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News of: Tuesday, 23rd of November, 2010
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In a sharp departure from the usual practice, the government will not procure rice from the domestic market in the current Aman season fearing that public buying might further inflate the price of rice.
The Anti-Corruption Commission has claimed to have found "convincing" evidence that former prime minister Khaleda Zia had shown fake sources of funds for establishing Zia Charitable Trust.
Expelled BNP vice chairman Nazmul Huda yesterday blamed the conspiracy of the "Noakhali clique" within BNP for his expulsion from the party.
The cabinet committee on purchase yesterday approved proposed appointment of a new consulting firm as a consultancy glitch already delayed by a year the upgrading of Dhaka-Chittagong highway.
Distribution of around three crore copies of free textbooks for students of primary classes is likely to miss the deadline due to slow progress in the local printer's work and negligence of the paper supplier.
A mobile court yesterday convicted a young man for stalking a 13-year old girl and sentenced him to one-year imprisonment in the capital, but the trial gave rise to a controversy among local residents.
The main opposition BNP has called another countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal for November 30 demanding actions to resolve the miseries of the people, save democracy and defend the country's interest.
Wild tigers could become extinct in 12 years if countries where they still roam fail to take quick action to protect their habitats and step up the fight against poaching, global wildlife experts told a "tiger summit" yesterday.
Lutful Hai, an Awami League lawmaker and a veteran freedom fighter, died in the capital yesterday morning following a massive cardiac arrest.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived at St Petersburg in Russia yesterday at 4:00pm (local time) on the first leg of her 12-day tri-nation tour of Russia, Belgium and Japan.
The Primary Education Terminal Examination 2010 begins today with around 25 lakh students sitting for the exams.
War veteran Mir Shawkat Ali, Bir Uttam, was laid to rest yesterday afternoon in state and military honour at the city's Banani military graveyard.
A Dhaka court yesterday granted three and a half months to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to complete the investigation into one of the two cases filed for the August 21 grenade attacks on an Awami League rally in 2004.
Police conducted an hour-long raid on Jamaat-e-Islami head office in the city's Moghbazar last night.
Police yesterday appealed to the deputy commissioner of Dhaka to cancel four firearms licenses of film actor also Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Ward Councillor Monwar Hossain Dipjol, who has been on the run to avoid arrest.
An 8-year-old boy was murdered for a mobile phone in Sujanagar upazila of the district.
A fire broke out at the server room of state-owned Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB), located at Shilpa Bank Bhaban in the city's commercial hub Motijheel, gutting its computers and documents early yesterday.
North Korea's claims to have a working uranium enrichment plant -- a possible second route to a nuclear bomb -- sparked anger yesterday in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo.
Nazmul Huda, an eminent lawyer and a long time BNP leader and two-time cabinet minister, has been expelled from his party for “breaking organisational discipline” and doing things “against the interest of the party”. In our view the expulsion speaks far more of the BNP as a party and its constitution than it does about Nazmul Huda who, either as a politician or as an individual, is not the focus of our comment. What interests us is the core question whether or not there is any place for dissenting views within the BNP, or for that matter any of our political parties.
It is heartening to know that Malaysia which had tabooed hiring Bangladeshi workers in March last year has signaled a positive response. The welcome change of heart is reflected on the process already initiated by the country to regularise 3lakh undocumented Bangladeshi workers hitherto virtually living a fugitive's life. This itself is a good piece of news, let alone the fact that upon completion of the process of absorption, Malaysia will accept new Bangladeshi hands in keeping with its growing requirement in the economy. This also sits in with Malaysia being one of the favoured destinations for our workers.
A change at the top looks likely as the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has decided to select the captain for the five-match one-day series against Zimbabwe only after the selectors name the squad.
Construction sites are never pleasing to the eye, especially in a sports venue where the deadline is looming. The International Cricket Council (ICC) will send a delegation in mid-December to inspect the 2011 World Cup venues and in all likelihood, even at that time the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong will remain unfinished.
The ninth day of the Guangzhou Asian Games brought a heap of frustration for the Bangladesh contingent as they conceded hapless defeats in almost every discipline participated.
China's Liu Xiang lit up the Asian Games Monday with his long-awaited debut in the 110m hurdles but it was teammate Lao Yi who stole the show by winning the coveted 100m title.
The 1979 World Cup contained eight teams: West Indies, England, New Zealand, Pakistan, Australia, and India from the Test nations, with Sri Lanka and Canada qualifying through a separate tournament involving the Associate nations.
Mohammad Ashraful's boys start their campaign in the first-ever men's cricket competition of the Asian Games today when they meet Malaysia in a quarterfinal match in Guangzhou.
