THE OVERTON WINDOW | The Daily Star
  • Can democracies around the world be resuscitated?

    The United Nations General Assembly agreed to observe September 15 as the International Day of Democracy in 2007.

  • Hallmark’s return to the headline

    It's been a while since the Hallmark Group has been mentioned in the news. Except for when it has been used as an example of severe corruption and criminality, to illustrate the grave consequences that arise when certain principles and rules are ignored.

  • Flip-flopping on regulatory decisions: Who does it benefit?

    In a reversal of its stance, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) on August 27 decided to allow Beximco Ltd to reschedule its loan of Tk 430.05 crore, thus in principle approving the rescheduling of restructured loans.

  • Official version of our human rights and what the reality is

    Having acceded to the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) on October 1998, Bangladesh was obligated to submit its initial State Report under Article 19 of the UNCAT to the UN’s Committee against Torture (CAT) by November 4, 1999. But it took Bangladesh 20 years to comply—and only after the CAT sent a letter to the Bangladesh government on December 10, 2018, reminding it of its overdue initial report and about the possibility for the Committee to proceed with a review in its continued absence.

  • Unemployment Problem in Bangladesh

    Jobs are the reason ‘it’s the economy, stupid!’

    Bangladesh’s economy has made massive strides since 1971. After independence, the initial challenges that the economy faced were enormous. And while Bangladesh managed to overcome most of them, many new challenges emerged in the years that followed.

  • What it means to live in a surveillance society

    If you said pre-2013...that the most private moments of your lives were being watched and recorded...people would call you a conspiracy theorist.” – Edward Snowden

  • How black money can and cannot be reduced

    Moving against the current of expert opinion, the government, in the budget for FY2019-20, opened up a five-year scheme to convert black money into white.

  • Budget proposal not aligned with AL’s election manifesto

    The Tk 5,23,190 crore budget proposed by the government, which is the biggest in our country’s history, was somewhat of a letdown. Governments sometimes struggle to fully make use of their budgetary plans in electoral democracies because the party in power may

  • An important answer to look for in the budget

    One of the best instruments the government can use to serve those it works for—presumably the citizens—is the national budget. Unfortunately, if one was to ask ordinary citizens, independent analysts and experts to rate how successfully the government implemented

  • Poverty, policy and economic ruin? The true folly of neoliberalism

    No matter which approach is used, every method of measurement shows inequality has risen in Bangladesh (at least) over the last 10 years. If we take the latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, we see that the country’s Gini coefficient—a measure of inequality—went up (indicating disparity has grown) from 0.458 in 2010 to 0.482 in 2016. From a different angle, a report released by Oxfam towards the close of last year ranked Bangladesh 148th in the world—out of 157 countries—for reducing inequality.

  • Rise of the executive and the decline of civil liberties

    In the last decade at least, we have seen two things happening side-by-side globally. One is the rise of the executive branch of government—the significance of its role in the workings of government and society at large. The other is the decline of civil liberties—some of which, such as the right to privacy and free speech, people are now “willingly” compromising on, or no longer view as inalienable even.

  • Julian Assange

    Martyrdom of Assange or death blow for journalism?

    Aside from being nominated multiple times for the Nobel Peace Prize, including in 2019 by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Maguir, Julian Assange has won countless awards for journalism

  • The biggest barrier to our industrialisation

    While inaugurating the first national industrial fair in the city, the prime minister, at the end of last month, said she wanted to discuss how to reduce the interest rate of bank loans which she thought had become the biggest barrier to the country’s industrialisation.

  • After Sri Lanka’s terror attack: Questions we now must ask

    The devastating series of suicide attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday that claimed at least 250 lives was noticeably well organised.

  • The fall of Baghdad 16 years ago

    Three weeks into the invasion of Iraq, coalition forces led by the US army entered Baghdad and formally occupied it on April 9, 2003.

  • War in Syria

    Syria's struggle does not end with ISIS

    Narratives shape our world. The deeper meaning of Orwell's words becomes clear when we know the true nature of Syria's crisis.

  • This is how blockchain can radically reshape the future

    According to the Fall 2018 issue of MIT's Sloan Review Magazine, “Blockchain technology is set to be a major player of the future digital economy.”

  • What students saw and what they were told to believe

    The recent Ducsu election, held after 28 years and for the first time since people's representation in government is said to have prevailed in the country, was another unfortunate nail in the coffin of our so-called democracy.

  • 'Tax the rich': Can it really solve the inequality crisis?

    An article titled “Tax the rich” published in this daily on February 22, highlighted the astonishing rise in wealth and income inequality that we've witnessed globally in recent years, and rightly recognised it as a crisis that deserves the most urgent attention.

  • The military-industrial complex Eisenhower warned about

    While most of the western mainstream media was shocked by Donald Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US Presidential Elections, the same can't be said about all media outlets or pundits.

  • The lack of youth participation that we see

    Lately, I've had the chance to research a lot about the state of youth unemployment in our country. This included reading multiple reports released by a number of national

  • What they say, don't say and should say

    In its manifesto for the upcoming elections, the Awami League has pledged to strengthen the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), mass media and the judiciary.

  • Liberalism vs Neoliberalism: How it connects the protests storming across Europe

    Since November 17, protesters who have since become known as the “Gillets Jaunes” (Yellow Vests) have been pouring onto the streets of France in huge numbers.

  • The state of our banking sector

    On November 18, the finance minister surprised almost everyone (not for the first time) by saying that those who highlight the sorry state of the banking sector are all “uninformed”.

  • Between a House and a Senate: Can a truce be in the offing?

    As one of the most talked about and, perhaps, controversial US Midterm Elections comes to an end, the US, as a nation, remains where it was before the election started.

  • The price of exposing truth is getting costlier than ever

    Today is the fifth anniversary of the UN recognising November 2 as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. Incidentally, data shows that this year has been one of the deadliest for journalists out of the last five years, if not longer.

  • The tragedies behind the statistics

    Much has been made of the death of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi. And rightfully so. The story of his alleged gruesome murder at the hands of a Saudi hit-team inside the country's consulate in Istanbul is not something the average person has to hear and replay in their heads every day—with the help of some imagination.

  • Censorship: Who should it worry?

    The 21st century has broadly been characterised as the Information Age.

  • The past still calls us to save the future

    The United Nations International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons falls on the anniversary of an incident that happened in 1983, when the world was just inches away from accidentally entering what would most likely have been a nuclear holocaust.

  • How Idlib reveals danger of a larger bloodbath

    While the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, warned the Syrian and Russian governments to stand down from attacking Idlib—the last stronghold of the armed Syrian opposition—as that may lead to a possible “bloodbath”, the term itself brought to mind chapter 10 of the book The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire.

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