News of: Tuesday, 8th of September, 2009
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A Dhaka court yesterday took into cognisance the charges against former prime minister and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, her son Tarique Rahman and four others in a case for embezzlement of Tk 2.10 crore by forming Zia Orphanage Trust.
The government yesterday promoted 494 senior civil servants and asked them to join as officers on special duty (OSD) at the establishment ministry since it does not have enough number of posts for them.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested an Awami League leader of Meherpur district from Dhaka on Sunday for his alleged patronisation of and involvement in outlaw activities.
Confusion mounts among the hajj pilgrims and agencies, as Saudi Arabia has not yet clarified Arab health ministers' decision to restrict the elders and children to travel to the holy land in fear of a spread of H1N1 virus.
The government yesterday placed a bill in parliament for enacting a law with provisions for punishing real estate developers for wrongdoings and protecting the interests of buyers and landowners.
Allaying the fear of a gloomy aman prospect due to delayed monsoon, the northern region has lived up to its 'food bowl' reputation by well surpassing the target acreage of tilling rain-fed paddy.
A mobile court yesterday penalised motor vehicle owners with fines in the city's Agargaon area for using horns beyond permissible sound limit, emitting black smokes and possessing fake documents.
Parliament went into third session yesterday with the BNP-led opposition lawmakers continuing abstention from the House.
Eighty-one government officials, including 20 secretaries and additional secretaries, are still kept as officers on special duty (OSD) for various reasons.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni reached New Delhi yesterday on a four-day visit to discuss the entire spectrum of bilateral ties with the top leaders of the country, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Land Commission has decided to start the work of land survey in three hill districts from October 15.
Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) has planned to begin a five-year project for pearl culture in the country, Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas told parliament yesterday.
A female giraffe of Dhaka Zoo died yesterday.
Former finance minister M Saifur Rahman was laid to eternal rest at his Baharmordan home in Moulvibazar yesterday.
A one-year-old boy of a tenant was killed after the house owner's son allegedly dipped him into mud at Majarbari in the city's Uttarkhan area Sunday night as a sequel to a tenant-owner feud over water supply.
The navy in El Salvador on Saturday detained 76 migrants, including 25 Bangladeshis, aboard a boat in the Pacific on their way to the USA.
A suicidal tendency has been seen among the members of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) after the February 25-26 carnage at its headquarters, BDR said in a press release yesterday.
The bullet-hit body of a local BNP leader, who was allegedly abducted from Dhaka, was found near Brac office at Khanpura in Babuganj upazila yesterday morning.
An operative of outlawed Gono Bahini was killed in 'crossfire' between Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and the outlawed organisation at Durbachara in Kushtia Sadar upazila yesterday.
Israel yesterday gave the go-ahead to build hundreds of new housing units in settlements in the occupied West Bank, defying warnings that the move could endanger any resumption of Middle East peace talks.
Foreign Office minister Ivan Lewis will visit Tibet this week as part of a fact-finding mission to China, the first such trip by a British minister, his office said yesterday.
THE way the current vulnerable group feeding programme is being handled speaks of the very slipshod manner in which an important social safety net initiative has been embarked upon. Not only are the genuinely needy deprived, some of the allotted quantity of food grains is also ending up with the local influential ruling party men.
THE government's decision to sell the antiviral drug at a reduced rate for treating swine flu patients is a move in the right direction. The price of such drugs in the market is too high at the moment to be within the reach of poor patients. Obviously, this is a very important component of the overall swine flu management strategy adopted by the government, in the wake of the disease spreading very fast across the country.
A growing sense of despair, intolerance, distrust and animosity and steady erosion of values have gripped the nation. Horrifying incidents of violence and terrorism stalk the country in a manner that no sensible citizenry can comprehend. Sadly, the whole country seems to be caught in a frightening coil of fear and trauma.
