News of: Saturday, 11th of June, 2011
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Implementation of the proposed budget for the next fiscal year will face some risks, but those will be dealt with increased revenue earning, austerity in government spending, and reduction of government subsidies, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday.
The priorities in the proposed budget for fiscal 2011-12 are apparently consistent with the ruling party's electoral pledges but practically they are not, Debapriya Bhattacharya, distinguished fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said yesterday.
In aggressive promotion of pharmaceutical drugs the country's medical representatives invade hospitals during busy working hours in violation of marketing code and medical ethics, according to doctors and witnesses.
The main opposition BNP and its key ally Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday called for a countrywide 36-hour hartal from tomorrow dawn, demanding continuation of caretaker government system and protesting at the recommendations of the parliamentary special committee on constitutional amendment.
The Awami League has decided to tackle the opposition's 36-hour hartal “politically” and its government is to go tough on any violence during hartal.
Financing the coming year's budget will be a major challenge for the government, the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) has observed.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged businessmen to keep prices of essentials within reach of commoners and the market stable during the upcoming month of Ramadan.
Syfur Rahman Khokon, a steel mill entrepreneur who deposited Tk 40 lakh with Titas nearly two years ago for gas connection, is yet to get it. He spends Tk 30 lakh a month in repaying instalment of bank loan and for staff payments.
At least three people were killed during a "gunfight" at the remote Naraichhari village of Dighinala upazila yesterday, sources said.
The proposed budget may create a liquidity crisis in the banking sector due to its over-reliance on domestic borrowing for implementing the annual development programme, the FBCCI said yesterday.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday defended his decision to allow whitening of black money for one more year saying the budgetary move aims at having billions of untaxed taka invested.
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) yesterday urged BNP to withdraw a nationwide 36-hour-long hartal and opt for an alternative as it hinders country's economic growth.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will lay the foundation of a 335-megawatt power plant at Meghnaghat in Narayanganj today.
Syrian security forces launched a long-feared crackdown in a flashpoint town yesterday and killed at least 22 pro-democracy demonstrators nationwide, as Turkey accused the regime of atrocities and the US slammed the "slaughter of innocent lives."
Three people died after inhaling toxic gas trapped inside a septic tank of an under- construction building in Bashabati of Bagerhat district on Thursday evening.
Maoists yesterday blasted an anti-landmine vehicle killing 10 security personnel in Dantewada district of central Indian state of Chhattisgarh.
Police yesterday recovered the bodies of a truck driver and his helper from an abandoned truck near the Kumargati graveyard on Nagarbari-Bogra highway in Ullahpara upazila.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested a Jamaat leader along with 10 firearms at West Deka of Chauddagram upazila in Comilla.
A boiler explosion at a rice mill in Ishwardi upazila of Pabna left one worker dead and two others seriously injured yesterday.
Italy yesterday recalled its ambassador to Brazil in an escalating diplomatic row after a Brazilian court refused to extradite a former far-left militant convicted in four killings in Italy.
Unrest in RMG factories, which results in damage of the factory and street vandalism, has become a recurring feature in Bangladesh and which, regrettably, has assumed menacing proportions. The latest of these incidents occurred on Thursday last in the capital. The reason we are told is because the said factory was locked out, and the agitated workers, finding it so, ventilated their anger. And the victims were not even remotely related or responsible for their woes.
That most of the NGOs have been playing an important role in the country's socio-economic uplift hardly needs an elaboration. These have been playing key role in micro credit financing; health sector; non-formal education; rights issues; environment and other related social development fields, enabling the marginal classes to engage in national development activities. In fact, major NGOs are supplementing the government in its efforts to accelerate socio-economic development programs.
Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra were all but out of the race for the Grameenphone Bangladesh League title as they lost to Mohammedan Sporting Club 0-1 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Yorkshire gained their first victory of the season in the Friends Life t20 North Group but it was a desperately close run thing as they overcame Worcestershire by just two runs at Headingley.
Simon Katich hit out at selectors and Cricket Australia as he vowed Friday to bat on after the contentious loss of his Test contract for next season.
Usain Bolt cruised to his 14th successive 200m victory at the Bislett Games but then warned critics of his early-season form that he was "only human".
The England & Wales Cricket Board has launched an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the appearance of the banned Pakistan fast bowler, Mohammad Aamer, in a Surrey League fixture last weekend, after accepting that the fixture, between Addington 1743 CC and St Luke's, falls under its regulatory jurisdiction.
