• Friday, September 19, 2014

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Part-10
How IPM neglected for long

Green initiative left in the lurch

Green initiative left in the lurch

When in 1981 the Food and Agriculture Organisation launched a green initiative in Savar and Chittagong's Rangunia to tackle pest attacks, farmers there had every reason to be relieved. It offered them help to fight off insects without using harmful pesticides.     Known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM), the initiative drew a huge response mainly...

Let's start from the root level

Let's start from the root level

Noted agriculture development journalist Shykh Seraj has suggested taking integrated pest management (IPM) methods to every village in the country as an effective way of preventing food adulteration. “If we want to ensure food safety, we have to focus on the root cause of the problem. Contamination of food starts at the production level. So we need to go for chemical-free production methods,” he told The Daily Star. The government needs to allocate more money to promote IPM products and services among farmers as soon as possible, he said.   Shykh Seraj, best known for his popular series Mati O Manush on BTV and Hridoye Mati o Manush on Channel i, has...

Commentary by Mahfuz Anam

“No head above King”

Do any of my readers remember a brilliant film of the 1950s on King Chulalongkorn of Siam (today's Thailand) called "The King and I"?  In it the King finding the English governess he hired for his children's education to be much taller than him says, "No head above King" and forces her to be on her knees every time she speaks to him. In Bangladesh we have known for a while that there can be no individual head above that...

End Rab's impunity

Voicing concern about continuing human rights violations by the Rab and other security forces, the European Parliament yesterday adopted a resolution urging the Bangladesh authorities to put an end to Rab's impunity. Human rights violations by the Rapid Action Battalion, an emergency force created 10 years ago with both military and police officers, should stop, said the members of European Parliament. In the resolution on human rights violation in Bangladesh, the EP called upon the Bangladesh government to bring back the...

Azharul's War Crimes Case Concludes

Now wait for verdict

Now wait for verdict

The long list of war crimes cases waiting for verdict delivery has become a little longer as a tribunal yesterday drew conclusion to the case against Jamaat-e-Islami leader ATM Azharul Islam. Now, six verdicts are pending with the two international crimes tribunals.   The number might become seven soon as defence witnesses are now being examined in the war crimes case against Jamaat Nayeb-e-Ameer Abdus Subhan. The Tribunal-1 Chairman Justice M Enayetur Rahim yesterday said, “Thank you [the prosecution and the defence]. The tribunal has been keeping the cases on CAV [Curia advisari vult, a Latin legal term meaning the court would consider the matter], by tradition. We are keeping it on...

Sporadic violence marks hartal

Sporadic acts of violence marked the countrywide 24-hour hartal enforced by the Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday.     Law enforcers picked up around 50 Jamaat-Shibir activists in last 36 hours across the country. The capital was largely peaceful during hartal hours, with almost all businesses and offices operating normally. Traffic was lighter than usual for a weekday, but a large number of vehicles plied the city thoroughfares. Trains and launches operated on schedule, but long-haul buses stayed off the streets. The shutdown is to end...

Govt to raise gas price

The government has planned to increase the price of gas in a bid to reduce the gap between pipeline and LP cylinder gas prices, State Minister for Energy Nasrul Hamid Bipu told parliament yesterday. Hamid, however, did not give details as to when and to what extent the price of pipeline gas will be increased. In a scripted reply, the state minister also said the government has been trying to encourage people to use LPG in order to reduce dependency on...

Fakhrul gets bail in police assault case

A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir in a case filed for assaulting police and torching vehicles in the capital's Kadamtali during an opposition blockade in December 2012. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Alamgir Kabir Raj passed the order after Fakhrul had surrendered before the court and pleaded for bail. On Sunday, the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Yunus Khan issued an arrest warrant for the BNP leader as Fakhrul, who was visiting Singapore, did...

PM terms Sayedee verdict unexpected

Expressing her disappointment over the Supreme Court verdict against Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said none had expected such a judgment. "People might have been happy if Sayedee's death sentence was upheld. The judgment was not expected as this person had committed so many crimes," she said, adding that as the judiciary was independent, she had nothing more to say about the judgment. Hasina, also the Leader of the House, said this while giving her concluding...

Backpage

Yea or nay?

Yea or nay?

Scotland voted yesterday on whether to stay within the United Kingdom or end the 307-year-old union with England and become an independent nation in a finely balanced referendum with far-reaching consequences. From remote highlands and islands to the tough city estates of Glasgow, people were almost equally divided over a vote watched closely by...

Ruet closed after hartal violence

Ruet closed after hartal violence

The Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) was declared closed last night indefinitely from Saturday, after a series of violence ensuing Islami Chhatra Shibir's efforts to enforce Jamaat-e-Islami's countrywide hartal against the conviction of its leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee. All resident students were asked to vacate the dormitories by 10:00am today. Police arrested 11...

It's impossible to make both parties happy

The International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday expressed discontent over comments made before the media against judges following the Supreme Court judgment on war criminal Delawar Hossain Sayedee. “In every case, there are two sides. In a criminal case, it is not possible to make both parties happy,” said tribunal chairman Justice Enayetur Rahim. On Wednesday, the country's apex court commuted the Jamaat-e-Islami leader's death sentence to imprisonment until death. The ICT-1 in February last year awarded Sayedee capital punishment for crimes against...

3 killed in city road crashes

3 killed in city road crashes

Three people, two of a family and a sub-inspector of police, were killed in road accidents amid a thin flow of traffic in the capital's Paribagh and Kafrul during the Jamaat-enforced countrywide hartal yesterday.    Firoza Begum, 50, and her sister-in-law Chanburu, 35, were killed and three others injured when a bus rammed a...

Natural fertilisers bring smile to Jhenidah farmer

Natural fertilisers bring smile to Jhenidah farmer

Helal Uddin, 60, was a poor farmer of Mahashwerchanda village in Kaliganj. Back in 2000, he struggled to survive by growing crops on 40 decimals of his own land and 50 or 60 more decimals of leased land. Things, however, began to change since when Dr MA Gul Hossain, an agricultural scientist, invited him...

Dhaka-Delhi JCC meet tomorrow

Dhaka will seek reassurance from New Delhi that Indian territory will not be allowed to be used for any criminal activities against Bangladesh. "India must give us this assurance and we will certainly seek it," said Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali prior to leaving Dhaka to attend the third Bangladesh-India Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting to be held in New Delhi tomorrow. Ali said Bangladesh also expects that India would not allow its soil to be used for terrorist activities against...

Produce 2 war crimes suspects on Sept 23

The war crimes tribunal yesterday directed the jail authorities to produce before it on September 23 two suspects for crimes against humanity committed in Chapainawabganj during the Liberation War. Mahidur Rahman, 84, of Dadanchak village, and Afsar Hossain alias Chutu, 65, of Satrosia village, of the district, were arrested on Tuesday in a criminal case. The duo, now in Chapainawabganj jail, had allegedly been members of Razakar Bahini, an auxiliary force of the Pakistan army, in 1971.    The International Crimes Tribunal-2...

Robber killed in 'gunfight' with police

A leader of a robber gang was killed in a “gunfight” with police in the district's Kalia upazila early yesterday. The dead, Sekendar Ali Sarder alias Seken Sarder, was son of late Abdur Rahim Sarder of Harishpur village. Matiur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Kalia Police Station, said Sekendar stood accused in five criminal cases, including robbery and killing. Police detained him on Wednesday evening from his village. As per his confessional statement, police along with Sekendar went to Bijoynagar village to recover firearms early...

India, China pledge to end border row

Indian and Chinese leaders yesterday pledged to resolve a longstanding border dispute as a stand-off between troops on the Ladakh frontier overshadowed a rare summit in New Delhi. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he had expressed concerns to China's visiting President Xi Jinping about "incidents" on the disputed border in the northern Ladakh region, where reports said hundreds of troops were facing off. "I expressed concern on the incidents on the border and said peace and tranquillity on the border...

Hitler's food taster reveals horrors

Hitler's food taster reveals horrors

Every meal could have been her last. And when she had finished eating the bland vegetarian dishes put before her, 25-year-old Margot Wölk and her young female colleagues would burst into tears and “cry like dogs” because they were grateful still to be alive. Margot Wölk was no Nazi, but she was one of...