THE bloodletting in the BJP has turned out far more prolonged and self-destructive than the party's staunchest critics, including me, had expected. Not a day passes without senior leaders calling their colleagues names which would embarrass street-level thugs. As the BJP suffers painful upheavals, its cadres lampoon their bosses as cartoon characters like Tarzan, and exhort loyalists to "bombard the headquarters," imitating Mao during the Cultural Revolution -- perhaps with equally disastrous results. Many observers are dismayed at this explosion of virulent recrimination. Some even rue the BJP is blurring its line of demarcation from the Congress, which stifles inner-party debate.
Following the footsteps of their traditional rivals, Mohammedan went for a showdown yesterday to confirm the cricketers for the upcoming Premier Division Cricket League battle.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has received the short-list of candidates for the post of its chief executive officer (CEO), a position lying vacant for nearly one-and-a-half years.
Grandmasters Enamul Hossain Rajib and Ziaur Rahman slipped further to third position along with 15 other players at the close of the sixth round of the 4th Kolkata Open International Grand-masters Chess Tournament held in Gorky Sadan on Sunday.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting on Monday announced his retirement from international Twenty20 cricket to prolong his Test career as he bids to return the team to world supremacy.
Comeback queen Kim Clijsters split the Williams sisters on Sunday when she sent Venus reeling out of the US Open.
India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand hope to put in impressive performances in a tri-series starting from today to boost confidence ahead of the Champions Trophy.
General Abdul Mubeen, new president of the Bangladesh Olympic Association, is all set to take over on September 15 after being elected uncontested last month.
Former England opener Marcus Trescothick, whose international career was ended by a stress-related illness that prevented him from travelling abroad, has been included in Somerset's squad for the Champions League in India next month.
Diego Maradona is obviously not aware of the fact that how a defeat of Argentina against their bitter rivals Brazil is treated far away in Bangladesh where he is revered as an iconic image and his team the most loved one like Brazil.
Slaven Bilic has backed his Croatia side to burst England's World Cup bubble by exploiting what he has identified as a missing link in the make-up of Fabio Capello's squad.
Striker Mario Gomez handed Germany a World Cup qualifying headache on Sunday when he pulled up with a knee injury while highly-rated winger Mesut Oezil was confirmed as a starter for Wednesday's clash with Azerbaijan.
Le Havre president Jean-Pierre Louvel has launched a scathing attack on Manchester United over the signing of Paul Pogba this summer, claiming the player's parents were paid.
England midfielder Gareth Barry admits he is desperate to make amends for the lowest moment of his career by helping Fabio Capello's side secure their World Cup place with victory over Croatia on Wednesday.
Cameroon, Tunisia, Algeria and Ivory Coast are looking good to join Ghana and hosts South Africa and complete the African line-up at the 2010 World Cup.
Wales attacking midfielder Jason Koumas on Sunday announced his retirement from international football with immediate effect.
France playmaker Franck Ribery and defender Julien Escude both shook off knocks to complete a full training session on Monday ahead of a crunch World Cup qualifier away against group leaders Serbia.
Fiorentina's Romanian striker Adrian Mutu will be out for 10 days with a thigh injury, the Italian Serie A club said Monday.
A 31-year-old footballer playing in a Czech regional league died of a heart attack during a game on Saturday shortly after scoring an own goal, the CTK news agency reported on Sunday.
Mitchell Johnson starred with both bat and ball as Australia beat England by 39 runs in the second one-day international at Lord's on Sunday.
Second seed Andy Murray of Britain blunted the big serve of American Taylor Dent to post a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory to reach the fourth round of the US Open on Sunday.
England captain Andrew Strauss called on his batsmen to be "smarter" during the remainder of their one-day internationals against Australia after falling further behind in the series here at Lord's.
Former national captain Wasim Bari has been appointed chief operating officer of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the organisation announced Monday, replacing sacked former fast bowler Salim Altaf.