Three more teams -- Rajshahi, Manikganj and Khulna -- emerged zonal champions to reach the final round of the 13th Meizan National Youth Kabaddi yesterday.
Injured fast bowlers Zaheer Khan and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth were Friday ruled out of India's three-Test series against the West Indies starting later this month.
Rafael Nadal had to dig deep to reach the quarter-finals at Queen's with a hard-fought 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 win against Czech veteran Radek Stepanek on Thursday.
Construction work will begin at Victoria Falls early next year on what promises to be a spectacular new Zimbabwe Test and ODI cricket ground after the local council granted planning approval.
India's forthcoming tour of England will take place without the use of the Umpire's Decision Review System (DRS), after the Board for Control of Cricket in India officially informed the England & Wales Cricket Board that they would be unwilling to embrace the use of technology.
Andy Murray admits his plan to stay in shape for Wimbledon by playing regular football matches with his friends has been ruined by the ankle injury which has troubled him since the French Open.
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius, the famed "Blade Runner" who dreams of qualifying for next year's London Olympics, brings his quest to Saturday's Diamond League meet at New York.
Test cricket has enthralled millions for 134 years and on July 21 this year, the 2000th Test match will be held at its spiritual home Lord's. The Daily Star Sport pays tribute to cricket's ultimate format in this column called "Tests Through Time".
Former captain Chris Gayle was overlooked again by West Indies selectors on Thursday when the squad was announced for Saturday's third one-day international against India.
Premier League giants Liverpool on Thursday completed the signing of highly-rated midfielder Jordan Henderson from Sunderland for a fee believed to be around £20 million ($32.75m).
Five Mexican internationals currently taking part in the Gold Cup tournament were suspended Thursday for doping, the secretary general of the country's football federation (Femexfut) announced.
Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland failed to inspire yet again on Thursday, losing 1-0 to France in a friendly that underlined their defensive woes.
Manchester City's Italy striker Mario Balotelli has had a new run-in with police after being stopped and fined for speeding through the streets of Milan on Thursday night
Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder has dampened speculation linking him with Chelsea and Manchester United by declaring that he cannot foresee himself leaving Inter Milan.
A friendly match between Italy and Spain, the last two countries to win the World Cup, will take place in Bari on August 10, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced on Thursday.
German league giants Bayern Munich are set to extend the contract of Austria teenager David Alaba to keep the midfield prodigal talent in Munich until June 2015.
The rules of cricket and the English use of the expression "chalk and cheese" confuses Andy Roddick.
People from all walks of life thronged Central Shaheed Minar in the city yesterday to catch a glimpse of and pay respect to eminent artist Prof Emeritus Mohammad Kibria.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina requested the US government to take initiative after discussion with the Myanmar government to bring back the Rohingya refugees staying in Bangladesh through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
Songkhubdho Nagorik Samaj, a joint platform of teachers and students of Jahangirnagar University (JU), staged a protest programme against government repression on Limon Hossain yesterday afternoon in front of the city's National Museum.
Two seperate incidents of violence over upazila parishad elections in Rajshahi left around 45 people injured yesterday.
Ten people were injured yesterday as they jumped off a running train in a collision course with another at Dinajpur Railway Station.
Brikkho Mela, the annual tree fair, takes place in Agargaon through June. It is a haven for tree and nature enthusiasts where many nurseries and arboreal institutions offer up a surprising diversity of treats.
After successful completion of piloting at 100 primary schools, elections of Student Council, a new concept of practicing democratic norms from childhood, will be held at 600 schools across the country today.
India has given the go-ahead for the construction of an 18-km-long railway line connecting Agartala with Akhaura in Bangladesh, said a top railway official yesterday.
Terming the proposed budget ambitious, different political parties yesterday opined that it contained no reflection of people's development.
Ruling Awami League (AL) will observe party chief and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Jail Release Day today.
Different social organisations yesterday jointly launched a common platform styled “Foundation of Social Clubs in Bangladesh" (FSCB) to combat terrorism, drug abuse and other evils of society.
A female hawker and worker of a tailoring shop were killed in two road accidents in the city's Uttata yesterday.
A special team of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) arrested four people of an alleged motorcycle stealing gang and found two stolen motorcycles on Thursday.
A devastating fire gutted 105 shops in Gobindaganj Upazila market early yesterday damaging goods and properties worth over Tk 7 crore.
A ten-year-old boy drowned in Barnoy River at Bashvag village of Sadar upazila yesterday.
Police early yesterday recovered the body of a man from the city's Shah Ali.
Police seized 1,000 bottles of phensidyl from Barisal Colony of Double Mooring in the port city yesterday.
