News of: Wednesday, 28th of November, 2007
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Bangladesh yesterday sought five lakh metric tons (MT) of rice from the international community as assistance for tackling any possible food crisis in the country because of the recent spate of floods and the cyclone.
Bangladesh is among the countries to be worst-affected by climate change that may cause a large-scale reversal in human development, says the latest UN Human Development Report (HDR) released yesterday.
Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday assured that the present government would carry out relief and rehabilitation work in the cyclone-hit areas as long as needed.
The Election Commission (EC) will not register BNP unless the party amends its constitution to ensure practice of democracy within itself, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said.
Police yesterday arrested two wanted Harkatul Jihad Al Islami (Huji) operatives in the city for their suspected links to the August 21 grenade attacks on an Awami League rally in 2004 and Ramna Batamul blasts in 2001.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday blamed the bureaucracy for the delay in making the Election Commission's (EC) Secretariat independent of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
US Agency for International Development (USAID) as a goodwill gesture of the people of the United States has pledged more than $10 million worth of Food for Peace assistance for the cyclone-affected people of Bangladesh.
Mismanagement of Biman hajj flights has again caused sufferings to pilgrims at the Ashkona hajj camp near Zia International Airport (ZIA).
The Supreme Court chamber judge yesterday rejected Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and government appeal for stay on the High Court ruling declaring the ACC notice served on former prime minister Sheikh Hasina for submitting her wealth statement illegal.
Decomposed bodies of six persons including four children, killed by Cyclone Sidr, were recovered from Sharonkhola upazila of Bagerhat yesterday, raising the upazila's death toll to 653.
Former adviser to caretaker government Justice M Fazlul Huq, who is among the 11 graft suspects served with notice by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on October 18, submitted his statement of wealth to the commission yesterday.
The government yesterday asked the NGOs not to pressure the cyclone-affected micro-credit recipients to repay loans now, and ensure transparency and accountability in their relief and rehabilitation programmes.
Customs officials at Zia International Airport yesterday said a joint taskforce seized over 5,000 Viagra and Munish pills, prescription drugs used for treating male impotence, from the luggage of a hajj pilgrim on November 22.
Army chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday said the armed forces are determined to help the government hold a free, fair and credible election and with that goal in view they would complete preparing the voter list and national identity cards in due time.
Muggers snatched over Tk 8 lakh from two staff of a pharmaceutical company in Dampara area of Chittagong city yesterday.
The law ministry yesterday issued a gazette notification stating that an extortion case filed against detained Awami League (AL) chief Sheikh Hasina and two others would be tried at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban complex on security grounds.
Four fortune seekers were robbed of around Tk 11.5 lakh in local and foreign currencies at Gulshan in the city late Monday.
The government will give the cyclone victims money to help them rebuild their houses flattened by the November 15 storm, Communications Adviser Maj Gen (retd) MA Matin said yesterday.
The political storm that preceded nature's latest assault on this country still swirls overhead.
President Gen Pervez Musharraf visited troops yesterday to bid them farewell, a day before he planned to stand down as military chief to become a civilian head of state in a move aimed at easing the country's political crisis.
President Bush declared Tuesday that the time is right to relaunch Middle East peace talks to create a Palestinian state because "a battle is under way for the future" of the troubled region.
A Dhaka court yesterday ordered attachment of property of former Awami League lawmaker Dr HBM Iqbal and four of his family members in connection with a case filed for amassing wealth illegally.
Diarrhoea and respiratory tract infections (RTIs) have shot up in the nine southern districts, which took the brunt of Cyclone Sidr.
Two Republican senators said that unless Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki makes more political progress by January, the US should consider pulling political or financial support for his government.
That the economy is going through the most critical phase of our history needs hardly any elaboration. Still we need to pinpoint the problems to be set on a recovery course.
Diseases like diarrhoea, pneumonia, fever and typhoid persist in the areas hit by the recent devastating cyclone.
