News of: Thursday, 19th of November, 2009
The nation waits to hear the ultimate verdict today in the Bangabandhu murder case trial with bated breath and also in the expectation that finally justice will prevail. It has been a long, painful journey for the people of Bangladesh. It ought not to have been this way, for the particular reason that the liberation of Bangladesh from Pakistani occupation in December 1971 was considered symbolic of a clean break with the past. That Bangalees would see democracy grow in their country, that under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman they would go forth to create Shonar Bangla, a cause the Father of the Nation had consistently espoused since he emerged with his Six-Point programme of regional autonomy in the mid-1960s, was not a misplaced expectation. Indeed, it was a dream that seemed eminently attainable with Bangabandhu as the undisputed leader of this country.
Bangladesh will lose 8 percent of its rice and 32 percent of wheat production by 2050 if the sea level rises by one metre engulfing 20 percent of its land and displacing 20 million people.
Revenue earning from the construction sector increased sharply in the first three months of this fiscal year (FY) as whitening black money was allowed.
The billion-dollar projects of elevated expressway and metro rail for the capital city without detailed feasibility study is likely to bring about financial and technical debacles, said country's leading transport experts.
Lacking adequate number of vehicles, police stations of Dhaka Metropolitan Police mostly use requisitioned vehicles that torment vehicle owners as the authorities do not pay any compensation.
Top leaders of different factions of Chittagong BNP yesterday pledged to accept party chairperson's decision regarding the city unit committee unconditionally.
Elected representatives from different upazila parishads at a roundtable yesterday demanded that the lawmakers and bureaucrats refrain from interfering in the parishad affairs.
Shakib Al Hasan, world's number one all-rounder in ODIs, has just had another feather added to his already glittering career by becoming the first Bangladeshi cricketer to sign for an English county side.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has stated unequivocally that she wants a fair judgment in the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman murder case to be delivered today by the Supreme Court.
The government has deployed several hundred law enforcers on and around the Supreme Court premises to effect foolproof security for the historic judgment proceedings at the Appellate Division today.
Eid-ul-Azha, one of the largest religious festivals of Muslims, will be observed on November 28 as the moon of the Zilhaj month was sighted yesterday.
The government will launch a food for education programme this year targeting two million children in the most food-insecure areas to prevent school dropouts there, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said.
The parliamentary standing committee on the commerce ministry yesterday asked the ministry to ensure country's highest interest before it seals the much-debated Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (Tifa) deal with the USA.
Criminals gunned down a ward-level Jubo League leader and injured his companion in broad daylight yesterday in the capital's Maddha Badda area.
Mohammad Rafiq was pleading to the traffic sergeant not to requisition his microbus just two days after it was requisitioned.
A female Bangladeshi Hajj pilgrim was killed while 11 others were injured as a bus fell into a roadside ditch at Arafat in Saudi Arabia.
General Secretary of outlawed Gono Bahini, Azibor Rahman alias Azibor Chairman was killed by his rivals in India Tuesday night, his family and local sources claimed.
A UN commission investigating the assassination of Pakistan's ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto has questioned former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, the United Nations said yesterday.
A new report has revealed that Pakistan enjoys a substantial lead over India when it comes to nuclear weapons.
TODAY the nation has come face to face with a stark truth. The very fact that we had to wait for the last 34 years to complete the trial of the murder of the founding father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman including most of his family members and bring the killers to justice has brought us face to face with the moment of truth. Why had we to wait so long, for after his killing governments came in succession, one of those -- the BNP government of 1991-- being directly elected by the people. Strangely enough, before the Awami League government of 1996 was voted into office, none of the earlier governments felt the legal and moral obligation that the tragedy of August 15, 1975 at least deserved a hearing in the court of law! What had happened to our proud legacy of protest and struggle against all kinds of injustice?
THE country's position has improved slightly as per the corruption perception index of TI. It has gone three notches down and is now rated 13th out of 180 countries, with a score of 2.4 which was just good enough for not finishing among the ten most corrupt countries in the world. But respectability is still a far cry, as the countries scoring less than 3 are believed to be plagued by all-pervasive corruption.
THE state of civil-military relations (CMR) in Bangladesh is not what it should be. And there are many reasons for it. But what is more irksome than having to bear such a condition is a situation where the two are not very forthcoming in either acknowledging the shortcomings or in engaging in free and frank discussions on the issue.
