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News of: Thursday, 24th of January, 2008

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Sigh of relief on DU campus

The five-month long tension between the military backed caretaker government and the Dhaka University (DU) community that had started last August following the beating of some students by army men on the campus came to an apparent end yesterday with the release of all DU detainees.

Sudden dip in temp kills 7 in north

Life has come to a virtual standstill in the northern districts for the past few days as spells of drizzle and sudden drop in temperature are forcing most people to remain indoors.

Verdicts were based on poor evidence

The verdicts sentencing three teachers and four students of Dhaka University (DU) in two cases for violating Emergency Power Rules (EPR) were based on "poor" evidence as most witnesses did not name the students and teachers, observed renowned jurists.

Bird flu alert in bordering dists

District administrations of four northern districts -- Dinajpur, Thakurgaon Panchagarh and Joypurhat -- yesterday imposed a ban on the import of all types of poultry, poultry products and other birds from India.

People expect govt to complete reform, hand over power thru' polls

Former chief adviser Justice Habibur Rahman yesterday said people would only be grateful if the government hands over power to an elected government after holding free and fair polls by the end of this year.

Five to die for killing jewellery trader

A Dhaka court yesterday awarded death sentence to five persons including a woman for killing a jewellery trader in the capital's Uttara area in October, 2006.

Many miss 28th BCS exam for long delay

The circular for the 28th BCS examinations has disappointed jobseekers as it retained the 55 percent non-merit quota but did not relax the age limit for appearing in the examinations despite delaying the publication by two and a half years.

Services disrupted for bureaucratic tangles

The 100-bed Mahanagar Shishu Hospital has failed to provide fully-fledged service even 18 years into operation due to bureaucratic red tape and lack of successive governments' political will.

Credible polls not possible under present EC

Khandaker Delwar Hossain, secretary general of detained Chairperson Khaleda Zia backed faction of BNP, said a neutral and credible election is 'impossible under the present Election Commission (EC)', as it has lost neutrality by inviting 'so-called reformists' as representatives of the party to electoral dialogues.

Constitution violated as polls not held in 90 days

Regulatory Reforms Commission (RRC) Chairman Dr Akbar Ali Khan said yesterday that the constitution has been violated, as the national elections could not be held within 90 days of the caretaker government taking over power.

Family of killed rickshawpuller seeks justice

The family of rickshaw-puller Afzal Hossain, reportedly killed in police firing during last August's campus unrest at Rajshahi University (RU), has demanded justice and compensation for his death.

Abul Hasnat Abdullah's property to be attached

A Dhaka court yesterday ordered attaching all properties of former chief whip and Awami League (AL) leader Abul Hasnat Abdullah in a case for concealing Tk 52 lakh in his wealth statement and illegally amassing Tk 1.06 crore assets.

Production halts in 6 RMG units

Protesting the sacking of co-workers, the garment workers ransacked two factories at Fatullah in Narayanganj yesterday forcing six export-oriented garment units in the area to halt production.

Call to prevent illegal recruitments jointly

Asian countries that send and receive labourers along with Malaysia and Singapore yesterday adopted a declaration at the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, recognising joint responsibility in preventing illegal recruitment and promoting transparent policies.

Tight security layers for Biswa Ijtema

A five-tier security system including helicopter patrol and closed-circuit television (CCTV) monitoring has been set up at and around the Biswa Ijtema ground at Tongi.

Rab captures cheque forgery gang

Rab arrested three members of an inter-district gang who have long swindled depositors out of millions of taka through forged cheques.

Patients allege negligence in treatment

Mostari Begum was admitted to the city's high-end Labaid Hospital with severe abdomen and chest pain on September 16 in 2004. The on-duty doctor diagnosed her illness as acidity and referred her to another hospital.

RU teachers for complete solution

Rajshahi University Progressive Teachers' Association yesterday urged the caretaker government to solve the crisis regarding the teachers and students of Rajshahi University and Dhaka University without hurting their dignity.

