News of: Thursday, 31st of December, 2009
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Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd yesterday decided to recommend the government to keep CNG filling stations in Dhaka and Narayanganj closed for two days a week during winter, which would help reduce the gas crisis.
The cabinet yesterday approved in principle a memorandum of understanding with Delhi, seeking open-ended import and export of electricity with an option to purchase power from both public and private sectors of India.
A Rab team yesterday busted a forged money factory in the city's Dakshinkhan area and seized fake notes worth Tk 2.3 lakh.
The distribution of free new textbooks to the students for the next academic session began yesterday with the inauguration of the programme by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha yesterday, in the fourth phase, announced the names of 3,116 plot winners of the Purbachal New Town Project and Uttara Model Town Project Third Phase.
Home Minister Sahara Khatun was advised to talk to media after knowing the facts on the topics.
The clock will be adjusted back by an hour tonight to its original GMT-based timing position.
Bangladesh Bank, the country's central bank, has no idea how many fake notes are circulating in the market much to the chagrin of innocent people who very often fall victim to such fraudulence.
At least five workers were injured in a ship-breaking yard at Sonaichhari in Sitakunda upazila yesterday afternoon.
A parliamentary body yesterday asked the commerce ministry to enforce immediately the Consumers Rights Protection Act passed in parliament nine months ago to ensure people's right to quality goods and services at fair prices.
Thousands of Dhaka residents are being deprived of gas cooking facilities until late at night because authorities have failed to prevent winter gas shortages.
Several major roads in Gulshan, Banani and Baridhara will be blocked off tonight as a means of keeping security tight over New Year's Eve.
The BDR special court-4 is likely to declare the verdict on nine alleged mutineers of 12 Rifle Battalion in Rangamati Sector Headquarters on February 14, said senior public prosecutor Mossaraf Hossain Kazal yesterday.
Bangladesh yesterday asked Myanmar to expedite repatriation of all the Rohingya refugees staying in Cox's Bazar for about two decades.
China would stand by Bangladesh on climate change issue and extend support in facing the climate change impact, visiting Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue said yesterday.
Prof Khondoker Bazlul Hoque from pro-Awami League teachers' "Blue panel" and Prof ABM Obaidul Islam from pro-BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami teachers' "White panel" were reelected president and general secretary respectively in the Dhaka University Teachers' Association election for the term 2010.
Allocation of one more front-row seat to the main opposition BNP in parliament is in no way enough to bring it back to the House, BNP Standing Committee member Moudud Ahmed said yesterday.
A fire broke out in a chemical laboratory at India's main nuclear research facility Tuesday, killing at least two people, an official said.
THE ninth parliament is going to complete its first year of existence on January 6. What has it achieved so far. On the positive side, to begin with, the parliamentary standing committees were constituted in record quick time and the opposition MPs were given chairmanship of some of the committees. The committee system has worked well. On the other hand though, the ruling party's promise of offering deputy speakership to the opposition remained unfulfilled. Even the middle road solution to have two deputy speakers and give one post to the opposition didn't materialise.
Grabbing and pollution of the rivers have been going on with gay abandon. To all appearances, the quarters involved in this illegal and environment-destroying activity are beyond the reach of law. The encroachers have meanwhile raised permanent structures on the parts of different rivers they have under their control. The industries and other sources of pollution, on the other hand, are continuing with their dirty work.
THE main opposition BNP's joining the winter session of Parliamen, beginning January 4, 2010, is still uncertain. Both the secretary general and the senior joint secretary general of the party said on December 23, that the BNP would join the upcoming session of parliament if the government created a congenial environment. BNP has been refraining from attending parliament sessions after the first session over a row over seating arrangement in the House.
Along with proposals on lower levels, the education policy committee put forward reform proposals to improve higher education (HE) as well. But all the policy directives do not seem positive. In this article, I will analyse both the positive and negative aspects of those policy directives.
The crisis surrounding the National Cricket League (NCL) has deepened as the players turned deaf ears to the Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) appeal.
Playmaker Mamunul Islam struck his first goal of the season as title contenders Mohammedan Sporting Club maintained their winning streak with a lone-goal win over Rahmatganj MFS in their Bangladesh League match at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.
Poor form and player injuries have prompted Sri Lanka's selectors to make sweeping changes to the squad for the tri-nation tournament in Bangladesh next month, also featuring India. Those dropped include batsmen Sanath Jayasuriya and Chamara Kapugedera, fast bowler Lasith Malinga and spinner Ajantha Mendis, all of whom had disappointing performances on the recent tour of India.