THE awarding of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize jointly to former US vice president Al Gore and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ought to be roundly applauded. Through their work they have put on the global table critical knowledge needed to appreciate the urgency in fighting the menace of climate change.
CLEARLY, none of the bigger political parties cares a hoot for the deposed and purged judges of superior courts who are still under detention, except Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan. PPP and even PML (N) leaders have joined the US project to strengthen the hitherto Pakistan army chief's cause. One directly and the other through the Saudi King.
YOU can measure the change in France by the use of prefixes. Ten years ago, the French railed against American "hyperpower." They played the role of world-weary critics, sitting on the sidelines and issuing ironic commentaries on American vigor, assertiveness and action.
Three centuries dominated the first day of the sixth round National Cri-cket League matches across the country.
For the third time in his career, Shahriar Nafees hurried back to form as soon as a team that he could have been part of was selected, without him being in it.
Ex-football stars of the country yesterday urged the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) to step out of its autocratic way in running the game in the country.
Enamul Hossain Rajib lost his first game of the Round of 64 in the World Chess Cup yesterday when the Bangladeshi IM lost to Russia's Evgeny Tomashevsky in Khanty-Mansiysk, the west Siberian town in Russia.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is considering taking stern action against ace spinner Mohammad Rafique, discarded from the national one-day team only 24 hours earlier, for indifferent attitude towards the ongoing 9th National Cricket League.
The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has decided go for a full-fledged drive by involving ex-players, organisers and the clubs of the capital to make its fund raising charity matches successful.
Former South African opening batsman Gary Kirsten will take over as new Indian coach next week, a top cricket board official told AFP on Tuesday.
Pakistan's Shoaib Malik came under fire on Tuesday from two of cricket's legends after his uninspiring captaincy during the team's opening Test defeat against India.
New national cricket team coach Jamie Siddons wants to take time before making any comments about his new charges.
The Dhaka Senior Division Football League transfers began yesterday with the usual disarray as the players did not find any officials at the start.
Mohammedan Sporting Club will play two exhibition matches outside Dhaka to raise fund for the Cyclone Sidr-affected people.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is contemplating two options to arrange a charity match for the Cyclone Sidr-hit victims of the country.
Already one down, Bangladesh Under-19 cricket team will play their second one-day match of a five-match series against their Pakistan counterparts at the Niaz Stadium in Hyderabad today.
The second Test match between India and Pakistan will be held here as scheduled from November 30, despite an e-mail threat to disrupt the match and kill the Pakistani cricketers.
Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik is expected to be fit for the second Test against India after twisting his ankle in a game of soccer following the first Test loss on Monday.
Liverpool's Spanish goalkeeper Jose Reina said a win against Porto on Wednesday was vital to get them back on course to reach the Champions League knockout stages, adding they had also struggled before winning the trophy in 2005.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been charged by the Football Association (FA) after letting fly at referee Mark Clattenburg during the Red Devils' 1-0 Premier League defeat away to Bolton.
Europe's top football official, former Juventus midfield star Michel Platini, has been told by England's Premier League to "mind his own business."
West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green has blamed the increasing popularity of video games among English boys for the country's failure to reach the finals of the Euro 2008 football championships.
Striker Filippo Inzaghi will miss AC Milan's Champions League game against Benfica in Lisbon on Wednesday, the club said on their Web site (www.acmilan.com). Italian media said the forward was feverish.
Croatia captain Niko Kovac will retire from international football after next summer's Euro 2008 finals, he said in a report here Tuesday.
Serie A club Udinese are to try out a fan passport - called a PassaSport - later this season in a bid to curb crowd violence.
Modest Lanus moved another step closer to their first domestic title on Sunday when they drew 0-0 with Argentinos Juniors while Boca Juniors were beaten by Arsenal.
Belarus international midfielder Alexander Hleb, who is currently playing with Arsenal in England, was on Tuesday named Belarus' Player of the Year.
