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News of: Tuesday, 24th of June, 2008
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Divisions within Awami League (AL) and BNP seem to have resurfaced with the local leaders vying for nominations to contest the August 4 mayoral polls.
Voter lists in around 200 upazilas will be ready in July third week, facilitating the Election Commission (EC) plan to announce poll schedule for upazila parishads in the first phase.
The Department of Immigration and Passport (DIP) could start issuing machine-readable passports and visas from July next year as a Tk 560 crore fresh project for this purpose has been included in the Annual Development Programme of 2008-2009.
Suvadda Khal (canal), lifeline of Keraniganj upazila in Dhaka, is now getting back its earlier look as the canal that dried up completely more than three years ago was partly re-excavated by the authorities recently.
Despite the relaxation of restrictions on 'indoor politics' in the capital for more than nine months now, BNP could not hold a single meeting of its standing committee or the national executive committee during the period.
A Dhaka court yesterday issued arrest warrants against eight absconding Harkatul Jihad (Huji) members including Maulana Tajuddin, brother of detained former BNP lawmaker Abdus Salam Pintu, in the August 21 grenade attack case.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed has directed the ministries and departments concerned to implement the Bangladesh Better Business Forum's (BBBF) recommendations, which are under implementation process, in next two months to attain desired dynamism in trade and economy.
The government will hold discussions with the political parties to resolve misunderstandings over holding of the elections to local government bodies prior to the parliamentary election.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday observed that the country's political culture has to be changed to establish democracy in the true sense.
Former prime minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina, now in Washington, called for parliament election before other polls to restore democracy in the country.
The home ministry yesterday said easing of the Emergency Power Rules (EPR) would also apply to the other city corporation and municipalities if schedules are declared for polls there during the state of emergency.
Bangladesh Bank has no plan to withdraw 500-taka notes from circulation, said an official release yesterday.
A court here yesterday sentenced Sylhet city BNP President Ariful Haque Chowdhury to 10 years imprisonment while his wife to three years in a graft case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus was voted second in the top 100 intellectuals of the world in a global poll hot on the heels of the University of Cambridge selecting him in its list of top 50 global thought leaders.
A Khagrachhari court yesterday granted bail to detained former BNP lawmaker Wadud Bhuiyan in a case filed against him on charges of extortion and torture.
World Bank Vice President for Asia Pacific Praful C Patel yesterday assured Bangladesh of providing enhanced assistance of $ 3.9 billion equally in the next three years to meet the increased budget deficit.
Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh yesterday demanded cancellation of the schedule for the local body polls and holding the national elections first.
President Prof Iajuddin Ahmed was admitted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) yesterday night with viral fever.
Chevron and Cairn yesterday signed an agreement, in addition to the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with Petrobangla for Block-7, for an extra seismic and drilling programme in south-western Bangladesh.
Bangladesh will get a chance to put an end to their seven-match losing streak when they take on United Arab Emirates (UAE) in their Asia Cup Group A opener at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore today.
A flight of Cathay Pacific Airways made an emergency landing at the Zia International Airport (ZIA) to provide urgent medical treatment to a Filipino passenger who died at a city hospital early yesterday.
An employee of the Department of Archaeology reportedly misappropriated 15-16 pieces of gold found at an old structure on the Mahasthangarh site in Bogra during maintenance work.
US-led troops killed 55 militants including three senior commanders after rebels ambushed a patrol with rockets near the eastern Afghan-Pakistani border, the coalition said yesterday.
A Pakistani court on Monday barred former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is one of the leaders of the ruling coalition, from contesting a by-election on June 26, a court order said.
NO fewer than 8,000 cadre service posts in government have been vacant for a long time. As a report in yesterday's issue of this newspaper reveals, there has additionally been no new recruitment in the last three years. Against these vacancies, the Public Service Commission has, for the 28th BCS examinations, invited applications for a mere 1,720 posts in 14 general and 13 technical areas. Obviously, the situation is a difficult if not a complicated one, for it is somewhat a reflection on how the bureaucracy fulfills, or does not fulfill, its responsibilities to the public.
TARIQUE Rahman's physical condition has been occupying the time and space of the media for sometime now. That he has suffered a severe injury to his spine while in the custody of the state is a matter that causes worry to anyone with the slightest concern for the rights of the common man - even those that are in custody on charges of alleged corruption. And Tarique Rahman cannot be an exception.
