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News of: Sunday, 9th of December, 2007

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Front Page

Disabled denied rights

About 35 years after adoption of the constitution enshrining equal rights and status for every citizen, around one crore disabled people across the country remain deprived of fundamental rights due mainly to government negligence.

Govt urged to back farm sector, business climate

The economy slowed down in the first quarter of the current fiscal year (FY) and will not rebound unless the government ensures adequate agricultural inputs, and a conducive business and investment environment, says the central bank.

Pollution alarming in Dhaka, Ctg

A serious health hazard looms over the residents of Dhaka and Chittagong metropolises as the particulate pollutants in the air are more than double the level recommended by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Duped, tortured, jailed the tale of a dream job

Manpower frauds confined a Bangladeshi job seeker to a secret place in Malaysia for one month and tortured him for payment.

Saarc nations to share crime info

Saarc foreign ministers yesterday put into operation a $300 million regional development fund and finalised the draft agreement on a security pact to share information about criminal activities.

Sundarbans' fate hinges on well-being of Sidr survivors

Sidr victims may be compelled to resort to the ravaged Sundarbans left untouched for natural regeneration if they are not provided with adequate support for livelihood, forest officials apprehend.

Khoka accuses ACC of exaggeration

Alleging that the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) publicised an exaggerated figure of his wealth, Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka said the commission is on a witch-hunt against him.

Filing of case questioned reasonably

The Rajshahi court that convicted four university teachers of violating the emergency power rules (EPR) by bringing out a silent procession said in its verdict that questioning the filing of the case against only a few participants is reasonable.

DU teachers wear black ribbons today

Despite the education adviser's request to withdraw the demonstration, the Dhaka University (DU) teachers will take classes wearing black ribbons today demanding release of the university teachers and students detained for the August violence on campus.

10 hurt as part of Rangs floor caves in

At least 10 construction breakers were injured and several others trapped as the 11th floor of the partly demolished multi-storey Rangs Bhaban on Bijoy Sarani crossing collapsed Saturday night.

5 more bodies of Sidr victims recovered

Five more decomposed bodies were recovered from cyclone battered Dublarchar in Sharonkhola upazila of Bagerhat district Friday evening, raising the death toll to 798 in the district.

Zillur demands Hasina's release by December 16

Acting Awami League (AL) President Zillur Rahman yesterday demanded release of detained party chief Sheikh Hasina by December 16, the Victory Day.

Security upped over release call for RU teachers

Security has been beefed up on Rajshahi University (RU) campus yesterday amid heightened tensions over the demand for release of four detained RU teachers.

Rab captures 2 top criminals

The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested two criminals, one of whom is suspected to be the second-in-command of Joy, one of the top wanted criminals.

Indian vessel with relief arrives in Ctg

An Indian navy ship arrived at Chittagong port with huge relief materials for cyclone Sidr victims.

CA thanks Karzai on release of Brac staff

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed has deeply appreciated Afghan President Hamid Karzai for securing the release of abducted Brac employee Noor Islam in Afghanistan.

FBCCI Manzur Elahi takes over as administrator

Syed Manzur Elahi, former adviser to a caretaker government, yesterday took over the charge of administrator of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).

Tk 60cr more allocated for rebuilding in 2 districts

The government has allocated Tk 60 crore more for rebuilding houses in the cyclone-hit Bagerhat and Barguna districts.

BSF kills 1

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday gunned down a Bangladeshi cattle trader and wounded another near Bazzruk border in Thakurgaon.

'Pak emergency rule to end Dec 15'

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf will lift the state of emergency on December 15, a day earlier than previously planned, the attorney general told AFP on Friday.

China, West squabble over targets in Bali

Developing countries led by China squabbled with the West over mandatory emission cuts at the Bali climate change conference, as activists accused Canada on Saturday of undermining the negotiations by insisting on targets for poor nations.

US troops kill 12 al-Qaeda militants in Iraq

US air and ground assault teams killed 12 suspected al-Qaeda militants and detained 13 more in raids across Iraq yesterday, the American military said.

