News of: Saturday, 5th of February, 2011
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Encroachment and pollution of the Buriganga, Shitalakhya, Turag and Balu rivers in and around the capital continue despite the government's pledges to put an end to those.
The government has confirmed the disease that claimed at least 20 people in Lalmonirhat and Rangpur districts in the last four days as Nipah encephalitis, caused by Nipah virus.
Nine Chhatra League activists and the driver of a microbus carrying them were killed in a road crash in Faridpur yesterday evening.
An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale shook the country at 7:53:47pm yesterday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Thursday's statements on making public wealth statements of ministers, lawmakers and herself, and stopping extrajudicial killings contradict her party's election manifesto.
Shortage of aircraft has forced Biman Bangladesh Airlines to suspend its direct flights to London indefinitely from Thursday.
March 24, 1948 could have been the day when Mohammad Ali Jinnah would rise to the occasion and assure Bangalis that their worries about the place of Bangla in Pakistan would be taken into serious and sympathetic consideration. He missed the chance and thereby set the people of East Bengal on a course that was to lead, over the next twenty-four years, to the break-up of Pakistan and the rise of East Bengal as the independent republic of Bangladesh. Addressing a special convocation of Dhaka University at Curzon Hall on the day, an imperious Jinnah made it abundantly and unequivocally clear that 'Urdu and Urdu alone' would be the language of the state of Pakistan. His remarks did not go down well with his audience, some among whom raised cries of 'No, no' right then and there. For the first time in his long political career, the Quaid-e-Azam faced a challenge to his diktat.
Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians marched peacefully in Cairo yesterday to demand an immediate end to President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule, but there was no word of his generals, or his US allies, squeezing him out just yet.
Eid-e-Miladunnabi, the day of birth and demise of Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (SM) will be observed on February 16.
Sixty-year-old Abdul Khaleq, a retired health ministry official, was admitted to National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) on December 29th last year. Doctors advised him to go for stenting, a treatment for coronary artery blockages.
Bangladesh and India will soon sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish direct rail link between Akhaura railway station in Bangladesh and Agartala, capital of Indian state of Tripura.
After missing at least four previous deadlines, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha is set to hand over plots from the end of this month among allottees of Uttara Model Town 3rd phase and Purbachal New Town project plots.
An alleged criminal was killed in a 'gunfight' between police and his cohorts early yesterday at the city's National Botanical Garden in Mirpur.
A joint team of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and police arrested four activists of outlawed Biplobi Communist Party (BCP) and recovered firearms and bombs from them in Meherpur early yesterday.
Agrani Bank authorities have handed over one of its officials to police on charge of misappropriating Tk 11.53 crore from the bank.
About 20 months back, we exposed some of the many outrageous encroachments on four Dhaka rivers -- Turag, Buriganga, Balu and Shitalakhya-- with a plea to the government to go and check encroachers' claims of ownerships.
Hijackers in the guise of passengers took away a rented car stabbing its driver on the Dhaka-Mawa highway early yesterday.
Jammed with booklovers, Ekushey Boi Mela yesterday saw the largest crowd since its opening on February 1.
The public works ministry rented out a playground and a part of a park to allow an extravagant religious congregation (Urs), caring little for children's access to the ground and putting people in difficulty for a month.
The parliament has removed a disability imposed since the British era on media and free but responsible writing. The JS passed a bill scrapping the legal provision for directly issuing arrest warrant against journalists, writers and others for writing or saying something 'defamatory'. This meets a persistently articulated demand of journalists for striking out the clauses in the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) that hang as a Sword of Damocles on media freedom. The government and the parliament have made a momentous gesture.
That Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has turned her attention to modernising the railway by 2015 strikes a responsive chord in us. Because this important state-run mass mode of transportation is in an ailing, derelict state. The impelling demand is now for expanding domestic and regional reaches of the railway.
There is little doubt that the effort of the spinners was the key behind the Tigers success in the last two series against New Zealand and Zimbabwe. The slow bowlers took 56 wickets amongst them in the last eight matches; a statistic, which clearly shows how heavily the Bangladesh team are dependant on them. Nobody will hesitate to spot this as the strongest area of the Bangladesh team especially in limited-overs cricket.
It almost feels like déjà vu. Abahani and Mohammedan will play each other in the last round of the Premier Division Cricket Super League tomorrow, just as they did in the same stage last year.
