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News of: Tuesday, 22nd of January, 2008

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4 DU teachers, 11 students acquitted

A Dhaka court yesterday acquitted four Dhaka University (DU) teachers and 11 students of violating Emergency Power Rules (EPR) in one of the two cases filed against them in connection with last August's campus unrest.

Govt talks with parties to start when both sides are ready

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the government will start dialogue with political parties when both sides are ready, as they need time for preparation.

Political parties, civil society hail verdict

Leaders of different political parties yesterday hailed a court verdict that acquitted Dhaka University (DU) teachers and students in connection with the August violence on campus, saying the judgment proved the teachers were absolutely innocent.

DU teachers, students to continue demo until all cases withdrawn

Dhaka University (DU) teachers and students yesterday vowed to continue their demonstrations on campus until all cases filed against university students and teachers in connection with the August violence are withdrawn.

Purchase rule relaxed to import 5 lakh tonnes of rice

The economic affairs committee of advisers yesterday relaxed procurement rules so that 5 lakh tons of rice can be purchased from India to tackle the ongoing food crisis in the country.

Families happy, demand quick release

Families of the detained teachers and a student expressed satisfaction over their acquittal, demanding their immediate release and withdrawal of all cases for maintaining a congenial academic atmosphere on the campus.

Illegally set up factories may be legalised

The government is mulling the legalisation of factories set up illegally in the Bhawal National Park, but has decided not to allow any new factories on the protected forest.

Docs promoted without checking allegations

After holding back controversial results of examinations for promotion of doctors for more than eight months, the Public Service Commission (PSC) has finally approved promotion of a number of them without verifying allegations that the results were politically manipulated to favour many incompetent medical professionals.

Status of cases

The government yesterday decided to withdraw a case against yet unknown persons in connection with assaulting police and an army camp that had been on the DU campus at the time of the August violence on Dhaka University (DU) campus last year.

Mahbub Jamil, ex-secy Samaddar made special assistants to CA

Business leader Mahbub Jamil and former secretary Manik Lal Samaddar were appointed special assistants to the chief adviser yesterday, with Jamil being the first one to enjoy the status of a minister.

Pintu to be further quizzed

Former deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu may be taken on further remand today in connection with the August 21 grenade attack case as investigators are yet to squeeze a statement about his involvement, sources said.

2 firms place proposals to BB to buy Oriental Bank

Two investment consortiums have submitted technical and financial proposals to Bangladesh Bank (BB) for buying the Oriental Bank.

Khaleda's nephew Tuhin gets 8yrs for tax evasion

A special court, trying high-profile corruption suspects, yesterday sentenced Shahrin Islam Tuhin, nephew of detained former prime minister and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, to eight years imprisonment in a tax evasion case.

7th century temple remains uncared for

The early 7th century Baroshivaloy temple in Joypurhat is on the verge of ruin due to sheer negligence of the authorities, lack of maintenance and high salinity in the soil seeping through the structures.

CA leaves for Davos today

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed leaves Dhaka today for Switzerland to attend the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Holy Ashura observed

The holy Ashura was observed across the country on Sunday commemorating the Karbala tragedy in which Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) along with his family members and followers embraced martyrdom.

Govt forms committee to review 6th Wage Board

The government has formed a seven-member committee to review the recently approved Sixth Wage Board Award relating to salaries, allowances and other benefits for the journalists, employees and press workers.

3 of a family burned alive

Three members of a family were burnt alive as a fire broke out at their house at Bhuapur in Tangail on Sunday night.

Paban held again at jail gate

Khandaker Akhter Hamid Paban, son of Khaleda Zia appointed BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain, was arrested at Dhaka Central Jail gate soon after he came out

SC clears ACC way to move ahead with Jalil graft case

The Supreme Court yesterday overruled a High Court order paving the way for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to go ahead with the proceedings of a graft case filed against detained Awami League General Secretary MA Jalil.

No SC stay on HC order

The Supreme Court yesterday refrained from issuing stay on the operation of the High Court order that stalled the trial of detained former prime minister Sheikh Hasina in a Tk 3-crore extortion case.

3 killed as bus skids off flyover

Three people were killed and 10 others injured when a bus plunged from Bhelanagar fly-over in the town on the Dhaka-Sylhet highway yesterday morning.

48 killed as heavy fighting grips Jaffna

Fierce fighting erupted in northern Sri Lanka yesterday as government forces mounted a fresh push into territory held by Tiger rebels and said 48 people were killed in new clashes.

