News of: Saturday, 14th of April, 2012
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed his government's interests in joint-venture investments in energy sector, particularly in oil and gas exploration.
The Anti-Corruption Commission has opened an investigation into the Monday night's money recovery scandal and also the alleged recruitment trade in the railway ministry.
The railwaygate scandal has left Awami League between a rock and a hard place.
Railway Minister Suranjit Sengupta took a U-turn yesterday and outright rejected quitting over the haul of Tk 70 lakh from his assistant personal secretary's car Monday night and his handling of the matter.
The principal of an agriculture institute has left his campus in Faridpur and took refuge in the capital to escape the wrath of a Union Parishad chairman, who happens to be a cabinet member's cousin.
India has ordered that priority be given to cotton exports to Bangladesh and four other neighbouring countries for whom supply contracts have been revalidated.
A youth was killed in a 'shootout' between his cohorts and members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) at Panthapath in the capital early yesterday.
Baishakh is symbolic of a renewal, a renaissance of the spirit, a revival of the splendour of the rainbow making music in the soul. In Bangladesh, in this land of sublime poetry and profound faith, Baishakh is that time of year when we recreate the old joys and the ancient stirrings of the heart, those that once cast a spell of grandeur on the lives of our ancestors across the generations.
Election to Chittagong University Central Students' Union (Cucsu) has been due for 22 years because of the university authorities' disinterest, alleged student leaders and teachers.
British Prime Minister David Cameron and Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi issued a joint call yesterday for the suspension of sanctions against the former pariah state after landmark talks.
The corruption allegations against the railways and communications ministries would make development partners more cautious in disbursing funds and put the government on the back foot at the negotiation table, analysts say.
The main opposition BNP yesterday said the party is yet to take any decision regarding its participation in the May 24 polls of the bifurcated Dhaka City Corporations.
Four men were injured by bullets when police opened fire on a group of Hindu devotees taking them for robbers at Sechania village of Santhia upazila early yesterday.
A syndicate led by Bangladesh Railway (east zone) General Manger Yusuf Ali Mridha has so far collected not less than Tk 10 crore as bribe centring the recent recruitment for over 2,700 posts.
The president of Awami League's Dirai upazila unit in Sunamganj yesterday inaugurated a multi-storey shopping mall, owned by Railway Minister Suranjit Sengupta, as the minister cancelled his schedule.
A leader of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS MN Larma group) was shot dead by assailants in Dighinala upazila on Thursday.
US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton yesterday urged Sri Lanka to build a "democratic nation" with full respect for human rights as it emerges from decades of ethnic war.
A moderate 5.7-magnitude earthquake rattled Mexico yesterday, the latest in a series of temblors to hit the country in recent weeks, according to the US Geological Survey.
In an attempt to ease the imbalances being experienced in the balance of payments, Bangladesh has opted to avail nearly $1billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the institution's extended credit facility (ECF). The exchequer will receive $141million upon signing of the contract and the rest in six equal instalments. Though the loan falls under IMF's concessional lending regime, there are tough conditions to be met for the government to avail the loan.
It is appalling to note that as many as 5.5 million members of Dalit and Harijan communities barely exist on the peripheries of the mainstream society. They lead a subhuman life in the sense that they are clearly neglected, marginalised and excluded in the national scheme of things. A country emerging from the ashes of a hard-fought war to establish an egalitarian society can ill afford such discriminatory treatment to a particular community on the grounds of their origin. More so, when our Constitution proclaims equality of all citizens, irrespective of caste, creed and faith in the eye of the State.
"Oh was it today? I actually forgot all about it," said Khaled Mashud who was taken aback by the question: "So, do you have any special plans for today [Friday], the 15th anniversary of the ICC Trophy win?"
A virtuoso all-round performance from Shakib Al Hasan propelled the Kolkata Knight Riders to a 5-wicket win over the Rajasthan Royals in their IPL match at Kolkata last night.
Tonmoy (not his real name) didn't have an adventurous bone in his body until two years ago when he began a new trade: betting. After the Eid holidays ended, he was coming back to the capital from his native Bogra when he was introduced by a friend to a man whose trade interested him.
