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News of: Wednesday, 17th of October, 2007
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Tornado, mudslide and boat and trawler capsizes killed at least nine persons and injured over 100 across the country while 32 others have remained missing as heavy rainfall caused by a well-marked low in the Bay inundated Chittagong region.
Army chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday dismissed speculations about his becoming president, saying that he has no such intentions.
The government has fixed an ambitious export target of $14.5 billion for the fiscal year 2007-08 against a backdrop of falling exports in readymade garment (RMG) sector, leader in the country's export initiatives, this July.
Bangladesh received $792 million foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, down by 6 percent against previous year's, though the global FDI grew 38 percent during the period.
The holy Eid-ul- Fitr was celebrated across the country on Sunday with enthusiasm and religious fervour.
A Dhaka court yesterday framed charges against detained former state minister for labour and employment Amanullah Aman and 11 others in a Tk 10 lakh extortion case.
The two detained former premiers, Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia, both observed Eid-ul-Fitr in solitude in special prisons set up at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban complex.
Detained former prime minister Sheikh Hasina was allowed to speak with her children over phone yesterday on the occasion of Eid -- for the first time since her arrest on July 15.
Army chief Gen Moeen U Ahmed went on a tour of the United States, the UK and China Monday.
Durga Puja, five days of the largest festivities of Hindus in the country, begins today.
The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) next week would start primary enquiries about the 35 graft suspects, whose names were published on the fourth list of graft suspects on October 4.
The advisory committee on purchase yesterday approved buying of 50,000 tonnes of rice at Tk 22.31 per kilogram.
The Awami League (AL) presidium member, Suranjit Sengupta, yesterday called for a broad-based dialogue to forge national unity to tide over the current political crisis in the country.
Eminent Journalist And Former editor of the Bangladesh Observer Obaidul Haque passed away at his Banani residence on Saturday. He was 96.
At least 37 people were killed and some 150 were injured in road accidents in the capital and elsewhere in the country in the last four days.
A Dhaka-bound intercity train from Chittagong derailed near Bartakia Railway Station in Mirersarai upazila of Chittagong Saturday morning killing at least three people and injuring 30 others.
Nobel laureate Prof Dr Muhammad Yunus on Friday raised $2 lakh in New York for Bangladesh's destitute children, reports US-based news agency News World.
Six persons including a listed criminal were killed in the capital in the last five days.
A sentenced local commander of the Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Waliullah alias Abdul Hamid, was arrested at Darail Tarafsartaz village in Bogra's Gabtoli upazila on Monday.
Farmers in Bogra who sold lalshak (red amaranth) at Tk 600 a maund (around 37 kg) during the Ramadan did not find any customer yesterday to sell it at Tk 20 a maund.
After Eid vacation, government offices, banks and newspaper offices reopened yesterday.
An alleged criminal was killed in a “shootout” between him and Rab members in Rajshahi on Monday.
Kokil Textile Mills in Brahmanbaria was closed for indefinite period yesterday as workers went on strike to press home their demands for appointment letters, bonus allowances and others.
India's government has admitted to the United States it is having trouble pushing through a landmark nuclear accord, in a fresh sign it may have caved in to pressure from its left-wing allies.
Former US vice-president Al Gore and the UN's top climate panel shared the Nobel Peace Prize Friday, in a major boost to the international campaign for action against global warming.
Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday backed Iran's right to nuclear energy and argued against military action, during the first visit to the country by a Kremlin chief since World War II.
A row erupted yesterday over preparations for Benazir Bhutto's return this week after supporters plastered billboards and posters throughout Karachi of the former Pakistani leader.
THE suggestions from former president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury regarding a government of national consensus for a decade have predictably generated widespread comment. Professor Chowdhury would like the nation to know that such a government can take shape after the general elections promised for end-2008. While one is already to welcome new political ideas, especially in such fraught conditions as those in Bangladesh, one notes that the suggestion the former head of state has put forward lacks the details that might have lent it a little more substance. We, at this newspaper, have been following carefully the debate arising out of Chowdhury's formula. We believe however, the idea of a government of national consensus runs contrary to the letter and spirit of the constitution.
