News of: Saturday, 29th of September, 2012
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called for reforms of the United Nations, World Bank, IMF and other international financial institutions so they could serve the interests of large majorities instead of a privileged few.
The confrontational political culture in the country is a major obstacle to holding free and fair parliamentary polls under partisan governments, three Supreme Court judges have observed in the full verdict on caretaker government.
Road communications between the capital and the southern part of the country through Mawa-Keorakandi route snapped yesterday with ferry services suspended due to heavy current in the Padma.
Thousands of illegal billboards have cluttered the port city over the years, obscuring the city's exquisite natural landscape as the city corporation has remained indifferent to launching a demolition drive.
Saltwater intrusion is threatening the groundwater of the capital as the level of the groundwater has gone 170 feet below the sea level due to unplanned extraction.
Assailants in the US have shot dead another Bangladeshi, the third Bangladeshi to be so killed there over the last one month.
The Election Commission has taken foolproof security measures to hold the Gazipur-4 by-polls tomorrow in a free and fair manner.
A plane flying 19 people towards Mount Everest went down in flames on the outskirts of the Nepalese capital yesterday, killing everyone on board including seven Britons and five Chinese, police said.
Shane Watson grabbed 3-34 and struck 72 off 42 balls to lift Australia to an emphatic nine-wicket win over India in the Super Eights match of the World Twenty20 in Colombo on Friday.
Bangladesh has voiced concern over several non-tariff and para-tariff barriers to trade with India, saying these need to be brought down to a minimum level.
A boy lost his leg as he slipped from a train and fell on the lines when it was departing Kamalapur Railway Station in the capital yesterday.
Implementation of the Dhaka Integrated Flood Control Embankment or the Eastern Bypass Project seems a far cry although the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has recently formed a working committee to review the project taken up 14 years ago.
India's Sahara business group, which was ordered by the Supreme Court to refund $3bn to its investors for violating financial regulations, yesterday said it will do so within three months.
Nasa's Mars rover has discovered gravel once carried by the waters of an ancient stream that "ran vigorously" through the area, the US space agency said Thursday.
Two construction workers died after falling from the fifth floor of a six-storey under-construction building at Foy's Lake in Chittagong city yesterday morning.
The alleged filmmaker behind the video that sparked protests across Muslim countries was arrested and detained without bond Thursday, as a US judge said she feared he would try to flee.
Chief of the last caretaker government Fakhruddin Ahmed “deceived” people by taking the chief executive's position even though he was a “foreign citizen”, said Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir yesterday.
The government plans to export rice subject to a good yield of Aman production this year, Food Minister Abdur Razzak said yesterday.
It sounds like a mash-up of Indiana Jones' plots, but German researchers say a heavy Buddha statue brought to Europe by the Nazis was carved from a meteorite that likely fell 10,000 years ago along the Siberia-Mongolia border.
Israel's threats of military action against Iran over its nuclear programme only serve to boost the defiance of the Islamic republic, the head of the Revolutionary Guards yesterday said.
We welcome by the Chinese ambassador's comments to the Daily Star on September 26 on the proposed deep sea port construction at a cost US$5 billion. One of the sticking points on the Bangladesh side revolves around the fact that important development partners including the United States, Japan and India too have expressed participation in the project. However, as pointed out by Ambassador Li Jun, the Chinese government is open to participation of other countries in developing this crucial port, especially in light of the fact that Chittagong port is forecasted to run out of capacity in 2015.
Right to Information Act is available to demand information from public service institutions by the people at large. Broadly, there are two issues involved here: the first one concerns itself with generating demands for information; and the second relates to unfettered dissemination of authentic information to individuals seeking it.
South Africa's limited-over captain AB de Villiers, in a pre-tournament press conference, had stated that choking for them was a 'thing of the past'. The manner in which they lost their game against Pakistan, in the eighth match of the ICC World Twenty20 at the R Premadasa Cricket Sta-dium yesterday, however, suggested otherwise.
