The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, July 22, 2014


News of: Sunday, 3rd of July, 2011

Front Page

Faulty work blamed for wall collapse

Faulty construction and lack of maintenance of the wall built by the Chittagong City Corporation to protect the Batali hill caused Friday's tragic death of 17 people living in the foothill shanties.

AL not fully happy

Awami League is not “fully satisfied” with the 15th constitutional amendment passed on Thursday, its General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam said yesterday adding that the ruling party's ultimate goal is to reinstate the 1972 constitution.

Manmohan's ISI remarks erased from govt website

The Indian government has removed all references to Bangladesh in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's observations that have sparked criticism both in Bangladesh and India.

No BNP backing

BNP has not lent support to today's half-day hartal as it is still in the dark about the content of the gas exploration deal with American energy company ConocoPhillips.

Govt should have talked with BNP

Presidents of Workers Party Rashed Khan Menon and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal Hasanul Haq Inu yesterday said it was not proper to scrap the caretaker government system 'unilaterally'.

BNP, allies to go for simultaneous agitation

The BNP-led opposition alliance is set to announce simultaneous agitation programmes including hartal in protest against scrapping of the caretaker government system from the constitution.

Shab-e-Barat on July 17

Shab-e-Barat, the night of divine blessings for the Muslims, will be observed on the night of July 17.

Amendment done to secure people's power

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday alleged that BNP opposed the 15th constitutional amendment as it wants to snatch away people's voting rights.

6 students killed in road crash

Six students including two siblings and a tempo driver were killed while two others injured when a passenger bus collided head-on with a three wheeler auto rickshaw in Ramzan Bibi area under Begumganj upazila of the district yesterday.

Indo-Bangla deal likely this month

India and Bangladesh are expected to enter a deal later this month on border demarcation and adversely possessed enclaves during Indian Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram's proposed visit to Dhaka.

Women's greater role to help tackle challenges

Ensuring greater role of women in development policy-making and equal access to resources can help address the challenges of poverty, ecology and extremism, observed South Asian experts yesterday.

Tannery relocation faces further delay

The government has sought two more years from the High Court to set up a central Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) in Savar and move the tanneries there from the capital.

3 burnt alive in high-rise fire in city

Three people were burnt to death yesterday in a fire at a multi-storey building at the city's Bijoynagar.

BCL leader murdered

A Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leader and another man were found dead early yesterday in capital's Tejgaon Industrial Area, three days after they went missing.

Aug 21 attack charge sheets likely today

The Criminal Investigation Department is expected to file the supplementary charge sheets in a Dhaka court today in the August 21 grenade attack cases.

Dyeing factory shut, fined for pollution

A Department of Environment (DoE) team yesterday ordered a dyeing factory in Munshiganj to keep it shut until it installs an effluent treatment plant and fined it Tk 38.40 lakh for polluting the river Dhaleshwari.

Wimbledon title goes to Kvitova

Petra Kvitova stunned favourite Maria Sharapova to win her first Grand Slam title with a 6-3, 6-4 victory in the women's singles final at Wimbledon here Saturday.

22 suspected Tahrir men arrested

Law enforcers arrested 22 suspected operatives of the banned militant outfit Hizb ut-Tahrir, Bangladesh (HTB), including three students of Dhaka University, in two separate drives in the capital, yesterday.

Floods kill 17 children in Philippine

At least 17 children and infants were among 30 people killed after a towering flash flood hit one of the Philippines' largest provincial centres, the government said yesterday.

Editorial

Manmohan's verbal bombshell

The Indian Prime Minister's comments on Bangladesh come as a huge shock and surprise. Even more astonishing is the silence of our government. Its closest ally -- at the level of the PM no less -- has made a damning indictment of the political health of this country, describing it as so volatile that it could change for the worse at any moment. The Indian PM has further said that 25% of Bangladesh's population supports Jamaat-I-Islami, is "anti-Indian" and "in the clutches" of the Pakistani ISI.

Tragedy on Batali Hill

The recovery of seventeen bodies in the aftermath of the landslide and protection wall collapse in Chittagong's Batali Hill area is a tragedy that could have been avoided. It is not that such calamities are new in this country.

