The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, April 16, 2014


News of: Friday, 17th of June, 2011

Front Page

JS body swings to save capital

A parliamentary body yesterday placed nine recommendations including zoning of land usage and setting up of an authority to manage and preserve the water bodies of the capital.

Plan for a livable city gathers dust

A livable Dhaka city seems a far cry as the government considers a compromise on the long-delayed implementation of the Detailed Area Plan (DAP).

PM interpreted verdict wrongly

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia said yesterday the constitutional provision of installing a non-partisan caretaker government to oversee general elections remains legal in spite of the recent Supreme Court verdict.

Caretaker illegal right after verdict

The caretaker government system became illegal the day the Supreme Court declared the thirteenth amendment to the constitution “prospectively” void and unconstitutional, said several top jurists.

HC refrains Bogra judge from duty

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the district and sessions judge of Bogra to refrain from performing judicial functions for next one month for dismissing a sensational murder case on the ground of an out-of-court settlement.

One eye blinded, other in danger

The retina of one eye of Rumana Manzur, who was brutally assaulted by her husband, is not responding to her brain, and she has gone permanently blind in the other eye, said her family sources quoting a medical report.

HC blocks way to realtors' fair

The High Court yesterday directed Rajuk to make sure that illegal housing projects cannot take part in the ongoing Rehab fair or display their ads.

Deal signed for deep-sea exploration

Bangladesh yesterday made its first ever step into exploring for gas and oil in the Bay of Bengal through signing a production sharing contract (PSC) with US oil company ConocoPhillips.

More casualties luckily averted

Rab conducted a poorly-planned drive Tuesday night inside a well-organised drug den in Narayanganj and barely averted more casualties than one schoolboy dead and two others injured, according to an investigation by The Daily Star yesterday.

JSD for caretaker in next 2 polls

Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Inu), a partner in the Awami League-led alliance government, has suggested the next two parliamentary elections be held under non-partisan caretaker governments.

Domestic helps get ILO recognition

International Labour Organization (ILO) yesterday adopted a new Convention that will enable domestic workers to enjoy rights and benefits available to other workers.

Female jail guard among 3 arrested

Rapid Action Battalion arrested a female guard of Dhaka Central Jail and her two accomplices on charges of peddling illegal drugs in and outside the jail on Wednesday.

Rab gets 2 more units

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday in parliament said addition of two new units to Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) is under process to expand the elite force's activities.

Corporal punishment goes on

A middle-aged woman's hair was forcibly cut off after a beating by a schoolteacher at Chilmari upazila of the district yesterday.

No hartal till June 27, please

Students of O and A Levels and their guardians want no more hartal during their examinations that will continue until June 27.

HC begins hearing on petition

The hearing on a writ petition challenging the validity of the insertion of Islam as state religion by the 8th amendment of the constitution began with deliberations by the amici curiae (friends of the court) at the High Court yesterday.

Zawahiri now heads al-Qaeda

Veteran militant Ayman al-Zawahiri has taken command of al-Qaeda after the killing of Osama bin Laden, an Islamist website said yesterday.

Depression in Bay

The monsoon depression over the Northwest Bay and its adjoining area had moved to a north-northwest direction and was expected to cross Bangladesh-West Bengal coast near Raimangal river by yesterday night.

Five more infected with anthrax

Five more persons have been infected with anthrax in Sirajganj and Pabna districts, upazila health office sources confirmed yesterday.

Editorial

Civil service reforms

There is little question that the country's civil service has been declining performance-wise. A round table discussion on the Draft Civil Service Law has highlighted this truth once again. The round table has focused on those issues related to the civil service that have regularly been talked about without much follow-up action being taken. It is now time for a full, concentrated approach to the question of civil service reforms. One notes, though, that over the decades a good number of moves were made toward promoting administrative reforms. Unfortunately, though, nothing has come of all that enthusiasm.

Reuters Thomson polls

Of the places most dangerous to women are Afghanistan, Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia, as found by a Thomson Reuters Foundation expert polls result published recently. Although Bangladesh is not in the list, which is gratifying, yet there is hardly any reason for complacency. The screaming headlines on all forms of conceivable violence against women in media are tell-tale.