South Koreans help clean up oil spill

Residents and emergency workers used buckets to remove dense crude oil from South Korea's western shore as the Coast Guard struggled in high waves and strong winds to contain the country's largest oil spill yesterday.

Ex-wife takes on Chavez's socialist push

A new voice has emerged to challenge Hugo Chavez's push to turn Venezuela into a socialist society, someone with rare insight into the president's passions and vulnerabilities: his ex-wife.


Demands for teachers' release

TEACHERS of Dhaka University as well as some of their former colleagues have lately been demanding the release of all academics and students taken into custody earlier by the authorities. On Thursday they staged a silent demonstration to voice their demands and then followed it up by issuing an ultimatum that the teachers must be freed from detention by December 12. We are certainly cognisant of the sensitivities involved here. The recent handing down of jail terms for some teachers of Rajshahi University, which we in an earlier editorial described as harsh and disproportionate, has obviously ratcheted up such sensitivities among teachers and people of other sectors of society. It is a situation that needs to be addressed to the satisfaction of all.

Dredging the Balu

BIWTA's plan to go ahead with dredging the Balu river without following the taskforce recommended width of 100 meters will be thoroughly counterproductive we feel. The reason offered by the inland water transport authority cuts no ice.

Some pointers for Bangladesh diplomacy

IT is commonly believed that "foreign policy is that area of politics which bridges the all important boundary between the nation state and its international environment," and though politics may stop at the water's edge, foreign policy is the projection of the capacity of a country's interests that it considers important to be implemented in its international relations.

The cost of doing nothing

THE UN climate change conference was kicked off in the Indonesian island of Bali on December 3, with the hope that it would achieve the much awaited breakthrough to address four key issues related to climate change. Over 10,000 delegates from 190 countries across the world are there for negotiations on a new global climate treaty.

Revisiting the Killing Fields

CRIME, even if committed against a person, is an offence against the state, and that is why state prosecutors (public prosecutors) pursue a criminal case. A person who allegedly commits a crime can always be charged. Unlike civil litigation or disputes, the length of time elapsed does not affect a criminal case. In other words, it does not have statutory limitation.


Nazim ton thwarts Khulna

Chittagong batsman Nazimuddin kept Khulna at bay with an unbeaten century while Rajshahi ran away with a six-wicket win over Barisal to leapfrog Khulna at the top of the table at the end of the seventh round in the 9th National Cricket League held across the country yesterday.

Yuvraj, Sourav sparkle

Yuvraj Singh and Sourav Ganguly hammered explosive centuries to lead India's fightback in the third and final Test against Pakistan here on Saturday.

England to show intent

England coach Peter Moores wants his team to be streetwise and aggressive as the tourists bid for a series-levelling win in the second Test against Sri Lanka starting on Sunday.

'I should've got 200'

When Yuvraj Singh cracked a sensational 358 in the final of the Cooch Behar Trophy -- an under-19 tournament -- in 1999-2000, his father is supposed to have admonished him for not going on to make a quadruple century. He expected another call today, talking about a double-hundred, but one which came with heartfelt congratulations as well.

BFF president Sultan blasts Sports Adviser

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president SA Sultan yesterday criticised Sports Adviser Tapan Chowdhury for making remarks against the BFF by 'going out of his jurisdiction'.

Reefat, Amin win in 7th round

Grand Master Reefat Bin Sattar shared the third position with 15 other players after end of the 7th round of the Commonwealth Chess Championships in Delhi on Friday.

BVF honours ex-players, organisers

Bangladesh Volleyball Federation (BVF) yesterday honoured noted volleyball players, organisers and officials in a function that turned into a reunion of the game's fraternity at the Volleyball Stadium.

No respite for under-19s

Bangladesh Under-19 cricket team will only get two days break after returning home from Karachi today.

He knows his fate

A majestic century against Pakistan may have backed his claims for a permanent Test slot, but Yuvraj Singh on Saturday conceded that he still had some distance to cover before he can cement his place in the star-studded batting line-up.

