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News of: Thursday, 6th of December, 2007
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Terming free flow of information a driving force in democracy and good governance, Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday expressed the hope that the government will soon formulate a right to information act.
Various quarters are questioning the Power Cell's handling of the rental power bids as it is seriously considering offers from two inexperienced and incompliant local consortiums that should have been filtered out at the final stage of selection.
A sedition case was filed with a Dhaka court yesterday against Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, Assistant Secretary General Abdul Quader Mollah and ex-chairman of Islami Bank Shah Md Abdul Hannan.
The verdict sentencing four Rajshahi University (RU) teachers to two years' imprisonment was based on "poor" evidence and has raised questions about the caretaker government's neutrality in enforcing Emergency Power Rules (EPR) 2007, eminent jurists have observed.
The Saarc foreign ministers' meet beginning here on Saturday is expected to give a concrete shape to the proposed Regional Development Fund, intra-region transport connectivity and tele-medicine network.
The example of sentencing four Rajshahi University teachers on charges of breaking the emergency power rules may have negative bearing on congenial academic atmosphere across the country, teachers and political leaders yesterday said.
The verdict of the case against two Rajshahi University (RU) teachers and 12 others for torching a DGFI vehicle and assaulting a member of the intelligence agency during August 22 campus violence will be delivered today.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Salehuddin Ahmed yesterday said the central bank is measuring the possibilities of waiving agriculture loans in the Sidr-hit districts in the country's southwest region.
A fisherman in a coastal village wakes up one morning to find ominous clouds looming on the horizon, he turns the switch his battery-run radio on, just to find the batteries down.
In the first ever seizure of Internet Protocol Television Broadcasting (IPTB) equipment in the country, a rather new system of television broadcasting through the internet, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday seized a large quantity of them in the capital.
Partners of the Global Facility for Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction (GFDRR) have appealed international donors to support accelerated recovery of the losses caused by Cyclone Sidr.
The law will take its own course over the trial of the two detained former prime ministers, Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday told visiting Danish minister for development cooperation.
As many as 10,760 Bangladeshis are languishing in prisons or police custody in 15 foreign countries, said Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment.
The government will import 1lakh tonnes of fertiliser from Qatar and UAE to meet the growing demand for the essential farming input.
The official death toll from November 15 cyclone rose to 793 in Bagerhat as six more decomposed bodies were recovered in Morelganj and Sharankhola upazilas in 24 hours ending yesterday morning.
The High Court yesterday declared null and void the tax evasion case against former state minister for power Iqbal Hassan Mahmood Tuku.
Dhanmondi police yesterday pressed charges against detained former communications minister Nazmul Huda and his wife Advocate Sigma Huda in a Tk 3.95 lakh extortion case.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed separate cases against former post and telecommunications minister Aminul Haque and detained Partex Group chairman and former BNP lawmaker MA Hashem for amassing wealth illegally beyond known sources of income.
Law enforcers have evacuated the open drug market in BNP Palli at Agargaon in the city following a report published in The Daily Star on December 3.
Pakistan's government has formally retired 37 judges, including the former chief justice, who refused to approve President Pervez Musharraf's emergency rule, the attorney general said yesterday.
Two US human rights activists were arrested after they had been seeking the release of a prominent Pakistani lawyer, who was detained under the country's state of emergency, officials and a witness said.
Jamuna Group Chairman Nurul Islam Babul, arrested under emergency power rules, was released on bail yesterday but could not get out of the BIRDEM hospital where he had been under treatment for fear of being arrested again by law enforcers who kept the hospital cordoned as of midnight.
WE are shocked and surprised at the sentencing of four teachers of Rajshahi University (RU) to two-year rigorous imprisonment. It is beyond our comprehension how university teachers can be treated with such triviality, and marched off to serve their term like some petty criminals, particularly when the so-called 'proof of the crimes' does not meet rigorous standards of our own laws It is unprecedented, unfortunate and uncalled for. With full respect to the judicial system, we are compelled to ask the question -- what was the gravity of their crime? Was awarding rigorous imprisonment truly compatible with charges brought against them? Regrettably, this is for the first time in Bangladesh that university teachers have been given such harsh sentence for ventilating their grievance in a peaceful manner.
AMIDST mixed stories about NGO leaders announcing loan waivers but their field operatives pressing for installment payments in the Sidr affected areas, the Chief Adviser and the Army Chief have lent their voice to the cause. The CA, at a meeting with NGO representatives, called for a lenient approach in the recovery of loans. The Army Chief requested them to waive installment of agricultural loans for the next four months at least.
