News of: Tuesday, 3rd of June, 2008
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Spells of torrential rain played havoc with city life yesterday, submerging many streets and causing daylong gridlock in a virtual collapse of city's traffic management system.
Hundreds of city service buses, private cars, lorries, three-wheelers and taxicabs haphazardly inching forward was the common picture across the rain-soaked capital almost the whole day.
The Gono Forum leaders yesterday proposed a review of the constitution and post-election national unity government to ensure a non-partisan commitment to good governance as they joined the ongoing pre-poll dialogue.
Detained former premier Sheikh Hasina yesterday put out a call to the government to immediately stop the ongoing 'mass arrests', and to work for making the ongoing politico-electoral dialogues and announced elections successful instead.
A special court yesterday handed down five years' rigorous imprisonment on Mosaddek Ali Falu, detained former BNP lawmaker and political secretary to former premier Khaleda Zia, for misappropriating relief materials.
Judge Tanzina Ismail of the Special Court-6, set up on the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban premises, also fined Falu Tk 5.35 lakh. He will have to serve one more year behind bars if he failed to pay the fine.
One of the wounded office executives of Hotel Orchard Plaza in the city succumbed to his injuries a day after several blasts shook the hotel.
The first of six costly rental power plants enters service today in Khulna. The 40-megawatt (MW) petroleum-powered plant installed by British company Aggreko launches six days behind schedule.
Some important changes were made in the top echelon of Bangladesh Army yesterday, according to highly placed sources.
Awami League (AL) yesterday said the ongoing dialogue and upcoming election could not be held in a meaningful way as the caretaker government has complicated the situation through “arrest, torture and repression” on its leaders across the country.
Islami Okyo Jote (IOJ), a component of BNP-led four-party alliance, will join the dialogue with the caretaker government despite BNP's decision not to participate in it without party Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Joint forces during the last five days of their nationwide special drives arrested 8,325 people and recovered 33 firearms and 34 explosives.
Asking the party leaders and worker to be prepared for movement, BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said they would bring about the downfall of the present government through movement.
The High Court (HC) yesterday granted anticipatory bail to Awami League Presidium Member Tofail Ahmed's wife Anwara Ahmed and daughter Dr Taslima Ahmed Zaman for four months or till submission of police report in a case filed on charge of amassing illegal wealth.
Angry students of a private university yesterday put up barricade on Bahodderhat-Kalurghat road in the port city following the death of a fellow student in a road accident.
A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced three activists of outlawed Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to 20 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) for possessing bomb making materials.
Detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday filed a petition with the High Court (HC) for quashing the trial proceedings of barge-mount power plant corruption case against her.
Production in the state-owned Platinum Jubilee Jute Mill was suspended yesterday for an indefinite period after about 200 workers of the factory turned violent during a demonstration demanding payment of their arrears.
The home ministry's monitoring cell on sensational cases yesterday expressed dissatisfaction over the lack of progress in the probe into the bomb blasts at a rally of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) on January 20, 2001.
A Dhaka court yesterday placed Rafiqul Islam alias Sabuj, one of the two men who were part of the team that threw grenades on an Awami League (AL) rally in Dhaka on August 21, 2004, on a five-day remand.
A suicide car bombing outside the Danish embassy in Pakistan killed eight people and wounded 27 yesterday in a possible new backlash over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, state media and officials said.
A member of outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) was killed yesterday in crossfire between Rab and his accomplices at Namkan village of Bagmara upazila.
Six people died and 30 others were injured in a bus collision on the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway in Trishal upazila of the district yesterday.
The foreign ministry yesterday warned foreign missions here not to interfere in the country's internal affairs after reports emerged that the US had asked the government to clarify the reasons for the countrywide arrests made since Friday.
The north-eastern Indian state of Tripura wants access to Ashuganj river port and Chittagong seaport in Bangladesh as it wants to become the commercial gateway to other north-eastern Indian states.
Hillary Clinton's uphill bid for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination suffered further blows after a compromise in a dispute over Michigan and Florida delegates barely enabled her to chip into Barack Obama's commanding lead -- and low turnout in Puerto Rico ended any chance of winning the popular vote overall.
Eurozone interest rates should not fall because inflation is at 'uncomfortably high levels', the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.
UN boss Ban Ki-moon is deeply concerned at Israel's decision to build 884 more houses in east Jerusalem, which is 'contrary to international law', his press office said yesterday in a statement.