Sports

Kvitova comes, plays & conquers

Petra Kvitova won her first Grand Slam title Saturday by defeating Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-4 at Wimbledon, finishing with an ace and dropping to her knees in disbelief.

Rafa can think of win only

Rafael Nadal insists he will not be distracted by the pursuit of Grand Slam history or the loss of his world number one spot to Novak Djokovic when he takes on the red-hot Serb in Sunday's Wimbledon final.

Less cricket in 2011-12

The cricket operations committee of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has all but confirmed the domestic calendar for the upcoming cricket season.

BD's chance at hand to put Pak away

The Bangladesh national football team will attempt to seal their superiority over Pakistan when the sides face off tonight in the second leg of their 2014 World Cup pre-qualifier at the Punjab Stadium in Lahore.

VVS, Rahul lift India

Half-centuries from VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid put India in a formidable position in the rain-hit second Test against West Indies on Friday.

Tigers hit nets today

The Tigers will be given match conditions to get accustomed to the longer version when they begin the skills camp today at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

'A sham & a mockery'

West Indies batsman Chris Gayle described West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) efforts to reconcile with him as "a sham and a mockery" on Friday, saying he realised he was unwanted by the board.

The cheeky master

Javed Miandad will forever be remembered for that six in Sharjah.

Aguero saves hosts blushes

Argentina, bidding to end a trophy drought going back to 1993, kicked off the 43rd Copa America on Friday with a disappointing 1-1 draw with minnows Bolivia at La Plata outside Buenos Aires.

Messi annoyed

Argentina star Lionel Messi said he was irked at his country's rocky start at the Copa America on Friday following a 1-1 draw in La Plata with minnows Bolivia.

Tough task lies ahead

Andre Villas-Boas is anticipating an "awkward" start in his first Premier League match as Chelsea manager when the Blues begin their title challenge away to Stoke.

Mexicans in trouble

Four more Mexican players have become embroiled in a doping probe, adding to the case of five further internationals found to have traces of clenbuterol at the CONCACAF Gold Cup which Mexico lifted last week, FIFA chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak said Friday.

Hornets post first win

Hornets registered their first win in the Citycell Premier Division Basketball League with an 84-35 victory over Flame Boys Club at the Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnasium yesterday.

L'Equipe cleared

Nicolas Anelka has lost his legal action against L'Equipe, the French sports daily the Chelsea star had accused of libel after it published his foul-mouthed World Cup tirade at Raymond Domenech.

Both Tamim, Shakib fail

Tamim Iqbal made a winning debut in the Friends Life t20 competition when Nottinghamshire beat by five wickets Derbyshire in a high-scoring match yesterday.

Sabina leads Satkhira

Satkhira blanked Thakurgaon 2-0 in the National Women's Football Championship at the MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong yesterday.

Govou leaves Panathinaikos

Financially-troubled Panathinaikos on Friday announced that they were releasing one of their most expensive players, French international winger Sidney Govou.

It had to be a Brazilian

With Argentina desperate to end 18 years without a major trophy and even more keen to avoid a third straight final loss to Brazil it just had to be a "Brazilian" who almost put the skids under the albiceleste in Friday's Copa America opener.

Business

Banks' profits beat expectations

Most private banks clocked up significant growth in profit in the six months to June despite a fall in contributions from the stockmarket although they claimed a liquidity crisis over the period.

Intercontinental likely to manage Ruposhi Bangla

The government is likely to sign a deal with leading international hotel chain Intercontinental this month to manage and operate Ruposhi Bangla Hotel, previously known as Dhaka Sheraton.

BRAC Bank to roll out m-banking

BRAC Bank is set to introduce mobile banking this month, a top official said yesterday.

Titas hands two operations to Bakhrabad Gas

Titas Gas Transmission and Distri-

Stocks continue to rise

Dhaka stocks continued to rise for a second week as investor confidence got a boost from a nod to investment of 'undisclosed' money in the stockmarket.

