News of: Thursday, 7th of February, 2008
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In a landmark judgment, the High Court (HC) yesterday declared illegal the government move to bring the Tk 2.99 crore extortion case against former premier Sheikh Hasina under Emergency Power Rules (EPR) and quashed it.
Inflation rate of food items in urban areas reached 15.77 percent and 13.91 percent in rural areas on point-to-point basis in December last year as prices of essentials, especially rice and flour, skyrocketed.
Fates of around 150 graft cases filed under emergency power rules (EPR) against many biggies of politics and business, in connection with corruption committed before the declaration of the state of emergency, may become uncertain yesterday following a High Court (HC) verdict.
Rangpur Carmichael College was closed indefinitely yesterday as Islami Chhatra Shibir activists rampaged through the campus, torched the house of a teacher and a power substation, ransacked the college principal's house and vandalised several motor vehicles.
Bangladesh and India yesterday initially fixed $399 as the rate of one tonne of rice that the neighbouring country had agreed to export to Bangladesh following the attack of cyclone Sidr.
Disaster management experts have suggested immediate initiatives to identify and retrofit vulnerable buildings in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet as they are concerned about likelihood of earthquakes in the major cities.
Saudi Arabia yesterday denied media reports that it will stop issuing work visas to Bangladeshis from February 9.
The Dhaka Central Jail library goes unused for years as prisoners including over 150 VIPs, who comprise politicians, students and businessmen, take no books at all.
Awami League has said justice has won over injustice with yesterday's High Court verdict that quashed the Tk 2.99 crore extortion case against detained party chief Sheikh Hasina.
The Awami League (AL) will hold talks with its allies in 14-party during February 11-13 for taking a common stance on the issues to be discussed at the proposed dialogue with the government.
Special Assistant to the Chief Adviser for Fisheries and livestock Manik Lal Samaddar yesterday said although the bird flu has been spreading, there is no reason to be panicked.
The government will float international tender for third-round bidding by February 15 to award contracts to foreign firms for exploring gas and oil in the deep-sea and offshore areas.
Lawyers of detained former premier Khaleda Zia yesterday submitted a petition to produce her before the court today in connection with the Gatco graft case.
Khaleda Zia backed BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said any polls keeping the BNP Chairperson and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina in jail would not be acceptable.
The United States wants to see the parliamentary elections held according to the roadmap announced by the Election Commission and it would provide Bangladesh with the necessary assistance to this end.
A three-and-a-half-month old infant has been confined at Chittagong Jail along with her self-claimed and mentally disabled 'mother', who police suspect a baby thief.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama dug in for a protracted slog for the Democratic White House nomination after battling to a brutal draw in their coast-to-coast Super Tuesday showdown.
Rab members recovered 18 firearms and arrested three criminals at Majhirchar of Sharankhola Range in Khulna Tuesday afternoon.
The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in separate raids yesterday and Tuesday in different parts of the capital seized around Tk 1.8 crore worth of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) equipment and arrested two people.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano dissolved parliament yesterday, paving the way for snap elections and a probable return to power by conservative media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi.
Dozens of tornadoes ripped across southern US states causing severe damage and killing at least 45 people, officials and US media said yesterday.
Dr Kamal Hossain and Associates in a clarification to the report "Police Ordinance: Ministry asks police HQ for further consultations" published in the February 5 issue of The Daily Star, said Advocate MA Wadud, an associate at the law firm, was involved with the drafting of the ordinance "in his personal capacity" as a consultant to the UNDP.
THE High Court has delivered what we, and the general public, would consider an obvious judgment. Frankly, there couldn't have been any other. The verdict on the extortion case against Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina, quashing the case, must be welcomed as it upholds the due process of law and rejects any emergency measure. The court has indeed upheld a simple legal point that no law covers any offence committed before its enactment. What we really find baffling and difficult to understand is why the government failed to foresee the situation that has arisen now. The government's legal advisers should have been able to comprehend that the case would be untenable.
