News of: Sunday, 15th of June, 2008
The level of pollution in the Buriganga and most parts of Turag and Norai flowing around the capital is so high that no living organism can survive in the waters of these rivers, researchers say.
The cash-strapped Maddhapara Granite Mining Co Ltd (MGMCL) is being burdened with as much as 2.3 lakh tonnes of unsold hard rock worth Tk 25 crore in its inventory because of an inappropriate rock crushing and sorting plant.
Detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's cantonment residence is being cleaned up in anticipation of her release, though the former prime minister has yet to appeal to the government.
In a latest fracas in the political arena, major political parties dismissed as “wails from a broken heart” Dr Kamal Hossain's remarks perceivably against the release of Sheikh Hasina and a move to release Khaleda Zia.
The caretaker government is yet to respond to the Election Commission's (EC) proposals made more than a year ago to bar political parties from having overseas units and front organisations comprising students, teachers, employees, workers or members of any profession.
Body of a young woman, severed into nine pieces, was recovered at Sutrapur in the capital yesterday, a day after similar recovery of the body of a brutally murdered young woman from Tejgaon area.
More than 1,100 prisoners escaped during a brazen Taliban bomb and rocket attack on the main prison in southern Afghanistan that knocked down the front gate and demolished a prison floor, officials said yesterday.
Awami League (AL) yesterday finalised a nine-member delegation led by its Acting President Zillur Rahman for the on going dialogues between the government and political parties.
Pakistan buried their off-field issues to lift the Kitply Cup trophy with a 25-run victory against India in the blockbuster final at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka last night.
Education Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday said the caretaker government is working to enlist support of the country's two large political parties in its ongoing efforts to ensure a credible and meaningful general elections and a stable post-election situation.
Tarique Rahman's wife Zubaida Rahman yesterday submitted an application to the government, seeking necessary measures to release him for treatment abroad.
Four members of a family were killed when an ambulance skidded off the Dhaka-Sylhet highway and fell into a ditch at Bezura in Madhabpur upazila early yesterday.
Over a thousand students from different schools in the capital city yesterday vowed to refrain from corruption and build a better Bangladesh.
Renowned environmentalist Dr A Atiq Rahman yesterday urged experts to put their heads together to find alternative methods of cultivation and new varieties of crops adapting to global climate change.
Three gangsters arrested Thursday for killing a man and injuring his two brothers in Wari last month confessed they had been carrying out murders, extortions and other serious crimes with licensed guns, police yesterday said.
Awami League's acting General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday met Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon at his party office and thanked him for his steadfast stand on the release of AL chief Sheikh Hasina that came amid a political turnaround.
Chief Adviser's Special Assistant for Power and Energy Prof M Tamim yesterday said government subsidies for power and energy would total Tk 18,000 crore in the next fiscal year.
Exodus of villagers from erosion-prone areas caused depopulation and resulted in decrease in the number of parliamentary constituencies in Manikganj district.
US Ambassador James F Moriarty yesterday welcomed the parole of former prime minister Sheikh Hasina, saying it kick-starts the process of ensuring all parties' participation in the general elections.
A criminal was killed on Friday night in a shootout between police and his cohorts at Mathurapur village in Jhenidah.
Former Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif told tens of thousands of supporters of the country's deposed chief justice Friday that President Pervez Musharraf would be forced to "pay for his crimes."
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana yesterday presented a new offer to Iran on ending the six-year standoff over its nuclear drive but Tehran once again rejected the proposal's key demand.
Democrat Barack Obama told voters yesterday he would push an aggressive economic agenda as president: cutting taxes for the middle class, raising taxes on the wealthy, pouring money into "green energy" and requiring employers to set up retirement saving plans for their workers.
The pressing of charges against 22 individuals, including a former deputy minister and an influential figure in the banned Harkat ul Jihad, last week signals a refreshing new move to bring the perpetrators of the bomb explosions of 21 August 2004 to justice. This new step not only brings to light new information about the background to the crime but also shows up in stark truth the manner in which the course of the investigations into the happening was subverted during the period of the BNP-led four-party government. As many as 24 people, including senior politician Ivy Rahman, were killed on the day at a rally of the Awami League, where the blasts occurred. The explosions left former prime minister and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina with auditory problems that yet require her to undergo regular treatment.
