The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, December 19, 2014


News of: Monday, 23rd of April, 2012

Front Page

'Disappearances' go unanswered

Twenty-two people have so far disappeared this year, raising concern as people suspect law enforcers' involvement, said rights organisation Ain O Salish Kendra.

Ilias picked up by govt

The BNP has outright dismissed rumours that the main opposition party is negotiating with the government for "getting back" its missing leader M Ilias Ali.

Hartal again today

The main opposition BNP and its allies enforce another dawn-to-dusk countrywide hartal today, demanding that the government trace its leader M Ilias Ali and his driver, who went missing around midnight of April 17.

Black money too tough to control

The finance minister and the finance secretary yesterday blamed the democratic system of government for the compromise over whitening black money (untaxed money) that is too tough to control.

Baby returns to where she belongs

A seven-month-old baby reunites with parents as kidnappers change their minds.

Caught with body of wife in carton

Feni police on Saturday night arrested a man for killing his wife and cutting the body into four pieces.

90pc concerns unapproved

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said that over 90 percent of Grameen Bank's 54 associated companies and organisations were running without its board's approval and that a commission would be formed to look into their affairs.

Lawmen failing to function

The law enforcement agencies are failing to function with “professional integrity and transparency” because of political influence, corruption and dominance of black money, alleges Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB).

AL asks BNP to help govt find Ilias

The ruling Awami League yesterday directed its leaders and workers to be present on streets today to tackle if BNP creates anarchy in the name of a nationwide hartal.

Qatar emir to visit Dhaka soon

A new horizon in the relations between Bangladesh and Qatar is going to open up as the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, looks to visit Dhaka as soon as possible.

Woman's body found in MP Hostel

The decomposed body of an unidentified woman was found at a lawmakers' hostel on the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban premises yesterday.

47 cops promoted to SP

The government yesterday promoted 47 additional superintendents of police (ASP) to the rank of SP.

Leave economy alone

Businessmen yesterday urged political leaders to find an alternative to hartals to ensure smooth running of the economy.

Poultry stares death

The government's negligence in tackling bird flu has driven the poultry industry to the brink of ruin as two-thirds of 150,000 farms went out of production in the last five years, sector leaders said yesterday.

Poor watch misses it all

The government does not have the real figure of bird flue-affected fowls due to poor monitoring and surveillance of the livestock department, said sources at livestock department and farm owners' associations.

Suu Kyi's party postpones debut

Aung San Suu Kyi's party yesterday announced it would postpone its parliamentary debut, in the first sign of discord between Myanmar's newly elected opposition and reformist government.

Suranjit's son gets ACC call

The ACC yesterday instructed the son of former railway minister Suranjit Sengupta to appear before it on April 26 and explain the sources of Tk 5 crore with which he has obtained an interconnection exchange licence from Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.

Robber killed in 'shootout'

An alleged robber was killed and four policemen were injured in a 'shootout' between his cohorts and law enforcers in Moheshkhali upazila of Cox's Bazar district early yesterday.

Road crash kills 13 in China

A collision between a tour bus and a truck in eastern China yesterday left 13 people dead and another 21 injured, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Red Cross worker kidnapped in Yemen

A French man working for the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) was kidnapped in Yemen Saturday on his way to the port city of Hudaida, an ICRC spokeswoman told AFP yesterday.

60 injured in Amsterdam two-train crash

Two trains collided head-on just outside Amsterdam on Saturday, injuring at least 60 people, up to 20 of them seriously, Dutch transport police said.

Yemen air strikes kill 17 Qaeda militants

Seventeen suspected al-Qaeda militants were killed in an air raid that struck one of their hideouts in the southern town of Loder, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Editorial

Continuous hartal unacceptable

In view of the pre-hartal violence and vandalism, we thought we had reasons to be relieved that the hartal went off more or less peacefully yesterday marked by sporadic incidents of clashes and infliction of injuries. But with the opposition announcing dawn-to-dusk hartal on a continuing basis until Ilias and his driver are found out, the temporary relief has been replaced by a sense of serious concern that we may be in for a fresh cycle of violence.