Umar Gul turned an unlikely hero with the bat as Pakistan survived a middle-order collapse to beat South Africa by two wickets in the Super Eights of the World Twenty20 on Friday.
Sri Lanka might be hosting the World Cup of the most popular form of the game at the moment, but by all bearings the World Tweny20 still comes up short when compared to the 2011 World Cup last year, when Bangladesh played the role of hosts and celebrated with frenzy.
Sheikh Russel KC -- the surprise package of the professional football league's transfer season -- completed the players' registration formalities yesterday amid a festive mood with motorbikes leading the players on horse carriages to the Bangladesh Football Federation headquarters.
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who was diagnosed with 'degenerated meniscus' in his left knee, before the Twenty20 World Cup, has said that he isn't thinking about going under the knife any time soon.
Siddikur Rahman remained solid in the second round of the Mercuries Taiwan Masters to remain one stroke off the leading pack which features three locals, one Korean and a Filipino. The 27-year old golfer matched his first round score of par (72) to post a par (144) after two days of testing conditions at the The Taiwan Golf and Country Club.
An all-round effort by Carlos Brathwaite gave the visiting West Indies High Perfor-mance side a one-nil lead, in the three-match one-day series, over Bangladesh A, at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium yesterday.
British driver Lewis Hamilton has signed a three-year deal to drive for Mercedes from 2013, replacing seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, the firm announced on Friday.
Sri Lanka and the West Indies eyed up semifinal places after hard-fought wins in Group One of the Super Eights, with the hosts needing a dramatic one over eliminator for victory.
Defending champions England and New Zealand hope to put their World Twenty20 campaigns back on track after losing their Super Eights group one matches in Pallekele Stadium on Thursday.
West Indies' surprise hero Johnson Charles said Friday he was indebted to Chris Gayle for easing the pressure during his match-winning knock against England at the World Twenty20.
Defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska moved to within one step of retaining her Pan Pacific Open title Friday, overwhelming Angelique Kerber with a dominant performance in the semi-finals.
Former World Player of the Year Kaka is set to play his first match for Brazil in more than two years after being recalled on Thursday for next month's friendlies.
Chelsea will try to cement their position at the top of the Premier League by winning at London rivals Arsenal on Saturday in their first match since Blues skipper John Terry was banned for racist abuse.
Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez feels their eight-point lead over Real Madrid has piled the pressure on their bitter rivals ahead of La Liga's first clasico of the season a little over a week away.
Some 2014 World Cup teams will have to play afternoon matches at tropical venues in Brazil after organisers announced kick-off times on Thursday.
Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella on Friday announced an 18-man squad for World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay, at home on October 12, and away to Chile four days later.
Emanuele Calaio's 61st minute winner lifted Serie A strugglers Siena off the foot of the table for the first time this season thanks to a precious 1-0 home win against Bologna.
Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho leapt to the defence of John Terry on Thursday, insisting the controversial defender is not a racist.
Brazilian footballer Brandao has had rape charges against him dismissed for lack of evidence, his lawyer told AFP.
In the midst of the constant barrage of news about bad people doing bad things in this country, it is easy to forget about the dedicated people here doing good work. This is the story of one such effort.
A section of Dhaka Polytechnic Institute students' extorting truck workers in the institute area led to Wednesday night's violence, the workers' leaders claimed on Thursday and said the students were extorting them "under the protection of the ruling party".
Despite the transfer of all 14 staff of Chittagong Railway Station's ticket counters and a team of Railway Nirapatta Bahini (RNB) of Chittagong, tickets are still ending up in the hands of touts.
Effective implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Act is essential in curbing corruption as keeping information secret leads to corruption and free flow of information resists breeding of corruption, said speakers at a rally yesterday.
Hotel and restaurant workers yesterday declared a countrywide protest programme on October 20, demanding minimum wage and full bonus before the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha.
The main opposition BNP yesterday urged the government to immediately accept their demand for reinstating the caretaker government system if it wants to avoid 1/11 like situation.