Sports

Sk Jamal a point away from glory

Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club are closing in on their maiden major silverware in the domestic football front when the mediocre-turned-new-leviathans pulled off a 3-1 win against Mohammedan Sporting Club in a crucial Bangladesh League match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Tamim goes Outlaws

Tamim Iqbal's dream of playing in English county cricket is about to be a reality as the dashing opener is all set to be signed up by Nottinghamshire.

Sri Lanka in trouble

England made Sri Lanka collapse to 29 for three at tea on the first day of the rain-marred third Test at the Rose Bowl here on Thursday.

Oblivious fans!

Unlike the previous matches of the Bangladesh League, a large number of spectators, nearly 5,000 of them, turned up at the Bangabandhu National Stadium for the crucial encounter between leaders Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club and Mohammedan SC yesterday.

Royals steal one

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan's English county team Worcestershire Royals notched an improbable win by beating Derbyshire Falcons by 15 runs in their North Group Friends Life T20 encounter at Derbyshire on Wednesday.

Nadal plots Fed's fall

Defending champion Rafael Nadal is poised to end Roger Federer's lingering dream of a seventh Wimbledon title and reluctantly nip ahead in the race to be crowned the greatest player of all time.

An Indian innings

The Indian subcontinent today is cricket's lifeblood. Passion for the sport across the countries of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh is unparalleled. It was not always thus, and it was left to England, the inventors of the great game and our former colonial masters, to introduce cricket to our shores.

Soccer can't be practised at Mirpur!

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has opined that practically it will not be possible to arrange football practice sessions at its venues during the FIFA international friendly match between Argentina and Nigeria in September this year.

Top six for Super Cup

The top six finishers of the ongoing Grameenphone Bangladesh League will be allowed to take part in the second edition of the Super Cup beginning in the second week of July.

Siddikur off to slow start

Bangladesh's ace golfer Siddikur Rahman finished at joint 11th place after hitting a round of two-under-par in the first round of the Queen's Cup golf championship at the Santiburi Samui Country Club in Thailand yesterday.

Rajani, Matiur withdraw

Veteran booters Rajani Kanta Barman and Motiur Munna on Wednesday asked the Bangladesh Football Federation to be left out of the preliminary squad for the FIFA World Cup pre-qualifiers against Pakistan.

Kim missing Wimbledon

Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters withdrew from Wimbledon on Wednesday because of a foot injury, leaving the women's field more wide open.

Shaons ride on Lincoln

The Shaons rode on the scoring spikes of Lincoln to post their second successive win in the Citycell First Division Basketball League yesterday.

Nat'l kabaddi

Holders Tangail, runners-up Jessore, Rajshahi, Dhaka, Sylhet and Pirojpur won their respective matches on the opening day of the 13th Meizan National Youth Kabaddi Championship at the Kabaddi Stadium yesterday.

Gayle likely to miss Test series

Chris Gayle has failed to settle differences with West Indies officials, and could miss the three-Test series with India, starting next week, according to reports on Thursday.

Ballack era over

Michael Ballack, one of the best-known players in German football for the past decade, has played for the national side for the last time, the national football federation said Thursday.

Top official alleges fixing

A top Malaysian football official warned Thursday that match-fixers were "destroying" the sport in the Southeast Asian country which is battling a widening match-fixing scandal.

McLeish flirting with danger

Should Alex McLeish be appointed Aston Villa manager after his controversial departure from bitter city rivals Birmingham he will join a select band of 'traitors', those who have crossed the divide and managed sides that detest each other.

Fans stage walkouts

Moscow and Saint Petersburg football fans have staged a series of unprecedented walkouts from games in protest at perceived bias by the Russian authorities towards Northern Caucasus sides.

FIFA's grand gesture

FIFA will donate about 6 million dollars in aid to help Japanese football recover from the damage of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster, Japan's football chief said Thursday.