Law enforcers' complicity in crime

The issue of 'disappearances' has occupied the time of most of us of late, more so after the very recent vanishing of a high-profile BNP office bearer. Unfortunately, nearly all of those who have 'disappeared' have remained untraceable so far, while some have been found dead, their bodies turning up in odd places.

Sports

CSA to consider BCB offer

Cricket South Africa (CSA) is considering a request from the Bangladesh board president Mustafa Kamal for South Africa to play Bangladesh in May, CSA's acting chief executive Jacques Faul has said. Kamal made a request to CSA president Willie Basson last week and offered to pay all the costs, whether the series takes place in Bangladesh or South Africa.

NCL matches to continue today

The two National Cricket League (NCL) matches will resume today despite the dawn-to-dusk hartal called for the second day in a row across the country.

Rafa makes Monte Carlo his own

Rafael Nadal won an unprecedented eighth straight title at the Monte Carlo Masters on Sunday, defeating Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-1.

Jabbarer Boli Khela from tomorrow

The 103rd edition of the historic wrestling competition 'Jabbarer Boli Khela' will be held tomorrow at Laldighi Maidan in the port city.

Siddikur finishes 14th

Siddikur Rahman finished on joint 14th position as Englishman Lee Westwood successfully defended his title at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters yesterday.

Bangladesh's semi against SL today

Defending champions Bangladesh will take on Sri Lanka in the first semifinal of the AHF Cup Hockey Tournament in Bangkok, Thailand today, with one eye on Tuesday's final. A win in this match will also ensure an Asia Cup ticket for the men in red and green.

Another game another defeat for DC

Even their all time lucky venue, Barabati Stadium of Cuttack failed to break the zinx for Deccan Chargers. Chargers were routed by Kolkata Knight Riders in a low scoring match by five wickets and six balls remaining.

Salahuddin, Rahim in presidential battle

BFF's incumbent president Kazi Salahuddin will be facing Abdur Rahim for the post of presidency on the April 30 elections as two other candidates withdrew their names on the last day of withdrawal on Sunday. Shadin Banghla Football Team captain Zakaria Pintu and Shariatpur DFA councillor and journalist Mojammel Haque Chanchal withdrew their names, leaving Salahuddin and Rahim as the two candidates for the BFF hot seat.

Aussies to go for the kill

Australia coach Mickey Arthur vowed his team will go for the West Indies' jugular in the third and final Test even if their full throttle assault backfires.

Dream coming true

Assad Fudadin, the 26-year-old Guyanese left-hand batsman who is part of the West Indies squad for the third Test against Australia in Roseau, has said he is looking forward to experiencing Test cricket.

Marsh powers Punjab

Shaun Marsh guided Kings XI Punjab to a six-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians with an unbeaten knock of 68 in an IPL match, here on Sunday.

Magpies dreaming of glamour

Newcastle United moved closer to a dream return to the Champions League with a 3-0 victory over Stoke City on Saturday, their sixth successive Premier League victory.

City close gap

The Premier League title race took another dramatic twist on Sunday when leaders Manchester United blew a two-goal lead to draw 4-4 with Everton and Manchester City beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 to narrow the gap to three points.

Serbia, Czech in final

Former world number ones Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic took Serbia into a first Fed Cup final on Sunday where they will face defending champions Czech Republic in November's title match.

Vettel wins Bahrain GP

Defending double world champion Sebastian Vettel claimed his first win of the year on Sunday to take over as leader of the Formula One title race when he triumphed in the controversial Bahrain Grand Prix.

Agrani Bank end on winning note

Agrani Bank beat Chittagong Abahani 1-0 in the second leg of the Premier Bank Bangladesh Championship League at the Cox's Bazar Stadium yesterday.

BPL deferred again

The matches of the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League has been once again deferred as the league resumes on Tuesday, April 24.