India offers free access to sat data on natural disasters

India has offered free access to remote sensing data, collected by satellites of Indian Space Research Organisation, to other Saarc countries during major natural disasters in the region.

SC to hear govt petition against HC order today

The Supreme Court will hear today government petition seeking stay on the High Court order that halted further proceedings of trial of detained former prime minister Sheikh Hasina in a Tk 3-crore extortion case.

AK-47 rifle, bullets seized in Chittagong

Rab members in separate drives yesterday recovered an AK-47 rifle, ammunition and two brass statuettes at Raozan and Boalkhali upazila in the port city.

West Bengal struggles to tackle bird flu

India's West Bengal state said yesterday it was falling behind in its attempts to halt the spread of bird flu among poultry as the virus was confirmed in two new areas.

World powers agree on UN resolution

World powers reached agreement on Tuesday on a new UN Security Council resolution against Iran over its disputed nuclear programme, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said.

Thousands of Palestinians pour into Egypt

Thousands of Palestinians poured into Egypt yesterday to stock up on goods because of an Israeli blockade, after militants blew up parts of the border with the Gaza Strip.

Blast rips thru' residential bldg in Iraq: 7 killed

A powerful blast ripped through a residential building in Iraq's main northern city of Mosul yesterday, killing at least seven people and wounding 70, police said.


Consumer rights protection

DEMANDS for an enactment of consumer rights protection law have been made repeatedly over the last few years. Organisations such as the Consumers Association of Bangladesh have endlessly stressed the need for measures to shield people from the arbitrariness of the market and indeed from the whimsical attitudes all too often demonstrated by those who control supplies and sales of essential commodities. The time has surely arrived for these demands to take the shape of a concerted social movement in order to bring Bangladesh in line with all the consumer protection rights practised elsewhere in the world.

Medical technicians' training

A report published in this newspaper yesterday shed ample light on the anomalies associated with the running of institutes of health technology in the country. A good number of them, 46 to be precise, are operating with approval from the Technical Education Board (TEB), although these should have obtained permission to operate from the health and family welfare ministry.

It's not the time to tinker with new ideas

IDEAS are pouring forth as to what form of government is best for the country. We are also hearing people talk about the imperatives of enforcing a balance between the president and the prime minister. Then we have a few others articulating the need to achieve a balanced government.

US recession and global woes

AMERICANS are known to spend money before they receive it. For example, I bought the ticket for my Bangladesh trip within hours after President George Bush's January 18 announcement of a $150 billion stimulus package to revamp the slumping economy, which promises a possible $1600 one-time tax rebate per family making less than $200,000 annually.

What will the new year bring?

AS the world steps into the new-year, speculations abound all over about how things will shape up politically, economically, and otherwise on a global scale. Certainly, 2007 had been a year of many events that were important for many countries in both the positive and the negative directions.


Cards close to chest

Australia captain Ricky Ponting and his India counterpart Anil Kumble said they would not finalise their teams for the fourth and final Test until just before the match starts Thursday.

Semi line-ups set

Europe tightened its stranglehold on the Australian Open when America's sole survivors were blasted out of the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Kumble eyes fitting finish

India captain Anil Kumble said Wednesday he was hoping to end his Test career on Australian soil on a high note with a series-equalling win in the fourth and final Test at Adelaide Oval.

Malik wants more

After Pakistan's convincing win over Zimbabwe in their series opener in Karachi, the two teams head to the unfamiliar territory of the Niaz Stadium in Hyderabad for the second ODI today to mark the first international match in ten years.

Easy win for Academy

GP-BCB National Cricket Academy predictably made a flying start against Hong Kong as they registered a 71-run victory in the first one-day of the three-match series at the Hong Kong Cricket Club ground yesterday.

Kolkata veterans play first match today

The former Kolkata-based stars of Indian football will play their first exhibition match in Dhaka today.

