News of: Tuesday, 25th of August, 2009
The cabinet committee on economic affairs yesterday approved oil and gas exploration bids for three off-shore blocks under the condition that the explorers would not work in the internationally disputed maritime areas until the dispute is resolved.
No government has ever complied with the forest laws to recognise the land rights of the indigenous Garo or Mandi and Koch people, traditional inhabitants of the Madhupur Sal Forest, but rather used the forestland for non-forestry purposes.
One more child with paracetamol syrup-induced renal failure was admitted to Dhaka Shishu Hospital on Sunday.
Jubo League and Chhatra League cadres yesterday snatched tender schedules from a number of contractors inside the Khadya Bhaban office of food ministry in presence of police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the authorities to ensure vehicles are not parked haphazardly in the capital where illegal parking contributes to huge traffic snarl-ups every day.
Essential commodities, including edible soybean oil, onion, garlic and rice, are being smuggled into Myanmar through at least 23 border points of Teknaf and Ukhia upazilas in the district, sources concerned said.
The government is set to give promotions to a large number of civil administration officials, prioritising those who were denied promotions by previous governments.
As the government launched a drive to rid the capital of unfit vehicles and ease congestion, owners and drivers of such vehicles thronged the offices of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority to get their papers in order.
A few fast food shops on Level-8 of Bashundhara City, a mega-shopping complex in the capital, were damaged in a fire that started from a stove early today.
Around 200 passengers, mostly migrant workers, staged demonstration at Zia International Airport (ZIA) in the city yesterday morning protesting delay of an Abu Dhabi-bound Biman flight.
Gas crisis in many areas across the capital intensified since Sunday, the first day of Ramadan, causing sufferings to thousands of city residents.
A mobile court yesterday penalised three factories and a filling station of Tk 4.5 lakh and awarded imprisonment to a factory owner on charges of illegal production and sale of food items and weight manipulation.
India yesterday handed over 175 Bangladeshi nationals rescued around eight months ago from sea near the Andaman Islands.
The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday fixed October 5 for holding hearing on the appeals in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman assassination case.
Another Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) camp was pulled out from Gumti area under Matiranga upazila in Khagrachhari district yesterday.
The Supreme Court today holds hearing on the reference seeking its (SC) opinion on whether the people charged with mutiny and massacre at the BDR headquarters can be tried under the military law.
A Dhaka court yesterday asked two Harkatul Jihad (Huji) operatives to explain by August 30 why their bails would not be cancelled in the August 21 grenade attack case.
Everest Enterprise, an aggrieved private berth operator, prepares to file a compensation suit of Tk 25 crore against former adviser to the last caretaker government Maj Gen (retd) MA Matin.
The High Court (HC) yesterday extended for one year its earlier order granting bail to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in Gatco corruption case.
Two criminals were killed in "crossfire" and two police constables sustained injuries in separate incidents of gunfight with law enforcers in the capital and Pabna early yesterday.
The abducted PHP Rubber garden supervisor Hefajetur Rahaman was released after eight days in the district yesterday.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that government forces had foiled a planned terrorist attack on parliament and buildings of the intelligence agency and other federal institutions last month.
More than 200 people are expected to go on trial this week for their involvement in sectarian riots last month that killed nearly 200 people in China's eastern region of Xinjiang, a state-run newspaper reported yesterday.
THE government's decision to fight religious extremism on the social and political fronts, instead of relying solely on the law and order approach, has a lot in it that we concur in. The realisation that extremism is but a product of a number of socio-political shortcomings or failures, and as such not easy to uproot through application of force alone, is necessary to combat the evil effectively.
THE media has been the whipping boy, particularly of government policy planners, for whatever failure they encounter. Recently, two very senior ministers of the government, the finance and commerce ministers, have criticised the media for what they termed as the excessive media focus on the subject that has contributed to the price spiral.
