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News of: Saturday, 12th of May, 2012
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The government itself now seems poised to make the Buriganga a leaner stream by squeezing its shorelines in violation of a High Court order.
Fifteen people including Awami League's Sylhet district unit senior vice-president Iftekhar Hossain Shamim and two journalists were killed in road accidents in Sylhet, Dhaka and Gaibandha yesterday.
BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday alleged that the government was filing cases against the top opposition leaders “to keep them away from the next parliamentary elections”.
Before leaving for the United Arab Emirates in early 2008, Shakil Hossain signed a job contract that offered him a monthly wage of 1,200 dirham (1 dirham equivalent to Tk 22). It was quite lucrative for the plumber although he had to spend Tk 2.5 lakh for the job in Dubai that he believed would change his fate.
Wild driving inspired by poor enforcement of traffic rules and soft penalty have made the highways across the country and the streets of the capital death traps.
The comments made by two ministers criticising Prof Muhammad Yunus and microcredit had no merit and they only reflected their inferiority complex, said political analysts and civil society members yesterday.
The Power Development Board has changed two vital bidding criteria in the tenders for three new large public sector power projects, which is likely to narrow down competition and favour certain bidders.
Ten-year-old Tanvir was sitting in front of his computer, looking at his father's photo set as desktop background.
Japanese researchers yesterday unveiled a population clock that showed the nation's people could theoretically become extinct in 1,000 years because of declining birth rates.
At least five persons were killed and 16 injured as lightning struck them yesterday morning in different villages under Pirganj and Haripur upazila in Thakurgaon.
President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) AK Azad yesterday urged the government to take initiatives so that foreign diplomats could not make any comment on the country's internal politics.
A moderate earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale yesterday jolted the capital and other parts of the country.
Supporters of ruling Awami League assaulted a sub-inspector of Shibganj Police Station in Chapainawabganj for protesting their stalking women at a religious gathering on Thursday afternoon.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday said there was no uncertainty over Teesta water-sharing agreement with India and that India has assured Bangladesh of it during her recent visit.
A Greek-owned tanker has been hijacked in the Arabian Sea with a cargo of 135,000 tonnes of crude oil, the operating company said yesterday.
Peru's interior and defence ministers resigned yesterday in the face of a public outcry over a failed security operation against Shining Path rebels.
The army in Democratic Republic of Congo was engaged yesterday in heavy fighting in Nord-Kivu province with mutineers who have formed a new rebel force, the rebels and a government official said.
What the country needs at this moment is for both the major parties to involve each other in serious interactive communication to assuage a rather potentially volatile political situation. And to do that both must get off their high horses they have been riding since the last general election. It is not talking at each other but to each other that the people want the two parties to do. There is no alternative to dialoging.
The crisis in Syria continues to take its toll on human life as the civil war drags on with no apparent end in sight. With both the government and rebel forces seemingly unable to gain the upper hand, the fighting seems to have reached a dangerous stalemate.
Richard Pybus yesterday spent a day of meetings with the Bangladesh Cricket Board and the national players, making it all but certain that the Englishman will become the next Tigers' head coach.
The Tigers have good news in the form of on-field action next month and in July as they have received positive feedbacks from both Zimbabwe Cricket and Cricket Ireland.
Abahani took their lead at the top of the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League to six points as the Sky Blues defeated Rahmatganj MFS 4-0, thanks to Nigerian hitman Lucky Paul's four goal haul at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
They might not enjoy the same levels of adulation, but in the world of chess India's Viswanathan Anand is every bit as accomplished as fellow countryman Sachin Tendulkar is at cricket.
Manik hit 90 as Bondhu XI defeated Provat Sangha by 70 runs in the Colonel Malek Smriti Premier Cricket League at Shahid Miraz Tapan stadium in Manikganj yesterday.
Asadur Rahman occupied the crease for more than two and a half hours but his effort was not good enough for Bangladesh Under-15s to put up an impressive total on the board against visiting CAB Under-15 on the first day of the three-day match at BKSP yesterday.
Paceman Mitchell Johnson, recalled this week to the Australian team, revealed Friday he had lost his love of cricket and a foot injury this year probably saved him from quitting the game.
Despite making a host of changes, Pune Warriors crashed to a 35-run defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore during their IPL match at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune yesterday.
Mohammedan Sporting Club posted a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Azad Sporting Club in the 4th Women's Club Cricket League at BKSP yesterday.
Craig McDermott has quit as bowling coach of the Australian team, citing the conflicting demands of constant touring with family life, Cricket Australia said Friday.