Fourth Bangladesh chemistry olympiad was held at Chittagong Govt College in the port city yesterday.
More than 50 people were injured in a clash between inhabitants of village Satauk in Habiganj and Daulatpour village in Brahmanbaria at Satauk of Lakhai upazila in Habiganj yesterday.
Bangladesh and US are going to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) very shortly to build up broader cooperation in low carbon development and other areas of climate change.
A mobile court fined two Islami Chhatra Shibir activists Tk 3,000 for violating electoral code at Goalkandi union of Bagmara upazila yesterday.
Four people were received bullet injuries in a clash between two groups over the ownership of a tea garden at Baralekha upazila of Moulvibazar on Thursday.
Gazi Md Kamruzzman Kamal, a Bangladeshi student in Greece and former student of Fine Arts department of Rajshahi University, was found dead at a hotel in Mikonos Island of Greece on May 31.
Today is the 50th death anniversary of noted politician and educationist Sayed Ataur Rahman, father of former lawmaker Sayeda Shahina Khan, says a press release.
Explosions on the outskirts of Tripoli yesterday sent up black plumes of smoke, as Washington warned that Nato's air war on Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi's forces could be in peril.
Russia has agreed to lift its import ban on EU vegetables imposed in the wake of the E coli outbreak, Russian and EU leaders said yesterday after two days of talks.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been in discussions with the White House about leaving her job next year to become head of the World Bank, sources familiar with the discussions said on Thursday.
The Sudanese army has launched repeated air strikes on southern army positions in Unity state, less than a month ahead of the south's independence, in a bid to seize the state's oilfields, a southern army spokesman charged yesterday.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese pro-democracy leader, will deliver the 2011 BBC Reith Lectures.
Suspected Maoist guerrillas, including some female fighters, killed ten Indian policemen during a landmine ambush in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, police said yesterday.
Three family members of an al-Qaeda suspect were killed yesterday in an air raid on a suspected jihadist hideout in south Yemen, a local official said.
Nearly 600 people, mostly Taiwanese and Chinese, were rounded up across Asia for suspected massive online fraud in a rare example of regional police coordination, officials said yesterday.
A lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians is only possible if Hamas is involved, a group of former top statesmen and diplomats said in a letter made public yesterday.
An Indian yoga guru holding a hunger strike against corruption was hospitalised yesterday after not eating for nearly a week in a protest that has put pressure on the government.
Pakistan's top judge yesterday ordered two security chiefs to be sacked after paramilitary forces shot dead an unarmed man begging for his life in a case that shocked the nation.
Vietnam said yesterday it will hold live-fire exercises in the South China Sea amid escalating tensions with China over disputed waters.
Former South African finance minister Trevor Manuel ruled out standing to become the next head of the International Monetary Fund, as nominations closed yesterday.
French drugs group Sanofi said yesterday that its vaccine against dengue, a mosquito-borne infection that kills thousands of people around the world each year, could be launched in about four years.
UN investigators said yesterday they had found evidence of possible crimes against humanity by forces loyal to Ivory Coast's ex-president Laurent Gbagbo and followers of his successor Alassane Ouattara.
The EU said yesterday it has set up a new anti-hacker team of cyber fire-fighters after a string of recent attacks, one of which saw 30 million euros' worth of carbon credits stolen.
About one in six Australian female university students have been raped, and many more sexually assaulted or harassed, during their life, a survey released yesterday showed.
At least 12 Pakistani children were killed and two others wounded when the bus taking them to school plunged into a canal in Kashmir yesterday, police said.
Arts & Entertainment
Azam Khan, the pop legend who had been ailing from cancer, passed away on June 5, 2011. Earlier, after having been diagnosed with oral cancer, the singer went to Singapore twice and had undergone chemotherapy and tomotherapy. But Khan didn't complete the full course and returned to the country. Cancer spread all over his hand and body, resulting in his sudden collapse. Renowned artiste Sabina Yasmin and her husband, singer-musician Kabir Suman, visited Khan just a few months ago at his residence in Kamalapur. Khan was looking confident to stage a recovery and come back to the music scene to entertain millions of his fans once again. But fate had other plans. The void the “Pop Guru” has left is irreparable. I was there when Sabina Yasmin, Kabir Suman and noted cultural personality and lawmaker Asaduzzaman Noor visited Azam Khan and managed to speak to the ailing artiste. This is the last interview (to my knowledge) given by Azam Khan to the media. The interview was taken on March 27, 2011. Excerpts from the interview:
The five daylong Nazrul Utshab (festival) ended on June 9 at National Music and Dance Centre auditorium of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). The festival, celebrating 112th birth anniversary of the National Poet, was arranged by Nazrul Sangeet Shilpi Parisad (NSSP), in association with BSA. Nazrul exponent and head of the trustee board of Nazrul Institute, Professor Rafiqul Islam, inaugurated the festival on June 5.
