News of: Tuesday, 3rd of August, 2010
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They are no stranger to court. They stood in the dock before. But their appearance at the International Crimes Tribunal yesterday marks a watershed. For it was the first time the four top Jamaat-e-Islami leaders were in court as accused in the long-awaited war crimes trial.
Concerned at more than 10,000 deaths a year on roads and prompted by the deaths of two top government officials Saturday, the government yesterday decided to construct separate lanes for slow-moving vehicles along all highways.
RMG workers continued demonstrations in Ashulia and Narayanganj yesterday even though labour representatives agreed to the new pay scale the previous day with a pledge to help maintain normal work environment in industrial areas.
The authorities yesterday closed the Chittagong University till September 16 following a series of violent clashes between agitating students and police that left over 50 students and 20 policemen injured.
After a steady fall for two months, inflationary indexes started rising in May with an increase in food prices especially rice.
The High Court yesterday acquitted former Jamaat-e Islami lawmaker Shahjahan Chowdhury, Awami Swechchasebak League General Secretary Pankaj Debnath, and three others of corruption charges for which lower courts sentenced them to imprisonment for different terms.
Garment factory owners estimate the latest spell of labour unrest cost them a loss of Tk 775 crore, while the ready-made garment (RMG) sector will struggle to meet the deadlines of international buyers.
Despite having the mandate from the Supreme Court, the government yesterday decided in principle that it would not ban any religion-based political party.
Famed criminal law expert Anisul Huq yesterday made contradictory remarks over issuing arrest warrants against four detained top Jamaat-e-Islami leaders by the International Crimes Tribunal.
AHM Noman Khan, founder and executive director of Centre for Disability in Development (CDD), has won Ramon Magsaysay Award 2010 for his relentless efforts for the rights of the challenged.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday demanded withdrawal of cases filed against the party's secretary general and two other leaders, condemning the government for repressing opposition.
The cabinet committee on purchase yesterday approved a proposal for procuring 1.80 lakh tonnes of rice and wheat to increase food stock.
BNP standing committee member Goyeshwar Chandra Roy in a dramatic move late last night asked the party chairperson that he be relived of BNP standing committee duties.
A Judicial Magistrate court sent the driver of the rashly-driven bus Druti Paribahan to Manikganj Jail custody yesterday.
The Special Court-3 of Bangladesh Rifles yesterday sentenced 14 BDR soldiers of 8 Rifles Battalion to different jail terms for their involvement in Sunamganj BDR mutiny on February 26 last year.
Uncertain of being able to elect a new prime minister yesterday in the third round of an unprecedented, protracted battle for power, Nepal's major parties have agreed to hold a fourth round of election Thursday.
Two police constables on deputation at the Anti-Corruption Commission were arrested yesterday evening in connection with blackmailing people with fake ACC notices.
Criminals beat a staff of an inter-district bus service operator to death after abducting him from his house in Gopibagh in the capital late Sunday.
IT has been reported in some newspapers that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has advised Leader of the Opposition Begum Khaleda Zia to repent publicly through a self-debasing pledge (the Bangla term 'Nake Khat' was allegedly used) not to indulge in corruption again, and admit her failure to contain it during the last BNP rule.
A report in The Daily Star has drawn our attention to the difficult days that the survivors of the Nimtali fire are passing almost two months after the incident. Given that the inferno has devastated a large number of houses and rendered a large number of the residents homeless as a consequence has added to the grief of loss of their very near ones in the fire.
The Bangladesh Football Federation's (BFF's) plan to start the upcoming season in October may face a huge obstacle due to the unavailability of country's premium venue, Bangabandhu National Stadium, following the renovation works ahead of the 2011 ICC World Cup.
India's hopes of scoring a series-levelling win in the final Test against Sri Lanka from Tuesday sank as Gautam Gambhir was ruled out and with Harbhajan Singh unlikely to play.
Pakistan responded to their crushing 354 run first Test defeat by England at Trent Bridge on Sunday by recalling former captain Mohammad Yousuf and so ending the batsman's international exile.
India's world batting record holder Sachin Tendulkar is poised to become cricket's most-capped Test player on Tuesday, adding another milestone to one of the sport's most accomplished careers.
