News of: Thursday, 25th of September, 2008
In a move contrary to an apparent understanding with the Awami League (AL), the government yesterday strongly opposed a bail prayer of Sheikh Hasina at the High Court (HC) in an extortion case filed by businessman Noor Ali.
Key leaders of Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance sat together yesterday, after a break of about 20 months, in a bid to revive it to contest in the upcoming parliamentary election as a mega electoral coalition.
BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said the four-party alliance will contest and win the upcoming polls and the BNP-led alliance would be expanded, if necessary.
The government high-ups involved in corruption are escaping anti-corruption net, while only the low-ranked employees are making voluntary disclosures of their ill-gotten wealth, observes Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac) Chairman Justice Habibur Rahman Khan.
The High Court (HC) yesterday extended bail for four months to over 500 people accused in different criminal cases filed under the Emergency Power Rules (EPR).
Army chief Gen Moeen U Ahmed yesterday welcomed the general elections on December 18 as announced by the chief adviser.
Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) yesterday held its first public hearing on the proposed gas price hike up to 65 percent amid strong opposition from businesspeople and consumers.
Administrative activities at the Bangladesh Secretariat have slowed down as half a dozen advisers in charge of 12 ministries are now outside the country on official tours.
Bangladesh won $666 million foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2007, a 16 percent drop from $793 million a year ago, although the global FDI marked a 30 percent rise in the same period, according to a global investment report released yesterday.
Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina agreed to sit with her political archrival BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia "anytime, anywhere" for the greater interest of the country if BNP admits to its wrongdoings during its last tenure in power.
The Election Commission (EC) yesterday received the first consignment of transparent ballot boxes and soon started sending those to some district election offices in Dhaka division.
A Korean citizen claims that an Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) official has stopped proceedings of filing a case regarding laundering of about $7.5 million although National Coordination Committee (NCC) to combat serious crime and corruption has evidence.
Intra-party conflict has once again gripped BNP leadership dividing the party into two camps over their secretary general's recent activities, within only two weeks of the chairperson's release from detention which seemingly held promises of reuniting the fragmented organisation.
The weeklong sale of advance tickets by Bangladesh Railway (BR) ended yesterday with about half of the tickets unsold, railway sources said.
A Dhaka court yesterday fixed October 7 for hearing on charge framing against the accused in two cases filed in connection with the grenade attacks on an Awami League (AL) rally in the city on August 21, 2004.
Pakistan's cabinet yesterday lashed out at the country's intelligence agencies for "failing miserably" to find those responsible for a wave of violence including the Marriott Hotel bomb attack.
A fire inside Barapukuria coal mine Tuesday night left two miners including a Chinese national seriously injured.
A man died in Rab custody yesterday, a day after he was arrested by the elite force at Shyamoli in the capital.
Regulatory Reform Commission (RRC) yesterday approved its taskforce's recommendations regarding digitisation of land records and land registration system and suggested that the land registration fees be reduced.
A junior police officer and his source were arrested yesterday for extorting Tk 2.80 lakh from a businessman at Hathazari in the port city.
The Nobel Peace Prize could go to a Chinese dissident this year as a way of keeping human rights pressure on Beijing as it basks in the glow of a successful Olympics, an expert said yesterday.
One thing we have to thank TI's Corruption Perception Index for is that it has placed combating corruption squarely at the front and centre of the nation's consciousness (though no political government ever saw fit to meaningfully address the issue while in office).
The import and marketing of the toxic milk powder which reportedly contains melamine, a poisonous substance, has added to the worries of general consumers. The Chinese experience with contaminated baby food is a wake-up call for us.
Perhaps no other country is as painfully aware as Pakistan about its geopolitical attributes, which have proved to be a bane as much a boon. Its locational factor has become a matter of great discomfiture, more so now, with the US deciding to sally into Pakistan territory regardless of all international norms and diplomatic niceties -- for the purpose of chasing the Al-Qaeda / Taliban as a part of its counter-terror operations in Afghanistan.
