News of: Thursday, 8th of January, 2009
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The first meeting of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's cabinet last night decided to improve law and order and to increase subsidy on fertiliser while reducing the price of diesel in a bid to boost agricultural production in the coming Boro season.
BNP lawmakers-elect last night in a meeting decided to take oath and join the first session of the parliament.
Hopes of a diplomatic resolution to the conflict in Gaza were dampened yesterday as two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli strike after the army resumed bombings in Gaza City after a three-hour lull.
The government has decided to deploy over 500,000 security personnel across the country to ensure peaceful holding of elections in 481 upazila parishads on January 22.
The new government has started its journey with a favourable stock of fertiliser to meet the demands of farmers in Boro season while experts have suggested making urea available in the market instead of distributing it through a controlled system.
New Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday gave indication of reducing diesel price and ensuring supply of fertiliser to the farmers to help them during the current Boro season.
Bangladesh will hold talks with neighbouring countries to work out effective measures to fight militancy and terrorism for ensuring peace and stability in South Asia, said newly appointed Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni yesterday.
Newly appointed Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said they would form a price commission to keep prices of essentials under control and crack down on unscrupulous business syndicates.
Newly appointed Home Minister Advocate Sahara Khatun yesterday vowed to establish rule of law in the country by rooting out terrorism, extremism and extortion from the society.
The new government will free the administration from politicisation to fulfil the expectations of the people, said LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday.
Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said his ministry will take steps to restore the 1972 constitution in order to reestablish the spirits of secularism, the great liberation war, rule of law, human rights and democracy in the country.
Newly appointed Planning Minister Air Vice-marshall (retd) AK Khandaker yesterday said his goal is to bring down poverty rate to zero within the shortest possible time.
The High Court (HC) yesterday withdrew its ban on sale and display of powdered milk of five brands as laboratory tests found them safe.
A wooden boat with nearly 200 people on board was found drifting off the northern tip of Indonesia's Sumatra island Wednesday, officials said.
The Election Commission (EC) yesterday directed the returning officers (ROs) of the recently held national polls to take legal action against the candidates who would not submit their election expenditure reports by January 31.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her cabinet colleagues on their first day in the new government yesterday joined offices with promises to fulfil their electoral pledges to the people.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will soon bring changes to the committees of the party's associate bodies to make them more effective, party sources said.
Militants who attacked Mumbai were urged to kill their hostages in cold blood and fight to the death in the name of Islam, according to transcripts of intercepted telephone calls made public yesterday.
The holy Ashura will be observed across the country today as also in other Muslim countries to commemorate the Karbala tragedy in which Hazrat Imam Hossain ® embraced martyrdom along with his family and friends.
A report published in our yesterday's issue headlined "Hasina sworn in as PM" says many Awami League leaders were left out of the newly formed cabinet for allegations of corruption and their dubious political role in the post 1/11-months. The names of Saber Hossain Chowdhury and Asaduzzaman Noor were mentioned in the story by error for which we regret.
Heads of governments of different countries congratulated Sheikh Hasina on her assumption of the office of Prime Minister.
The High Court (HC) yesterday extended its earlier orders that directed the law enforcers not to harass or arrest Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina in Niko and barge-mounted power plant corruption cases filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
Kazi Tajul Islam Farooq, who sued Sheikh Hasina during the interim period on charge of extortion, has been removed from the post of chairman of Westmont Power (Bangladesh) Limited.
BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said his party is ready to cooperate with Awami League (AL)-led new grand alliance if it goes along the path of democracy.
The overwhelming vote in favour of a secular political party is a strong indicator that the world's fourth largest Muslim country will continue forging a path toward democratic development and the US government should support the newly elected democratic government in Bangladesh.
Unidentified muggers shot a contractor and snatched Tk six lakh away from him in broad daylight near Mirpur Police Station in the city yesterday.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) shot dead a Bangladeshi and injured two others on Chouka border under Monakasha Union of Shibganj upazila on Tuesday night, BDR officials said.
Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas are "near extinction" as troops press home their initiative after capturing the rebels' political capital, the defence ministry said yesterday.
The Shia radical movement of Moqtada al-Sadr, which fought two wars with US troops in 2004, threatened on Wednesday to resume attacks on American targets inside Iraq over Washington's support for the Israeli assault on Gaza.