Greece to get urgent EU aid to avoid default

Eurozone finance ministers began talks Saturday to clear urgent aid to save Greece from imminent bankruptcy amid tough behind-the-scenes wrangling on a second bailout for the debt-hit country.

US manufacturing firmed in June

The US manufacturing sector picked up pace in June hinting at a pickup in the economy at the end of a slumping second quarter, according to the closely-watched IMS survey released Friday.

Medvedev orders to restore Belarus power supplies

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered power supplies to be restored to cash-strapped Belarus after it made a late debt payment, the Kremlin said Saturday.

FarmVille's Zynga files for $1b IPO

Zynga, maker of FarmVille and other popular online games, filed paperwork Friday for an initial public offering aiming to raise about $1 billion from the markets.

Pricing a Gig

How to price a gigabyte of data is a dilemma confronting India's mobile operators as they steadily build up their 3G subscriber bases.

Caviar makes itself at home in the oil-rich UAE desert

Far away from the Caspian Sea, sturgeon are raised in ponds cooled in the heart of the Gulf desert of Abu Dhabi, carrying in their wombs a form of black gold strange to these countries -- caviar.

Mango means money in Rajshahi

The daily income of 45-year-old rickshaw puller Abdur Rahim nearly doubles in the mango season.

Focus on training for mango growers

Mango business has been a big source of earning for many in Rajshahi region for years. But the authorities concerned are indifferent to the sector that has generated employment for a lot of people.

Asian manufacturing slows

Manufacturing activity in Asia's emerging economies slowed further in June, data showed Friday, suggesting measures designed to cool explosive growth were taking hold in the region.

Clinton urges strong European response to debt crisis

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday called on European leaders to make a powerful response to economic crises rippling across Europe.

Spain to help struggling mortgage holders

Spain's government approved measures Friday to help the soaring number of homeowners, many jobless, who cannot pay their mortgages.

China eases tax burden on wage earners

China said Friday it has raised the threshold at which people must pay income tax, as Beijing moves to ease the burden on low-income earners struggling with soaring food and housing costs.

Standard and Poor's warns of Italy 'risks' despite austerity

Ratings agency Standard and Poor's on Friday warned that moves by Italy to correct its public finances faced "risks", a day after the government's adoption of a 47-billion-euro austerity plan.

Asian shares mixed

Asian stocks were mixed Friday as traders followed a Wall Street surge but trade was weighed by data showing growth in manufacturing activity almost stalled in China last month.

Russia comes up with biggest bank bailout

The bank founded by Moscow's deposed city chief received the largest bailout package in Russia's history on Friday following its takeover by the state-controlled lender VTB.

Ricoh to buy Pentax digital camera brand

Japanese office equipment and camera maker Ricoh on Friday said it would buy Hoya Corporation's Pentax digital camera business as it looks to expand its consumer products business.

Lehman Brothers hails new deal with creditors

Lehman Brothers, the investment bank whose collapse triggered the global financial crisis, said on Friday it had reached a deal with creditors vying for $65 billion of the failed bank's assets.

Brazil's real hits 9-year high against dollar

Brazil's real hit its highest level against the dollar since 2002 on Friday, after a weeklong surge that paralleled the dollar's drop against the euro.

Weekly Currency Roundup

June 26-30, 2011
International Markets:
The major movement was this week was seen in the streaking rise of the euro. Expectations during the week over the Greek austerity plan came true on Thursday when the plan five-year was accepted in the parliament. The yen remained steady versus the dollar this week. The euro has been suffering for the past two weeks now due to the Greek crisis but investors can expect a strong euro. The dollar slipped out this week compared to the yen. On Thursday the euro rallied to a three week high against the dollar, swept higher by demand from a semi-official European name and a wave of stop loss buying and extending a rally after Greece moved a step closer to securing international aid. The dollar fell versus the currency basket as risk taking was buoyed by the news from Greece. The AUD and NZD both posted gains versus the US dollar.

Metropolitan

Stop trade of water

Eleven green and civil society organisations yesterday urged the government not to do business with natural water under the banner of Public Private Partnership (PPP).

