The Daily Star

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Friday, July 25, 2014


News of: Monday, 9th of July, 2012

Front Page

Padma bridge with own funds

The government will build the Padma bridge with its own funds and construction work will begin in the current fiscal year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced in parliament yesterday.

Climbing number, rising concern

Bangladesh officially accommodates around 29,000 Rohingya refugees. However, different estimates suggest the number of the Myanmarese minorities living in and around Cox's Bazar ranges between 2.5 and 5 lakh.

Robbery, harassment rampant on highway

Owners of rod-carrying trucks in Chittagong went on an indefinite strike from yesterday demanding an end to frequent robbery of goods vehicles on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway.

Govt to meet development partners today

Finance Minister AMA Muhith today will present to the development partners the details of the steps the government has taken regarding the allegations of corruption raised by the World Bank in the Padma bridge project.

DCs meet ministers tomorrow

A three-day conference of deputy commissioners (DCs) will begin in the capital tomorrow, with law and order, prices of essentials, land management and strengthening local government bodies high on the agenda.

5,489 selected

The final results of the 31st Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations held under the Public Service Commission (PSC) were published yesterday with 5,489 candidates coming out successful.

Students stage angry protest

Enraged by the death of a student in a road accident, his Dhaka Commerce College fellows yesterday set ablaze two buses and vandalised some 40 other vehicles.

BB finds signs of money laundering

Soon after depositing investors' money in banks, Destiny Group directors withdrew almost all the money only to deposit it in their personal accounts to conceal the source of the money they collected through fraudulence.

Call for greater role of women in politics

Women legislators from eight South Asian countries yesterday at a conference in the capital stressed the need for increasing women's participation in the mainstream political process and policy formulation.

All allegations fabricated

The defence of war crimes accused and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah during cross-examination of the first prosecution witness yesterday said the witness made "fabricated statement" for "political purposes".

BCL-Shibir clash, 20 hurt

At least 20 persons were injured last night as activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Islami Chhatra Shibir clashed on the campus of Govt MC College in Sylhet.

Sohel Taj quits active politics

Tanjim Ahmad Sohel Taj has said he will not remain active in politics but will always be beside the people of his constituency as an ordinary citizen.

Operations halted as doc assaulted

No surgery took place under the urology department of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) yesterday following an assault on a senior surgeon, leading to a chaotic situation there.

3 hurt in shooting

Three leaders of Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP) were shot and injured at Dighinala upazila in Khagrachhari early yesterday.

GP employees stage demo

Grameenphone declared a one-day general leave for all its officials yesterday, after a group of officials of the country's largest mobile phone operator demonstrated before their head office at Bashundhara residential area in the capital.

Locals continue demo against land acquisition

Aggrieved locals continued their angry demonstrations for the second day at Diabari in the capital yesterday protesting land acquisition for the 3rd phase of Uttara Model Town project of Rajuk.

Cuba's Castro meets Hanoi top brass

Cuban President Raul Castro met with Vietnamese leaders yesterday following a visit to China, as Havana looks to old communist allies while it attempts to push through historic economic reforms.

Roadside blasts kill 26 in Afghanistan

A string of roadside bombs and clashes in southern Afghanistan killed at least 24 Afghan civilians and police yesterday, officials said, in one of the deadliest days of violence in the country for weeks.

Vietnamese activists hold anti-China rally

More than 200 protesters took to Hanoi's streets yesterday in the second anti-China rally in the Vietnamese capital this month amid heightened territorial tensions over the South China Sea.

Israel PM backs compulsory military training plan

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced yesterday he will back a controversial plan to compel ultra-Orthodox Jews and Arab Israelis to complete compulsory military or community service.

10 injured as gunman opens fire at French disco

An armed man opened fire early yesterday after being ordered out of a nightclub in northern France, injuring 10, a week after a similar incident in the area claimed two lives, officials said.

Coalmine blast kills 7 in China

A gas blast at a coalmine in China's central province of Hunan killed seven people yesterday, state media said, the latest in a string of accidents in the country's dangerous mining industry.

Editorial

A stitch in time saves nine

In the first place the conditions of the two strategic bridges over the Meghna and Gumti should not have been allowed to come to such a pass at all. It is simply unacceptable that these two bridges would be in such a state of disrepair that would involve major repair work with the potential of disrupting the direct link between Chittagong and Dhaka for quite sometime.

