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News of: Tuesday, 18th of December, 2007

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Govt to buy cereals at high price

The cabinet purchase committee yesterday approved purchase of 74,000 tonnes of rice and 33,000 tonnes of wheat at higher prices, reflecting the upward trend of their prices in the international market.

'Huji' man killed in city gunfight

A suspected Islamist militant was killed while two Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel suffered bullet wounds in over an hour-long encounter between the elite crime fighting force and the suspects at Maddhya Badda in the capital early yesterday.

Nizami, Mojaheed sued for killing 2 freedom fighters

A freedom fighter yesterday accused Jamaat-e-Islami Amir Matiur Rahman Nizami, Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed and seven of their party men of killing two freedom fighters during the liberation war.

Robbers kill banker, loot Tk 15 lakh

Robbers killed a Rupali Bank manager and looted Tk 15 lakh from him at Garadia under Singair upazila in Manikganj yesterday.

ACC starts gathering info on institutional corruption

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has started collecting information regarding corruption in various service-oriented institutions.

EC plans to form own lawyers' panel

The Election Commission (EC) is planning to form its own panel of lawyers comprising eminent jurists to defend the commission in courts of law when its activities and decisions on electoral affairs will be challenged.

Complainant fails to specify who violated EPR

The complainant, who lodged the case against teachers and students of Dhaka University (DU) for breaching emergency power rules (EPR), during hearing of the case yesterday did not specify who violated the rules.

NCBs achieve 21pc of year's recovery target

The three nationalised commercial banks (NCBs), converted to public limited companies recently, have so far managed to achieve only 21 percent of this year's target of recovering loans shirked by the top 20 defaulters.

Arrest warrant against Manju, wife for bribery

A Dhaka court yesterday issued arrest warrants against Jatiya Party (JP-Manju) Chairman Anwar Hossain Manju, his wife Tasmima Hossain and his cousin Mahmud Hossain in cases filed for taking Tk 1.75 crore bribe from two construction companies.

Meaningful polls not possible keeping AL, BNP leaders in jail

Khaleda Zia-appointed BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said it is not possible to hold a meaningful election and create a congenial political atmosphere for this keeping the leaders of two major political parties in jail.

5 more bodies recovered from Rangs Bhaban

Recovery workers last night pulled out five more decomposed bodies of dead demolition workers from under the rubble of the collapsed section of Rangs Bhaban in the capital, ten days into the domino collapse of 15 upper floors of the building.

Woman's body found 32 days after Sidr

The body of a woman was recovered from a pond yesterday, 32 days after she went missing during Sidr's rampage at Ruhita village of Patharghata upazila in Barguna.

Cold wave in North to persist for a few days

The mild cold wave that has been sweeping the northern region of the country for the last couple of days is likely to continue for next few days.

Baby dies in womb as robbers stab mother

An unborn baby was killed when robbers stabbed an expecting mother in the abdomen in Jatrabari area of the capital yesterday.

Naser's wife freed on bail

Rezina Rahman, wife of convicted former BNP lawmaker Naser Rahman, was released on bail last night in a corruption case she is facing along with her husband.

UK minister for int'l development arrives today

British Secretary of State for International Development Douglas Alexander MP arrives in Dhaka today to visit the cyclone-hit areas.

Convict of Aug 17 serial blasts held

A fugitive convict of August 17 serial bombings was arrested in the district bus terminal area yesterday morning.

UK envoy hopes for fair polls in 2008

British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury has said 2008 is the year of election and hoped that a free and fair general election will lead to a more sustainable democracy in Bangladesh.

Russia starts nuke fuel deliveries to Iran

Russia yesterday announced the start of nuclear fuel deliveries for Iran's first atomic power station, brushing aside US and Israeli claims that Tehran harbours secret bomb-making plans.

Suicide attack kills 9 Pakistani troops

A suicide bomber blew himself up among a group of Pakistani soldiers returning from a soccer game in northwestern Pakistan on Monday, killing nine of them, the army said.