A decade has gone by, and we have very little to show insofar as the implementation of the major stipulations of the Peace Accord of December 2, 1997, between the Government of Bangladesh and the Parbattya Chattagram Jana Sangahati Samit (PCJSS), is concerned. Just as a point of clarification, the agreement was an "accord" and not a "treaty" as some refer to it.
MAINUL Hosein shocked us all with his view that the caretaker government he is part of is actually a national government. We did not agree with him when he made his view known. And when the chief of army staff quickly stepped in to reassure us that the government was indeed a caretaker and not a national government, we felt relieved, for all the obvious reasons.
WHEN Colin Powell tried to broker a ceasefire between Israelis and Palestinians in 2002, Israel quickly figured out that he lacked solid backing from President George W. Bush. He came home empty-handed, his prestige diminished. Now Bush's close confidante, Secretary of State Condi Rice, has a slightly stronger hand, but her odds have grown, too.
Khulna predictably struggled against Chittagong on the first day of their seventh round National Cricket League match at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.
Keeping last one year's performance in mind, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) revealed a 22-member contracted players' list yesterday.
Former South Africa batsman Gary Kirsten has signed a two-year deal to coach India, a top cricket board official said Wednesday.
Muttiah Muralidaran bowled two magical deliveries when it mattered most to hand Sri Lanka an 88-run win over a fighting England in the first Test here on Wednesday.
The National Sports Council (NSC) will increase its training fund from next year to groom sportsmen across the country, it was confirmed after its yesterday's budget meeting.
Sohrawardi Shuvo led from the front as the touring Bangladesh Under-19 cricket team levelled the one-day series against Pakistan Under-19s with a 13-run victory in the fourth game at Quaid-e-Azam Park in Karachi yesterday.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) released the revised itinerary of the Tigers' tour to New Zealand in December and January.
South Africa will arrive in Dhaka on February 14 next year to play two Tests and three one-day series against the Tigers.
The task force, headed by Brigadier Najib Hassan, to investigate the corruption of National Sports Council (NSC) is expected to hand over its report to Sports Adviser Tapan Chowdhury today.
Having ignored the necessity of talking with country's football organisers and ex-players to form district and divisional football associations (DFAs) for long, Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president SA Sultan yesterday took a U-turn.
Bangladeshi Grand Masters Reefat Bin Sattar and Abdullah Al Rakib extended their collection to 3.5 points after the fourth round of the Commonwealth Chess Championship in New Delhi yesterday.
Stand-in captain Dwayne Bravo hit 45 runs in 24 balls to see the West Indies home and dry by six wickets as the visitors took a 2-1 lead in the five-match one-day series against Zimbabwe here on Tuesday.
Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson on Tuesday praised his team for showing character in adversity to draw the second Test against India here.
Pacemen Irfan Pathan and Vikram Raj Vir Singh were included Wednesday in India's 14-member squad for the third and final Test against Pakistan starting in Bangalore on Saturday.
If you want to know the difference between leadership and captaincy, look no further than Younis Khan. In Pakistan, traditionally the captaincy is such a coveted position that players are jostling for it and stories of behind-the-scenes machinations are plentiful. Younis is different in that he has given up the captaincy more than once. The first time, it was because he didn't quite see eye to eye with Shahryar Khan, the then chairman of the board, and did not want to be a powerless captain.
South African left-arm spinner Nicky Boje has been called in for questioning by Indian police in connection with the Hansie Cronje match-fixing scandal, a senior crime branch officer said on Wednesday.
Great Britain scored three times in 10 minutes to record a 4-1 victory over Pakistan in the Champions Trophy in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.
India may have been forced to settle for a draw in the second Test against Pakistan but the trio of Wasim Jaffer, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly can take heart from the fact that the Kolkata run-feast has pushed them up in the ICC players rankings.
Guest footballer Matiur Munna set up a first-half goal for Abul Hossain and scored the other after the break to help Abahani come back in the Teletalk Best of Three Series with a 2-1 win over archrivals Mohammedan yesterday.
Filippo Inzaghi broke the European goal-scoring record as AC Milan defeated Celtic 1-0 though defeat was sweetened for the Scottish side as they qualified for the Champions League knock-out stages in any case here on Tuesday.
Ronaldinho could be set for a move to Chelsea, according to one of the numerous reports Wednesday which suggested the embattled Brazilian is finally ready to depart Barcelona.
A hair loss medicine was responsible for former Brazil striker Romario failing a doping test after a club match, the player said on Tuesday.