Copa & IPL live on YouTube

YouTube, which began live-streaming Indian Premier League cricket matches last year, announced Wednesday that it will show all 26 matches in next month's Copa America.

Mourinho to appeal ban

Real Madrid's appeal against the three-match ban handed to coach Jose Mourinho for his comments after the first leg of Real's Champions League semifinal defeat by Barcelona will be heard on July 29, UEFA confirmed on Thursday.

Business

Exports exceed target

Exports soared 41.61 percent in the first 11 months of the current fiscal year, buoyed by apparel, compared to the same period a year earlier, according to Export Promotion Bureau.

Food imports soar as Ramadan nears

Opening of letters of credit for importing food products, including rice, has increased by 154 percent in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year.

Stocks end lower

Stocks ended the week in the red with thin participation of institutional investors that remained almost inactive due to a credit shortage in the money market.

Spectrum fee to be finalised next month: Muhith

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said 2G licence renewal fees of four mobile operators would be finalised next month.

Deadline for firms to fix sugar, oil prices

The commerce ministry yesterday directed companies to fix a rational price level of edible oil and sugar and send the offers to deputy commissioners' offices by June 30.

Realtors want changes in DAP

Realtors yesterday said the detailed area plan (DAP) needs to be modified in a way that will ensure growth of the real estate sector.

Exports will take a hit from tax rise: DCCI

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) yesterday urged the government not to impose 1.5 percent tax at source on exportable goods, saying it will hamper the growth of export-oriented sectors.

KKT unpacks Teatulia at UK's Harrods

Bangladeshi company Kazi and Kazi Tea Estate Ltd has launched its international tea brand Teatulia in Harrods, a luxury department store in the United Kingdom.

StanChart to finance 40MW power plant

Standard Chartered Bank has become the sole provider of a $20 million five-year term financing to Khanjahan Ali Power Company Ltd, the bank said yesterday.

Banglabandha trade comes to a halt as workers block road

Trading through Banglabandha and Phulbari land ports came to a halt yesterday after a labour union blocked Banglabandha-Panchagarh road, demanding work opportunities at the port.

Maruti mulls shift from strike-hit India plant

India's largest passenger car maker Maruti Suzuki India is considering moving production from a strike-hit factory to minimise losses, a company source told AFP on Thursday.

Alibaba splits online shopping unit Taobao

China's largest e-commerce company Alibaba Group announced Thursday it has split its consumer online shopping platform Taobao into three firms to adapt to an increasingly competitive landscape.

Wide scope for foreign investment

Continued from yesterday

Modern etiquette: the pitfalls of social media

I recently spent eight days in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) conducting training under the patronage of The Protocol Department - Dubai.

Greece likely to get next loan but outlook is dark

Greece is likely to get enough money from the EU to survive through the summer, but its longer-term prospects were dark as investors watching the chaos in Athens braced for the country to eventually trigger the eurozone's first debt default.

US ethanol plants toy with wheat, committed to corn

A rare inversion in prices of corn and wheat is prompting some ethanol plants to consider a previously unthinkable measure -- using wheat as their feedstock for producing the popular biofuel.

Google to finance residential solar projects

Google Inc will finance $280 million of residential solar power systems through a deal with startup SolarCity that is the Internet search giant's largest single clean energy investment to date.

US computer pioneer IBM turns 100

US technology pioneer IBM turns 100 years old on Thursday and while "Big Blue" is no longer the dominant player in the computer industry it remains a force to be reckoned with.

Countries back new rights for domestic workers

Millions of maids, nannies and cooks around the world moved a step closer to enjoying the same labor rights as other workers Thursday after countries approved a new convention granting them greater protection from exploitation.

HSBC, Citi given nod to underwrite China corporate debt

The China units of HSBC Holdings and Citigroup Inc have won initial approval to underwrite corporate debt in China, paving the way for them to be the first foreign banks to win the coveted licenses, sources told Reuters on Thursday.

Eurozone woes, US data weigh on Asian stocks

Asian stock markets tumbled on Thursday as the eurozone debt crisis came back to the fore with Greece on the brink of defaulting on its loans while US economic data also depressed sentiment.