THE Corruption Perception Index (CPI)-2009 was released by Transparency International (TI) on November 17. It provides international ranking of countries in terms of perceived degree of prevalence of political and administrative corruption. The index shows that Bangladesh is among nine out of the 180 countries included in this survey that have achieved "notable improvements." On a scale of 0-10 Bangladesh scored 2.4, compared to 2.1 last year. In terms of ranking, Bangladesh has become 13th from below which is 139th among 180, whereas in 2008 it was 10th from below or 147th among 180.
There comes a time in every cricketer's life when he can do no wrong. Everything goes right to the point that it seems that the heavens themselves have aligned to thrust that individual to the zenith of his achievements.
Life in the national camp after the shocking departure of Brazilian coach Edson Dido Silva goes on. And with Shahidur Rahman Shantoo taking over as interim coach it looked like the job is in good hands.
Cricket Coaching School (CCS) have chalked up their third win of the season with a comfortable five-wicket victory over hapless Khelaghar in their clash of the Premier Cricket League at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday. Newcomers Khelaghar, who had impressed all by qualifying for the semifinal of the season's curtain raising tournament Twenty20 Premier League, have found life difficult so far in the 50-overs format as they have lost all seven of their matches played so far.
Former captain Mahela Jayawardene scored his sixth double-century as Sri Lanka seized control of the first Test against India here on Wednesday.
Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM) have suspended today's scheduled matches of the Premier League due to security reasons concerning the verdict of Bangabandhu murder case. The matches scheduled for today will be held tomorrow as the eighth round matches are being bodily shifted by a day. There were big matches scheduled for today including the one between Gazi Tank and Abahani at the Sher-e-Bangla, but enough security arrangement could not have been ensured which lead to the deferral of matches. The matches of the eight round will now be held on the 20th and 21st of November, and the next round starting the following day. Fixture of the First Division Cricket League have also been shifted for the same reason.
The fourth and fifth ODIs between Bangladesh Under 19 and Zimbabwe Under 19 have been shifted to the Shahid Chandu Stadium in Bogra from the Jessore District Stadium, said a press release from Bangladesh Cricket Board yesterday.
Mohammedan Sporting Club yesterday named 16 directors for the proposed Mohammedan Sporting Club Limited with Alhaj Mohammad Mosaddek Ali as their chairman.
Sixteen new events of different disciplines have been included in the upcoming SA (South Asian) Games to be held in Bangladesh from January 29-February 9 next year.
South Africa will seek to end a five-match losing streak when they meet England in the first one-day international at the Wanderers Stadium on Friday.
Allrounders the world over are either fighting frequent injuries or giving up one form of the game to prolong their careers in another, but not Jacques Kallis. He's remained remarkably durable over a 14-year career, performing consistently with bat and ball, and has no intention of giving up a format, or forgoing his bowling, to extend his career.
The West Indians received an immediate view of life without the captain Chris Gayle when both openers fell cheaply and they were dismissed for 271 against Queensland. Gayle flew out of Australia on Wednesday to be with his sick mother in Jamaica and shortly after he left Allan Border Field his side was in trouble at 2 for 10, relying on Ramnaresh Sarwan's 73 to boost an unconvincing total.
The owners of Lord's denied Wednesday that they were considering selling the naming rights to the famous cricket ground.
Bangladesh male table tennis team finished 10th amongst 21 teams in the 19th Asian Table Tennis Championship that is currently being held in the Lucknow, India. They lost to Iran and Thailand but beat Laos to move into the second round where they beat Nepal to advance to the next round. Bangladesh lost to Sri Lanka in the 9th and 10th place decider to finish on tenth. The women's team finished fifteenth among 21 teams.
In the opening match of the First Division Football League between A Sports Club and Kheladhula Sangha ended in a goalless draw at the Kurigram Stadium yesterday.
America's Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick withdrew from the season ending ATP Masters tournament on Tuesday with him explaining that he had not recovered from a knee injury.
With 450,000 visitors expected in South Africa for the World Cup, organisers are at pains to reassure that fans will find enough hotel rooms -- but not always in smaller host cities on match days.
Carlo Ancelotti says he is tempted by the chance to lead Italy but is only thinking about Chelsea for now.
Liverpool's injury problems appear to be easing somewhat with the news that Steven Gerrard, Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson should all be fit to feature against Manchester City at the weekend.
Goal-shy 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa flopped again on Tuesday when held 0-0 by Jamaica in a lacklustre friendly.