Raul Gonzalez's ice-cold precision on the soccer field is no fluke.
Ryan Giggs beli-eves Cristiano Ronaldo's sheer pace makes it difficult for referees to judge the Manchester United star, and explains why he was booked for simulation in this week's win over Fulham.
Jose Mourinho would be the best choice as England coach, national team captain John Terry said on Tuesday.
Under-pressure Newcastle United manager Sam Allardyce said his side's slump is causing him sleepless nights and admits the situation is getting desperate.
Marco van Basten is to quit as coach of the Dutch national football team after Euro 2008 it was announced by Henk Kesler, managing director of the Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) on Tuesday.
AC Milan and Juventus are chasing the signature of SV Hamburg's star midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart, according to the Italian media.
Stroke-victim Ivica Osim's first words after waking from a coma were "What happened in the game?" Japanese media reported on Wednesday.
Marco van Basten is to quit as coach of the Dutch national football team after Euro 2008 it was announced by Henk Kesler, managing director of the Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) on Tuesday.
Spain have improved in recent years and are close to going all the way in a major tournament, coach Luis Aragones has said.
Bayern Munich's French star Franck Ribery says he has no regrets after he gestured to Arminia Bielefeld fans to shut their mouths after he scored the winning goal at the Bundesliga strugglers.
Tottenham said Tuesday Robbie Keane's appeal against a red card issued during last weekend's 3-2 home league defeat by Birmingham City had been rejected by the Football Association.
Air Sylhet, a UK based airline established mainly by expatriate Bangladeshis, yesterday laid bare its plan to start operation of flights for the first time on an international route from Sylhet by the month-end or early January.
A total of 81 companies are vying for five licences to operate Interconnection Exchange (ICX) and International Gateway (IGW) operations in the country.
After passing off 81 trading days, turnover on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) yesterday came down below Tk 100 crore, as investors still remain panicked following chaos on the premier bourse on Monday.
The government has decided to appoint an administrator to FBCCI, as extended tenure of the executive committee of the country's apex trade body ends today.
The three-day textile and garment machinery show that displayed products including general machinery, dyes, chemicals, plastic, and printing and packaging machinery used mainly in textile and garment sectors concluded in Dhaka yesterday with a considerable turnout.
Department of Social Service (DSS) has suspended realisation of instalment of its micro credit programme in 12 cyclone-hit districts from December 2007 to March 2008.
About 200 Hajj pilgrims finally left for Jeddah by a Biman flight last night after remaining stranded at Chittagong Shah Amanat International Airport for about 21 hours, sources said.
Capacity of any power plant could be increased up to ten percent through efficient power generation and distribution, speakers at a workshop said yesterday.
Speakers at a workshop yesterday underscored the need to maintain an adequate stock of staple food grains to sustain the people during the national crisis such as cyclone and flood.
President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday requested Thai government to extend the duty-cutback on the import of 229 items from Bangladesh as the facility expires this month.
The traffic department of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) yesterday issued a ten-day ultimatum for installation and repair of meters in every CNG-run autorickshaw plying the streets in the port city.
Chief of Army Staff General Moeen U Ahmed made a courtesy call on President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban yesterday and discussed various matters of the force, including the ongoing relief activities for the cyclone-stricken people.
Equal dignity cannot be ensured to Dalit (lower caste) community unless the community is integrated with mainstream democratic process, which reflects the non-communal and secular spirit of our liberation war, said speakers at a discussion yesterday.
The High Court yesterday granted bail for two months to industrialist Salman F Rahman in a land grabbing case filed with Gazipur police station in May.
Law Adviser Mainul Hosein yesterday said leaders like Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq should be recognised as founding fathers of the nation in order to uphold the spirit of democracy.
St. Gregory's High School, one of the oldest and renowned schools in the country, will celebrate its 125th founding anniversary with a two-day programme beginning December 13.
Sherpur police arrested a medical officer of Sherpur Upazila Health Complex on Tuesday evening for his alleged involvement in a rape case.
Proshika, one of the largest NGOs of the country, distributed relief among 1000 families who were the victims of devastating fire recently broke out at Rayer Bazar slum, says a press release.
Arshad Hosein has recently joined as the managing editor of the daily Ittefaq, says a press release.
A girl child was killed when a speedy truck rammed her on Pabna-Kustia highway at Pakshey village on Tuesday noon.
Police rescued a schoolgirl from near Chhayabaria bridge of Raninagar in Noagoan on Tuesday night after 25 days of her abduction from Dariapur in Bogra.
