News of: Tuesday, 6th of January, 2009
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The new government led by the Awami League (AL) begins a tightrope walking this evening amid high expectations of people, ending around two-year long eventful rule of the caretaker government.
To many the result of a comparison between voter turnouts in 1991 and 2008 elections might come as a surprise, especially when only 55.45 percent of voters voted in 1991 compared to a high 87 percent this time around.
Israeli troops battled Hamas fighters in Gaza's main city for the first time yesterday while the government fended off worldwide calls for a ceasefire. Fifty died in a day of clashes.
The cabinet of the Awami League-led grand alliance government may be medium in size with around 35 members initially and is expected to be dominated by young lawmakers.
The caretaker government last month approved a policy welcoming greater participation of local private entrepreneurs in the power sector and their wider involvement in selling electricity to large consumers.
Awami League (AL) yesterday warned its leaders and activists of stern actions for any involvement in post-election violence.
The government has formed an expert committee to review the proposed Detailed Area Plan (DAP) within the next 30 days and recommend ways to correct its flaws and make it suitable from both housing and environmental points of view.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) might boycott the new government cabinet's induction ceremony today in Bangabhaban as its key ally in four-party alliance Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami was not invited, although two of its members-elect of the parliament were.
Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday expressed his pleasure to see that the state power is being handed over smoothly to an elected government.
Indian police arrested four Bangladeshi criminals, three of them convicted of murdering former Awami League (AL) lawmaker Ahsanullah Master, in Gariahat of Kolkata Sunday evening.
Awami League President Sheikh Hasina has condemned the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza and expressed her profound shock at the deaths of innocent civilians in the attacks.
The road-embankment work of Begunbari-Hatirjheel development project is being delayed as the process of acquiring land has not been completed yet.
A police constable was killed and about 16 workers of a rubber garden were injured in a violent clash between them at Baishari in Naikkhongchari upazila in Bandarban hill district yesterday morning.
Prices of different brands of soya bean oil witnessed a sharp drop of around Tk 20 per litre in the city markets during the last two days.
The new government should start the process of setting up a war crimes tribunal in the very first session of the national parliament and seek help from the United Nations, said War Crimes Facts Findings Committee Bangladesh.
The government has decided to withdraw the Tk 3 crore extortion case against Awami League Chief Sheikh Hasina following the complainant's application to the home ministry for dropping charges against her.
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) President and newly-elected lawmaker Col (retd) Oli Ahmed yesterday urged the next Awami League government to scrap the caretaker government system.
Unidentified gunmen shot dead a Swechchhasebak Dal leader at Bijoynagar in the capital while another gang of miscreants stabbed a Jubo League activist to death in Bogra yesterday.
Bangladesh Telecommu-nication Regulatory Commi-ssion (BTRC) with the help of law enforces yesterday seized 2,000 illegal SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards of mobile phones at a stall in Dhaka International Trade Fair.
Sri Lanka buried Bangladesh under a pile of runs after the third day's play of the second and final Test at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.
Five special courts set up on the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban premises to try the country's high-profile graft suspects started trial proceedings at Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court yesterday.
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) yesterday said its chairman's comment on December 31 about the chief of the winning party in national polls was his personal opinion, not the TIB's stance.
India yesterday handed to Pakistan what it said was evidence linking the country to the Islamic militants who attacked Mumbai in November, India's foreign minister announced.
Sri Lankan troops battling Tamil rebels yesterday captured part of the highly strategic Elephant Pass in a second major success just days after taking the guerrillas' political headquarters, the army said.
At least eight people were killed and two others injured in a road accident at Chalerghat on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway under Trishal upazila of Mymensingh district yesterday morning.
THE invasion of Gaza by the Israeli military worsens an already bad situation in the Middle East. In fact, the ramifications of Tel Aviv's military operations against Hamas are beginning to be felt all over the world, with politicians particularly in the West finally realising the need for a containment of the conflict. Unfortunately, though, the tough response that should have come from western governments to the terror employed by the Israelis against unarmed Palestinian civilians has shockingly not been there. It appears that their emphasis has more been on the rockets that Hamas has been firing into southern Israel and less on the destruction Israeli forces have been wreaking on life and property in Gaza.
