News of: Thursday, 17th of January, 2008
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Former law minister Moudud Ahmed bent rules to help WorldTel scamster Nayeem Mehtab Chowdhury obtain a Tk 15-crore loan from Sonali Bank with forged documents and without any collateral in 2005, according to an investigation of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab).
The caretaker government might form a committee comprising some of its advisers to chalk out a plan for holding electoral dialogues with political parties and to formulate its positions on issues the dialogists might raise during the talks.
Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) last night decided not to hold any admission test at the university until all DU teachers and a student arrested in connection with the August 2007 campus violence are freed.
Saudi Arabia-bound Bangladeshi workers are subjected to harassment and sufferings just because the kingdom's national airlines has a single office in the country to reconfirm their return tickets while there is a huge rush of passengers.
Confusion is growing over how the caretaker government is going to settle the issue of detained Dhaka University (DU) teachers and students' release with the advisers giving contradictory versions on the way and timing of their release.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the caretaker government is carrying out whatever necessary for holding free, fair and acceptable election following the roadmap of the Election Commission.
A syndicate of Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge (JMB) employees and police guards have been allowing overweight vehicles to pass over the bridge in exchange for bribes for a long time, contributing to development of cracks on its surface.
Rice traders forecast a sharp fall in rice price soon as the hoarders in the country's northern part have started supplying a huge quantity of rice to the city's wholesalers fearing raids by joint forces.
The government should cut back on the Annual Development Programme (ADP) expenditure to tackle an extra $1.1 billion pressure on the current budget arising from international oil price hike and natural disasters, says a World Bank (WB) report.
Chief of Army Staff General Moeen U Ahmed said the army does not want to take over power and he also has no plan to be the country's president.
The road to Jahangirnagar University Muktamancha (amphitheatre) remained calm and the centre of all cultural activities froze to a condoling silence as a pensive crowd walked beside the coffin carrying the dead body of eminent playwright Selim Al Deen for burial.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has taken a move to revive two old graft cases against former prime minister and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, which were quashed by the High Court during Khaleda's last regime.
Trial of the extortion case against former prime minister and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina filed by businessman Azam J Chowdhury begins today.
The Barapukuria 250MW Power Plant in Dinajpur yesterday resumed power generation with its two coal-fired units and is believed to help irrigation during the upcoming Boro season.
Former energy secretary Dr Toufiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury was sent to jail yesterday after he surrendered to a Dhaka court in a case filed for Tk 3 crore graft during the setting up of a barge-mount power plant in Khulna.
Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda said yesterday that the next general elections would not be delayed because of the ongoing changes to constituency boundaries.
GrameenPhone, the country's leading cellphone operator, yesterday promised to offload its shares at the local stock market by June this year.
Detained Dhaka University (DU) teachers and a student pleaded not guilty before a Dhaka court yesterday and said that charges brought against them for breaking Emergency Power Rules (EPR) on DU campus were false, fabricated and concocted.
Khaleda Zia-backed BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain was not allowed to meet the former prime minister at the makeshift jail she is detained in at Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban complex yesterday.
A Khulna Court yesterday framed charges against eleven accused in Manik Saha murder case.
The ancient Treedal Manch temple at Tarash upazila in Sirajganj is turning into ruins because of the authorities' negligence in its maintenance and preservation.
The government on Tuesday released the nine-year old girl imprisoned for the last six months in the name of safe shelter, and transferred her to the adolescent development centre at Konabari in Gazipur.
The government yesterday signed contracts with private sponsors for installing seven rental power plants having a total capacity of generating 270 megawatts.
Two people were killed when an inter district express train rammed into a van at the Kalin Bazar rail crossing on the Dhaka-Mymensingh rail route yesterday morning.
Hundreds of Islamist militants captured a Pakistani paramilitary fort near the Afghan border yesterday, sparking fierce fighting that left seven troops and up to 50 rebels dead, the army said.
