News of: Wednesday, 2nd of June, 2010
A five-storey building toppled onto three tin-shed houses in the capital's Begunbari area last night killing at least four people and trapping 20 others.
The government yesterday cancelled the declaration of the Bangla daily Amar Desh citing that it has no authorised publisher.
The High Court yesterday directed the government to put a stop to custodial deaths, saying the court will not tolerate such incidents.
At least 39 Bangladeshis who have been cheated in the name of providing jobs in Liberia returned home yesterday after over two months stay in makeshift shelters provided by Bangladeshi peacekeepers there.
Capt Sikder Ahmed was commandeering a very special flight yesterday. A whole nation was waiting for the aircraft, Piaggio P 180 Avanti-II, to land safe and sound.
Sharaban, holding his son on her lap, was the last person of the family to come out of the arrival gate. As soon as she came closer to him, she whispered to their son Wasi, "See your Baba".
At least 50 people including 12 law enforcers were injured in a clash between police and workers of a readymade garment factory at Kanchpur, Narayanganj yesterday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said that her government will preserve forests for the next generation at any cost.
Five mayoral candidates yesterday pulled back from vying for the 17 June Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Election, yielding place to eight others to run the mayoral race.
A parliamentary body yesterday asked the deputy commissioner (DC) of Dhaka to serve notices in 15 days on 1,105 individuals and organsiations asking them to remove their illegal structures on 43 canals in the capital.
The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) should specify their demands in the global negotiations to achieve the most in the Mexico conference this November to tackle climate change, said European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard.
Measures against stalking will be incorporated in the school curriculum to raise awareness among students and unite them against it, said Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday.
The new Monthly Payment Order list also failed to make all ruling party lawmakers and leaders happy.
The family of Aleya Akhter, who died Monday night ending a six-day battle for life, now wants exemplary punishment to the criminals who set fire to her.
An under trial prisoner at Bogra district jail died at Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College and Hospital yesterday while he was undergoing treatment there.
The Jatiya Sangsad goes into its budget session this afternoon, but the prospect of BNP-led opposition's joining the session appears to be slim as its demands are yet to be fulfilled.
The High Court (HC) yesterday rejected seven petitions filed by Bashundhara Group chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan alias Shah Alam seeking anticipatory bail in seven criminal cases against him.
Ghana's president has banned his ministers and other government officials from travelling to South Africa to watch the World Cup unless they have official roles at the tournament.
The government has condemned the Israeli troops' attack on the Freedom Flotilla, a convoy of ships transporting humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people under the Israeli blockade.
A parliamentary committee yesterday asked the ministry concerned to take legal steps against former communications minister Nazmul Huda and officials concerned for 'illegally' allocating four bighas of railway land to a human rights organisation 'only in name' headed by the minister's wife in 2004.
Key leaders of Awami League-led grand alliance yesterday called upon the government to resolve power, gas and water crises, check price hike of essentials and hold war crimes trial immediately.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) yesterday sent another e-mail to the Facebook authority regarding removal of “offensive contents” from its site.
Five people, including a policeman, were injured in a clash between two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) over sharing toll money at Rajshahi University early yesterday.
South Korean police are probing leaflets and Internet messages spreading rumours of imminent war and questioning an investigation into the sinking of a naval vessel, which they say could affect Wednesday's local elections.
Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding with development partners on establishing a climate change fund to channel 110 million US dollars or more in grant funds to millions of Bangladeshis to build their resilience to the effects of climate change.
Sherpa mountaineers in Nepal say a rise in the rate of snow and ice melt on Mount Everest has exposed bare rock faces and made it dangerous to climb.
A North Korean man in his 30s defected to South Korea yesterday using a barge to cross the disputed sea border, a report said, with tensions high after the sinking of a Seoul warship.
We appreciate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's perceptive, forthright and, to an extent, introspective, remarks about bureaucrats in a cabinet meeting on Monday. She counseled her cabinet colleagues to be wary of bureaucrats who give primacy to loyalty and tend to hide their under-performance behind such obeisance. They sugarcoat their 'insincerity', sometimes bordering on the sycophantic, saying things that would only please the government as the ground under the latter's feet slipped away beneath a make-believe veneer of self-confidence and complacency.