JP Chairman HM Ershad's harbouring the hope of becoming president of the country is surely not endorsed by many, except perhaps his own party men. And there is reason why Ershad's ambition sounds like an autocrat turned politician asking for too much at the wrap-up stage of his career.
THE all time low scoring of BNP and Jamaat in the recently held national election tournament has puzzled friends and foes alike. The alliance team played more like our national cricket team, with untested players, no practice, low morale and beset with "injuries." The captain of the team looked disarrayed, having no clue of who was a bowler and who was a batsman. And the team looked like a motley band ready for a drubbing. And drubbing they got indeed.
THE much-awaited national election finally took place on December 29, 2008 without any hitch. Out of 299 seats, the Awami League-led grand alliance bagged 262. For Awami League it has been more than a landslide victory, out of 262 seats they won in 230.
THE grand-alliance led by AL has returned to power with a stunning landslide victory. It is not only the victory of an alliance, it is also the victory of democracy and rejection of corruption, violence and religious extremism. It has given a clear indication of the growing strength of women and the new generation of voters (33%), and has sent a strong message that people have not forgotten the politics of assassination and the failure of the alliance government to bring the criminals to justice.
Bangladesh passed a tough day as the Sri Lankan batsmen showed real vigilance on way to building up an innings on the third day of the final Test at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.
In his early days Mohammad Ashraful was tipped as a future leg-spinner like his guru Wahidul Ghani. But eventually the Bangladesh captain emerged as a premier batsman of the country.
Nazmus Sadat and Sohrawardy Shuvo put on brilliant all-round shows as Khulna and Rajshahi took joint lead in the National Cricket League's one-day competition after exciting wins in the fourth round yesterday.
Alamu Bukola slotted the third hattrick of Citycell B. League to give Mohammedan a crushing 5-0 win over Muktijoddha yesterday.
Peter Siddle picked up his first five-wicket Test haul as Australia seized a notable advantage on Day Three of the third and final Test against South Africa at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Monday.
The visiting Zimbabweans will open their tour of Bangladesh today with a three-day match against GP-BCB Cricket Academy here at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium.
Injured pacer Stuart Clark does not think Australia's days of absolute domination is over and believes the team would bounce back with renewed vigour after the series defeat against South Africa.
A brilliant solo goal from Dutch winger Arjen Robben helped Real Madrid close the gap on runaway leaders Barcelona to 12 points as the champions defeated Villarreal 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.
Former Japan coach Ivica Osim has bid an emotional farewell to the country that has been his home for the last few years.
Sir Alex Ferguson may have said it was "not realistic" for Manchester United to win a unique European and domestic quadruple but he still believes his squad can compete on four fronts.
James Milner scored twice on his 23rd birthday as Aston Villa avoided becoming the latest Premier League club to make an early FA Cup exit with a 2-1 third round win away to Gillingham.
Spanish international forward David Villa said on Sunday he wanted to stay with Valencia for "another six years" despite reports he will leave in the summer.
Lei Clijsters, the father of tennis player Kim Clijsters and a former Belgium soccer international, died Sunday. He was 52.
Middlesbrough's England winger Stewart Downing took a step closer to joing Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur by handing in a transfer request on Monday.
English football icon David Beckham is set to make his much anticipated debut for AC Milan in a friendly against German side Hamburg on Tuesday, club coach Carlo Ancelotti said Monday.
Peter Moores could be sacked by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) before the end of the week, with his position as England coach becoming untenable in the wake of his public falling-out with the captain, Kevin Pietersen.
Manchester City confidently expect to conclude another 30 million pounds worth of transfer business this week, and possibly within 48 hours, after responding to their FA Cup exit at the hands of Nottingham Forest by lodging bids for Scott Parker of West Ham United and their long-time target Roque Santa Cruz of Blackburn Rovers.
Indian tennis star Sania Mirza said Monday she had recovered from a "career-threatening" injury with help from top cricketer Yuvraj Singh.