Mohammedan SC snapped their losing streak in the Grameenphone Bangladesh League with an authoritative 4-1 win over Arambagh KS at the Birshreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.
For the past 20 years, Alam Khan has been selling a variety of accessories like holy perfume, Tasbi (prayer beads), Tupi (prayer hat), Jainamaz (prayer mat) behind the national mosque, Baitul Mokkaram. The 60-year old hawker earns between Tk 350 to 400 each day, through which he bears the expenditure of his eight-member family. But Khan was recently evicted from the illegal footpath market adjacent to the Bangabandhu National Stadium, which will host the gala opening ceremony of the ICC Cricket World Cup on February 17.
Siddikur Rahman maintained his solo lead in the Grameenphone Bangladesh Masters when he played a superb seven-under-par in the second round at the Kurmitola Golf Club yesterday.
The IPL governing council has denied franchises permission to sign the three unsold Indian players from the auction after some of the teams objected to the proposal, putting an end to any chances former India captain, Sourav Ganguly, had of playing in IPL 4.
Key Indian opener Virender Sehwag is fully fit and raring to go, local media reported on Friday, boosting the country's chances of glory at the World Cup.
Shahid Afridi will lead Pakistan at the World Cup, cricket chiefs said on Friday, quashing rumours that he might be replaced by Test captain Misbahul Haq.
England coach Andy Flower says Tim Bresnan's tour-ending calf injury is the biggest worry for his team ahead of the upcoming World Cup.
After embarrassment at the Ashes, Australian paceman Mitchell Johnson says the defending champions are still the side to beat at the upcoming World Cup.
The Pakistan coach Waqar Younis, is keen to end the one-day series against New Zealand on a winning note after his team wrapped up the series on Thursday in Hamilton.
Pakistan cricketers Moha-mmad Aamer, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt, together with their agent, have been charged with corruption offences, England's prosecution service said on Friday.
Cricket's governing body on Friday warned the public to beware of fraudulent emails that seek personal details to give away non-existent cash rewards ahead of the World Cup.
Maria Sharapova hopes her first Fed Cup outing in three years will help erase the misery of her latest Grand Slam blow-out.
Inter Milan moved up to third in the Serie A table after labouring to a 3-0 victory at rock bottom Bari on Thursday.
Liverpool could discover just how much they may miss Fernando Torres should the Spain striker make his debut for Chelsea against his old side on Sunday just days after completing a £50 million move.
Defending champions Bayern Munich are waiting to see if Dutch winger Arjen Robben recovers from a heavy cold in time to face Bundesliga strugglers Cologne on Saturday.
Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano has warned his team to put any thoughts of the Copa del Rey final with Real Madrid to one side and focus fully on the visit of Atletico Madrid in La Liga this weekend.
Angry Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger claimed on Friday that his skipper Cesc Fabregas has become the target of a witch hunt.
Liverpool owner John Henry has hinted that Kenny Dalglish may be given the manager's job permanently following the successful start to his temporary stewardship of the club.
Real Madrid will offer 28 million euros and striker Alvaro Negredo, who they would buy back from Seville, to land Atletico Madrid's Argentine striker Sergio 'Kun' Aguero, sports daily Marca reported Friday.
Blackburn chairman John Williams has quit after 14 years, in the latest high-profile departure involving a senior official at the Indian-owned Premier League club.
Neil Young, a striker in Manchester City's trophy winning teams of the late 1960s and early 1970s, has died aged 66 from cancer, the English Premier League club announced Thursday.
Juventus' ex-Bayern Munich striker Luca Toni on Thursday revealed how coach Louis van Gaal once proved he had 'the balls' to drop any of Bayern's stars - by dropping his trousers.
I am standing on a rooftop in Mirpur on a crisp morning in late January. The sky is a clear, pale blue and the sunshine just warm enough to balance the cold. It is a perfect winter day.
The freshwater ecosystems and the species are at risk in the Eastern Himalayan rivers, including Ganges and Brahmaputra, due to the development of water resources and construction of dams on these rivers.
Speakers at the inaugural session of a brainstorming contest here yesterday stressed frequent arrangement of such competitions to graduate the country to a better position. They told the inaugural session of “The Daily Star-Banglalion-Drishty business case-solving competition 2011”.
