Pick of the week | The Daily Star
  • Is housing for the urban poor a mere dream?

    One of the most iconic public housing projects of the 20th-century was built in St Louis, Missouri, in the early 1950s, during a time of post-war optimism and construction boom in America. The Pruitt-Igoe housing project consisted of 33-housing blocks, each 11-storey high, and was arranged across a 57-acre site in the poverty-stricken DeSoto-Carr neighbourhood. Upon completion, the project was seen as an answer to the urgent problem of housing the urban poor.

  • Are enforcers of law and dispensers of justice beyond accountability?

    Rule of law as a principle of governance involves that all persons, institutions and entities, public or private, including the state itself is

  • CNN vs Trump: Is there anything for us to learn?

    A federal judge on Friday ordered the White House to reinstate the press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta. His “pass” was revoked after a heated exchange with President Trump.

  • Do the bells toll for Rohingyas?

    Mid-November has arrived and insecurity and uncertainty have descended over Rohingya refugees in Ukhia and Teknaf. The impending deadline has also elicited expressions of deep concern from UN independent experts and rights organisations.

  • ‘No matter who wins the election, people will lose': In conversation with Prof Serajul Islam Choudhury

    Eminent thinker and writer Professor Serajul Islam Choudhury, in this interview with Badiuzzaman Bay of The Daily Star, outlines his views about the current state of leftist politics, the upcoming election, and the future of politics and youth leadership in Bangladesh.

  • The problem with the Road Transport Act

    Much controversy surrounds the new Road Transport Act 2018 which has been the subject of massive protests by road transport workers who perceive the new law to be unduly harsh on them.

  • The ironic life of African migrants in Paris

    In Paris recently I noticed an extraordinary phenomenon unfolding around the Eiffel Tower during a casual afternoon stroll.

  • November 3, 1975: A day of infamy

    Around midnight of November 3, 1975 a number of army personnel entered the Dhaka Central Jail where the four national leaders, Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmad, M Mansur Ali and AHM Quamruzzaman had been taken only a week after the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

  • An Unavoidable Question

    Barring any dramatic shift in the current political situation or unforeseen circumstances, the 11th parliamentary elections are to be held no later than January 28, 2019. It is against this background that the final session of the 10th parliament has commenced on Sunday.

  • Legendary Singer Ayub Bachchu

    Adieu, AB

    AB is no more. The nation is in his debt, and there's nothing we can do about it. There are murmured demands for some sort of a national tribute or recognition. If you ask me, a man, who has won over hearts, has no use for medals.

  • Is it a crime to question the accuracy of official data?

    UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in his 2018 SDG progress report, while reporting major achievements in some areas, also emphasised in no uncertain terms the need for reliable data.

  • Digital Security Act: From the frying pan into the fire

    Bad news: The law that will dictate your digital life for the foreseeable future is finally here.

  • A case of laudable progress

    The 2018 update on the global human development indices and indicators was released on September 14. Covering 189 countries of the world, the update has revealed for these countries the levels of human development in different dimensions, their progress, the inequalities in human development achievements and the extent and nature of deprivations.

  • ICT cases and lack of justification for remand

    When we talk about cases filed under the ICT Act, 2006, Section 57 of the Act crosses our mind almost instantly. Since its enactment in 2006, there were no charges under Section 57 until April 2013 when four bloggers were arrested for alleged incitement of religious hatred. There wasn't even a tribunal to try the cases, as the government had never felt the need to establish one until the end of 2013.

  • Farewell to a master: Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul

    VS Naipaul, to use his most common appellation, died at his London home on August 11, six days short of his 86th birthday.

  • Making sense of the nonsensical

    It is said that cruelty is a many-faced demon that can take any form to serve its purpose. This week, we have had a glimpse of the demon through nurses, people we usually trust our life with when we are at our most vulnerable.

  • ‘People can never trust a government that issues press notes based on falsehoods'

    Waking up in the morning, I heard that in the course of the night police had managed to fill the jail up with prisoners. A lot of people lay sprawling in the jail office in the morning as well. By 8 o'clock in the morning, approximately 300 people had been brought to the jail. Among them were six to fifty years old people! Some were boys who were crying for their mothers.

  • Could these all have been avoided?

    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”, lamented Hamlet. Though the context is different that's the pervasive thought of conscientious Bangladeshis irrespective of their economic status and social standing at the moment.

  • Barisal set on a collision course as old meets new

    As we cruised into the Kirtankhola River near Barisal, the sun had just begun to rise. A faint outline of a long line of trees and structures appeared on the horizon. It was a welcome sight after a night in what seemed like the middle of nowhere, sailing through mile after mile of unknown waters.

  • Hammer, remand, inaction and innuendo

    For more than two weeks in campuses across the country students demanding a review of the controversial quota system for appointments to civil bureaucracy experienced brutality of a monumental scale.

  • Rising above the sea of "yes-men"

    In Shakespeare's great tragedy King Lear, a powerful man comes to a tragic end because he surrounds himself with flatterers and banishes the friends “who will not varnish the truth to please him.”

  • When does development equal freedom?

    In the more than four decades since independence, Bangladesh has made remarkable strides on many fronts. It is no longer the “basket case” as Henry Kissinger, former US secretary of state, had dismissively remarked about the newborn country in 1971.

  • Well done, Sir!

    There are iconic pictures that sometimes capture an age, define a moment in history, exemplify beauty, tragedy, or joy, in ways otherwise impossible to evoke. Who can forget the naked, screaming Vietnamese girl fleeing the napalm attack on her village in 1972; the Chinese man standing in lonely defiance in front of a column of tanks at the Tiananmen Square in 1989; the Times Square kiss; or the raising of the US flag at Iwo Jima, heralding the end of WWII?

  • The perils of a city divided: What Medellín's transformation can teach us about fixing Dhaka

    "We want to get into power—why? What are the problems we are going to solve? What we want to attack is inequality, violence and corruption.”

  • Prioritising effective social safety net projects

    The idea of the universal pension scheme is new, but it's just a good idea. With our bureaucratic inefficiency, it's highly unlikely that we would be able to make headway in this regard in the near future.

  • Anti-Drug War

    Of Akram, accountability, Joseph and justice

    The government of Bangladesh has declared a war on narcotics. It has proclaimed its intent to uproot the scourge of drugs from the land. “None will be spared”, came the stern warning from the authorities. Rapid Action Battalion, the elite law enforcement agency (LEA), swung into action from the first day of the holy month of Ramadan. Other agencies, including the police, were not to be left behind.

  • Why Dhaka may disappear one day, like Mohenjo Daro

    This was Samayeen Cooper's maiden visit to the country of his grandparents, from his mother's side. He quickly glanced at his watch: 5:37 PM local time, December 14, 2044!

  • anti-drug war

    Efficacy of the anti-drug war

    “Why don't you tell the truth?

  • Palestine: The Great Betrayal

    When it comes to Palestine and the plight of Palestinians, everything is generally inverted.

  • Time to talk about teenage suicide

    The curse of growing up with literature is that you find something to romanticise about even in the saddest human experience.

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