Israel's attack on an aid flotilla trying to break its siege of Gaza is a clear outrage. And it is so because it not only flouts international law but also shows the patent defiance of the Zionist state of the global community where its treatment of Palestinians is concerned. In these past three years, for all the opprobrium it has earned over its actions, Israel has continued its blockade of Gaza and so has made it extremely hard for its residents to lead normal lives. One reason for Israel's aggressive moves has been the predominance of Hamas in the region. The unfortunate reality has been that the Tel Aviv government has successfully been able to ward off all calls for a lifting of the siege. No effort expended toward pushing Israel into a less hardline stance has succeeded. The bigger reality is that Israel's friends in the West have, save some temporary pressure from Washington, not quite been able to push it toward a settlement.
Brazil still have two weeks left before making its World Cup debut, and players are struggling to find ways to overcome their anxiety.
Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba plans to live up to his reputation as the man for the big occasion by out-gunning his rivals for the World Cup golden boot.
Abahani-Mohammedan clashes can never be of academic interest and it is no different today when the cross-town rivals face off at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
After a 60-year gap, the World Cup returned to its country of birth. Though the competition had been expanded to a rather bloated 32 teams, the return to France was to prove a great success.
Fabio Capello has dropped Arsenal winger Theo Walcott from his final 23-man World Cup squad, but Gareth Barry will travel after passing a last-minute fitness test on his injured ankle.
Carlos Alberto Parreira was delighted with his players' attitude as South Africa stretched their unbeaten run to 11 matches Monday.
Under-pressure Japan coach Takeshi Okada took few risks in naming his country's 23-man World Cup squad.
South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira axed West Ham striker Benni McCarthy Tuesday when naming his 23-man World Cup squad.
United States coach Bob Bradley said Monday that South African winter conditions could help deliver a thrilling World Cup.
The definitive 23-man list of players in Paraguay's World Cup squad, released on Monday.
Suddenly Australia's Samantha Stosur finds herself in the way of what would be the crowning achievement in the career of Serena Williams.
Rafael Nadal insists his perfect record of six wins in six meetings against Nicolas Almagro will count for nothing when the two Spaniards meet in the French Open quarterfinals on Wednesday.
England fast bowler Steven Finn found himself talking about touring Australia, even though the Ashes are several months away, after a man-of-the-match-winning effort in the first Test against Bangladesh.
Newcomers Beanibazar Sporting Club have been relegated from the Bangladesh League when they suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Rahmatganj MFS in their penultimate round game at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
New Zealand striker Chris Killen had his white wedding but gave up his honeymoon to rejoin his New Zealand team-mates in the lead-up to their first World Cup appearance in nearly three decades.
Controversial Brazilian striker Adriano failed to appear at a police interview Monday in connection with alleged links to a drug-dealing gang that has been accused of murdering police officers.
Fiorentina have launched a stinging attack on the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) for its handling of the appointment of Cesare Prandelli as national team coach.
Barcelona have not ruled out the sale of Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the club's director general Joan Oliver said Monday following controversial comments made by the player's agent last week.
The first phase of tickets for the 2011 World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have been put on sale following a meeting of the tournament's Central Organising Committee in Mumbai. The tickets have been priced affordably, with the cheapest costing 20 cents US in Sri Lanka, the committee said. The tickets are available on the ICC's website from June 1.
Tamim Iqbal ignited the fourth day's play at Lord's with a second-innings 103 and has now jumped six places among the world's leading batsmen to No.25, his highest ranking.
Four matches of the Inter-College Clear Men Confidence Cup football tournament were held at the Army Stadium in Banani yesterday.
Sri Lanka plans to hire a cruise liner to accommodate cricket World Cup fans and spectators at the newly built stadium in the island's south, an official said on Tuesday.
The First Round Draw of The Daily Star-Rangs Toshiba World Cup Quiz will be held today at the BM College Auditorium in Barisal in the afternoon.
The government is set to expand tax holidays with the inclusion of a new sector in the upcoming budget.