Musharraf pledges free elections

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf pledged yesterday that next month's elections will be free and fair and that he will honour the result whoever wins, as he launched a key four-nation European tour.

Gaza grinds to a halt amid Israeli blockade

Gaza endured a fourth day of hardship yesterday as Israel vowed to maintain a punishing blockade in response to rocket fire from the Hamas-run territory, despite increasing international concern over a developing humanitarian crisis.

US says Iran still training Iraqi militias

The US military said there had been a dramatic drop in the number of Iranian weapons being used in Iraq but no let-up in Tehran's training and financing of Iraqi militias.


Drive against institutional corruption

Avery welcome step brought about by the new dispensation as a result of the change of 11 Jan 2007 was the reorganisation of the anti-corruption commission.

Bobby Fischer's passing

Bobby Fischer, arguably the greatest chess master that ever lived, died on Thursday last at the age of 64, leaving behind not only a wealth of beautiful games but also many interesting episodes and incidents inseparably linked to his presence in chess tournaments. He loved the game so much that he developed an intense dislike, or even hatred, for the detractors (in his perception) of the royal game.

Dissection of political parties

It seems our destiny is intertwined with the political parties of the country. We shall go up if they perform well. We shall go down if they fail. We could not yet evolve a system where we could run the affairs of the state without the meddling of the burgeoning groups of corrupt people who go about flashing cards of various political parties.

Treading unfamiliar ground

The US presidential election is still almost a year away. But the aspirants to be the country's forty-fourth president have already been in the race for more than a year. George Bush's two-term presidency has resulted in a total mess, with its inconclusive wars, chronic deficits and continuing erosion of America's lofty liberal values. Therefore, as the prospects of a Republican candidate entering the White House any time soon have significantly receded, attention, both at home and abroad, is now focused on two front-running Democrat candidates -- Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Houssein Obama.

A Roman diary

India is the world's latest quotation mark. Nepal has become a question mark, Sri Lanka an oversized exclamation mark; and Bangladesh is imprisoned between brackets, the space for leeway decreasing by the day. Pakistan is teetering towards a full stop. China has turned into yesterday's paragraph: still impressive, but with the contradictions becoming evident through cracks separating sentences.


Transfers from Feb 3

The Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM) has decided to commence the inter-club players' transfer of the Premier and First Division Cricket League from February 3 to 5.

5 fifties power Pakistan

A record five half-centuries in a single innings propelled Pakistan to a thumping 104-run win over Zimbabwe in the first one-day international here.

BFF gets green signal

The struggling football clubs of the city would welcome the second edition of the B. League even under financial crisis if the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) announces a transfer date in its meeting this week.

Favourites gather steam

It was back to business as usual for Roger Federer on Monday as he clinically moved into an Australian Open quarter-final against James Blake, with Venus Williams also working up a head of steam.

No room for Ganguly

India's cricket selectors on Sunday ignored Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid for next month's triangular series in Australia, raising doubts over the veteran batsmen's one-day careers.

Media cricket title ATN's

ATN Bangla lifted the Pepsi Media Cup Cricket title defeating Channel 1 by one wicket in a thrilling final at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Injured Gayle returns home

Chris Gayle, the West Indies captain, will fly home to the Caribbean after admitting that his injured thumb and hamstring will not heal in time for him to play in any of the four remaining ODIs in South Africa.

Train stops as Sourav dropped

Train services in two sections of Eastern Railway were on Monday affected as irate supporters of Sourav Ganguly put up a blockade at Barasat in North 24 Parganas protesting against the cricketer's exclusion from the Indian team for the triangular tournament in Australia.

Brown suggest knighthood for Tendulkar

Cricketing greats from the Commonwealth nations such as Sachin Tendulkar should be considered for traditional British honours like the knighthood, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said.

Real triumph in derby

First half goals from Raul Gonzalez and Ruud van Nistelrooy gave Spanish league leaders Real Madrid a hard-earned 2-0 derby victory at neighbours Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

Milanese grab late wins

Ten-man Parma came within minutes of inflicting a first league defeat on champions Inter Milan this season but were robbed by a refereeing error at the San Siro on Sunday, losing 3-2.

Ghana ride on Muntari

Portsmouth midfielder Sulley Muntari struck in the last minute to lift hosts Ghana to a 2-1 win against Guinea in the opening game of the African Nations Cup here on Sunday.

Open Secrets

There could hardly have been a more appropriate guest in the VIP box of the Rod Laver Arena than actress Nicole Kidman, the star of 'Eyes Wide Shut'.

