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News of: Thursday, 16th of July, 2009
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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday assured Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that New Delhi would not take any step regarding their planned Tipaimukh Dam that might affect the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and India.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called for united approach of the Non-Aligned Movement grouping to deal with climate change, world economic recession and terrorism as the present-day world faces these three-pronged problems on way to progress.
The Mauritian government has decided to send back, by the end of this year, several thousand Bangladeshi workers working mostly in the African nation's readymade garment and textile industries.
As darkness descends on the Buriganga river, Tauhid begins blowing sulphuric-acid-dipped nozzles of stove burners in bare mouth being completely unaware of the corrosive impacts the acid would leave on his body.
Speaker Abdul Hamid is facing a host of pending issues that need to be addressed carefully because of their political importance like scrapping parliament membership of BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury.
The government is in a dilemma over which law the trials of the February 25-26 BDR mutiny and carnage will be held under.
Fulgazi Upazial Nirbahi Officer (UNO) in Feni was assaulted by upazila Juba League president at his office yesterday.
An Iranian airliner en route to neighbouring Armenia caught fire mid-air and crashed in farmland yesterday, killing all 168 people on board in the worst air disaster in Iran in recent years.
The Election Commission may decide today the next course of action on registered political parties' probable failure to comply with the law and their own pledges to submit ratified party constitutions to the commission by July 25.
Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) doubled the price of one lorry of water with effect from yesterday.
BNP Vice President Hafiz Uddin Ahmed yesterday said the parliamentary committee, which would visit the Tipaimukh site, is not neutral and won't be able to work independently.
The construction of a deep-sea port will begin by the end of next year following completion of its design, the government announced yesterday, envisaging that the port will have an enormous positive impact on the country's economy.
Some extortionist groups are collecting tolls in the names of ruling party men and law-enforcers from the city's bus terminals--a phenomenon that has started in recent times after a halt of over two years.
Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation has sought a block allocation as grant from the government to import a month's crude and refined oil as the state-run organisation is now short of working capital.
Detective police rescued kidnapped Md Farhad Hossain on Tuesday, six days after his abduction, and arrested five people in this connection from different parts of the country.
A group of soldiers who took part in Israel's assault in Gaza say widespread abuses were committed against civilians under "permissive" rules of engagement.
Two more cases were filed yesterday against former telecommunications minister barrister Aminul Haque, deputy minister for land Ruhul Kuddus Talukdar Dulu, ex-MP Nadim Mostafa and 101 others on charges of patronising militants and committing extortion and repression.
The High Court yesterday declared illegal the BNP-led four-party alliance government's halt of state honorarium and other facilities to 366 war-wounded freedom fighters.
Rapid Action Battalion arrested four members of the banned Islamist outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh at the city's Rupnagar, Kanchpur in Narayanganj and in Jamalpur during the last three days.
The High Court (HC) yesterday exonerated former vice-chancellor of Dhaka University Prof Emajuddin Ahmed from the contempt of court charge regarding proclamation of independence after he sought unconditional apology in black and white.
At least 40 students and staffers of a private medical college in Ashulia were injured yesterday as they were locked in a clash.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday shot dead a Bangladeshi cattle trader on Bhurungamari border.
A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the southwest coast of New Zealand yesterday, seismologists said, prompting a brief tsunami warning but no casualties or major damage.
THE central bank has announced a liberal, multi-targeted and inclusive farm credit policy with a ring of novelty in certain respects. In terms of the objectives and targets set, the new policy leaves practically nothing more to be desired.
THIS is a moment of relief for Bangladesh cricket whose Test status has come under occasional embarrassing remarks by pundits, as our cricketers have had a habit of losing Test matches in three or four days. The win against West Indies at Kingston, an extremely hard fought one, should help heal the wounds sustained over the years. It is more than four years since Bangladesh won a Test match, that, too, on the home ground against Zimbabwe. But this is our first-ever Test victory on foreign soil, what if it is against a weaker West Indies side! Congratulations, the new captain, Mashrafe and vice-captain Sakib-ul-Hasan deserve thanks for their leadership.
ANYONE who would like to see the armed forces run professionally would welcome the prime minister's order to reexamine all cases of premature retirement and irregular supersessions in the armed forces made on political grounds in the last seven years, as also the other cases of alleged irregularities.
IF you want to know where India is heading, check out the grandmothers. A chance flick of my television remote, perennially restless with boredom, took me to one of those imitative dance competitions that apparently keep millions transfixed in the name of talent. My reaction was a mere fix, rather than a heavy transfix, but that glimpse was sufficient to reveal the contours, literally, of a rising phenomenon. Preteeners, inbetweeners (that aggressive demographic segment between child and adolescent) and nubile fantasists were gyrating with enough sexual innuendo to embarrass a Bollywood choreographer.