DEVDAS Chakravarty was symbolic of a generation of artists which aligned itself with the broader cultural and political aspirations of the nation. Chakravarty, in the manner of scores of others in the field in which he always excelled, voiced such aspirations loud and clear through the seminal posters he drew at the height of the War of Liberation in 1971. These greatly inspired the freedom fighters to liberate their country from the yoke of the forces of occupation and darkness.
SUDDENLY, it seems that the issue of political reform has been relegated to the background. Some, I feel, would like to see it put on the backburner altogether for good, if they could.
WHILE the situation in Pakistan, circa 2008, is not quite comparable with the situation in 1971, those who rule Pakistan today as well as those who aspire to rule tomorrow must keep in mind the consequences of obdurate refusal to compromise even when catastrophe stares us in our faces. Most of our problems in 1971 were domestic and self-created, India took geo-political advantage by militarily force-multiplying the self-destruction process.
THIS is the first time that a woman and an African-American are in the race to seek nomination as the presidential candidate from the Democratic Party. African-Americans have contested for the nomination of the Democratic Party, but a woman joins for the first time in a presidential race. In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro ran for vice-president with former vice-president Walter Mondale from the Democratic Party, but both lost. Incidentally, neither has an African-American nor a woman risen from the Republican Party to contest in a presidential race.
There was no surprise call-up when Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced a 17-member national squad yesterday for the upcoming two-match Test and three-match one-day series against South Africa.
The Standard Chartered Young Tigers National School Cricket Tournament (Under-16) gets underway at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium on February 9 with BKSP taking on West End High School in the opening match.
The Protiti Pharma Victory Day Club Cup tournament committee did football one favour by penalising local giants Mohammedan Sporting Club and Arambagh Krira Sangha for their 'unsporting' behaviour and playing against the 'spirit of the game'.
The New Zealand cricket team, humbled in its first Twenty20 encounter with England, was struck a further blow on the eve of the second match with all-rounder Jacob Oram out injured.
Bangladesh team completed their preparations for the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, which begins on February 17 in Malaysia, with an inspiring series victory over West Indies under-19 yesterday.
Former national footballer and coach Feroz Kabir died yesterday morning of iodine deficiency disorder at the Millennium Hospital in Dhaka.
Abdullah Al Rakib and Enamul Hossain Rajib both drew their fourth round matches in the International Chess Festival of Moscow Open on Tuesday but fellow Bangladesh player Sheikh Nasir Ahmed recorded his second successive win after two defeats in the meet.
The Senior Division Football League will resume today after a three-day break to give some breathing space to the teams participating in the ongoing Victory Day Club Cup tournament.
The 3rd National Archery Championships, organised by Bangladesh Archery Federation, begins today at the Outer Stadium.
Record-breaking Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist said Wednesday he was upbeat about his chances of taking part in the lucrative inaugural Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL).
The preliminary phase of the Aromatic Gold 29th National Women's Chess Championship, sponsored by Marico Bangladesh Limited, will start tomorrow at the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall-room.
The zonal rounds of the EXIM Bank 18th National Handball Championships begins tomorrow at Jamalpur for Rajshahi zone.
All five local boys and three girls crashed out of the singles competition in the Grameenphone International Junior (U-16) Tennis Championship (Group-3) at the Zafar Imam Tennis Complex in Rajshahi yesterday.
The Eastern Housing 14th Inter-club Shooting Championships begin today at the local Police Lines Shooting Range.
Reigning champion FIDE Master Minhazuddin Ahmed Sagar maintained solo lead in the 29th National Junior (Under-20 years) Chess Championships with maximum eight points.
The start of the JFA Cup (U-15) Football Championship qualifiers has been delayed by a week.
Australia blazed past Qatar 3-0 on Wednesday in a rip-roaring start for coach Pim Verbeek as they bid to qualify for the World Cup via Asia for the first time.
Cameroon coach Otto Pfister enjoys cult status in Africa, a continent he has called home for a large chunk of his long life.
Japan overwhelmed 10-man Thailand 4-1 on Wednesday in the perfect start to their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Services marking the 50th anniversary of the Munich air crash will be held in England and Germany on Wednesday as survivors fall silent to remember those who died.