The Australians rounded out 2009 with their most clinical final day bowling performance of the year to seal a 170 run victory over Pakistan in the first Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday.
There is a very slim chance for Mashrafe Bin Mortaza to make it to the final squad when Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announces the team for the tri-nation tournament today.
Both India and Sri Lanka will arrive in Dhaka on Saturday for the tri-nation series starting on January 4. Sri Lanka were earlier scheduled to come on Friday, a day before India.
Graeme Swann took five for 54 as England wrapped up victory by an innings and 98 runs on the fifth day of the second Test against South Africa at Kingsmead on Wednesday.
Fernando Torres's stoppage-time goal saw Liverpool to a 1-0 win away to Aston Villa on Tuesday as the Merseysiders reignited their bid for a Champions League place.
Bolton manager Gary Megson has been relieved of his duties with immediate effect, the struggling Premier League club confirmed on Wednesday.
Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor admits he would take a lie detector test to prove the infamous v-sign gesture that threatened to end his international career was not aimed at Scotland fans.
South Africa striker Benni McCarthy wants Blackburn to let him leave during the January transfer window.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has erased virtually all of the Premier League club's 340 million pounds (375.75 million euros) debt, according to the 2009 financial figures released on Wednesday.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is certain to return to the Premier League.
Australia's top-ranked female player, Samantha Stosur, believes she is poised to the make the quantum leap into the rarefied air of the top 10 next year.
Safet Susic was named on Tuesday as coach of the Bosnian national side replacing Miroslav Blazevic who resigned after they failed to make it through the 2012 World Cup play-offs.
Serbian international goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic on Tuesday signed on loan for English Premier League side Wigan for the remainder of the season from Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon.
Real Madrid defender Christoph Metzelder has ruled out a return to the Bundesliga in January after appearing to give up hope of being included in Germany's World Cup squad.
England captain Andrew Strauss said on Wednesday that his team's win by an innings and 98 runs in the second Test against South Africa at Kingsmead had been outstanding.
Ricky Ponting has declared himself a certain starter for the Sydney Test beginning on Sunday despite suffering more pain than he expected in his hurt elbow during the win at the MCG on Wednesday.
At least 12 players from Pakistan have applied to the Indian Premier League (IPL) requesting to be placed in next season's auction. Though the identities of all the applicants is not yet clear, one player said most of the touring squad currently in Australia has been in touch with the IPL.
Viewers will be able to watch live telecast of all 23 disciplines of the 11th South Asian Games that will be held in Bangladesh from January 29 to February 9 next year.
Country's financial intermediaries have decided to come forward to help the Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) financially in a bid to making the 11th South Asian Games a success after Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith urged them to extend their helping hands during a dinner at a city hotel Tuesday.
Rajshahi continued their excellent run in the Women's National Cricket League with a resounding eight-wicket victory over Barisal at the Khulna University Ground yesterday.
Parerhat RL High School of Pirojpur, Rahmatullah Model High School of Dhaka and GK Pilot High School won their respective matches in the Standard Chartered Young Tigers U-16 National Cricket Tournament yesterday.
Bangladesh's tax-GDP ratio is one of the lowest in the world and at the bottom in South Asia. Only 7.5 lakh people submitted their income tax returns this year although more than 23 lakh hold taxpayers' identification numbers.
A group of retail investors took to the streets yesterday demanding withdrawal of loan restrictions on mutual funds and retraction of the announcement of pulling out the funds having no maturity period from the market.
Twenty-four listed companies will be relegated to 'B' category from the existing 'A', as paper share is not allowed for trading under 'A' category from January .
Bharti Airtel has sought approval from the central bank to inject a $300 million initial investment as part of its move to buy a 70 percent stake in Warid Telecom.
With the current pace of growth, Bangladesh needs 23 years more to graduate to a lower middle income country from the status of a least developed country (LDC), Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, special adviser to the Unctad secretary general, said yesterday.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has recorded 15.55 percent growth in revenue collection in the first five and a half months of the current fiscal year.
It is generally agreed that economic management in Bangladesh needs to be based on more serious and in-depth policy analysis-particularly at a time when the country is aspiring to modernise and globally integrate its economy with the aim of attaining the middle-income status. Any credible policy analysis, in turn, has to be supported by hard research on the ex ante rationale and design of policy as well as on evidence-based impact evaluation. For translating academic economics into public policy, a range of actors having professional interest in economics are involved: economic theorists, economic analysts and policy advisors, economic administrators or technocrats, and economic journalists. There is a further category called 'technopols' to describe the economic technocrats who assume the role of political responsibility. Dr Monmohan Singh is cited as an example, but our finance minister, Mr Muhith, also arguably fits that description.