Metropolitan

Indiscriminate hill cutting in Sylhet: Two sued

The Department of Environment (DoE) here yesterday filed a case against two persons on charge of cutting a hillock locally known as "Bolder Hajir tila" in Khadimpara, suburb of Sylhet city, without permission of the department and violating environmental law.

Plan to widen 3 roads to cut mishap

Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain yesterday said the government took a plan to widen and straighten three roads connecting Dhaka and Bhanga; Faridpur and Barisal; and Joydevpur and Hatikamrul to reduce accidents and improve transportation network.

Improve quality of tea

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the tea garden owners to introduce modern technologies in their gardens and factories to improve the quality of tea and increase its production.

12 killed in road crashes

Twelve people were killed and 27 others injured in road accidents in Comilla, Narsingdi and Manikganj yesterday and Wednesday.

China keen to help build deep-sea port

The Deepwater Port Authority (DPA) in China yesterday expressed hope that they can help Bangladesh build a deep-sea port here.

Wife, two daughters arrested

Police have arrested the wife and two daughters of Martin Sarkar, a civil security officer of Bangladesh Army, on charge of premeditatedly killing Martin in his house at government staff quarters in Paikpara, Mirpur on June 9.

Punish Rumana's husband

Human rights activists yesterday demanded exemplary punishment to DU teacher Rumana Manzur's husband Hasan Sayeed Sumon who tortured and damaged her eyes.

Boy found dead in water drum

Police recovered the body of a 16 month-old boy from a water drum in his house at Devidas Ghat Lane in the city yesterday morning.

Muggers kill bus passenger

Snatchers in the guise of passengers killed an unidentified man, aged around 38, by hacking him inside a microbus in the city's Pallabi early yesterday.

Nooruzzaman's contribution recalled

Speakers at a memorial meeting yesterday observed that learning lessons from the life and works of Lt Col (retd) Quazi Nooruzzaman (Bir Uttam) can help build a society where people from all walks of life can enjoy equal rights.

Domestic help found dead

A domestic help was found dead in a house at Mohakhali DOHS in the city on Wednesday.

PSC with US co protested

Different organisations yesterday condemned the government's signing of a production-sharing contract (PSC) with the US-based oil company ConocoPhillips for oil and gas exploration from two deep-sea blocks.

CU budget okayed

Chittagong University (CU) Finance Committee and Syndicate at a meeting yesterday approved the proposed budget of Tk 115.6 crore for the financial year 2011-12.

10 BCL men hurt in clash

At least 10 Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists of Hazaribagh Leather Technology College were injured in a factional clash last night.

Two arrested with fake passport

The Detective Branch of police and Armed Police Battalion arrested a member of a fake passport-making band and a passenger at Shahjalal International Airport in the city Wednesday.

Main accused arrested

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested Azam Ali Bayati, the main accused of businessman Nizamul Islam Nio murder case, from city's Banasree on Wednesday night.

Two held with fake passport

The Detective Branch of police and Armed Police Battalion arrested a member of a fake passport-making band and a passenger at Shahjalal International Airport in the city Wednesday.

Akikunnessa Ahmad's 29th anniversary of death today

The 29th death anniversary of Akikunnessa Ahmad, a noted writer and pioneer in progressive women's movement in the late 40s, will be observed today, Friday, June 17, says a press release.

PM meets president

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid a call on President Zillur Rahman at Bangabhaban yesterday evening.

Nazrul, Jafrul new Sramik Dal president, general secretary

Nazrul Islam Khan and Muhammad Jafrul Hasan were made president and general secretary respectively of Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Sramik Dal (BJSD), an associate body of Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

Pintu's bail stay extended

The Appellate Division yesterday extended its stay for a week on the operation of a High Court (HC) order that granted bail to former BNP lawmaker Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu in connection with the BDR mutiny case.

Gaziul Haque's anniversary of death today

Today is the second death anniversary of language movement veteran ANM Gaziul Haque.