BRING out your silver cape, chill your summer wine and put on your dancing shoes, for the time is coming to party with the VIP thieves and robbers. Ah! That motley band of men patent in their utter worthlessness! Aren't you excited beyond disbelief? Don't you look forward to brushing shoulders with people who should have been in the dungeon forever? But, no, nothing of the sort will happen. They are creeping out soon, like those "critters" in the Michael Jackson song Thriller. And then they will throw the biggest party the world has ever seen. Let's go and wait on the sidewalk and watch the cavalcade of world's most expensive limousines on the streets of one of the world's poorest countries. Bravo, brothers!
THE recent rise in rice prices at retail level seemingly goes to challenge the popular perceptions and theoretical underpinnings. The finance adviser apparently looks disturbed, and our "bare-headed" economists are taken aback by the unexpected outcome. After the much acclaimed bumper boro harvest, the perception was that the augmented supply would help ease the pressure in the market and thus lead to a decline in the price of the staple food.
King Abdullah of Jordan sat down at Petra with NEWSWEEK's Lally Weymouth last week and reflected on the state of affairs in his part of the world. He emphasised the need for a settlement of the Palestinian issue and claimed that Iran was no longer such a big problem for his country. Indeed, he sounded a bit like Barack Obama in arguing for the need for dialogue with Iran -- a country he has in the past described as a major threat.
Pakistan and Bangladesh both face minnows as the ninth Asia Cup begins on Tuesday, with the hosts hoping the event passes smoothly to pave the way for more international cricket in future.
After national team, disaster has struck our football in club level too.
England have never managed it, despite a world title, Italy haven't achieved it for 40 years and the Azzurri's wait continues, as does Spain's - for now.
World champions Australia hope that some fresh faces, fresh legs, and a different format will help them dominate their five-match one-day international series against West Indies, starting on Tuesday at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex here.
The Spanish press were united in their relief on Monday that Spain had finally laid to rest their quarterfinal curse after they beat world champions Italy on penalties on Sunday.
Mahbubul Alam gave Bangladesh A team a bright start in their tour opener three-day match against Ireland A in Dublin yesterday.
After crashing 4-0 to Nepal Police Club on Sunday, Abahani will take on Tajikistan league champions Regar-TadAZ in their second match of the AFC President's Cup Group A match today in Kuala Lumpur.
India have a minor concern before their Asia Cup campaign takes off with reports that all-rounder Irfan Pathan has picked up a knee injury after the Kitply Cup last week.
The proposed 10-million-dollar Twenty20 Champions League was thrown into turmoil on Sunday after India rejected the participation of English counties that field 'rebel' players.
Pakistan's ability to host an international tournament without any security problems will be examined when the six-nation Asia Cup begins on Tuesday.
Spain hero Iker Casillas admitted his team had been lucky in progressing to the Euro 2008 semifinals following their penalty shoot-out victory over world champions Italy.
Germany captain Michael Ballack says his side must use the confidence generated from their 3-2 quarterfinal win over Portugal to knock-out come-back kings Turkey on Wednesday to reach the Euro 2008 final.
Coach Luis Aragones, unlike the rest of his fellow countrymen, was keeping his feet firmly on the ground after watching Spain finally confront their demons and defeat Italy to clinch a semifinal spot at Euro 2008.
Roberto Donadoni's short reign as Italy coach will shortly be brought to an end paving the way for the return of 2006 World Cup winning coach Marcello Lippi, was the opinion of the Italian press in the wake of Italy's disappointing exit from Euro 2008.
Veteran German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann said on Monday he was prepared to put his life on the line in Wednesday's Euro 2008 semifinal against Turkey.
Croatian football fans who are finding it hard to come to terms with their side's traumatic defeat in the Euro 2008 quarterfinal by Turkey have help at hand - a newspaper has enrolled the services of a psychiatrist.
Five-time champion Roger Federer put his growing army of doubters firmly in their place by storming into the Wimbledon second round on Monday.
Russia's star playmaker Andrei Arshavin said he would like to play in the Spanish league on Monday setting himself up nicely for the Euro 2008 semi-final with Spain on Thursday.
The cast for the 2010 FIFA World Cup fourth round draw for Asia was completed on Sunday night with Qatar and United Arab Emirates taking up the final two berths.
India's cricket chiefs put aside their differences with 'rebel' players and staff on Sunday night to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the country's lone World Cup triumph.
Argentina notched up their first-ever Champions Trophy win over Australia here on Sunday, beating the Antipodeans 2-1.