Terming BNP's demand for caretaker government system restoration “illogical and undemocratic”, Awami League leader Amir Hossain Amu yesterday said the opposition is making the demand out of vengeance.
The upgrading of 32 kilometers of the Dhaka-Chittagong highway into four lanes will be completed by next December, said Communications Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday.
Jatiya Adivasi Parishad, a platform for the indigenous people, will launch a two-day long march towards Rajshahi from Nachole in Chapainawabganj on October 2 to press home their four-point demand, including enactment of a law on indigenous peoples' rights.
Bangladesh has requested Norway to provide financial and technical support in marine fisheries resource survey, biotechnology and fisheries management to develop the country's fisheries sector.
Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu yesterday assured two of seven journalists, attacked by some villagers led by an arbitrator's son, and Manikganj Press Club president that legal action would be taken against the attackers.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested 10 young activists of a new Islamist outfit, Tasauf Mahal, in connection with the murder of a "fellow activist", Shohan Hossain, in Natore Wednesday night.
Commuters of low income group on the Dhaka-Narayanganj rail route urged the authorities concerned to withdraw the increase in train fare and improve railway services.
Nine people were killed in separate road accidents in Comilla, Faridpur, Chittagong and Tangail on Thursday and yesterday.
Expressing anger at a US film and a French weekly's cartoon mocking Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (pbuh), over 6,000 protesters brought out a procession in the capital's Kuril Biswa Road after Juma prayers yesterday.
Condemning the recent "attack" on indigenous people in Rangamati, speakers at two separate human chains yesterday called for a judicial investigation into the incident and exemplary punishment for the culprits.
Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (CVASU) yesterday launched the country's very first mobile veterinary healthcare services.
Bangla screen legend Suchitra Sen underwent an operation on her left wrist joint, which suffered a fracture and dislocation on Thursday night, and her condition is stable, doctors said yesterday.
A fire gutted a paint factory in the capital's Kamrangirchar area yesterday.
Police yesterday seized 31 tortoises and two drums filled with eels from a Dhaka-bound passenger bus and arrested one Moniruzzaman from a toll booth on Patuakhali bridge.
A housewife was killed and a rickshaw puller was found dead in Sirajganj on Thursday night.
Two construction workers died from electrocution in Foy's Lake area under Khulshi Police Station yesterday morning.
Two fractions of pro-Awami League Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Dhaka University unit engaged in a clash over a trifling matter last night.
Ahsania Mission Cancer and General Hospital (AMCGH) will provide free counseling services to poor women who are at risk of breast cancer throughout October marking the International Breast Cancer Awareness month.
A man was killed and another injured after being electrocuted in the capital's Darus Salam area yesterday.
A journalist of Bangla daily Jugantor was assaulted by pro-Awami League Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists of Chittagong University (CU) unit on the campus on Thursday.
A mobile court on Thursday night imprisoned a railway employee for one year for his involvement in selling railway tickets on black market at Rajshahi Railway Station.
Jahanara Begum, wife of a former district registrar of Rajshahi and mother-in-law of journalist Kazi Gias, died at the age of 90 on Thursday night.
Iran on Thursday vowed to "retaliate" against any attack after Israel's prime minister called for a "red line" to prevent the Islamic republic from acquiring a nuclear bomb.
Rebels unleashed an unprecedented barrage of mortar fire against troops in Aleppo after announcing a "decisive" battle for Syria's second city, residents and a watchdog say.
Monsoon floods in Pakistan have killed 371 people and affected nearly 4.5 million, the government's disaster relief agency said yesterday.
The US military's current fleet of drones will soon be overtaken by a new wave of robots that will be faster, stealthier and smarter -- operating virtually without human intervention, experts said.
A planned meeting between US and Pakistani military chiefs was postponed this week due to a wave of violent anti-American protests, the top-ranking US officer, General Martin Dempsey, Thursday said.