Fabio Capello left no doubt about the size of the task facing him as he tries to drag England out of the international wilderness.
This is not an issue worth agonising over. At a time when Caribbean societies are grappling with matters affecting the quality of life in our very small countries, engaging in heated arguments over the captaincy of the West Indies cricket team is both irrelevant, unnecessary and a complete waste of time and energy that should instead be devoted to finding solutions for the real problems of crime, violence, the rising cost of living and entrenched social inequalities.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to limit Australia's tour, which is under threat due to security concerns, to four venues, an official said on Wednesday.
Nathan Bracken hopes to fend off increasing competition and gain a recall to Australia's Test side, but knows that no matter what he does in the one-day arena it's his first-class results that count. Bracken is ranked sixth in the world for one-day bowling -- and was as high as second last year -- yet can't nudge into the longer form for Australia. He has not played a Test since December 2005.
Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack will make his first appearance in ten months for Germany in Wednesday's friendly against Austria, but Germany's captain insists their Euro 2008 campaign starts now.
Asia's top tennis player Sania Mirza will retain her strong brand value despite her decision to shun Indian tournaments in protest at being dragged into needless controversies, Indian advertisers say.
Ghana striker Junior Agogo has received an unusual offer from an 82-year-old fan in appreciation of his exploits at the African Nations Cup semifinal his granddaughter.
Bayern Munich boss Ottmar Hitzfeld has confirmed he will sign up as the next coach of the Swiss team in the next few weeks, according to the German giants' website on Tuesday.
Seven players from former Singapore league side Liaoning Guangyuan were Wednesday charged with alleged match-fixing, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced.
Spain coach Luis Aragones on Tuesday called on the country's football federation to put off choosing his successor until after the Euro 2008 championships in June in Austria and Switzerland.
Defender Craig Moore announced his international retirement after Australia's 3-0 World Cup qualifier romp over Qatar here on Wednesday.
The rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) has zeroed in on seven Pakistani players, including former spinners Mushtaq Ahmed and Saqlain Mushtaq, for its next edition.
The number of cases filed against factories for violating labour laws plummeted last year despite an increase in the number of violators detected by government inspectors.
Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) has recently reduced internet tariff charges by 20 percent to 40 percent in different slabs in a bid to accelerate the growth of the country's information and communication technology (ICT) sector.
German finance officials will arrive in Tokyo for a G7 meeting this weekend with clear proposals to improve the transparency of financial markets, deputy finance minister Thomas Mirow said here Tuesday.
Local textile mills' growth will be hurt if the European Union okays the proposed rule for receiving GSP (Generalised System of Preference) facilities in European countries, millers feared yesterday.
BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission) has shortlisted forty-three local firms out of 57 for the final bidding process of awarding 3 international internet gateway (IIG) and interconnection exchange (ICX) licences.
Negotiators working on a new global trade deal need to decide whether to limit a key meeting to agriculture and industry or broaden it to areas such as services, officials and diplomats said yesterday.
European stock markets faced another turbulent day on Wednesday after another major sell-off on Wall Street and the Asian markets that was sparked by growing fears of a US recession, dealers said.
US tariff structure should be impartial for encouraging exports from poor countries, a seminar was told in Dhaka yesterday.
Sonali Bank Limited is likely to move towards market-based banking system instead of traditional banking, following its conversion into a public limited company from nationalised commercial bank.
The dollar firmed Tuesday despite a dreadful report on the US service sector, as risk-averse traders looked to the greenback as a safe haven from growing financial market turmoil.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) have recently entered into an agreement for expanding partnership between the two institutions to alleviate poverty in South and Central Asia.
Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, and other forests in the country cannot be protected unless the people's right to the forest is established.
The Council of Advisers committee on Public Purchase yesterday approved a tender of Tk 154 crore for construction of jetty, RCC yard, marshalling yard and river bank protection of Pangaon Inland Container River Terminal (ICT).
Six people were killed and three others injured in separate road accidents across the country yesterday.
