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The week in re(ar)view

Choice of degree for sale
Buy your way to higher education as 60 branches of foreign universities are busy literally selling degrees. These branches are declared illegal by the University Grants Commission (UGC). However, around 20 to 25 thousand students of those institutions, who pay around Tk 75 crore annually in tuition fees, are now very uncertain about their academic future because of the UGC declaration.

Due to a lack of specific rules, the caretaker government is not taking any stern action. This is your chance to become dubiously qualified.

Budget showdown part 1
We translate what's been going 'down', or up.

Customs duty on CNG-run bus may be increased to 15 percent from 5 percent to encourage assembling industry for CNG-run bus. What that translates to is fare hikes for the common people.

Budget proposes 20 percent supplementary duty on metal-framed furniture so you will have to sit on the floor unless you opt to cut down forests which everyone does anyway.

To further promote local production, it seeks to increase customs duty to 15 percent from 5 percent on auto disposable syringe. Hello AIDS as process of syringes soar and addicts feel the sudden itchy need to share.
More to come later

Volunteer or else!
The number of Biman officials responding to Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) crossed 1,000. We wonder how. Probably guns and violent torture involving drug crazed woodpeckers all courtesy of the seized goods at customs.

The 16-day time limit for accepting the offer ended yesterday. On June 5, Biman Bangladesh Airlines offered the VRS to its officials and employees in order to downsize its staff to 3,400 by axing about 1,500 current employees. The scheme is part of the government plan to turn Biman into a PLC and to make it a healthy and profitable commercial venture.

Many Biman officials and staff said that they would wait till the last date for availing the scheme to decide whether they would respond to it or not. Even the staffs and employees, who have completed 25 years in service, are so far not willing to take the offer. It kind of makes sense. After all who in their right mind would want to leave a job where you really do not have to do anything?

Big shots levelled vast terrain of Ctg hills
Several quarters comprising influential political leaders, former ministers, criminals, big business houses and even government and autonomous bodies have been involved in massive cutting or razing of vast terrains of hills in Chittagong. It's a free for all zone and the activities would have impressed people who razed an entire country for its oil under the pretext of weapons search. We will give you a slight hint as to the name of the country. It starts with 'I', ends with 'Q' and has the letters 'RA' in between. It's also a four letter word.

Environmentalists believe that such destruction of hills--both complete and partial--is the main reason for massive landslides during torrential rain just like the latest tragedy on June 11 that claimed over 120 lives.

One such project was to build a farm but the farm was never established, and instead the mill management further leased out the property to some influential people who soon razed the entire hill and built 12 brick kilns.

By Gokhra and Mood Dude

Vox pop

This week's topic: “What's the big deal with Brand Names?”

I remember the time I purchased my first pair of Nike shoes. It attracted many looks and comments from the folks at my school, ranging from “Hey, nice shoes!” to “Aww! Ifti's trying to be a cool dude!What was the big deal, I wondered. They were just shoes, right? Here's what some people had to say:

“Some people use brand names to show that they have 'got it', while others just want to use things of good quality. It all depends on attitude.” Jasia Haider. Age: 17. Private A-Level Student.

“Brands are like 'icons'. They give material a special standard, and that's why people prefer to buy them. But I don't think this is always necessary. T-shirts without brands, for example, may be made of equally good or better fabric. So you don't always have to wear something with a brand.” Faria Tasnim. Age: 17. AKS,D.

“Well, it's just that brand names show that the product is of good quality. Most branded products are always of good quality so they are worth the price.” Mehboob Ashraf. Second year student at NSU.

“Brand names for any product people buy are important, as they tend to rely on such products more. Such titles creates a trust of good quality and service. And it also sounds good when we 'boast' about it to others!” Adiba Shabnam. Age: 17. AKS,D.

“Basically, I don't think there is anything right or wrong about brand names. It is just that, say, a bag will have more value because people tend to value the brand's reputation. Like in the case of LV (Louis Vuitton) or GUCCI bags. Their products have a good reputation as everyone knows their bags can last because of the usage of fine leather.” Sylvia Seakar. Age:15. CHIJ Saint Joseph's Covent, Singapore.

“Rolex's campaign once said, 'because image is everything.' To a certain extent, it really is everything! Whether we want it or not, people quickly form opinions about us by the way we dress, walk, talk etc. I think brand clothes give you a certain flair in the way you carry yourself. It helps to make you look distinct and different from the crowd. Many people may think that valuing branded products is wrong, but that's a wrong perception.

