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News of: Thursday, 5th of February, 2009
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday told the Jatiya Sangsad that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) would be reconstituted, and accountability and transparency of its activities ensured.
Reluctant to renovate the country's first five-star hotel, Bangladesh Services Ltd (BSL) is pushing Dhaka Sheraton into a franchise arrangement away from the existing management contract system, which is likely to downgrade the hotel's status to a three-star one.
Lawmakers of the ninth parliament might get back the controversial privilege of importing duty-free cars as the ordinance promulgated by the immediate past caretaker government scrapping the opportunity is unlikely to be ratified.
The illegal business of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) based call termination made a rather robust comeback since the assumption of state power by the newly elected Awami League-led alliance government.
The government has borrowed from the banking system 64 per cent or Tk 2,758 crore more than the target set by Bangladesh Bank (BB) for the first six months of the current fiscal year, and this may hinder credit flow to private sector, a BB report said.
Visiting Danish Minister for Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard yesterday said climate change is not a "distant future" and Bangladesh should speak up clearly and loudly to get a truly global deal in Copenhagen in December this year to face the challenge together.
BNP-led opposition in the parliament decided to wait till Monday for the speaker's decision on their demand for three more seats in the front row of the House, while a delegation of BNP yesterday met the speaker demanding reinstatement of SSF security for the opposition leader.
For the past one week, residents in different parts of the capital are struggling to deal with a rather unpleasant whiff in the water supply.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) can be reconstituted only if its chairman and commissioners resign or are found guilty of gross misconduct or physically or mentally incapable of performing duties.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni has said that the government would show “zero tolerance” to extra-judicial killing or torture and death in custody.
The main opposition BNP has accused the government of making haste to sign international treaties while decisions on such issues should be taken after considering public opinions and consulting with political parties and experts.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday inaugurated "English in Schools" (EIS), a joint initiative by The Daily Star and Aktel to promote English language learning at secondary schools across the country.
The home ministry yesterday asked the officers-in-charge (OCs) of the city's police stations to make an all-out effort to improve the law and order situation in the capital by making the ongoing special anti-crime drive a success.
The government considers same syllabus for all categories of primary schools across the country to minimise social divides created by different education systems, the education minister said yesterday.
A Dhaka court yesterday issued arrest warrants against detained former deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu's brother Maulana Mohammad Tajuddin and seven Harkat-ul-Jihad al Islami (HuJi) men in connection with the Ramna Batamul blast case.
Two people were killed and 15 others injured, five of them with bullet, in a fierce clash between Awami League (AL) and BNP supporters at Jajira in Sadar upazila yesterday.
The government is all set to publish a gazette notification within next week to urgently conserve around one hundred buildings and sites that are parts of the country's national heritage in the capital.
Villagers beat a leopard to death at Bangaon village under Ranishankoil upazila in Thakurgaon yesterday afternoon.
The Election Commission (EC) has cleared elections results of 427 upazila parishads for publishing in official gazettes and kept results of 33 upazilas withheld for scrutiny to see whether there are any anomalies.
Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said as many as 2.93 lakh cases are pending with the High Court (HC) and number of such cases is much higher at lower courts causing untold sufferings to litigants.
A father drowned his two children in a pond at Purbo Mudaka village in Tongi on Tuesday night.
An elderly woman, who was injured Monday in a partial collapse of ceiling of a century-old building in the city's Shankharibazar area, succumbed to her injury at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) yesterday.
The government has taken initiatives to investigate alleged irregularities by jail high-ups in the last three years.
The government yesterday made further reshuffle at the top level of the civil administration.
Six warehouses, six shops and 12 shanties were gutted in separate fire incidents in the port city yesterday.
The High Court (HC) yesterday granted ad-interim bail for two months to former BNP leader and former forest and environment minister Tariqul Islam and Orion Group chairman Obaidul Karim in a corruption case filed by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
Holding his mother's hand, tiny Hridoy was hurrying her from one corner of the fair to another to look for a book he could buy.
Sri Lanka's president said yesterday the Tamil Tiger rebels were on the verge of defeat, but dozens of civilians were reported killed as fierce fighting continued in Asia's longest-running civil war.
Thailand's government yesterday denied fresh allegations of cruelty towards boat people from Myanmar, after migrants found off the coast of Indonesia told of being beaten and dragged out to sea.
Eight protesters have been declared suspects by police and could face jail over a mob attack that caused the death of the speaker of a local parliament in Indonesia, police said yesterday.
