News of: Tuesday, 13th of January, 2009
A foreign delegation flew into Bangladesh on Sunday to identify the persons involved in laundering $200 million dollar to Singapore, and to help Bangladesh recover the money.
Despite much public expectations for a major price adjustment, Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (Berc) yesterday barely reduced the prices of diesel and kerosene by only Tk 2 per litre, leaving the prices of other petroleum products untouched.
Schoolteacher Jahanara Begum was rushing her sick son to a doctor around noon but she was halted by an elderly man when she was on Mathbaria Bara Masjid Road. She was told the road was off limits to women. As time was of the essence, she avoided confrontation and took a detour.
BNP-led four-party candidate Mahbubuddin Khokan has been elected lawmaker in Noakhali-1 constituency, according to unofficial results.
Power Development Board (PDB) has claimed nearly $9 million liquidated damages from three rental power companies that failed to meet project deadline or achieve the guaranteed power generation target.
Israeli warplanes pounded the homes of Hamas leaders and ground troops edged closer to the Gaza Strip's densely-populated urban centre yesterday, as Israel stepped up the pressure ahead of deciding whether to escalate its devastating two-week offensive.
Around 50 percent of the students of classes VI to X of secondary schools who have already started their academic year this month will have to wait for at least two to three months more before they get new textbooks for the current year.
The Election Commission (EC) yesterday directed returning officers (ROs) to circulate several personal details of contenders in the January 22 upazila parishad election locally to help voters choose honest and competent candidates.
Bangladesh will forward a proposal to the donors including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank for a budgetary support of around $800 million a year.
The 7-member expert committee formed to review the ordinances, promulgated by the military-backed caretaker government, will give its recommendations by January 25 whether the ordinances to be accepted or not.
With the accession to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), Bangladesh will continue to get international help to recover the ill-gotten gains of corruption hidden abroad.
BNP lawmakers-elect may be sworn in by Speaker Jamiruddin Sircar tomorrow.
Foreign aid flow into Bangladesh would not drop despite the global economic turmoil, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said yesterday.
Attorney General Salah Uddin Ahmed resigned from his office yesterday following a changeover of the government.
Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee will visit Bangladesh early next month for bilateral discussion with the new government.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has decided to send its three staff into forced retirement and demote another on charge of bribery.
The High Court (HC) yesterday granted three months bail to convicted former Awami League lawmaker Sheikh Helaluddin in two cases filed against him by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and a businessman after he along with his wife appeared in the court.
A large number of government documents including those with historic importance have been recovered from a waste paper shop in the capital.
Thieves took away Tk 2.72 lakh of an accounts manager of an engineering firm from the Dhanmondi Branch of IFIC Bank in the city yesterday afternoon.
The government will strengthen the police department to curb crimes and also form a special force to fight terrorism and militancy.
In a rare gesture of political goodwill, local leaders of Awami League, BNP and Jamaat have decided to stop recurrence of post-poll violence in Khulna district for ensuring peace and security of the people.
Zimbabwe were nowhere near their impressive first game as they crashed to a 130-run defeat to favourites Sri Lanka in the Grameenphone tri-nation tournament at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has decided to exempt 44 graft accused in 24 cases, including a former minister and a lawmaker, from charges due to lack of enough evidence.
Sri Lankan fighter jets and attack helicopters pounded rebel positions yesterday as troops pushed ahead with their offensive to crush the Tamil Tigers and seize the insurgents last stronghold in the north.
The State Department Monday unveiled sanctions against 13 people and three firms implicated in the nuclear proliferation network set up by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan.
WE congratulate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on tasking ministers and senior civil servants with certain well-defined goals to be achieved by her government in her address at the secretariat on Sunday. Her call to them to keep out of corruption and her emphasis on their first six months of performance may be regarded as a trendsetter and should go down well with the nation. We are happy that she has taken up the war against corruption as a foremost priority and regards performance as the yardstick of the ministers' continuity on the job.
THE arrival in Dhaka of a US-UK delegation to seek Bangladesh's assistance in retrieving $200 million kickback allegedly given to Begum Zia's son Arafat Rahman Koko and a number of ministers and leaders of the BNP led four-party alliance government is a significant development. The involvement of the US justice Department and the FBI in the matter has surely brought it into a larger focus.
