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News of: Sunday, 15th of November, 2009
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India gave an upbeat response to giving Bangladesh railway transit to transport goods to Nepal, said Foreign Secretary Mohamed Mijarul Quayes yesterday.
The lawmaker of Netrakona-1 constituency has reportedly been realising huge amounts of money from local contractors, coal importers, dealers in white clay, two sub-registry offices and market lessees in the name of an unregistered destitute welfare fund.
A question paper casting aspersion on the religious sentiment and knowledge of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina triggered strong resentments and protests among students, teachers and conscientious people in the port city.
At least 20 more Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives of Indian and Pakistani nationalities are in Bangladesh to build a strong militant network here.
Donors are not assisting the government in repairing damaged embankments in Aila-affected areas in coastal districts, said Disaster Management Bureau Director General Farhad Uddin.
Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday alerted her party colleagues to the possibility of subversive acts ahead of the apex court verdict in Bangabandhu murder case on November 19.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the government officials to come out of their old mindset and be quicker in clearing files from their desks so that poor farmers do not suffer from any delay in the delivery of services.
One of the top leaders of outlawed Gono Bahini Obaidul Islam alias Obaidul Haq alias Lal Bhai was shot dead in India by his rival cadres Friday night.
The European Union might intervene to prevent human rights violations in Bangladesh unless the scenario improves, head of the delegation of European Commission to Bangladesh Stefan Frowein said yesterday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today leaves for Italy on a four-day visit to attend the World Summit on Food Security 2009 in Rome.
At least fifty people were injured and vehicular movement on Dhaka-Mawa highway remained suspended for four hours creating huge sufferings to the passengers yesterday following a clash between two groups of people at Rajendrapur area under south Keraniganj.
The presidential pardon of sentences against Shahadab Akbar, son of deputy leader of parliament Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, has come under criticism from various quarters.
A writ petition is likely to be filed today with the High Court challenging the legality of the amended rules of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) empowering the executive magistrates to perform judicial functions.
Police recovered bodies of an auto-rickshaw driver and a girl from the city's Pallabi and Gabtoli areas yesterday.
A "significant amount" of frozen water has been found on the moon, the US space agency said Friday heralding a giant leap forward in space exploration and boosting hopes of a permanent lunar base.
Two persons were killed and one was critically wounded in a gunfight among the armed cadres of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) and United People's Democratic Front (UPDF) at Lulongchhari under Jurachhari upazila on Friday.
Fugitive former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra left Cambodia yesterday, ending a contentious four-day visit that deepened a diplomatic crisis between the neighbours.
Three Americans including two members of the Nato-led force in Afghanistan have been killed by homemade bombs, the military said yesterday.
ONE may look at the recent arrests of people alleged to belong to the Lashkar-e-Taiyeba, which is based in Pakistan, as both a cause to be wary as well as a matter to take a degree of relief from. Reportedly, these terrorists were planning to conduct attacks on the US and Indian embassies in Dhaka, in tandem with attacks on several Indian cities, to mark the one-year of the Mumbai attacks
THE campaign to reclaim our rivers, in which this newspaper has been playing a leading role, appears to have been given fresh impetus through a new move to free the Sitalakhya of encroachment. We might add here that of late no less a personality than the prime minister has directed the authorities to reclaim rivers from the unscrupulous and predatory elements who have over the years seized increasingly larger chunks of them. Added to that are the directives served by the judiciary about making the rivers free and therefore going back to public hands.
A recent report published in The Guardian has exposed yet another downside of recession in the United Kingdom (UK), a very advanced industrialised society. It is common knowledge that the joie de vivre of such a society is the insatiable craving for possessing as much of the creature comforts as possible on offer in the market. However, the ongoing financial meltdown has made a deep dent in the purchasing power of consumers.
THE mixture of religion and politics has always been a dangerous potion. Perhaps the architects of the American independence had realised this centuries back when the First Amendment to the US Constitution was brought in to deny state patronage to any particular religion or religious group.
Kalabagan continued their impressive run of form in the Premier Cricket League when they defeated Bangladesh Biman by 20 runs yesterday to dump the national flag carriers to their second consecutive defeat. In the other matches of the day, Old DOHS downed Khelaghar to their sixth defeat in six matches beating them by 3 wickets, while BKSP edged Victoria in a thrilling encounter by 3 runs.
Newly-appointed Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf called for unity from his side on Saturday ahead of their tough three-Test tour of New Zealand, saying it would be a double test for his players -- on and off the field.
Pakistan overcame a late order flurry from New Zealand to win the second Twenty20 international by seven runs at Dubai Stadium here on Friday, taking the two-match series 2-0.
