News of: Tuesday, 8th of December, 2009
The largest and most important UN climate change conference in history opened yesterday, with organisers warning diplomats from 192 nations that this could be the best, last chance for a deal to protect the world from calamitous global warming.
Expressing concern over the slow progress in climate change negotiations, Bangladesh demanded a legally binding agreement implementing the Bali Action Plan.
Aiming to break the mould, BNP goes to national council today amid festivity and speculations over Tarique Rahman's possible role in the party.
Bangladesh and many small island states could become submerged by rising sea level if world temperatures increase by another two degrees centigrade, said Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Rajendra Kumar Pachauri yesterday.
An internationally renowned climate-change expert from Bangladesh said the country missed its opportunity to play a role in the key negotiation process in Copenhagen and get a better bargain for itself.
Reforming BNP seems to be put on the back burner as the curtain on the party's national council is lifted today, since the grassroots level leaders, who have been the most vocal for reforms, are rather busy proving their loyalties to the Zia family nowadays.
The Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) is going to suggest that the government introduce integrated border management to enhance coordination among the agencies maintaining law and order on the border.
Apart from distributing free textbooks to the students, the government has decided to put soft copies of textbooks of primary and secondary levels on the website as an alternative step to cope with the recurring textbook crisis.
The cabinet purchase committee yesterday finally approved a proposal to award contracts to three bidders to turn the Dhaka-Chittagong highway into four lanes from two lanes after four years of procedural hurdles and two failed tenders.
The cabinet yesterday approved a draft bill to amend Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 to drop the provision that allows courts to issue arrest warrants against editors, publishers, reporters or writers in connection with cases filed for defamation.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the country's scientists and technology experts to come up with new technological invention and environmentally friendly use of technologies to protect the people from the wrath of global climate change.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who was scheduled to begin a four-day official tour to India December 19, has now changed her schedule following a request from India.
No councillor from Manikganj, the home district of BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain, will join today's national council of the party as the district unit could not hold its council.
The trial for the BDR mutiny in Satkhira began yesterday through pressing of charges against 60 members of 7 Rifles Battalion in a special BDR court at 41 Rifles Battalion Headquarters.
Eight persons, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in different cases by trial courts, have already got released from jails on bail granted by the High Court recently.
Freedom fighters, who have been sentenced to death or for life, will not be given guard of honour after death, said State Minister for Liberation War Affairs ABM Tajul Islam.
Registration of many political parties might be cancelled because of their poor polls performance as the Election Commission (EC) has drafted a proposal to prevent such parties from contesting parliamentary elections.
A first-half strike from Jibon Singh took India to the semifinals of Bangabandhu SAFF Championship with a lone-goal win over a spirited Nepal in a Group A encounter at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed was re-elected the secretary general of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday while the party's six assistant secretary generals and three nayeb-e-ameers were also re-elected.
A regional leader of outlawed Biplobi Communist Party (BCP) was killed in a 'shootout' between his cohorts and police at Munshiganj village under Alamdanga upazila of Chuadanga district yesterday.
A mysterious explosion at a residential building in East Rampura killed a youth and damaged two flats of the six-storey building last night.
THE flagship Unicef report titled "The State of the World's Children" has some good words for Bangladesh. The rate of child mortality has halved in country over the 18 years since 1990, a point in time that Bangladesh ratified the Convention of the Rights of the Child(CRC). Statistically, the findings make an impressive reading: the mortality rate dropping off to 43 from 103 per 1000 births and the rate below age 5 decreasing from 149 to 54 per thousand. But there further messages to it.
FATWA or an edict, that self-anointed rural adjudicators issue in collaboration with influential locals, is ruining the lives of many women in rural areas. Most of the victims are not in a position to fight for their rights as such decrees are passed in the name of religion. The image of religion itself is undermined in the process.
TWO issues (problems) are haunting our collective minds and they need to be perceived, probed and analysed from the citizens' point of view. Both the issues are of utmost national importance and deserve vigorous citizens' debate and deliberation. We have no clue as to how the governments, that came and went in succession after shedding a lot of blood and spending fantastic sums, looked at them. What we believe is that if they had looked at them with due seriousness no nuisance would have existed today.
CLIMATE change is one of the most complex challenges of the century, affecting all countries. With the warming of the planet and changes in climatic patterns, densely populated countries with long coastal belts, like ours, are most vulnerable. Many people might face loss of life and property and become climatic refugee as the sea level rises. These are the reasons why Prime Minister Sheik Hasina demanded a special climatic fund in the Commonwealth conference.
