News of: Thursday, 28th of February, 2008
The Election Commission (EC) yesterday reached the halfway mark to finishing the mammoth job of voter listing by already registering four crore electors, three weeks ahead of schedule.
The government should set up a disaster response fund of $300 million for dealing with losses caused by natural disasters, says a post-cyclone Sidr damage assessment report by the donors.
The government formed a high-powered committee to combat money laundering and financing of terrorists.
Jamaat-e-Islami, which on Tuesday once again denied to the Election Commission its anti-liberation role during the 1971 War of Independence, had many of its top leaders among the Razakar members surrendering along with the Pakistan occupation forces on December 16, 1971.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said despite resource constraints, Bangladesh is firmly committed to addressing the needs of disabled persons within and outside the country.
Unlike the worldwide introduction of updated technologies in passports thanks to security concerns, the government continues issuing the primitive hand-written books, which often lead travellers to face unwarranted hassles at airports.
A day after the filing of Barapukuria corruption case, two top Jamaat-e-Islami leaders -- Motiur Rahman Nizami, the ameer, and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid, the secretary general -- yesterday filed separate anticipatory bail petitions with the High Court.
Detained former premier Sheikh Hasina was not produced before the court on security grounds during yesterday's hearing of the MiG-29 corruption case.
Physical condition of Abdul Jalil, general secretary of Awami League (AL), has been deteriorating.
The dormitories of Dhaka Polytechnic Institute in the city's Tejgaon area have allegedly turned into a safe haven for fugitive criminals and militants.
The Election Commission (EC) yesterday observed that it cannot ban religion-based political parties and bar them from taking part in polls as the constitution does not allow any such act.
Bazlur Rahman, one of the country's most prominent journalists and editor of the daily Sangbad, was laid to rest at the Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals' Graveyard yesterday amid state honour and homage from people from all walks of life.
The government considers that design fault is responsible for the expanding cracks in the Jamuna Bridge and will go to international court against the construction company, Hyundai.
Three members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), including an assistant superintendent of police (ASP), were closed for allegedly beating up a Dhaka University (DU) employee on the campus yesterday.
The Election Commission yesterday began taking fingerprints of 24,933 people in Sylhet City Corporation area again after scrutiny of the draft voter list there found that their fingerprints were not properly taken.
Claiming the October 29 standing committee meeting illegal, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's counsel TH Khan yesterday made submissions as the hearing on a High Court rule on Election Commission's inviting BNP to a dialogue began yesterday.
Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka, who submitted his wealth statement to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), was yesterday questioned by an investigation team regarding the statement.
A seven-year-old girl was strangled after rape and three other people were killed in the city yesterday.
The Advisory Committee on Public Purchase yesterday approved import of 390,000 tonnes of refined fuel oil from UAE at international market price plus premium to meet the carrying cost.
Khaleda Zia-backed BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said people would neither accept a 'blueprint' election nor a parliament comprising representatives blessed by a 'certain quarter'.
Softening his earlier stance, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's adviser Brig Gen (retd) ASM Hannan Shah yesterday said reformists will be reinstated in the party for the sake of unity.
A spokesman for the Indian High Commission in Dhaka yesterday said the work on introducing passenger-train service between Dhaka and Kolkata is going on but the date for its commencement has not yet been finalised.
Five people were killed and 25 others injured in a road accident when a bus fell into a wayside ditch near the Poirtala Puniaut rail crossing point in Brahmanbaria yesterday morning.
The winners of Pakistan's elections yesterday demanded that President Pervez Musharraf convene parliament immediately in a joint show of strength against the embattled US ally.
Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama Tuesday traded attacks over the Iraq war, healthcare and foreign policy at a feisty debate heading into crunch White House nominating contests.
Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra plans to return to Thailand today for the first time since the military toppled his government in a bloodless coup 17 months ago, officials said.
THE National Human Rights Commission Ordinance, 2007 has come up for scrutiny by human rights advocates and civil society members, who have found certain flaws in it which, according to them, may defeat the whole purpose of setting up the commission.
BAZLUR Rahman was one of the more enlightened men of his generation. It was this enlightenment he brought into the calling of journalism he pursued all his adult life, until that life was brought to a sudden, inexplicable end on Tuesday. In life, Rahman personified the aesthetics he thought should underpin the functions of the media world. Had he not died young, for sixty seven years is but youth when one considers the broad canvas on which men like Bazlur Rahman work, he would have enriched even more the world of our news gathering and our commentaries on men and matters. And yet in the more than six decades that he lived, Rahman did make a difference.