You compete to look the best and attract the most attention. Branding is just a technique of doing so. Also, branding doesn't only mean the expensive products. Anything that sets a product apart and can be clearly distinguishable from a set of other products by its name and quality can be called a successful brand.” S.S. Rishad. Age: 18. AKS

By Iftikhar Azam & Nisma Elias

RS Mailbox

The one-stop junction for love, hate and all that you have for RS. Send in you queries, praise, suggestions, complaints, grudges and even write-ups to risingstars@ thedailystar.net.

The colour of mud?
RS raises our hopes and dashes it again. First week of going all colour, it looked like a proper 'cool' teen magazine for the first time. Next week we go back to pretty much the same old cover albeit with a colour scheme similar to things coming out of DCC sewers. What happened!?

While the illustration by Ronny was terrific and the article was 'fatafati' the dull colours of the logo ruined the first page. Thankfully the inside pages remain crisp looking but as they say “first impression is everything.”

Samreen Sultana

Missing in Action
I looked at last weeks RS and something was bugging me. There were things missing. Apparently they were all the things I praised to high heaven in my last letter. In short order those things are the cool RS logo (its still there but even smaller, insignificant and a funny colour) and Week In Rearview. But why?

Asifur Rahman

Rearview is back this week whether anybody else likes it or not. “Funny colour” unfortunately stays - RS Desk

Harry Spotter
Congrats for the new getup of RS and thanks for reviewing the Harry Potter series. Keep it up guys.

Amit K Nath
Mirpur, Dhaka

And some more of Harry
The new look & the logo of RS is totally cool. I really liked it a lot. The RS edition of the 14th June was superb. And the feature about the "Tomb Raider" game was great. The countdown to the new Harry Potter book by featuring all of the previous books is quite brilliant. Keep rockin' RS.

We've got more Potter-esque stuff for you fans this week. RS desk

Shame on RS
I love the all colour look of Rising Star. Now it looks like some cool teen magazine. But if you think my mail is about how I love RS and blah blah - think again. On 14th June, an article was published about 'plagiarism'. I agree with the writer totally but my problem is that on that same issue, RS published a game review(Tomb Raider). It was largely copied and pasted from 'Gamespot'! Talk about giving mixed messages!

"Whenever you are taking someone else's stuff write down the author's name" - RS completely forgot that. I love game reviews by Niloy. It's frustrating to see that RS is taking stuff from internet. You should be publishing stuff written by 'desi' writers only. Even if you have to do that sort of thing for the sake of keeping the deadline, at least mention the source.

Thanks for pointing out such a blunder as the person who collected it and sent it to us in the first place forgot to include the source. Such vigilance on our reader's part is much appreciated.

RS Desk

From the RS Desk

Dear Readers
We've been receiving a lot of mail about our new look. Much of it is positive, a few people have a few gripes. Here at RS, we're never satisfied, and are constantly on the look-out for something better, even when we're told we're the best…which of course we are…and you know why? It's because you guys out there, with your continued feedback, give us the inspiration to go that extra mile.

We've also been enjoying a rainy respite from the hot summer sun this week, although, for those suffering the water-logging, and worse still, the mudslides, it's been a real curse. Life isn't perfect, after all. Keep your eyes peeled for next week's issue, though, as we explore what life would be like, in an ideal world. For now, chillax with a cup of coffee (Page 3), or check out some cool t-shirts (Page 6). Have a great weekend!


Why did the man put his money in the freezer?
A. He wanted cold hard cash!
Q. What did the porcupine say to the cactus?
A. "Is that you, mommy?"
Q. What do prisoners use to call each other?
A. Cell phones.
Q. Where do polar bears vote?
A. The North Poll
Q. Where do snowmen keep their money?
A. In snow banks.


Check out what's hitting the charts this week

1. Boka Manushta- Sumon & Aurthohin-2
2. Shopnochura-3- Mixed album by Tony
3. Live Now- Mixed album by Ershad
4. Shorjo Dibosh- Striking
5. Adhare Apshori

1. Hok Kolorob- Arnob
2. Bujhchho?!!- Prayer Hall
3. Notun kore pabo bole - Shahana
4. Ichchhe- Tahsan
5. Din Bari Jae- Bappa Mojubdar
6. Shono- Habib
7. Bandana- Mahadi
8. Boka Manushta- Sumon & Aurthohin-2
9. Faissa Gechhi- Hyder Husyn
10. Anchor- Mixed Album
Source: Piano.

By Shovon.
Courtesy: www.tunesbd.com



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