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News of: Sunday, 25th of November, 2007

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UNDP for giving rice, cooking oil, pulses to the distressed

The government prepares to provide rice for the cyclone victims while a UNDP report says people need dry food assistance first and then rice and a more complete food basket including pulses and cooking oil for up to three months.

Move to have ad hoc public accounts body

The caretaker government has finally moved to constitute a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on ad hoc basis to scrutinise its accounts and a huge number of audit reports with objections from the office of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) unresolved in the absence of parliament.

Education another victim of Sidr

Academic activities of around 10,000 institutions in 30 districts have been seriously disrupted because of the devastating cyclone Sidr, which badly damaged schools, colleges and madrasas and education materials in these areas.

Rudd sweeps to power in Australia polls

Australia's centre-left opposition leader Kevin Rudd swept into power in a landslide election victory, ending conservative Prime Minister John Howard's 11-year rule.

Five die in city slum fire

At least five people including three children died and many others went missing as a fire gutted a slum at Rayerbazar in the capital last night.

Economists predict Tk 6,500cr loss

The property loss caused by Cyclone Sidr is so far estimated at Tk 6,500 crore by prominent economists of the country.

Dhaka's disaster preparedness gets international acclamation

Development partners, UN agencies and international NGOs praised the disaster preparedness and response of Bangladesh in the aftermath of Cyclone Sidr' at a meeting Friday at the UN Palace of Nations in Geneva.

New cell to coordinate relief work from Barisal

The government yesterday decided to set up a coordination centre in Barisal to ensure better distribution of relief materials and logistic support to Sidr victims following reports of poor relief management.

Tk 2.20cr plundered in 12 Bogra RHD projects

About Tk 2.20 crore was misappropriated in 12 Roads and Highways Department (RHD) projects under Bogra Road Circle during the last BNP-led government's tenure, a preliminary investigation report of the department said.

US Marines ready to start relief operations

Around 2,300 US Marines and Navy personnel are set to start a massive operation in a day or two to reach relief materials to the victims of Cyclone Sidr in the coastal districts.

Navy rescues 13 boys 'sold' to Dublarchar fish traders

The navy early yesterday rescued 13 boys who had been tricked by middlemen and sold to fish traders of Dublarchar.

Govt to build shelters for cattle heads

The government is planning to construct mud buildings as cyclone shelters for livestock during natural disasters such as cyclones.

Verdict in case against six RU teachers today

Verdict of the case filed against six teachers of Rajshahi University (RU) for violating the state of emergency is likely to be delivered today.

Twin suicide bombings kill 35 in Pakistan

Two suicide bombings killed 35 people yesterday, spiking tensions ahead of the return from exile of a key opponent of President Pervez Musharraf.

1 dies as bridge with cyclone victims caves in

At least one man died and three are feared dead under debris when a bridge collapsed with cyclone victims on it seeking relief at Kalapara, about 70km south of Patuakhali district headquarter yesterday afternoon.

Red Crescent to seek Tk 140cr in int'l aid

Bangladesh Red Crescent Society will make an appeal for Tk 140 crore international assistance to carry out relief and rehabilitation work in the cyclone-hit coastal districts.

Hafiz for lifting emergency in a month

Demanding release of detained political leaders including two former premiers, Maj (retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed, acting secretary general of Saifur-led BNP, yesterday urged authorities to withdraw the state of emergency within a month.

Police van turns turtle: 1 killed, 34 wounded

A police constable was killed and 34 policemen were injured as a bus carrying them turned turtle near Ramna Park in the capital yesterday.

Rab recovers 19 bombs in C'nawabganj

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel recovered 19 home made bombs at Chapainawabganj during the last two days and arrested one person in this connection.

Dhaka condemns serial bombings in India

Dhaka has strongly condemned the bombings in the three Indian cities of Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow on Friday that left at least 13 people dead.