Journey to conquer 7 peaks

With the dream to familiarise foreigners with her beloved country's flag, Wasfia Nazreen, a Bangladeshi female mountaineer, sets off early morning today in her journey to climb the seven highest mountains of the world's seven continents.

Make Prof Yunus Grameen Bank chairman, speakers urge govt

Friends and fellows of Prof Muhammad Yunus here at a view exchange meeting yesterday demanded the Nobel winner's return to Grameen Bank as its chairman.

'Save Old Dhaka heritage sites from grabbers'

Speakers at a roundtable discussion yesterday urged the government to protect the archeological sites and heritage of Old Dhaka from land grabbers.

Interests protected in draft

The government has finalised the draft of the agreement on water sharing of the Teesta river with neighbouring India with Bangladesh's interests "adequately protected", State Minister for Water Resources Mahbubur Rahman said yesterday.

Next polls under interim govt, says Suranjit

Veteran Awami League parliamentarian Suranjit Sengupta yesterday categorically said the next national election will be held under an interim government.

Tk 373cr deal with S Arabia signed

An agreement of Tk 373 crore for construction of Mouchak-Moghbazar Flyover was signed between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia in Jeddah yesterday.

'One falls victim every 4 days'

At least one person on an average becomes the victim of extra-judicial killing in every four days, a human rights watchdog reveals in a report.

Leave practice of leaving court after lunch

Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain yesterday said there are allegations against a number of lower court judges of not attending court proceedings after lunch break and this practice is “totally unacceptable”.

Govt asked to follow HC directives

A human rights and environmental organisation yesterday served a legal notice on the authorities concerned and 12 high officials including six secretaries for violating the High Court's directives to protect four rivers surrounding Dhaka city.

MoU to construct Ctg city ring road signed

The Chittagong Development Authority yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with an engineering consultant company for construction of Patenga-Sagarika 14.7km ring road in the port city.

Bangladesh committed to democracy

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni has said Bangladesh firmly believes in democracy and development and committed to promote, deepen, and advocate democratic principles and governance.

Attack on DU VC condemned

Different organisations including Dhaka University Teachers Association and Bangladesh Chhatra League yesterday demanded exemplary punishment of those who hurled crackers at Dhaka University (DU) Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique on Friday.

Three killed in road crashes

Three people were killed in separate road accidents in Magura and Dinajpur on Friday and yesterday.

PM spends holiday voting for Sundarbans

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina spent her holiday by giving votes for the Sundarbans through SMS (short message service) on Friday.

3 JCD men arrested

Police arrested three Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) activists on charge of picketing during strike on Dhaka University campus yesterday.

College girl dies of snake bite

A female college student died from a snake bite followed by wrong treatment in the city's Meherchandi area yesterday.

Apurba, Arif made RU Sangskritik Jote executives

Apurba Krisna Chakrabarti and Arif Parvez were made president and general secretary of Rajshahi University (RU) Central Sangskritik Jote, an alliance of cultural organisations of the university, for 2011-12 yesterday.

Four muggers held with firearms

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested four muggers with two firearms and ammunitions from Khejur Bagan area of Farmgate in the city yesterday.

Three BCL men assaulted

Three activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Chittagong University (CU) unit were assaulted by rivals in the university Railway Station area yesterday.

Recent constitutional amendment discriminatory

Members of religious and indigenous communities staged a hunger strike in front of city's Central Shaheed Minar yesterday protesting the latest amendments to the constitution for being “discriminatory, communal and religion based”.

Alauddin Al Azad's death anniversary today

Today is the second death anniversary of eminent novelist, poet, and academic Dr Alauddin Al Azad, says a press release.

Obituary

Shahiduzzaman, a freedom fighter and father of Shahjahan Sohel, general secretary of Sadullapur Press Club, passed away at Dhaka Medical College Hospital in the city yesterday at the age of 66, says a press release.

National

Erosion devours 50 houses in 3 days

Erosion has taken a serious turn along the western bank of hill river Someshwary in Durgapur upazila.

UP poll-related clashes hurt 55

At least 55 people were injured in UP poll-related violence in Kishoreganj, Shariatpur and Natore districts on Friday.