The ready-made garment industry sector accounts for 75 percent of the country's total exports, and in terms of earning foreign currency it ranks second. Ironically, while there is a surge of orders in the pipeline, there is acute shortage of skilled workers who ensure quality in every department including meeting the export deadlines. It is feared that if the shortage is not met soon the future growth of the sector and staying in the competitive world market will turn out to be a tough proposition. According to the report of two leading trade bodies of the country - Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Associations (BGMEA) - the sector is facing a 25 percent shortfall of skilled workforce at the moment and they fear that it may take several years for trained manpower to fill in the blank positions.
FINANCE Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam has announced the national budget for the fiscal year 2008-09, the biggest-ever, with a hefty outlay of Tk 99,962 crore, seeking only short-term solutions to the economic malaise arising from a series of crises. This budget is 26 percent bigger than the budget of FY 2007-08.
THE use and abuse of Islamic politics by the Suharto government (1966-1998) and his immediate successor in transition, B.J. Habibie (1998-1999), have had more damaging consequences than generally noted. In 2004, when completing my book, State Terrorism and Political Identity in Indonesia (Routledge, 2006), I raised the issue but did not give enough emphasis. The book focuses on the impacts of the 1966 massacres and subsequent anti-communist witch-hunt upon public life in the 1990s.
Zakaria: How are you going to create the fuel of the future?
Venter: We think multiple fuels of the future are going to come out of biology, by manipulating the genetic code of simple organisms to convert things like sugar or sunlight or carbon dioxide into fuels that people are very familiar with, like diesel fuel and gasoline.
Shoaib Malik's men reminded everyone that they still have the reputation of the most unpredictable team in the world after the way his side bounced back from the humiliating league match defeat to clinch the tri-series title with a 25-run victory against India in the final at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium last night.
Bangladesh got off to a flying start in the third Men's AHF Cup hockey tournament thrashing Brunei Darussalam 6-1 in Singapore yesterday.
David Villa's injury-time winner gave Spain a dramatic victory over Sweden to leave them top of Group D in the Euro 2008 at the Tivoli Neu Stadium in Innsbruck yesterday.
Mitchell Johnson captured a Test career best four wickets for 41 runs from 11.5 overs to help Australia take a 35-run, first innings lead over West Indies in the third and final Test against West Indies on Friday.
Romania showed their more attractive side against Italy on Friday to earn a 1-1 draw against the world champions, displaying their credentials as potential quarterfinalists at Euro 2008.
England may have looked a 'million dollars' in thrashing New Zealand by nine wickets in a Twenty20 international here at Old Trafford but how will they cope with playing for the real thing later this year?
New Zealand have been struck a major injury blow after Jacob Oram was ruled out for at least ten days with a hamstring strain. He pulled out of the Twenty20 at Old Trafford on Friday shortly before the toss after hurting himself in the warm-up.
An appeal tribunal Saturday reduced Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's five-year ban to 18 months and imposed a seven-million-rupee (105,000 dollar) fine.
The dazzling Dutch qualified for the quarterfinals of Euro 2008 with a 4-1 destruction of France that left the World Cup runners-up hovering over the tournament trapdoor on Friday.
A very different Portugal team could take the field in the Euro 2008 quarterfinalists' last group game against Switzerland in Basel on Sunday.
Turkey and Czech Republic could face a penalty shootout on Sunday to qualify for a Euro 2008 quarterfinal clash against Croatia although both sides are determined to avoid relying on the lottery of spot kicks.
Italian fury over the refereeing at Euro 2008 showed no signs of abating on Saturday as the recriminations escalated towards a level last witnessed after the Azzurri's exit from the 2002 World Cup.
The French press was sceptical on Saturday about Les Bleus making the Euro 2008 quarterfinals after the team was thrashed by Holland the day before.
Thierry Henry was trying to look for the positives here on Saturday after Holland had pushed France halfway through the Euro 2008 door marked exit.
Dutch media were exultant on Saturday after Holland thrashed France 4-1 to reach the quarterfinals of Euro 2008.
Holland will be doing nothing wrong if they field a second choice side against Group C rivals Romania on Tuesday said a UEFA spokesman on Saturday.
North Korea, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia powered into the final phase of Asian World Cup qualifying on Saturday, but China crashed out of contention after losing 2-1 to Iraq.