The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) is unlikely to follow its announced schedule and go ahead with the Super Cup in December, as the imminent sponsor has apparently requested maximum exposure by holding the much-discussed tournament at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
Somdev Devvarman kept India on course for three Asian Games tennis golds on Monday when he reached the men's singles final.
Jamaican sprint sensation Usain Bolt on Sunday revealed that he would like to try his hand at professional football when he retires from athletics, and dreams of playing for Manchester United.
Rahul Dravid struck a superb 191 to put India in a winning position in the series-deciding third and final Test against New Zealand on Monday.
Skipper Misbahul Haq and Azhar Ali led Pakistan's fightback with half-centuries apiece to keep South African hopes of enforcing follow-on at bay on the third day of the second Test on Monday.
The West Indies are prepared for a Sri Lankan comeback in the second Test in Colombo, skipper Darren Sammy said Monday.
Cricket's governing body Sunday said every member board should introduce an anti-corruption code in their domestic cricket to support the fight against corruption.
Pakistan captain Khalid Latif smashed the first century of the Asian Games cricket tournament on Monday as the favourites crushed China by 128 runs to reach the semifinals.
Japan beat two-time defending champions North Korea 1-0 on Monday to avenge their final defeat four years ago and clinch their first gold medal in women's football.
Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez scored twice at Craven Cottage to help his club return to winning ways and get within three points of the Premier League summit.
After suffering a domestic dose of the jitters, Chelsea, London rivals Arsenal and German giants Bayern Munich will seek solace in strong Champions League form on Tuesday.
Espanyol made it a perfect six wins from six at their Cornella-El Prat stadium on Sunday, defeating promoted Hercules 3-0 to move into fourth.
Inter Milan coach Rafael Benitez is teetering on the brink of being sacked after his Italian champions crashed 2-1 at Chievo to drop to sixth and nine points off leaders and city rivals AC Milan.
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has insisted he has no plans to leave the English champions after a British newspaper report suggested he was frustrated by his lack of control at Stamford Bridge.
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has played down the importance of the first 'clasico' of the season between his side and arch-rivals Barcelona next week, saying it is just "another match".
French great Zinedine Zidane has expressed his enthusiasm about working more closely with the first-team squad at Real Madrid.
Garment exports went up by more than 37 percent in the first four months of the current fiscal year compared to the same period a year ago, according to government data.
The cabinet committee on economic affairs yesterday approved flotation of four crore new ordinary shares of Mobil Jamuna Lubricants Bangladesh Ltd.
Dhaka stocks fell by around 1 percent yesterday, after gaining for six straight sessions, with the regulatory measure to tighten share credit coming into effect.
Pakistan Federal Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amim Fahim arrives in Dhaka today on a three-day visit, aiming to deepen bilateral trade and commerce with Bangladesh.
Local business leaders yesterday asked Japanese business representatives to take advantage of the country's export processing zones and set up a special economic zone here for their country.
Small traders of rawhides in Dinajpur and Joypurhat districts are facing a tough time this year due to a shortage of capital, lack of buyers and low prices.
RAK Airways, a national carrier of United Arab Emirates (UAE), will resume passenger flights from Bangladesh next month after a break of nearly two years, officials said yesterday.
The demand to immediately enhance capacity of the country's prime seaport was raised again in a meeting between Chittagong Port Authority and the users yesterday.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday there is scope to reduce the income tax rate on life insurance, as the prevailing rate in Bangladesh is the highest among neighbouring countries.
After many years of dull market, jute is selling at high prices in Narail district this season to the satisfaction of growers.
Telenor Group, the majority stakeholder in Grameenphone, is keen to engage in financial services, especially in remote areas, where most financial institutions have no outlets.
Ireland was Monday hammering out the conditions of an EU bailout package worth up to 90 billion euros, sending the single currency soaring but sparking fierce criticism at home of the already beleaguered government.
Britain's Rolls-Royce said Monday it had won a contract worth 1.8 billion dollars at list prices to supply engines to Air China for 20 Airbus long-haul aircraft.
Opel, the European unit of US auto group General Motors, expects to report a loss of 1.4 billion euros this year, Opel head Nick Reilly said in a magazine interview on Monday.
Authorities in central China are searching for a batch of dairy products containing high levels of melamine, the chemical that killed six babies and sickened 300,000 others in 2008, state media said Monday.
Japanese auto giant Nissan wants to move production and support functions to dollar-linked economies, including the United States and China, to avoid currency volatility, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
Oil prices topped 82 dollars in Asian trade Monday as the euro's value soared following the agreement of a massive bailout for financially strapped Ireland, analysts said.
