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News of: Sunday, 19th of December, 2010
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At least 35 people drowned when a passenger carrying motorboat sank after a head-on collision with a cargo boat in the Dhanu river in Jamalganj upazila of Sunajganj last night.
Gas supply crisis this winter will be the worst ever as thousands of new gas connection seekers have illegally obtained it bypassing the government restriction on the same from July, Petrobangla sources said.
Kidnappers killed a Bangladeshi engineer working in Afghanistan and abducted two road workers after storming their camp at gunpoint, officials said yesterday.
Working women are likely to enjoy six months of paid maternity leave from January 2011, said a high official of the Ministry of Finance.
Detained BNP Standing Committee member Salauddin Quader Chowdhury has started providing “important information regarding the person who instigated, planned and financed certain forces to make the country unstable”, Detective Branch of police officials said yesterday.
Leader of the Opposition and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said the government should resign immediately to “protect the country from danger”.
Police recovered 13,680 bullets from Bakakura village in Jhinaigati upazila of Sherpur yesterday.
The grassroots of Rajshahi BNP are worried over intra-party feud and organisational weaknesses that they believe are the hindrances to waging a movement against the government.
At least 20 workers of the fire-ravaged Ha-Meem Group garment factory at Ashulia were injured yesterday as they jostled to come out of the building in panic of a roof collapse.
Atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi officially took charge on yesterday as Iran's new foreign minister and said Tehran's top priority will be to boost ties with regional power Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
The man who refuses to step down from the presidency in Ivory Coast is now ordering all U.N. peacekeepers to leave the country immediately.
A World Bank-UNODC publication mentioned the alleged embezzlement of several million dollars by former prime minister and BNP chief Khaleda Zia's younger son as an example of stealing national assets.
The Holy Ashura was observed across the country on Friday commemorating the Karbala tragedy over 1,350 years ago in which Hazrat Imam Hossain (RA) embraced martyrdom fighting for truth and justice.
The owners of CNG refuelling stations and conversion workshops yesterday called an indefinite strike from December 21 demanding withdrawal of the government's order for six-hour closure of the stations.
Several Ukrainian opposition MPs have been injured in a brawl in the country's parliament, during which chairs were thrown.
The recently concluded visit of the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to India has opened up the potential for deeper interaction between the two in terms of trade and commerce among other things, while agreeing on the need to give more time to iron out the border question. It has once again established the predominance of economics over politics.
Some days ago we expressed our concern that the distribution of textbooks to primary school students would miss the deadline because of the all too obvious lethargy which seemed to be working among the printers. We did raise questions about such a pace of work and we did wonder why, before they embarked on the task of entrusting the printing job to the relevant firms, the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) authorities did not make a proper, well-planned schedule regarding the distribution of the books. In such critical areas as education, it is expected that all the probable difficulties and loopholes will be handled before activities like book printing and distribution are undertaken. Indeed, the fact that in the past too such difficulties arose in the school textbook sector should have been reason enough for the authorities to be extremely careful in handling the situation.
A resurgent Australia looked set to level the Ashes after a century by the reborn Mike Hussey in the third Test against England at the WACA ground on Saturday.
The 1999 World Cup was the seventh World Cup and the fourth to be held in England. This time, Scotland also hosted a few matches.
There were no hiccups on the opening day of the Premier Division Cricket League as giants Mohammedan, Biman and Abahani posted comfortable victories against their respective rivals at different venues across the country.
The enthusiasm among local people about yesterday's SAFF Women's Football Championship matches at the Cox's Bazaar Stadium was at a low ebb. After a couple of fullhouse crowds, attendance was minimal in the first match between Afghanistan and Maldives which improved to something like a thousand for the second match between Nepal and Pakistan.
Bangladesh Ansar were in full control in the different events of the Uttara Bank 4th National Archery Championship at the Army Stadium yesterday.