The government is likely to extend its contract with the pre-shipment inspection (PSI) companies for another year in order to give more time to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to enhance its organisational capacity.
The Copenhagen Accord has opened investment opportunities for the private sector in Bangladesh, as it will need new technology for adaptation with climate change, speakers said at a roundtable yesterday.
A separate SME department in Bangladesh Bank is set to open today, aiming boosting finance for small and medium enterprises.
The government will start implementing 'one house one farm' project within a month to cut poverty by creating jobs and ensure overall rural development, a top government functionary said yesterday.
The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Annisul Huq said that power and energy shortages together with underdeveloped infrastructure remain a major constraint in industrial activities and its sectoral growth potential.
All commercial banks have been asked to report to the central bank in seven days about the amount of any land purchased in the last two years, or under process of purchase by those.
In line with a government decision, DSE will follow the revised Bangladesh Standard Time from the midnight of December 31. However, the office timing and trading duration of DSE will remain unchanged.
The dollar rose Wednesday to a new two-month peak against the yen, supported by the prospect of interest rate hikes in the United States as the economy recovers, dealers said.
Five projects worth Tk 52 crore were endorsed at a meeting of Climate Change Trustee Board of the ministry of environment and forests yesterday as part of the country's internal actions on combating climate change impacts.
Land Minister Rezaul Karim Hira yesterday warned land grabbers of legal action, saying that the people who grabbed the government lands will not be spared, says an official handout.
Speakers at a discussion yesterday said women with disabilities should be provided with opportunities to enhance their skills and talents so that they can overcome the shortcomings and rightfully contribute to society.
A Dhaka court yesterday issued summons upon daily Amar Desh acting editor Mahmudur Rahman, publisher Alhaj Md Hashmat Ali and reporter M Abdullah asking them to appear before it on January 10 next year in connection with a defamation case.
Today is the 19th death anniversary of Comrade Moni Singh, one of the leading organisers of the liberation war and former president of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB).
Today is the birthday of Novera Deepita, a reporter of The Daily Star and a gold medallist student of the department of Mass Communication and Journalism of Dhaka University.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the religious leaders to unmask the “real face” of the force that uses Islam to confuse people with a view to preserving their political interests.
Bangladesh is looking forward to a state visit to Japan by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina early next year, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said yesterday.
The government finally withdrew the army vehicle torching case against a number of students of Dhaka University (DU) considering it an act of 'harassment'.
The classes of first year honours of 2009-10 academic session of Jahangirnagar University(JU) will begin on January 2.
The foreign ministry yesterday said the diplomatic missions, their buildings and premises are protected from any sort of infiltration and they are out of the legal jurisdiction of the host country.
Due to end of Daylight Saving Time in Bangladesh (during winter season), departure and arrival timings of all Biman flights scheduled to depart from or arrive at Bangladesh after 2300 HRS BST (11:00pm BST) on and from December 31 will be one hour earlier than what is shown on the original schedule.
Citizens Rights Movement, a civil society organisation, yesterday called on the government to take an initiative to strengthen relations with India and ensure security and peace in the South Asian region.
Lawmakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday expressed determination to act as “opinion leaders” to promote awareness of public about combating AIDS, a rising threat of Bangladesh.
Rights activists at a book launching ceremony yesterday urged the government and non-government organisations to work together to put an end to the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children.
Ruling Awami League lawmaker MA Latif allegedly misbehaved with the on-duty police sergeants near Kolatoli point at Cox's Bazar sea beach yesterday.
President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged the chief justice to take immediate steps for quick disposal of cases lying pending in courts.
The death toll in Tarail road accident rose to 17 yesterday as two more succumbed to their injuries at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital.
Teachers and students of the Department of Folklore at Rajshahi University called for an indefinite strike after Bangladesh Chhatra League cadres assaulted a teacher of the department for protesting extortion from an aspirant freshman.
The ruling Awami League (AL)-backed teachers' panel swept the election to the executive council of Jahangirnagar University Teachers' Association (Juta) held at the university club yesterday.
Two Supreme Court judges -- Justice Md Joynul Abedin and Justice Md Abdul Aziz -- will go into retirement today.
A man was killed allegedly by his wife at their Meradia residence in city's Khilgaon yesterday over family feud.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sought Chinese assistance for setting up fertiliser factories and water treatment plants in Bangladesh for agricultural and environmental development.