THE PM is to be congratulated on the boldness of her thinking when it comes to those named to her cabinet. She has thought outside the box to bring together a team that is notable for the absence of most of the old guard and anyone whose name is linked to corruption.
THE 10th day of Muharram is observed throughout the Muslim world with a profound sense of grief as well as a solemn realisation of how Imam Hussein (RA), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), set a unique example of piety and unflinching faith in Allah, the Merciful, by not bowing down to a repressive Yezid.
NO one perhaps could have put it better than the gentleman, who, when asked about his expectations from the newly sworn in MPs, said that he would hope that the new members of the parliament would take this oath as an affirmation of their intention to work for bettering the lot of the people rather than an opportunity to wield the power of their position to better their own lot.
THE start of 2009 is a crossroads moment on climate change: does the world look at the financial events unfolding, the complexity of the issue, the challenge of financing, and say it's too hard to act and act quickly? Or do we resolve from here to affirm our aim of a broad and inclusive agreement and keep on the road to a global deal in Copenhagen in December 2009?
JEWS worry for a living; their tragic history compels them to do so. In the next few years, there will be plenty to worry about, particularly when it comes to Israel. The current operation in Gaza won't do much to ease these worries or to address Israel's longer-term security needs.
Mahmudullah Riyad finally got a recall while prodigious fast bowler Rubel Hossain became the only newcomer in the Bangladesh side when the national selectors settled on the one-day side for the tri-nation tournament and the series against Zimbabwe.
Zahid Hasan Emily fired four goals in Abahani's biggest win of the season as the league leaders brushed aside Khulna Abahani 6-0 in the Citycell B. League yesterday.
Zimbabwe need only two wickets to win the practice match after GP-BCB National Cricket Academy succumbed to the guiles of Raymond Price on the second day at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra yesterday.
Rajshahi went on top of the National Cricket League one-day competition after their three-wicket win over Khulna at the Fatullah Stadium yesterday.
The Asian Football Confedera-tion (AFC) will continue its support to Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) for the development of the game in the country, promised AFC vice-president Manilal Fernando.
Tigers captain Mohammad Ashraful and wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim have both been fined for excessive appealing during the third day's play of the second and final Test against Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh will bid to become hosts of the qualifying rounds of the next AFC Challenge Cup, said Bangladesh Football Federation president Kazi Salahuddin yesterday.
Bangladesh National Sports Council (NSC) yesterday received 3,000 footballs as gift from Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohammad Bin Hammam.
Kevin Pietersen has resigned as England captain and Peter Moores has stepped down as team coach after their working relationship broke down, Sky News reported on Wednesday.
Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) secretary general Kutubuddin Ahmed called on new sports minister Ahad Ali Sarker at his office yesterday.
Tottenham moved within touching distance of defending their League Cup title after super-substitute Jamie O'Hara inspired a 4-1 win over Burnley in Tuesday's semifinal first leg.
Argentine forward Lionel Messi scored three times to give Barcelona a 3-1 away win over Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Cup's last 16 first leg on Tuesday.
Rafael Benitez has suggested he will resist the temptation to add to his squad this month by emphasising his belief that his current squad can deliver a first league title in 19 years.
AC Milan capped their winter break training camp in Dubai by beating top German side SV Hamburg in a friendly here on Tuesday.
Nigerian-born striker Shola Ameobi has signed a new three-year contract to stay at St James Park, the club announced on Wednesday.
Lyon's former Brazilian international midfielder Juninho admitted on Tuesday that his stellar career was drawing to an end.
Road safety campaigners vented their anger on Tuesday after Newcastle United's Nigerian international striker Obafemi Martins was not banned from driving despite being caught speeding well over the limit.
Brazilian 2002 World Cup winner and once the world's most expensive player Denilson is on trial with Premiership side Bolton Wanderers it was revealed on Tuesday.
Italy World Cup winning goalkeeper Gianlugi Buffon made his long awaited return from injury on Tuesday as his side Juventus drew 1-1 with French outfit Monaco but lost 6-5 on penalties in a friendly in Messina.
Australia dismissed South Africa for 272 with only 10 balls remaining to win an entertaining third and final Test and avoid a series whitewash.
