News of: Thursday, 2nd of July, 2009
The main opposition BNP and its key ally in four-party alliance Jamaat-e-Islami remain absent from joining the House proceedings, paying no attention to their electoral pledges made to the people before the December 29 parliamentary election.
The all-party parliamentary probe committee yesterday decided to submit its report to the House on corruption by former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar, his deputy Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui and former chief whip Khandaker Delwar Hossain on July 7.
The government doubled security in and around Ashulia yesterday as garment factories resumed production in full swing to end three days of violent labour unrest in the industrial area.
Almost all the 40,000 trucks running throughout the country carry weights more than twice the capacity, causing colossal damage to the roads and bridges.
Titas gas company made a record in revenue collection in 2008-09 fiscal year, exceeding actual sales, because of an improved management and strong drive for revenue collection. The state-owned organisation also achieved a notable drop in systems loss.
The parliamentary standing committee on LGRD ministry yesterday came down heavily on Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) for its failure to provide safe drinking water to city dwellers and dispose of sewage.
Share trading of 28 laggard companies has been suspended from today for an indefinite period by the stock market regulator.
The Main opposition BNP's central committee is now fraught with difficulties in resolving internal conflicts arisen out of the formation of full-fledged district convening committees.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday said Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty might have violated diplomatic norms through his comments on controversial Tipaimukh dam and Bangladeshi water experts.
Unruly miscreants under the shelter of the ruling party might have been involved in the arson attack on the sweater factory of Ha-Meem Group, said business sources.
The Right to Information (RTI) Act went into full effect yesterday with the formation of the three-member Information Commission by President Zillur Rahman.
The Tipaimukh dam issue should be resolved through talks between the heads of the governments of Bangladesh and India, said experts and political leaders at a roundtable yesterday.
The government yesterday decided to withdraw 66 more 'politically motivated' cases filed against Awami League (AL) leaders including party General Secretary Abdul Jalil.
Seven more swine flu cases were detected in the last two days raising the total to 16 in the country.
A special squad of police will provide security to garments factories rather than industrial police, said Labour, Employment and Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday.
A Dhaka court yesterday adjourned the hearing till July 12 on the government petitions seeking further investigation into the August 21 grenade attack cases following a time petition by the defence lawyers.
BNP last night announced new 101-member central committee of its student wing Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) with Sultan Salahuddin Tuku and Amirul Islam Khan Alim as president and general secretary.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) declared nine intersections, including level crossings, off limits to non-motorised vehicles--rickshaws and rickshaw vans-- from today.
A UN commission appointed to investigate the assassination of Pakistan's former prime minister Benazir Bhutto began work yesterday, despite skepticism that the probe will lead to convictions.
Iraqi forces were in control of towns and cities nationwide yesterday after the pullout of US troops six years after the invasion, but a bloody car bombing underscored the tough challenge ahead.
A North Korean ship under scrutiny for more than a week by the US Navy has changed course and was heading back the way it came, US officials said, as Pyongyang warned yesterday it will take military action if anyone attempts to search its vessels.
Belgian candidate Jean-Pol Poncelet pulled out of the race to succeed Mohamed ElBaradei as head of the UN atomic watchdog yesterday, leaving only three candidates still in the running.
East Timor's opposition called on Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao to resign yesterday for alleged corruption in awarding a multi-million-dollar contract to a company linked to his daughter.
THE passage of the national budget for FY 2009-10 through the parliament and its eventual adoption with certain modifications have had an unmistakable ritualistic ring. For, the budget has been adopted in record quick-time amid the absence of the opposition with its numerous cut-motions having been guillotined.
Acursory look at Motijheel and Dilkusha commercial areas makes one wonder at the city administration's turning a blind eye to the maddening traffic congestion and harrowing experience of the commuters. Getting in or out of the commercial hub has become a nightmarish ordeal, as hundreds of vehicles remain parked erratically on two sides of the four-lane roads. The resulting narrowing down of roads make it difficult to accommodate the rush of vehicles from early morning till late evening. On two sides of the roads, some of the multistoried buildings have allotted parking space but there are many others who do not have such a facility.
PLANNED urbanisation with a proper scheme of housing and settlement for the low and medium income group is woefully missing. Dhaka is dotted with small settlements at the fringe of each residential locus. Even some posh enclaves like Dhanmondi, Gulshan and Banani are changing in a negative direction, losing much of the characteristic of an ideal residential area. The original residential pattern, full of well-planned accommodations built around open spaces, is gradually fading.