Named the man-of-the-match in a Test he did not think he would play in, Ryan Harris is now intent on keeping his spot for as long as his problematic body will allow. Harris arrived in the West Indies adamant that James Pattinson was ahead of him in the fast bowling queue, but the selectors' decision to choose the older man was endorsed handsomely by his efforts in Bridgetown.
Siddikur Rahman made the cut at the Maybank Malaysian Open by a stroke as he fired a one-under 71 in the second round yesterday. Siddikur is holding an aggregate of one-under-143 with South African duo of Hennie Otto and Jbe Kruger sharing the lead at 9-under-135.
Pakistan cricket captain Misbahul Haq said Friday he was impressed with new coach Dav Whatmore's professionalism as he seeks to lift the talented but unpredictable team.
A second-half strike from Cameroonian midfielder Jean Jules Ikanga guided Team BJMC to a 1-0 victory over Rahmatganj MFS in their Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League encounter at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
MAJOR EVENTS IN CLAY COURT SEASON
Monte-Carlo Masters 15th April-22nd April
Mutua Madrid Open 6th May-13th May
Rome Masters 13TH May-20th May
French Open 27th May-10th June
Cristiano Ronaldo feels that Liga leaders Real Madrid are now closing in on the title as they prepare to face struggling Sporting Gijon at the Santiago Bernabeu this weekend.
A match in Pakistan's domestic Twenty20 competition last month is under scrutiny over allegations of foul play and under-performance by some players, an official said.
Top seed Caroline Wozniacki won her 12th match in 12 career outings at the Copenhagen Open on Thursday as she moved closer to a third title with a 6-2, 6-1 second round rout of France's Pauline Parmentier.
Malaga missed the chance to go third in La Liga when they conceded two late goals to lose 2-1 at Villarreal on Thursday.
OUR new weekly column, Third Eye, will attempt to deconstruct happenings in international football. Do you agree that La Liga is now the strongest league in the world? Do you think that Spaniards will dominate European competition for the forseeable future? Write in with your view and objections to firstname.lastname@example.org
A week may be a long time in football and if Manchester United take anything less than maximum points against Aston Villa this weekend it is going to feel like an eternity.
AC Milan are being forced to use all their resources in order to keep pace with Juventus in the Serie A title race with just six games remaining.
Mario Balotelli wants to stay with Manchester City despite manager Roberto Mancini's belief that the controversial Italian striker could be sold in the summer.
Agrani Bank and Wari Club played out a 1-1 draw in the Primer Bank Bangladesh Championship League at the Cox's Bazar Stadium yesterday.
Earlier in the week, Pele again scoffed at suggestions of Lionel Messi's greatness by saying that he "must first become better than Neymar" if he is to be the best ever.
As planting season approaches, I worry about how things can go wrong. Being a novice tree planter, I learn from word of mouth. The optimal time for planting trees lasts barely over a month: the period between the first rain of the year in Boishakh and the onset of full monsoon in Ashar. If I plant too early, the soil is not ready to allow the roots to penetrate and get nourishment. If I wait until the rains are in full swing, then the saplings will not benefit much from this year's rains, since it takes time for the roots to take hold. The ideal planting time is the start of the rains.
Law enforcers have tightened security and issued traffic and necessary instructions to make today's celebration of Pahela Baishakh smooth and pleasant for Dhaka city people.
The government should take the same action against multi-level marketing (MLM) companies as it did against Jubok (Jubo Karmasangsthan Society) in 2006 for illegal banking practices, said the immediate past Bangladesh Bank governor yesterday.
A higher secondary level student was killed in a clash between two groups of students at Panti village in Kumarkhali upazila, 33 kilometres south-east of the district town, yesterday.
Academic activities at Bangla department of Rajshahi University (RU) are being severely hampered due to acute shortage of teachers.
Archaeological researchers yesterday announced unearthing a wall thought to be of a “Buddhist Vihara” (a monastery constructed during Buddhist rule from approximately the 8th to 11th century) in Raghurampur area in sadar upazila of Munshiganj.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said education was vital to empower people for achieving an environment of justice, peace, democracy and development.
