News of: Tuesday, 3rd of February, 2009
The government plans to stop issuing special permits for buying wood from its depots as the official documents often end up being abused by illegal traders and also mean a loss in revenue from timber sales.
Election results of 16 more upazila parishads are likely to be suspended on grounds of gross irregularities, raising the number of such upazilas to 30.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) chairman sees no fear in pursuing the fight against corruption under the new political government with the enthusiasm they had during the caretaker rule.
The now-defunct Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac), widely criticised for its failure to achieve the expected goal, in its report to the government mainly puts the blame on investigators for poor performance.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith is optimistic about getting back the money siphoned off by Arafat Rahman Koko, Khaleda Zia's youngest son.
The new government is set to renew trade relations with India to bring down huge trade imbalance of $2 billion between the two neighbouring countries.
Security, bilateral trade, border management and water sharing issues will top the agenda during Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's daylong visit in Dhaka on February 9.
Central BNP leaders split into six teams start a series of discussions with the grass roots today in efforts to revamp the party still reeling from the drubbing in December 29 general election.
The BNP parliamentary party sits today to decide whether the party lawmakers will return to parliament on the speaker's fresh assurance of giving them one or two more seats in the front row.
Nobel laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus told the just-concluded World Economic Forum in Davos that world's poor people would be the most affected by the ongoing global financial crisis.
Three deputy inspector generals (DIG-Prisons) including Maj Shamsul Haider Siddique were transferred yesterday.
Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami in a rejoinder termed The Daily Star report headlined 'Jamaat to take on war crime trial' published on January 30 'baseless and false'. It also claimed the report as a 'syndicated propaganda.'
A Dhaka court yesterday acquitted former president HM Ershad of a corruption case filed on September 5, 1992 in connection with setting up 'microwave telephone lines' in 89 upazilas.
The thanksgiving motion on the president's address to the ninth parliament is turning into a censure motion as treasury bench lawmakers yesterday continued to slate the president for his "controversial" role.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) yesterday handed over the cab service offices to its three lessees--BM Transport, Green Bangla and Baba Auto Gas after ousting the 'grabbers' from the cab service counters at Zia International Airport.
The government yesterday formed two separate high-powered committees to prepare climate change strategies and deal with the fund so that people get the maximum benefits of around Tk 300 crore allocated in the budget.
Newly elected chairmen and vice chairmen of upazila parishads should be provided training on their responsibilities so that they can play a vital role in running and strengthening the local bodies.
Priyanka Gandhi, the daughter of ruling Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi of India, will arrive Dhaka this afternoon on a two-day visit to observe Brac's education programme.
Huge crowds marked the second day of the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela yesterday as people waited in long queues to pass police security points to enter the fair compound.
Three women sustained injuries as a large portion of the ceiling of a century-old building collapsed last night in the city's Shankharibazar.
Several hundred students of Jagannath University (JNU) yesterday staged demonstration demanding immediate opening of the institution and recovery of their dormitories occupied by different quarters.
Shells hit a crowded hospital in northeast Sri Lanka, killing at least 11 people and raising fears yesterday for thousands of civilians caught in a final military push against Tamil Tiger rebels.
Israel carried out a deadly air raid in Gaza yesterday after warning of a harsh response to renewed fire from the enclave, where the Hamas rulers spoke out in favour of a conditional one-year truce.
We cannot but be disappointed at the way the business of the 9th parliament has gone so far bereft of the opposition from the very first day, except for the opening sitting. We wonder, much as we would not like to, whether we are witnessing the first signs of a replication of the 8th Parliament, in which the opposition was left out of the scene through the partisan conduct of the then Speaker, for the greater part of the five years of its tenure. This, after two years of democracy in the limbo, makes the situation even more undesirable.
We take note of the fact that Bangladesh is allowed zero tariff facilities by various developed countries on consideration that such benefits would ultimately help reduce poverty and contribute to national development. To be more specific, these countries are offering duty-free access to some of our exportable items with the sole aim to raise the income level and living standards of the poor populace and workers who are struggling to survive with an earning of US dollar 30 to 40 a month. This no-tariff regime has come following trade liberalisation that was adopted to remove barriers to free trade and reach benefits to the poor in least developed and developing countries.