Bangladesh Chhatra League, student wing of JSD, yesterday demanded that the caretaker government take initiatives by March 1 to bring the war criminals to justice.
A housewife who was set to fire allegedly by her husband about a month ago succumbed to her burn injuries at a city hospital yesterday morning.
A man was killed when a speedy intercity train hit a private car at Staff Road level crossing in the city's Banani area last evening.
A student of Dhaka University filed an assault case against 11 fellow students, including three leaders of the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), last night.
Chief of Bangladesh Air Force Air Marshal Shah Mohammad Ziaur Rahman yesterday called on President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban and handed over a report on Sidr relief operation by the air force.
A court yesterday sentenced eight persons to life imprisonment for murder and fined them Tk 10,000 each, in default to suffer another six months in jail.
The National Oil-Gas, Mineral Resources, Energy and Port Protection Committee yesterday called for transparency in the production sharing contracts (PSCs) for offshore oil and gas exploration approved by the cabinet yesterday.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday expressed profound shock at the death of renowned artist Debdas Chakraborty.
The 10th education UK exhibition will begin in the city on February 14 and in Chittagong on February 18.
A Dhaka court yesterday ordered Bidisha, estranged wife of Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad, to appear before it on May 8 in connection with a case for misappropriating Tk 2.13 crore.
A sharing workshop with diverse groups of disadvantaged children on UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) Alternative Report by Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) and its partner organisations will be held today at Biam hall in the city, says a press release.
The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized contraband drugs worth about Tk 1 crore during raids on two drug stores at the Mitford Medicine Market in the city yesterday.
Tension runs high on the Dhaka University (DU) campus, as the demonstrators in favour or against the quota system in the BCS examinations are confronting each other.
The Department of Youth Development (DYD) in a release yesterday said confusion has been created among the public, including the unemployed youths, about DYD-run training programmes as some private organisations which have been conducting various training programmes across the country are attributing the word 'Jaitya' (national) or phrase 'affiliated with a certain ministry' to themselves.
A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced four people, including two schoolteachers, to life in jail for killing freedom fighter Shafiuddin Manik in Netrakona in February 2002.
Rajdhani Unnayan Katripakha (Rajuk) yesterday demolished over 400 illegal structures at Uttara in the city.
Muggers took away mobile phone, Tk 4,000 and other valuables from a costume designer at Motijheel in the city when she was returning home at Khilgaon from her office by a rickshaw last night.
The Australian High Commission has provided a grant of Tk 13,20,000 under its Direct Aid Programme (DAP) 2007-08 to two Bangladeshi NGOs, Symbiosis Bangladesh and the Assistance for Blind Children (ABC), says a press release.
Police arrested 1,608 people in separate drive across the county in the last 24 hours ending at 6:00am yesterday.
A two-day 'Dhaka Festival-2008' in celebration of the 120th birth anniversary of Shree Shree Thakur Anukul Chandra begins at KL Jubilee School and College premises at Banglabazar in the city today.
Bangladesh Film Archive yesterday signed two agreements with researchers and writers under a project to create awareness and capacity building for preservation of films in the archive.
Swaziland admires the foreign policy of Bangladesh that espouses stability in all parts of the world.
A man was hacked to death allegedly by his wife at Bhaijura village in Morelganj upazila yesterday.
Today is the 11th death anniversary of eminent journalist Khairul Kabir, founder editor of the daily Sangbad, says a press release.
At least 57 drug addicts died in one area in the town in last three years due to lack of treatment.
Farmers have expressed their optimism of a good yield of paddy in the ongoing peak season of IRRI-Boro cultivation due to uninterrupted power supply across the district.
A case was filed with Satkhira Sadar Police Station last night for death of a pregnant woman allegedly due to wrong treatment and negligence of the physician at Khulna Diagnostic Centre at Palashpole in the town.
Khulna Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal Judge Abdus Salam Shikdar did not deliver the verdict of journalist Humayun Kabir Balu murder case, tribunal sources said.
A national conference to ensure dignity and rights of the Harijan community of the country will be held at Islamia College ground here today.