The saga over the next ICC vice-president appears to be drawing to a close with confirmation that Alan Isaac, the chairman of New Zealand Cricket, has been jointly nominated for the position by the New Zealand and Australian cricket boards.
State Minister for Youth and Sports Ahad Ali Sarkar announced a cash prize of Tk one lakh for golfer Siddiqur Rahman, who became the first Bangladeshi to win on the Asian Tour after defeating South Africa's Jbe Kruger in a nerve-racking play-off at the Brunei Open on Sunday.
Sadia Sultana was 79th in the women's 10m air rifle junior event at the 50th ISSF Shooting Championship in Munich yesterday.
The tournament director of the 2011 World Cup, Ratnakar Shetty, has said that the development of the stadiums was on schedule and that the governments of the host countries - India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - were working together to ensure an "incident free" competition.
Theo Walcott made a point to England coach Fabio Capello as the Arsenal winger inspired his side to a 3-2 victory over Celtic that clinched the Emirates Cup on Sunday.
Nicolas Anelka played for the first time since being kicked-out of France's World Cup squad on Sunday but was unable to prevent Chelsea slipping to a 2-1 defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Lyon ended their pre-season preparations on a positive note as Jimmy Briand's fine finish secured a 1-1 draw against Italian giants AC Milan in the Emirates Cup on Sunday.
Italy's new coach Cesare Prandelli may enlist stars Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano for the team's first match since its disastrous exit from the World Cup, an Italian sports daily reported Monday.
Premier League club Liverpool could be bought by a Chinese business tycoon within days, according to reports here on Monday.
Argentinian star Lionel Messi promised Monday to deliver a good performance this week when his club, Barcelona, meet South Korea's all-star team in an exhibition match.
Brazilian defender Fabio Aurelio hailed his latest contract at Liverpool a new beginning after he re-signed for the Premier League club on a two-year deal.
Gareth Barry fears England's World Cup flops will spend a night on the boos when they return to Wembley for a friendly against Hungary next week.
Villarreal have signed World Cup-winning Spanish defender Carlos Marchena from La Liga rivals Valencia on a three-year contract.
Former Pakistan Test players Monday criticised two of their cricket board's selections for the second Test against England, saying the decision would make the national team a "laughing stock."
Eighth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus overwhelmed Russian fifth seed Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-1 in Sunday's WTA tournament final here to win her first title of the season.
French sprint king Christophe Lemaitre won his third gold of the European Championships on Sunday as his country stormed to victory in the men's 4x100m relay.
Andrew Strauss believes England are developing the battling qualities that will serve them well in their bid to retain the Ashes after they thrashed Pakistan by 354 runs in the first Test.
England star Andrew Flintoff has been forced to delay his long-awaited return from knee surgery.
Acclaimed New Zealand sportsman Eric Tindill, a double international who was the world's oldest surviving Test cricketer and an All Black, has died aged 99, a family spokesman said Monday.
Andy Murray squandered a match point in the second set and American Sam Querrey rallied Sunday for a 5-7, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 victory over the British top seed in the final of the Los Angeles Open.
Manchester United midfielder Anderson was dragged out of a burning car but escaped with only minor injuries after an early-morning crash in Portugal, local media reported on Sunday.
Exports of jute bags to India faced a setback last month, as the largest buyer of jute products from Bangladesh started requiring exporters to print the country of origin on each bag, enforcing a rule ignored for the past eight years, industry insiders said.
The central bank will let a few more commercial banks open exchange houses abroad, said a senior official of Bangladesh Bank (BB).
Railway passengers of Dhaka-Chittagong route now can buy tickets through an SMS of Banglalink, the second-largest cellphone operator.
Trading at Dawn Securities resumed yesterday after the High Court stayed the regulator's suspension of the stockbroker, a senior DSE official confirmed.
International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh (ICCB) has called upon the commercial banks to adopt new international tools to be at par with the global practices.
The government should simplify business initiation procedures to woo more people into entrepreneurship, a US-based consultant suggested yesterday.
Emirates has appointed Saimon Overseas Ltd as its Dubai visa service centre in Bangladesh, the airline said in a statement.
JobsA1.com, a job site, organised a daylong career festival at the National Museum auditorium in Dhaka yesterday.
He quit his banking career and opted for doing business, in late 1960s, at the age of around 40. He was already late thinking about what to do. Doing something with the next generation technology was a choice, but it was a bit different and risky too, at that time in Bangladesh.