A few days back, I went to a shop in Singapore. As I entered it, a salesperson greeted me like a guest. I was amazed to experience the comfort a salesperson can ensure to arrive at the right decision. She tried to understand what would suit my friend best. A very important question comes to my mind, "Is customer service an art?"
Reducing global poverty is the biggest challenge we face today. As the UN's recent MDG Gap Taskforce highlighted -- it will take the sustained and committed efforts of rich countries -- north and south, as well as the private sector, faith groups, and civil society from across the world for us to meet this monumental challenge.
At last Mohammad Ashraful spoke to the media after Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) gag order ended yesterday.
Amalesh Sen will have to find the right combination for Abahani's backline during Citycell B. League's Eid vacation despite his side's 2-0 win over visiting Chittagong Mohammedan yesterday.
The series deciding one-day match between GP-BCB National Cricket Academy and Sri Lanka Cricket Development XI take place at the NCC ground in Colombo today.
Reliable batsman Michael Hussey said Wednesday the inexperienced Australian side were capable of rising to the occasion in the demanding Test series soon to start in India.
Anil Kumble, India's Test captain, has said the batsmen must step up if India are to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy next month. India go into the four-Test series against Australia on the back of two poor series -- against South Africa and Sri Lanka -- but Kumble is confident that each of his players will lift his game for the high-profile contests.
New Zealand fast bowler Chris Martin has withdrawn from the one-day series against Bangladesh next month because of a hamstring strain.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday said they will follow the government's advice though it had agreed in principle to the itinerary prepared for India's tour of Pakistan early next year by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Donald Bradman's first Test cricket bat sold at auction here late Wednesday for a record 145,000 dollars (121,938 US dollars), the auction house said.
Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Asif said Tuesday he was anxiously waiting for a hearing before an Indian doping tribunal so he can get a chance to clear his name.
Gazirchot Sporting Club came from behind to play out a 1-1 draw with Euro Famous Club in the Second Division Football League at the Kamalapur Stadium yesterday.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Niranjan Shah on Wednesday put the onus on the senior cricketers to inform the board or the selection committee about their future retirement plans to enable a smooth transition in the Indian team.
Arsene Wenger enjoyed a night to savour as another generation of young stars stepped off the Arsenal production line to inflict a 6-0 drubbing on an experienced Sheffield United side on Tuesday.
Bayern Munich coach Jurgen Klinsmann said Wednesday his side have welcomed back joker Franck Ribery to get the German giants back on track ahead of next week's Champions League game against Lyon.
New West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola has admitted he may not be allowed to strengthen his squad in January as the club faces up to a potential 30-million-pound bill for the Carlos Tevez affair.
Germany defender Heiko Westermann hit two second-half goals to seal Schalke 04's 2-0 win over Hanover and put the Royal Blues into the German Cup's third round alongside Werder Bremen on Tuesday.
Rodrigo Possebon, the Manchester United youngster on the receiving end of a horror tackle by Middlesbrough's Emanuel Pogatetz, has not broken his right leg, as first feared, the club confirmed on Wednesday.
Lyon have slapped a 100 million euro price tag on France international starlet Karim Benzema, according to club president Jean-Michel Aulas on Tuesday.
Newcastle captain Michael Owen has said he and his team-mates were "saddened" to see manager Kevin Keegan quit but warned the Magpies they had to "snap out of the doom".
England's League Managers' Association (LMA) said Wednesday it was "astonished and dismayed" by the recent verbal attacks on Arsene Wenger by UEFA president Michel Platini.
Georgia can play their next two World Cup qualifying home matches in the capital Tbilisi, FIFA said Tuesday, after the calming of hostilities in the former Soviet republic.
Haroon Lorgat, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) chief executive, says that cricket's governing body will not sacrifice bilateral cricket for Twenty20 leagues and try to regulate the latest format to ensure that.
Pakistani leg-spinner Imran Tahir has signed a new contract with Hampshire which will keep him with the southern English county for another two years, it was announced Wednesday.
