News of: Friday, 28th of December, 2007
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Pakistani opposition leader and former premier Benazir Bhutto was assassinated at a party rally in Rawalpindi yesterday.
After five days of artefact theft from Zia International Airport (ZIA), investigators yesterday said a ring of smugglers based at the airport destroyed the precious archaeological masterpieces and dumped them in a dustbin in Uttara.
A special court formed to adjudicate graft cases jailed Orion Group chief Obaidul Karim for life and five high-ups of Oriental Bank for different terms in a Tk 6.7 crore embezzlement case yesterday.
Around 1,400 expatriate Bangladeshis congregated in the city yesterday kicking off the first ever Non-Resident Bangladeshi (NRBs) conference where eminent citizens called for their assistance in meeting the country's massive challenges.
The Power Cell, in its last week's proposal on the approval of eight rental power projects that the cabinet purchase committee rejected, recommended a bidder in four schemes going against a legal advice and trying to pass the onus of violating the legal issue on the cabinet.
Political leaders holding party posts will have to resign to contest elections to any local government body with the Election Commission (EC) drafting proposals for imposing such restrictions on them.
From Moscow to Washington to New Delhi and points in between, dismay and condemnation poured forth yesterday over the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, along with concern for the stability of the volatile region.
Foreign Adviser Iftekhar A Chowdhury urged Pakistan to contain the aftermath of the killing of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto for South Asia's sake while analysts fear that the act might embolden militants in the region.
Government party supporters clashed with backers of opposition leader Nawaz Sharif near the Pakistani capital yesterday, killing four people in the worst violence so far in the campaign for January 8 elections.
The park where Benazir Bhutto was killed last night was the same spot where Pakistan's first prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated in 1953. That's why the park is called Liaquatbagh.
Law Adviser Mainul Hosein yesterday accused the press of creating an embarrassing situation for former cultural affairs adviser Ayub Quadri that led to his resignation from the council of advisers.
Cultural Affairs Secretary ABM Abdul Howk Chowdhury yesterday said the two Vishnu statues were stolen from the custody of Air France.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed has strongly condemned the assassination of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto, calling it a cowardly and unpardonable crime.
Foreign Affairs Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said effective civil-military cooperation in times of war and peace is a must for a functioning democracy.
Seven Bangladeshi microfinance institutions (MFIs) have made it to the Forbes Magazine's list of top 50 MFIs with ASA securing the first place.
The advisory committee on public purchase yesterday approved the Power Division proposal for setting up a 50MW rental power plant at Fenchuganj in Sunamganj.
Former BNP lawmaker Helaluzzaman Talukder Lalu was sued yesterday for tax evasion and providing false information in his asset statement.
A defamation case was filed with a court here yesterday against central Jamaat Leader Abdul Quader Molla.
Former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar was placed on a three-day remand yesterday in a case filed for taking Tk 21 crore in bribe to save the Bashundhara Group chairman's son from murder charges.
Leaders of Gonotantrik Bam Morcha yesterday said the upcoming election will not be free, fair and acceptable if war criminals are allowed to participate in the polls.
Bangladesh have made one change in their line-up for Friday's second one-day international against New Zealand at McLean Park here. Middle-order batsman Tushar Imran, who has recovered from a shoulder injury, comes in for Mehrab Hossain.
Israeli and Palestinian leaders were meeting yesterday to try to unblock newly revived peace talks which have stalled after just two sessions over the issue of Israeli settlements.
The Bangladesh Bank annual report for fiscal 2006-07 pinpoints stabilising the inflation rate as a major challenge for the policy makers drawing upon the experience of the last year and the outlook for the new year. The increases in wage rates in manufacturing, agriculture, fishery and construction sectors which are slender compared with those of FY06 kept below the rates of consumer price inflation of 7.2 percent in FY07. In other words, real income fell as purchasing power eroded.
The resignation of Education and Culture Adviser Ayub Quadri in the face of an outcry over the theft of two archaeological artefacts from ZIA is surely a welcome response to public sentiment. By acknowledging his overall responsibility, as the man at the top of the culture ministry, for the scandal and deciding to send in his resignation to the president, Quadri has done a commendable deed. In a country where voluntary resignation from high office is a rare occurrence, indeed where individuals in positions of power and privilege are generally all too ready to pass the buck on to someone else, Quadri's decision to quit reinforces our belief in the ability and moral courage of some, if not all, of our influential men to act in the larger interest of the nation without any thought to their own short term welfare. There was dignity in his action.