Rangs Toshiba Golf starts in Chittagong

The three-day Rangs Toshiba Golf Tournament 2008 commenced here at the picturesque Shaheen Golf Country Club in Patenga yesterday amid much enthusiasm.

Ispahani ride on Salma

Ispahani Sporting Club beat Abahani by 12 runs to move into the final of the Parachute Women's cricket tournament at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Victoria hot on leaders' heels

Victoria Sporting Club strengthen their position in the Senior Division Football League with their third win while bottom-table Dipali Juba Sangha collected their first point in the 13-team fray yesterday.

Ricky plans on Bhajji

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has done some extra homework on Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh ahead of the fourth Test at the Adelaide Oval, starting here Thursday.

'Anil's strength in mixing'

Former Australian leg-spinner Terry Jenner stood among the crowd, arms folded, observing Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh in the nets in front of him at the practice session at the Adelaide Oval. Since he was sporting shades, it was difficult to figure out which of the two Indian spinners he was focussing on. "Neither of them have got enough rewards for the way they have bowled so far," he said without moving his gaze.

Fear me: Sreesanth

"I love the spotlight. The Aussies should be worried I am coming." Meet the quote-a-minute, bold and brash Sreesanth. He even refers to himself in the third person. "Sreesanth's way is to be aggressive. Sreesanth will always remain Sreesanth."

East European revolution

With the Williams sisters and No. 1 Justine Henin gone, the Australian Open women's semifinals are an all eastern European affair.

Dunga focuses on youth

Brazil will take a new generation of players to Dublin next month to meet Ireland in a friendly, coach Dunga said on Tuesday.

Egypt rip Cameroon apart

Egypt have changed hotels three times in their search for suitable accommodation since arriving in Ghana but the Pharoahs appeared fully at home on Tuesday as they opened their African Nations Cup title defence in style.

Open Secrets

Ana Ivanovic claims the time has come for the new generation to see off the old guard in women's tennis.

Spurs ravage Arsenal

Tottenham finally got the better of Arsenal as they booked a place in the League Cup final with a 5-1 rout of their north London rivals in Tuesday's semifinal second leg.

Ganguly calm on exclusion

His axing from the Indian one-day squad for the tri-series might have created a furore back home but Sourav Ganguly is unfazed and determined to stay focussed on the crucial fourth and deciding Test match against Australia starting in Adelaide today.

Proteas to play 3 Tests in India

Graeme Smith's South Africa will tour India for three Test matches in March-April, the Indian cricket board announced on Wednesday.

Not now for Tendulkar

How long will Sachin Tendulkar prolong his illustrious career may be a matter of speculation for experts and fans alike, but the champion batsman says he just "wants to live in the moment" and enjoy the game without thinking too much about retirement.

Group-2 begins

Eleven players including two Bangladeshis advanced to the second round in the boys' singles on the opening day of the Mobil ITF Asian 14/Under Asian Tennis Championships Group-2 winning their respective first round matches at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna yesterday.

Fulham out of FA Cup

Roy Hodgson's miserable start as Fulham boss continued after League One outfit Bristol Rovers beat them 5-3 on penalties in an FA Cup 3rd round replay.

'No changes in UCL'

The European Club Association (ECA), the newly-formed body representing the interests of clubs at European level, does not want to change the format of the Champions League.

Dizzy goes to Wales

Glamorgan signed former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie on Tuesday as their overseas player for the 2008 season.

Batista names first squad

Argentina coach Sergio Batista on Tuesday named an 18-man squad for a friendly against Guatemala in Los Angeles on February 6:

Finnan calls time

Liverpool defender Steve Finnan on Tuesday announced his retirement from international football, drawing a line under his 50-cap career with Ireland.


Garment leaders want food rationing for workers

Garment manufacturers and exporters yesterday demanded Finance Adviser AB Mirza Azizul Islam introduce a food rationing system for garment workers to calm labour unrest in the country's most important export sector.