RECRUITMENT for government service should aim at maximising mobilisation of skills and talents. The civil service is a key state institution, and is vital for building a strong sense of legitimacy. Economic development and building of power and legitimacy are intimately interrelated, and the civil service contributes to both.
Without the country's leading shooter Asif Hossain Khan, the hosts are looking forward to gain experience when the 5th South Asian Shooting Championship will be officially opened at the BKSP shooting range tomorrow.
Five-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer reached his 21st consecutive Grand Slam semifinal on Wednesday with a majestic 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) dismantling of giant Croatian Ivo Karlovic.
Venus and Serena Williams' stranglehold on Wimbledon is poised to tighten even further on Thursday as the United States takes on Russia in this corner of south-west London.
Jeff Thomson believes Australia will win the upcoming Ashes series against England by a single Test despite slating the captaincy skills of Ricky Ponting.
Bangladesh cricket team reached Barbados on Tuesday and open their campaign with a three-day match tomorrow against West Indies A at the Kensington Oval.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting said on Tuesday he was taken aback by former England skipper Michael Vaughan's decision to retire from cricket.
The name of Birshreshtha Shaheed Ruhul Amin Divisional Stadium has been changed as Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium following a government directive yesterday.
Gazipur DFA emerged zonal champions and reached the final round of the 2nd Grameen-Danone Nations Cup football tournament for 10-12 years boys eliminating Tangail DFA by a solitary goal at the Gazipur Stadium yesterday.
Grand Master Ziaur Rahman and Mohammad Hasan Emam won their respective third round games to share the lead in the 35th Mercantile Bank National Chess Championship at the NSC conference room yesterday.
With the crowd chanting his name, Kaka received a roaring welcome Tuesday when he was introduced at his new home of Real Madrid before at least 50,000 fans.
South Africans rallied behind football in a rare show of unity at the Confederations Cup, a year ahead of the 2010 World Cup, in a country trying to shake off decades of race segregation.
Liverpool striker Fernando Torres believes the club have to hang on to the likes of Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano if they are to depose Manchester United as Premier League champions.
Manchester United on Wednesday confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo's world-record 93 million euros transfer to Real Madrid has been completed.
Former Italy midfielder Roberto Di Matteo was named manager of relegated Premier League side West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday.
Manchester United said on Tuesday they have signed Wigan winger Antonio Valencia on a four-year contract for a fee believed to be in the region of 16 million pounds (22 million dollars).
Veteran Croatian international defender Josip Simunic signed for Hoffenheim on Tuesday from fellow Bundesliga rivals Hertha Berlin.
Promising young French midfielder Steven N'Zonzi became English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers fourth signing of the close season on Tuesday.
Republic of Ireland international striker Kevin Doyle became newly-promoted English Premier League side Wolves record signing on Tuesday as they paid 6.5million pounds to Reading for him.
Bangladeshi shooter Syeda Sadia Sultana finished seventh in the 10-metre air rifle of the first Asian Youth Games at Safra Yishun in Singapore yesterday.
Bangladesh Sports Writers' Association (BSWA) will accord a reception to country's noted sports writers Dr Nizamuddin Ahmed and Jalal Ahmed Chowdhury on the occasion of 'World Sports Journalist Day'.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan bowed out of cricket saying the current team could match the efforts of the side he led to Ashes glory in 2005.
Michael Atherton said the fact England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff was in the news for missing the team bus during a squad weekend away was an unwanted "distraction" ahead of the Ashes.
Pace bowlers Brett Lee and Stuart Clark are set to go head-to-head for a place in Australia's team for next week's first Ashes Test in Cardiff.
Former England skipper Nasser Hussain praised Michael Vaughan as "one of the very best England captains" Wednesday, the day after he announced he was retiring from the sport.
India's cricket board Wednesday announced the venues for the seven-match one-day international series between India and Australia in October-November.
England's all-powerful women's cricket team eased to a 55 run win at Chelmsford on Tuesday to go 2-0 up over Australia in their five-match one day international series.
West Indies captain Chris Gayle has signed up for Western Australia's Retravision Warriors for this year's domestic Twenty20 competition, officials said on Wednesday, hailing a major coup.
A rapid concretisation of houses in Dhaka and other divisional and district cities is pushing the growth rate of water pump sales by 15 to 20 percent a year.
The labour migration outflow slowed nearly 46 percent in the first six months of this year, dimming hopes for the growth of remittance.
NDB Capital Limited, an investment bank jointly ventured by Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, has offered project structuring and financing services to the government's Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives.