The government will issue bonds and debt instruments to local and foreign investors in a bid to raise a fund for financing projects including those of power and infrastructure.
Listed companies are gradually implementing corporate governance directives set by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), an official said yesterday.
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday criticised Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) for providing wrong data on boro production to the finance ministry.
Bangladesh is missing out on an opportunity of exporting $5 billion worth of drugs a year to donors due to the government's dithering over taking a decision.
The stockmarket regulator has formed a committee to look into certain unusual trading in ICB Islamic Bank shares on the exchanges.
Dhaka stocks clinched a moderate gain yesterday, led by energy, telecom and textile shares.
The Duchess of York had been drinking before allegedly offering access to her ex-husband for cash and was "in the gutter", she told Oprah Winfrey.
Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday called for establishing a packaging and garment accessories institute to ensure quality products to compete on the global market.
Great Singapore Sale 2010, a shopping extravaganza, started in Singapore on Friday.
India's manufacturing sector expanded at its fastest rate in more than two years in May, bolstered by steady growth in output, new orders and employment, a survey showed, another sign the country's economy is surging.
The Executive Committee on the National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved six development projects involving Tk 1,330 crore, including a project to construct a flyover in Chittagong.
Bangladesh's exports to Australia have shot up on the back of duty-free and quota-free (DFQF) benefits awarded by Canberra.
Bangladesh sit a lowly 157th in football's national rankings, but the World Cup excites wild rivalry as the country splits down the middle -- are you batty about Brazil, or ardent about Argentina?
Budget carrier AirAsia said Monday its net profit had risen 10 percent in the first quarter of 2010 due to a strong increase in passenger numbers as demand improved region-wide.
Spain's Inditex, Europe's largest clothing retailer, said Monday that it had opened the first store of its flagship Zara brand in India as part of its push into the fast-growing Asian market.
Green Delta Financial Services Ltd (GDFSL) has opened its sixth branch as a panel broker of Trust Bank Ltd in Dhaka recently.
Asian markets fell on Tuesday as data indicating China's economy could be slowing down raised concerns for the global recovery, while the European debt problem continued to weigh on sentiment.
Oil prices were mixed in volatile Asian trade Tuesday as optimism over energy demand at the start of the US driving season outweighed persistent eurozone concerns, analysts said.
European aircraft manufacturer Airbus said on Monday it had signed an agreement with Korean Air Aerospace, which is to provide vertical winglets for the Airbus A320.
Apple Inc said it sold 2 million iPads since launching the touch-screen tablet in the United States nearly two months ago and taking it to nine international markets this past weekend.
The financial cost of tackling the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the worst in U.S. history, now stands at $990 million, BP said on Tuesday as it prepared for a new attempt to control the flow of oil this week.
Three judges been shot dead at a court in China's southern Hunan province by a man armed with a submachine gun, reports say.
European Union regulators said Tuesday they will closely investigate Unilever's 1.28 billion euros bid for Sara Lee Corp's personal care business because they think the deal could give the new company too much power in some markets.
Prudential's bid for rival AIG's Asian unit appeared close to collapse after AIG rejected the British insurer's lowered offer of $30.38 billion in cash and shares.
Iraq's supreme court has ratified the results of the March election, officially ruling that Iyad Allawi's Iraqiyya party won by a narrow margin.
NATIONAL LIFE INSURANCE
The Board of Directors has decided to hold an EGM for an amendment to the memorandum and the articles of association to increase its authorised capital from Tk 20 crore to Tk 50 crore. The EGM will be held on July 8 (at 11:30am) in Dhaka. The record date for meeting is June 10.
Narayanganj district administration along with Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority knocked down illegal portions of 18 structures on the Shitalakkhya during an eviction drive yesterday.
President Zillur Rahman yesterday declared county's historic and traditional palace Bangabhaban as a smoking-free zone for encouraging countrymen to quit this bad habit.
Food and Disaster Management Minister Md Abdur Razzaque yesterday said the Rohingya refugees issue will be raised in the international forum if the crisis is not resolved through bilateral negotiations with Myanmar.
Speakers at a roundtable yesterday called for involving women in all programmes to address climate change issues in order to ensure women's health and well-being and food security for them.