Price hike before Ramadan

That a racket of hoarders and retailers push up prices of certain food items before and during the month of Ramadan is not new for the consumers in Bangladesh. What is really new, however, is that the commerce minister himself admitted to this despicable trend a few days back. And we felt relieved when he warned all profit-mongers involved with the racket of "stern action" and also assured us of having sent "14 teams to different markets to identify them" while replying to a lawmaker's query in the parliament on July 2. But in less than a week, we are dismayed to see a continuous increase of prices of onions, gram and lentils with the government apparently unable to do anything against the market manipulators.

Sports

Fabulous Fed denies Britain

Roger Federer won a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title and 17th Grand Slam crown Sunday, shattering tearful Andy Murray's dream of ending Britain's 76-year wait for an All England Club men's champion.

BCB still in dark about SLPL

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is still in dark about five national cricketers who signed contracts for taking part in the Sri Lankan Premier Cricket League (SLPL) which starts on August 10.

Easy win for Tigers in practice T20

The Bangladesh National team defeated the Bangladesh A team by 93 runs in the first of two practice matches that took place at the Academy Ground in Mirpur yesterday.

Clarke's plea to mates

Australia captain Michael Clarke has urged his side to leave England with at least one international win after they suffered yet another hammering at the hands of their old foes.

Pepsi Football Remix finds top three

The gala event of Pepsi Football Remix Festival took place on July 7 at a club in Gulshan, Dhaka. Out of top 50 goal scorers, three came out on top to win the grand prize, a chance to party in Ibiza with world renowned DJ Calvin Harris. The top three were Ashiqul Islam, Saiful Islam Heera and Ashik Rahman Khan.

Women's league from tomorrow

The National Women's Football Championship gets underway from tomorrow across the country under the new name of National Women's Super League following a directive from FIFA.

Like Serena, like Venus

Serena Williams teamed up with sister Venus to win a fifth Wimbledon women's doubles title on Saturday, ending a perfect day after she had also claimed a fifth singles crown.

Serena isn't done yet

Serena Williams has warned her rivals that her emotional fifth Wimbledon title will act as a springboard for even greater glory as she aims to make up for the worst period of her life.

Windies go 2-0 up

Centuries from Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels inspired West Indies to a 55-run win over New Zealand in the second one-day international here at Sabina Park.

Wickets keep falling

Young seamer Thisara Perera grabbed a career-best 4-63 as Sri Lanka bowled out Pakistan for 226 on the opening day of the final Test in Pallekele on Sunday.

Dravid nominated for Khel Ratna

Rahul Dravid has been recommended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India for this year's Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, India's highest honour in sports. The board has also decided to nominate all-rounder Yuvraj Singh for the Arjuna Award, an honour given by the Indian government to recognise achievements in sports.

England's winning lead

Steven Finn's four-wicket haul laid the platform for England's eight-wicket hammering of Australia in the fourth one-day international here on Saturday.

MSC, Sonali Bank jointly on top

Title contenders Mohammedan SC and Sonali Bank kept their joint lead intact in the Green Delta Insurance Premier Division Hockey League after registering their fifth successive win at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Mohammedan win exhibition football game

Mohammedan Sporting Club recorded a lone-goal victory over hosts Tripura XI in an exhibition match held at the UK football ground in Agartala yesterday.

British GP Webber's

Mark Webber claimed the ninth win of his career on Sunday when he swept to a dramatic and perfectly-judged victory in an incident-filled British Grand Prix.

Yuvi's lesson by cancer

Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh believes that his battle with cancer has made him more disciplined but he confessed that he has suffered memory problems after undergoing chemotherapy.

Sun unlikely, says forecast

Sunny weather in London is "very unlikely" during the Olympic Games which begin later this month, forecasters said after the wettest June on record in Britain.

Giggs to captain GBR

Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs was on Sunday named as captain of the British football team at the London Olympics.

Deschamps set for France job

Former France captain Didier Deschamps is set to become the national team's new manager after agreeing terms with the French Football Federation (FFT), press reports said Sunday.

