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News of: Tuesday, 5th of January, 2010
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Continuing its boycott of parliament that went into fourth session yesterday, the opposition BNP came up with a 10-point demand and asked the government to meet those for its return to the House.
The first day of the secretary-level talks of the Joint Rivers Commission between Bangladesh and India ended yesterday with a positive note with both sides expecting a consensus on sharing water of the Teesta river.
Religion based politics will be banned if cancellation of the fifth amendment to the country's constitution is finalised by the Supreme Court (SC), said the law minister yesterday.
The last two ODIs between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka provided a lot of drama, individual heroics and nail-biting finishes, both teams having won one each, but fair to say both were very even contests. A year on, much has changed in Bangladesh cricket, and in Sri Lanka's too. Captain's armband has shifted in both sides; while Bangladesh have enjoyed a very successful year, albeit against weaker opponents, Sri Lanka's fortunes have gone up and down, losing their last series against India badly.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority is planning to remove 3 lakh cubic metres of sludge and solid waste from the Buriganga riverbed though its engineers do not know how they would dispose of this huge volume of rubbish.
Awami League leaders yesterday expressed disappointment over high price of essentials and asked the commerce minister to take immediate steps.
A blanket of dense fog and sharp fall in temperatures in most parts of the country disrupted road, river and air communications yesterday.
President Zillur Rahman yesterday said in parliament confrontational political culture must be changed first to realise the people's dreams for a change, citing the ruling party's electoral manifesto styled "A Charter for Change".
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday urged the government to create a national consensus on protecting the environment, and demanded enactment of relevant laws and stringent neutral implementation of those.
Criminal Investigation Department yesterday got the time extended further to continue the investigation into the sensational Chittagong 10-truck arms haul case till March 22.
The Criminal Investigation Department yesterday got two more months to submit the probe report on one of the two August 21 grenade attack cases.
A High Court bench yesterday sent a case to the chief justice for a decision regarding celebration of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's birth anniversary on August 15.
Movement of a large number of VIPs, Chhatra League processions and absence of adequate police officials across the city yesterday caused the worst traffic condition of the last few days.
Passengers flying to the United States faced tougher security measures yesterday after the US government announced that people travelling from or via 14 "terror-linked" nations will now have to undergo mandatory enhanced screening.
At least 12 militants were killed in Swat and Waziristan in the Pakistan Army operation and US drone strikes, while two soldiers were martyred in separate incidents in the last 24 hours.
WE take heart from what the PM articulated while expressing her government's determination not to allow any further housing projects that do not meet the new criteria set up in this regard. And it is about time too. It need hardly be emphasised that Dhaka city is reeling under the pressure of not only unplanned housing but also lack of other facilities and amenities that a capital should provide.
FAZLE Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of BRAC, has been a name that we have duly been proud of. He is a visionary whose relentless efforts and innovative ideas have changed life in many ways as far as the poor in our country, and beyond, are concerned. It is great news that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth of Britain has taken note of Mr Abed's services to humanity and decided to knight himan honour bestowed upon only truly remarkable personalities. Needless to say, Mr Abed belongs to that rare genre of committed human beings who love to work for the less fortunate, happily and selflessly.
IF nothing that needs to be changed is changing; something is slowly but surely undergoing changes deep within many of us. Somehow, we are not thinking and talking the way we did one year ago. We are not analysing things the way we did a year ago. For some unknown reasons, we are thinking, analysing, talking and acting more like those cynics than anything else. We were not cynics a year ago, and we have not become hardcore cynics, yet. But we are scared, as we can feel the changes taking place in the labyrinth of our minds.
ONE of the promises of the new government in its election manifesto was to stabilise commodity prices in the local market. The AL government took over office during a crucial time, when the local market was facing price spiral due to commodity price volatility in the global markets, there was uncertainty among importers, natural disasters, policy failures during the caretaker regime etc. The highest priority of the new government was increasing production, market intervention and ensuring supply to ease as well stabilise the commodity market.
Sri Lanka cruised to an easy sail when they handed a seven-wicket defeat to the Tigers chasing down the target of 261 runs in 44.5 overs in the opening match of the Idea Cup tri-nation one-day tournament at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
The eagerly anticipated Idea Cup tri-nation series kicked off yesterday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium with hosts Bangladesh taking on Sri Lanka. But the amount of enthusiasm expected to be generated was not reflected in the crowd turnout. It was not a desired attendance, considering an international match.
A second-half strike by forward Zahid Hasan Emily gave title contenders Mohammedan Sporting Club a hard-fought lone goal win over Farashganj Sporting Club in the Citycell Bangladesh League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.