Brazilian former soccer star Pele was robbed by a gun- and knife-wielding gang of youths when his chauffeur-driven car got stuck in traffic near Sao Paulo, a report in the weekly Veja newsmagazine said.
Bangladesh Army secured a solitary goal victory against Bangladesh Navy in the opening match of the Inter-services football competition at the BAF Base Matiur Rahman ground on Sunday.
Matuail Milon Sangsad thrashed Maniknagar Unnayan Samity 92-29 in the First Division Kabaddi League at the kabaddi stadium yesterday.
Australia's cricketers, cancer campaigners and the prime minister paid tribute Monday to Jane McGrath, the wife of former bowler Glenn McGrath who lost her fight with the disease at the weekend.
A Chinese agri-machinery manufacturing firm is in talks to set up a joint venture to build a power tiller assembly plant in Bangladesh, due to rising labour costs in its home market and the steady appreciation of the yuan.
The country's top three mobile operators are in a dilemma over whether to add new frequencies as the telecom regulator has set a price of Tk100crore per MHz per year, a massive increase on previously.
Turnover on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) yesterday dipped to five-month low at Tk 169 crore as investors shied away following measures to cool down the market.
The government will now finance the installation of six container scanners at Chittagong Seaport after the Asian Development Bank refused to provide funds on the ground of a re-tendering plan.
South Korea will halt visa-free visits by Bangladeshis because almost all of them fail to return home on time, the justice ministry said Monday.
Japan's top mobile telephone operator NTT DoCoMo Inc. is on the prowl for overseas acquisitions to drive its future growth, its new president said Monday.
The country's second largest export earner, the shrimp industry, is unable to tap the full potentials of this sector due to a number of problems including a lack of knowledge on global standards, according to a study released yesterday.
Each month Dell, the world's largest computer seller, pushes around 4.5 million catalogues promoting its products through the letterboxes of homes, businesses and institutions across Europe.
A TV news show recently reported that some business people were allegedly disappointed that they could not use this budget as a reason to immediately raise the prices of everything.
Finance and Planning Adviser Dr A B Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday blamed the absence of policy coordination between government and development agencies for mismanagement in public procurement process.
Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company, with the largest-ever public issue in the history of country's stock market, will make its debut on bourses next Sunday, officials said.
Grameenphone, the country's leading mobile phone operator, crossed the 20 million subscribers' mark yesterday.
A three-member high-powered delegation yesterday flew to USA to finalise the deal signed earlier to purchase 10 new aircraft for Biman from US plane maker Boeing.
Biswa Shahitto Kendro (BSK) and mobile phone operator Grameenphone's youth brand djuice are organising a programme styled 'Know Bangladesh'.
WS Mukund, managing director of Acer India Pvt Ltd, is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka today on a three-day tour by the invitation of Acer's business and service partner Executive Technologies Ltd (ETL).
Business activity in the 15 countries sharing the euro contracted in June for the first time for almost five years, according to a widely watched survey on Monday.
Advanced Chemical Industries (ACI) Ltd has declared an 85 percent dividend for its shareholders.
Bangladesh Bank has no plan to withdraw 500-taka denomination from circulation, said an official release on Monday.
Sentiment among top Japanese executives has slumped to the worst level in at least four years, a government survey showed Monday, adding to concerns about the outlook for Asia's largest economy.
Germany's key business climate index fell to an 18-month low point in June, with high oil prices pulling the rug from under the feet of Europe's biggest economy.
Oil prices rose towards 137 dollars on Monday after major energy producers ruled out further output despite consumers' fears that the world faces a tight supply situation, traders said.
China's securities regulator has said it will do whatever is necessary to ensure the country's stock market stability and healthy development after recent jitters.
Vietnam's trade deficit has more than tripled year-on-year to an estimated 16.9 billion dollars for the first half of 2008, state media reported Monday, quoting data from the communist government.
Malaysia Airlines said Monday it would reduce flight frequencies and impose a hiring freeze as it resorts to a new round of cost-cuts and a fuel surcharge hike to battle soaring energy prices.
In a caption published on this page yesterday, the name of IDLC Finance Ltd was mistakenly mentioned as 'Industrial Development Leasing Company of Bangladesh Ltd (IDLC)'. We sincerely regret the mistake.
Safe water supply and sanitation in the tea gardens of the country is very poor, said the speakers at a consultation yesterday.
