News of: Thursday, 14th of February, 2008
A taskforce of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) to Combat Corruption and Serious Crimes, designated to investigate graft in Titas Gas, sent to the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) a list of alleged illegal properties of 68 former and present staff of the agency.
The Election Commission (EC) has asked the caretaker government to allocate over Tk 570 crore in the budget for fiscal 2008-09 for holding the elections to parliament and local government bodies.
The special court dealing with the Tk 3 crore graft case against Sheikh Hasina and other accused yesterday deferred again the hearing on framing charge until February 19 as Hasina was not produced before the court because of illness.
Bangladesh's balance of payments (BoP) went into a deficit for the first time in six years due to an astronomic rise in food, fertiliser and petroleum imports, and experts fear it may blow out to $200 million by June this year.
The levels of crime witness an upward trend in a part of Savar industrial belt despite the state of emergency, creating feelings of insecurity in the area.
The ongoing emergency in the political and economic arena may create a 'social emergency' in the country unless the government deals with the economic problems properly, Dr Akbar Ali Khan, chairman of Regulatory Reforms Commission (RRC), yesterday said.
A Dhaka court yesterday rejected bail petition of detained former deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu in connection with the August 21 grenade attack case.
In around 24 hours after being released from jail, Brig Gen (retd) Hannan Shah, an adviser to the BNP chairperson, was arrested again at 9:00 last night.
A Khulna speedy trial tribunal yesterday acquitted all seven accused in journalist Humayun Kabir Balu murder case.
The caretaker government has decided to rename the nine villages and one union of seven Birsreshthas and three language martyrs for their heroic deeds and struggles in 1971 and 1952.
About 6,500 tonnes of rice were imported from India yesterday through Benapole land port at a hiked price of $505 to 510 per tonne.
Chief of Army Staff General Moeen U Ahmed is expected to pay a weeklong visit to India in the last week of this month to hold meetings with high officials of the Indian government and military.
Two robbers were killed and 18 others, including 10 police and ansar men, injured in a gunfight between the law enforcers and the bandits at Araji Chandpur in Rajshahi's Bagha upazila early yesterday.
A total of 22,127 fowls were culled in Pabna and Khulna on Tuesday night as bird flu infection continues to spread in different regions of the country.
The manager of a residential hotel in Nawabpur in old Dhaka was slaughtered by an ex-employee and his hired goons early yesterday morning over a dispute.
Nobel laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus yesterday said all the political parties would have to reach a consensus for the greater interest of the country.
Barack Obama routed Hillary Clinton in a trio of Washington DC-area nominating clashes, carving into his faltering White House rival's core power base of white, women and working class voters.
The leaders of Pakistan's main opposition parties put up a united front yesterday for next week's general elections after polls showed them pulling ahead of President Pervez Musharraf's allies.
Brac yesterday clarified a report headlined “Abducted Brac official buys freedom” published in The Daily Star on Tuesday.
It is welcome news that that a court has ordered a fresh probe into the Chittagong arms and ammunition haul, in which 10 truck-loads of combat-grade weapons and ammunition were seized by the police on April 2, 2004. The investigators failed to unearth the mystery behind the huge quantity of arms found on a jetty, even after 46 months.
The disappearance the other day of Pakistan's ambassador to Kabul together with the abduction of two nuclear experts raises fresh and very alarming questions about conditions in Pakistan at present. The feeling cannot be ignored that chaos may be overtaking the country. One certainly hopes that that does not actually happen. In these past many months, with terrorism and religious militancy taking an acute turn for the worse, concerns have grown in the region as well as beyond it of the threats that Islamabad faces from a diversity of forces at this point. With the internal political situation already thrown into turmoil by the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December last year, the external threats symbolised by the creeping entry of the Taliban as also al-Qaeda have now brought the country to the edge of uncertainty.
A common question that one very often hears these days being asked is whether the parliamentary elections will be held as per the timeframe as expressed by the Election Commission. While on the matter of elections, one is reminded of an anecdote that is associated with the late president Ziaul Huq of Pakistan.
FIVE crises engulf Pakistan: Firstly, a virtually new Islam wants to rule the polity -- while democracy moves many. Secondly, the ongoing struggle between civil society and the erstwhile military dictator is a growing polarisation; lawyers are striving to end Musharraf's, and the military's, control.