Israel's hawkish Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned yesterday and pulled his party out of government in protest at renewed peace talks with the Palestinians, rattling Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's coalition.
At least 26 civilians were killed and dozens wounded yesterday in a suspected Tamil Tiger bomb attack on a crowded bus in southern Sri Lanka, officials said, as the island's ceasefire was set to end.
Detained Dhaka University (DU) teacher Anwar Hossain yesterday demanded immediate publication of the Justice Habibur Rahman probe report on student protests in the university in August last year.
IT should be obvious to everyone that with each passing day the situation at Dhaka University keeps getting worse. This flies in the face of the earlier promise made by the government to the DU authorities that the detained teachers would be freed within a matter of weeks. That did not happen. And only the other day, the new adviser for education told the country that the teachers would be released within days no matter what the judicial judgement on the cases against them turns out to be. The vice-chancellor has been meeting the relevant governmental authorities and regularly coming back with assurances of the teachers' and students' release.
THE situation in the garment sector continues to be cause for deep concern, as labour unrest, which once again turned violent on Tuesday, kept around 350 factories closed in Mirpur area throughout the day. The agitating workers clashed with the law enforcers, obstructed traffic and looters were seen taking advantage of the chaotic situation.
So commented the president of the most powerful state in history during his first, and certainly his last, visit as US president to the Middle East. But anyone with a correct perception of history would hesitate to accept the US president's characterisation of Iran.
US President George Bush is in the Middle East. His first port of call was Tel Aviv. His visit was billed as one for trying to broker an Arab-Israel peace in Palestine before he leaves office.
THIS was the first visit to China in five years by an Indian prime minister. As is invariably the case, top-level visits from India to China create a wave of interest and encourage extensive commentaries about the issues to be addressed, the history of bilateral ties, and the future prospects for the relationship. This is only to be expected, for China always commands deep interest here and such visits bring out a variety of viewpoints on how Sino-Indian ties stand and where they may be headed.
India lost four wickets in the final session to undo much of their earlier good work with the bat on the first day of the third Test against Australia at the WACA here Wednesday.
The uncertainty over this year's Premier Division Cricket League has ended as Brothers Union withdrew their case and agreed to comply with the ruling of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).
Rafa Benitez finally got some good news as Steven Gerrard's hat-trick helped Liverpool cruise into the FA Cup fourth round with a 5-0 win against crisis ridden League One outfit Luton on Tuesday.
Justine Henin and Rafael Nadal thundered into the Australian Open third round Wednesday, but Lindsay Davenport's comeback Grand Slam was abruptly ended by Maria Sharapova.
Football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA on Tuesday announced the signature of a letter of intent with Europe's top clubs which will see the eventual disbanding of The G14, which represents 18 of the continent's richest football clubs.
Hopes harboured by clubs in Europe that the African Nations Cup could be moved from its traditional January slot to suit their league calendars were firmly dashed on Tuesday.
Zimbabwe's batting flopped for a second time in their four-day tour opener here, leaving them staring a heavy defeat in the face against the Patron's XI.
The Australian media might have dug out statistics to prove that Indian team has been the worst behaved in the last decade, but Michael Hussey begged to differ, saying the visitors did not sledge him even once in the ongoing series.
New Inter Milan signing Nuno Maniche said he was under no illusions about his chances of breaking into the Italian champions' first team when he was unveiled at the club's training ground on Wednesday.
Barcelona ended Sevilla's reign as King's Cup holders here on Tuesday as a dull 0-0 draw was sufficient to see the Catalan giants through in their last 16 second leg clash.
Manchester City are considering a bid to sign Bayern Munich's unsettled German international striker Lukas Podolski, Sport Bild magazine reported on Wednesday.
Newcastle are ready to turn to France's former World Cup and Euro winning captain Didier Deschamps as the Premier League club's search for a new manager drags on.
The GP-BCB National Cricket Academy will leave Dhaka on January 20 to play three one-day matches in Hong Kong to play their national side.