Saudi king pardons rape victim

A gang-rape victim who was sentenced to six months in prison and 200 lashes for being alone with a man not related to her was pardoned by the Saudi king after the case sparked rare criticism from the United States, the kingdom's top ally.


Trial of the war criminals

Nobody could have missed the demand of the people of the country during the Victory Day celebrations on 16 December this year. The call for the trial of war criminals reverberated throughout the country from different segments of the people, be it businessmen, be it workers or labourers, be it the civil society or the valiant freedom fighters. We would like to add our voice to it.

The case of the vanishing tickets

It is a retelling of the old tale, one that has been heard for years together, especially at the time of the two Eids. Even today, when one would have thought that with a military-backed caretaker government in office things might have been different, the woes of people wanting to travel home to be part of the religious festival with their families remain. The long queues before the ticket counters at bus, launch and railway stations in the city are once again proof of the old games that a section of unscrupulous staff at these counters are capable of playing with the general public. As has happened so many times before, once again frustration has taken hold of people at being told that the tickets have already been 'sold out'.

All politics is local

The role of local elected government (LEG) in the post Sidr disaster relief and rehabilitation efforts is being direly missed -- not that the army, the government, and local appointed public officials have shown any lack of urgency in the desperate situation. What I'm talking about, though, is the presence and reach of local elected officials, similar to "first aid" in a medical emergency.

Is Modi losing ground?

Is the tide turning in Gujarat? A month ago, most Gujarat politicians, bureaucrats, analysts and activists were agreed on the dead certainty of the Bharatiya Janata Party's victory in the Assembly election -- with a smaller margin. Today, they expect the BJP to lose -- despite the Congress's timid campaign.

Sanctifying Bangladesh society

Among the achievements of the caretaker government (CTG) we may safely consider separation of judiciary from executive and activation of a dysfunctional Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) as the greatest. While the positive effect of (a) may take some more time, (b) has been able to satisfy the people that nobody is above the law.


Sajidul replaces Rasel

The national selectors on Monday picked up uncapped Sajidul Islam as like-a-like replacement for injured left-arm seamer Syed Rasel.

Sultan goes!

The rumour surrounding Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president SA Sultan's resignation materialised as a document supporting the fact was available yesterday.

Twin tons save Sylhet

Sylhet pair Rajin Saleh and Alok Kapali dictated terms on the final day with twin hundred to force a draw but Khulna still managed to snatch a solo lead in the four-day table after the end of the eighth round yesterday.

Media seek apology from BFF chief

The three associations of sports journalists -- Bangladesh Sports Journalists Association, Bangladesh Sports Writers Association and Bangladesh Sports Journalists and Writers Community -- yesterday demanded Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president SA Sultan's apology for trying to disgrace the media last week.

Injury-plagued Tigers' second match today

Handicapped by the injury to Syed Rasel, the Bangladesh team have been forced to ring in changes for the second warm-up match against the State Northern Knights today at Seddon Park.

Subhashis ensures series win for Bangladesh U-19s

Bangladesh Under-19 cricket team maintained their recent success when they clinched the five-match limited-overs series against visiting Sri Lanka with a match in hand.

Weather could mar Galle celebrations

Rain and an unpredictable pitch for Tuesday's final Test between England and Sri Lanka may overshadow cricket's return to Galle following the 2004 tsunami tragedy that destroyed the stadium.The series decider with Sri Lanka 1-0 up will be the first big match at the Galle International Stadium following the devastation that killed an estimated 300,000 people in a dozen countries.

India go down under

An Anil Kumble-led India left on Monday for a tough cricket tour of Australia in confident mood, despite history being against them.

Leonine open gap atop table

Leonine opened up a two-point lead atop the table when the last year's runners-up bagged full points in yesterday's First Division Chess League.

Gilly rested for last ODI

Match-winner Adam Gilchrist will be rested from Thursday's final Chappell-Hadlee Trophy one-day international against New Zealand to ease his workload ahead of the India Test series, Cricket Australia said Monday.