Skipper Daniel Vettori took four cheap scalps as New Zealand crushed the West Indies by seven wickets to level the one-day series 1-1 on Wednesday.
South Africa skipper Graeme Smith revealed why he changed his mind and decided to bat with a broken hand in the final Test defeat against Australia Wednesday.
Rafael Nadal needed little more than three-quarters of an hour to score his first victory on the 2009 ATP World Tour, his crushing success appearing like an omen of yet further triumphs to come.
Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar won back his central contract on Tuesday, returning to the international fold a year after a bitter row threatened to end his troubled career.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) will continue to follow expansionary monetary policy to drive growth and create jobs in line with the agenda of the new government, central bank officials said yesterday.
Sell-offs by foreign fund managers outpaced the buying pressure on the country's prime bourse in growing signs of capital flight from the stock market in 2008 in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines is on the lookout for financiers to make pre-delivery payments (PDP) for purchasing Boeing aircraft, aiming to further boost the once-struggling national carrier.
The head of one of India's biggest outsourcing firms, Satyam Computer, resigned on Wednesday amid a scandal over a billion dollar fraud that sent company stocks into freefall.
Skill development and overseas labour market diversification will be the main thrust of the present government to create more job opportunities, Labour and Expatriates' Welfare Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain said yesterday.
All deliveries of Russian gas through Ukraine were halted yesterday, intensifying a bitter dispute between Moscow and Kiev which risks depriving Europeans of gas amid freezing weather.
As we digest the new cabinet appointments and their implications for future economic policy, it is worth reviewing one of the key economic commitments made in the AL manifesto namely 'generating 5000 MW electricity by the next three years and 7000 MW by 2013'.
Dhaka stocks gained nominally yesterday after a two-day fall, despite a positive start to the day.
* India's No.4 software services exporter, Satyam Computer, was founded in 1987 by Chairman B Ramalinga Raju, who was born into a family of farmers and is a Management graduate from Ohio University.
The telecom watchdog yesterday issued a nationwide telecom network licence to Fiber @ Home Ltd, a local company, in a bid to minimise hazardous overhead optical fibre usage for various voice and data services.
Asian stocks closed mixed on Wednesday as hopes for a healing of the battered world economy buoyed some markets but profit-taking dragged others down, dealers said.
Dubai is mulling tightening rules on the property market in the Gulf financial hub after many developers shelved projects because of the global financial crisis, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Mitsubishi Motors is preparing to cut some 900 more jobs as Japanese automakers downsize to cope with a slump in demand for cars, media reports said Wednesday.
AKTEL, one of the leading mobile operators, yesterday announced a new years gift -- a "Free Connection" -- for its new prepaid customers.
China issued long-awaited third-generation mobile phone licences Wednesday, a move that will pour billions of dollars into new networks as consumers buy video- and Internet-enabled handsets.
“Please erase your image of electric cars being like golf carts," a spokesman for Japan's fourth-biggest automaker said before taking a zero-emission vehicle out for a spin.
China's state media has issued an unusually candid warning of the risk of mass riots this year, in what observers said Wednesday reflected increasing jitters about the global economic crisis.
British music sales are booming as young fans increasingly buy songs online rather than illegally downloading them, the country's industry body said Wednesday.
Oil prices recovered some lost ground on Wednesday as traders awaited the latest weekly snapshot of US energy stocks, a key indicator for the market.
At least 2,500 Filipino workers have lost their jobs in Taiwan amid a global economic slowdown, and more are expected to be sent home in the coming months, the Philippines government said Wednesday.
Engineer Md Aminur Rahman has been made the new managing director of Gas Transmission Company Ltd (GTCL), a company of Petrobangla, it said in a press statement yesterday.
Inmates live in sub-human condition at government vagrant reception centre at Mirpur in the city due to sheer neglect of the authorities concerned.
State minister for Liberation War Affairs Captain (retd) ABM Tajul Islam said that his main task would be to facilitate the process of trying war criminals, as it was one of the major poll pledges to countrymen pronounced in the Awami League (AL) manifesto.
Newly appointed Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday said necessary changes as well as stern actions would be taken to free the education sector of corruption.