At least seven people died on Sunday evening when a spectator stand collapsed at a stadium in north-eastern Brazil during a soccer match, according to an official toll released on Monday.
Opening batsman Phil Jaques has given the Australian cricket team another fitness concern ahead of next month's Test series against the touring Indians.
Michael Vaughan's England celebrated a morale-boosting win ahead of the Test series against Sri Lanka as the gloom lifted around the injury-hit tourists on Tuesday.
Umpire Rudi Koertzen, who angered Sri Lankans this month for wrongly giving Kumar Sangakkara out on 192, has been withdrawn from the England Tests, officials said on Tuesday.
Bayern Munich have shown how bad performances on the football pitch do not necessarily impact on a club's commercial success - as long as the cash registers keep pinging and the fans buy the shirts.
As Shoaib Malik feels the heat for his "uninspiring" leadership in the ongoing series against India, he has found support from former Pakistan teammate Imran Farhat who thinks the young captain has it in him to steer the unpredictable side.
Indian pacer Shanthakumaran Sreesanth's continued inability to "rein himself in" when under pressure could end up costing his side dearly during the upcoming cricket tour down under, feels Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) could lift a ban to lure players from an unofficial Twenty20 league into their own lucrative version, officials said on Monday.
The government needs to consider rationalising fuel prices in line with global markets, Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul said yesterday, but stressed the importance of looking into ways to help marginal farmers cope with raised costs.
The importation of poor quality vehicles has left taxicab owners facing huge debts while travelers are being forced to endure high fares and a disastrous level of service.
The Netherlands Foreign Trade Agency (EVD) is offering up to 60 percent of any investment as grant for setting up any innovative businesses in the Bangladesh small and medium enterprises (SME) sector if the firm concerned forges partnership with its Dutch counterpart.
The central bank yesterday requested the commercial banks to help revive the disaster-hit economy by providing low interest loans from the huge liquidity.
Asian stocks saw mixed fortunes Tuesday in volatile trading with most markets losing ground after fresh worries about the fallout from the US subprime loan crisis battered Wall Street, dealers said.
The third expert group meeting on Bimstec business visa scheme began yesterday in Dhaka to make modalities of issuing the easy visas for the qualified businesspeople of member-countries, under a move towards boosting economic cooperation in the sub-regional bloc.
The National Board of Revenue launched a new initiative to increase revenue collection yesterday, sending millions of Bangladeshis an SMS text message on their mobile phones reminding them to submit their tax returns.
Trust Bank was given permission yesterday to start merchant banking operations bringing the total number of merchant banks to 30.
Mobile phone operator CityCell has recently observed its corporate night through a gala function, says a press release.
Citigroup, reeling from the US housing slump and a related credit squeeze, announced Monday it will receive a 7.5 billion dollar injection from the Abu Dhabi government.
Waliur Rahman Bhuiyan has recently been elected president of Foreign Investors' Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Ficci) for 2007-09 term.
Dreams of Dr Shamsul Alam Khan Milon for a democratic and corruption-free society is yet to be materialised, said the speakers at a discussion yesterday.
President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday suggested universities to adopt contemporary and modern curricula for imparting need-based education to build a pool of skilled manpower for tapping country's huge development potential.
Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) needs to be more modernised with new infrastructures like tide gauge, data buoys and surge measurement for providing accurate forecasts and early warning on cyclone, storm surge and flood, said the experts at a seminar yesterday.
The Netherlands will contribute about 5 million US dollar over three years for completing the electoral roll with photo and strengthening the capacity of the Election Commission to prepare for holding fair polls.
Khandaker Delwar Hossain, the BNP secretary general appointed by party Chairperson Khaleda Zia, yesterday urged the party leaders and workers to conduct all-out relief operations in the cyclone-affected areas.
A Dhaka court yesterday fixed December 2 as the date for hearing on the prayer for a seven-day remand for detained BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman in connection with a case filed against him for concealing wealth information.