Cricket fans of the 1990s and 2000s were privileged to watch two of the finest cricketers to ever don flannels in Shane Warne and Muthia Muralidaran. Warne is probably the greatest leg-spinner of all time and Murali occupies the same rank for off spinners. Who, among the two leading test wicket takers in cricket history is the better?
The West Indies Cricket Board has asked Chris Gayle to specify a date on which he can meet with it and regional officials, to mop up 'residual matters' related to their seemingly concluded spat. In a statement on Thursday, the WICB said it was pleased that Gayle had confirmed his availability for West Indies selection, but prior to matters moving further along, another meeting between the two parties was necessary.
West Indies collapsed to 147 all out against the England Lions on Thursday in what the tourists will hope isn't a taste of things to come during next week's first Test against England at Lord's.
Top seed Victoria Azarenka saw off China's Li Na wih a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 battling win into the semifinals of the Madrid Masters on Friday.
Madrid Masters supremo Ion Tiriac on Friday promised a gradual improvement in traction on the new blue courts which have come under fire from players this week.
The match-fixing identification committee of Bangladesh Football Federation went through the video footages of the suspicious match between Brothers Union and Rahmatganj MFS on Thursday.
Bangladesh Army and Bangladesh Air Force moved to the final of the Walton National Volleyball Championship beating their respective rivals in semifinals at the Volleyball Stadium yesterday.
Luis Enrique has quit as manager of AS Roma, putting an end to a troubled reign in charge of the Serie A side, the club's general director confirmed on Friday.
The Spanish league season reaches its climax on Sunday and, while Real Madrid have already wrapped up the title, there is plenty still to play for at both ends of the table.
Chelsea have nothing to fear when they face Bayern Munich in the Champions League final next week as their semifinal win over Barcelona proved they can beat the best in Europe, caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo said.
Do you think that Jose Mourinho will continue to enjoy success with Real Madrid? Write in with your views and opinions to firstname.lastname@example.org
FIFA president Joseph Blatter has all but settled the debate over Juventus's number of Serie A titles by sending an official letter of congratulation to club president Andrea Agnelli.
Barcelona staunchly defended Lionel Messi over a claim he racially abused a black Real Madrid player several seasons ago, calling it ''well wide of the mark.''
Chelsea captain John Terry said Thursday he is still to hear from new England manager Roy Hodgson regarding his possible participation at Euro 2012.
Chris Smalling's hopes of breaking into England's Euro 2012 squad were dashed on Friday after the Manchester United defender was ruled out with a groin injury.
It is noon on a hot and humid April day. I am standing with my camera amidst some trees when I see two unusual flying bugs. They come and go in random trajectories. Then they tire and sit - but only for a split second, too quick for my camera to focus - before flying off again. I stay still, looking through my camera viewfinder, sure that the next time they sit, or the time after that, I will get their picture.
As a bus pulled over to drop passengers at the GEC circle stop in Chittagong city, Ujjal ran to it and got on board, he had only a few minutes to sell some newspapers before the bus departed.
The climate vagaries caused by global warming are increasing the recurrence of lightning strike in Bangladesh, the sub-continent's most vulnerable country to this natural hazard, experts say.
Having lost their bread-earners in the May 4 clash, families of four Adivasi labourers in Naogaon are passing their life in panic, as police recorded a case filed by the alleged killers against a number of unnamed Adivasi men.
Some experts urged the government to take necessary steps by adopting preventive actions against environmental degradation.
Vowing to strengthen bilateral, regional and international cooperation to promote the diversity of cultural expression, a three-day conference, “Cultural Diversity Ministerial Forum of the Asia-Pacific Region 2012”, concluded yesterday through the adoption of “Dhaka Declaration”.
Members of banned Islamist outfit Hizb-ut-Tahrir vandalised musical instrument of a drama workshop of Youth Engagement and Support (YES) in Sylhet city on Wednesday night, alleged officials of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB).
Speakers at a discussion yesterday said the masses are not benefiting from the national budget due to non-implementation of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) for mismanagement and corruption.
Terming BNP as “the tail of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami”, Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday said the opposition will not be able to compel the government into restoring the caretaker government system by any means.
A youth was killed in a clash over a land dispute at village Banshati in Iswarganj upazila of the district yesterday.
The government is set to recruit a total of 4,000 doctors soon under a special BCS examination to reduce people and doctors ratio in the healthcare sector and reach its service to rural people across the country.
Five people were killed in separate road accidents in Magura, Sirajganj, Chittagong and Jessore on Thursday and yesterday.
Agitated employees ransacked and locked up the office of a Dhaka-based company in Barisal city Thursday evening, alleging that it has defrauded them of around Tk 92.16 lakh.
