News of: Saturday, 5th of December, 2009
At least 47 persons, mostly women and children, died and eight went missing after a motorboat capsized on the Daira river at Mithamoin upazila of the district yesterday.
BNP leaders at different levels are lobbying for coveted positions in the standing and central executive committees as the party plans to include new faces in them.
Launch operators in country's southern parts continue to defy the restriction on carrying excess passengers as people are returning from Eid holiday to their work places with the tragic Bhola launch capsize still fresh in their minds. It left 85 passengers dead.
The Bangladesh government yesterday finally spoke about the rampant international media speculations regarding United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa's arrest in Dhaka and his subsequent transfer to Indian custody.
Unsure about this year's aman output, the government has re-imposed ban on rice export to keep the rising domestic rice price under control.
The government is going to issue "Krishi Card" (agriculture cards) for the farmers by the end of this month for distribution of agricultural inputs, loans and other subsidies in a more transparent and effective manner.
The government is thinking about forming a separate land commission to settle land disputes of indigenous people who do not reside in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).
Bangladesh left all their off-field turmoil at the touchline as they breezed to a 4-1 victory over an insipid Bhutan in their opening match of the Bangabandhu SAFF Championships at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
A three-day meeting of the technical committee of Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) of Bangladesh and India kicked off in Dhaka yesterday, with a discussion on sharing the Ganges waters.
Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus yesterday said the nation would be benefited if we work more and speak less.
Militants stormed a mosque popular with army officers in Pakistan's garrison city of Rawalpindi yesterday leaving at least 40 people dead in an onslaught of gunfire, grenades and explosions.
Lawmakers formed a human chain on Kuakata sea beach yesterday in efforts to bring issues of climate change high on the agenda of the government's priorities, as Bangladesh happens to be among the most vulnerable nations.
Two top cadres of outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-ML) were killed in a "shootout" in Jagati village of the district early yesterday.
The European Union (EU) has estimated total incremental costs of mitigation and adaptation to climate change in developing countries, including Bangladesh, at around 100 billion Euros annually by 2020 under a global agreement expected to emerge at the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen.
Dhaka City Corporation started demarcating lanes on important thoroughfares of the capital under the supervision of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (traffic) late Thursday night.
Family members of former Ganotantri Party President Nurul Islam yesterday complained that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is not giving proper attention to the investigation into Nurul Islam and his son murder case.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina returned home yesterday morning ending her six-day official visit to Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago.
Nepal's top politicians strapped on oxygen tanks yesterday and held a Cabinet meeting amid the frigid, thin air of Mount Everest to highlight the danger global warming poses to glaciers, ahead of next week's international climate change talks.
Three women of a family were killed and 25 people injured as a bus rammed a human hauler near Biraldaha mazar in Puthia upazila yesterday noon.
Two workers were killed as melted iron seeped down upon them at a steel mill of the port city yesterday morning.
A youth was beaten by a band of miscreants to death at Hathazari upazila here early yesterday.
US Marines and Afghan troops yesterday launched the first offensive since President Barack Obama announced an American troop surge, striking against Taliban communications and supply lines in a southern insurgent stronghold, a military spokesman said.
Brazil and Portugal were sent on a World Cup collision course when the final draw was made in Cape Town yesterday while Lady Luck smiled on England.
Oil prices rallied yesterday following news of shrinking unemployment in the United States, the world's biggest energy-consuming nation.
IT augurs well for shoring up the jute sector that needs to find a strong footing. Export of raw jute and jute goods registered an increase during July-September quarter against the recession-hit backdrop of the world economy. Compared with figures for the corresponding quarter of last fiscal, export of raw jute this time marked a significant growth by 28 percent. However, insofar as the export of jute manufactures went, the growth is rather modest -- 5.18 percent.