Newly appointed Food and Disaster Management Minister Dr Abdur Razzak yesterday said they will increase the number of VGF (vulnerable group feeding) cards for ultra-poor people soon to give them relief from price hike of essentials.
Leaders of Citizens' Rights Movement yesterday hoped that the newly elected lawmakers would act as combatants to establish a non-communal, progressive, democratic and welfare country in the spirit of the liberation war.
Leaders of different political parties, socio-cultural organisations, professional bodies and members of civil societies yesterday hailed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her 31-member cabinet hoping that her government would be able to fulfil people's aspiration through implementing Awami League (AL) election manifesto.
Veteran politicians should facilitate access for young and grassroots-level politicians to mainstream politics in order to ensure a better and participatory democracy in the country, Tulip Siddiq, daughter of Sheikh Rehana, said yesterday.
The first priority of the government would be to control the prices of essentials, newly appointed Commerce Minister Col (retd) Faruk Khan said.
Seven people were killed and three others injured in separate road accidents in Bogra and Satkhira yesterday.
Leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Chittagong Medical College (CMC) unit yesterday announced that it would take stern actions against its leaders and activists if they are found to be involved in criminal activities using the name of the organisation.
State Minister for Youth and Sports Ahad Ali Sarkar yesterday said the present government wanted to use the youth force through a proper policy.
Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leaders of Khulna district and city units have demanded withdrawal of the case filed with Daulatpur Police Station on Monday against their activists in connection with the clashes on Sunday in different residential halls of Government BL College in Khulna.
Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday congratulated the newly formed government for assuming power under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Different rights organisations and socio-political bodies yesterday condemned the Israeli attack on Gaza that killed over 600 people in the last few days.
Newly appointed Health and Family Welfare Minister Prof AFM Ruhul Haque yesterday said bringing health services to the doorstep of poor people will be the main aim of the government.
Land Minister Rezaul Kabir Hira yesterday said his goal is to work with ethics and morale to make the country prosperous under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Industry Minister Dilip Barua at a meeting with the officials of the ministry on the first day of his office yesterday laid importance on recent culture created against bribery and corruption.
Unesco official Vladimir Kouchnirenko made a courtesy call on Jahangirnagar University (JU) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Md Moniruzzaman yesterday.
Traditional leader of Mro community Ranglai Mro was released on bail yesterday after serving around one year in jail.
Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) yesterday realised Tk 20.72 lakh from bill defaulters from Tejgaon industrial area, Mohakhali and Gulshan.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members in separate drives yesterday seized huge amounts of Indian fertiliser and phensidyl from Dinajpur, Rangpur and Rajshahi districts.
Textile and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui yesterday urged all to work together to restore the past glory of golden fiber.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister GM Quader yesterday said he wants to promote the tourism industry to boost economy and ensure development of the country.
Land Minister Rezaul Kabir Hira yesterday said his goal is to make the country prosperous under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
A woman has gone into hiding after two minor domestic helps filed a case against her on charges of torturing them.
Students from 11 institutions working for physically and mentally challenged students participated in a colourful cultural programme styled 'Cultural programme by the talented disables' yesterday.
Science and Art of Living (SAAOL) Bangladesh organised a three-day training camp from today on curing cardiac diseases without surgery and controlling diabetes, says a press release.
A reunion of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology Alumni Association (BUETAA) will be held on February 13, says a press release.
Northern University Bangla-desh organises a daylong workshop for teachers on continuous improvement in quality education at Jamuna Resort today, says a press release.
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said yesterday "all possibilities" are open against Israel and warned the Jewish state's 2006 war with his party would resemble "a walk in the park" in the event of renewed conflict.
Blocking tunnels running between Gaza and Egypt that are used to move weapons, food and fuel into the Hamas-run territory is emerging as the key issue to ending Israel's war in Gaza, experts say.
Israel has taken a battering in the global propaganda battle over its war with Hamas, despite deploying all the latest weaponry from Youtube videos to Twitter blogs and an overworked spokeswoman, experts said.
Forces from the US-led coalition killed 32 armed insurgents during a clash in eastern Afghanistan, the military said yesterday.
Pakistan's intelligence chief said there will not be war with India over the Mumbai attacks and emphasised terrorism not India was the greatest threat to the country, according to a rare interview.