Man, 2 daughters rescued from 'self-confinement'

Police with the help of locals yesterday rescued a man and his two daughters, who were confined to a house in the city's Housing Estate area for over a year.

Botrish Hazari school body 'cancelled'

Local people yesterday confined the headmaster of Botrish Hazari High School at Botrish Hazari village in Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila to his office room for an hour from 9:30 am.

Councllor finally starts returing bribe money

At last the guilty ward councillor has started returning back the money that he had forced poor lactating mothers to give for issuing them cards for benefit from 'fund for assistance to lactating mothers'.

'Arrest Tajul's killers'

People of Shahpara union blocked Gaibandha-Palashbari road at Shakoa under Gaibandha Sadar Union for two hours from 4:30pm on Friday and then formed a human chain at the same place demanding immediate arrest of the killers of Tajul Islam, a resident of the union.

Killing of Baul on theft charge sparks protest

Several hundred villagers brought out a procession at Bashbaria bazaar under Galachipa upazila on Friday afternoon protesting murder of a Baul (mystic) artiste of Bashbaria village under same upazila.

BCL rivals clash at B'baria college

At least 50 bombs were exploded as a Chhatra League (BCL) faction at Brahmanbaria Government Honours College attacked and foiled a procession by their rival group yesterday.

Schoolgirl gang-raped

A gang of three raped allegedly a schoolgirl in the municipality area for four days from June 25 to June 28.

Stalkers beat up schoolteachers

Stalkers beat up teachers of Hashimpur High School in Jessore Sadar upazila on Thursday as they protested teasing of girl students of school.

Gas cylinder blast leaves 3 houses gutted

A devastating fire following a gas cylinder explosion left three dwelling houses burnt to ashes at Beparibari at West Rupsha village in Faridganj upazila on Friday evening.

Youth killed by BSF

A youth was shot dead by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) along Bholaganj border in Companiganj upazila Friday night.

Letters

Protect national interest

The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports has called for a half day hartal on July 3, in protest against government's signing of a production sharing contract with the US oil company ConcoPhillips on June 16, which is against the interest of the country. We think people from all walks of life should support them and make the strike successful because it is solely on their behalf. We are outraged by the government's intolerant attitude towards the protesters. They beat up the national committee leaders and activists and snatched away banners and placards from them. The committee is not politically motivated, its only aim is to protect our national resources; whenever needed, it came forward to resist the action of the government which could harm the country. The committee has forced the previous BNP led alliance government to discard a plan to engage Asia Energy for open-pit coal mining in Phulbari through a popular movement. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who was then the leader of the opposition, went all the way to Phulbari to express her solidarity with the committee. Now people's interest has become less important to her. It is really very strange how their perception changes with the change of their position.

We wait for thee, O rain!

Rainy season, one of the six seasons of Bangladesh, comes after the scorching heat of summer makes life unbearable. The nature gets a new life. Trees get fresh and look green. Various types of flowers bloom in this season. When the rain stops sometimes there is a rainbow in the sky. What a sight! What is most important is that agriculture depends on the amount of rainfall. The ground water level is recharged by the rains. Sometimes it rains heavily for days together which causes flood. Flood brings untold sorrows and sufferings. The city dwellers suffer most for water-logging. They do not get any transport to go to their destination. Traffic jam increases everywhere. Nevertheless, we wait eagerly for this season.

Railway tickets in black market

Train journey is very popular because it is comfortable and cheap. Other than train, all kinds of transports' fare have already hiked. But artificial ticket crisis is the worst problem the passengers are facing nowadays. Passengers do not get tickets even before 10 to 12 days of their journey. Bangladesh Railway has introduced online ticketing system and passengers can look into the screen which shows the availability of seats. The screen always shows that all tickets are sold, even before one week of a journey. Recently, a widespread allegation was made by the passengers that some corrupt railway officials are involved in siphoning off tickets to black marketers. Passengers have also complained that if someone pays extra money to the counter man, s/he can get a ticket easily. A group of black marketers move freely in Kamalapur Railway Station and openly sell tickets charging high price. Ministry of Communications has already got a bad reputation. So, my request to the railway authorities please identify those who are involved in this bad practice and take stern action against them. Otherwise, people will reject this popular service forever.