People in port city Chittagong are reeling under acute power crisis with around 250MW load shedding in the peak hours, even in this off-peak winter season.
Biting cold and cold-related diseases have claimed the lives of 13 people in Dakope upazila of Khulna district in last one week as the area, worst hit by cyclone Aila, sees serious crisis of food, proper shelter, drinking water, medicines and warm clothes.
People from all walks of life yesterday held a sit-in on Chapainawabganj-Rajshahi highway at Shah Neyamotullah College intersection demanding installation of pipeline for gas supply to the district.
Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) has filed a case against former mayor of Khulna City Corporation (KCC) and BNP leader Sheikh Tayebur Rahman on charges of corruption.
Police recovered the body of a domestic help from Sonarai Uttar Musrutpur village under Sadar upazila in Nilphamari while it was being buried 'secretly' on Tuesday.
A mobile court yesterday fined seven brickfield owners in Mirzapur upazila of Tangail for setting up brickfields on government lands without permission and using firewood for burning bricks.
BDR members recovered 12.01kilograms of heroin in three separate drives on Saturday and Sunday in the district town, Chouddagram and Burichang upazilas.
Alikadam police in Bandarban hill district early Tuesday arrested 15 Myanmar nationals during raids in Panbazaar Bus Stand and Burmapara areas under the upazila.
A case was filed against five people on Tuesday on charge of killing 14 freedom fighters at Naruli in Sadar upazila during the War of Liberation in 1971.
A housewife was murdered at village Char Balitha in Debhata upazila on Tuesday night.
A sub-editor of a journal, kidnapped by a gang on Saturday, secured his release on Monday on payment of ransom. Nicolas Chakma, 40, sub-editor of the 'Maurum', a research journal on indigenous people based in the capital, was kidnapped from upazila parishad area of the town. A press release of the journal said, United People's Democratic Front (UPDF) handed the victim over to his family on Monday night after realising Tk 2 lakh ransom. UPDF, however, denied the allegation of kidnapping and taking ransom. Editor of the 'Maurum' Dipayan Khisa expressed concern over 'inaction by the district administration' and demanded arrest and punishment to the criminals.
At least four activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) were injured during a clash with Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) in Sonaipul area under Ramgarh upazila of the district on Tuesday. The injured are Mohammad Hanif, 22, Mozammel Hossain, 24, Shahdat Hossain, 24, and Mominul Islam, 24. Police said, the clash between the activists of two rival student organisations took place over control of the area.
Students of Khulna University (KU) on Tuesday formed a human chain on the campus to press home their four-point demand. The demands include making of sculpture on War of Liberation and a "Muktamancha" on the campus by next March 26, establishment of TSC by next one year and construction of new residential halls. General students observed the hour-long programme from 3:00pm and later submitted a memorandum to vice chancellor Prof Dr Saifuddin Shah. Classes remained suspended during the programme.
Internet services of Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) remained out of order in the district for four days till Tuesday. Locals said, the internet services got disconnected at 11:00am Saturday, creating trouble for 300 local subscribers. The services were restored at 2:30pm Tuesday after the fault in server was repaired by the authorities. Moghbazar BTCL office in Dhaka, which provides internet services across the country, said fault in server caused the trouble.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has written a personal letter to Aung San Suu Kyi, pledging his ongoing support for Myanmar's pro-democracy icon and praising her courage.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah yesterday morning discussed the Justice Sageer Ahmad's report on centre-state relations vis-ŕ-vis Jammu and Kashmir at a meeting here with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, official sources said.
Indian police have registered new complaints against a former officer who molested a teenage girl and then allegedly harassed her family in a case that has caused widespread outraged.
China pledged to bolster aid and trade to Nepal yesterday, state media said, one day after Nepal's prime minister said his government would not tolerate anti-China protests in the Himalayan nation.
Pakistan's feared Taliban network claimed responsibility Wednesday for a suicide bombing that killed 43 people at a Shia parade in Karachi and threatened further attacks.
Denouncing Monday's suicide attack on a Muharram procession, in which 40 people were killed, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has vowed to punish the perpetrators of the deadly attack, including the assassin of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto by waging 'Jihad' against them.
While the rest of the world has begun an eager countdown to the New Year, which will be ushered in from Thursday midnight, it is already 2010 in the exotic Himalayan land of Nepal.
Blasts in central and western Iraq killed 30 people and wounded the Anbar provincial governor yesterday, the latest in a series of attacks in recent months against government targets in Iraq.