THE front-page Daily Star story on cutting and robbing of trees of Kalinga forest in Srimongol, one of the largest and most pristine rainforest reserves of the country, tells aplenty of how it is either sheer inefficiency or shameful corruption on the part of the officials and staff members of the forest department and the law enforcing agencies that has made possible the outright plunder of forest resources. Kalinga forest and the conjoined Rema forest covering an area of about 1,795 hectares form the biggest tree-cover after the Sundarbans. But Kalinga forest today has been reduced to a pathetic silhouette of its former beauty. And it is beyond comprehension that what poachers could not do in last ten years, they have done it in just one year!
TRUTH and justice prevailed on 19 November, 2009. It took over 34 years to reaffirm that no one is above law. This was possible because of patience and perseverance. It also demonstrated that given political will, the judicial process can operate efficiently despite barriers put in place through political maneuverings.
THE landmark study by the UNICEF that some 3.3 crore children -- about half of the child population -- are living in abject poverty while one in four children is deprived of four basic necessities, made public in Dhaka in recent past, has come as a pathetic reminder of the state of the children in the country. Unquestionably true, as the lead consultant Prof. Abul Barakat said, that majority of the Millennium Development Goals that are related to children will remain unattainable without giving proper attention to children.
EVENTS across our border indicate that despite continuous State action the Naxalite movement characterized by violence has expanded to new areas and has developed significant capacity for military action and striking power. It has been the considered view of many in India that the sharp inequities in society have contributed to the attraction of the Naxalite movement to the dispossessed and marginalized population.
Striking duo Enamul Haq and Zahid Hasan Emily carried their domestic form to the international level as Bangladesh got off to an emphatic 4-1 win over Bhutan in their Group B opener of the Bangabandhu SAFF Championship at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Mohammedan fans were yesterday rejoicing as if they had won the title, after they dismissed the challenge of archrivals Abahani to keep intact their unbeaten record in the Premier Division Cricket League.
The Bangabandhu sixth SAFF Championship got off to a dramatic start as nine-man Sri Lanka survived a late onslaught to hand a lone-goal defeat to Pakistan in the opening match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Kalabagan and Biman have booked their places in the super league stage of the Ispahani Tea Premier Division Cricket as they booted out Surjo Torun and Khelaghar in their respective marches yesterday.
Mohammedan cricket officials on Friday brought a serious allegation against national team physiotherapist Michael Henry as they claimed that left-handed opener Tamim Iqbal got wrong treatment after he had suffered injury on the top of his hand during last one-day match against Zimbabwe at Chittagong last month.
Ruthless India left Sri Lanka fighting for survival in the final Test here on Friday after Virender Sehwag missed a world record third triple-century by seven runs.
Roma, Athletic Bilbao, PSV Eindhoven and Sporting Lisbon qualified for the knockout phase of the Europa League on Thursday.
Still reeling from their painful derby defeat at Barcelona in 'El Clasico', Real Madrid will hope for some home comfort on Saturday when they entertain Almeria at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Any lingering hopes Manchester City entertain of getting involved in a Premier League title race in their first full season of being bankrolled from Abu Dhabi will be extinguished if they fail to beat Chelsea on Saturday.
David Beckham took centre stage in England's campaign to host the 2018 World Cup on Thursday, using his star quality to bolster a bid that has recently appeared to be floundering.
Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal has ordered his side to forget next week's Champions League clash at Juventus and concentrate on closing the gap to Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen.
Argentine international defender Fernando Gago wants to leave Real Madrid because he has been little used this season but the Spanish giants do not want to let him go, sports daily Marca reported Friday.
Fabio Capello on Friday identified Spain and Brazil as England's main threats at next year's World Cup, but also said an African team could surprise.
Chelsea's Salomon Kalou has been ruled out for "around two weeks", the Premier League leaders said on Thursday, after sustaining a thigh tear in Wednesday's League Cup loss to Blackburn Rovers.
Police explosives experts using sniffer dogs were called in to the World Cup draw venue here on Friday briefly snagging last-minute preparations for the ceremony.