WE have heard a lot about chasing the dalals (middlemen) from the premises of the passport offices in the country, especially the one in Dhaka, but to our mortification they exist with all the might. You go to Dhaka passport office at Agargaon, you carefully scan the premise, and seeing no one near the counter you quickly go there.
IT is now obvious that the idea of holding local government elections ahead of national elections wasn't conspiracy driven; it was precisely to circumvent what a cabinet minister and an AL lawmakerviolate the election codes notwithstanding repeated warnings from the Election Commission (EC). The lawmaker also allegedly abused and beat up poll officials.
IT is imperative to make all activities of the parliament transparent to ensure an effective and accountable parliamentary democracy system. Broadcasting of those activities would be helpful in informing the people about the business of the parliament because, after electing the Members of Parliament (MPs), the voters have no idea about what is being done by their representatives.
Abahani remained on course for their second successive B. League title when they crushed Brothers Union 3-0 yesterday to take an unassailable lead in the points table.
Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful and his deputy Mashrafe Bin Mortaza lock horns today when the first semifinal of the Premier Division Twenty20 tournament takes place at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene is looking for a consistent all-round performance from his team in the crucial third one-day international against India here on Tuesday.
Khelaghar won a last-ball thriller against Kalabagan to clinch the inaugural First Division Twenty20 cricket trophy at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.
Pakistan has barred its players from participating in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after its foreign ministry deemed it was unsafe for the cricketers to travel to India in the wake of the November terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
The Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps quickly acknowledged his poor judgment after a photograph showing him inhaling from a marijuana pipe was published Sunday in a British newspaper. Although his admission is unlikely to effect his swimming eligibility, it could affect the millions of dollars he has secured in endorsement deals.
Seamer Lakshmipathy Balaji was on Monday drafted into the Indian team for the rest of the Sri Lanka tour, marking the bowler's return to international cricket after nearly four years.
Amraching Marma slammed a hattrick as Bangladesh Ansar became zonal champions in the First Citycell National Women's Football Cham-pionship with a 6-0 victory over hosts Rangamati in the Kaptai zone final yesterday.
Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) will accord a reception today to its sponsors and the organisations who have supported the sports federations in recent time.
Fernando Torres struck twice in the dying minutes against 10-man Chelsea to keep Liverpool's title dream alive in a dramatic finale at Anfield on Sunday.
Luiz Felipe Scolari insisted referee Mike Riley was to blame for Chelsea's 2-0 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday after Frank Lampard was sent off for a foul on Xabi Alonso.
Supersub Lionel Messi scored twice as nine-man Barcelona, with their 5,000th Spanish league goal, came from behind to beat Racing Santander 2-1 and move 12 points clear of Real Madrid on Sunday.
David Beckham created two goals as AC Milan thrashed Lazio 3-0 at Rome's Stadio Olimpico on Sunday to move into second place in Serie A.
Goalkeeper Shay Given left Newcastle for cash-rich, but success-starved, Manchester City on Sunday and admitted he was braced for a roller-coaster ride at the Premier League club.
Sunderland manager Ricky Sbragia confirmed on Sunday that he had signed Manchester City defender Tal Ben Haim on loan until the end of the season.
Arsenal's FA Cup fourth round replay with Cardiff City, due to be played at the Emirates here Tuesday, has fallen victim to the cold snap currently affecting Britain and has been postponed.
Ukrainian international Anatoliy Tymoshchuk will join Bayern Munich from Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg in a deal worth 11 millions euros (14 millions US dollars), claim Bild on Sunday.
A day after winning his first Grand Slam on hard courts, Rafael Nadal called on tennis officials to be mindful of the physical toll the hard surface takes on players in an ever-expanding schedule.
A court in Pakistan on Monday suspended a ban imposed by the country's cricket board barring players from domestic matches after they agreed to join the unofficial Indian Cricket League (ICL).
Former Pakistan greats Monday bemoaned the decision to take away the Champions Trophy tournament over security concerns, leaving the cricket-mad country increasingly isolated internationally.
Local boy Omar Faruk Sunny got off to a winning start in the AWR 7th BKSP International Junior Tennis competition when he beat Yu-Cheng Wang of Taipei 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 at BKSP yesterday.