Today is the first death anniversary of Mohammad Hanif, the first elected mayor of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) and an Awami League (AL) leader.
Leaders and workers of different political parties and socio-cultural organisations paid rich tributes to Shaheed Dr Shamsul Alam Khan Milon on the occasion of his 17th death anniversary yesterday.
Different political, social, humanitarian and professional bodies have been continuing relief operation to help the Sidr victims.
A Dhaka court yesterday fixed December 3 for hearing on framing charges against four Dhaka University (DU) teachers and 15 others in connection with a case filed for instigating violence on the campus in August this year.
Demanding a free election as soon as possible, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) President Col (retd) Oli Ahmed yesterday said development of the country is not possible keeping the political leaders away.
Three people were killed and 10 others injured in a road accident at Mirzapur upazila in the district yesterday.
Sangbadik Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad (SSKOP) yesterday protested the non-publication of gazette notification of the 6th Wage Board Award.
Dhaka University Journalists' Association (Duja) has taken an initiative to provide educational materials to the students in cyclone-affected areas.
A four-day photography exhibition titled 'NSUPC: A decade' organised by North South University Photography Club (NSUPC) will begin at Drik Gallery in the city today.
A South Korean healthcare products manufacturing company yesterday formally introduced its thermal acupressure device in Bangladesh.
Workers of Sirajganj Qaumi Jute Mills staged a token hunger strike yesterday to press for their seven-point demand, including withdrawal of the government's decision to hand over the mills to the private sector and payment of their salary arrears and festival bonus before Eid-ul Azha.
A Chittagong court yesterday granted bail to a detained student of Chittagong University in a case filed in connection with the August 22 violence on the university campus.
A three-year-old boy is suffering from blood cancer.
Kuchipudi dance show organised by High Commission of India, scheduled to be held at the National Museum today, has been postponed due to unavoidable circumstances, says a spokesman of the High Commission.
Road communication in two coastal districts of Patuakhali and Barguna still remained disrupted after hurricane Sidr. This is because of damage of over 1,500 kilometre (km) roads by the natural calamity.
Army Chief Gen. Moeen U Ahmed yesterday said Bangladesh is not a poor country.
Rajshahi Speedy Trial Court yesterday scheduled December 6 for delivery of verdict in the case against 14 persons including two Rajshahi University (RU) teachers for allegedly torching a DGFI vehicle during campus violence on August 22.
Chief Judicial Magistrate in Sherpur Mahmoodul Kabir has issued a rejoinder to a Daily Star report published on National page on November 22.
The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has submitted chargesheet against BNP leader and Patuakhali Pourasabha chairman Mostaq Ahmed for misappropriating Tk 72,900 by selling a jeep.
A Moulvibazar court on Sunday issued arrest warrants against Moulvibazar Sadar upazila BNP President Faruk Ahmed and General Secretary Ayas Ahmed and passed an order to attach their moveable properties in an extortion case.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested an Awami League (AL) leader at a tea stall at Sadipur village in Daulatpur upazila on Monday night.
Fire gutted jute worth Tk several lakh and injured four people when they were trying to douse the fire at Ulashi Bazar in Sharsha yesterday morning.
Out of the 13 largest hurricanes in world history, nine happened in Bengal and most of the devastated areas are in Bakerganj (Barisal) according to recorded history. Many people died due to no access to information. But that should not happen in modern times when it is not at all difficult to predict such disasters and alert people.
Recently, some nice looking young men were apprehended along with a huge amount of Yaba tablets. The law enforcers have discovered that many affluent people are involved with this illicit but lucrative trade. But drug trade is not new in our country.
Ref: USA being misunderstood on Pakistan.
On 29 April, 1991, 'Cyclone Gorky' struck the southeast coast of Bangladesh. The cyclone's wrath was immense, and over 140,000 people lost their lives as a result of its fury; millions of others lost their homes and their livelihoods.