A new boutique, not of any major business house or entrepreneur but of 80 poor women from a remote Sundarbans village, was launched at the Baishakhi Mela at Baridhara DOHS Fair Ground in Dhaka yesterday.
As part of the first Dhaka Art Summit 2012, a special art exhibition featuring paintings and sculptures of the pre-liberation period is being held at Nalini Kanta Bhattashali Gallery of Bangladesh National Museum.
Different socio-political and cultural as well as business associations have chalked out elaborate programmes to celebrate Pahela Baishakh.
A murmur of excitement and the fond recollection of memories rippled through a hotel in the capital where freedom fighters and eminent and cultural personalities gathered yesterday.
Five people were killed and 17 others injured in road accidents in Brahmanbaria, Chittagong, Manikganj and Thakurgaon yesterday.
More than 200 students of Kaliganj Pilot Girl's High School in Kaliganj upazila took part in an English language fair under "English in Schools" programme jointly organised by The Daily Star and mobile operator Robi yesterday.
Environment and Forests Minister Hasan Mahmud yesterday said the government is working for full implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) peace accord.
A three-and-half-year old child died due to alleged wrong treatment at Arabinda Shishu Hospital at Ghasipara in the town on Thursday night.
Four people were killed as a Barisal-bound truck hit a CNG-run auto-rickshaw on the Dhaka-Barisal highway at Kapuria Sadardi in Bhanga upazila yesterday morning.
A local Jubo League leader yesterday succumbed to his injuries, hours after he was hacked by unidentified miscreants at Delduar upazila in Tangail.
A new boutique, not of any major business house or entrepreneur but of 80 poor women from a remote Sundarbans village, was launched at the Baishakhi Mela at Baridhara DOHS Fair Ground in Dhaka yesterday.
Home Minister Shahara Khatun yesterday said the government has created 32,000 posts in police force in line with their election pledges to provide jobs every house.
Eight personalities were awarded for being lifetime non-smokers and for contributing to reduce smoking in the country.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said here yesterday that her government was strongly considering the issue of recognition of Kosovo's independence.
The 41st death anniversary of five members of a family will be observed tomorrow.
A construction worker was crushed to death after an old building pillar fell on him at Chawkbazar in the port city on Thursday.
At least 17 people, including women and children, were caught at Putkhali border area in Benapole while they were illegally entering the country from India yesterday.
Speakers at a citizens' rally yesterday demanded compensation and government reception to the family members of Hazrat Ali, who was killed by muggers while he was protesting them at Rainkhola in Mirpur in the capital.
Today is the 14th death anniversary of comrade Dr Saif-ud-Dahar, one of the prominent communist leaders in the subcontinent.
Today is the fourth death anniversary of Dr Basudeb Datta Ray.
A gang of muggers shot two people at Salimullah Road of Mohammadpur in the capital yesterday.
Dr AAM Shamsur Rahman and Mohammad Abu Sadeque were elected president and secretary general of Bangladesh Earthquake Society.
The Election Commission yesterday asked a prospective mayoral candidate Kazi Firoz Rashid to explain why he should not be accused of breaching electoral rules.
The US and its allies rushed to condemn North Korea's failed rocket launch yesterday as a provocative act that threatens regional security, while Russia, China and India urged all parties to show restraint.
The humiliating failure of North Korea's much-publicised rocket launch may push the hermit state into testing a nuclear bomb in an attempt to save face, analysts said yesterday.
Pakistan's parliament on Thursday unanimously approved new guidelines on relations with the United States which include a ban on transporting weapons through the country to Afghanistan.
The leaders of Sudan and South Sudan accused each other of seeking war, prompting a UN Security Council call Thursday for an immediate ceasefire after days of fighting over the contested border.
A draft UN resolution has outlined plans to send an advance mission to Syria to monitor compliance with a UN and Arab League-backed peace plan.
A professor of Jadavpur University in Kolkata was arrested yesterday for allegedly posting a cartoon on the internet of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee triggering an outrage in the state.