World number two Jelena Jankovic continued her bid for the top women's ranking with an opening win in the China Open Wednesday as local favourite Zheng Jie restored wounded local pride.
Jason Krejza, Australia's uncapped off-spinner, has won an endorsement from his former mentor, the Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss, ahead of the India Test series. Bayliss coached Krejza at New South Wales and he believes his propensity to turn the ball sharply could make him a dangerous weapon in India.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has on Wednesday revised its stance on Indian Cricket League (ICL) cricketers playing domestic cricket after a meeting with Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has signed a three-year contract worth 9 million dollars with Dubai Sports City (DSC), which will serve as the home venue for Pakistan's future cricketing commitments after touring teams raised security concerns over travelling to Pakistan.
After the nightmare of his Euro 2008 flop, Germany striker Mario Gomez is enjoying his return to form with seven goals in seven games for VfB Stuttgart ahead of next month's World Cup qualifiers.
Bangladesh received $666 million foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2007, a 16 percent drop from the previous year's $793 million, although the global FDI marked a 30 percent rise in the same period, according to a global investment report released yesterday.
Three bidders yesterday won as many WiMax licences in a battle of nine and finally settled for a hefty amount of Tk 215 crore in acquisition fees each.
Tycoon Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to buy five billion dollars of stock in Goldman Sachs, and could double its stake within five years, the Wall Street bank said late Tuesday.
Grameenphone yesterday sealed a deal with the postal department to boost its revenue by going deeper in rural areas through the postmen working in about 8,300 postal branches.
Grameenphone, the country's largest mobile phone operator, has extended the deadline for local institutional investors to participate in its private placement offering (PPO).
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) yesterday promised to shoot up the country's exports to $25 billion by 2013 provided the coming elected government and all concerned could maintain political stability and ensure right economic policies.
Bangladesh can expedite its GDP growth and alleviate poverty by training people in hospitality and catering services, as there is a huge global demand for skilled human resources in this sector, speakers observed at a discussion in Dhaka yesterday.
Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation will be bifurcated in order to flourish the tourism industry and attract more local and foreign investors, according to official sources.
Should Bangladesh adopt WiMax technology to spread broadband data transmission facility now, or should it be 3GSM technology? Or maybe Bangladesh should wait a few more months to see if Long Term Evolution (LTE) is making a significant jump in broadband worldwide.
Many people in Bangladesh and those around the world who operate outside the ebbs and flows of financial markets, must be wondering what has caused the greatest financial crisis since the depression. We can discuss complex derivatives and financial structures and instrument ad nauseum. But US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson summed it up best when going to Congress for the emergency bailout stating “lax lending practices earlier this decade led to irresponsible lending and irresponsible borrowing".
Aftab Mahmud Khurshid, vice-president (marketing and brand communications) of City Bank, has recently been nominated as international advisory council member of Asia Brand Congress 2008 from Bangladesh.
Buying and selling sprees of investors pulled Dhaka stocks up yesterday.
The first international flight of United Airways Bangladesh Ltd, a leading private sector airline founded by non-resident Bangladeshis, took off yesterday from the Zia International Airport in Dhaka on its way to Kolkata, says a press release.
The dollar rose against the yen in Asian trade Wednesday on news that US tycoon Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to buy five billion dollars of stock in Goldman Sachs.
Germany, France and Italy, the leading eurozone economies, appear on the brink of recession after business confidence surveys hit multi-year lows amid the global financial crisis, analysts said.
Asian stocks closed mostly up on Wednesday after a massive investment by Warren Buffett in Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs offset concern about the 700-billion-dollar US financial rescue plan.
A battle over the US government's financial rescue package carries on in Congress Wednesday after top finance officials urged its swift passage and lawmakers dug in their heels, while the FBI reportedly launched a probe of failed banks and mortgage giants.
Kuwait plans to spend its bumper petro-dollar earnings on an array of mega projects over the next five years including a new business hub dubbed Silk City, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
Hundreds of Hong Kong savers mobbed branches of Bank of East Asia Wednesday to withdraw deposits, as the bank scrambled to reassure them it was not overexposed to Lehman Brothers and AIG.