Pope approves Sri Lanka's first saint

The Pope has approved Sri Lanka's first saint, an Indian missionary credited with reviving the Catholic Church on the island during persecution by Dutch colonial rulers, the church said yesterday. Pope Francis is scheduled to canonise Joseph Vaz next year during his visit to the Buddhist-majority island, the Catholic Church in Colombo said in a statement.

Business

Private credit rises on falling rates

Private credit rises on falling rates

Declining interest rates boosted private-sector credit growth in the past several months, but the growth still remains far below the central bank's target. Private sector credit accelerated 12.3 percent in June this year, up from 11.4 percent in the previous month and 10.8 percent in June a year ago, according to Bangladesh Bank data. Though...

ACI moves into construction equipment business

ACI moves into construction equipment business

ACI Motors, a unit of business conglomerate Advanced Chemical Industries, has expanded its business by introducing new construction equipment. It will market and distribute construction equipment of Case Construction Equipment India in Bangladesh, Subrata Ranjan Das, business director of ACI Motors, told The Daily Star.  ACI will market construction equipment such as loader backhoes, vibratory...

Bangladesh 26th best destination for IT outsourcing

Bangladesh has been recognised by a US company as the 26th best destination for IT outsourcing globally. AT Kearney, a leading management consultancy firm with offices in more than 40 countries, has for the first time included Bangladesh in its Top 50 Global Services Location Index. The index assessed 51 countries based on metrics under three categories -- financial attractiveness, people skills and availability, and business environment. India remains the top offshoring destination for IT companies, followed by China and Malaysia. “This will...

IMF irked by slow VAT reforms

An International Monetary Fund team yesterday expressed dissatisfaction over sluggish progress in VAT reforms. The IMF officials assigned to see progress in reforms in various areas against IMF's conditions under a three-year extended credit facility (ECF) met the National Board of Revenue. The NBR said it would need another year to implement the VAT and Supplementary Duty Act 2012 due to re-tendering to procure software to build an integrated VAT administration system. But the IMF team, reminding the tax authority of the...

State banks get poor scores in first-half review

Four state-owned commercial banks had mixed success in meeting many of the performance targets given by Bangladesh Bank, which brought out calls for prompt improvement in the institutions. The disclosure came after the central bank yesterday reviewed the half-yearly performance of Sonali, Janata, Agrani and Rupali. The review was conducted by BB Governor Atiur Rahman and other high officials in the presence of the chief executive officers of the four banks. Between January and June, the four banks reached about 34...

Rice export to Sri Lanka gets a go-ahead

The cabinet committee on economic affairs has approved a proposal of the food ministry to export 50,000 tonnes of coarse rice to Sri Lanka under special arrangements, as there is a ban on non-fragrant rice export until June 2015. The approval came at a meeting of the committee yesterday, with Finance Minister AMA Muhith in the chair. Muhith told reporters after the meeting that the government has decided to export the rice on a test basis. The minister also said the export...

SME Foundation to hold national, regional fairs

SME Foundation will organise national and regional fairs in the current fiscal year to help create markets for products made by small and medium enterprises and promote them. The national body responsible for promoting SMEs will organise a weeklong National SME Fair in the capital's Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in February next year. The foundation will also organise three-day Regional SME Products Fair in seven divisions and districts, it said in a statement yesterday. The fairs in Rangpur and Rajshahi will...

BB opens refinance scheme for Islamic lenders

Bangladesh Bank has decided to form a refinancing scheme for Sharia-based banks and other financial institutions to provide agro-processors, small enterprises, renewable energy and environment-friendly initiatives with funds. The refinance scheme aims to encourage the Sharia-based lenders to be involved more in the sectors such as agro-processing, small enterprises, renewable energy and environment-friendly efforts, the central bank said in a circular yesterday. Islamic banks and other lenders hold more liquidity than they require as per the central bank regulations. Bangladesh Bank has...

IFAD Autos gets the IPO nod

The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday gave the green light to IFAD Autos to raise Tk 63.75 crore from public. The automobile dealer plans to float 2.12 crore of ordinary shares of Tk 10 each at an offer price of Tk 30, including Tk 20 as premium. Banco Finance and Investment and Alpha Capital Management will manage the initial public offering, the proceeds of which would be used for business expansion and bank loan repayment. The company's earnings per share...

Alibaba in talks with Snapdeal to enter India

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is in talks with online retailer Snapdeal to enter India, the Economic Times reported on Thursday, citing two people aware of the development. Alibaba, whose shares are set to debut on the US market on Friday in what could be the world's largest ever initial public offering, has discussed with Snapdeal a possible investment in the Indian company, but a decision has not been reached yet, the daily reported. Snapdeal, in which Ratan Tata, the former chairman...

European parliament wants Bangladesh to be labour law compliant

The European parliament yesterday called on the Bangladesh government to ensure that labour laws are enforced and brought in line with International Labour Organisation standards. The members of the European parliament in their debate said workers in Bangladesh continue to report harassment and intimidation intended to stop them from joining or forming unions. Acts of violence against trade union organisers continue to be reported, and the Labour Act of 2013 continues to fall short of international standards with regard to freedom...

Air France scraps 60pc of flights as unions reject strike offer

French flag carrier Air France was forced to scrap around 60 percent of flights Thursday, as unions rejected a fresh offer to end a strike now in its fourth day. Pilots' union SNPL slapped down as "largely insufficient" an offer from Air France to limit the operations of its low-cost subsidiary Transavia France, whose planned expansion has sparked the strike. Unions fear the company will seek to cut costs by running more low-cost Transavia flights, where pilots are paid less, at...

Modi wins $20b pledge from Xi as China ties deepen

Modi wins $20b pledge from Xi as China ties deepen

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi won a pledge from Chinese President Xi Jinping to invest $20 billion as the leaders sought to adjust a lopsided trade relationship and resolve a decades-long border dispute. Leaders of the world's two most populous countries yesterday announced a five-year plan in which China would invest $20 billion to...

European airlines can charge extra for check-in luggage: top court

Airlines are within their rights to charge passengers extra for checked-in luggage, Europe's top court ruled on Thursday in a decision that will be welcomed by low-cost carriers. The European Court of Justice upheld a challenge by Spanish budget carrier Vueling Airlines against a Spanish law that prohibits airlines from making people pay for putting their suitcases in the aircraft's hold. The case concerned a charge of 40 euros ($51) that Vueling added to the tickets of a Spanish woman but...

S Korea proposes 513pc tariff on foreign rice

After announcing it would scrap rice import caps from next year, the South Korean government proposed Thursday an initial 513-percent tariff to soften the impact on a crucial domestic market. For the past two decades, Seoul has maintained quotas on foreign rice imports under a deal it secured with the World Trade Organisation (WTO). But with the deal set to expire at the end of this year, the government announced in July that it would open the market, while promising angry...

Ericsson will stop making modems, cuts jobs

Swedish telecom equipment company Ericsson said on Thursday that it would stop developing modems, a decision affecting almost 1,600 employees worldwide which is expected to lead to hundreds of job cuts. The group said in a statement that it would "discontinue future development of modems" but that some of the 1,582 employees affected could be redeployed to new jobs in research and development for radio networks. The decision marks a strategic shift for Ericsson, following an evaluation of the global modem...

China launches gold market to bolster fortunes of FTZ

China, one of the world's biggest gold consumers, on Thursday launched a new market for trading the precious metal, state media said, as it seeks to attract foreign investors to a year-old free trade zone (FTZ). The Shanghai Gold Exchange launched an international board in the city's FTZ in hopes that it might eventually challenge global gold markets like New York and London, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The move came just ahead of the one year anniversary of the...

Alibaba set to price shares as investors gear up for flotation

Alibaba set to price shares as investors gear up for flotation

Chinese online giant Alibaba is expected to set the price of its shares later in what could be a record-breaking initial public offering (IPO). Alibaba could raise between $22 billion (£13.5 billion) and $25 billion when it lists its shares in New York. The previous record IPO was set by Agricultural Bank of China's $22.1...