After a spell of criticism from different quarters, BGMEA yesterday backtracked on its previous demand for Tk 3,000 crore from the government to pay salary and bonus to garment workers before Eid.
Grameenphone has sold 3,000 BlackBerry sets in Bangladesh since January 2008, which shows slow growth in the high-end smartphone segment.
While Eid brings brisk business to different sectors, including apparels and commodities, the housing sector faces a gloomy economic situation ahead of the country's largest religious festival, observe industry insiders.
A local company has endeavoured to build the country's first five-star resort in Srimangal, primarily targeting expatriate Bangladeshis visiting Sylhet and its environs.
On the sidelines of a meeting in 2005, a European finance minister had asked M Saifur Rahman on corruption and bad governance in Bangladesh. Saifur replied promptly.
A Spanish restaurateur, fearing a drop in business due to swine flu, is seeking to pull in customers by offering a sanitised -- and hopefully virus-free -- environment.
The global economy is still on shaky ground and despite budding signs of recovery, evidence is not strong enough to conclude that the current recession is waning, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) said in an interim report on trade and finance which was released yesterday.
Four northern districts have lived up to its “food bowl” reputation by achieving their farming target, despite a delayed monsoon.
A Bangladeshi exhibition will be held in New York next month to promote local products in the United States.
Leading central bank governors said on Sunday that they had agreed on a package of measures to strengthen the regulation and supervision of the banking industry in the wake of the financial crisis.
Dhaka stocks fell for second day, as investors rushed for Navana CNG shares yesterday.
Oil prices rose on Monday but further gains may be capped by worries about low energy demand in the United States, the world's biggest energy consuming nation, traders said.
René Carron, chairman of Credit Agricole SA and Grameen-Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation, arrived in Dhaka yesterday, the company said in a statement.
Poultry farmers formed a human chain at Padua Bazar on Dhaka-Chittagong highway in Sadar South upazila on Sunday protesting the government's decision to import eggs from India.
Malaysia's exports, the mainstay of the economy, slumped 22.8 percent in July from a year earlier, according to official data released Monday.
US giant Kraft Foods on Monday launched a 10.2 billion pound (16.7 billion dollar, 11.7 billion euro) takeover bid for Cadbury but the British confectionery maker rejected the offer, saying it was too low.
Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li's Pacific Century Group said Monday it was "very pleased" after sealing a 500 million dollar deal to buy part of US insurance giant AIG.
China's State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said on Monday it would support government-run firms that take legal action over heavy losses suffered due to bad derivatives deals.
Gulf producers will push to keep oil output unchanged at Opec's meeting this week after a sharp rise in prices and will urge better adherence to production quotas, analysts said.
Taiwan's August exports dropped from a year earlier, but in a sign of improving demand it also hit the highest level in 10 months, the government said Monday.
Kuwait's central bank on Monday decided to appoint a temporary administrator to monitor business at Investment Dar, an Islamic company that owns half of British luxury car-maker Aston Martin.
Iranian inflation, one of the country's biggest economic challenges, fell to 20.2 percent in the Iranian month ending August 22, the Fars news agency reported on Monday quoting a central bank report.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday received the draft of the Education Policy 2009 that envisages basic changes to set the country's outmoded education system in tune with the fast moving world.
Teachers and students of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday condemned the police attack on Prof Anu Muhammad and other leaders and workers of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Port in the city.
Today is the International Literacy Day.
The government yesterday promoted 494 senior civil servants.
With Eid-ul-Fitr drawing nearer, city dwellers have started thronging ticket counters at railway stations and bus and launch terminals to collect advance tickets to visit their village homes during the biggest religious festival.
Speakers at a press conference yesterday urged the government to introduce Braille system in all institutions to ensure education for visually impaired people.
To bid farewell to outgoing Managing Director and CEO of Aktel Jefri Ahmad Tambi and to welcome its new Managing Director and CEO Michael Kuehner, The Daily Star arranged a dinner in their honour at a city hotel on Sunday.