The confrontation between suspended Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt and the ICC has taken a serious turn after it was disclosed that the former had expressed that he does not have confidence in the ICC chief executive and the head of ICC code of conduct commission who will hear his spot-fixing allegations case next month.
Ghana World Cup hero-cum-villain Asamoah Gyan was crowned BBC African Footballer of the Year Friday after receiving more than half the public poll votes.
Monika Staab, a former player and currently a FIFA instructor, was recently in Cox's Bazar for the inaugural SAFF Women's Football Championship. The 51-year-old's playing career expanded from her native Germany to other parts of Europe at a time when women's football was just taking roots, while her coaching career led her to the pinnacle of success. For the last four years, she has been working as a FIFA consultant and has been to 55 countries in Asia and Africa to develop technical and organisational aspects of the game.
After taking a battering for two days, India finally put up some resistance with a solid start to their second innings on the third day of the first Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park on Saturday.
Australian paceman Peter Siddle said Saturday that England had played batsman Michael Hussey back into form during the Ashes series by bowling too short to him.
Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has credited his England counterpart James Anderson's persistent sledging for inspiring his six-wicket haul that has revived the home team's Ashes campaign.
New Zealand and Pakistan want to use the Umpiring Decision Review System (UDRS) in their Test and ODI series, but might not be allowed to as the International Cricket Council (ICC) is having discussions with technology providers, which want UDRS to be in place for all series rather than being used on a case-by-case basis.
Jacques Kallis seems to be looking 20 years younger now, feels his young teammate Morne Morkel. And the reason being hair transplant therapy for his receding hairline.
Veteran batsman Rahul Dravid and off-colour pacer Irfan Pathan failed to find a place in India's 30-strong list of probables announced on Saturday for next year's ODI cricket World Cup in the sub-continent.
Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam hopes a successful tour of New Zealand will put the squad in the perfect position to mount a serious World Cup challenge.
Pacific Associates, Kawasaki Sports, Kathalbagan Green Crescent and Rockland Club won their 2nd Division Badminton League matches yesterday.
Heavy snow and freezing temperatures decimated the English Premier League fixture list Saturday, leaving only two matches left as blizzards blanketed Britain.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists his team can beat Barcelona after the Gunners were drawn against the Spanish giants in yet another Champions League showdown on Friday.
Atletico Mad-rid's dreams of defending their Europa League title died on a snowy pitch in western Germany on Thursday, as they crashed out of the competition following a 1-1 draw at Bayer Leverkusen.
AC Milan and Sampdoria are in negotiations over the transfer of Antonio Cassano, Milan's vice-president Adriano Galliani admitted on Friday.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said he would support moves to stage the 2022 World Cup in Qatar during the winter months, but warned that such an action would be difficult to implement.
Gunned-down Paraguanan footballer Salvador Cabanas has lodged a demand for compensation from his former Mexican club America with FIFA's court of arbitration, his lawyer Gerardo Acosta said on Thursday.
Bayern Munich announced on Saturday they sold out of tickets for their Champions League last 16 home match against holders Inter Milan on March 15 just six hours after they went on sale.
Real Madrid, one of the biggest spending clubs on new recruits in recent years, have decided to freeze their bonus structure for this season, Spanish media reported on Friday.
Akij Group quietly went green seven months ago by setting up a 12-megawatt biomass thermal power plant costing more than Tk 10 crore.
The owners of CNG refuelling stations and conversion workshops yesterday took to the streets in the capital to drum up support for their countrywide strike from Tuesday.
Grameen Bank is creating a social business fund in Bangladesh in collaboration with a Japanese agency, said the bank's founder Muhammad Yunus on Friday.
China and Pakistan are set to conclude another 10 billion dollars' worth of deals on Saturday, the latest signings on a trade focused trip to South Asia for Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
President Barack Obama on Friday signed into law a bill extending Bush-era tax cuts and said he hoped the bipartisan spirit that had made it possible would help restore Americans' faith in Washington.
