News of: Thursday, 29th of October, 2009
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A parliamentary body yesterday asked the government to cancel the machine-readable passport (MRP) project and introduce electronic passports instead to save public money.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government plans to construct elevated and underground railways, flyovers, orbital waterways, and circular roads in and around the capital to ease traffic congestion and to solve transport problems.
The Election Commission (EC) has finally decided to exempt 39 political parties from submitting to it within the timeframe, audit reports on their financial transactions in the immediate past year, without amending the legal provision in this regard.
Several hours after placing the former state minister for home affairs Lutfozzaman Babar on remand in the August 21 grenade attack case, a Dhaka court yesterday stayed its order upon a High Court directive.
The villagers of Laxmichap under Nilphamari sadar are over the moon unlike the time in the past when Monga (seasonal and localised famine) cast the long dark shadows of suffering with wholesale unemployment and mass exodus to towns turning the village into a bleak landscape.
Speakers at a roundtable yesterday called for stronger linkage between sexual and reproductive health services and HIV programmes in the country to contain HIV and enhance the range of treatment, care and support.
The government placed a bill in the Jatiya Sangsad yesterday to enact a law on registration for the national identity cards and issuance of the cards to all citizens of Bangladesh.
Barrister Abdullah-al Mamun yesterday argued in the Supreme Court that condemned convict in Bangabandhu murder case, Maj (retd) AKM Mohiuddin, was not present at the scene of Bangabandhu's killing on August 15, 1975.
The government has approved a proposal from Bangladesh Rifles for disbanding four of its battalions for direct involvement in the BDR mutiny.
Detective Branch of Police investigating the attack on lawmaker Fazle Noor Taposh found close connection between the family members of Bangabandhu's killers and fugitive brigadier general (retd) Fazlul Bari.
Bangladesh Ambassador to the United States Akramul Qader, High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Prof M Sayedur Rahman Khan and High Commissioner to India Ahmed Tarique Karim will now enjoy status of state minister.
Police yesterday arrested six militants of the banned Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) during a raid at a JMB leader's house under Raninagar upazila in Naogaon.
A huge car bomb ripped through a bustling market in the northwestern city of Peshawar yesterday killing at least 92 people and underscoring the scale of the extremist threat facing Pakistan.
The high-powered government committee on militancy resistance and prevention yesterday blasted different departments and agencies concerned for failing to perform their task of combating militancy by creating public awareness.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) here yesterday interrogated former deputy inspector general (DIG) of police Shamsul Islam in connection with the sensational Chittagong arms haul case.
Bangladesh will be looking to bounce back from their morale-shattering defeat when they take on a rapidly improving Zimbabwe side in the second ODI of the five-match Grameenphone Cup at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today.
French Deputy Prime Minister Jean-Louis Borloo will arrive here today on a one-day visit to hold bilateral talks with government high-ups in the context of the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen next December.
The visiting all-party British delegation yesterday assured Bangladesh of providing assistance for strengthening the parliament activities as well as its committees.
At least 15 people were injured in a clash between Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) activists of Jagannath University yesterday.
The Ministry of Agriculture has proposed to slash prices of non-urea fertilisers and sought allocation of Tk 500 crore for subsidy from the finance ministry.
The government is to introduce separate pay scale for teachers next fiscal year.
Taliban militants wearing suicide vests stormed a guest house used by UN staff in the heart of the Afghan capital early Wednesday, killing 12 people including six UN staff in the biggest in a series of attacks intended to undermine next month's presidential runoff election.
A leader of Indian separatist organisation Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) was taken on a two-day remand yesterday after the detective branch (DB) had arrested him from the city on Tuesday.
Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew has warned the United States it risks losing global leadership if it did not remain engaged in Asia to "balance" China's military and economic might.
THE agricultural scientists of the country have made a major breakthrough in developing two other types of High Yielding Variety (HYV) rice, which are especially suited to fight famine-like situation called monga in some northern districts of the country. These varieties of rice called BR-11 dhan-33 and BINA dhan-7 mature in less than four months, 115 days to be exact, and thus can be harvested one month ahead of the customary aman crop of the HYV group, namely the BR-11, which the framers have been growing since long.