THE traffic problem in Dhaka is a veritable absurdity, a nuisance of ignoble proportion that the hordes of ministers, MPs, mayors, engineers and bureaucrats allowed to grow over the last fifteen years or so. They sat and talked and watched as the problem turned into a vicious monster and began to slowly eat up the capital to satiate its voracious hunger. They didn't have time to read the research reports that said that city roads were not long or wide enough to accommodate so many private cars, auto-rickshaws, trucks, covered vans and cycle-rickshaws.
The opening ceremony of the ICC World Cup 2011, which is slated for February 18 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS), may be brought forward by a day to give the team's a one-day break before the start of the main event.
Seven national hockey players left Dhaka for Germany yesterday to hone their skills for different clubs in the most modern domestic competition as part of their preparation for next year's South Asian Games.
The morning after England's 2005 Ashes victory, Andrew Flintoff could barely stand, having enjoyed an all-night vigil at the bar which continued well into the following day. Fast-forward four years and it was a much more sober and mature Flintoff who reflected on his second series triumph over Australia and prepared himself for another long period of rehabilitation.
So acute is the pain of a second Ashes defeat that Ricky Ponting, the Australian captain, has declared himself amenable to the idea of a fifth tour of England in 2013. Ponting, who on Sunday became the first Australian captain since Billy Murdoch to twice lead Australia to Ashes series defeats in England, said the prospect of atoning for losses in 2005 and 2009 could convince him to return for one final campaign at the age of 38.
World number one Roger Federer defeated fourth-seeded Novak Djokovic 6-1, 7-5 to win the Cincinnati Masters title Sunday and cement his status as favourite for the upcoming US Open.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza returned home yesterday after successful operations on both his knees in Melbourne, Australia.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) released itineraries for the England Under-19s and Zimbabwe Under-19s tours to Bangladesh in October-November this year.
Defending champions Inter Milan were held to a surprise 1-1 draw at home to promoted Bari at the San Siro on Sunday in their first match of the new Serie A season.
Defending champions VfL Wolfsburg slumped to a shock 4-2 defeat at home to Hamburg on Sunday to leave Leverkusen top of the Bundesliga, while German giants Bayern Munich were humbled by Mainz.
Ethiopian superstar Kenenisa Bekele and Americans LaShawn Merritt and Sanya Richards won their second gold medals on the final day of the world athletics championships here on Sunday.
Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch on Monday refused to blame his panel for Australia's shattering loss of the Ashes to England.
Chelsea maintained their perfect start to life under Carlo Ancelotti with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Fulham on Sunday.
Reigning champions Bordeaux raced two points clear in the French league on Sunday after a 4-0 thrashing of Nice which made it three wins out of three for Laurent Blanc's men.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp believes his side are ready to nail down a place in the Premier League's top four after making their best start to a season for 49 years.
Burnley's fairytale start to life in the Premier League continued on Sunday as Wade Elliott's goal earned a 1-0 victory over Everton.
Everton on Sunday confirmed they have agreed a fee with English Premier League rivals Manchester City for the sale of defender Joleon Lescott, bringing to an end a bitter, summer-long saga.
Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 3-0 in the Spanish Super Cup second leg on Sunday for a 5-1 aggregate win.
A 19-year-old spectator was shot dead and a holiday resort set alight in India as furious supporters of a losing amateur football team went on the rampage, police said.
Practising Muslim Abdelkader Ghezzal celebrated the start of Ramadan, his religion's holy month of fasting, with a goal in Siena's 2-1 home to defeat to AC Milan but then admitted he would not be able to fulfill his religious obligations.
England cricket captain Andrew Strauss was hailed as a hero in the British press Monday after leading his team to victory, while questions were raised about Australian skipper Ricky Ponting's future.
As many as 25 players including three foreign recruits sought the intervention of the Bangladesh Football Federation to clear their last season's unpaid wages from Muktijoddha Sangsad KC.
Elena Dementieva won her third singles title of the year, snapping a run of poor showings against Maria Sharapova in an all-Russian showdown at the WTA Rogers Cup on Sunday.
