News of: Monday, 19th of November, 2007
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Fears were growing last night that the true scale of destruction wreaked by Cyclone Sidr could be much graver than previously thought, with the government raising the official death toll to 2,299 and the Red Crescent forecasting causalities as high as 10,000.
Four days into the hurricane, in Majher Killa, the furthest corner of Dublarchar and the worst-hit area, still reeling from the devastation with bodies being recovered; and the need of the moment is water. Eight more bodies were found here and many more are feared buried deep in the forest.
The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed for four weeks operation of the Election Commission's (EC) letter inviting Maj (retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed to its electoral talks as the BNP representative.
Donor nations and agencies have pledged over US$ 25 million in assistance to help Bangladesh meet the requirements rising in the aftermath of Cyclone Sidr. This assurance for help has come before the government has made any formal appeal for international assistance.
November 18, Dublar Char
It was a grim reminder of modern day slavery when the navy yesterday rescued 106 people from Meher Ali Island in the Bay, 110km off Mongla. The cyclone that took away the lives of so many had worked as a bane for them when the navy rescue team reached them by chance.
Six men were washed ashore at different points of Shaplerjar Maajher Char in the Baleshwar river Friday morning. It seemed they were the only survivors among those onboard at least 250 fishing trawlers, each manning eight-10 men.
Char Momtaz is just a strip of barren land on seashore, barely 120 km away from Patuakhali. The surge of water that the storm pushed ashore by Cyclone Sidr has claimed the lives of almost 300 men in these shores.
Thousands of the shrimp farmers in the coastal belt are facing catastrophe as cyclone Sidr has ripped the heart out of one of the key production areas for the country's second largest export industry.
More than 2,000 consignments of Bangladeshi garments exported to Germany have been hit by a special 12 percent security deposit due to fears over the widespread abuse of certificates that allows the country's products duty-free access.
With the air getting heavier with the stench of dead cattle with each passing day, two lakh Sidr-affected people under four unions of Kolapara wait patiently for the arrival of relief materials. They have been cut off without food or power from the rest of the country.
Civil society members and politicians yesterday demanded that the authorities concerned make it mandatory for electoral candidates to make public disclosures of their personal information through affidavits well ahead of elections, allowing voters to make well-informed decisions.
One common tragic thread of fact running through the devastated coastal region is the fatal reluctance of the villagers to heed the warning signals of Cyclone Sidr.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday issued notices to 11 graft suspects including City Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka, ordering them to submit wealth statement.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Rajshahi yesterday sued Rajshahi City Corporation Mayor Mizanur Rahman Minu and his wife Salma Shahadat for illegally accumulating wealth worth over Tk 3 crore and concealing information on their wealth statements.
The armed forces have been handing out relief materials to the cyclone-affected people in the remote areas.
The visiting European parliamentary delegation on South Asian affairs yesterday observed that the state of emergency in Bangladesh should be lifted before the local bodies and national elections.
The government yesterday formed a seven-member committee to find out the reasons behind the grid failure twice that resulted in a collapse of the entire power-supply system on November 16.
Price of local variety onion hiked by Tk 15 per kg in the last three days while potato and powder milk also saw a fresh price rise both in the retail and wholesale markets in the capital.
US President George W Bush and First Lady Laura Bush, and Indian President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, have expressed deep shock at loss of lives and damage to property caused by Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh on Thursday night.
Two more members of the outlawed Harkat-ul-Jihad (Huji) outfit yesterday confessed to having taken part in the grisly grenade attacks on an Awami League rally that killed 24 people on August 21, 2004.
The programmes to celebrate the Armed Forces Day on Wednesday have been cancelled considering the loss of life and property caused by cyclone Sidr.
The United States called yesterday on President Pervez Musharraf to end the state of emergency in Pakistan ahead of upcoming elections, free political prisoners and resume talks with the opposition.
Twenty-eight people were killed when a fire broke out on a gas pipeline in an oil-rich desert area of Saudi Arabia yesterday, the state oil firm said.