World tourism numbers up 4.6pc in first half: UN

International tourist numbers grew 4.6 percent in the first half of 2014, boosted by strong growth in the Americas, Asia and parts of Europe, the World Tourism Organisation said Wednesday. The number of international tourists surged to around 517 million between January and June, 22 million more than during the same time last year, the Madrid-based United Nations body said in a statement. "These results show that tourism is consolidating the positive performance of recent years, providing development and economic opportunities...

Sports

17th Asian Games
Incheon 2014

Booters lose, face uphill battle

Booters lose, face uphill battle

After their creditable lone goal victory against Afghanistan, Bangladesh went into their second group B game of the 17th Asian Games in the football discipline against a vastly superior Uzbekistan side with an ambition to enforce a draw at the Ansan Wa Stadium in Incheon yesterday. But the U-23 booters suffered the same fate...

Focus shifts on Asian Games

The Tigers will return home tomorrow morning after their dismal performance in the month-long tour of the West Indies. Mushfiqur Rahim and company's miserable showings in 2014 continued in the Caribbean trip where they lost both the ODI and Test series with a display of terrible cricket, while the lone T20 International was washed out. The national players' next assignment is the Asian Games in Incheon of South Korea. Under the leadership of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, a strong Bangladesh side...

Li Na retiring?

Li Na retiring?

China's two-time Grand Slam-winner Li Na is poised to retire, state media reported Thursday, in a move which would bring down the curtains on Asia's most successful tennis career. The sports channel of state-owned CNTV cited Li's agency, IMG, as saying the tennis star would hold a briefing on Sunday to announce the news...

Asian Games officially kick off today

The 17th Asian Games formally kick off today as the opening ceremony of the second biggest multi-sports competition after the Olympics takes place at the new purpose-built Incheon Asian Main Stadium in this South Korean city with the slogan 'Diversity Shines Here'. The 78-minute gala ceremony will be telecast by TEN Sports from 3:00pm (Bangladesh time) from the Asiad Main Stadium, which has a floor area of 113,620 square metres and a crowd capacity of 62,818. Incheon is the third city...

17th Asian Games
Incheon 2014

'Give us 5-10 yrs to reach there'

Coach Lodewijk de Kruif thinks Bangladesh may need five to 10 years to reach the level of football that was on display by Uzbekistan against his side in the Asian Games at the Ansan Wa Stadium here yesterday. De Kruif also praised Uzbekistan for the way they played against his charges and said that he would be happy if he was the coach of the Uzbekistan team. "The Uzbek team is a very good team and they are very organised. I...

McCullum to testify against Cairns

Brendon McCullum's lawyer says the New Zealand cricket captain is determined to give evidence about alleged match-fixing approaches from a former teammate, believed to be Chris Cairns. McCullum is currently caught in a legal battle, with a High Court injunction put out to stop a newspaper in New Zealand from publishing confidential information involving him and Kerry Schwalger, a mental skills coach, according to The New Zealand Herald. McCullum has been interviewed by the International Cricket Council's (ICC) anti-corruption unit...

Bravo fined for abusing Tigers

Darren Bravo, the West Indies batsman, has been found guilty of a Level 1 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct for verbally offending the opposition batsmen during the fourth and final day's play in the second Test against Bangladesh in St Lucia. Bravo was found to have breached Article 2.1.8 of the code, which relates to "…Where the facts of the alleged incident are not adequately or clearly covered by any of the above offences, conduct that either :...

UEFA Champions League

Germans draw first blood

Germans draw first blood

Jerome Boateng's late goal and a second-half equaliser from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on Wednesday completed a good week for German clubs against their counterparts from England in the opening round of Champions League group games. Boateng's first ever goal in the competition was a memorable one as it sealed a 1-0 win for Bayern Munich...

UEFA Champions League

'Costa not fully fit'

Striker Diego Costa, who has scored seven goals for Chelsea in his first four Premier League games, cannot play more than once a week because of a hamstring problem, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has said. Mourinho, looking down in the dumps after Chelsea could only draw 1-1 with Schalke 04 in their opening Champions League Group G match on Wednesday, started with returning veteran striker Didier Drogba in attack with Costa on the bench against the Germans. The Brazil-born Spain...

UEFA Champions League

Xavi happy with role

Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez insisted he hasn't been frustrated by his lack of opportunities under new boss Luis Enrique after starting for the first time this season in a much-changed side in a 1-0 victory over APOEL Nicosia on Wednesday. Gerard Pique's first-half header was enough to hand the Catalans an unconvincing winning start to their Champions League campaign against the Cypriot champions. Xavi started alongside youngsters Sergi Samper and Sergi Roberto in midfield as Enrique made nine changes in all...

Dunga picks youngsters

Brazil coach Dunga named fresh defensive blood Wednesday in the shape of CSKA Moscow defender Mario Fernandes and Inter Milan defender Dodo in naming his squad for an Asian tour comprising games against Argentina and Japan in Beijing and Singapore. The October 11 encounter with Argentina is the latest in the South American neighbours' Superclassico of the Americas series, while the friendly with Japan three days later in Singapore will enable Dunga to work on solidifying the foundations of the...

Ronaldinho's terrible debut

Brazilian legend Ronaldinho had a nightmarish debut with his new Mexican club Queretaro on Wednesday, missing a penalty in a 1-0 home loss to Tigres. Fans packed the stadium for the game in central Mexico less than two weeks after the 34-year-old former world player of the year signed with the White Roosters. But the Tigres, based in northern Nuevo Leon state, spoiled the party in the ninth minute, courtesy of a goal by US forward Herculez Gomez. At the 61st minute,...

CSKA fans hospitalised

At least two Russian CSKA Moscow fans were rushed to hospital, one with suspected stab wounds, on Wednesday following clashes between supporters of the Russian club and fans of Serie A side AS Roma, according to reports. Roma won the game 5-1 to top Group E of the Champions League, but the celebrations -- on what was the club's return to the competition after a three-year absence -- were marred by ugly scenes of violence before and during the match. According...

Colombia move into third

World Cup winners Germany and beaten finalists Argentina were joined at the top of the FIFA rankings published Thursday by Colombia. The South Americans leapfrog the Netherlands into third place thanks to the Dutch defeat by the Czech Republic in their Euro 2016 qualifier. Brazil move up to sixth behind Belgium, ahead of Uruguay, Spain, France and Switzerland in the top 10. Top 10 FIFA standings on September 18: 1. Germany, 2. Argentina, 3. Colombia (+1), 4. Netherlands (-1), 5. Belgium, 6. Brazil (+1), 7. Uruguay...

Hungary sack Pinter

Hungary have sacked coach Attila Pinter after eight months and only one competitive match in charge, the Hungarian Football Association (HFA) announced on Thursday. The 48-year-old was appointed last December and since then Hungary lost two and won only one out of five matches and started their Euro 2016 qualification campaign on a sour note following a 2-1 defeat by Northern Ireland last week. HFA president Sandor Csanyi named former Hertha Berlin midfielder Pal Dardai as the interim coach until the...

2016 CL final at San Siro

Milan will host the 2016 Champions League final, European football's governing body UEFA decided Thursday at a meeting of its executive committee in Nyon, Switzerland. The final of the Europa League next season will be held in the Swiss city of Basel and that of the Super Cup in Trondheim in Norway. This will be the fourth time the San Siro host the Champions League final after 1965, 1970 and 2001. The game is scheduled for May 28, 2016. Milan will...

Editorial

Editorial

16th amendment to the constitution

THE Jatiya Sangsad (JS) on Wednesday passed the 16th amendment to the constitution empowering parliament to impeach apex court judges for their misdemeanour or incapacity. It may be recalled that we had earlier critiqued in this column the cabinet's approving of the proposal on August 18 for this constitutional amendment. It's indeed a fateful moment in the nation's history since the bedrock of principles of separation of powers and the checks and balances between the three organs of the state...