Malaysian recruiting agency Sawas Link finally refused to receive the 32 Bangladeshi workers stranded at a depot of Kuala Lumpur airport on the allegation that the Bangladeshi recruiting agency, Shikha Trade International, did not pay them more than 70,000 Ringgit under the deal.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday launched an initiative to strengthen the Menstrual Regulation (MR) programme to reduce maternal mortality in Bangladesh.
A wanted criminal was killed early today in a shootout between Rapid Action Battalion members and his accomplices in city's Jigatola area.
Gono Forum (GF) leaders yesterday called on the people to unite to elect the honest and competent candidates in local government and national elections to be held as per the electoral roadmap announced by the Election Commission.
Six people were killed and 12 others injured in separate road accidents across the country yesterday.
Dhaka University (DU) will announce tomorrow a Tk 164 crore budget for 2008-09 fiscal with a deficit of Tk 12 crore.
The Saudi Arabia-based BNP activists from Chandpur district yesterday demanded release of the detained ex-premiere Khaleda Zia and her ailing sons.
President Iajuddin Ahmed fell sick and put off his scheduled programmes at Bangabhaban yesterday.
The Forum for Secular Bangladesh and Trial of War Criminals of 1971 yesterday strongly condemned the inclusion of biographies of controversial religious leaders, including founder of Jamaat-e-Islami Abul Ala Maududi, in the syllabus of a subject at Chittagong University.
The customs officials at Zia International Airport (ZIA) arrested two security guards of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on charge of helping smugglers in smuggling out various electronics goods through the green channel on Sunday night.
A middle-aged man slaughtered his wife and two children at village Patakata in Mathbaria on Sunday night.
Detective Branch (DB) of police arrested 21 frauds of four gangs at Badda in the city on Sunday night.
Newly appointed British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Stephen Evans arrived here yesterday evening to take up his new assignment.
Police recovered the body of a bakery shop owner with his hands and legs tied from his residence at East Goran at Khilgaon in the city yesterday.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) handed over 33 Bangladeshi citizens, who were detained in Indian jails after being trafficked across the border, to Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) through Benapole check post yesterday.
Train communications to and from Chittagong were snapped for several hours as eight compartments of a cargo train derailed at Muhuriganj section near Feni in the early hours of yesterday.
The Australian government will provide Tk 7.5 crore in additional humanitarian assistance to meet the emergency needs of vulnerable communities, says a press release.
The caretaker government's dialogue with Bangladesh Kalyan Party, scheduled to be held yesterday, will now be held to June 25.
A condolence meeting commemorating the death of noted writer Khaleda Edib Chowdhury will be held at 5:00pm at the Central Public Library seminar room in the city today, says a press release.
A two-day inter-departmental cultural programme of Gono Bishwabidyalaya (GB) concluded at the PHA building of Gonoshasthya Kendra yesterday, says a press release.
A truckload of fertiliser was seized and five people, including the fertiliser dealer, were arrested yesterday from Ujirpur for alleged smuggling.
A class nine student of Ideal School and College has been missing since June 14.
Aklima Khatun, a student of class eight in a school at Sirajganj, has been suffering from brain tumour, says a press release.
Fahima Begum, wife of a construction worker, has been suffering from a chronic disease called 'myasthenia gravis', a condition that causes muscles to become weak, says a press release.
With announcement of the schedule for Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) polls on Friday, all probable candidates for the post of mayor and councillors have beefed up electioneering.
Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) has called an indefinite students strike on the Ruet campus from today demanding 'proper action' against the people responsible for Thursday attack on BCL men by Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD).
Indigenous people at a press conference held at Rajshahi Public Library auditorium yesterday demanded constitutional recognition to the indigenous people.
Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court in Kushtia yesterday granted eight-day remand for Golam Hossain Akash, younger brother outlawed Janajuddho chief Abdur Rashid Malitha Tapan alias Dada Tapan.
A drug addict youth stabbed his elder brother to death at Bhatikashar in the district town yesterday afternoon.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) have arrested two staff of a courier office here on charge of drug trade.
Ahmed Ali alias Rupa Miah, the star of Palli Kabi Jasimuddin's Nakshi Kanthar Math, a masterpiece of the poet, died at his residence at village Shilashi in Gafargoan upazila of the district on Sunday night. He was 104.
Moheshpur police yesterday attached movable property of former lawmaker and district BNP general secretary Shahidul Islam master from his house.
Day labourers yesterday found two skeletons of minor boys while re-excavating a derelict pond at Satghar village of Southkhali union in Sharonkhola upazila, Bagerhat.
