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News of: Friday, 11th of April, 2008
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The High Court (HC) yesterday paved the way for Election Commission's dialogue with the Saifur-led BNP splinter group after it dismissed the petition of Khaleda Zia challenging the EC invitation to Hafiz for talks.
As Boro harvest has started, deeper questions like whether the country's domestic price could remain disconnected from international prices and whether traditional stockists would be allowed to play their role in food security have arisen.
The surrounding areas of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque turned into a battlefield yesterday when members of an Islamic organisation clashed with police leaving over 50 injured including 10 policemen and 15 pedestrians.
Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the question of political or non-political government has nothing to do with the current food situation in the country as temporary food shortages were seen in the past under elected governments at home and abroad.
The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Wednesday said global commodity prices were far from easing in the short term owing to tight supply-demand situation and warned of flare-ups over food shortage.
UNDP Country Director Manoj Basnyat is on his way out under controversial circumstances nearly two years before schedule.
Detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday alleged that the present government is out to have her convicted in a 'farcical trial' to bar her from the next general election.
Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday said the government does not have any plan to introduce rationing of essential items, as it would create scope for corruption.
Amid poor procurement of food grains in the current fiscal year, the government has set a target of procuring 30 lakh tonnes of food grains in the next fiscal year for building a safe food stock.
The Awami League (AL) yesterday turned down an adviser's proposal for unofficial talks as the party decided not to entertain any sorts of talks with the government without formal meeting proposal.
Maj (retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed of pro-reform BNP faction yesterday said the High Court (HC) verdict shows that he is the “lawful secretary general of the party”.
Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday asked the government to release former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina on bail so that they can take part in the proposed dialogue with the government.
A Dhaka court yesterday stayed for an indefinite period the election of Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) scheduled for April 12.
A special court yesterday sentenced former state minister and Awami League leader Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya's son Sajedul Islam Chowdhury alias Dipu Chowdhury to 3 years' rigorous imprisonment for not submitting his wealth statement to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
Bangladesh and Indian officials signed a supplementary deal in Dhaka yesterday for resumption of passenger train service between Dhaka and Kolkata from Pahela Baishakh, 43 years after the service was snapped.
GMG Airlines officials yesterday said Harun-ar-Rashid, for whom one of its flights had to make an emergency landing at a Thai airport Tuesday, is not mentally disturbed. GMG on Tuesday claimed he was mentally disturbed citing a doctor's opinion.
Jatiyo Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad yesterday reinstated all expelled leaders of the Rawshan Ershad-led faction, 10 months after Rawshan revolted to oust Ershad leading to the break-up of the party.
Newly-appointed US Ambassador to Bangladesh James Francis Moriarty arrived yesterday, after the post was vacated by Patricia Butenis in last July.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against former environment secretary Ismail Zabiullah, and his wife Ayesha Zabiullah in a case for amassing wealth illegally and concealing information in the wealth statement submitted to the commission.
Bangladesh go into the second one-day international against Pakistan in Faisalabad today with a more acceptable combination in a desperate attempt to be competitive after the 152-run thrashing in the first game in Lahore on Tuesday.
Notorious criminal Sanjidul Islam Emon denied his involvement in the murder of former National University vice-chancellor Prof Aftab Ahmed but gave vital information in a confessional statement yesterday.
The troubled Himalayan kingdom of Nepal yesterday gave an historic vote of support for a peace process that is set to abolish an unpopular monarchy and reshape the impoverished country.
Taking the advice of his top commander in Iraq, President Bush has decided not to order additional troop drawdowns for now, leaving open the possibility that about 140,000 US servicemen and women will still be in the war zone when the next president takes office.
A suicide car bomber targeting a Nato convoy killed eight civilians and wounded 22 others yesterday in southern Afghanistan, an official said.
At least 54 Myanmar migrants suffocated to death in a cold storage container as they were being smuggled into Thailand to look for work, Thai police said Thursday.
Britain's Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has been here in Dhaka on what was certainly a significant visit. In the course of her trip, she gave people a good deal of food for thought. Her unambiguous statement that there are links between terrorist outfits in Bangladesh and Britain is quite a revelation coming from a senior British government functionary. The reason is simple: rarely in the past has a British cabinet minister, or for that matter any high profile western visitor, been as candid as Ms. Smith. The issue she talked about in Dhaka is one that demands the closest attention. The possible global links between terrorist groups are matters that have persistently exercised minds in Bangladesh at various levels of government and also among the general public.
