News of: Thursday, 18th of October, 2007
For the first time in its history, the much-ignored national oil and gas exploration company Bapex is being awarded more than eight projects to increase natural gas supplies within a short time.
Bringing reforms within the political parties has made no considerable progress in the last 10 months because of the prevailing political situation and discord within the major parties themselves.
Chief Justice (CJ) Md Ruhul Amin yesterday said the separation of judiciary from the executive will be effective from November 1 and this has been possible because of the congenial atmosphere now prevailing in the country.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd has purchased an Airbus A-310, which the airliner, while being nationalised, leased on October 22, 2003 for four years.
Bangladesh is going to seek $1,623 million assistance from the World Bank (WB) to carry on its reform and development initiatives in the current fiscal year (FY).
BNP has decided to dissolve its Dhaka city unit committee to bring changes in leadership in a bid to strengthen the most important party unit.
Response to the three-month open sky policy has been poor so far as different airline authorities have said the short-term policy would not be commercially viable for them.
The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) has asked the establishment ministry to provide its investigators with addresses of some retired government officials for questioning in connection with the Gatco graft case.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has given award to one Bangladeshi and four other Asian farmers for their outstanding achievements in the areas of horticulture, aquaculture, agribusiness, home gardening and community forestry.
Expressing their concern, 26 senior citizens have drawn the chief adviser's attention to the issue of sending 187 ancient artefacts to the Guimet Museum in Paris for exhibition and urged him to take necessary steps regarding the reported mismanagement in the process.
Awami League (AL) yesterday said that it would not be right to expand the caretaker government through appointing new advisers or consultants.
The European Union (EU) yesterday reiterated its support to different initiatives of the caretaker government when Netherlands Ambassador BM Ten Tusscher met Foreign Adviser Iftekhar A Chowdhury at the foreign ministry.
Oil prices surged to an all-time high of $89 a barrel last night after Turkey's parliament authorized an incursion into northern Iraq in search of Kurdish rebels.
The Election Commission wants (EC) to remain neutral on the issue of national government as it thinks intellectuals and constitutional experts of the country should decide on it.
The editor of the daily Janakantha, Atiqullah Khan Masud, was cleared of fraud charges yesterday after he settled the dispute out of court.
Former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto vowed yesterday to bring democracy to her country as she prepared to return home after eight years of self-imposed exile.
Hindu devotees are all set to invoke Goddess Durga, daughter of the majestic Himalayas, with the Mahasaptami puja at some 20,000 puja mandaps across the country today.
A woman and her two children received burn injuries yesterday as miscreants threw acid on them at Dathmandal village of Nasirnagar upazila.
A prosecution witness (PW) of the case against six Rajshahi University (RU) teachers for violating Emergency Power Rules (EPR) was declared “hostile” at a Rajshahi court yesterday.
Cases filed against members of 'malam party' will be shifted to the speedy trial tribunals.
At least 11 fishermen are still missing following trawler capsize in the Bay near Kuakata of Pauakhali due to the depression for three days while the other fishermen missing retuned home by yesterday evening.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nur Mohammad yesterday said the charge-sheet in the case of August 21 grenade attack on Awami League rally will be submitted soon.
A new survey says many journalists plying their craft in Asia must cope with war, coups and repressive regimes to report the news, making the region one of the toughest for reporters to work in.
Government forces stormed the United Nations compound in Mogadishu yesterday and detained the World Food Programme's (WFP) top representative in the capital.
A roadside bomb killed seven Iraqi police near the city of Diwaniyah, south of Baghdad, yesterday, military officials said.
The Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed has dismissed, in unequivocal terms, all the speculations and rumours that he might become president as figment of the imagination. The statement, very much consistent with his apolitical position since the army-backed caretaker government took over in January this year, has reinforced his firm commitment to democratic values and assures us of his unflinching support to restoration of democracy in the country -- the number one issue on the national agenda. The army chief has only echoed the popular expectation that the existing political vacuum should be filled with a democratically elected government.