Brazil won their second friendly in the Gulf with a 2-0 win over Oman at Muscat Stadium here on Tuesday.
Outgoing Ferrari star Kimi Raikkonen will take next season off from Formula One as he could not get a deal with McLaren his manager Steve Robertson was quoted as saying in the Finnish media.
Former French international defender Basile Boli was placed under investigation on Tuesday for breach of trust by the French fraud squad.
Atletico Madrid coach Quique Sanchez Flores has gone down with the H1N1 swine flu virus, the Spanish club announced on Tuesday.
Bundesliga club Hanover 96 will play Schalke 04 this Saturday in a special shirt dedicated to the memory of their former captain Robert Enke who committed suicide last week.
The Guinea football team was dissolved on Tuesday by the Minister of Sports after failing to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals and the African Nations Cup.
Dutch striker Dirk Kuyt said he was "disappointed" by the lack of respect Italy showed during last weekend's friendly which saw fellow Netherlands forward Robin van Persie sustain an injury.
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is to resume group training on Friday, several weeks after suffering an ankle injury, the club said.
Bangladesh Bank has once again lowered different banking charges, fees and commissions to provide assistance to businessmen hurt by falling exports.
Dhaka stocks suffered a steep decline yesterday, as most sectors went down, led by a fall in the prices of Grameenphone.
Farmers in Jhenidah district are expecting higher returns from their cotton crop this season.
Car sales dropped around 60 percent in the last three months as prices rose above the budgets of many prospective buyers due to high import duties.
Banglalink's revenue increased by 25 percent at the end of September, thanks to the company's strategy of improving earnings by lowering operating cost.
Frustration among proponents deepens for the delay in enactment of a law for 'economic zones,' deemed to have potential of attracting more local and foreign investment to create jobs.
The government should better the tax administration to increase revenue collection, said former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday.
Petrobangla officials here yesterday proposed introducing 'holiday staggering' in the industrial units in Dhaka and Chittagong to tackle the present situation of gas crisis and develop the supply system by load management of gas.
The world's cheapest automobile Tata Nano will be on display in Dhaka for the first time at a February trade show.
US President Barack Obama made few breakthroughs but left Beijing on Wednesday hoping he had nurtured a bond with China vital to tackling the gravest global threats.
A solid majority of Americans recognise the need to help the environment, although there are some things -- like buying a hybrid car or taking mass transit -- that people often talk about, but don't necessarily act on.
Board of Investment (BoI) Executive Chairman Syed Abdus Samad said the government should not have excessive control over bank interest rates for investment, as hosts of investors are exploring prospects for investing in various sectors.
Bangladesh will grow genetically modified (GM) rice variety, known as golden rice, by 2012.
InvestAsia Capital and Asset Management Limited has recently received licence from Securities and Exchange Commission to operate as asset management company (AMC).
Oil prices climbed towards 80 dollars on Wednesday on expectations that key data will show a drop in fuel stocks in the United States, the world's biggest energy-consuming nation, traders said.
Unaudited quarterly accounts for the third quarter to September 30, 2009 (January to September) show the bank has incurred a net loss of Tk (606.36) million with EPS of Tk (91.22) as against Tk (104.03) million and Tk (15.65) respectively for the same period of the previous year.
Malaysia said Wednesday that Washington had indicated it will abandon a bilateral free-trade deal under negotiation since 2006, and will instead work towards a regional trade pact.
Weak revenues caused the Philippines to exceed its full-year budget deficit target after just 10 months, the government said Wednesday.
Sri Lanka's central bank on Wednesday cut its key interest rates to a five-year low in a bid to boost economic growth as the island recovers from decades of ethnic violence.
Japan's biggest bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial announced plans Wednesday to raise billion of dollars from investors, joining a scramble by firms to boost finances ravaged the global financial crisis.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sought assistance from Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in agricultural technology transfer in Bangladesh for enhancing food production and productivity in particular to enhance production of rice and achieve self-sufficiency.
Six months have elapsed since the High Court gave a directive to form anti-sexual harassment committee at every workplace and institution, but only a few have complied, speakers at a roundtable said yesterday.
Climate change may reverse the hard-earned development gains of the past and the progress towards achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs), said the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in its 'State of the World Population 2009' report yesterday.
Existing crises in the media would not be resolved until an editorial institute is established in the country, speakers at a seminar said yesterday.
Underprivileged children selling assortment of items in the traffic intersections is nothing new in Dhaka city.