The sudden intensification of the drive against crime which saw the law enforcers arresting several hundred persons around the country in two days would normally have been seen as a special effort to check the slide in law and order. But reports say that many of those arrested are workers and activists of major political parties. And that raises a host of questions and queries about the move ostensibly undertaken to haul up criminals against whom warrants of arrest and charges lay.
In the last eleven months there has been 30 percent increase in the overseas demand for our RMG products compared to that in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year. At a time like this, nothing could be more frustrating than to learn that pockets of labour unrest are still there in the sector.
Our suited-booted big bosses are ever ready to travel to Europe or the US on any pretext. It is said that they have a suitcase packed with essentials for such trips since there is no drought of invitations. It is also said with a great deal of amusement that you will find Bangladeshi delegates in every possible UN/WorldBank/ IMF/Unesco/ILO/Unicef/EU sub-sub-sub-committee meetings if these are held in the US or any European, South American or African country.
Long ago, D. Gale Johnson discovered "disarray" in world agriculture fraught with misalignments and missing markets. After many years of relative calm, a quiet journey towards feeding the world population at a reasonable price, agriculture seems to be back to the border of disarray. The costs of the conundrums are well documented. Food prices shot up suddenly at an exorbitant rate. Since the poor tend to spend about two-thirds of their total income on the purchase of food, they were the worst victims of the crisis with debilitating effects on their consumption of non-food items.
Nothing seems to be going right for the Indian National Congress, which has recently suffered election reverses in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal and Uttarakhand. Now, the Bharatiya Janata Party has defeated them in the Karnataka Assembly elections; to rule a Southern state for the first time.
Regional football powerhouses India and Bangladesh will be put to the test by the emerging nations of South Asia when the fifth edition of the SAFF Football Championship begins in Maldives capital Male today.
The day-night practice matches between the national team and the second string A team could be dress-rehearsals for both players and organisers about what kind of situation they might face during the tri-nation one-day series which kicks off on June 8 at Mirpur.
Abahani must thank Mohammedan for giving them a lifeline in the Green Delta Premier Hockey League title race but all the gratitude will be over when the two archrivals meet in today's crucial Super 5 clash.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has decided to send Tigers batsman Aftab Ahmed to India for operation on his injured ring finger.
Abdul Hannan Miron, one of AFC's elite pool of referees, will conduct the matches of the 5th SAFF Championship beginning in Maldives today.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday released the match officials' names for the upcoming tri-series involving India and Pakistan.
A below par Roger Federer was made to work hard by unseeded Julien Benneteau of France at the French Open on Monday before winning a rain-hit match 6-4, 7-5, 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals.
A day that promised much, delivered very little, after heavy overnight and early morning rain coupled with poor drainage stymied Australia's charge in the second Test against West Indies on Sunday.
Pakistan cricket selectors Monday included five fast bowlers in a 16-man squad to take part in next week's one-day tri-series in Bangladesh.
Australia leg-spinner Stuart MacGill's surprise retirement was an appropriate end to a career in which he always spoke his mind and rarely conformed.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni may have lost the Indian Premier League (IPL) final but every run he scored in the 44-day tournament was worth nearly 1.5 lakh rupees.
In a typical Italian fashion, national team coach Ro-berto Donadoni has decided to tackle June's Euro-pean Champion-ships in Austria and Switzerland with all guns blazing.
Jose Mourinho was on Monday named as the new coach of Inter Milan, the Italian club announced.
New 100m world record-holder Usain Bolt made it clear Sunday that he'll be seeking a sprint double at the Beijing Olympics in August.
Newcomer Bafetimbi Gomis, who has just emulated Zinedine Zidane with a spectacular France debut, warned he was not yet in the same league as the retired maestro.
Sven-Goran Eriksson's year-long reign at Manchester City finally came to an end on Monday when it was announced that the former England boss had left the English Premier League club.
Cristiano Ronaldo cast a pall over Portugal's first training session here ahead of Euro 2008 as he left the field with a bandaged ankle, an AFP photographer on the scene reported.
Eight people died of heat suffocation before Liberia's match against Gambia after too many people crammed into the stadium, the chief mortician at Monrovia's JFK government hospital said Monday.
Uzbekistan smashed seven goals past Singapore and Bahrain won in Thailand as they remained the only teams with 100 percent records after three rounds of Asian World Cup qualifying.
Briefs for Euro 2008 finals which are being co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland and run from June 7-29:
Late substitute Issouf Kone scored twice in four minutes to give Burkina Faso a sensational 2-1 away win over Tunisia Sunday in a 2010 World Cup-African Nations Cup qualifier.
It will be contrasting challenges for Serbian pair Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic in the first two of the women's French Open quarter finals on Tuesday.