Editorial

Hartal uncalled for and condemnable

THE two-day of hartal called by the Jamaat-e-Islami and that too 24-hour long ones are totally unacceptable. The court has given a verdict against accused Delwar Hossain Sayedee and it must be respected by all, including the party he belongs to. Hartals called and enforced by Jamaat during the last quarter of 2013 caused immeasurable suffering to both the people and the economy. The party's agitation programme is linked to organised terrorism and it cost the lives of 65...

Op-ed

Editorial

16th amendment to the constitution

THE Jatiya Sangsad (JS) on Wednesday passed the 16th amendment to the constitution empowering parliament to impeach apex court judges for their misdemeanour or incapacity. It may be recalled that we had earlier critiqued in this column the cabinet's approving of the proposal on August 18 for this constitutional amendment. It's indeed a fateful moment in the nation's history since the bedrock of principles of separation of powers and the checks and balances between the three organs of the state...

Editorial

Hartal uncalled for and condemnable

THE two-day of hartal called by the Jamaat-e-Islami and that too 24-hour long ones are totally unacceptable. The court has given a verdict against accused Delwar Hossain Sayedee and it must be respected by all, including the party he belongs to. Hartals called and enforced by Jamaat during the last quarter of 2013 caused immeasurable suffering to both the people and the economy. The party's agitation programme is linked to organised terrorism and it cost the lives of 65...

CROSS TALK

An embarrassment between the covers

THE Great Western Schism in the Middle Ages had lasted 39 years but ours has lasted longer already, that also to get incrementally worse. In 43 years that schism created a chasm, which has been debased into memory disorder. As a nation we can't remember anything either at the same time or together. The most recent book written by AK Khandker embodied that tragedy in the controversy surrounding it.  Like a knife, it as if severed our collective memory...

The distrust continues

VIOLENCE on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border continues. It is a dangerous trend that has evolved in recent years with no end in sight. As the foreign ministries of the two countries sparred over the implications of Punjabi Taliban leader Asmatullah Muawiya's announcement that his group will no longer commit violence inside Pakistan, but continues to believe in jihad elsewhere, Pakistani security personnel came under attack from Afghan-based anti-Pakistan militants. While a further escalation in tensions seems unlikely —...

PLEASURE IS ALL MINE

Sayedee's virtual reprieve ...

Sayedee's virtual reprieve ...

AS long as you can stay on the hot tin roof as the expression goes, Sayedee may have demonstrated his staying power. It was Alberto Sordi, the Italian film director and actor, who said, "Conscience is the quiet voice that warns you not to leave any fingerprints." But patently unconscionable as they were...

Australian terror plot foiled, for now...

IN recent raids involving nearly 900 police Australia's security agencies claim to have foiled a serious terrorism plot. But have they done enough since 2001 to address the causes of extremism rather than only the symptoms? Yesterday's raids on homes of alleged Muslim extremists in Sydney and Brisbane were dramatic. According to media reports, police and intelligence officials foiled a plot to kidnap a random member of the Australian public, drape them in the Islamic State flag and behead them...

HUMOROUSLY YOURS

I Came, I Saw, I Conked Out

THE judge listens to the arguments from both sides. He concludes: “I still can't understand where the problem is. Case dismissed.” The two Bangladeshi Associations of the same city, USA, grimace at each other as the defamation lawsuit goes down the tube. I am shocked. Just two groups only! I would have expected seven, given the large metropolis. You see, when you and I, two of Bangladeshi origin, are together, we form three groups – you are one group, I am...

Letters To The Editor

Food adulterators must be punished

Contamination and adulteration of foods are now very common in Bangladesh. To extend the shelf life of food, unscrupulous traders are adding toxic chemicals in our foods. Fruits and vegetables contain high nutritional value but contaminated and adulterated foods are endangering human health. We want strict action from government against those who are poisoning us. Otherwise, days are not far when we will become a sick nation by losing our productivity. Murad Hossain Karwan Bazar, Dhaka  

Letters To The Editor

Crossing rail tracks dangerously

Crossing rail tracks dangerously

Your front page photos published on September 17 show us that it is not only the government that is responsible for the rail track accidents, but also the people themselves are to blame. In the photos it is seen that pedestrians dangerously walk or run across the rail track even when a train...

Letters To The Editor

Scotland's referendum for independence

This is with reference to the report, "UK leaders pledge support to Scots" (Sept.17). Not many know that Scotland was an independent nation till the beginning of the 17th century but it became a part of the Great Britain (now known as the United Kingdom), including Northern Ireland. The moot question is will the kingdom stay united, as it has remained so for more than three centuries? A section of the UK media is biased against an independent Scotland....

Comments on news report

“Cold chain can save food supply chain,” published on September 16, 2014 Tripura People of this country want to earn money in an easy way. If the government had the will, it wouldn't be hard to solve this problem. But the government was indifferent to it and now this has gone out of control. Hafizur Rahman The government is surrounded by unscrupulous businessmen who control the business from its top to the root level. Nasirullah Mridha Salim It is imperative to take stern measures against...

Entertainment

COLOURS OF FRIENDSHIP

COLOURS OF FRIENDSHIP

A weeklong Indian Art extravaganza, titled “Colours of Friendship” complete with 70 artworks, closed on September 18 at Dhaka Art Centre. It includes major Indian artists -- Laxman Alley, Kazi Anirban (relative of Kazi Nazrul), Babu Xavier from Kerala, Dhiraj Chowdhry, Krishnendu Gupta from Kolkata and Prakash Karmaker. All of them are well-known...

DESH staging rescheduled

DESH staging rescheduled

Due to unavoidable circumstances, the date of the first scheduled show of internationally celebrated choreographer-performer Akram Khan's DESH has been changed from September 18 (today) to September 20 (Saturday). The time and place will be the same. The performance of tomorrow (September 19) remains completely unchanged. The invitation card for September 18 can...

Gautam Ghosh goes on- screen for Chatuskone

Gautam Ghosh goes on- screen for Chatuskone

Acclaimed filmmaker Gautam Ghosh has once again gone in front of the camera, leaving his familiar position of behind it, in noted director Srijit Mukherjee's Bangla thriller film “Chatuskone”. This is the for the second time in his long cinematic career that Ghosh has appeared in a film as an actorm after making his...

'It's high time anchoring is taken up as a profession' … Pariha

'It's high time anchoring is taken up as a profession' … Pariha

Pariha Lima is widely recognised as a TV anchor, emcee and model. The Daily Star recently spoke to Pariha on her zooming career: When did you enter the media world? Pariha: As a child, I dreamt of working in the field. Then in 2004 I took part in the 2004 Lux Channel i Superstar pageant...

'Panchanari Akhyan' to be staged today

'Panchanari Akhyan' to be staged today

Dhaka Theatre will stage their 37th production, “Ponchonari Akhyan” today at 7pm at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Written by Harun Rashid, the play has been directed by Shahiduzzaman Selim. Rosy Siddique plays five different roles in the monodrama. Stories of five girls are woven into the plot of the play. Jolekha,...

ALBUM LAUNCH

Priyanka Gope's Raga Delights unveiled

Priyanka Gope's Raga Delights unveiled

Talented classical music vocalist Priyanka Gope's latest audio album “Raga Delights” was recently launched at Bengal Shilpalaya, Dhanmondi. Noted artiste Khairul Anam Shakil unveiled the album. The album, produced by Bengal Foundation, contains tracks of a kheyal with a tarana set on Raga Jog Kauns; a thumri on Raga Mishra Khamaj; a Kabir...

TV Watch

'Kanamachhi Sangbad' on Maasranga

'Kanamachhi Sangbad' on Maasranga

Single-episode TV play “Kanamachhi Sangbad” airs tonight at 7:40pm on Maasranga television. Written and directed by Anjan Aich, the play revolves around a youth who worships ghosts. One day, he goes to a haunted house where he meets a young girl. Gradually a connection grows between them and the boy falls for the...

Short film on horses

Short film on horses

Barring the animals used by the police and armed forces, horses have generally been ill-treated in third world countries by their profit-hungry owners. The short film “Uchchoi Shrobar Uchchabhilash” (Great expectation of the horse) uses the horse to symbolise the cruelty of human beings, bound by lust, ambition and desire. The film is the brainchild...