Dhaka Deaf Sports Association (DDSA) yesterday launched a 12-day deaf cricket training camp at the city's Dhanmondi Club ground to select Bangladesh's hearing and sound impaired cricketers for participating in the third Deaf Cricket World Cup to be held in New Zealand in December this year.
The KDS Logistics Dhaka Metropolitan Table Tennis League begins today with the first division competition at the Woodenfloor Gymnasium.
Herschelle Gibbs has completed his rehabilitation programme and is now preparing for South Africa's one-day series in Australia.
An Indian one-day series against Sri Lanka is still in the realm of speculation, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has said, and will be considered only after the board receives a response from New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on its request for adding an extra Test to the original two-Test tour schedule.
Deposits of the Islamic banking industry grew by 21 percent in the year to June 2008, higher than 15 percent growth of the conventional banking sector in the same period, central bank data show.
Sales of brand-new cars on the local market have dropped by 30 percent over the last three months, as big businesses are on the wait-and-see mode, assessing fallout from the global economic turmoil.
The pharmaceutical sector's overall sales crossed Tk 4,000 crore in 2008 for the first time, registering a record double-digit growth by many of the country's 258 companies.
Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL) is set to install another 150 automated teller machines (ATMs) by February, taking the number of its ATMs to 500.
New vehicle sales in Japan slumped to the lowest level in three decades in 2008 as recession hit Asia's biggest economy, piling pressure on its auto giants, an industry group said Monday.
The Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) has urged the government to take cautious measures to check the possible loss of jobs of Bangladeshi workers in the Middle East in the wake of the global financial crisis.
The outgoing chief adviser's special assistant for power and energy has suggested that the new government should reach a decision on coal and offshore bidding within the next six months to attain a double-digit economic growth in near future.
World stock markets rose on Monday, with Tokyo hitting the highest level for almost two months as investors hoped that the US economy would start to recover this year after a dire 2008.
Banking giant HSBC has set up a wholly foreign owned bank in Vietnam, the first to do so under the communist-ruled country's opening of its financial services sector, the company said Monday.
The outgoing finance adviser, Mirza Azizul Islam, has emphasised internal resource mobilisation to lessen dependence on foreign aid.
The 8th international garments and allied machinery and accessories trade show styled 'Zak Garmentech Bangladesh' will begin from January 13 in Dhaka, according to a press release.
Bangladesh economy faces grim challenges in 2009, as the country's real economy may slow down on weakening external demand, warned a top Asian Development Bank (ADB) official.
European and Japanese officials on Monday warned the global downturn would worsen despite hopes that US president-elect Barack Obama could galvanise the world's largest economy with a new stimulus plan.
Stocks bucked the bullish trend on the Dhaka bourse yesterday with all the key indices slipping by more than 1 percent.
World oil prices rose in Asian trade Monday afternoon, fuelled by the ongoing conflict in the Middle East after Israel stepped up its military onslaught on Gaza, analysts said.
Iran's Opec representative Mohammad Ali Khatibi said on Monday that the organisation would hold an extraordinary meeting in Kuwait in February, state television website reported.
Germany's fractious coalition was due Monday to hammer out a second stimulus package worth tens of billions of euros (dollars) to prevent Europe's economic powerhouse suffering its worst postwar recession.
China will announce measures in the first quarter to keep its slowing auto sector growing at about 10 percent annually during the global economic slowdown, state media reported Monday.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury yesterday observed that ensuring free flow of information would help curb corruption in the health sector, as corruption usually starts at the lower-tier of the local government.
War criminals can be tried under the existing International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973, journalist and writer Shahriar Kabir said at a discussion yesterday.
Relatives of a mason who had suffered a head injury were crying helplessly at the emergency ward of Shaheed Suhrawardi Hospital in the city where the attending doctor and nurses did not do anything except referring the patient to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH).
Outgoing Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said his successor would have a challenging but most satisfying responsibility as the new government is poised to assume office today.
The government has promulgated the Private University Ordinance 2008 with retrospective effect from December 30.