The head of a presidential delegation investigating the deaths of 10 people in a village in eastern Afghanistan says the team of investigators has concluded that civilians were killed in an attack by foreign troops.
Israel's Supreme Court has ordered the military to allow Palestinians to travel on the part of a major highway that runs through the West Bank, handing Palestinians their biggest victory yet against Israel's practice of reserving some roads for Jews.
Iran's police chief says more than 500 opposition protesters have been arrested since clashes on Sunday that left at least eight dead.
The United States has rejected fresh concerns raised by Moscow about its planned missile defence system.
More than 400 million pages of Cold War-era documents could be declassified as the federal government responds to President Barack Obama's order to rethink the way it protects the nation's secrets.
Iran is close to clinch a deal to clandestinely import 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan, according to an intelligence report obtained by The Associated Press. Diplomats said the assessment was heightening international concern about Tehran's nuclear activities.
A German computer scientist has published details of the secret code used to protect the conversations of more than 4bn mobile phone users.
President Barack Obama lashed out at systemic intelligence failures, after learning a US security agency had prior information that might have averted the attempted attack on a US jet.
US Congressmen said Tuesday they are urging Afghan President Hamid Karzai to delay the next parliamentary ballot until electoral reforms are in place or risk American financial support for his government.
Britain called in China's ambassador to vent its fury at the "unacceptable" execution of a mentally ill Briton, as the affair triggered a sharp chill between London and Beijing.
At least 70 people died in violent clashes between security forces and Islamists in the northern Nigeria city of Bauchi, according to a hospital morgue body count yesterday.
Doctors in Brazil say a two-year-old boy who was pierced with at least 31 sewing needles is out of danger following a third successful operation.
Arts & Entertainment
Dr. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal discusses children's
Looks like there's no stopping cultural organisation Shadhona. On the brink of 2010, its go-getting general secretary Lubna Mariam spoke to Kavita about Shadhona's successes, obstacles it has had to confront and future directions. Here's what she had to say:
This is the 21-century; under the label of globalisation, westernisation has crept in. One would think that the younger generation is fast losing old values and traditions that also include music. Fortunately, folk music is ingrained in the air and soil of this country and has lost none of its appeal. Today people are not travelling on ox-carts for miles to listen to live performances but Bangladeshi folk songs have found their place in iPods, computer hard drives and MP3 players alongside their global counterparts. And when one considers Bangla folk, the name Momtaz comes to the fore.
On the 95th birth anniversary of pioneer artist Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin (1914-1976), a daylong festival was held at the Charukala (Faculty of Fine Arts, DU) premises on December 29. Organised by the Faculty the daylong festival featured a 'mela', musical soiree, discussion and an award giving event.
This week is the last week in 2009. Last year this week I had tried to visualise what was likely to happen in the next year. I painted on a canvas in my mind a picture of our life in Bangladesh on the strength of my foresight based on the benefit of my hindsight. With some trepidation I predicted a better Bangladesh under a brand new government.
I have known Justice Tafazzul Islam for nearly three years -- first in 2007 when he visited his daughter in Michigan and again early this year in his grand child’s first birthday celebrations. Honourable Justice Tafazzul Islam's pedigree in the field of judiciary as reported in various media is admirable. Our heartiest congratulations to him on his well deserved appointment as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (CJSC) of Bangladesh. One recalls that a few of the erstwhile CJSC have left indelible impressions on the Court through their vision and leadership. Some, in retrospect, are revered for their constitutional scholarships, others are chronicled for their acuity, and still others are admired for administrative and organisational skills. Some of these CJs brought with them their unique style of leadership that influenced the way the Court operated, deliberated, and conducted its operations. One naturally wonders what the new CJ’s indelible hallmark will be long after his tenure expires.
Justice K.M. Sobhan was what we used to call "a man of the old school -- a gentleman and a scholar." He was always dressed immaculately, as if he was about to appear before a public audience. To him, relaxing in an informal atmosphere did not mean looking like a sportsman, or -- God forbid -- a hippie.
The outstanding bills of Tk 156.63 crore of Power Development Board (PDB) remain unpaid in Chittagong region until October this year, said Chittagong PDB Additional Director (Commercial Operation) Mohammad Basharuzzaman Khan.
Commercial farming of papaya has been gaining popularity among the indigenous farmers in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) as it is more profitable than other crops.
Friendly ties with neighbours stressed
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said the government will take decision on different issues like Asian Highway and others upholding the independence and sovereignty of the country.