NEWS bytes

Country music star George Hamilton dies

Country music star George Hamilton dies

US country music star George Hamilton IV has died in Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 77. The singer and guitarist, who began performing as a teenager in the 1950s, had suffered a major heart attack at the weekend. After an early foray into pop, Hamilton became a country stalwart, scoring 40 hits in the 1960s and 70s. He was inducted into Nashville's Grand Old Opry in 1960 and continued to work until shortly before he was taken ill. His most recent album, made in 2010, was a gospel-influenced collection featuring a host of guest artistes. At the start of his career in 1956, Hamilton had a top five hit in...

Creinse becomes distribution partner of Sony DADC

Creinse Limited has become the Exclusive Marketing and Distribution Partner of Home Entertainment Services by Sony DADC for the region of Bangladesh, according to a press release. Under the joint working platform, Creinse will market and distribute the licensed Home Video products of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, Warner Brothers (WHP), Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) and National Geographic in Bangladesh. As part of the tie up, Creinse will also market and distribute the licensed products of Sony Music, Warner...

IT'S TRUE!

IT'S TRUE!

    Matt Damon co-founded of the charity Water.org, which helps provide clean water to developing countries. He is moreover a supporter of ONE Campaign that helps fight AIDS and poverty in third-world countries. Matt Damon also associated with fellow Ocean's Eleven cast-mates and founded the advocacy organisation Not On Our Watch, which concentrates on supporting and bringing attention to human brutalities in third-world countries.

City

Dhaka Medical College

Dorm vacated after intra-BCL clash

The Dhaka Medical College (DMC) authorities vacated Dr Fazle Rabbi Hall last night following a factional clash of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists that left at least 15 injured. Students left the hall by 9:00pm as per instructions. The sudden decision, however, left general resident students in a fix. Many took shelter in their friends' houses or lodgings while some left for home. Hall sources said the factions led by the college unit president, Humayun Islam Suman, and general secretary, Fahad...

Re-empowering JS to Impeach Judges

AL govt has to answer to people one day

The Supreme Court Bar Association yesterday strongly protested the latest amendment to the constitution re-empowering the parliament to impeach SC judges, and demanded its immediate cancellation. The protest came a day after the House unanimously passed the 16th amendment to the constitution on Wednesday. “This change has been brought to put the independence of the judiciary under threat,” alleged SCBA President Khandker Mahbub Hossain. “The Awami League government has to answer to the people for this one day,” he told a press...

Rana Plaza Cases

Court asks govt to let 3 officials be charged

A Dhaka court yesterday asked the public administration ministry and Rajdhani Unnayan Katripakkha (Rajuk) to immediately approve the inclusion of the names of three government officials as accused in two cases filed over the deadly Rana Plaza collapse last year. The officials are Md Kabir Hossain, former Savar upazila nirbahi officer; Uttam Kumar Roy, chief executive officer of Savar Municipality, and Awlad Hossain, building inspector of Savar Municipality. Senior Judicial Magistrate Afroza Sheuly passed the order after Bijoy Krishna Kar, assistant...

Lifestyle Fashions Maker Ltd

30 hurt as management staff beat up workers

Officials of a garment factory allegedly beat up its workers following a feud over the formation of a trade union, leaving at least 30 people injured, at Madhya Badda in the capital yesterday. Workers of Lifestyle Fashions Maker Ltd alleged that some 20 to 25 officials led by production manager Ratan clobbered them with iron rods and bamboo sticks around 11:30am. They added that they had named some of their colleagues for different posts in a trade union three months earlier,...

Stop constructions on arable lands

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the country's land needs to be used and its management system should be maintained in a planned way considering Bangladesh's geographical area and huge population. She was addressing the high officials of the Ministry of Land and its associate bodies during her visit to the ministry at the Secretariat. Hasina directed the authorities concerned so that no one could set up factories or buildings here and there occupying arable lands. She also asked the ministry to...

HC seeks Shibbaria river grabbers' list

The High Court yesterday sought from the Patuakhali district deputy commissioner and Kalapara upazila nirbahi officer by November 5 a list of persons who had encroached on the Shibbaria river. The HC bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal also issued a rule upon the government to explain why it should not be directed to demarcate the river area and evict the encroachers. The order and rule came following hearing of a writ petition Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers...

Sagar-Runi Murder Case

Court orders recording Megh's statement

With no apparent progress made till date in the case over the murder of journalist couple Sagar-Runi, a Dhaka court yesterday ordered the Rab investigator to record statements of the couple's only son Mahir Sarowar Megh and Runi's mother and brother, scrutinise cellphone records of two guards who were working at the couple's residence at the time and interrogate the couple's colleagues. Metropolitan Magistrate Amit Kumar Dey also sought the final probe report from Investigation Officer Wares Ali by November...

Reporting on Child Protection

Prothom Alo, World Vision award three journalists

Three print media journalists were awarded by Prothom Alo and World Vision yesterday for their reports on child protection issues over the last one year. Moshrefa Yasmin of the daily Ittefaq; Shipon Habib of the daily Jugantar; and Jhorna Moni of Bhorer Kagoj won the first, second and third prizes respectively. Each received a crest, a certificate and prize money during a ceremony in the capital's Prothom Alo office. Last year, Prothom Alo and World Vision organised a workshop on reporting on...

EC begins taking photos of new voters

The Election Commission yesterday began taking photos of new voters in Dhaka city for their entry into the electoral roll. The photos will be taken at about 120 schools and colleges, which are being used as registration centres, said EC officials. The deadline for taking photos is November 15. Earlier, from September 1 to 13, EC data collectors made door-to-door visits to gather information about new voters. Those who failed to give information during data collection can still register at the centres...

Road crashes kill eight

Eight people were killed and 13 others injured in road accidents in the country yesterday and Wednesday. Our Chittagong correspondent reports, two persons died after a covered van ran them over on Dhaka-Chittagong highway at Fouzdarhat in Siatkunda upazila yesterday. The dead were Kulsum, 40, and her son Monirul Islam, 13, of Barguna. Meanwhile, a passenger of a CNG-run auto-rickshaw was killed and its driver injured as it collided head-on with a truck near Fakirhat in Sitakunda. The deceased was Mohib Ullah, 25,...

Gonojagoron Mancha

Govt protecting war criminals

Govt protecting war criminals

The faction of Gonojagoron Mancha led by Imran H Sarker yesterday accused the government of protecting the war criminals and suppressing the anti-war crimes protesters. Addressing a rally at the capital's Shahbagh, its spokesperson Imran said the ruling party had infiltrated its activists into the Mancha so that no one could speak in favour...

24 dailies getting govt ads

Some 24 national dailies are getting the government's advertisements, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu told parliament yesterday. The dailies paying salaries and other allowances to journalists and other press staff as per the 8th wage board are getting the government's advertisements, said the minister. Of the newspapers, ten English dailies are The Daily Star, The News Today, The Bangladesh Today, The Financial Express, New Age, The Independent, Dhaka Tribune, The Daily Observer, Daily Sun and The New Nation. Fourteen Bangla dailies are...

Jatrabari-Dholaipar Road

Accidents waiting to happen

Accidents waiting to happen

Riddled with potholes, the half a kilometre stretch of Jatrabari-Dholaipar road beside the Jatrabari ramp of Mayor Mohammad Hanif Flyover has become a nightmare for commuters and vehicles. The battered road poses a great risk of toppling over vehicles plying on it. “It actually feels like I am on a boat in the sea during...

Studying at IIT Bombay

German agency offers scholarships for Bangladeshi students

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has offered scholarships for Bangladeshi engineering students for postgraduate and doctoral education at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. Fifteen aspirants will get the scholarships for Master of Technology (MTech) and five for PhD. DAAD has introduced the scholarships for master's programmes in engineering systems, biomedical engineering, environmental science and engineering, water resource engineering and technology and development, and for PhD study in renewable energy, climate change, health, biodiversity, and good governance, at IIT Bombay. In...

