News of: Tuesday, 2nd of September, 2008
The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday declined to stay the High Court (HC) orders granting bail to former prime minister Khaleda Zia's son Tarique Rahman in six cases.
As many as 30 political parties, most of which only exist in names and have very little activities, collected application forms for registration with the Election Commission (EC) as of yesterday. The major political parties, with the exception of Jatiya Party, are yet to respond in this regard.
Prices of vegetables, fruits, meats and other essentials used for preparing iftar items shot up further in kitchen markets of the capital yesterday on the eve of Ramadan.
The flood situation is continuing to deteriorate in northern and central parts of the country compelling thousands of people to take refuge in places like educational institutions and high roads.
The authorities yesterday introduced 40 bus routes in the capital and its outskirts after rearranging previous 138 routes to bring discipline in the traffic system and ease vehicular movement.
The irregular Bangladeshis without proof of identification in Kuwait will not be able to take advantage of the 45-day amnesty announced Sunday for illegals there.
Apprehending violence among workers, three garments factories owned by foreign investors at Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) in Savar have been closed for indefinite periods in the last 15 days.
A Khulna court yesterday acquitted all four charge-sheeted accused in the Awami League (AL) leader Advocate Manjurul Imam murder case.
The government yesterday set up the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) which would investigate human rights violations and advise the government on the enforcement of international human rights covenants.
Transfer order of the judge of a fast-track special graft court has stimulated curiosity among different quarters dealing with trial and investigation.
Education and Commerce Adviser Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday said a citizens' charter is imperative for both private and public sectors, for improving the overall quality of services to the people.
Awami League yesterday demanded the government hold the parliamentary polls in November.
Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday said the process of former prime minister Khaleda Zia's release is now in the concluding stage.
BNP-led four party alliance leaders yesterday said they will take part in the national elections if it is held in a free and impartial manner and if BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman are released.
As the drive against substandard CNG-cylinders and improper conversion kits intensified yesterday, seven inferior cylinders were confiscated from four human hauliers at Gulistan in the city.
Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury yesterday admitted that the image of toughness of the commission is getting dented due to recent bail binge and stay orders on the cases filed against corruption in high places.
Silent tears were rolling down Popy's cheeks. In the darkness, you could only see the glistening lines. Her 12-year-old elder brother Shakil, tied to a bamboo pole, looked bewildered. Night egged on at Karwan Bazar vegetables depot. No-one even bothers to throw a glance at whatever was going on there.
Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda yesterday announced his resignation, calling for a fresh start after a troubled year in power that saw bitter fighting with the opposition.
A gang of criminals yesterday killed three brothers at Radhagobindapur village in Meherpur.
A special court yesterday deferred to September 8 trial proceedings in the Tk 2.99 crore extortion case against former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and her cousin former health minister Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim.
Mohammedan Sporting Club defeated archrivals Abahani 3-2 in a penalty shootout to lift a record ninth Federation Cup title yesterday.
A court here yesterday sentenced a leader of the banned Islamist outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to 34 years rigorous imprisonment in arms and explosive cases.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against former Bangladesh ambassador in Abu Dhabi Nazimullah Chowdhury in a case filed against him on charges of causing a loss of Tk 13.47 lakh to the state exchequer through misuse of power and deception.
At least 68 people, including two civilians, were killed over the weekend amid clashes between security forces and Tamil Tiger rebels, the defence ministry said yesterday.
Five people were killed and 32 others were wounded when a powerful bomb ripped through a packed passenger bus in the southern Philippines yesterday, police and disaster officials said.
Cartons of food, water, blankets and other supplies to sustain 1 million people for three days were ready to be distributed yesterday as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) anxiously eyed Louisiana levees to gauge how much damage Hurricane Gustav would wreak.
THE advent of Ramadan symbolises for the Muslim community a time of soul-searching and a fresh new invocation of faith. With the month of fasting getting underway today, it becomes the responsibility of every Muslim to call forth within himself the spirit of the belief which Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) inaugurated through Islam more than fourteen hundred years ago. At the core of that belief lies a readiness on the part of the Muslim to abjure pleasures of a worldly nature and instead focus on a reflection on the munificence of the Creator, the abundance of which can only serve to further buttress individual faith. In Ramadan, it is faith that is sorely tested, through Muslims sacrificing their temporal desires in favour of spiritual enlightenment.