The sudden retirement of Australian leg-spinner Stuart MacGill over the weekend could see bowling great Shane Warne come out of international retirement, cricket commentators said Monday.
Nesta Carter put the finishing touch on a great day for Jamaican sprinting when he won the men's 100m at the Golden League meeting here on Sunday.
Arambagh signed four more footballers for the second B. League, due to start in September this year, yesterday at the BFF Bhaban.
The zonal phase of the AB Bank 29th National Table Tennis Championships will start today in Rajshahi.
Indian Premier League title-winning Rajasthan Royals skipper Shane Warne might have offered his services to mentor the country's spin bowlers but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) feels it's too early to give a thought to the leg spin legend's proposal.
When you consider how much the Indian Premier League (IPL) borrowed from World Series Cricket, it's quite ironic that its success might lead to the eventual extinction of the pajama cricket that was the cornerstone of the Packer revolution. As much as World Series Cricket was about fair pay, improved TV coverage and superior marketing of the sport, it was also about establishing one-day cricket as a distinct entity, played in coloured clothes, under lights, and in front of crowds that came expecting to be entertained.
The government looks set to slash a further 30-37 percent off internet tariffs in an effort to encourage growth in the high tech industries and enable Bangladesh to compete for global outsourcing contracts with its South Asian neighbours.
Uncertainty has descended on a steel mill in Bogra district as the authorities have decided that no new gas connection will be offered in the country's northern region until December due to shortages.
When broiler chicken farming marks a slow recovery, layer chicken farming is not picking up amid farmers' worry over the possible return of bird flu disease in the coming winter, according to industry operators.
Bahrain has said the ban on issuing work permits to Bangladeshis imposed on May 26 will not affect anyone already working in that country and the professionals who intend to apply for work there, reported Bahraini newspaper Gulf Daily News yesterday.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) on Sunday issued a circular asking all scheduled banks and financial institutions to include Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in their activities.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Salehuddin Ahmed Monday recommended preparing the second PRSP taking inputs from the election manifestoes of the political parties as the election is due in next six months.
The upcoming national ICT roadmap will bring together all the key ICT policymaking organizations of the government, a view exchange programme was told yesterday.
The government has started disbursing money among the poor farmers to enhance the production of jute and to meet the growing demand for this natural fiber in the manufacturing of jute geo-textile.
Air travel industry body IATA predicted Monday that airlines would lose 2.3 billion dollars this year, dramatically reversing an earlier forecast of profits nearly twice this figure.
Apart from hunger, there is probably nothing more distressing than the inability to afford medical treatment when most needed. Understandably therefore, state-intervention to lower the cost of healthcare is a global phenomenon.
Bangladesh Lamps Ltd, the official licensee of Philips Electronics NV Holland for lighting products and manufacturer of Philips electric bulbs, has declared a cash dividend at the rate of Tk 30 per share.
The government yesterday allowed the import of iron steel and scrap for all to keep the skyrocketing price of MS rod at a tolerable level.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has rewarded 18 customs officials of Dhaka Customs House for detecting unauthorised foreign currencies and gold worth over Tk 6.74 crore during fiscal year 2006-07.
Asian stocks closed mixed Monday as concerns that high inflation would slow economic growth tarnished a spate of data showing stronger than expected regional expansion in the first quarter.
The dollar was steady in Asian trade on Monday as investors sat on their hands ahead of a fresh batch of US economic data, dealers said.
IFIC Bank Ltd has approved a 100 percent stock dividend for the year 2007, says a press release.
US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, on a tour of the Gulf, called on Monday on oil-producing countries to open their oil markets to foreign investment.
With its prodigious farm exports and its major industry making ethanol from sugarcane, Brazil is seeking to show that in the food versus biofuel debate at least in its case the two can co-exist.
South Korea said Monday it would float the state-run Korea Development Bank next year under a privatisation to be completed by 2012 as President Lee Myung-Bak seeks to revitalise the economy.
India's trade deficit increased by more than three billion dollars in April from a year ago as oil prices increased sharply, the government said Monday.
Strong political consensus is needed to resolve transboundary river water problems, experts at a seminar said yesterday.
Speakers at a press conference yesterday expressed concern over the rise in criminal activities across the country.
The Dhaka University (DU) authorities have declared a building of Rokeya Hall unsafe after identifying it vulnerable to earthquake damage.
Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury has said the conference titled Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore was “fruitful” and Bangladesh's participation enhanced its regional and international image.