Pran to build first foreign plant in India

Pran, one of Bangladesh's leading processed-food and beverage companies, is to build its first foreign factory in India, taking advantage of the country's recent decision to lift its ban on Bangladeshi investment.

BSRS board 'virtually ineffective'

The board of one of the country's oldest industrial lenders is packed with unsuitable members and 'virtually ineffective', with loan activities 'insignificant,' according to an independent assessment completed recently.

Bangladesh won't benefit much from Safta deal

Bangladesh would not benefit from the existing Safta agreement as the treaty among the South Asian neighbours is predominantly focused on 'trade in goods', experts at a regional seminar said yesterday.

Asian markets in cautious rebound, European stocks sharply down

Asian markets rebounded Wednesday after a surprise US rate cut, but traders and analysts warned the fix could turn out to be only temporary -- and that fears of a US recession were far from over.

Govt introduces training programme for RMG workers

The government has undertaken a training programme for the garment workers to improve their relationship with the owners of the garment factories.

Dollar slips

The dollar sank against the yen and euro in Asia on Wednesday with investors unconvinced the worst is over despite the US Federal Reserve's drastic rate cut to ward off recession, analysts said.

New GM of Radisson Dhaka

Andre Alex Gomez has recently been promoted as the new general manager (GM) of Radisson Water Garden Hotel Dhaka.

Oil prices lower

Oil prices fell in Asian trade Wednesday despite a surprise cut in key interest rates by the US Federal Reserve amid deepening worries of a likely US recession, dealers said.

New executive body chairman of AL- Arafah Islami Bank

Abdus Samad Labu has been elected as the new executive committee chairman of AL- Arafah Islami Bank Ltd, says a press release.


Lift emergency to ensure democratic rights

Leaders of Democratic Left Alliance yesterday called on the caretaker government to lift emergency immediately to ensure democratic rights with a view to making a success its initiative to hold dialogue with the political parties.

Bilateral ties with Pakistan to strengthen further in future

Visiting Pakistan Navy Chief Admiral M Afzal Tahir yesterday called on President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban.

City parks to be freed from illegal occupation: Khoka

A walkway through Osmani Udyan has been opened for public yesterday.

Practice of logic can help develop rational thinking

The final and prize giving ceremony of the inter-class debate competition of Mastermind International School titled 'Star Campus-Drishty Debate for Generation Next' was held on the school campus in the port city yesterday amid much enthusiasm.

Wholesale trade liberalisation not good for Bangladesh

Economists have suggested that the government should not go for a wholesale trade liberalisation to remain competitive in global business.

'Wage movement to save jute sector'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said that frail leadership, dishonest officials and corrupt labour leaders together pushed our jute industry on the verge of ruin.

Hasina's personal assistant Babul arrested again at jail gate

Lalbagh police again arrested Mahmud Hassan Babul, personal assistant to detained Awami League President Shiekh Hasina, from in front of the Dhaka Central Jail gate minutes after his release on bail yesterday.

Army relief fund receives Tk 2.50cr for Sidr victims

The relief fund set up by Bangladesh Army for the Sidr victims so far received huge relief materials and cash worth over Tk 2.50 crore from the people in the Chittagong region.

‘Punish killers of schoolteacher Mahbuba’

The students and teachers of Meherunnesa Girls' School and College yesterday formed a human chain on the school campus at Green Road in the city demanding punishment to the killers of its teacher Mahbuba Begum.

BSD agri rehab programme begins in Barguna

Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) started an agricultural rehabilitation programme in four Sidr-hit villages in Barguna, says a press release.

9 passport brokers held with fake documents

The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested nine members of a gang of passport brokers along with seven fake passports and forms from the premises of the passport office at Agargaon in the city during a raid yesterday.

Road crashes kill two

Two people were killed and three others injured in separate road accidents in Pabna and Sirajganj yesterday.

