News of: Thursday, 22nd of January, 2009
A landmark chapter is going to be written in the history of the country's local government system as the upazila parishads go to polls today amid high expectations of people after around 19 long years.
The Awami League-led (AL) government is likely to bring major amendments to local government ordinances, allowing elected representatives to continue holding posts in political parties.
The Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac) awarded clemency to graft-suspects without entertaining some provisions of the Voluntary Disclosure Ordinance, 2008 that empowered it to reject dubious disclosures.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday expressed disappointment over the break-ins at railway offices in Dhaka and Chittagong and directed the home ministry to look into the matter seriously.
BNP is now suffering from a severe crisis of suitable and clean- image leaders for the posts of secretary general and national standing committee members of the party.
The names of 67 roads after freedom fighters and language movement heroes are still being neglected in correspondence and daily use as the authorities concerned have not taken proper steps to ensure use of the names.
It could have been just another day in the life of Dinesh Barman, a fisherman who along with his mates had just reeled in a 5kg ruhi onto his boat.
Some of the old guards of Awami League (AL), who were excluded from the cabinet of ministers, might also not get the privilege of sitting in the front row of the treasury bench in parliament, according to party insiders.
One person was killed and over a hundred people were injured yesterday as Awami League (AL) supporters clashed with police at Ukhia Upazila in Cox's Bazar following a dispute over candidacy in upazila polls.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday urged the voters to cast ballots for honest and competent candidates to pave the way for establishing a skilled and honest upazila administration.
A upazila parishad consists of a chairman, two vice-chairpersons (one of them a woman), chairmen of all union parishads under the upazila concerned, mayors of all municipalities, if there are any, and women members of the reserved seat.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday assured the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of necessary cooperation in continuing the anti-graft drive.
Bangladesh bounced back strongly with a disciplined effort against Zimbabwe as they won the second game by six wickets to square the three-match series 1-1 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
BNP standing committee member and former minister Khandeker Mosharraf Hossain in a rejoinder termed The Daily Star report headlined 'Mosharraf's million found in UK vaults' on January 19 'blown out of proportion and motivated.' He also claimed the report was not based on information.
President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday 'admitted' making mistakes in the last six and a half years as the head of the state and chief of the caretaker government.
The government will form a committee within 15 days to be headed by the finance minister to take decisions on rate of interest on bank loan, steps to combat effects of the global financial crisis, and on the demand for making Sunday weekly holiday.
Bangladesh and India are likely to sign two important agreements on bilateral trade and investment promotion and protection during the next month's visit by Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
A Dhaka court yesterday denied bail to detained former minister Nazmul Huda in connection with a Tk 6,00,000 bribery case from a contractor of Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge Authority.
The price of bottled edible oil will be reduced by Tk 5 per litre from Saturday next as international market prices have plummeted significantly.
Saudi Ambassador Dr Abdullah N Al Bussairy yesterday said his country will recruit more doctors from Bangladesh apart from workers.
Mobile phone network across the country will remain open as usual on the upazila election day today, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda said yesterday.
The High Court (HC) yesterday directed absconding controversial businessman Obaidul Karim to surrender before the court on Sunday in connection with four corruption cases filed against him by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).
The government on Tuesday formed a committee to identify the reasons behind land subsidence in Barapukuria coalmine area and submit a compensation package for the affected people.
Locals caught five workers of two candidates of upazila parishad elections, a chairman and vice-chairman aspirants, red handed giving money to the voters yesterday in Taraganj upazila of the district.
US President Barack Obama yesterday began the job of hauling his crisis-weary nation out of its "winter of hardship" by taking action to halt Guantanamo trials and convening top economic and foreign policy aides.
Thailand's prime minister yesterday refused to grant UN experts access to 126 boat people from Myanmar, following allegations that the Thai army had left them to die on the open seas.
WE welcome and congratulate Barack Hussein Obama on his assumption of the office of the 44th president of the United States. President Obama takes up his grave responsibility at a time of extraordinary turmoil and peril, both for America and the entire world, and we hope that he will succeed in leading his country with the integrity, vision, and sagacity that his remarkable rise promises.
THE upazila elections, being held today across the country after long 19 years, are indeed a major event having a huge potential to trigger people-oriented balanced development. Upazila Parishads to be constituted by elected public figures are going to be a highly important tier of the local government system.