HSBC and BNP Paribas, strengthened by the financial crisis in their roles as top European banks, both trumped earnings forecasts as bad debts fell sharply to make up for slowing investment banking growth.
KAY AND QUE
Unaudited half yearly accounts until June 30 show the company reported net profit/(loss) of Tk (0.19) million against Tk (1.91) million for the same period of the previous year. Net profit/(loss) was Tk (0.96) million for the period of three months to June 30.
Iraq has postponed the auction of three major gas fields by one month to October, a source from an international energy company said on Monday.
The yuan's daily trading band is "appropriate" for the time being but could be widened in the future, a vice-governor of China's central bank said in an interview published Monday.
Oil prices headed up in Asian trade as a weaker greenback sustained gains made last week, analysts said.
British oil giant BP has no plans to sell its German fuel station unit Aral, a company spokeswoman said on Monday, flatly denying a weekend press report.
Maruti Suzuki, India's top carmaker, quickened its pace of sales in July and posted its highest monthly local sales, after a slowdown in the previous month.
Global Insurance Ltd has elected RA Howlader as chairman, said the insurer in a statement yesterday.
Ekramul Hoque has joined Al-Arafah Islami Bank Ltd as managing director, said a statement.
The cabinet yesterday approved Balumahal and Soil Management Act 2010 in a bid to stop indiscriminate extraction of sand and soil from rivers and ensure proper land management.
At least five people, including four of a family, were killed and two others injured when a Narsingdi-bound truck hit a CNG-run autorickshaw near Itakhola Highway intersection in Jamtola in Shibpur upazila of the district yesterday.
President Zillur Rahman yesterday emphasised the need for quick disposal of thousands of cases pending with the court to end sufferings of the litigants.
A Dhaka court yesterday placed BNP leader Mirza Abbas on an eight-day remand in connection with two separate cases filed against him on charge of preventing police from discharging their duties during the hartal hours on June 27.
One of a two-member High Court (HC) bench yesterday felt embarrassed to pass an order on a writ petition filed by BNP leaders Barrister Rafiqul Islam Miah and Shah Moazzem Hossain challenging the legality of a police notice that asked them to appear at a police station.
BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain and the party's two other leaders were sued in Panchagarh yesterday for ''open death threats'' to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Norwegian government will provide $ 1.3 million grant to Bangladesh to carry out a partnership programme for air quality research and monitoring.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday handed over savings certificates equivalent to Tk 10 lakh to each of the families of two additional secretaries who were killed in a road accident on July 31.
Bangladesh should go for systematic research on overseas job market and consider organising job fairs to attract foreign employers, recommended a study by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
Indonesia is to host a two-day special ministerial meeting to review efforts to comply with Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) among the countries in Asia Pacific region beginning today in Jakarta.
A Jubo League leader was shot while he along with locals were chasing snatchers yesterday noon in Segunbagicha area in the city as the muggers made away with Tk 1.75 lakh from a businessman.
One Mesbahuddin Mizu aged 34 succumbed to his injuries at Dhaka Medical College Hospital last night after being beaten by locals on the Keraniganj Upazila premises.
Indonesian President H Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has expressed the desire to further enhance bilateral ties, especially trade and commerce with Bangladesh for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) yesterday handed over cheques to the relatives of 64 victims those who were killed in Spectrum Building collapse in April 2005.
Around 622 people including 111 women and children in the country were killed in different incidents in July, says a Bangladesh Society for the Enforcement of Human Rights (BSEHR) press release yesterday.
Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad Central Command Council Chairman Helal Morshed Khan yesterday said the ongoing trial against war criminals should be completed as early as possible to free the country from stigma.
Qulkhwani of former BNP secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan will be held at his residence at Nam Villa, House # 1/2, Road # 6, Gulshan-1in the city after Asr prayers today, says a press release.
University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh in cooperation with Elsevier, a non- governmental organisation, yesterday organised a seminar on "University forum on digital libraries" at a city hotel.
Speakers yesterday demanded fast conclusion of the trial and punishing the accused with the highest sentence at a discussion on fast trial of war crimes held at the National Press Club.
A Dhaka court yesterday rejected a plea for issuance of arrest warrant by the prosecution against Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan alias Shah Alam in connection with a case filed in June 2007 on charge of grabbing public properties.