Commissioner of DCC ward-85 arrested

The joint forces yesterday picked up the commissioner of ward no 85 of Dhaka City Corporation raiding his Dhalpur residence in the capital's Jatrabari area yesterday.

Outlaw killed in 'shootout'

A cadre of the outlawed Biplabi Communist Party (BCP) was killed in crossfire during a "shootout" between police and his cohorts at Kalabaria of Mirpur upazila in Kushtia early yesterday.

India hunts for 3 suspected bombers

Indian authorities circulated sketches yesterday of three suspects believed to be behind a series of blasts outside courts in three cities that left at least 13 dead and more than 40 wounded.

K Sharma of India new secy gen of C'wealth

Commonwealth leaders unanimously appointed an Indian as secretary general yesterday, two days after the 53-nation federation suspended New Dehli's arch rival Pakistan.


Coordination concerns

No doubt Cyclone Sidr has been the severest tropical storm in recent times. The damage suffered in terms of human lives and crops is also incalculable, although loss of human lives is comparatively less than on previous occasions. It could have been even less if there were adequate cyclone shelters. However, it seems that lack of coordination is standing in the way of efficient relief efforts. This, we are afraid, may hamper reaching the much needed immediate succor to the worst affected.

Commonwealth move against Pakistan

Pakistan's suspension from membership of the Commonwealth yet once again is reflective of the deep concern about the future of its politics in the global community. It was eight years ago, when General Pervez Musharraf seized power in a coup, that the country's membership in the organisation was suspended and was not lifted until the regime promised to steer Pakistan back to democratic rule. The latest action is certainly another blow to Musharraf, one that he quite rightly deserves in view of the sweeping backward measures he has been taking to have himself hold office in violation of democratic norms. Despite the impression the junta may wish to give of calm under pressure, General Musharraf cannot but realise that the Commonwealth move is but further humiliation for him.

Back to the future

One wonders about the audacity of Jamaat-e-Islami leaders raising questions about the liberation war and their description of the war as a civil conflict not so long ago. It should not be lost on Jamaat that the moment the Bangalis refused to be a part of Pakistan and the armed forces and the civilians took up arms (as well as those who did not, but rebelled against the central authority) -- the "civilian" character of the conflict dramatically changed.

Cultural policy and national identity

One definition of cultural policy is: "[S]omething that describes the values and principles that guide any social entity in cultural affairs. Cultural policies are most often made by governments, from school boards to legislatures and the executives of cultural agencies, but also by many other institutions in the private sector, from corporations to community organizations."

Taking stock of Sidr

Cyclone disaster is not so infrequent in the coastal areas of Bangladesh. We have experienced 22 cyclones which caused huge loss of forest resources, crops, dwelling houses, roads, culverts and human lives during the last 36 years.


Batsmen's one more shot

The so far unimpressive national batsmen will get another chance to score some runs before next month's demanding tour of New Zealand as they will get to play the sixth round of the 9th National Cricket League that begins on Tuesday.

Delhi Test nicely poised

Anil Kumble led a disciplined spin attack to keep India's hopes alive in an evenly poised opening Test against Pakistan at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground here on Saturday.

FIFA inspector dissatisfied

FIFA venue inspector Salman Al Namsan expressed his dissatisfaction yesterday over the Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS) as the development work, in line with the game's governing body's guidelines, is yet to start.

Proteas stumble to win

Shaun Pollock took three wickets on his return to international cricket as South Africa beat New Zealand by three wickets in a Twenty20 international at the Wanderers Stadium Friday.

Jones handed 2-yr ban

Marion Jones was on Friday handed a two-year ban by athletics' world ruling body, the IAAF, which recommended that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) withdraw all five of the US sprinter's Olympic medals after she admitted doping.

Malik's rise to fame

He was one among the five siblings who would stand outside cricket stadium for hours to catch a glimpse of stars like Dilip Vengsarkar and Ravi Shastri. Today he is Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik.