Newcomers Jatrabari Krira Chakra and good old Victoria Sporting Club moved up the table in the Senior Division Football League after winning yesterday at the Birshrestha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur.
The National Sports Council (NSC) and Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday completed the deal of a 10-year leasing contract for the 'Balur Math' adjacent to the BFF Bhaban.
Country's eminent shooter Asif Hossain Khan all but lost his hopes to participate in this year's Beijing Olympic Games after losing his scholarship for declining performance.
More than missing a century, it is the timing of his dismissal which rankles Rahul Dravid who wanted to carry on batting to tackle the second new ball on the opening day of the third cricket Test between India and Australia here Wednesday.
Bangladesh Army and Bangladesh Navy maintained their winning run in the President Cup Super Four volleyball tournament yesterday.
Brazilian former world number one tennis champ Gustavo Kuerten said Tuesday he would retire this year hopefully after playing a tournament at Roland Garros, the court he had cherished most during his career.
Parachute women's open cricket tournament get underway today with four matches taking place on the opening day in Dhaka and Khulna.
Abdullah Al Saif and Mosabbir Khan Shiblu were jointly leading the table of the 28th National Sub-junior Chess Championship after eight rounds yesterday.
Ziaur Rahman recovered from a fifth round loss when the Bangladesh Grandmaster defeated Akshat Kamparia of India in the sixth round of the Parsvnath Open International Chess Tournament in Delhi yesterday.
Prosecutors in Turin are investigating new England manager Fabio Capello for suspected tax evasion, Italian media reported on Wednesday.
Cricket has always been the weak link of The Daily Star and this year it was no exception. Despite having a new captain and a set of fresh blood The Daily Star stumbled to a 30-run defeat against The Inqilab in their opening group league match of the Pepsi Media cricket tournament at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.
BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) is now working on a proper assessment of the financial losses faced by the ready made garment units due to the recent labour unrest in the capital city's Mirpur area.
Grameenphone, the leading mobile phone operator in Bangladesh, plans to list on the country's stock market by June, as the company's shareholders have made such a commitment to the telecoms regulator.
Proper practice of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the country's ready-made garment units could help avoid frequent labour unrest, said British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury.
Selected airlines of Bangladesh and Kenya will operate flights in each other's territory under an air service agreement signed yesterday between Bangladesh government and the east African country.
Share prices of errant companies on the stock exchanges from now on cannot exceed a certain limit, up or down, on a single trading day, as the market regulator introduces a circuit breaker system on trading of Z group shares from today.
Aid provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to Bangladesh is more effective than that from the World Bank (WB), although the amount of WB aid is eight times higher than the ADB, according to a study.
Banks and non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) should provide more credit supports for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as this potential sector is lagging behind due to credit dearth, speakers told a seminar.
The Regulatory Reform Commission (RRC) is preparing some proposals to reform the rules that are not investment friendly, Dr Akbar Ali Khan, chairman of Regulatory Reform Commission (RRC), said yesterday.
Real estate compaines yesterday urged the government to introduce a set of rules immediately for housing projects in Chittagong, keeping its greeneries and hills unharmed.
AIMS Bangladesh Ltd, the asset management firm of Grameen Bank, is going to launch the largest mutual fund 'Grameen Two' with a paid up capital of Tk 120 crore and a free float of Tk 35 crore.
The newly formed Bangladesh Better Business Forum (BBBF) has named co-chairpersons and members for its five working groups to maintain institutional relations with private sector.
M/s Kenpark Bangladesh (Pvt) Ltd, a UK-Sri Lanka joint venture, is going to expand its project in Chittagong Export Processing Zone, says a press release.
Square Pharma, a leading medicine manufacturing industry in the country, has recently become the first Bangladeshi company that has been allowed to export its products to Tanzania, according to a press release.
Abul Kashem Md Shirin has been promoted to deputy managing director of Dutch-Bangla Bank Ltd (DBBL) with effect from January 14.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the memories of cyclone Sidr might fade gradually, but the rehabilitation of the affected people will continue.