Myanmar's President Thein Sein made an unprecedented tribute to opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi's "efforts for democracy" and vowed to resolve ethnic strife in a landmark UN speech.
Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai will "face justice" for a litany of crimes, state media said yesterday, as it announced the Communist Party had set a November 8 date for a pivotal party congress.
The British government will go to court against confidential letters written by Prince Charles to government ministers being made public, reflecting his intervention on legislative and other matters.
China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi sparked angry exchanges with Japanese diplomats at the United Nations by accusing Japan of stealing disputed islands.
Dozens of prisoners were on the loose yesterday after militants attacked a prison in the Iraqi city of Tikrit, leaving at least 13 policemen dead, officials said.
Nigeria's Chinua Achebe, often called the father of modern African literature, released his first major work in years Thursday with a long-awaited memoir centred on the war that nearly destroyed his nation.
Kenya's army yesterday said it had taken the southern Somali port city of Kismayo, the last stronghold of the al-Qaeda linked Shebab, but the African Union force said operations were still ongoing.
Nato-led troops have resumed most joint operations with Afghan forces after commanders restricted patrols with their allies in Afghanistan due to a spike in insider attacks, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday.
The United States issued a security alert for the Philippine capital of Manila yesterday, warning its citizens they could be the target of an unspecified attack.
Germany's opposition Social Democrats have chosen Peer Steinbrueck, a former finance minister, to challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel in elections next year, a newspaper yesterday reported.
President Barack Obama has told American TV network ABC that he wants to return to education when he leaves the presidency.
France yesterday unveiled action to plug a 37-billion-euro hole in its public finances with the toughest package of tax rises and spending cuts the country has known in an economic downturn.
Arts & Entertainment
Ataus Samad was full of camaraderie and bonhomie. He never let you down. For him I was some Joan of Arc, who had come to Dhaka before the Liberation War. He himself was the pride of Shamim Ahmad, editor of The Sun [Karachi, Pakistan].
Award-winning Indian filmmaker Suman Mukhopadhyay's upcoming film “Shesher Kabita” has Bangladeshi fashion designer Goutom Saha, as a style consultant. The adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore's famed work casts Rahul Bose and Konkona Sen Sharma as Amit and Labanya respectively. Costumes of the actors were conceptualised and recommended by Saha.
Hardly ever has a show been so much panned yet maintained enough ratings to be considered one the best new sitcoms of the year. “2 Broke Girls” does just that and it goes on about unaffected, shutting opposing voices with the same tongue-in-cheek, in-your-face humour that the show promotes every other week. “2 Broke Girls” is a revelation of sorts, shrugging off the need to be different and embracing every stereotype, corny joke and overused innuendo -- all of it wrapped in two pretty packages. This is a new spin on old-school slapstick, with the hurt being felt more on a mental level than a physical one, but it works, nonetheless.
Shariful Islam, from Barokhada, Kushtia, is a folk music instruments player who initially started his profession as a carpenter but later switched onto the artistry of making ektara, dotara, sarinda and dugi-tabla. He has been in this profession for the last 10 years. Shariful takes a week to make a dotara and sells that at Taka 6000/7000 (retail) and Taka 3500/4000 (wholesale). To make a good-quality dotara, Shariful generally uses solid wood of kathal, neem, bokai neem and mahogany. A piece of solid wood costs him Taka 1700-2400. Dotaras made by Shariful are of different sizes -- 18, 20, and 22 inches. Government patronage is much needed for a craftsman like Shariful who makes time-honoured folk music instruments. National Crafts Council of Bangladesh with Bengal Foundation jointly organised Master Crafts Persons Award programme along with a five-day crafts fair at National Museum in 2010 to re-establish the seemingly lost crafts of Bangladesh. Shariful took part in the fair with his music instruments and wooden gift items.