THE Awami League's commitment to fighting terrorism has been clearly defined in its election manifesto. One could assume that a part of its strategy would be effected through a collaborative effort regionally to combat the scourge, as enunciated by the party leader.
1947 divided us, but did not separate us. We still met, through family and media. Separation came with war in 1965, instigated by fantasists like General Ayub Khan and Z. A. Bhutto. It extinguished the flickering embers of trust. Walls of regulations were raised to block knowledge, and then vision. If you do not see a neighbour he is not a neighbour. There are no neighbours in the huge apartment blocks of Mumbai, only adjacent numbers.
IT took four hundred years, but on January 20, 2009, America atoned for its sin of slavery. This was America's third coming. In the first, Thomas Jefferson declared that “all men are created equal.” Of course, Jefferson meant only white men who owned property.
It was not a victory to celebrate. It rather came as a relief for Bangla-desh when they handed a six-wicket defeat to Zimbabwe in the second game to square the three-match series 1-1 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Sri Lanka came back strongly with solid batting and bowling to thrash Pakistan by 129 runs in the second day-night international here Wednesday.
A dominant Roger Federer set up an Australian Open third-round clash with Marat Safin Wednesday as top seed Jelena Jankovic and defending champion Novak Djokovic showed glimpses of their best form.
Khulna Abahani finally put an end to their miserable run in the Citycell B. League with a goalless home draw against Chittagong Mohammedan yesterday.
Mohammedan Sporting Club have demanded the punishment of referee Azad Rahman as well as cancelling the result of their B. League match against Sheikh Russel.
Indian icon Sania Mirza crashed out of the Australian Open Wednesday but said she was just happy to be back after a painful six months on the sidelines.
New captain Andrew Strauss said he wanted England's players to "think on their feet" as he outlined his vision for the team ahead of their tour of the West Indies.
England's major international venues could agree to host Test matches involving two non-English teams, as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) meet in Leicester on Wednesday to consider the proposals raised at their Test Match Strategy Day at Stapleford Park earlier in the week.
England captain Andrew Strauss believes his side's stars will be able to appear in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) and still play for the Test side without jeopardising the national team's results.
The metropolis cricket season begins today with six matches of the First Division Twenty20 cricket tournament in Dhaka.
Giles Clarke, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), will face a challenge for his job in the aftermath of the controversy that led to Kevin Pietersen being ousted as captain, the ECB confirmed Tuesday.
A complaint of fund misappropriation has been filed with the Jaipur police against Lalit Modi, the president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association, on Tuesday, according to newspaper reports.
Friends of the Stadium Club women's football team of India will arrive in Dhaka tomorrow to play three exhibition matches in Bangladesh.
Mumbai Indians and Bangalore Royal Challengers are discussing the possibility of swapping Robin Uthappa and Zaheer Khan during the month-long Indian Premier League (IPL) players' trading window.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a late penalty to secure Manchester United's place in the English League Cup Final as they survived a late Derby rally to seal a 4-3 aggregate win at Old Trafford.
Lukas Podolski has hit out at Bayern Munich coach Jurgen Klinsmann following his decision to return to Cologne at the end of the season.
As the world record Kaka transfer saga came to an abrupt end late on Monday with club and player claiming the Brazilian would stay in Italy, there was a palpable feeling that this had all played nicely into Silvio Berlusconi's hands.
Out-of-favour Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has spoken of his "love" for former club Olympique Marseille but insists he is not trying to engineer an exit from Stamford Bridge.
Jermaine Pennant has agreed to join Portsmouth on loan from Liverpool until the end of the season after turning down the chance to make a permanent move.
Despite the central bank's mandatory order, five foreign commercial banks, including the banking giant Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), have failed to disburse a single penny as farm credit in the first half of the current fiscal year.
Local shipyards still receive enquiries from foreign buyers about building small vessels despite a downturn in the global shipbuilding industry amid an economic recession and uncertain demand outlook this year.
The state-owned Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) is set to manage the IT project under the Equity and Entrepreneurship Fund (EEF).
The banking crisis took an ugly turn for the worse Tuesday.
Bangladesh seeks to capture up to 9 percent of the global apparel market to reach an export income up to $18 billion in the next couple of years, sector leaders yesterday.