A Dhaka court yesterday placed BNP leader Mirza Abbas on an eight-day remand in connection with two separate cases filed against him on charge of preventing police from discharging their duties during the hartal hours on June 27.
A mobile court of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-4) arrested one woman for running a nursing home and diagnostic centre at Mohammadpur in the city without any registration.
Detective Branch of police yesterday arrested three robbers and recovered 60 tolas of gold from their possessions, which they looted from the house of a former navy chief at New DOHS in city's Mohakhali on July 22.
"Our classes are closed when clouds gather in the sky. There is no roof on the damaged corrugated iron sheet-made house of our school," Aklima, a class five student of Jidaha Khas Government Primary School at Kalai village in Kalihati upazila of Tangail.
Khalishpur unit of the ruling Awami League has occupied People's Jute Mills Employees' Union office at Khalishpur in Khulna city and made it a temporary office of the party.
Police yesterday recovered two bomb-like objects from District and Sessions Judge Court premises in Gopalganj while Rab seized firearms and gunpowder from a passenger bus in Meherpur.
Two fake fertiliser factories were unearthed in Jessore and Gaibandha districts on Sunday.
Three activists of Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir were arrested at Satiadi village in Pakundia upazila on various charges on Sunday and Saturday.
Three rivers in the last one week devoured over 400 homesteads and shops in several villages of Aila affected Kamarkhola and Sutarkhali unions under Dakope upazila of the district.
A woman and her physically handicapped daughter allegedly committed suicide at Isapura village in Sirajdikhan upazila early yesterday.
At least 22 people were injured as rival villagers clashed in Thakurgaon and Munshiganj districts on Saturday.
Underground operative Ayub Ali, arrested on Friday night in connection with Pabna police killing case, gave his confessional statement under Section 164 before the Judicial Magistrate's Court here yesterday.
Pakistan summoned Britain's envoy in Islamabad yesterday over comments by British Prime Minister David Cameron suggesting it was not doing enough to fight terrorism, officials said.
Four people have been killed in Indian-administered Kashmir, as the worst anti-government violence to hit the disputed region in two years continues.
Pakistani President Ali Asif Zardari yesterday began a difficult five-day trip to Paris and London that was overshadowed in advance by British allegations of terror sponsorship.
Pakistani authorities struggled yesterday to help victims of the country's worst flooding in memory, which has so far killed more than 1,000 people and prompted sharp criticism of the government.
India's parliament got back to work yesterday after a week of disruption and deadlock over price rises that had threatened to hold up the government's reform programme.
A suicide car bomber blew himself up next to a police truck bringing a southern Afghan official to work early yesterday, killing five children nearby, officials said.
The top US military officer says he has a plan to attack Iran if needed to prevent it from getting nuclear weapons, but is "extremely concerned" about the possible repercussions of such a strike.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's party has lost its lead in the polls against its conservative rivals ahead of August 21 elections, putting the outcome on a 50-50 knife edge, a poll showed yesterday.
BP could begin sealing its oil well in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday night, three months after its rupture led to the worst oil spill in US history.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on US President Barack Obama yesterday to face him in a televised one-on-one debate to see who has the best solutions for the world's problems.
The United States will end its combat mission in Iraq as scheduled on August 31 despite a recent flare-up in violence, President Barack Obama said in a speech prepared for delivery yesterday.
Hardcore porn was broadcast on the Indonesian parliament's internal information service yesterday, shocking journalists and bureaucrats who rely on the screens for updates on political events.
Arts & Entertainment
Bangladeshi expatriate painter Murshida Arzu Alpana has been working in Berlin since 1993. She is considered a conceptual artist whose works focus on the state of women in society. A woman is a symbol of justice, peace and harmony, feels Alpana. Recently, the artist was accorded ROSL (Royal Over-Seas League) Centenary Reception at St James's Palace in London, according to a press release. Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh and Danish Princess Alexandra were present at the reception.
An all-new Michael Jackson collection featuring 10 unreleased songs will be released this November, a rep for the Jackson estate exclusively tells Rolling Stone. At the time of his death Jackson reportedly left hard drives filled with unheard music, much of it recorded during the King of Pop's '80s peak.