As it is known, India is ill-focused on Pakistan and does not think well of it. Even though “Cross-border-terrorism” has been replaced by President Gen. Musharraf with “cross-border-trade”, in practical terms, India hasn't changed its ill-feeling towards it neighbour. Recent developments in Pakistan have caused nerve problem in New Delhi.
It was an incident which took place a few days ago. I was coming back from my university on a bus which was quite crowded as usual. We were waiting in a traffic signal as well as several vehicles including a big old pick-up carrying a big load of books just beside our bus. Two men where sitting on top of the books. Suddenly, when the green light appeared the pickup turned to the right side and the part which was carrying the book fell down resulting in all the books being allover the street. The fist guy was able to jump out of the mess but the second guy couldn't make that much. So he was under the burden of thousands of books. As we were right beside them, I thought we were going to run over on the second guy. I closed my eyes, but our driver was quite witty and managed to pull over. Our bus stopped there and all the people from our bus were struggling with each other to have a better look of the accident from the bus. I saw the traffic police and few local people rushed down to help the guy but as it were thousands of books they were not able to help the guy at all. To my surprise, no one from our bus came down and helped the guy, all were staring at the scene, as if it were a movie shooting. There were at least 50 men in the bus and nobody cared a bit. Then after a few moments, the driver drove away.
Obviously, the mobile phone is playing a pivotal role in making life easy and comfortable. There is also a huge scope of business in Bangladesh in the communications sector. As such, the world business giants are keenly interested in investing in this sector and we have also witnessed a huge amount being invested here.
Traffic on the Mirpur Road has increased tremendously. It's getting more and more difficult and risky to cross this road for the students of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Khaleda Zia Medical College and the patients/visitors coming to the govt. hospitals located in the area. A number of pedestrians have already met the tragic end of their lives while crossing this road!
Surely, marrying a foreigner cannot be prohibited on moral grounds. However, carrying out government or diplomatic service while being married to a foreigner does provide problems of possible compromise of national interest and hence there are stringent rules in this area. The solution seems to be for the foreign national to give up his/her foreign nationality and become a Bangladesh citizen by due process of law which surely must exist somewhere in Bangladesh constitution and legal framework.
This refers to your editorial “Empowerment of local bodies” (16 Nov 2007) and your support and plea for setting up a three-tier local institution in the form of Zila, Upazila and Union Parishad. I beg to disagree with you and suggest that our Union Parishad be re-organised and real administrative power given to this grassroots level tier of local government.
The sabotage to submarine cables, reported in The Daily Star, is very regrettable and, as you pointed out, could cause great harm to the commercial interests of Bangladesh. I would like to add that this practice is also highly dangerous.
Many expressed their revulsion against the blatant lie of Jamaat leader Ali Ahsan Mujahid that “Anti-liberation forces never even existed in the country.” The repugnant claim of Mujaheed raised the ire of the people including liberation war sector commanders and freedom fighters. Many quarters of society demanded that the politics of Jamaat-e-Islami be banned for their disparaging role during the liberation war in 1971.
They turned a deaf ear to the consequence of a drug that would debase them and bombard their moral resistance. And to some extent it did lead to some sort of perversion.
Pakistani ex-premier Nawaz Sharif called yesterday on rival opposition leader Benazir Bhutto to join his party in boycotting upcoming general elections.
Rampaging youths rioted overnight in Paris' suburbs, hurling Molotov cocktails and setting fire to dozens of cars. At least 77 officers were injured and officers were fired at, a senior police union official said yesterday.
President Bush on Monday signed a deal setting the foundation for a potential long-term US troop presence in Iraq, with details to be negotiated over matters that have defined the war debate at home how many US forces will stay in the country, and for how long.
Pakistani government troops have retaken a strategic peak from pro-Taliban rebels in the northwest Swat valley and shut down their radio station, officials and residents said yesterday.