The MBA admission test of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka will be held at 4:00pm on November 20.
Three people were killed and 20 others injured in separate road accidents in Gaibandha, Dinajpur and Chapainawabganj in last two days.
Twenty noted personalities including language Movement veteran Abdul Matin have received Mother Teresa Gold Medal on the occasion of the death anniversary of the Nobel peace laureate.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered 2,000 bottles of phensidyl from a godown and arrested six people in this connection at Namaz village here yesterday.
Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus said Saifur Rahman, the longest-serving finance minister of the country, had laid the foundation of the country's economy.
The High Court will hear expert opinions of the amici curiae (friends of court) tomorrow on the legality of the formation of a parliamentary body to investigate corruption allegations against former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar.
More organisations yesterday expressed profound shock at the death of former finance minister and BNP leader M Saifur Rahman.
Rapid Action Battalion arrested five alleged muggers in the city's Mohammadpur yesterday after a gunfight with them.
At least 20 people were killed and 25 others injured in Indian-ruled Kashmir Monday when an overcrowded bus skidded off a mountain road and plunged into a gorge, police said.
Admission test in 28 departments for academic session 2009-10 at Jagannath University (JNU) will begin from November 6.
Robbers took away Tk 1.62 crore from National Bank Kanaikhali bus stand branch in the town early yesterday.
Around two lakh people in Dakope and Koira upazilas in Khulna and Tala upazila in Satkhira district have become homeless or marooned due to the recent downpour and rise in the water level of rivers.
Wild elephants Sunday night destroyed four houses at Amchharimukh, some 20-kilometre away from the district headquarters.
Aggrieved at transfer of a teacher, students of Jhenidah Technical School and College yesterday ransacked the college including the principal's room.
An Awami League leader was killed and 25 others were injured in a clash over land dispute at Nayakpur village under Madan upazila of the district yesterday morning.
Road communications in six districts of Barisal division resumed yesterday morning after the bus owners and workers called off an indefinite strike. The wildcat strike was called on Sunday protesting seizure of two buses by police for plying without valid certificate and route permit on Natunbazar-Babuganj road. Aftab Hossain, city Sramik League convener and Barisal Road Transport Workers Union president said, the strike was called off as the authorities released the two detained buses and promised to take steps to stop harassments.
A Rajshahi court yesterday rejected the bail prayer of district BNP's former general secretary Shish Mohammad in the Anti-Corruption Commission's (ACC) case accusing him of illegally amassing wealth worth over Tk 89 lakh. Abdul Karim, deputy director of Rajshahi ACC pressed charges against Shish Mohammad in April this year in connection with a case with Tanore police station. In the charges pressed under Section 27 (1) of the ACC Act of 2004, Karim alleged that Shish owns wealth around Tk 95 lakh, out of which Tk 89,47,607 were amassed beyond his legal sources of income. A close aide to former BNP minister Barrister Aminul Haque, Shish is now in jail. Both Aminul and Shish were convicted in a case for abetting militancy and given 31 and a half years imprisonment.
Additional District and Sessions Judge-III, Sylhet, also Special Tribunal Judge Md Belayet Ullah yesterday sentenced a JCD leader to 10 years RI in an arms case. Convict Imranul Karim Chowdhury is joint convener of Fenchuganj Degree College unit of JCD. According to the prosecution story, Rab men arrested Imranul following recovery of a pipe gun from his house at Karimpur village in Fenchugnaj on November 16, 2008. Rab also filed a case against him. Police later filed charge sheet against the arrestee. The judge pronounced the verdict following testimony of eight witnesses.
Jhenidah police on Sunday rescued a child from the kidnappers and arrested six people in this connection. The arrestees are Nurjahan Begum, Nazma Khatun, Aleya Khatun, Jahangir Alam, Hossain Ali and Mohammad Ali. Police arrested them from Chalkapara area of the town. Police said Parvez, 3, son of Mithu Shikdar of Poltadanga village under Harinakundo upazila was kidnapped from in front of his house on Saturday evening. The arrestees admitted to police that they kidnapped Parvez to realise ransom.