Ian Bell responded to the challenge of opening with an unbeaten 60 as England thrashed New Zealand by nine wickets in the lone Twenty20 international at Old Trafford here Friday.
Rafael Nadal ended Andy Roddick's reign at Queen's as the Spaniard reached his first final at the pre-Wimbledon tournament on Saturday.
Roger Federer continues to dominate at the Gerry Weber Open.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul carried his bat for the third consecutive innings but once again lacked support from his teammates as West Indies were dismissed for 216 on the second day of the third Test on Friday.
South African all-rounder Andrew Hall was the star of the show as Northamptonshire hammered Worcestershire by 33 runs in the English Twenty20 Cup on Friday.
Domestic production of hybrid rice seed jumped by about 40 percent this boro season as some agribusiness companies such as ACI Seed have gone into production in large scale, growers said.
BSRM Steels Ltd, a newly built giant industrial conglomerate of Bangladesh Steel Re-rolling Mills (BSRM) Group, went into production yesterday amid fears that gas and power crisis might hamper its production.
The country fetched US$11.37 billion from exports during the July-April period of the current fiscal year, registering a 14.66 percent growth over the corresponding period a year earlier.
World finance chiefs are set to warn Saturday that soaring food and oil prices threaten the global economy, and some blame could fall on the weak dollar.
Professor M Tamim, special assistant to the chief adviser on power and energy, yesterday criticised the policy of huge subsidies in energy sector, saying only a part of the population benefits from the support.
Finance and Planning Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday said the government will unveil a report on regional disparity soon and take measures for the development of certain areas.
Developers yesterday demanded a cut in transfer and registration fee flats to 4-5 percent from the existing 16 percent that holds back the overall growth of the housing sector.
The SME Foundation managing director (MD) has said it is set to disburse loans soon among small and medium enterprises at a 10 percent interest.
A three-day electrical product fair will begin here from June 26 to display various high-standard homemade electrical goods for further expansion of the industry.
Incoming passengers are now allowed to bring 200 grams of gold tax-free into the country as the government plans to introduce new baggage rules. Currently passengers can carry up to 10 kilograms of gold by paying Tk 125 tax per 11.66 grams.
The Federal Reserve's sudden shift to inflation-fighting in view of soaring energy and food prices has surprised many analysts who still see a fragile US economy that could need more stimulus.
It was past midnight. The flight to Singapore was delayed for two hours and the airline staff apologized explaining that due to a medical emergency the incoming flight had to make an unscheduled landing. They requested us to have a light snack. As I walked in the airport restaurant, I found Waliur Rahman, CEO of BOC, and President of FICCI, relaxing, with a cigarette in hand, relishing a cold drink. We were on the same flight.
The Dhaka stocks witnessed a downtrend last week due to selling pressure on the rumours that the market regulator might take actions to cool down the overheated market.
South Korea's trade minister said Thursday he would visit the United States this week for more negotiations on a US beef import deal which has sparked massive street protests in Seoul.
The Board of Directors of NCC Bank Ltd in a meeting held recently re-elected Tofazzal Hossain and ASM Mainuddin Monem chairman and vice chairman respectively of the bank for another term, says a press release.
Investors trading on the London Stock Exchange will focus next week on British inflation data and minutes from the Bank of England's latest meeting on interest rates for clues on future monetary policy.
A senior US official on Friday urged countries to remove barriers to the use of biotechnology and other innovations that would increase food production at a time of crisis.
The International Monetary Fund said Saturday it would investigate the surge in crude oil costs after the G8 club of rich nations called for a probe into wild swings in energy prices.
A Nigerian-based regional agricultural research outfit has come up with a new yield-enhancing system of rice production to help the continent battle rising food shortages and prices, an official told AFP.
The European Union will soon end preferential customs tariffs for imports of footwear from Vietnam, an EU official said Friday.
June 8 - June 12, 2008
Local FX Market
Local inter-bank FX market was a little tight during the week as the demand for dollar rose. The BDT remained range bound against the US dollar.
Brazilian President Lula da Silva has sought assistance from Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus to develop microcredit programme for the poor in Brazil, particularly for the poorest regions of the country.
Though the issue of public-private partnership is much uttered in the country, the fact is that nobody has come out with a specific plan and clear policy in this regard, said Health Adviser Dr AMM Shawkat Ali yesterday.