Australia's 2-1 Ashes defeat, confirmed with a heavy 197-run loss at The Oval on Sunday, has cost them their No. 1 spot in the ICC Test rankings. They have slipped to fourth, with South Africa now the No. 1 Test team in the world, followed by Sri Lanka and India.
The GP-BCB National Cricket Academy (NCA) suffered a 93-run defeat in the third and final one-day match to lose the series by 1-2 against Standard Bank National Academy of South Africa (SBNA) in Johannesburg on Sunday.
Grand Master Reefat Bin Sattar slipped to third position at the close of fifth round of the 9th United Insurance & United Leasing Grandmasters Chess Tournament at the National Sports Council Tower Lounge yesterday.
Bangladesh bagged two gold medals in the 5th Korean Open International Taekwondo Championship that concluded on Friday in Incheon, Korea.
Mohammedan SC retained the services of midfielder Enamul Haque Sharif for the upcoming season as the Black and Whites yesterday signed up Sharif.
The cause of concern is the average inflation rate, which takes the heat mainly from supply-side bottlenecks, said Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) yesterday.
Monthly mobile subscriber acquisition growth marked a 357 percent rise in July to 1.28 million compared to only 0.28 million the previous month, indicating a price war in the market against the backdrop of no SIM tax waiver in the 2009-10 budget.
Banks are considering financing public private partnership (PPP) projects actively in the wake of a sharp decline in domestic investment demand.
The government has taken initiative to bring a drought-tolerant rice seed, Nerica, from Uganda in the face of mounting threat to food security amid looming climate change.
A specialised design school will help educate local women entrepreneurs to understand the latest in fashion trends around the world and export their products to developed nations, said the commerce minister yesterday.
In a bid to identify and promote deserving women entrepreneurs, a six-day international trade show targeting Eid began in Dhaka yesterday.
China plans to provide over $1 billion for funding three projects in Bangladesh as Dhaka and Beijing are negotiating the terms of the loan.
Australia's second-largest press group Fairfax Media on Monday reported an annual net loss of 380.0 million dollars (315.4 million US) as the global downturn and the Internet hit earnings.
A local manufacturing company, Modeste Limited, will set up a garment factory at Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) at a cost of US$ 5.098 million.
Singapore Airlines (SA) announced Malcolm Leong as general manager for Bangladesh with effect from August 19,2009, according to a press statement.
Yahoo Inc and Microsoft Corp hope that by joining forces, they can tilt the balance of power in internet search away from Google Inc. First, however, Yahoo and Microsoft have to convince regulators that their plan won't hurt online advertisers and consumers.
Just recently when I have gone through the latest Brand Finance report, it was found the global financial crisis has taken a heavy toll on banks' brand valuations.
Following a relatively volatility caused by investor shakiness, the Dhaka market finished slightly lower yesterday.
Air India needs a bailout of nearly 620 million dollars to keep flying, a minister said in remarks published Monday, in which he added he was certain the loss-making airline would survive.
Thailand's economy shrank by 4.9 percent year-on-year in the second quarter but is showing signs of recovery from the global slowdown, official figures showed Monday.
Overseas investors will flee the Philippines if Congress passes a bill making it harder to hire short-term workers or lay-off employees, foreign businesses warned on Monday.
Taiwan's unemployment rate in July hit a record high of 6.07 percent largely due to an increase in first-time jobseekers during the graduation season, the government said Monday.
Russia is creating a new holding firm to bundle state-owned stakes in three of its top auto firms, in an apparent bid to help the embattled sector overcome the economic crisis, reports said on Monday.
Oil prices rose slightly Monday on increased signs of economic recovery ahead, traders said.
Vietnam's trade deficit in the first eight months fell an estimated 68 percent year on year to 5.1 billion dollars due to a significant drop in imports, official figures showed Monday.
The dollar and the euro climbed against the safe-haven yen on Monday as hopes grew that the world economy was heading towards a recovery following positive US data, dealers said.