11 stars for Kiwi Masters team

Eleven former New Zealand cricketers will feature the Samsung NZCPA Masters team to play the New Zealand Under-19s in a Twenty20 match for the World Vision Cyclone Relief fund at Seddon Park, Hamilton on Sunday.

Bhajji rates Brad lowly

Harbhajan Singh has taken aim at Brad Hogg by saying he believes there are no quality spinners in Australia behind Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill. With India due to arrive to prepare for the Boxing Day Test, Harbhajan has landed an early verbal blow as Australia consider whether to employ four fast bowlers or look to Hogg.

Gunners paint London red

William Gallas punished a rare mistake by Petr Cech to give Arsenal a hard-fought 1-0 win against Chelsea on Sunday that proved Arsene Wenger's side are ready to fight for the Premier League title.

Real cement top spot

Real Madrid ensured they will be the leaders of the Spanish championship entering 2008 with a 2-0 win over Osasuna on Sunday that sets them up perfectly for 'El Classico' against Barcelona in seven days.

'It's a four-horse race'

Arsene Wenger has the destiny of the Pre-mier League in his control but the Arsenal manager expects a four-way battle before he gets his hands on the title.

Capello unveiled

Fabio Capello said becoming the manager of the England national team was a "dream come true" as he gave his first news conference here Monday since being appointed to the post.

Argentina finish year on top

Argentina have moved ahead of Brazil to top the final FIFA world rankings for 2007.

Mixed reaction to bionic ball

A revolutionary football embedded with a microchip drew a mixed response after being tested at the Club World Cup.

Maldini confirms retirement

Italy and AC Milan great Paolo Maldini confirmed Sunday he will end his 24-year career at the end of this season.

Eboue sorry for Terry's injury

Chelsea's Salomon Kalou revealed Monday that Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Eboue had apologised to Blues captain John Terry for a tackle which threatens to keep the England centre-half on the sidelines during the busy Christmas and New Year period.

Amor in critical condition

Former Barcelona and Spain midfielder Guillermo Amor has made a slight improvement in hospital after being seriously injured in a road accident on Sunday, doctors have said.

Taylor kills off SA early

Fast bowler Jerome Taylor took three wickets in his first over as the West Indies beat South Africa by five wickets in a rain-shortened Twenty20 international at St George's Park on Sunday.

England set for battle

Players and fans alike will be forced to wait just a little while longer for international cricket to return to the tsunami-ravaged city of Galle, after a late shower on Monday afternoon forced the authorities to delay the start time of the third and final Test between England and Sri Lanka.

SA stick to same side

South Africa will go into the first two Tests of a three-match series against the West Indies with the same squad that won successive series against Pakistan and New Zealand.

Victory Day volleyball title Navy's

Bangladesh Navy won the Victory Day volleyball title for the first time when they came from behind to defeat Bangladesh Army in a five-set thriller yesterday.

Kumble not a shy guy

Anil Kumble won't back down from a challenge on India's cricket tour of Australia and has a positive attacking attitude, former coaches of the two teams said Monday.

Carlo defends format

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti hit back at critics of the Club World Cup after his team swept to a record fourth intercontinental title.

Inter pull away

Inter Milan stretched their lead at the top of Serie A to seven points on Sunday after a comfortable 2-0 win at rock-bottom Cagliari while second-placed Roma were held to a 0-0 draw at Torino.Second-half goals from Latin American pair Julio Cruz and David Suazo allowed Inter to cruise to victory, despite top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic being unavailable through suspension.

No new buys: Berlusconi

European and world club champions AC Milan will not be tempted into bringing in reinforcements during the winter transfer window, owner Silvio Berlusconi said on Sunday.

Lyon are winter champions

Lyon were on Sunday awarded the honorary title of winter champions without kicking a ball in anger after their nearest rivals Nancy were held to a 0-0 draw at Strasbourg.

Fergie couldn't be happier

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson hailed the team's 1-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday as a significant step towards retaining the Premier League title.