Popular novelist and playwright Humayun Ahmed returned home from the USA after eight months.
Bangladesh has been nominated by the least developed countries (LDCs) to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to help poor countries fighting global warming, said Minister for Environment and Forests Dr Hasan Mahmud.
Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique yesterday said honest, patriotic and courageous citizens are needed to develop the country into a “golden Bangladesh”.
Two days after going missing, a two-year-old boy was found dead in a canal just 400 yards off his Baliakhora village residence at Ghior upazila of Manikganj yesterday.
At least 10 people, including a policeman, were injured in a clash between two Awami League (AL) factions over establishing supremacy in Mostafapur bus stand area on Dhaka-Madaripur highway in Sadar upazila yesterday.
Two Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leaders of Rajshahi University were hospitalised with severe injuries after being stabbed by four masked men on the campus Thursday night.
Police rescued three children while being trafficked to India through Sadipur Border at Benapole in Jessore yesterday morning.
President Zillur Rahman yesterday visited the graves of his wife Ivy Rahman, martyred family members of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and four national leaders at the Banani Graveyard in the capital.
Two children drowned in separate incidents in Thakurgaon and Jessore yesterday.
Two youths were arrested and a foreign-made pistol and six rounds of bullets were recovered from their possession in the town yesterday.
Staff of Anjuman Mufidul Islam, a social-welfare organisation, received training on keeping detailed records of the physical features of unidentified bodies prior to their burial for easy identification.
Syria's government wants to destroy the UN-brokered peace plan aimed at ending 14 months of civil conflict, opposition leader Burhan Ghalioun told reporters in Tokyo yesterday.
Iran yesterday condemned the latest deadly bomb blasts to reel its ally Syria in a 14-month-old uprising and accused Western powers of orchestrating them.
Barack Obama has been both praised and criticised a day after he became the first sitting US president to publicly support gay marriage.
British Prime Minister David Cameron signed texts to ex-Rupert Murdoch aide Rebekah Brooks "lots of love" and privately discussed the News of the World scandal with her, she told an inquiry yesterday.
Hundreds of Palestinians on hunger strike in Israeli jails said yesterday they would shun vitamin supplements and prison clinics in an escalation of their mass protest against detention conditions.
A family member of one of Anders Behring Breivik's 69 victims in his shooting massacre on Norway's Utoeya island last July threw a shoe at him in court yesterday, screaming "you killer, go to Hell!"
Francois Hollande, the Socialist "Mr Normal" who will be sworn in as French president next week, says he is worth almost 1.2 million euros ($1.5 million), considerably less than his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy.
Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged Pakistan once again to reopen Nato ground supply routes to Afghanistan, DawnNews reported.
Flash floods swept through four villages in northern Afghanistan, killing 28 people and leaving 20 others missing, officials said yesterday.
Pakistani leaders will meet next week to discuss ending a nearly six-month blockade on Nato supplies into Afghanistan, officials said yesterday.
Pakistan said yesterday that it would host the next round of talks with India over the disputed Siachen Glacier, dubbed the world's highest battlefield, on June 11-12 in Islamabad.
A 48-hour strike brought much of Nepal to a standstill yesterday, two weeks ahead of a deadline for the country to complete its first peace-time constitution.
The man who foiled a Yemen-based al-Qaeda "underwear bomb" plot was a British man of Middle Eastern origin, US media said yesterday.
Indonesian rescuers yesterday found the bodies of 12 of the people killed when their Russian jet crashed into the face of a mountain during a sales flight.
US health advisers on Thursday urged regulators to approve Truvada, made by Gilead Sciences, as the first preventive pill against HIV/AIDS instead of just a treatment for infected people.
Syria, Sudan, and Mali are the biggest refugee hotspots, the UN refugee commissioner said yesterday at a conference in Turkmenistan, calling on governments to help alleviate a humanitarian crisis.
An Afghan soldier opened fire on Nato troops in eastern Afghanistan yesterday, killing an American and leaving two others wounded, officials said.
The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India's external intelligence service, is facing allegations of incompetence after three Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives who, it claimed, were about to conduct a suicide-squad operation in western India turned out to be living at their homes in Lahore and to be businessmen, not terrorists.
Arts & Entertainment
It was the year after Independence. Bangladesh Television chalked out elaborate programmes to observe the birth anniversary of our National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. Selected artistes were chosen for a live telecast from the Engineers Institute in Dhaka.
Featuring elegant and diverse dance forms of some Asia-Pacific nations, a cultural event was held at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, on May 10. Artistes of Bangladesh, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines performed at the event.