20 US students complete study tour

Twenty undergraduate students from several universities and colleges of Minnesota, USA completed their one-month study tour in Bangladesh, says a press release.

British Council launches 'Connecting Classrooms'

The British Council yesterday launched a new project styled 'Connecting Classrooms' with a view to raising standards in teaching and learning by providing learning opportunities for young people.

NBR may start door-to-door zonal survey next month

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is likely to start a door-to-door zonal survey from next month to increase the number of tax payers with the aim to collect more revenue without increasing tax rate.

ACC files case against Sherpur Poura Chairman Jane Alam, his wife

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed a case against Sherpur Pourasava Chairman Jane Alam Khoka and his wife Sabina Yasmin on charges of amassing huge wealth through illegal means.

Production at Zia fertiliser factory suspended

Production at Zia Fertiliser Company at Ashuganj has remained suspended since Tuesday night after the compressor vessel of its ammonia plant exploded and caught fire.

Citizen's Charter launched

The Department of Mass Communication (DMC) has published a Citizen's Charter to provide information about its service.

One killed in wall collapse

A day labourer was killed and two others were injured when a dilapidated wall collapsed on them at Pagla under Fatullah Police Station yesterday.

Dhaka should study WTO competition policy

Bangladesh is to study and understand the competition policy of the WTO to reap the highest benefit from it.

NDC team visits defence ministry

A National Defence College (NDC) delegation led by NDC Commandant Lt General Abu Tayed Muhammad Zahirul Alam visited Ministry of Defence yesterday as part of training curriculum.

Shaheed Matiur’s anniversary of death today

Today is the 39th death anniversary of Shaheed Matiur Rahman, who sacrificed his life during the mass upsurge of 1969, says a press release.


Communal harmony a must for CHT uplift

Barrister Devashis Roy, special assistant to Chief Advisor (CA) and in-charge of CHT affairs ministry, yesterday called upon all communities in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) to maintain peace and communal harmony for development of the area.

Body formed to resolve Mahalchhari crisis

Khagrachhari district administration yesterday formed a seven-member probe committee to resolve the land dispute between indigenous and Bangalee communities at Maddya Karallachhari in Mohalchhari upazila in the district.

Jute workers' planned road barricade foiled

Police did not allow casual workers of six jute mills in Khulna-Jessore industrial belt to enforce their rail-road barricade programme yesterday to press their five-point demand including payment of arrears and government steps for better operation of the mills.

800 landless sued in Satkhira for land grabbing

Nine leaders of a landless people's association have been sued for illegally occupying 1500 bighas of government khas land forcibly at Norarchak in Debhata upazila.

Deposition of 2 Pws recorded

Additional District and Sessions Judge's Court in Sylhet yesterday took deposition of two prosecution witnesses in separate cases filed against outlawed JMB chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman (hanged in another case), his aides and family members yesterday.

Crows die in Patuakhali

Crows in Patuakhali town are dyeing in large numbers.

Rajpunnah in Bandarban today

Rajpunnah, the oldest traditional festival in Chittagonmg Hill Tracts (CHT), will be held at Bandarban town today.

IO, 2 PWs submit deposition

The investigation officer and two other police officials yesterday gave their depositions in the sensational case for grenade attack on British High Commissioner in Bangladesh Anwar Chowdhury.


Musharraf wins backing from Sarkozy

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday won pledges of support from French President Nicolas Sarkozy who called for free, transparent and safe elections next month in the unstable nation.

Anti-Musharraf lawyers win human rights award

Two of Pakistan's top lawyers, who led protests against President Pervez Musharraf's attempts to sack the country's chief justice, have won an Asian human rights award, organisers said yesterday.

Egypt arrests 500 during pro-Gaza demo in Cairo

Egyptian authorities detained at least 500 people in Cairo yesterday who were demonstrating in support of Palestinians in the Gaza strip, a security source told AFP.