Two on the trot

Borussia Dortmund were heralded as a "fascinating" team on Sunday after clinching their second successive Bundesliga title, keeping them on course for a domestic double.

Ronaldo no choker

Cristiano Ronaldo may have finally shaken off the tag of big-game flop after he scored a dramatic winner for Real Madrid at bitter rivals Barcelona on Saturday, all but wrapping up the Spanish.

If you don't succeed, try nine times

It took him nine attempts but Jose Mourinho finally got to taste sweet victory as a visiting coach at Barcelona's Nou Camp on Saturday when his Real Madrid side snatched a dramatic 2-1 success in the lair of their arch rivals.

Balotelli receives Euro boost

Mario Balotelli will be an integral part of Italy's European Championship squad in Poland and Ukraine in June, national team coach Cesare Prandelli said on Saturday.

Zlatan rescues sloppy Milan

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a last-minute equaliser as sloppy AC Milan drew 1-1 with Bologna on Sunday and dropped two precious home points in race for the Serie A title.

'I saw two Parkers, then I fell'

Fabrice Muamba has spoken for the first time about the cardiac arrest he suffered at White Hart Lane on March 17, when his heart stopped beating for 78 minutes. The Bolton midfielder said that he felt no pain but that he felt dizzy and was seeing double.

4-4 draw leaves Utd on the edge

Manchester United and Everton fought out an astonishing 4-4 draw at Old Trafford on Sunday as United blew the chance of moving eight points clear of Manchester City.

Pep salutes 'champions'

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola hailed Real Madrid as the new Spanish champions after his side lost 2-1 to their bitter rivals at Camp Nou on Saturday.

Fergie fuming at Olympic shortlist

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is fuming after being told Wayne Rooney is on the shortlist for the Great Britain squad at the London Olympics despite the striker being widely expected to go to Euro 2012 with England.

Business

Indian eggs threaten Bangladesh poultry

Egg imports from India, a bird flu-infected country, could destroy Bangladesh's entire poultry industry, sector people warned yesterday.

Private airlines too weak to fly

Frustrations deepened over the local airlines' failure to sustain business, at a time when air travel on local routes witnessed a boom riding on the boost in business activities and inbound tourism.

Default loans at state banks still high: BB

State-run commercial banks are running with 11.27 percent default loans, double the industry average, although they were corporatised about five years ago to make a turnaround, the central bank said yesterday.

Biman gets acting MD

Sheikh Nasiruddin Ahmed has recently been appointed acting managing director and chief executive officer of Biman Bangladesh Airlines. He will take over on Wednesday, the national carrier said in a statement yesterday.

Hasina asks expats in Qatar to invest in Bangladesh

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged Bangladeshis in Qatar to invest in different sectors, particularly in the five newly designed economic zones in the country.

Beximco wraps up acquisition of four subsidiaries

Bangladesh Export Import Company, popularly known as Beximco, has completed acquiring four non-listed sister concerns.

Italy launches Europe's first private high-speed train

Italy launched Europe's first private high-speed train service last week, as the country looks towards the more liberal economy that Prime Minister Mario Monti wants to put on the rails.

Stocks finish flat in thin trade

Stocks ended flat yesterday with low turnover following the investors' thin participation in trading due to dawn-to-dusk hartal called by BNP.

Container seized by Ctg customs

Customs officials at Chitta-gong Port yesterday seized an import container full of electronic goods as they were not correctly declared.

ADB top officials in town

Xiaoyu Zhao, vice president (operations 1) of the Asian Development Bank, and Juan Miranda, director general for the South Asia Department, arrived in Dhaka yesterday for a two-day official visit, according to a statement of the bank.

Build climate for business

Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jun lauded growth in Bangladesh despite the adverse impacts of the global economic and financial crisis. In an exclusive interview with The Daily Star recently, he talked on the Chinese investment and business environment in Bangladesh and duty-free access to Bangladeshi products.