Pakistan's travels around Australasia this season have been unusually productive. They've won only one Test so far but there are more gains. Mohammad Aamer has come along beautifully; Mohammad Asif has been magnificent; Umar Akmal has added new impetus to a flimsy middle order. Quietly slipping by unnoticed have been Pakistan's opening pair.
An attritional first two sessions gave way to an explosive finale as first Mohammad Yousuf and later Umar Akmal helped propel Pakistan to an imposing 204-run first innings lead on the second day of the second Test against Australia at the SCG on Monday.
Serbian coach Zoran Djordjevic is scheduled to arrive here tonight to take charge of the Bangladesh U-23 football team for the upcoming South Asian Games to be held in Bangladesh from January 29 to February 9.
Australia are praying their final-session surge of seven wickets will motivate the batsmen into a significantly improved performance as they battle to avoid giving up their series lead. Pakistan have dominated the first two days against a struggling home side and hold a 204-run advantage after finishing at a healthy 9 for 331.
Trevor Bayliss, the Sri Lanka coach, has said Sanath Jayasuriya is unlikely to be picked as a specialist opener and will have to force his way in as a spinning all-rounder if he is to play the 2011 World Cup.
Former Australia captain Steve Waugh, along with four other cricket legends from down under, were inducted into the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Hall of Fame here on Monday.
Alastair Cook made a patient half-century as England recovered from a poor start on the second day of the third Test against South Africa at Newlands on Monday.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni's recent pleas for the bowling coach's position to be filled -- it has been vacant since October -- seem to have fallen on the right ears. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), it appears, has started work on replacing Venkatesh Prasad and has sounded out Allan Donald for the position.
Waqar Younis, Pakistan's bowling coach, said it was "a treat" to watch his side's bowling on the first day of the Sydney Test. Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Sami combined for nine wickets on a grassy SCG pitch to bowl out Australia for 127, allowing Pakistan to take control of the Test by the end of the second day with a lead of over 200 runs.
Mohammedan Sporting Club's residential hockey camp for the upcoming season will get underway on January 10.
Third-tier Leeds United produced the shock of the third round by knocking record 11-time winners Manchester United out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Alex Ferguson, the veteran Manchester United manager, said he was "shocked" by the way his side had lost 1-0 at home to third-tier Leeds in the FA Cup at Old Trafford here on Sunday.
Real Madrid spurned the chance to replace Barcelona at the top of the Spanish first division on Sunday as they fired blanks in a frustrating 0-0 draw at Osasuna.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits he is ready to make a splash in the January sales as he searches for the right player to improve his title-chasing squad.
Martin O'Neill insists Aston Villa will not have an edge over Blackburn in their League Cup semifinal first leg despite a victory in the first game of the teams' 'triple-header'.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson risked fresh disciplinary action by the Football Association with a bizarre blast at referee Chris Foy after his side's shock FA Cup loss to Leeds.
England striker Jermain Defoe pleaded guilty Monday to another motoring offence and was fined for breaking the speed limit.
The president of European football champs Barcelona said Monday he may create a political party to seek independence for Spain's Catalonia region and that he was considering running for office.
Atletico Madrid hope to sign Juventus defender Cristian Molinaro on loan this week to boost its back line after a disappointing start to the season.
The telecom regulator yesterday gave a go-ahead to Bharti Airtel's $300 million initial investment proposal to buy a 70 percent stake in Warid, the fourth largest mobile company in Bangladesh.
Remittance crossed $10 billion mark for the first time in Bangladesh history in the year 2009 because migrants, a main driver of the country's economic progress, sent more money home despite all odds during global recession.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has moved to change the index counting method for a debutant company on Dhaka Stock Exchange to fall in line with international standards, said the SEC chairman yesterday.
A four-day international light engineering products and technology fair begins in Dhaka on Thursday.
Bangladesh and India are planning to sign a free trade agreement as early as 2011.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday said it will take actions against those who will be found responsible for spreading rumour about stock market and price influencing opinions by using such social network services as Facebook.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Finance will recommend that the government simplify VAT and tax rules to facilitate the housing sector growth, its chairman AHM Mustafa Kamal said yesterday.
Asian markets began the new decade broadly higher Monday with dealers in Tokyo lifted by news of extended credit to Japan Airlines and a strong yen as well as upbeat jobs data in the United States.
Stocks ended upbeat yesterday as investors flocked to Grameenphone shares, encouraged by extension of loans by brokers and merchant banks.
Bangladesh Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) is set to organise a trade fair in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on January 8-10.
Managing Director and Global Co-Head of Public Sector Group for Citi Global Banking Mark Renton arrived in Dhaka yesterday on a two-day visit, said a statement.