Palm oil, soybean oil, sugar, onion and pulse are among the essentials Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) is to start selling in open markets countrywide from the second week of August, ahead of Ramadan to keep their prices stable during the holy month.
The high-speed internet is the key to economic growth and job creation in developing countries, the World Bank (WB) said in a report yesterday.
Poultry farmers and industry operators yesterday opposed any government move for elimination of import restriction on egg, saying that withdrawal of the trade barrier would hurt their attempt to retrieve from the ruins of bird flu.
Thirty years ago Sony launched the Walkman, a gadget which revolutionised the way people around the world listened to music but has since been overtaken by an icon of the digital age -- the iPod.
Scott Painter makes his living betting on startup companies, having played a role in launching 29 of them over the years. But with the bad economy choking initial public offerings and acquisitions, Painter is now backing an idea that makes it easier for insiders like him to sell shares in their companies even before they go public.
Asian shares began the third quarter mixed Wednesday as a Japanese business confidence survey was met with disappointment, but positive manufacturing data from China gave further indication of recovery.
Oil rebounded above 70 dollars per barrel on Wednesday, after sharp losses the previous day, as traders awaited the weekly update on energy inventories in leading consumer the United States.
State Minister for Housing and Public Works Abdul Mannan Khan called upon all local and foreign firms to invest in the country's housing sector under public-private partnership (PPP), the newly conceived development paradigm, to rid the capital city of unplanned urbanisation.
DataSoft, the company that operates the automated systems of Chittagong seaport customs, has challenged the findings of an inquiry committee formed by National Board of Revenue (NBR) and demanded a high-level inquiry.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the government will take measures to introduce quality pearl farming massively in the country, as it is likely to open a new avenue for economic expansion.
French giants Marseille are set to break their transfer record with a 17.5million euros fee for Porto's Argentinan captain Lucho Gonzalez, the buying club announced on Tuesday.
The yen fell in Asian trade on Wednesday as a smaller-than-expected improvement in Japanese business confidence disappointed the market, dealers said.
Nomura Trust and Banking Co. is acquiring NikkoCiti Trust and Banking Corp from Citigroup Inc for 19 billion yen ($196 million) as the US financial group scales back its Japan business.
Japanese lenders Shinsei and Aozora, which have been hit hard by the global financial crisis, announced Wednesday a planned merger that would create the nation's sixth biggest commercial bank.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called Wednesday for Japanese companies to help fight global warming through green investment and ambitious emission cut targets, a business lobby said.
German logistics giant DHL plans to open 10 new regional transportation hubs in China this year, state media said Wednesday, tripling the number of such centres it operates in the country.
AKTEL, one of the largest mobile operators, announced a new offer for its prepaid customers, at a press conference in Dhaka yesterday.
Sweden's EU presidency will urge fellow members to tighten their belts after pumping several billion euros into their economies to offset the effects of the economic crisis, taking the risk of a conflict with the bloc's big spenders.
Chief executive officer (CEO) of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) AFM Shariful Islam has decided to resign.
Vietnam's economy grew at 3.9 percent in the first half of the year, the lowest level in a decade, but is on course to meet the government's full-year target, officials said Wednesday.
Sri Lanka has upgraded its growth forecast to more than three percent this year following the end of the island's decades-old ethnic conflict, the central bank chief said Wednesday.
Indigenous people will continue to suffer land-related problems unless Bangalee settlers are withdrawn from the hilly region and camps of army, BDR, police and Ansar are removed, speakers at a seminar said yesterday.
Anisul Islam Mahmud, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on expatriates' welfare ministry, yesterday criticised the bureaucrats for not being able to contain high cost that the overseas job seekers have pay to go abroad.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talked to Foreign Minister Dipu Moni over telephone on Tuesday evening and discussed bilateral issues.
Garment workers were not involved in June 27-29 mayhem in Ashulia rather a vested interest group was taking advantage of the situation, said leaders of Garment Workers Unity Forum yesterday.
The cabinet committee is going to suggest the ratio of the lowest and the highest salaries at 1:9.75 in the new pay scale for the government staffs.
Residents of Nayapara in Meradia have been suffering for over three months as Eastern Housing authorities have blocked a road passing through its Banasri project area by constructing a wall in violation of an order of DC office.
The Dhaka University Day was celebrated yesterday amid much enthusiasm and festivity.
The government has formed an evaluation and advisory committee for making necessary recommendations to evaluate the creative question method and training standards of teachers in this regard, said an official handout yesterday.
Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday urged the government to strengthen the local government as per the constitution for the overall development of the country.
Japan lauded the new national budget 2009-2010 of Bangladesh with the expectation that it would accelerate the desired socio-economic and infrastructural development of the country and assured assistance in its implementation.
British High Commissioner in Dhaka Stephen Evans yesterday met State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Hasan Mahmud at the foreign ministry.
A three-day conference of Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) begins at a city hotel in the evening today with special focus on development of manpower.
A live electric cable fell on stagnant rainwater and electrocuted a mother and her son at Lalbagh in the capital yesterday.
Pro-BNP lawyers yesterday demanded of the government to send a team of experts along with the parliamentary delegation to visit the site of 'controversial' Tipaimukh dam in order to determine what consequences Bangladesh might face if the dam is constructed by India.
The government has formed a 16-member committee to give suggestions to improve the level of English education in the country, said a press release yesterday.
The National Housing Authority (NHA) authorities yesterday knocked down around 200 makeshift houses at Mirpur-11 in the city.
Dental Faculty of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) opened outdoor for the evening shift yesterday, says a press release.
The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the governing body of Proshika to explain within 10 days why an injunction should not be imposed on its (governing body) decision removing Qazi Faruque Ahmed from the office of its chairman.
The firing of explosives will take place during military training at different spots, the Army Headquarters said yesterday, requesting people not to get confused about such explosions.
After fighting for life for three days, a garment worker who was beaten up by local criminals succumbed to his injuries at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) yesterday.
A contempt of court petition was filed yesterday with the High Court (HC) against BNP leader Nazmul Huda and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Muhammad Kamaruzzaman on charges of making 'derogatory' remarks about the HC judges who delivered the June 21 judgement on proclamation of independence.
A policeman was killed in a road accident in Bogar Bazar area on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway at Trishal here yesterday as a passenger bus hit a motorcycle, leaving its rider dead.
Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (Desco) has paid Tk 78.17 crore in taxes for 2008-09 through the National Board of Revenue (NBR), says a press release.
Benajir Ahmed, vice chairman and past chairman of the board of governors of North South University Foundation and an industrialist, was elected chairman of Lions Past District Governors Forum (PDG Forum) for second time of Lions Club International, Multiple Dist-315 Bangladesh, at its 13th annual general meeting on June 30, says a press release.
MA Wares and Md Nur Islam Chowdhury (Shimul) have been elected president and general secretary of University Grants Commission of Bangladesh (UGC) Karmakarta-Karmachari Parishad for 2009-2011 on June 28, says a press release.
Tribesmen attacked Taliban hideouts in northwest Pakistan yesterday, killing 28 militants and suffering seven fatalities themselves, and the intensifying battles prompted them to ask for army troops to help, a local lawmaker said.
India withdrew paramilitary forces from a curfew-bound town in Kashmir yesterday in an apparent bid to defuse tension after clashes with protesters left four people dead.
Existing anti-viral treatments are effective against swine flu, the World Health Organisation insisted yesterday, describing a reported case of resistance to Tamiflu as an isolated case.
One of the black box flight recorders from the Yemeni plane which crashed in the Indian Ocean on Tuesday has been located, a French official has said.
A teenage girl who is the only known survivor of a Yemeni jetliner crash could barely swim but managed to hang on long enough for rescuers to find her in the ocean, her father told French radio Wednesday.
Twenty people were killed and more than 1,000 arrested in the protests that swept Tehran after the disputed re-election of President Ahmadinejad last month, the country's police chief said yesterday.
Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd yesterday defended his "hardline and sensible approach" to refugee policy, after a people smuggling boat was intercepted with almost 200 on board.
The biggest US newspaper chain, Gannett, which owns USA Today, will eliminate more than 1,000 jobs at its local newspapers, the Wall Street Journal reported in its online edition yesterday.
Kuwait's interior minister yesterday survived a no-confidence vote in parliament submitted by MPs who accused him of squandering public funds and spying on lawmakers.
Residents of a Ukrainian village want to rename it after the late pop superstar Michael Jackson, a lawmaker who represents the village told AFP yesterday.
Two children injured in the explosion when a train ferrying liquid petroleum gas derailed in an Italian town died yesterday, bringing the death toll to 16, rescue workers said.
AFP, TEHRAN: Iran halted the publication yesterday of a reformist party newspaper after its defeated presidential candidate said he would refuse to recognise Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election, its website said.