OBAIDUL Huq who traversed close to six decades of journalism in these parts, leaving his indelible imprint on it, is no more. He had been associated with Bangladesh Observer since its founding days as Pakistan Observer under the able leadership of eminent editor late Abdus Salam. He went on to become the editor of the influential daily in 1972.
IN a season brimming over with some novel ideas about governance and statecraft, Professor AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury's suggestion that, once the elections of 2008 are gone through, a government of national consensus might be put in place (for a decade!) only adds to the excitement. You only have to recapitulate everything that has happened in these past few months to get a sense of where the country is going, or trying to go.
ACCORDING to US under-secretary of state, Nicholar Burns, the United States and India reached an agreement on July 27 on the terms and conditions of a civil nuclear cooperation accord known as 123 Agreement. The Americans have called it "the symbolic centerpiece of a global partnership between our two countries." The negotiating skill and tenacity of the Indian officials earned India everything it wanted, and more. The US counterparts wrapped it up with the convoluted language to give the appearance of an agreement perfectly in line with the letter and sprit of current American law.
THE Burmese government's grotesque crackdown on pro-democracy protests will have one certain effect. The United States and the European Union will place more sanctions on the country. Its economy will suffer, its isolation will deepen. And what will this achieve? Sanctions are the Energizer Bunny of foreign policy. Despite a dismal record, they just keep on ticking. With countries like Burma, sanctions have become a substitute for an actual policy.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has come out of the Eid-ul-Fitr fervour as soon as the public holiday was over yesterday when they sat to discuss changes in the 9th National Cricket League (NCL) to make the competition more attractive.
Ace centre-back Nazrul Islam has decided not to play for Bangladesh on personal reasons.
Bangladesh under-16 football team will open their campaign in the AFC Youth Football Championship qualifiers today.
With his burly physique, long black beard and laidback nature, the sporting talents of Pakistan's Inzamamul Haq, who retired from Test cricket Friday, are not immediately obvious.
After conceding the seven-match series meekly, India will play for pride and seek a consolation win when they take on Australia in the seventh and final cricket one-dayer here tomorrow.
Andrew Symonds hit a blistering unbeaten century to set up Australia's thrilling 18-run win over India in the sixth one-day international here on Sunday.
Suspended Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar has signed a lucrative deal with an Indian cricket league, saying Pakistan officials have agreed to let him play.
Paceman Dilhara Fernando bagged a career-best haul of 6-27 to help Sri Lanka post a consolation 107-run win over England in the fifth and final one-day international here on Saturday.
South Africa sealed their first Test series on the subcontinent since 2000 on Friday after being held to a draw by battling Pakistan in the second and final match.
Mitchell Johnson's stunning form in India has fuelled his belief that he is ready for a Test debut at the Gabba on November 8. A five-wicket haul in the fifth ODI in India has highlighted his growing maturity on the international stage and leaves him in perfect shape to face Sri Lanka alongside Brett Lee and Stuart Clark.
Mark Boucher and A.B. de Villiers hit quick-fire hundreds as South Africa tuned up for the one-day international series with a crushing 176-run win against Pakistan's Patron's XI on Tuesday.
England received a welcome boost, France have injury setbacks while Scotland manager Alex McLeish claimed his team were up against it to go through on the run-up to Wednesday night's Euro 2008 qualifiers.
Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi said Monday he is already looking to the world champions Euro 2008 qualifying match against Scotland next month in Glasgow as a 'final.'
Germany's understudy goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand says he is looking forward to wearing the national shirt on Wednesday and hopes to take his chance to keep out Arsenal's Jens Lehmann.