THE JS standing committee on law, justice and parliamentary affairs ministry and the committee on the finance ministry met on Tuesday last to evolve ways and means to recover staggering amounts of defaulted bank loans-- a major area of concern for the decision makers. It is a good thing that the two committees met together for the first time in our parliamentary history to address a crucially important economic issue. Such meetings will no doubt consolidate the committee system-- introduced to oversee activities of the ministries -- and will also help achieve a degree of coordination between the committees, and with that perhaps between ministries.
WHILE talking to reporters on October 22, the chairman of the standing committee on food and disaster management ministry (MOFDM), a ruling AL lawmaker, Muhammed Sayedul Hoque, said that the MOFDM had already undertaken steps to establish more 141 food godowns to increase food grain storage capacity of the government. Excepting one concrete silo of 50,000 tonnes with jetty facility at Mongla port, the rest of the food godowns would be established in the northern region, known as the granary of the country. With the completion of these godowns/silos, the government's food grain storage capacity will increase to 2.2 million tonnes from the existing capacity of 1.5 million tonnes. This is a good step towards achieving food security in the country.
SMALL and medium enterprise (SME), as defined by the European Union (EU), comprises industries having less than 250 workers. In Bangladesh, SMEs are organisations with less than 60 workers and investment of up to Tk.10 million. There are about 6 million SMEs in Bangladesh. This is the single largest industrial sector of the Bangladesh economy.
CHINA has been hailed as the new motor for the worldwide economic recovery. We had good news on China's economic performance. GDP is bound to grow by 8% this year. Together with the good news coming from other countries in East Asia, especially Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, Asia seems to be one of the main drivers for global recovery. This seems great news -- and it is!
There is always an extra pressure for the Tigers when they take on Zimbabwe because anything other than win seems to be unacceptable for everybody against the Southern African opponents.
A depleted Brothers Union made a winning start in the Bangladesh League with a lone-goal win over Muktijoddha Sangsad in their first match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
The domestic cricket league for the season is to begin in earnest as the Premier Division Cricket League 2009-2010 begins today at four different venues --Dhanmondi, Fatullah, BKSP and Bogra.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir pulverised injury-hit Australia as India piled up a record 354-7 in the second one-day international here on Wednesday.
Chittagong's dream of hosting 2011 World Cup matches received a boost yesterday following positive reaction from an International Cricket Council (ICC) delegation.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has decided to launch motivational campaign as well as beef up the security to avoid crowd disturbance during matches.
Bangladesh Football Federation is trying to explore new horizon in collaboration with German football federation (DFB) as they have brought in two German football coaches to train local budding footballers as well as coaches.
Former Test match umpire and Gloucestershire cricketer David Shepherd has died from cancer at the age of 68, the Englishman's former county announced Wednesday.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed a blistering century as India whipped injury-hit Australia by 99 runs on Wednesday to level their seven-match one-day series 1-1.
Manchester United got back on track after their defeat against Liverpool as the League Cup holders moved into the quarterfinals with a 2-0 win over Barnsley on Tuesday.
Real Madrid were given a Spanish Cup shock on Tuesday when third division minnows and unheralded city neighbours Alcorcon dished out a 4-0 drubbing to the nine-time European champions.
Footballers were warned on Tuesday spitting could increase the risk of catching swine flu as Bolton joined English Premier League rivals Blackburn in saying squad members had contracted the virus.
VfB Stuttgart coach Markus Babbel's position is on thin ice after the Bundesliga club suffered a 1-0 shock defeat on Tuesday in the third round of the German Cup at second division Greuther Fuerth.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is optimistic that misfit midfielder David Bentley may have turned the corner at White Hart Lane after inspiring his team to victory over Everton in the fourth round of the League Cup.
Eight football fans were arrested as hooligans went on the rampage at Manchester United's League Cup clash at Barnsley, police said Wednesday.
Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini must pay for Tuesday's Spanish Cup humiliation dished out by third division Alcorcon with his job, sports daily Marca claimed.
Bayern Munich will be without banned pair Daniel van Buyten and Thomas Mueller for next Tuesday's Champions League group stage match against French side Bordeaux in Munich.
England's Premier League announced Wednesday they had placed a transfer embargo on basement club Portsmouth.
Erik Hamren, who led Rosenborg to the Norwegian league title last season, confirmed on Tuesday that he is in talks to take over as coach of his native Sweden.
Tennis great Andre Agassi has admitted he tested positive for hard drugs during his career and lied to sporting authorities to escape a ban, reports said Wednesday.