DUMPLING is a tasty food item devoured by the lovers of Chinese cuisine. Like many things making their way into Japan from the Asian mainland of China, the dumpling, too, made its headway eastward long back in history, and since then has become an essential part of the Japanese diet.
The Graeme Smith-led South Africa cricket team will arrive in Dhaka this morning to play in two Tests and a three-match one-day series against the hosts.
A group of footballers yesterday urged the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) to hold its election as soon as possible to save the game from plunging into an abyss.
Twenty20 defending champions Mohammedan Sporting Club will look to overcome a player crisis as they take on newly promoted BKSP in one of six opening day matches of the Premier League's curtain raiser event today.
Bangladesh Under-19 stumbled to a five-wicket defeat against their Pakistani counterparts in the second warm-up game of the ICC Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia yesterday.
The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) looks set for a collision course with Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra over the Swadhinata Cup football tournament.
Sunrise SC moved to fourth place in the Senior Division Football League with a rushing 3-0 win against Agrani Bank in yesterday's match at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur.
First Division side Cricket Coaching School (CCS) formed a working committee with Sakib Ali as club president and Parvez Yousuf Chowdhury as general secretary.
The organisers have finalised the fixture and venues of all nine disciplines to be held at the 2nd Indo-Bangladesh Bangla Games (February 22-26).
Local boys Ranjan Ram and Delwar Hossain moved into the second round of the Dhaka Bank 22nd International Junior Tennis Championships yesterday.
Shamima Akhter Liza maintained her winning run in the Preliminary Phase of the Aromatic Gold 29th Women's National Chess Championship when she won her sixth consecutive match yesterday.
South Africa has been plunged into a fresh debate over the racial make-up of its sports teams 14 years after the country emerged from apartheid into a unifying "rainbow nation".
Australian cricket officials have told their Pakistani counterparts that they have received security advice against touring Pakistan because of political unrest and violence, an official said Wednesday.
Eleven of England's cricketers went straight back into the nets on their day off, in a bid to turn their fortunes around after one of the most humiliating defeats of their careers. Tuesday's ten-wicket loss to New Zealand at Hamilton has left England needing three straight wins in a row to rescue the series, with the next match getting underway in Auckland on Friday.
Real Madrid held its position as the world's richest soccer club as English clubs climbed the rankings to claim three of the top five slots in an annual survey by accountancy firm Deloitte.
Aberdeen manager Jimmy Calderwood has called on the Dons supporters to roar them to glory against German giants Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup first leg last 32 clash on Thursday.
Juventus and Roma meet at Turin's Olympic stadium on Saturday in a vital clash for each side's fortunes with both teams harbouring hopes of moving upwards in the Serie A standings.
With applications set to close at midnight on Tuesday, a staggering two million tickets have been requested by Germany fans for the 14,400 available for their country's three Euro 2008 pool games in Austria.
Troubled Brazilian international striker Adriano could face over a year's suspension for assaulting another player during a match last Sunday it was revealed by his club Sao Paulo on Tuesday.
England are top of UEFA's fair play rankings and could benefit from an additional UEFA Cup spot next season, European soccer's governing body said on Tuesday.
Urawa Reds players were forced to squeeze into the cheap seats when they flew to Guam for pre-season training while striker Naohiro Takahara relaxed in business class.
AC Milan's teenage striker Alberto Paloschi could start Wednesday's Serie A game against Livorno while Ronaldo's career at the San Siro is far from over, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Tuesday.
The Afro-Asian Cup, the second staging of which took place in Bangalore in June last year, looks likely to undergo a radical overhaul of its format.
Real Madrid's iconic striker Alfredo di Stefano is set to be honoured by the club on Sunday with a large statue of himself being unveiled in front of the entrance to the team's training ground.
Grameenphone's operating profits fell by 33 per cent in 2007, as the country's number one mobile phone operator struggled with lower call prices, higher marketing costs and the need to compensate the government for its role in the illegal call termination business.
Janata Bank, the loss making state owned bank, could be profitable within three years, according to the new CEO SM Aminur Rahman who warned however that such a transformation would need a major change of attitude among staff.