Bangladesh capital market has seen a lot of activities in 2009. We have seen market capitalisation exceeding $27 billion, daily turnover over $175 million and the number of beneficiary owners (BO) accounts reaching 2 million during this time. We found more asset management companies active in floating mutual funds and large companies like Grameenphone and Marico getting listed. Book building method was introduced and over the counter (OTC) market launched to trade in the junk shares.
Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Monday he would strive to prevent a return to recession in the world's second largest economy by pushing ahead with a planned stimulus spending package.
The US Federal Reserve chief Sunday backed a strengthened regulatory system as the key method to prevent a repeat of the financial crisis, but said monetary policy could help pop future speculation bubbles.
European stock markets rose on Monday, after earlier gains in Tokyo, as dealers returned to their desks in upbeat mood for the first trading day of 2010.
Premier Bank Ltd appointed Niaz Habib as its additional managing director, said the bank in a statement.
Oil prices hurdled 80 dollars a barrel on the first trading day of the year Monday after Russia cut crude supplies to Belarus, analysts said.
Singapore's economy shrank 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter to December from the previous three months, but the slowdown was less than expected for the whole year, the trade ministry said Monday.
General Motors Co said Monday that 2009 sales in China by the company and its local partners rose 67 percent to a record 1.8 million vehicles amid tax cuts and incentives to help boost the industry.
Sri Lanka plans to relax its strict foreign exchange controls, reflecting new confidence in the country's finances after the end of a 37-year conflict on the island, the central bank said Monday.
Novartis AG said Monday it plans to take over Alcon Inc by paying $38.5 billion for the 77 percent stake it does not already own in a deal that would make it one of the biggest players in the global market for eye-care products.
Local Market FX
The USD/BDT rates remained steady today. Normal trading activity resumed after the international markets reopened today.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leaders to maintain discipline in their organisational activities.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) are part and parcel of the history of the nation.
President Zillur Rahman yesterday told the parliament that a project of free education has been undertaken for the wives and the children of army officials killed during the BDR mutiny.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said that her government would do whatever is possible for the development of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).
The High Court yesterday directed the government to provide winter clothes to cyclone Aila-affected people in the southwestern areas of Khulna and Satkhira districts as soon as possible.
A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced a man to death for killing a seven-year-old boy after abduction in April 2007.
The Dhaka University (DU) authorities have formed a high-powered permanent fact-finding committee to examine allegations of sexual harassment involving teachers, students and staffs.
The orientation ceremony of 1st year MBBS course under 2009-10 academic year of Khulna Medical College (KMC) will be held on January 9 at the No. 1 Gallery of the college.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed 16 cases and also submitted 80 charge sheets in December last year against 179 people on charges of amassing wealth beyond their known sources of income, misappropriation of money and deceit or counterfeiting.
The inquiry committee, formed to investigate illegal recruitment of 1,105 staffs and other irregularities in National University (NU) during the tenure of the BNP-led alliance government, submitted its report to the vice chancellor (VC) yesterday.
LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday said the upazila (UZ) system would be made functional within March, insisting his visiting British counterpart that Bangladesh is moving towards a stronger local government system than any time before.
An army member died when a tree fell on him at Poamuhuri army camp at Ali Kadam in Bandarban yesterday.
Speakers at the concluding session of the 3rd international conference on environment said massive forest resources are being destroyed for development activities, making the country more vulnerable to ecological disaster.
Deputy Attorney General Nahid Mahtab has resigned from her post.
The Police Week 2010 begins at Rajarbagh Police Lines ground today.
Major rivers and their tributaries in greater Sylhet region see gradual decrease in their flow due to massive siltation in absence of planned dredging, causing a serious threat to the environment in the region.
Five activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) were injured in a factional clash on Rajshashi University (RU) campus yesterday.
Farmers and workers spraying pesticides in crop fields are highly vulnerable to various diseases as the job, often done without any safety measures, make them absorb the toxic item in different ways including inhalation.
Owners of river transport including launches, trawlers and speedboats on important Mawa-Kawrakandi river route have increased the fares although dredging work during the last one year has shortened the route by almost half and the fuel price decreased.
Australia yesterday "unreservedly" condemned the murder of an Indian national as New Delhi angrily slammed the attack and warned it could hurt bilateral ties.
A Sylhet court yesterday fixed January 20 for filing of the report on further investigation into former finance minister SAMS Kibria murder case.
The five US nationals arrested last month in Pakistan will be indicted under different sections of Anti-Terrorism Act on Monday when they will be presented in Sargodha District and Sessions Court.