Peter Chingoka, Zimbabwe Cricket's chairman, has said that while Zimbabwe are some way off their return to Test cricket, there were positive developments in the country, thanks mainly to the new franchise system in domestic cricket and the return of former players such as Alistair Campbell, Dave Houghton and Andy Waller to the official fold.
Pakistan's cricket chief Ijaz Butt left for India Wednesday to hold talks with his counterparts, apparently to revive bilateral ties snapped a year ago following the Mumbai terror attacks.
Venus Williams wilted in Qatar's desert heat on Tuesday as feisty Russian Elena Dementieva staged a remarkable WTA Championships comeback to defeat the title-holder 6-3, 6-7, 6-2.
Bangladesh hockey team once again defeated Italy in a practice match, this time by a 5-3 scoreline in Rome on Tuesday. It was a come-from-behind victory for them that followed their 4-2 victory over the same opponents on Sunday.
The current account surplus crossed the $1 billion mark in the first two months of the current fiscal year due to falling import and surging remittance inflows.
More players are joining the ceramic tiles business that has so far pulled in over Tk 1,000 crore investment with around 20 percent annual growth rate.
The trouble began after some workers were forced out of job, though a production shortfall was a major factor behind the lay-off, a visit to the factory site of Monno Fabrics reveals.
People should take the opportunity to legalise their undisclosed money, as the National Board of Revenue is not going to investigate the source of income, said the chairman of the tax administration yesterday.
A high-profile German business and investment delegation yesterday apprised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of their keen interest to invest in sectors such as gas exploration, coalmining and renewable energy.
Chittagong-based entrepreneurs mull raising capital from stock market, as they feel the capital from the public will be cost effective for their businesses.
The German business delegation sees Bangladesh's energy deficit and difficulty in faster transportation as bottlenecks in an increased investment and accelerated economic growth here.
Agriculture Secretary CQK Mustaq Ahmed has urged farmers to spread the use of urea deep placement (UDP) technology, as traditional methods cause damage to soil and give low yield.
Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni yesterday urged Kazakhstan to import more medicine from Bangladesh, an exportable item that has now destinations to around 72 countries including Europe, North America and Africa.
A four-day fair starts in Dhaka today to exhibit solar power technology, renewable energy and spare parts and building materials, organisers said yesterday.
With the stock market rallying stronger in the last few months, the inflated prices of mutual funds come to the forefront.
While the rest of the world struggles to bounce back from the global financial crisis, China's billionaires are living large, snapping up luxury products at a breathtaking pace.
Asian shares eased for a second successive day Wednesday as general weakness on Wall Street pushed investors towards further selling.
Oil prices slid on Wednesday, falling under 79 dollars as traders eagerly awaited this week's update on energy stockpiles in key consumer the United States.
ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steel maker, said Wednesday that it returned to profit in the third quarter, contrary to forecasts, and expected a further operating improvement in the last three months of the year.
Malaysia's central bank kept its key interest rate on hold at 2.0 percent Wednesday, saying the global outlook remains uncertain despite.
Australia unveiled the lowest annual inflation in 10 years on Wednesday, cutting the chances of a big rate hike next week as the central bank bids to keep economic recovery on track.
Budding US hybrid car maker Fisker Automotive will reopen a shuttered General Motors plant in Delaware to build fuel-efficient, plug-in cars, the White House announced Tuesday.
Local Market FX
Local inter-bank FX market was active today. The USD/BDT rate traded at a similar level compared with the previous day. The market which had been on a strong uptrend in the previous week has stabilised in the past few days.
Speakers at a programme yesterday said when cross-border migration of people has become an inevitable part of today's globalised world for their livelihood, irregular migration could seriously affect the country's image.
A Bogra court yesterday sentenced five members of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to 20 years' rigorous imprisonment in a case filed under the Explosive Substances Act.
Workers' Party President Rashed Khan Menon yesterday said people of the country came out on the streets on October 28 in 2006 to foil the blueprint of BNP-Jamaat to hold an election.
BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said the possibility of their return to parliament is becoming slim due to autocratic attitude of the present Awami League-led government.
A Dhaka court yesterday issued summons upon the acting editor, publisher, chief reporter and a reporter of the daily Amar Desh asking them to appear before it on November 30 in a defamation case filed by Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
Department of Environment (DoE) confiscated 400 kilograms of illegal polythene shopping bags during a mobile court raid at Banani kitchen market in the capital city yesterday.