The government on Thursday issued a gazette notification on 23 supplementary textbooks on 11 subjects for secondary students of the current academic session after fixing prices.
Hundreds of bird lovers thronged the Jahangirnagar University (JU) campus yesterday to attend a daylong bird fair.
At least 30 injured in a series of clashes between the students of Begum Rokeya University and locals of Lalbagh, Modern and sheikh Para villages in Rangpur yesterday.
Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) staged its annual Sponsored Walk at the Gulshan Tank Park yesterday morning, says a press release.
Most forms of cancer can be cured by early detection and be prevented by creating awareness, said cancer specialists yesterday at a book launching ceremony.
BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said the country has no need of any new airport in the next 20-30 years if the capacity of existing airport is utilised properly.
India has ratified its Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) with Saarc countries and the revised treaties will come into effect from next financial year beginning on April 1.
A meeting of Awami League (AL) led 14-party grand alliance will be held tomorrow while AL Central Working Committee sits on February 12 to discuss country's latest political situation.
A Jubo Dal leader sustained serious injuries as some unidentified miscreants fired three shots at him in new town area of the district sadar yesterday afternoon.
The reunion of Buet Alumni Federation was held amid much enthusiasm among the former students on the university campus yesterday.
Visitors flocked in thousands to BASIS SoftExpo 2011 on the fourth day yesterday.
The country's 12 top freelancers, including an SSC examinee, were awarded last night for their contributions to upholding Bangladesh's image in global information technology.
South Asian University (SAU) based in Indian capital, New Delhi will introduce five new programmes from the next academic year 2010-11 beginning from July this year.
Here are some comments that came in response to Friday's The Daily Star news story headlined 'Airport on other side of Padma'.
Leaders of the Hindu community have demanded immediate arrest and trial of the culprits involved in burglary incidents at temples including Dhakeshwari Temple.
A two-day residential training for diplomatic correspondents on diplomatic issues and foreign affairs concluded in Savar on Thursday.
Forum of Consuls in Bangladesh (FCB) is going to be launched officially at a city hotel on February 6.
Eminent citizens in a statement on Thursday appealed to the prime minister to direct authorities concerned for establishing 'legal control' of Proshika's former chairman Qazi Faruque Ahmed on the organisation as per the Supreme Court verdict.
The School of Engineering and Computer Science (SECS) of Independent University Bangladesh (IUB) has organised a daylong Inter-college Math & Science Olympiad on its permanent campus at Bashundhara R/A in the city yesterday.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said "the menace" of corruption was tarnishing India's image overseas and demeaning it at home.
About 22,000 Pakistani villagers have fled military operations against Islamist militants in a tribal region near the Afghan border, a government administrator and the army said yesterday.
The wait-and-see stance of the Egyptian military is raising many questions, but underlining one fact: its role will be decisive regardless of how the ongoing turmoil will end.
The United Nations food agency yesterday warned that record-high prices for basic commodities are generating unrest around the world and helped topple the Tunisian president last month.
European leaders bluntly warned Egypt against any breakout of violence during yesterday's "departure day" protests as they took stock of the turmoil sweeping the Arab world.
It is one of the most unusual of all big predators, but the odd-looking, cat-like fossa, the largest carnivore on the island of Madagascar, faces an uncertain future.
Around 1,000 protesters gathered yesterday outside the Jordanian prime minister's office to demand reforms, before staging a sit-in near Cairo's embassy in support of anti-regime protests in Egypt.
Unexpected revolt on North Africa's streets has shattered any easy assumptions powerful authoritarian leaders will survive indefinitely, perhaps even pointing to similar risks in Moscow and Beijing.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said at an EU summit yesterday that Egypt's transition towards democracy should take place "without breaking" with President Hosni Mubarak.
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said yesterday that Egypt must carry out a "transparent and impartial" investigation into violent clashes this week between pro and anti Mubarak supporters.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei yesterday called for an Islamic regime to be installed in Egypt, saying the wave of Arab revolts is an "earthquake" triggered by the 1979 Iranian revolution.
A strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the India-Myanmar border region yesterday, US seismologists said.
Kazakhstan's veteran leader Nursultan Nazarbayev yesterday called a snap presidential election for April 3 that is expected to see him crush a weak opposition and romp to a third decade in power.
Access to Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound was restricted yesterday in a bid to prevent demonstrations in support of the Egyptian uprising after Muslim prayers, police said.