Nurul Karim laid to rest

Mohammad Nurul Karim, father of Elita Karim, a singer and the editor of Star Campus Magazine of The Daily Star, was laid to rest at his village home in Hathazari of Chittagong after Asr prayers yesterday.

Obituary

Shamsul Akanda, a former teacher of the village Santiram in Sundarganj upazila, passed away yesterday due to old-age complications.

National

Back to wild life

One hundred and thirty-eight wild animals and birds got back their freedom as Sitesh Ranjan Deb, well-known wildlife conservator of Srimongal, arranged their release to Lawachhara Reserve Forest on the occasion of World Environment Day-2011.

Chairman-elect's men raid house of defeated rival

The supporters of a chairman-elect vandalised the house of a defeated chairman candidate in Saturia upazila of the district yesterday morning.

3 held on ballot paper snatching charge

Police yesterday arrested three youths on charge of snatching ballot papers from a polling centre in Daldali Union of Bholahat upazila of Chapainawabganj district on Wednesday night, reports our correspondent.

Jubo League leader fells roadside trees

A local leader of Jubo League (JL), youth front of ruling Awami League (AL), felled at least 12 roadside trees worth over Tk 70,000 in Tala upazila on Wednesday.

Criminals cut off wrists of youth

Criminals severed the wrists of a youth at Collegepara in Jhenidah town yesterday.

Police intercept bid to bury domestic help secretly

Police intercepted and recovered the body of a teenage domestic help as her employers secretly arranged her burial in Birganj upazila after she succumbed to burn injuries on Wednesday.

MMCH nurses increase duration of strike

Nurses at Mymensingh Medical College and Hospital (MMCH) on the second day of their agitation yesterday observed a six-hour strike demanding punishment to culprits who attacked trainee nurses at the hospital on Monday.

50 fall sick in Manikganj

At least 50 people were food poisoned after taking 'prasad' (sweets and food offered to an idol) of Narayan puja at Koitta village in Saturia upazila on Wednesday night.

Letters

An offensive sculpture

Of late an imposing sculpture of horse-mounted twin cops has been installed in the intersection of Mintoo road entry-point. The inscriptions on the subject depict it as a symbol of British-era policemen.

Nature at your service

On 5th June, the World Environment Day was observed all over the world. This year's theme “Forests: Nature at Your Service” calls for collaborative global efforts for increased investment in forest management and forest resources to increase employment, reduce deforestation and help tackle climate change. The government of Bangladesh along with NGOs and different socio-political organisations arranged various programmes on the day to make people aware who are directly involved in the act of deforestation. They stressed the importance of tree plantation, reducing felling of trees, etc., because trees trim down floods and droughts. It is not possible to eradicate all the problems overnight as we have limited manpower and logistic support. Awareness is the main way to come out of this problem.

Please put a stop to mindless hartals

Hatals are taking place at the worst of times. Ordinary and Advanced level candidates are now taking their examinations - international examinations, nonetheless - and have to suffer as much as even having to wait six months to re-take the exams if the hartals continue for a long period of time. Issues like budget or caretaker government will not be solved with hartal. Please attempt to put a stop to these strikes, as their ineffectiveness has been proven time and time again. It's about time our 'leaders' understand that. Why should we be caught in the middle of a pointless power-play?

Why this discrimination?

There is hardly any doubt that RMG sector is the highest foreign currency earner in Bangladesh. Nowadays in this sector Industrial Engineering Department is playing a vital role to enrich its productivity. But it is an irony of fate that some so-called industrial engineers coming from different institutions are entering RMG sector having no knowledge about garment manufacturing. The engineers during their study only concentrate on heavy industrial machineries like those in the pharmaceuticals, cement factories and food & beverage factories. Yet these engineers are being hired with huge salary. On the contrary, some highly experienced persons are being hired with low salaries. Why is this discrimination? I would urge the government as well as BGMEA to look into this matter seriously, if they really want to improve this sector.