GENERAL Moeen's visit to India has not come a day too soon. In fact, the visit of the Bangladesh CAS to India had been long overdue. It seems rather strange, in terms of the bilateral relationship between the two countries that exchange of visits by topmost army commanders is commencing after almost a decade.
THE clear popular verdict came a week ago, but the new government is still distant. The reason for the deadlock is all about undoing the mischief of November 3 2007, when Gen. Pervez Musharraf imposed an emergency, gave a second Provisional Constitution Order amending the Constitution, sacked over 60 superior judges, and arrested leading lawyers and many of those PCOed judges, with many still under detention. None of this should be acceptable to those who have received the mandate to govern the country; they want ex-Gen Musharraf to resign. Musharraf refuses to go. It is a serious crisis.
QUIETLY, America has enjoyed one resounding foreign policy success in the last fifteen years -- in the Balkans. And it has been a bipartisan, pro-Muslim success.
With one day to go before they lock horns with South Africa, there are a number of positives that the Tiger's can derive from the venue of the second Test.
City Club joined Abahani as surprise semifinalists of the Premier Division Twenty20 Cricket League yesterday as contenders Bangladesh Biman and Kalabagan both fell on the last day of the group stage.
Outspoken Australian batsman Matthew Hayden has been reprimanded by Cricket Australia (CA) for calling Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh an "obnoxious weed".
Australia's spin bowling stocks suffered another blow Wednesday when veteran left-arm wrist-spinner Brad Hogg announced his retirement from international cricket.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has confirmed that the DFAs (district football associations) cannot be members of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF).
The opening day of the Cotton Group 23 rd Bangladesh Amateur Golf Championships teed-off yesterday at the Kurmitola Golf Club.
Mohammedan Sporting Clubs of Dhaka and Kolkata will clash today in both sides' opening match of the 113th ESPN IFA Shield tournament today, according to the tournament website.
A first-half strike by Shamim helped Badda Jagarani beat Purbachal Parisad 1-0 in yesterday's Senior Division Football League at the Bir Shreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur.
Jagoroni XI won the Golap Cup cricket title here yesterday defeating Balubari XI by seven wickets at the Dinajpur Cricket Ground.
Opponents of the English Premier League's global expansion plans have won a major victory in their fight to prevent regular season matches being played in cities around the world.
British bookmakers on Wednesday slashed the odds on Chelsea boss Avram Grant becoming the next Premier League manager to leave his job as his assistant Henk ten Cate confirmed reports of a training ground bust-up with captain John Terry.
VfB Stuttgart coach Armin Veh admitted he was gutted after his side crashed out of the German Cup at the hands of second-division strugglers Carl Zeiss Jena on penalties.
AC Milan have complained that Brazilian playma-ker Kaka's career is in danger as he is being targeted by opposing teams for what appears to be a strategy to foul him.
India overcame a rain-reduced target and a brilliant display by New Zealand's Corey Anderson to enter the under-19 World Cup final here on Wednesday.
The wicketkeeping gloves used by India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni during a recent triangular series one-match in Australia are legal, the Indian manufacturer claims.
India's new cricket coach Gary Kirsten said Wednesday he was impressed with the team's aggressive attitude despite controversies on their ongoing tour of Australia.
New Allan Border Medalist Brett Lee admitted here Wednesday he was disappointed by the continuing ill will between Australia and India.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has backed Harbhajan Singh, dismissing suggestions the controversial spinner had been distracted by his disputes with the Australians and was struggling for form.
Three former Australian internationals have signed up for the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL), organisers said on Tuesday.
Pakistan will host the Asia Cup from June 25 to July 6 in Karachi and Lahore this year, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) yesterday said the verbal duel between Indian and Australian cricketers has the potential to damage the "healthy" relationship shared by the two boards.
Retired Australian leg-spin genius Shane Warne has been named captain and coach of the Jaipur team in the Twenty20 Indian Premier League, the franchise announced on Wednesday.
Juventus' battle to take second place in Serie A suffered a fresh blow on Tuesday as they were held 0-0 in the Turin derby by Torino and had former Czech international midfielder Pavel Nedved sent-off. Juventus - who lost 2-1 to lowly Reggina on Saturday - trail AS Roma by three points with the team from the capital due to take on leaders Inter Milan on Wednesday in Milan.
Paris Saint Germain gained a much needed morale boost to their traumatic season here on Tuesday when they reached the League Cup final thanks to a 3-2 victory over Auxerre.
Bayern Munich's bosses have ruled out any repeat of last summer's massive spending spree, despite the high-profile arrival of coach Jurgen Klinsmann this July.