Vietnam's trade deficit reached an estimated 15.8 billion dollars for the first nine months of the year, according to official figures released Wednesday.
Law enforcement agencies receive around 80 complaints a day from city residents about extortion demands from criminals over phones.
Brac founder and Chairperson Fazle Hasan Abed received this year's David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award in New York on Tuesday in recognition of his contribution to eradicating poverty and fighting social injustice.
Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela) yesterday formed a human chain in front of the Chittagong Press Club opposing the beaching of a toxic ship at a Chittagong ship-breaking yard.
Loan and bill defaulters won't be given concession allowing them to contest the upcoming elections, the Election Commission made it clear following allegations that such persons are again in the queue.
Save the Children UK, Eminence and The Editor jointly staged a symbolic sit-in in front of the IDB Bhaban in the city and submitted memoranda to health adviser, director general of health directorate and UN country representative, says a press release.
Uncertainty again looms over the construction work of the proposed residential hall for female students of Dhaka University (DU) as the constructor concerned has refused to start the work with the existing fund.
Bangladesh yesterday celebrated "Meena Day" under the theme of 'Inclusive education -- Quality education to end exclusion'.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed on Tuesday underscored accelerating different health projects and programmes with further focus on maternal health and said the projects should be completed in shortest time.
The two-day conference of Asian Credit Union Forum will begin in the city today in a bid to make the cooperative credit system more effective and popular to facilitate social development in the country.
With a view to alleviating poverty in the society and developing the living standards, Anjuman Mofidul Islam (AMI), a voluntary organisation providing humanitarian services to the poor, has been furnishing its services diligently for over five decades.
The US units of Awami League (AL) and Bangabandhu Foundation have chalked out different programmes to observe the 63rd birth anniversary of former prime minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina on September 28.
Renowned eye specialist Rabiul Husain, the founding managing trustee of Chittagong Eye Infirmary and Training Centre, has been elected the chairman of International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in South East Asian region.
Speakers at a dialogue yesterday said the frequency of sexual harassment is rampant in every sector across the country and to resist such incidents by creating massive awareness and showing zero tolerance against it along with enacting a strict law are imperative.
Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed, who is now in the US to join the UN General Assembly (UNGA), will address the Bangladeshi community in New York this morning, reports News World, a US-based news agency.
Three people were injured and four cars badly damaged in a clash between extortionists and truck drivers at Sonadanga Truck Terminal in Khulna on Tuesday night.
Six people were killed and 10 others injured when a truck smashed a pickup van on Sylhet-Tamabil road at Biraimara in Jaintapur upazila yesterday evening.
Prof Nizamuddin Ahmed, a Scouts Woodbadger, was appointed a National Commissioner of Bangladesh Scouts.
A girl was killed and two others were injured in a roof collapse incident at Jamgara in the upazila yesterday.
Auto-rickshaw labour union leaders yesterday demanded that the government's promised 5,000 CNG-run auto-rickshaws be distributed among the genuine drivers.
The US unit of BNP and Tarique Mukti Andolan Committee postponed their agitation programme in front of the United Nations Headquarters tomorrow, US-based news agency ANA reported.
In an effort to enhance eye treatment to ultra poor in the society Bank Asia Limited donated Tk 20 lakh and Muslim Commercial Bank of Pakistan donated Tk 6 lakh for construction of two wards at Islamia Eye Hospital, says a press release.
Muggers stabbed a worker to death in the district in the early hours yesterday.
Two people, including a woman, were killed in separate incidents in city yesterday.
Three hundred employees of Slum Development Project of Dhaka City Corporation continued their indefinite sit-in programme along with their children for the second day yesterday on Nagar Bhaban premises demanding their arrear salaries of 15 months.
Protesting police atrocities on readymade garment workers (RMG) at Uttara and Uttarkhan in the city on Tuesday, workers' leaders at a press conference yesterday demanded their arrears, including Eid bonus before Ramadan 27.
