News of: Sunday, 28th of June, 2009
Former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar, his deputy Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui and former chief whip Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday skipped meeting the all-party parliamentary probe body, which summoned them to defend graft charges against them.
Eight donors have urged the government to drop a provision of whitening money in the draft finance bill, which they said might cause problems for Bangladesh in remittance inflow and transactions with foreign banks.
Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad yesterday said an independent Information Commission would be formed within a few days for ensuring people's right to information, as the Right to Information Act is going to be enforced from July 1.
Businessmen and traders at Karwan Bazar blamed infamous Ashiq group for the Friday's triple murder aimed at establishing authority over huge amount of extorted money in the city's business hub.
A garment worker was killed and 25 others were injured as Ansars personnel yesterday opened fire on agitators demanding a pay hike at a sweater factory in Ashulia.
Michael Jackson's cause of death will not be confirmed for several weeks, officials said Friday, as attention turned to the possible involvement of drugs in the tragic King of Pop's demise.
Just a few metres away from Tejgaon level crossing a group of teenage boys were found eagerly inhaling something from a polythene bag in a scrap shop. When approached, they were found in an intoxicated state.
Since the political government took over a vested quarter has gobbled up a large portion of the Gulshan-Banani and Gulshan-Baridhara lakes in the capital in the last six months in connivance with Rajuk officials, sources said.
Deputy Leader of the House Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury yesterday claimed that "poison-mixed food" was served to Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina in the sub-jail where she was kept during the rule of the last caretaker government.
Claiming that law and order has improved despite some stray incidents of violence, Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday said an additional force named "industrial police" would be formed soon to ensure proper security of the readymade garment industry.
The government has taken initiatives to formulate an industrial policy immediately with an aim to create more employment and enhance the economic growth of the country, said the industries minister yesterday.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni has asked the Indian Government not to proceed with the construction of Tipaimukh Dam until the newly constituted parliamentary team from Bangladesh visits the site and a comprehensive study regarding its impact on the environment is done.
Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzak yesterday called upon the western countries and international donor agencies to send more aid to developing countries like Bangladesh to address the challenges of climate change.
The government has decided to distribute yellow coloured health forms among the inbound passengers in every flight soon to strengthen the screening programme for swine flu virus in the country.
The residents of Gulshan area yesterday protested illegal earth filling in Gulshan Lake as encroachment on the natural lake continues violating court's order.
BNP will launch a movement if Bangladesh connects itself with the Asian Highway since it would mean giving corridor to India, BNP Vice Chairman and former minister Maj (retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed said yesterday.
The Indian government will soon table a bill in the parliament to make it mandatory for judges to disclose their assets and liabilities.
A bomb went off in a bogie of a train in Mobarakganj Railway Station of Kaliganj upazila in Jhenidah yesterday leaving five people injured.
The daylight saving time is saving electricity of up to 300 megawatts a day, State Minister for Power Shamsul Haque Tuku told parliament yesterday.
The proposed Padma multipurpose bridge will be a double-decker one and will also have a gas supply line on it, Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain said yesterday.
The US House of Representatives has narrowly passed historic legislation to limit pollution blamed for global warming, handing President Barack Obama a major hard-fought victory.
SPELLING out yet another stark reminder of deteriorating law and order in the city, a criminal gang on Friday perpetrated multiple murder at Karwan Bazar, fired shots in the air and made good their escape mocking at whatever police presence there might or might not have been around. Incidentally, was police patrol lowered on a Friday?
THE death of Michael Jackson brings to an end a life lived in sheer electric excitement and in the full glare of adoring and sometimes critical publicity. For more than three decades, Jackson went about giving the world of music that panache which was not only to make him famous across the globe but also give a new dimension to matters lyrical. One has only to recall his nine solo albums to understand the diversity and versatility that Jackson epitomized in his career. In the simplest of terms, Jackson transformed music in a way never conceived of before. It can also be argued that after Elvis Presley, it was Michael Jackson who took music a great many miles forward in terms of thematic evolution and global acceptability.