Recruits highlight Brazil riches

Two of Brazil's biggest football clubs presented newly hired foreign imports on Saturday, in the latest manifestation of the newfound spending power that has recently helped keep some of the country's own talent from moving abroad.

Vertonghen terms agreed

Tottenham announced on Sunday that they had agreed terms with Ajax to sign the Dutch club's captain, Jan Vertonghen.

Business

DSE turnover dips to multiyear low

Turnover on the Dhaka Stock Exchange slumped to a three-and-a-half-year low yesterday as investors continue to show little faith in the market.

SEC asks listed firms to form audit committees

Companies listed on the stockmarket will have to form audit committees for greater transparency and accountability purposes, according to the new guidelines of Securities and Exchange Commission.

Four firms get nod to borrow $196m foreign credit

Bangladesh Bank yesterday gave the green light to four private firms to borrow up to $196.4 million from foreign sources.

ICT to help jute farmers offset losses

The smallholder agriculture sector constitutes the largest segment of producers in Bangladesh. Improved performance by agricultural smallholders is a precondition for inclusive development. Smallholders have to be better integrated within agricultural value chains, export oriented or otherwise. However, the sector is plagued with structural issues that inhibit the effective integration of smallholders. One in particular is described as the smallholder quality penalty (SQP) in a recent LIRNEasia study.

Merkel: Europe's weary mountaineer

To help illustrate Germany's historic dilemma as it calculates the risks of rescuing Europe, Ronald Freeman, a London banker friend, conjured up an image of Chancellor Angela Merkel as a weary mountaineer leading a perilous rock climb. Still some distance from safety, Merkel alternates between shouting instructions to those hanging behind her on a taut and fraying rope, and wondering whether to take out her knife and cut loose some of the burden.

Seminar to focus on e-banking, m-commerce

A daylong conference on e-banking and mobile commerce begins today in Dhaka to discuss cost-effective and innovative solutions of information technology for the development of the sector.

Muhith places VAT bill in parliament

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday placed a bill in parliament seeking to enact a new value-added tax law for expansion of the tax base and scope for collection of more tax.

China slowdown weighs on emerging market funds

As China slips, the second-half performance for many emerging market mutual funds might soon follow.

BB gives loans to Ctg women entrepreneurs

Bangladesh Bank yesterday disbursed loans worth Tk 2.44 crores to 22 women in the port city from different SME (small and medium enterprise) loan provider banks.

Shipping agents' assoc re-elects top brass

The Bangladesh Shipping Agents' Association yesterday re-elected its chairman, senior vice chairman and vice chairman for 2012-13 and 2013-14.

Kingfisher starts paying Feb salaries to staff

Kingfisher Airlines has started paying February salaries to employees, a spokesman said on Friday, providing a measure of relief to frustrated staff, including pilots who had recently threatened to go on strike.

Metropolitan

Govt will fund dev schemes by itself: PM

Laying emphasis on making the country self reliant, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government will implement its development projects with its own resources.

Bangladesh among top 15

The Netherlands listed Bangladesh as one of the top 15 countries where it would provide cooperation and assistance on priority basis for the expansion of the emerging economies.

48 men rescued from trafficking

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-7) rescued 48 men, who were told that they would be sent to Malaysia, and arrested two persons in this connection from Kadamtali area of Chittagong city early yesterday.

Creative questions to be applied in math exams

After the successful application of creative question method in 21 subjects at secondary level, the government has decided to introduce the question method in mathematics and higher mathematics in future, said Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday.

Return to JS

Speaker Abdul Hamid yesterday urged the BNP-led opposition lawmakers to return to parliament and play their role.

DNCC faces resistance from hawkers

Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) officials yesterday faced resistance from hawkers at Mirpur Intersection during a drive to evict hawkers and demolish illegal structures on footpaths.

Submit objections to NHRC

National Human Rights Commission Chairman Mizanur Rahman yesterday urged stakeholders concerned of the country's forests to submit their objections on the draft amendment to the Forest Act, 1927 and the draft of Wildlife (Preservation) Act, 2010 to the commission.

Kashem to be quizzed at safe home

The International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday allowed the prosecution to quiz detained Jamaat leader Mir Kashem Ali in a “safe home” in connection with crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 Liberation War.

