News of: Saturday, 23rd of June, 2012
Eggs, the cheapest source of protein for common people, have become dearer with their prices soaring over the last few weeks.
A sudden four-hour ban on overloaded trucks using the Daudkandi bridge on Dhaka-Chittagong highway caused a 60km-long tailback yesterday and thousands of people were stuck there for nine hours.
As most of the railway projects remained stalled due to fund crisis, the government has decided to attract private investment under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for its three major schemes worth $3 billion.
MPs elected Raja Pervez Ashraf as Pakistan's new prime minister yesterday in a bid to end a crisis sparked by judges ousting the premier and demanding the arrest of his would-be successor.
More people in the capital are turning to LPG and electric stoves for cooking, thanks to inadequate gas supply and government ban on new gas connections to households over the past two years.
Discord overshadowed debate about the world's environment at the Rio+20 UN summit on the final day with the UN chief urging the governments to eliminate hunger from the world.
Two crew members went missing after two lighter vessels with 26 crew capsized in rough seas at the outer anchorage of Chittagong Port on Thursday night.
Bangladesh's goal of becoming a middle-income country will only be achieved with the contribution of a healthy and vibrant private sector, German Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who arrives here today, said.
At least 26 people, including six law enforcers, were injured in clashes between police and activists of pro-Awami League student body and Road Transport Workers' Union in Madaripur sadar upazila Thursday night.
Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday urged the government to disclose the names of those involved in corruption of the Padma bridge project “in the greater interest of the nation”.
Police yesterday detained eight day labourers for cutting of a hill in Manikchhari upazila of Khagrachhari and fined them.
The Rohingya family, which intruded into St Martin's island on June 13 and had a baby born, was yesterday shifted to the Teknaf headquarters of Border Guard Bangladesh from one of its outposts to provide better care.
US commerce secretary John Bryson announced his resignation Thursday, just weeks after he was involved in a sequence of car accidents in Los Angeles that were blamed on a seizure.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired two rockets that hit Israel yesterday, a military spokeswoman said, as a truce declared by the Islamist Hamas ruling the enclave entered its second day.
Attacks in Iraq killed at least 12 people and wounded dozens more yesterday, security and medical officials said, in the latest wave of violence sweeping across the country.
In the aftermath of the share market debacle last December, a high profile probe committee went into action to find and address systemic faults in the country's bourses. Of the many recommendations, one important one was to set a minimum 2 per cent stake and 30 per cent stake jointly that directors of publicly listed companies must hold at all times. In this connection, the high court's ruling upholding Security Exchange Commission's (SEC) authority, under Section 2CC,to enforce the decision is a much welcome step in bringing about some semblance of order in the volatile stock market.
We are aghast at the news of 14 students at Kushtia Police Lines School and College having been ruthlessly caned by their principal. This brutality perpetrated on students by none other than the head of the institution is an anachronism that refuses to be banished.
Germany crushed Greece 4-2 to reach the Euro 2012 semifinals on Friday, surviving a scare against the surprise quarterfinalists before putting them to the sword with second-half goals from Sami Khedira, Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus.
Bangladesh stumbled across the finishing line to beat South Africa by three wickets at the Harare Sports Club yesterday, after the bowlers did splendidly to put them in the driver's seat. However to make it to the June 24 final of the Twenty20 triangular series, the Tigers now still have to hope Zimbabwe beat South Africa in today's game.
Spain have a deceptively simple recipe to knock France out of Saturday's Euro 2012 quarterfinal in Donetsk:
In the absence of holder Sharmin Akhter Ratna and runner-up Tripti Datta, both of whom are in England for training ahead of the London Olympics, the focus was on Sadia Sultana and Sharmin Akhter, but veteran Suraya Akhter took the centre-stage by winning the 10m Air Rifle event in the IFIC 26th National Shooting Championships yesterday.
Bangladesh golf's flagbearer Siddikur Rahman kept steady in the inaugural Volvik Hildesheim Open J Golf Series in Echeon, Korea as he settled for a joint 24th position at the end of the second round.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced a 28-member Bangladesh A preliminary squad for the tour of India.
Italy midfielder Thiago Motta is a slight doubt for Sunday's Euro 2012 quarterfinal against England because of a hamstring strain, team doctor Enrico Castellacci told reporters on Friday.
Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara hammered centuries as Sri Lanka walloped Pakistan on the opening day of the first cricket Test in Galle on Friday.