ADMINISTRATIVELY, a democratic government may be less efficient than a non-accountable government. Yet, democracy is the best because it gives full freedom (not license) to think, speak and protest, and people are even empowered to force the government to step down. This does not mean that a group of people or some leaders of the party in position can ensure their own interest, causing harm to the nation.
Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is unlikely to lead the team in the second and final Test against West Indies, which will start tomorrow at the National Stadium in Grenada.
Andrew Flintoff will retire from Test cricket at the end of the ongoing Ashes series against Australia, the injury-prone England all-rounder announced here on Wednesday.
Pakistan's cricket chief on Wednesday denied boycotting a meeting in India that handed the country's World Cup 2011 matches to co-hosts and called again for talks on winning back the fixtures.
England head into the second Test against Australia as yet uncertain over whether all-rounder Andrew Flintoff will feature in their bid for a first Ashes win here at Lord's in 75 years.
The West Indies selectors have retained their new-look squad for the second Test against Bangladesh starting on Friday. Batsman Ryan Hinds has been added to the team.
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) is soon going to renovate the ground of Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS) ahead of this season's football likely to start mid-September.
National football coach Edson Silva Dido once again showed his disappointment over the facilities provided by the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF).
The Daily Star capitulated to a 5-2 loss against Gemcon to bow out of the Ascent 5-a-side corporate indoor soccer cup with their heads hanging low.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes England will recall fast bowler Stephen Harmison for the second Ashes Test here at Lord's.
Kumar Sangakkara on Wednesday celebrated victory over Pakistan in his first series as Sri Lanka's captain with a warning to teammates to guard against future setbacks.
England great Geoffrey Boycott warned on Tuesday Test cricket was "dying" around the world because of a lack of spectator interest and said radical action was needed to revitalise the five-day game.
Before this Ashes series it was reported Australia players, almost as famous for their verbal taunts as their on-field brilliance, had received letters banning them from 'sledging'.
Former greats Wednesday blamed poor Pakistan team spirit for yet another sudden batting collapse that forced a seven-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in the second Test in Colombo.
England captain Andrew Strauss expects his side to correct the mistakes they made during last week's drawn opener against Australia when the second Ashes Test starts at Lord's here on Thursday.
Carlos Tevez completed his move to Manchester City on a five-year contract on Tuesday, and rubbished claims made by Sir Alex Ferguson that he had shunned calls from his former manager.
It may seem unlikely but a Brazilian and a Swede hold the key to Italy's Serie A's sense of self-esteem and well-being.
Mark Hughes has confirmed Manchester City could make a third bid for John Terry and said the England captain may welcome a "a change of scenery".
Real Madrid captain Raul heaped praise Tuesday on his new teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, calling the Portuguese international winger "super nice" and a "hardworking".
Slow ticket sales for a tournament involving three English Premiership teams and China's Beijing Guoan are causing concerns among sponsors, according to state media.
Seville striker Luis Fabiano could sign for AC Milan for around €20m, according to the Brazilian's agent.
Mahfuza Akhter Kiron has been made executive member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
Bangladesh Under-19s were facing a daunting task to avoid another heavy defeat against England Under-19s on the final day of the second four-dayer at the County ground in Derby yesterday.
Dhaka Stock Exchange, the premier bourse, sees the central bank's recent intervention in the market as the main reason for a downward trend in trade.
Labour leaders yesterday emphasised trade unionism in the apparel sector to ensure workers rights, while owners expressed their concerns over the role of such unions in the industry.
More than 50 heads of state from the developing world met Wednesday in Egypt to tackle the fallout from the global economic meltdown, with calls for a "new world order" to prevent a repeat of the crisis.
Eclipsed by a globe-trotting president, a foreign policy-savvy vice president and a bevy of special envoys, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is struggling to re-emerge this week as the Obama administration's diplomatic heavyweight.
The government yesterday announced a plan of action to detect nitrofuran in shrimp exports to avoid any ban on the item by major importers in the EU and US.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina requested Bahrain to recruit more manpower from Bangladesh and make investment in the country's various prospective development sectors.
Being suspended for a fortnight, coal import from the Indian states of Meghalaya and Assam will resume today through land custom stations of Sylhet-Mymensingh region, officials said yesterday.
Brac should ensure accountability in its activities with the grassroots to widen its development network, said economist Rehman Sobhan yesterday.
Tiger IT Bangladesh Ltd has been ranked second by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for developing an automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS) with high accuracy.