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was detained at a New York airport for two hours Thursday, sparking outrage in India.
Soldiers arrested Guinea-Bissau's presidential front-runner Carlos Gomes Junior after staging an apparent coup in the chronically unstable west African country, his wife said yesterday.
The parliament in Egypt has passed a law banning senior officials who served under ex-President Hosni Mubarak from running in May's presidential election.
India has taken the United States to the World Trade Organisation over duties on Indian steel products, according to a notice Friday, in the latest commercial row between the nations.
India yesterday said it would soon welcome direct foreign investment from Pakistan in a deepening of commercial ties that could help propel a peace process between the nuclear-armed rivals.
Arts & Entertainment
Jaya Ahsan's laid-back Pahela Baishakh…
Pahela Baishakh comes once a year, bringing with it much joy to everyone. I am no different, as I also celebrate the occasion.
During the Bangla month of Chaitra the city dwellers get chances to attend several fairs featuring traditional artworks. Commonly known as 'Baishakhi Mela', these fairs are an early celebration of Pahela Baishakh. Like previous years, Bangladesh National Museum, under the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, has been arranging a Baishakhi Mela at its premises.
Now savour Pahela Baishakh on the big screen. A documentary on one of the most important cultural events in the life of a Bengali will be screened at the Public Library Auditorium at Shahbagh, Dhaka at 4:30pm on April 20, said its director Zafar Siddique.
Tele-film “Sharer Lorai” on ATN Bangla
The seizure of Taka 70 lakh from the railway minister's assistant personal secretary's car and the subsequent handling of the matter by the minister have drawn adverse attention in the media. The neutrality of the probe committees formed by the minister has been questioned even before it commenced functioning. The Anti-Corruption Commission says that it will launch a probe into the minister's alleged involvement in the incident, as reported by a private TV channel.
Washington is famous for many things: fragrant cherry blossoms in springtime; a slender steeple monument in the middle of a park full of weekend kites; a cityscape planned by the secret society of Masons; and a White House that is, on closer inspection, perfectly white but not much of a house. But it is not famous for generosity in strategic policy.
Today, the nation celebrates Pahela Baishak, the first day of the Bengali New Year, with traditional pomp and splendour. People from all walks of life, dressed for the occasion, will enjoy open-air cultural programmes, colourful parades, wrestling, and fairs across the country.
The decision to revive the Rooppur nuclear power project after about 50 years raises some questions in the public mind. Power generation by nuclear reactor in a country lacking enough fossil fuels is definitely a viable option. But whether it is a boon or a bane has to be studied dispassionately in the light of nuclear catastrophes that have struck some places with horrifying consequences.
Temür, grandson of Kublai, is elected Khagan of the Mongols and Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty with the reigning titles Oljeitu and Chengzong.
Nowhere has literature been so much entangled with the political history of a land as it has been in Bangladesh. The people of Bangladesh had to fight for self-determination; that political struggle against colonial exploitation by Pakistan was over in 1971. But soon another monster raised its head, a hydra-headed monster with multifarious tentacles, the worst of which were religious fanaticism and communal hatred. After the killing of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15, 1975, fundamentalist forces came to power with the help of the anti-liberation forces both inside and outside Bangladesh. A new fight started, which was more bloody and devastating, because this time the enemies were more covert and guileful and more relentless and brutal. Bangladesh has experienced some terrible carnage since 1975, particularly in the nineties. Mass killings through bomb attacks on religious and cultural venues, on Bangali New Year celebrations, in cinema halls and mosques have been witnessed by us. Following the demolition of the Babri mosque, there were riots, forcing many Hindus to flee across the border. Bands of fundamentalist thugs appeared in the northern districts of the country and went on a killing spree. Members of minor religious sects like the Ahmadiyas were persecuted: bombs hurled into their mosque in Khulna killed dozens of people. Bangladesh turned into a virtual killing field and figured on the international media as a potentially dangerous tract of land.
Pahela Baishakh fills us with renewed ardour and zeal which comes in new contours every year. Shubho Nababarsha is the tiding of the day, and I cannot but help share my thoughts with all. Tagore's classic call esho hey baishakh esho esho awakens us today as always on this auspicious day.