Faruk Murder Case

Don't harass MP Rana

The High Court has directed law enforcers not to harass or arrest Amanur Rahman Khan Rana, lawmaker from Tangail-3 constituency, without “due process of law”. The HC passed the order on Wednesday after hearing a writ petition filed by Rana who fears police arresting him in the Faruk Ahmed murder case without “due process of law”. The Bangla daily Prothom Alo on September 14 published a report saying that police have found evidence of involvement of Rana and his three brothers...

News in Brief

Two muggers held in capital Staff Correspondent Police detained two fleeing members of a gang which snatched around Tk 1.1 lakh from a garment official in the capital's Mohakhai yesterday afternoon. The detainees are Aminul Islam, 25, who introduced himself as a final year sociology student of Titumir College; and Abdur Rahman Babu, 23. Banani police Sub-inspector Abu Bakkar Siddique said Aminul with his four accomplices including Babu looted the money from Mizanur Rahman Zia. The other three managed to flee with the...

Death anniversary

Death anniversary

Today is the 50th death anniversary of Syed Shafiullah, a social worker and a high government official. At the time of his death, Syed Shafiullah was the acting secretary of the then East Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority. Shafiullah was a graduate of Faridpur Rajendra College. 

Country

Additional Trains for Eid Passengers

Fund crisis hampers carriage repair

Fund crisis hampers carriage repair

Homebound passengers in West Zone of Bangladesh Railway (BR) are likely to face difficulties during the Eid ul Azha holidays early next month as special repair and re-installation works of damaged and dumped rail carriages at Saidpur Railway Workshop is hampered due to fund and material crisis. Every year, before two Eids, the workshop...

Illegal structures being built on govt land

Illegal structures being built on govt land

Three ruling party men have started building illegal structures, occupying government land in Baliatali area under Kalapara upazila. Locals said, Aslam Howlader, vice-president of Kalapara upazila unit of Jubo League, Ziaur Rahman, president of Kalapara municipality unit of Jubo League, and Mushfiqur Rahman Hira, a leader of Kalapara upazila unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League...

Robbers kill sand trader, stab cop

A sand trader was shot dead and three others were injured in an attack by a group of robbers in Bhuapur upazila on Wednesday morning. The deceased was identified as Abdul Kuddus, 28, of Char Bihari village. Mohammad Moniruzzaman, chairman of Gabsara union parishad, said a group of sand traders of Char Bihari village went to Rehai Chanduni area for lifting sand from Jamuna River at 6:00am. A robber gang, led by local notorious river robber Kuddus Mondol, went to the spot...

Stones, logs of contractor occupy school field

Stones, logs of contractor occupy school field

Heaps of stones and logs have kept occupying most of the field in front of Pashpatila Government Primary School for long, much to the disturbance of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities of the children. Now 207 students are enrolled with the school that was established in 1923 on 86 decimals of land. "Piling of stones and...

8 years over, much-needed bridge on Surma yet to be complete

8 years over, much-needed bridge on Surma yet to be complete

Construction of the 402-metre-long bridge over the River Surma in Sunamganj district town could not be completed even after eight years. The project, taken up in fiscal year 2005-2006 at a cost of Tk 23 crore, was scheduled to be completed in three years. On completion of 50 per cent work, the project was...

Man hands over drug addict son to police

A helpless father was compelled to hand over his drug addict son to police at Salaipur village in Sadullapur upazila on Wednesday. Police arrested Asaduzzaman Alif, 25, after filing of the case by his father Zaharul Islam. Police later produced the accused before a mobile court, conducted by Ahsan Habib, UNO of Sadullapur upazila and the court sentenced the youth to six months imprisonment in the evening. Father of the drug addict youth said that his son started taking drugs a few...

Youth stabbed dead by younger brother

A young man was stabbed to death allegedly by his younger brother at Deul village in Beanibazar upazila on Wednesday evening. The deceased was identified as Harunur Rashid, 28, son of late Abdur Razzaque of the village. Locals said, Harun had an altercation with his younger brother Mamun over planting trees in their yard in the evening. Following the altercation, Mamun attacked Harun with a sharp weapon and stabbed him indiscriminately, leaving him severely injured around 6:30pm. Harun was rushed to the local...

Man to die for killing brother's wife, her 2 kids

A court here yesterday sentenced a man to death for murdering his sister-in-law and her two minor boys over a family feud in 2013. The condemned convict is Borhan Uddin, 45, son of late Sadar Ali of Sidla village in Hossainpur upazila of the district. Judge AMM Sayeed of Kishoreganj District and Sessions Judge's Court pronnouncd the verdict in presence of the convict. The court also fined him Tk 5000. According to the prosecution, returning to his home after spending 20-years behind...

8 hurt as students of BM College, outsiders clash

At least eight people were injured in a clash between the students and locals on Barisal Government Brojo Mohan (BM) College campus yesterday. Police charged baton and fired gunshot to bring the situation under control. The injured include students Salahuddin, third year of Islamic History, Rahman, fourth year of Mathematics, Mantu and Rakib of Bangla department. College sources said a group of local youths backed by some ruling party men often entered the campus and teased the female students. On Monday, the group,...

Two 'robbers' killed in Rangpur

Two alleged robbers were killed in Badarganj and Sadar upazilas of the district yesterday and the day before. The deceased are Gausul Azam, 25, son of Akmol Hossain of Choukiderpara village in Badarganj upazila and Robiul Islam Robi, 28, son of Abdur Rashid of Basantapur-Baniapara village of the same upazila. Police said a gang swooped on the house of one local trader Haji Akmol in College Road area of the city and took away two motorbikes early yesterday. At 6:00am, locals found...

Criminals kill trader in Rangamati

Criminals strangled a trader of Burighat Bazar in Naniarchar upazila of the district on Wednesday night. The deceased, Babul Dey, 50, was also the president of Burighat Temple Committee. He hailed from Rangunia upazila of Chittagong. Locals said a gang of criminals came to the bazar at around 9:00pm and picked up Babul Dey, Uttam Talukder and Mridul Dey from there. The gang took the three to a jungle in Amtoli area, about one kilometre away from the bazar, and released Uttam...

3 cops among 10 injured in gunfight with criminals

Ten people, including three policemen, were injured in a gunfight with criminals at Chandraganj village in Sadar upazila early yesterday. Mizan Shafiur Rahman, superintendent of police, Laxmipur, said being tipped off that a gang, led by listed criminal Solaimanuddin Jisan, was preparing to commit a robbery, police raided Duttapara area of the village on Wednesday midnight. Sensing the presence of police, the criminals opened fire on the law enforcers who also retaliated by firing back, triggering a gunfight. The gunfight continued till...

Snaps and Snippets

Bombs seized in C'nawabganj Our Correspondent, Chapainawabganj Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in a drive seized 23 crude bombs from a jute field at Lalpur village in  Sadar upazila on Wednesday. Tipped off, a team of Rab-5 raided the area around 9.00am and recovered the bombs, contained in four bags, in an abandoned condition from the jute field,  said Major Qamruzzaman Pavel, camp commander of the Rab-5. None was arrested in this connection. Qamruzzaman said criminals might have kept the...

World

UK press on Scottish 'D-Day'

UK press on Scottish 'D-Day'

Britain's newspapers yesterday declared a "day of destiny" in dramatic front pages streaked with blue, white and red as Scotland votes on whether to split from the United Kingdom. On a front page covered with the Union Jack flag, which may have to be altered if Scotland chooses to become independent, The Times called...

Scottish Independenve Vote

Democracy at its best

Democracy at its best

Scotland has been divided over its referendum for independence. The final hours of campaigning ahead of the referendum have been marked by anger and recrimination. Amid the rallying cries and emotional pleas – with both Gordon Brown and David Cameron given strong speeches – there has been poison, pure and simple. The Labour leader, Ed...

'Nessie' says 'NO'!

As Scots vote for or against independence, the Loch Ness monster's thoughts remain typically shrouded in mystery and there are fears he may have already made up his mind. "Nessie" has given locals in northern Scotland the heebie-jeebies for centuries, but there was mild panic when a recent photograph appeared to show the aquatic giant frolicking at Lake Windermere in northern England's Lake District, 210 miles from it's home, Loch Ness. The Daily Mail presented the photograph last week as proof...