It's the Muntari show

Sulley Muntari hit a superb double strike to help high-flying Ports-mouth romp to a 3-1 win against Aston Villa on Saturday.

Eriksson dreams big

Sven Goran Eriksson believes Manchester City can take another step towards a place among the Premier League's elite by winning at Tottenham on Sunday.

'Why not?' says Jose

Jose Mourinho has given the first clear indication that he is seriously considering becoming England's next manager.

Boca ready for battle

Argentina's Boca Juniors said Saturday they are ready to beat AC Milan's star system to take their first Club World Cup even without newly acquired international playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme.

Drogba has knee op

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba underwent a knee operation on Saturday which could see the Ivory Coast forward miss several key matches for the English Premier League side.

'We don't need Ronaldinho'

Unsettled Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho wouldn't fit in at Barcelona's bitter rivals Real Madrid, said Bernabau sporting director Pedja Mijatovic on Friday.

MU to train in Saudi Arabia

Sir Alex Ferguson will take his Manchester United squad to Saudi Arabia for a training camp and exhibition match in mid-January, the club announced on Friday.

Frings pencils February return

Germany international midfielder Torsten Frings, out with a knee injury since mid-October says he plans to return to Bundesliga action in February as his side prepare for their Euro 2008 campaign.

Peru suspend Pizarro

Chelsea striker Claudio Pizarro has been suspended by the Peruvian Football Federation, pending further investigation, for indiscipline following last month's World Cup qualifier against Brazil.

City in for Adriano

Striker Rolando Bianchi is the player Manchester City want to offer Inter Milan in exchange for Adriano, Italian media reported.

Big Phil wants to stay on

Luiz Felipe Scolari says he'd be keen to sign a new deal that would see him stay on as Portugal manager up to the 2010 World Cup.

Dyson to find what's wrong

Australian coach John Dyson says he needs to sit down with the West Indian players and quickly discover why they are underachieving in world cricket, reports said Saturday.

Australia to meet Germany in final today

World number one Australia Saturday stormed into the Champions Trophy hockey final with a 5-0 win over Germany.

Prior's faith in bowlers

Matt Prior insists England have what it takes to level the series against Sri Lanka in Colombo despite the absence of fast bowler Matthew Hoggard.

Malaysia U-19s in city

Malaysia Under-19s cricket team arrived in Dhaka yesterday to play a few practice matches as part of their preparation for the upcoming World Cup which they will hosts next February.

7 share lead in Special Chess

Seven players were sharing lead in the 8th Special National Chess Tournament after the third rounds on Saturday.

Akhtar sent to hospital

Shoaib Akhtar, the Pakistan fast bowler, was taken to hospital for an MRI scan after suffering back pain during the first day of the final Test against India in Bangalore. The scan revealed no injury but he has been experiencing muscle spasms and will not take further part in play on the first day. He will be assessed on Sunday morning.

India's great gift

India can hope for a bright start to their tough tour of Australia with the Melbourne Cricket Ground expected to offer a surprise slow track for their first Test, which would be a worrying factor for the hosts.


Dhaka to ask Berlin to remove 12pc security deposit on RMG imports

The government is to send a high-powered delegation to Germany to urge the European country to remove a 12 percent security deposit it has imposed on Bangladeshi garment imports.

Janata Bank won't charge interest on loans for six months in Sidr-hit areas

Janata Bank will not charge interest on loans for six months and will make available Tk 255 crore loan facilities for farming and income-generating activities in cyclone Sidr-hit rural areas.

South America set to launch new bank today to rival IMF

Latin American leaders on Sunday inaugurate the Bank of the South, the brainchild of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, who hopes it will help wean the region off institutions like the IMF.

Better food security sought to offset global commodity price hike

Experts have advocated better food security to get rid of any negative impact a global commodity price hike may have on the country.

Iran drops dollar from oil deals

Major crude producer Iran has completely stopped carrying out its oil transactions in dollars, Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said on Saturday, labelling the greenback an "unreliable" currency.