DoE fines cement factory Tk 27.62 lakh

The Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined Holcim Bangladesh Tk 27.62 lakh for releasing fly ash into the air, subsequently polluting the environment, while unloading it from a ship at its factory.

Do not hold Buet students 'hostage'

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid in parliament yesterday called upon agitating teachers of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) not to hold students 'hostage' by halting academic activities of the public university.

Six injured in BCL infighting in Ctg

Six activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Omar Gani MES University College unit in Chittagong were injured in a factional clash yesterday.

Scheme on population management urged

A population management scheme is necessary for the country's overall development, said speakers at a debate competition yesterday.

Mahbub Anam's 11th anniversary of death today

Today is the 11th death anniversary of eminent journalist and author Mahbub Anam, former editor of The Bangladesh Times.

ACC sues printer

Ant-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed a case against the chief superintendent of M/S Pustika, a sister concern of Beximco Group, on charge of misappropriating some Tk 11.50 crore of the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB).

HC stays ACC notice on Moudud

The High Court yesterday stayed for three months operation of an Anti-Corruption Commission notice asking BNP leader Moudud Ahmed to appear before the commission in connection with a money laundering allegation.

BNP only wants to loot money: Sajeda

Deputy Leader of the Parliament Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury yesterday said from the beginning, the BNP only wanted to grab state power to loot money of the people.

Non-govt teachers to go on hunger strike Wednesday

The teachers and employees of non-government schools and colleges yesterday announced a mass hunger strike across the country for Wednesday to press home their 17-point demand, including nationalisation of the country's education system.

Bashundhara chief gets bail

The High Court yesterday granted anticipatory bail for four months to Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan Shah Alam and four others in two separate cases.

CID official cross-examined

Counsels of all the accused in the August 21 grenade attack cases including the counsel of BNP Senior Vice-chairman Tarique Rahman yesterday completed cross-examining a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) official Abu Hena Md Yusuf, the 62nd prosecution witness.

Hafizuddin's statement his own: TIB

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), in a statement yesterday, stated that it has no connection with the statement made by its former chairman M Hafizuddin Khan at a discussion of Nagorik Oikya in the capital on Saturday.

Two new envoys appointed

The government decided to appoint Md Touhid Hossain, current principal of Foreign Service Academy, as the new high commissioner to South Africa and Masud Bin Momen, current Bangladesh ambassador to Italy, as the new ambassador to Japan.

Land minister served legal notice

A Supreme Court lawyer yesterday served a legal notice to Land Minister Rezaul Karim Hira, bringing a contempt of court allegation against him for not complying with a High Court (HC) judgement.

HC grants bail to ATN Bangla chairman

The High Court yesterday granted anticipatory bail to ATN Bangla Chairman Mahfuzur Rahman for four months in 10 defamation cases.

Rab arrests 4

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested four persons from the capital's Banani on Saturday in connection with firing on a leader and two activists of pro-Awami League youth body Jubo League inside their party office in Mohakhali on July 1.

Water transport workers call off strike

Water transport workers yesterday withdrew their strike, which was scheduled to start today's early hours.

Ensure higher education for women: Nahid

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday said barriers for women at higher level education should be removed to ensure equity among men and women.

Boy's body recovered

Police recovered the body of a boy from the river Turag adjacent to Turag Housing Society of Mohammadpur area in the capital yesterday.

Body of drowned boy recovered

The body of a 12-year-old boy, who drowned on Saturday in a canal in Fatikchhari upazila under Chittagong, was recovered yesterday.

Numismatic exhibition in capital

A 12-day long numismatic exhibition will be inaugurated in the capital today.

BIAA distributes relief to landslide victims in Ctg

Bangladesh Indenting Agents' Association (BIAA) distributed relief to the victims of landslide and water-logging of Sholokbahar slum area in Panchalise upazila in Chittagong on July 3. Rice, pulse, potato, edible oil, salt and sugar were distributed among 300 families, said a prèss release.

Worker found dead, three held

Police recovered the body of a worker of a shoe factory from Hrishipara area in Narayanganj town yesterday morning.

Prof Syed Masud Husain made first VC of BUFT

Professor Dr Syed Masud Husain joined BGMEA University of Fashion & Technology (BUFT) as the first Vice-Chancellor (VC) on July 1.

