News of: Thursday, 15th of January, 2009
The government yesterday slashed the prices of non-urea fertilisers to almost half per kilogram to help farmers during the country's biggest crop season, Boro.
The reduction in fertiliser price will decrease the present production cost of rice by Tk 2.5 a kilogram but the government has to take prompt actions for the farmers to reap the benefit of its move.
The government has decided to take legal actions against Siemens Bangladesh Ltd, following the international scandal of bribery and money laundering involving Germany based industrial giant Siemens, and Arafat Rahman Koko, younger son of former prime minister Khaleda Zia.
Fighting has intensified in the Gaza Strip between Israeli troops and Palestinians yesterday as al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden called for a holy war against Israel in revenge for its deadly offensive.
Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the government will soon press for appointing two new judges to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court to expedite the trial of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman assassination case.
The Awami League chief's directives to grassroots leaders of the party to pick a single candidate for the post of chairman in the upcoming election to upazila parishads appears to have fallen flat with rival contestants from the party still in the polls race in many upazilas.
The lawmakers-elect of the BNP and its allies Jamaat-e-Islami and Bangladesh Jatiya Party will be sworn in this afternoon by Speaker Jamiruddin Sircar.
Bangladesh has strongly condemned the unrelenting indiscriminate Israeli attacks on Gaza that left nearly a thousand people dead.
The government is mulling over formation of a permanent pay commission for the public servants to adjust their income to inflation.
Bangladeshi expatriates have started experiencing job cuts in Singapore due to slowdown in businesses, especially in the shipping and construction sectors, following the global financial meltdown.
Bangladesh will get the bribe money of former prime minister Khaleda Zia's younger son Arafat Rahman Koko, stashed in bank accounts in Singapore, only if the verdict in the case filed by the US justice department goes in its favour.
Election Commissioner Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hossain yesterday said some quarters are trying to influence the upazila parishad elections but warned that the commission would not tolerate it anyway.
Nayeem Islam jumped in the air as high as he could after the right-hander lofted mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis over long on to take Bangladesh into the final of the Grameenphone tri-nation tournament.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has requested the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) to cancel permission for all Best Air flights as the private airlines has failed to pay travel taxes amounting to Tk 2 crore.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested two people yesterday from Barobagh area of Mirpur in the city on charge of preserving and selling blood illegally to different city clinics and hospitals.
Newspaper Owners' Association of Bangladesh (Noab) has unanimously re-elected Mahbubul Alam, Motiur Rahman and Motiur Rahman Chowdhury as its president, vice-president and treasurer respectively.
The foreign ministry has called back Bangladesh High Commissioner to Malaysia Major (Retd) Md. Khairuzzaman who was accused and later acquitted of the November 3, 1975 jail killing in which four national leaders were slain.
Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday asked the dealers to ensure timely supply of fertilisers to the farmers as cultivation of Irri-Boro is going on across the country.
In a bid to contain inflation, Bangladesh Bank yesterday fixed the target of private sector credit growth at 18.5 percent, bringing it down by 6.44 percentage points.
A total of 93 examinations of Dhaka University (DU) have been postponed in last 15 days due to the post-poll instability involving the students' organisations on the campus.
Prices of battery chicken, egg and lentil rose in the city's kitchen markets in last one week due to poor supply against the increasing demand.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against former state minister for LGRD and cooperatives Ziaul Haq Zia and his son Mashfiqul Haq Joy in connection with a case filed for embezzlement of Tk 12.97 lakh from the public coffer.
The High Court (HC) yesterday granted three months' bail to former state minister for law Barrister Shahjahan Omar in connection with a corruption case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
India and Bangladesh are to hold their first-ever joint military exercise, senior army officials have said.
GIVEN the fact that it was a manifesto pledge, reiterated by the prime minister after election, and now confirmed by the finance minister, we have every confidence that the wealth statements of the MPs and the ministers will indeed be released next month, as promised, and we await their publication with eager anticipation.