Transparent financial audit ensures good corporate governance

Transparent financial audit report assures proper corporate governance, Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam said yesterday.

Make all donation money tax-free

All donation money should be made tax-free in order to encourage increased corporate social responsibility (CSR), economist Wahiduddin Mahmud told a seminar in Dhaka yesterday.

SA telecoms regulators' council from tomorrow

The ninth conference of South Asian Telecommunications Regulators' Council (SATRC) will begin in Dhaka tomorrow aiming to address policy and regulatory issues of the sector.

Handicrafts fair opens

A three-day fair on handicrafts produced by small women entrepreneurs kicked off yesterday in Dhaka.

Suzuki boss sceptical about $3,000 car

Suzuki Motor is taking a cautious view of the race to build a 3,000-dollar car in India, where the Japanese mini-car specialist is the market leader, its chief executive said Wednesday.

Australia committed to WTO deal

Australia's new government will redouble efforts to secure a deal in the Doha round of international trade talks, the new trade minister said Saturday, but warned of tough times ahead.

India mulls fuel price hike

The government is mulling a marginal hike in petrol and diesel prices along with an excise duty cut on auto fuels to reduce the Rs 7,840 crore loss public sector oil firms are incurring every month on selling fuel below cost.

Caribbean countries open markets to Europe

The Caribbean Community, including the Dominican Republic, has agreed to open its market to European Union cars, mobile phones and gasoline, but insisted that the region would not agree to an Economic Partnership Agreement unless entertainment workers were allowed free access to Europe.

India to lower interest rate for farmers

The Union finance minister, P Chidambaram, yesterday told the Lok Sabha that the government would “very sympathetically” consider reduction in the rate of interest to farmers.

Koreas to promote economic cooperation

South and North Korea agreed on Thursday to hold economic subcommittee meetings on four key issues this month.


CHT peace accord misinterpreted over the years

Participants at BBC Bangladesh Sanglap yesterday demanded full implementation of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord, introduction of cellphone network, balanced development of all people including ethnic and Bangalee communities and development of tourism in the region.

Book fair begins in Ctg tomorrow

A weeklong Muktijuddher Boi Mela (Book Fair) begins in the port city tomorrow.

Formulate coal policy after feasibility study

Experts at a roundtable yesterday urged the caretaker government to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study on the coal resources of the country and then formulate a coal policy as part of a national energy policy.

Gain confidence of patients

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday urged the surgeons to take appropriate measures to gain confidence of patients to prevent them from flying abroad for treatment.

Try war criminals for peace

War criminals must be brought to book in order to restore peace in the country, speakers at a roundtable said yesterday.

‘Increase regional cooperation to utilise biotech potentials in agriculture’

Speakers at a seminar yesterday stressed the need for increasing regional cooperation among the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) member countries in biotechnology research for utilising its potentiality in agriculture production.

International Anti-Corruption Day today

The International Anti-Corruption Day will be observed in the country today with a renewed pledge to combat corruption more effectively.

Begum Rokeya Day today

The nation celebrates Begum Rokeya Day today marking the birth anniversary of the pioneer of an awakening for women's rights in the subcontinent.

US Congressman seeks colleagues' support to help recover economy

US Congressman McDermott has urged his congressional colleagues to support the New Partnership for Development Act 2007 (NPDA) to help recover Bangladesh the economic losses caused by cyclone Sidr.

CU admission forms collection, submission time extended

Chittagong University (CU) authority has extended time for collecting and submitting admission forms for the first year honours courses for the academic session 2007-08 at the university.

Saarc Charter Day observed

The 22nd anniversary of the signing of the Charter of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) was observed yesterday.

Three killed in road crashes

At least three people were killed and five others injured in separate road accidents in Chittagong and Manikganj yesterday and on Friday night.

$173m USAID projects over next 5 years in health sector

USAID Assistant Administrator Kent Hill visited some USAID funded health projects Smiling Sun Health Clinic in Tongi, Social Marketing Company (SMC) orsaline factory and Blue Star Pharmacy in Bhaluka.