Kazi Sirajul Hoque

Kazi Mohammad Sirajul Hoque, father of Sabina Yeasmeen, managing director of Prochito IMC Ltd, passed away at Holy Family Hospital in the capital on Saturday.

Obituary

ABM Siddiqur Rahman Putu, president of Shaghata upazila unit of Awami League, died of cardiac arrest at Central Hospital in Dhaka on Saturday. He was 55.

National

Vicious traps of loan sharks

Less than a year ago, physically challenged siblings Anjira, 26, and Rupali, 27, took a Tk 5000 loan from two loan sharks of Kapashatia village under Harinakundo upazila in the district.

Kids from 5 more schools put their enthusiasm

English language fairs held under English in Schools (EIS) programme, a joint initiative of The Daily Star and mobile operator Robi, saw lively participation of young learners from five schools in Jhenidah, Sylhet and Rangpur districts yesterday.

Saline water floods aman seedbeds in 10 villages

Aman seedbeds on over 2,000 hectares of land at 10 villages under Kalapara upazila got damaged due to saline water that entered the village following collapse of a flood control embankment on Wednesday last.

Over 400 Lalmonirhat families rendered homeless in a week

At least 415 families in 14 villages of Lalmonirhat Sadar, Hatibandha, Kaliganj and Aditmari upazilas have become homeless during last one week due to the erosion by Teesta and Dharla rivers, Water Development Board (WDB) sources said.

Benapole land port workers on strike

Workers at the land port here went on an indefinite strike yesterday, demanding implementation of the government-declared minimum wages for them.

Road link snaps as bridge collapses

Road communication of Durgapur with Purbadhola upazila and the rest of the country snapped as a bridge at Rajabazar point of Durgapur-Mymensingh road in Purbadhola upazila collapsed yesterday afternoon.

Processionists batoned

At least 15 people were injured during a clash between the activists of BNP-led 18-party alliance and police near the bus terminal in the town yesterday.

Procession demanding water

Several hundred women including housewives of Bewtha area yesterday besieged Manikganj municipality office, demanding adequate supply of water.

Khagrachhari resort manager murdered

A woman was stabbed to death by criminals in Alutila tourist area under Sadar upazila yesterday.

Hasan holds RCC office

Kazi Hasan Ahmed, the newly appointed administrator of Rangpur City Corporation (RCC), took charge yesterday. The former mayor AKM Abdur Rauf Manik of the now defunct Rangpur municipality handed over the charge to Hasan Ahmed in the morning. A number of officers and employees of RCC and journalists from different print and electronic media were present at the programme. In his inaugural speech, Hasan sought everyone's cooperation to complete the on-going development work of the city soon. On June 28, the Local Government Rural Development and Co-operative Ministry through a gazette notification turned the divisional town into a city corporation effective from July 1.

Rly gatekeepers agitate

At least14 railway gatekeepers yesterday demonstrated in front of the office of Lalmonirhat Railway Divisional Traffic Superintendent (DTS) under west zone railway, demanding regularisation of their jobs. At the programme, the demonstrators said they were not getting their wages for the last four months. Meanwhile, DTS official sources said they were recruited as temporary gatekeepers under a project. The agitators also threatened to go for a tougher programme if their demand was not met immediately. Earlier on July 2, the gatekeepers besieged the office of DTS to press for the same demand.

Help for flood-hit families

Plan Bangladesh has donated Tk 3.5 crore to 7,000 flood affected families in three districts. Cash, Tk 2.5 crore was distributed in Gainbandha and Kurigram on July 5 and 6 respectively while the rest in Ramu upazila of Cox's Bazar with the support of Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) yesterday. Each family received Tk 5,000. Plan Bangladesh's deputy country director Anwar Hossain Shikder, programme support manager Liaqat Ali, upazila nirbahi officer Debi Chandra and YPSA's executive director Arifur Rahman, were present at the programme at Chakmarkul union of Ramu upazila.