Kahn predicting silverware

Bayern Munich will win plenty of silverware this season despite the German giants only hanging onto top spot in the Bundasliga by virtue of goal difference, Oliver Kahn predicted Sunday.

City's Castillo offer too low

Shakhtar Donetsk's president is willing to loan the club's most expensive acquisition -- Mexican midfielder Nery Castillo -- but for no less than five million euros ($7.2 million) a year, the club's Web site said on Monday.

Bayern hope to have Toni back

Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld is hoping to welcome back Italian World Cup striker Luca Toni for Wednesday night's UEFA Cup Group F home game against Greek side Aris Saloniki.

Morales hits out at FIFA

Bolivian President Evo Morales has criticised FIFA's decision to introduce a ban on international soccer matches over 2,750 metres above sea level without acclimatisation.

Stielke upbeat over Drogba

Ivory Coast manager Ulrich Stielike is hopeful Chelsea striker Didier Drogba will have recovered from knee surgery in time for next month's African Nations Cup


Govt tightens procedures to issue GSP certificates

The government has tightened procedures to issue GSP certificates to exporters in a bid to check misuse of the certificates that allow goods' duty-free access to the European market.

Tanners to get Tk335cr loans from three state-owned banks

Three state-owned commercial banks will give more than Tk 335 crore in loans to tanners to purchase rawhide during the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha festival.

Business confidence slightly down

Local business confidence in November was slightly below the benchmark, indicating business enterprises in Bangladesh are not very optimistic about the near future, a research organisation said yesterday.

Better policies needed for smooth labour mobility

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has called for implementing comprehensive and cooperative policies for smooth labour mobility across the globe.

FAO calls for use of vouchers to boost food production

The head of the UN food agency on Monday urged the use of vouchers to boost food production in poor countries as food and fuel prices continue to soar.

Better designs to create greater market for textile exports

Better designing by Bangladeshi textile experts and engineers would create greater markets for our exports in this sector, said Foreign Advisor Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury.

Singapore to scan US-bound cargo for hazardous material

Singapore, one of the world's busiest container ports, will scan US-bound cargo for hazardous materials under an international trial project, a statement said Monday.

Dabur Nepal keen to enter Bangladesh market

Dabur Nepal, a subsidiary of Dabur India and one of the leading manufacturers of fruit juices in the world, is keen to enter the Bangladesh market, provided Dhaka reduces its whopping customs duty of 80 percent.

China JV partner may sue Danone

The bitter dispute between French food and beverage maker Groupe Danone SA and its Chinese joint venture partner Wahaha has deepened with Wahaha's labor union saying it is suing Danone.

Mittal cancels mill sale deal in US

Mittal Steel Co. NV announced Sunday that it has terminated its agreement for the sale of the Sparrows Point steel mill near Baltimore to an international investment group led by Esmark Inc. due to the group's inability to secure financing.

India, HK plan FTA

India and Hong Kong have initiated talks on a free trade agreement and plan to enter into a double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA) to promote bilateral trade and investment.

Fast food chain A&W celebrates 3rd anniversary in Dhaka

A&W Restaurant, a US fast food chain, celebrated its third anniversary in Bangladesh on Saturday.

Malaysia exports $18.58b green commodity in 9 months this year

Malaysia exported 63.16 billion ringgit (18.58 billion US dollars) worth of green commodities for the first nine months of this year, exceeding the value of oil and gas which reached 55.24 billion ringgit (16.25 billion dollars), local media reported Monday.


Ensure indigenous people's right to land to save environment

Ensuring legal and traditional rights of indigenous people to land will save environment and protect the country from natural calamities, said the speakers at a conference yesterday.

Govt claim on free primary education not correct

The Education Watch 2006 report says that the government's claim of providing free primary education is not correct.

Consolidate communal harmony

Archbishop Paulinus Costa of Dhaka yesterday arranged a social gathering for journalists on the occasions of Eid-ul-Azha and Christmas with a call for consolidating communal harmony and fraternity to build a prosperous and peaceful Bangladesh.