Catalyst Microfinance Investors (CMI) will provide US$ 125 million to one of Bangladesh's leading micro-finance institutions, ASA, to fund its rapid establishment and growth in Asia and Africa.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed has asked banks and other financial institutions to ease their lending system so that loans at a reduced interest rate for any SME (small and medium enterprise) scheme taken up by women entrepreneurs are ensured.
Prices of cotton yarn have increased by 20-22 percent in the local market as compared to Indian market, posing a threat to the projected growth of knitwear exports.
Local information technology and software service providers yesterday claimed that they were helping Bangladesh to save Tk 500 crore foreign currency annually.
CellBazaar, an innovative market-access service from mobile phone operator Grameenphone Ltd, has won the '3GSMA Global Mobile Award 2008' in the category of 'Best Use of Mobile for Social & Economic Development', says a press release.
The government has relaxed rules on the cost of fund recovery regarding waiver of interest against loans provided by the state owned banks, a finance ministry circular issued Tuesday said.
The price of edible oil will be adjusted fortnightly with the international price, a meeting at the commerce ministry decided yesterday.
Business houses should ensure corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices and address other compliance issues for their smooth operations, said deputy British high commissioner to Bangladesh at a seminar in Dhaka yesterday.
Biscuit and bread makers have demanded that government take initiative to bring down bank interest rates on loans below 10 percent.
Dilip Das Gupta has been promoted to the post of senior general manager of Commercial Bank of Ceylon Ltd, says a press release.
Malaysia chalked up its 10th consecutive year of trade surplus and the amount of 100.53 billion ringgit (US$31.06 billion) was the second highest ever on record, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz.
Newly appointed French Ambassador Charley Causeret yesterday paid a courtesy call on Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed and discussed bilateral cooperation, trade, business and investment during the meeting.
Legal experts yesterday called for effective application of customary laws of the indigenous people in dispute resolution at the preliminary level.
A taskforce of the National Coordination Committee to Combat Corruption and Serious Crimes has sent the documents of ill-gotten gains of 68 former and present employees of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Co. Ltd. to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
Experts at the 7th international conference yesterday called for immediate large-scale intervention by the government and non-government organisations in tackling arsenic contamination of groundwater, which has affected millions of people in the country.
A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to two Dhaka University (DU) students in connection with the case filed against them on charge of torching an army vehicle and assaulting an army man at Shahbagh intersection during the August violence last year.
The government should take necessary steps to write the sector-wise history of the Liberation War, freedom fighters at a book publication ceremony said yesterday.
Children from the poorest families benefit less from primary education spending, according to a study carried out by the World Bank on the status of Bangladesh in terms of achieving the Education for All (EFA) Goals.
The assistant commissioner of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) and his two colleagues arrested on charge of robbery were sent to jail yesterday.
Close coordination between the Information Department and the media was underscored at a meeting of the information officers at the secretariat yesterday for implementation of government policies and development programmes.
Dhaka Electric Supply Authority (Desa) has introduced decentralised billing system and centralised monitoring to address the suffering of its subscribers, Desa Chairman Brig Gen Nazrul Hasan said yesterday.
A prisoner in Narayanganj jail who was accused of killing his wife died of a heart attack yesterday 13 days into his arrest.
Family members and colleagues of slain Dr Mofakkharul Ahmed Sohel yesterday rejected the findings unearthed so far during the police investigation into the murder.
Different organisations will observe today the Swairashashok Protirodh Dibash (autocracy resistance day), a day when students revolted against the autocratic government in 1983.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday shot dead two Bangladeshi cattle traders and injured another on Banglabandha border in Panchagarh.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed a case against Firoza Reza Raju, wife of former Awamil League lawmaker Ali Reza Raju, on charge of concealing information on her wealth statement on Tuesday.
Pahela Falgun, the first day of the spring, was celebrated with due festivity in the city yesterday.
Inclusion of the name of a late teacher as questioner and examiner of four courses at the Islamic History and Culture Department of Chittagong University (CU) was reported yesterday.
A lion died due to old age complications at Chittagong Zoo yesterday.
Leaders and activists of Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote yesterday celebrated the 81st birth anniversary of ailing Language Movement veteran Advocate Gaziul Haq, says a press release.
Today is the 24th death anniversary of Md Asaf-ud-Dowla Reza, a renowned journalist, says a press release.
Old Laboratorians Association (OLsA), the alumni association of Government Laboratory High School, Dhaka will organise its next reunion and publish a membership directory in April 2008, says a press release.