IN the early 1990s, I was engaged in an empirical research work on the nexus between mobile phones and poverty in rural Bangladesh. The research grant came from The Centre for Development Research (ZEF), Bonn. Many raised their eyebrows when they heard about the project. Such suspicious looks were expected in the early 1990s when even the "solvent" segment of the population could not afford mobile phones, which used to cost roughly one to two thousand dollars.
DISCUSSION on the merits and demerits of the opportunity offered by the finance minister in his budget speech is of late getting a lot of ink in the print media and a lot time from the electronic media. The issue that has become rather hot to the erudite deserves a scrutiny by a layman as well.
It seems that with the axe falling on the captain, everything has turned out to be all right in Bangladesh cricket after the Tigers inadequate performance in the ICC World Twenty20 in England.
Players of the Bangladesh national football team who are currently on a three weeklong strength and conditioning camp at Laboni point, Cox's Bazar as part of their pre season training have still not had a taste of the intense hard work on which the camp has been designed.
Bangladesh national hockey team lost to Canada 6-2 in their third and final match of the four nation Invitational Hockey Tournament in Moscow yesterday.
Defending champion Venus Williams avenged one of the most embarrassing defeats of her career on Saturday by sweeping into the last 16 at Wimbledon with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Carla Suarez Navarro.
Yuvraj Singh set India up for a 20-run victory over West Indies in the first One-day International on Friday with a boundary-laced 131.
Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam said his players' fitness will be the key on their tour of Sri Lanka as the 15-man Pakistan team set off on Saturday.
India will play a triangular one-day international tournament in Sri Lanka in September with New Zealand as the third team, the country's cricket board said on Saturday.
The United States have pulled off one massive upset and are plotting another on Sunday when they look for payback against defending champions Brazil in the Confederations Cup final.
The recipe for success in the Confederations Cup final is simple: score first.
Real Madrid have officially signed Cristiano Ronaldo on a six-year deal worth 93 million euros, the Spanish giants announced Friday.
Spain striker Fernando Torres has warned South Africa to expect a backlash when they clash in the Confederations Cup third place play-off on Sunday.
Hull manager Phil Brown wants Michael Owen to join his side despite the forward's injury record.
Athens side Panathinaikos announced Friday that French international striker Djibril Cisse has signed a four-year contract with the Greek club.
Argentine forward Javier Saviola could finally put an end to a frustrating spell with Real Madrid after the Spanish giants agreed to sell him to Lisbon side Benfica.
Paris St Germain and Marseille will play one of their next matches in an empty stadium, the French Football Federation said on Friday.
MS Dhoni, the Indian captain, has said the first ODI against West Indies was closer than it looked despite the visitors' 20-run win.
Pakistan and Australia will play two Tests and two Twenty20 internationals in England next July, after the England & Wales Cricket Board reached a staging agreement with their Pakistan counterparts.
14 players will be participating in the final phase of the 35th Mercantile Bank National Chess Championship after the number draw of the participating players.
The 2nd Grameen Danone Nations Cup Football Tournament for the 10-12 years old booters begins today at seven zonal venues across the country.
Mohalchhara Aparajita Club secured a victory by seven runs over Chhoto Nala Adarsha Club in the Teletalk Cricket Tournament at the Khagrachhari Government High School yesterday.
Corporate tax on financial institutions and taxes on mobile connection and handsets may get a slight waiver in the final budget for the next fiscal year against the backdrop of the ongoing global recession and the government's dream of building a Digital Bangladesh by 2021.
UN member states reached broad consensus Friday on the need to help developing nations cope with the global financial crisis but the United States voiced reservations about key recommendations.
Nasir Glassware and Tube Industries is expected to earn nearly Tk 300 crore in annual sales from its new plant to be pressed into operation at the end of this year, a top official said yesterday.