Experts at a conference yesterday stressed the need to take precautions for preventing cardiovascular diseases as they have been emerging as serious health hazards in Bangladesh and other developing countries.
The Supreme Court yesterday cleared the way for the University of Dhaka to hold 'Gha unit' admission test and continue the 'Kha unit' admission process as per new admission rules.
Different organisations yesterday condemned the death threats to Dhaka University (DU) Vice Chancellor Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique.
Zonta International, District 25, Area 02, celebrated the 90th founding anniversary of Zonta International at a city hotel recently, says a press release.
Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday called for regional and international cooperation to address the challenges of global climate change.
The youth and sports ministry is going to adopt a national volunteerism policy with the help of UNDP to make volunteerism more affective in achieving the millennium development goals.
Benapole border immigration police officer-in-charge (OC) and an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) were stand-released yesterday in connection with the disappearance of computers from the check post office on Monday.
Engineer Md Nurul Haque Sikder, former vice-president of BGMEA, chairman of Prime Bank Ltd and founder and chairman of Pall Mall Group of Industries, passed away at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore at 9:00am yesterday, says a press release.
Today is the 20th death anniversary of Major (Retd) MA Jalil, commander of the Sector 9 during the War of Liberation in 1971, says a press release.
Authorities of Khulna Medical College (KMC) have imposed a ban on students' politics on the campus.
Two more students of Barisal Veterinary Institute (BVI) under Patuakhali University of Science and Technology (PSTU) were expelled yesterday for one semester on charge of leading agitation on the campus.
Two outlaws, one of them a regional leader, were arrested with arms and ammunition in Kushtia and Rajbari early yesterday.
Victims of cyclone Sidr in Southkhali union under Sharankhola upazila in greater Khulna have demanded construction of sustainable embankments and arrangement for their returning to houses that were destroyed during he natural calamity.
Three front organisations of United People's Democratic Front (UPDF) yesterday held a protest rally and demanded immediate arrest and punishment of the security men who allegedly attacked indigenous people on Tuesday at Gilachhari of Rangamati district.
Tension is mounting between two factions of Moulvibazar BNP as both have called district unit conference at the same venue at the same time.
Police recovered two bomb-like objects from Kalibari Railway Station in Chandpur town yesterday morning.
CID Police started interrogating self-confessed serial killer Rasu Khan Tuesday, 11 days after the court granted remand for him.
A robber was injured in a gunfight between his cohorts and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members at Shalidha helipad in the district town early yesterday.
A 7-year-old boy while collecting water lilies drowned in a water body at Mohammadpur village in Sadar upazila on Tuesday.
A faction of Magura BNP, led by district Joint Convener advocate Mokaddes Hossain, yesterday held councils of Sadar upazila and municipality units while the other faction led by Convener Kabir Murad fixed November 23 and 24 for councils of the two units.
A housewife was brutally killed by an addicted youth at Sadipur village under Sadar upazila yesterday as she refused to give him money for buying drug.
Nine people, including six policemen, were injured in a clash between police and villagers over snatching an accused from police at Mirnagar village in Madhabpur upazila Tuesday.
A young man was sentenced to death yesterday for torturing his wife to death at Zamirtalla village under Patharghata upazila of Barguna three years ago.
At least eight people were injured as two groups of smugglers clashed at Burimari border point under Patgram upazila yesterday noon.
Afghan authorities said yesterday that local security forces backed by Nato troops killed more than three dozen rebels in a series of military operations across insurgency-hit Afghanistan.
Israel gave approval on Tuesday for the construction of hundreds of new housing units in annexed Arab east Jerusalem, drawing Western criticism as it drove another stake into troubled Middle East peace efforts.
US President Barack Obama wrapped up his first trip to China on Wednesday by meeting Premier Wen Jiabao, who said the two nations were better off as partners not rivals, and visiting the Great Wall.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said yesterday Tehran had ruled out sending any low-enriched uranium abroad but would consider a simultaneous fuel swap inside the country, a report said.
Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that President Asif Ali Zardari is ready to surrender the powers to appoint services chiefs and dissolve parliament.
India has handed Pakistan more information about the deadly Mumbai attacks ahead of the first anniversary of the carnage that killed 166 people, Islamabad said yesterday.
President Barack Obama said yesterday that he met briefly with a half brother who lives in China and who recently wrote a semi-autobiographical novel about the abusive Kenyan father they share.