Spain's Cesc Fabregas, who has shone with Arsenal in the Champions League, is a target for Real Madrid for the 2008-2009 season, the sports daily AS said Tuesday.
Miroslav Klose, the Bundesliga's joint top-scorer, is expected to return for Bayern Munich on Saturday when the league leaders tackle VfL Bochum.
The share price in Rupali Bank on the DSE yesterday soared by Tk 1137.75, or 57.26 percent, just in a day on the latest news that the state-run bank's future owner Prince Bandar will finalise the deal with the government next month.
World oil prices hurtled to fresh record highs on Tuesday, striking close to 88 dollars per barrel in New York amid fears over tensions between Turkey and Kurdish rebels in crude producer Iraq.
Three foreign bidders are in the race with six local companies to build a four-billion-dollar power plant in India, an official said Tuesday, amid a drive to improve the country's infrastructure.
The leaders of emerging powerhouses South Africa, India and Brazil will meet in Pretoria this week to bolster trade and energy ties as well as flex their collective muscle on world affairs.
Eskayef Bangladesh Ltd, a leading pharmaceutical company, participated in the Conference on Pharmaceutical Ingredients (CPhI) Worldwide 2007 held in Fiera Milano Rho, Italy on October 2-4, says a press release.
Agnes Liew, head of Network Relationship Banking in Citigroup Asia Pacific Region, is due in Dhaka today on a two-day visit, says a press release.
Mortgage woes and big loan write-downs took a dramatic toll on Citigroup's third quarter profits, but America's largest banking group on Monday still reported a net profit of 2.4 billion dollars.
French food giant Groupe Danone SA, which is embroiled in a long and bitter public feud with a Chinese partner, said Tuesday it was backing out of another venture in the fast-growing Asian market.
A reform drive at the International Monetary Fund should not benefit emerging market countries alone at the expense of poorer states, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde insisted Tuesday.
The United States said Monday it was "very disappointed" with a ruling by the World Trade Organisation ruling that its subsidies to cotton farmers breached global trade rules.
The dollar slipped against the Japanese currency in Asian trade on Tuesday on concern over higher oil prices and renewed fallout from the US subprime housing sector, dealers said.
The 38th World Standards Day was observed in the country on Sunday with a call to maintain quality of goods and services at all levels to sustain in open market economy.
Two people were killed and at least 16 others injured in separate clashes in Nishchintopur, Barishat and Jagla villages in last two days.
The World Food Day was observed in the country yesterday with a call for ensuring the right to food for all and eradicating hunger and poverty from the world.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-4) have arrested three more accused in connection with the murder of Hedayet Ullah, deputy general manager of Bangladesh Bank.
The speedy trial tribunal here yesterday recorded the deposition of two more prosecution witnesses in the case against 14 persons including two Rajshahi University teachers for torching a DGFI vehicle violating the Emergency Power Rules 2007 during late August campus violence.
A teenage girl was killed in a stampede when she went to collect Zakat money from the house of an industrialist at Chandmari area of Fatullah upazila in the district.
Leaders of Mahanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee (MSPC) yesterday urged the government for an uninterrupted supply of electricity and water to puja mandaps during the five-day-long Durga Puja, the greatest religious festival of the Hindus beginning today.
Pro-Khaleda faction of BNP blamed the immediate-past caretaker government for its failure to run the country according to the constitution and as such the state of emergency was imposed in January.
Dhaka University Mourning Day, the day that saw 39 students die in a roof collapse at the auditorium of the then assembly building (now October Smriti Bhaban) on October 16 in 1985, was observed on Monday.
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty will be observed in the country as elsewhere across the world today with a call 'stand up and speak out against poverty and inequality.'
The Art of Living and United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC) have come together to champion the cause of eradicating poverty, says a press release.
The Indian Navy Ship Karmuk commanded by Commander Suraj Berry VSM arrived in Chittagong yesterday on a goodwill visit to Bangladesh.