A mobile court seized powder milk of Yashili and Sweet Baby brands from two shops in Rajshahi city yesterday.
Tobacco companies are the biggest threat to tobacco control efforts in the country, as they are violating the Tobacco Control Act 2005 and the global tobacco treaty, speakers at a press conference said yesterday.
Around 200 former and present students of Pitch-Blend University of Science and Technology (PUST), Chittagong campus have appealed to the education adviser for an arrangement to continue and recognise its academic activities.
Speakers at a discussion held here yesterday demanded of the government to protect the culture and heritage of 11 ethnic communities in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).
Workers of a readymade garment factory blockaded a street in the port city yesterday demanding payment of arrears, overtime and bonus.
Speakers at a seminar said about two percent of the estimated 10-15 thousand hermaphrodite (Hijra) populace in the country are infected with HIV/AIDS.
Dr Fashiuddin Mahtab, former minister and also ex-secretary general of Bangladesh Diabetic Association, breathed his last at Leeds Hospital in London on September 22, says a press release.
The vacation at Dhaka University (DU) on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr and Durga Puja will start today.
Students and teachers of mass communication and journalism department of Dhaka Uni-versity have urged all to extend financial assistance for the treatment of Saiful Samin, a fourth year student who lost both of his legs in a tragic train accident in June.
Incidents of threat for extortion by criminals including outlaws and gang groups marked a sudden increased in ten southwestern districts ahead of the Eid.
Dogged by internal feud, the rift in Khagrachhari BNP widened following Sunday's scrapping of the newly formed 11-member district convening committee in the face of opposition from rivals.
Former speaker Sheikh Razzak Ali has said he has no intention to go back to BNP as he was compelled to quit the party.
Fifty students will be admitted to Pabna Medical College this session while the Ministry of Education has instructed renting a house for operating proposed Pabna Technology University.
The Election Commission has sent show cause notices by post to 21 persons including two mayoral and 19 councillor candidates in August 4 Barisal City Corporation (BCC) elections for not submitting statements on their polls expenditure.
Detective police yesterday arrested four persons including an alleged cadre of outlawed JMB from a house at Zahidur Rahman road under Khulna Sadar police station.
Mymensingh Taxes Bar Association secretary Advocate Sadik Hossain yesterday filed a defamation case against National Board of Revenue (NBR) chairman Mohammed Abdul Mazid with Sadar Judicial Magistrate Court here.
Computer training course for inmates of Tangail district jail was started yesterday to make them self reliant and lead normal life after release.
Speakers at a meeting held here yesterday urged Imams (religious leaders) to play a vital role in removing Islamic militancy from the country.
Police yesterday seized 60 sacks of government rice from a shop of Md Jahangir Hossain at Rahimanagar Bazar in Kochua upazila and arrested the rice trader.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized 155 bags of chemical fertiliser from Ishwardi rail Station Tuesday.
Japan's new Prime Minister Taro Aso pledged yesterday to fight to renew a domestically unpopular naval mission providing support in the Indian Ocean to the US-led "war on terror."
John McCain's attempts to win over workers by presenting himself as a man of the people with an abiding love for American-made cars ran off the road Tuesday after it emerged that the Republican owns a Volkswagen, a Lexus, a Honda and a Toyota.
Embattled British premier Gordon Brown won praise yesterday for a key speech to his Labour Party, but the positive headlines were quickly clouded by the surprise resignation of a top minister.
North Korea has dramatically raised the stakes in its nuclear dispute with the United States, threatening to create a fresh crisis unless Washington makes concessions, analysts said yesterday.
The Pakistani army said yesterday it found the wreckage of a suspected US spy plane near the Afghan border, but denied claims that it had been shot down.
South Africa's political landscape is changing faster than anyone anticipated.
With infiltration and ceasefire violations witnessing a rise recently, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to seek concrete action by Islamabad to stop such activities when he meets Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari in New York.