I may sound overtly cynical but I believe it is only a matter of time when we shall see a total volte face of politicians in attacking one another with most foul language both inside and outside parliament. It is in their blood, and when politics means business of billions of dollars, it is only natural that they would not give the other a smooth sail to the land of milk and honey. They would fight tooth and nail to make sure that the government trips and breaks its knees. It would then go for the kill.
THE best thing to have happened to Home Minister P. Chidambaram's proposed trip to Washington is that it has been postponed. What precisely did Chidambaram hope to achieve in the last week of George Bush's rule?
THE recent pledges to build a digital Bangladesh are heartening. A huge quantity of government data exists which could provide much better transparency and efficiency if it were available on-line. This includes basic information to protect the rights of individuals, such as computerised land records, which anyone can verify over the web.
Ajantha Mendis contributed with three wickets as Sri Lanka demolished Zimbabwe by 130 runs in the second match of the Grameenphone tri-nation tournament at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Abahani banked on a 45th minute 'suicidal goal' to stay atop the Citycell B. League table when the defending champions edged their Chittagong namesakes in an away match 1-0 here yesterday.
Brothers Union and Mohammedan face off today in a crucial B. League match with their eyes set on the second place ahead of Sheikh Russel.
National cricket captain Mohammad Ashraful signed for his third club in as many years when the country's premier batsman joined Premier League newcomers Gazi Tank yesterday.
The fate of the rain-disrupted one-day international series between New Zealand and the West Indies rests on the fifth and final match in Napier on Tuesday and neither team is lacking motivation.
Manchester United's grip on the Premier League trophy tightened significantly on Sunday as Sir Alex Ferguson's side put Chelsea to the sword in front of a jubilant Old Trafford.
South Africa will hand seamer Wayne Parnell his Twenty20 debut in the second and last game against Australia in Brisbane on Tuesday.
Grandmaster Niaz Murshed and fellow Bangladeshi player Debaraj Chatterjee both won their first two matches of the 7th Parsvnath International Open Chess Tournament in Delhi, India.
Reigning sub-junior champion Abdullah Al Saif won his opening round match of the 29th National Sub-Junior (Under-16 boys and girls) Chess Championships yesterday.
Kevin Pietersen first threatened to resign as England captain in India before Christmas, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) vice-chairman Dennis Amiss has said.
For a day Australia's newest opener experienced life as a movie hero from Warner Bros instead of a member of the Warner family from Sydney's Matraville. It wasn't hysterical every time David walked the streets and he didn't seem to get a marriage proposal -- even 89 from 43 balls can't get you a wife that easily in Brisbane -- but it was A-list chaos at the airport and team hotel.
The momentum behind Graham Ford, the Kent director of cricket, as a successor to Peter Moores as England coach is growing after Kent's captain Robert Key said there would be "no way he could turn it down" if the offer came his way.
Pakistan Monday included six pacemen in their 15-man squad for the first of three one-day internationals to be played against Sri Lanka later this month.
Former India captains Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly will head the expert panel for a series of specialist skills coaching clinics starting at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore on Tuesday.
Lionel Messi scored a thunderous 84th-minute winner as leaders Barcelona came back to overcome bottom side Osasuna 3-2 on Sunday and restore their 12-point cushion over second-placed Real Madrid.
Former England captain David Beckham admitted he was surprised to be handed a start on his debut for AC Milan in their 2-2 Serie A draw at AS Roma.
Luiz Felipe Scolari is only one defeat away from the first full-blown crisis of his reign at Chelsea -- but the Brazilian insists he will not seek be plunging into the transfer market in search of a remedy.
Alessandro Del Piero scored a stunning freekick to hand Juventus a 1-0 home win over Siena at Turin's Olympic stadium on Sunday and close the gap at the top behind leaders Inter Milan to four points.
Sir Alex Ferguson has responded to scathing criticism from Rafael Benitez by claiming that he was bemused by the extraordinary verbal attack unleashed by the Liverpool boss last week.
Real Madrid icon Raul notched up his 500th league appearance for the club in Sunday's 3-0 win over Real Mallorca for another personal landmark in a career spanning 14 years.