Australia's David Warner paid Ireland the compliment of saying they can "blast it from ball one" ahead of the two countries' one-day international at Stormont on Saturday.
Pakistan's disgraced former captain Salman Butt returned home Friday after being released from a British prison, maintaining his innocence over a spot-fixing scandal but apologising for the first time for not reporting corrupt approaches.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic and six-time winner Roger Federer were once again set on a Grand Slam collision course when they were placed in the same half of the Wimbledon draw on Friday.
Czech striker Milan Baros ended his international career after the Czech Republic were eliminated from Euro 2012, Czech team spokesman Jaroslav Kolar told AFP on Friday.
The third one-day international between England and the West Indies at Headingley here on Friday was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain.
Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association on Friday announced a fresh five-year agreement, featuring a new performance-dependent players' share of revenues.
Former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria was given a life ban from English cricket on Friday for his involvement in the Mervyn Westfield spot-fixing case, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said.
Austrian outsider Tamira Paszek recovered from a set and 4-0 down on Friday to beat French holder Marion Bartoli 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 and reach her first final in two years.
Spain must beat France in a competitive match for the first time if they are to reach the Euro 2012 semifinals and the latest French squabbling can only have boosted their chances of finally vanquishing Les Bleus in a major tournament.
Cristiano Ronaldo made the front pages of all the sporting and main newspapers in Portugal on Friday after his goal against the Czech Republic sealed a semifinal spot at Euro 2012.
Russia captain Andrei Arshavin has issued an apology for his team's disappointing showing at Euro 2012.
England midfielder Scott Parker insists his recent clash with Mario Balotelli is ancient history as he prepares to battle the Italy striker in Sunday's European Championship quarterfinal.
Portugal will have to do without striker Helder Postiga for their Euro 2012 semifinal against France or Spain after he had to go off injured in Thursday's 1-0 win over Czech Republic, the team doctor indicated.
Czech Republic defender Theodor Gebre Selassie is leaving Czech top-flight side Slovan Liberec for Bundesliga side Werder Bremen on a four-year deal, the CTK news agency said Friday, citing his agent.
Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque said the team can soothe the country's economic pains by shining in the Euro but admitted football is not a cure-all, in an interview published Friday.
Italy centre back Leonardo Bonucci has come out fighting ahead of Sunday's Euro 2012 quarterfinal with England by stating that the Azzurri are superior to Roy Hodgson's side.
The incident took place several years ago. On a sunny winter morning I was riding my bicycle in Gulshan. As I neared an intersection a rickshaw driver starting a turn drove straight into me. I swerved to avoid him and fell with my cycle into a roadside ditch. Luckily I was unhurt.
The capital's non-government schools, which have charged high admission fees violating rules, are paying no heed to the government's directives to return the extra money or adjust it with students' monthly fees.
Over seven years past the assassination of former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria, investigators, in line with a court order, recorded the testimony of Kibria's personal aide who was with him during the grenade attack.
Bangladesh, along with 24 local and indigenous groups of different countries, has been honoured by the UNDP's Equator Initiative for its outstanding contribution to sustainable development through partnership.
Communications Minister Obaidul Quader directed the authorities concerned to ban battery-run Easy-bike, Karimon and Nasimon from plying highways and regional roads to stop electricity theft and decrease road accidents.
Students must be encouraged to study science so that they become experts and present new discoveries before the world, said Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday.
Stressing the need to repair and modernise existing power plants to meet power deficits, speakers at a roundtable yesterday demanded that the government shuts down rental and quick rental power plants.
Seven people, including a sub-inspector (SI) of Detective Branch (DB) of police, were injured in a bomb blast while recovering phensidyl at Gopalpur village in Moheshpur upazila on Thursday night.
Unidentified criminals killed a youth and informed his younger brother over phone the location of the body in the capital yesterday.
Speakers at a commemoration programme yesterday urged the young generation to learn humanity from the moral teachings of famous Buddhist scholar Atish Dipankar Srigana.
Two brothers were electrocuted at Ghoranachh village in the sadar upazila yesterday.
Police on Thursday submitted a charge sheet against 308 Jamaat-e-Islami leaders and activists, including Sylhet city amir, three upazila chairmen, and one union parishad (UP) chairman, for assaulting police during a protest last year.
A nine-day debate competition began yesterday at the Theatre Institute Chittagong in the port city.
A daylong English Language Fair was held in six schools of Brahmanbaria, Magura and Nilphamari districts yesterday.
Five people were killed and at least 40 others injured in separate road accidents in Dhaka, Mymensingh, Barisal and Thakurgaon yesterday.
