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News of: Thursday, 1st of January, 2009
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Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government's first tasks would be to bring down the prices of essentials within people's reach and alleviate poverty. And in this mission, she sought cooperation of her political archrival Khaleda Zia.
A calculation of the votes cast in Monday's election showed that Awami League (AL) bagged about 25 percent more votes in this election than it had in 2001.
Corruption, alleged links to militancy and campaigns about the role in genocide of 1971 led to voters' humiliating rejection of Jamaat's religion-based politics in the parliamentary polls, say political analysts and civil society leaders.
Foreign election observers yesterday said they did not find any instance of 'election manipulation' in the December 29 parliamentary polls as alleged by the BNP.
As many as 900 candidates, out of 1,555, have lost their security deposits for poor performance despite a record turnout in the ninth parliamentary elections.
BNP has asked its grassroots leaders to send evidence of 'vote rigging' in Monday's general election to the party chairperson's office on the basis of which it will fix its next course of action, party sources said yesterday.
A magistrate court here yesterday sentenced seven and a half years' imprisonment to former BNP lawmaker Manjurul Ahsan Munshi for violating code of electoral conduct during the polling on December 29.
Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the legality of the present caretaker government will be finally decided in the ninth parliament.
A large Indian Civet was yesterday caught at Ramna Park in the city by morning walkers who captured the rare animal after chasing it into the lake in the park.
Bangladesh's bold attempt to rewrite the record books fell 107 runs short on the final day of the first Test against Sri Lanka at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.
At least 82 people, mostly the activists and supporters of BNP, were injured in post-election violence in seven districts Tuesday night and yesterday.
The government has decided to shift 10 special courts set up on the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban premises to try the country's high-profile corrupt suspects.
Hamas said yesterday it had not received any truce proposals but was ready to consider any that are made that would end the Israeli offensive on its Gaza stronghold and its blockade of the enclave.
Hard-line Iranian student groups have asked the government to authorize volunteers to go carry out suicide bombings in Israel in response to the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip.
Ruling out any political consideration on deferring upazila polls in the changed situation, the Election Commission (EC) confidently goes ahead with preparation for holding the upazila elections on schedule.
WE are saddened, though not surprised, that BNP chief Begum Khaleda Zia has termed the JS election stage-managed and, as such, unacceptable to her party. However, she did not quite elaborate, beyond a trite generalisation, how and where things went wrong.
THE success of the recently concluded elections and expectation of a peaceful transition back to a democratically elected government augur well for Bangladesh, and we look forward to the coming year with a great deal of hope that the country is back on the right track.
BEGUM Zia's rejection of the poll results has proved once again that our political culture has not changed at all. We had hoped that the losing party, whoever that might be, would concede defeat gracefully, and pledge to work with the treasury to give democracy in Bangladesh a chance. With democracy in limbo for the last 2 years it was the least we could hope from the major political parties. That, unfortunately, is not to be.
AS a nation, we need to realise that we have the responsibility to create a future of reasonable economic opportunity for the 15 crore citizens of Bangladesh. Unless we have a capable, responsive, forward-looking, and credible polity, we shall face difficulty moving our development agenda forward.
Pacer Dammika Prasad ran as fast as he could while joyous teammates tried to catch up to him for the celebration. It was the moment for Sri Lanka to breathe a sigh of relief because they apparently seemed to have survived from a scare to watch the rewriting of record books from the receiving end.
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene praised the Tigers' attitude during the second innings of the first Test at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.
It is always worth watching Mohammad Ashraful bat but he is so inconsistent that one cannot even recall the last time he had a good effort.
As another year in the Gregorian calendar elapses into history and the dawn of a new year just breaks, one might be excused if he or she wakes up with a wistful sense of utopia.
The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) ended the year 2008 on a high, announcing on the New Year's Eve the arrival of a Brazilian coach for the national team.
The limited-over version of the Ispahani Mirzapore Tea 10th National Cricket League will start today across the country.
The Citycell B. League resumes today after a six-day break with the old-Dhaka derby between Rahmatganj and Farashganj at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
The year 2008 will be long remembered in Spain after the eternally underachieving national team finally came good, winning the European Championships on June 29 after Fernando Torres's goal sealed a 1-0 victory over Germany in the final.
Aston Villa leapfrogged Arsenal into the last Champions League placing here on Tuesday as an own-goal by Kamil Zayatte gifted them a 1-0 victory over Hull City in the last Premier League match of the year.
Maria Sharapova says she hopes to be fit to defend her title at the Australian Open in January, despite pulling out of an exhibition event in Hong Kong next month.
AC Milan club doctor Jean Pierre Meersseman believes loan signing David Beckham can continue playing for another five years at least, by which time the midfielder will be 38 years old.
The Premier and First Division cricket league transfers will be held this month, the Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metro-polis confirmed yesterday.
Genoa coach Gian Piero Gasperini has again insisted that star striker Diego Milito is not for sale, at least not at the time being.
Bringing back investors' confidence and maintaining stability in the current economic climate will be the key challenges for political leaders in 2009, said top bankers in the country.