She sat there on a lonely rock
Face buried deep in her palms
She smiled at every passer-by
As they offered her some alms
Vocal health is critical to our communication-oriented society, but the voice does not receive public recognition and appreciation it deserves. In order to educate patients and communities about the ways to protect their precious voice and to refamiliarise ourselves with the latest advances in voice care.
Worldwide, nearly 35.6 million people live with dementia — the loss of ability to memorise things or to process thought. This number is expected to double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050. Dementia affects people in all countries, with more than half (58 percent) living in low- and middle-income countries like Bangladesh. By 2050, this is likely to rise to more than 70%.
There is obvious need to increase the number of skilled nurses and normalise the current reverse doctor-nurse ratio.
A three-year-old boy has been kept alive with an artificial heart for more than eight months, which doctors say is a record for a child in the UK.
A cheap medical device can dramatically reduce the number of premature births in some at-risk women, according to a team of doctors in Spain. Being born before 34 weeks of pregnancy is linked to a host of health problems. The study, published in the Lancet, showed that using a "cervical pessary" — a small ring of silicone, inserted into their cervix, reduced the rate in the at-risk group.
Obesity during pregnancy can raise the risk of autism, according to a new study published in the journal Paediatrics. The study found the risk of autism and other developmental delays was 60 percent higher among those born to mothers who were obese, hypertensive or diabetic.
Talks between Iran and the P5+1 group - the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany may take place in Istanbul on April 13 and 14 or any other date in the following days with an objective of seeking a prospective solution to the alleged nuclear program of Iran. Sergei Ryabkov, deputy foreign minister of Russia told the Interfax news agency ten days before the upcoming talks, "There are hotheads who…talk about the possibility of resorting to force." Hotheads are those among the US, Israeli and EU political leaders and policy makers, who are likely to rejoice hot war with Iran. The hotheads in the US, to satisfy the hotheads in Israel, have clarified their position that Iran would be attacked if it does not agree with their demands.
Is the victory of opposition in by-elections, particularly Aung San Suu Kyi, seriously implying that the military junta of Myanmar , one of the most brutal, oppressive regimes of today's world is going to 'ease its grips' or allow an actual 'political transition' started last year after decades of repression? The narrative says that the mass people of Myanmar are against the military dictatorship. It is being told, Myanmar is no longer an isolated tyranny but a part of widespread rising in which the West's moral integrity is going to be tested also. As the West has been walking a tightrope of contradictory principles, it must support this victory gently. That means the West must not sponsor them but at the same time must act to prevent the repressive regimes from crushing them. This is a complex maneuver. The failure to support the rising will be a betrayal of fundamental moral principles. Leaving aside whether the narrative is accurate, it particularly appeals to Europeans with their ideological preference for 'soft power.' Self-imposed isolation has not only snoozed possible change over a decade- that with more engagement, Myanmar could have opened and risen like Vietnam has. The whole situation not only deprived the world's poorest country but also pushed the government into the arms of neighbours with bigger bankrolls and the worst human rights record.
Star Books Review
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, religion lost influence, but the religious impulse lingered on. Some people sought salvation in the secular religions of politics in Communism, fascism and various utopian experiments. Others saw artists, musicians and writers as Holy Men, who could provide transcendence and meaning, revealing timeless truths on how to live.
Anything to do with women's dilemmas immediately takes on an intriguing quality for most of us women. Women in any part of the globe are worth studying, knowing more about. Women in the Indo-Pak subcontinent, in particular, have so much to say (or hide), and there are many ways of looking at their views (or silences).
The books we've read and the movies we've seen tend to show the squalor in Indian cities but veer toward the optimistic, typically happy endings. Think of Slumdog Millionaire that begins with Jamal Malik jumping into a pit of excrement but ends, much later, with his dancing on the platforms of Mumbai's elegant railroad station. Squalor, degradation and poverty abound in the film, as well as organized crime, but still we are smiling and cheering for the underdog by the uplifting ending.