Irish pharmaceuticals group Warner Chilcott has agreed to buy the prescription-drug unit of US consumer products giant Procter & Gamble for 3.1 billion dollars (2.2 billion euros), the two said on Monday.
Factories in the 16 nations using the euro single currency saw demand rebound by 3.1 percent in June compared to May, after two months of falls, according to official EU data released Monday.
Bangladesh moved a proposal at the World Water Forum Conference in Stockholm to strike an international framework treaty for proper use of water of international rivers and water bodies by the UN member-states, as disputes in this regard prevail in different corners of the globe.
Speakers at a sit-in programme yesterday urged the government to impose restrictions on private cars to reduce traffic congestion in the city.
Karmojibi Nari (KN) yesterday observed the Resistance to Violence Against Women Day or Yasmin Day 2009 with a call for implementing the National Women Development Policy 2008 immediately.
Eleven people were killed in separate road accidents in Comilla, Chapainawabganj, Munshiganj, Chittagong and Bogra in last two days.
A pilot project for receiving applications for British passports in Sylhet was launched yesterday.
Encroachment of canals and poor solid waste management are behind the chronic waterlogging problem in urban areas, especially in the capital city during the monsoon.
Speakers at a citizens' meeting and protest rally yesterday urged the government to take control of the Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) for climate change adaptation of Bangladesh eliminating the authoritarian role of the World Bank (WB).
Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain yesterday said few contractors have been holding the Roads and Highways (R&H) Department to ransom.
The police yesterday arrested five members of a gang on charges of fraud as they supplied fake question papers of 29th BCS (Bangladesh Civil Service) preliminary exams to some candidates in exchange for money.
BNP and its associate bodies will observe the first anniversary of the release of party Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman from prison with rallies and discussions next month.
Ten activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) were injured in a factional clash at Kobi Jasim Uddin Hall in Dhaka University yesterday evening.
A middle-aged woman was strangled to death inside her Sutrapur house in the capital while Ashulia police recovered the decapitated body of a 50-year-old man from the area yesterday.
Thirteen senior police officials were transferred in the latest reshuffle in the police administration yesterday.
The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday upheld the High Court (HC) verdict that directed the government to allow Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee to go abroad.
The Supreme Court (SC) will pass order today on the government's petition for turning down the High Court orders granting bail to former BNP minister Shahjahan Siraj and asking the authorities to release him from jail.
As a result of an unprecedented demand for TB examinations for visas for the United Kingdom in Bangladesh, especially for student visas, UK Border Agency (UKBA) at the British High Commission and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) have looked at ways to increase the examination capacity of its Migration Health Assessment Clinics in Dhaka, Sylhet and Chittagong in order to meet that demand.
Local traders yesterday put up a barricade on a road at Mirpur-10 in the city for an hour, demanding extension of time for keeping the shops open until 10:00pm.
The Parliament Library Committee yesterday underscored the need for modernisation of the parliament library so that the members can use it with digital facility.
International Forum for Secular Bangladesh, Canada chapter emerged recently to spread the ideology and activities of Ekattorer Ghatok Dalal
The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Dhaka University is going to organise a Biochemistry Olympiad in the months of December and January with a view to encouraging students to study biology and do more researches on the subject, says a press release.
The fifth death anniversary of Ivy Rahman, former women's affairs secretary of Awami League (AL) and wife of President Zillur Rahman, was observed yesterday.
The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday allowed former BNP minister Moudud Ahmed to withdraw money from a foreign currency bank account that had been frozen earlier.
Different organisations yesterday condoled the death of Shafiqul Ghani Swapan, former minister and chairman of Bangladesh National Awami Party.
Though the flood situation has started improving in Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari and Kurigram with recession of river waters, the situation further deteriorated in Gaibandha and Faridpur.
River erosion and flood in char areas of three upazilas of the district forced a large number of families to move to safer places yesterday.
Khulna City Corporation Mayor Talukder Abdul Khaleque yesterday said Khulna Awami League will give a call for tough movement if real killers of Jubo League leader Shahid Iqbal Bithar and their masterminds are not arrested by September 10.