Some years are transitional and some are transforma-tional. I would like to argue that while 2007 falls into the former category that 2008 will fall into the latter one. But what does it mean to be a transitional year -- especially a year in which so much has transpired in Bangladesh. Especially for those who have suffered losses during the course of the year -- and there is no shortage of such unfortunates -- nothing is transitional, everything is transformational.
Thanks to television, we can see where the sight doesn't reach. We can see people and places, and then, of course, put faces to names while listening to what they say. And this is how it works. The transmitter broadcasts signals over airwaves. These signals are electrical in nature and are transformed into radio waves, which are then picked up by receivers and processed back to audio and video electric signals that are played on the television set. But somewhere there is a loss of quality in this transformation, because what is released on the screen may not accurately reflect what is captured at the scene.
Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons said some of his star batsmen must look to carry on after they are set at the crease ahead of the second one-day international against New Zealand at McLean Park in Napier today.
Khulna, Dhaka and Barisal bowled themselves to great positions at the end of the first day's play of their respective ninth round National Cricket League matches across the country yesterday.
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president SA Sultan maintained his cunning way of defending himself even after accusing the media of being dishonest and politically motivated.
The three cricketers to join Bangladesh for the Test series in New Zealand will leave Dhaka tomorrow.
Pacemen Brett Lee and Stuart Clark captured four wickets each to deliver Australia a potential match-winning innings lead over India in the first cricket Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday.
Sachin Tendulkar's misjudgement to throw away his innings with another impressive century beckoning could be the turning point in India's opening Test against Australia, the batsman admitted Thursday.
Captain Suharwardi Shuvo and Rony Talukdar shone on the opening day of Bangladesh under-19s' three-day practice match against their South African counterparts at Sedgars Park in Potchefstroom on Thursday.
Brett Lee's seemingly unstoppable rise to become one of the greats of Australian bowling reached another milestone here Thursday when he joined the 250-club of Test wickets.
Shoaib Malik, the Pakistan captain, needs a further three weeks to recover fully from the ankle injury that curtailed his tour to India. It also means that he faces a race against time to be fit for Pakistan's next assignment, an ODI series against Zimbabwe, which begins from January 26.
Roy Keane, the former Manchester United midfielder, has learnt a series of painful lessons in his first season as a Premier League manager, but none could have hurt quite so much as that he was forced to endure at the hands of his one-time employers.
Manchester United beat old boy Roy Keane's Sunderland for the second time this season to take top spot in the Premier League as Arsenal were held to a drab 0-0 draw at Portsmouth.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger blasted Portsmouth for their negative tactics in a 0-0 draw which cost his side top spot in the Premier League.
Iran has chosen Portugal's Artur Jorge as the new coach to revive the fortunes of its beleaguered national football team, the student ISNA news agency reported on Wednesday, quoting an informed source.
Aston Villa have launched an appeal against Zat Knight's controversial red card at Chelsea.
Families of victims of a deadly 1994 bomb attack on a Jewish centre have hit out at Diego Maradona after the Argentina football legend said he wanted to meet Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Manchester City have invited Iraq international midfielder Nashat Akram for a ten day trial, the club told AFP on Wednesday.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul ground out a century before the West Indies were bowled out for 408 on the second day of the first Test against South Africa at St George's Park Thursday.
Sixteen years ago Sanjay Manjrekar came to Australia as India's best batsman. He had enjoyed a wonderful series in Pakistan and possessed the technique to counter any kind of bowling. He ended the five Tests without a single half-century and was never the same force since.
Ian Healy believes the man who takes over the gloves from Adam Gilchrist will need to be a man of dual talents. "Our next wicketkeeper will first have to be as good a keeper as him and then as good a batsman," Healy said soon after Gilchrist equalled his own Australian Test record for most career dismissals. Having caught Zaheer Khan off Brett Lee, Gilchrist's tally rose to 395, the number of dismissals his predecessor Healy ended his career with in 1999.
Stuart Clark arrived at the MCG expecting nothing from the pitch, but with the assistance of reverse-swing he was able to overcome his pessimism and seriously damage India. The surface did not inspire him during a Pura Cup match for New South Wales at the start of the month -- it still doesn't -- and he requested series-opening matches in conditions that would give the home side an advantage, such as Brisbane and Perth.
India batting legend Sunil Gavaskar says Rahul Dravid is opening the batting reluctantly against Australia.