Preparing for the new Bangladesh

What makes some countries rich and others poor? How can one tell when a nation is poised for economic development and prosperity? In the scheme of things, there are a few more important questions worth answering. The “Father of Economics” Adam Smith observed quite rightly over 200 years ago that “Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.”

Wal-Mart silenced Mexican bribe inquiry

Wal-mart Stores Inc, the world's largest retailer, squelched an internal investigation into allegations of bribery at its Mexican subsidiary instead of broadening the probe, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

Metropolitan

Suspected containers delivery at Ctg port under special watch

The 615 containers of a foreign vessel kept under watch suspecting illegal items or explosives in any of those will be delivered under a special supervision in presence of representatives both from the customs and port authorities.

Two ex-AIGs sued on graft charges

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed two cases against two former assistant inspector generals (AIGs) of police and five other persons on charges of misappropriation of government funds.

PM to open Teesta bridge in July

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would inaugurate the Teesta Road Bridge on the river Teesta at Kawnia point in the district in next July.

Sacked APS, his driver fail to appear

The former railway minister's sacked assistant private secretary Omar Faruq Talukder and his driver Ali Azam Khan yesterday failed to appear before the probe body, investigating the cash haul scandal, headed by Bangladesh Railway's director general.

Ten Australian development volunteers arrive

Ten young Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) arrived here on April 20 to support development organisations for one year in areas of water, sanitation, health and climate change.

Ensure transgender people's rights

Speakers at a view exchange meeting here yesterday stressed the need for ensuring fundamental rights especially the health, social and legal rights of the transgender people for uplifting their living and livelihood condition.

Today's HSC exams postponed

Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and its equivalent examinations scheduled for today have been postponed due to hartal called by the opposition party for a second consecutive day.

Resume classes

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday again urged teachers of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), abstaining from work for the last 14 days, to resume academic activities.

Body on political case reconstituted

The committee, formed to recommend cancellation of the cases filed for political harassment, has been reconstituted.

'Form national commission to protect maritime boundary'

The defence ministry was asked yesterday to form a “national commission” which will prepare guidelines on modernising the naval force so as to ensure the security and sovereignty of the country's new maritime boundary.

Dhaka for expansion of Asian Productivity Organisation

Bangladesh has proposed widening the periphery of the Asian Productivity Organisation (APO) to boost up productivity in industrial and service sectors of the countries in the Asian region.

Call to ensure safe river routes

River Safety Week-2012 begins today with a mission of creating mass awareness about safety on the country's river routes.

4 killed in road accidents

Four people were killed and twelve others injured in separate road accidents in Dhaka, Magura, Manikganj and Jhenidah yesterday.

Shun destructive politics: Minister

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan yesterday called upon the opposition to shun the path of destructive politicsransacking vehicles and killing people through torching vehicles in the name of hartal.

Peacekeeper buried with military honour

Wing Commander M Abdul Haris was buried at his family graveyard in Faridpur with full military honour after the second namaz-e-janaza.

Dr Firdausi to get Christophe Mérieux Prize

Dr Firdausi Qadri, Vaccine Sciences Director of International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), became the first Bangladeshi and the first woman to be selected for the Christophe Mérieux Prize 2012.

Washing factory fined

The Department of Environment (DoE) fined a washing factory Tk 12.5 lakh at Mirpur Section No-2 in the capital yesterday for polluting the nearby Rupnagar canal.

Dhaka clarifies news item on Iran's N-energy

The government yesterday contradicted a news item of IRNA which quoting Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Abul Kalam Azad as saying that “Bangladesh is proud of Iran's nuclear achievements and capabilities.”

AL joint meet today

The ruling Awami League (AL) will hold a joint meeting today to prepare for a labour rally in Tongi of Gazipur, the outskirts of the capital, on May 1 marking May Day where Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will address as the chief guest.

Cooperation among OIC states stressed

Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Abul Kalam Azad held talks with Iranian Cultural Affairs Minister Sayed Mohammad Hosseini in Libreville, the capital of Gabon, on the sideline of 9th session of Islamic conference of information ministers on Saturday.