Combined Afghan, Canadian and other troops backed by gunship helicopters killed or wounded about 100 Taliban in raids on a stronghold in southern Afghanistan, officials said yesterday.
The ministries concerned yesterday informed the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Advisers that the cyclone-disrupted road, river and telecommunications networks and power situation have been improved to mitigate sufferings of the affected people.
Harrowing facts and figures of the devastation of hurricane Sidr are beginning to emerge with rescue operations going on in some of the worst affected areas. Understandably, it is still too early to determine the extent of fatalities, as many remote areas remain impenetrable to the search parties. Nevertheless, it is comforting to note that various government and non-government organisations, voluntary organisations and the armed forces have already launched relief and rescue operations to reach succour to the affected people. Yet, we feel, the enormity of the disaster and its aftermath demand more energetic and well-synchronised relief operations, and this can be best done through prioritising the immediate, mid-term and long-term requirements.
Democrats in the United States have accused the administration of beating the drums of war against Iran. For its part, the Iranian leadership has been asking President Bush to apologise to Tehran since, in its view, the International Atomic Energy Agency has found no proof that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. The fact of the matter is that the IAEA has acknowledged that Tehran has provided sufficient access to information about its nuclear programme and has responded in a timely manner to the many questions that have been raised around the issue. The UN watchdog body still believes, though, that Iran has not stopped enriching uranium despite warnings from the global body that it do so.
Bangladesh has the potential to be a middle- income country. International financial institutions and the reputed investment firm, Goldman Sachs, have assessed that the country can generate a double-digit figure of economic growth annually.
The campaign of armed violence unleashed by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) cadres in Nandigram in West Bengal marks one of the darkest chapters in the history of the Indian Left.
Dropping out from schools is a problem (big or small) all over the world. Even in the most developed USA, there is dropout problem. One such news says: "Nearly a third of high school students don't graduate on time; among blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans, it's almost half."
Shoaib Malik put in a superb all-round performance to help Pakistan post a consolation 31-run win over India in the fifth and final one-day international here on Sunday.
Tushar Imran came up with an unbeaten hundred, perhaps at the right time with the national selection knocking at the doors, as Khulna got off to a perfect start in the fifth round of the 9th National Cricket League yesterday.
Australia were on track to stretch their winning Test run to 14 matches here Sunday with victory expected over beleaguered Sri Lanka in the second cricket Test at Bellerive Oval.
Dale Steyn claimed his second successive ten-wicket haul as South Africa crushed New Zealand by an innings and 59 runs on the third day of the second and final Test against New Zealand at Centurion Park Sunday.
Abahani brightened their chances to reach the semifinals of the 56th Bordoloi Trophy when the Dhaka giants blanked inform Oil India Limited 2-0 in their first quarterfinals league match in Guwahati yesterday.
Organisers yesterday postponed the Friendship Cup football tournament due to the devastation created by Cyclone Sidr in the coastal areas of the country.
The Bangladesh Chess team will leave Dhaka today to participate in the World Chess Champion-ships to be held in an icy Siberia, Russia.
Italy, Spain and France secured their Euro 2008 passages on Saturday but there was heartbreak for Scotland while England's slim hopes received a major boost from Israel.
France forward Thierry Henry rejected the idea that Les Bleus owe a few words of thanks to Italy after the Azzurri's 2-1 defeat of Scotland saw both sides book their place at Euro 2008.
The Italian press lavished praise on its world champion football team on Sunday after their last-gasp victory in Glasgow over Scotland ensured their passage to Euro 2008.
Shafiul Alam and Mohammad Yunus claimed four wickets each as Team North wrapped up Team West's first innings for 203 runs on the first day of the second round Challengers Cup four-day game at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.
Bangladesh Army emerged unbeaten champions in the Office Hockey league when they blanked Sonali Bank 2-0 in yesterday's final at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium.
World number one Roger Federer claimed his fourth Masters Cup title with a virtuoso display against David Ferrer of Spain on Sunday.
Juan Roman Riquelme struck twice in the second half, including a typically exquisite free kick, to help Argentina beat Bolivia 3-0 in their World Cup qualifier on Saturday.