ISRAELI military operations continued with greater ferocity and virulence yesterday -- the 19th day of the Jewish state's assault on Gaza strip. Civilian casualties among the Palestinians have risen sharply to over 900 in a rather one-sided use of sophisticated war machines by Tel Aviv against the people of Gaza.
THERE were very few who were not surprised at the choice of the foreign minister and her deputy under the new dispensation. What one hopes of the two is that, in the present context of hard reality in a realist world, the sooner they come round to seeing and acknowledging the reality, the easier it would be to tackle the foreign policy challenges that face Bangladesh.
THE appointment of Dr. Dipu Moni as foreign minister is a dramatic way of breaking tradition, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has demonstrated her desire to put gender equality in practice. In Asia, Japan, Philippines and Nepal had female foreign ministers. There are many countries where females had held, or are holding, the position of foreign minister.
SHAME on Israel for unleashing its latest murderous assault on Gaza, and shame on the US for giving its unconditional support for it. Shame on the Arab governments for acquiescing to it, and shame on Europe for its cowardly inaction! As I write, the humanitarian situation in Gaza is worsening by the minute -- Israeli tanks are entering deep into densely populated areas, Israeli F-16 jet fighters are firing missiles and their helicopter gun-ships and naval vessels are bombarding Gaza indiscriminately, killing and wounding civilians. If there is a hell on earth, this is it.
Bangladesh added another feather in their cap when they beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in a curtailed-overs match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Mashrafe Bin Mortaza stood at mid-on and produced a slight chuckle. Old-timers say that mid-on is the best place to judge a bowler's pace and what Mashrafe saw was a young fast bowler tearing into the batsman, bending his back and dishing out one bouncer after another.
Mohammad Ashraful got only a muffled laughter at the post-match press conference after the upsetting loss to Zimbabwe last Saturday. So after the Tigers blazed to a victory over a strong Sri Lanka yesterday, he slammed his detractors.
Alfaz Ahmed came out of the bench to inspire Sheikh Russel's 3-1 win against Arambagh with a pair of goals in yesterday's Citycell B. League.
Salma Khatun's sparkling all-round display gave Khulna a crushing 235-run victory over Sylhet while Ayesha Khatun was in top form in Dhaka's five-wicket defeat of Barisal in yesterday's Women's National Cricket League.
Azad Rahman was awarded a FIFA referee badge for 2009, confirmed Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday.
World number two Serena Williams saved three match points to win a torrid three-setter against Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki and claim her place in the semifinals of the Sydney WTA International on Wednesday.
India's swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag on Wednesday saluted retired Australian great Matthew Hayden, saying he had not seen an "attacking batsman of his calibre."
Pakistan cricket is on the verge of bankruptcy and needs concrete efforts to restore its coffers after Australia and India cancelled their tours, a top official said on Tuesday.
Giles Clarke, the chairman of England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), has spoken of the "impossible situation" that English cricket faced after Kevin Pietersen's call for the sacking of the national coach, Peter Moores.
Pakistan's Senate Sports Committee Tuesday recommended that troubled fast bowler Mohammad Asif be banned from cricket for life over his detention in Dubai last year for opium possession.
Australia's Matthew Hayden, just retired from representative cricket, can look back on his international career that puts him in the top-10 Test batsmen and top-20 ODI batsmen of all-time.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said Wednesday the venues of the upcoming one-day series have been changed at Sri Lanka's request, with the three matches now to be played in Karachi and Lahore.
Manchester United chief executive David Gill fired back Wednesday at Rafael Benitez, saying the Liverpool boss "missed the boat completely" by suggesting he had a conflict of interest.
Manchester United chief executive David Gill Wednesday said the club remained in a robust financial position despite worries over its huge debt and sponsorship deal with troubled insurance giant AIG.
Inter Milan booked an Italian Cup quarterfinal date with AS Roma on Tuesday but they made heavy weather of beating a Genoa side 3-1 after their opponents were reduced to 10 men in the 20th minute.