A declining trend in FDI flows into Bangladesh has been depicted in World Investment Report-2007 of the UNCTAD released by the Board of Investment (BoI) in Dhaka. The FDI in Bangladesh declined by 6 percent against the previous year's level instead of 9.6 per cent as stated in the report. The UNCTAD report based on information collected from Bangladesh Bank during last year's April-May period "did not represent the actual picture at the end of the year," according to BoI. Hence the differences in figures.
IN Washington Irving's epic story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a headless horseman searches for its head in the woods of Sleepy Hollow, a backward village in upstate New York. The horseman was a long-dead mercenary who was beheaded during the Revolutionary War and dumped somewhere in the Western Woods. In the dark depths of the night, when a pale moon shone overhead, village people often witnessed the headless phantom searching for its head in the woods and valleys. Not finding it, the apparition let out a bone-chilling cry of frustration and rode away on a black stallion. The ghost did not rest in its grave until it found the head.
THE government's retreat on the Indo-US nuclear deal, after three years of do-or-die bravado, can only be explained by that old adage: He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day. Martyrs get memorials and medals, but they don't get a second chance. Dr. Manmohan Singh and Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, sensibly, have opted for a second chance in preference to a charge of the light brigade towards immediate elections.
THE failure to successfully prosecute Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari for corruption for nearly a decade influenced most of us to give them the benefit of doubt. Most suspicion (and approbation) was directed at Asif Zardari, who inadvertently served a full "term" with courage and dignity without being convicted and without bargaining (at least not to our knowledge) for his release. Eight long years of incarceration had turned doubts into skepticism, and then into outright sympathy.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is planning to arrange an additional tournament to the current domestic calendar to accommodate players who are not playing the 9th National Cricket League.
India pulled off a thrilling two-wicket win in the seventh and final one-day international against Australia at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai last night.
South Africa captain Graeme Smith on Wednesday said he was wary of Pakistan's one-day side after their success in last month's Twenty20 World Cup.
Craig McMillan has retired from international and domestic cricket, citing personal reasons and health problems as contributing factors. McMillan, 31, said he wanted to go out on a high and would now spend time with his family before making any further decisions on his future.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is optimistic in meeting the deadline for the appointment of a national coach.
Four-goal striker Sohel gave Bangladesh a flying start in the AFC Youth (Under-16) Championship yesterday when they brushed aside Palestine 9-1 in one of the three opening day's matches in the United Arab Emirates.
Representatives of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) will collect samples of materials from the crash site of the press box at the Bangabandhu National Stadium this morning.
The Bangladesh Under-19 football team will go into the residential camp for preparation of the Indo-Bangla Bangladesh Games from Saturday.
The International Cricket Council has warned the Indian Board that it must abide by its anti-racism code and act seriously on the incident of racist crowd behaviour against Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds in Vadodara.
Rahul Dravid has been left out of the Indian one-day team -- for only the second time in his career -- in the seventh ODI against Australia at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. He has been replaced by Dinesh Karthik for the dead rubber.
Pakistan vice-captain Salman Butt has got a dressing down from the team management for criticising the bowlers at a press conference during the second cricket Test against South Africa here last week.
Roger Federer played his first match on tour in more than five weeks, defeating American Robby Ginepri 7-6 (2), 6-4 Tuesday in the second round at the Madrid Masters.
The British pathologist Nathaniel Cary was one of three witnesses who testified as the inquest into the death of Bob Woolmer began in Jamaica on Tuesday. On March 18, Woolmer was found unconscious in his room at the Pegasus Hotel after Pakistan were embarrassed the day before by Ireland in the World Cup.
Craig McMillan was one of those players who always dominated the conversations of New Zealand cricket fans. Whether the discussion focused on his dismissal after attempting a reverse sweep or dancing down the wicket to hit his first delivery for six, he was never far from the action.