It's a venue that Pakistan's bowlers have enjoyed more than those from any other side over the last two decades, and they celebrated the Basin Reserve's fiftieth Test in fitting style, destroying New Zealand's top order with another clinical performance that left them superbly placed to level the series. After extending their first innings to 264, thanks largely to Kamran Akmal's enterprising 70, the bowlers immediately got down to business, exploiting the conditions and the huge flaws in the techniques of the New Zealand batsmen, bundling them out for 99 and taking their overall lead to 229 by stumps.
Dwayne Bravo's third Test century ensured a healthy total for West Indies but their fighting efforts were overshadowed by a controversial umpiring review that ended Shivnarine Chanderpaul's push for a hundred. West Indies must win to keep the series alive and Bravo's 104 gave them hope, although on a good batting surface six opening-day wickets wasn't a bad result for Australia.
Police Super First Division Kabadi League began at Rangpur Police Lines field yesterday afternoon under the management of Rangpur District Sports Association.
A six-member Bangladesh Karate team left Dhaka on Thursday night for Malaysia to take part in the 1st Asian Goju Ryu Karate Championship that is being held at Tanarata Cameron Highland from December 4 to 6. Iran, Indonesia, Singapore, India Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and hosts Malaysia are participating in the championship.
Abdullah Al Saif and Tahmina Akter Tisha earned 2½ points each after end of the third round in the 21st Telegraph School's Chess Championship in Kolkata, India. Umme Taslima Protiva Talukder earned 2 points while Ikramul Haq Siam and Tanzina Akter Tani earned 1½ points each. The games of the third round were held on Thursday. Saif beat Sanchari Chakraborty, Tisha beat Aratrick Maity, Siam beat Bandhan Adak, Protiva lost against Subhajyoti Saha and Tani lost against Sambat Subhankar Roy. The event is being held in 10 round Swiss-league system. A total of 381 players from Bangladesh and India are participating in the event.
Speakers at a dialogue at the Geneva Trade and Development Symposium have called for successful completion of Doha round negotiations.
Agitated villagers went on a rampage and made arson attacks on a brick field after one of its workers was killed at Baktaboli in Fatulla, Narayanganj, yesterday.
Speakers at a memorial meeting yesterday called on the young generation to materialise the dream of building a golden Bangla using the spirit, wisdom and principles of Sheikh Fazlul Huq Moni.
At least four people were killed and 20 others injured in separate road accidents in Bogra, Brahmanbaria and Gopalganj in last two days.
Some Jubo League activists stabbed a businessman at Italy village under Singra upazila in Natore yesterday and snatched Tk 1.3 lakh from his possession.
Unidentified criminals stabbed a Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activist indiscriminately at Daulatpur Chhoygharia village at Chhagalnaiya in Feni yesterday.
There has been no satisfactory infrastructural development at Southkhali union of Sharankhola upazila in Bagerhat after the union was severely hit by cyclonic storm Sidr on the night of November 15 in 2007.
President of newly formed Bagerhat district BNP Advocate Shamsul Huq filed a case with the Paltan Police Station in Dhaka against four people, including his two fellow leaders, on Thursday on charges of snatching money and party documents.
Bangladesh will lose about 14,000 metric tons of food grain production to sea level rise in 2030 and 2,52,000 tons by 2075 in its eastern part alone, putting its food security at risk, according to a survey of Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS).
Speakers at a dialogue yesterday called for fostering mutual respect and understanding among the people of all faiths, particularly the Muslims and the Christians, to ensure world peace and harmony.
A worker of a glass shop succumbed to his injuries at Shaheed Suhrawardy Hospital yesterday four days after he was beaten by his in-laws at Geneva Camp in the city's Mohammadpur area.
One person was killed and at least 50 injured in two separate clashes at Bhanga and Boalmari upazilas of the district yesterday.
Over 100 people were injured in a daylong clash between two rival groups at Ponakhali, South Ponakhali and Malikhali under Nazirpur upazila here on Thursday.
Phulbari Freedom Day was observed in a befitting manner at Phulbari upazila here yesterday.
A fire at the Bandarban Sadar Upazila Relief Office gutted important documents, computers and furniture early yesterday
Today is the 46th death anniversary of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, one of the greatest leaders of undivided India.