Cellphone operators will widen their network reach to the residents of most upazilas in hill districts, who had long been left out of mobile phone communication.
As the Earth rolled towards 2009 Wednesday, the world prepared to turn its back on a turbulent 2008 with New Year celebrations ranging from the spectacular to the sombre.
Dozens of the world's wealthiest lost billions in recent months, but these ten distinguish themselves for some of the biggest flops, according to a Forbes report.
Though the outgoing year started with high inflation, it has dropped significantly at the year-end but commodity prices, especially of food items including rice, are still much higher.
Mandatory installation of electronic cash register (ECR) at some selective shops, hotels and restaurants at six city corporations comes into effect today, paving the way for introducing ECRs at all small and medium shops and service providers across the country by July 1.
The 14th Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) begins today.
World stocks brought down the curtain on a miserable year with modest gains Wednesday but 2008 will be remembered for key markets shedding half their worth as the global economy endured a disastrous slowdown.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) will soon start its drive against the unauthorised Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Cyber Café Service Providers (CCSPs).
US consumer confidence plunged to a historic low in December amid a deepening recession, and the outlook for the next six months is "quite dismal," the Conference Board said Tuesday.
Citibank, NA has been ranked the Best Overall Internet Bank and Best Corporate/Institutional Internet Bank Globally by Global Finance at its World's Best Internet Bank Awards Dinner
Best Air yesterday announced a cut of 44 percent fuel surcharges on all routes as world oil prices fell.
The economy has passed a resilient 2008 despite an unfriendly domestic investment climate and fallout from the world economic meltdown.
The oath that the people's representatives will take, or had taken in the past, to uphold democratic values is, or was, mostly for economic emancipation of our people.
Asia's markets closed Wednesday to bring down the curtain on a miserable year that saw them lose half their worth in the wake of the global financial meltdown.
The euro held steady against the dollar Wednesday and remained within sight of parity with the pound on the last trading day of the year.
Sri Lanka announced Wednesday a 16 billion rupee (141-million dollar) stimulus package that included reducing fuel prices to shield the economy from the global slowdown.
The Federal Reserve said Tuesday it would begin buying mortgage-backed securities in early January under a previously announced plan to purchase up to 600 billion dollars of these assets.
Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse said on Wednesday it had sold part of its Global Investors business to Aberdeen Asset Management in return for a 24.9 percent stake in the British fund manager.
Thailand's new prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Wednesday that there was still a possibility that the country's economy could grow despite the global slowdown.
Foreign election observers at separate press conferences in the city yesterday called on the political parties, including BNP, to accept the December 29 election results and attend the parliament for a strengthening democracy in the country.
Speakers at a memorial meeting on Barrister Salma Sobhan, Justice KM Sobhan and Advocate Aminul Haque in the city yesterday said these eminent personalities had shown us the right way like stars with their ideals and activities.
The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the authorities concerned to accept nomination papers submitted by 18 aspirant candidates for upcoming upazila parishad polls to be held on January 22.
Violence against women claimed 518 lives across the country last year, according to a survey report released by Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), a human rights organisation, yesterday.
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Chairman Prof Muzaffer Ahmad yesterday said Sheikh Hasina, now on parole, should not swear in as the Prime Minister until the pending cases filed against her are disposed of.
Different socio-political, cultural organisations and professional congratulated Awami League-led grand alliance yesterday on its historic landslide victory in the just concluded 9th parliamentary elections.
Four people were killed and another injured in separate road accidents in Nilphamari, Brahmanbaria and Brahmanbaria in the last two days.
Pro-Awami League 'Blue Panel' bagged the post of president while pro-BNP-Jamaat 'White Panel' secured the post of general secretary in the election to the executive committee of Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) yesterday.
Barrister Rafiq-ul-Huq yesterday urged the people, including businessmen, professionals and donors to contribute to complete the rest of the work of Ahsania Mission Cancer Hospital at Uttara.
Three leading members of banned Islamist outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) were remanded for second time for seven more days after expiry of their previous five days remand yesterday.
Saiful Islam Shikder, an accomplice of top terror Sahadat of Mirpur area, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the city's Rampura area yesterday morning.
Bangladeshi people on Challishpara frontier at Daulatpur upazila here caught two Indian Border Security Force (BSF) men when they illegally entered Bangladesh territory and fired on them yesterday.
Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday said people of the country expect that Awami League President Sheikh Hasina as per her commitment in yesterday's press conference would establish good governance and peace in the country.
Abu Sufian and Rashed Rouf were elected president and general secretary of Chittagong Press Club at the biennial election of the club yesterday.
Hasina Ahmed, newly elected BNP lawmaker from Cox's Bazar-1 constituency, was injured and her driver killed in a road accident at Chunuti under Lohagara Police Station in Chittagong yesterday.
A Dhaka court yesterday adjourned the hearing of grenade attack cases till January 6 following time petitions by the prosecution.
The open draw of the UCEP Lottery-2008 was held yesterday.
European Commission, European Union Heads of Mission in Dhaka and Australia hailed people of Bangladesh for peaceful participation in the parliamentary election.