A court here yesterday sentenced a man to death for killing his wife for dowry. Convict Ataur Rahman, 30, is son of Akmal Hossain of village Khagraban under Parbatipur upazila of Dinajpur. Judge of Children and Women Repression Prevention Court Md Shamsul Huda handed down the verdict in a crowded courtroom after examining the witnesses.
Khulna City Corporation (KCC) Mayor Talukder Abdul Khaleque and other leaders of Khulna Awami League and all ward councillors yesterday submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner (DC) demanding immediate arrest of killers of central Jubo League leader Shahid Iqbal Bithar. Mayor went to the office of the DC on foot and without any police protection. When asked, Khaleque said he went there as president of Khulna City Awami League, not as mayor. Bithar, also a ward councillor, was shot dead by extremists on July 11 in front of his residence at Musalmanpara.
Thousands of civilians have fled Pakistan's northwest Khyber tribal region where the latest military offensive killed 33 more suspected militants Sunday.
The Sharif brothers and top leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are believed to have softened their demand for the trial of former President Pervez Musharraf owing to international pressure by his guarantors, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
A Swedish charity accused American troops Monday of storming through a hospital in central Afghanistan, breaking down doors and tying up staff in a search for militants. The US military said it was investigating.
One more leader of Islami Chhatra Shibir Rajshahi University (RU) unit was arrested on Sunday night on charge of attacking a police camp at Binodpur Bazar near the university on May 23.
Afghans loyal to President Hamid Karzai set up ahead of last month's elections hundreds of fictitious polling sites, where no one voted but hundreds of thousands of ballots were still recorded toward the president's re-election, The New York Times reported late Sunday.
The United Nations Children's Fund reacted furiously yesterday to Sri Lanka's decision to expel its spokesman over his allegedly pro-rebel stance in the final stages of the island's ethnic war.
Growing religious and ethnic tension in ex-Soviet Central Asia poses one of the most significant threats to world peace and stability, Indian President Pratibha Patil said on Monday.
The two-day politburo meeting of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) that concluded here Sunday decided to prepare a draft document for its 'rectification campaign' to inculcate in its cadres the 'living culture based on communist values.'
A woman was rescued Monday from the sea off the southern Philippines, more than 24 hours after a passenger ferry she was on sank, the navy said.
Taiwan's premier quit Monday over the government's handling of last month's deadly typhoon as the China-friendly administration struggled to end its worst crisis since it came to power.
The Ecuadorean government says President Rafael Correa's chief of security has died of swine flu.
In a security breach at the high-security official residence-cum-office of Indian President Pratibha Patil, a computer monitor, CPU and three pairs of dumbbells were allegedly stolen from a gym in Chanakyapuri area of New Delhi.
The Maldives, one of the countries most at risk from rising sea levels, will not attend this year's Copenhagen summit on climate change because the atoll nation is broke, its president said Monday.
Cambodian premier Hun Sen on Monday renewed strong warnings his country could be plunged back into civil war if the UN-backed Khmer Rouge court tried more suspects from the late 1970s movement.
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has said that it is using unmanned aerial vehicles for intelligence gathering and surveillance and not for attacking targets.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday ruled out talks on Iran's "undeniable" nuclear rights, as world powers await Tehran's new proposals for the basis of fresh talks on its controversial atomic drive.
UN atomic watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei on Monday dismissed allegations he withheld key evidence on Iran's alleged weaponisation studies as "politically motivated and totally baseless."
North Korea vowed Monday to strengthen its military deterrent against the United States "in every way," three days after claiming success in an experimental nuclear weapons programme.