Eoin Morgan played a stunning innings of 85 not out off 45 balls as England won a rain-affected first Twenty20 international against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium on Friday.
Sachin Tendulkar will become the 16th player in the history of cricket to have an international career spanning more than 20 years on Sunday but the champion batsman is still well short of former English all-rounder Wilfred Rhodes's mark.
Bangladesh U-19 football team returned home yesterday after finishing fourth in the group stages of the AFC U-19 Championship qualification round.
For all the fame he achieved even before the start of his international career, Sachin Tendulkar's wife Anjali couldn't recognise him when they first met in 1990 and she says the batting maestro perhaps fell for her lack of cricket knowledge.
Another day, another victory for the Bangladesh Under-19 cricket side, their second consecutive win over touring Zimbabwe Under-19s in as many days. But the margin of victory this time was the slimmest as they got home chasing 194 with a single wicket left and 3.4 overs not bowled.
Second seed Rafael Nadal set up a Paris Masters semifinal clash with third seed Novak Djokovic on Friday by defeating title-holder Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 7-5.
A goal by Rory Fallon just before half-time and some heroic goalkeeping by Mark Paston secured New Zealand's ticket to next year's World Cup as they squeezed past Bahrain 1-0 here on Saturday.
Germany's top players including Michael Ballack and Bastian Schweinsteiger have requested the German Football Federation (DFB) hold a memorial game for tragic goalkeeper Robert Enke.
Gregg Berhalter and Landon Donovan scored in extra time Friday as the Los Angeles Galaxy secured their berth in Major League Soccer's title match with a 2-0 victory over Houston.
Chelsea will have to do without Frank Lampard for their Premier League summit meeting with Arsenal on November 29 after the England midfielder was ruled out of action for three weeks.
Kaka believes Fabio Capello has transformed England into a team capable of wrecking Brazil's hopes of claiming a sixth World Cup in South Africa next year.
Inter Milan's Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho revealed Saturday that he sees his future in English football.
Real Madrid's iconic former striker Alfredo di Stefano was on Friday named as a 'sporting ambassador' of Argentina at a ceremony in the Spanish capital to honour his career.
Argentina coach Diego Maradona says his son-in-law, striker Sergio "Kun" Aguero, should leave Atletico Madrid if the club does not invest.
Former Portuguese international Sergio Conceicao announced Saturday that he is retiring as a player.
Qatar's Brazilian-born striker Fabio Cesar Montesin scored both goals as the 2011 Asian Cup hosts defeated World Cup qualifiers Paraguay 2-0 in a friendly here on Friday.
Germany striker Miroslav Klose was on Saturday released from a four-day quarantine for swine flu after showing no signs of the virus and is available to play against the Ivory Coast next week.
Sachin Tendulkar has expressed his disappointment at India not playing enough Tests in the near future. Besides the three Tests in the upcoming home series against Sri Lanka, which begins in Ahmedabad on November 16, India play only two more Tests, in Bangladesh in January, in the 2009-10 season. There are no further Test series planned at least till the end of the 2010.
Caster Semenya, the South African teenage world champion runner who sparked allegations over her gender, has spoken of her difficulties coping with her newfound fame.
India will make a quick switch to Test cricket to defend their unbeaten home record against Sri Lanka in a three-match series starting here on Monday.
Channel i lifted the Pepsi-DRU six-a-side cricket title handing a 33-run defeat to Bangla Vision in the final at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.
The Bangladesh Archery team was scheduled to leave the country early today for Indonesia to take part in the 16th Asian Archery Championships and Youth Olympics qualifying round in Bali from November 15 to 22.
Dhaka University table tennis tournament, organised by DU Table Tennis Association, got underway yesterday at the Teacher and Student Centre (TSC) with participation of some 70 competitors from different departments.
Brac University came from behind to record a 4-2 win over East West University in the Mentors' Inter-Private University football tournament at the Army Stadium in Banani yesterday.
Bangladesh Krishi Bank will introduce 'citizen's auditing system' in its branches to ensure transparency and accountability in farm loan disbursement, its Chairman Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled said recently.
A pay hike for government staff emerges as the latest worry for inflation, said analysts yesterday.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) has prepared a five-year strategic plan to ensure efficient banking.
A five-day information and communication technology (ICT) fair will begin on Tuesday at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.
A little tin-roofed market let poor women come out of the curse of poverty in Magura.
State Minister for Power and Energy Enamul Haque said yesterday people were 'bluffed' in the past about the country's gas reserve as fictitious figures were dished out.