Managing director of a travel agent who was arrested on June 3 for cheating 23 Hajj pilgrims was placed on two-day remand yesterday, court sources said.
Government forces captured six Tamil Tiger rebel bunkers on the front lines in war-ravaged northern Sri Lanka and infantry killed 33 rebels and six soldiers in clashes, the military said yesterday.
European Union nations have approved new sanctions against Iran, including an assets freeze of the country's biggest bank.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy called yesterday for a halt to Jewish settlement activity in the occupied West Bank while proclaiming his staunch support of Israel in an address to its parliament.
Charging that Nepali Congress (NC) has 'intentionally' delayed formation of the next government, CPN (Maoist) has decided to launch 'people's struggle' for change of guard.
Asif Ali Zardari has said the day is not far off when a People's Party man from Sindh will be in the President's House.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in an interview aired Sunday that threats by Afghanistan to pursue Taliban insurgents across the border into Pakistan were "not wise."
Rescuers in the Philippines may bore a hole in a ferry capsized by a deadly typhoon in a desperate attempt to find survivors among more than 800 missing passengers and crew, an official said Monday.
World leaders challenged Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's legitimacy yesterday and threatened sanctions after the opposition withdrew from this week's presidential run-off, citing pre-poll violence.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert travels to Egypt today for talks with President Hosni Mubarak focused on the Gaza truce and Cairo's efforts to mediate a prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas.
Syria kept silent on Monday about a visit by UN nuclear officials to inspect a mysterious site bombed by Israel last year, with no official announcements a day after the team's arrival.
Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej insists he will not yield to the pressure of protesters demanding his resignation and will face a censure debate in Parliament to quell a threat to topple his government.
Asking the Congress-led UPA to set its priority on fighting soaring inflation instead of focusing on Indo-US nuclear deal, CPI today said the central government should not be sacrificed in the name of such an agreement, as nobody wants early polls.
India and Australia today pledged to jointly fight terrorism, cooperating in intelligence gathering and taking steps to counter money-laundering and terrorist financing.
Gunmen shot dead eight members of a Shia Muslim tribe in northwest Pakistan, the latest attack in a wave of sectarian violence in the region, officials and residents said yesterday.
Hundreds of protesters took to streets in eastern Afghanistan yesterday after a father and son were allegedly killed by gunfire from US-led soldiers, a governor and witnesses said.
Arts & Entertainment
Like the last eight years, Ecole de Musique celebrated Fête de la Musique on June 22 at the Alliance Francaise auditorium. The live performances were lapped up by the audience going by the resounding applause every time the musicians performed.
It is natural for an artist to have an affinity to his country and its history. Mohammad Mohibul Islam, an artist now living in Canada, is no exception. Though he is far from home, he is firmly rooted to Bangladesh.
Dighinala Tripura Kalyan Sangsad recently organised a street show to generate awareness among the people living in the remote villages under Dighinala upazila in Khagrachhari district.
The 56th episode of TV serial Mouchakey Dhil will be aired tonight at 8:00 pm on ATN Bangla. The cast includes A.T.M. Shamsuzzaman, Salahuddin Lavlu, Enamul Haque, Dolly Zahur, Azizul Hakim, Dipa Khandaker, Faruque Ahmed, Saleh Ahmed, Putul, Shabnam Parvin, Sohel, Ferdausi Lina, Hridee Haque and Sajjad Reza.
A Claude Monet painting which has been seen in public only once in the past 80 years has gone on show in London.
ADVOCATE Sigma Huda, a lawyer of international repute and a renowned human rights activist, appointed the UN Special Rapporteur for Trafficking in Persons in 2004, has been accused by the Anti-Corruption Commission of abetting her husband in five extortion cases and a sixth case where the couple was accused of illegally acquiring wealth disproportionate to their income.
THE recent court ruling to provide citizenship to the Biharis provides an interesting twist to the stagnation that marred policy making regarding the "stranded Pakistanis." The decision not only has political ramifications but also highlights the need for a consistent and coherent refugee policy.
RECENTLY the Pew Global Attitudes Project released another survey in its series on foreign attitudes about the US. Despite slight improvement in its image, the United States is still seen by people in most countries in a highly unfavourable light.
A dramatic controversy is raging in the corridors of international justice. We all know judge and jury have to be present at trials. But do they have to be paying attention? Do they have to be awake? And -- here's the cruncher -- do they have to be alive?