In the classical economic paradigm, the state takes the responsibility for all public good, which are paid for with moneys from taxation on the citizens. The expanse of public good includes external and internal security, provision of civic utilities, education, healthcare, infrastructure and social welfare.
Confused about the state of the banking crisis? About whether good banks are back, or bad banks are multiplying?
Upward trend continued in Dhaka market last week especially backed by dramatic increase in banking stocks.
Wall Street shares ended mixed Friday as investors mostly locked in profits from a strong rally the previous day and turned cautious ahead of the weekend.
The government should set a target for the welfare of the womenfolk and take necessary measures to appoint more women in different key positions to empower them, said chairman of Regulatory Reforms Commission (RRC) yesterday.
Unani medicine makers yesterday opposed a government move to bring the sector under the VAT net in fiscal 2009-10.
Bernard Madoff would be stripped of all his possessions under a $171 billion forfeiture order handed down only days before prosecutors seek to put the disgraced financier away in prison for the rest of his life.
RMG leaders expect a major chunk of Tk 5,000 crore-stimulus package declared in the proposed budget for 2009-10 will go to the garment sector.
Citigroup has recently hosted the fifth annual Asia Pacific Bank Conference 2009 in Vietnam with 138 participants from 16 countries, including clients from Citi Bangladesh.
Japan's troubled chipmaker Elpida Memory Inc. is set to receive around 200 billion yen (2.1 billion dollars) in public and private financial aid over three years, a newspaper reported on Saturday.
Sri Lanka on Friday accused the International Monetary Fund of politicising financial aid following the fund's delay in considering a 1.9-billion-dollar bailout for the war-ravaged economy.
The French state will sell a chunk of nuclear giant Areva to Asian and Middle Eastern investors to help finance the future of a group considered a jewel in the country's industrial crown, a report said Friday.
Russian energy giant Gazprom said Friday its banking unit had struck a one-billion-dollar (711-million-euro) deal with Namibian energy company Namcor to build a new power plant in Namibia.
Spain on Friday announced a nine-billion-euro (12.7-billion-dollar) fund to help revive the financial sector by buying stakes in banks hit by the global crisis and get them lending again.
June 21-June 25, 2009
The currency market continued to remain highly volatile this week. Early on in the week the market was wary over before the FOMC meeting and the US debt auctions. Euro was also sold on uncertainty before the ECB 1 year refinance operation. The dollar was little changed on Thursday, supported after the Federal Reserve said it would maintain its programme of buying government and mortgage debt while adding it saw signs the effects of the recession were easing. The Swiss franc edged up against the euro and the dollar, reversing some losses after the Swiss National Bank on Wednesday was suspected to have sold the franc to curb its strength. The euro pulled back from a two-week high hit on Wednesday following solid demand at the European Central Bank's refinancing tender of one-year lending. Analysts said the dollar would be supported as the Fed's statement after its policy meeting made no mention of plans to step up quantitative easing, which some market participants had considered to be a downside risk to the dollar. Analysts said that ECB's allotment of 442 billion euros in one-year lending to the market on Wednesday would flood the market with euro liquidity, which would push down short-term rates and dent the euro. Others added that the fact that the ECB is belatedly catching up with quantitative easing measures implemented by other major central banks may put the euro on the back foot.
Cross-sections of people in Narayanganj yesterday congregated in the streets with the demand of saving the Shitalakhya from pollution and encroachment.
English in Schools (EIS), a joint initiative by The Daily Star and AKTEL, is a very positive and timely initiative; it will open up a new horizon for English learners, said educationists yesterday.
With the recommendations of extending the primary education level up to class VIII and a public examination at its end, the Education Policy Formulation Committee is going to complete its primary draft within July 10.
Speakers at a roundtable yesterday called on the government and non-government organisations to come forward to employ more people with disabilities as only five percent of them get chance to work.
Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Abul Kalam Azad yesterday said songs and poems of rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam inspired freedom fighters (FFs) to continue struggle during the Liberation War.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) early yesterday beat a cattle trader to death at Bara Achra border in Benapole.
Speakers at a meeting yesterday stressed the need for dividing the capital city into 12 to 15 city corporations to ensure water, sanitation, gas and electricity facilities for all citizens especially for the slum dwellers who suffer most from the lack of utility services.
Tipaimukh Dam Protirodh Committee formed a human chain in front of Narayanganj Press Club yesterday urging Indian government to stop construction of the controversial Tipaimukh dam as it will severely damage the environment, says a press release.
Despite the fact that a people's government is in power now, no one should sit idle and take it for granted that liberation war criminals will be tried for their crimes during the war, said Asaduzzaman Noor MP, publicity secretary of Awami League, yesterday.
A waste disposal project titled 'Environmental safe sludge disposal systems (ESSDS)' was launched here yesterday aimed at keeping the metropolis neat and clean by disposing of waste.
The dollar wilted against the euro Friday in the face of positive US economic data that encouraged investors to seek out currencies considered riskier that the greenback.
Dhaka University (DU) Vice Chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique yesterday called on all to wage a social movement against drug abuse and illegal trafficking.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed 20 cases against 20 public representatives at Banaripara upazila in Barisal on Thursday night on charge of misappropriating 300 tonnes of rice during the BNP-Jamaat alliance government.
Tanvir J Ehsan, assistant programme producer of RTV, was laid to rest in Pabna yesterday.
Bangladesh Trade Union Federation (TUF) has condemned the Awami League (AL)-led government for keeping mum on the construction of
The government should take immediate steps to deal with the growing threat of some emerging and reemerging vector-borne diseases -- malaria, dengue and kala azar -- to the country, entomologists said at a seminar yesterday.
The health rights activists yesterday demanded the government increase the timeframe of giving opinion on the draft health policy which is posted on the website.
Four people were killed and 30 others injured in separate road accidents in Narsingdi, Bagerhat and Dinajpur yesterday.
The number of daily newspapers and fortnightly magazines in the country, which received 'no objection certificates' and declaration up to May 31 this year, stands at 592 and 76 respectively.
Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) yesterday demanded cancellation of the decision of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage authorities of five percent increase in water bill.
A two-day training on 'Reduction of stigma and discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS' began at Rajshahi yesterday, says a press release.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized 1402 bottles of contraband Indian phensidyl syrup from a microbus at Naoda village in Panchbibi upazila here yesterday.
Students of Home Economics College staged a demonstration on Dhaka University campus yesterday demanding trial of attackers of the students.
Nazneen Akhter Nishi, a meritorious student of Class 10 at Dinajpur Eid-Gah Girls' High School, has been suffering from deadly disease cancer.
A lecture on "Sun, Warmth and Hope on Nazrul and World Poetry" was held at the Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban auditorium of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh should be structurally more powerful to carry out its monitoring activities over the universities and ensure quality education, speakers said at a discussion yesterday.
Speaker Advocate Abdul Hamid is yet to reply to the Election Commission's (EC) letter regarding the issue of parliamentary membership of BNP leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury.
High voltage electric lines drawn over residential houses and electric towers set up on the yards adjoining houses at several place of Tangail municipality poses risk for the dwellers.
Fifty-six kilometres ring embankment stretching from Sutarkhali Union to Kamarkhola Union under Cyclone Aila-hit Dakope upazila of Khulna district collapsed Friday evening, leaving 50,000 people of 23 villages marooned.
Detective Branch (DB) of police arrested three activists of outlawed Islamist militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) at their houses in Tala upazila on Friday night and seized jihadi books, leaflets and bomb making materials from their possession.
The alleged acid thrower who inflicted injuries on two sisters at Ranachandi Dakkhinpara village of the district, was sent to jail on Friday as police produced him before Nilphamari Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court following his arrest the day before.