Andy Murray backs 'yes'

Andy Murray backs 'yes'

Scottish tennis ace Andy Murray on Thursday appeared to lend his support to independence on polling day and condemned negative tactics by the "No" camp in a tweet that quickly went viral. "Huge day for Scotland today! 'No' campaign negativity last few days totally swayed my view on it. Excited to see the...

Obama calls for 'united' Britain

On the eve of Scotland's historic independence referendum, US President Barack Obama issued a plea for Washington's key ally Britain to remain "strong, robust and united." American officials have been careful to avoid accusations of interference by insisting that the vote is a choice for the Scottish people, but have made it clear they would prefer Britain not to split. The countries of England and Scotland have been ruled together as the United Kingdom since 1707, while the territory...

Catalans drive to Scotland to back 'yes'

A group of Catalan firefighters arrived in Glasgow yesterday to lend their support to a "Yes" vote in Scotland's independence referendum in a convoy. "We live in a dictatorship and we want to vote like in Scotland," Pep Pladeveya from Gerona in northeast Spain told AFP in the square. Hundreds of thousands of Catalans fired up by Scotland's referendum rallied last week in Barcelona's streets in red and yellow shirts, forming a giant "V" to demand a vote.

West's sanctions violate WTO principles: Putin

West's sanctions violate WTO principles: Putin

President Vladimir Putin yesterday said Western sanctions against Russia violated the principles of the World Trade Organization and the main way to combat them was to develop the domestic market. At a meeting with senior officials, Putin said Russia had no intention of punishing the West for the sanctions, imposed over Moscow's role in...

France to air strike jihadists in Iraq

France to air strike jihadists in Iraq

France yesterday said that it will follow the United States in launching air strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq. The French move came as Washington was set to approve plans to train and arm Syrian rebels in the fight against IS, which has gained more ground in recent days. President Francois Hollande underlined...

Homeless Gazans in endless wait

With much of Gaza in ruins, reconstruction cannot come soon enough for thousands of homeless like Mohammed al-Najjar, a once-proud house owner whose family now huddles in a portable cabin. A new UN-brokered deal has set the stage for private companies to help rebuild after a seven-week conflict that left 100,000 people with nowhere to live. Until now Israel's eight-year blockade of Gaza has meant that few building materials are flowing into the Palestinian territory, making reconstruction a near-impossible task. "This so-called...

Sierra Leone readies for Ebola shutdown

Sierra Leone was preparing yesterday for an unprecedented three-day nationwide shutdown to contain the deadly spread of the Ebola virus in a controversial move which experts claimed could worsen the epidemic. The population of six million will be confined to their homes from midnight (0000 GMT) going into Friday as almost 30,000 volunteers go door-to-door uncovering patients and bodies hidden in people's homes. "Rain or shine, the shutdown exercise is going to go ahead. During the three days... the job is...

Liberal Islamic professor gunned down in Karachi

A professor of Islam known for his liberal religious views was shot dead in Pakistan's port city of Karachi yesterday, officials said. Mohammad Shakil Auj, the 54-year-old dean of Islamic Studies at the prestigious University of Karachi was gunned down in his car while on his way to an Iranian cultural centre where he was invited as a guest of honour. His car was being driven down a ramp from a flyover, when "bullets were fired, one hit the professor in...

Americans' trust in news media plummets

Confidence in the US news media is at an all-time low, a Gallup survey revealed Wednesday, with most Americans complaining the media is too conservative or too liberal. The survey showed just 40 percent of respondents felt confident in the news media's ability to report "fully, accurately, and fairly," matching results of the 2012 questionnaire. The latest poll shows bias is a key issue for Americans and the news media. Some 44 percent said the media sector as a whole was "too...

News in Brief

IS posts video of captive UK journo Afp, Beirut The Islamic State group released a video yesterday of a British freelance photojournalist, John Cantlie, in which he says he is being held captive. There was no immediate threat to his life apparent in the video posted in YouTube.  Cantlie, who had contributed to British newspapers including The Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph, as well as to Agence France-Presse, said he was captured after travelling to Syria in November 2012. BBC reporters 'badly...

The Star

Cover Story

AN INTELLIGENT COMPANY

AN INTELLIGENT COMPANY

IDCOL, who? Doesn't ring a bell? It should. After all, through its 47 partners, it has installed 3.2 million solar home systems that provide clean electricity to 13 million rural people of the country. To get an idea about how big of an achievement that is, here is a fact: the number of solar home...

Current Affairs

Looking Back

Looking Back

The constitution of 1972 empowered the parliament to remove a Supreme Court judge on ground of misbehaviour or incapacity. The power was revoked in January 1975 before it had taken effect through the enactment of a law. The fourth amendment curtailed the parliament's power and empowered the president to remove a SC judge...

Economy

MAKING IT FAIR

MAKING IT FAIR

When Assia Begum, the wife of a poor landless farmer, received Tk 300 from the Union Parishad office she became quite surprised. At first she thought she was mistakenly given the money. Suddenly she realised that almost two years ago when she conceived her first child she applied for the government's maternity allowance...

Perspective

A Homecoming for Akram Khan

A Homecoming for Akram Khan

I saw Akram Khan's DESH in Toronto late last year. Mesmerised, I left the theatre, my experience of the show enhanced by bumping into the performer outside the theatre. We talked; I asked him if he had plans to stage it in Bangladesh. He mentioned that given that so much of the stories...

Photo Feature

DEATHTRAP

DEATHTRAP

Some of the roads in Dhaka, especially those at Begun Bari, Shat Rastar Mor, Malibag and Mirpur are now littered with big potholes. To make it even worse, there are places where roads and drains merge into a single entity. The government and the authorities concerned remain oblivious to the plights of the...

Impressions

Creature of Habit

Creature of Habit

Have you ever realised how much of a creature of habit you are? Small things matter in life so intensely that if any one of your articles of daily use should be misplaced, you will be first upset. And, should it not be retrieved quickly enough you lose temper without throwing anybody on the mat instantly. That is because you wouldn't know who played the trick until your housemaid pointed a finger to the private security man who would have doubled as a 'meticulous interior decorator' on a weekend. With his peculiar aesthetic sense and a sleight of hand he would rearrange the things upsetting your private corner. For...

International

Farmers in Distress

Farmers in Distress

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed anguish over suicides by farmers, whose condition has not improved despite the high rate of economic growth. The reason for this distressing state of affairs is that economic policies are badly crafted. The primary effort of the government has been to increase agricultural production. The price factor...

Musings

Fading Childhood

Fading Childhood

Childhood in Dhaka was drastically different when I was growing up in the early 80's. There were morning cartoons yes, even video games and movies, but there were also neighbourhoods where children would come out to play hopscotch or tag and all the games only children's imagination could invent. Every day I would...

Village Flute

Sreemangal Sevens

Sreemangal Sevens

Beyond town is the Sathrong – the Seven Colours – Restaurant. According to the signboard it's “fully air-condition,” and it will be, at some time after you arrive when they switch the air-conditioner on. Or you can sit street side. Those tables have air all the time, occasionally mixed with a hint of...

Reflections

IT'S TIME TO TALK

IT'S TIME TO TALK

Dear society. Consider this an open letter. It's the taboo that people want to ignore. It's the taboo that isn't sexy or appealing; you don't feel a sense of daring when you get close to it. There's no thrill involved. It's the leading cause of suicide worldwide when it isn't diagnosed. It's depression, and...

Book Review

Written in Blood

Written in Blood

In The Blood Telegram: India's Secret War in East Pakistan Gary J Bass, with credential of being an author, a Professor of politics at Princeton and a restless narrator on South Asia, keeps the truth behind the events well in order that shook the subcontinent. Soon after the horrific riots and horrific partition became...

Health

That Burning Sensation

That Burning Sensation

Do you feel burning sensation when you micturate? Does it hurt? Do you feel an urgency to go to the toilet? Do you feel weak and feverish? You may be suffering from UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). Acute UTI occurs in many women each year, and it rate is very high in Bangladesh. Studies...