Four journalists including Narsingdi Press Club general secretary Mazharul Parvez Monty were seriously injured when criminals ransacked and looted the club yesterday noon in second such attack in a week.
Nine Shibir cadres of Rajshahi University (RU) unit were arrested yesterday on charge of stabbing two Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists on June 10.
A court yesterday sent Kamrul Hasan Milon, city ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami to jail after his surrender at noon.
A student of Barisal BM College yesterday met his tragic end while swimming in the college pond in jeans pants upon a bet.
Three people were sentenced to death while 10 others awarded life-term rigorous imprisonment (RI) yesterday for killing a man at village Harishpur in Shalikha upazila of the district. The Additional District and Sessions Judge's Court also fined each of life convicts Tk 1 lakh, in default, to suffer one more year RI. Those who got death penalty are Shamim, Abdus Salam and Kamal while those imprisoned for life are Md Bakuar, Abdul Latif, Nuru Biswas, Dukhu Mian, Kala Shahid, Abul Kashem, Abbas, Bablu, Shahidul and Amin. All the convicts hailed from village Harishpur. According to the prosecution story, one Iltutmish of Harishpur village was hacked injuring him critically in the early hours of May 26, 2000 while he was returning home from adjoining village Kazipara. He succumbed to his injuries at Jessore General Hospital.
Two women and an adolescent boy allegedly committed suicide in a day in Dimla and Jaldhaka upazilas. Of them one drowned herself in the Teesta and the two others took poison. Sources said Ekramul,14, son of Mokbul Hossain of Nekbakth Basunia Para village of Jaldhaka upazila committed suicide on Sunday by taking poison as his mother rebuked him. He died on way to Jaldhaka Upazila Health Complex. On the same day, Shelly Begum, wife of Khudu Mamud of Molatari village under Jaldhaka municipality area committed suicide by taking poison. She killed herself after a quarrel with her husband. Housewife Saleha Khatoon, daughter of one Mokbul Hossain of Dohol Para village under Dimla upazila committed suicide by drowning herself in the Teesta River on Sunday evening. Recently she returned to her father's house with her two children due to unhappy relationship with husband.
Pirates abducted two fishermen from a canal in the Sundarbans early yesterday and demanded Tk one lakh ransom for their release. They are Bablu, 26, son of Omar Ali, and Abul Kashem, 19, son of Abu Bakkar Siddique of village Kalinchi in Shyamnagar upazila. A fisherman, who was released by the pirates, told police that the gang took Bablu and Kashem to deep forest and set a seven-day deadline for payment of the ransom. Otherwise, he said, the pirates threatened to kill the two.
The UN special envoy to Afghanistan Kai Eide yesterday threw his full support behind the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) as the organisation investigates allegations of fraud during last week's polls.
Major Shia groups have formed a new alliance that will exclude the Iraqi prime minister, lawmakers said Monday, a move likely to stoke fears of increasing Iranian influence and shake up the political landscape ahead of January parliamentary elections.
Rejecting foreign media reports that Taliban supreme commander Mullah Omar and the central council of the terrorist organisation were present in Baluchistan, Frontier Corps Baluchistan Inspector General (IG) Major General Saleem Nawaz has said that they are not functioning from Quetta.
al-Qaeda remains "very capable" of attacking the United States, the top US military officer said as he tried to boost waning US support for the conflict in Afghanistan.
A senior US diplomat sought South Korea's support yesterday to enforce UN sanctions against North Korea despite a series of gestures by the communist nation to reduce tensions with the rival South.
Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the 'minus-one' formula was just a ploy to weaken and dislodge the PPP government at the centre.
More than a year and half after she was assassinated, Pakistan government yesterday set up a fresh probe into the killing of former premier Benazir Bhutto.
Fire crews outside Athens scrambled Monday to exploit a lull in high winds, but the flames spread further and dozens of nuns had to be rescued from a convent threatened by one blaze, officials said.