THE Chief Election Commissioner has admitted that the Election Commission's handling of the two factions of BNP on the issue of inviting the party to an electoral dialogue was flawed and regrettable, and it is the EC which has to bear the brunt of the criticism levelled against the decision to invite the BNP faction led by Major (retd) Hafiz in November last year.
THE Truth and Accountability Commission (TAC), the newest body for dealing with corruption charges in the country, started operating from August 3, to let the people voluntarily confess to their corruption and to seek clemency by depositing their ill-gotten wealth to the state exchequer.
JUST as it seemed headed for completion, the India-United States nuclear deal has run into big trouble. Indian officials had thought the US-drafted motion to get a waiver for India from the Nuclear Suppliers' Group's nuclear trade rules would "sail through."
On a flight from Orlando to Atlanta on a recent August day, John McCain spoke with Newsweek's Jon Meacham about the legacy of his father, Adm. John S. McCain Jr., of his grandfather, Adm. John S. McCain Sr., and of his vivacious and politically astute mother, Roberta. Edited excerpts:
It is too early to say if country's football has got its soul back. But after an eventful week that culminated in a grand final between two soccer giants on Monday night, signs are evident that the soul-searching effort has started with all the subjects so important in bringing passion back to this great game making a spontaneous presence at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
Former champions Roger Federer and Andy Roddick turned in impressive straight-set wins, throwing down a challenge to rivals as they powered through into the second week of the US Open on Sunday. Four-time winner Federer took a step closer to lifting his first major title of a subdued season as he turned in a near-flawless performance to crush Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-3, 6-2.
Arman Aziz had a wound during Mohammedan's 3-1 semifinal victory over Chittagong Mohammedan that needed 11 stitches to mend.
The game development committee of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has identified a lack of mental toughness and fitness as the key problem afflicting the Bangladesh cricketers.
Andrew Flintoff starred with bat and ball as England won the fourth one-day international against South Africa by seven wickets at Lord's on Sunday.
England captain Kevin Pietersen and all-rounder Andrew Flintoff are among seven players who have been made unavailable to their counties for the rest of the English domestic season.
England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff believes his promotion to number five has boosted his form with the bat.
Australian coach Tim Nielsen has admitted he is preparing to tour India without star all-rounder Andrew Symonds.
Recently-crowned women's 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser of Jamaica was beaten at the IAAF Grand Prix here on Sunday by Lauryn Williams while compatriot Asafa Powell won the men's event in 9.87sec.
Title favourites Real Madrid and Barcelona both slipped to opening day defeats on Sunday as underdogs Deportivo La Coruna and Numancia took the headlines.
Bayern Munich gave coach Juergen Klins mann a first Bundesliga victory of the season with a 4-1 drubbing of Hertha Berlin on Sunday.
Inter Milan's disappointment at dropping two points in their Serie A opener on Saturday will have been tempered by draws for last season's nearest challengers Roma and Juventus and a shock home defeat for city rivals AC Milan on Sunday.
Manchester City's new Arab owners have demonstrated their huge financial muscle by making an astonishing bid to hijack Manchester United's move for Dimitar Berbatov and smash the British transfer record.
Bangladesh batsman Rokibul Hassan will miss the remaining two one-day internationals against Australia due to injury.
He may rank among the world's best batsmen, but Australian cricketer Mike Hussey Monday described staying at the crease as a "real battle."
Lyon joined Marseille at the top of the French first division on Sunday after a Karim Benzema special earned the champions a 1-0 win in the derby tie at Saint Etienne.
AC Milan's Georgia defender Kakha Kaladze on Monday publicly thanked his club president Silvio Berlusconi, also Italy's Prime Minister, for ending the August war in his homeland.
Real Madrid's German coach Bernd Schuster admitted Monday that his side had lacked strike power after losing their season opener 2-1 to Deportivo La Coruna at the weekend.
FC Porto and Inter Milan have agreed terms on a transfer of Portugal's Ricardo Quaresma to the Italian club, the Portuguese champions confirmed late Sunday.
Liverpool signed teenage Brazilian striker Vitor Flora on a free transfer on Monday.
The trade bodies for woven and knitwear, two sub-sectors of the readymade garments (RMG) sector, announced yesterday the launch of its rationing programmes to reach out some essential commodities to workers countrywide at a subsidised rate from today.
Business in counterfeit currencies goes unchecked despite the government's steps and tough legal measures such as death sentence and speedy trial against the crime, central bank officials said.