Event

Understanding Identity

Understanding Identity

Stuart Hall, in the introduction to a volume of studies published in 1996, suggested that "There has been a veritable discursive explosion in recent years around the concept of identity." More than a decade has passed since he made that observation, but the concept of identity has exploded in worldwide academia, making it...

Star Diary

Star Diary

Treating Them with Respect I was going to my office in Gulshan-1 and was waiting for a bus at a busy place. Suddenly I noticed that a rickshaw-puller was moving towards the main road and had unwittingly hit a man with one of the wheels of the rickshaw. The man got infuriated and started...

Write to Mita

Write to Mita

Dear Mita, I recently gave birth to a daughter but I feel as though my in-laws are not as excited about her birth as they should be. Even when she is crying, my parents-in-law don't bother to quiet her, instead they call me or the nanny to attend to her. This is not the...

Quirky Science

Quirky Science

Training your brain to prefer healthy foods It may be possible to train the brain to prefer healthy low-calorie foods over unhealthy higher-calorie foods, according to new research by scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University and at Massachusetts General Hospital. Published online in...

Remembrance

A Mystic Soul

A Mystic Soul

Mohammed Monsooruddin (1904 –1987) was an eminent Bengali author, lyricist, essayist and literary critic. He was also a renowned collector of Bengali folk literature and mystic art. His lifelong effort to preserve folk literature saved one of the most resourceful parts of Bengali literature from going into total oblivion. We remember this great scholar on his 27th death anniversary. Monsooruddin was born on January 31, 1904 in Muraripur, Shujanagar of Pabna district His education started in the rural schools of his village He graduated from Rajshahi College in 1926 He studied in the department of Indian Vernacular of the Calcutta University from where he secured Masters degree with a First Class in 1928 Monsooruddin...

MAILBOX

MAILBOX

Happily Ever After? I want to congratulate the writer for such an engaging and enjoyable cover story. Through his writing style, the junior artistes who always remain nameless become alive. The life stories of Muhammad Sulaiman, Rowshanara, Ripon Shikder and Nasir are intriguing. These people are in the film industry because they love being...

MAD GENIUS

SATYAJIT RAY

SATYAJIT RAY

Satyajit Ray (May 1921 – 23 April 1992) was an Indian filmmaker, fiction writer, publisher, illustrator, calligrapher, graphic designer and film critic. Ray was born in the city of Calcutta into a Bengali family prominent in the world of arts and literature. "At the age when Bengali youth almost inevitably writes poetry, I was listening to European classical music. The director isthe only person who knows what the film is about. There's always some room for  improvisation. The only solutions that are ever worth anything are the solutions that people find themselves."

SNAPSHOT

Let it Be!

Let it Be!

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” ― Charlotte Brontë

Voicebox

"An octogenarian leader, Ershad will have to undergo an acid test. Awami League enjoys two-third majority in the parliament. So, why would it take part in the game of splitting the Jatiya Party?" OBAIDUL QUADER  Minister for Road Transport and Bridges said that the JP is now faced with a dilemma but Awami League will not interfere in JP's internal affairs. "What would interest Iran is a real fight against terrorism in the region and around the world, not this selective one." HOSSEIN AMIR-ABDOLLAHIAN Iranian...

1 MINUTE PLEASE!

1 MINUTE PLEASE!

Growing up, Urmila Srabonti Kar was always surrounded by a cultural vibe in her family. Apart from being a classical dancer, Urmila made a splash in the art world with a few TV commercials and a handful of TV dramas after competing in a beauty pageant. While she is committed to explore life...

HOME AND ABROAD

HOME AND ABROAD

“Biggest Ever” An anti-smuggling team of Bangladesh Navy seized the “biggest ever” consignment of 2,20,000 Yaba tablets near Patenga in Anwara upazila of Chittagong. 2 Years Jail for Child Marriage The cabinet approved a new law on child marriage incorporating a provision of up to two-year imprisonment and Tk 50,000 fine to the grooms, marriage registers...

Cartoon

Babu

Babu

 

Next Step

I can transform you

I can transform you

“Technology is a gift of God. After the gift of life it is perhaps the greatest of God's gifts. It is the mother of civilisations, of arts and of sciences.” – Freeman Dyson Dyson, the renowned physicist and mathematician, made no mistake in proclaiming the importance of technology. In every part of the world, big and small, technology has a pivotal role to play. This is best reflected by the list published by PriceWaterhouse Coopers in March 2014, which ranked Apple, Google and Microsoft as three of the top four largest companies in the world by market capitalisation. Technology now holds a stranglehold on the strategic direction of global organisations, thereby...

A lesson in leadership at NestléBangladesh

A lesson in leadership at NestléBangladesh

Next Step visited the offices of NestléBangladesh and met with the Head of its Human Resources function – Akhteruddin Mahmood, to have a chat. Chances are you are having a cup of Nescafé as you are reading this - that is how big of a company Nestlé is worldwide and managing the HR department in such a large company is no mean feat. But with ten years of experience at BAT behind him, Mr. Mahmood was more than willing to share his insights and his expertise with me and the readers of Next Step.   What do you think is the main role of HR in any corporation? "The most important...

Internet-fuelled job productivity

Browser plugins Enabling better customization through the ability to download add-ons or extensions. * Bit.ly – A URL shortener and reporting tool * Chrome Remote Desktop – Technology allowing secure access over the internet * Advanced Responsive Video Embedder – Fast, clean and easy embedding at a click of a button Online services and software Technological tools to simplify things: * File Management – The widespread use of Cloud storage, Dropbox and Google Drive * Password Security – The use of password manager services such as KeePass,...

HOTTEST TECH JOBS

HOTTEST TECH JOBS

The technology industry with filled with Iron Men and Women. With lots of vacancies you can wok with super technology, robotics and be part of a digital revolution.                 With amalgamated human physiology Ms Marvel is resistant to most toxins, poisons and absorbs energy. She can survive in space as can you with the latest space technologies.                   It's all about skilled labour, machines, and tools in this job sector. Super charge yourself like the Green Lantern from the DC Universe with high tech activity that gives you the ability to create solid constructs and analyse targets on a larger scale.             Matter-Eate ...

Letters

Letters To The Editor

Food adulterators must be punished

Contamination and adulteration of foods are now very common in Bangladesh. To extend the shelf life of food, unscrupulous traders are adding toxic chemicals in our foods. Fruits and vegetables contain high nutritional value but contaminated and adulterated foods are endangering human health. We want strict action from government against those who are poisoning us. Otherwise, days are not far when we will become a sick nation by losing our productivity. Murad Hossain Karwan Bazar, Dhaka  

Letters To The Editor

Crossing rail tracks dangerously

Crossing rail tracks dangerously

Your front page photos published on September 17 show us that it is not only the government that is responsible for the rail track accidents, but also the people themselves are to blame. In the photos it is seen that pedestrians dangerously walk or run across the rail track even when a train...

Letters To The Editor

Scotland's referendum for independence

This is with reference to the report, "UK leaders pledge support to Scots" (Sept.17). Not many know that Scotland was an independent nation till the beginning of the 17th century but it became a part of the Great Britain (now known as the United Kingdom), including Northern Ireland. The moot question is will the kingdom stay united, as it has remained so for more than three centuries? A section of the UK media is biased against an independent Scotland....

Comments on news report

“Cold chain can save food supply chain,” published on September 16, 2014 Tripura People of this country want to earn money in an easy way. If the government had the will, it wouldn't be hard to solve this problem. But the government was indifferent to it and now this has gone out of control. Hafizur Rahman The government is surrounded by unscrupulous businessmen who control the business from its top to the root level. Nasirullah Mridha Salim It is imperative to take stern measures against...

City In Frame

Tender Hands Roll Wheels

Tender Hands Roll Wheels

Women are not lagging behind in joining the work which requires hard physical labour. Some female workers are working hard in a glass factory which produces bottles and other items at Kanchpur of Sonargaon in Narayanganj district near the capital Dhaka. They  toil for 8-hour work shift with utmost care. Inside the factory the heat...