As Inzamamul Haq lumbered off with his bat for the final time in his international career, and Pakistan moaned the loss of a hero, a thin and springy character was being mauled on the field. South Africa were celebrating the birth of a hero of their own.
Newcastle United's chairman, Chris Mort, last night said that Michael Owen does not have a 6 million pounds get-out-clause in his contract as reports suggested that the Manchester City manager, Sven-Goran Eriksson, was preparing an offer for the striker.
English Premier League side Bolton on Wednesday announced that coach Sammy Lee was leaving the club after a poor start to the season.
England's football stars have been told to look to the country's rugby heroes for inspiration as they prepare to go into battle with Russia in a crunch Euro 2008 qualifier here on Wednesday.
The Mali international and Seville striker Frederic Kanoute said Tuesday that the recent pitch attack by angry Togo supporters armed with knives was the "worst moment of my life."
A senior FIFA official gave his seal of approval Tuesday to South Africa's preparations for the 2010 World Cup, playing down concerns about stadium construction after a recent strike.
Five England football fans were hospitalized with minor injuries after being beaten on the streets of Moscow ahead of a tense Euro 2008 qualifying match with Russia, police said Wednesday.
The government has said that it would ensure any shrimp farm does not export unhygienic products in future.
Oil prices eased slightly in Asia on Wednesday but remained above 87 dollars per barrel in a market focussed on a potential Turkish incursion into northern Iraq.
The slump in US real estate is persisting longer than expected, and may lead to over one million foreclosure notices this year for homeowners, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Tuesday.
Price indices on Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) fell yesterday due to profit taking after four days' continuous gaining.
The number of dollar millionaires in Asia has swelled by 8.6 percent, with Japan home to more than 1.47 million, a report published Wednesday found.
About 30,000 Vietnamese workers have gone on strike in some 38 foreign and locally owned companies this month in a southern province near Ho Chi Minh City, an official and state media said Tuesday.
The European single currency slipped against the dollar on Tuesday after figures showed the US capital account in deficit for August and the market readied for the Group of Seven finance ministers meeting Friday, dealers said.
China expects to import more Japanese rice soon, after earlier this year allowing the first shipment from Japan in four years, a top official said Wednesday.
The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday that financial markets are recovering from global turbulence linked to a credit crunch that began with a US subprime mortgage crisis in August.
US automakers pretty much ceded the small car market to the Japanese during the past decade. Now, with consumers shifting toward more gas-thrifty models and the realization that a strong compact brings buyers to their brand, Detroit is trying to make yet another comeback.
Uzbekistan, the world's second biggest cotton exporter, announced Monday it has met its cotton harvest target this year of more than 3.6 million tonnes.
Nepal Stock Exchange (NEPSE) has granted permission to five stock brokers to conduct share trading online, paving the way for the new era of online transactions in the Nepali stock market.
Taiwan's leading computer vendor Acer Inc said Wednesday its wholly owned subsidiary, Galaxy Acquisition Corp, has completed the process of merging with Gateway Inc of the US.
ICB Asset Management Company Ltd (ICB AMCL), a subsidiary of Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB), has approved a 25 percent dividend for the shareholders for the fiscal year 2006-2007.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) and all other scheduled banks will remain closed on Sunday (October 21) on the occasion of Durga Puja (Bijoya Dashami), a BB press release said yesterday.
M Farhad Hussain, president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB), has been elected a board member of the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants.
India has called for collaboration between developing and developed countries in creating technologies, which will deal with climate change while ensuring energy security and economic development.
Dozens of conflicts around the world are still robbing children of their childhood, according to a new UN report that reviews progress since the groundbreaking 1996 study on children in armed conflict by Graça Machel.
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was observed in the country as elsewhere across the world yesterday with a call for concerted efforts for eradicating poverty from the society.
The Election Commission (EC) hopes to hold the overdue city corporation and local body elections between February and April next year, Election Commissioner Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hussain yesterday said.