Eskayef Bangladesh Ltd, one of the leading manufacturers and exporters of pharmaceutical products, has won accreditation from the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for its new plant in Tongi.
Reconditioned vehicle importers and dealers yesterday urged the government to allow a 50 percent depreciation rate for imported six-year-old reconditioned cars.
Commerce Adviser Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman has expected Bangladesh's export to Turkey to reach one billion US dollars in a few years.
The Regulatory Reforms Commission (RRC) will propose setting up of an electronic registry of business laws and regulations to stop harassment of businesspeople and prospective investors in knowing about those.
Indian software giant 3i Infotech opened its office in Dhaka on Sunday to work with financial and insurance companies in Bangladesh.
Editors of the print and electronic media yesterday suggested that the National Board of Revenue reach out to more people by developing its infrastructure so that it can increase revenue earnings.
Small-scale tea farming changes the economic conditions of ordinary people: marginal farmers and working women. It speeds up growth of the tea sector in Panchagarh.
It's a sign of the times when the largest and one of the most profitable private companies in India announces an austerity drive that includes limiting tea and coffee consumption in the workplace and encouraging use of pen refills for ballpoint pens. This move was by a company that earned profits of approximately $ 4.5 billion in FY 08 and has investment plans of $ 4.5 billion in its new retail business in India.
Stocks ended upbeat for an eighth straight day as investors continued buying, buoyed by the previous loan extension by merchant banks, market operators said.
Bata, the country's leading shoemaker and retailer, plans to increase its sales by 30 percent in 2008, said the chief financial officer (CFO) of the company yesterday.
Asian shares suffered heavy falls Monday, including a slide of over four percent in the South Korean stock market as the global economic slowdown rattled investors again.
The pound on Monday struck an all-time low against the euro after Britain's finance minister gave a bleak assessment of the economy ahead of a Bank of England interest rate decision due this week.
Oil prices fell on Monday as traders banked profits won on news that Hurricane Gustav had forced the suspension of almost all US energy production in the Gulf of Mexico.
Officials from the G20 group of industrialized and developing nations wrapped up a weekend meeting here Sunday that examined the effects of slowing world economic growth and climbing inflation, participants told reporters.
Indonesia's annual inflation rate rose to 11.85 percent in August after month-on-month growth of 0.51 percent, Central Statistics Agency chief Rusman Heriawan said Monday.
Russia will suspend some of its agreements made during its bid to become a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Interfax quoted Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as saying Sunday.
Bangladesh Mahila Parishad yesterday called on the government to withdraw its reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in order to ensure development of women.
The 14th national council of Bangladesh Chhatra Maitree, a left-leaning student organisation, began in the city yesterday.
Two hostels of Sylhet Polytechnic College were closed sine die yesterday following the ransacking of over 50 rooms by Islami Chhatra Shibir cadres in overnight violence that also left nine people injured.
Prof M Tamim, special assistant to the chief adviser, yesterday said the caretaker government is determined to hold upazila election before parliamentary election in December.
Congratulating Bangladesh Bocce team of mentally retarded athletes who became champion in the 2nd Asia Pacific Bocce Competition 2008 in Brunei, speakers at a press conference yesterday demanded incorporating them into the mainstream.
Although the urban poor contribute significantly to urban economy, their problems, specially the housing problem, is never considered seriously by any government, said the speakers at a workshop in the city on Sunday.
Save the Children UK and Eminence, a non-government research-based orgaisation, jointly launched a campaign titled 'Get on Track to Save Children's Lives' in the city yesterday.
Bangladesh Army has called upon all to be aware of frauds using its name.
Journalists and employees of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) yesterday went on hunger strike and sit-in programme for payment of salary as per the seventh Wage Board Award.
President Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday greeted the countrymen on the occasion of Ramadan.
Muggers stabbed two rickshaw passengers and made away with two cellphones, a gold chain and Tk 10000 in cash in front of Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban when they were returning to their Indira Road residence from Gabtali in the early hours of yesterday.
Bangladesh Chhatra Federation demonstrated on the Dhaka University campus yesterday protesting price hike of essentials, says a press release.
Bangladesh Awami Jubo Ainjibi Parishad, a forum of lawyers, yesterday demanded immediate steps to hold the national elections after lifting the state of emergency.
Revolutionary Workers Party of Bangladesh yesterday said the caretaker government is making an exit route by releasing detained corrupt suspects, criminals and black money holders.
Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) unit of Chhatra League (BCL), at a press conference held at the Sangbadik Samity office yesterday, demanded of the authorities to review a decision of expulsion of its two leaders for assaulting a teacher.
Abdullah-Al-Shafi, chief engineer of directorate of public works, who is now on leave preparatory to retirement (LPR), was given a one-year contractual appointment in the same post, says a PID handout.
The members of Detective Branch (DB) of police on Sunday night seized 30,500 contraband stimulating tablets from a shop in the city's Lalbagh area and arrested two people in this connection.
The British Council yesterday launched a project titled 'INSPIRE' to strengthen strategic partnership in higher education between the UK and countries in Central and South Asia.
The Department of Women and Gender Studies of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday conferred a 'special honorary award' on Prof Dr Najma Chowdhury for her contribution to institutionalisation of gender and women education in the country.
The Office of the Chief Inspector of Factories and Establishments under the Ministry of Labour and Employment has given license to 898 industries and business establishments and renewed licences of some 5127 organisations in the fiscal year 2007-2008.
Several hundred students of Bangladesh University of Business and Technology (BUBT) and Commerce College continued their angry protest at Mirpur in the city yesterday and demanded arrest of a local businessman who and his hired cadres allegedly beat up three students.
Save the Environment Movement and Bangladesh Environment Lawyers' Association (Bela) formed a human chain at Dhanmondi in the city and distributed leaflets yesterday to raise awareness about noise pollution.
Engineer Qamrul Islam Siddiqui, a former secretary and freedom fighter, passed away due to cardiac failure in New Jersey, USA yesterday at the age of 63.
Bangladesh Air Force yesterday observed the 32nd death anniversary of the former chief of air staff Air Vice Marshal (retd) Muhammad Khademul Bashar, Biruttam, with due solemnity, says an ISPR press release.
At least 25 people were injured in a road accident on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway at Kanhor under Trishal upazila yesterday.
A team of the detective branch of police arrested nine muggers during raids on Kadamtali, Halishahar and Agrabad Sheikh Mujib Road areas in Chittagong city yesterday.
Faisal Khan, a 14-year-old boy, has lost his both eyesight following a severe injury in his head two years ago, says a press release.
The Tk 64 crore Upgrading and Rehabilitation of Rural Infrastructure (URRI) project in Rangamati is unlikely to be completed within the time limit of current financial year despite extension of the project period by two years.
Speakers at discussions in Satkhira and Gaibandha yesterday urged full implementation of the Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) for overall development of women in the society.
Following instruction from the Directorate of Education, a one-member probe committee has been formed to investigate the corruption charges against Prof Dr Hasanuzaman Khan, former chairman of Board of Secondary and Intermediate Education, Barisal.
At least 20 people were injure and 400 houses tore down as a storm battered three unions in Kurigram district Sunday night. The 15-minute foray by nature uprooted many trees in the areas covering parts of Ulipur and Chilmari upazilas and also snapped power supply lines, not to be restored till yesterday.
A businessman bought freedom on payment of Tk.55, 000 as ransom to criminals after two days of his abduction at Hridoypur village in Daulatpur upazila.
A group of Islamic Chhatra Shibir cadres of Rajshahi Islami Bank
Rangpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) opened nine shops in the town to sell essentials at fair prices during the Ramadan.
A court here yesterday sentenced three cadres of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) to life term imprisonment in the sensational Chhatra League (BCL) leader Shahed Hajari murder case.
The fifth funding anniversary of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) and Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (Kuet) was observed yesterday through colourful programmes.
Rangpur University Implementation Council submitted a memorandum to the Chief Advisor through the Deputy Commissioner yesterday urging him to take steps to appoint a Project Director and a Vice Chancellor of planned Rangpur University.
European leaders met yesterday seeking a way to condemn Russia's conflict against Georgia as hundreds of thousands of people staged an anti-Russian rally in the Georgian capital.
Torrential rain and intense winds blasted Louisiana as Hurricane Gustav neared New Orleans and the Gulf Coast yesterday after forcing nearly two million people to flee.
Pakistan suspended fighting in the volatile northwest Monday for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and some of the 300,000 people displaced by air strikes and gunbattles started packing up belongings to return to their shattered homes.
Afghan and international forces killed more than 220 militants over the past week in the country's insurgency-wracked south, the US-led coalition said in a statement.