Police on Sunday arrested an indigenous youth in connection with the abduction of a businessman and a deputy assistant engineer from Roangchhari upazila.
Armed robbers looted valuables from four vehicles injuring 15 people on Cox's Bazar-Teknaf highway at Thainkhali Dhala in Ukhia upazila on Sunday morning.
Rab members in separate drives in Shibganj upazila recovered three firearms and bullets and arrested three alleged illegal arms sellers Sunday night.
A teenage boy shot his father dead in the town on Sunday just for a motorbike. Victim Abul Kalam, 50, was owner of 'Book Land' bookstall at Victoria Road. His son Hridoy Ahmed, 19, a second year student of local Government MM Ali College in Kagmari, went into hiding soon after the incident. Police and family sources said, Hridoy asked his father to buy him a motorbike. As Abul Kalam refused to do so, Hridoy locked in an altercation with his father at their house at Par Dighulia area at around 4:00pm on Sunday. At one stage, he shot Abul Kalam leaving him seriously injured. He was rushed to Tangail General Hospital where the on-duty doctors declared him dead.
A joint team of law enforcers on Sunday recovered a huge number of pirated CDs in separate raids in Rajbari and Faridpur on Sunday. Around 8,000 CDs, seven computers and a UPS were seized and nine people were arrested. Acting on a tip-off, the team raided Haji super market in Rajbari and Kanipur Bazar and Boalmari bazaar of Faridpur and seized CDs, computers and other goods, sources said. The arrestees are Parimol Gosh,28, Sajan Saha,28, Shahidul Islam ,24, Md. Imran , Narayan Chandra Saha,27 Titas sarkar,18 jiabi Hasan ,25,Jalal Pramanik and Subrato Karmokar 23. The arrestees and the recovered goods were handed over to Faridpur and Rajbari Kotwali police stations.
Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami nayeb-e-ameer AKM Yusuf and 35 others have been sued on charges of killing freedom fighters, setting fire to a house and looting valuables from it during Liberation War in 1971.
Private bus owners in Thakurgaon have been forcing passengers not to travel in BRTC buses since December 31.
Rab raided local Majmader Market and recovered 52 parts of stolen shallow engines and arrested one person in this connection. Arrestee Anisur Rahman is a trader. The parts of engine were recovered from his shop. Anisur confessed to Rab-8 that 52 heads of shallow machines were stolen from different plots during Boro season. He said he bought at least 10/15 heads of stolen shallow machines from local criminals.
BDR in Teknaf yesterday detained five citizens of Myanmar, including a member of Nasaka force, and handed over them to local police station. Lt Col Mozammel Hossain of 42 Rifles Battalion said a patrol team of BDR arrested them while they were entering into Bangladesh territory crossing the Naf River. The arrestees were identified as Habilder U Tung Tung Mathew of Mongdu Nasaka camp, labourers Nur Mohammad, 26, Abul Kalam, 25, Syed Alam, 18, and Nur Foyez, 20. Nasaka Habilder stated that they entered into Bangladesh in search of an engine boat.
Police yesterday arrested 'operation commander' of outlawed New Biplobi Communist Party (NBCP) from Dumuria upazila of Bagerhat district.
Eight people were injured as rival Chhatra League (BCL) factions clashed in Bakerganj municipal area yesterday over celebrating of 62nd founding anniversary of BCL.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday opened fire on Bangladeshi cattle traders at Chouka border point under Shibganj upazila.
At least 34 shops have been gutted in fire incidents in three districts.
Of the 44 predator strikes reportedly carried out by US drones in Pakistan's tribal areas bordering Afghanistan over the past 12 months, only five were able to hit their actual targets, killing five key al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, but at the cost of over 700 innocent civilians.
Senior politicians of various political parties in Pakistan have rejected the intense campaign launched by the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leadership against state institutions and the media, saying that its a pre-emptive strategy to influence the upcoming detailed judgment of the Supreme Court on the NRO.
Four US troops and a British soldier have been killed in Afghanistan, officials said yesterday, the first reported fatalities of 2010 after a record number of foreign deaths in the conflict last year.
Tiger has been named the most endangered major species of the world and according to the latest count there are only 3,200 of them left.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has fired the mayor of Kabul, who was sentenced to a jail term over corruption charges last month, and appointed an engineer to take over in the capital, his office said yesterday.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said yesterday he was open to peace negotiations with Israel, but that as agreed with Egypt talks could only resume when Jewish settlement activity ends.
With temperatures dipping below normal and snowfall witnessed in the upper reaches of Himachal Pradesh and the Kashmir Valley, the normal routine of the people was disturbed for the third consecutive day and over 100 deaths were reported in Uttar Pradesh.