Sir Alex Ferguson claims Manchester United youngster Zoran Tosic bears more similarities to David Beckham than Cristiano Ronaldo after admitting that the Serbian winger is just six weeks away from breaking through at Old Trafford.
Manchester United's Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo has registered the trademark "CR9" in a move which Spanish sports daily AS said Wednesday was an "obvious" sign that the striker will join Real Madrid at the end of the season.
Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has denied a newspaper report that he rigged last month's stormy annual general assembly vote in order to get its fiscal accounts for 2008 and 2009 approved.
Manchester City have offered AC Milan a world record 100 million pounds (150 million dollars, 110 million euros) in cash in a bid to land former World Player of the Year Kaka, newspaper reports here said Wednesday.
Jose Mourinho is the best coach in the world claimed Argentinian national handler Diego Maradona on Tuesday.
David Beckham's great-great grandfather was a "scavenger," or rubbish collector, according to British census data which went online Tuesday, giving an eye-opening view of life a century ago.
Serbian international striker Darko Kovacevic underwent a successful coronary angioplasty operation in San Sebastian, Spain on Tuesday and is expected to be discharged Wednesday, his club Olympiakos Piraeus announced Tuesday.
The FIFA world rankings for January released on Wednesday:-
In a bid to ease pressure on inflation, Bangladesh Bank (BB) yesterday fixed the target of private sector credit growth at 18.5 percent, bringing it down by 6.44 percentage points.
Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday sought from the apex trade body, FBCCI, a list of the top five priority tasks to be submitted within the next week to make businesses friendlier by removing traditional barriers.
A trend for installation of a mechanical device in re- rolling mills is paying dividend as it has reduced gas consumption up to 42 percent, helping each factory to save Tk 2 lakh to Tk 3 lakh a month, easing pressures on the nation's precious gas resources.
The British government unveiled a plan on Wednesday to guarantee up to 20 billion pounds (22 billion euros, 29 billion dollars) of loans to help small businesses survive the credit crunch.
Standard Chartered chairman Mervyn Davies has stepped down to become a British trade minister, the British-based bank said Wednesday.
The government should take immediate steps to train the country's huge manpower to plug the holes in the culinary industry of the UK, said the president of Bangladesh Caterers' Association (BCA) yesterday.
The original financial supermarket is dead. Citigroup signalled the end of a decade-long experiment to create one-stop shopping for financial services - everything from consumer loans to investment banking - with Tuesday's announcement that it was merging its Smith Barney brokerage into a joint venture with Morgan Stanley.
The global financial crisis has taken a huge toll in terms of slowdown of the world economy. Industrial countries average GDP growth rate has slumped from 2.8 percent in 2006 to a negative 0.8 percent in the third quarter of 2008. Overall GDP growth in 2008 is estimated at 1.2 percent and projected to be in the range of (-) 0.2-0.7 for 2009.
Asian stock markets rose slightly Wednesday as investors moved in to buy up bargains following losses across the board over the previous two days.
The government will undertake initiatives to establish central waste treatment plants (ETPs) in all the export promotion zones (EPZs) to reduce environment pollution, the Bepza executive director said yesterday.
Although the prices of different milk powder brands marked a sharp fall in Chittagong, retailers have not yet enforced the reduced rate of the item.
Sony Corp is expecting to post an operating loss on a consolidated basis for the business year ending in March 2009, its first loss in 14 years, sources close to the company said Tuesday.
The BBC World Service Trust has selected Ericsson as its strategic mobile partner to help develop its mobile learning strategy in Bangladesh.
The euro rebounded Wednesday from earlier one-month lows but dealers said the recovery could soon fizzle out with the European Central Bank poised to slash interest rates.
British banking giant Barclays is to cut 2,100 jobs in its retail and commercial businesses, it said Wednesday, a day after announcing a similar number of job losses in its investment divisions.
Veteran Silicon Valley executive Carol Bartz took over the helm of Yahoo! on Tuesday, vowing to revive the ailing Internet firm and calling on critics to give it room to breathe.