More than two million Shia Muslims from across the Middle East swarmed the shrine city of Karbala in central Iraq yesterday for the climax of the annual Ashura ceremonies amid tight security.
China's special envoy to Darfur yesterday warned of "disastrous consequences" if an arrest warrant is issued by the world court for the Sudanese head of state for alleged war crimes.
A gunbattle between Indian troops and a group of heavily-armed Islamic militants raged for a seventh day yesterday, making it one of the longest battles in Kashmir in years, officials said.
Afghanistan and Pakistan have overcome many hurdles and suspicions to forge a new relationship that will see cooperation on fighting terrorism and more, the Pakistani foreign minister said yesterday.
Turkish police yesterday rounded up more than 30 people, including academics and retired generals, as part of a country-wide investigation into a purported plot to topple the Islamist-rooted government, media reports said.
Egypt has drawn up contingency plans to deal with a sudden influx of thousands of Palestinian refugees fleeing the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip, humanitarian agencies said yesterday.
A worker for international aid agency Care has died in an Israeli air attack in Gaza, the agency said yesterday.
Almost a third of the 689 Palestinians killed in Israel's Gaza offensive are children, with most killed since the start of a ground offensive after a week of aerial bombardments, medics said yesterday.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sent 22 envoys to Europe and Asia to push for an immediate halt to Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip, the Mehr news agency reported yesterday.
Japanese Emperor Akihito commemorated the 20th anniversary of his reign yesterday with a visit to the grave of his father, Hirohito.
Seven people froze to death in Poland Tuesday as temperatures plunged as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius (minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit), the Polish Interior Ministry said yesterday.
Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a pickup truck in northern Mexico, killing 10 people including a 13-year-old boy on Tuesday, authorities said.
Arts & Entertainment
The 106th birth anniversary (January 1, 1903) of 'Polli-kobi' Jasimuddin was observed recently at the poet's native village Ambikapur in Faridpur.
As Jim Morrison sang, "No one here gets out alive." Maybe he was referring to a modern-day movie experience?
Abdus Shakoor Shah is one of the most renowned painters in Bangladesh. Throughout an illustrious career, Shakoor has been working on folk motifs and ancient ballads of rural Bengal. The artist had a breakthrough when he was studying at Baroda, India in 1978. His main objective is to represent our traditional culture and heritage through artworks.
Sixteenth episode of the TV serial "Tomar Dowa-e Bhalo Achhi Ma" will be aired tonight at 9:20 pm on ATN Bangla. The serial is aired every Thursday and Friday. Written by Kazi Shahidul Islam, the series is directed by Mahfuz Ahmed.
TV serial "Shomudro Jol" will be aired on Banglavision tonight at 8:25 pm. The serial has been directed by Mohon Khan.
‘Mahorat' (formal announcement) of "Chirodin Ami Tomar," the first film produced by ATN Movies (a concern of ATN Bangla), was held at BFDC on January 5, says a press release.
Barely two weeks before George W. Bush leaves the White House, Bollywood is ready with a farewell present -- a film that takes pot shots at the outgoing US president.
THE past year was difficult for us all. I have called it "the year of multiple crises." The next promises to be even more so.
MUHARRAM is the first month of the Islamic calendar. This is the month in which Hazrat Imam Hossain (A), the beloved grandson of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SM) embraced martyrdom 1400 years ago on the burning sands of Karbala while fighting an unequal war against 4,000 soldiers dispatched by the local governor of Kufa on behalf of his master cruel-hearted Yazid, son of Muawia the erstwhile Caliph of the Islamic state. The day was Ashura, the 10th day of the month of Muharram.
HUMAN nature is such that no one wants to lose in a game, especially if the game is politics. Competitors want the game to end with the ideal win-win outcome. Though such an outcome might be a possibility in the world of diplomacy, it is not in the world of politics. There are winners and losers, especially if it happens to be a democratic system.
IT'S January, and that means it's time for you and me to make our New Year resolutions.
BNP leaders here blamed the subtle election engineering, irregularities and rigging for their crushing defeat in the December 29 election in Chittagong while grassroots leaders and voters see it in different ways.
Misappropriation of government fund by a contractor with the help of a section of officials at Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board (CHTB) put the work of Tk 8.4 crore road construction project into uncertainty.