Kh Asadul Islam has recently been appointed the chief executive officer of City Brokerage Ltd, said a statement.
Md Nasiruddin Choudhury, director of Premier Leasing and Finance Ltd, has been elected the audit committee chairman, said a statement.
EBL FIRST MUTUAL FUND
The fund reported net asset value of Tk 16 per unit at current market price and Tk 11.84 per unit at cost price against face value of Tk 10 on the close of operation on November 15. Total net assets stood at Tk 1,600,334,753.45 on market price and Tk 1,183,796,057.88 on cost price after considering all assets and liabilities
Habildar Humayun Kabir of BDR hospital unit at the Pilkhana headquarters had intended to burn the bodies of army officers killed during the carnage to wipe out all evidence, said a prosecutor of a mutiny case yesterday.
Most drivers including those of heavy vehicles on busy highways lack institutional training and knowledge of traffic rules contributing to the increasing number of road accidents.
At least 12 people were killed and 22 others injured in separate road accidents in Comilla, Barisal, Jhenidah, Magura, Lalmonirhat and Narayanganj on Sunday night and yesterday.
Lu Hao, secretary general of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Gansu Committee, said microcredit programmes set up by Grameen Trust (GT) in Gansu have set an example that could be extended to all 31 provinces of China, says après release.
Bangladesh and India will sign a protocol very soon to conserve the endangered species of Royal Bengal Tiger.
The tender of the much-awaited elevated expressway, to be built in Dhaka city to remove its notorious traffic jam, will be accepted today.
Former education adviser to a caretaker government, the then education secretary, inspector general of police, DMP commissioner and several other government officials are likely to appear before a parliamentary probe body tomorrow.
Development of economic and political framework conditions will dominate talks with government leaders and high officials during a three-day visit by German Federal Foreign Office State Secretary Martin Johannes Biesel beginning tomorrow.
President Zillur Rahman yesterday said active representatives of the Dhaka University Alumni Association in various policymaking forums would undoubtedly be able to bring dynamism in the ongoing activities of the university, especially help upholding its image.
Awami League (AL) Presidium member Obaidul Qader yesterday called the overnight expulsion of BNP vice chairman Barrister Nazmul Huda as an “erratic act” saying it reflected the lapses of democratic exercise in the main opposition party.
Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday accused Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain of telling lies regarding the cocktail blasts at the chief justice's house.
State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Jahangir Kabir Nanak yesterday said stern action will be taken against the land grabbers and illegal slum owners.
Police raided different areas of the city early hours yesterday following a mugging incident on Sunday afternoon and arrested three muggers with robbed cash and firearms.
A young man died yesterday evening after being hit by a train in Shamantapur area of Gazipur Pourashava.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-1) personnel yesterday arrested three alleged cheats from the city's Uttara on charges of misappropriating money and valuables from people by identifying themselves as 'Badshahs of Jinn' (king of supernatural spirits).
A garment worker was killed as a train hit him while he was crossing rail track in front of the Sainik Club in the city's Banani area.
Liberation War Museum has invited reports from the journalists of print and electronic media on liberation war for the Bazlur Rahman Smriti Padak 2010.
The valuables of a garment factory were gutted in a devastating fire in Boro Ashulia Shooting House area here yesterday.
The newly appointed Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan, Majibur Rahman Bhuiyan, presented his letter of credence to Emperor of Japan Akihito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo yesterday.
The government yesterday appointed Phani Bhushan Chowdhury as the supernumerary Inspector General of Police (IGP).
A Dhaka court yesterday deferred the hearing on charge framing against Partex Group Chairman MA Hashem till January 13 in connection with a tax evasion case.
Political leaders yesterday expressed deep shock at the death of Awami League lawmaker Advocate Lutful Hai Sachchu.
A Dhaka court yesterday extended the bail term till January 9 next year for the third time to Khandaker Akhter Hamid Paban in a cracker blast case.
Dhaka University authorities have asked all examinees of 'Ga' unit admission test not to enter exam centres taking cellphones or other electronic devices.
The special court-13 will deliver judgment in the mutiny case against 24 jawans of 31 Lalmonirhat Rifles Battalion under Rangpur sector today while the special court-14, set up at Sylhet sector headquarters, will resume trial and frame charges against 44 rebels of 21 Rifles Battalion.
Langolerhaat Bridge over the river Ghagot at Betgari under Gangachara upazila remains incomplete since 1998 impeding road communication from Gangachara to Nilphamari.