Body of journalist Akhter Ahmed Khan will arrive Dhaka this afternoon by a Qatar Airways flight, sources in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said here yesterday.
At least 30 people, including several women, were injured in two separate clashes between supporters of Awami League (AL) and BNP in Narsingdi yesterday.
Dhaka University Alumni Association (DUAA) yesterday accorded a gala reception to media personality Shykh Seraj and physicist Dr Shamsher Ali for their winning of two international awards.
Speakers at a programme yesterday called on the developed countries to reach a consensus to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the upcoming Copenhagen conference.
People in the country want qualitative changes in politics, Chairman of Bangladesh Kallyan Party (BKP) Maj Gen (retd) Syed Muhammad Ibrahim Bir Pratik said yesterday.
Iran's defiant pursuit of its nuclear programme has tested the patience of Moscow and Beijing and increased the chances that they might support sanctions against Tehran, analysts said yesterday.
Nato nations pledged at least 7,000 troops to back a new drive against the Taliban and al-Qaeda, as the United States urged its partners to help finish the war in Afghanistan.
The European Union will begin "sustained political dialogue" with Myanmar following the thawing of relations between the junta-led nation and the US, the regional bloc's ambassador said Thursday.
US President Barack Obama will use his trademark direct diplomacy next week on a problem, which plagued his predecessors for two decades -- North Korea's dogged drive for nuclear weaponry.
India Friday said it wanted a revival of the peace process in Sri Lanka and has been assured by Colombo that all people displaced by the two-decade-long civil war would be resettled by the end of January 2010.
India and Nepal resume talks in security cooperation in Kathmandu Friday to review the progress of the high-level commitments made between the two governments during Nepali Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal's official visit to India in August.
In a confidential report obtained by AFP on Thursday, the European Union accused Israel of actively pursuing the annexation of Arab east Jerusalem and undermining hopes for peace with Palestinians.
Former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri has said that the US would need to step in to resolve pending issues and improve ties between India and Pakistan.
A top UN panel is to probe claims that British scientists sought to suppress data backing climate change sceptics' views, its head said yesterday ahead of the landmark Copenhagen summit.
A bid by one of Osama bin Laden's sons to visit Britain was rejected by an immigration tribunal on Thursday amid questions about his proposed marriage to a British woman and his attitude to his father.
Scientists have determined precisely how the plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) works at the molecular level to help plants respond to environmental stresses such as drought and cold, which could lead to the development of drought resistant crops in the future.
Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, who sent millions to their deaths during his nearly three decade long reign of terror, is closer to being rehabilitated, thanks to incumbent Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Expressing concern over the deteriorating condition in the Pak-Afghan border region, US lawmakers have pointed out that the presence of al-Qaeda in Pakistan and the increasing threat to that country's nukes were the two most important determining factors regarding the outcome of the 'war on terror' in Afghanistan.
India has launched a major offensive codenamed 'Operation Green Hunt' against Maoist rebels here on Thursday.
President Hamid Karzai put a brave face Thursday on President Barack Obama's decision to start pulling out troops in mid-2011, telling The Associated Press in his first public response that it will push Afghans to take control of their own destiny.
The White House has authorized the CIA to expand the use of unmanned aerial drones in Pakistan to track down and strike suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda members, the New York Times reported yesterday.
A military aide has tried to assassinate Guinea's ruler, a government official said, wounding the leader who seized power in a coup nearly a year ago and has come under international criticism after a military-led massacre.
America's last surviving World War I veteran came to Congress on Thursday to ask lawmakers to create a memorial to honour his fellows combatants from "The Great War."
Arts & Entertainment
With the slogan "Unity in Diversity", a three-day cultural festival featuring different indigenous groups is being held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre. Titled "Cultural Diversity Festival '09", the programme began on December 3 and ends today. The programme has been jointly organised by Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Facility (CHTDF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Although the underground music scene in the country has been active for a while, 'basement concerts', also known as 'underground concerts' were an unfamiliar phenomenon. The first such concert was held recently in the underground auditorium of Happy Arcade Mall. Bands Mechanix, Severe Dementia, MirrorBlaze, Septentriones, Osiris and Minerva were some of the performers. Basement Event Management along with Minerva organised the show.