US mistakes are the root cause of the global financial crisis, a senior Chinese central bank official said Wednesday, rejecting criticism of China's high savings rate and booming trade surplus.
The eurozone faces a contraction this year and a possible further erosion in inflation, leaving room for deep interest rate cuts, the OECD said Wednesday.
Md Setaur Rahman has appointed as the new deputy managing director of Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd (IBBL), according to a press release.
Janata Bank has recently appointed Dr Md Zillur Rahman as the new deputy-managing director (DMD) of the bank, says a press release.
Dulamia Cotton Spinning Mills Ltd has declared five percent dividend for its shareholders for the year 2007-2009 recently.
Eminent academician Prof Muzaffer Ahmad yesterday said the long-due elections to students unions in all public universities specially the Dhaka University should be held to end confrontational student politics.
Speakers at a seminar yesterday said massive awareness must be raised at grassroots level to minimise the exploitation of migrant workers by manpower brokers.
The posts of vice chancellor, pro-vice chancellor and treasurer of Dhaka University (DU) might be filled with new faces soon.
Education and Primary and Mass Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday said the new government will not stand any kind of corruption in the education sector.
Candidates of the 27th BCS examinations who passed it at first but were dropped from the list of successful candidates as per fresh results submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister's office yesterday demanding their immediate appointment.
People caught two muggers of a gang while they were running away snatching Tk 10 lakh from an employee of an iron sheet factory at Sadarghat in the city yesterday.
Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty called on Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister GM Kader at his office at the secretariat in the capital yesterday.
Sir William Beveridge Foundation, a British international charity, formally launched its programme in Bangladesh yesterday.
Bangladesh for the first time introduces a new combination vaccine that will protect its children against five killer diseases in one injection, including the deadly bacterium Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).
A human rights organisation filed a writ petition with the High Court (HC) yesterday seeking directions for the government to constitute National Food Safety Advisory Council in line with the law concerned to check food adulteration.
Drishtipat, a London-based global human rights watchdog on Bangladesh, yesterday placed some recommendations before the newly elected government, says a press release.
A Dhaka court yesterday fixed January 20 as the date for hearing on framing of charges against Harkatul Jihad (Huji) chief Mufti Abdul Hannan and 13 others in Ramna Batamul blast case filed against them for killing 10 people.
Two people were killed and a schoolboy was injured when the gate of a school in the town collapsed on them after a truck dashed the gate yesterday morning.
Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), student wing of BNP, on the Dhaka University campus yesterday placed its five-point demand, including coexistence in the dormitories and congenial atmosphere in all education institutions across the country.
Detective Branch police arrested two criminals with forged notes worth Tk 45,200 and fake note-making equipment from a flat at Uttara in the city on Tuesday.
Hundreds of students from different schools staged a protest rally in the city yesterday to condemn the Israeli genocide, especially the killings of thousands of women and children in Gaza.
Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso yesterday greeted Sheikh Hasina on her assumption of office as prime minister of Bangladesh following a free, fair and peaceful election.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday attended her office at the Armed Forces Division at Dhaka Cantonment.
A man was killed and 52 others were injured in two separate road accidents on the Dhaka-Bogra highway at Raiganj in the district yesterday morning.
The High Court (HC) yesterday granted bail to former BNP lawmakers Hafiz Ibrahim and Nurul Islam Moni in five cases.
The admission test for the first year honours courses of Faculty of Fine Art, Dhaka University under 2008-2009 academic sessions will be held from 10:00am to 1:00pm tomorrow, says a press release.
The interview for the primarily selected admission seekers against vacant seats for 'Ka' unit (Science faculty) of Jagannath University (JNU) for 2008-09 session will be held on January 17, 18 and 19.
People caught two muggers of a gang while they were running away snatching Tk 10 lakh from an employee of an iron sheet factory at Sadarghat in the city yesterday.
A court in Mymensingh yesterday rejected a seven-day appeal for remand and sent eight criminals to jail who were arrested with firearms on Tuesday night from Mymensingh town.
Police recovered the body of a man from the Padma's char area yesterday.