England's selectors spent Sunday pondering the side for this week's Jamaica Test, but Andrew Strauss admitted that much of the chat was about the merits of Steve Harmison and the fitness of Andrew Flintoff.
Shamima Akter Liza took solo lead in the BASIC Bank 30th National Junior Chess Championships when she won the sixth round board against Abdullah Al Saif at the federation hall-room yesterday.
Zimbabwe beat Kenya by 66 runs in the fourth one-day international here on Tuesday, their fourth consecutive win in their five-match series between the two countries.
Thanapara Cricket Club and Russel Smrity Sangsad won their respective matches in the second division cricket league at the local stadium yesterday.
Divergence of interests among South Asian countries has shadowed the prospect of a regional common position on global trade regime, trade analysts said yesterday.
South Asian leaders should reach a consensus on downsizing tariffs to boost intra-regional trade, which will ultimately help cut poverty, now running deep in the region, says a trade analyst.
India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IBCCI) yesterday placed a six-point proposal to the finance minister in a move to increase the country's annual exports to India to $1 billion from about $400 million by June 2011.
South Asian nations must develop their negotiation capacity to play a role in reforming the global trade governance and process, a Dhaka seminar was told yesterday.
Bangladesh Luggage Industries Limited, a subsidiary of Doel Group, fell behind schedule to pay back around Tk 11 crore worth of debentures to its holders despite raising funds from the capital market 10 years ago.
The government will formulate the next fiscal budget to facilitate poverty reduction and employment generation.
A three-day laptop fair will begin tomorrow at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the capital.
The fifth World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) will begin in Jakarta, Indonesia on March 2, according to a statement.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Hasan Mahmud yesterday sought duty and quota free access of Bangladeshi products including readymade garments to US market.
China will plough ahead with tough measures to develop rural areas and agriculture in 2009 despite expectations that this year will witness the hardest challenges of the last decade, the central government said Sunday.
Summit Uttaranchal Power Company Ltd, an 11-megawatt power plant at Ullapara in Sirajganj district, is to commence its experimental operations from today.
Eastern Bank Limited (EBL) yesterday launched “Travel Card”, a prepaid Visa card for travellers, says a press release.
Oil prices dropped Monday, falling below 45 dollars a barrel in London, as weak energy demand steered the market.
Asia's auto industry faces a dramatic slowdown in 2009 as the global financial crisis puts the brakes on sales, with Japan and Korea hit hard by weakening demand in the United States and Europe.
Recent business news shows industrial and business espionage, for that matter intelligence, has increased across the world where countries are experiencing recession. Industrial espionage has been present in the developed countries for a long time now. The extent has increased these days. Over the years, industrial or business or corporate espionage has proven to be a very useful tool for finding new businesses and maximising profit.
Most Asian markets sank Monday as investors digested a slew of awful earnings reports from the region's corporate heavyweights and inauspicious signs from Wall Street, where stock averages clocked their worst January ever. European bourses opened sharply lower.
The euro dipped against the dollar on Monday as traders bet that the European Central Bank would cut interest rates later this week in a bid to boost ailing eurozone economies, analysts said.
India's top listed property firm DLF on Monday said consolidated net profit for the third quarter fell 68.7 percent, hit by a liquidity crunch and a slowdown in large construction projects.
US toy maker Mattel Inc said Monday that fourth-quarter profit fell 46 percent, hurt by the stronger dollar and the weakest holiday season in decades.
Some 800,000 Filipinos are in danger of losing their jobs this year as the global economic slowdown hits the export sector, Economic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto said Monday.
Wildcat strikes against foreign workers resumed Monday at nuclear facilities, oil refineries and power plants across Britain, fuelled by fears of rising job cuts amid the global slowdown.
Trade and terrorism will top the agenda during US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard A Boucher's three-day visit to Bangladesh from February 8.
Over three hundred illegal occupants of government khas lands demonstrated on Chittagong court building premises and CMP Headquarters yesterday demanding release of an accused in ten cases.