M.F. Husain has wielded the brush all his life to be India's greatest contemporary painter but he had as much of his heart in Bollywood. No wonder, many from the film industry, including his muses, have expressed grief over his death.
The audience roared in laughter as Ranajit Rakshit recited Michael Madhusudan Dutt's comic poem “Balish” (pillow) at the District Shilpakala Academy, Chittagong on Thursday. It was the opening of a three-day long recitation festival (Chittagong zone).
The markedly suave Mirza Fakhrul Islam, Secretary General of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) was visibly angry on June 5, 2011, while reacting to police actions during hartal. According to the Bengali daily Prothom Alo, he said that there is no democracy in the country, which has now turned into a police state where the police obstructs a peaceful hartal. He further added that their workers were not even allowed to stay on the footpath and warned that such actions would compel them to resort to longer hartals.
The terrorist and the policeman both come from the same basket. This was proved again at Delhi this week when a religious leader, Baba Ramdev, was fasting before thousands of his followers. Policemen of different organisations belonging to the centre and the states came like tons of bricks on the sleeping crowd and dispersed them, using even tear gas. The Baba was physically removed, leaving many injured, some seriously.
Some people holding high positions in society and the government often behave and talk most erratically and irrationally, lowering the image of the office they hold. Their public manner sometimes borders on stupidity. In our country, these types of people are not too few. They are always espousing policies they consider most viable and hold on to them, defying public criticism. They are always fulminating about enemies they perceive to see surrounding them.
Let me start with a question: What are the candidates tested on in the BCS examination? A few days ago, a preliminary test of the 31st BCS examination was held across the country. I happened to look at the test items, which were all multiple-choice questions. I was wondering about whether or not the knowledge and skills required to pass the exam were worth knowing. I was not sure about how they would be useful in the "real-life" contexts in which the participants would need to perform in the future.
Throughout history, important constitutional cases have had far-reaching and, at times, disastrous consequences. In 1857, in Dred Scott case, the US Supreme Court declared slavery lawful. The result was the American civil war. In 1955, in Tamizuddin Khan's case (PLD 1955 Federal Court 240), although the Chief Court at Sindh declared the Governor General's decision to dissolve Pakistan's Constituent Assembly unlawful, the Federal Court (with Justice Cornelius dissenting) reversed that decision. Chief Justice Munir was suspected of complicity with the armed forces. It is however widely believed that without that judgment, democracy would not have suffered that terrible fate in Pakistan.
Second Sino-Japanese War: The Chinese Nationalist government creates the 1938 Yellow River flood to halt Japanese forces. 500,000 to 900,000 civilians are killed.
The alarm bells this time are not being rung by climate scientists or by environmental activists. They are rung by none other than the International Energy Agency (IEA), the institution set up in the 1970s to defend the interests of Western oil consuming nations.
"Forests: Nature at Your Service” was the theme for World Environment Day (WED)-2011 observed on June 5. The theme emphasises the variety of life-sustaining services that forests provide and calls us all to take action to protect these resources and move towards a green economy.
Cathay Pacific Airways would sponsor 40 students from around the world to take part in the new Cathay Pacific Green Explorer programme -- that will take place in Hong Kong and Sichuan Province in China. The aim of the programme, which runs from 13 to 20 August 2011 is to give the young participants a better understanding of environmental issues and the importance of conversation.
In 1913, Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was the first non-European to receive it. His coming by the Nobel created much excitement not only in India but outside it as well. Rabindranath, not at all known outside India before the publication of his Gitanjali in its English version in November 1912 from London, made millions of people sit up and take notice of him through the prize. William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), a reputed Irish poet even before 1913 and eventually a Nobel laureate himself, in 1923, was a great admirer of Rabindranath during his Gitanjali days, though he did not rejoice at the declaration of the Nobel Committee on November 13, 1913. A study of Nobel nominations will perhaps give us an idea of the process involved. On 10 December every year the year's laureate has to receive the prize and deliver a lecture. Very recently the web site of the Nobel Committee released a wealth of information that gives us a fresh perspective on the Nobel process itself.