Golf idol Adam Scott admitted on Wednesday that he'd be keen to play a round with tennis bombshell Maria Sharapova, after she listed him as one of her ideal mixed-doubles partners.
Germany striker Mario Gomez escaped a ban but has been hit with an 8,000-euro fine (12,000 US dollars) for insulting Karlsruhe defender Maik Franz after a Bundesliga match on the weekend.
Bangladesh Steel Re-Rolling Mills (BSRM) is to invest Tk500 crore in building a new steel mill and a billet factory during the next five years in an effort to double its share of the country's quality steel rod market, a director of the company said.
South Koreans, encouraged by better quality of Bangladesh's ready made garments (RMG) and availability of cheap labour, are contemplating doubling investment here, said the director of Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (Kotra), Dhaka.
The euro broke the 1.50-dollar mark for the first time ever Tuesday in the wake of lackluster US economic reports that renewed fears the American economy could be falling into a recession.
The rapid spread of ATMs in Dhaka and Chittagong is transforming the way the country's banks banks operate, with time consuming cash transactions no longer being conducted by human tellers.
Neelanjana Khan walks up the aisles in the huge factory hall in Gazipur, carefully peering at the faces of men and women who are busy cutting and sewing denim cloth for children's and men's blue jeans. She is looking for child workers. "I check if anyone looks younger than 18", she explains.
In 2007 Vietnam attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows of $ 20bn and if Bangladesh is to benefit from the surge in global investor interest in Asia, we need to address the key questions of “Why Bangladesh? Why Now?”. A new and effective strategy for developing Brand Bangladesh will be a critical part in credibly answering these questions.
The Bangladesh Bank today signs a sale and purchase agreement with the Switzerland-based ICB Global Finance Group Holdings AG on the sale of Oriental Bank's 50.1 percent stake.
The dollar sank to a record low against the euro yesterday after surprisingly weak US economic data, but Asian stocks hit a six-week high on optimism corporate earnings will weather the difficult global economic environment.
Charge d' Affaires of US Embassy in Dhaka Geeta Pasi yesterday suggested that the government should reduce corruption and hold free and fair election for creating congenial business environment in the country.
The main index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) yesterday jumped 92 points, the second highest single day gain, following the market regulator's clarification on margin loan offer and the government's initiative to offload more shares of multinational and state-owned companies already listed on the bourses.
Sales of bottled water in the country is rising by up to 20 percent a year mainly due to consumers' lack of confidence in public water service facilities.
Finance Adviser Dr Mirza Azizul Islam said yesterday government borrowing from the banking system would rise to more than what has been estimated to finance the widening budget deficit, which is likely to be 4.7 percent of GDP in the current fiscal year.
Speakers at a roundtable yesterday stressed the need for a gender-sensitive national budget and emphasised government policy for the development of the womenfolk by recognising the economic value of their household works worth at least $69.8 billion a year.
Grameenphone, the country's leading cellphone operator, yesterday expressed interest to offload its shares on the stock market but sought assurance of the government that it would not change its investment policies.
Terming mutual funds' contribution to stock exchanges very poor, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman yesterday urged financial institutions to introduce more mutual funds.
The annual conference of carbonated beverage Pepsi's Bangladeshi bottler Transcom Beverages Limited was held in Shiliguri, India recently, says a press release.
Oil and gold prices rose to record highs Wednesday amid renewed weakness of the dollar and Opec concerns.
A Malaysian minister warned Wednesday that investors might be deterred if a fundamentalist Islamic party retains control of its stronghold in northern Kelantan state.
The European Union fined Microsoft Corp. a record $1.3 billion Wednesday for the amount it charges rivals for software information.
Six international telecommunications carriers have agreed to construct an ultra-high-speed submarine cable to carry Internet and other traffic between Japan and the United States, Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) said Tuesday.
The European Union will support Bangladesh's initiatives aimed at promoting technology transfer to foster the diversification of the local economy in export-oriented sectors.
The United Arab Emirates will set up shelters for victims of human trafficking, a regional problem highlighted by the United States and international rights groups, the local press reported on Wednesday.
In a chart along with a news item headlined 'Multinationals to be asked to list on stock markets' printed on this yesterday, it was mistakenly mentioned Mirpur Ceramics Works Ltd as a multinational company. The company is not a multinational company.
At least five people were killed and 10 others injured in separate road accidents in Rajshahi and Magura in the last two days.
The Bangladesh Society for the Enforcement of Human Rights (BSEHR) has expressed concern over a report on the sufferings of Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia.