Japan's next prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, said Monday his incoming centre-left government would pursue a greenhouse gas reduction target of 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.
A Gaza Strip based pro-al-Qaeda terrorist organisation has revealed that it tried to kill former British prime minister and Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair and former US president Jimmy Carter.
Eight people were killed and 15 wounded on Monday in a suicide car bomb attack on a security checkpoint in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi, a former al-Qaeda stronghold, police said.
Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas urged Arab states during a meeting with Saudi King Abdullah to unite against Israeli plans to expand West Bank settlements, his spokesman said on Monday.
Nine people were feared dead Monday after an Indonesian Navy aircraft disappeared in a remote part of Indonesian Borneo, local television reported.
An accidental bomb blast in southwest Nepal killed at least three people including two children, police said Sunday.
Maoists have shot dead five villagers, including two students, at Pundigiri, about 60 kms from here, police said today. A dozen armed Maoists went to the village last night and shot them dead, Deputy Inspector General of Police, R K Mullick said.
Arts & Entertainment
Twenty years ago a small group of people set up a picture agency in the unlikely location of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Named Drik, the Sanskrit word for vision, the agency set out to represent a group of media professionals that other agencies did not cater for. In the years that have followed, many others from Asia, Africa and Latin America have joined the original group. All of them share a common vision; one that sees the majority world, not as fodder for disaster reporting, but as a vibrant source of human energy and a challenge to an exploitative global economic system.
Though the idol-makers in the country are now busy, a few weeks ahead of Durga Puja (largest Hindu festival in Bengal), the 20,000 artisan families of northern Bangladesh complain that they basically remain jobless throughout the year.
Music lovers in Delhi audience were in for a treat recently when singer Dr. Radhika Chopra lent her soulful voice to a concert titled 'Popular Melodies From Hindi Films of Yesteryears'.
The Venice Film Festival's red carpet was festooned with balloons on Sunday to mark the lifetime achievement award for director and producer John Lasseter and his crew of Pixar directors.
The primary selection round of Mymensingh region for Meridian Ananda Alo Children's Painting Award-2009 was held recently at the local Shishu Academy auditorium in Mymensingh. The painting competition is titled 'Esho Anki Banglar Mukh'. Some 500 children from different educational institutions of the region took part in the competition in two groups. Of them, six were selected from groups 'Ka' and 'Kha' for the next round. The competition generated much enthusiasm among the child artists and their guardians.
Noted folk singer Kiran Chandra Roy along with lyricist Hasan Matiur Rahman will appear as guests on tonight's episode of the musical programme "Ganalaap." The programme will be aired on Banglavision at 9:05pm. Noted singer and composer Naquib Khan is the host of the show.
Drama serial "Hothat Shimantey" will be aired tonight at 11:30pm on ATN Bangla. The serial has been written and directed by Mohon Khan.
TODAY, when we as well as the international community are observing International Literacy Day 2009, some 776 million adults lack minimum literacy skills. Every year Unesco observes this day and reminds to review the status of literacy and adult learning. The education ministry, in cooperation with other stakeholders, organises rallies, workshops and meetings. NGOs and civil society organisations also organise events on this occasion.
AS a nation, we are yet to learn how to make constructive criticism. I have always noticed the unnecessary exaggeration whenever we make remarks on something or about someone, be it positive or negative. Moreover, in most cases, we do not recognise the good deeds of a person during his life and fail to show respect. We either see exaggerated admiration or ruthless disparagement. We pay tribute only after someone's death.
"Nature knows no pause in progress ad development, and attaches her curse on all inaction." -- Goethe
Night crept up on us with the stealthy feet of a tiger. And before we knew it, it was murky dark. An owlet hooted from one bank of the river and it was replied by another from the other side. A little later, a crescent moon appeared on the sky and cast a mesmerising subdued glow on the forests around. The forest silhouetted against a dark sky and looked like a huge ancient animal breathing in deep slumber by the riverbank.