Replace the word 'shood'

I entirely agree with the letter by Dr S N Mamoon(13 June). In old days when there was no official or regulated banking word 'interest ' . What existed was 'usury' or 'shood', always with manipulative exploitation of the poor and needy and extreme hardship of those who took loans from unregulated lenders. Similar transactions unfortunately still exist in England and other developed countries, believe it or not. This is what is forbidden in Islam i.e. such exploitation and hardships; and 'karje-hasana' i.e. interest free loans to the needy in the community is encouraged. So, the word 'shood' is inapplicable to regulated banking context and the word 'interest' on capital, whether deposited or loaned from a bank.

Reading films with great care

It was a fortunate event for me to participate in renowned film critique and writer John W. Hood's workshop on 6-10th instant, titled “Aesthetics of Satyajit Ray's movie: four classic films” at Bangladesh Film Institute, Dhaka. He wrote many books on Indian/ Bengali classic films. Among them two are highly acclaimed. Those are: The Essential Mystery: Major Filmmakers of Indian Art Cinema and Beyond the World of Apu: Films of Satyajit Ray. John Hood's style of reading a film is not biased to any person, or any society. Rather, he is much more devoted to the distinct art of films. To analyze Ray's movies, he uses such an investigative approach which catches not only the context of the story but also the camera/cinematic elements, the filmmaker's emphasis and most importantly, the comparative analysis of Ray's particular work to his other works.

Marketing Guru Prof.Philip Kotlar

Marketing Guru Prof Philip Kotlar visited Bangladesh for the first time and made his deliberation on different aspects of marketing at different seminars in Dhaka attended by marketing professionals, academicians, executives, company bosses who got rare chances to renew their ideas, innovativeness in marketing. He said “Brand of a product is the name of the story of the product and marketing of the product is telling the story.” What an easy way to describe the two most complicated issues of marketing. Like human being every product has a life cycle and unless it is given new lease of life by “entrepreneurship” the product will not exist any more. This is done by the brand manager of the product. With the new message of Prof Philip Kotlar our local companies will give new lease of life to their products through new ideas and will start the culture of “Branding” their product. Prof. Kotlar said some of our Bangladesh garments are sold at “Mark and Spencer' without any brand name except it is tagged “Made in Bangladesh”, which is working temporarily as Brand. Had it been properly branded after continuous product development, diversification, product improvement and new production method and procedures, the product could have been sold in foreign market under strong footing of brand name and the country would have been highly benefited.

Unstable edible oil market

It is now apparent that the powerful oil mafias are playing a cat and mouse game with the government by breaking the promises they made to the Prime Minister, that they will not increase the prices of oil during the month of Ramadan. It is also heartening to know that the Prime Minister has also agreed to the importers' demand of slashing down the VAT on oil from 15% to 10% in order to keep the price to tolerable levels. However, despite government's compromising attitude, the importers seem indifferent in their attitude and keep on increasing the prices whimsically showing their high handedness on the matter. The government must form a taskforce to see why the prices of oil are going up almost every day. Government must also appoint more importers to break the monopoly of a few handful importers. It is also suggested that if the taskforce finds any anomalies or wrong doings in the business, let their license be revoked immediately. Government should also direct the authorities concerned to monitor imports and mills that are refining oil strictly. Moreover, govt. must assign substantial powers to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh and put them at the helm to quell the manipulators by importing oil in large scale.

Our Mohoram Bhai

Iron heart and endless hope are the two essential qualities of a hero. Mohoram Ali of CRP is blessed with these two qualities and now getting ready for the world tour. He will prove that a wheel-chair user can also roam throughout the world. Being his colleague, I am really proud. I honestly confess, I got tremendous mental support from him while writing any letter or article. He is very popular among all his colleagues because of his pleasant cheerful personality and a very simple lifestyle. His mission would definitely motivate all physically challenged people to change their attitude towards life. His adventure will make a history and definitely bring glory to our country. At present he needs some money to meet the cost. The affluent persons of this country should stand beside him. We all pray for his safe and successful mission.