A festival of authentic Thai cuisines began at Westin Dhaka hotel yesterday.
The Municipality of Pabna announced a Tk 86.03 crore budget for the current fiscal year without imposing any new tax.
A fall in goods and services trade by value in major industrialised countries slowed in the first quarter 2009 but the figures still showed a significant setback, the OECD reported on Wednesday.
Japan's central bank said Wednesday it was extending its emergency measures to tackle the worst recession in decades, as it downgraded its outlook for the world's number two economy.
The Philippines on Wednesday brushed off a World Bank suggestion that it raise oil taxes to shore up revenues, saying it did not wish to hit people in the pocket amid a slowing economy that has already crimped consumer spending.
Tea plantation workers are expected to see a ray of hope as the government is on course to fix minimum wages for the sector for the first time.
Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs shattered forecasts Tuesday with 3.44 billion dollars in quarterly profit after paying back a US government bailout, suggesting the financial crisis is easing.
Better-than-expected second-quarter results from US banking titan Goldman Sachs sent Asian markets higher for a second straight session Wednesday as economic recovery hopes were boosted.
The dollar dipped against the euro on Wednesday as the foreign exchange market looked ahead to more US banking results after surprisingly strong earnings from titan Goldman Sachs, dealers said.
Oil was higher in Asian trade Wednesday but any further sharp gains were likely to be capped by worries over weak US energy demand, analysts said.
China's foreign exchange reserves surged to a record 2.13 trillion dollars at the end of June, the central bank said Wednesday, as money poured into the country while the economy strengthened.
Filipinos working abroad sent home a record 1.48 billion dollars in May, up 3.7 percent from a year earlier, the central bank said Wednesday, giving Manila hope it could avoid recession this year.
Bendigo Bank on Wednesday became the first Australian financial institution to ask its workers to take unpaid leave because of the economic downturn.
The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Britain rose in June at the slowest pace for 13 months, official data showed on Wednesday.
Green Delta Insurance Company Ltd has elected M Muhibur Rahman as its chairman, said a statement.
The government has taken massive programmes to computerise land records and survey system for making land management transparent and accessible to all, said Land Minister Rezaul Karim Hira.
British High Commissioner Stephen Evans yesterday said the opposition should return to parliament and play its role in challenging the government over policy issues to ensure sustainable democracy.
BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said they will seek six more months from the Election Commission (EC) to submit the party constitution after holding the council in a democratic way.
The World Bank with the help of other development partners is going to conduct a study on costing of adaptation to climate change in Bangladesh.
The monsoon depression over northwest Bay and adjoining area moved northwestwards over the same area.
Chittagong Government High School and Silver Bells Girls' High School moved to the final round defeating BAF Shaheen College and Chittagong Collegiate School respectively in the semi-final of the school debate of 'Mutual Trust Bank-The Daily Star Debate Competition 2009' here yesterday.
Climate change is an issue of human rights and justice for Bangladesh where over two crore people are predicted to be displaced because of the rise in sea level and other climate-induced adverse impacts.
Awami League (AL) lawmaker Obaidul Quader yesterday said the government would bring the house of veteran communist leader and former chief minister of West Bengal Jyoti Basu at Barodi in Narayanganj under the archeological department for its permanent preservation with a view to honoring the veteran leader.
The government will relax the retirement age for scientists and researchers as part of its plan to strengthen research activities in the agriculture sector, Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque said yesterday.
A Narayanganj court yesterday sentenced four people to death and 12 others to life imprisonment for killing Awami League leader Haji Kafil Uddin.
The government yesterday decided to withdraw 69 more 'politically motivated' cases against Awami League leaders filed during the tenures of the four-party alliance and the caretaker governments.
The BNP, main opposition in parliament, will hold a seminar on the controversial Indian project to build a dam at Tipaimukh on the cross-border river Barak in a bid to create public opinion against the project.
Home Minister Sahara Khatun, who underwent operation for waist injuries at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, is likely to return home next week.
BNP leader and Tanore Mundumala Pourasava mayor Shish Mohammad, convicted in two cases during the past purge, was sent to jail on his surrender before a Rajshahi court yesterday.
Three people, including a woman and her daughter, were killed and 12 others injured in separate road accidents in Dinajpur and Pabna in two days.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said well-off persons and established institutions should extend their hands to make poor and meritorious students national resources, says a press release.
A Dhaka court yesterday relieved Awami League (AL) lawmaker Iqbalur Rahim, Swechchhasebok League President AFM Baha-uddin Nasim and three others of a Tk 1 crore extortion case.
The High Court (HC) yesterday directed three labour leaders to surrender before the trial court within eight weeks in connection with three cases filed against them following the recent vandalism in garment factories in Ashulia.