AFP, PARIS: Angry Comoran youths staged a protest at Paris' main airport yesterday over flight conditions between France and their home islands after a Yemeni Airbus crash left 152 feared dead.
AFP, TOKYO: Japan's embattled Prime Minister Taro Aso yesterday appointed Yoshimasa Hayashi as the new state minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy, local media reported.
AFP, TEHRAN: Six people convicted of murder were hanged in Tehran's Evin prison yesterday, ISNA news agency reported.
AFP, JALALABAD: At least three people were killed and about 18 others reported missing when a raft sank yesterday in a river in eastern Afghanistan, an official said.
AFP, MANILA: Former Philippines leader Corazon Aquino, who is suffering from cancer, is undergoing "a difficult time," a senator and family friend said yesterday, calling on the nation to pray for her.
AFP, HONG KONG: Tens of thousands of people took to the sweltering streets of Hong Kong yesterday for an annual pro-democracy march, as the city marked the 12th anniversary of its return to China.
AFP, CANBERRA: Australia yesterday committed an extra US$ four million to humanitarian assistance in Pakistan and one million dollars to support elections in Afghanistan.
AFP, LOS ANGELES: Hundreds of mourners paid tribute to Farrah Fawcett Tuesday as the "Charlie's Angels" star was laid to rest in a private ceremony in Los Angeles.
Arts & Entertainment
Mahbuba Rahman with her golden voice captured many a heart in '50s and '60s in the then East Pakistan. She made her mark in the radio, television and films and received accolades, particularly for her debut playback in the first Bangla film made here, “Mukh O Mukhosh” (1955).
Recalling the golden era of Bangla music ('60s and '70s), Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy arranged a musical soiree featuring classic adhunik songs at the National Theatre Hall on June 30.
Thousands of Michael Jackson fans gave the late pop star a raucous yet respectful send-off during six hours of public memorial services celebrating his life and music at Harlem's Apollo Theater.
A 12-member troupe representing the reputed dance organisation Nrityanchal -- led by Shamim Ara Nipa and Shibli Mohammad -- has left Dhaka for San Francisco, USA yesterday.
The indigenous community of Hakimpur upazila under Dinajpur district received musical instruments allocated from the Prime Minister's Office with the hope to encourage and nurture the local artistes.
Channel i, in association with Kolkata- based satellite channel ETV Bangla, is set to launch a musical talent hunt titled "Sur Doria Epar Opar." The pageant features 30 artistes-- 15 each from both sides of the border. The programme will be aired Thursday to Saturday at 5:30pm.
An eleven-member troupe from Bangladesh Photo Journalists' Association (BPJA) left for Kathmandu to take part at a three-day photography exhibition, according to a press release.
The 30th death anniversary of noted poet Bonde Ali was observed in Pabna on June 27. To mark the day, a discussion on the life and works of the poet was held at the Kobi Bonde Ali Miah High School premises at Debottar under Atghoria upazila.
Banglavision will air a new drama serial titled "Khoj" starting from tonight at 8:15 pm. Jointly written by Rajibul Islam and Shojol Chowdhury and directed by the former, the serial will be aired every Thursday.
ALTHOUGH social concern about crime is directed primarily at violent crimes, property crime and public order crime constitute 85-95 of all crimes. Many people believe that crime is the most pressing problem in the US. But is it? How do you know how much crime is committed? How do you know if crime is, in fact, increasing or decreasing? The fact is that what we and the media know about crime, by and large, is based on statistics supplied by government agencies.
THE presidential elections in Iran have caused a series of protests that threaten to go on. This is none too small a crisis, although Iran is already at the centre of a big international crisis. The Israeli government and the Israeli lobby in America wanted the Americans to start a war against Iran. The Americans, even under Bush, figured that befriending Iran would help them stabilise both Iraq and Afghanistan; it would also help normalise Syrian-Israeli relations and promote the chances of a stable peace in ME.
THE autopsy of Michael Jackson will produce shock results for sure. Forensic scientists will open a white guy's body and find a black guy inside. One wonders which Michael Jackson will be immortalised in statues. The nice young man with the curls? Or His Royal Weirdness with the bleached skin and wig-like locks?
With the government emphasising development of Chittagong, preparation is nearing completion for implementation of the Chittagong City Ring Road project involving around Tk 10,000 crore with the financial assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Dreams of many GPA-5 achievers in Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations under Chittagong Board for admission to the city's renowned government colleges have been shattered for lack of seats.
Workshop on environment ends
A three-day training workshop on environment and environmental laws concluded in the port city on Monday.