Speakers at a meeting yesterday underscored the need for changing the mindset towards MSM (male having sex with male) people to ensure their rights in the society.
Different socio-cultural and political organisations, professional bodies and individuals yesterday condoled the death of Bazlur Rahman, editor of the daily Sangbad and a valiant freedom fighter.
Security experts and analysts at a workshop yesterday stressed the need for political will, regional cooperation and greater cooperation between the intelligence agencies at home and neighbouring countries to curb transnational terrorism and crimes.
Prof M Tamim, special assistant to the chief adviser for power, energy & mineral resources, yesterday said another review committee would be formed very soon to finalise the national coal policy.
Eminent academics and economists at a discussion yesterday said the private sector should contribute more to the development of education and research to help establish a knowledge-based nation.
Primary, Mass Education and Cultural Affairs Adviser Rasheda K Chowdhury yesterday stressed the need for strengthening the mainstream education as majority people are involved in it.
A four-day international socio-scientific cancer conference will begin in the city on March 27.
A Gazipur court yesterday sentenced five people to death in sensational Hanif Sarkar murder case.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has underscored the need for deepening economic and trade relations to match the excellent relations existing between Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury has expressed concern over the deadly attack by Israel on the Palestinians in Gaza that left nearly half a dozen dead.
Australian High Commissioner Douglas Foskett yesterday discussed with Home Adviser Maj Gen (retd) MA Matin cooperation in modern training for the police on criminal investigation and forensic lab equipment.
Six additional and joint secretaries have been transferred in a latest reshuffle in the administration.
Students demanding abolition of quota system in the BCS examination withdrew their strike yesterday after the vice-chancellor of Dhaka University (DU) assured them of considering their demand.
At least 100 godowns and shanties near Tongi EPZ burned down in a fire yesterday.
The 16th Biennial International Zoological Conference began at Kazi Nazrul Islam auditorium of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday.
Speakers at a roundtable yesterday said only an elected government can review the quota system in Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examination as the present caretaker government has no jurisdiction to do it.
Japan offered to support clean energy projects in Bangladesh, including nuclear energy.
Mufti Mainuddin alias Abu Zandal, operational commander and trainer of the banned Harkatul Jihad (Huji), was placed on a fresh seven-day remand yesterday in connection with a case filed for killing two people in the city's Tejgaon area in April last year.
Terre des Hommes Netherlands has donated relief items worth Tk 28.6 million for the victims of cyclone Sidr in Patuakhali recently, says a press release.
The government will set up four new textile institutes for enriching the country's textile sector and producing skilled manpower.
Rail and highway communications on Dhaka-Chittagong route were disrupted for about three hours yesterday following derailment of two bogies of a freight train in Comilla.
The government has decided to appoint AKM Shamsuddin, former secretary to the government, as the high commissioner of Bangladesh to Kenya.
The Women and Children Repression Preventive Court here rejected CID charge sheet in seven year-old Victor kidnap case and ordered a judicial probe into the case.
Language movement veteran Abdul Matin yesterday said the spirit of Language Movement and the Liberation war can ring about radical change in the nation if there is a good governance in the country.
Most criminals commit crimes within the knowledge of police or have links with them, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nur Mohammad said here yesterday.
Trial of Rajshahi University (RU) teacher Prof Muhammad Yunus murder case will now begin on March 9.
Five more prosecution witnesses (PWs) of five August 17 serial blast cases gave statements before a court here amid tight security yesterday, court sources said.
Six persons of a fake NGO, caught for cheating people in the name of giving autorickshaws at lower price, were sent to jail hajat here yesterday.
Students of Khater Ali Intermediate College here yesterday locked the college offices demanding regular classes and examinations in their college.
A court here yesterday sentenced a commissioner of Satkhira pourasava to five years' rigorous imprisonment for keeping drug.
In Islamabad's cloak-and-dagger politics, it is often hard to separate apparent fact from inspired fiction.
India will jointly build a surface-to-air missile with its second biggest weapons supplier Israel and hopes for such collaborations with other countries, the defence minister said yesterday.
Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said on Tuesday that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) would join the PPP government at the federal level, while the PPP would join them in Punjab.
Britain's Home Office says it is deporting at least one person after every eight minutes, one of the highest numbers of deportations from any European country, according to Dawn News.
Turkey came under renewed US pressure yesterday to wrap up its offensive against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, with Washington insisting the operation should not last more than "a week or two".
A leader of an ethnically based political movement in Nepal says talks with the government have collapsed.