The government has failed to take preemptive measures to check price spirals of essential commodities although it did have necessary information on local production, demand and international market trends.
The second ministerial meeting on South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Poverty Alleviation will take place in the Maldives' capital Male on February 19 to review the progress of the ongoing anti-poverty agenda for development.
Terming 2008 a defining year for Bangladesh, the British High Commissioner (HC) in Dhaka yesterday said he is hopeful that a free and fair election will be held this year as the government is preparing a good voter list along with political reforms.
Terming journalism a catalyst for changes, civil society members yesterday called for more responsible journalism in order to establish a truly democratic society and eliminate all sorts of injustices and discriminations.
Speakers at the Gono Gobeshak Conference yesterday said the government must play a major role in ensuring welfare of underprivileged indigenous groups.
Eight people were killed and 41 others injured in separate road accidents across the country yesterday.
Speakers at a roundtable yesterday urged the government not to invite Jamaat-e-Islami to the proposed talks between the government and the political parties.
Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said the caretaker government is approaching its predetermined goals in a step-by-step fashion.
Bangladesh Society in New York has formed a lobbying committee titled 'Committee to Legalise Non-Documented Disaster Victims of Bangladesh in USA' for bringing the illegal Bangladeshis under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) programme.
The Bangladesh Railway (BR) will operate special trains for the devotees of Bishwa Ijtema from January 25 to 27.
At last, the election of the office bearers of Sylhet district Bar association will be held today.
The High Court yesterday granted bail for three months to Mahmud Hassan Babul, personal assistant to detained former prime minister and Awami League president Sheikh Hasina, in a case under the Emergency Power Rules (EPR).
Angry mob lynched a miscreant and injured two others for extorting toll in the guise of Rab at Shantir Hat at Rangunia in the district yesterday.
The fourth solo painting exhibition by artist Afrozaa Jamil will be inaugurated at Nordic Club at Gulshan in the city at 6:30pm today.
In an effort to restore normal life in Sidr-hit areas, CARE Bangladesh has distributed non-food items to 17,918 families in badly affected Bagerhat and Barguna districts this week.
A tribunal yesterday sentenced a man to death for killing his wife.
Newly appointed Ambassador of Ukraine to Bangladesh Dr Igor Polikha presented his credentials to President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban yesterday.
East West University (EWU) accorded a gala reception to freshers in different undergraduate programmes under the spring semester 2008 at the university premise yesterday, says a press release.
At least 11 people were killed and 42 others injured in separate road accidents across the country yesterday.
The date for submission of admission forms for the first year honours course in 2007-08 academic sessions of Institute of Education and Research (IER), Dhaka University has been extended up to January 26.
Production resumed in all garment factories excepting one in the city's Mirpur yesterday after two days of labour unrest and clashes between workers and police.
Leaders of Sector Commanders Forum will start view exchange meetings at the divisional level today.
The detective branch (DB) of police arrested another suspect in the heist at the Dhanmondi branch of Brac Bank early yesterday.
Funds for agriculture loan are lying idle with commercial banks in four northern districts but flood affected farmers show little interest for loans in the current Rabi season.
Over 21,000 fowls were culled in Barguna yesterday and another 3,000 in Jessore on the day before following detection of bird flu.
Fishermen feel insecure in the Bay as pirates abducted 13 fishermen and looted over Tk 1 crore nets, equipment, Hilsa fish and fuel from 14 trawlers in last seven days.
Swiss ambassador in Bangladesh Dora Rapold yesterday met the business leaders here and exchanged views with them.
Teachers of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sust) yesterday wore black badges to press for immediate release of detained teachers and students of Dhaka University and Rajshahi University.
A mobile court here yesterday realised Tk 5,000 as fine from a fish trader for selling formalin-mixed fish at the municipality market.
Police yesterday arrested two leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh in Puthia upazila in connection with Tk 2 lakh extortion case filed against them.
