News of: Saturday, 2nd of July, 2011
At least 16 persons, including women and children, were killed as a portion of Batali Hill protection wall along with a huge chunk of earth fell on shanties early yesterday.
The just-passed 15th amendment to the constitution restricts state of emergency to a maximum of 120 days since its proclamation.
Several Awami League leaders yesterday ruled out any possibility of a political confrontation over scrapping the caretaker government system and hoped the opposition parties would reach a consensus with the ruling alliance on holding the next national polls in a free and fair manner.
The main opposition BNP is not going for any tougher movement right now considering the time remaining for the next parliamentary election and the party's weak organisational strength.
Death in landslide in the hills is a tragedy that recurs almost every year. But such loss of lives could have been avoided had the local administration been proactive and a little more serious about it, locals and government officials say.
Veteran journalist Abed Khan resigned as the editor of Bangla daily Kaler Kantho Thursday night in protest against publishing of unethical and non-journalistic reports in the newspaper.
The Karnaphuli river, a lifeline for Chittagong city and the port, is gradually losing navigability with its width already shrunk by 50 to 270 metres at several points in the last two decades.
A number of nullified changes brought to the constitution by martial law proclamations were restored in the country's supreme charter through the 15th Amendment Act passed in parliament Thursday.
The Dhaka University Day was observed yesterday on the university campus with great enthusiasm among the teachers, students and officials.
Two Bangladesh born women who were en route to Canada by an Etihad Airways flight were allegedly harassed by the airline staffs at Abu Dhabi International Airport, and were forced back to Dhaka at their own cost over a brawl that sparked due to a fault of a staff.
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday termed Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's comment on a probable sudden change in the political atmosphere of Bangladesh “irrelevant”, reports BBC Radio.
The government project to build 17 new schools and colleges in the capital starts today with the laying of foundation stone of two institutions.
Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday condemned Indian premier Manmohan Singh's remarks for linking it with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.
Workers Party and Jatiya Smajtantrik Dal will express their 'clear' stance on the constitution's 15th amendment today.
A Bangladeshi was shot dead by a gang of robbers in the Libyan city of Sabah on Tuesday night, becoming the country's first reported death since the Libyan crisis began in mid-February this year.
At least 12 female garment workers were injured as they jostled to come out of their factory in panic of a fire in the capital's Jatrabari yesterday.
Transport workers vandalised a rented bus of Jahangirnagar University (JU) following a brawl between students and workers at Gabtoli Bus Terminal yesterday.
“I heard a big bang during the thundering rains early in the morning while I was in bed with my wife and son in our shanty and then all hell broke loose.”
Official figures showed yesterday that June, the bloodiest month in three years for US troops in Iraq, was also the deadliest month so far this year for Iraqis killed in violence.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters staged huge rallies across Yemen yesterday calling for the departure of all figures in the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been hospitalised in Riyadh for nearly a month.
The international committee investigating violent protests in Bahrain this year will be given access to official files and be able to meet witnesses in secret, the panel's chair said on Thursday.
The Constitutional amendments voted into law on Thursday have many aspects. Today we will confine our comment on the care taker issue.
Academic activities of a village high school in Lalmonirhat remains suspended for the last one week following disputes over formation of a controversial managing committee. School authorities have kept the class rooms locked up. As a result, nearly 300 children cannot attend classes. They come to school everyday but go back without taking any classes. The students or their guardians failed to get any reasonable answer either from the headmaster of the school or any other teacher regarding abrupt closure of the institution.
Novak Djokovic reached his first Wimbledon final and guaranteed himself the No. 1 ranking by defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-7 (9), 6-3 Friday in a match filled with diving shots by both players on Centre Court.
Maria Sharapova will attempt to complete her long journey back from the wilderness at Wimbledon on Saturday when she takes on Czech eighth seed Petra Kvitova for the women's singles crown.
Mahela Jayawardene's career-best 144 provided the platform for Sri Lanka's 69-run victory against England in the second one-day international at Headingley here on Friday.
India are ready to welcome back Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth to their Test side when the selectors meet in Chennai on Saturday to pick the team for the series in England. Virender Sehwag's fitness, though, remains uncertain after he underwent surgery on his shoulder. There have been conflicting reports on how long his recovery will take, but the selectors might risk picking him even if he is a doubt for the first Test, which begins on July 21.
Rain prevented India from making significant headway as they finished the third day of the rain-hit second Test with a 34-run lead over the West Indies here on Thursday.
Sri Lanka's sports minister said Friday he had forced the national cricket board committee to step down following allegations of financial mismanagement.