Rajib's sharp debut

Enamul Hossain Rajib made a bright debut in the World Chess Cup in Russia when the Bangladesh International Master drew with Ukrainian Grand Master Pavel Eljanov in the opening round game yesterday.

Team East take big lead

Team East dominated the proceedings over Team North with a 279-run lead on the second day's play of the final round Challengers Cup match at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

RP & Sree ruled out

RP Singh and Sreesanth, who missed the first Test due to injury, will sit out of the second match in Kolkata as well, after failing to recover from their respective injuries.

Gul to miss 2nd Test

Umar Gul's troublesome back, which forced him out of the first Test against India, is likely to rule him out of the second Test at Eden Gardens as well.

S Africa takes centre-stage

Ever since South Africa won the 2010 World Cup, local organisers have appeared almost permanently to be on the brink of being engulfed by teething problems.

Reds dispatch Magpies

Liverpool remain unbeaten in the Premier League after a 3-0 victory at Newcastle, whose manager Sam Allardyce is under increasing pressure after his team offered little resistance on the way to another alarming setback.

Asian seeds for WC 2010

It might be 31 months away, but Asian teams are already dreaming of the World Cup finals in 2010 and their first big step towards South Africa will be taken on Sunday.

Germans for England?

As the anticipation and speculation gathers surrounding who will be England's new manager, the list of contenders now contains an array of foreigners including two Germans, an Italian and a wily Portuguese.

SA to get 120,000 free tickets

Ticket prices for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa will range from 20 to 900 dollars, while 120,000 seats will be given away for free, organisers announced on Saturday.

Ronaldo to start today

Brazilian superstar Ronaldo will make his first appearance of the season for AC Milan by starting Sunday's match at Cagliari, coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed on Saturday.

Sanchez dies of cancer

Former Bolivian international defender Oscar Sanchez has died of cancer, local media reported on Friday.

Terry backs Mourinho

England captain John Terry admitted Friday that he would love to play for the national team under former manager Jose Mourinho.

Scolari will see out contract

Luiz Felipe Scolari insisted Friday that he intends to see out his contract as Portugal coach despite being linked with the vacant England manager's job.

'Spots up for grabs'

England start their lone first-class match on the Sri Lankan tour here on Sunday hoping to fill the blanks in the Test squad for the series starting in a week's time.

Sampras stuns Federer

Pete Sampras fired off his trademark powerful serve in a shock upset of world number one Roger Federer in Macau on Saturday to post his first win in their three-game Asian exhibition series.

Harbhajan all-praise for skipper

India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is confident of victory in the first Test against Pakistan despite only two teams having successfully chased a fourth innings target of over 200 runs at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground.

Commentators, officials named

The Indian Cricket League (ICL) has roped in six former cricketers -- including Tony Greig and Dean Jones -- as commentators for the rebel Twenty20 tournament starting November 30 in Panchkula.

Mahela's WR prophecy

Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene is confident that off-spinner Muttiah Muralidaran will surpass Shane Warne's world record for highest number of Test wickets during the forthcoming series against England.

Inter-club tennis from tomorrow

The Lacoste-Amazon inter-club tennis tournament will begin at the Club Amazon premises in Gulshan tomorrow.

Asif doing better than expected

Mohammad Asif is recovering faster than expected from the injury that has forced him to sit out Pakistan's tour to India so far.

NSU football

Batch MBA and Batch 05 made the final of the North South University Intra-Batch Championship by winning their respective semifinals at the WAPDA ground yesterday.


Small borrowers face debt mountain after cyclone

Nearly 20 years ago when small loans from the Nobel peace prize winning Grameen bank first became available in her village, Bilkis Begum wasted no time in signing up.

Private management takes over Hili land port tomorrow

Hili land port, the second largest land port in Bangladesh, will start operating under private management for the first time tomorrow.

REHAB fair ends with commitment to lower cost urban housing

Real estate companies yesterday pledged to develop lower cost urban housing solutions in order to meet the growing demands for affordable homes in the capital.