Songstress Lata Mangeshkar, who turned 83 yesterday, was bringing in her birthday quietly, out of Mumbai. Mangeshkar said that she never celebrates her birthday. The singer, whose songs continue to enthral and be a source of inspiration for millions, is keeping a low profile these days. When asked if she will be singing for any of the forthcoming films, she said, “These days I want to hear the song in its entirety before giving my nod.”
Aleading English newspaper has editorially commented that the recent political withdrawal of cases is a dent in law and morality. The editorial, interestingly, observes that "the ruling party Awami League, of course, has followed in the footsteps of the BNP-led four party alliance governments between 2001 and 2006, when cases against 73,000 individuals were lifted." It bemoans that for all our concern for rule of law being applied in the country over the years, it has been precisely the opposite that has happened with successive governments.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, was in New York this week to attend the UN General Assembly. As it turned out, he embarked on a PR blitz, giving interviews freely and casually to the international media. The highlight was his call for a "new world order," which would see the end of US bullying.
Lured by the promise of job offers, big money and better future thousands of Bangladeshis have fallen victim to unscrupulous brokers and fake manpower agents. Many of these migrant workers have perished while crossing the rough seas and horrid desert lands while others have seen their dreams shattered by the cruel hand of fate.
Traditionally, a university is perceived as an institution that imparts higher education to produce all kinds of highly skilled manpower the society needs for its overall development. It undertakes research to create knowledge for national and global benefit. The universities and societies are interdependent. They help each other develop. In the final analysis a university is an institution of higher learning. However, this characterisation does not encompass all the roles a university plays.
Increasing population demands increasing attention and investment for education in a country. It is good to see that we have developed a lot in terms of enrolment in primary education but it is also true that now is the time to see to what extent the students in the government primary schools are getting quality education and to what extent they are getting access to, and opportunity for, higher education and job market.
The British Mandate for Palestine takes effect, creating Mandatory Palestine.
Are the top government officials, specially the public representatives and public servants, all aware of the significance and importance of the four rivers around the mega city Dhaka? Do they have any long-term plans to save these rivers from still unabated encroachment and pollution? “Yes” should be the answer in both the cases. For this is what is supposed to be satisfactory to the people, who want to know that the people's government is not turning a blind eye to the issue.
At the very beginning of the month (September 1) we also observed the International Vulture Awareness Day, along with others across the world. But to what effectiveness, is yet to be judged. The vulture is a big size bird of prey and also referred to as important scavenger. Previously, it was a commonly sighted and well-known bird in our country. But at present, it is not seen usually in locality dump sites with the exception of the zoo and some remote parts of the country. Vulture is a strong-bird that feeds on carrion. They have broad wings, riding on which they soar high while looking down for carrion. They have no feathers on head or neck, for which they look bit ugly, but are very gentle and simply harmless.
Professor Razia Khan (1936-2011) occupies a significant niche in our world of scholarly pursuits. As an academic, she taught English literature at Dhaka University. In the realm of English language fiction in pre-1971 Pakistan and post-1971 Bangladesh, she was a pioneer where the novel as a literary form was concerned. Her poetry and the sense of it were a broad hint of the vast horizon in which the Bengali intellectual class has historically formulated its thoughts on society and politics in our part of the world. We bring to our readers the text of a speech delivered by Professor Razia Khan at a PEN conference in Vienna in 2005. The mind, said Emily Dickinson once, is wider than the sky. Dr. Razia Khan demonstrates, through her observations, how that happens to be.
--- Literary Editor
I was glad that I could finally pack everything and get on the plane. The month was hectic as I had to finish all my courses' lesson plans a month early so that I can go to Bangalore (or at present Bangaluru) to attend the Inter-Asia Cultural Society (IACS) Summer School on Cultural Studies. It is amazing how the same country can have so many variations in their weather at the same time. As I stopped at Kolkata airport, it was hot and humid. But when I reached Bangaluru airport, I saw people wearing light jumpers and it was pretty cold as if early winter had set in.