A female college student yesterday allegedly killed herself in Vangura Boral Bridge area of Vangura upazila reportedly due to poverty.
Nagorik Oikko, a newly formed civil society platform, will work to bring the country's politics in right track, said its Chief Adviser ABM Musa yesterday.
Detained Delwar Hossain Sayedee's physical condition is improving gradually.
A man who went missing on Wednesday was found in an unconscious state in the capital's High Court area early yesterday.
At least 20 people were injured as two factions of Awami League (AL) clashed yesterday morning at Dipchar Lautara Bazar in the sadar upazila over using a road.
A man was killed as he fell down from a running train at Darshana Railway Station in Chuadanga yesterday.
President of Bangladesh Workers Party Rashed Khan Menon yesterday said corruption had swept over the country and held back the expected growth of the economy.
The ruling Awami League celebrates it 63rd founding anniversary today.
Police yesterday arrested two persons who used to rent firearms to criminals from the capital's Kalyanpur Pura Basti area.
A youth was hacked to death in Ilsabari area of Singra upazila in the district early hours of yesterday.
Police in separate drives seized heroin worth around Tk 5.5 lakh and arrested eight people in this connection at Lohagara upazila on Thursday night.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-7) seized VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) equipment worth about Tk 7 lakh from a house in Karnelhat in Chittagong on Thursday night.
MA Hashem, a founder life member of the North South University (NSU) Trust, has been unanimously elected as its chairman as well as that of the board of governors of NSU Foundation on Thursday.
A mother allegedly strangulated to death her stepson at Sunder village in Pirgachha upazila in Rangpur yesterday.
Former lawmaker and educationalist Abdul Aziz Chowdhury passed away due to old age complications at his residence in Sylhet's Shahjalal Upashahar area on Thursday. He was 79.
Japan on Friday said its industrial heartland must cut electricity use by 10 percent this summer as the country grapples with a power shortage in the aftermath of last year's Fukushima atomic crisis.
An Indian court yesterday ruled in favour of Tata Motors in its fight to hold on to land it bought for an aborted factory in West Bengal state where it planned to build its low-cost Nano car.
Egypt's ruling military yesterday warned it would "deal firmly" with any attempt to harm the public interest, and blamed political divisions on the release of unofficial presidential poll results by candidates.
By selecting Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as its candidate for next month's Presidential elections, India' s ruling Congress has in one stroke brought out the fault lines in opposition campsbe it right wing BJP or the Left parties.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange yesterday lashed out at Australia and Sweden as he spoke for the first time since turning up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London requesting political asylum.
International envoy Kofi Annan and the major powers have launched a final drive to find a diplomatic solution to the Syria crisis while preparing sanctions and emergency plans for UN observers in the conflict-stricken state.
Efficient lighting would save $110 billion a year worldwide, according to a UN-led study published at the Rio+20 summit on Thursday.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday outlined plans at the Rio+20 summit to provide universal access to energy by 2030, with tens of billion of dollars in funding from business and investors.
The trial of Anders Behring Breivik ended yesterday, exactly 11 months after he massacred 77 people in Norway, with the confessed killer insisting his attacks were justified and demanding acquittal.
Taliban militants armed with guns and rockets attacked a lakeside hotel near Kabul overnight, seizing dozens of hostages including women and children and killing at least 18 people.
Fears grew yesterday that the death toll from a refugee boat disaster off Australia's Christmas Island could soar, as ships and aircraft scouring the seas for the dozens still missing found only more bodies.
US military and intelligence officials are so frustrated with Pakistan's failure to stop local militant groups from attacking Americans in neighboring Afghanistan that they have considered launching secret joint US-Afghan commando raids into Pakistan to hunt them down, officials told The Associated Press.
China and the remote Himalayan nation of Bhutan have agreed to establish diplomatic relations and resolve a long-standing border dispute, China's foreign ministry said.
The death toll from a massive fire at the state government headquarters in Mumbai rose to five yesterday, reports said, as rescue workers found more bodies in the devastated building.
South Korean and US troops yesterday held their biggest single-day joint live-fire exercise to test responses to any North Korean attack, amid high tensions on the peninsula.
An Indonesian court sentenced bombmaker Umar Patek to 20 years' jail on Thursday for his role in the 2002 Bali bombings, bringing to an end a 10-year probe into the nation's deadliest act of terror.