At minus two degrees celsius, Srinagar, the summer capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, was virtually freezing on November 24. But the auditorium at the Kashmir University -- crammed with young men and women -- was warm with an animated discussion on Bangladeshi director Tanvir Mokammel's award-winning documentary "Swapnabhumi" and a host of other issues thrown up by it.
Bangla Academy celebrated its 54th anniversary on December 3. The day started with Shamsuzzaman Khan, director general of Bangla Academy, placing wreaths at the central Shaheed Minar, says a press release.
A cultural programme, featuring song and dance, was held at Ansar Ali play ground of Parnanduali area in Magura town on Wednesday night.
Drama serial "Sakin Sarisuri" will be aired tonight at 7:50 pm. Written by Brindabon Das, the serial is directed by Salauddin Lavlu, and is aired on Saturdays and Sundays.
The fourth edition of the Citi Cup Golf Tournament concluded at the Kurmitola Golf Club in the city yesterday.
Only a few days to go before the Fifteenth Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP15) in Copenhagen, it may be worthwhile to recapitulate some key observations made by global leaders and eminent participants in the Global Editors' Forum held in the Danish capital between October 9 and 11. This was staged jointly by the Project Syndicate, an international media think-tank, and the Danish government.
Climate change is no longer a distant threat. According to IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the effects of climate change have already been observed, and scientific findings indicate that precautionary and prompt action has become imperative.
Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and parties to the Kyoto Protocol are going to Copenhagen along with the negotiation texts consolidated from Barcelona. The mandate is to reach a new agreement or agreements at the UN Climate Change conference. The small sphere of this feature aims to examine and evaluate the different legal options of the (to be) agreed outcomes of Copenhagen climate deal.
It started with few verses, that I Alif, wrote while in the West, which reached the desk of Mr. Z in the East, the decision maker of whether to print or not to print. Such is the amazing work of e-mails! Meanwhile, the instructions that accompanied the write-up in case it was to be acknowledged, was to use a pen name reflecting my desire to be anonymous. Then one day, to my utter dismay, so to speak, while thumbing through the pages of the newspaper on the net, there it was…my verses and my name staring right back at me! My first venture in creative writing and I had no clue it was accepted. So, I decided to deal directly with Mr. Z, and hence the discourse began. My first e-note to Mr. Z with introduction, thanks and another poem attachment:
Khadija Shahjahan should have lived long, for there was a poetic soul in her. The heart breaks when poets die. When I first met her at the offices of the Morning Sun sometime in the later part of 1990, she spoke to me about her daughter Mithun's poetry she wanted published in the newspaper. Khadija was smart, beautiful with that charming smile lighting up her features and spoke well. I suggested that she go into writing too, for it was obvious she had ideas she could disseminate to people. She said she had arrived from Britain and would be staying with her children, a son and a daughter, in Bangladesh for sometime. She said she would like to keep in touch with me. I gave her my telephone number and was pleasantly surprised when she called a few days later to let me know she had indeed written a small article for the Morning Sun. I asked her to have it sent to me. She brought it over herself.
On a lazy fall evening last week, the song “Bhalobashi, bhalobashi, ey shurey kachey durey..” came floating down while I was fiddling with my TV clicker and switched to a Bengali channel. A very familiar Tagore song for me, rendered over the ages by various artistes, Indrani, Bonnya, Sadi, you name it. What captured my attention this time were the last four lines of the lyrics:
Let him forget, in a million famines
I shall not forget, I shall not forget ever
When suddenly the doors of the closed room are wide open
The maddening wind blows
The gloomy sky fills with bride-seeing golden light
Or when sends calls to the forests
The first shower of monsoon
And the suddenly raised fragrance
of maiden Shambar comes from the grass roots
And the village of the Shabars in the dale
Becomes hazy on the cloudy days
December 1, 2009 was marked as the 21st anniversary of World AIDS Day. Together with its partners, the World AIDS Campaign set this year's theme for the Day as “Universal Access and Human Rights”. Global leaders have pledged to work towards universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care, recognising these as fundamental human rights. Strong commitment, sustainable programmes and urgent action are crucial to augment the progress in access to HIV/AIDS services.