Oil closes in on $100, gold rebounds

The price of crude oil surged to a record peak close to 100 dollars a barrel in New York trading this week on the back of a falling US currency and tight energy supplies.

Saarc for elimination of trade barriers

Saarc nations called for elimination of non-tariff and para tariff barriers to boost intra-regional trade as a meeting of Committee on Economic Cooperation (CEC) of the bloc began in Dhaka yesterday.

New method proposed to set share listing prices

An initial public offering will have to be worth at least Tk30 crore and amount to at least 10 percent of the shares in a company if it is to make use of the book-building process to set the stocks price.

Dollar weighed down by US economic fears

The dollar remained weighed down Friday by concerns that the world's largest economy could lose momentum in future months leading to fresh interest rate cuts.

UK hopes for world trade deal within weeks

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said yesterday he hoped for agreement on a new world trade deal within weeks.

Japan's surplus up as China, EU fuel record exports

Japan's trade surplus in October rose by two-thirds as exports hit a record on strong shipments to Europe and China despite slack US demand, official figures showed Wednesday.

Eurozone business activity hits 27-month low

Business activity in the 13-nations sharing the euro slowed to the lowest level in 27 months driven by weakness in the services sector, according to a survey on Friday.

Oil shortage hits Nepal again

An oil shortage has hit the market once again as the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has not been able to bring in adequate stocks.


Pressure developed countries to implement Kyoto Protocol

Sustainable infrastructure development planning must be initiated to minimise the losses caused by natural calamities in coastal areas, said the speakers at a seminar yesterday.

Build more cyclone shelters to save humans, livestock

Many of the cyclone victims of Sharankhola, Morolganj and Mongla, who have lost their near and dear ones, yesterday urged the government to build more cyclone shelters immediately for humans and livestock.

Donations for cyclone victims pour in

Donations for the cyclone victims continued to pour in yesterday as organisations, business houses and individuals have been carrying out relief operations in the areas affected by the cyclone Sidr.

Strengthen criminal justice system to protect victims

Legal experts yesterday stressed the need to strengthen the criminal justice system in order to ensure fair investigation and protection of the victims and witnesses.

Five killed, 10 injured in road accidents

At least five people, including a Brac employee, were killed and 10 others injured in separate road accidents in Sirajganj and Manikganj yesterday and Friday night.

'Build safe shelters to protect street children’

If street children can spend their night in safe shelter centres, they will remain protected from sexual abuse and other violence, said the speakers at a press conference yesterday.

Call to promote people-centred dev, regional cooperation

Speakers at a seminar yesterday advocated the Imagine a New South Asia (INSA) process aimed at promoting people-centred development in the South Asian countries and regional cooperation.

'Jan 11 a wake-up call for politicians’

Justice Fazlul Karim yesterday said January 11 was a wake-up call for politicians.

Stranded Pakistanis observe hunger strike in Ctg

Stranded Pakistanis living at Sarder Bahadur Nagar Camp in the port city observed a token hunger strike yesterday demanding water and power supply.

National Medical College interns continue strike

Intern doctors at Dhaka National Medical College Hospital in the city continued their strike for the third day yesterday, causing sufferings to the patients.

17th convocation of ICAB today

The 17th convocation of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) will be held at Sonargaon Hotel in the city today.

Taslima Nasreen hiding in New Delhi

Controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen remained in hiding in India yesterday, fearing attacks from radical Muslims who see her work as blasphemous, officials said.

13 cattle markets to be set up in city on Eid-ul-Azha

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) will set up 13 cattle markets in the city to facilitate the people to buy sacrificial animals on the occasion of holy Eid-ul-Azha.

Four alleged hundi traders arrested in city

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested four suspected hundi traders from a house on RK Mission Road at Sutrapur in the city late Friday night and seized local and foreign currencies worth Tk 45 lakh from their possession.