About 5.7 lakh hardcore poor families in five monga prone districts of greater Rangpur have been brought under VGF (vulnerable group feeding) programme.
Speakers in a workshop yesterday made 17-point suggestions to the government to protect culture and heritages of 11 ethnic communities in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).
Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday said transparency, accountability and citizens' participation in different development works and in formulation of budgets have become essential for good local governance as well as poverty reduction.
A case was filed yesterdays with Kalaroa police station against local BNP leader and Boalia Muktijoddha College principal Farooque Hossain allegedly for realising Tk 1.5 lakh from a female teacher to include her name in monthly pay order (MPO).
The district administration has taken steps to prevent spread of Avian Influenza (bird flue) among migratory birds in Hakaluki haor.
A 5-day fair of jute goods will begin today at the Zila Parishad auditorium in the city.
Joint forces seized 3 kilograms of opium seeds, gun powder and a rifle with bullets in a drive in Thanchi upazila in the district yesterday.
Nepal's ethnically tense south was hit by an indefinite strike launched yesterday, compounding a fuel shortage in the impoverished and landlocked nation's capital and fears for the peace process.
Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dissolved parliament yesterday to pave the way for snap elections which are expected to see the ruling coalition's majority eroded.
Serbia and Russia have demanded an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Kosovo's moves toward independence, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero Waldner said yesterday.
Pakistani troops fired a short-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile during exercises yesterday in the third such training launch in as many weeks, the army said.
India's tiger population has declined by more than half in the last five yearsfrom 3,500 in 2002 to 1,411 in 2007, according to the latest census by the government.
Pakistan's foreign office said yesterday it was "sure" that the country's ambassador to Afghanistan is still alive after being abducted in a tribal region where Islamic militants are active.
A bomb ripped into an Afghan army convoy near a former Taliban stronghold yesterday, killing three soldiers a day after gunmen attacked the home of the area's leader, the official said.
The Australian government has made a formal apology for the past wrongs caused by successive governments on the indigenous aboriginal population.
Arts & Entertainment
AT Bakultala, Charukala (Institute of Fine Arts) premises, members of Jatiyo Bashonto Udjapon Parishad ushered in Pahela Falgun (the first day of spring in the Bengali calendar) with an elaborate cultural programme.
On the occasion of Valentine's Day, Macomm Resolve in association with Nestle Bangladesh Ltd organised a daylong event at the Winter Garden, Dhaka Sheraton Hotel on February 12. Titled “Nescafe Love Bites -- A valentine celebration”, the programme was a treat for young couples.
On February 14, Valentine's Day, Banglavision will air a single-episode play Chor. The play features cricketer Khaled Masud Pilot in one of the lead roles.
On the occasion of Valentine's Day, Ekushey Television will air a single-episode TV play Hoytoba Bhalobasha tonight at 9:30 pm. Directed by Kaushik Shankar Das, the play features the interaction between two strangers on crossroads.
As part of the ongoing theatre festival arranged by Samay Sanskritik Goshthi, Indian troupe Hrittik will stage Meghoboti today at the National Theatre Stage.
On the occasion of Valentine's Day, February 14, Concord Entertainment Co. Ltd. has arranged two-day programmes at Fantasy Kingdom, Water Kingdom and Foy's Lake, says a press release. A concert featuring Nagorbaul, Souls and Kaniz Suborna will be held today. A fashion show and concert featuring LRB, Yaatri and Mila will be held on February 15 at Water Kingdom,
THE recent interest in, of, and by NRBs (Non-resident Bangladeshis) is a healthy sign reflecting their possible role and contribution to national development and emancipation. Among others, Zafar Sobhan of the Daily Star called for a Ministry of NRB Affairs, and the need to integrate the NRBs into the mainstream economy (May 19, 2006 Daily Star). Then December 2007 saw many NRBs participating in a well-intentioned conference in the capital.
FEBRUARY has, since the Middle Ages, been the season for a celebration of love. Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as St.Valentine's Day around 498 A.D. It was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of the birds' mating season and so should be a day for romance.
THE word "change" is now so overused that it's in danger of sliding past platitude into meaninglessness. But it must be working, because a freshman black senator won 13 out of 22 states last week by selling it -- and himself -- to a surprisingly broad cross-section of Americans.