When I was young, my mother advised me a million times to paint and do other extracurricular activities in order to enrich my personality. I had tried too, a million times. Nothing interested me. I was coerced to join a painting class near my house but the austerity of the circles and straight lines were the biggest turn-off . The kaleidoscope of the monotony coalesced with the dark age that these art schools bear. So yes, I found a more compact reason to not paint.
Heart disease only affects male, older and rich populations — these are the popular myths and still prevailing in many parts of the world including Bangladesh. In fact, women are as vulnerable as men and it is the number one killer of women. However, their risks are largely underestimated and as a result they are under-prevented and bear the brunt of the disease.
Emergency contraception, or post-coital contraception, refers to methods of contraception that can be used to prevent pregnancy in the first few days after intercourse. It is intended for emergency use following unprotected intercourse, contraceptive failure or misuse (such as forgotten pills or torn condoms) etc.
Saudi Arabia has taken precautions to prevent disease spreading among Muslim pilgrims next month after a Qatari man was infected with a virus related to the deadly SARS, a health ministry official said recently.
Rheumatoid arthritis is triggered by an overactive immune system that attacks the body's own joints, causing flares of pain and stiffness. The American College of Rheumatology recommends regular exercise, except during painful flares. Here's more of its expert advice:
People with lower intelligence are more likely to be unhappy than their brighter colleagues, according to a study published in the journal Psychological Medicine. The study of 6,870 people showed low intelligence was often linked with lower income and poor mental health, which contributed to unhappiness.
Insomnia is nobody's friend, but new research indicates that those with high blood pressure who struggle to get enough sound sleep are twice as likely to have a resistant case of hypertension as those who sleep well, according to a study from scientists from the University of Pisa in Italy.
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The first ever two-day meeting under the Joint Declaration of the Bangladesh-US Partnership Dialogue commenced in Washington on September 19 to bolster bilateral and regional cooperation between the two countries.
India's northeast finds itself connected to neighbors and the wider world in a way that worries policymakers in Delhi. Recent violent clashes between Muslims and tribal Bodo people in the northeastern state of Assam forced 400,000 to flee their homes, bringing the region and its wider ramifications under scrutiny. Pakistan, China, Burma, Bangladesh and Christian and Islamic communities around the world have stakes in the region's conflicts.
During anti-Japanese protests in Beijing last week, a group of about 50 demonstrators surrounded the car of the American ambassador, Gary Locke, chanted slogans about disputed islands, and prevented the vehicle from entering the embassy compound until Chinese security personnel intervened.
Star Books Review
Dilip Kumar keeps stirring your emotions. And that despite the fact that his era of heroism, on celluloid of course, is long past. But there is that certain addiction we all suffer from, at certain points of our life or for an entire lifetime. For people of my generation, Dilip Kumar belongs properly to the era of our fathers. That is easy to follow, seeing that he was born in 1922 and grows into an increasingly ripe age. These days one does not quite see him as one used to. But that inimitable charm, the memory of the impeccable Urdu with which he regaled us both in the movies and outside, the manliness he symbolized before his screen women --- all of these have remained firmly implanted in our minds.
Samuel Beckett is the literary equivalent of an Olympic gymnast. His words and sentences flip, roll, and jump about constantly. While this may leave you dazed and confused at first, the technicality and proficiency with which he carries out his exercise leaves you dumbfounded and amazed. This level of ingenuity is best experienced in his novels, the second of which is Murphy. It is Beckett's most “conventional” novel till date, though you shouldn't hold that against this brilliant piece of work.
The earliest of memories of taking up books to read come with picking up those Reader's Digest monthly magazines. At first I used to read the humour sections and feel myself doubling up with ripples of laughter. And then I started turning to the other pages and became an addicted fan of the magazine. Once you get into the habit of reading them they become irresistible! You request the hawker to deliver it to you every month or else run to the nearest bookstall in the first days of the month for your copy. Your mind is restless until you can open the new copy and delve inside those rich and memorable writings.
Ed Nazib Wadood
Lipika, 106 Octroi More, Kazla,