We need moral doctors

It has been said by perhaps hundreds of readers through the letters columns of different newspapers about the lack of proper behaviour, culture, ethics and the exorbitant charges imposed on patients by our doctors in the clinics. But there is no consumer protection law to protect us health seekers. No survey has been conducted or no standardisation has been done, no regime in fees structure has been set. Patients continue to suffer!

Bangladeshis abroad

Most of the highly educated people have migrated to other countries due to government's negligence in providing appropriate benefits to those highly qualified personalities. So it is time Bangladesh should view its expatriate population as a strategic asset, and not as a liability. Not as a brain drain.

At long last!

A front page centre piece photo-news from “Focus Bangla” source was published on June 25, in a local English daily, which was a classic 'real life' case of 'too little, too late'. On a liberal optimistic viewpoint, one may say that it is “better late than never”!

Why this disparity?

The government sponsored national saving certificate has been a popular source of investment for all sections of people, especially the retired persons who mainly hail from middle and lower income groups due to getting a better dividend against their deposits.

Business class bus!

The other day I was heading for Karatia, Tangail. Suddenly a recklessly driven bus caught my attention. “Hanif Exclusive Business Class” was written on top of the bus. It had no signal lights. If this is their business class service, what about their ordinary service? Last but not the least, how come these busses ply in front of traffic police?

Stop finding faults!

In this world not all people will like you. And you can't please everyone. But there are some people who try to distract and demoralize others by trying to find faults pointlessly. They come and advise you what you should do or not. And if it has something to do with creativity, like composing music and stuff; they are over enthusiastic. If you start something new, they come up to depress you. Criticism is alright as far as it is constructive and not discouraging. Proper criticism in proper place is an art, otherwise it only ends up in 'finding faults with others'. There is a fine line between "Cool, but you can do a lot better than this" and "You're no good for doing this". Most people fail to criticize properly by trying to put others' spirit down but while doing that they only let their own frustration out. May be that's why Kobi guru said, "Lok er kotha nish ne kaan e...”

Will they ever be punished?

The plunderers of the Sundarbans are cutting valuable trees and selling it in public with the help of some unscrupulous employees of the forest department. It is an open secret in the locality. But none even dare to protest the crime. In Paikgachha, Shyamnagar and Ashasuni Upazila headquarters, these illegal logs are being sold in presence of the law enforcers.

Our attitude towards divorce

The attack on Rumana by her husband indicates that even the highly educated women of our society are not safe. Rumana tolerated everything for the sake of her daughter. This was the greatest mistake she made. She could have divorced her husband long time ago. Unfortunately, we still think divorce is a social crime. It is high time that we changed our attitude towards divorce. Every person has the right to lead her/his life the way s/he wants.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Saturday's The Daily Star report headlined “AL sees no confrontation”

International

US tells Gaddafi to deliver democracy, not threats

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi yesterday to step down instead of brandishing threats of attacks on European civilians.

Syrian president sacks Hama governor

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sacked the governor of Hama yesterday, a day after half a million rallied against the regime in the hotbed city, an as activists said the crackdown on dissent claimed 28 new lives.

Thailand goes to polls today

Thailand's rival political camps launched a last-minute appeal for votes yesterday on the eve of a hard-fought election seen as crucial to the future of the kingdom after years of often bloody unrest.

Morocco says 'yes' to reforms

Moroccans have given a resounding "yes" vote to a new constitution proposed by King Mohammed VI, who offered reforms in a bid to quiet protests inspired by pro-democracy uprisings in the Arab world.

W Bengal CM visits hospital

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee yesterday made an unscheduled visit to a government-run children's hospital in Kolkata where 18 infants died on Wednesday and Thursday, and expressed concern at the high infant mortality rate in the state.

US wars leave 225,000 dead, cost $4.4 trillion

US wars launched since the attacks of September 11, 2001 have left 225,000 dead and cost up to $4.4 trillion, according to a new study by university researchers.