Argentina coach Alfio Basile admitted that he had risked his reputation when he decided to persist with Juan Roman Riquelme as his playmaker, despite the player's inactivity at club level.
Netherlands coach Marco van Basten believes his squad are capable of winning a major championship in the future after they qualified for the Euro 2008 finals with a game to spare.
Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has denied making a disparaging gesture to fans during the team's 4-0 win over Cyprus in Hanover.
The Bangladesh Under-19 cricket team reached Karachi safely on early morning yesterday, confirmed Bangladesh Cricket Board.
The England batsman, Kevin Pietersen, has revealed he turned down the lucrative opportunity to participate in the Indian Cricket League (ICL).
Holy Cross College upset favourites Viqarunnissa Noon School and College 3-2 in a Super Three match of the 11th Delta Life women's handball tournament at the Dhanmondi Women's Sports Complex yesterday.The winners led the first half 2-0.
For Adam Gilchrist it's that split-second when he connects sweetly with the ball to send it skywards for a six that gives him the best adrenaline rush in cricket.
Skipper Mahela Jayawardene produced one of his great fighting innings for his first century against Australia but has mixed feelings after another poor Sri Lankan batting display here Sunday.
Goals from Joan Capdevila, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos gave Spain a comfortable 3-0 win over Sweden here on Saturday to secure their qualification for next summer's Euro 2008 finals.
British newspapers lavished praise on the Israeli football team Sunday after they beat Russia 2-1 in "a miracle in the Holy Land" which keeps the door open for England to qualify for Euro 2008.
Jurgen Klinsmann is set to be offered the chance to become Australia coach after Dick Advocaat's shock decision to snub the Socceroos.
Lukas Podolski's return to form inspired Germany's 4-0 win over Cyprus and gave coach Joachim Loew a much needed Plan B to take into Euro 2008.
The United States of America's national football team broke its winless streak on African soil when they beat South Africa 1-0 in the annual Nelson Mandela Challenge at Ellis Park Stadium here on Saturday.
Italy manager Roberto Donadoni warned the rest of European football on Saturday that his side have improved since winning the World Cup in 2006.
Euro 2008 qualifying results on Saturday:
Poland 2 (Smolarek 45, 49) Belgium 0
Finland 2 (Forssell 79, Kuqi 86) Azerbaijan 1 (M.Gurbonov 63)
Scotland 1 (Ferguson 65) Italy 2 (Toni 2, Panucci 90+1)
At Kaunas, Lithuania
Lithuania 2 (Savenas 41, Danilevicius 67) Ukraine 0
Moldova 3 (Bugaiov 13, Josan 23, Alekseev 86) Hungary 0
Turkey 2 (Emre 31, Nihat 60) Norway 1 (Hagen 12)
(Gekas 33, 72, 74, Basinas 54, Amanatidis 62) Malta 0
Wales 2 (Koumas 23, 89-pen)
Republic of Ireland 2 (Keane 31, K.Doyle 60)
Sheikh Aftab, 47, a shrimp farmer at Geodhara village in Morelganj upazila, sat wailing beside the site of his 5-bigha shrimp enclosure that had been washed away during cyclone Sidr on Thursday night.
Financial institutions should make it easier and cheaper for apartment buyers to get loans in order to kick-start the struggling real estate sector, says REHAB President Mukarram Husain Khan.
A Bangladeshi company has started exporting a high-tech sports fabric, marking a breakthrough for the country's garment sector that has traditionally focused on low margin cotton products.
Share prices of all the companies of Beximco Group listed on Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) rose yesterday on a rumour that the Group's Vice President Salman F Rahman would soon be released from jail.
Vietnam sends tens of thousands of workers a year to Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea and elsewhere, but unscrupulous operators trap many of them in conditions akin to slavery, experts say.
The European Union launches this week a root-and-branch review of its Common Agriculture Policy amid growing pressure to ease production limits in the face of a global commodities boom.
Leaders of the world's 20 largest economies stressed on Sunday the need for new energy supplies as global economic growth continues to stumble over high oil prices.