Arab powerbrokers expressed wary optimism Monday about prospects for Middle East peace and stressed their unity as the United States prepared to convene an international conference in Annapolis.
Sri Lanka's government has marked the birthday of Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran with a vow to kill him.
Iran yesterday announced it has built a new missile with a range sufficient to put Israel and US bases in the Middle East within easy reach, amid rising tensions over Tehran's contested nuclear drive.
American troops at a roadblock in Baghdad fired on a minibus carrying bank employees to work on Tuesday, killing as many as four passengers, Iraqi officials said. The US military said it was aware of the report.
India's Supreme Court on Tuesday granted Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt bail on a six-year prison term handed down for possessing illegal weapons.
World Bank (WB) with the United Nations and private sector partners launched in Washington on Monday a competitive Development Marketplace aimed at identifying and funding innovative approaches to reduce stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS in the South Asia region, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, says a WB press release.
The Dalai Lama stepped up a war of succession with China yesterday, warning that Tibet's next Buddhist spiritual leader will be chosen abroad if he dies in exile.
Arts & Entertainment
This year's theatre honours, Shaheed Muneir Chowdhury Award and Zakaria Smrity Padak, went to Professor Zia Hyder and Zoglul Alam respectively. The group 'Theatre' arranged the prize-giving programme on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Shaheed Muneir Chowdhury at Mahila Samity yesterday.
Leading singers and cultural personalities gave a warm reception to renowned folk singer-composer-lyricist Indramohan Rajbongshi for winning the World Masters Certificate from Seoul, Korea, recently. Bangladesh Loko Sangeet Parishod arranged the reception programme on November 26 at the Central Public Library Auditorium.
The poems of Dato Dr Ahmed Kamal Abdullah (Kemala) from Malaysia, and the Bangladeshi poet Aminur Rahman, were read out at a book launch and recital of works by renowned Malaysian poets at the BRAC Centre Auditorium recently. The occasion was organised by 'Kathak'; Abdul Malek Bin Abdul Aziz, High Commissioner of Malaysia inaugurated the occasion.
INCLUDING non-resident Bangladeshis (NRB) on the electoral roll has become a controversial issue ever since the Election Commission (EC) was reconstituted after 1/11. The debate has been recently rekindled following the visit of two members of the EC to UK. This controversy seems to have originated mainly from the lack of understanding of our constitutional law. Thus, my main objective here is to clarify the constitutional nature of the election issue. Hopefully, this will help us keep our eyes on the ball and help resolve this critical constitutional issue.
THE terrible destruction wrought by Sidr, that struck southwest Bangladesh, has exposed the high level of poverty and risky life-style of those living in these areas. Provision of support and succor to those who have lost so much is ongoing, and the well-organised efforts of Bangladesh to provide support will be successful. Building up the logistics links takes time. Just listing what has to be done is exhausting:
THE return, on a special plane provided by the King of Saudi Arabia, of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to a popular welcome after seven years of exile serves as a reminder of the folly that is military intervention in politics. Mr. Sharif should have been allowed to return to his homeland when the Supreme Court ruled that he had an inalienable right to do so. But soon after the Supreme Court's judgement, the government unlawfully bundled Mr. Sharif out of the country.
The enrolment of around 160,000 Urdu-speaking people (Biharis) living inside 116 camps across the country as voters still remain uncertain as the government is yet to decide on their citizenship issue, Election Commission (EC) officials said.
Mobasher Uddin Ahmed has a long-cherished dream of becoming a student of Dhaka University. With the support of his loved ones and his loyal crutch, the physically-challenged youth has been working hard all through his life.
Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) will start work to dredge and widen around 30 canals and drains next month to rid the port city of waterlogging.
People of the port city have heaved a sigh of relief as the monstrous Sidr that ripped through the southern shoreline and wreaked havoc on at least 30 districts has left Chittagong untouched this time unlike the devastating cyclone of 1991.