Allan Border was the grouchy, bearded face standing at second slip that some of us grew up with in the 1980s.
Holders The Gregorius maintained their winning spree in the Citycell Premier Division Basketball League when they posted their fifth straight win with a 106-33 win over Bakhsibazar SC at the Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnasium yesterday.
The Bangladesh national football team reached Lahore via Karachi to play their away match of the World Cup pre-qualifiers after a gruelling 17 hour journey from Bangladesh.
Goals continued to come in full fore in the National Women's Football Championship as Jessore thrashed Kishorganj 11-0 in the second match of the meet at the MA Aziz Stadium yesterday.
The quarterfinal line-up of the Kool-BSJA Media Cup football tournament was completed when Banglavision, Daily Destiny, The Financial Express, ETV and ATN News emerged as group champions at the Handball Stadium yesterday.
Manchester City are close to completing a move for French left-back Gael Clichy and are also interested in signing his Arsenal colleague Samir Nasri, Sky Sports claimed on Thursday.
Six Indian athletes, including two Commonwealth Games and Asian Games gold medallists, have tested positive for banned steroids, the country's anti-doping agency said on Friday.
FIDE, the apex body of world chess, has recently suspended the Bangladesh Chess Federation following their unpaid dues of Tk 35,000.
Asafa Powell has thrown down the gauntlet to world sprinting rivals including Jamaican compatriot Usain Bolt by running the fastest 100m of the season so far.
Argentina hope to take the first step Friday to ending a trophy drought of almost two decades when they meet Bolivia in their opening Copa America pool match at La Plata outside Buenos Aires.
English Premier League side Sunderland on Thursday announced the signings of South Korea striker Ji Dong-Won and English midfielder Craig Gardner.
Argentina skipper Javier Mascherano says the two-time world and 14-time South American champions must try to play to Lionel Messi's strengths at the Copa America, which starts on Friday.
Argentina stars may be plotting the demise of Bolivia in Friday's opening Copa America fixture - but it is the relegation of emblemic club River Plate which has been the chief topic of conversation in recent days.
Former Portugal striker Nuno Gomes has joined Europa League runners-up Sporting Braga on a one-year contract, the Portuguese club announced on Thursday.
Thailand on Friday officially signed Germany's Winfried Schaefer as coach for its national football team on a three-year contract, a top official said.
“I heard a big bang during the thundering rains early in the morning while I was in bed with my wife and son in our shanty and then all hell broke loose.”
Six people, including a schoolboy and a nurse, were killed in five road crashes in the city yesterday.
This time every year, many young people leave home for pursuing higher studies, like I did years ago. When I left home, my parents gave me two small notebooks filled with advice for an independent life. Over the years I have updated and shared this advice, reproduced below, with nephews, nieces and my own son.
Members of three religious communities and indigenous people yesterday staged protests in the city, saying the latest constitutional amendment denies equality.
Leading South Asian women rights activists, academics, and professionals are meeting in Dhaka today for a two-day conference to discuss various issues of concern of the women in the region.
The UNDP has recommended strengthening the Election Commission further, saying it still requires resources and systems as well as the capacity to enforce electoral laws and rules strictly.
Major services at the 64 district administrations will come under digital system by August, ending the era of traditional ways of providing government services, which often cause sufferings to public.
The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports yesterday alleged government's obstruction in its activities ahead of the half-day hartal called for tomorrow (Sunday) in protest against signing production-sharing contract (PSC) with US-based oil company ConcoPhillips for gas exploration in the Bay of Bengal.
Police recovered the decomposed body of a housewife, Sajeda Khatun, 30, after two weeks of her killing at Silinda of Rajpara in the city yesterday.
Unidentified criminals threw a cocktail at Vice Chancellor (VC) of Dhaka University Prof AAMS Arifin Siddiqui on the campus yesterday evening.
Some lactating mothers confined a councillor of Lalmonirhat municipality at Shahid Shahjahan Colony here yesterday noon for an hour demanding return of their bribe for issuing “fund for assistance to lactating mothers” cards.
Different left parties in separate statements yesterday said the fifteenth amendment to constitution, which was passed in the parliament Thursday, would create anarchy in the country.
Mizanur Rahman, an ex-expatriate in Saudi Arabia, has been suffering from kidney diseases for six months.
Save the Environment Movement and some organisations of Old Dhaka yesterday demanded immediate effective measures to save the second channel of Buriganga river from encroachment and pollution.