Japan protested against a visit by the Russian defence minister yesterday to a disputed island chain, warning that the move threatened to sour already uneasy ties.
An Italian woman tourist travelling with a driver and a tour guide has been kidnapped in the Sahara desert region of southern Algeria, security sources said yesterday.
Iran is going to put on trial three young Americans tomorrow accused of spying against the Islamic republic, dismissing repeated pleas by arch-foe the United States for their release.
Arts & Entertainment
The significance of literature of puthi is undeniable in any study of Bengali language and literature that aims to understand the development of modern Bengali language. Literary critics have often referred to the importance of understanding how puthi literature has influenced the works of some of the most celebrated writers and figures.
There is a notice board placed on the wall of Bardhaman House dedicated to providing updates about everyday new books. The board usually displays flaps of the day's books. Though on the second day a total of 29 new books were published, the board showed only seven flaps.
As one of the host nations, Bangladesh has begun to feel the heat of the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup. Tanvir Tarek and Porshi have upped the temperature a bit with the duet, “Shagotik Bangladesh”, which will be the signature tune for the World Cup. Mahmud Manzur is the lyricist, and Tarek has composed the tune.
A music programme on Tagore songs titled 'Rabindranather Gaan' was held at Pabna Town hall premises on February 1, marking the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore. The young artistes organisation 'Baithak', held the musical night to recall the poet's urge for the mankind.
After John Abraham and Hrithik Roshan, it is Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan's turn to play the villain--for the first time in his career--in Yash Raj's superhit franchise "Dhoom".
On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts gallery has organised a series of exhibitions, titled “Rooted Creativity”. The eighth installment of the series was inaugurated yesterday (February 4) at Bengal Gallery in Dhanmondi, Dhaka. The exhibition will run till February 13.
Two street plays were held in Kushtia on Tuesday evening.
Two street plays were held at the open stage of Gurudayal College Martyrs Memorial Archive in Kishore-ganj recently.
The abnormally inflamed situation over the proposed acquisition of land for building an airport that resulted in the death of a police officer and injury of scores of people has distressed many citizens. The political establishment has not been happy with the way the situation was handled and a Bengali daily reports that the Police Super of Munshigonj District is being suspended for failing to maintain order.
I can see Indian political complexion taking shape. The issue of corruption is assuming such a proportion that every party, affected or unaffected, is sounding horrified. They are also taking a stand against the scams which have put the ruling Congress in the dock. The party is isolated. None of the coalition members has defended either the Manmohan Singh government or the Congress.
From his weekly perch at CNN, Fareed Zakaria, speculated last Sunday (or the Sunday before) whether George Bush could take credit for the events that were unfolding in Tunisia, whether this was the late fruit of the neoconservative project to bring 'democracy' to the Middle East.
It may not be an overstatement to state that during the last two years of the present government the most successful formulation of its policy is the education policy because this is the only one which has been accepted by most people. However, it may be advisable to be cautiously optimistic about the success at the implementation stage because of the huge size of the project.
It's official. Domestic helpers are smarter than employers. Having high emotional intelligence (a typical domestic helper skill) is a much greater achievement than having a high IQ (a typical employer skill), according to a raft of sources, the latest being a New York Times column on "Tiger mom" Amy Chua last week.
Coral reefs are the largest structures created by any group of animals in the world. They have existed on earth for over 240 million years. Reefs are ecologically important ecosystems and have a high biodiversity. They are a source of food and medicine, and they protect the coast from wave erosion. Coral reefs are home to over 25 percent of all marine life and are among the world's most fragile and endangered ecosystems. Coral reef is a mound-like structure built by tiny animal corals, mainly composed of calcium carbonate. There are two types of coral, hard and soft. The actual architects of coral reef are hard corals, which are referred to as reef-building corals. Corals are sessile animals, meaning they are not mobile but stay fixed to one place. Soft corals do not build reef.
Arsenic in ground water was detected in Bangladesh more than a decade ago when the country had just achieved more than 95% coverage in supplying safe drinking water in the rural areas and making available irrigation water for the high yielding variety crops. More or less that was a win-win situation for drinking and irrigation water in the rural areas. But this achievement was outshined after the detection of arsenic in the ground water. Basically arsenic is a natural water contaminant originated from naturally occurring sulfide ores. It has a geological origin. The main source are the arsenic containing rocks from the Himalayas which were taken out by torrents of water and washed down by the rivers to the low lying areas of Bangladesh and West Bengal. These had been getting deposited together with sand, silt and clay for thousands of years forming a part of aquifers that have been releasing the poison today. Arsenic is a hazardous material and recent studies showed that it is a carcinogen, reportedly responsible for lung and skin cancers.