The most common index of a government's efficiency is the state of law and order in the country. It needs hardly be said that there has been a marked increase in criminal and anti-social activities of late. We must, however, commend the Minister for Home for acknowledging this fact.
Once again the collapse of a part of a building in the Shankharibazar locality of Old Dhaka has brought into the news the twin issues of the preservation of our cultural heritage as well as the government's duty to ensure that city dwellers can be safe in their homes.
NOW that an elected government is in power, we want to be assured that the most basic of our rights -- the right to life -- will be respected.
DR. Manmohan Singh is the Abdul Kalam of politics: both are admired among the middle classes for decency, integrity, education, and achievement in their preferred discipline. Sometimes it takes a tragedy like ill health to evoke emotion, and the response in the urban areas to the prime minister's hospitalisation must have come as a bit of shock to the Congress Party, which had convinced itself that Sonia Gandhi was its only mass leader and Rahul Gandhi the only possible heir. Dr. Singh today is far more popular than the Congress president among the middle class.
ALL the papers have reported the renewed talk between Bangladesh and the US regarding a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). But what does this mean for us? Well, there are many implications, which could be very costly, but I am going to talk about only one, namely, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) on software. It is essential that we enter into such agreements with our eyes open and an awareness of what costs they will entail for Bangladesh.
Mohammedan Sporting Club might not have had the favourites tag at the start of the Premier Division Twenty20 Tournament, but the popular Motijheel outfit lived up to the weight of expectations of their strong fan following by lifting the first title of the season with a 20-run victory over star-studded Gazi Tank in the final at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Abahani coach Amalesh Sen said he would go for the kill against Sheikh Russel in today's B. League match to ensure that the professional league trophy stays in Dhanmondi.
Bangladesh women's cricket team captain Salma Khatun believes that her team has come a long way since the Asia Cup in Colombo last year.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) sent the video footage of Abdur Razzak's action for independent assessment in Australia ahead of International Cricket Council's (ICC) fresh assessment.
Sheikh Russel coach Wajed Gazi has questioned the B. League committee's decision to allow the big names of domestic football -- Abahani and Mohammedan -- play their away matches at home.
The bails may have been dislodged five days ago, but the controversy continues to rage unabated. The New Zealand camp was left bemused on Wednesday when Ricky Ponting claimed Daniel Vettori had apologised to Brad Haddin via text message for his comments regarding the controversial dismissal of Neil Broom in the first one-day international on Sunday.
Sheikh Russel retained the Senior Division Table Tennis League title when they came from behind to win a five-set thriller against Biman on the final day of the Super League yesterday.
Bishnu Das scored a second half brace to help Dhaka Junior SC collect full points in yesterday's Citycell 3rd Division Football League with a 2-0 win over City United at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur.
Arsenal's new signing Andrei Arshavin had a message for the Gunners' fans as he set off on his new career at the Emirates Stadium: "Trust in me and Arsenal."
England, Australia, the United States and South Korea were among the 13 countries to have formally expressed their interest in hosting the 2018 or 2022 World Cups, FIFA said Tuesday.
Ricardo Quaresma is determined to put his nightmare spell at Inter Milan behind him and help reignite Chelsea's drive for silverware this season.
India's chances of reaching the next stage of the Federation Cup have been dealt a major blow with the late withdrawal of Sania Mirza.
Rafael Benitez on Tuesday defended the sale of Robbie Keane back to Tottenham, claiming the forward had failed to prove himself at Anfield and left the club with no option but to "cut our losses."
Frank Lampard's appeal against the red card he received in Chelsea's 2-0 Premier League defeat at Liverpool has been successful.
Arsenal's Spanish international midfielder Cesc Fabregas wants to return to Barcelona next season where he would have a better chance of playing in the Champions League, sports daily Marca reported Wednesday.
Barcelona striker Thierry Henry could be offloaded at the end of the season, despite his great form, in a bid to boost the Spanish giants' coffers, Spanish sports daily AS claimed Wednesday.
The English Premier League said Wednesday it had struck a deal with BSkyB for the broadcaster to continue showing the majority of live matches in a deal reportedly worth more than one billion pounds.
Steven Thompson's two goals for Burnley in a 3-1 FA Cup victory over Premiership side West Bromwich Albion on a wintry Tuesday night kept up their giantkilling efforts in the cups.
Australia are unlikely to tour Pakistan to play a five-match one-day series and a Twenty20 game because of lingering fears over security in the troubled nation, a top official said Wednesday.