Road crash kills shop owner

A confectionery shop owner was killed in a road accident at Dhonia in Jatrabari area in the city yesterday.


2 more killed, 8 attacked in two days in Companyganj

Viral Encephalitis is back again in bordering Companyganj upazila in Sylhet, killing two more children after a respite of 10 days. Eight people have been attacked in the upazila since Friday, sources said.

IRRI-boro seed crisis in Kishoreganj haors

Farmers in haor areas of Itna, Austagram, Mitamoin and Nikly upazilas (UZs) are facing an acute shortage of IRRI-boro seeds in the ongoing season.

Ensure transparency of local governments

It was a different day in Satkhira Pourasava when over 300 people of wards 8 and 9 and the ward commissioners, at a meeting held here yesterday, stressed on strengthening local government bodies for development of the country.

Cancellation of FFs' Eid reunion slated

Freedom fighters here criticised the district administration for cancelling their scheduled Eid-reunion yesterday.

11 hurt in clash at Khagrachhari Govt College

At lest 11 students were injured in a clash between indigenous and Bangalee students of Khagrachhari Government College yesterday.

Kidnapped schoolboy rescued

Six days into his abduction from Rupganj upazila in Narayanganj for Tk 5 lakh ransom, 10-year-old schoolboy Nadim was rescued yesterday afternoon from a village here.


Opposition lining up for Pak election

Despite their protests that parliamentary elections will be a sham, Pakistan's political opposition seemed Friday to be lining up for a chance to take part with one former prime minister readying her candidates and another taking steps to return from exile.

‘Govt won't obstruct Sharif's return’

Exiled former prime minister Nawaz Sharif will return to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia today, a top aide told AFP, two months after his last attempt ended with his deportation within hours.

Arab states to join ME peace meet

Arab states, including regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia, agreed on Friday to attend a US-hosted conference next week, giving a boost to Washington's efforts to revive the stagnant Middle East peace process.

Vacuum in Lebanon as Lahoud steps down

Lebanon was left without a head of state Saturday after its president stepped down at the end of his term with no elected successor and a raging feud over who was in charge in the politically divided nation.

C'wealth leaders thrash out climate declaration

Commonwealth leaders were thrashing out a declaration on climate change yesterday but Pakistan was still looming large on their summit agenda with the appointment of an Indian as secretary general.

e-mail threatens another series of explosions in India

Close on the heels of Friday's blasts in Uttar Pradesh, another e-mail threatening a series of explosions, including an attack on the visiting Pakistani cricket team, is doing the rounds.

Tight security as Putin opponents rally in Moscow: Kasparov held

Opposition leader and chess legend Garry Kasparov was arrested yesterday after scuffling with riot police during a protest a week ahead of legislative elections, AFP reporters saw.

UN rights chief calls for end to violence Against Women

The top United Nations human rights official urged states worldwide to take more action against rape, domestic abuse and all other forms of violence against women.

Bid to kill Goa governor

The governor of India's western resort state of Goa escaped an assassination attempt yesterday by tribal separatists in India's revolt-hit northeast, officials said.

Iran hangs two drug traffickers

Iran yesterday hanged two men convicted of drug trafficking in the southeastern city of Zahedan, the latest part of a new drive to boost public security, the state news agency IRNA reported.

Arts & Entertainment

Amalenndu Biswas Memorial Award '07 announced

Amalenndu Biswas Memorial Award '07 was announced on November 23 at the Experimental Theatre Stage. Since 2003 Bangladesh Jatra Shilpa Unnayan Parishod (BJSUP) has been regularly giving the award to the cultural personalities for their contribution to promoting the decaying art form Jatra.

Bold thoughts in black and white

Pavel Ahmed, whose acrylic on paper and pen-and-ink sketch solo exhibition is on at the Gallery Zoom at Alliance Francaise, has an abstract theme, which he presents in a contemporary way. He calls his subject “The visualisation of orchestration of cosmic noise.” Thus he relates art to cosmic sounds. “I want my viewers to feel and not just see,” says Ahmed. He chose acrylic as it has the effect of oil despite being water based.