Salma Khatun claimed six wickets as Khulna defeated Rajshahi by five wickets in yesterday's opening match of the Meril Women's divisional cricket tournament.
The 18th National Women's Volleyball Championship commences today at the Dhaka Volleyball Stadium with two matches on the opening day.
By all but one measure it has been a vintage year for English football.
Rafa Benitez and Paul Jewell could find themselves in hot water with the Football Association after clashing at Pride Park during Liverpool's last-gasp 2-1 win over the Premiership's bottom side. The rival managers confronted each other during a stormy second half when Derby goal scorer Jay McEveley launched himself at Andriy Voronin with a crude challenge which left the Liverpool striker lying in a crumbled heap.
Genoa and several other European clubs are offering to acquire Le Mans and Japan midfielder Daisuke Matsui, sports dailies here reported Thursday.
Former Japan coach Ivica Osim is back watching football -- albeit on television -- some 40 days after a serious stroke which cost him his job and nearly his life, Japanese football's chief said Thursday.
A foreign airline, Air Asia X, a sister concern of Malaysia's AirAsia, yesterday urged the government to keep the open sky policy effective for another three months to take some two lakh Bangladeshi workers to Malaysia.
Two state-owned oil companies will make debut on the stock exchanges in the second week of January.
People in riverine areas will get necessary livelihood information such as market prices of farm products as Grameenphone Ltd (GP) and CARE Bangladesh have embarked on a project.
The government has initiated a move to send delegates to African countries in a bid to drum up support for passage of a bill in US Congress that sought duty-free access of textile products from LDCs to American market.
Oil prices rose Thursday after the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto raised concerns about stability in the Middle East.
US President George W Bush has signed a 550 billion dollar catch-all budget bill for 2008 that includes USD 250 millions for the various funding projects in Pakistan.
With the Indian energy sector exhibiting a rich potential for investment in diverse streams, a long-term vision along with adequate policy and regulatory support is necessary to realise this, a report jointly released by CII and KPMG has said.
Sony will stop production and sales of rear projection televisions to focus on hot selling flat TVs, a company spokesman said Thursday.
A record nine million foreigners are expected to visit Japan next year, drawn both by the country's culture and the upcoming Group of Eight summit, Japan's largest travel agency said Thursday.
More than half of the population will be middle class by the end of the next decade, a top Communist Party planner said Wednesday (Dec 26).
The international banking sector is grappling with a grave financial crisis at a time when, paradoxically, there is an abundance of ready cash available, notably from emerging market countries.
Two of China's biggest automakers announced a deal Wednesday to combine their production assets in hopes of creating a company able to compete in global markets.
Agricultural Marketing Company Ltd (Pran) has declared 26 percent dividend for the year 2006-07, says a press release.
At least 10 people were killed and two others injured in separate road accidents in Habiganj, Dhaka, Netrakona and Dinajpur yesterday.
Financial constraints are the key obstacle to conducting innovative research at the universities, academics said at an award giving ceremony in the city yesterday.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said Bangladesh is a country of religious harmony, where people of all religions have been living peacefully for ages with compassion for each other.
Foreign Affairs Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said Bangladesh has always appreciated “our relations with the UK and see the country as a friend and partner.”
Speakers at a conference yesterday urged educational institutions to improve the quality of IT graduates in the country to compete in global market.
Leaders of Left Democratic Front yesterday condemned the steps to send valuable artefacts to France in an opaque way and offensive comment of the French Ambassador to Bangladesh.
Detained former law minister Moudud Ahmed was given 12 hours' parole yesterday to attend the burial of his elder brother Masud Ahmed.
Leaders of Sangbadik Sramik Karmochari Oikya Parishad, an association of journalists, employees and workers of newspaper industry, have strongly protested the recent remarks of Law and Information Adviser Mainul Hosein about the 6th Wage Board.
Nora Ali, the Bangladeshi origin America's Junior Miss-2007, handed over a cheque for $1000 to Dhaka Community Hospital yesterday.
Leaders of Shammilita Nari Samaj yesterday demanded the trial of war criminals immediately through special tribunal.
A teenager was stabbed to death by her boyfriend at Mashkanda in the district town yesterday morning.
The Flying Brevet Award Ceremony of Aviation Basic Course-7 of Bangladesh Army was held at Army Aviation, Tejgaon Old Airport, in the city yesterday, says an ISPR release.