Lankan jets bomb suspected base of Prabhakaran

Sri Lankan war planes bombed a suspected base of the top Tamil Tiger leader in the island's north yesterday as ground attacks killed at least two rebels, the defence ministry said Wednesday.

Pak troops pound militant hideouts

Pakistani troops hammered militant hideouts and reinforced outposts yesterday in a tribal area where days of clashes have left more than 20 troops and 100 rebels dead, the army said.

Hillary defends her husband's role in campaign

White House hopeful Hillary Clinton on Tuesday strongly defended her husband's tough campaign attacks against her rival Barack Obama despite charges the ex-president's tactics were too harsh and unbecoming for a former head of state.

Three Myanmar nationals beheaded in KSA

Three Myanmar nationals were executed by the sword in Saudi Arabia yesterday for threatening a housewife with a knife and tying her up as they robbed her home, the interior ministry said.

100,000-year-old human skull found in China

An almost complete human skull dating back 80,000 to 100,000 years has been unearthed in central China, state media reported yesterday.

Thaksin's wife pleads not guilty in graft case

Ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra will return to Thailand in May to defend himself against corruption charges, his wife said yesterday as she pleaded not guilty in a graft case.

One killed in Pak suicide bombing

A man was killed and another injured yesterday after a suicide bomber blew himself up near a checkpost in a Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan, officials said.

Arts & Entertainment

Theatre Festival '08

KOLKATA based theatre troupe Anya Pesha Natya Nesha's production Shesh Anker Sheshey is an adaptation of Agatha Christie's popular thriller Witness for the Prosecution, which deals with the trial of a man accused of murder. Adapted and directed by Dev Kumar Ghosh, Shesh Anker Sheshey was staged on January 22 as part of the ongoing Theatre Festival '08, arranged by Theatre (Natok Sarani).

"Our troupe is an exception in Kolkata" -- Udayan Sen

Udayan Sen is one of the founder members of the theatre troupe Anya Pesha Natya Nesha, which staged two plays -- Shesh Anker Sheshey and Ekti Obastob Natok -- at the Theatre Festival '08, arranged by Theatre (Natok Sarani). During the visit, Udayan Sen spoke to The Daily Star.

Pitha Utshob at Shilpakala

Pitha (rice cakes) occupies an important place in our culinary culture. For Bengalis it has been a long tradition to make varieties of pitha, particularly in the winter. As the grandmother makes delectable pitha, the children await eagerly, the air gets heavy with the aroma of khejurer rosh -- a familiar picture in almost all rural households. Busy city-dwellers however do not have the time to make pitha; many grandmothers do not live with their grandparents either. To relish this scrumptious treat, an urbanite has to make a stop at a pitha store on his/ her way home.

Three-day Science Fair concludes in Tangail

A three-day Science Fair concluded here last Monday amidst much festivity.


Moving towards a new Pakistan

Zaki is a Palestinian journalist working for a popular Arab TV channel. He appreciated a recent move from Pakistani media and lawyers who said sorry to the people of Bangladesh for the genocide of 1971. Zaki demanded that we Pakistanis should also say sorry to Palestinians because our army officers were responsible for the massacre of thousands of Palestinians in September 1970 in Jordan.

Where's this heading?

Bangladeshis are easily given to emotional and impetuous outbursts when it comes to politics, or indeed any petty issue of national concern. And they are also full of unconstructive criticism of whosoever takes the helm of the government. They so easily succumb to momentary "creature comfort" and forget the past. They suffer from an acute case of short-term memory!

Price of rice: Is the government responsible?

Inflation retained a permanent spot in the news for most of 2007, and is the only issue seriously dogging this caretaker government. The newspaper captions have been gradually getting bigger as inflation spreads beyond the kitchen market to almost everything consumable. The recent surge in the price of rice, in a nation of 150 million plus rice-addicted citizens, has elevated inflation to one of the main stories, if not the story.

The Daily Star

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