Educationists and rights activists at a roundtable yesterday stressed the need to immediately formulate anti-sexual harassment policy for all educational institutions.
Adviser to Prime Minister HT Imam yesterday said reforms in the public administration are needed to eliminate political influence from the civil service.
The European Union (EU) has committed a large financial aid for Bangladesh to fight the impacts of climate change and global warming.
The High Court yesterday granted an anticipatory bail for six months to BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury in a defamation case filed in Panchagarh.
A two-day workshop titled 'Global Climate Change and Carbon Financing: Opportunities for Bangladesh' opened in the city yesterday.
In a tiger-sized leap for conservation in Bangladesh, the forest department has adopted the first National Tiger Action Plan for the country.
Three people were killed and 30 others, including six shopkeepers, were injured when a passenger bus lost control and rammed into some shops in a market at Itakhola under Shibpur upazila in Narsingdi yesterday.
Results of Degree (pass), Subsidiary and Certificate Course examinations of 2008 under National University (NU) will be published at 4:00pm today, says an NU press release.
The government is going to distribute 10 kilograms of rice to each of one crore poor people across the country ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha under vulnerable group feeding (VGF) programme.
Bangladesh Chhatra Union (BCU), a left-leaning student organisation, elected its 41-member central committee with Manabendra Deb as its president and Ferdous Hossain Ujjal as general secretary yesterday.
A conspiracy is going on to root out religious education in the name of formulating a secular education policy, speakers said at a roundtable yesterday.
Today is the 113th birth anniversary of philanthropist Ranada Prasad Saha, says a press release.
Thousands of indigenous people yesterday joined long marches in Natore, Rajshahi, Naogaon, Pabna, Bogra, Joypurhat, Thakurgaon and Dinajpur districts to press home their demand for forming a separate land commission to protect land rights of the indigenous people living in plain lands.
Pirates looted six fishing trawlers in the Bay and abducted 26 fishermen for ransom on Tuesday night, according to a report received here yesterday afternoon.
A cheating case was field against the chairman of Khagrachhari Hill District Council (KHDC) and two others yesterday.
Transport owners in Chittagong yesterday called a strike on two roads on Sunday while an indefinite transport strike began in Chapainawabganj yesterday disrupting road link of the district with rest of the country.
A Sylhet court yesterday again deferred charge-framing against the accused in the case for bomb attack on Awami League leader Suranjit Sengupta's public meeting in Sunamganj in 2004 as prime accused Mufti Abdul Hannan could not be produced in the court.
Thirteen robbers were arrested in three districts on Tuesday.
Businessmen in Gobindaganj upazila of Gaibandha yesterday demanded arrest and capital punishment to killers of two traders while a court in Narayanganj awarded death penalty to a mugger and life to his four accomplices for killing a trader at Araihazar.
Police on Tuesday seized fake notes worth Tk 32 thousand and arrested four people, two in Pabna and two others in Barguna district.
Unidentified assailants murdered an indigenous leader in Godagari upazila yesterday.
Police early yesterday arrested a leader of outlawed Purba Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) from Paikora village under Deshigram union in Tarash upazila. Arrestee Afsar Ali, 38, is son of Mofiz Uddin and a regional leader of PBCP. He is also wanted in trader Abul Kalam Azad murder case. Acting on a tip-off, a police team led by Md Mokhlesur Rahman, officer in-charge of Tarash police station raided the house of Afsar Ali at Paikora village at around 3.00 am and arrested him.
Two boys were drowned yesterday in a pond at Mollan village under Sadar upazila. They are Emon,2, son of Moidul Islam and Tuhin, 2, son of Abdul Karim of the village. Locals and chairman of Sundarpur union Sadruzzaman said, Emon and Tuhin were playing near the pond behind their house. At one stage, they fell in the pond but failed to swim ashore as they were too little to save themselves. Later, locals rescued them and rushed to the Sadar hospital where the on-duty doctor declared them dead.
Police yesterday recovered the body of a missing fourth class employee of Jhalakati deputy commissioner (DC) office. Locals alleged that Liakot Hossain Khan, 43, who went missing on Tuesday afternoon, from village Ramchandropur of Guvaram Chandropur union under Jhalakati Sadar upazila, was tortured to death. Police and family members said, Liakot went out of his house to catch fish in his own pond on Tuesday afternoon. Later locals found his body at night at a mango orchard belonging to one Abdus Salam.