Interns of Rangpur Medical College Hospital called an indefinite strike yesterday after outsiders belonging to Jubo League and Chhatra League injured ten interns including Dr Avijit Kumar, president of IDA Rangpur unit, and its former president Dr Imran Hosen.
Journalists of Khulna have demanded a fresh and fair probe into Humayun Kabir Balu murder case and arrest of masterminds and financiers of his killers.
At least 60 people were injured, 25 of them seriously, as two groups of villagers clashed over fishing in a canal at Satirpar village under Brahmanbaria Sadar upazila yesterday morning
One person allegedly murdered his elder brother at village Mokimpur under Harinakundu upazila on Friday night. Police said, Abdus Sobhan, 60, was hit on the head by his younger brother Bazlur Rahman after an altercation over land property. Sobhan was rushed to Jhenidah Sadar Hospital in a critical state but succumbed to his injuries. Achhia Khatun, wife of the victim filed a case with local police station.
Police in several raids Friday night arrested six members of a notorious criminal gang and recovered firearms and ammunition from the town. The arrestees hail from Sailkupa in Jhenidah district. According to police, a Detective Branch (DB) team raided a house at Kamlapur at about 10:30 pm and arrested two people including the gang leader. Police recovered one 9.mm pistol and two bullets from their possession. Following their arrest four others were rounded up from different areas of the town and another 9.mm pistol, one revolver and 24 more bullets were recovered.
About 50 youths shaved their heads and formed a human chain and later staged a sit-in on Thursday protesting frequent load shedding in Kasba upazila. Hundreds of locals also joined the human chain at Bara Bazar. Later they brought out a protest procession and paraded the streets of the upazila town. They also submitted a memorandum to UNO and upazila chairman. Meanwhile, another group of people held a sit-in in front of Kasba Upazila Parishad office. Upazila chairman and UNO went to the spot and promised to solve the power crisis within seven days.
Two separate cases were lodged Friday night by the rival factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) in connection with the intra-party clashes at Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) in the early hours of June 25 that left at least 30 people injured. Meanwhile, during the raids on six residential halls overnight, police arrested two BCL men and recovered a few locally made weapons, said the proctor. Of the injured, eight have been admitted to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital (MMCH). But Mohsinul Haque Shawon, Joint secretary-1 of BCL BAU unit was shifted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) yesterday as his condition deteriorated.
Feni police on Friday night recovered expensive sweaters and cotton vests worth over Tk 16 lakh from an 'oil depot' and arrested one Jasimuddin on suspicion of theft. The recovered goods included 2185 pieces of export-quality sweaters of different colours in 13 plastic boxes and 1916 packets of expensive cotton vests in 16 big sacks. Sensing police presence depot owner Rafique Miah fled the spot.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeated yesterday claims that Barack Obama is interfering in his country, after the US president again criticised the political crackdown in Iran.
Five close aides of Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud have been killed in a shootout with police, who raided a militant hideout in this southern port city.
Nato and Russian foreign ministers gathered Saturday to turn the page on their dispute over the war in Georgia and rubber stamp an action plan for revamping their relations.
The Group of Eight leading powers turned their attention Saturday to stabilising Afghanistan and Pakistan in talks aimed at shoring up faltering efforts with 40 regional players.
Most of Michael Jackson's family members have gathered in their Encino compound, where they are contemplating funeral arrangements and caring for his three children. They are feeling confused, upset and angry by the lack of information about those who were around the pop superstar in his final days, a person close to the family told The Associated Press.
Michael Jackson told ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley he feared dying young like her "King of Rock 'N' Roll" father Elvis.
Nato and Russian foreign ministers gathered Saturday to turn the page on their dispute over the war in Georgia and rubber stamp an action plan for revamping their relations.
Saad Hariri, son of slain billionaire ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, was named Lebanon's new prime minister on Saturday, a presidential statement said.