Workers suspend blockade after assurance from law enforcers

Laid off workers of state-owned Alim Jute Mills suspended their dawn-to-dusk blockade programme on Khulna-Jessore highway from yesterday till 12:00noon today following assurance of law enforcing agencies.

1.5m euro for relocation of Rohingya refugees

The European Commission has approved 1.5 million euro in humanitarian aid package for the unregistered Rohingya refugees of Teknaf and Cox's Bazar.

'Healthcare for HIV victims still inadequate'

Although the government has taken different initiatives to combat HIV/AIDS, different sectors including the healthcare services for the HIV victims are still lagging behind, speakers at a roundtable said yesterday.

Bangladesh should stay true to its founding principles

Eminent Indian writer and journalist MJ Akbar yesterday said Bangladesh has to resolve the problems of Biharis and the punishment of war criminals to bury its past demons and stay true to the country's founding principles.

13 journos get UNFPA Media Award 2007

The prize giving ceremony of the UNFPA Media Award 2007 was held at the National Press Club in the city yesterday.

Trial resumes after four months

Trial in the Dr S Taher murder case resumed at Rajshahi Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal yesterday after nearly four months.

Condition of KCC mayor has deteriorated

A five-member medical board was formed yesterday for the treatment of detained Mayor of Khulna City Corporation (KCC) Sheikh Tayebur Rahman.

CA performs Umrah

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed performed Umrah prior to Hajj at Makkah Al Mukarram on Sunday evening and offered special munajat for overall welfare of the nation.

DU 'Gha' unit admission test deferred

The admission test of 'Gha' unit at Dhaka University (DU) for the academic session 2007-08 will be held on January 18, instead of January 4, 2008.

‘Withdraw cases against RUJ secy’

Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and its front organisations in a statement yesterday demanded withdrawal of the false cases against Jahangir Alam Akash, general secretary of Rajshahi Union of Journalists (RUJ), and an end to the harassments on him.

Application fee for US visas to increase from Jan

The application fee for US nonimmigrant visas will increase from $100 to $131 with effect from January 1, 2008, says a press release.

Absconding convict held in N'ganj

Fatulla police yesterday arrested Mohon Mia, an absconding convict who was sentenced to death in sensational Arju murder case, from Kodomtoli at Adamjee.

CCC accords reception to freedom fighters

Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) accorded a reception to around 300 freedom fighters under 12 police stations of the port city for the first time on Victory Day.

DAM gets NBC prize

Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) has been awarded National Books Centre (NBC) prize for the rhyme book 'Kichirmichir' in the juvenile literature category for printing, getup and make-up of creative books published in 2006, says a press release.

Tk 5.28cr German aid for Sidr victims

Germany has provided an additional amount of Tk 5.28 crore in relief and rehabilitation assistance for the cyclone victims, bringing the total German government's assistance in this regard to Tk 17.5 crore.

New BSHRM executives

The annual general meeting of Bangladesh Society for Human Resource Management (BSHRM) was held at a restaurant in the city on Friday, says a press release.

RU changes deptt's name

Name of the Department of Mass Communication of Rajshahi University has been changed to Department of Mass Communication and Journalism following continued demand of the students.

Home ministry asked to nab Hajj agency owner

Ministry of Religious Affairs yesterday asked the home ministry to arrest the owner of a Hajj agency for his failure to send 55 prospective pilgrims to perform Hajj in Saudi Arabia this year.

Guardians demand removal of Ideal School, College principal

The parents of the students of Ideal School and College, Motijheel yesterday demanded removal of its principal for alleged corruption.


Over 12,000 tonne less output feared

Amon yield in three hill districts of Khagrachhari, Rangamati and Bandarban may miss the target by 12,280 tonne as the recurrent floods damaged paddy fields on 4,634 hectares of land.

Move to combat bird flu

A laudable initiative has been undertaken under joint initiative of government and NGO along with the local communities for protection of poultry birds from bird flu through intensive vaccination, says a press release.