Iran told world powers yesterday they must stop working against its atomic drive and instead adopt a policy of interaction with the Islamic republic to resolve the nuclear crisis.
The US Air Force has said it is now training more drone operators than fighter and bomber pilots as part of an expanding programme battlefield automation, and signalled that the end of the era of the fighter pilot is in sight.
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards have killed 26 Kurdish rebels in northwestern Iran, a commander of the guards was quoted as saying on Sunday by the Fars news agency.
Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who is recovering from major intestinal surgery, appeared Sunday in the first new video of him in 14 months, joking and chatting with Venezuelan students.
Nepal's supreme court has ordered the vice president to retake his oath of office in the Nepali language or be sacked, after he originally used Hindi when he was sworn in.
Gunmen yesterday shot dead an Afghan journalist in northwest Pakistan's lawless tribal belt, branded one of the most dangerous spots in the world for media, an official said.
Arts & Entertainment
In the late 1960s, Shabnam Mushtari emerged as one of the most accomplished Nazrul singers. Shabnam's renditions of "Laili tomar eshechhey phiria," "Amaye nohego bhalobasho shudhu" and "Shobar kotha koiley kobi" have fetched her much acclaim among Nazrul Sangeet aficionados. Shabnam is also vocal about the lack of proper evaluation of Nazrul's timeless creations. The Daily Star had a chance to catch up with the artiste. Here are excerpts from the conversation:
Memories of Baul MA Gafur, a renowned folk artist of the region, remain vibrant in the public memory. Gafur was not just a singer, but a devotee of music -- particularly folk and mystical songs. He was martyred during the Liberation War.
A new round of Channel i's musical talent hunt "Shera Kantho '09" will start from tonight. Four renowned musical personalities -- Runa Laila, Sabina Yasmin, Subir Nandi and Alauddin Ali -- will be evaluating the contestants starting from this episode.
She is an actor par excellence plus a dedicated political activist. He was a popular figure in the 1970s giving a stature to Indian screenwriting, Later he turned into an impeccable poet and lyricist. Meet talented husband wife duo Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar who despite the distances that often separate them, seem to have a highly successful marriage.
A cultural programme featuring classical music was held in Jhenidah Upazila Auditorium recently. The performer was classical vocalist Mohammad Mahmudul Hasan. The event was organised by the Bangladesh Gonoshilpi Shangstha's Jhenidah wing. A prominent personality at the function was Gonoshilpi Shangstha president Abdus Salam.
Miss Venezuela was the fairest of them all, again.
The first biennial general meeting of 'Bangladesh Sangeet Sangathan Samonnay Parishad' was held at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on August 20, says a press release.
Musical show "Gaanalap" will be aired on Banglavision tonight at 9:05 pm.
IT is all too common these days to see people around the world manipulating the English language, be it online or during text messaging on mobile phones, by using acronyms such as "PCM -- Please Call Me" and "TTYL -- Talk to You Later," etc. This trend developed to accommodate the needs of the users, who are more diverse and faster changing than the language itself. But this mustn't be stigmatised as blasphemous to the integrity of English because these abbreviations are not amendments to the language but only show the limitations of the mediums used for communication.
A celebrity is blessed with good fortune in many ways. A reporter, for instance, has to search for news. A celebrity merely has to look into the mirror. Such self-obsession requires sensational amorality and phenomenal lack of judgment. Ordinary, guilt-obsessed mortals do not possess these virtues.
WE reached the Melaghar Muktijuddho training camp after a long arduous journey. "We" means eight of us from Kalabagan, Kathalbagan and Azimpur areas, who decided to join the armed struggle without letting our parents know. We were directed to the Baksha Nagar Youth Camp, where we went on a truck. One night we were told that Major Haider wanted us to return with him to Melaghar then and there.
A bend in the river and a wooden pyre came into view. About 15 feet above the water, there was a nice round cubicle in the front and you climb directly on to it. This is Sutarkhali forest station.