Examination and cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses (PW) in the ACC-filed case against Sylhet city BNP chief Ariful Haque Chowdhury and his wife Shama Haque Chowdhury (absconding) ended yesterday in Sylhet District and Sessions Judge's the court, also the special tribunal.
Two sub-inspectors (SI) of Kishoreganj Sadar police station were suspended yesterday due to negligence in duty while an allegation against the officer-in-charge (OC) of the police station, Abu Mohammad Fazlul Karim is being probed.
Chief of Army Staff General Moeen U Ahmed called on President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban in the city yesterday.
Teachers and students of Bangladesh Medical College at a press conference yesterday demanded arrest of the killers of Ehtesham Al Ziad, a first year student of the college.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against deputy forest conservator Abu Hanif and his wife Dilruba Parvin in a case filed for amassing illegal wealth and concealing wealth information to the commission.
Workers' Party of Bangladesh (WPB) yesterday demanded of the Election Commission (EC) to hear all complaints about the delimitation of constituencies as per law.
Bangladesh has been elected a titular member of the Governing Body of International Labour Organisation (ILO) from the Asia Pacific group of countries for 2008-11.
The High Court (HC) yesterday rejected a writ petition challenging the legality of Dhaka-Kolkata train service agreement.
Unidentified miscreants looted money, gold ornaments and other valuables worth Tk six lakh doping six members of a Christian family at Malgazi village under Mongla upazila in Bagerhat district on Sunday midnight.
Acting mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) Rezaunnabi Dudu yesterday announced a Tk 162.32 crore budget for 2008-09 fiscal year proposing new taxes on holding and water.
Grameen Shakti (GS) has won the First Place under the National Energy Globe Award 2007, says a press release.
The Building Construction Rules 2008 is to be published today facilitating the highest 67.5 percent ground coverage while constructing a building.
Nazneen Azim, a visual media and communication consultant, takes over as president of Zonta International Dhaka Club 1 on Sunday, says a press release.
Muggers snatched Tk 1.57 lakh from an expatriate Bangladeshi engineer at Kakrail in the city after rubbing ointment into his eyes.
Dr Tridib K Biswas, acting dean of Academic Affairs, International School of Business, Woosong University of South Korea called on Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Prof SMA Faiz at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban on Sunday, says a press release.
Jago Bangladesh, the latest political party in a series since declaration of the state of emergency, was launched yesterday.
Four people were killed and 26 others injured in separate road accidents in Sirajganj and Comilla in the last two days.
Today is the 7th anniversary of Baniarchar killing.
With a view to orienting students with the art of public speaking and techniques of debate, a four-day debate and public speaking workshop began at Dhaka University (DU) yesterday.
China yesterday guaranteed there would be no epidemics in quake-hit areas amid ongoing fears of a disease outbreak in the aftermath of the disaster.
Different human rights organisations yesterday condemned the mass arrest launched by the joint forces on Saturday.
The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the authorities concerned to release a juvenile detained in Kushtia jail on bail.
About Tk 346 core of stipends for female students at secondary level was misappropriated in the 1st phase of Female Secondary Education Stipend Project (FESP), according to sources in FESP.
Pragatishil Ganatantrik Dal (Progressive Democratic Party -- PDP) Convener Ferdous Ahmed Qureshi yesterday urged the caretaker government to take steps against top corrupt political leaders before the general election.
Speakers at a workshop here yesterday urged central leaders of political parties to prepare their election manifestoes after taking opinions of grassroots leaders on local issues.
Liberal Democratic Party chief Col (retd) Oli Ahmed yesterday said chiefs of two major political parties should take responsible steps for ensuring a better atmosphere towards democracy.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) will investigate the corruption of former vice chancellor (VC) of Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) Prof Dr Abdul Latif who was removed from job on May 21, UGC sources said.
Former BNP lawmaker M Akbar Ali was sent to jail in an extortion case when he appeared before the court of District and Sessions Judge Biplab Goswami for bail yesterday.
Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) Convener Ferdous Ahmed Qureshi yesterday said Jamaat-e-Islam is a minority pressure group that will be abolished from the country in a natural way.
Yeasinur Rahman Ripon, Netrokona Correspondent of Jugantor and ETV was admitted to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital (MMCH) yesterday for treatment of injuries allegedly from police beating.
UN atomic watchdog chief Mohamed El Baradei demanded "full disclosure" from Iran at the start of an agency board meeting Monday focused on Tehran's disputed nuclear programme.
Hillary Clinton said in comments published Monday that she may challenge a decision by Democratic Party leaders on convention delegates, threatening to prolong her nomination fight against Barack Obama.
