cuba halts all mail deliveries to US

Cuba halted all mail deliveries to the United States on Friday over a dispute about US security procedures, and after they said that US-bound mail had been returned to the island.

Venezuela's Chavez may end party leadership

President Hugo Chavez suggested Friday that he was too busy to continue being head of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), the country's main leftist force.

Arts & Entertainment

Dreams Unlimited

With a rally and internationally renowned photographers singing, dancing all the way from the National Press Club to the premises of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), Chobi Mela VI, the International Festival of Photography was inaugurated on January 21. This year's festival with the theme, “Dreams”, opened at the National Theatre Hall, BSA, in Dhaka.

Tagorean Dance: A Blend of Classical and Contemporary

With the theme “Rabindranath-er Haat-e Haat Rekhey Bangladesh”, the fourth phase of Chhayanaut's yearlong programme commemorating 150th birth anniversary [May 8 this year] of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore was held at the main auditorium of Chhayanaut Shangskriti Bhaban in Dhanmondi, Dhaka.

The Daily Star-BGTF Theatre Festival from January 25

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Independence as well as the 20th anniversary of The Daily Star (TDS), Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation (BGTF) and TDS have arranged a weeklong theatre festival. Starting from January 25, the festival will feature 21 plays by as many troupes, and will take place at National Theatre Hall, Experimental Theatre Hall and Studio Theatre Hall in Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The festival, which will run till January 31, also marks 30th anniversary of BGTF.

Kaleidoscope of Culture

To mark the 40th Bangladesh School and Madrassah Sports Competition, a vibrant cultural show was held at the local stadium recently.

Children in the Act

On Friday evening, children from Sonar Tari and Sahajpath of Fulki School staged the play “Boner Pakhi Moner Aanande” (Wild birds in boundless joy) as homage to Nobel Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore at Shilpakala Academy in Chittagong.

Zooming in on Future Nation-builders

With the theme “Future in Frames”, the 4th International Children's Film Festival begins today at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Central Public Library, Shahbagh in Dhaka. A total of 233 films, including feature, documentaries and animations from 40 countries, will be screened in the course of the festival. The Central Public Library premises will be used as the main venue, while films will also be screened at 13 more venues, including Chittagong and Rajshahi.

OP-ED

Jasmine revolution and expected tsunami

After Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali left office and sought asylum in Saudi Arabia, it was expected that political agitation in that country would abate. Far from it, the situation remains volatile.

Should Civil Service training be misled?

Part of the print media has waxed eloquent on a recent administrative decision of the government in restoring the Rector of Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre (BPATC) to his former position, from which he resigned out of anger and desperation for being transferred to a position not to his liking.

Meherjaan's women on the verge

The week of Meherjaan's release in cinema halls, a friend received a SMS from a viewer: "The film is an insult to muktijuddho, women and Bangladesh." In a subsequent email debate, some wondered out loud about a "pro-Pakistan" agenda.

South Sudan and tales of freedom

South Sudan is headed for freedom. That is good news for anyone who believes in a people's inalienable right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. One of these days, assuming that the Khartoum-based regime of Omar el-Bashir does nothing to thwart the results of the recent referendum on a partition of Sudan into a northern, Muslim-based and a southern Christian and animist-dominated states, there will soon be a new government in Juba. And that is as it should be, seeing that the people of South Sudan have for decades paid a high price in defence of their rights. President Bashir has promised to respect the results of the referendum. It will now be the responsibility of the United Nations, symbolising global conscience as it does, to hold the Sudanese leader to his word.

How to party all year long

MY brother from New York phoned me on the first day of 2011 to wish me a happy new year.

Correction

In the article "A S Mahmud: A Tribute" by Syed Munir Khasru, printed in this page on January 22, Mr. A S Mahmud was inadvertently designated as Managing Editor of Mediaworld. In fact, he was the Managing Director. We apologise for the error.



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