The December 29 election was a mandate against corruption, militancy, intimidation and abuse of power in Barisal division, according to views expressed by cross-sections of people.
Common people and political observers in Chittagong find widespread corruption, unbearable price hike, partisanship to anti-liberation forces and involvement with militancy as major reasons behind the setback of BNP-led four-party alliance that had won 13 out of the then 15 seats in the district in 2001.
Failure to fulfil election pledges including development works and allegations of harbouring criminals have been identified as the main causes of BNP's defeat in all four seats in Kushtia district, traditionally considered as stronghold of the party.
Elected parliamentary members (MPs) here yesterday vowed to eliminate corruption from the country to live up to expectations of voters.
Bkilpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) president Dr AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury and secretary general Maj (retd) Abdul Mannan yesterday resigned from their party posts for debacle of the party in the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) elections, says a press release.
Proshika chief Kazi Faruque Ahmed who heads his newly floated political party United Citizens Movement (UCM) has bagged only 277 out of 2,38,390 votes in Khulna-2 (Sadar-Sonadanga) and 653 out of 2,79,704 votes in Khulna-5 (Phultala-Dumuria) constituencies in Monday's parliamentary elections.
Jatindra Lal Tripura, MP-elect from Khagrachhari, at a press conference here yesterday said he will do his best to fully implement the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).
Hamas's star is rising among Palestinians as each new Israeli bomb falls on Gaza, while Western-backed president Mahmud Abbas is becoming increasingly isolated, analysts say.
Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger separatists are open to restarting peace talks with the government, despite the continuing military offensive aimed at crushing the group, a senior rebel official said.
The world can look forward to peace and harmony in 2009, but Chinese soothsayers warned that the road to economic recovery will be long.
A former dairy boss who could face the death penalty in China's tainted milk scandal testified yesterday that she began investigating product quality issues in May but did not notify authorities until August, a state news agency said.
Amid the jubilation and celebration of New Year's Eve, another feeling is present for many as a decidedly rocky 2008 comes to a close: relief.
Democrats were under pressure yesterday to bar an African-American statesman from the US Senate after the corruption-tainted Illinois governor's defiant appointment to fill the seat vacated by president-elect Barack Obama.Senate Democrats vowed not to seat former Illinois attorney general Roland Burris, saying he would "serve under a shadow and be plagued by questions of impropriety" in the wake of federal corruption charges stating that Governor Rod Blagojevich tried to sell the seat to the highest bidder.
Several Arab states have cancelled planned New Year celebrations in solidarity with Palestinians in the Islamist-run Gaza Strip who suffered a fifth straight day of Israeli bombardment yesterday.
India's president signed an anti-terror bill into law yesterday to boost police powers in the wake of a bloody attack on the country's financial capital, officials said.
Six people were killed and more than 50 wounded yesterday in bombings in northern Iraq, where US and Iraqi forces have been struggling to root out insurgents, police said.
Pakistani security forces arrested 28 rebels and killed three civilians as troops backed by helicopter gunships continued a major operation against militants for a second day yesterday, a senior official said.
US-led coalition forces killed 11 militants during an operation just outside the Afghan capital, the coalition said yesterday.
A young, pro-India Muslim politician, set to become the new chief minister of Indian Kashmir, was hailed by thousands of supporters on his arrival here yesterday from national capital New Delhi.
A car bomb exploded outside the headquarters of the Basque broadcasting network in the city of Bilbao yesterday, minutes after the area was evacuated following a warning call in the name of the separatist group ETA, police said.
Nine civilians were killed when Somali government forces fired mortar shells at a busy market area during fighting with Islamist insurgents in Mogadishu, witnesses told AFP yesterday.
Arts & Entertainment
It's that time again, when we reflect on the year gone by, consider positive changes we need to make, and resolve to follow through. We all have expectations, big and small, from 2009 and some of us have made resolutions on this occasion. Some of the brightest artistes of the Bangladeshi cultural arena have shared their New Year resolutions, expectations from 2009, as well as how 2008 was for them, with The Daily Star. Here's what they had to say:
Dhaka International Book Fair '08 ended on December 30. With the motto, "Book for Peaceful World," the fair was inaugurated on December 15 at the central playing field, Dhaka University campus. Under the management of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, National Book Centre organised the fair. Over a hundred publication houses from home and abroad took part in the fortnight-long event.
Clint Eastwood doesn't know if he's a legend.
With permission from his widow, Yoko Ono, a digital John Lennon stars in a new commercial for One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), a charity attempting to grant Internet access to children in developing countries.
INCIDENTALLY, it was also in a December day some 38 years ago, following the historic verdict in favour of the famous Six-Point program in the general election of 1970, the then AL chief, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared: "The AL's Six-Point program is not a program of AL anymore; it belongs to the nation. AL has no right to deviate from it."
SINCE Bangladesh has been passing through a period of high inflation, "bringing down high prices" is a legitimate political slogan. High prices caused by inflation, identified as the primary concern of the Bangladeshi voters, forced political parties to include it as the number one item in their manifestos.
Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance swept the December 29 general election held in a free and fair manner, throwing BNP-led four-party alliance on the political scrapheap in Chittagong.