Decentralisation of Dhaka

Traffic jams have become an everyday event for us living in Dhaka city. If one would like to go to Motijheel from Gulshan, s/he would have to wait for hours on a busy working day. This certainly has become an annoying problem. A few years ago I read an article in The Daily Star about decentralising Dhaka's industrial sectors and making Dhaka a complete residential city. I think this particular idea is very good indeed, as most of the developed countries around the world have decentralised capitals. I believe that considering the idea of a decentralised Dhaka will be pretty much helpful for the general public. If the government does consider changing the location of different sectors and relocating them outside Dhaka or to the suburbs of Dhaka, we shall see reduction in traffic jams in our capital. If the government is confused about taking a particular decision regarding decentralisation, then it must hold a referendum. And a reduction of traffic jam will trigger a reduction of pollution as well.

Online Voices

Readers' instant comments on The Daily Star Online reports. Log on to thedailystar.net to leave your comments.

International

Gaddafi's son holds out offer of elections

Russian envoy Mikhail Margelov was in Tripoli yesterday seeking to mediate in Libya's conflict, as Muammar Gaddafi's son said the strongman is ready to accept internationally supervised elections.

Obama insists Libya action legal

President Barack Obama insisted yesterday that the current US military action in Libya was legal, rejecting rising criticism from Congress over the goals and justification of the operation.

Indonesia court jails radical cleric

An Indonesian court yesterday jailed radical Islamist cleric Abu Bakar Bashir for 15 years for funding a terrorist group that was planning attacks against Westerners and political leaders.

Black holes tell tale of the infant Universe

Astronomers have detected faint X-ray signals that they believe were emitted by giant black holes billions of years ago when the Universe was a toddler, a study in the journal Nature said yesterday.

Czechs strike against govt austerity

Strikers opposed to government austerity measures paralysed public transport across the Czech Republic yesterday, halting the Prague metro system for the first time in memory.

Portugal gets new PM

Pedro Passos Coelho was handed the task Wednesday of implementing a drastic austerity package for Portugal when the president named him as the new prime minister after his recent election win.

Five Pakistanis killed in cross-border attack

Several hundred militants crossed the border from Afghanistan yesterday and stormed a village in Pakistan's lawless tribal district, killing five civilians, Pakistani officials said.

EU mulls new sanctions on Syria

The European Union yesterday began work to toughen sanctions against Syria, looking at adding firms and a dozen people to a blacklist which already includes President Bashar al-Assad and key allies.

Sudan army vows to quell rebellion

The Sudanese army will continue to fight by all available means to stop the rebellion in South Kordofan, its spokesman said yesterday, as concern grew over the humanitarian impact of the conflict.

Yemeni protesters meet Saleh's deputy

Protesters in Yemen, who are calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to make way for an interim council, have met with the embattled leader's deputy, they said yesterday.

Russia, China warn West against interference

Russia and China oppose outside interference in the unrest in the Arab world, the two presidents said yesterday in a declaration, as the West seeks their support for increasing pressure on Syria.

Russia backs Ban for 2nd UN term

Russia yesterday became the last permanent member of the Security Council to support UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's re-election, saying it would back his candidacy in a vote due later in the day.

Hackers shut down CIA website

The hacker group Lulz Security claimed yesterday it has brought down the public-facing website of the US Central Intelligence Agency.

Greece set to unveil new cabinet

Two Greek government lawmakers quit yesterday over their party's unpopular austerity policies as PM George Papandreou was to name a new government to deal with the country's debt crisis.

E coli infected burgers: Six French children hospitalised

Six children were hospitalised in France with E coli infections after eating meat that manufacturers said could come from Germany, where an outbreak of the bacteria has killed 38 people.

US lawmaker Weiner to step down

US lawmaker Anthony Weiner told friends yesterday that he plans to resign his seat in Congress after an internet sex scandal, US media have reported.

Prince Harry could return to Afghanistan duty

Britain's Prince Harry has been given the green light to return to action in Afghanistan as an attack helicopter pilot, newspapers said yesterday.

Suspected suicide blast hits Nigerian police HQ

A powerful bomb blew up inside the Nigerian police headquarters yesterday, killing a suspected suicide bomber and wounding several bystanders, witnesses and officials said.