The visiting vice president of the Asian Development Bank, Xiaoyu Zhao, said yesterday his agency would extend strong support and cooperation to help Bangladesh sustain progress on the millennium development goals (MDGs)
TÜV SÜD Bangladesh (Pvt) Limited, a concern of Germany based TÜV SÜD, a major international service group, has launched its operation in Bangladesh on Tuesday.
Asian stocks fell in early trade Wednesday after a plunge on Wall Street, where financial fears eclipsed hope that US President Barack Obama will move quickly to resuscitate the stricken economy.
Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday sought a cut in the bank interest rate saying that the existing rate did not facilitate industrial expansion.
To cope with shrinking auto sales, Toyota Motor Corp will eliminate all temporary workers on fixed-term contracts at its 12 domestic plants as early as summer this year, sources close to the company said.
In donesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has officially launched the much-delayed free trade zone for Batam, Bintan and Karimun in Riau Islands.
The largest US automaker, General Motors Corp., said Tuesday it will run out of cash if it does not get the second part of the the federal bridge loan next month.
Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited recently promoted five of its officials to the post of executive vice president, says a press release.
The inaugural speech by Barack Obama probably raised hope around the world, but struck a note of fear on the economic front. It was not a laundry list of policy issues, nor a glimpse into a rosy world. It pointed to a deeper crisis facing the US economy and beyond. It showed a newfound resolve to brave the "icy currents" and to batten down the hatches in the face of brewing "storms".
There has been a great deal of justifiable national pride in the resilience of Bangladesh's twin $10 billion plus export sectors, the ready made garments (RMG) and manpower, to the global financial crisis of 2008. But, it has been evident for most policymakers that it will be difficult for us to move on to the next phase of Bangladesh's economic development without developing new industries. However, the next major export sectors, footwear/leather goods and frozen foods/aquaculture, are barely worth $500 million. There has been much talk over developing strategies for export diversification, but the question is how we can translate the rhetoric into policy reality.
Dhaka stocks fell slightly yesterday amid a spell of confusion that surfaced over the government's pledges about the capital market.
The dollar fell against the euro on Wednesday, rose versus the yen and struck a multi-year high against sterling as US President Barack Obama set to work in the White House on rescuing the ailing economy.
Wireless equipment maker LM Ericsson on Wednesday reported profits dropped 31 percent in the fourth quarter, citing restructuring charges and weaker handset sales, and said it would slash 5,000 jobs.
Britain's unemployment rate jumped to a decade-high 6.1 percent in the three months to November, with nearly two million out of work, official data showed on Wednesday.
Berlin forecast on Wednesday that Germany will suffer its deepest post-war recession this year, as Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet chewed over a historic rescue package aimed at easing the pain.
Hong Kong's Exchange Fund recorded a net loss of 74.9 billion dollars (9.6 billion US) in 2008, as turmoil on global stock markets battered its investments, the central bank said Wednesday.
The government will prioritise introducing new farm technologies to enhance food production and income of the poor in coastal districts to help them fight natural calamities, said Food Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque yesterday.
Speakers at a conference yesterday demanded steps to select a disabled woman as the member of parliament (MP) in the reserved seats and formulate a committee on disability in the parliament to ensure rights of people with disabilities.
Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka yesterday urged the government not to ratify the ordinances on local government bodies promulgated by the immediate-past caretaker government aiming to strengthen the local bodies.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the authorities concerned to take initiatives to set up fire stations in all upazilas, particularly in the industrial areas.
A Dhaka court yesterday adjourned the hearing till January 27, of the August 2004 grenade attack cases on an Awami League rally on Bangabandhu Avenue that left 24 people dead and 200 others injured, following a time petition by the prosecution lawyers.
Health Minister Dr AFM Ruhul Haque hoped that the world economic crisis would not hinder development in the health sector of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh should immediately go for exploring and using gas and coal resources to ensure long-term as well as sustainable energy security of the country, said Prof M Tamim at a programme in the city yesterday.
The High Court (HC) may hold a hearing on its rule asking the Jahangirnagar University authorities today to explain why their decision to exonerate Sanowar Hossain Sunny from all charges of sexual harassment should not be declared illegal.
Six people were killed in separate road accidents in Sirajganj, Netrakona, Bogra and Chittagong in last two days.