About 1700 fowls were culled at Hakimpur Upazila on Wednesday midnight as the authorities found traces of bird flu at the upazila.
An outlaw was chopped to death at a remote village of the district in the early hours of yesterday.
Police recovered 475 bullets and a pistol magazine from Ladies Park at Gulshan in the city on Wednesday night.
This year's Victory Day proved to be one of the most significant events of our history. It's so inspiring to see that people from all corners are getting united to realise the demand "Trial of War Criminals". We made mistakes in the past and do not have to make the same mistakes over again. The very issue has been used for Political Mileage many times. The usual Professional Intellectuals are already on the road again. We need to protect our greater interest. Let's not forget the " Spirit of the Liberation War " while we are chasing War Criminals. The widow of Birsreshtho Flt. Lt. Matiur Rahman the other day appealed to implement the “Spirit of the Liberation War.” Do we really understand what is it ?
Although this is a grave matter and enquiries are being made, I feel the following anecdote will lighten the matter somewhat.
The EC has adopted the right policy and the decision to enrol the Urdu-speaking Biharis on the current voter list except of course the ones who expressed their allegiance to Pakistan and have been living inside the refugee camps.
Yes, it has been rightly said by Professor Anwar Hossain detained at the Dhaka central jail for reasons still unknown. Unknown because no verdict has been given against them yet. Yes, Professor Hossain is correct in the sense that we have been used as food for birds and animals for a long time. But we no longer want that situation to continue.
Mr Proful Patel of World Bank has offered an unsolicited suggestion to expand the size of the Advisory Council in order to ensure the GDP growth of at least 7% as stipulated to ensure the targets of PRSP. This observation was contradicted by the Adviser for Agriculture instantly.
If an applicant for mobile phone is allowed to get his/her application form attested by a mobile phone owner/subscriber of the same service provider, it will no doubt ease the difficult situation arising in case of re-registration of mobile phones purchased before February, 2006. There are now over 20 million mobile phone owners/subscribers in the country. Therefore it would be easier for an applicant to get his/her application form attested by an active mobile phone subscriber who may be a friend or a relation. The government agencies concerned and mobile phone service providers may consider this proposal as another option for the applicants.
The incident that is hammering my mind for last few days is perhaps bothering many others as well. A number of hard working workers' lives were lost for no fault of theirs. The only reason they were there was for earning from honest labour. They died ignominiously. This death was not for them. Yes, I am feeling angry and humiliated as a human being who had to witness such deaths in the capital city of a sovereign country, which was too earned through a bloodbath in the same month of December a few decades ago.
Everyone wishes to greet relatives and friends on special occasions during the year. Ideally, one would like to meet the person to greet him. Since this is not always possible, we take the help of greeting cards. To meet the demands, greeting cards are manufactured and sold. When you send a card to greet a friend or a relative, you expect it to be reciprocated.
The nation is really confused. How are the collaborators of 1971 openly challenging the big parties? It seems some foreign powers are behind them. Otherwise, the party, which cannot master more than 2% votes and at the moment there is a strong national demand for trial of the leaders of that party as war criminals, could not take such a defiant stand.
The Daily Star has been publishing many articles on drug addiction. Addiction to intoxicants is not a relief from pain, but rather a disease that prevents one from taking medicines.
December 19 was not only election day for South Korea but it was also the 66th birthday and 37th wedding anniversary of the leading contender--Lee Myung-bak. Although Mr. Lee has enjoyed top position in the opinion polls (with over 20 points ahead of his main rivals), his campaign seemed to lack the fire and enthusiasm which were usually present in previous South Korean presidential elections. But then again he was the favourite to win because his two main rivals --Lee Hoi-chang and Chung Dong-young-- failed to grab the public's attention and support. In other words his rivals failed to provide any sort of competition.
Thank you very much for your interview-based article on the "High Internet Tariff" in today's (17/dec/07) Star Business Page. This is a long-standing issue which needs mass awareness and campaign to make Internet a commodity for the public and businesses in Bangladesh. Internet is a global phenomenon in this highly interconnected world. It is in fact a boon to LDCs like us, which can catalyse our developments and exports growth. As the BASIS President aptly put High Internet Pricing is seriously holding back our ICT exports growth in Bangladesh.