Jose Mourinho has insisted Chelsea would have won the Champions League by now if he hadn't been forced out of the London club by billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
Magical Yoann Gourcuff led Bordeaux to a 4-0 thrashing of Paris Saint Germain on Sunday night to open their 2009 league programme on a high and give warning to French league leaders Lyon.
Bolton Wanderers manager Gary Megson has ended his interest in Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton.
Tottenham Hotspur captain Ledley King has told his teammates they "will go down" from the Premier League unless there is a marked improvement in the north London club's performances.
Despite high expectations over essentials' price-drop after power handover to the new government, market responses remain lukewarm.
The newly constructed 60-foot wide road stretching from Bijoy Sarani to Tejgaon has increased the prices of land adjacent to the area.
Yarn makers yesterday urged the government to roll out a stimulus package to safeguard the sub-sector from any fallout from the global financial recession.
Prices of various non-brand edible oils marked a fall at retail level here in the last three days on a downward trend in wholesale and international market.
The central bank has sought comments and suggestions on the draft of Bangladesh Payment and Settlement Systems Regulations 2009 to regulate and supervise payment systems efficiently.
As many as 29 members of parliament (MPs) yesterday vowed to make the garment industry more vibrant and fix all hurdles to the sector.
Newly appointed Commerce Minister Col (retd) Muhammed Faruk Khan yesterday urged his visiting Sri Lankan counterpart to increase import of medicine, jute and leather goods from Bangladesh to enhance the existing trade relations between the two countries.
Asian markets were mostly lower Monday following miserable jobs figures from the United States and continuing fears over the global corporate outlook.
Oil prices were mixed in Asian trade Monday on continuing worries about the weak global economy, analysts said.
Chinese banks extended 740 billion yuan ($110 billion) in new loans last month, the biggest monthly increase since January 2008, state media reported Monday.
Construction works of an 11-storey research centre in between Atomic Energy Commission and Teacher- Student Centre (TSC) of Dhaka University are going on in full swing under the auspices of a CSR initiative of a private commercial bank.
Pushed to their limits, thousands of Japanese are literally working themselves to death each year, a scourge the Asian power has started to address but which could get worse in the global economic crisis.
Dhaka Stock Exchange indices marked a slight fall yesterday for a second day, despite majority share prices went high.
The dollar fell against the yen in Asia trade Monday as it remained under pressure following last week's poor US jobs data, analysts said.
Two Indian companies have been barred from dealing with the World Bank over allegations of improper payments, the organisation said, in the latest revelations to hit the country's IT sector.
The global economic crisis has handed the Islamic finance sector a "golden opportunity" to show it is a better alternative to capitalism, Malaysia said Monday.
South Korea's Hyundai won its first "best car of the year" award at the Detroit Auto Show on Sunday for its entry into the luxury market, proving that recession does not mean foregoing frills.
Struggling automaker Chrysler LLC insisted on Sunday that it is a viable company despite tough market conditions and will be able to repay a four billion dollar loan from the US government.
Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) President Mahmud Hasan Ripon yesterday warned its leaders and activists of taking "stern action" against those who would be involved in violence or any anti-organisational activities.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has congratulated Sheikh Hasina on her assumption of office of the prime minister, expressing the hope that a comprehensive partnership between Dhaka and Beijing will be raised to a new level.
Over 150 tolas of gold ornaments were stolen from a jewellery shop at Cherag Ali Market in Tongi yesterday.
Experts at a policy dialogue yesterday underscored the need for planned migration of climate change refugees who would be affected by sea level rise, natural disasters and drought, resulting from the global climate change.
The government has taken a plan to make women trafficking victims self-sufficient by providing them with jobs.
Leaders of National Front of Teachers and Employees (NFTE) yesterday demanded immediate cancellation of the nine 'black laws' which were issued by the education ministry of BNP-Jamaat-led government in a single day.
A police constable was suspended temporarily in the port city yesterday on charge of misbehaving with a newly elected Awami League lawmaker.
Speakers at a programme yesterday urged the students to become worthy citizens of the country by following the ideals of great men.
The High Court (HC) yesterday directed Biman Bangladesh Airlines authorities to immediately reinstate 54 terminated employees and pay them salary arrears.