Everton go fourth

Everton moved into fourth place in the Premier League on Sunday with a scrappy 2-1 victory at lowly Wigan Athletic.

We aren't good enough: Ranieri

Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri admitted his team simply aren't good enough to win the Serie A crown after a second successive draw virtually killed off their title hopes.

Couto admits 'stray hand'

Veteran Portuguese centre-back Fernando Couto admitted that he did handle the ball before the controversial penalty that helped Inter Milan salvage a 3-2 victory over Parma from the jaws of defeat.

Fergie denies gesture

Sir Alex Ferguson has denied making offensive gestures during Manchester United's Premier League victory at Reading.

Ghana coach slams pitch

Ghana coach Claude Le Roy described the pitch used for Sunday's African Nations Cup curtain raiser against Guinea as the worst he had ever seen.

Mohammedan in no doubt

Despite the footballers' threat to boycott all competitions, Mohammedan Sporting Club officials were confident they would be able to start the Protiti Pharma Victory Day Cup football tournament on schedule.

Press salute Perth win

The Indian media on Sunday joined former players in saluting the brilliant win in over Australia in Perth, saying it was the cricket-mad nation's greatest Test victory.

JP fires SA home

Jean-Paul Duminy was hailed a potential future star after guiding South Africa to a six-wicket win in the first one-day international against the West Indies at Centurion Park Sunday.

First win for Wanderers

Hiron Joarder's 83rd minute strike ended Dhaka Wanderers' poor run in the Senior Division Football League when they recorded their first victory beating Mohakhali XI 1-0 at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

7th place for GM Zia

Grandmaster Ziaur Rahman clinched seventh place in the Sixth Parsvnath Open International chess tournament which concluded in Delhi on Sunday.

Amer, Asri in boys' final

Naow Amer of Syria and Merzuki Mohd Asri of Malaysia moved into the boys' singles final of the Mobil ITF Asian 14/Under Asian Tennis Championships yesterday.

Friendly cricket

Eastern Bank Limited beat Standard Chartered Bank by five wickets in a friendly cricket match at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Ansar win by 7 wickets

Ansar & VDP earned a seven-run victory over Ispahani Sporting Club in the final round of the Parachute Women's Open Cricket at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

School kabaddi

Ansar and VDP High School emerged champions in the boys' section of the Dhaka Deputy Commissioner School kabaddi competition beating Bir Shreshtha Munshi Abdur Rauf School and College 44-40 in the final at the Outer Stadium kabaddi court yesterday.


Mergers ok, not monopoly

The telecoms regulator will not stand in the way of mergers between the country's mobile phone operators, but will set strict conditions to ensure no single company controls the market.

Biman moves to strengthen fleet

A team of Airbus officials is expected in Bangladesh early February to make a fresh offer to supply aircraft to Biman Bangladesh Airlines, with the national carrier attempting to strengthen its ageing fleet, the company's chief executive said yesterday.

World shares fall on US recession fears

Global stock markets plunged Monday, with Tokyo tumbling to its lowest level in more than two years as US President George W. Bush's tax plan to revive the world's largest economy disappointed investors.

Investment planned to ease regional transport

Japan and ADB are helping prepare an investment project that will ease transportation across Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal to promote economic cooperation and integration among the four members of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (Sasec).

Govt to extend all facilities to local textile makers

The government will extend all facilities to local textile entrepreneurs for capacity building through modernisation of their factories, the textiles and jute adviser has said.

Sonali Bank advised to cut lending rate

Sonali Bank, now a public limited company, has been asked to reduce lending rates.

Natural calamities to hit GDP growth

The adverse impact of global warming, recurrent flood, cyclone Sidr and higher inflationary rate will push down Bangladesh's GDP to below 6 percent in 2008, which development partners forecast earlier, remarked the editorial in the Quarterly News Bulletin of the International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh (ICC-B).

Dhaka needs to up capacity to deal with trade issues Seminar told

Bangladesh needs to strengthen its negotiation capacity to deal with the WTO-related issues and pursuing developed nations to introduce more flexible and unified Rules of Origin (RoO), experts told a seminar yesterday.

AB Bank MD reappointed

Kaiser A. Chowdhury has been reappointed president and managing director of AB Bank for a period of another three years, says a press release.


Enact law to protect consumers' rights

Chairman of Bangladesh Regulatory Reforms Commission Dr Akbar Ali Khan said law should be enacted to protect the consumers' right.

Literacy for all a must for good governance

Education experts from nine Asian countries at a meeting yesterday said different programmes considering the realities of respective countries should be planned for eliminating illiteracy.