Guard dies in ladder fall

A security guard at Chittagong Export Processing Zone in Chittagong city succumbed to his injuries after falling off a ladder yesterday.

One dies in Buriganga boat capsize

A man drowned as a boat capsized in the Buriganga river during a heavy storm in Keraniganj upazila early yesterday.

Firearms, ammo seized: 3 held

Police arrested three persons and seized firearms and ammunition from their possession from in front of Oli Khan mosque in Naya Hat area of the port city yesterday morning.

Cuet orientation on May 7

The orientation programme and inaugural classes of level-1 of Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (Cuet) under the academic year 2011-12 will be held on May 7.

Bus gutted in Ctg

A city passenger bus was burnt at Alankar Bus Stand in the port city early yesterday.

Deaths in Pak plane crash: PM shocked

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday expressed her deep shock and sorrow over the tragic air disaster in a village near Islamabad in Pakistan on Friday evening.

Obituary

Md Mourshed Alam Khan, assistant media manager of Expressions Ltd, passed away on Saturday at his Malibagh residence in the capital at the age of 42.

Death anniversary

Today is the 28th death anniversary of Justice Jabbar Khan, former speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad.

Syed Mozammel Huq

Today is the 17th death anniversary of Syed Mozammel Huq, special correspondent of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS), said a press release.

Hachen Uddin Fakir

Today is the twenty third death anniversary of Hachen Uddin Fakir, former chairman and father of prominent singer Fakir Alamgir.

Satyaban Hajong

Today is the sixth death anniversary of Satyaban Hajong, a leader of Bangladesh Adibasi Union.

National

Hailstorm shatters dreams of Sakhipur mango growers

Mango growers in Sakhipur upazila have incurred huge losses due to a devastating hailstorm in the area early Saturday.

Employees worried as all 5 mills count loss for years

All the five sugar mills in Rangpur division have closed their production for this season without reaching the target due to shortage of sugarcane supply.

Sporadic clashes mark hartal in districts

Sporadic clashes marked BNP-enforced hartal in districts across the country yesterday.

Toxic bitumen dumped in river

Pabna municipal authorities on Saturday dumped toxic bitumen, a black sticky road-surfacing material obtained from tar, in the Ichhamati River, violating environmental rules.

They now prefer trains to buses

People of five upazilas have opted for trains on Lalmonirhat-Burimari land port route in the last couple of months due to reasonable fare, triggering unusual drop in number of bus passengers.

Criminals cut off and steal elephant tusks

Criminals cut off and stole the tusks of a pet elephant at Sagornal hill area in Kulaura upazila under the district on Wednesday.

15 injured as BNP factions clash in Jhenidah

At least 15 BNP activists were injured in a clash between the two rival groups of Kaligang upazila BNP in the district Saturday.

Textbooks seized

Police seized a huge number of textbooks meant for free distribution from a local market in Manirampur upazila of Jessore district yesterday morning. Police said Sawpna Rani, headmistress of Bijoyrampur Govt Primary School, sold out the books and other official documents to a person at the market. On information Upazila Executive Officer Zillur Rahman, Assistant Primary Education Officer Azgar Ali and police went to the market and seized the books and papers.

Youth murdered

Police on Saturday night recovered the body of a youth from a shop at Jirtoli Bazar under Begumganj upazila. The youth was identified as Golam Hossain Rana 26, son of Nur Nabi of village Bijoynagar in the same upazila. Amirul Alam, officer in-charge of Begumganj police station said, on a secret information, police went to Jirtoli Bazar and raided Mohiuddin's grossary shop. There they found the body of Rana on the floor and arrested shopowner Mohiuddin along with a sharp knife. Rana was accused in at least 3 cases including for robbery and Mohiuddin also a listed criminal, the OC added.