Jatiya Party (JP-Manju) Secretary General Sheikh Shahidul Islam yesterday demanded formation of a commission to reveal the real picture of corruption, militancy and terrorism during the tenure of the BNP-led four-party alliance government.
Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) has expressed grave concern over recent violence involving the student organisations on the university campus.
Some youths posing as leaders and workers of Bogra district Jubo and Chhatra League have occupied some government lands in different areas of the town.
Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized two pounds of heroin and arrested two drug dealers at Borhanuddin yesterday.
Production at the Natural Gas Fertiliser Factory (NGFF) at Fenchuganj resumed at 11:15am yesterday after it had been shut down for three days.
A young Bangladeshi cattle trader was found dead at Mandumala boarder point early yesterday.
A three-day workshop on 'Gender in our everyday lives' began at Dhaka University (DU) yesterday.
A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced a man to death for kidnapping and killing a seven-year-old schoolboy in the city's Dakhin Khan area in April 2007.
British High Commission in Dhaka has provided Bangladesh's Special Branch Immigration with state-of-the-art forgery detection equipment to detect fraudulent travel documentation.
The city unit of Bangladesh Chhatra Union (BCU), a left-leaning student organisation, yesterday demanded trial of war criminals and reinstallation of the constitution of 1972 immediately.
Thieves stole valuables worth around Tk three lakh from a house in the city's Patuatuli area yesterday.
Shipping Minister Dr Mohammad Afsarul Amin yesterday said that the aim of the present government is to ensure technological development in the shipping sector like all other sectors of the country.
Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) yesterday realised Tk 3 lakh from bill defaulters in a drive conducted at Basabo, Maniknagar, Jatrabari and old city.
Three children died after consuming toxic food at Khatiamari village of Dhunat upazila in the district on Sunday night.
Abu Saleh Chowdhury, joint convener of Narsingdi Sadar upazila unit of BNP, was expelled yesterday from the party for violating party discipline and anti-party activities.
Jahangirnagar University Day was observed yesterday in a befitting manner.
Dhaka University (DU) authorities yesterday once again postponed all examinations under science faculty until January 15 considering the overall situation of the university.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested four muggers after shooting one of them as they tried to escape after snatching valuables from passengers of an autorickshaw in the city's Jatrabari area last night.
The Jamuna fertiliser factory incurs a production loss of about 500 tones of urea a day due to less supply of gas, sources in the factory said.
Rangpur Jatiya Party president Karim Uddin Varosha and secretary Moshiur Rahman Ranga is now in a race to please party chief HM Ershad to get party ticket for the upcoming by-election in Rangpur-3 constituency. Both are former lawmakers
At long last police yesterday submitted charge sheet to the District and Sessions Judge's Court accusing four people of grabbing about 20 acres of land of indigenous people at Ganjapara in Khagrachhari Sadar upazila.
Tension mounted among the transport workers at Saidpur yesterday as the pro-Awami League (AL) transport workers threatened to occupy Dhaka-bound coach counters run by pro-BNP transport men.
Allegations have been made against Charghat upazila BNP president Aby Sayed Chad that he 'cheated' 22 jobless youths and took Tk 14.5 lakh from them by giving them appointment in an educational institution which does not have government approval.
Twenty-three students and a teacher of an orphanage at Mirzapur in Birampur upazila were admitted to Birampur Upazila Health Complex as they fell sick after dinner Sunday night.
Police arrested wanted listed criminal Boma Shumon, a cadre of Janajuddho faction of outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP), from near office of the Deputy Election Commissioner at Sher-e-Bangla Road in Khulna Sunday night.
A divided UN Human Rights Council yesterday adopted a resolution condemning Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip and accusing it of "grave" human rights violations against Palestinians.
Human Rights Watch said Sunday that Israel's military has fired artillery shells with the incendiary agent white phosphorus into Gaza and a doctor there said the chemical was suspected in the case of 10 burn victims who had skin peeling off their faces and bodies.
The elements for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza are in place and efforts are underway to work out the details of an agreement, Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair told reporters in Cairo yesterday.
Mahmoud Abbas hasn't been in this much trouble with his people in four years as Palestinian president. Never very popular, he is widely dismissed here as ineffective and now he seems to have misread popular sentiment regarding Israel's war on his Hamas rivals in Gaza.