BARACK Obama is clearly a post-modernist commander-in-chief. He announced the date of defeat in the Afghan war on the day he sent more troops in the hope of victory. The day the American forces begin to leave Afghanistan in 2011, as promised by Obama, the Taliban will begin its countdown to Kabul.
Shrugging off the wobbly performance against Pakistan, hosts Bangladesh will be hoping to get back to rhythm against Sri Lanka in their crucial Group B match of the Bangabandhu SAFF Championship at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.
Abahani finished their first round campaign in the Premier Division Cri-cket League with double delight as they not only strongly bounced back, riding on a fabulous hundred from Abdul Razzaq, but also saw their archrivals Mohammedan losing their first game yesterday.
A brace from Ashfaq Ali helped holders Maldives to a come from behind 3-1 win over Afghanistan in their crucial Group A encounter of the SAFF Championship at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Chris Gayle has more than his share of critics, often due to an impassive appearance that is sometimes taken for apathy, but he proved how much he cares about his team's results with a patient century in Adelaide. Gayle's first Test hundred against Australia gave West Indies a 296-run lead with a day to play and on a turning pitch Australia will have their work cut out against the spin and bounce of Sulieman Benn.
Bangladesh's Abdullah Al Saif has earned six-and-a-half points and shares third position along with other three players after end of the eighth round games in the 21st Telegraph School Chess Championship in Kolkata, India. Ikramul Haq Siam and Tahmina Akter Tisha have five-and-a-half points each while Umme Taslima Protiva Talukder has five points and Tanzina Akter Tani has four-and-a-half points from eight games. Matches of the eighth round were held on Sunday. In this round Saif beat Sayan Majumder, Siam drew with Aradhya Sekhar Bagchi, Tisha beat Anubhab Banerjee, Protiva beat Pathikreet Choudhury and Tani lost against Rahul Mukhi.
Tim Cahill enjoyed a birthday to remember as the Australia midfielder's late equaliser helped Everton rescue a dramatic 2-2 draw against Tottenham.
Valencia climbed above Sevilla into third with a 2-1 comeback win at 10-man Athletic Bilbao on Sunday as they stretched their unbeaten run to 15 games in all competitions.
The first four Champions League groups conclude on Tuesday with a host of major clubs including Real Madrid, AC Milan, Juventus and Bayern Munich still unsure of a place in the knockout phase.
Jonathan Biabiany scored a brace as Parma drew 2-2 away to Genoa on Sunday to keep hold of fourth place in Serie A.
Rock bottom Grenoble secured their first win of the season at the 15th attempt with a long-awaited victory against Toulouse in the French league on Sunday.
Ex-Germany striker Kevin Kuranyi scored his 100th Bundesliga goal on Sunday in Schalke 04's 2-0 win over Hertha Berlin which put the Royal Blues third behind league leaders Leverkusen.
Italy centre-back Giorgio Chiellini is out of Tuesday's winner takes all Champions League battle with Bayern Munich due to a calf injury, his club Juventus said on Monday.
The English Football Association have denied a report on Sunday that Fabio Capello has considered giving his stars the anti-impotence drug Viagra to help cope with playing at altitude at next year's World Cup in South Africa.
VfB Stuttgart on Sunday confirmed the sacking of coach Markus Babbel just a few days before their crucial Champions League clash.
Belgium's former world number one Justine Henin began her return to tennis after an 18-month absence with victory over Italy's Flavia Pennetta in the Women Tennis Trophy here on Sunday.
Pakistan's cricket chief on Monday proposed a limited-over series against rivals India at neutral venues to overcome huge financial losses due to security problems in the country.
Textile industry is poised for a stronger backward linkage as farmers have started growing cotton through hybrid seeds that promise higher yield and better earnings than those from traditional high-yielding variety (HYV) seeds, stakeholders said yesterday.
A hard time for stock market is ahead, as the government has clamped restrictions on initial public offerings by the new companies intending to raise capital from public, market experts say.
The six-month ban on the exports of sweet water shrimp to the European Union was extended, as it sought more time to assess Bangladesh's preparations in combating toxic contamination.
A delegation of India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI) on Sunday handed Foreign Minister Dipu Moni a paper portraying the scenario of investment and trade between the two countries.
SEL Park is a mega housing project that has been taken up by Structural Engineers Ltd in the capital's Mirpur area where as many as 120 apartments will be constructed in a single compound.
MEDEXPO-2009, the seventh international medical equipment and healthcare services exposition, will kick off at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel on December 10, the organiser said in a statement yesterday.
Bangladesh yesterday demanded duty-free and quota-free (DFQF) access for 39 more products to the Chinese market to reduce the bilateral trade gap.