Hold elections by Dec

Bikalpa Dhara President AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury said the caretaker government should hold elections by December as per the electoral roadmap if it wants to maintain its popularity.

Frame guidelines for sustainable fisheries in South Asia region

A two-day workshop began in the port city yesterday to evolve work plan and policy for sustainable fisheries in South Asian countries.

Court allows ACC to interrogate Rafiqul Islam at jail gate

A Dhaka court yesterday allowed the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to interrogate detained former state minister for energy Prof Rafiqul Islam at the jail gate in connection with a case filed against him for submitting false wealth statement and amassing wealth through illegal means.

BSF agrees not to fire on innocent Bangladeshis

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Border Security Force (BSF) of India yesterday reached an agreement on five issues, including not firing on innocent Bangladeshi people in border areas and sharing information about terrorists, on the first day of a three-day border meeting.

Gold statuette recovered, two held in Gazipur

The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered a gold statuette weighing around one kilogram and arrested two people from Gazipur on Sunday afternoon.

Jute mill worker dies without treatment for lack of money

A casual worker of Crescent Jute Mills passed away due to a cardiac failure on his way to a clinic on Sunday.

Road crashes kill 3

Three people were killed in separate road accidents in Khulna and Jhenidah in the last two days.

HC stays all proceedings

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed all the proceedings related to two tax evasion cases filed against Janakantha Editor Md Atiqullah Khan Masud.

AS Mahmud's 4th anniversary of death today

Today is the 4th anniversary of death of AS Mahmud, the founding managing director of Mediaworld Ltd., the owning company of The Daily Star, and the founder chairman of Ekushey Television (ETV).

Husband throws acid on wife in city

A welding mechanic threw acid on his estranged wife in broad daylight at Mirpur in the city yesterday, injuring her and a boy who was accompanying her.

Pak naval chief in city

Pakistan Navy Chief Admiral M Afzal Tahir arrived in Dhaka yesterday on a six-day visit to Bangladesh.

Pay all arrears within a month

Bangladesh Small Jute Traders and Cultivators' Association yesterday gave Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) one-month's ultimatum to pay their arrears or else they will go for tougher agitations, including hunger strike.

Appeal for help

Badhan Roy Joy, a student of electrical and electronics department of Buet, is suffering from a disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis, says a press release.

FOWA donates Tk 20 lakh to AMCH

Foreign Office Wives' Association (FOWA) has donated Tk 20 lakh to Ahsania Mission Cancer Hospital (AMCH) recently, says a press release.

AL distributes 5,500 blankets, Tk 2 lakh among Sidr victims

Awami League (AL) Central Relief Committee yesterday handed over 5,500 blankets worth Tk 10 lakh to Perojpur district AL for distributing among the Sidr victims, says a press release.

Qulkhwani of Taiyeba held

Qulkhwani of Taiyeba Majumdar, mother of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, was held at her residence yesterday afternoon, family sources said.

Contribute more to people's welfare

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday called upon the banks to come forward in aid of the distressed people in a greater way.


Satkhira ex-BNP MP sued for land grabbing

Another case has been filed against Satkhira district BNP president and former BNP lawmaker Habibul Islam Habib for forcibly taking away a piece of land from a person in Kalaroa pourasabha area in 2005.

New constituencies by June

Election Commissioner Brig Gen (retd) Sakhawat Hossain has said the government will publish draft demarcation of constituencies on the basis of density of population by June for the next general election to be held this year.

Tension mounts in Mohalchhari

Tension is mounting in remote Maiddha Karalachhari area in Keyanghat union in Mohalchhari upazila between Bangalee and ethnic communities over land dispute.

Outlaw killed in 'shootout' in Pabna

A top outlawed leader was killed in a shootout with Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and police and the criminals' cohorts at village 'Ramjibanpur' of Tantibanda union in Sujanagar upazila in Pabna yesterday.

Voters decline in Barisal city

Election Commission officials yesterday started distribution of national identity cards with photo in Barisal City Corporation areas.

Journo, outlaw sent to jail

A judicial magistrate court in Chuadanga on Sunday sent arrested Bhorer Kagoj journalist Rafiq Rahman to jail with outlaw activist Akram Hossain.

UNO assaulted at brick field

Labourers of a brick kiln assaulted the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Bheramara upazila in the district when he went to seize wood kept for use in burning brick yesterday.


Brown calls for radical UN, IMF, WB reforms

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called yesterday for the radical reform of world institutions to help meet the new challenges of the 21st century, and take more account of the rise of Asia.