A prominent Bangla daily brings into focus the fact that despite food and employment crises, some 13 thousand metric tonnes of rice allotted under test relief and food-for-work programmes remain stacked in government godowns. The food grains ought to have been distributed by February, according to plan. Now the Food Adviser Dr AM Shawkat Ali has asked the deputy commissioners to implement the unfinished projects and complete the distribution work by April 15.
THE honourable food advisor gave us food for thought during a press conference last week when he said that there was no famine in Bangladesh. He analysed famine step-by-step, starting with scarcity, followed by starvation, ending with a large number of deaths. Then he said something stunning. Hidden hunger is on the rise in this country, and 800 million people on earth are exposed to it. Those who are new to the game of semantics, please note that it's an excellent example of how all the right things can be said in the wrong context.
THE November 2008 US presidential election is still eight months down the line, and yet people around the world are attuned to the primary election process in which two candidates are heading for a showdown in the Democratic party's August convention in Denver, with the prospect of unelected super-delegates deciding the eventual nominee a process that the party is trying to circumvent.
THE higher prices of rice have rattled consumers and governments across Asia. Concerned by the problem of food security becoming worse, major importing countries have started looking for avenues to bring in more rice into their lands, while big producers are aiming to tame inflation by keeping more supplies at home to drive down domestic prices.
Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons said Thursday he hoped his team would put up a better show in the second match against Pakistan here following an embarrassing defeat in the series opener.
India's hopes of squaring the Test series with South Africa received a boost on Thursday after key paceman Ishant Sharma was cleared to return for the third and final match.
A late flurry of wickets brightened GP-BCB Cricket Academy's chances to take first-innings lead in the second and final four-day Test against South Africa Academy in spite of visiting batsman Reeza Hendricks's century yesterday.
Carlos Tevez's second-half header sent Manchester United into a Champions League semifinal clash with Barcelona with a record-breaking 1-0 win over Roma but it was a victory that proved far more painful to secure than it ought to have been.
Yaya Toure picked the perfect time to get his first Champions League goal, his 43rd minute strike giving 2006 winners Barcelona a 1-0 win over Schalke 04 here on Wednesday.
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said on Wednesday he saw something special in his team and wanted them to prove it in their mouth-watering Champions League semifinal against Barcelona.
Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM) member secretary MA Kabir admitted that a hearing on the Premier League match between Surjo Torun and Sonargaon, alleged to be a fixed affair, has been summoned for April 13.
The 2008 European football championship in brief:
Trent Bridge in Nottinghamshire has been selected as the third venue to host next year's ICC World Twenty20.
Interviews with three Pakistan players conducted by the International Cricket Council's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) related to Pakistan's tour of India at the end of 2007.
Fearing violent anti-China protests from Tibetans and human rights activists and possible skirmishes between anti- and pro- Beijing demonstrators, authorities here changed and truncated the route of the Olympic torch at the last moment.
The inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) was facing a media boycott on Thursday after the influential Indian Newspaper Society joined calls for "offending" accreditation conditions to be lifted.
South Africa captain Graeme Smith said Thursday his team had the batsmen to scotch India's spin threat in the third and final Test here.
Cricket returns to Lord's on Thursday only days after the ground was enveloped in snow to open a season that will show if England can mount a credible challenge to Australia next year.
Emmanuel Adebayor wants Arsenal to forget about their Champions League misery and focus on getting back into the Premier League title race.
AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani said Thursday he was confident of landing both Ronaldinho and Andrei Shevchenko during the close season.
Real Madrid's Dutch international striker Ruud van Nistelrooy returned to training on Wednesday for the first time since undergoing surgery on his injured right ankle last month.
Racing Santander's highly touted Argentine international defender Ezequiel Garay confirmed here on Wednesday that he will be looking to move to one of Europe's big teams this summer.
Barcelona fans were celebrating progress to the Champions League semifinals on Thursday, but simultaneously wondering whether French superstar Thierry Henry has a future at the club.
West Indies captain Chris Gayle said on Wednesday he was more than likely to play in the opening Test with Australia next month even though it clashes with the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The City Bank 28th National Judo Championships will commence today at the NSC Gymnasium.
The 25th Lancer Cup Golf Tournament, sponsored by Rangs Group, began at the picturesque Kurmitola Golf Club yesterday.
Sonargaon Cricketers and Young Pegasus will fight for survival in the Premier League as their relegation playoff match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur will determine the other relegated club along with Kalabagan Krira Chakra.
Gazi Tank and Orient Sporting Club looked set to book Premiership berths with comfortable wins but Brothers Union's chances to return were heavily dashed when they slumped to their third consecutive defeat in the First Division Cricket super league yesterday.