Nokia Siemens Networks Bangladesh has appointed Naveed Mahbub as its country head, according to a statement released yesterday.
Sreeram Iyer, regional chief operating officer of Standard Chartered Bank for India and South Asia, has arrived in Dhaka yesterday, said a statement.
Bangladesh is expected to export traditional and non- traditional items worth US$2.8 billion to Germany this year, $0.3 billion more than the last year, according to President of Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce and Industry M Saiful Islam. The German- Bangla chamber chief was talking to BSS after the organisation's annual general meeting yesterday.
The World Trade Organisation chief urged members Monday to resist protectionist pressure in the wake of the economic crisis, but said hopes of an early deal to free up international commerce are uncertain.
Fresh from signing on to help green Silicon Valley, startup Hara will be at climate talks in Copenhagen this week to urge that corporations not wait for regulations to fight global warming.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Bangladesh yesterday signed two agreements for $22 million in soft loans to help promote tourism and complete the Padma Bridge design, the lending agency said in a statement.
A new e-commerce site -- BoroMela.com -- was launched yesterday for internet-based shoppers.
World oil prices fell on Monday, reversing earlier gains and in line with other commodity markets, as traders took their cue from a stronger dollar, dealers said.
The dollar strengthened against the European single currency on Monday, drawing further support from stronger-than-expected US jobs data that was published before the weekend, analysts said.
China said Monday it would maintain its pro-growth monetary policy for 2010, while also pushing on with efforts to stimulate domestic demand and boost exports, state media reported.
Next year's G20 hosts Canada and South Korea are working closely together on a blueprint for a sustained global economic recovery, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Monday.
Taiwan in November posted its first year-on-year growth in exports since before the global economic crisis hit trade, with demand for high-tech products picking up.
The US Treasury Department expects to recover all but 42 billion dollars of the 370 billion it has lent to troubled US companies since the financial crisis began last year, The New York Times reported late Sunday.
Different organisations held several programmes in the city yesterday demanding compensation from the developed countries for the consequences of climate change.
Conservation endeavours to protect the fragile ecosystem of the Sundarbans should be augmented before Bangladesh loses the outstanding natural gem of the world to human greed and exploitation, speakers said at a book launch yesterday.
The Election Commission (EC) yesterday decided to ask Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) to take action against those who illegally pasted posters on walls in the capital, apparently launching campaign for DCC polls.
Four people were killed and 15 others were injured in separate road accidents in the city, Pabna, Chandpur and Chapainawabganj in last two days.
Bangladesh will ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) before March to become a state party, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said during a meeting with the ICC president in the city yesterday.
The traffic department of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) will take tougher action against the violators of traffic rules from today with special drives on 12 spots, including the city's Tongi Diversion Road, Mirpur Road and VIP Road.
Twenty-two BDR members yesterday appealed to a Dhaka court to let them retract their confessional statements given earlier in connection with the BDR mutiny case.
Bangladesh's food security may be threatened anytime unless the authorities pay attention to researches and development of the agriculture sector, said noted media personality Shykh Seraj yesterday.
Dhaka is being redecorated as a new-look capital city of Bangladesh under a mega plan restoring discipline in the civic life through ensuring effective implementation of the rules and regulations in all types of constructions.
Government yesterday gave new postings to four high officials who were earlier made officers on special duty (OSD).
The government has started implementing a Tk 681 crore project to ensure quality higher education in the country.
A three-day regional workshop on 'Strengthening citizens' engagement in procurement: Reviewing experiences, identifying challenges and exploring opportunities' will begin at the Brac Centre for Management Development at Rajendrapur today, says a press release.
Sitakunda upazila unit of Community Party of Bangladesh (CPB) here yesterday demanded judicial probe into the destruction of green forest belt at Sonaichhari coast and exemplary punishment to the persons involved.
Some activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) beat up two Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) activists on Dhaka University campus yesterday.
Today is the 157th birth anniversary of Sri Sarada Devi, says a press release.
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) jawans in a drive seized 1,376 bottles of Phensidyl syrup at Sujapur in Phulbari early Sunday.
Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday called on the government and private television channels to introduce the use of sign language in prime time news programmes for the hearing-impaired people.
About 15,000 cases were filed under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act last year across the country, Home Minister Shahara Khatun said yesterday.
The High Court yesterday in a rule asked the government and Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to explain within one week why their actions stopping the broadcasting of Jamuna TV, a private satellite television channel, and cancelling allocation of its frequency should not be declared illegal.
Hired goons of ten alleged war criminals attacked the house of freedom fighter Abdur Rashid at Basatpur village under Sharsha upazila of Jessore on Sunday to put pressure on him to withdraw the case against the war criminals.