A three-wheeler auto-rickshaw driver was found dead in a jute field at Nizpara village in Sadar upazila yesterday noon.
A woman killed her husband at Shibrampur village in Sadar upazila early yesterday after he protested her extramarital affair which was blown recently.
Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) recovered 30 kg of hemp worth about Tk 3 lakh from a maize field at Bhutiya Mangol border village of Doikhowa outpost in Hatibandha upazila yesterday.
The annual IGCSE Ordinary and Advanced Level graduation ceremony of Bangladesh International Tutorial (BIT) was held in the city Thursday.
Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad and Mahanagar Sarbojaneen Puja Committee leaders yesterday demanded withdrawal of hartal called on July 3 and July 11 as annual Jagannath Rathajatra (chariot procession) will be observed on both the days.
Today is the 10th death anniversary of reputed arsenic specialist and resear-cher Dr Shibtosh Roy.
Prominent teacher Abdul Jobber Sarker of Goyesher village in Sadullapur upazila passed away due to age old complication at Gaibandha hospital yesterday. He was 75.
Qulkhwani of Khanda-kar Abdur Rashid, a former engineer of Housing Department, will be held at his Dhanmondi residence in the city today.
A doa mahfil for SABM Karimusshan, former additional director general of Bangladesh Railway, will be held at Juma mosque near his residence at Sector No-1 of Uttara in the city after Asr prayers today.
Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released from house arrest yesterday after prosecutors said the hotel maid who accuses him of attempted rape lied to a grand jury and made other false statements.
A defiant Muammar Gaddafi threatened yesterday to carry out attacks in Europe against "homes, offices, families," unless Nato halts its campaign of airstrikes against his regime in Libya.
Poland yesterday took the helm of a crisis-struck European Union for a six-month term bound to see more of the debt crisis threatening the eurozone and with it, European integration itself.
Chinese President Hu Jintao warned the ruling Communist Party faced severe "growing pains" as it turned 90 yesterday and that corruption, and alienation from China's people, could erode public support.
Security forces killed 11 civilians, including a mother and her daughter as more than half a million people took to the streets across the country yesterday to demand the departure of Bashar al-Assad, activists said.
The US Justice Department will drop a probe of alleged CIA interrogation abuses but will launch a criminal investigation into two detainee deaths, the top justice official said Thursday.
Incoming US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, who takes the helm at the Pentagon yesterday, is determined to avoid gutting the US military despite the prospect of difficult budget decisions.
Libyan rebels who had advanced to within 80 km of Muammar Gaddafi's stronghold in the capital were forced to retreat yesterday after coming under a barrage of rocket fire from government forces.
Japan yesterday began restricting electricity consumption in the Tokyo and Tohoku regions, more than three months after a tsunami sent nuclear reactors into meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Thailand votes tomorrow in an election which will test the kingdom's ability to emerge from a long and bloody political crisis, pitting the ruling elite against the disenfranchised poor.
Many poor countries will fail to meet a UN goal of halving world hunger by 2015, the UN food agency's newly-elected Brazilian chief told AFP yesterday in one of his first interviews since being nominated.
China said yesterday that 279 people died in natural disasters in June and another 93 had gone missing, as the country was hit by floods, mudslides and earthquakes.
UN peacekeepers from Nepal brought the strain of cholera to Haiti responsible for an epidemic that has killed 5,500 people, according to a study published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Moroccans voted yesterday in a referendum on curbing the near absolute powers of King Mohammed VI, who has offered reforms in the wake of nationwide protests.
More than 1,800 people have died this year in violence across southern Sudan, the United Nations said yesterday, ahead of the region's independence next week.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has admitted to having had a cancerous tumour removed, following weeks of speculation over the leftist firebrand's condition and unprecedented absence from public life.
Protesters converged on Cairo's Tahrir Square yesterday to join camping pro-democracy activists for a demonstration to keep up the pressure on the country's military rulers over the pace of reforms.
Scientists warned yesterday that water off the famed beaches of the Indian holiday state of Goa was unfit for bathing and fishing due to high levels of bacteria from untreated sewage.
Iran has threatened to halt oil supplies to India in August as it presses New Delhi to solve a payments dispute that has cast a shadow since December over the two countries' $12 billion annual crude trade.
Hundreds of people were fined as a smoking ban in public places went into force in the Philippines' sprawling capital yesterday.
Arts & Entertainment
With the theme “Jagroto Koro Udyato Koro Nirbhoy Koro Hey”, the weeklong National Recitation Festival ends today at National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). Bangladesh Abriti Samannay Parisad, in association with BSA, arranged the festival.