Not ready to let their domestic tournaments suffer because of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Cricket South Africa has instructed its players to return home to play the semifinal and final of the Standard Bank Pro20 tournament before competing in the IPL.
Former national women's champion WFM Tanima Parveen shared lead with Shamima Akhter Liza after end of the sixth round of the Prime Bank 3rd Women's International Rating chess tournament at Cox's Bazar yesterday.
England bowler Ryan Sidebottom admits he would love the chance to play in the Indian Premier League.
Senior Indian cricket board official Inderjit Bindra has called for the government to legalise betting in the country to help rid match-fixing and corruption in the sport.
Australian Test opening batsman Chris Rogers said Thursday he would be playing for Victoria in interstate cricket next season after leaving Western Australia.
Rangs Electronics Limited (REL), a local electronics assembling company, will set up a liquid crystal display (LCD) television assembling plant, the first of its kind in Bangladesh.
The government yesterday retreated from its plan to ration gas supply to industrial units as businesspeople agreed to introduce self-monitoring in their factories to check misuse of gas.
Breeders yesterday said retail prices of poultry will go up further unless farmers now move to restart farming at an increased pace.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has urged his Japanese counterpart to include the impact of biofuel production on food prices on the agenda of the G8 summit in July, Downing Street said Thursday.
World oil prices rallied on Thursday, after striking an all-time record above 112 dollars per barrel when the market was lifted by tumbling US energy reserves and weakness of the dollar, traders said.
Consumer courts need to be set up in all districts of the country to make the proposed Consumer Rights Protection Ordinance'2008 consumer-friendly, speakers told a review meeting yesterday.
The government is planning to provide incentives for building houses in semi urban areas, particularly in areas that are outside municipalities in the country in the next budget, Finance and Planning Adviser Dr AB Mirza Azizul Islam said.
The government will emphasise hybrid rice cultivation to ensure food security, food and agriculture adviser said at a roundtable in Dhaka yesterday.
Twenty-four deputy general managers (DGMs) in different government banks and financial institutions (FIs) got promoted as general managers (GMs).
In the Dhaka Regency kitchen, Ahmed Hussain, a Bangladeshi executive chef is busy leading a team of around 30 staff preparing lunch. Amid the shouts and between the gleaming pots, knives and bowls, the white shirted men chop and stir, hammer and pour.
British restaurateur Mohammed Nannu admires the new crystal chandeliers adorning his mansion just a stone's throw from the impoverished Bangladeshi village where he grew up.
International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, in collaboration with United Leasing Company Ltd in Bangladesh has brought a loan product to help increase access to finance for the country's small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in light engineering sector.
The National Board of Revenue yesterday approved the much-awaited proposal for implementing automation system at Chittagong Customs House.
The dollar lost ground Thursday as Asian currencies staged a strong performance amid growing fears of a recession in the United States, dealers said.
Citibank, NA Bangladesh has announced the launch of a host-to-host integration solution domestically with Warid Telecom International Ltd as the first client, says a press release.
China and Australia agreed Thursday to restart stalled negotiations on a free trade pact, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said
Group of Seven finance officials are mulling a plan to require more openness in complex market investments in an effort to avert future crises, officials said Wednesday.
Singapore's de facto central bank said it had further tightened monetary policy Thursday in a bid to address a sharp rise in inflation.
Thailand's new government has launched fresh measures aimed at luring more local and foreign investment and boosting the kingdom's economy, a deputy prime minister said Thursday.
China on Thursday revised up its economic growth figure for last year to 11.9 percent from 11.4 percent, putting it closer to overtaking Germany as having the world's third biggest economy.
Mazda Motor Corp. said Thursday that it was recalling more than 180,000 passenger vehicles and trucks mostly sold in Japan due to problems with the computer system and other glitches.
Oxfam International urged the government and the international community to implement a comprehensive plan to ensure safe and adequate housing for the people affected by the cyclone Sidr last year.
The publication ceremony of two books on poetry titled 'Sonali Titir' and 'Sabuj Khamer Bhitore Pathalam Jochhonar Bhalobasha' by poet Quazi Rahim Shahriar was held yesterday.
Lawyers, political leaders and civil society members at a discussion yesterday called on the caretaker government to ban Jamaat-e-Islami and bring its leaders to book, saying that the party was politically involved in anti-liberation activities during 1971 and openly opposed the Liberation War.
At least five people were killed and 16 others injured in separate road accidents in Narail, Bagerhat and Sirajganj yesterday.
Speakers at a roundtable yesterday called on the government to hold open dialogues with the political parties instead of 'secret meetings'.
Eminent Social Scientist Prof Anupam Sen yesterday said education is one of the main tools to build a country as a prosperous one.