My mother often used to say that when you don't have a choice, “dudher shad gholey mitao”, i.e., satisfy your yearning for the taste for fresh milk with the taste of buttermilk. My wife Rumi and I would have loved to be in Kolkata or Dhaka to celebrate Rabindra and Nazrul Jayanti this year, but since that is not an option, we decided that we might as well take my mother's advice and celebrate these twin birthdays with gusto here in Boston and Connecticut, even if that leaves you with the taste of buttermilk. My letter today will offer my dear readers a glimpse of our efforts and I hope that you will see what we lack in scale and extravaganza we make up with our zeal, creativity and a little bit of bravado, not to speak of our boundless love for these two literary giants.
Although there is cost effective intervention and treatment available, many children in Bangladesh are becoming unnecessary disabled. Many more children are living with severe form of disability whereas simple aid or support could reduce the severity and help them leading a normal life. Timely action can prevent many forms of disabilities, bring back children’s life from a state of handicapped to normal like other children.
Bacterial meningitis is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries like Bangladesh, but the duration of treatment was not well established.
Vaccines are undoubtedly one of the best investments in health. Immunisation programmes have contributed enormously to reducing the burden of infectious diseases, and are responsible for much of the falling rates of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In December 2010, global health leaders committed to making the next 10 years the Decade of Vaccines — to ensure discovery, development, and delivery of lifesaving vaccines globally, especially to the poorest countries. This Series looks at every aspect of this medical technology, including the developments expected over the coming decade and what we can expect from translation of the latest vaccine science. Improving vaccine coverage and financing of both existing and newer vaccines together with how we communicate the benefits of vaccines and ensure public trust and confidence, are also examined.
Combining omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, sea food, plants, and nut oils with blood-thinning drugs may reduce the risk of heart attacks in patients who have had stents placed in their coronary arteries, a new European study suggests.
Jogging, swimming, biking or other moderate to intense physical activity may protect the brain from silent strokes or small brain lesions that can lead to mental decline and increase the chances of a future stroke, a new study from Columbia University suggests. Researchers revealed that moderate to intense physical activity cuts seniors' risk by 40 percent.
Cancers of the gut, stomach and pancreas could be detected much sooner with a simple urine test, new research from Edinburgh University suggests. Researchers have identified key proteins in the urine of patients with advanced cancers. The findings could help in diagnosis much earlier, leading to improved survival rates.
As the events are unfolding in the North African and Middle East region quite dramatically, there are talks as to whether the balance of power in the region would mark any shift. The changes and developments were so sudden and unexpected that it left little room for maneuvering; and intelligence agencies hardly had any clue whatsoever about what would happen in the next few moments. No one apparently imagined that a mere protest in Tunisia, which led to the collapse of Ben Ali's empire, would spark and engulf the whole Middle East. And the fall of Mubarak regime in Egypt marks the most striking development with huge strategic significance. This single incident may lead to further equations as to the future geo-politics in the region.
The end of the cold war naturally expedites Washington to put on the crown of world politics unilaterally although a set of actors were mounting up from Asia especially China and India with their soft power i.e., the power to attract culturally and to get something done with attraction rather than compulsion. The intention of super powers is, as it was and perhaps will be, to stretch out the ascendancy all over the world and indubitably the US is no exception who sets a policy strategy for Asia fetching Pakistan closer both politically and diplomatically.
Iran's navy has sent submarines to the Red Sea "to collect data," its first mission in distant waters, the Fars news agency reported Tuesday without giving further details.
Star Books Review
Amitav Ghosh puts it succinctly. 'We are a riverside people', says he. The obvious reference is to Bengalis. That Bengalis have dwelt, like any other historical civilization, beside their rivers is a truth made all the more poignant by an awareness of how constricted those ageless rivers have of late been getting. For Ghosh, Bengal is home, India is home. But America? It is a place where he lives, a spot he is nevertheless in love with. He opens his heart to Sunil Sethi, speaks of the dispersal of people, of the Indian diaspora he has always been keen to write about. And out of that sense of alienation-cum-belonging have come such works as The Hungry Tide and The Glass Palace and Sea of Poppies. In his words, he is a girmitiya, a term used for 'indentured labourers who left in the nineteenth century because they signed agreements which they call girmits . . .'
It was a pleasant surprise to find Nighat Gandhi's evocative article, 'Landscapes of the Heart', in the Literature section of the Daily Star. This was because I had just happened to finish reading her book of short stories, 'Ghalib at Dusk and other stories'. I loved the article as much as I did her stories.
Hunger and food
In the very vein of brain
Coactions by evil rulers
On the back