Israel and Hamas have taken their war into cyberspace, with the Israeli army showing strikes on "terrorists" on YouTube and the Islamists rolling out Paltube to expose "massacres" in Gaza.
Security forces used tear gas and batons to repel anti-Israel protesters who tried to attack a US consulate in Pakistan Sunday, as tens of thousands in Europe, the Middle East and Asia demonstrated against Israel's offensive in Gaza.A protest in the Belgian capital that drew 30,000 turned violent as well, with demonstrators overturning cars and smashing shop windows. And in Manila, Philippines, policemen used shields to disperse students protesting outside the US Embassy.
Shia and Sunni Muslim groups in Pakistan's remote northwest have signed a peace accord after days of sectarian clashes in which at least nine people were killed, an official said yesterday.
The Gaza conflict appears to have widened the traditional divide in the United States between the left-leaning liberals and the mainstream politicians and has also dealt a severe blow to US efforts for winning the hearts and minds of Muslim masses.
Around 250 people missing after a ferry capsized in heavy seas off Indonesia's Sulawesi island are probably dead, officials said Monday, with bad weather hampering the search for survivors.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai pledged "solidarity" with India in the fight against terrorism during a visit Monday in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks that claimed 165 lives.
Bowing to mounting pressure by the allies following his defeat in the Tamar assembly bypoll, Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren today resigned from his post, shortly after his deputy Stephen Marandi put in his papers.
A series of bombs targeting Iraqi security forces ripped through busy areas in Baghdad on Monday, killing at least nine people, police said.
South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal on Monday overturned a ruling that tossed out corruption charges against ruling party chief Jacob Zuma, opening the possibility of new prosecution.
Thailand's ruling coalition strengthened its grip on power Monday after winning the most seats in parliamentary by-elections against allies of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Efforts to remove an invasive species from a sub-Antarctic island that has been named a World Heritage site accidentally triggered an environmental catastrophe, a study to be published on Tuesday says.
China said yesterday that a total of 296,000 children had fallen ill from consuming dairy products tainted with the industrial chemical melamine, up 2,000 from the previous official count.
A spate of savage shark attacks in Australia has sent a shiver through summer holidaymakers bombarded with graphic details and claims that the razor-toothed predators are increasingly targeting humans.
Arts & Entertainment
"Gaza hit by new Israeli strikes", "Israel defies UN call for truce, pounds Gaza", "Israel puts media clamp on Gaza" -- these are some of the news headlines over the last few days on the recent Israeli offensive over Gaza Strip. So far the death toll has crossed 850 including women and children.
'Boriar Mela', one of the oldest continuing traditions of Magura district, ended here yesterday amidst much fanfare.
Cultural activists joined forces with indigenous people of Khagrachhari district to observe the 27th year of BTV programme “Bonoful Lok Lokaloy”. The festive occasion was a platform for indigenous people to call for more TV coverage so that their rights and cultures could be preserved.
“Slumdog Millionaire" has lived up to its underdog theme at the Golden Globes, sweeping all four of its categories, including best drama and director for English helmer Danny Boyle.
Popularly known as "Khalamoni" to generations who grew up watching the musical show "Esho Gaan Shikhi", artiste Ferdausi Rahman, and singer Nashid Kamal are two familiar names in our country. The artistes are also related to each other -- Nashid is Ferdausi's niece.
IT'S not good to underestimate voters or political parties. It seems even less sensible when the objects of your underestimation include the oldest and most resilient political party of a country and citizens who have shown time and again that they will never accept any form of political system but democracy. Yet political analysts, seasoned and budding, and domestic and foreign policy makers decided first in 2001, and then in 2007, that the Awami League was finished.
THE celebration of smooth transition to democracy after more than two years of uncertainty will remain incomplete unless a big "thank-you" is offered to Bangladesh army. Our army set a new trend, belying the age-old belief that armed forces in the developing countries are hostile to furtherance of democracy.
LAST week's massive Israeli reprisals against Hamas in Gaza, which followed the breakdown of a five-month truce, have made peace between Israel and the Palestinians seem more remote than ever. Yet, the fighting also dramatised just how important it is to resolve the conflict once and for all.
RECENTLY, one of my many unemployed banker friends announced that he was thinking of retraining as a teacher.