Noted litterateur and filmmaker Humayun Ahmed returned to Bangladesh from the USA after eight months of treatment. He along with his family arrived at Shahjalal International Airport yesterday at 3am.
Accomplished French dancer Isabelle Anna captivated the port city audience at a Kathak dance recital that was held at the auditorium of Alliance Française de Chittagong on May 9.
Noted Bangladeshi singer Shaon Chowdhury has recently received "South Asian Cultural Award" (Gold) from Kathmandu, Nepal. The singer was informed of winning the award over telephone from Kathmandu on April 14.
Reflection demonstrates that any large, modern, and industrialised society needs a professional police force, operating on a 24 hour basis and providing a standardised and accountable service; and professionals must be paid for their services.
The demolition of the Babri Masjid, which did the greatest harm to India's secular ethos, has suddenly come to the fore after nearly 20 years. It indicates the intrinsic strength of the system which otherwise has been beaten because of indelible corrupt deals and the weak, faltering governance. It was such a deliberate defiance of law and morality that the destruction could not have been in oblivion for a long time.
Swiss Ambassador Urs Herren, who has been in Bangladesh for nearly three years, in an exclusive interview with The Daily Star's Diplomatic Correspondent Rezaul Karim spoke about his experiences in Bangladesh, bilateral trade and investment, governance, human rights, Swiss foreign policy and political situation in Bangladesh.
Recent reports of poisoning of lakes, rivers and wetlands are forcing people and industries to take a look at what DCC, Rajuk and Wasa have wrought. Liquid and toxic waste is being drained into cesspools that empty into the rivers Buriganga, Shitalakhya, Balu and Turag. Fish culture and harvesting are going on in the toxic water of such lakes and lagoons, and the stark fact is that we are consuming these fish that pose serious threat to our health without our knowledge
Avian migration is a natural process, whereby different birds fly over distances of hundreds and thousands of km. in order to find the best ecological conditions and habitats for feeding, breeding and raising their young. When the conditions at breeding sites become unfavorable due to low temperatures, migratory birds fly to regions where conditions are better. The variation in migration behaviour is extremely large and contributes to fascinating diversity of birds in the world. Some birds migrate only a short way, while others can cover vast distances to wintering areas and travel between the northern and southern hemispheres. Some species move on broad fronts while others follow very narrow routes. Sudden and irregular movements of large numbers of birds can occur in several northern species in response to food shortages.
The number of guest birds coming every year to Jahangirnagar University (JU) lakes since the eighties has been falling for the last few years in such a way that last year there was no “bird fair” held as part of the campus's recent trend.
Glenn Horowitz Bookseller has just published Shimla, Meena Alexander's latest book of poems. It's an edition of fifteen pages, limited to 150 copies, signed by the poet out of which 125 are bound in red handmade wrappers and are string tied and tagged at USD 40.00 whereas the rest 25 are bound in patterned cloth and selling at USD 125.00. The visual experience is crucial. Shimla comes through beautifully through a frame of 6.25”x9.25”. Set in Shimla and in the Viceregal Lodge, which is now known as Rashtrapati Nivas, the book is indeed a cycle of lyric poems which speak of the poet's longing for the summer heaven of India, Shimla.
Urdu literature owes a huge debt of gratitude to Saadat Hasan Manto. He was one writer who did not believe in skirting around the issues or putting his expressions into symbolisms or arcane formulations. That much was evident in his short stories. You need to recall Khol Do (Open) or Bu (Odour) or Thanda Gosht (Cold Meat) to comprehend the social picture Manto was determined to sketch, especially against the background of the calamity that was 1947. Partition, for Manto as well as for millions of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs in the subcontinent, was a monstrosity. Could it have been prevented? You do not come by easy answers to this loaded question. There is that certain feeling in you that had Chittaranjan Das or Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose been alive in 1947, history would be different, indeed that India would stay in one piece. Well, the fact is that Das and Bose were not there; and those who were proved incapable of rolling back the coming deluge, indeed caused it to happen. Nehru messed up things through his own interpretation of the Cabinet Mission Plan in July 1946. And Jinnah, who Tariq Ali thinks, with good reason, was a second-rate politician, simply did not have any clue about what he would do with Pakistan once it came to pass.
Few Bangladeshi writers writing in English focus on women-centric characters. So when Dr. Razia Sultana Khan steps up to fill the breach with her wonderful new book, Palki and Other Tales of Seduction, one can't help being excited. The launch of this collection of short stories was held on Friday, 27April, 2012, at Bengal Café on Dhanmondi 27. It was organized by the colleagues of the writer.