At a press conference on June 30, noted media personality and host of the much-talked about “Ke Hote Chay Kotipoti”, Asaduzzaman Noor, provided further information on the game show. He shared his personal views on the show as well.
Kolkata Art Trust organised a discussion, titled “In Memoriam: MF Husain and Mohammad Kibria”, at the Max Mueller Bhavan at Ballygunge in Kolkata yesterday.
Bangla Academy recently organised a three-day (from June 26-28) conference on “South Asian Contemporary Literature” at its Seminar Room. This was the first conference of its kind to highlight literature of this region, and to encourage flourishing democratic spirit in literary works.
Bunon Theatre staged Selim Al Deen's much acclaimed play “Chaka”. The premiere show was held at the Experimental Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, on June 30. Anon Zaman, a student of Al Deen and now teacher at the Department of Drama and Dramatics, Jahangirnagar University, directed the play.
The lead report of "The Daily Star" of June 29 last quotes the honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as saying that unelected people will never be given the opportunity again to assume power and destroy democracy. The reference, understandably, is to the alleged issuse of the caretaker government of the recent past.
Governments are out of steam after traversing some distance. It happens all over the world because the enthusiasm with which they start peters out, the promises which they make become remote and the schemes which they take up lack push. This is the most charitable explanation of the Manmohan Singh government's non-performance. It has no sense of direction. How can it direct the nation? This comes out clearly as the government reaches midway to its five-year tenure.
There has been mixed reactions to the proposed national budget of 2011-12. After the budget was read out in the parliament by the Finance Minister, there was, naturally, reaction for and against it. Most of the experts termed it ambitious and expressed doubts over its implementation. Opposition politicians termed the budget anti-people and investment hostile. There was the much discussed issue of 'whitening' of black money. Many raised serious doubts about its funding sources. Prof. Mustafizur Rahman, the Executive Director of Center for Policy Dialogue, a reputed think-tank of the country, spoke to the Daily Star on these and other issues related to the budget. Mohammad Ali Sattar, Assistant Editor of the Daily Star met him in his office at Dhanmondi for the talk.
While different organisations in Bangladesh observed the International Day against Drug Addiction and illicit Drug Trafficking on June 26 last, with this year's theme "Global action for healthy communities without drugs," the spread of the vice has reached a menacing proportion.
Italian scientist Guglielmo Marconi obtains a patent for radio in London.
Forest is a bounteous gift of nature that provides the basis of life and livelihood for humans. According to human history, hunting and gathering, the first and foremost livelihood of homo sapiens, was forest based. Interestingly, mangrove is the most diverse forest and is maximum service provider of all the forest types. Today, it is man whose relentless activities are, however, at the root of eroding this invaluable biological capital of nature.
The “primitive accumulation” nature of developed countries to use all natural resources as inputs into a human devised system in the never ending quest for economic growth has led us to ask “what the future holds for us”. This growth oriented development strategy has resulted in industrial pollution all over the world. The rise of synthetic chemicals, most of which did not exist 75 years ago and their exposures which came from some of the 11,700 products made by 164 manufactures that contain these chemicals, have alarmingly increased the rate of over all industrial pollution.
I had planned to be in Simla (now spelt 'Shimla') for a day and a half but my flight from Delhi was cancelled due to bad weather and I caught a later plane to Chandigarh (Punjab) and then took a four-hour taxi ride to Shimla, arriving late at 8.30 p.m. The next day I went to the Church, Christchurch, where our ancestor was chaplain from 1877-1886. When I asked about the stained glass window which had been installed in his wife's memory, I was told that it must have been broken. In any case, I took photos of the stained glass window behind the altar. Later in the day, I was in a photo shop which was selling old photos.
The Indian journalist and writer Khushwant Singh was once asked about the importance of books in life. His reply came in a melange of Hindi and Urdu, pure Hindustani: A home which has no books has ghor andhera- pitch darkness. In homes where there is only one book, everyone living in it is like a one-eyed kaana. Homes where there are plenty of books, there is ujalaa hee ujaala -lots of light. You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. Perhaps Aldous Huxley said it in a terse statement, 'The proper study of mankind is books.'