Remodelling of Khulna Railway Station is expected to begin in December as the Executive Committee of National Economic Council released Tk 40 crore for the project in the first phase.
A new contingent of Bangladesh police will join the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Ivory Coast by next week.
A housewife was beaten to death by her husband at Hatia in the district on Sunday night.
Fire gutted a confectionery at a shopping centre at SM Malek Road in the town yesterday morning.
Production at Ashuganj Zia Fertiliser Company was suspended yesterday following a technical fault in the plant, sources said.
Sufia Chow-dhury, a noted philanthropist and wife of late Abdul Hai Chowdhury, passed away at Labaid Hospital in the city on Monday at the age of 68, says a press release.
Altamashul Islam, a language veteran and former principal of Habibullah Bahar College, passed away due to old age complications at his residence in the city on Monday at the age of 75.
Abdur Rob Chowdhury, former general manager of Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation, passed away due to old-age complications on Saturday at the age of 75, says a press release.
Prof Dr MA Hadi, president of Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) and former vice chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), passed away due to a cardiac arrest at Ibn Sina Hospital in the city in the early hours of yesterday at the age of 68.
Today is the 2nd death anniversary of MA Samad, former managing director of Jiban Bima Corpora-tion and founder of Bangladesh General Insurance Company Limited (BGIC), says a press release.
Floods that hit Gaibandha district twice this year caused extensive damage to road and rail communication.
A court in Sylhet sent Roads & Highways (R&H) Department executive engineers Abdul Khaleque Miah and Shafiqul Islam to jail on surrender yesterday.
A three-day long Lalon Mela started yesterday at Lalon's Akhra at Chheuria near the town, marking the 117th death anniversary of great baul mystic Fakir Lalon Shah.
Detective Branch (DB) arrested Khoksa upazila Awami League (AL) president Sadar Uddin Khan, also a former upazila chairman, on Friday midnight.
Recent news about the construction of Metro or Monorail system in Dhaka city in an attempt to ease the traffic congestion has brought a sense of hope and relief to the Dhaka's road users and pedestrians. We were tired of the false promises and hopes given by the past governments. Bullet train, Metro, Monorail etc etc were promised by the communications minister. Everything has turned out to be bluff and cheap election propaganda. We would like to believe that the present caretaker government would keep its promises. Although the government is expected to be in power for a little more than one year, the communication ministry can at least start the foundation work of the Metro or/and Monorail system so that the future political government will just carry on the rest of the work. We are so unfortunate that we have got little confidence in our political parties. I think the Metro system would suit Dhaka better than the Monorail system because the Monorail would occupy much of Dhaka's free passage and spaces. There will always be the need for the extension of the transport system in future.
Bangladeshi garments sector is in dire straits. The 74% export market depending on RMG is an ominous sign and we must look for diversification of our exportable products base in order to keep our competitiveness in the international market. To add fuel to it are the conspiracy theories and vested interest groups who are constantly trying to take away our market to the other countries vying for the share of the export pie. It's indeed a shame that we are not adding value to our products and not looking into product diversification and we are paying the price by being tied to a single product. A t-shirt can get a manufacturer may be a paltry 3 dollars whereas the same t-shirt is sold at 10-20 dollars even in the discount stores in the US or in the EU countries.
When someone jumps into a decision without knowing the consequences, then that person or, for that matter, that nation can be likened to a fool. The stance that the US has taken to police the world is failing miserably on their faces and they are getting slapped left and right in Iraq and Afghanistan; however, their moronic attitude is really stopping them from realising that they are into slow poisoning the world and most importantly, themselves.
Inzamam-ul-Haq, who earlier quit as Pakistan Test captain and retired from one-day internationals on March 08, has now announced his retirement from Test cricket as well, rounding off an extraordinary weekend for his country's national cricket team. Inzamam still remains one of Pakistan's most potent forces with the bat, boasting a formidable Test record.