A separate website will be launched soon to publish the results of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examinations.
Nine competitors remain in the race to clinch the most coveted title in the 'Horlicks Future Force' competition in the camp round in Gazipur as 21 children were excluded from the contest.
Jatiya Party (E) formed a 49-member conference preparatory committee ahead of its national conference.
The National University will put all information of its activities, including registration, examinations, results, research and teachers' training, into digital form with a view to making communication with students, guardians and teachers easier.
The government is going to form a new organisation comprising all regulatory bodies, including those who provide registrations to different non-government organisations (NGOs), to monitor their activities and ensure accountability.
Awami League General Secretary Abdul Jalil yesterday said he is being deprived of his duties as the party general secretary with regard to the upcoming council of the party on July 24.
The deadline for depositing money for performing Hajj both under ballottee and non-ballottee arrangement has been extended up to July 22, said an official handout.
Navy Chief Rear Admiral Zahiruddin Ahmed goes to India on July 22 for a weeklong visit at the invitation of his Indian counterpart.
A Dhaka court yesterday jailed former forest conservation official Anwarul Iqbal for eight years in a case filed against him for amassing wealth illegally and concealing wealth information to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
Advocate Sayeed Ahmed Gazi of the daily Inquilab and Advocate Ashraf-Ul-Alam of the daily Prothom Alo have been elected president and general secretary respectively of Court Reporters' Association for 2009-2010, says a press release.
Nazrul Haque, head of the Department of Natural History at Bangladesh National Museum, has been suffering from cancer, says a press release.
Intisar Zahin Arup, a third-year meritorious student of pharmacy department at Jahangir-nagar University (JU), has been suffering from blood cancer, says a press release.
Khulna City Corporation (KCC) resumes its drive to free 22 canals from the grip of encroachers today.
Cross sections of people, including students from different schools, formed a human chain at Court Square in Rangpur town yesterday morning in protest against 'false' medical report on a schoolgirl who was gang-raped on June 5.
A fake beneficiary has drawn allowance for the elderly people against a dead man for a few months allegedly in connivance with a few staff of a bank branch at Domar.
Thirty-nine primary school teachers under the development project have not got their salary of last three months allegedly due to official snags.
USAID and Bogra-based NGO Gram Unnayan Karma (GUK) have jointly initiated a training programme to give farmers knowledge about reducing pesticide use in fields and growing quality vegetables
Sirajganj Water Development Board (WDB) Executive Engineer Aminul Islam was made OSD yesterday for negligence of duty to protect Sirajganj Town Protection Embankment, WDB sources said.
Eight fishermen went missing in the Bay near Kuakata sea beach as fishing trawler FB Mayer Ashirbad capsized Tuesday evening.
Criminals gang-raped a housewife in Saidpur municipality area on Tuesday night.
Janajuddha faction of outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) has demanded Tk 10 lakh as toll from President of Khulna district unit of Awami League Kamruzzaman Jamal. One person identifying himself over cell phone as an armed cadre of the outlawed party on Monday also threatened to kill him for non payment of the amount. Jamal filed a general diary the same day with Khulna Sadar police station seeking security of his life. Meanwhile, local leaders of all political parties expressed their grave concern at the return of extremists in and around Khulna City.
Principal and vice president of the governing body of a college were sentenced on Tuesday to three years imprisonment for cheating. Convicts Motiur Rahman, principal and Amzad Hossain Mollah, vice president of Chitra Model College of Bagherpara in Jessore were also fined 1000 taka each, in default, to suffer one year more in jail. One Akter Hossain, filed a case with Jessore chief judicial magistrate's court on December 19, 2007, alleging that the convicts took 50 thousand taka from him in the name of development fund and assured him of giving a job of lecturer in the college. But they neither gave him the job nor returned the money.
A tiger killed a woodcutter in Naikati area of the Sundarbans yesterday. Police said victim Abu Moral, 50, son of Shukchand Moral of village Dalnekhali, went to the Sundarbans in the early morning to collect fuel wood. All of a sudden a tiger swooped on him and dragged him into the deep forest. Local people recovered the body in the afternoon.
A devastating fire gutted around 70 shanties of a slum at Kalshi Digir Par in Halishahar area in the port city in the early hours yesterday. Two fire fighting units from Agrabad Fire Station rushed to the spot to bring the blaze under control. The fire originated from gas burner, said the sources in fire service. Dwellers of the gutted houses were mostly garments workers.
The head of the British Army yesterday called for more "boots on the ground" in Afghanistan, as Prime Minister Gordon Brown faced fresh accusations that troops were badly equipped.