Renowned Pakistani phaco surgeon Dr Syed Mohammad Asif will conduct free phaco surgery to 300 patients on first come first serve basis for five days beginning on January 25, says a press release.
The 87th birth anniversary of former foreign minister and Awami League leader Abdus Samad Azad will be observed today, says a press release.
Today is the 84th birth anniversary of Mahiuddin Ahmed, a Language Movement veteran and one of the organisers of Liberation War, says a press release.
Today is the 20th death anniversary of Sidhu Mian, one of the organiser of the Liberation War and father of fashion designer Bibi Rasel, says a press release.
Today is the 3rd death anniversary of Mahmu-dul Haque Manu, a sports organiser and former joint secretary of Muktijoddha Cricket Board, says a press release.
Rajshahi City Corporation Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton has continued campaigns in favour of Awami League leaders who are contesting in the upazila elections.
Over 300 rice mill workers, most of them female, have become jobless
At least 50 people including 11 policemen and three newsmen were injured in clashes marked with firing of rubber bullets by police yesterday.
The intra-party feud in Pabna BNP over candidacy in upazila poll took a new turn yesterday as joint secretary of its district committee and secretary of the Sadar upazila body Anisul Haque Babu was expelled from the party.
At last police has been able to arrest former resident medical officer (RMO) of Moulvibazar Sadar Hospital Dr Md Saiful Islam, who had who faced 36 warrants of arrest after failure to appear before the court to give evidence in over a hundred cases including those for murder and rape.
Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists yesterday chased activists of Chhatra Moitree for sheltering a Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) activist injured by BCL men on Rajshahi University (RU) campus.
Third anniversary of Kansat Palli Bidyut Andolon was observed at Kansat in Shibganj upazila in the district yesterday.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon yesterday renewed his call for an "immediate and durable ceasefire" in the Gaza Strip, where Israel's offensive has killed almost 1,000 Palestinians.
Israel faces the prospect of intervention by international courts amid growing calls that its actions in Gaza are a violation of world humanitarian and criminal law.
Three rockets fired from Lebanon slammed into northern Israel yesterday in an attack that frayed nerves on both sides of the tense border for the second time in less than a week.
Israel bombed smuggling tunnels and battled fighters in Gaza on Wednesday as UN chief Ban Ki-moon arrived in the region seeking to end the war on Hamas that has killed nearly 1,000 Palestinians.
Arab League chief Amr Mussa said yesterday that the 22-member organisation has failed to come up with the two-thirds quorum needed to convene an emergency summit on Israel's Gaza offensive.
The United States is hoping a strategy similar to the one it used to improve security in Iraq, including an influx of troops, will work in Afghanistan -- one of president-elect Barack Obama's priorities.
Secretary of state designate Hillary Clinton Tuesday promised a "smart" blend of US military and diplomatic power projection under Barack Obama, and said America must never give up on Middle East peace.
Police in Indian-controlled Kashmir arrested the founder and commander of the region's largest rebel group, an official said yesterday, calling it a major setback for the separatists.
Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday rejected accusations by Amnesty International that security forces had engaged in "systematic" torture in the country's insurgency-hit south.
Japan should play a greater role in global security, including reinterpreting its pacifist constitution to allow it to defend an ally if attacked, the outgoing US ambassador said yesterday.
Parliamentarians from the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) member states met here yesterday to seek joint action in support of the Palestinians facing a deadly Israeli offensive in Gaza.
A boat carrying much-needed medical aid for casualties of Israel's offensive against Hamas in Gaza set sail again from Cyprus yesterday after suffering mechanical trouble during an earlier attempt this week.
Sri Lanka's military yesterday seized a final strip of Tamil Tiger rebel-held land and secured total control of the key Jaffna peninsula in the north, an official said.
Gunmen riding on a motorcycle fired on a vehicle carrying police officers near the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta in Pakistan's southwest Baluchistan province yesterday, killing four, said Mohammed Ishtiaq, an area police chief. Police were still investigating the motive for the shooting.