The condition of jute in Bangladesh is deteriorating day by day. Jute mills are being closed down one after another. It is an undesirable situation for the industrialisation of the country. The terrible news is that World Bank and some other international authorities are exerting pressure on the present caretaker government for closing the other govt. owned jute mills. Jute mills are flourishing in our neighboring country India. Then why pressure is being exerted on us to close the jute mills while there are many reasons not to close them? We should at least keep the existing mill running.
This is a good news that the national election for the 9th Parliament could be held in the month of October 2008. A few issues need to be resolved before the next election since the public by and large want to observe a model parliament for which they have sacrificed so much.
Despite the opposition and warning of President George W. Bush and the Turkish government, a Congressional committee of the US House of Representatives endorsed a resolution calling the early 20th century (during WWI) killing of about 1.5 million civilian Armenians by the Ottoman army a 'genocide'. The resolution will soon be sent to the full House for a possible vote.
I was very glad to find a special Eid issue of the Star Literature which contains interesting stories all translated from Bangla to English. My heartiest congratulations to your Literary Editor Khademul Islam. As gathered from his note, you had actually given the idea of bringing out this exclusive edition. Congrats to you as well!
Police in the subcontinent was not raised for the benefit of the people of this land. Police forces in this land emerged as an anti-people organisation since their inception. Police of the British Bengal used to do the notorious jobs for their colonial masters. Police were being trained in those days in tune with the desire of the colonial administrators. Police very often came down heavy on the poor peasants. They used to arrest and detain innocent indigo cultivators. They robbed the people of their little belongings who lost the ability to pay the land revenue. Even if the poor farmers had no harvest due to flood or draught, they were not spared. Police were the instruments of collecting money for the white Shahib.
In connection with the August 20-22 DU incidents, some DU teachers are detained now. I passed from the CU but when I see DU teachers are moving in prison van under police custody I feel bad. We know the allegations against them. We also know the teachers. Especially, Prof. Anwar Hossain and his family's glorious past is known to all conscious citizens.
Some of the political parties including the 'name only' ones are clamouring ahead of holding dialogue with the EC against the measures reportedly adopted by the EC in the registration process of the political parties. But we the general public strongly believe that some kind of regulatory obligations should be there for the political parties to fulfill and ensure financial transparency before they can become eligible for registration to participate in the general election. There should be a clear-cut policy guideline on prevention of nomination trading. The EC should be authorised under the provision of the constitution to act as the Regulator with adequate legal power to deal with the offenders. This is absolutely necessary to keep the political parties on the right track. The EC should go ahead with the formulation of the regulatory legal framework after seeking public opinion (if felt necessary) on the proposed provisions and thereafter place the same before the CTG for adoption. It will not be wise to let the politicians have a free hand in the registration process in view of their adverse past records. The political parties and the politicians will ultimately govern the country. Therefore, some mechanism for screening should be there at the initial stage to encourage and induct patriotic, educated and honest persons in the parties. This may not be hundred percent possible but an awareness can be created at all levels to discourage musclemen, criminals, terrorists, extortionists etc. joining the political parties, who under the umbrella of high-ups in the party consider themselves above the law and use their political platform as a safe heaven to continue with their criminal activities as noticed in the past. Effective check, therefore, must be there to prevent entry of these elements into the political parties as far as practicable with an obligation on the parties to expel them at the instance of the EC. In the past we saw persons with those “qualifications” even became ministers ! The country's future depends largely on establishment of a patriotic, healthy and honest democratic institution. Today, in general the politicians are looked down by the public as 'Munafiqs' , meaning those who are liars, misappropriate public properties, breach trust and do not honour their promises. That is why the country is in a mess today. We have got a unique opportunity now to weed out these elements. The country would plunge into the same turmoil, lawlessness and uncertainty if those people are allowed to enter the political arena once again.