Parties of the UNFCCC called for reviewing the interim role of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and World Bank (WB) in the management of the climate change adaptation fund.
Agriculture Minster Begum Matia Chowdhry yesterday called for using surface water in cultivation to save the country from the desertification and arsenic hazard, apart from ensuring smooth agriculture production.
The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and the Uttarkhan police arrested a couple in a joint raid on a house in the city yesterday on charges of cheating about 100 people out of money in the name of land business.
At least three people were killed and two others injured as a train hit an autorickshaw at Banomala level crossing at Dattapara under Tongi in Gazipur yesterday.
A Dhaka court yesterday rejected a bail petition of detained ex-state minister for Home Lutfozzaman Babar in connection with an August 21 grenade attack case.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority is to offer a three-month special service for driving licence seekers from July.
Peshajibi Samannaya Parishad on Monday announced a 40-day programme beginning today to press its demand for immediate trial of the war criminals.
Prime Minister's Education Adviser Dr Alauddin Ahmed was hospitalised on Monday night after suffering a mild stroke.
A woman and her son were killed and four of a family seriously injured when a passenger bus hit an autorickshaw on Dhaka-Mathkhola road at Hetemdi under Monohordi upazila in Narsingdi yesterday.
Two members of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) told an investigation officer (IO) that all their activities were running under the leadership of its chief Maulana Saidur Rahman before his arrest.
A rickshaw mechanic was found slaughtered in a rickshaw garage at Patira at Khilkhet in the city early yesterday.
A student of Dhaka Polytechnic Institute was found dead in Narsingdi yesterday five days after he went missing from Dhaka.
BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed yesterday demanded that the government reopen Facebook, a social networking site that was recently blocked by the authorities.
Speakers at a memorial meeting yesterday recalled the contribution of three journalists to journalism.
A group of aggrieved doctors who did not qualify in the ad-hoc basis recruitment examination for the posts of assistant surgeons at union and upazila health complexes vandalised several rooms of pro-Awami League doctors at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) in the city on Monday.
A human chain was formed in front of Dinajpur Press Club yesterday demanding cancellation of lease of 'Matasagar', a large water body on around 45.31acres of land under Sadar upazila.
Communications between district headquarters and two upazilas remained cut off for the last five days as a bridge went under water due to tidal surge.
Jatiya Adivasi Parishad, a platform for the indigenous people, yesterday formed a human chain on the premises of deputy commissioner's office here to press home their nine-point demand.
Six children drowned in ponds in separate places in Sherpur and Gaibandha districts in the last three days.
The law enforcers arrested four people hours after a contractor was shot at Tengragari in Natore Sadar upazila Monday evening
Three Indian nationals were held on charge of intrusion in Barashashi border area under Boda upazila in Panchagarh on Monday night.
A mobile court here on Monday raided a medicine factory and a saline factory and fined those Tk 3 lakh for illegal production.
A mobile court comprising an executive magistrate, police and BDR seized 3,360 kg of toxic mangoes from a wholesale market at Kansat in Shibganj upazila on Monday night.
Israel detained or deported yesterday hundreds of activists who were on Turkish-backed aid ships seized en route to Gaza, and the UN called for impartial investigation into the deaths of nine people in the takeover.
Emergency workers in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are struggling to get aid to communities cut off by Tropical Storm Agatha.
China yesterday called on Iran to improve its cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog, after the agency said in a report that Tehran was pressing ahead with its controversial atomic programme.
Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday he would accept the findings of an independent investigation into a deadly army crackdown on anti-government "Red Shirt" protesters.
The Sri Lankan government has hit out against UN human rights chief Navi Pillay, accusing her of hounding the country on rights issues.
Gunmen opened fire at a Pakistan hospital where victims of attacks on Ahmadi mosques were being treated late Monday, killing 12 people in a shootout with security forces, a doctor said.
al-Qaeda has announced the death of Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, its number three leader and Osama bin Laden's one-time top money man, in what would be a major blow to the global terror network.
Indian troops have shot dead six suspected Islamic militants during two gun battles in revolt-hit Kashmir, the military said Monday, as a top separatist ruled out talks with New Delhi.