The last remaining United Nations observers in Georgia leave their posts yesterday, a month after their mandate expired.
A civil servant in Egypt has been jailed for three years for insulting President Hosni Mubarak in a poem, according to newspaper reports.
Ethiopia's state minister for communication affairs has refused to return home from the United Sates after an official visit, a top government official told AFP yesterday.
Nigeria's main militant group yesterday declared a 60-day truce in its "oil war" with the government after the release of its leader Henry Okah under an amnesty deal.
Deadly skirmishes in Pakistan's Swat valley triggered fresh concern yesterday about worsening security as the government returned thousands of civilians displaced by a military offensive.
Police battled unidentified gunmen yesterday near a US-owned gold mine in Indonesia's Papua province, where a recent spate of deadly ambushes has claimed three lives.
China issued a security alert yesterday to its citizens in Algeria after al-Qaeda reportedly vowed to avenge the deaths of Muslims killed during ethnic unrest in this northwestern Chinese city.
Cyber attacks last week that crippled major US and South Korean websites originated from a master server in Britain, a major Vietnamese computer security centre said yesterday.
The Iranian airliner en route to neighbouring Armenia crashed yesterday after one of its engines caught fire, an Armenian official said.
The Palestinian Authority ordered the closure of Al-Jazeera television in the occupied West Bank yesterday for airing "false" information, the government said in a statement.
Google Inc shut one of its offices in southern India for two days after an employee tested positive for swine flu, a company statement said yesterday.
China yesterday blasted a Turkish call for a boycott of Chinese goods as "irresponsible", a day after it angrily denounced accusations from Turkey that it was guilty of genocide.
The commander of Turkey's contingent in the NATO force in Afghanistan and another soldier have been killed in a road accident in northern Afghanistan, the foreign ministry said yesterday.
A British teenager lost for 12 days while hiking in Australia's Blue Mountains was found alive and well Wednesday, just hours before his father who had all but given up hope of ever seeing him again planned to fly back to England.
A Spanish pensioner who became the oldest woman in the world to give birth in 2006 when she had twin boys at the age of 67 using in vitro fertilization has died, media reported yesterday.
Arts & Entertainment
The timeless works of two Bangladeshi nightingales -- Ferdousi Begum (now Rahman) and Feroza Begum -- were presented at “A Feast of Ghazals,” an evening dedicated to the singers of yesteryears in New Delhi.
The famous 'kansa' (bell-metal) industry in Tangail is heading for extinction due to various obstacles say local artisans: A decline in the demand for kansa-made goods, lack of skilled craftsmen, high prices of requisite coal and huge price hikes of raw materials.
Young filmmaker Murad Parvez's "Chandragrahan" received the best film award at the Rainbow Film Festival held in London. "Chandragrahan" was one of the six films produced by Impress Telefilm Ltd that were screened at the festival. Mostafa Sarwar Farooki's "Emon Deshti Kothao Khujey Pabey Nako Tumi" (another Impress Telefilm production), won the special mention award.
Drama serial "Khoj" will be aired tonight at 8:15 pm on Banglavision. The serial has been jointly written by Rajibul Islam and Shojol Chowdhury, and directed by the former.
Shahid Kapoor is known for his boy next door looks. Apart from that his romantic liaison with Bollywood princess Kareena Kapoor has earned him the required dose of name and fame. Perhaps his most well known films are "Ishq Vishk" (2003), "Vivaah" (2006) and "Jab We Met" (2007).
Single-episode play "Autri" will be aired tonight on Desh TV at 9:45 pm. The play has been written and directed by Shibu Kumar Shil.
'Pragati Durniti Birodhi Pracharana Samannay Committee', a civic co-ordination body campaigning against corruption, held a discussion and cultural function yesterday to mobilise public opinion against this evil.
A lot is being said about Tipaimukh and its impact on Bangladesh; so much so that people really feel threatened and are worried by the extent to which the highest-degree-adjectives and expressions are being used by many (including "water-experts," opinion leaders, and political leaders) about its disastrous impacts.
THE US State Department downgraded Bangladesh to Tier 2 Watch List from Tier 2 in their Trafficking in Persons Report 2009, through a system that ranks countries whose governments do not fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act's minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to comply with those standards.
An initiative is underway to dredge the river Karnaphuli to free the lifeline of the port city from siltation and construct a 2.5km marine driveway along the river.
Mango farming in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is gradually gaining popularity among the indigenous people instead of traditional jhum cultivation as it paves way for economic prospect for them.
Felling of trees protested
A human chain was formed here on Sunday demanding an end to felling trees at Sitakunda coastal belt in Chittagong.