The High Court (HC) yesterday granted ad-interim bail for four months to the daily Janakantha Editor Atiqullah Khan Masud in four separate corruption cases filed by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).
A listed criminal was killed during a shootout between his accomplices and members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and police in Port police station area of the district early yesterday.
A physician committed suicide by injecting himself with drugs at his house at East Shewrapara in the city's Kafrul area on Sunday night.
BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday strongly protested the killing of Swechhasebak Dal leader Nazrul Islam in the city and the post-election violence by Awami League cadres claiming the life of Subhashini Das, mother of BNP leader Nityalal Das, at Kuliarchar in Kishoreganj.
Bangladesh Mahila Parishad yesterday expressed concern over post-election violence especially the killing of an Awami League (AL) activist's mother at Srirampur under Shoilakupa in Jhenidah.
The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed for three months the proceedings against former BNP lawmaker Mosaddek Ali Falu in a corruption case filed by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) on charges of amassing illegal wealth and concealing information about it.
At least 14 people were injured in a mob beating when locals found them breaking the lock of a bakery house in the city in the early hours of yesterday.
Bangladesh Trade Union Centre (BTUC) will publish a souvenir on late Nurul Islam, president of the BTUC, and Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad leader, says a press release.
Two people were killed in separate road accidents in Pabna and Brahmanbaria yesterday.
The seven-day long 'Comrade Moni Singh Mela (fair)' will conclude today.
Daulatpur Government B L College has been closed sine die following a fierce clash between the activists of Chhatra Shibir and Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL).
A four-day-long national leadership development seminar titled 'Youth Towards Sustainability' begins in Sylhet tomorrow.
A three-member team of Dhaka University (DU) achieved the first runner-up position in the 'International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC)' held in India on December 16 last year.
A forum named 'South Asian Women Media Forum' was formed at the National Press Club yesterday, says a press release.
ABC Radio, a private commercial radio, is set to start its journey formally tomorrow on FM (Frequency Module) 89.2, says a press release.
The orientation ceremony of the first year students of the MBBS course under academic session 2008-09 at Faridpur Medical College (FMC) will be held on January 11, says a press release.
Tension mounted on Rajshahi University campus yesterday as Islami Chhatra Shibir activists, driven out from Mother Bux Hall on the night before, staged a big showdown by gathering outsiders and madrasa students on the campus.
Amra Muktijoddhar Santan, a platform of sons and daughters of freedom fighters in Rajshahi, yesterday formed a human chain and held a rally at Shaheb Bazar zero point in the city demanding trial of war criminals.
People in south-western districts are happy as they could cast their votes in the recently held parliament election without any intimidation or violence, especially by outlawed party activists.
The mine blast tragedy of January 6 in 1972 at Maharaza Girizanath High School ground here is back to memory of freedom fighters.
Acting vice-chancellor of Rajshahi University Prof Dr Mamnunul Keramat held a close door meeting with Islami Chhatra Shibir leaders at his office yesterday.
Seven out of 40 runners for nine posts of upazila chairmen in Khulna district are accused in different cases.
The Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) recovered body of a cattle trader who was beaten to death allegedly by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) early morning yesterday from Ichhamati River near village Haroddah in Sadar upazila.
Leaders of Daulatpur Government BL College unit of Islami Chhatra Shibir at a press conference here yesterday demanded probe into the incidents on the college camps earlier on the day and the night before and security of students.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said yesterday his government remained committed to punishing Pakistani nationals accused of taking part in the Mumbai attacks if "credible" evidence is given against them.
The United States of America has a special interest in the investigations into the Mumbai terror attacks and will pursue it till its conclusion, its Ambassador to India David Mulford said.
Japan, Sri Lanka's top donor, was cautious yesterday after the Tamil Tiger rebels' capital fell, with an official saying that only a political solution could resolve the island's ethnic war.
Pakistan Monday reopened during daytime hours a key northwest supply route for Western troops in Afghanistan, a local official said, as the army wrapped up an anti-militant drive in the area.
Omar Abdullah Monday took oath as the eighth chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir along with 10 ministers at this winter capital of the state.