The Bihar government has admitted that half the state is under water and some 30 lakh people have been affected in all.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked eastern Orissa state to stamp out anti-Christian rioting and punish those responsible for murder and arson, officials said yesterday.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected Israel's idea of an interim peace agreement at a Sunday summit, a Palestinian negotiator said, insisting on an all-or-nothing approach that virtually ruled out an accord by a January target date.
People in the poor, mainly Tamil neighbourhood in Colombo described it as a harrowing day.
Iraqi forces yesterday took over control of Anbar, once the most explosive battlefield in Iraq, from the US military, symbolising the growing security gains in the war-torn country.
The Republican Party severely curtailed the start yesterday of its convention to nominate John McCain for president as Hurricane Gustav bore down on the United States.
Rescuers appealed for temporary housing and tents Monday after a weekend earthquake in southwest China killed at least 36 people, injured hundreds and left tens of thousands of homes in ruins.
Nepal's new Maoist prime minister Sunday finalised the Himalayan nation's first post-royal government by appointing 15 new ministers, ending weeks of political deadlock, officials said.
Three politicians who participated in huge anti-India rallies in Kashmir have been charged under a tough law as police maintained a curfew for the ninth straight day Monday, police said.
Myanmar's detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has lost some weight but is feeling well, her lawyer said yesterday after a 30-minute meeting with her.
Several US officials including a senior Republican senator have expressed concern over reports that Pakistan People's Party chief Asif Ali Zardari, a strong contender for presidency, was diagnosed with mental problems as late as last year, a media report said yesterday.
Arts & Entertainment
Two films shot in Bangladesh were the centrepieces of the recently concluded "Travelling Film South Asia 2008" in New Delhi. The four-day festival began with one such film, Every Good Marriage Begins with Tears, directed and produced by UK filmmaker Simon Chambers. The film had a common enough theme-- two Bangladeshi sisters from London being forced into arranged marriages with complete strangers from their parents' homeland. Chambers, however, gave the film a “personal and intimate insight.” As a neighbour of the family in Brick Lane, London he knew girls since they were three years old. There were, therefore, no barriers and Chambers was able to give a moving and gripping account of their lovers, joys, sorrows, hopes and aspirations.
The scenic beauty of Old Brahmaputra river has attracted many an artist. Great master Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin was one such painter. Then there is Dulal Gain, assistant keeper of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala in Mymensingh, who has to his credit the 'Brahmaputra Series.' So far the series comprises 40 paintings and more will are underway.
Architect turned filmmaker Enamul Karim Nirjhar has won the National Award for his debut movie Aha in 2007. The movie, released in 2007, has earned appreciation through participating at foreign film festivals.
Speakers at a discussion here urged the government to observe the birth and death anniversaries of renowned poet Rajonikanta Sen at the national level. They also stressed the need to collect and preserve the memorabilia related to Sen.
A condolence meeting was held at the auditorium of Mukul Fouj in the town commemorating the death of Abdullah Al Mamun, a leading theatre personality of the country.
Gonoshilpi Sangshtha, one of the leading cultural organisations of the district, observed Rabindra-Nazrul-Sukanto Joyanti (anniversary) in Pabna recently. A colourful cultural programme was organised at the Pabna Press Club auditorium and local artistes performed the songs and poetry of the three poets.
A beautiful cultural show 'Amra Sobai Raja' performed by schoolchildren was held here on Saturday evening.
World-renowned Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has received the Glory to the Filmmaker award at the 65th Venice Film Festival.
The 39-year-old rose to fame playing Rachel Green in Friends, which was also shown on the NBC TV network.
THE holy month of Ramadan is the only month which has been explicitly described and analysed in the Holy Quran. The very fact that the revelation of the Holy Quran commenced in the month of Ramadan testifies to the sanctity, graciousness, and divine excellence of this sacred month.
BANGLADESH has been dependent on foreign aid since its independence. Along with this dependence, there is a continuing debate about conditionality imposed by donors. Whenever structural reforms are associated with pain, as they often do, the blame goes to donors and the policy measures labeled as "conditionality." Critics also observe that conditions tagged by donors and directives in setting policy agenda limit the country's ownership and undermine democratic principles. This debate needs to be cast objectively.
THE World Trade Organisation (WTO) came into existence on January 1, 1995, after successful completion of prolonged negotiations from 1986 to 1994, as a sequel to Uruguay Round of negotiations and as a successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The current membership strength of WTO is 153 as on July 23.
AS night fell, I read a beautifully illustrated picture book called "The Swan Princess" to my youngest daughter.