At least two people were killed and 43 others injured in separate road accidents across the country yesterday and on Friday.
Tanisa Tanam Mumu, an autistic child, was very happy yesterday as she took part in a drawing competition organised only for them in the city.
Brahmanbaria Sadar police yesterday recovered a touchstone statue of Vishnu worth around Tk 250 crore from Sultanpur village under Sadar upazila in the district.
BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain cancelled a view exchange meeting with leaders of Narayanganj district BNP and its front organisations yesterday following a scuffle between the supporters of 'reformist' faction and 'pro-Khaleda' faction.
Leaders of Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) yesterday called for immediate implementation of the 7th Wage Board Award in all the newspapers and news agencies.
Rescue workers were yesterday forced to abandon a search for seven miners trapped after an explosion at a Chinese coal mine in which at least 27 died, state media said.
Pakistan has handed over to Iran four Iranian rebels, including the brother of a Sunni militant group's leader in restive southeastern Iran, state media reported yesterday.
Convenor of Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) Ferdous Ahmed Qureshi yesterday blamed the government for its move to release some of the detained high-profile 'corrupt suspects' saying that the achievement of the 1/11 will go in vain if they keep coming out of jails.
Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury held a dialogue on foreign policy with retired Bangladeshi ambassadors at the foreign ministry yesterday.
Freedom fighters yesterday called on the government to raise the allowance for them to Tk 5000 and reintroduce 30 percent quota for the children of freedom fighters in government services.
At least 14 people were killed and 30 injured yesterday in mudslides triggered by heavy monsoon rains in India's northeast, officials said.
Taiwan announced yesterday it was recalling its de facto envoy to Japan over Tokyo's handling of an incident in which a Taiwanese fishing boat sank after colliding with a Japanese patrol vessel.
Sri Lankan Women's Association (Seva Vanitha-Dhaka) has donated Tk 5 lakh to Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) for the construction of Ahsania Mission Cancer Hospital (AMCH) in the city, says a press release.
Two workers arrested for vandalism at a garments factory here were sent to jail when produced before the court yesterday.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered a number of arms and ammunition at Shriula village under Ashashuni upazila in the district early Thursday.
A housewife was killed by her husband at Bhati Laxmipur in the town early yesterday.
Workers' Party of Bangladesh led by Khondoker Ali Abbas has been renamed 'Revolutionary Workers' Party of Bangladesh'.
A man was killed and 11 others were injured in lightning strike at Araimari village in Shibganj upazila yesterday morning.
A drug dealer was arrested and 240 bottles of Indian phensidyl recovered in separate drives in Sadar and Parbattipur thanas yesterday.
Today is the 5th death anniversary of Anisul Haque, proprietor of now defunct Adbiz, says a press release.
Innocent indigenous farmer Mokor Kanti Chakma, 45, is serving life term in a murder case due to negligence and whimsical action by police.
Thakurgaon district Awami League leaders in their first executive committee meeting since allowing indoor politics demanded immediate implementation of the six-point demand earlier announced by the party's central committee.
A High Court (HC) bench has directed former Patkelghata Police Station officer-in-charge (OC) Kazi Mizanur Rahman, the charge sheeted accused in the sensational Sabiha Akhtar murder case, to appear before the lower court in Satkhira within four weeks when he appeared before the bench of the HC court seeking bail on May 21.
CNG-run microbus drivers in Pabna have demanded immediate setting up of new CNG stations in the district headquarter to ease pressure on the lone CNG refuelling station at Pakshi in Ishwardi upazila under the district.
Students of different colleges of Khulna city have floated a new platform styled 'Krishi Biplob.'
Police arrested three outlaws and recovered arms and ammunition in separate raids conducted in the district on Friday.
Inspector Chitta Ranjan Pal of Detective Branch of Khulna Metropolitan Police (KMP) will submit charge sheet in AL leader advocate Manjurul Imam murder case today to the Court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday returned body of a Bangladeshi national gunned down by them at Moshwampur border Wednesday night.
Students of the Institute of Health Technology of Rajshahi under the banner of Students' Welfare Association (SWA) yesterday protested higher authorities decision which offered private clinic technicians aged 40 years an opportunity to study medical technology diploma course.
Kushtia Islamic University (IU) reopens today after 14 days' summer vacation, campus sources said.