'Build pucca dam on western bank of Jamuna'

People in nine upazilas here urged the government to build a pucca embankment on the western bank of the Jamuna stretching from Sirajganj town to Kazipur upazila for protecting lives and property from the scourge of erosion and flood.

A little help eases his hardship

Mozammel Hossain Babul will no longer have to pedal rickshaw with one leg as he has got a grocery shop, thanks to the generosity of Apex Bangladesh Foundation (ABF).

Reception to freedom fighters

A reception was accorded to the freedom fighters here yesterday.


Palestinians appeal for $5.6b in aid to avert 'catastrophe'

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas urged the international community yesterday to step up support to the Palestinians or risk a "catastrophe" as he appealed for 5.6 billion dollars in aid at a donors' conference.

'Allies losing Afghan war'

Australia's new government has warned Nato and its allies they will lose the war against hardline Taliban forces in Afghanistan unless they urgently change tactics, a report said yesterday.

Benazir slams Musharraf for rise of extremism

Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto in an interview published here Monday accused President Pervez Musharraf of presiding over a resurgence extremism and mismanaging a demoralized military.

'Hindu nationalists to win Gujarat polls'

India's main opposition Hindu nationalist party was expected to retain power in crucial elections in the country's religiously divided Gujarat state, reports quoting exit polls said Monday.

22 killed in fresh Lanka violence

Renewed violence between Tamil rebels and government forces left at least 22 people dead in northern Sri Lanka, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Turkish planes bomb PKK targets in Iraq

Turkey said dozens of its warplanes bombed Kurdish rebel targets as deep as 60 miles inside northern Iraq for three hours Sunday, the largest aerial attack in years against the outlawed separatist group. Turkey's military chief said the US gave intelligence and tacit approval for the raid.

300 flee Indian jail in mass breakout

Nearly 300 communist rebel supporters escaped from an understaffed jail in eastern India in a dramatic mass breakout on Sunday, police said.

Arts & Entertainment

Sabina Yasmin makes a triumphant return

Her quintessential Lata-esque melodies made her an icon. She has rendered over 11,000 songs. Lion's share of the remarkable, familiar patriotic songs bears her signature style. When she sings “Emon khushir din-e kandtey nei…chhoriye rakho ator-golaap edesher protiti ghor-e ghor-e” for the umpteenth time, people still get mesmerised and listen.

“Ironeaters” awarded with Grand Prix in Paris

Bangladeshi Filmmaker Shaheen Dill-Riaz's feature-length documentary Lohakhor (Ironeaters) on the workers of ship-breaking yards in Chittagong, has won the Grand Prix, the first prize, at the Paris International Environmental Film Festival 2007(Festival International du Film d'Environnement), says a press release.

Victory Day celebration at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy

To celebrate the Victory Day, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) and Benuka Lalitokala Kendra (BLK) jointly arranged a programme at the Music and Dance Centre at the academy on December 15. The programme featured discussion, music and dance.

Display of artworks by street children

The StreetWise Art Exhibition was held recently at the Radius Center, Bays Galleria, Gulshan, says a press release. The exhibition, which started on December 7, displayed an impressive array of artworks by street children, aged between 4 and 15. The young artists are students of the 'Ashar Pothay' school, a StreetWise pilot project. Reproductions of the artworks on T-shirts and a set of greetings cards were also on display at the exhibition.


Eid, Korbani, Sidr and what needs to be done

The Eid-ul-Azha this year is like no other Eid we have celebrated before. We are enveloped by an ominous cloud of human tragedy unleashed by Cyclone Sidr last month that left little or nothing standing in its path in the south-southwest of Bangladesh.

Ratifying the UN Convention on migrant worker rights

The UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families 1990 came into force in June 2005. The Convention represents the most comprehensive instrument available to define the social, economic and cultural rights of migrant workers and their family members.

Community radio

The campaign for community radio, which has been going on in Bangladesh for the past several years is, to the joy of many who have been fighting for it, soon going to be a success thanks to an initiative taken by the caretaker government.

The Daily Star

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