Grameenphone Ltd has been able to restore coverage in almost all areas within its network around the country as of yesterday, according to a press release.
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has offered a special air fare for the passengers of Bangladesh to London, Milan and New York routes, says a press release.
A free-trade zone in Asean's 10 states plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea would bring more benefits than any of the region's smaller trade pacts, a new study said.
Siemens Bangladesh Ltd and Consortium of Siemens Ltd India recently signed a contract with Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB), an enterprise of Bangladesh Power Development Board, for the design-build and turnkey contract for construction of 132/33 kV substation, says a press release.
Retail gold sales in the UAE increased by 21 percent in the third quarter of this year compared to the same period of 2006 with jewellery demand remaining strong despite the step rises in prices.
Different organisations yesterday urged all to stand beside the cyclone-hit people with relief and rescue operations in the affected areas.
The Tk 2.99 crore extortion case against detained former prime minister Sheikh Hasina, her sister Sheikh Rehana and their cousin Sheikh Selim was yesterday transferred to Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court for trial.
Justice KM Sobhan yesterday said the government should start trial of the war criminals as per international crime tribunal law.
At least 10 people were killed and 40 others injured in separate road accidents in Tangail, Munshiganj, Sirajganj, Gaibandha and Jhenidah yesterday.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed congratulated Mohammadmian Soomro on his appointment as Prime Minister of Pakistan caretaker government.
Bangladesh and United Nations have been jointly awarded Charles H Best Medal, 2007 for their distinguished service in the cause of diabetes.
Khandaker Delwar-led BNP faction yesterday demanded lifting of the state of emergency while the Saifur-led BNP faction said the emergency should be relaxed in the cyclone-hit areas for smooth relief operations.
Dhaka University teachers belonging to pro-BNP-and-Jamaat White Panel yesterday demanded immediate release of the teachers and students arrested in connection with the campus violence in late August.
Following the powerful cyclone that ripped through southern and central part of the country, the BBC today holds a special Bangladesh Sanglap on 'Cyclone Sidr' in Dhaka.
Today is the 18th death anniversary of Major (Retd) MA Jaleel, commander of Sector 9 during the War of Liberation, says a press release.
Sale and submission of forms for first year honours admission tests in Ka and Ga units of Dhaka University (DU) under the academic session 2007-08 ended yesterday.
An unidentified young man was found dead at a hotel at Maghbazar in the city yesterday.
Bangladesh Non-government Educational Institution Employees' Federation yesterday urged the caretaker government to pay the salary for December and full festival allowance to the teachers and employees before Eid-ul Azha.
A number of programmes have been arranged at Dhaka Cantonment on November 21 on the occasion of Armed Forces Day, says an ISPR press release.
The Criminal Investigation Department yesterday sent a letter asking the jail authorities to make arrangements for the CID to record statements of detained Awami League President Sheikh Hasina as a victim of the grenade attack on an AL rally in 2004.
The government has appointed Yasmeen Murshed, former adviser of the immediate-past caretaker government, as High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Pakistan.
Transportation of fertiliser and fuel to Baghabari river port is being hampered due to poor navigability of Jamuna.
With a steady growth in orange cultivation and its yield in Moulvibazar district during the last few years, the total area under orange cultivation has increased to 494 acres from 59 acres while the average yield has risen to 3.75 tonnes from 3.50 tonnes per hectare.
Sadullapur upazila Jamaat-e-Islami leader and managing director of Madina Enterprises Maulana Abdur Rashid was sent to jail yesterday on charge of realising money from jobless youths in the name of 'security deposit' on promises of employment.
The 300-metre breached portion of Gaibandha-Balashi road is being renovated at the initiative of joint forces.
Life is gradually returning to normalcy in urban areas in Barisal but millions in rural areas and shorelands are still battling for survival, three days after hurricane Sidr battered the southern districts.
Army personnel have foiled an attempt of two women to enlist their names as voters from two places in Rajshahi city.