After decades of research and despite a global consensus on the need of gender sensitive policies; gender disparities in eye care services still exist in many countries including Bangladesh. Available global data on childhood blindness and visual impairment also demonstrate various dimensions of gender disparity in children’s eye health.
During the last two decades, significant progress has been made to help increase the performance of players who are taking part in different competitive sports. However, sports medicine in Bangladesh is lagging far behind. With combined efforts to establish sports medicine, we have many things to do yet.
Women who smoke may have a higher risk of developing seizures than non-smokers do, a new study suggests.
Parkway Health, which owns and operates Mount Elizabeth, Gleneagles and East Shore hospital in Singapore, has organised a seminar on “Prevention of Heart Diseases and Treatment Options” at a local hotel recently. The seminar aimed at updating people with better treatment modality and aid to undergo for the appropriate medical options.
Diet is one of the major risk factors for cancer. But it is not just about what we eat too much of. It is also about the foods we should learn to add to our table every day.
PRIME Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the United States was the first such visit by a Head of State/Government under the Obama administration. The hosts used this point in the media to single out the visit as a special one. Likewise, the state banquet given to the Indian Prime Minister, where over 300 guests were invited, was also mentioned in the media in great details to underscore the care and the attention that the hosts have taken to make the visit remarkable. The President's choice of words to praise India and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made it obvious that he was also trying to underscore the visit as more than an important one. He referred to the usual pitch that marks such visits between the two countries; theirs being the two largest democracies in the world. This time, the fact that both Obama and Manmohan Singh have only recently assumed office (Manmohan Singh for a new term) and would have a long time to implement agreements reached between the two countries was added to the usual pitch to underscore the visit's importance.
IRAN has ignored the UN Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions over its refusal to suspend enrichment in exchange for trade benefits, or grant unfettered IAEA inspections meant to verify it has no clandestine nuclear arms programme.
AFGHANISTAN president Hamid Karzai is faced with a great challenge in tackling the myriad problems of his country after he was sworn in as the president for the second term following a controversial election. He has come under mounting pressure from the Western nations and the United Nations to free his administration from massive corruption and other vice in one hand and bring stability in the war-torn nation on the other. Hamid Karzai wants more troops to fight the Taliban, who are now more active in some parts of the country. And President Obama has complied by promising an additional 30000 troops. The crucial question is will Karzai be able to deliver what is expected from him?
Star Books Review
"'The gods created man,' said Srikanda Stpathy, 'but here we are so blessed that we - simple men as we are - help to create the gods.'” This is how one of the stories in William Dalrymple's latest book Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India, begins. This seeming contradiction plays through most of the nine stories in the book: a nun who sweeps the steps before her with a peacock fan when she walks so as not to inadvertently step on any living creature, ritually starves herself to death; a dalit untouchable not allowed to use the water of the very well he helps to dig, is revered as a god for three months of the year and illiterate villagers who are still the guardians of an entire oral culture, able to recite a 4,000 line epic by heart.
Edward Kennedy's death a few months ago was cause for the celebration, in a manner of speaking, of a dynasty that yet exercises a hold on the public imagination. It does not really matter that the dynasty, as it used to be, does not happen to be there any more. That the mystique of the Kennedys has become frayed over the years is no more in question. But, again, there is that certain reawakening of sensibilities, of memories, every time the Kennedys are mentioned. That explains the grandeur of Edward Kennedy's funeral. The fact that he was the only Kennedy brother to survive to ripe old age (he was seventy seven when he passed on) did little to stop the flow of a revival of popular interest in the clan. The Obamas and the Clintons and the Bushes and the Carters made sure, through their presence at Kennedy's memorial services in Boston, that the clan was remembered.