United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said Farah Pandith will play a "leading role" in engaging Muslims across the world in her new capacity as Special Representative to Muslim Communities.
At least one million people in the United States have had swine flu, or around 50 times more than the number of cases reported to health authorities, US health authorities said Friday.
Taliban militants stormed a police checkpoint in southern Afghanistan's troubled Helmand province overnight and killed eight policemen, the provincial government said yesterday.
Sharing a surname with some famous personalities of the world would obviously make people proud, but in Pakistan, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's name is being utilized by tricksters for fraudulent activities.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Friday that Kashmir would come up for discussion whenever India-Pakistan resumes peace talks.
Pakistan intelligence agencies have warned that extremists may strike the US embassy, consulates and other strategically important American establishments in the country.
Arts & Entertainment
Some recently found rare memorabilia of Rabindranath Tagore were recently displayed at “ Rabindra Memorial Museum ” at Shahzadpur Upazila in Sirajgonj district for the visitor and Rabindra researchers.
Nazrul artistes from across the country took part, at a programme celebrating Kazi Nazrul Islam's creative genius. The programme titled “Nazrul Shommelon 2009”, commenced yesterday through a colourful inaugural at the National Museum. The function was inaugurated by Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Abul Kalam Azad. Mohammad Sharful Alam, secretary, ministry of cultural affairs was the special guest. Litterateur Selina Hossain was the main speaker at the event. Dr. Mark Stevenson, Senior Lecturer, Asian Studies, Victoria University, was a guest speaker at the inauguration programme.
Bangladeshi film AHA! by Enamul Karim Nirjhar will be screened at Kala Academy on 28th June, at South Asian Film Festival.
TSC based cultural organisation Prakash Sahityo Sanskritik Sangathan celebrated its 19th anniversary with a recitation programme titled "Brishtir Jonyo Prarthona" (Praying for Rain). The event featured some of the revolutionary and romantic poems of poet Rudra Mohammad Shahidullah(1956-1992).
Using theatre as a means to say no to war, a new theatre troupe made its debut. Its first production “Knocking” was staged on June 25, at the National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Theatre Against Terrorism (THAT) aims at addressing violence and generating awareness against it.
A two-day annual cultural function of Adibasi-’09 at Birishiri Upajatiya Cultural Academy at Durgapur upazila in Netrakona district ended yesterday. Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Abul Kalam Azad MP inaugurated the event. Promod Mankin MP, Mymensingh-1; Mustak Ahmed Ruhi MP, Netrakona-1; ex-MP Jalal Uddin Talukder; Director of the cultural academy Jatindra Sangma were present as special guests.
An audio album containing songs on our Liberation War was launched at the auditorium of Chhayanaut Sangskriti Bhaban on June 26. The album, “Tomar Bibhatey Mugdho Aami,” is a venture of the War Crimes Facts Finding Committee. Most of the songs of the album belong to the 'adhunik' genre, featuring artistes Dr. M. A. Hasan, Zakia Mahfuza and Dipu Muhammad.
On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, Natyam, a local theatre group, organised a painting competition for children recently at the Tangail Public Library auditorium.
THE most talked about issue in the budget is the "whitening of the black money." It is rather unfortunate that such an immoral issue is still being debated instead of this idea being rejected by the government when this was originally conceived.
IT sears the conscience. Beyond that there is a general sense of alarm across the country aroused by a recent spurt in ghastly crimes as rape, abduction, extortion and murder. If we are alarmed at the increasing incidence of macabre crime in the capital city or other big cities, the situation is no less frightening, rather worse in small towns and villages where these are perpetrated by groups of deviant youths with the influence of affluent and politically inspired godfathers.
BERTOLD Brecht, the leftist German playwright, was brilliant enough to give cynicism a good name. Parliamentary democracy, for him, was a moveable feast. He once suggested a great alternative to dissolving the legislature and electing a fresh set of representatives. "Wouldn't it be easier," he asked, "to dissolve the people and elect another in their place?"