Hundreds of fourth class employees of Rajshahi University (RU), whose appointment earlier created controversy, staged demonstration in front of the administrative building yesterday demanding regularisation of their jobs.
MA Salam, correspondent of the daily Sangbad and Channel I, and Sarwar Ahmed, correspondent of the daily Manobjamin, were elected as president and general secretary of Moulvibazar Press Club in its annual general meeting held at the club auditorium yesterday.
Nordic peace monitors pulled out of Sri Lanka yesterday following the collapse of a ceasefire, and warned that the war between the island's government and Tamil rebels cannot be won by either side.
Pakistan's foreign ministry warned yesterday that any unauthorised military strike by international forces against al-Qaeda militants on Pakistani soil would be considered an "enemy act."
Health officials in eastern India began the slaughter of tens of thousands of chickens yesterday, a day after New Delhi confirmed an outbreak of the deadly avian flu in the region.
A women wearing a suicide vest blew herself up near a popular market and a Shia mosque in restive Diyala province north of the capital Wednesday, killing eight civilians and wounding seven others, police said.
An Israeli air strike killed three civilians including a teenager in the heart of Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Wednesday, a day after the deadliest day of violence in the territory in more than a year.
Republican Mitt Romney has revived his flickering White House hopes, powering to a Michigan primary victory as worries about the US economy increasingly define the 2008 election battle.
Two weeks of heavy snowfalls, avalanches and severe cold in Afghanistan have killed 120 people and tens of thousands of domestic animals, government officials said Wednesday.
The US Embassy restricted the movement of its staff Wednesday and urged Americans to be vigilant a day after a bomb hit one of its vehicles in the first attack in more than two decades targeting American diplomats here.
A US judge has ordered Libya and six intelligence officials to pay billions of dollars in damages to relatives of Americans killed in the 1989 suitcase bombing of a French airliner over Niger.
Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda told his party yesterday to be ready for a possible snap poll this year despite earlier cautioning against such a move amid sagging public approval for his government.
Arts & Entertainment
I lost my childhood to a war. The Iran-Iraq War had taken away so many childhoods!” -- says Iranian globetrotter Khosrow Yousefi. Yousefi, on his bicycle, has been to 20 countries in Asia and Africa including Azerbaijan, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, U.A.E, Togo, Benin, Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, India, and now he is in Bangladesh.
The world premier of young American independent filmmaker-screenplay writer Douglas Chang's debut fiction film Absent Father was held at the 10th Dhaka International Film Festival. At the festival, Chang spoke to the The Daily Star about his film.
Though prior to the event, the director claimed that the Spiritual Film section would be one of the major attractions at the 10th Dhaka International Film Festival, only one spiritual movie received censorship clearance to be screened. On January 15 and 16 two shows of the Iranian spiritual movie M for Mother, written and directed by Rasoul Mollagholipour, were held at the festival.
Today (January 17) marks the 102nd birth anniversary of poet Bande Ali Miah. One of the most prolific Bengali poets, Bande Ali's poetry epitomise the simple Bengali rural life. Not only was he a poet he was also a famous painter and script writer.
On January 18, Ekushey TV will air Morshedul Islam's celebrated feature film Chaka, written by the recently deceased Professor Selim Al Deen, at 7:30 pm. The film has won several international awards. Chaka is the first Bangladeshi film to be released at three theatres in France in 1995.
THE strengthening of local government institutions to address major issues like poverty reduction, good governance, infrastructure development, disaster management etc. is no more a matter of controversy, rather it is a consensus of the whole nation.
DOING things at random or in a lackadaisical manner (in the expression of our dear one, late Mezbahuddin Ahmed, popularly known as Bulu Bhai) never accomplishes the desired outcome. Such unplanned action invariably turns out to be colossal wastage of time, money and energy.
PAKISTAN is a nation in need of healing. The last one year has highlighted the many fissures that have festered below the surface for years. Unity of command, so effective in running a disciplined force like a military unit, has ended up dividing the Pakistani nation.