Girl drowns in pond

A four-year-old girl drowned in a pond at village Sreerampur in Kaliganj upazila yesterday. The victim was identified as Jesmin Ara, daughter of Abdur Rahman of the village. Quoting local people police said, while playing by the side of the pond of Sreerampur Dakkhin Para mosque in the morning, Jesmin fell in the pond and drowned. Local people found the body floating in the pond and recovered it in the afternoon.

'Notorious criminal' held

Police arrested notorious criminal “Galakata” Rafique from MM College area in the town on Saturday night. Rafiq is son of Abdul Jalil of Shastitala area of Jessore town. Police said a group of criminals led by Rafiq beat up a woman and snatched money from her on MM College compound. On information, police raided the area and arrested Rafiq. Police said Rafiq was wanted in a number of cases including for extortion, bomb blast and murder.

JSD leader killed in clash

A local JSD leader was killed and four others were injured in a clash between two rival groups of villagers at Gangnalia village in Magura Sadar upazila on Saturday night.

Sand lifters fined in Shariatpur

A mobile court here on Saturday fined two people Tk 40,000, in default, to suffer more five months jail for illegally lifting sand from Boira River in Bhedarganj upazila.

Woman beaten to death

A housewife was beaten to death allegedly by her husband for dowry at village Mahandi in Tala upazila on Saturday night.

Letters

118% increase in electricity price!

I am a service holder with a fixed income and head a family of six members. My electricity consumption varies from 300 to 400 units per month depending on circumstances. I do not operate any A/C except normal electrical devices like fans, tube lights/CFL, refrigerator, etc. In January last, I paid an electricity bill of Tk.1, 196/- for 305 units (@Tk.3.92 per unit). But in March, 2012, I received an electric bill amounting Tk.3, 453/- for 406 units (@Tk.8.51 per unit! ) which means an increase of 118% in unit price! The government claims that it has nominally increased electricity price and will increase it further to offset the subsidy! Will you call a 118% increase within two months a nominal increase? Is there nobody to look after such unjust course of arbitrary price increase by BPDB? What role the Energy Regulatory Commission plays by their so-called public hearings? I would like to draw your kind attention to make some investigative reporting on the subject for the benefit of the people of fixed income like me.

Autism increasing!

The other day I was reading a medical newsletter wherein it was stated that the number of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ADS) cases among American children is increasing, the ratio being 1 in 88 children. It was found through research and investigation that certain environmental factors including toxic overload is responsible for increased cases of autism. Excessive exposure to electromagnetic radiation, mercury toxicity, vaccine damage, Vitamin D deficiency are some of the major environmental factors contributing to the development of autism among children. Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from cell phones, cell towers, Wi-Fi devices and other similar wireless technologies is suspected to be working in conjunction with genetic and environmental factors and causing autism among children.

Restore educational environment in BUET

Teachers of BUET have been on strike since 7th April boycotting all academic activities. As a result, commencement of the next term is delayed. In the last press conference the teachers' association urged the VC and Pro VC to resign. Political influence on the administration and alteration of results are the major allegations brought against them. In the circumstances, BUET has reached a deadlock, threatening the career of over 5000 students. Though previous academic year started in February, it is doubtful whether the new academic year may start even in May. Last year teachers boycotted classes demanding elevation of retirement age which was followed by students' urge for delaying the exams. This is how education life is prolonged in BUET. SUST has almost completed half of its academic year while BUET students are sitting idle. If this deadlock is allowed to aggravate, thousands of meritorious students will have to pay the price. I respectfully urge the education minister will put his foot down to put an end to the ongoing deadlock.

Commuters suffer as garment workers block highway

It has been published in the DS on 17th April that a few hundred workers of a garment factory gathered on an important road of the city leaving thousands of people stranded during busiest hours of the day. It was a sequel to other protest rallies carried out by the workers a few days ago. These repeated disturbances can not continue at the expense of the common people's time and livelihoods. The government should take stern action against the people responsible for this sort of obstruction to our day-to-day life. The problem was created by the owners of the apparel factories for their non-payment of salaries to the workers.