The Times of India said Monday it is facing sedition charges from the police for allegedly questioning the competence of a senior officer in volatile Gujarat state.
An alliance of Australian lawyers, academics and politicians wants former prime minister John Howard to be prosecuted for war crimes over the invasion of Iraq, a report said Monday.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert held talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Monday ahead of a US trip that will give him a brief respite from corruption allegations against him at home.
Nepal's ex-king has agreed to quit his palace before a June 12 deadline and live as a commoner in line with a constituent assembly's vote to scrap the monarchy, the home minister said Monday.
Afghanistan has disbanded 300 illegal armed groups over the past three years under an internationally backed scheme, but some 2,000 more are yet to be dissolved, officials said Monday.
French fashion legend Yves Saint Laurent, who changed the silhouette of 20th century woman with a daring new dress code, has died aged 71.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (r) Qazi Muhammad Farooq on Sunday allowed Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif and President Shahbaz Sharif to contest the by-elections scheduled for June 26.
Four Maoist insurgents were killed in a gun battle with security forces on Sunday in eastern India, a police official said.
A Singapore opposition leader who is among a rare few to publicly challenge the country's rulers was sentenced Monday to 12 days' jail for contempt, in the latest legal ruling against him.
Foreign observers said Monday that Macedonia parliamentary polls at the weekend failed to meet international standards as they were marred by violence between ethnic Albanian activists.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's attendance at a UN food crisis summit in Rome is "particularly unfortunate," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's spokesman said Monday.
The United States has convinced Israel to allow seven Fulbright scholars from the besieged Gaza Strip to travel to Jerusalem for visa interviews, an Israeli official said on Monday.
At least 52 people have been killed in Mongolia by a severe snowstorm that has also frozen to death more than 200,000 livestock, Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Monday.
Iran on Monday ordered the Fars news agency, one of the country's most prominent news organisations and normally considered close to the government, to close for three days for publishing "false news".
Three men detained over deadly protests at Egypt's biggest textile plant over price hikes and pay demands have been released after weeks of "torture", one of the workers said on Monday.
China yesterday guaranteed there would be no epidemics in quake-hit areas amid ongoing fears of a disease outbreak in the aftermath of the disaster.
Arts & Entertainment
For many years painter Maksuda Iqbal Nipa has been presenting fauna and flora of nature through her unique abstract works. For her oil painting titled Surface 1, Nipa has won 'Honourable Mention' at the ongoing 16th Young Artists' Art Exhibition, organised by the Department of Fine Arts of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Keyboardist and music director Iftekar Hossain Sohel composes music for artistes like Sabina Yasmin, Runa Laila and Shahanaz Rahmatullah. Sohel is visually impaired. He lost his eyesight in early childhood when he contracted measles-related diarrhoea. The artiste recently spoke to The Daily Star about his initiation in music and more.
Pop singer Mila has become a familiar name to young music fans. Her vivacious personality comes across in her songs and music videos. The Daily Star recently caught up with the artiste.
Single-episode TV play “Modhyanno Bhoj Ki Hobey?” will be aired tonight at 8:45pm on ATN Bangla. The play is written and directed by noted actor-director Abul Hayat.
One of Hollywood's largest movie studios starred in a disastrous sequel Sunday as a fire ripped through a lot at Universal Studios, destroying a set from "Back to the Future," a "King Kong" exhibit and a streetscape seen frequently in movies and TV shows.
Late Hollywood actor Heath Ledger and crocodile hunter Steve Irwin have been included in the latest edition of the Collins Concise English Dictionary.
Electricity production in Bangladesh at present is much less than the amount needed. Although the demand will keep increasing with industrialisation and urbanisation, it is almost impossible at this moment to increase the production of electricity. At present, 80% of electricity is produced by gas-driven power stations. The existing level of gas production in the country is inadequate for feeding any new power station.
The media spotlight on the demolition of historic houses, most recently the colonial-era Barabari in Old Dhaka's Farashganj, has left many people aghast at such senseless erasure of what surely are poignant visual histories of our nation.
You know that we are living in scary times. Terrorist groups are metastasising all over the globe. Al Qaeda has re-established its bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Hizbullah, Hamas and other radical Islamic groups are gaining strength. You hear this stuff all the time, on television and on the campaign trail. Amid the din, it's hard to figure out the facts. Well, finally we have a well-researched, independent analysis of the data relating to terrorism, released last week by Canada's Simon Fraser University. Its findings will surprise you.
Japanese scientists have been trying to cross a cow and whale. The news was revealed just before the international meeting of whaling experts, which starts this week (from June 2) in Chile.