Arts & Entertainment

Remembering an icon

Faculty of Fine Arts (FFA), University of Dhaka and Samilito Sangskritik Jote jointly organised a memorial meeting for the recently deceased painter and printmaker Mohammad Kibria at the FFA premises on June 15.

Aponar Cheye Apon Je Jon

“Aponar Cheye Apon Je Jon”, an album featuring Nazrul Sangeet by Ferdaus Ara, was launched at Liberation War Museum on June 15.

“Phula”: Exploitation of the marginalised in focus

Indian theatre troupe Natya Chetona staged its production “Phula” at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, on June 15. The staging was part of the ongoing National Theatre Festival. Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation, in association with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, has arranged the festival.

Light on social scenario

A five-day Street Theatre Festival began on an open stage at Barisal Govt. Brojo Mohon College campus on Wednesday morning.

Evening Ragas on Sarod

“Evening Ragas”, an album featuring sarod recital by Rajrupa Chowdhury, was launched at Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts in Dhanmondi, Dhaka on June 15. Bengal Foundation produced the album.

Three-day Theatre Festival in Kishoreganj

Kishoreganj Ekota Natya Goshthi held a three-day theatre festival at the local Shilpakala Academy, to observe its 25th anniversary. Four plays were staged in the course of the festival, which concluded on June 14.

Superman finds a dad: Russell Crowe joins “Man Of Steel”

Yet another big name is reportedly joining Zack Snyder's A-list Superman reboot “Man of Steel.” According to Variety, Russell Crowe is in final negotiations to play Superman's biological and ill-fated father, Jor-El.

OP-ED

A business plan for democracy

Back in 193 A.D. Praetorian guards devised the idea of having a public auction to choose a new leader for the empire. The wealthiest senator in Rome, 61-year-old Didius Julianus, won the throne with a bid of 300 million sesterces. But Roman general Severus didn't approve of that infamous change. He led his troops back from Pannonia and ousted the new emperor, whose reign lasted only 66 days.

Distancing statutory authorities

For many decades, public sector organisations are being functionalised as ministries, departments, divisions, statutory authorities, public enterprises, and field agencies. Civil service, with its customary regulatory and custodial mandate, has expanded to involve the public enterprise sector with its burgeoning growth, empowerment and entrepreneurial roles.

Maturity, if not statesmanship …

The comical irony of our politics is something of a stand-out. We are second to none perhaps in making issues out of non-issues and non-issues out of issues. In the process, political dynamics are caught up in circles as the garrulity of talks in constant motion tends to show a lack of creativity. We cannot simply think or work ourselves out of the box.

NARRI: A national platform for disaster risk reduction

Although the Americas were gravely affected by natural disasters in 2010, especially in terms of fatalities, the number of disaster victims remained by far the highest in Asia. As much as 89.2% of global disaster victims in 2010 were from Asia, compared to 5.6% from the Americas (ADSR, 2010). Realising this, six international NGOs in Bangladesh (ActionAid, Concern Universal, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam-GB and Plan Bangladesh) with two technical partners (HelpAge International and Handicap International) have come up with a consortium named National Alliance for Response and Risk Reduction Initiatives (NARRI) with the financial assistance of the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection to have a better output of the intervention by a good coordination among the partners and economies of scale. This initiative will also ensure that there is no overlap or duplication of any activity.

Towards a knowledge society

Knowledge is power -- is a very old maxim. But until now there often existed a gap between knowledge and power. The person or community with knowledge may have existed without any power and again, the person or community with power may have existed without adequate knowledge. The gap has begun to be bridged nowadays.

StarTech

First Chromebook goes on sale

The first laptop running Google's Chrome operating system has gone on sale in the United States.

For a pioneer of technology, 100 years of "Think"

Google, Apple and Facebook get all the attention. But the forgettable everyday tasks of technology saving a file on your laptop, swiping your ATM card to get 40 bucks, scanning a gallon of milk at the checkout line that's all IBM.

Yahoo! helps find smartphone 'apps'

Yahoo! has begun helping people navigate the sea of applications available for Apple iPhones or mobile gadgets powered by Google-backed Android software.


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