Robbers looted the house of a businessman at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Road in Jhalakiti district town in broad daylight yesterday. They decamped with valuables worth about Tk 15 lakh including over 45 tolas of gold ornaments from the house of Abdul Mannan. Mannan told The Daily Star that the gang broke the locks of his house, looted valuables and got away with the booty safely as none was at the house at the time of robbery.
At least 25 people were injured as two rival groups clashed over capture of a disputed land at Paikarihat village in Santhia upazila yesterday. The two groups--one led by local Awami League leader Tokon Bapari and the other by local Jamaat leader Shafi Sardar--had a scuffle when Tokon's men went to occupy the land Tuesday afternoon. As a sequel to Tuesday's incident, the feuding groups equipped with lethal weapons locked in a fierce clash yesterday, leaving 25 people from both sides injured.
As the wounded tried to flee, they were engulfed in flames and buried alive by falling masonry.
A deadly attack on central Kabul yesterday has demonstrated once again that no one and nowhere in Afghanistan is safe from a determined Talban onslaught.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said his government was ready to discuss all issues with Pakistan, but asked Islamabad to "curb the activities of those elements that are engaging in terrorism in India."
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Mohan Bhagwat Tuesday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party needs a complete overhaul to improve its image and performance at the national level.
On her first visit to Pakistan as secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday sought to chip away at anti-Americanism in this predominantly Muslim nation, while applauding the government for taking on violent extremist forces.
An apple a day may keep the doctor away but a fibre-filled diet could also hold the key to keeping asthma, diabetes and arthritis at bay, according to Australian research released today.
Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the embattled Afghan president and a suspected drug trafficker, has been on the CIA payroll for most of the past eight years, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
A UN human rights investigator warned the United States Tuesday that its use of unmanned warplanes to carry out targeted executions may violate international law.
Arts & Entertainment
As a tribute to the National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) staged a dance-drama, titled “Shunyo E Bukey” at the National Theatre Hall on October 27.
The Department of Theatre, University of Dhaka brought a new play of legendary Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen on stage. Titled "Bunoha(n)sh," the play is an adaptation of Ibsen's much-acclaimed "The Wild Duck" (1884).
Excessive commercialisation has diminished the quality of films, particularly in comparison with those of the '60s and '70s, though facilities and production have been augmented. However, the saving grace is that the latter phenomenon has spawned some quality films. This observation was made by noted film director Soovas Dutt, in the course of a recent interview with this correspondent at the Ramkrishna Sheba Ashram in Pabna. Earlier Dutta had been accorded a reception at the venue. The secretary of the Ashram Binoy Jyoti Kundu chaired the reception.
The festive 'Kobi-Shahittik Mela' -- held last Saturday -- was a first in Thakurgaon. The venue: Thakurgaon Shilpakala Academy Auditorium.
Watching "Michael Jackson's "This Is It" will have fans grieving once again, but this time, it won't only be for the fallen King of Pop, but for what we lost -- a brilliant entertainer who gave every inch of his body and soul for what might have been one of the most spectacular comebacks of all time.
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.
RECENTLY, The Daily Star conducted an opinion poll to ascertain peoples' response to the government's mulling over clipping the wings of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) by curbing its authority to investigate allegations against three categories of "special citizens." The response, as expected, was negative.
LAST week some Kashmir newspapers reported with approval some remarks that India's Home Minister, P. Chidambaram had made in Srinagar. The Indian minister disclosed that secret negotiations were going on between India and Pakistan on Kashmir. He also said: "We are working on a solution that will satisfy both sides and will be good for the Kashmiris."
A friend gave me a warning when he heard I was going on a book tour of Germany.
Hawkers have been occupying footpaths and portion of thoroughfares in New Market and Reazuddin Bazar areas in the port city for long, creating tailbacks due to indifference to the problems by the law enforcement agencies.
As there has been no massive repair work by Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) for years, Halishahar Road and DT Road have developed cracks and potholes, causing much suffering to motorists as well as commuters.
School of Debate inaugurated
The two-month Star Campus-Drishty School of Debate was inaugurated at Lions Foundation auditorium in the port city on Saturday.