A young man was sentenced to death in Chapainawabganj for killing a girl by throwing acid while two youths got life in Chandpur for killing a girl after rape, yesterday.
Indigenous people in two northern districts yesterday formed human chains, held rallies and started signature campaign demanding their constitutional rights.
A man was killed and 80 others were injured in a clash between rival groups of villagers in Ajmiriganj upazila of Habiganj district yesterday.
At least 50 people were injured, including seven by bullets, in clashes between villagers and hired goons of a private fish farm at Chatra beel (water body) under Mithapukur and Pirganj upazilas yesterday.
A schoolgirl was killed after rape in Habiganj on Sunday while another abducted in Thakurgaon was rescued by police the day before.
One person was beaten to death and another injured by locals at Char Shibrampur under Pabna Sadar upazila yesterday morning on charge of raping a girl after abduction.
Police arrested a BCL leader in Brahmanbaria for vandalising a magistrate's car and two activists in Kishoreganj with looted cash and gold ornaments on Sunday.
Classes at Rajshahi University (RU) will resume on November 26 after a 13-day Eid-ul-Azha vacation amid tight security.
The viva voce of the candidates seeking admission to first year honours classes at Chittagong University (CU) will begin tomorrow.
One person was beaten to death and another injured by locals at Char Shibrampur under Pabna Sadar upazila yesterday morning on charge of raping a girl after abduction.
A Kushtia court yesterday granted four days' remand to Zahidul Islam Zahid, the prime accused of bomb attack inside the house of Awami League lawmaker Afaz Uddin Ahmed on the night of November 13.
India's ruling party sought yesterday to defuse a giant telecom corruption scandal that has embroiled the government, stalled parliament and further tarnished the country's political class.
Rescuers yesterday pulled to safety 29 people trapped in a flooded mine in southwestern China in a rare bit of good news for the country's disaster-prone mining sector.
With Mideast peacemaking at a standstill, Israel's hard-line parliament called a vote yesterday to push through a bill that could sink future peace deals with the Palestinians and Syria.
Eight magazines in military-controlled Myanmar were suspended by government censors after they prominently published news and photos about pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi's release from 7 1/2 years in continuous detention.
Global emissions of planet-warming carbon dioxide are on track to hit a record in 2010, a leading annual study said yesterday, driven largely by booming economies in China and India and their reliance on coal.
Children may be safer in the Afghan capital than in London or New York despite a deadly nine-year Taliban insurgency, Nato's top civilian representative in the country has said.
Political leaders are divided about talking to the Taliban to bring peace to Afghanistan yet engagement with militants is seen as a necessity for aid agencies trying to improve life in the war-torn country.
Japan's justice minister resigned yesterday after his quip that his job was easy sparked howls of outrage and threats of parliamentary stalling tactics from the conservative opposition.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, who had ignored summons by the BJP top brass to come for a meeting in Delhi, could no longer hold out yesterday evening and took a flight to the national capital amid indications that he has been asked to resign over corruption charges.
Lauding India's commitment to global peace and development of the South Asian region, a resolution introduced in the US House of Representatives has appealed to the United Nations to take necessary steps to make New Delhi a permanent member of the Security Council.
There is a "good chance" that the life of an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery could be spared, the head of Iran's High Human Rights Council said in an interview aired yesterday.
Mayors from around the world signed a voluntary pact Sunday in Mexico City to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a meeting meant as a precursor to UN-sponsored climate talks in Cancun opening next week.
Germany's parliament building has closed its popular cupola to visitors amid heightened security.
The younger son of Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been granted a visa to visit his mother after her release from house arrest.
Sri Lanka's president expanded his cabinet yesterday, retaining key positions for himself while adding 12 new ministers ahead of the presentation of the first budget of his second term, officials said.
India gave the green light yesterday for the construction of a second international airport in the commercial capital Mumbai, a two billion dollar project that was ten years in the making.
Arts & Entertainment
When “Lux Channel i Superstar” contender Tahsin was a kid, she used to stay glued to every TV play being aired on the small screen. No amount of scolding could draw her away from TV.
The Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre (IGCC), Indian High Commission, Dhaka and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) will jointly hold a cultural festival, titled “Ananda Jagya”, featuring Indian music, dance, theatre, films, fine arts and handicrafts. The vibrant event begins on November 26 and runs till December 3.
The cultural and socio-political personalities of Dinajpur recently remembered the contribution of noted Tagore singer and exponent Kalim Sharafi, who passed away on November 2 at the age of 86.
Nominations for the 6th Citycell-Channel i Music Awards have been announced recently. Among the 65 nominees are singers, lyricists, music directors and bands. The awards will be conferred in 15 different categories including a Lifetime Achievement award.