Bangladesher Sromojibi Nari Maitri, a platform of workingwomen, yesterday urged the government to start rationing system and distribute food free of cost to working people for the next two months to avoid any famine situation.
Pro-Khaleda faction of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) yesterday demonstrated on Dhaka University (DU) campus rejecting the court verdict that discharged detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's writ petition challenging the legality of the Election Commission's (EC) invitation to Saifur-led BNP faction on reform talks.
Khulna Development Forum (KDF) yesterday submitted two separate memoranda to the chief adviser (CA) and the finance adviser seeking adequate allocation of fund in the next national budget for early implementation of different development projects.
Director General of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) Hasan Mahmud Khandaker yesterday said a holistic approach is needed for permanent solution to militancy which is yet to be rooted out from the country.
Newspapers Owners' Association of Bangladesh (Noab) will observe holiday on April 14 on account of Pahela Baishakh.
The Federation of NGOs in Bangladesh (FNB) yesterday said micro-credit programmes are facing threats due to indiscriminate order by divisional and district administrations and local social service offices to stop all such programmes.
The government has decided to provide 20 percent of the basic salary as deputation allowance to both civil and military officials working in deputation.
Two activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) were injured in a clash with a group of students on the Chittagong University (CU) campus yesterday afternoon.
Shaheed Zia Children's Park at Shahbagh will remain open from 10:00am to 8:00pm on the occasion of the Pahela Baishakh (April 14), the first day of the Bangla New Year, says a press release.
Properties worth around Tk 10 lakh were gutted in a fire at a jute mill in the port city yesterday afternoon.
One more person died at Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) yesterday after he fell sick eating poisonous puffer fish on Wednesday.
Shahida Kamal, wife of detained former Awami League lawmaker Kamal Ahmed Majumder, was released from jail yesterday after a Dhaka court granted her bail in a corruption case.
The farmers in 32 districts are passing their days amid uncertainty as the boro paddy is affected by unknown diseases over 28,000 acres of land. Farmers, mainly cultivating boro, have said that they fear crop failure, as they do not know how to handle the situation.
An ominous shortage of rice globally is looming large over the rice consuming countries of South Asia, of which Bangladesh tops the list. It appears the rice producing countries of this region are no longer capable of producing the quantity of rice required for feeding the ever increasing population, forcing them to stop their rice export. Re-fixation of the export price of rice at $1000 per ton abruptly, instead of $500, by India is a glaring example of how alarming the situation is. The cost of rice if imported at this rate will be not less than Tk.80 per kg. which the people of this country will never be able to buy. Undoubtedly, Bangladesh is going to be the worst affected country as it needs to feed over 150 million people whose staple food is rice, a large portion of which is imported. Therefore, it is high time short and long-term strategies are formulated and measures adopted to tackle the situation before it is too late.
Acid throwing is one of the worst crimes. It has to be tackled in the strongest possible way and rooted out once and for all. But in spite of punishments prescribed in our penal codes, the situation has not improved.
Our world is now facing some new problems and global warming is one of them. The temperature of the world is increasing day by day. We can now feel its consequences. Natural disasters are occurring on a regular basis. Countries near the sea like Bangladesh are being affected. So, we have to realise the fact and try to remain safe.
Basic generation changes are taking place globally, not only in Bangladesh, S Asia (Pakistan), but also in America (US), and central Europe (Kosovo). The central theme is change in the philosophy of political governance.
Islamic tourism is a pretty talked about topic. Islamic countries from the Asia Pacific region have agreed to form an Asia Pacific Islamic Travel and Tours Federation to “safeguard" the interests of Muslim tourists and travel agents. Representatives from the four founding member countries - Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei together with ASEAN neighbour Singapore - have agreed to its formation at the recent Bumitra Islamic Tourism Forum 2008 in Kuala Lumpur.
The whole nation is united on this point. Obviously, people hope that this government will take steps to start the long awaited trial. Everybody believes that the war criminals who committed crimes against humanity during 1971 liberation war will finally face trial.
It is nice to see erudite people belonging to the civil society taking note on the on going anti-corruption campaign and the processions etc. They can also take a stroll down the not so civil part of the city where children are burning under the scorching sun in the never ending line of BDR shops. If the mindless and overzealous jihad against corruption could be driven with some sanity and common sense, instead of making a media circus, these children could attend school, instead of saving some precious money for their poor parents. The advisers always preach transparency and accountability. Charity should begin at home!