When there is a need for lifesaving organ transplant, it starts with anguish wait and rigorous search for a donor. Lying on the bed, the patient in need might harbour the excruciating pain hoping to get an organ donation from a dying person or someone living with poverty (poor enough to sell own organ). S/he might have desperate hope that someone from his/her family will make enormous personal sacrifice to donate organ.
Although Bangladesh has made significant progress on health-related MDGs, the country is now facing challenges like high and impoverishing out-of-pocket health spending; an increasing burden of high-cost non-communicable diseases superimposed on an unfinished health agenda of preventable and communicable diseases. In order to tackle the challenges, appropriate strategy for national healthcare financing to move towards universal health coverage is crucial.
What you eat and drink can have a big impact on your ability to fall or stay asleep. Many foods can make you feel drowsy, while others can cause trouble sleeping. The National Sleep Foundation, USA, mentioned these examples of foods and beverages that can affect your sleep:
The Argentine Senate has approved a dignified death law to give the terminally ill and their families more say in end-of-life decisions, reports BBC.
Older obese men could shift excess weight by taking testosterone supplements, suggest findings announced at the European Congress on Obesity.
Parents may think their children are exposed only if they are around someone actively smoking a cigarette, or are unaware of where else their children may be breathing in smoke. But a blood test may help identify and reduce smoke exposure, said researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. Secondhand smoke exposure in children has been tied to sudden infant death syndrome, respiratory problems, ear infections and asthma.
Courts in Chittagong have been facing multiple problems because one-third positions of judges and magistrates have been lying vacant for about two years.
As Europe dithers and the US nervously watches its unemployment rate, a China-led Asian rise is accepted as the new reality. Less noted is the anomaly of an Asia increasingly integrated with the Chinese economy and militarily more reliant on the US.
Recently, I watched a movie titled The Day After (1983). The film depicts a fictional war between Nato forces and the no more existent Warshaw Pact Alliance, that rapidly escalates into a full-scale war between the United States and the then Soviet Union. I saw how an ICBM was being launched with nuclear warhead and then detonated in the air or on the surface of the target area. This movie makes me assume what India has actually achieved on their historic day of testing the latest edition of ICBM, Agni-5. With this remarkable achievement India can feel proud as a member of the elite club of ICBM owners. Should we put your hands together for India? What an irony, a country has been spending over five hundred million dollars for developing ICBM for the last three decades where as almost half a billion countrymen there starve. Last year India spent $46 billion on weapons purchase while only $11.5 billion and $6 billion on education and health respectively.
Halderpur is a small village in Hobiganj. It is located under No. 7 Boroiuri union of Baniachong police station. In 1971, it was the site of an aggressive Pakistani air attack that claimed the lives of many innocent lives. This is their story.
Star Books Review
A good number of years ago I was introduced to Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment through David Magarshack's translation, accompanied by a learned introduction. After having gone through the novel, I could not agree more with the publisher, Penguin Classic's back cover's observation that, “The reader of David Magarshack's fluent translation can appreciate both a magnificent gallery of characters and the piercing insight which makes Dostoyevsky the most terrifying of all writers.” Magarshack translated directly from the Russian original, and he was no less facile in the other works that he translated. Now I have come across a book, The Wonders of Vilayet, which has been translated from a translation of the original. Something of the original understandably gets lost in a translation; so one can only speculate on what, if anything, has been lost through the tertiary presentation. Thankfully, though, The Wonders of Vilayet is just a travelogue, a fascinating one at that, but with no pretension of having the universal significance of Crime and Punishment. Consequently, there is less chance of much getting lost in translation even if tertiary, and especially if the translation has been ably done by a qualified (with four other published translated works) translator like Kaiser Haq.
The oldest written works in the world all come in some poetic form. However, we all know that poetry as an art had been adopted by primitive people before they became literate, because it was convenient for them to express their thoughts in verses which could be memorized and carried to other people. In the absence of any written forms, they could easily store those verses in their memory. Hence the use of verses to transmit their experience attained widespread popularity even in those primitive days.
A mother is desperately looking for her only son through every lead she can get for days after he was seized by the Pakistani military for interrogation about the whereabouts of freedom fighters of the independence war. Finally she meets her son behind bars at the prison cell. The son has been so brutally tortured that he can barely stand or talk. He tells his mother that the military will release him if he reveals the names of the others who are in control of guerrilla groups. The devastated but brave and indomitable mother tells him, “Keep strong son, don't tell anyone's name”. This is a mother as strong as the now sovereign country of ours. She would not bend before the fear of losing a precious possession for the greater good, for upholding the rights of citizens, for the liberty of Bangladesh.