The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has fixed a record target for producing 49,66,220 tonnes of potato from 3,00,983 hectares during the current Rabi season in all the 16 districts of the country's northern region.
Former finance adviser Dr Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday said regulatory authorities should not always intervene in the capital market.
KFC and Pizza Hut, the two franchise chain restaurants from Transcom Foods Ltd, completed its month-long World Hunger Relief Campaign yesterday.
A three-day Bangladesh single country trade and tourism fair will begin in Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur on December 4.
US President Barack Obama came under fire Saturday from Asia-Pacific leaders for backsliding on free trade, at a regional summit devoted to driving the world economy out of crisis.
Red tape stands as a barrier to investment by non-resident Bangladeshis, said the chairman of British-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce (BBCC).
Economic theory shows every risk ushers an opportunity. The global recession has created openings for some countries, especially South Asia, a relatively consumer-driven market.
Cow dung -- actually, lots of it -- 30 kg per day, to be precise. That is the kind of manure you need to fire up a one-stove burner as an alternative means to the usual rice husk, wood and dung cakes used in our villages. And for that kind of manure to feed the smallest biogas unit of 1 cubic metre capacity, enough to cook for a farm family of four, you need to have three cattle-heads. You also have a choice of 6-biogas plant size to choose from, the largest being 5 cubic metres which is good for several families.
Asian markets were mixed in choppy trade Friday with traders taking profits amid mixed signals, as Wall Street fell overnight despite positive economic and corporate news.
The European single currency firmed against the dollar on Friday after news that the eurozone recession has officially ended.
World oil prices slid Friday close to one-month lows as traders switched focus to weak demand and rising inventories in key energy consuming nation the United States.
British Airways is aiming to hold its ranking as a giant in the skies through a tie-up with Spanish carrier Iberia that will give it access to South American routes, the group's boss said on Friday.
India's inflation jumped in October, official data showed Saturday, putting pressure on the central bank to start reversing an aggressive series of interest rate cuts.
Hong Kong's economy continued to rebound in the third quarter on stronger domestic demand, government figures showed Friday, but the improvement was limited by sluggish export trade.
Banking giant HSBC said Friday it was selling its London headquarters to the National Pension Service of South Korea (NPS) for 772.5 million pounds (1.3 billion dollars, 864.4 million euros).
November 08th-November 12th, 2009
This has been a very volatile week for the international currencies. The euro offered limited reaction to a slight rise in euro zone output, which affirmed the view that Friday data would show the 16-member bloc officially emerging from recession. The euro broke the $1.50 barrier, only to come back and settle just below it. With few major economic data and events scheduled for the European and US sessions, players were focussed on a meeting of Asia-Pacific and other Asian regional issues, including a US state visit to China next week. Some analysts said the focus on Asian currencies was also a factor capping gains in the euro. Pressure on China and other Asian countries to revalue their currencies "could take away some of the upside pressure on the euro. China's central bank, which holds the world's largest foreign exchange reserves stash of more than $2 trillion, said it would consider major currencies in guiding the yuan, suggesting a departure from an effective dollar peg that has been in place for more than a year. Analysts said the move was Beijing's clearest signal yet that it was close to letting the yuan appreciate after an 18-month hiatus that has frustrated many of its peers. The sterling lost ground against the dollar on the back of comments from the Bank of England on its quantitative easing programme. The steady pace of dollar selling in recent weeks -- also on the view US interest rates would remain low for some time -- stayed intact market participants said.
Speakers at a conference yesterday called on the government to form a national taskforce to carry out more scientific activities and research works in Bangladesh.
Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon yesterday warned that his party would pull out of the Awami League-led grand alliance if the government fails to stop 'wilful mistakes' such as tender violence and nepotism.
With bumper Aman production on the horizon, the nation celebrates the National Agriculture Day today, the first of Bangla month Agrahayan.
Bangladesh Railway (BR) authorities will start selling advance tickets on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha from November 18 and will continue till November 22.
World Diabetes Day was observed in the country yesterday with the slogan 'Understand diabetes and take control' to raise awareness to prevent this non-communicable disease.
Chairmen and members of Union Parishad (UP) of Dhaka Division yesterday demanded amendment to a provision of the Union Parishad Act-2009 to end discrimination between the UP and municipality chairmen.
Environmentalists yesterday urged the government to set up a parliamentary environmental caucus to strengthen lawmakers' role in protecting the biodiversity.
Speakers at a programme yesterday called for improving socio-economic condition of the people to reduce the number of Injecting Drug Users (IDUs), the most high-risk group for HIV/AIDS.
