News of: Tuesday, 28th of April, 2009
In the broiling midday sun, Rashida Khatun was standing in the queue in front of the Sabujbagh Buddha Temple with two big plastic jars and a steel pitcher in her hands. The temple authorities were providing drinking water from their own pump to the poor, who depend on the Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) for water.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will examine audit objections involving Tk 4,617 crore in seven years till December 2007 to help recovery of the public funds feared misappropriated.
The mutineers of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) not only looted firearms, ammunition and explosives from the armoires of the border security force's headquarters, but also destroyed many of the ledger books making it difficult for investigators to make an estimate of missing weapons.
BNP high command is in a dilemma over how to handle the worsening conflict between factions of the party's Dhaka City Unit, which has been without a committee for almost a year.
A female BNP leader of Hazaribagh and her two sons were arrested Sunday night on charge of organising a procession in favour of BDR mutineers near Pilkhana during the February 25-26 BDR mutiny.
Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the country's missions abroad to be fully active in solving the problems of Bangladeshi expatriates.
Two people died of heatstroke in Benapole and hundreds sought treatment for dehydration and diarrhoea at hospitals and clinics in the capital as sweltering weather and extreme heat wave persist in the country.
The revenue-earning target in the next fiscal year (FY) is likely to be around Tk 78,200 crore and a number of measures will be taken to achieve the target.
The government has decided to take legal action against Khaleda Zia if she fails to vacate her cantonment house within the 15-day time limit starting from April 20 when the cantonment board sent a notice to her.
Power-supply situation slightly improved in and around the capital while improvement in Chittagong region may be in sight from tomorrow (Wednesday) following some urgent government interventions.
Members of the parliament will get office rooms on the parliament premises within this year.
The trial of war criminals is not a trial of Jamaat-e-Islami, State Minister for Liberation War Affairs ABM Tajul Islam said.
Several hundred drivers of CNG-run auto-rickshaw went on rampage and vandalised over 50 vehicles, including a police-van, during a wildcat strike in the city yesterday demanding an end to, what they said 'police harassment'.
Five people were killed and eight others injured in a head-on collision between a human hauler and a CNG-run auto-rickshaw at Rajendrapur in South Keraniganj thana yesterday.
The government appointed Anisul Huq, a senior lawyer of the Supreme Court (SC) and a counsel for the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC), as the chief public prosecutor for the BDR headquarters carnage case.
Governments around the world are hurrying to contain the spread of a new swine flu virus after outbreaks were reported in Mexico, the US and Canada.
The government yesterday decided to start screening inbound airport passengers at Zia International Airport within two to three days to prevent outbreak of Swine Flu, a deadly respiratory disease that left at least 100 people killed in Mexico.
The High (HC) yesterday extended for a year its earlier stay on the proceedings of Barapukuria graft case against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
A company commander of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) was injured yesterday as Indian Border Security Force (BSF) opened fire on a BDR patrol team near Taluigachha border under Sadar upazila in Satkhira.
Dr M Sayeedur Rahman Khan, professor of the Department of Applied Physics and Electronic Engineering of Rajshahi University (RU), has been appointed Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK and Northern Ireland.
A case was filed against 10 people on Sunday for arson attack during the Liberation War in 1971.
The head of the World Bank has warned of a "human catastrophe" in the world's poorest countries unless more is done to tackle the global economic crisis.
The Taliban's talks with the government in north-west Pakistan have been suspended amid army operations against militants, a Taliban negotiator says.
A draft press law that would give authorities in Sudan powers to impose heavy fines or even close down newspapers has the country's media up in arms.
US President Barack Obama yesterday urged Americans to remain calm in the face of a widening outbreak of swine flu, saying that the illness is a "cause for concern" but not alarm.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said yesterday that Pakistani intelligence believes al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is dead but acknowledged they had no evidence.
Senior pros Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya produced vintage strokeplays to give Mumbai Indians a key victory in the Indian Premier League here on Monday.
Michael Clarke's all-round performance helped his team give Pakistan a dose of their own medicine as Australia won the third day-night international by 27 runs at Abu Dhabi Stadium here on Monday.
PRIME Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the water and electricity suppliers to act quickly and alleviate the sufferings of the city dwellers brought on by chronic scarcity of water and unbearable power failures. The prime minister's directive should have come much earlier. What we feel though, is that smooth delivery of the essential services should never wait for her directives, the PDB and Wasa managers were expected to act out of their own sense of duty and responsibility towards the people.
THE government's move to have a separate force for maintaining peace in the industrial units is to be welcomed. It is understood that the said force would be in place in the next three months. Regrettably, our RMG sector has been susceptible to violence and vandalism both because of localised grievances as well allegedly external manipulation.
TODAY is the day of telling stories. Such stories are kinds that set you a-thinking, as they have substance worth pondering. These are stories of people involved in power and power-play, and in intrigues and ingenuity, that is all about the strange rendezvous called politics. So let us indulge ourselves a little in this hot and humid weather. We begin humbly with a preamble.
THE residents of Dhaka city are in dire straits because of water shortage. In many areas, people have to go without water for days together. To add fuel to the fire, the weather has been persistently dry and sultry and the residents have to go without electricity every alternate hour of the day.
HOW can a political party survive when its leaders are organising a month long countrywide political agitation against a house eviction notice when there are so many issues -- dire water shortage, power shortage, and price spirals of many daily essentials -- crying out for attention?
Bangladesh and Myanmar meet today at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in what is set to be the biggest clash of the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers Group-A.
A three-member Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) delegation left Dhaka yesterday to attend the 2011 World Cup local organising committee meeting in Mumbai where re-allotment of the 14 Pakistan matches would also be discussed.
Michael Clarke hit a fighting half-century but Australia still managed just 198-7 in their allotted 50 overs in the third day-night one-day international against Pakistan here on Monday.
Treble chasing Barcelona face their biggest challenge yet when they face Guus Hiddink's rejuvenated Chelsea in the Champions League semifinal first leg here on Tuesday.
The 2011 World Cup is shifting base from Lahore to Mumbai and India expects to get a "big share" of the 14 matches that were initially allotted to Pakistan.
Khulna WCA and Victoria won their respective matches in the Women's Club Cup tournament at different city venues yesterday.
An unbeaten half-century by Bayazid Amin helped BCB Under-15s secure a five-wicket victory over visiting CAB Under-15s in the one-day match at the Mymensingh Stadium yesterday.
Captain marvel Raul scored a hattrick as Real Madrid defeated Sevilla 4-2 on Sunday to cut Barcelona's advantage at the top to four points ahead of next Saturday's 'El Clasico' at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Jurgen Klinsmann was on Monday sacked as head coach of Bayern Munich following a series of poor results, the defending Bundesliga champions announced.
Italian league leaders Inter Milan slumped to a first defeat since mid-January on Sunday when Napoli edged a 1-0 win which left Jose Mourinho's men seven points ahead of AC Milan with five games left.
Devising a strategy to thwart Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is Chelsea coach Guus Hiddink's main concern ahead of his side's Champions League semifinal first leg at the Nou Camp on Tuesday.
Manchester United great Ryan Giggs was named here on Sunday as the English Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Player of the Year for the first time despite starting just 12 league games this season.
Relegation-threatened Energie Cottbus threw the Bundesliga title race wide open on Sunday when the strugglers inflicted a shock 2-0 defeat on league leaders Wolfsburg.
Double World Cup winner Ronaldo scored twice as Corinthians beat rivals Santos 3-1 in the first leg of the Sao Paulo championship final on Sunday.
Brazilian teenager Rafael has extended his contract with English Premiership leaders Manchester United by two years until June 2013.
Fifteen people were arrested in the southern Bosnian city of Mostar after a group of hooligans attacked a bus carrying fans from another city, national radio reported on Monday.
Spanish side Getafe have fired their coach Victor Munoz as the club fights relegation from the Primera Liga, Spanish media said Monday.
Former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja and England batsman Geoff Boycott on Monday urged the game's governing body to legalise the controversial "doosra" delivery, which turns the opposite way to a conventional off-spinner.
Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam has accused the sport's governing body of inconsistency after off-spinner Saeed Ajmal was reported for illegal bowling action on Sunday.
Brett Lee would consider a brief county stint to complement his Indian Premier League (IPL) involvement in a bid to increase his bowling workload ahead of the Ashes. Lee was to leave the Kings XI Punjab camp Monday and join the Australian limited-overs squad in the UAE, where he hopes to take his first competitive strides in his comeback from ankle surgery.
It appears the Twenty20 format is for cricketers in their mid-30s, going by early performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in South Africa.
Twenty20 was considered a spinners' graveyard till a skilful band of slow bowlers changed it all with bewitching shows in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) in South Africa.
Twelve teams reached the Super League of the Second Division Cricket League after the first round matches concluded yesterday.
Angelo Perera slammed a hundred as visiting Sri Lanka Under-19 cricket team posted a respectable total in their first innings against Bangladesh Under-19s on the first day of the three-day match at the Birshreshtha Shahid Motiur Rahman Stadium in Khulna yesterday.
Grand Master Enamul Hossain Rajib made a good start in the 11th Dubai Open Chess Championship which began on Sunday.
Rafael Nadal won his 35th career title, and fifth in a row at the Barcelona Open, here on Sunday as the number one pounded fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 6-2, 7-5 in the final.
The global outbreak of swine flu sent shivers through financial markets on Monday just as some signs had appeared that the global economic crisis might be easing.
Wall Street followed global markets lower yesterday as fears about the spread of a deadly swine flu strain prompted traders to turn cautious.
Sales of air conditioners (ACs) are on the rise, spurred by a buying spree among organisations and a section of middle- and upper middle-income groups amid a continuing heat wave with the mercury hovering a peak, electronics retailers said.
The Dhaka market closed lower yesterday, driven by sales of bank shares for profit taking.
Oil prices fell sharply below 50 dollars on Monday, in-line with stock markets, on fears that an escalating swine flu crisis could further dampen economic activity and therefore energy demand, dealers said.
Bangladesh needs to boost better technology usages to increase its competitiveness in textile manufacturing that would help the country gain more share in the global apparel market, said the leader of a French business delegation of textile machinery manufacturers yesterday.
Health Minister AFM Ruhul Haque said yesterday the government will provide every possible policy support to the evolving pharmaceutical sector.
Nokia, one of the leading global handset makers, is set to launch 'Nokia E75' model handset in Bangladesh.
Commerce Minister Faruk Khan has said the government has taken steps to import edible oil, sugar and pulse through TCB to cool down the overheated prices of the essential commodities.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Hasan Mahmud yesterday urged the Austrian government to recruit professionals, especially Information Technology experts from Bangladesh.
Nearly 30 percent of airlines worldwide are likely to defer aircraft deliveries as financing conditions deteriorate, a survey by Swiss banking giant UBS said.
The call of the present government to work towards a 'Digital Bangladesh by 2021' stands on the vision of an equitable economic prosperity being armed with an educated workforce and a just society based on rule of law.
Qatar Airways has recently organised workshops for its travel agents in Dhaka, Sylhet and Chittagong, said a statement.
As the recession grinds on, Federal Reserve policymakers will open a two-day meeting Tuesday to make a fresh assessment of US economic conditions, review the effectiveness of programmes in place and weigh whether they need to expand or change them.
The yen was higher in Asian trade Monday as fears about the health of US banks and the spread of a deadly swine flu virus prompted renewed demand for safe-haven assets.
Two thirds of American companies operating in China expect to benefit from a huge stimulus package unveiled by Beijing to counter the global crisis, a US business association said Monday.
Malaysia Monday announced measures to liberalise its banking sector, allowing nine new banking and insurance licences and easing foreign ownership limits for non-commercial banks.
Between 60,000 and 70,000 people joined the ranks of France's jobless in March, slightly fewer than in February, Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said in an interview on Monday.
Japan's Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said Monday it fell into the red in the last financial year due to a sharp fall in sales and a stronger yen, but it forecast a return to profit this year.
More than 100 construction workers from China gathered outside Singapore's manpower ministry Monday to complain about unpaid wages and cancellation of their work permits, witnesses said.
Different socio-political organisations yesterday expressed mixed reactions over the procurement price of Boro paddy at Tk 14 fixed by the government.
The Election Commission may amend the delimitation laws of the parliamentary constituencies for striking a balance between the parliament seats in rural and urban areas in terms of population in the wake of rural-to-urban migration.
When the country's upazila health complexes do not have adequate doctors to provide quick treatment, many people who accompany patients avail of undue facilities from the hospitals just taking advantage of the government's free healthcare system.
Bharati Rani aged around 35 was forced to marry at the awkward age of 15. The dowry was fixed -- a bicycle, a radio and Tk 15,000 -- as was the social custom that time.
Speakers at a press conference yesterday said existing laws and their implementations are not adequate to protect the rights and securities of the workers at their workplace.
The South Asian University (SAU), an initiative of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), is set to start its first academic session in 2010 with its main campus in New Delhi.
A Dhaka court yesterday recorded statements of four more prosecution witnesses (PWs), including a wounded man, in connection with the August 21, 2004 grenade attack cases.
A son of former Jatiya Party lawmaker Karimuddin Vorosha was shot dead by his another son at one of their business offices at Bijoy Nagar in the city yesterday over a business dispute.
The first-ever study on steroid intake among prostitutes has found that almost 90 percent of sex workers ranged in age from 15 to 35 are addicted to hazardous steroid medicines that may eventually lead to death, revealed a research report yesterday.
Director General (DG) of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Maj Gen Md Mainul Islam yesterday visited two sectors in Jessore and Khulna.
Over 300 Dhaka University (DU) students are falling sick every day due to ongoing scorching heat.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB), in addition to its earlier commitments, is considering more funds for the construction of the Padma Bridge.
The UK became first country in the world to bind itself into an ambitious long-term framework to limit its greenhouse gas emissions, as global warming wrought havoc on the environment and triggered an outcry.
Power-hungry people vandalised a power sub-station in Bhandaria upazila in Pirojpur yesterday protesting frequent load shedding that also gripped the whole country.
The Sunamganj-4 constituency has been declared vacant from April 17 afternoon due to death of elected member of the parliament Begum Momtaj Iqbal, said a circular issued by Bangladesh Parliament Secretariat yesterday.
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) police in a drive on Sunday arrested an alleged JMB operative at Ukilpara Mahalla in the district town.
The 47th death anniversary of veteran politician and social worker Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq was observed with due solemnity yesterday.
Pro-BNP and Jamaat teachers of Rajshahi University yesterday suggested RU Vice Chancellor Prof Abdus Sobhan to curtail the summer vacation by 15 days.
The High Court (HC) yesterday granted ad interim bail for six months to Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) ward councillor and film actor Monwar Hossain Dipjol in a corruption case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
Newly appointed Chairman of Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) Prof Dr MS Akbar yesterday called on President Zillur Rahman and apprised him about its various activities.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Shahidul Huq yesterday said the ongoing special drive against criminals, which was started on Thursday midnight, will be intensified as police could not recover yet significant number of arms despite over 5oo people were arrested during the last three days.
Dr M Sayeedur Rahman Khan, a professor of the Department of Applied Physics and Electronic Engineering of Rajshahi University, has been appointed Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK and Northern Ireland.
Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhith yesterday said his party (Awami League) is committed to bringing qualitative changes to the country's political culture.
US Ambassador James F Moriarty called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Jamuna in the city yesterday evening.
Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday urged the media to uphold positive image of women so that they are encouraged to move further ahead.
Two youths were killed in separate incidents in the city's Mohammadpur and Khilgaon areas yesterday.
Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui was admitted to LabAid Hospital in the city after he fell sick yesterday morning.
Boatmen on the Karnaphuli River yesterday formed a boat-chain with a call to save the river from pollution and illegal encroachment.
Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) Rajshahi Medical College (RMC) unit has threatened to paralyse the college if the authorities take any move to rearrange seats at Shibir-controlled hostels.
Twenty-five alleged collaborators of Pakistani occupation forces have been sued for war crimes, including killing, looting and arson, in Satkhira, Kishoreganj, Magura and Khagrachhari in 1971.
A robber was killed and three were injured in mob beating in Gopalganj yesterday. Residents of Petkata in Kotalipara upazila caught them Sunday night. Police later admitted them to upazila health complex where Birodh alias Birat,35, died at around 11 am. Earlier on Sunday night armed robbers looted the houses of Nani Baroi, Ashu Baroi and Makhon Bhakta in Domrashur village in Gopalganj Sadar. They seriously injured Kalu Bhakta,17, Bijli Bhakta, 40, and Chaitonya Bala, 48, by beating and hitting them with sharp weapons. They also looted the house of Raj Bihari Baidya near Radhaganj bus stand under Kotalipara upazila and seriously injured Raj Bihari Baidya, 87, his son Albert Baidya, 32, daughter-in-law Sangita Roy, 22, and Albert's 8-month-old son Edison.
Three staffs of an NGO were arrested yesterday on charges of collecting over Tk 5 lakh by cheating poor women. Sheikh Zillur Rahman, executive director and Gautam Kumar Das and Mita Akhtar, officials of so-called Health Project Kalyan Samity set up an office at Tala upazila and allegedly collected Tk 365 from each woman promising to arrange loans on easy terms. Locals caught them red-handed at Atarai village and handed them over to Tala police yesterday.
Export and import through Bibir Bazar land port remained suspended due to an indefinite strike enforced on Saturday by Clearing and Forwarding (C&F) agents demanding car passing facility on both sides of the port. Leaders of C&F agents called strike at the port which was inaugurated by Shipping Minister Dr Afsarul Amin barely four days ago.
Following a case against the chairman of Science and Information Technology (SIT) Foundation and three others for cheating job seekers, Senior Judicial Magistrate Md Ziaur Rahman yesterday ordered issuing summon against the accused to appear before the court on May 14. Complainant Pijush Chandra Roy told the court that SIT Foundation Chairman Md Abdul Mannan Sarker, his son Executive Director ASM Rawshan Kabir, Regional Director Md Hafizur Rahman Zahangir and employee Md Mohsin Ali Sarker cheated him of Tk 60,000 by giving false assurance of providing a job. Pijush Chandra said he paid the money as security deposit in two instilments for a job advertised in local daily Karaotoa on October 16 last year. Several 'cheated' job seekers at a press conference at Bogra Press Cub a few days ago complained that NGO SIT Foundation received about Tk 12 crore from 4,000 people assuring them jobs during the last six months.
A 9-year girl was raped allegedly by her teacher who is an Imam of a mosque. The girl, daughter of a day labourer, is now fighting for life at Kishoreganj Sadar Hospital. A case was filed with Mithamorin police station alleging that Musan Mia, 25, Imam of the mosque raped the girl when she went to his place to learn Arabic on Saturday. Musan was arrested Sunday afternoon and sent to jail.
A boy was killed in a fire that gutted 18 houses at Tarashi village under Narail Sadar upazila yesterday. Ten-year-old Ismail Hossain was son of Bashir Mollah. The fire allegedly originated from the kitchen of one Bashir and soon engulfed the adjoining houses, locals said.
Marseille took a significant step towards their first French league title for 17 years when they came from a goal down to win 2-1 in a tense match at Lille on Sunday.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas yesterday refused to accept Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's demand to recognise Israel as a Jewish state.
Germany yesterday described as "interesting" comments by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad indicating Tehran would accept a "two-state" peace deal between the Palestinians and Israel.
Sri Lankan troops will no longer use heavy weapons or air strikes in fighting against Tamil Tiger rebels in the north-east, the government says.
With nearly half of the 543 seats of Lok Sabha having already been decided, Congress and BJP, the two main contenders for power in the general elections, are tense and appear reconciled to the fact that none of them will enough seats to rule on their own.
Taliban militants said yesterday their peace deal with the Pakistani government was "worthless" after authorities deployed helicopters and artillery against hide-outs of Islamist guerrillas seeking to extend their grip along the Afghan border.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown flew into Islamabad yesterday for talks with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, an AFP reporter said.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said yesterday that Pakistan's nuclear installations are in safe hands.
Southeast Asia will be hit particularly hard by climate change, causing the region's agriculture-dependent economies to contract by as much as 6.7 percent annually by the end of the century, according to a study released yesterday.
Arts & Entertainment
Sonata, a one-act play, originally written in Marathi by the eminent Indian playwright Mahesh Elkunchwar, was adapted by Leesa Gazi into a bilingual version Bangla and English. The setting of the play was changed from Mumbai to London and three Indian women transformed into three Bangladeshi women living the lives of Londoners.
Rashed Kamal Russell emerged as a painter in the '90s -- experimenting with innovative themes and techniques. Some of these techniques successfully infused a new look in his works and thus embarked on a novel journey.
Images of modernism, splendor, peace, love, and spirituality usually come to mind when contemplating Bengali songs. Nurul Alam Lal is among those who take a keen interest in the history and heritage of Bengali music and culture.
After a hiatus, celebrated singer-composer Lucky Akhand appears on TV with Banglavision's musical programme "Gaanalap."
Flamboyant Bollywood actor, producer and director Feroz Khan has died after losing a year-long battle with cancer.
There are no boiled bunnies in “Obsessed,” a clanking, low-rent imitation of “Fatal Attraction” that lacks the imagination to come up with such a novelty. But because Ali Larter plays Lisa, the movie's psychotic lady-who-refuses-to-take-no-for-an-answer like a carbon copy of Glenn Close's demonic temptress in the original, she succeeds in pushing buttons that make you root for her destruction and feel ashamed for doing so.
IT appears that the government has its hands full with problems, some have been handed down and some have been created by the government itself. The electricity crisis is one problem that the BNP-JI alliance government can be squarely blamed for because during its 5 year rule not a single mega-watt of electricity was added to the national grid although the country was reeling under severe power outage.
ON the way to its stated aim of becoming a self sufficient and technologically competent country by 2021 Bangladesh will first need to eliminate poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy and massive unemployment. This will be a difficult task in the face of the current international economic downturn, expanding population and decreasing land mass, meagre and dwindling energy resources, and worsening environmental degradation caused by global warming and climate change. In spite of all these obstacles it is possible for Bangladesh to meet its immediate and long-term development objectives. However, no development will be sustainable if it destroys the environment and does not directly benefit the rural and urban poor.
THE really swish thing to do for visiting journalists is report Patna by night. No, the story isn't Patna's radical transformation into Beirut or Paris or even into the latest version of Baghdad, where the icons of modern civilization, nightclubs and bars, now jostle for attention with American soldiers and native bombs.