Viewers will have an opportunity to assess actor Shahiduzzaman Selim's skills behind the camera this Eid. The Eid-special TV play “Jhamela Nonstop” will feature Selim in a cameo as well. The protagonists of “Jhamela Nonstop” are Jitu Ahsan and Sanjida Priti. The play has been written by Maruf Rahman and it has not been decided yet which TV channel will air it. When asked about the plot of the play, Selim said that though the storyline does not introduce anything dynamic, the viewers would most likely enjoy it.
The second episode of “Shundorpur Kotodur”, a new drama serial written and directed by Abul Hayat, will be aired tonight on BTV at 9:30 pm. The primary objective of this serial is to educate people about the consequences of misdeeds and transgressions.
The late singer Mohammad Rafi lent his voice to songs sung by many Bollywood stars but it is veteran Shammi Kapoor who has come forward to acknowledge that he as an actor would have been incomplete without Rafi.
In the upcoming romantic drama “Eat, Pray, Love,” Julia Roberts plays a woman who embarks on a journey of self-discovery. It seems the actress has also learned some life lessons of her own along the way, especially when it comes to accepting her appearance.
An egalitarian, matrilineal society where women inherit the property of their mothers, are free to choose their husbands and make their own decisions, where there is a fair division of labour between men and women. No it's no distant utopia but a glimpse of life in the picturesque Garo Hills in the North Eastern Indian state of Meghalaya (literally, a place in the clouds).
Lady Gaga has often used her mega-fame to draw attention to hot-button issues such as gay rights and now Mother Monster is using her headline-grabbing powers to spotlight the ongoing immigration debate.
IT is quite unfortunate that several thousand garment workers rampaged through different parts of the capital and Gazipur on July 30, rejecting the new wage structure and demanding Tk.5,000 as minimum wage from August. The angry workers vandalised vehicles and around 200 business establishments, including several garment factories, resulting in injury of at least 25 people including five police.
IS there a tipping point to corruption, that last straw, or rupee note, on the corrupt camel's back that ignites the dormant fuse of public response, and transforms apathy into rage? Will there come a subsequent moment when rage escalates to outrage?
Strengthening result-oriented performance at the district level and below is critical at present to ensure the effective implementation of development programs to achieve the goals of the sixth 5-year plan and 20-years perspective plan that the government is going to launch to turn Bangladesh into a middle-income country.
Two senior civil servants were killed in a road accident yesterday, reminding us once again of our collective helplessness in front of some criminal drivers who have no respect for life. The regularity of road traffic accidents has become so alarming that common citizens of the country leave it to providence while travelling within the country.
The early hours of July 27 saw the end of a man who lived in the hearts of tens of millions of the deprived and down-trodden for over four decades. The inert mortal remains of late Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan was lying barely attended in the cold mortuary of Square Hospital, his penultimate destination before his final journey, shocked me profoundly.
Science & Life
Despite their tiny size, plant plankton found in the world's oceans are crucial to much of life on Earth. They are the foundation of the bountiful marine food web, produce half the world's oxygen and suck up harmful carbon dioxide.
The following is the first instalment of the interview of Dr. Saiful Haque, Secretary, Bangladesh Solar Energy Society.
Abu Raihan Rume and Dewan Mowdud Rahman took the interview for The Daily Star. They are both students of the Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST).
European regulators authorised on the import of six types of genetically-modified maize for use in animal feed after governments were deadlocked over whether to ban or approve them.
Kerry Ressler wants to understand the molecular biology of fear.
No one knows exactly how or who invented the first kite. It is thought that the earliest use of kites was among the Chinese, approximately 2,800 years ago. The kite was said to be the invention of the famous 5th century BC Chinese philosophers Mozi and Lu Ban. By 549 AD, paper kites were being flown - in that year a paper kite was used as a message for a rescue mission. Ancient and medieval Chinese sources list other uses of kites for measuring distances, testing the wind, lifting men, signaling, and military communication.
Extending an experiment at the foundation of quantum physics confirms that two is company and three is a crowd. In a new twist on the famous double-slit experiment, researchers have verified a basic tenet of quantum mechanics by showing that adding a third slit doesn't create additional interference between packets of light.
Using new technology to peer inside single cells and count individual molecules, researchers have found that there's a lot of variability among these biochemical factories even when they're working from the same set of plans.