Most of the Sidr victims who lost their dwelling houses in Patuakhali are still passing days in miseries even after two years of the severe cyclone.
Fourteen BNP leaders and activists, including Satkhira district BNP Convener Habibul Islam Habib, have been sued on charge of assaulting five party men during Tala upazila BNP conference on November 13.
Movement of water transport, especially cargo vessels and barges loaded with fertiliser and fuel, is being hampered in Baghabari-Paturia channel due to poor navigability of the Jamuna.
People of Bhairab and Kuliarchar continued Kishoreganj blockade programme for the second day yesterday to press their demands for upgdaing Bhairab to a district and arrest of those who burnt the effigy of President Zillur Rahman during a hartal in Kishoreganj on November 2.
Police raided Mother Bux Hall of Rajshahi University (RU) again early yesterday and arrested a hall employee in connection with recovery of arms from Islami Chattra Shibir cadres on Friday night.
Pirates looted six fishing trawlers in the Bay and abducted 28 fishermen for ransom early yesterday.
Cultivation of cauliflower has become so popular as a source of income in Rautnagar that the place is now locally known as 'vegetable village.'
Police on Friday arrested two people here on charge of carrying 120 parrots and seized the birds.
Police recovered 280 bags of fertiliser from Khandarpar under Muksudpur upazila on Thursday and arrested one Kabir Munshi on charges of trading fertiliser illegally.
Armed robbers looted eight houses at Chadpur village in Damurhuda in Chuadanga on Friday night. According to police, around 20/25 robbers in eight groups entered into eight houses at a time at about 1:00 am. The owners of the houses are Nurul Islam, Amjad Hossain, Sourav Hossain, Ajimuddin, Ayub Ali, Liakat Ali, Abul Kashem and Swakat Ali. The robbers looted Tk 50, 000, ornaments, clothes and other valuable things worth about more Tk 2 lakh. The robbers hit Saidur Rahman, 18, son of Sourav Hossain with an iron rod when he tried to resist the robbers. Saidur is undergoing treatment at Damurhuda Upazila Health Complex.
Criminals killed an 8-year-old girl after rape at Alokdia village in Salanga upazila on Thursday. The victim was identified as Achhia, daughter of Abul Hossain of the village. Police said, locals found the body of the victim in Balurchar area of the village. Achhia was missing since Wednesday evening. On information, police recovered the body of Achhia that bore injury marks. Police suspect that the criminals might have killed her after rape. The body was sent to hospital morgue for autopsy.
Snatchers looted Tk 7.2 lakh injuring a cattle trader near Nayabazar in Sonargaon upazila on Friday night. The victim was identified as Lokman, 40, of Koltapara village. Locals said, a gang of snatchers waylaid Lokman at about 9:00pm while he was returning home with the amount after selling his cows in the bazar. At one stage, they stabbed him and took away the money. Lokman was rushed to local Khanpur hospital where his condition was stated to be critical.
Members of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) recovered 'hundi' money amounting to Tk 4 lakh from Burirhat border in Kaliganj upazila early Friday. Acting on a tip-off, a team of BDR chased a gang of 'hundi' traders late at night when they were trying to smuggle the money out to India. Sensing presence of the border guards, the gang fled the scene leaving behind the bag containing the amount.
A ward level Awami League (AL) leader was stabbed allegedly by a upazila BNP member on Wednesday at Chhantila village under Ramgarh upazila. He was identified as Mohammad Fazlul Haque, 37, the Chhantila ward AL president under Ramgarh Union Parishad. Police said, Ramgarh BNP member Mohammad Yunus Mia, 35, attacked Fazlul with sharp knives over a trivial matter at their village at about 6 pm. Locals rescued Fazlul and admitted him to Ramgorh Upazila Health Complex. His condition was stated to be critical.
Seven houses were gutted in a fire at Uzani Para of the town early Thursday. Fire service sources said, two firefighting units from Bandarban with the help of locals doused the fire in an hour-long effort. Witnesses said the fire originated from a house around 1:30am and engulfed the adjacent houses including a three-storied building. Landlord Aoung Sa Ching said, the fire originated from an electric short circuit and damaged goods worth around Tk 40 lakh.
Two boys drowned in a pond on Thursday morning at Khasirkona village under Durgapur upazila. The dead were identified as Anisur Rahman Russel,6, son of Shamsul Haque and Imran Khan,7, son of Inamul Haque of village Khasirkona. Family members of the boys and police said, Imran and Russel went to the pond in front of Inamul's house for bathing in the morning and drowned in the pond. The family members called local divers who recovered their bodies from the pond.