An elderly woman, who sustained severe burns after she was set on fire for not giving dowry to her daughter's in-laws, sought justice at a press conference in the city yesterday.
Lalbagh police arrested Global Agro Trade Company (Gatco) directors Galib Ahmed and Tanveer Ahmed from the Dhaka Central Jail gate immediately after their release on bail yesterday evening.
Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, former lawmaker and parliamentary affairs adviser to former prime minister Khaleda Zia, was shifted to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) yesterday as he suffered a mild stroke, jail sources said.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) seized about 1,500 litres of rectified spirit and huge equipment from Matuail in the city yesterday.
Police have submitted a charge sheet to Jhenidah Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court against six militants in connection with August 17 serial bomb blasts in Jhenidah in 2005.
The people of Majhherchar and Rayenda villages in Sharonkhola, worst affected by Sidr, got more than what the hurricane took away from them. They got love and heartiest cooperation from people of Satkhira to start life again with renewed hopes.
The situation at Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) office remained unchanged as most the 431 sacked employees kept off from duty for the 3rd day yesterday.
Six people including two enumerators were handed over to police at 2:00pm yesterday from Godaipur voter registration centre under Paikgachha upazila in Khulna district.
The second convocation of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sust) will be held here today.
A court here yesterday sentenced a Jubo Dal leader and three others each to six years rigorous imprisonment (RI) in an extortion case, court sources said.
The secretary of Bachamara Union Parisad (UP) in Daulatpur upazila has been arrested on charge of misappropriation of rice meant for Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) police said.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday boasted a report by US intelligence on the Iranian nuclear programme was a "great victory" for Iran, as US President George W Bush warned that Tehran remained a threat.
A suicide attacker slammed a bomb-filled car into an Afghan army bus in Kabul Wednesday, killing at least 16 people in the second such blast in two days during a visit by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates.
At least 36 people including seven soldiers were killed in fresh fighting between security forces and Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka's embattled north, the defence ministry said yesterday.
North Korea yesterday made a fresh demand that the United States drop its "hostile" policy before it gives up its nuclear weapons programme.
Key industrial nations Japan and Canada appear to be moving away from binding emissions targets for rich nations in early talks at key a climate change conference, environmental groups warned yesterday.
Three car bombs, including one in the city of Mosul soon after US Defence Secretary Robert Gates landed on an unannounced visit, killed at least eight people in Iraq yesterday, officials said.
Arts & Entertainment
Taking a leaf out of a recently published book How to Talk about Books that you haven't Read, founder of Scholastica School, Yasmeen Murshed, came up with a slick volume of her own. Entitled Talking Books -- the Thirsty Shore, the book, a compilation of columns written for The Daily Star over the last three and a half years, was launched on November 21, 2007.
The Embassy of Japan, Dhaka recently organised the 'Japanese Cultural Events' alongside the Japan Trade Fair 2007 from November 29 at the Shilpakala Academy and Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the city, says a press release.
A much needed and exciting vista has opened up for the visually impaired -- photography. Thanks to Partho Bhowmick and his 'Blind with Camera', the public in Delhi recently got to see the 28 commendable works of nine such photographers -- Rahul Shirsat, R Dharmarajan, Sujit Chaurasia, Praveen Bhosale, Mahesh Umrrania, Raju Singh, Kanchan Pamnani, Sunil Bhavsar and Nikhil Mundhe -- at Delhi's popular cultural haunt, the India Habitat Centre.
SINCE the time of Hippocrates (460 BC), the father of medicine, medicine has undergone dramatic changes from magic, mysticism, miasma and religious ritual to the 20th century modernised body of knowledge and technology which can save lives and reduce disability from diseases, which was a mere dream not far back.
CONVENTIONAL wisdom says developing competition in services markets by encouraging private sector participation (both local and foreign) brings large gains for consumers. The gains come in different forms, such as reduced service charge, improved service quality, variety of services and easy access to service. Liberalisation of the telecom sector has been especially welcomed by users because of the supply side constraints in the telecom sector. Moreover, the advent of mobile phone technology, with its unique features of 24 hour availability and instant access, created a huge demand for it.
I was in a supermarket in London, in the dairy aisle, when a fellow Pakistani-in-London called on my mobile to say, "I'm calling to inform you about a state of emergency." As I was expecting her and her husband for dinner there was a moment when I thought that she meant some domestic crisis was forcing her to cancel our evening plans. When the real meaning behind her words became apparent, a split second later, I couldn't help but be aware of how familiar my reaction -- despair, confusion, anger, uncertainty -- was.