Having clinched the five-match series by taking an unassailable 3-0 lead, India will try out some of their reserve players when they take on Sri Lanka in an inconsequential fourth one-dayer here on Thursday, seeking to notch up a record-breaking ninth consecutive win.
Cricket legend Imran Khan warned Wednesday that Pakistan's national game was being damaged by the government's involvement in the US-led "war on terror".
Reigning champion FM Minhazuddin Ahmed Sagar maintained solo lead in the BASIC Bank 30th National Junior Chess Championships when he defeated Abdullah Al Saif in the eighth round at the Chess Federation hall-room yesterday.
Fast bowler Lasith Malinga has been included in Sri Lanka's squad for next week's Twenty20 match against India, selectors announced here on Tuesday.
Fatema slammed a double-hattrick and Jannat three goals as Satkhira got off to an explosive start in the Buriganga zone opener of the Citycell Women's Football Championship in Dhaka yesterday.
STS Club defeated UNNS Club by ten wickets while Russel Smrity Sangsad beat Thanapara Cricket Club by a single wicket in the Gaibandha Second Division Cricket League at local stadium yesterday.
Sourav Ganguly will play for Bengal in the Ranji Trophy one-dayers which begin on February 15. Jagmohan Dalmiya, the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal, confirmed that Ganguly had agreed to play for his state side.
Afghanistan's fledgling cricket team returned home Tuesday flush with victory from Argentina but calling for financial support as they prepare for the 2011 World Cup qualifying round.
Canada are set to play their first major overseas series against an ICC (International Cricket Council) Full Member country when they tour Zimbabwe for four ODIs in March.
Darrell Hair, the former international umpire at the centre of the furore surrounding the 2006 Oval Test, has called on all the International Cricket Council (ICC) board members involved in the original decision to change the result of the match to resign. Last weekend the ICC executive voted to overturn its ruling altering the result of the game from an England win to a draw.
Bankers fear random import of low-cost yarn from neighbouring India will cost them heavily by making their clients defaulted.
Leaders of the MCCI yesterday urged Industries Minister Dilip Barua to modernise the BSTI so that its certification is accepted worldwide for smooth running of international trade and commerce.
UAE-based carrier RAK Airways has shut down its operation in Bangladesh as global financial meltdown is causing a drop in demand for air travel, officials said yesterday.
Foreign direct investment has marked a 101 rise but a fall in portfolio investment in the first five months of the current fiscal year.
Currently around 5,000 laptops are sold every month in the country, while the current growth rate of laptop users is around 8 to 10 percent, said organisers of a laptop fair that began yesterday in the capital.
Akij Food & Beverage (AFBL) has entered the potato chips business in a bid to secure a slice of about Tk 300 crore market, driven by the young generation's consumption.
The remittance flow this fiscal year would reach the target of $10 billion, even though the recruitment of workers reduces, if the government properly takes care of the Bangladeshis already employed overseas, reveals a research conducted by the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU).
Minister for Industries Dilip Barua yesterday urged factory owners to be respectful to workers' legal rights and their freedom of forming an association.
Qatar Airways' latest stop on its GCC-wide road show promoting new flights to Houston arrived on home turf in Doha recently as the carrier prepares to connect the world's energy capitals.
China's manufacturing activity showed signs of recovering in January, data indicated Wednesday, in a rare piece of optimistic news for the world's third-largest economy.
Indonesia's central bank cut its key interest rate by half a percentage point Wednesday to stimulate growth as it tries to limit the impact of the global economic slowdown.
The shilly-shally global debate between developed and poor nations on carbon emissions, a result of massive industrialisation, is not new. But the intentions of an industry such as the telecom -- to alter its technology and adapt to environment-friendly networks -- surely create a spark among environmentalists.
Bangladesh should have a justifiable sense of pride about having both the best performing stock markets and, perhaps more significantly, one of the most resilient economies during the financial crisis of 2008. Our RMG and manpower exports have held up surprisingly well, although greater policy pragmatism may be necessary to repeat the performance in 2009. However, Bangladesh has been much less effective in exploiting the geographical advantages of its adjacency to India.
The sixth Dhaka International Textile and Garments Exhibition will begin at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the capital on Sunday to showcase textile and garment machinery.
The world's longest unbroken beach Cox's Bazar was yesterday promoted to the second position in the race for the new seven wonders of nature.
Several hundreds of Janata Bank clients demanded withdrawal of the bank's decision of shifting its regional office from Sirajganj town to Pabna.