It has been exactly 36 years since Bangladesh, a small South Asian nation of approximately 55,000 square miles of land successfully separated itself from the nation of Pakistan - a geopolitical absurdity until 1971. In the process, the people of Bangladesh known as Bengalees paid a heavy price for liberating their country and becoming a sovereign nation. Husbands were killed, wives and daughters were raped and tortured, children were thrown into raging fires, and houses were burned down to ashes by the members of Pakistani armed forces. People who were fortunate enough fled to the countryside and ran from one village to another just to stay ahead of Pakistani occupation forces. It was their sheer luck and the topographical features of our land that saved many lives, not the mercy of Pakistani soldiers. Another chunk of Bengalees, almost 10 million, took refuge in the neighbouring Indian states of West Bengal and Assam.
Benazir Bhutto followed her father into politics, and both of them died because of it - he was executed in 1979, she fell victim to an apparent suicide bomb attack.
Air force jets destroyed a Tamil naval base in Sri Lanka's north yesterday, a day after a fierce sea battle and a wave of infantry attacks killed at least 66 rebels and 14 government troops, the military said.
Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was killed Thursday in a suicide attack at a campaign rally, the interior ministry told AFP.
Deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra will be arrested if he returns home from a self-imposed exile as planned, even if his victorious allies form a government following last weekend's general election, officials said yesterday.
North Korea is likely to miss the Dec 31 deadline to declare all of its nuclear materials, since its draft falls short of the United States' expectations, sources here said Wednesday.
Hindu extremists burned down the house of a prominent Christian politician in eastern India Thursday, officials said, as violence by gangs from both sides continued despite a curfew imposed after two days of attacks against Christians by Hindu hard-liners.
Sri Lanka sent a crack commando unit to the state-run television station yesterday to rescue a government minister seized by journalists for allegedly assaulting a colleague, officials told AFP.
US forces killed 11 Shia militants in an early morning raid yesterday in the town of Kut, south of Baghdad, the military told AFP.
About half of a claimed 32,250-strong Nepal rebel army is authentic, the United Nations envoy to Nepal said Thursday.
The second most senior European Union official in Afghanistan and a top UN political advisor left the country Thursday after being expelled by the government for posing a threat to national security.
Arts & Entertainment
The year 2007 has been significant for Bangladeshi actors -- with its share of triumphs, trials and tribulations. Many have made it to greater heights this year. The Daily Star talked to some of the familiar faces on TV who have made their mark this year. Here's what they had to share about 2007 and their plans for 2008:
The burgeoning talk-shows on various TV channels are making it difficult to distinguish one from the other, as the basic format and interaction are almost identical. Subsequently the resulting monotony weighs heavily on the audience. Against this backdrop, the state-owned BTV has sought to regain the lost ground caused by the misuse of the political parties who over the years made BTV into a virtual party mouthpiece.
Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai is gushing about three subjects right now in her interaction with the media -- her forthcoming film on Mughal emperor Akbar's marriage with the Rajput princess Jodhabai, life after her own marriage with actor Abhishek Bachchan and her equation with the comeback of the former queen bee Madhuri Dixit.
Written and directed by Shahiduzzaman Selim, tele-film Ekjon Ajmal Hossain features the dilemmas of a Bangladeshi expatriate Ajmal Hossain, who lives in the US.
Sundarban, a large block of littoral forests with thousands of meandering streams, creeks, rivers and estuaries that have enhanced its charm, was devastated by Cyclone Sidr leaving 30 percent of it severely damaged and another 30 percent partially spoiled.
Thailand's parliamentary elections on December 23 provided fresh evidence (if evidence is still needed) of the futility of military intervention as a means of changing the fundamental political trends of a nation.
This article examines the possible environmental problems that the forest might face after Sidr devastation and looks at management approaches to address them.
Today one of the most hotly deliberated topics on Earth is the issue of global warming or climate change. Increased populations, extreme demand for energy and limited resources have put the global environment under threat. As a result we are getting increasingly aware about the stake of environment we reside in. Nowadays the terms greenhouse effect, industrial pollution, air pollution, sustainable development, and biodiversity etc. have become frequently used words.
Primates are considered closest living relatives of mankind. These living relatives -- apes, monkeys, lemurs and other primates -- are becoming rarer from the tropical forest. “Reasons for the decline are no mystery: they all relate directly or indirectly to human actions" says a Worldwatch Institute report. A survey, worked out by 60 experts from 21 countries, cautions that failure to respond to the mounting threats has now been worsened by climate change. On the whole, 114 of the world's 394 primate species are categorised as threatened with disappearance on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. Illegal wildlife trade and commercial plant-meat poaching have been largely blamed for their disappearance.