Letters

Migrant workers deserve humane treatment

Imagine being hauled off to a foreign land in search of better economic prospects in harsh working conditions and poorly paid jobs. Imagine being subject to humiliation and harassment by your own countrymen. Yes, this is a situation our migrant workers have to face on a daily basis. My heart fills with sadness, and mostly anger, every time I witness how we, as a nation, treat migrant workers with such contempt in our airports. Our workers are made to wait for hours in long immigration queues and repeatedly harassed by airport authorities. We laugh and sneer at them when they ask for help. We look down on the very people we share the same flight with. How many of us are aware of the fact that these are the very same people who are one of the biggest contributors to our national economy?

Planting trees imperative

World temperature is rising gradually. Bangladesh is considered one of the most vulnerable countries in the face of climate change. To keep the environmental balance, a country should have 25% forest of its total land. 100 years ago, we had 30% forest but due to cutting trees indiscriminately, we have only around 10% forest now!

Pleasure trip to the Moon!

A private British space company has announced that it would fly three people to the moon a year. The tourists would orbit the moon and return safely to earth in a round trip of about 500,000 miles. This company has planned for one trip a year from 2015 to 2025. A person will have to buy a ticket at £100 million to be a tourist of the moon.

Of ACC, NHRC, and Padma Bridge

The World Bank's decision to withdraw funding for the Padma Bridge is not as much an indictment of the Awami League government as it is of a system of fool's gold. The same would have happened in a BNP administration. We may have fine sounding organisations like the ACC and the NHRC, but the fact remains that those are little more, in practice, than toothless advisory panels made of tired ex-bureaucrats too scared to say a peep about government ministers and ruling party functionaries of the day. Until the day that an ACC prosecutes a cabinet member of the incumbent political administration or the NHRC hauls into court human rights violators belonging to the affiliated bodies of a ruling party, the only people who will believe these to be credible organisations will be the professional attendees of the numerous seminars in the various posh hotels in Dhaka who have been talking for forty years and will do so for forty more.

Poultry sector in crisis

Our poultry sector is now struggling hard for survival. There are various reasons behind this crisis. Lack of proper and effective management, inadequate knowledge, ineffective vaccinations, banning import from India, oil price hikes etc are some of the reasons. We should give attention to our poultry sector as it is directly related to the nation's nutrition. The government should introduce vaccines and other facilities such as poultry insurance, bank loans with lower interest rates, and tax exemption for poultry feed for ensuring smooth operation of the industry.

Communications minister admits mistake

With reference to the editorial entitled “No 'surprise' from Quadeer, please” published in The Daily Star on July 03, 2012, the Honourable Communications Minister admits his mistake for using the word 'surprise.' His explanation goes as below.

Irreparable damage done to the country

On June 30, 2012 the breaking news in the electronic media that "World Bank cancelling its loan for Padma bridge" came as a shock to us and we felt deeply ashamed. The government is fully responsible for losing the 1.2 billion credit for the Padma bridge project because it did not pay heed to the World Bank's repeated warning that they had proof about corruption in the bidding process, in which high level government officials were involved. The name of the former communications minister Syed Abul Hossain came to the forefront. The government then removed him from his post and gave him another portfolio. The government should have done a thorough investigation about Syed Abul Hossain and others who were involved in the scam and taken proper action against them. But it did not hesitate to degrade the country to save a few people.

Within 48 hours.....

Presently some people in power and some service oriented organisations developed a norm of announcing (without appreciating the real situation) that they would accomplish some goal or fix certain disorder within 48 hours! But in almost all the cases no fruitful results could be seen even after passing of so many 48-hours.

Power cuts make them loan defaulter

On 26th June 2012 most of the dailies carried two important news with big headlines. The headlines were: "More than 1.22 lac loan defaulters in the country" and "Government's proposal to hike electricity prices very soon." Let me give an example of one unintentional loan defaulter whose name might have already been included in the 1.22 lac list. A friend of mine, an experienced businessman, established a textile manufacturing unit about a year back with bank loan. He imported sophisticated textile machinery by opening L/C from abroad. The time between L/C opening date and trial production was more than one year because of delay in getting electricity connection, setting up of machinery etc. By the time he completed setting up the machines at the factory, he failed to pay more than six instalments and became a defaulter according to BB rules. His company became disqualified for getting any further support.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Sunday's The Daily Star news report headlined "Sohel Taj tenders resignation in person"

International

US-Pak ties still raise tough questions: Hillary

The US-Pakistani relationship remains challenging for both despite the reopening of Pakistani land routes to resupply US troops in Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday.