M Fariduddin Ahmad, managing director of Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd, has clinched the 'Best Banker Award 2008' given by International Islamic University Chittagong (IIUC), said a statement.
Asian markets were mostly higher Wednesday as investors took heart from a rare piece of good news from the United States' economy.
Oil hovered near $41 a barrel Wednesday in Asia as investors mulled the impact of OPEC production cuts and mixed signs about the U.S. economy.
Different organisations observed the World Cancer Day in the country yesterday as elsewhere across the globe to raise awareness of cancer and its preventive measures.
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) reviewed Bangladesh's human rights record for the four-year period ranging between 2004 and 2008.
Speakers at a seminar yesterday urged the government to strengthen water transport system in a riverine country like Bangladesh by taking short and long-term measures.
The High Court (HC) yesterday adjourned for one week the hearing on the bail petitions filed by some politicians who were earlier convicted in absentia in corruption cases.
The US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard A Boucher said the US would not hesitate to provide assistance, if necessary, in trying the war criminals in Bangladesh.
Ambassador and Head of the delegation of European Commission in Bangladesh Stefan Frowein has said the war criminals should be tried under due process of law.
The World Food Programme (WFP) is keen to work with Bangladesh for ensuring food security, increasing food aid for poor people, and formulating right strategies for food stock and supply.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of former Indian premier Rajiv Gandhi and ruling Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi, yesterday met Brac Chairperson Fazle Hasan Abed at its head office at Mohakhali in the city.
Samajik Protirodh Committee, a forum of 49 women's and human rights organisations, held a meeting in the city yesterday seeking a courtesy call with Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina to place their different demands.
The government should make public the provisions of agreement on transit before any such agreement is reached, as the issue involves national interest, former law minister Moudud Ahmed said yesterday.
US Assistant Secretary of the State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard A Boucher will arrive in Dhaka Saturday on a two-day visit to consult with the newly elected government on a broad range of regional and bilateral issues.
The remains of Parvin Akter Papia, who was the wife of a police officer, was exhumed yesterday from the city's Agargaon New Colony graveyard five months after she was buried.
Three people were killed and six others injured in separate road accidents in Gaibandha, Jhenidah and Manikganj yesterday.
Jatiya Krishak Samity, an organisation of the indigenous people and poor farmers, yesterday submitted a memorandum to the Godagari Upazila Nirbahi Officer in Rajshahi with a three-point demand.
Buet Alumni Association (BUETAA) will organise a reunion of the graduates of the university, including those from Ahsanullah Engineering College, on February 13, says a press release.
Transport workers threw a student off the minibus in Chittagong University (CU) Gate No 2 area on Tuesday night.
A team of renowned surgeons and gynecologists from the United States will see patients and perform operations on them free of cost at Gonoshasthaya Hospital near the National Memorial in Savar from February 24 to 29, says a press release.
A court in Dhaka yesterday fixed March 3 for hearing on charge framing against former BNP lawmaker and Partex Group Chairman MA Hashem in a case filed for amassing wealth worth Tk 17.11 crore illegally and hiding wealth information from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan is likely to visit Bangladesh in April on a bilateral tour, said Turkey's Ambassador in the city yesterday.
Paikgacha Police Station Officer-in-Charge MA Hashem Khan has been closed to Khulna Police Lines with effect from Tuesday following allegations of corruption and irregularities against him.
Family members of Razia Sultana Jui, who died due to the alleged faulty surgery on her at a city hospital, yesterday formed a human chain in front of the Central Shaheed Minar demanding arrest of the responsible doctors.
Secretary General of International Permanent Court of Arbitration Christian MJ Kroner arrived in Dhaka yesterday on a two-day visit.
The government yesterday dispatched emergency medicines and medical equipment worth 20,000 US dollars for war-wounded Palestinians.
Today is the 85th birthday of Father Marino Rigon, an Italian priest, freedom fighter and litterateur, says a pres release.
Popular novelist and playwright Anisul Haque has won Khalekdad Chowdhury Literary Award 1415.
Today is the 10th death anniversary of Sultan Ahmed Sarker, a social worker and father of Ahmed Motiur Rahman, assistant news editor of the daily Naya Diganta, says a press release.
Residents of Brahmanbaria town and environmentalists have continued different protest programmes to stop the mindless beautification project on Brahmanbaria canal flowing through the town and protect it from encroachers.
BNP Organising Secretary and former mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) Mizanur Rahman Minu at a function here yesterday apologised for all his previous 'mistakes' and called for party unity.