It sounded like a veiled threat to Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed when envoys of some powerful countries told him, prior to 1/11 changeover, that they would request the UN to withdraw Bangladeshi peacekeepers if the army cooperates in holding the elections, which was scheduled for January 22, 2007, without participation of all parties.
For the first time Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) led by Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury is working under a political government. Recently the ACC top brass have paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government to show cause as to why the rules of Environment Conservation Act, 1995 and Environment Conservation Rules 1997 prohibiting the setting up of mills and factories in the residential areas should not be followed properly.
Transcom Beverages Ltd held an annual conference recently in Kathmandu, Nepal, according to a press release released yesterday.
Wetlands are the treasure of resources of a country and planned use of wetlands can strengthen its economy along with protecting the country from the impacts of global warming and future environmental calamities, said the speakers at a seminar yesterday.
The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain within four weeks why it (government) should not be directed to form a judicial inquiry commission to probe into the 2001 post-elections violence.
The leading eye specialists yesterday said there are only 700 qualified ophthalmologists for 14 crore people in the country.
Main wetlands in the country should be conserved properly to safeguard the biodiversity and to help poverty reduction as well, said speakers yesterday at a discussion to mark the World Wetlands Day 2009.
Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) yesterday dismissed as 'fraudulent' and 'laughable' the statement of the US ambassador that his government is willing to cooperate in the trial of war criminals.
Speakers at a discussion here yesterday said the government should carry forward the agenda of reforms, and political parties must endure reforms in political system to ensure sustainable changes and good governance.
A tourist was found dead at his hotel room in Cox's Bazar sea beach at 6:00pm on Sunday.
Five people were killed and 16 others injured in separate road accidents in Bogra, Brahmanbaria and Jhenidah in the last two days.
Lieutenant General (retd) Ed Smith, a former US military official and director of Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies (APCSS), yesterday visited Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS), says a press release.
Modern coaches from the Sundarbans-Nishitha inter-services train plying Khulna-Dhaka-Khulna route have allegedly been replaced by low quality coaches.
A central water treatment plant will be established soon at Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) to reduce water crisis.
The 200th episode of the BSB-Cambrian Medhabikash, a live TV programme on education, will be aired on Channel-i at 11.05am tomorrow.
The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday again directed the government to provide judicial magistrates with all necessary support staff, vehicles and other requirements.
Casual workers of state-owned jute mills of Khulna-Jessore industrial belt yesterday announced a three-day agitation programme to press home their seven-point demand.
The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon senior journalist Mizanur Rahman of the Prothom Alo to explain within two weeks as to why contempt proceedings should not be drawn against him for writing a report headlined 'Various events concerning the bail of Babar' published in the newspaper on January 29.
One of the three extortionists who were mercilessly beaten by the mob on Sunday night at Mirpur succumbed to his injuries at Orthopaedic Hospital in the city yesterday.
The orientation programme of the spring semester 2009 of University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) was held at its Dhanmondi campus yesterday, says a press release.
Zakir Hossain Mollah and Raju Ahmed were elected president and general secretary of the five-committee of the Daily Star Press Sramik-Karmachari Union for 2009-2010 at a meeting yesterday.
At least 10 activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) were injured during a factional feud on Government Titumir College campus in the city yesterday.
A Dhaka court yesterday adjourned the hearing of the August 21, 2004 attack cases until February 8 following time petitions by the prosecution lawyers.
Today is the 87th birth anniversary of Ahmadul Kabir, former chief editor of the Sangbad and a leading personality in progressive politics, says a press release.
Speakers at a rally in the port city yesterday warned of forging greater movement if Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) fails to give clear announcement of stopping its move to demolish buildings of two renowned schools in the city immediately.
At least 40 people were injured as two factions of Awami League- backed Rangpur Motor Sramik Union clashed over control of the central bus terminal yesterday.
Dozens of people including 15 women were injured as criminals vandalised 37 houses at Bamonile, Digerpara and Jitor villages in Jhenidah Sadar upazila on Sunday night as a sequel to tension over January 22 upazila election.
Bravely resisting forced marriage arranged by her parents, a minor girl in Chirirbandar upazila in the district has fled from her home and taken shelter at the office of CARE Bangladesh.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury yesterday called upon all for wiping out corruption from society through mass movement.