Tamil Tiger rebels have overrun a military post inside Sri Lanka's most popular wildlife sanctuary, officials said yesterday amid a surge in fighting ahead of the economically crucial tourist season.
The Pakistan military and militants have agreed a temporary ceasefire following some of the bloodiest clashes along the Afghan border for six years, a tribal elder said yesterday.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pushed Israelis and Palestinians Monday to reach concrete understandings ahead of a US peace summit, saying the time had come for a Palestinian state.
Turkey yesterday told Iraq to crack down on Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq or face the consequences, as Baghdad called for urgent talks over Ankara's threat of a military incursion.
Myanmar's military junta yesterday shrugged off international action to punish the regime for its crackdown on dissent, vowing to "march on" even as Japan cut aid and European nations widened sanctions.
A cheap system to recycle human waste into biogas and fertiliser may allow 2.6 billion people in the world access to toilets and reduce global warming, an Indian environmental expert said Tuesday.
Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif will try to return home again in November, two months after his last attempt ended in failure, his party said Monday.
Punjab police on Tuesday claimed to have got some "vital clues" in the Ludhiana cinema hall bomb blast in which six people were killed and 25 others were injured.
India's new all-female political party said yesterday that it aims to rid the country of corruption and poverty, and focus on women's issues.
Arts & Entertainment
NILOOFER Chaman, the talented Bangladeshi painter and maker of installations, is having a solo exhibition in the Contemporary Asian Artists Series organised by the Fukuoka Asian Museum, Japan. Niloofer is not always swayed by the current fads but rather listens to her inner voice. Bold forms and bright colours are her characteristics. They are seen within a frame of her penchant for story telling.
A familiar face on the big and small screen, Parvin Sultana Diti, embarked on her acting career with BFDC's (Bangladesh Film Development Corporation) talent hunt competition, Natun Mukher Shandhaney in 1984. She was the first actress to be selected through this process. Her first film, Daak Diey Jaye, based on the Liberation War, was government-financed. Unfortunately the film never saw the light of the day.
Afzal Hossain and Srabonti star in the Eid special play Ekakitto, to be aired on ntv tonight at 8:20pm.
Eid special play Bechara will be aired on Rtv tonight at 11pm.
What happens when a Bollywood movie joins hands with one of the world's most popular football clubs? Well, they hope to laugh their way into the box office.
A seminar titled “Problems and Prospects of Bengali Poetry” was held recently at the local Muslim Institute auditorium. Poet Gausur Rahman presented the keynote paper on the subject. An exchange of views on the topic, “Copyright and the right of the writer” was also a part of the programme moderated by Poet Nurul Huda.
SYED Mohammad Ali, the founder editor of The Daily Star, requires no introduction. He was one of the few personalities whom I looked upon with awe and admiration. He was popularly known as SM in the world of journalism and was addressed as "Khasru," which was his nickname, by his very close relatives and friends.
IN the 1992 movie a A Few Good Men, when confronted by dashing Navy lawyer Tom Cruise in a probe about a crime (as it happens, in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base) Jack Nicholson, a Marine Lt. Colonel said: "You can't handle the truth." I want to ask the same question today: "Can we handle the truth?" Handling the truth is often more daunting than discovering it. What kind of truth do we need to establish, and for what? Do we need to find out whether our businessmen, at least those who are accused of dishonesty, are actually honest? Could it be the case, as they claim, that they were bullied into corrupt practices? I always thought that it was only our bureaucrats who set the standard of innocence, to the extent that some of them cannot even flip a fried fish on their plate, and that they were the ones bullied into taking bribes by the politicians. Now our business community is asserting the same level of innocence. Their alleged innocence or guilt can be established by an investigating officer. You do not need a truth commission for that.
WE have won an historic victory," proclaimed President Rafael Correa of Ecuador. On October 7 the political coalition he heads won an overwhelming majority of the seats in the constituent assembly that is tasked with "refounding" the nation's institutions.