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday organised a day-long workshop on avian influenza on the Dinajpur sector premises.
The launching ceremony of a FoSHoL Union Livestock Service Centre will be held at Mithaganj Union Parishad (UP) Bhaban in remote Kolapara upazila, Patuakhali on February 11, says a press release.
Khulna District and Sessions Judge's Court yesterday shifted the charge framing date of two out of nine extortion cases against detained Khulna City Corporation mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman to February 12.
Police seized a truckload of urea fertiliser from Mathurapur of the town on Tuesday night.
Sri Lankan war planes yesterday bombed targets inside Tamil Tiger-held territory in the north as ground forces clashed with the rebels, leaving 37 guerrillas and five soldiers dead, the defence ministry said.
Fractured Super Tuesday results suggest that the unprecedented coast-to-coast voting in 24 states may be only the end of the beginning of the longest, most expensive US presidential race in history.
Hillary Clinton's armies of women and Hispanic voters were crucial to keeping Democratic rival Barack Obama at bay, exit polls showed, after the hotly contested flurry of Super Tuesday contests.
Political turmoil in Pakistan has not seriously threatened the military's control of its nuclear weapons "but vulnerabilities exist," US intelligence said in a report Tuesday.
A Pakistani Taliban commander blamed for the murder of former premier Benazir Bhutto has declared an indefinite ceasefire with government forces, a militant spokesman said yesterday.
Israel mulled ways of keeping up the pressure on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Wednesday a day after the Islamists claimed their first suicide attack inside Israel in three and a half years.
British detectives will give their first report to the Pakistani government this week on their findings in the murder of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, the interior ministry said Wednesday.
War hero and maverick senator John McCain strengthened his hold on the Republican presidential nomination on Super Tuesday but was unable to lockdown support from wary conservatives.
A rocket fired into space by Iran earlier this week raises "suspicions" over Tehran's claims to have no ambitions to build a nuclear weapon, a Russian foreign ministry official told domestic news agencies yesterday.
Japanese scientists looking at patients with brain tumours say they can find no evidence to support fears that using a mobile phone boosts the risk of cerebral cancer.
Arts & Entertainment
ON the occasion of the 'Amar Ekushey Granthamela 2008', English, German and Hindi versions of Gauripur Junction, a novel by renowned author Humayun Ahmed, have been published by Anyaprokash.
Chalachchitram Film Society arranged a memorial programme to pay homage to the recently deceased playwright Selim Al Deen at Goethe-Institut Bangladesh on February 5. Eminent poet and litterateur Syed Shamsul Haq, theatre personality Shimul Yousuf and Professor Afsar Ahmed reminisced about Al Deen at the programme.
The weeklong Jatiyo Pothonaty-otshob '08 (Street Theatre Festival) at Central Shaheed Minar premises ends today. The event organised by Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation (BGTF) featured performances by 35 theatre troupes from all over Bangladesh. Each day five plays were staged at the venue. Most of the plays were based on social and political issues. Apart from street plays the festival also included cultural programmes featuring songs and poetry.
The shubho mahurot of Amar Achhey Jol was held at the Ballroom of Hotel Sheraton yesterday. Sponsored by Lux and produced by Impress Telefilm Ltd, the film is written and directed by Humayun Ahmed.
Written by Monir Hossain and directed by Chayanika Choudhury, single-episode play Shey Achhey Ontorey will be aired today on Channel 1 at 8pm. Zahid Hassan, Richi Solaiman and Apurbo play the lead roles.
PAKISTAN is changing. It is really difficult for the West to understand the new ground realities of Pakistani politics. Militancy in the North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan is on the rise, but religious politics in the same province is on the decline. A fair and free election on February 18th can really change the entire landscape of electoral politics in Pakistan.
BANGLADESH has been experiencing spiraling and unprecedented food prices for quite some time now. This has led to much speculation as to the cause of this food price inflation and ways to control it. This short note is written on the premise that an understanding of the market mechanism is essential for taking appropriate measures to control food prices. Otherwise, ad-hoc interventions can actually make the situation worse.