Pakistan reopened a supply route for Nato and US forces in Afghanistan yesterday after tribesmen ended a three-day blockade.
More flooding hit Fiji yesterday after five days of tropical downpours left at least 11 people dead and inundated homes, businesses and farms.
US president-elect Barack Obama's most pressing international task is the war in the Middle East, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said yesterday, as the death toll around Gaza neared 1,000.
Iraq, which used chemical weapons during Saddam Hussein's regime, became the 186th nation to ratify an international treaty banning them, UN officials announced here yesterday.
Arts & Entertainment
"I think, a poet is different from others in his way of thinking, yearning and functioning in everyday life. A poet tends to contemplate his surroundings and the people next to him/her. Joys, woes, and others experiences affect him/her in a distinct and unparalleled way. A poet is quick to reach a human heart. (S)he is also a magician of language," says Mahadev Saha, one of the leading romantic poets in contemporary Bengali literature. He is also a poet of mystery and muted ambiance. Since he took to poetry, he has carefully removed himself from any disquiet and unsteadiness.
Bangladeshi classical artiste Mohammad Mahmudul Hasan has made his mark in the music scene. Recently, he won two gold medals from India for his outstanding talent in vocal music. One award is the Acharya Alauddin Music Circle Gold Medal in Master of Performing Arts (Music, Vocal), with a first class and distinction. The other award is the Sangeet Rasraj Pandit Shivkumar Shukla Gold Medal for the highest marks in the vocal practical paper.
Ari Folman's animated documentary, “Waltz With Bashir” is making headlines. The film, a Golden Globe winner, was named last Tuesday to a short list of nine movies up for Oscar nominations in the foreign-language contest. Folman's “antiwar movie” is doubly resonant if one considers the ongoing Israeli offensive in Gaza. In a recent interview the sensitive filmmaker, however, indicated that he doesn't believe film can change the world.
"Mattu O Bondhura," a new show for children combining education and entertainment, will be aired on Channel i starting from today.
Jackie Chan soon could be mentoring a karate kid.
With the collaboration of Bangladesh Children Theatre Federation, Angan Little Theatre School is going to organise a six-month long certificate course on acting for six to sixteen year olds, starting from February 6, says a press release. The course will be coordinated by Fairytale. Classes will be held twice a week, on Fridays and Saturdays.
THE Awami League manifesto has said very little about higher education, although it has to play a critical role in implementing the "charter for change" and fulfilling the party's Vision 2021. A short sentence in the manifesto, if pursued seriously, can help set the right course for higher education.
IF Home Minister Shahara Khatun's confusing statements about the opposition BNP's attacks on her party made political analysts raise their eyebrows, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's address to party colleagues at a cabinet meeting seemed to strike a contrasting note of balance. Her promise to deal with irregularities severely is promising, but we must express cautious optimism.
IN 1943 the Jews herded in the Warsaw Ghetto had enough. After being uprooted from their homes and forced to live in overwhelmingly crowded urban conditions, the ghetto was being strangled by a complete blockade of any food and medical supplies. At the time the true scope of the holocaust was not known; there were dark rumours what the German plan of "resettlement to the east" truly entailed, but the true horror of the Nazi extermination plan was not yet known.
SOMETHING weird and shocking is going on: money is going out of fashion.
Rangamati Poura Park, the lone oldest recreational park in the hill district, has now turned into a nursery after the municipality authorities have leased out two thirds of its land to a businessman.
Properties worth around Tk 39.34 crore were damaged in 836 fire incidents in Chittagong district last year, said the sources at Chittagong Fire Service and Civil Defence headquarters.
Speakers at a rally observed that the United Nations should take more strict and effective steps to save lives of the civilians especially children and women of Gaza in Palestine from the indiscriminate air strikes by the Israeli military.
ICAB, Ctg executives
Senior General Manager of KDS Group Modassar Ahmed Siddiquee and Head of Finance of S Alam Group Subrata Kumar Bhoumik were elected new chairman and honorary secretary of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB), Chittagong region.