The indigenous Manipuri community celebrated its biggest religious festival 'Maha Raas Leela' at two of their temples in Kamalganj upazila, Moulvibazar district on November 21. The festival is held on purnima (full moon), between the Bangla months of late Kartik and early Agrahayan.
Ramendu Majumdar, president worldwide of International Theatre Institute (ITI), attended the opening ceremony of the 2nd China Campus Theatre Festival held in Shanghai, from November 9 to 18, 2010. He spoke at the opening on behalf of ITI, says a press release.
He is an unlikely pop star: a dead, very big Hawaiian -- 343 kg at one point -- accompanied only by his ukulele.
Writer-director Kiran Rao wants to come out of the shadow of her Bollywood superstar-husband Aamir Khan and is keen to carve out her own identity as a filmmaker with her forthcoming movie “Dhobi Ghat” and as a creative person.
The relative contributions of the levels of development and of family planning programmes to fertility decline have been a subject of enquiry and controversy for several decades.
Thought for the week: if accent-fraud were a criminal offence, how many serving members of the ruling establishment would be guilty? To speak English well in a country which has inherited it as a service-language is commendable. To speak it badly is perfectly understandable, since it is a foreign tongue. But to speak it in a pseudo-imitation of a style that even an abashed BBC has quietly abandoned is unforgiveable. You could not have got solicitor-general Gopal Subramaniam's haw-haw syllables from central casting, but that may be only a minor sin in his latest curriculum vitae.
While speaking at a function on November 10 for distribution of agro inputs to flash-flood affected farmers of haor area under Taherpur upazila in Sunamganj district, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said: "We don't want to see that a single person is starving, we are relentlessly working for ensuring food security for every person," adding that her government took "massive programmes including lowering of fertiliser prices for development of agriculture sector and providing huge subsidy to bring agro inputs to the doorsteps of farmers."
Justice or absence of justice is receiving countrywide attention. The court is there. It will take care of that. The jurists and the law experts of the country have a sensitive agenda before them. In short, I can say that a good society and civilisation is based not just on justice but also on principles to counter injustice.
The government initiative -- which will be effective from November 10 -- for empowering mobile courts under Section 509 of the Penal Code to punish stalkers with one-year imprisonment or fine, or both, is an appropriate and much demanded step. However, mobile courts should be conducted in a free and fair manner so that no one can abuse the operation of the courts through interference.
Science & Life
Recently, physicists from the Imperial College London (ICL) conducted a study on manipulating the nature of space and time and concluded that it was possible to hide actual events from the plain sight of the viewer. In other words, an event could take place; say a journey from one location to the other, however, the “journey” in-between, from the point of start to the destined location would remain entirely invisible to the naked eye. Scientists believe this wondrous scientific scheme, which is being referred to as “space-time cloak” can be the ultimate hiding place, like a hole carved right out of space and time. And the very nature of physics, in this particular case, would manipulate light to such an extent that the actual events in real life would be “cut off”, just as an editor cuts off scenes from the reel of film that s/he does not want public to watch. This means that this space-time cloak theory is actually based on censoring the flow of events that we generally perceive as a stream of light particles, which are also known as photons that strike the retina of ours and allows us to see the events as they take place.
The first study to ever explore biological activity in the deepest layer of ocean crust has found bacteria with a remarkable range of capabilities, including eating hydrocarbons and natural gas, and "fixing" or storing carbon.
Bars of light passing across a massive tangle of cables give the sense of being surrounded by crackling electrical signals and firing neurons as you enter the American Museum of Natural History's new exhibit here. Most people may visit the museum for the fossils, but this time they'll want to stay for the brains.
Over the last 15 years, astronomers have detected nearly 500 planets orbiting stars in our cosmic neighbourhood, but none outside our Milky Way has been confirmed . Now, however, a planet with a minimum mass 1.25 times that of Jupiter  has been discovered orbiting a star of extragalactic origin, even though the star now finds itself within our own galaxy. It is part of the so-called Helmi stream -- a group of stars that originally belonged to a dwarf galaxy that was devoured by our galaxy, the Milky Way, in an act of galactic cannibalism about six to nine billion years ago.
The results are published in Science Express.
In what some scientists are likening to a mob protection racket, a species of birds in Africa has been found to guard other birds from predators in exchange for food.
It is the movement of the cloth that makes the bull react violently as like most mammals, the bull too is colour blind and cannot be affected by the colour of the cloth. When a matador moves a cloth (irrespective of the colour) in front of the bull, it perceives the movement as a threat and is angered, and as a result, reacts violently.