Treasure unearthed in Indian temple

A treasure trove of gold and silver jewelry, coins and precious stones said to be worth billions of dollars has been found in a Hindu temple in southern India, officials said yesterday.

Al-Qaeda was struggling

In the final months of his life, Osama bin Laden was concerned about mounting problems facing al-Qaeda and making a concerted effort to rebuild the terror network, The Washington Post reported yesterday.

Bashir orders army to 'clean' Kordofan rebels

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir on Friday ordered the army to fight in South Kordofan until it has "cleaned" the border state of rebels, in a speech just eight days before the south secedes.

Bahrain opposition joins talks with govt

Bahrain's government and the opposition started talks yesterday in a bid to agree on reforms following months of unrest in the Gulf state.

Four Yemen troops killed in protest city

Four Yemeni Republican Guards were killed and four wounded in yesterday clashes in Taez south of Sanaa with anti-regime gunmen, four of whom were also wounded, witnesses and tribal sources said.

Germany heads UN SC

Germany took over the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council on Friday for a month, a "period full of events," according to Berlin's UN Ambassador Peter Wittig.

US praises China's role in Sudan crisis

China has played a helpful role in encouraging Sudan to move forward with reconciliation with the south, a senior US official said Friday, despite concerns over Beijing's role in Darfur.

Clashes in N Ireland hurt six policemen

Six Northern Ireland police officers were injured as "significant disorder" erupted on the streets of Belfast yesterday, just over a week after the worst clashes there for years.

AU will not execute ICC order

African nations will not execute an International Criminal Court arrest warrant issued for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, an African Union summit decided Friday.

Russia plans Arctic army brigades

Russia's defence minister said yesterday that he has plans to create two specialist army brigades to be based in the Arctic.

Iran to seal its Pak-Afghan border

Iran will completely seal off its eastern borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan by 2015 to prevent drug smuggling and infiltration of armed groups, media quoted the police chief yesterday as saying.

Blast kills 13 Afghan family members

A roadside bomb struck a minibus carrying a family of Afghan refugees yesterday, killing up to 13 people including women and children, officials said.

Maoists kill six Indian villagers

Suspected Maoist guerrillas disguised in police uniforms slaughtered six residents of a remote village in eastern India yesterday, officials said.

Malaysia holds MP, five activists, under security law

Malaysia has detained six members of an opposition party, including a lawmaker, under a tough security law ahead of a rally for electoral reforms, an activist group and police said yesterday.

Medvedev orders to restore Belarus power supplies

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered power supplies to be restored to cash-strapped Belarus after it made a late debt payment, the Kremlin said yesterday.

Hong Kong detains 228 after anti-government march

Hong Kong police said yesterday they had arrested 228 people after a march by tens of thousands of protestors venting their frustration at government policies and soaring property prices.

Maria Shriver files to divorce Schwarzenegger

Maria Shriver, the wife of actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, has filed for divorce, according to documents filed Friday in Superior Court in Los Angeles.

Arts & Entertainment

Homage to an icon

For the third consecutive year, Chhayanaut arranged a two day-long Nazrul Utshab (festival) 1418 at its main auditorium on July 1. Artistes of Chhayanaut began the festival with a choral rendition of the song “Anjoli Laho Mor Sangeet-e” while a number of artistes, with mongolprodip, presented a lively dance to the number set on the spiritual raga Tilang. Both the singers and dancers did justice to the raga. Sudeshna Sayongprobha, Mohona Das and Arno Kamolika stood out among others. Sharmila Bandyopadhyay choreographed the piece.

Churning Life by Balodeb Adhikary

Balodeb Adhikary is a seasoned painter who studied painting under renowned artist S.M. Sultan from1968 to1994, the year when Sultan died. Born on July 1, 1953 in Narail, Balodeb was mesmerised by the idyllic beauty of Bangladesh.

Cultural programme marking 156th Santal Revolutionary day

The 156th 'Historic Santal Revolutionary Day' was celebrated here in Dinajpur and its 13 upazilas with cultural programmes performed by the artistes of the community.