Four years into the tragic bomb blast at Netrakona, the victims are yet to get any financial help from the government.
Locals yesterday recovered the body of a 9-year-old boy from River Diara raising the death toll in Friday's tragic motorboat capsize to 50.
Pirates beat up 60 fishermen and looted 14 trawlers in the Bay in the last four days.
Journalists here yesterday morning formed a human chain in front of Patuakhali press club protesting filing of Tk one crore defamation case by Golam Moula Roni, lawmaker from Patuakhali-3 (Galachipa and Dashmina) constituency, against the journalists of a number of dailies.
Jamat-e Ahle Hadith secretary general Rezaul Karim was placed on three more days' remand yesterday in connection with a case filed on charge of giving death threat to Attorney General Mahbubey Alam.
Police on Sunday arrested two traders along with 965 kgs of rice earmarked for VGF programme at Jamalpur Bazaar in Kaliakoir upazila.
On December 8 in 1971, several areas of the country including Moulvibazar, Brahmanbaria, Patuakhali and Chuadanga districts were freed from the Pakistani occupation forces.
People of Magura and Balaganj in Sylhet paid rich tributes to the martyrs of the liberation war and celebrated the day of freedom yesterday recalling how the valiant freedom fighters freed their motherland from the clutch of the Pakistani occupation forces.
An assistant editor of a weekly, also a contractor, has filed a defamation case against editor, publisher and chairman of the editorial board of a daily newspaper in Kushtia.
A three-day 'America Week', featuring activities of the US embassy and US agencies in Bangladesh begins in Rajshahi today.
The acting jailer of Sherpur district, facing charge of torturing a jail inmate, yesterday got bail from a Khagrachhari court. Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Md. Iqtiarul Islam Mallik granted the bail at noon following submission of bail prayer by defense lawyer advocate Nasir Uddin Ahmed. The same court also fixed December 8 for next hearing. Earlier, Senior Judicial Magistrate Abdullah Al Mamun sent Faridur Rahman Rubel, acting jailer of Sherpur to Khagrachhari district jail on Thursday last after Rubel surrendered to court. A case was filed against Rubel recently by a prisoner alleging torture on him by the acting jailer when he was posted at Khagrachhari jail. The same court rejected the jailer's bail prayer for second time on Sunday.
Body of an Indian national, who died at a hospital in Jessore three months ago, was handed over to Indian Border Security Force (BSF) through the Benapole check-post on Sunday. Benapole immigration sources said, Rafiqul Islam, son of Mujibur Rahman of Palashi Paschim Para in Nadia district of West Bengal was arrested while illegally entering Bangladesh through Meherpur border on May 17. A case was filed against him with Gangni thana of Meherpur. Later, he was sent to Jessore jail being sentenced in the case. As he fell sick in the jail, he was admitted to Jessore 250-bed General Hospital where he died on September 6.
Plastic goods at a godown belonging to Yasin Traders were gutted in a fire that broke out at Badalkati road in Chatkhil Bazaar Saturday night. Godown owner Mohammad Yasin said, the fire burned down goods worth at Tk 14 lakh at about 11:30pm. He, however, failed to ascertain the reason behind the fire. Another report from Sherpur adds: Four shops and a rice mill were destroyed in a devastating fire incident in Akkas Ali Market at Dakpara crossing in Sadar upazila early Sunday. Locals said the blaze originated from electric short circuit in the market and soon engulfed the shops and the rice mill.
The EU is to offer "one to three billion euros" in aid to developing countries over the next three years so they can fight the effects of climate change, the Financial Times Deutschland reported Sunday.
Pakistan's Supreme Court yesterday began hearing arguments to invalidate a corruption amnesty, which could open the door for graft cases to be brought against the embattled president's allies.
Most people worldwide believe climate change is a very serious problem that their governments must tackle, a poll said yesterday, as the landmark Copenhagen summit on the issue was set to get under way.
The head of the UN's Nobel-winning panel of climate scientists on Monday attacked the so-called Climategate affair as a suspected bid to undermine the credibility of his organisation.
A suicide bomber struck outside a court in Pakistan's Peshawar yesterday, killing ten people and wounding dozens more in the latest attack in a city beset by Taliban violence, officials said.
India yesterday signed a path-breaking broad-based agreement in the civil nuclear field with Russia, which will ensure transfer of technology and uninterrupted uranium fuel supplies to its nuclear reactors, and inked three pacts in the defence sector.