A three-day Patha Natya Utsab (street drama) of Barisal division was inaugurated at the central shaheed minar here yesterday.
Gunmen kidnapped an American UN official and killed his driver in southwestern Pakistan yesterday, underscoring the security threat in a country wracked by al-Qaeda violence and rising criminality.
Sri Lanka yesterday warned tens of thousands of civilians inside the northern war zone to move to a government-designated safe area or risk getting caught up in the crossfire with Tamil Tiger rebels.
Myanmar's detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday met visiting UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari, outlining conditions for dialogue with the junta as the diplomat struggled to make a breakthrough.
Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas met Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak yesterday as Cairo sought to mediate a lasting ceasefire in Gaza, where Hamas said it is willing to agree to a one-year truce.
A suicide bomber in a police uniform detonated his explosives inside a police training centre in southern Afghanistan yesterday, killing 21 officers and wounding at least 20, officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility.
Hamas may be the only force capable of ending rocket fire from the Gaza Strip but it is unlikely to do so in the absence of a formal agreement that lifts the Israeli blockade, analysts say.
Offices and schools in the Madagascan capital re-opened Monday but die-hard protestors vowed to keep up efforts to bring down President Marc Ravalomanana.
Iraqis voted heavily for secular parties in last weekend's provincial polls, in a show of disaffection with the religious parties that lead the central government, early indications showed yesterday.
Colombia's battered FARC rebels freed three police officers and a soldier held hostage for more than a year, handing them over to the International Red Cross on Sunday in the country's southern jungles.
Libyan leader Muammer Gaddafi was yesterday elected chairman of the African Union at a summit of the 53-nation bloc in the Ethiopian capital.
Pakistan will share the findings of its probe into the Mumbai attacks with India and the rest of the world once the report of an investigation team is vetted by the law ministry, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said yesterday.
Fifteen police officers were killed in the western Indian state of Maharashtra in a shoot-out with leftist militants, police said yesterday.
Indian government yesterday virtually rejected the recommendation of Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami for removal of his colleague Navin Chawla and hinted at making the Election Commissioner as the next CEC.
Arts & Entertainment
No set, no costume, no star actors. At the Central Shaheed Minar premises, actors of Sanchalak Natya Charcha Kendra, Munshiganj were staging the play "Potla," a short, comic play with a strong social message. The audience was not limited to the so-called "theatre enthusiasts"; street vendors and passers-by flocked to see the performance. Known as "theatre for the masses," the National Street Theatre Festival began at the Central Shaheed Minar on February 1.
On February 1, Ustad Momtaz Ali Khan Sangeet Academy celebrated its sixth anniversary with a lively programme at Sufia Kamal Auditorium, National Museum.
Marking the month of the Language Movement, a two-week Ekushey Book Fair began in Pabna from February 1, amidst much festivity.
The two daylong Second High School Debate Festival ended in Kumarkhali, Kushtia yesterday. A total of 25 high schools in Kumarkhali upazila took part in the festival.
Sirajganj Cultural Organisation recently arranged a dance programme titled "This world is for us" at the Bhasani Auditorium in Sirajganj town. The programme marked the Language Movement, which took place in February 1952.
On February 2, Tiny Tots School celebrated its 35th Anniversary on the school campus in Mohammadpur amidst much fanfare, according to a press release. The school took on a festive hue, as it was decorated with wall paintings by children.
THE results of the upazila elections should not be taken lightly. Read with the results of the national elections, they have far reaching implications for governance at the district and upazila (sub district) level. The upazila results should be considered as a package, they should not be confined to the list of elected chairmen only.
CONSCIOUS people of Chittagong are now passing anxious days due to the adamant stance of Chittagong City Corporation's Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury regarding erection of markets over Aparnacharan Girl's High School and Krishnokumari Girl's High School situated in the heart of Chittagong city.
FOR many reasons, public universities, especially the universities of Dhaka, Rajshahi, Chittagong and Jahangirnagar, have always drawn the attention of the nation. Home of the bulk of university students, these four autonomous universities (run by separate laws) have not only provided the intellectual foundation of our nation, but have also played a major role in its political development. The role of the students and teachers of these universities up to the War of Liberation and in the war itself was remarkable.