I was brought up in a family that was always associated with books. I still remember The Sugarhouse that fascinated me in my primary school. I grew up reading Walt Disney books and collected golden tokens unheard of these days. Goofy the Detective and The Three Little Pigs gave me thrills I can still imagine. There were days when my brother read to me tales form Sukumar Ray's Hojoborolo and Kumropatash, all of which seemed real. I remember buying the English version of the book, Select Nonsense of Sukumar Ray, when I visited Kolkata in the 1980s. It contained an introduction by Satyajit Ray. I wonder why some schools do not attempt enacting excerpts from it as plays or skits. They could be interesting musicals like Mary Poppins or Little Red Riding Hood.
Midwives not only deliver babies. They do much more. They care for mothers before and after delivery. They protect the health of newborn and children. They offer family planning counselling and supplies tools. They are crucial for the communities and to the survival of women and children.
Everyone wants to avoid back trouble, but surprisingly few of us manage to escape it. A significant number of people experience back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is notoriously difficult, and expensive, to remedy.
High blood pressure gets all of the attention, but very low blood pressure can be just as dangerous, experts say. If severe enough, low blood pressure (hypotension) can lead to dizziness and fainting.
Whether you need a better picture of an aching arm after a fall or an inside glimpse of your pearly whites, some X-rays are a medical necessity. But despite their undisputed value, X-rays also expose you to radiation.
The number of adults with diabetes in the world has more than doubled since 1980, a study published in the Lancet recently reveals.
Researcher from Tel Aviv University has discovered that cinnamon extract can inhibit the development of Alzheimer’s disease — the degenerative brain disorder that disrupts memory, thought and behavior. The extract found in cinnamon bark, called CEppt, contains the therapeutic properties.
The insurgency in Afghanistan has expanded far beyond its stronghold in the south east. Transcending its traditional Pashtun base, the Taliban is bolstering its influence in the central-eastern provinces by installing shadow governments and tapping into the vulnerabilities of a central government crippled by corruption and deeply dependent on a corrosive war economy. Collusion between insurgents and corrupt government officials in Kabul and the nearby provinces has increased, leading to a profusion of criminal networks in the Afghan heartland. Despite efforts to combat the insurgency in the south, stability in the centre has steadily eroded. Yet, with nearly one fifth of the population residing in Kabul and its surrounding provinces, the Afghan heartland is pivotal to the planned transition from international troops to Afghan forces at the end of 2014. Given the insurgency's entrenchment so close to the capital, however, it appears doubtful that President Hamid Karzai's government will be able to contain the threat and stabilise the country by then. Countering the insurgency in these crucial areas requires the implementation of long-overdue reforms, including more robust anti-corruption efforts, stricter oversight over international aid and greater support for capacity building in the judicial and financial sectors.
Since its independence in 1991, the government of Uzbekistan took the development initiatives for the reformation in economic and political sectors. As the country was under the structure of the Soviet Union so for the sake of the development as an independent country the government needed to take such initiatives. But from the very beginning, Uzbekistan has followed its own way of political and economic development, showing little interest for political pluralism or an open economy while preserving several old principles of Soviet structures. Now-a-days, the reformation process of the country has been questioned by the political realities because no development is possible without a sound political structure. The country is ruled by dictatorship, headed by President Islam Karimov, with no legal opposition parties and no free elections since its inception as an independent state. The economy of the country is closed, which is largely run for the benefit of a small elite group of families in or close to the government. The existing political realities of the country have made the reformation process difficult to be implemented.
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards fired 14 missiles in an exercise Tuesday (June 28, 2011), one of them a medium-range weapon capable of striking Israel or US targets in the Gulf, state media said. In response, the US State Department accused Tehran of "bragging" rather than complying with its international obligations.
Star Books Review
Willem Van Schendel's A History of Bangladesh is an introductory book on a subject that is quite possibly the best of its kind. It is hugely informative, scholarly in its foundation and yet an eminently readable book. Through this book the writer has filled a gap that has been there since Bangladesh came into being.
Translated from the Norwegian by Ingrid Christophersen, The Bookseller of Kabul, authored by Asne Seierstad, gives us an overview of war-ravaged Afghanistan and its courageous, resilient people after the fall of the Taliban. Written by a journalist, it appears in a literary form; it is at once well-researched, keenly-observed reportage and a very readable story book.
Ritopotro, a little magazine on poetry published from Chattagram (Chittagong in Anglican terms), has brought out a special issue on Rabindranath Tagore on the sesquicentennial birth anniversary of the Nobel winning Bengali poet. On this great occasion, which is being observed across the world through the initiative of the United National Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), scores of books and periodicals dealing with the works and life of this internationally acclaimed author and activist have flooded the West Bengal book markets. However, worthy publications on the poet are only a few from Bangladesh and among those Ritopotro can certainly draw the attention of many.