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates warned yesterday that "the clock is ticking" on a US-Indian civilian nuclear accord that has been stalled by the New Delhi's government's communist allies.
Five Hamas militants were killed in an Israeli air strike on a minibus in the Islamist-ruled Gaza Strip yesterday, as the United Nations called on all sides to find ways to end the violence.
At least six people were injured, four of them critically, in a powerful explosion yesterday at a crowded marketplace in India's insurgency-hit northeast state of Assam, police said.
The bullfrog may harbour a valuable anti-ageing substance for humans, South Korean researchers say.
An earthquake struck Britain early yesterday and was felt across large parts of the country. No injuries or damage were immediately reported.
Arts & Entertainment
To mark the International Mother Language Day, the first SAARC Poetry Evening was jointly organised by Meghdut Abritti Shangshad and UNESCO, Bangladesh Office, in collaboration with the high commissions/ embassies of the SAARC countries. The programme was held at the Shaheed Zia Auditorium, National Museum on the evening of February 26.
As a tribute to Selim Al Deen, the ten-day long theatre festival titled Natyo Parbon '08, organised by Jahangirnagar Theatre, ended on February 25. Professor M. Muniruzzaman, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Jahangirnagar University attended the concluding programme. President of Jahangirnagar Theatre, Professor A.K.M Shahnewaz presided over the event. General Secretary of Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation, Jhuna Chowdhury delivered a speech at the programme.
Gunijan, a web-based organisation, has taken the initiative to compile the biographies of noted Bangladeshis. The biographies will be available on Gunijan's website. The organisation also launched the CD featuring the compilation of biographies. Titled Mohima Tobo Udbhashito, the CD was launched on February 26 at the Liberation War Museum. At the same programme, a research book titled Bangladesh Education in Transition: Policy, performance, way forward, edited by professor Mahmudul Alam was also launched. The book is published by Development Research Network (D.Net). Veteran women's rights activist Hena Das and Professor Anisuzzaman launched the CD and the book respectively.
In keeping with the growing trend in Bollywood, veteran director Shyam Benegal returns to making a comedy film -- after quarter of a century -- through his latest work Mahadev Ka Sajjanpur to be released commercially in March-April this year.
Asiatic Society of Bangladesh (ASB) has arranged a three-day Bangladesh Folk Music Council '08 at its premises. Rural artistes from different corners of the country are presenting traditional performing art forms at the event that started from yesterday. Moreover, the researchers are scheduled to read 27 papers at the three-day seminar.
As a part of the regular cultural programme organised by Bangla Academy at the ongoing Amar Ekushey Granthamela, cultural organisation Kranti arranged a vibrant music and recitation performance (Geeti Alekkhyo) titled Roktojhora Phlagun recently, says a press release.
A seven-day long book fair ended on February 26 at the Officers Club premises in the hill town to mark the International Mother Language Day.
IT is difficult to forecast whether the caretaker government, for the second time, will present an over-ambitious budget or just the right one in size under a strained economy. Obviously, this time, the budget of 2008-2009 will be prepared in a challenging environment, where global price hikes have inflated the import bill and natural disasters have threatened the economy.
SERICULTURE is recognised as a potential cash earner in the developing countries where unemployment and poverty problems exist, hindering the national development. There are ample opportunities to employ men and women of all ages, including children, at all stages of sericultural activities, starting from mulberry cultivation to silk reeling. As a developing country, Bangladesh is facing severe unemployment and poverty problems both in rural and in urban areas.
ONCE again, Nepal has been deeply plunged into a vortex of political crisis and standoff. External eyes are fixed on the twisting and turning events in Nepal in an intent gaze. Voices of dissatisfaction and protest, questions of identity and self-determination, discussions about nationalism and the threats it faces have decidedly posed multiple challenges to the political leadership.
“Any repeat like that of unpleasant incident of April 16, 2006 at Bir Shreshtha Ruhul Amin Stadium may leave adverse effect on co-hosting 2011 World Cup Cricket at this Test venue and all concerned including law enforcers, crowds and media people in Chittagong must take into consideration seriously while the city awaits the 2nd Test and first ODI which is beginning between Bangladesh and South Africa on February 29.”
The 125th founding anniversary of St Scholastica's Girls' High School was celebrated amid grandeur and festivity on the campus on Sunday bringing the students of several generations the rare honour of being part of a long and glorious history of the oldest academic institution for girls in Chittagong.
Amar Ekushey observed
Students, teachers and guardians of Radiant School & College, one of the leading English-medium educational institutions in the port city, observed Amar Ekushey and International Mother Language Day on Thursday.