Migration changes land tenancy pattern in rural areas

Both internal and international migration spur land tenancy in the rural areas as higher incidence of land purchase is evident in areas, which have higher concentration of migration.

President praises scouts

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday praised Bangladeshi scouts for their services to humanity, particularly their relief activities in cyclone-hit coastal districts.

Prof Latifa Akand, Prof Hosne Ara get Rokeya Padak

Prof Latifa Akand and Prof Dr Hosne Ara Begum have been awarded Begum Rokeya Padak-2007 for their outstanding contribution to socio-economic development of women folk.

‘Knowledge in language, culture a must for foreign job’

Necessary knowledge in language, culture and industrial law is indispensable for getting foreign employment, especially in Korea that has high potential for export of Bangladeshi manpower.

Bangabhaban employee killed in road accident

A caretaker of Bangabhaban was killed in a road accident in the city's Tikatuli area yesterday.

Proshika provides relief, medical services to Sidr victims

Proshika, one of the largest NGOs of the country, is providing health services, drinking water and warm-clothes to the Sidr victims, says a press release.

'Ka' unit results published

Results of first year honours admission test of 'Ka' unit under Science Faculty for the sessions 2007-2008 have been published yesterday.


She liberated Niklee but cannot free her land from grabbers

Valiant freedom fighter Sakina Begum alias Khotki Begum, along with others, freed Niklee upazila from Pakistani occupation forces but she can not free only three decimal khas land given to her from encroachers. The land was allotted to her in 2001.

New CHT Land Commission soon

The caretaker government will reorganise the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Land Commission soon.

National leaders join condolence meeting for Moujdin

National leaders joined the people of Sunamganj to condole the premature death of Sunamganj municipality chairman Mominul Moujdin, saying people will remember him for his love for the masses and good deeds.

Ensure 30pc women leadership in all parties

Speakers at a meeting held here yesterday marking Begum Rokeya Day sought official steps to implement Articles 27 and 28 of Bangladesh Constitution in all spheres of life to bring an end to gender discrimination.

Voter listing in Sirajganj begins today

Voter registration with photograph and national identity card in Sirajganj starts today.


Gates sees Iran as threat to US, ME

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates yesterday said Iran's foreign policy was a threat to the United States, the Middle East and all countries within range of missiles, which he said Tehran was developing.

25 killed in Lankan clashes amid calls for UN rights mission

International groups called for a UN human rights monitoring mission in Sri Lanka on Saturday as fresh clashes between troops and Tamil Tiger rebels left at least 25 dead, the government said.

Pak army claims Swat valley cleared of militants

Pakistan's army claimed Saturday it has cleared almost all of embattled northwestern Swat valley of militants, killing 290 rebels and arresting another 143 in recent weeks.

Asian nations warn of coral 'mass extinction’

Asian delegates at UN climate change talks have renewed calls to protect the region's huge stock of coral reefs, partly blaming global warming for their alarming decline.

Nato soldier killed in Musa Qala operation

A Nato soldier, two children and 12 "terrorists" have been killed in the first day of an operation to retake the southern Afghan town of Musa Qala, the Afghan defence ministry said Saturday.

Afghanistan too weak to go after rights violators: Karzai

President Hamid Karzai said yesterday addressing human rights abuses in Afghanistan's violent past would take years with his government still too weak to take on those behind the continuing atrocities.

Malaysia considering detention of Indian activists

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has reportedly warned that ethnic Indian activists accused of having links with Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers could be held under internal security laws.

Arts & Entertainment

Abinash Chandra Shill passes away

RENOWNED dotara player Abinash Chandra Shill passed away on December 6 (midnight) at the Shaheed Suhrawardi Hospital. At the age of 54, the renowned musician died from a heart attack.