A section of Congress leaders and legislators in Tripura and Nagaland have revolted against their state party chiefs and have demanded their immediate removal, party sources said yesterday.
Military-ruled Myanmar's junta chief urged people yesterday to make "correct choices" at national elections to be held this year, in a message to mark the country's 62nd independence anniversary.
A day ahead of the all-party meeting in New Delhi to discuss statehood to Telangana, Andhra Pradesh's ruling Congress and main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Monday continued to be undecided on their stand and were likely to put forward a divided opinion.
South Africa's political and business elite as well as hundreds of villagers in traditional dress yesterday gathered for President Jacob Zuma's fifth wedding in his remote home village.
Yemeni forces have tightened security around the airport and foreign embassies in Sanaa, officials said yesterday, amid fears of strikes by an al-Qaeda branch linked to a botched attack on a US airliner.
Security has been tightened at main railway stations and in all trains passing through Bihar after an alert of possible attacks on railway installations by Taliban-trained suicide squads, an official said yesterday.
At least 18 people, including 11 children, died after an overcrowded boat capsized in a river in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, police said Monday.
Authorities declared two flooded farming regions in southwestern Australia natural disaster zones Monday as residents in one town nervously watched a rising river in hopes that it wouldn't break its levees.
Identical twin boys in Florida will get to celebrate their birthdays individually after they were born in separate decades.
Arts & Entertainment
The term 'Dakshina', meaning 'offering' in Sanskrit, seemed truly justified for the US dance troupe Dakshina which offered a fascinating performance to the Dhaka dance connoisseurs. Daniel Phoenix Singh's dance company, Dakshina, presented a 90-minute dance performance, titled 'Experience the Movement', at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on January 3.
Rajshahi Theatre is holding a weeklong drama festival at Rajshahi Medical College auditorium to celebrate its silver jubilee.
The story of four friends that took Bengali readers by storm and continues to fascinate generations is now coming to TV. A mega-serial titled "Garbhodharini", an adaptation of Samaresh Majumdar's hugely popular novel, goes on air on January 6 at 8:15 pm on Channel 1.
Bangladesh will be represented by Ashim Das-directed “Chaillor Unmadini”, an adaptation of French dramatist Jean Giraudoux's play “The Mad Woman of Chaillot”, at the 12th Bharat Rang Mahotsav being organised by the National School of Drama here. The festival begins from January 6.
Depart, an art quarterly, made its debut on January 3 at Dhaka Club. On the occasion of the launch of the journal, eminent Indian painter K.G. Subramanyan was present as chief guest while noted educationist Professor Zillur Rahman Siddiqui attended as special guest. Both addressed the significance of proper art criticism and its varied aspects.
A mock court of 'Bon Bibi' (locally known as the goddess of forests) was set up at Nil Dumur, an adjoining bazar to the Sundarbans in Shyamnagar upazila. This was held to bring rich nations to trial for their role in contributing to global warming which was destroying the Sundarbans' forests and making them vulnerable to the disastrous impact of climate change.
The popular talent hunt "Mirakkel Akkel Challenger" on Indian TV channel Zee Bangla will now include contestants from Bangladesh.
Science & Life
OUR failure to recall a memory of the past may be related to a Japanese demonstration of brain's newborn cell function, reported on last November 13. Incidentally two days earlier, Bangladesh lost one of her best scientists, Professor Harun Kader Mohammad Yusuf, an internationally recognized authority of human brain's biochemistry. It is therefore worth recalling his contributions before discussing the new findings. Harun bhai worked out the detailed bio-molecular composition of our brain, and effect of malnutrition on its development. Until his untimely death, he was Chairman of the Bangladesh National Nutritional Council.
CHITIN flakes or powder, prepared from shrimp shell, is a polysaccharide used in food, medicine, cosmetics, paper and in the purification of water and preservation of fruit, sandwich, cheese etc. Chitin is also used as chitin-xanthate in the surgical thread.
AN alternative fuel for diesel engines is off to a shaky start this year though it emits fewer pollutants and cuts down on petroleum use because it's made from environmentally friendly waste and vegetable oil.
FOUND in a treasure-filled tomb of the Moche culture in Peru in June 2008, this 1,500-year-old gilded-copper-and-seashell funerary mask was one of two that shielded the face of the so-called Lord of Ucupe.
ON a strip of California's Mojave Desert, two dozen rare tortoises could stand in the way of a sprawling solar-energy complex in a case that highlights mounting tensions between wilderness conservation and the nation's quest for cleaner power.
THE US space agency Nasa has selected three projects as finalists for its next celestial mission.