US President George W Bush and French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Saturday jointly urged Syria to break with Iran and bluntly warned that they would not let Tehran obtain nuclear weapons.
A magnitude-7.2 earthquake ripped across mountains and rice fields in northern Japan on Saturday, killing at least six people dead as it sheared off hillsides, jolted buildings and shook nuclear power plants. At least eight people were missing.
Battles between government troops and Tamil Tiger separatists in Sri Lanka's north left 13 rebels and seven soldiers dead, the military said yesterday.
A spokesman for Hamas says representatives plan to travel to Cairo to discuss an Egyptian-mediated truce with Israel.
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe said yesterday the opposition will never govern in his lifetime and he is ready to fight on less than two weeks ahead of a tense run-off election.
A US military spokesman says a roadside bomb has killed four troops in Afghanistan.
The head of Taiwan's top China policy-making body said Saturday the resumption of talks with Beijing "open a new page" in relations between the long-time rivals.
European leaders vowed Saturday to press on with a key EU treaty despite Ireland's shock rejection as Prime Minister Brian Cowen faced a barrage of criticism for his handling of the campaign.
Islamic rebels ambushed an army vehicle and killed five Indian soldiers, including two senior officers, in Indian-controlled Kashmir, officials said Saturday.
The civilian nuclear deal is a pretext by the United States to make India its "outpost" in the region to check the growth of China, CPI general secretary A B Bardhan said today.
About three weeks after it landed on Mars, the Phoenix lander has collected particles that offer a snapshot of millions of years of life on the Red Planet, the team behind the probe said Friday.
The US shuttle Discovery raced back to Earth yesterday after a successful mission to deliver and open Japan's first space laboratory at the International Space Station.
Arts & Entertainment
Over the years the film industry in Bangladesh has languished due to a dearth of quality actors. To zoom in on talented film actors, Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (BFDC) has organised a talent hunt "Super Hero Super Heroine".
Ziaur Rahman, best known as Zia to young music enthusiasts, is one of today's crop of talented musicians. He is the bassist and composer of Alternative fusion band Shironamhin. Recently, he talked to The Daily Star on his music and his band.
The monthly discussion programme of Chhayanat was held on June13 at the Rameshchandra Dutt Auditorium of Chhayanat Sanksriti Bhaban. Dr. Tarun Pradhan delivered the keynote speech of the discussion titled “Banglar Shomorkola: Roybeshe Nrityer Kormoshala”.
A Rabindra-Nazrul memorial programme was held at Netrakona Shilpakala Academy last Wednesday. The function was organised by the training department of the academy.
Bengali belles of Bollywood continue to rule the roost. The Daily Star takes a look at these actors and their Bengali connections.
As part of a special programme on Father's Day, ATN Bangla will air Baba Tomar Jonyo, a documentary, today at 4:30 pm. The programme offers a unique glimpse of this special day, and viewers are updated with detailed information on its background.
Duran Duran have become the first pop group to perform at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai will head the jury at the Shanghai International Film Festival, which began on June 14.
IN early December 2007, when Hillary Clinton was 20-plus points ahead of the Democratic field in national polls, she was a basic weak candidate, a beatable candidate, and polls indicated that Barack Obama would be a stronger match against Republicans. She had the highest "unfavourable" rating of anyone who had ever run for the presidency, and she was the only Democratic candidate who could unite and energise the Republican base, as she was running 10 to 15 points behind in generic Democrat vs. Republican presidential polls.
ADDRESSING the World Food Summit in Rome, President Mahinda Rajapaksa is reported to have said that land in Sri Lanka would not be utilised for growing fuel crops. That, we think, is a most realistic and sensible statement. By so saying, the president has brought up the issue concerning food shortage.
SO gripped was India by the Indian Premier League (IPL) fever that all three new Hindi film releases during the two-month period flopped at the box-office.
EVERY father has a special place in his children's heart, but to me my father was the world. He was simple, honest, soft-spoken and also caring to his family. I see him as a real family person.
The modern light and sound systems installed only four years ago at the National Theatre Stage on Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) premises at Shegunbagicha are not working properly, theatre activists alleged.
Conservation of invaluable heritage sites in the 400-year old city of Dhaka has always been ignored, leading to destruction of the sites, said noted architects and historians.