Thailand's new Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat yesterday unveiled his cabinet, looking to heal rifts within his own party and restore stability as anti-government protests drag on.
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday called for the creation of a food safety hotline with China in the wake of a toxic milk scare there.
The bodies of five Palestinian smugglers were pulled from a tunnel that collapsed along the Gaza-Egypt border, Gaza security officials said yesterday.
Russia, blamed by Westerners for the conflict in Georgia, dealt a blow in New York on Tuesday by forcing world powers to cancel a ministerial meeting on Iran's disputed nuclear program.
A suicide bomber blew himself up near a security forces vehicle in southwest Pakistan yesterday, killing a young girl and wounding 13 people, mainly soldiers, police said.
Sri Lankan government forces have killed 16 Tamil Tigers and lost three of their own troops in the latest clashes across the north of the island, the defence ministry said yesterday.
An Indian court yesterday sentenced to death six people who were found guilty of murdering members of a low-caste Hindu family, a crime that sparked violence and outrage from political leaders.
Iran's president has told the UN that Iran will resist "bullying powers" trying to thwart its peaceful nuclear ambitions.
Twenty more people were killed, taking to 46 the death toll from floods which have destroyed tens of thousands of homes in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, officials said yesterday.
After being set back by the increased US military presence in Iraq, Islamists are focussing on Yemen as a new territory for their operations, according to experts.
Arts & Entertainment
Sundari Dasi was only seven months old at that time, when people found her suckling from her dead mother's breast. Her mother was brutally raped and killed by the Pakistani military and their Bengali collaborators during the Liberation War. This incident stirred the village Chuknagar of Khulna district, where one of the large-scale genocides of 1971 occurred. Now in her late 30s, Sundari Dasi wants the trial of the war criminals.
One of the best rock musicians of the country, Ayub Bachchu's latest album Rimjhim Brishti was launched on September 22 at a hotel. It is the 12th solo album of the artiste. His last solo album came out in 2006.
Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), is holding a five-day long fair and handicrafts exhibition at its Motijheel office, starting from September 21. Titled "Sharat Mela 1415" the fair is an initiative by BSCIC to promote handicrafts and also to create employment opportunities. Every year BSCIC organises four seasonal fairs -- "Borsha Mela," "Sharat Mela," "Poush Mela" and "Bashanto Mela."
Afzal Hossain and Humayun Faridi are the two most accomplished actors of their generation. Over the last three decades, the two actors have worked on TV, film and stage. They also appeared together in several TV programmes in the past.
Single episode TV play Hawa will be aired on Rtv on the second day of Eid-ul-Fitr at 11:30 am. The play is written and directed by Ashutosh Sujan.
A French museum has found a previously unknown piece of music handwritten by Mozart, a researcher said last Thursday. The 18th-century melody sketch is missing the harmony and instrumentation but was described as an important find.
THROUGH his speech on September 20, the CA has stopped all sorts of speculations about national election. In addition, dates for upazila elections have also been announced. National election will be held on December 18 and upazila elections on December 24 and 28. In consideration of exigency of the situation, the CA announced the dates instead of the CEC.
ON September 25, at the midpoint towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), world leaders will gather in New York to see where more can be done to reach them by the deadline of 2015. This is a critical moment as the prospects of a slowing global economy, high food and fuel prices and climate change threaten to derail and even reverse the progress already made.
ALTHOUGH good solutions are more important than good speeches, the address delivered by Chief Adviser (CA) Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed put an end to the long-drawn debates and speculations over the dates for the parliamentary and upazila parishad ballots.
I am writing this column locked in a jail cell. No, really. Fifteen minutes ago, police officers turned up at my home. They put me in a police van, took me away, and then locked me in a cell.
In comparison to the capital, Chittagong was quite a 'conservative' city for many a year as far as the modern idea or trend of glamour, beauty and fashion were concerned. And nowadays, Chittagong is not much behind the capital in those terms.
The government has decided to construct an Information Technology (IT) Tower with necessary infrastructures and modern facilities to give the huge prospect of IT sector a material shape.