A Maoist leader in India has said that they will take "full responsibility" for the safety of trains travelling through areas under their control.
The US will take control of about 8,000 British troops in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, later.
Israeli troops yesterday shot dead two gunmen who infiltrated southern Israel from the Gaza Strip, an army spokeswoman said.
The Israeli government has, for weeks, insisted that the 10,000 tonnes of supplies on board the Gaza aid flotilla are not necessary. Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's foreign minister, reiterated that claim on Friday, telling reporters "there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza".
Japan's embattled prime minister insisted yesterday he would stay in his job despite press speculation he may step down ahead of upper house elections next month.
Fish are being threatened by rising levels of man-made noise pollution.
Arts & Entertainment
To celebrate the birth anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, Nazrul Institute arranged a discussion followed by a cultural programme at the main auditorium of National Museum, Shahbagh on May 31.
National Museum in Dhaka is holding a group art exhibition at its Nalini Kanta Bhattashali Gallery. The exhibition is a part of the International Museum Day celebration and features works of acclaimed and promising Bangladeshi painters. Some works of artists from overseas are also on display. The displayed works -- on a range of themes and in several mediums -- are part of the museum's collection.
New TV serial “Poush Phaguner Pala” will go on air on ATN Bangla from June 15. The serial is an adaptation of Gajendra Kumar Mitra's novel trilogy -- “Kolkata-r Kachhei,” “Upokanthey” and “Poush Phaguner Pala.” Depicting the socio-cultural aspects of Dhaka in the 1960s and '70s and its adjacent areas, the serial is directed by actress-director Afsana Mimi.
Hollywood director Guillermo del Toro said Monday that production delays have forced him to quit the planned film version of J.R.R. Tolkien's “The Hobbit,” a two-part prequel to New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson's blockbuster trilogy “Lord of the Rings.”
Sound Of Music, a music school in Gulshan, Dhaka, promises individual attention to each student. The school provides individual tuition to each student by experienced teachers, says a press release.
TV serial “Ghar Jamai” will be aired on ATN Bangla tonight at 8:40 pm. Written by Mahfuzur Rahman, the serial is directed by Chanda Mahzabeen.
To celebrate her recent achievements as well as her pre-eminent position as a creator of fiction, writer Selina Hossain will be accorded a reception by Gantha, a literary circle. The reception will be held at 4 pm today at Bengal Café, Road 27 (old) Dhanmondi.
A drawing competition was recently held at Jhenidah Shishu Academy. Bishwa Shahitya Kendra mobile library has organised the event.
THE ban on Facebook could be lifted within days. Or perhaps by the time you read this in print, it might already have been withdrawn. But that is not what exercises our minds at this point. What we are upset about is the brusqueness with which the attack on Facebook was made. Of course, if there is anything obscene that has appeared on it, if the reputations of citizens, powerful or meek, have been ridiculed, all that the authorities needed to do was to go after those who indulged in such nefarious deeds. But to assume that an entire system can be done away with or simply run out of town only rekindles in us all the old thoughts of bygone rulers trying to govern us through control mechanisms that eventually did not amount to much. Control led to chaos. The mechanisms broke down.
ON May 21, Bangladesh entered a new era of generating energy from nuclear plants by signing a five-year framework agreement with the Russian Federation. The agreement paves the way for cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy to meet the growing power needs of the country. The agreement can be renewed after its expiry.
I'VE heard both sides of the Facebook story over the last few days. I've heard the story that banning is a breach of freedom of expression and is unreasonable censorship. I have also heard the flipside -- how Facebook censors anti-Semitic content, but not anti-Islamic content, and hence the ban is a political protest against this selective censorship. Some have even romanticised the latter story as the Islamic subaltern taking a defiant political stance against the repressive West.
IT has been reported in a section of the press this week that that the main opposition BNP is still undecided about joining the budget session of the parliament which begins on June 2.
LAW is common sense, common goodwill. Laws are supposed to facilitate the creation of an environment for the promotion of the dignity and right of persons in a society. No human-made law, enactment or policy is for posterity. Sometimes ancient laws need to be modified, changed or even repealed in view of changed circumstance.