Arts & Entertainment
Yesterday was the day that MLTR (Michael Learns to Rock) put Bangladesh on the international pop stage. MLTR whose 7 studio albums have sold 11 million copies worldwide, do not need a lengthy introduction. The most downloaded song of 2006 was MLTR's “Take Me to Your Heart”, which speaks of the Danish band's success. This correspondent had the chance to talk to MLTR members -- Jascha Ritcher, Mikkel Lents and Kare Wanscher -- prior to the concert yesterday.
The 8th edition of “Lux Channel i Superstar” is currently on, with strong competition narrowing down thousands of hopefuls to just six remaining candidates. The initial selection was made between 20 people, which then narrowed to the top ten, while four others were also eliminated. The final rounds of the competition will be held next month with the remaining six -- who recently chatted with The Daily Star at their temporary home in Baridhara.
It was crowded inside La Galerie of Alliance Française de Dhaka (AFD), in Dhanmondi, on the afternoon of June 21. The air was thick with music as the audience listened with rapt attention letting the melodies seep into their veins. Musicians, mostly students, huddled together on the floor with their instruments as they waited for their turn.
The discerning citizens need to know the tension which exists within a modern democratic state between society, its law and its police: each in some way determines the other two, yet is at the same time dependent on them. The law may be viewed as a set of rules within which society operates, and to change the rules is to change society: the law determines society. However, the rules of society also contain a set of procedures, the rules for both creating and amending legislation and electing a legislature for changing these societal rules: hence society determines the law.
The last round of nuclear negotiations with Iran ended in stalemate, and prospects appear dim for a breakthrough at the next meeting in Moscow.
In a written interview German Federal Foreign Minister Dr. Guido Westerwelle gives his views to Rezaul Karim, Diplomatic Correspondent of The Daily Star, about bilateral development cooperation, German investment in Bangladesh, shipbuilding industry, development of private sector etc. He also talks about troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, economic recession in Europe and rising economy of China and India. Following are excerpts from the interview.
Quality of education is a major concern in Bangladesh. High enrolment in primary education and dazzling pass rates and results in SSC and HSC make us happy. But there are big dark patches that prevent us from being euphoric. The high drop-out rate and steadily falling quality of our education are the dangers that have to be taken into account seriously. One of the main causes of these is lack of quality teachers.
Thirty four years ago on June 23, the sacred ashes of the mortal remains of ever immortal Atish Dipankar Srigana were handed over by China to Bangladesh. Atish, the name given by Tibetans more than a thousand years ago, means great scholar, and man of supreme knowledge and wisdom. Atish Dipankar was indeed the loftiest preacher of love and happiness, purity and peace, kindness and humility, benevolence and humanity. People believed Atish to be Lord Buddha incarnated. He was most revered, most respected in the whole of South Asia, Southeast Asia and China, nay the whole of Asia.
Turgut Reis (Dragut), commander of the Ottoman navy, dies during the Siege of Malta.
Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication” is one of the themes of the recent UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). This writeup is an attempt to scrutinize the idea whether Bangladesh possesses the economic condition, natural and cultural assets, and the policy setting to embrace, if not lead, a green economy transition, which would in turn accelerate its development.
The world's population has dramatically increased in size since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. As the population grows, there are more homes to heat, more food to provide and more machines to power. Therefore, the demand for energy is incredibly increasing worldwide.
OGO nodi aapon bege paagol paaraa… (O' river thou run boundless in thy speed…) Tagore hailed the river. But for the river Norai running through Khilgaon thana, it is only a tale of tethers tethers of pollution and neglect. Once a free river, the Norai now groans under the weight of waste. Drooping Heejol trees on the river bank pensively peering down at their reflections, lush fields, quaint houses, shrubs and thickets of reeds running along the river course remind of a serene natural beauty now marred by stinking, thick, oily, black solution of waste and water that flows through the Norai river. The Norai is now a case of acute environmental catastrophe a river that breathes fire!
Almost 400 years after his death the works of Shakespeare show little sign of losing their popularity. Rather the reverse, perhaps, in a year when he is repeatedly both re-written and performed in his original state for television and radio, and produced in his entirety by the RSC at Stratford, with a variety of movies in a variety of costumes and periods. Love him or hate him, it seems Shakespeare is still inspiring passion and firing debate not only in England and America but all over the world, including Bangladesh. A discussion on the relevance of Shakespeare in today's world is undeniable. A reader or a theatergoer does have to be neither a Bardolater nor a Shakesperoid or buff to have delight and wisdom while enjoying his plays or discussions on him.