A large number of victims of trafficking and violence, especially women and children, are put into jails and treated as convicts instead of being taken to safe shelters, speakers at the inaugural session of a workshop said yesterday.
The leaders of emerging powerhouses India, South Africa and Brazil met for a Wednesday summit focused on building up trade and finding a common voice on the world stage for the developing world.
At least six people were killed in separate road accidents in Comilla and Noakhali yesterday.
President Iajuddin Ahmed has called upon all to extend all-out cooperation in carrying activities for holding the next general election as the Election Commission is working to hold the polls as per its roadmap.
Members of the three-member probe body formed by the Communication Ministry arrived in Chittagong from Dhaka yesterday to investigate into derailment of Mohanagar Prabhati on Saturday.
A minor girl drowned in a pond near her home at Sukhandighi village under Durgapur upazila in the district yesterday.
Health and Family Welfare, Water Resources and Religious Affairs Adviser Maj Gen (Retd) ASM Matiur Rahman left for the United Kingdom in the early hours of yesterday to attend the Women Deliver Conference.
Twelve people were injured yesterday in an armed robbery in a passenger bus at Baulia in Jessore.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), in two separate drives, captured three alleged drug-peddlers with 83 bottles of phensidyl from different areas in the region in the last two days.
Two girls committed suicide in the district on Tuesday night.
Bangladesh Udichi Shilpi Gosthi Central Committee yesterday demanded immediate arrest and punishment of the people who set off an attack at the cultural programme of Udichi at Habiganj on the Eid day.
The Ministry of Telecommu-nication has expedited the activities to dispose of its accumulated 21,630 audit objections against Tk 9,234.13 crore.
A fire gutted different electronic goods at a shop at Bangabandhu Stadium Market in the city yesterday.
Price of potato in Chittagong has shot up by Tk 8 per kilogram to Tk 28 in a span of four days.
Different political and social organisations have expressed deep shock at the death of eminent journalist Obaidul Huq.
Mirsarai Students' Association of Chittagong University has accorded a reception to five personalities of the upazila in recognition of their contributions to their respective fields.
Acting Indian High Commissioner Mukta Dutta Tomar yesterday met LGRD and Cooperatives Adviser M Anwarul Iqbal at his office and discussed different aspects of the forthcoming Second Saarc Conference of Home Ministers in New Delhi.
Energy Adviser Tapan Chowdhury yesterday left for the United Kingdom on an urgent trip to attend his wife admitted to a London hospital.
Former minister and BNP central leader Nitai Roy Chowdhury has alleged that former party lawmaker Quazi Salimul Huq alias Quazi Kamal and his cronies grabbed at least Tk 15 crore through tender manipulation in different government departments during the alliance rule.
Exporters of frozen shrimp are making preparations to welcome a four-member EU inspection team that will visit shrimp cultivation and processing centres in Khulna and Bagerhat districts on October 21 and 22.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed cases against 11 commissioners of Kashba pourasabha in Brahmanbaria district for corruption and causing loss of government revenue.
As many as 311 people have legalised their undeclared Tk 3 crore 66 lakh income in the entire district.
Law enforcers recovered five bombs and some firearms in Pabna and Benapole yesterday.
Rajshahi speedy trial court yesterday recorded deposition of the tenth prosecution witness (PW) in the case against six Rajshahi University teachers for violating the Emergency Power Rules 2007.
Freedom fighter Shaikh Abdul Kayyum was elected secretary general of Khulna Shishuy Foundation (KSF) yesterday.
Baghdad is "absolutely determined" to end the presence of Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the telephone Wednesday, the Anatolia news agency reported.
Benazir Bhutto will be guarded by 10,000 police, anti-sniper shields and the sheer number of her own supporters when she returns home today amid warnings of al-Qaeda attacks, officials said.
India's top national security official has accused Pakistan of trying to stir up Sikh militancy in the northern state of Punjab, reports said yesterday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin left Iran yesterday after a trip which saw him reinforce ties with the Islamic republic and distance himself from Western warnings over its nuclear programme.