A suicide bomber blew up his explosives-filled car yesterday at a police checkpoint in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar killing at least 11 people while 13 militants were killed in military offensive, police said.
US President Barack Obama pressed on with his mission to repair America's global standing, telling Asians he was determined to engage them as equal partners in the economy, diplomacy and security.
Trying the five men accused of the September 11 attacks poses a unique challenge to US prosecutors forced to sift through torture-tainted evidence to present before a jury of New Yorkers still scarred by the strikes.
Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said the country's focus on the war on terror is being affected because of persistent tensions with India.
A speeding train derailed in western India early yesterday killing at least nine people and injuring more than 80 others.
If US company Terrafugia has its way, the world's first road-registered, air-worthy, flying car could be on the highways and in the skies by the year 2011.
Hopes of a new climate change agreement at the UN summit in Copenhagen next month took a knock when the United States indicated that it would not sign such a deal without the Senate's clearance.
The Lahore High Court, for the third time, has issued notices against former President General Pervz Musharraf and former Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi in connection with former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's assassination case.
Distancing itself from decision-making process in BJP, the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Saturday said he had counseled the party leadership to look for a "young" candidate who can "restore its organisational set-up".
Russia is ready to support sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear programme, the daily Kommersant said yesterday citing sources in the administration of President Dmitry Medvedev.
The moon, which is once again the focus of an international space race, could hold the key to the birth of our planet some 4.5 billion years ago, and help unlock the oldest secrets of the universe.
A survey of US soldiers in Afghanistan shows declining morale and a reluctance to seek help for anxiety fuelled by repeated combat tours, the US Army said Friday.
Once home to the highest ski resort in the world and now reduced to a rocky mountainside, Bolivia's Chacaltaya range bears powerful witness to the precipitous melting of glaciers.
Government forces have killed more than 20 militants in Chechnya, and a bomb blast at a cemetery in a neighbouring province killed three relatives visiting the grave of a police officer slain by insurgents, law enforcement authorities said.
US President Barack Obama yesterday urged Myanmar to release detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners, urging the regime to take a path to "true security and prosperity."
Security of hotels in Ahmedabad has been beefed up in the wake of reports that US terror suspect David Coleman Headley stayed at top-end hotels in various cities with the aim of conducting a recce for terrorist attacks.
Fugitive former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra left Cambodia Saturday, officials said, concluding a trip that has stoked a major diplomatic crisis between the two neighbours.
Former British prime minister Tony Blair is to be called to give evidence to an inquiry into the Iraq war, officials announced Friday, six years after he controversially backed the US-led invasion.
Suspected Islamic insurgents shot dead three civilians and six people have been injured in bomb and shooting attacks in Thailand's troubled south, police said Saturday.
Arts & Entertainment
To enrich contemporary theatre, different Bangla-deshi troupes have been incorporating folk elements in their productions. Nevertheless, it was an innovative idea by the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) to stage an Ibsen play in the form of an indigenous performing art, 'Kushan Gaan'.
“Photography to me is a meeting point of head and heart,” says the reclusive 87-year-old Ram Dhamija whose 41 photographs were recently on display at an exhibition in New Delhi, titled “Preoccupations: Forty Years of Imaging India.”
A preview of and discussion on the proposed film, titled "In The Sky", on renowned structural engineer Dr. Fazlur Rahman Khan was held at the Radisson Water Garden Hotel on November 13.
On November 12, the first Annual Hijra Dance Competition was held at the Dance and Music Centre, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Actor Hassan Masud and upcoming actress Tanzika are guests on tonight's "Amar Ami.”
THE United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) today, November 16, completes 64 years of its chequered and eventful existence with a change at the top, bringing for the first time a woman, as well as the first East European, Irina Bokova, as the Director General. Established on November 16, 1945, Unesco's constitution was adopted and signed on this day in London. The constitution however, came into force on November 4, 1946, after ratification by twenty countries.
IN a developing nation like Bangladesh, economic growth is instrumental in fighting poverty and ensuring development. Bangladesh has been registering annual economic growth of more than 5 percent on average for the last two decades. This figure for a developing nation is commendable, if not impressive. But the ongoing global and domestic issues on food, energy, infrastructure, and law and order, have exposed a number of challenges that have cast shadows on Bangladesh's growth prospects. The country needs identify a priority sector that will be most effective for reform and growth.
YOUR humble narrator visited two book clubs recently. One was mostly women, while the other was a mixed group of youngsters. Both groups were so intelligent. I was particularly dazzled by the kids' analysis of post-Freudian scatology in Winnie-the-Pooh.