Monument of James Princep
I had the privilege of closely knowing Professor Jahangir Tareque since 1965 when he joined Chittagong College as a lecturer in Bengali. I had joined the same college a year earlier. During those days Chittagong College was one of the biggest and best colleges in the then East Pakistan, having more than one hundred teachers at various levels and with Honours courses in several disciplines. Locally it was known as B.A. College. Some fifteen fresh graduates from Dhaka and Rajshahi joined the college in 1964. Some of those who had joined earlier two to three years back belonged to the same age group. Thus, young teachers constituted a significantly large group with close and cordial relationship among them. During off-time we used to meet in the teachers' room. Sometimes we used to go to the seaside or on picnics, no matter whether it was winter or summer.
Although Bangladesh has made a commendable success in reducing child mortality, the rate of neonatal death (death within 28 days of birth) is still quite high and one of the major obstacles in achieving Millennium Development Goal. We are lagging far behind the standard in managing newborns properly. Strengthening and establishing more Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) could handle thousands of critically ill newborns and give them a second chance to life.
Most of the unintended pregnancies are due to contraceptive failure, largely owing to inconsistent or incorrect use. With so many methods available and so many factors to consider, choosing the most effective birth control option can be difficult. A new study was designed to see the effectiveness of contraception that revealed superiority of long acting reversible contraception that will help women choose an efficient one.
Prepping a patient for surgery usually involves shaving areas where incisions are to be made. Some surgeons believe it is important to remove anything that might obstruct their view. Others see shaving as a way to eliminate bacteria that cling to the hair and can contaminate the surgical site. But research suggests that shaving a patient’s skin before surgery may raise the risk of an infection.
A new study published in Archives of Neurology adds to growing evidence that the complications of diabetes may extend to the brain, causing declines in memory, attention and other cognitive skills. The study showed that elderly men and women with diabetes had greater drops in cognitive test scores than other people of a similar age. The more poorly managed their disease, the greater the deterioration in mental function.
People are risking their health by working on smartphones, tablets and laptops after they have left the office, according to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
Despite many challenges and much of a tense situation, the probable influx or intrusion of Rohingya Muslim minorities, coming to Teknaf area following torture and threats, could have been barred by the Bangladesh government. Because of the fast tame-down of the violence in Rakhine state, where most Rohingyas live along Bangladesh border, after nearly in two weeks amid the loss of over 50 lives and around 2500 houses burned, the number of intruders was less this time compared to the massive inflows of 1991, 1978-82 and earlier. The Rohingyas are the most ignored and deceived community since they are denied citizenship and ethnic identity in Myanmar, a country which had been ruled under military regimes for decades, and still, but now under a relatively liberal ruler who promises massive reforms.
We all feel desperate watching the horrible killing, feeling the suffering of the bereaved, the whole people. But, what to do? Could it be that the UN, and governments in general, have a tendency to make the same mistake, again and again, of putting the cart before the horse?
According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a leading German daily, responsibility for the deaths of 108 people massacred in Houla on May 25 lies not with the Syrian army but with the Syrian 'rebel' forces. The newspaper reported the Syrian guerilla groups functioned as Sunni sectarian death squads, wiping out much of Houla's Shiite Muslim minority.
Star Books Review
The arrest of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy by the martial law regime of General Ayub Khan on 30 January 1962 sparked intense resentment among the student community in East Pakistan, to a point where leading figures of the Chhatra Union, Chhatra League, Chhatra Shakti and the pro-regime National Students Federation felt the need for action. The groups met the next day at Madhu's canteen and decided that the students of the university would observe a general strike on 1 February. Thus, for the first time in the more than three years which had elapsed since Ayub Khan's military takeover in October 1958, a decisive move had been taken by the students, which was an early sign of the troubles the regime would confront in the times ahead.
Quamrul Hasan was intrigued by haiku when he was in his first year at university doing his honours in English literature. A course was being taught at the time. It was the renowned haiku as practiced by famous writers. As a student Quamrul wanted to be able to compose a few of these three lined, non rhyming poems. Finally he did write a few. A year or so later there was a haiku competition in The New Age Literature Page. As he had already composed some haiku, he sent them to the literary editor, Prof Niaz Zaman. To his utter surprise, his haiku was selected among the ten best haiku and was published in the literature page along with some of his teachers' works. That inspired the young writer and he continued with his endeavours. He was invited to the Japanese ambassador's residence along with the other published writers. Quamrul Hasan didn't have to look back since then.