A call for revival of traditions

“Mahua”, a dance drama from the Mymensingh Geetika, was staged at Shilpakala Academy auditorium on Monday evening, the concluding day of a three-day traditional cultural fair 'Deshaja Sangskritik Mela'. The day's events also included traditional 'lathi khela', 'marriage songs' and 'ghetu gaan'. The artistes of Zila Shilpakala Academy performed for the huge audience who had thronged the venue.

Khurshid Alam Saleem's solo exhibition in Berlin

New York based Bangladeshi painter Khurshid Alam Saleem's 47th solo painting exhibition is now on at Galerie in Berlin. The exhibition began on June 24 and will continue till September 24, says a press release.

Saif-Kareena keep fans guessing

The four-year-old Saif Ali Khan-Kareena Kapoor relationship that has been up for discussion because of “alleged trouble” is actually stronger than ever say sources close to the actress.

Monsoon magic

An enjoyable cultural evening was held on Tuesday night at Patuakhali district Shilpakala Academy auditorium to welcome the monsoon.

OP-ED

Creeping changes in Saudi Arabia

The seismic political changes taking place in the Middle East today seem to have little effect on Saudi Arabia. There is no discernible opposition in that country. Nor is there any cry for political change or for economic reforms. So what is happening there?

Big fat South Asian weddings

As I sat in a corner, observing the wedding festivities of a friend's daughter, two parallel emotions played on the canvas of my mind: nostalgia and horrified amazement. Nostalgia, for the days of my youth, when a wedding was a solemn and modest affair focusing on the union of two people. And, horrified amazement at the contemporary wedding I was witnessing: an ostentatious ceremony with its gauche display of pomp and splendor.

Rumanas, and why they stay

When Zobaida Nasreen called me up to tell me what had happened to Rumana, I was on a busy street in Dhanmondi and I thought I had heard her wrong. I kept asking her to repeat. She must be talking about someone else, I thought.

The people problem

Every year when the Population Day (July 11) approaches, people show an enthusiasm about the country's population problem. But after a while such discussions fade away, just like the government's population policies. Although high population is the prime problem of Bangladesh, population control has not been given due importance and neither has the government taken any effective steps in this regard. On the contrary, on June 2, 2010, in the Parliament, what the honorable Prime Minster said is really frustrating. She neither considers the population of one of the most highly dense countries of the world as a burden, nor is she concerned about the high growth rate of its population. She vowed to transform the population into skilled manpower -- which of course we all appreciate -- but without keeping it within a manageable and tolerable limit, is it really feasible? Is population in Bangladesh a development challenge or a development opportunity? The fact remains that, high population growth is a serious impediment towards the development efforts of the country and therefore it is crucial to realise the seriousness of the issue and to take necessary steps in this regard as uncontrolled population could very well spoil all development efforts. We must develop the nation but the increasing population of Bangladesh may act as a formidable obstacle.

The economics of our loins

Life, they say, and death, for sure, are beyond our control. Just like my worth. “Ajke tumi 100,000 taka, kalke 50,000, porshu 25,000, aar tar porer din … NAI!” is what he said to me when I told him I am in my twenties and not interested in getting married at the moment. “Boyosh toh are kom holona!” he said, “Taar upor dekhteo eto bhalona. Kaalo. Shomoy thakte thakte biyeta kore felo. Eto porashuna-ghuraghuri-chakri-bakri diye ki hobe?” (You're not getting younger! On top of that you're not that good-looking. Dark-skinned. Tie the knot while you still have time. What are you going to do with all this education-travelling-work?)

The labyrinth of budgets and finances

Labyrinths are not something that one consciously steps into; one gets caught in these somewhat unknowingly. Budgets are such labyrinths that are not intended that way, but they become so when you try to explain these to the people affected by it. Every home needs a budget (of what to spend and where the money comes from), and so does a nation. But woe becomes the head of the household who cannot please anyone in his house with his spending plan and least of all try to get the money everyone in his or her family wants to spend. Now jump the screen to the national budget that has millions of lives hooked to it. Woe betide becomes the person who finds him in this labyrinth of unfulfilled desires of many and wrath of many others, and yes, like the poor head of the household he has to find the money he has planned to spend.


The Daily Star

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