A Marxist group of Tamil militants with connections to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and Cuba is reportedly preparing to mount a new insurgency in Sri Lanka six months after the Government declared an end to the 26-year-old war there.
al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden may periodically slip back into Afghanistan from his remote hideout in neighbouring Pakistan, a senior White House official says, adding a new twist to the mystery of the elusive terrorist's whereabouts.
India's environment minister came under fire in parliament on Monday for his pledge last week that the country would reduce its carbon intensity by 20 to 25 percent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels.
Researchers at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) in Munich, Germany, have demonstrated a diesel truck engine with barely measurable emissions.
Iraq's electoral authorities yesterday began preparations for parliamentary polls early next year, after MPs finally approved a law governing the vote just minutes before a midnight deadline.
Security forces and pro-government militiamen clashed with protesters shouting "death to the dictator" outside Tehran University yesterday, beating men and women with batons and firing tear gas, on a day of nationwide student demonstrations, witnesses said.
Soldiers wounded in Afghanistan humiliated Prime Minister Gordon Brown through a massive snub when he paid a visit to their hospital in Birmingham.
He's the Nobel Peace Prize winner who just ordered 30,000 more troops to war. He's the laureate who says he doesn't deserve the award. He's not quite 11 months on the job and already in the company of Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama.
Arts & Entertainment
On December 6, Banglalink formally launched "Jagoroner Gaan", a selection of 71 timeless Bengali compositions, recorded all over again for a new generation of audience that will serve as a reminder of the spirit of struggle, freedom and nationalism.
A three-day long folk music festival, titled 'Lalon Utshab', began at Sahardighi village on the outskirts of Bogra town on December 6.
Steps Towards Development (STD), a local NGO works mainly on gender issues, good governance and human rights, held a two day long documentary screening and discussion programme at Chhayanaut Sanskriti Bhaban Auditorium on December 5 and 6 on the occasion of International Protest Against Violence Against Women (observed on November 25).
BAMBA (Bangladesh Musical Bands Association) held a press conference on December 6 at the Conference Hall of National Press Club, Dhaka to protest unauthorised use of musical contents according to the copyright law of 2000 and amendments of 2005, says a press release.
It was Bengali feature films by Ritwik Ghatak and Satyajit Ray, which emerged at the top of an online voting by nearly two million Indians.
Veteran classical artiste Ustad Amoresh Roy Chowdhury along with young musician-composer Swani Zubayeer and singer Anindita will appear as guests on tonight's episode of musical programme "Shanchari". The programme will be aired on Banglavision at 9:05 pm.
TV serial "Johur Ali Johuri" will be aired on Ekushey TV tonight at 9:30 pm. The serial is aired every Tuesday and Wednesday.
It is a truth universally acknowledged -- or nearly so -- that Jane Austen, the author of "Pride and Prejudice," died of a rare illness called Addison's disease, which robs the body of the ability to make critical hormones.
GRAMEEN Bank is now a globally recognised and admired institution. However, very few people know that Grameen Ordinance Promulgated on September 4, 1983 was the first micro-credit legislation in the world. This ordinance was passed under my government, even though many bankers and bureaucrats were opposed to the idea of forming a separate institution. I have regretted many things in my life, but I still think that Grameen Ordinance was one of the best things that I ever did.
THE final verdict of the Bangabandhu murder last month has made a lot of people declare that a big stone from their hearts has been lifted. However, can we declare ourselves shame-free so quickly? "It's difficult not to dwell on the negatives, the fact that it took so long and that it seems unlikely it would've ever happened under a non-AL government," a close family member of the Sheikh family recently wrote to me.
CLIMATE is not only statistical information, rather a fundamental element of human security and common resource for humanity. Climate change is already happening and represents one of the greatest environmental, social and economic challenges for the future.
Science & Life
FARMERS, since the early days of agriculture, are aware of the importance of irrigation in crop production. Thousands of years ago, the settlers of Sindh and Baluchistan constructed barrages on Sindh, Saraswati and other rivers to irrigate their dry crop fields. But little improvement was made in the irrigation system until the steam engine was invented.
RUSSIAN archaeologists recently said they had found the long-lost capital of the Khazar kingdom in southern Russia, a breakthrough for research on the ancient Jewish state.
BRITAIN'S Met Office national weather service said it would publish data from weather stations worldwide and had "every confidence" it would show temperatures had risen in the last 150 years.
THOUSANDS of tuna, their silver bellies bloated with fat, swim frantically around in netted areas of a small bay, stuffing themselves until they grow twice as heavy as in the wild. Is this sushi's future? Tuna raised like chickens or cows?
ASIAN rice farmers typically do not fly around the world on holidays or own big-engine cars but scientists say they have an important role to play in helping cut the world's output of greenhouse gases.