Voter registration and issuance of national identity card in Dinajpur is suspended since Saturday due to power supply disruption and shortage of equipment including laptop computer, web-camera and scanners, according to sources in district election commission.
Hundreds of agitated farmers in Bakshimuil union of Mohanpur upazila in Rajshahi yesterday staged a demonstration in front of local Borandra Unnayan Office demanding immediate repair of deep tube-well pipelines for smooth supply water in the area.
Rajshahi University Vice Chancellor Prof Altaf Hossain received death threat from outlawed Bangla Communist Party (BCP) yesterday.
The horrendous cyclone has struck, leaving behind a devastated coastal belt. All the details are not yet known The actual loss of human lives and properties is yet to be ascertained. We have watched glimpses of the devastation on of our national and international TV channels. These are the occasions when Bangladesh is better known to the west. This is the time when the army-backed caretaker government is required to prove their efficiency in crisis management. The damage to life and property is definitely very high, although immediate reports do not give a complete picture. One would urge the government not to down play the actual situation- a traditional governmental attitude. This is a national crisis and should be faced as one nation. The affected people need our help first before any external assistance comes.
Farmers are laying siege to the offices of the UNO, DC or agro-offices very often. The government is repeatedly stating that there is no shortage of fertilisers. This appears to be a big joke and travesty of truth or there might be big gaps in understanding of the situation every time there is an acute shortage of urea, pesticides etc. When farmers are agitated, they are arrested and even fired on.
Recently, the government decided to hand over 25 acres of land of Suhrawardy Uddyan to Dhaka Club for golfing. But Suhrawardy Uddyan is a place of huge importance. It is witness to our Liberation War. We can't let this historic place to be the personal property of any club. This should be a public place. Everyday a lot of people go to Suhrawardy Uddyan, especially in the evening. The government can't take away this breathing place of public. So this poor decision must be withdrawn immediately.
Oh, no! US president George W. Bush has not accepted his defeat at his terror wars in the Middle East. He surely thinks the Americans do admire him and his Republican Party for protecting the energy and other economic concerns of “his country” across the globe. Intermittent wars are considered vital to protect the national and global interests of the USA. The trumpeting by the Democrats about a sure coming back to White House seems to be in jeopardy, going by his attempts to get back the hearts and minds of the people of the US to his side by wooing them in all possible ways. Maybe, he is right, they appreciate the terror wars being fought in the Islamic world.
I have just come across the following in my Guardian Weekly of October 26th in an article by George Monbiot saying that the South African ex-golfing champion, Gary Player, should be called to account by environmentalists for the number of golf courses his company is building all over the world.
A few days ago I went to Chittagong Public Library, searching for some books on American literature, Shakespeare, linguistics, etc. I couldn't find any book not even in the entries in the catalog. It surprised me and I went to see the book shelf(?). Still, I didn't find anything noteworthy.
Your Bogra staff correspondent's report and the picture of Kamirdala bridge accompanying the report is an eloquent testimony of mismanagement in government's capital investment programmes; particularly under the ministries of LGRD and RHD!
This is with reference to the 1st part of the interview by Bangabandhu's killer Col. (dismissed) Rashid, telecast on a private TV channel and published in The Daily Star on November 08, 2007.
Taimur's agonising report in Star Weekly Magazine (Nov:9) on children denied education , because they do not know who is their father, is a shame on society, as well as the country. Frankly, the write-up left me shaken and saddened beyond words.
I recently stumbled on a book titled 'The Borderlands of Science : Where Sense meets Nonsense' by Michael Shermer, published by Oxford University Press, 2001, that I found awfully interesting and I feel an urge to share the core issue with you and the readers. The rift between scientific materialism and pure metaphysical and spiritual thought stream grew deeper with Darwin's discovery of the evolutionary theory and natural selection. Since then there have been two distinctly identifiable schools of thought, each zealously clinching its own ideas but one interesting feature cannot escape notice. Some renowned scientists and positivists took keen interest in the activity of the opposite camp and some of them even started believing in the duality of fundamental concepts thus seemingly creating two pathways - science and pseudo-science. They were the travelers of the shadow-lands of science but by no means science dropouts.