Arabs hold crisis talks over Gaza

Arab League officials gathered yesterday for an emergency meeting to discuss the Israeli blockade of Gaza, which has forced the closure of the strip's only power plant amid a looming humanitarian crisis.

Amnesty calls for pressing Musharraf on human rights

European government and business leaders meeting with President Pervez Musharraf in the coming days must press him on the human rights situation in Pakistan, Amnesty International said Sunday.

Hillary, Obama court blacks ahead of S Carolina primary

Hillary Clinton was set to pay homage to Martin Luther King yesterday in a bid to woo African-American voters ahead of this week's Democratic primary in South Carolina, where her top rival, Barack Obama, enjoys strong support in the black community.

Myanmar going 'downhill on all fronts,' says US

Myanmar is going "downhill on all fronts," a senior US diplomat said during a visit to Vietnam Monday, urging regional neighbours to pressure the junta running the country formerly called Burma.

Make Kaliganj drug-free in a month

Khulna Deputy Inspector General (DIG in-charge) Md Ashaduzzaman Mia has instructed the superintendents of police (SP) and officers-in-charge (OC) to identify and nab the patronisers of drug trade in the region.

11 Hindus awarded life behind bars

Eleven Hindu men were sentenced to life behind bars yesterday for the gang rape of a pregnant woman and the murder of her family during anti-Muslim riots in India's Gujarat state in 2002, media reports said.

3-way standoff fuels ME violence

Israel looks powerless to stop the barrage of rockets from Hamas-ruled Gaza. The Islamic militants, choked by a blockade of their territory, find it increasingly difficult to hold on to power.

Arts & Entertainment

Theatre Festival '08 begins

On the 74th birthday of theatre personality Professor Momotajuddin Ahmed, Theatre has arranged a six-day festival titled Theatre Festival '08 at the Mahila Samity Stage. On the inaugural day (January 18) a discussion, a seminar titled 'Satellite Culture and Theatre' and staging of Theatre's popular production Shat Ghater Kanakori were held.

Moments in time

On Shankor Sawjal's photographic pursuits, noted cultural personality Asaduzzaman Noor says, “Shankor and I went to Kabul together. We were on the road, going out of the city, signs warning commuters of landmines becoming frequent. Shankor got off the road to take photos. Why? He had spotted some budding tulips in the midst of ruins. He was ecstatic! That's what Shankor tries to find in every frame -- life, even in the most inhospitable atmosphere.”

100th episode of drama serial “Neer” on ntv

The 100th episode of drama serial Neer will be aired on ntv tonight at 9:45 pm. Written and directed by Ejaz Munna, the serial focuses on the joys and woes of an extended family.

Solo poetry evening at Shilpakala

A solo poetry evening featuring renditions by Belayet Hossain, secretary of the recitation wing of Udichi Shilpi Gosthi, was held at the National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy recently. It was the first solo programme by the artiste.

Month-long folk festival begins in Sonargaon

Bangladesh Folk Art and Craft Foundation has arranged a folk-art and craft festival at its premises in Sonargaon, Narayanganj. The festival started yesterday and will continue till February 19, says a press release.

Salman Khan joins his compatriots at Madame Tussaud's

Actor Salman Khan has joined four other Bollywood stars in having his life-size wax statue at the world famous Madame Tussaud's Museum in London.


The universities and dissent: Some cautionary lessons

HOPEFULLY, by the time this article appears in print good sense will have prevailed and the teachers and students of Dhaka University will have been released from jail. I am writing this in anticipation that some lessons have been learnt and that such a pointless and regrettable episode will not repeat itself during the remaining tenure of the caretaker government (CTG).

Special prayers for our government

CHRISTIANS observe January 18-25 as the Octave of special prayers. Prayers are held in churches all over the world for justice, peace and overall human progress throughout the world. This movement of global Prayer was started in a Chapel in New York, USA, in 1908 by an Anglican clergyman, the Reverend Paul Watson. This year is its centennial. Like in other countries, Christians in Bangladesh are also observing this Octave through praises to God, prayers for each other and for the country, the people and the especially for the caretaker government.

al-Qaeda's newest triggerman

HOW do you track down a foe without a face? That is the challenge posed by Baitullah Mehsud, the man who could well be the newest Enemy No. 1 in the war on terror. Since he first emerged as a young jihadist leader three years ago, the black-bearded and slow-talking tribal leader has transformed his Mehsud clan's mountainous badlands in the northwest corner of Pakistan into a safe haven for Al Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban and outlawed Pakistani jihadists.

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