Three militants and a policeman were killed in separate incidents in Indian Kashmir after rebels ended a brief unilateral truce in the region, police said yesterday.
Japan's cabinet yesterday endorsed a bill to continue support for US-led forces in Afghanistan, setting the stage for a bitter fight in parliament.
The Maldives yesterday unveiled tough measures to combat Islamic extremism and protect its vital luxury tourism industry after an unprecedented bombing wounded British, Japanese and Chinese holiday makers.
Four members of Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party have been sentenced to more than seven years in prison in secret trials in western Myanmar, a spokesman said yesterday.
UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari said yesterday he has been invited to make another visit to military-run Myanmar next month, following the junta's violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is to visit Britain and meet Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Queen and Prince Charles, a presidential spokesman said Tuesday.
Regular swearing at work can help boost team spirit among staff, allowing them to express better their feelings as well as develop social relationships, according to a study by British researchers.
Iran yesterday hanged three convicted rapists in public in the southern city of Shiraz, the latest in a spate of executions officials say are aimed at improving security in society.
Arts & Entertainment
SHAKO's “Shades of Life”, an exhibition of 12 female artists at the Bengal Gallery began in the city yesterday. SHAKO is a local female artists' organisation that operates for both charity and commercial benefits. There are invited artists too like Rokeya Sultana, Sarkar Naheed Nipu and Denise Hudon. In the display one sees the imagination, prowess and mastery of the SHAKO artists which have been seen thrice before.
“I don't know how music can influence writing, but it has been very important for me... I feel a sense of music continually in writing, which is a different matter from having been influenced by it.”
--- Harold Pinter in Playwrights at Work
Eid-special play Ratrir Phool will be aired on Channel i at 10:30 am. The play is written by Faria Hossain and directed by Chayanika Chowdhury.
John Malkovich will join Angelina Jolie in Changeling, a high profile project that Clint Eastwood is putting together for Universal and Imagine. According to Hollywood Reporter, the film follows a 1920s mother who loses her son. When the police returns the wrong child to her, she refuses to believe it and gets chucked into an insane asylum for her trouble. Jolie, no stranger to hunting down children around the globe, is obviously perfect casting.
BANGLADESH has had a long struggle with gaining duty-free access to the United States for its garment exports. The Progressive Policy Institute in Washington, DC has documented how Bangladesh faces higher duties than the United Kingdom -- $496 million on just $3.3 billion in exports -- compared to the $430 million paid by the UK on $53.5 billion in exports.
THE caretaker government's drive against corruption is gradually making corrupt practice a high risk activity. Most people will have no qualms about this, as the "untouchables" of yesterday are losing their sense of impunity. On the other hand, the drive against created an atmosphere of fear within the business community and shaken its confidence. This has caused concern over the medium term prospects for investment, and the ability of the country to sustain its reasonably impressive growth of about 5% per year. The government has recognised the problem and has taken steps to try and address it.
SPECULATION was rife that former vice-president Al Gore might win this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Well, that speculation turned out to be correct, after all. On Friday, October 12, the announcement came from Oslo, Norway, that Al Gore and the UN's climate change panel had won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for spreading awareness of man-made climate change and laying the foundations for counteracting it.
OBAIDUL Huq was surely one of a kind, part of a breed of good, purposeful men that may have had its day. And there's the pity. When you see men of Huq's calibre, of his generation, pass into the ages, you realise with a certain twisting pain in the heart how poorer off you and your generation are once that reality comes to be. I never had a chance of working with Obaidul Huq, of being in his tutelage. By the time I made my wary way into journalism in the early 1980s, Huq was essentially moving on into charming retirement. He had just said farewell to the Bangladesh Observer and was already running the show at a new newspaper. In the end, that newspaper had an early, premature journey into the twilight. For Obaidul Huq, too, there was that beckoning twilight, the mingling of light and shadow we call dusk. And yet he would go on to serve at other places, in other positions.