Speakers at a meeting yesterday said effective local government system will fail with curtailing power of the upazila parishads (UZs) if members of the parliament (MPs) are provided with administrative power and authority over UZ councils.
Bangladeshi national Dipal Chandra Barua has received the UAE's 1.5 million US dollar Zayed Future Energy Prize for promoting clean energy.
The judges and members of the Australian Bar Association (ABA) were accorded a reception at the Australian High Commissioner's residence in the city yesterday.
Action on Disability and Development (ADD) published a book titled 'Disability and Human Rights in Bangladesh' at a publication ceremony at Dhaka Reporters' Unity yesterday, says a press release.
Christy Turlington Burns, a super model from the USA and Care ambassador for maternal health, visited the Safe Motherhood Promotion Project (SMPP) of the health ministry in Narsingdi on January 14 and 15, says a press release.
A group of Ulemas (Islamic scholars) yesterday demanded removal of newly appointed Khatib Mufti Mohammad Salauddin of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque before Friday.
BNP yesterday expelled two of its leaders -- Nazir Hossain, a former lawmaker from Sunamganj and Abdur Rouf, a local BNP leader in Jamalpur, from the party for anti party activities.
Prof Harun-or-Rashid of political science department and Prof Mizanur Rahman of marketing department were yesterday appointed pro-vice chancellor and treasurer of Dhaka University (DU) respectively.
The Rajshahi unit of Consumers Association of Bangladesh (Cab), in a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday, urged her to take initiative to approve the Consumer Rights Protection Ordinance 2008.
Police yesterday foiled the founding anniversary procession of Rajshahi University (RU) unit of Samajtrantrik Chhatra Front (SCF) on the campus.
A court in Khulna yesterday sentenced a man to life imprisonment and fined him Tk 20000, in default, to suffer two years more in rigorous imprisonment for raping a minor girl.
Criminals ransacked a crockery shop at West Tejturibazar in the city yesterday and assaulted the shop owner as he refused to pay toll.
Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday expelled Utpal Saha, a leader of Dhaka University's (DU) Jagannath Hall unit of the organisation, for his anti-organisational activities.
Citizens' Rights Movement (CRM) yesterday urged the members of parliament (MPs) to take measures against President Iajuddin Ahmed for, what it said, the violation of the constitution by taking over the power of chief adviser on October 29, 2006 and taking decisions one by one according to his own whim.
Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-4) yesterday arrested one of the suspects in four-murder incident that took place on December 21 last year at Manikdi under Cantonment Police Station.
A total of 19 people, including teacher, students and traders, fell victim to Agyan Party members, who rob people after drugging them, in the last 24 hours as of 12:00 midnight last night.
Judge of Speedy Trial Tribunal in Sylhet Shamim Mohammad Afzal has been deputed to the Islamic Foundation Bangladesh as its director general.
BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday called upon the politicians to build the country through works and not by words.
A Dhaka court yesterday directed the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate into the charges on embezzlement of Tk 13.15 crore from the Sheikh Burhanuddin College fund.
Today is the 3rd death anniversary of former industries minister Shamsul Islam Khan, says a press release.
Upazila chairman candidates with political background have emerged as the main competitors in today's polls in all 35 upazilas under Rangpur, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha, and Nilphamari districts.
As many as 670 polling centres have been marked “risky” in Noakhali, Munshiganj and Narayanganj districts as country goes to upazila electon today.
As bodies of 22 people, killed in trawler capsize in Meghna river on Monday night, reached the village in the early morning yesterday, a pall of gloom descended at Chaikula and adjoining villages of Chatmohar upazila in Pabna district.
Two among 40 fishermen kidnapped on last Friday bought their freedom for Tk 50,000 each early Tuesday.
Rangamati district Awami League (AL) and its front organisations brought out a procession in the town yesterday protesting abduction of their leader and Barkal upazila chairman candidate Santosh Kumar Chakma.
Bangladesh Chhatra League, student wing of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD), yesterday ransacked the provost's room of Rajshahi University (RU) Habibur Rahman Hall demanding seat for their activists.
Joint forces yesterday launched a failed drive to arrest upazila chairman candidate Kaliganj upazila AL General Secretary Anwarul Azim Anar.