The Taliban has long exaggerated its military successes, but its figures for 2008 may be the militia's most startling claims yet.
An EU mission seeking to broker an end to Israel's Gaza onslaught held talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Monday ahead of a similar visit by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The shelling is incessant, hospitals are overwhelmed, children are shell-shocked, the Gaza nights are miserably cold in the windowless homes. And residents fear their nightmare could worsen.
World leaders expressed mounting concern about the humanitarian impact of Israel's massive offensive on the Gaza Strip Monday, as diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the conflict went into overdrive.
Israel's use of ground troops in its offensive against Hamas in Gaza is aimed at restoring the iron image of the Jewish state's military ability, undermined by its 2006 war with Hezbollah, say regional specialists.
What is Israel afraid of? Using the old "enclosed military area" excuse to prevent coverage of its occupation of Palestinian land has been going on for years. But the last time Israel played this game in Jenin in 2000 it was a disaster. Prevented from seeing the truth with their own eyes, reporters quoted Palestinians who claimed there had been a massacre by Israeli soldiers and Israel spent years denying it. In fact, there was a massacre, but not on the scale that it was originally reported.
Chinese President Hu Jintao used one of his last official conversations with US counterpart George W. Bush to voice confidence that bilateral ties would remain strong, the foreign ministry here said.
Russian gas deliveries to Croatia have fallen 7.5 percent due to a Russia-Ukraine dispute, officials said yesterday as similar shortages threatened Bosnia and Serbia amid a cold snap.
A three-day-long 'National Training Session for Edu-cational Counsellors in the Field of Modernising Islamic Education Teaching Methods Using Computer Programme' began in the city yesterday.
Thailand's annual inflation rate fell sharply to 0.4 percent in December due to cooling oil and consumer products prices, the commerce ministry said.
Arts & Entertainment
The indigenous people of Dinajpur observed the anniversary of the historic Tebhaga Movement last Sunday at Bazitpur village under Chirirbandar upazila of Dinajpur, honouring the martyrs who died during the violent protests in 1947.
A group drawing exhibition titled “Rhythmic Lines” is now on at Asiatic Art Gallery, Nimtoli. The exhibition is an output of a workshop, which was recently held at Asiatic Art Gallery. Five painters from Nepal and 23 painters from Bangladesh have participated at the exhibition.
First episode of the new TV serial "Shada Megh Kalo Megh" will be aired tonight on Banglavision at 9:45 pm. Written by Mahiuddin Ahmed, the serial has been directed by Taher Shipon.
A special episode of the talent hunt for children, "Meridian-Channel i Khudey Gaanraj '08" will be aired on Channel i tonight at 7:50 pm. Apart from performances by the best 11 contestants, tonight's episode will feature residents of a shelter for the elderly. The latter will perform along with the contestants -- Asha, Aloka, Imran, Jewel, Kabi, Niloy, Parshi, Swaran, Saddya, Uday and Jhuma.
Award winning filmmaker Golam Rabbani Biplab has been selected as the Secretary General of International Federation of Film Societies (IFFS), according to a press release.
AFTER 20 years, the stage is now set for holding the Upazila Parishad elections for the third time thanks to the prime minister-elect, who supported holding of the elections on the due date in spite of some reservations initially.
IT is upto you, my Bengali and adivasi brothers and sisters, to save our country. It is your turn now." These were the words of adivasi Bir Bikram U.K. Ching speaking at a function in his honour. It was organised by Shuddhoi Muktijoddho, a private initiative created by Lt Col (Retd) Sajjad Ali Zahir, Bir Pratik, to honour the contributions of the adivasi community in the liberation of Bangladesh.
SINCE 2000, the United States' standing has deteriorated in all parts of the world, and anti-Americanism has grown intense. The 2008 Pew Global Attitudes survey reveals that in the past eight years, favourable views of the United States fell from 78% to 30% in Germany, 50% to 22% in Argentina and 75% to 37% in Indonesia. Yet, as bad as this looks, America's image problem can still be healed -- if the next administration correctly diagnoses the problem.