Rice is a staple that mainly supply carbohydrates in our diet. Milled rice has a high glycemic index and a poor source of quality nutrients such as essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Potatoes on the other hand are nutritionally much superior to rice. It contains nutritionally important vitamins, minerals and some important essential amino acids making its protein higher in quality compared to rice. Usually a medium potato (150g/5.3 oz) with the skin provides 27 mg vitamin C (45% of the Daily Value (DV), 620 mg of potassium (18% of DV), 0.2 mg vitamin B6 (10% of DV) and trace amounts of riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. The fibre contents of a potato is almost equal to many whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals. It is an important component for heart-wise diet. In addition to vitamins, minerals and fibre, potatoes also contain many phytochemicals, such as carotenoids and polyphenols which were shown to have anti-cancer properties. Since potatoes are a good source of potassium with low sodium content, it reduces the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
Reading your reports about the difficulty of staffing and equipping rural hospitals reminded me of one of the better ideas to come out of Communist Russia - that every medical student whose training had been paid for by the state should spend the first two years of his or her professional life serving in the villages.
We are expatriate students or you might say the most hardworking class of Bangladeshis. I came to this 'land of opportunity' (Australia) about four years ago. I came alone.
We the people of Bangladesh depend on rice to feed ourselves. But the prices of rice along with other commodities are increasing rapidly. If this situation goes on one day the country will face a famine. A few days ago, a news report was published in various newspapers that the government was going to buy some new luxury cars for the advisers and the DC's. The decision came as a shock to us because the country is passing through a crisis. According to Dr. Akbar Ali Khan(Chairman of RRC) the money which will be spent for buying the luxury vehicles could be used to decrease the prices of rice and other household commodities.
I believe the time has come to have a lively and frank discussion to understand the meaning of war criminal. I understand the feeling of fellow citizens clamouring for trial of war criminals, and I am all for it. But, what constitutes war criminality?
Poor and middle class people have become sick as they have to struggle hard to survive.
Godagari is an upazila of Rajshahi district. It is a place for trade and business.
Most of the students do not understand what the real meaning of life is. I personally do not agree that it is very essential to study hard and get established--otherwise life will be doomed. In fact, these types of ideas compel a student to remain confined to one single world. In my opinion, man has several identities.
Maoist fighters in Nepal were voting in an election yesterday aimed at bringing the country into a new era of peace -- and putting them out of their jobs as hardened revolutionaries.
Israel warned on Thursday it will retaliate against Hamas, blaming the Palestinian Islamist group for a deadly explosion of violence in the Gaza Strip that followed a month of relative calm.
Pakistan's prime minister warned Thursday that dictatorship threatened the country's newly restored democracy as mounting unrest revitalised the allies of embattled President Pervez Musharraf.
Myanmar's military government Thursday warned foreign embassies not to support Aung San Suu Kyi's pro-democracy party, as the nation gears up for a referendum on a constitution opposed by her supporters.
A Sindh High Court judge on Wednesday cleared PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari of involvement in the 1996 murder of Murtaza Bhutto. Murtaza and his men were gunned down in an alleged shootout with Karachi police on Sept 20, 1996. Zardari was arrested for conspiracy to murder shortly after the dissolution of the PPP government and was jailed for six years pending a trial in the case.
Conservatives allied with South Korea's president won a thin majority in parliamentary Thursday, boosting the government's plans to revive the economy, embrace the US and talk tougher with North Korea.
Scattered battles in the war-torn jungles of northern Sri Lanka left seven Tamil separatists and a soldier dead, the military said on Thursday.
Arts & Entertainment
When we visited Delhi a couple of years back, some of my friends were shocked to find the shopping malls closing early in the evening. That would never be the case in Dhaka... they wailed, which roughly translated meant so much better “they keep mega-malls open way late, in the hope that a few customers (like us) MIGHT go on an unplanned shopping frenzy...! All my explanations on energy conservation, examples of major cities from London to Bangkok to Singapore to New York where the evening rule applies, fell on deaf years. I can imagine their plight now since starting from February last year, the evening closures rule descended on Dhaka also.
Sand sculptures -- the most common being sandcastles -- are an inseparable part of the beach culture around the globe. Here however, it is still somewhat unfamiliar as “Bangladesh doesn't have much of a beach culture,” says Md. Ashfaqul Alam Roni.
A musical programme featuring solo renditions by Partha Tanveer Naved was held at the Ramesh Chandra Dutta Auditorium, Chhayanat Sanskriti Bhaban on April 8. The programme also included performances by other artistes.
Twelve contestants got “ yes cards" at the Sylhet audition round of the talent hunt Close Up 1: Tomakei Khujchhey Bangladesh held at a hotel in Sylhet city. Around 2535 aspiring singers took part in the audition.