Ever been to the hills? No, I am not asking about those tillas or hillocks that you see in the north-east or other parts of the country, lulling you into a false impression of heights. But somewhere far south, and far above, up in the mountains deep inside Chittagong? If so, then you know how it feels at the top.
“Chughtai, Hossain and Durrani identify culture specific practices such as child marriage, dowry, son preference, polygamy, honor crimes and marital rape as primary sources of masculinist power that converts a wife's body into a site of oppression,” said Dr. Hafiza Nilofar Khan to begin the 29th lecture of the Lecture Series on English Studies organized by the Department of English at IUB.
If you live in Boston or anywhere on the East Coast, you can't miss the newest commercial for Dunkin Donuts, America's favorite coffee shop, which boldly claims “American Runs on Dunkin”. That may be true, since one needs a good cup of coffee before one can do anything on a cold frosty morning. However, my experience has been that this country also runs on spoken words. At work, on radio shows, at supermarkets, on the phone, at social events, in politics, or anywhere when people connect with each other, spoken words is a key ingredient, the electrons that keeps our life moving. In our everyday life, we also often engage in small talk, “water cooler conversations”, as it is sometimes called.
Cancer kills more people than any other disease. More than 70 percent of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries like Bangladesh. Experts say that about 30 percent of cancer deaths can be prevented. Yet little attention and less efforts have been given to prevent the unnecessary deaths. As the number of deaths from cancer are on the rise, it is high time to act to revert the rising trend.
A billion people in 57 countries face a daily struggle to access basic healthcare due to health workforce shortages and uneven distribution of health workers within countries. The critical shortage of skilled personnel, especially in remote areas of the world, is a major obstacle to meeting the UN MDGs by 2015.
Very recently, fever of unknown origin affected people at Hatibandha, Lalmonirhat of Bangladesh and claimed at least 20 lives until Friday last. Later, it was identified by experts as encephalitis (inflammation of brain tissue) caused by Nipah virus. It is certainly an alarming situation. That is why the Government of Bangladesh has declared red alert on that area.
Many neurologists say that if he can get to a stroke patient within
In order to mark the World Cancer Day that was observed yesterday, Centre for Cancer Prevention and Research (CCPR) organised a day-long free camp at its Gazipur Cancer Hospital situated at Chandana Cowrasta.
Speakers at an international seminar in Dhaka held on 18 January opined that South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) couldn't fulfil the peoples' expectation because the leaders of the region lack political commitment. What was more important at the seminar is that the speakers demanded a "visa-free South Asia" where peoples from the entre region would move freely as citizens of a union the South Asian Union.
When I come to study what has been, at different times and epochs of history among different peoples, the effective reason why ruling classes have been ruined, I note the various events and men and accidental and superficial causes, but believe me, the real cause, the effective one, that makes men lose power is that they have become unworthy to exercise it.
-Alexis de Tocqueville.
(A french historian, 1805-1859)
Egyptians plan mass marches on Tuesday in their campaign to oust President Hosni Mubarak, reassured by the all-powerfularmy, which has said their demands are legitimate and that it will not fire on them.
Star Books Review
Economics is not always a dismal science. But then, when has it ever been in that category? Judging by the wide nature of Rizwanul Islam's reflections on the subject, indeed on the whole concept of development economics as it encompasses the globe as a whole, you would think there is yet much to know about the subject. And you do learn, for in this work the writer brings together a whole set of perspectives on economic theory, or theories as the case may be, that will appeal to readers. But, first, a charming little caveat. The work is in essence a series of observations that take an entire international community into consideration rather than focusing on a region or, more specifically, a country.
The English translation of the Bangla novel Vyasa by the powerful writer Shahzad Firdous (b. 1950) from West Bengal is no doubt a praiseworthy achievement in the translation arena of Bangladesh. The novel has been much appraised by now, and the time to appreciate the translation of this book by eminent Professor Kabir Chowdhury (b.1923) has come.