Much has been said and written on the subject - some of which are highly scholarly and beyond comprehension for the laymen like this scribe. However, I would like to mention a few points: Some time back, the Japanese Foreign Minister (who later became Prime Minister) while visiting Bangladesh remarked that the climatic and topographical conditions of Dhaka city are not suitable for an underground metro system. The report of the experts' committee headed by Dr. Jamilur Reza Chowdhury also did not favour the metro system.
Fighting between rival Sunni and Shia Muslims in northwestern Pakistan's troubled tribal belt has claimed at least 90 lives, security officials and state media reported yesterday.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad played down talk of a possible US strike against his country, but nonetheless said Saturday that Iran is prepared "to face any development."
The United States is now tilting toward Pakistan's army elite and moderate forces at the expense of President Pervez Musharraf in a high-stakes move to save a key war-on-terror ally, analysts say.
India is keeping a close but wary eye on the crisis besetting nuclear rival Pakistan, keen to avoid accusations of meddling, officials and analysts say.
Science is making headway in predicting how the planet's climate will evolve, but it's anyone's guess what actions policymakers meeting in Bali will take -- or not -- to slow global warming.
A former guerrilla leader claimed victory yesterday in Kosovo elections and declared that voters had sent the world a message that the disputed Serbian province was now ready for independence.
A methane blast ripped through a coal mine in eastern Ukraine early Sunday, killing at least 33 miners and leaving about 70 others trapped, emergency officials said.
A bomb targeting a passenger train exploded yesterday on a railway track in northwestern Pakistan, killing one man, police said.
Six people, two of them policemen, were killed and 19 wounded in three separate assaults on police across Iraq yesterday, security officials said.
Arts & Entertainment
Prize-winning painter and filmmaker Khalid Mahmoud Mithu's contemporary art exhibition is on at the Bengal Gallery. In the blue, grey and earthy colours extravaganza we see subtle brushwork and careful collage. These bring out fascinating themes and motifs that soothe one's sensitivity and, at the same time bring mind-whirling images that are definitely worth seeing and pondering over.
A cultural programme, stage play and photo exhibition on eminent political leader Maolana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani was held here recently.
Second episode of the new drama serial Shopnomongol will be aired tonight on ATN Bangla at 8:00 pm. Written by Saiful Bari, the serial is directed by Kamal Khan.
Actor Black Anwar is no more. The artiste passed away on November 10, following cardiac arrest, says a press release. He was admitted at the National Hospital and was later taken to Birdem, where the doctors declared him dead. He was 67.
Steven Spielberg is to receive an award for his “outstanding contribution to entertainment” at next year's Golden Globe Awards, organisers have said.
International statistics (Who and Unicef 2000; Who and Unicef 2004) indicate that over 2.6 billion people in the world today are without any form of "improved sanitation." The real situation is even worse: the statistics include toilets that are so bad, or shared by so many people that it cannot be regarded as "improved sanitation." Over a billion of the 6 billion people in the world are served by sewerage systems, but much of this sewerage is discharged into rivers, lakes and seas with little or no treatment. Only about 30 % of 1.1 billion people connected to the sewer system have their sewage treated in an environmentally acceptable way (Matsui 2002), which effectively means that the excreta from the remaining, which is 5.7 billion people, are discharged directly into the environment -- on the land and to the receiving water bodies!
The 21st century is full of discoveries, modernisation, affluence and development. But on the dark side, four out of five people in the world have no form of social security whatsoever and over 1.3 billion people have no access to adequate or affordable health care.
The pristine landscape and sanctity of Dhaka University campus continue to be marred by reckless installation of commercial advertisement signs.
Mini Transfer Station is a new feature that has been added recently to the existing solid waste collection scheme of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC).
The city will soon have 5,000 more CNG-run autorickshaws with the current fleet of around 13,000. The communications ministry on November 8 approved the plan.
Mosquito menace has reached an intolerable level in different parts of the city due to lack of mosquito control activities of the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC).