News of: Friday, 19th of June, 2009
The rapidly worsening traffic congestion in Dhaka city, which is eating up precious working hours of commuters, is unlikely to ease within a year or two, due to a lack of implementation of supportive city infrastructure projects, and a virtual breakdown of traffic law enforcement.
After the World Bank's (WB) objection to the government's proposed amendments to the Public Procurement Act/Rules (PPA/PPR), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has also cautioned that it may hinder ADB's loan and budget support.
Bangladesh pushes forward the clock an hour at 11:00pm today (Friday night) to better utilise daylight and save electricity.
A panel of non-resident Bangladeshi experts yesterday suggested that the government formulate a coal policy with an option to export the surplus fossil fuel.
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) officials still do not think it safe to spend the night at 14 out of 54 BDR installations outside the capital as they lack confidence in the jawans deployed there.
Militants of banned Islamist outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) have started regrouping in the remote villages of four upazilas in the district.
BIWTA and Dhaka district administration jointly launched a three-day eviction drive yesterday against encroachers in the Turag near Gabtoli-Amin Bazar Bridge on the city's outskirts.
Detained former BNP lawmaker Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu revealed significant information regarding February 25-26 BDR mutiny during his third phase one-day remand.
Ruling Awami League (AL) lawmaker Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir has termed 'unconstitutional' the finance minister's proposals for unifying revenue budget and development budget, and district-wise budget from the fiscal year (FY) 2010-11.
The speaker can do nothing to scrap or retain BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury's membership, Suranjit Sengupta, chief of a parliamentary body, said yesterday.
Leader of the Opposition and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia may go abroad soon for medical treatment and to visit her sons, sources said yesterday.
Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina has said the government would look into the problems prevailing in the country's newspaper industry.
Death of a minor boy in a road accident at Mirpur in the city last night sparked off a violent protest by locals who damaged at least 20 vehicles disrupting the road communication for about an hour.
An exceptional exhibition of 2,500 banners titled “Bodle Jao Bodle Dao” with people's pledge for changes will be held on the world's longest sea beach Cox's Bazar today.
Shahid Afridi shone with bat and ball as Pakistan dumped South Africa by seven runs to storm into the ICC World Twenty20 final here on Thursday.
Bangladesh government being in a dilemma for years over route selection and its lack of understanding of the Asian Highway Network (AHN) has delayed its inclusion in the superhighway, said M Rahmatullah.
Students of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College yesterday formed a human chain to raise awareness of a pollution free environment in the country.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) shot dead a Bangladeshi cattle trader at Burimari out post of Patgram upazila in Lalmonirhat district near the main pillar no 842 early yesterday.
Tens of thousands of supporters of defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi held a new rally in Tehran on Thursday to mourn the deaths of slain protesters, witnesses told AFP.
The world faces a growing risk of "abrupt and irreversible climatic shifts" as fallout from global warming hits faster than expected, according to research by international scientists released yesterday.
HOW dangerously we live in Dhaka city is felt to the bones in the wake of Wednesday's dreadful accident at Moghbazar railway crossing. The frightful thing is the frequency of such accidents, this being the third time within a year in the city and twice in six months at Moghbazar crossing itself.
THE passing of Gaziul Haque on Wednesday marks yet one more step in the passage of an iconic generation into the past. For Gaziul Haque came of a generation which was to leave a lasting imprint on the psyche of the Bengali nation in terms of a shaping of its destiny. He was one of those young men who played an active role in the shaping of what eventually came to be known as the Language Movement of February 1952. Indeed, Haque's place in Bangladesh's history was assured when he chaired the meeting at Dhaka University which decided to violate Section 144 as a way of demanding the right of Bengali to be adopted as the state language of Pakistan. It was a seminal move that would have widespread ramifications for the people of Bangladesh.
BACK in 1975, this is how Time magazine presented the conflict between rich and poor. Roughly 750 million people in two dozen or so industrialised countries consumed most of the world's resources, produced most of its manufactured goods and enjoyed the highest standard of living. In stark contrast, 2 billion people in about 100 countries lived in the shadows of death by disease and starvation.
THE Latin historian Tacitus wrote: "They made solitude or silence and called it peace." Let this not be said of the Sri Lankan situation. The war there is over, but not necessarily Sri Lanka's travails. The government of President Mahinda Rajapakse has won the war. Now it must work hard to win the peace. Or futurity will see this only as an Ozymandian moment that was not seized upon. It is anticipated that the world will remain focused on Sri Lanka, to see how the victors are able to meet the ensuing challenges resulting from the end to the conflict.
TODAY is the 64th birthday of Aung San Suu Kyi. The fact that she remains under arrest is tragic for Burma and for all those throughout the world who believe in democracy and the rule of law. The trial of Aung San Suu Kyi is an absurd mockery of justice. The real injustice was not that someone broke into her compound, but that she was imprisoned in the first place.
Mohammad Ashraful came out fighting as he hit back at the board officials who on Wednesday heavily criticised the Tigers skipper by saying that there is no reason to keep him at the helm.
West Indies are confident of chasing nearly any total in this event; Sri Lanka believe there is no score they can't defend. Clearly, something will have to give in their World Twenty20 semifinal.
Brazil cruised to a 3-0 win over the United States, who for the second game running finished with 10 men, here on Thursday to all but seal their place in the Confederations Cup semifinals.
West Indies wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin believes it is imperative they dominate Sri Lanka's unusual spin attack if they are to win Friday's World Twenty20 semifinal at The Oval.
Shuktara Jubo Sangsad of Narayanganj and Brothers Union Club of Pabna have confirmed their places in the semifinals of the Bashundhara Champions Club Cup Football winning their respective matches at the Cox's Bazar Stadium yesterday.
BIT's Lubaba scored a brilliant hattrick to guide her team to their first win against Islambagh Ashraf Ali High School by 5-0 in the Citycell Dhaka Metropolis Women's School Football Champion-ship at the Sultana Kamal Sports Complex at Dhanmondi yesterday.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has scrapped an under-19 tour of Bangladesh, scheduled for October, on security grounds.
Azimpur Girls School and College earned an emphatic 67 runs victory over Amzad Ali Sarker Girls High School 'B' team in the Girls School Cricket Tournament at the Gulshan Youth Club ground yesterday.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni's India hope a one-day series in the West Indies later this month will help them recover from a dismal campaign in the World Twenty20.
West Indies face an anxious wait over the fitness of fast bowler Fidel Edwards before finalising their side to play in Friday's World Twenty20 semifinal against Sri Lanka here at The Oval.
Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday sacked controversial Australian coach John Buchanan after their poor performance in the recent Indian Premier League (IPL).
Skipper Aimee Watkins led New Zealand into the final of the women's World Twenty20 with a rousing 52-run win over India here on Thursday.
Triple Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt was helped by a favourable breeze to cover the 100 metre distance here in 9.77 secs, just outside the world record he set in Beijing last year.
Andy Murray admits his attempt to win Wimbledon for the first time will be fuelled by his vision of what it would be like to serve for the title.
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF), for the first time, conducted a fitness test of the national footballers at the Japan-Bangladesh Friendship Hospital yesterday ahead of the three weeklong conditioning camp beginning in Cox's Bazar on Monday.
North Korea will play in their first World Cup for 44 years after winning the point they needed to qualify for next year's finals in South Africa.
A rampant Spain remain on track to equal Brazil's record unbeaten streak after extending their own unbeaten run to 34 games by beating Iraq 1-0 at the Confederations Cup.
FIFA is to discuss the future of the vuvuzela, the noisy plastic trumpet blown at the Confe-derations Cup which has drawn complaints from European television stations.
South Africa, playing for their Con-federations Cup lives at the Royal Bafokeng stadium built on revenue from the local platinum mines, dug themselves out of deep trouble here Wednesday with a resounding 2-0 win over New Zealand.
Spain striker David Villa says he has made up his mind on which club he will move to, but refused to say who it was.
Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen was Thursday set to have a medical at Arsenal as he bids to complete a move to the Gunners from Dutch side Ajax.
Liverpool's Xabi Alonso says now that Spain are one of the best teams in the world they are going to come across plenty more sides employing negative tactics to keep them at bay.
Lyon's long-serving Brazilian playmaker Juninho has signed a two-year deal with Qatari champions Al-Garrafa for a fee believed to be in the region of 2.5 million euros, a record in the Gulf state's championship.
European champions Barcelona are hot on the trail of Liverpool's Argentine international midfielder Javier Mascherano, Catalan sports daily Sport reported Thursday.
Manchester United signed a multi-million pound partnership deal with Chinese digital technology firm aigo on Thursday.
A high-powered government team is going to hold a special meeting with the World Bank (WB) on June 22-23 to seek more assistance for different sectors including power, education, agriculture and infrastructure, especially Padma Bridge.
Steel buildings are gradually making a strong hold in Bangladesh's construction sector, as around 16 companies construct over 100 such buildings every year on average.
Migration, both in professional and skilled labour categories, has long been declining, according to government data.
Despite slow growth in garments and migrant worker flow, Industries Minister Dilip Barua believes Bangladesh will remain cushioned from the impacts of global recession.
The monthly broadband internet fee in Bangladesh is the highest among the Asian countries that reduces its business competitiveness here, according to a survey conducted by Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro).
World powers pushed for sweeping financial reforms to prevent another crisis Thursday, with EU leaders set to join Washington in a crusade for tough new controls despite British reservations.
Aluminium kitchenware manufacturers urged the government yesterday to withdraw the fresh imposition of value added tax (VAT) on kitchenware at production level.
Travel agents yesterday objected to the proposed value added tax (VAT) on their services saying it would threaten survival in times of a downturn in aviation traffic and migrant worker outflow.
Bank Asia Ltd has re-elected Anisur Rahman Sinha as the bank's chairman, says a press release.
Employees of India's largest airline have threatened to go on strike after management delayed their salaries by two weeks because of a cash crisis, a report said Thursday.
The Obama administration's broad plan to overhaul financial regulations offers dozens of new ideas about how to keep the markets safe, maintain a sound banking system and protect consumers and investors.
The global economic crisis is also a social crisis in Asia, with an estimated 60 million people remaining mired in poverty due to falling growth rates, an Asian Development Bank executive said Thursday.
The benchmark index of the premier bourse yesterday crossed 2,800 points level after more than six months with the stocks posting a decent gain, driven by banks and fuel and power sector shares.
Ericsson, one of the world's leading telecommunications equipment providers, has recently launched the company's latest radio base station -- 'Ericsson Capsule Site' -- at the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Stockholm, Sweden.
South Asia Insurance Company Ltd has re-elected Ghulam Akbar Chowdhury as the insurer's chairman for further five years, it said in a statement yesterday.
Germany might have to take on 310 billion euros (432 billion dollars) in debt by 2013, according to finance ministry documents cited on the Internet site of the magazine Der Spiegel.
Oil prices rose Thursday after a sharp drop in US crude reserves and unrest in oil exporters Iran and Nigeria, traders said.
India's annual inflation rate slipped into negative territory for the first time in 30 years, official data showed Thursday, with the country's slowing economy cutting into demand.
The governor of the Bank of England (BoE) has proposed a radical overhaul of the banking system, saying the BoE should be given new powers and banks should be made to draw up wills in case of a crisis.
China may buy more US Treasury bonds but Washington must take action to ensure the safety of foreign countries' assets, a former Chinese central bank governor said.
The German economy ministry expressed cautious optimism Thursday for the prospects of a recovery in Europe's biggest economy but warned that risks remained "unusually high."
Local Market FX
Local inter-bank FX market was active on Thursday. The market was liquid and USD/BDT rate was similar the previous working day.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasised joint efforts of the Southeast Asian nations for eradicating poverty through accelerating economic development and facing the challenges stemming from global climate change.
Law enforcers in separate drives in the city and in Comilla yesterday recovered seven firearms, a private car, equipment for producing forged driving licences and sedative tablets and arrested 11 people in this connection.
Gaziul Haque, a language movement veteran and freedom fighter, was laid to rest with state honour at his family graveyard at Sultanganj Para in Bogra yesterday.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday urged the opposition to return to parliament to make the budget session more lively and effective.
At least three people were killed in separate road accidents in Kishoreganj, Khagrachhari and Dinajpur yesterday.
Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council (BMDC) has punished only one doctor in the last 36 years, although it has received an avalanche of complaints about wrong treatment and negligence of doctors, which sometimes even led to the death of patients.
Representatives of the organisations working for the people with disability yesterday said the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2009-10 did not reflect their needs.
Dhakabashi conducted a signature campaign at its office at Hazaribagh in the city yesterday to save the river Buriganga from pollution and encroachment.
Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday said gender issues should get more focus in the national budget.
Dhaka Progressive Lions Eye Hospital in Narsingdi opened two more wards on Thursday.
The government has formed a four-member committee to investigate the Wednesday's accident on Moghbazar level crossing that left at least eight people injured.
A Panchagarh court yesterday issued an injunction against lifting stone and sand using heavy machineries and causing damages to environment and ecology of the district.
The preliminary report of national education policy formulation committee will be published by the end of this month, says a press release.
Those who intend to travel to India are advised that Indian authorities continue to screen incoming passengers for influenza A (H1N1).
Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka yesterday said DCC is weighing up the option to impose a ban on child labour in its trade licence policy.
The government is working to launch electronic healthcare system in all community clinics, union hospitals, upazila health complexes and district sadar hospitals for quick dispensation of medicare to people from all walks of life.
The government has taken an initiative to train up the unemployed youths who have passed the HSC or equivalent examinations and provide them with jobs for two years aiming at reducing unemployment problem from the country.
Doctors of Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) yesterday said the hospital treated a total of 244 patients, including 16 HIV positive refugees, since 1996 with limited resources of pathological services which should be improved immediately.
President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged the Namibian government to recruit skilled professionals, including physicians and engineers, from Bangladesh for accelerating its socio-economic development process.
The district round of Shah Cement Nirman-er Taroka, a talent hunt programme for construction workers, was held at the District Council auditorium in Jessore on Thursday.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel arrested four alleged drug peddlers along with 1,307 bottles of Indian phensidyl syrup from a microbus at Niribili in Nabinagar area here on Tuesday night.
Federation of NGOs in Bangladesh (FNB) yesterday welcomed the national budget for fiscal year 2009-10 saying it incorporated for the first time plan for infrastructure development through public-private partnership (PPP) initiative.
Members of Bangladesh Marma Students Council (BMSC) yesterday formed a human chain at Muktaman-chha in Khagrachhari town protesting settlers' alleged attempt to grab indigenous people's lands at different places in Chittagong Hill Tracts.
Aggrieved BNP leaders and activists continue their agitation in different districts demanding cancellation of the newly formed convening committees.
Police arrested two members of banned Islamist outfit Jama'tul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in two villages of Chapainawabganj on Wednesday and recovered two shooter guns, one revolver and four rounds of bullet.
A Barisal court yesterday awarded life sentence to eight Jubo League (JL) and Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists for killing a Jubo Dal leader in Hizla upazila of the district in 2001.
Students of Begum Rokeya Hall of Rajshahi University (RU) kept the hall provost and an assistant proctor confined to provost's office for six hours on Wednesday night to press their five-point demand.
Indigenous students of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday staged a demonstration on the campus demanding exemplary punishment to those who evicted 74 indigenous families from their land at Khatirpur under Porsha upazila of Naogaon district on June 13.
Members of the Bangladesh Diploma Medical Association (BDMA) Moulvibazar district unit yesterday formed a human chain at Chawmuhana Square of the town to press their 5-point demand.
An Awami League (AL) activist was killed in Mirpur upazila yesterday.
A Jammat leader was held by BDR men at Dahagram border point of Patgram upazila on Wednesday while he was allegedly trying to cross the border. BDR yesterday handed him over to Patgram police. Shahab Uddin Ahmed,45, Dahagram union Jamaat Amir and joint secretary of Patgram upazila Jamaat told BDR that he was trying to cross Dahagram border to go to Coochbihar district in India for bringing fertiliser.
Transport owners and workers associations of Pabna have called an indefinite strike from today protesting extortion and harassment of drivers. The associations also gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the administration to address the matter. “The extortionists demand toll at bus stands. Vehicle movement in Chatmohar upazila is about to stop due to rampant extortion at different points. We have requested the authority to solve the problem but to no effect," said Baby Islam, president of Pabna district transport owners association.
Sylhet Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal on Wednesday acquitted all the three accused in a double murder case in Sunamganj district due to lack of adequate evidence. According to the prosecution story, three people attacked the house of Amir Hossain at Doarabazar in Sunamganj district on March 1, 2003. They hit Amir Hossain's father Saad Ali with a stick causing his death. They also murdered Amir's sister Sonu Mala. The people were arrested after Amir filed a case with Doarabazar police station.
Moulvibazar traders yesterday withdrew their proposed six-hour strike following an agreement with Moulvibazar Chamber of Commerce and Industries (MCCI) over the trade fair issue. Local lawmaker Syed Mohsin Ali called the leaders of MCCI and the general traders at his residence at midnight on Wednesday and settled the dispute.
Taposh Kanti Das, Khulna correspondent of The New Age was injured in attack by an employee of Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH) yesterday. The incident happened when Taposh went to the outdoor department to cover a story. Taposh later filed a general diary (GD) with Sonadanga police seeking security of his life. He stated in his GD that the employee attacked him when he saw him receiving 'extra money' from patients at the outdoor department. Meanwhile, Khulna newsmen yesterday demanded punishment to the culprit for attack on Taposh.
Suspected US missile strikes pounded the hide-outs of a Taliban commander in northwestern Pakistan yesterday, killing at least nine people, government officials said.
North Korea may fire a long-range ballistic missile toward Hawaii in early July, a Japanese news report said yesterday, as Russia and China urged the regime to return to international disarmament talks on its rogue nuclear programme.
Iran's top clerical body, the Assembly of Experts, hailed yesterday the mass turnout in the June 12 presidential election but stayed silent on the disputed results.
Pakistan's nuclear weapons formed the cornerstone of its deterrence doctrine and would be retained at all costs, a top military commander said yesterday.
A suicide bombing outside a hotel in western Somalia killed at least 20 people yesterday including the national security minister.
Human rights groups called yesterday for an international investigation into wartime abuses in Sri Lanka, saying the government lacks the political will to investigate the incidents on its own.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election victory is disbelieved by hundreds of thousands of Iranians who have poured onto Tehran's streets in protest, but experts say hard evidence of vote rigging is elusive.
Details of British MPs' expenses were officially published online for the first time yesterday, as the scandal, which has already forced a slew of resignations claimed a fresh victim.
Two days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh talked tough with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hoped that India and the US will both support Pakistan's efforts as it works to take on terrorists in its own country.
The Supreme Court yesterday reserved orders in a case in which former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is accused of 'hijacking' an aircraft carrying then army chief Gen Pervez Musharraf by attempting to prevent it land at Karachi in 1999.
Arts & Entertainment
Dhaka had its first 'jalsah' with Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan on June 17. The hall at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre was filled with Dhaka connoisseurs -- 'the young and the wealthy,' 'the bold and the beautiful,' -- waiting and waiting as the artiste finally took the stage 10 minutes past 9pm. The jovial Ustad appeared on the flower-laden stage flanked by two minarets amidst thunderous applause. He readily surrendered with a smile, "I was waiting too all these years to sing before you, believe you me. Dhaka must be the ultimate destination of Qawwals and Ghazal singers."
In a first for Bangladesh, film director Tanvir Mokammel is to be a jury member at the 15th Morocco Film Festival to be held in Rabat from June 20 to 29.
“Amader Galpo," a programme featuring short drama and discussion, will be aired today on Bangladesh Television at 10:30am. Each episode of the programme is divided into two parts, short drama and studio discussion. Today's episode portrays the inequity faced by the girl child in the family and society, which hampers her physical and psychological development.
Popular TV personality Hanif Sanket has been a familiar face to the TV viewers through his widely popular variety show "Ittyadi." Sanket also makes TV plays on special occasions like Eid or Valentine's Day, which are equally popular. As part of its effort to promote one-hour/single-episode plays, ATN Bangla will air 12 popular TV plays written and directed by Hanif Sanket. The plays will be aired every Friday, starting from this month.
The Asian Highway (AH), a cooperative project among Asian countries providing a link to Europe, was conceived in 1959 by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-Escap) to promote regional cooperation. Dr. M Rahmatullah, former Director (transport) of UN-Escap, now the Transport Policy Adviser, TSMR program at the Planning Commission, indicates how Bangladesh has been wasting time for wrong reasons, by not signing the Asian Highway Agreement, which has kept Bangladesh from becoming a part of the super highway. He identifies the authorities' negligence, their inability to understand the importance of AH and lack of commitment to uphold the country's interests, as some of the reasons. The interview was taken by M. Abul Kalam Azad, a senior reporter of The Daily Star
SINCE the budget speech of Finance Minister Muhit, there is a debate going on through the media (electronic and print) about the real character of the budget and its macro-economic context. In their initial reactions to the budget speech, many notable personalities with economic policy background characterised the budget, as ambitious and highlighted the difficulties that the government will face in implementing its expenditure program and the revenue target.
On June 11, Finance Minister AMA Muhith unveiled the proposed budget for fiscal 2009-2010. In addition to the pressure of having to meet demands of different key sectors with limited resources and great expectations, the minister also had to take into account the demands of the people from ICT industry, and anyone and everyone remotely or directly connected to it.
In an effort to create opportunity for the young and talented minds, a talent-hunt contest called 'Financial IT Case Competition' or FICC has been launched for students from various university and institutions to show off their talents in developing software and information system.
Microsoft Bangladesh has announced a patch-based fix to address the Day Light Saving Time (DST) which will be effective in Bangladesh from tomorrow at 11PM, says a press release.
Symantec, a leading brand in security software in world has announced its partnership with Computer Source Ltd (CSL) in Bangladesh to distribute Norton product lineup across the country.