PCB's insistence

I cannot understand why the PCB is insisting on our team's going to Pakistan. They have also threatened us that they will break all ties with Bangladesh if our team don't tour to Pakistan. My question is have they broken ties with all the Test playing nations? As far as I can see, no cricket team is travelling to Pakistan. I agree with Bangladesh national team's coach that our boys are being used as part of an "experiment". I don't think Pakistan can guarantee 100% safety of our players. Who will take the responsibility if our players are attacked by insurgents and they lose their lives?

Echo sheets: A viable plywood substitute!

A short write-up and small photograph of the product (echo sheet), were published in a local English daily on 11th. April. This product has the potential to be produced locally and will be a very useful and echo-friendly substitute for plywood as well as plastic sheets! Interestingly, the product was launched in UK in January 2010, and after two years this is the first time that I came across this very interesting product which could be a popular and useful material for our housing, furniture and other sectors! The write-up also clearly indicated that it is an environment-friendly product since it uses non-degradable waste plastics as its main raw material!

The alluring job…

It is indeed very appreciable that Sheikh Hasina brought Suranjit Sengupta back. But after talking so much about ethics, values, and dignity, it is not clear to us how Suranjit Sengupta accepted the position again. Yes, we understand that the ministerial post is alluring and irresistible. It is granted that once you are a minister, there would be no threat of losing job, no performance evaluation, no fear of warning in case of failure etc. Once you are a minister, nothing can touch you. No matter what happens, you will never lose your job, even if you resign, you will be brought back.

Where is the driver?

Railway Minister Suranjit Sengupta had to leave office after only five months in it. He had to step down by the instruction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for Tk 70 lakh found in the microbus of his APS, alleged to be bribe money from the job-seekers.

Safety measures for nuclear plants

It is said that electricity produced from 3 tonnes of coal or 2.5 tonnes of fossil fuel can be produced fromonly one gram of uranium. But as it is an advanced technology, only 32 countries so far in the world could generate power from it. We have heard that Bangladesh is setting up two 1,000-megawatt nuclear plants at Rooppur with Russian technology.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Sunday's The Daily Star news report headlined “Bus was parked, driver asleep”

International

Sarkozy loses first round to Hollande

Socialist champion Francois Hollande stamped his authority on the French presidential race Sunday, winning the first round of polling and setting up a May 6 run-off with incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.

UN urges 5t fund for Developing nations

UN and African officials yesterday urged sovereign wealth funds (SWF) worth an estimated $5 trillion to invest in developing countries, even as they seek the right climate and demand steps against corruption.

Ready to hit Iran if ordered

Israeli forces are carrying out more special operations beyond the country's borders and will be ready to attack Iran's nuclear sites if ordered, the chief-of-staff said in an interview yesterday.

UN vote is pivotal to end crisis in Syria

Peace envoy Kofi Annan yesterday said the UN vote to deploy up to 300 observers in Syria was a "pivotal moment for the stabilisation of the country".

China, Russia hold first navy exercises

China and Russia launched their first joint naval exercises yesterday, with war games in the Yellow Sea that come amid tensions between China and its Asian neighbours over territorial claims.

Romney closes gap with Obama

He has been mocked as rich and out of touch, struggled to woo his own party and left a trail of gaffes -- but Mitt Romney still has a genuine shot to make Barack Obama a one-term president.

Clashes kill 12 in Libya

Fresh fighting between Toubou tribesmen and the national army flared in the Libyan desert town of Kufra overnight leaving up to 12 people dead and scores wounded, local sources told AFP on Saturday.

'They're killing us'

Trundling along the dirt roads of the Amazon, the giant logging lorry dwarfed the vehicle of the investigators following it. The trunks of nine huge trees were piled high on the back incontrovertible proof of the continuing destruction of the world's greatest rainforest and its most endangered tribe, the Awá.

Aussie speaker stands down amid sex row

Australia's parliamentary speaker stood aside yesterday following claims he sexually harassed a male staffer and misused taxi services in a case that could hurt the nation's fragile government.