Iraq's general election planned for January, only the second since the fall of Saddam Hussein, was thrown into jeopardy yesterday after Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi vetoed the polling law.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday said India would take all necessary steps to safeguard its nuclear facilities as the country tightened security in the wake of fresh fears over possible attacks.
Taliban fighters should be persuaded to lay down their arms and take seats in the Afghan Parliament to build a lasting peace in that country, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said.
Bigger is not necessarily better, at least when it comes to brains, says a new study, which found that tiny insects could be as intelligent as much bigger animals, despite only having a brain the size of a pinhead.
Nasa and Microsoft launched an interactive website on Tuesday that allows Web surfers to become Mars explorers.
A rhinestone-studded leather glove worn by pop icon Michael Jackson on his maiden Moonwalk in 1983, was on display Tuesday in New York before it rocks on to the auction block.
Sarah Palin dropped a heavy hint Tuesday that she might seek to run for the White House in 2012 as champion of America's Republican right.
Arts & Entertainment
Theatre Art Unit staged an adaptation of Ibsen's "Ghosts" at the Experimental Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on November 17. Adapted by Mohammad Bari, the play was directed by Rokeya Rafique Baby.
A 12-day international festival featuring the works of legendary Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen began on November 12 at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). Apart from plays and seminars, an art competition and exhibition on Bangladeshi theatre icon Selim Al Deen, titled "Images of Selim Al Deen's Life and Works", are now on at the National Art Gallery, BSA. The exhibition features artworks by the students of 12 art institutes of the country. Over 100 artists are participating in the exhibition.
Artistic orator Professor Naren Biswas' 63rd birth anniversary was observed at Cafe Theatre of Liberation War Museum on November 16. Anjali Biswas, wife of Naren Biswas, lit candles in observance of the anniversary.
A press conference was held on November 17, to discuss the upcoming Citycell-Channel i music awards.
Actress and TV host Shomi Kaiser and her mother Panna Kaiser are the guests on Desh TV's talk show "Lizan Herbal Eki Brintey" tonight. The programme features a celebrity as guest who is joined by a family member -- parent, sibling, spouse or teacher -- whose support and influence have played a major role behind his/her success.
A two-day programme in Kushtia to mark the 162nd birth anniversary of renowned poet, novelist and playwright Mir Mosarraf Hossain ended last Saturday.
On November 16, the Bangladesh Writers Foundation organised a discussion at the Central Public Library auditorium on the occasion of the 60- year literary career of National Professor Kabir Chowdhury. A leading intellectual, essayist, literary critic, educationist, translator and socio-cultural activist, Chowdhury writes both in English and Bengali. He has published more than 200 books. Noted poet Muhammad Samad, novelist Saleha Chowdhury, cultural personality Ramendu Majumdar, writer Mainuddin Kajal, Nahid Rokshana, Ahmed Kaisar, Rasel Asheki, Ayat Ali Patwary, Prottoy Jasim and others delivered speeches at the programme. The programme was presided over by noted Nazrul exponent Dr. Rafiqul Islam.
THE present shortfall of gas to the tune of 250 to 300 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) is expected to increase as the demand for gas towards power generation, fertiliser production, and domestic, industry, commercial and CNG transport uses outpace the production rate. This creates a situation whereby the country often has to choose between running a fertiliser factory or a power plant, cannot provide gas for industrial growth and so forth, each of which has multiple effects in slowing down economic development.
FOLLOWING the cabinet approval on November 11, Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith announced the much-awaited seventh national pay scale and allowances the same day for the employees in the government, semi-government and autonomous organisations. According to the finance minister's announcement, only pay hike will be effective from the first of July this year and the increase in allowances will be payable from the next financial year. A gazette notification to be issued this month detailing the procedure for payment of increased pay and allowances clear will make things clear.
FOR centuries, bosses who were accused of breaking the law responded just the way you would expect from great leaders: they blamed staff.
Narayana Hrudayalaya (NH) Group of India will set up a 1000-bed cardiac and multi specialty hospital on five lakh square feet of land in the port city involving an estimated cost of Rs 243 crore.
Department of Forest (FD) has taken an agar plantation programme in the name of creating social forestation on 25 hectares of land in Rangamati, threatening livelihood of 50 indigenous poor families.
Trained manpower needed for disaster cut
Speakers at a meeting on Wednesday underscored the need for trained manpower, equipment and determining strategy to reduce disaster risks.