"The Lesson" and "Bratyo" staged

On the sixth day of the second annual theatre week, Department of Theatre and Music of University of Dhaka staged two plays: The Lesson a one-act by French-Romanian playwright Eugene Ionesco and Bratyo by Nikoli Kaliyada at TSC auditorium on November 23.

Drama festival in Sylhet ends

Three-day drama festival titled 'Dik Natyothsab' was ended recently at the Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST). Professor Dr. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal formally inaugurated the festival organised by the Dik Theatre of the SUST campus.


Time to rethink

Due to the devastating Sidr strike in coastal the districts, Bangladesh is receiving emergency support and long term commitments in terms of money and supplies for the people of the cyclone affected coastal districts. There is wide coverage and discussion in the media on how to reduce causalities, the effectiveness of cyclone shelters and other emergency protection measures like mass evacuation, plantation, etc. While watching the domestic media coverage of different ideas and views on the shelter aspects for the people living in the cyclone prone areas, as an architect and urban planner by profession, I also feel tempted to share my views in this respect based on my experience of working in emergency situations in Indonesia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Asean forges ahead

The 13th Asean Summit has just concluded in Singapore. As the ten Asean leaders celebrated the 40th anniversary of the organisation's founding, it turned a momentous page in its journey towards an Asean identity. The leaders signed the historic Asean Charter on November 20, altering the organisation into a rule-based entity. The charter will provide the basis for legal and institutional framework, which the leaders hope shall contribute towards peace, progress and prosperity of the region. Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as host chairman of the summit, hoped that the charter shall deepen regional integration process and remain relevant.

Star City

Parents readying kids for 'nerve-wracking' battle

Children along with their parents and guardians are now preparing for one of the most crucial battles of life, the school admission test, for 2008 academic year.

Dhanmondi back to square one

It is 7:45am and the Dhanmondi street is crammed with bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Lottery for them, brisk business for some

Ahsan Rashid is immensely excited about his brand new cellular phone. It smells of sweet success.

Star Health

Laugh your way to stress relief

Whether you peal with giggles while re-enacting the most hysterical moments of a Monty Python movie or twitter away at the highbrow humor of a cartoon, studies have shown that your laugh will do you good. Laughter helps you deal with a variety of maladies, including the stresses of daily life.

Are the young really young at heart?

Few days back, in his birthday party, bollywood famous Shahrukh Khan said that age is just a number. In his 42nd birth SRK can say this. He has built up a Bruce lee style body with regular exercise and by nutritious diet. But is it true for all young just 40?

Too much of a good thing? Vitamin link with cancer

Men who pop too many vitamins in the hope of improving their health may in fact be raising their risk of the deadliest forms of prostate cancer, especially men with a family history of the disease, researchers said.

Diet soda: Is it bad for you?

Drinking a reasonable amount of diet soda a day, such as a can or two, is not likely to hurt you.

Renowned interventional cardiologist Prof Chandy arrives

Chief Interventional Cardiologist of Christian Medical Centre (CMC), Vellore, Professor Dr Sunil Thomas Chandy will arrive in Dhaka today in a two day visit, says a press release.

Vitamin D may curb type 2 diabetes risk

During a 17-year follow-up of roughly 4,000 men and women, researchers found that individuals with higher blood levels of vitamin D had a 40 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those with lower levels of this vitamin.

Google-funded 23andMe starts, offers $999 DNA test

Google Inc-funded 23andMe has been launched and began offering a DNA saliva test for $999 per person, which would help U.S. users of the online site learn about disease risk, inherited traits and their ancestry.

AIDS ad breaks Italy taboo over using word “condom”

The word "condom" is to be uttered for the first time in an advertisement to raise AIDS awareness in Italy, breaking a bizarre taboo in the Catholic country.

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