Jute and Textile Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui, Food and Disaster Management Minister Dr Abdur Razzak and three lawmakers elected from Tangail district at a rally here yesterday vowed to resist criminal acts and tender snatching in the district in name of politics.
A Kushtia court yesterday sentenced five people to death in the sensational Sabina rape and murder case. The incident occurred at Lalon Nagar village in Daulatpur upazila in 2004.
A Chapainawabganj court yesterday sentenced six people to 10 years rigorous imprisonment (RI) for abduction and extortion. The court also fined Tk 5,000 each, in default, to serve one more year in jail.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon yesterday declared Afghanistan a priority for the United Nations and pledged to do the utmost to support key presidential elections this year.
A US-backed plan to create militias and give them guns to fight the Taliban is drawing criticism from local authorities in areas where the first units are being rolled out, raising questions as to whether the effort can succeed in Afghanistan.
President Barack Obama yesterday sought to recover from his toughest day yet in office after admitting he "screwed up" in a storm over taxes that forced his pick to lead health reform to withdraw.
Human rights groups are seeking to build a case that Israel and Hamas violated the laws of war during the fighting last month in this tiny coastal territory a charge both combatants reject.
Taliban militants kidnapped 30 Pakistani policemen after a punishing day-long siege, in an embarrassing blow yesterday for the army battling to win back control of the Swat valley.
The condition of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was admitted to AIIMS late on Tuesday night with respiratory infection and fever, is stable today, doctors attending on him said.
Algeria has dismissed press reports that around 40 al-Qaeda militants were killed by an outbreak of bubonic plague at a secret training camp in the country.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the global response to efforts to bolster the UN peace-keeping force in war-wracked eastern Congo has been severely lacking.
Eight protesters have been declared suspects by police and could face jail over a mob attack that caused the death of the speaker of a local parliament in Indonesia, police said yesterday.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been left red-faced after the national flag was displayed upside-down at a ceremony with visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
Arts & Entertainment
The venue certainly was interesting. The narrow lanes of Shakharibazar in Old Dhaka possess something of a hypnotic allure. But this is not about Shakharibazar; focus was on the opening of Munem Wasif's photo exhibition at Kolpona Boarding on February 3. The exhibition is a part of 'Chobi Mela V' (International Festival of Photography, Bangladesh 2009).
A numbers of Liberation War memorabilia on display at Woodburn Public Library in Bogra town have been left uncared for since the display opened in 1992.
When Zack Snyder became the director of the film adaptation of “Watchmen,” the graphic novel about troubled superheroes in a declining age, he knew that he was taking on not only a seminal piece of popular culture but more than 20 years of unfulfilled expectations and competing agendas.
“Eksho Bosta Chaal,” a Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy production, has won the Uchimura Prize for this year, conferred by International Theatre Institute, Japan, says a press release.
A colourful cultural function was held at Kumudini Complex, Mirzapur in Tangail on February 3. The show's organiser was Bharateswari Homes and the venue was Ananda Niketan in the institute's campus.
A recitation programme, titled “Shatrur shathey lorai korechhi, Swapner shathey bash,” was held at Thakurgaon Shilpakala Academy Auditorium on February 2.
Rishilpi, a local NGO at Binerpota village in Sadar upazila, held a cultural programme to generate awareness among the people, especially adolescent girls, so that they could combat early marriage and dowry.
A major macro-economic policy often produces qualitative improvements in the functioning of a country, while a wrong approach based on inaccurate understanding of contextual reality may frustrate the development underpinnings of a country. The issue of the devaluation of the taka was brought up by the business community, and the finance minister seems to have agreed with them.
WHENEVER a new government takes power, administrative reshuffle is not something unexpected. In some countries, like the US, many administrative positions are political in nature and are filled by people aligned with the party in power. However, in countries like Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, which are modeled on British Westminster parliamentary democracy, the bureaucracy has been largely kept out of the political ambit, at least on paper.
A reader wrote to me to ask me join a Facebook group called "Boycott the new Karate Kid movie." I was tempted to sign up.
Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) has taken a project to develop DC Hill Park with added facilities on an increased area, much to the elation of those longing for open air or holding programmes on different occasions.
Rangamati Textile Mill (RTM), the lone industry in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), is closed for several months, leaving hundreds of workers unemployed and causing hardship for them.
'Freedom of thought a must for democracy'
Industry Minister Dilip Barua said freedom of thought imbued with the spirit of War of Liberation is a must to drive the nation towards democracy.