Iran says copying US drone, reveals 'codes'

An Iranian military commander yesterday said the Islamic republic is building a copy of a US spy drone captured in December 2011 and revealed what he said were "codes" gleaned from unmanned aircraft.

Egypt scraps gas treaty with Israel

Egypt has scrapped a 2005 gas export deal with Israel, which relies on Egyptian natural gas for 40 percent of its supplies to produce electricity, the chairman of a government holding firm said yesterday.

S Sudan completes troops withdrawal

South Sudan's army yesterday said it had completed its pullout from an oil field seized from the rival Sudanese regime, ending a bitter standoff which forced thousands of civilians to flee.

Watergate conspirator Colson dies

Charles Colson, a Watergate scandal conspirator who emerged from prison to become an evangelical Christian leader, died Saturday. He was 80 years old.

Maoists kidnap official in India

Maoist rebels in India have taken a government official hostage and killed his two bodyguards in the central state of Chhattisgarh, police said yesterday, in the latest of a series of kidnappings.

Tea to be India's national drink

India is to declare tea as its national drink to celebrate the life of a pioneering tea-planter who was hanged by British colonial rulers for taking part in the rebellion of 1857.

Arts & Entertainment

Giving books pertinent faces

The evolution of the country's publishing industry has also morphed the lifestyle of authors, along with the artists who design the book covers. Publisher, author and cover artist -- all remain on the same page, pulling out all the stops for a book's success.

IGCC hosts an evening of rock music by Souls

Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre (IGCC), High Commission of India, Dhaka hosted an evening of rock music by one of the most popular and seasoned rock bands of Bangladesh, Souls, at Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre, Dhanmondi on April 21.

National Dance Festival kicks off today at Shilpakala Academy

With the theme “Nrityer Taal-e Taal-e Bishwa Aaj Eksathey”, Bangladesh Nritya Shilpi Sangstha (BNSS), in association with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), is holding the weeklong 6th National Dance Festival marking International Dance Day (April 29). The festival kicks off today at National Art Gallery Plaza of BSA where a dance fair will be held. Director General (DG) of BSA, Liaquat Ali Lucky, will inaugurate the fair.

Baishakhi Fair in Tangail

A weeklong Baishakhi Fair ended in Tangail town last Friday amidst much festivity.

Folklore researcher, artiste Abdur Rashid Miah remembered

Professor Abdur Rashid Miah, a noted folk artiste and folklore researcher, was remembered through a programme held at the district Shilpakala Academy Auditorium on Saturday evening. Abdur Rashid Miah Smriti Sangsad organised the programme marking the third death anniversary of the folk exponent.

Guess who's joining the cast of “Iron Man 3”?

As we anxiously wait for “The Avengers” to come out, we can't help but get excited whenever there is any news about “Iron Man 3”.

DS Café

Popular actor and model Sajal is the featured celebrity of this month at DS Café. He will be on the hot seat and take your calls at The Daily Star Centre on April 26, between 5 and 6pm. Readers, fire away all your questions at him! The best question will be highlighted in the transcription. Call 8126155, 01711623915 and 01711623917 to speak to Sajal.

OP-ED

What was the alternative?

In 2009, the Awami League government embarked on an ambitious plan to eradicate the nation's perennial power shortage on a crash basis. It chose the rental power station, fuelled by Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), as the model for quick implementation with a good reason. The country's remaining proven gas reserves of 12 TCF (trillion cubic feet) were badly needed for fertiliser production and generation in existing power plants, and there was no ready infrastructure for coal based power generation. Thus, HFO was the only viable option for quickly addressing power shortage. There were two additional advantages in rental power plants. Unlike coal, HFO is readily available fuel on the global spot market and the dispersed, small rental power plants were eminently suited to the country's weak power grid.

Recasting civil-military ties

On April 4, The Indian Express reported that two Indian army units, a mechanised infantry formation from Hisar in Haryana and 50 Para Brigade from Agra, made an un-notified movement towards New Delhi on January 16.



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