Donors offer $16b in aid to Afghans

Major donors yesterday pledged to give Afghanistan $16 billion in development aid through 2015 as they try to prevent it from sliding back into chaos when foreign troops leave, but demanded reforms to fight widespread corruption.

India provides proof to Pakistan

India's External Affairs Minister SM Krishna met his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar yesterday during which he strongly raised the issue of anti-India activities being carried out from the Pakistani soil, maintaining that New Delhi has given additional concrete evidence of the same.

Libya counts vote after historic poll

Vote-counting was under way in Libya yesterday, after the country held its first free national election for 60 years.

Time dubs Indian PM as 'underachiever'

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has long been lauded for his pivotal role in liberalising the Indian economy, has been dubbed as an “underachiever” by a top US magazine which says he appears “unwilling to stick his neck out” on reforms that will put the country back on growth path.

Govt faces confidence vote in Greece

The government of Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras faced a confidence vote yesterday, capping three days of often heated debate over how the country can emerge from crisis and satisfy EU-IMF lenders.

Egypt's Morsi annuls dissolution of parliament

Egypt's new President Mohamed Morsi yesterday issued a decree annulling the Supreme Court's dissolution of the Islamist-dominated parliament, the official MENA news agency reported.

East Timor PM heads for poll win

East Timor's Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao is set for a new term of coalition government after his party won parliamentary elections - but without an overall majority.

Arts & Entertainment

Music and poetry on Monsoon

Padatik-Bangladesh arranged a programme featuring music and recitation at The Daily Star Centre in Dhaka on July 7. Themed on monsoon, the event titled, “Nibir Megher Chhayae”, featured singer Nargis Chowdhury and elocutionist Ahkam Ullah. The duo performed songs and poems of Rabindranath Tagore on Borsha.

Shafiq Tuhin: Music and Lyrics

Shafiq Tuhin is one of the busiest and most popular lyricists and music composers of this time. Recently, he has taken on the avatar of a singer as well.

Japani Bodhu comes to Dhaka

The premiere show and DVD release of Tanvir Mokammel's documentary “Japani Bodhu” were held on the evening of July 6 at the Public Library auditorium in Shahbagh, Dhaka.

El Scorcho Film Festival

Le Putas del Cinema's El Scorcho Film Festival opened on July 5, at the Dhaka Art Center, according to a press release.

New Spider-Man spotlights brooding Peter Parker

He's been in comics, cartoons, on TV and in movies, but for the new film "The Amazing Spider-Man," its makers bring out a more brooding and human web-slinger than fans have seen before.

Barnan Abriti Chakra celebrates 3rd anniversary

Barnan Abriti Chakra, a Manikganj-based organisation, observed its 3rd anniversary with poetry recitation, discussion and rally at the Central Shahid Minar premises in Manikganj last Friday.

Cultural programme highlighting Tagore's creations

Noren Abbritti Academy, an organisation of elocutionists in the port city, arranged a cultural programme featuring Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore's creations, titled “Otho Hey Otho Robi”, at the Shilpakala Academy in Chittagong last Saturday.

Naomi Watts plays Princess Diana

The first image of Naomi Watts playing Diana, Princess of Wales, has been released by film company Ecosse.

OP-ED

Government should be pragmatic in its WB dealings

Even such people who would never say die in Bangladesh did finally despair when the Korean-born Jim Yong Kim upon assumption of World Bank (WB)'s presidency said he would stick to his predecessor, Robert B. Zoellick's stand on the Padma bridge loan. That means defunding of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project (PMBP) was not a personal decision of Mr. Zoellick's as it seemed to some in the government.

Why Russia is backing Syria

Many in the West believe that Russia's support for Syria stems from Moscow's desire to profit from selling arms to Bashar al-Assad's government and maintain its naval facility at the Syrian port of Tartus. But these speculations are superficial and misguided. The real reason that Russia is resisting strong international action against the Assad regime is that it fears the spread of Islamic radicalism and the erosion of its superpower status in a world where Western nations are increasingly undertaking unilateral military interventions.

This Day In History

July 9

1776
George Washington ordered the Declaration of Independence to be read out loud to members of the Continental Army in New York City for the first time.


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