In his first official act since taking the oath of office, US President Barack Obama issued a proclamation decreeing his inauguration day to be a "National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation" and calling for a national commitment to public service.
The world hailed the dawning of the Barack Obama era at the White House but the leaders that the new US president will have to deal with also warned him of the difficulties ahead.
With every step he took along the journey that has now led him at last to the White House, you sensed that history was shadowing Barack Obama, never more than a half a pace behind him.
The war in Gaza may have ended but the territory remains under Hamas rule and strict Israeli sanctions, which could hinder international efforts to rebuild the devastated coastal enclave.
At least three civilians have been killed in fighting between troops and Islamic militants in north-western Pakistan, officials and witnesses say.
A suicide bomber in a car hit an Afghan army convoy in western Afghanistan yesterday, killing two troops, a defense ministry spokesman said.
Two Indonesians have died of bird flu while a youth in China also succmed to the disease.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh underwent medical tests Tuesday and also yesterday for heart-related problems at a government-run hospital in New Delhi, officials said.
Sri Lanka's military yesterday asked civilians living in the last remaining rebel-held areas in the island's northeast to move into a declared safe zone ahead of a major showdown.
The front pages of US newspapers trumpeted "President Obama" late Tuesday after a historic day which saw the swearing-in of the country's first black president.
New President Barack Obama sought to distance himself from the turbulent Bush era as he prepared to hit the ground running yesterday and act on a promise to wield American power with "humility and restraint."
South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela hailed the arrival of US President Barack Obama as "new voice of hope" in a letter to the new leader.
Israel's army has launched an inquiry into whether paratroopers used banned white phosphorus shells close to civilians during the Gaza offensive, a newspaper said yesterday.
Iran yesterday warned the BBC Tehran bureau against contributing to the network's newly-launched Farsi-language television channel, which is banned from operating in Iran, Fars news agency reported.
Authorities stepped up the investigation yesterday into a clash that left six people dead and 23 injured when police confronted displaced tenants who were occupying a vacant office building as a protest in Seoul.
Arts & Entertainment
To everyone's chagrin, cinema in Bangladesh has reached its nadir. When in 1956 as a young Minister for Industry, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib, and his inspired colleagues, with a vision to create a film-scene in East Bengal established Film Development Corporation (FDC), they hardly had any clue, that four decades later their patriotic zeal would end up in such a cul-de-sac! Cinema now is in a very dismal state in Bangladesh, and salvation of it warrants some bold and definitive measures.
Though he is absent on the small screen of late, dynamic actor Khaled Khan is a familiar name to both TV and theatre audiences. He has displayed amazing versatility in his roles. The Daily Star recently caught up with the actor.
In 2006, Drik Japan organised a photography exhibition at Sirius Aidem Photo Gallery titled "Through the Lenses". Alongside some renowned photographers, the exhibition featured images shot by Bangladeshi child photographers (aged between seven and twelve).
Kutir Shilpa Sanskriti Charcha Kendra recently inaugurated its new movie production house "Kutir-e-Chalochchitro". The inauguration programme also included a festive 'Pitha Utsab'. Noted filmmaker Chashi Nazrul Islam inaugurated the event. Seasoned filmmaker Shibli Sadik is the president of the production house, which aims at generating interest in films through active participation by young filmmakers.
A three-day 'Shishu Ananda Mela' concluded in Tangail town last Monday.
Over 300 young and vibrant Grameenphone employees, including Oddvar Hesjedal, CEO and select managers of the organisaton stepped out of their offices recently to build bridges with the youth of Dhaka. The aim was to celebrate djuice Day, says a press release.
Drama serial "Palolik Mon" will be aired tonight on ntv at 9:45 pm. Written jointly by Selim Taher and Bipul Raihan, and directed by the latter, the serial is aired every Monday and Thursday at the same time.
MY fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.
ON this day five years ago, our dear cousin Abu Sayeed Mahmud died in self-exile in London. After he was forced to leave Dhaka in August 2002, he had not been keeping well. A bubbling, enthusiastic and energetic Mahmud Bhai was reduced to a depressed and broken-hearted man. He suffered a severe stroke in November 2003, and went into coma a few days before his death. He was buried in London according to his wishes. What a sad end to the life of an illustrious and patriotic son of the nation.
SO, Europe's famous Michelin Guide critics have now arrived in Asia.