Making a difference with music

On December 7 band music aficionados in Dhaka were in for a great treat. The grand musical event banglalink Desh Music Fest 2007, was a commendable effort to lend a hand to the Sidr victims. The concert was held at the Birsreastha Shahid Sipahi Md. Mustafa Stadium in Kamalapur.

Interesting portrayals, fresh approach

Works from the recent 12th Berger Young Painters' Art Competition 2007 were on display at an exhibition at Zainul Gallery-One. The display reflected well the imagination and thoughts of the experimenting artists who do not put on colours and lines merely to please the viewer and connoisseurs. They have deep-seated reasons behind doing their delineations and show considerable promise in the process. Artists like Qayyum Chowdury and Hashem Khan, who were members of the jury committee of the competition, have high praises and hopes for the participants.

Musical soiree in Sirajganj in aid of Sidr victims

To lend a hand to the Sidr victims, Zila Shilpakala Academy arranged a musical soiree at the Bhasani Milanayatan in Sirajganj town last Wednesday.


Sustainable development is need of the time

SUSTAINABLE development is a socio-ecological process characterised by the fulfillment of human needs while maintaining the quality of the natural environment indefinitely. The idea of sustainable development grew from numerous environmental movements in earlier decades and was defined in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission 1987) as: "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Reaping the whirlwind

IN Bangladesh, floods, cyclones, and political mayhem happen in profusion. But whether it is a "man-made" disaster or "divine wrath," the aftermath is always the same -- the media and the political parties have a field day -- the media with their indiscriminate reporting, some of which is counter-productive, some of which borders on sensationalism, and the political parties with their ruthless agenda of capitalising on the situation.

Pakistan: The military factor

ON November 28, General Pervez Musharraf stepped down as Pakistan's chief of army staff, handing over a ceremonial baton to his successor, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. For several days now, beginning well before the change of command, Pakistani and international media has speculated about General Kayani's personality and perceived opinions.

Star City

Grisly days over, memory lives on

“It has become tiresome for me. From March to December every year journalists come to me and I have to describe the painful incident --how my husband was martyred in 1971. The story is published in newspapers. After these months are over, everyone forgets the issue,” said Hamida Begum, the widow of Shaheed Kashabaddouza.

Students come in aid of distressed

Students have always been among the first to respond to any natural catastrophe in the country.

Shades of the shadowy souls

Mirpur Jalladkhana (butchers' den) is witness to brutal killing of thousands. During the nine months of Liberation War many Bangalees were tortured, shot and beheaded inside Jalladkhana in a ceremonial manner by the Biharis and Pakistani army. The bodies were thrown into an underground water tank of a Wasa pump house.

Milk going out of menu of most city dwellers

Cow milk is going out of reach of the city's middle and low-income groups due to dearth of supply and consistent rise in price, said general consumers.

US Marines tell their tales

The US Marines before winding up their humanitarian mission in the Sidr-affected areas praised Bangladeshis highly for their friendly spirit.

Star Health

Diabetes not a barrier to pregnancy

For women with diabetes, pregnancy requires much more planning because diabetes poses major health risks for mother and baby. But with proper healthcare before, during and after pregnancy, these risks could be greatly reduced. Many women with diabetes experience normal pregnancies and deliver healthy babies.

Prevent the winter ailments

Winter is considered as the season for flu and cold, for fever and skin diseases and other dangerous ailments that may lead us to rush into hospital. With the dropping of temperature our body needs special caution to be accustomed with climate change.

Common facts about autism

A two -year- old boy Shamim, had no notable problem since birth up to 12 months of his life. After his first birth anniversary, his mother noticed that he was not perfectly responding to the stimuli and he liked to stay alone. Gradually he became quiet. He did not show any interest to the surrounding toys and objects. His language development seemed to be slow and did not show any reaction to the presence of neighbor child of his age.

Honey may ease nighttime cough

A spoonful of honey can quiet children's nighttime cough and help them — and their parents — sleep better, a new study shows.

Exercise may boost brain's natural antidepressant

Exercise seems to increase the production of naturally occurring brain chemical with antidepressant effects in mice, researchers reported.

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