The leaders of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) yesterday urged the owners of garment and knitwear factories to follow the new pay scale announced by the government.
Khulna City Corporation (KCC) and Renovo Technologies Private Ltd of Singapore yesterday went into an agreement to implement a project worth Tk 112 crore for the modernisation of the city's waste management system.
Abdur Rahim, 45, owns a fleet of 120 bicycle rickshaws and a garage at Kathalbagan in Dhaka where these are serviced and many of their pullers sleep. He came to the city from north Bengal 20 years ago with a fit body and dreams of fortune.
The idea of mobile operators jointly owning and operating the network is bubbling again. The latest was the call by the Banglalink CEO that all mobile operators cooperate in building one common 3G network (Growth hinges on telecom, Nov 11, 2010).
Many say Dhaka is a city of rickshaw "pullers". Yet the vehicles started relatively late in Dhaka, and arose only unevenly in Bangladesh.
Liquidity crisis gripped the Dhaka stockmarket last week, with the total turnover declining by 45 percent.
Yan Qin is a freelance consultant and do-it-yourself stock trader who works out of her apartment in Queens, New York. From the comfort of her living room, she keeps one eye on the business TV network CNBC, the other on a laptop computer, where her E*Trade account shows the best prices down to the penny, flickering moment to moment.
It could be said that Aameir Alihussain was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but it would be more accurate to say the spoon was stainless steel; for his rise was one of privilege tempered with honest sweat.
Golam Mostafa, a 5'5” scaling machine operator at an automated steel melting and re-rolling factory, stood just outside his office as a lorry with a 40-foot container boarded the scaling machine. Briefly, Mostafa looked like a toy beside the giant truck, before he went into the office room and weighed the 36-tonne lorry. The giant lorry then went to the nearby unloading area, where it became a toy next to the mountains of scrap metal.
The government signed a $150 million credit agreement with the World Bank (WB) for a three-year programme yesterday to create employment for the poor in rural areas.
A three-day information and communication technology (ICT) fair will be held at Woodland Park at Sholashahar in Chittagong on December 22-24.
North South University (NSU) has emerged as the champion of the Brandwitz 10, an inter-university marketing and branding competition, defeating three teams.
The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is a must to ensure accountability of governments for public spending through transparent use of taxpayers' money, said the World Bank's country director yesterday.
The SME Foundation will give awards to three women entrepreneurs on Tuesday in recognition of their outstanding entrepreneurial skills.
Borse Dubai, a majority stake-holder of Dubai Financial Market, has sold a 672 million-dollar share of its stake in Nasdaq OMX to help repay a 2.45 billion-dollar loan that matures in February.
Asian stock markets trod water on Friday, with solid economic data from the United States providing support, but traders taking a wait-and-see attitude to Europe's stabilisation efforts.
Retailers are focusing on convenience in the holiday season's home stretch.
Fresh from cutting its workforce, Yahoo! is looking at getting rid of products that don't fit the struggling Internet pioneer's efforts to re-invent itself.
Malaysia is to start work on a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system in Kuala Lumpur next July, premier Najib Razak announced Saturday, in an bid to ease congestion on the city's transport network.
The government is aiming to sign the Dhaka Elevated Expressway deal by the first week of January, said Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain yesterday.
Elections in Bangladesh would continue to be expensive, intimidating and hostile unless the contestants are free from the fear of defeat, said former chief adviser to a caretaker government Muhammad Habibur Rahman yesterday.
World-renowned political commentator Tariq Ali yesterday said many youths in Pakistan are not aware of real accounts of 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh since much of the country's political records has been distorted.
Glaucoma, the preventable eye disease, is the second largest cause of blindness in the country, accounting for 3 percent of the people aged over 40 years, said experts yesterday.
Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA) on Friday demanded of the government to formulate a law to prevent human trafficking.
Angry guardians of admission aspirants to a school in the port city yesterday blocked the road at WASA intersection protesting 'irregularity' in the admission process.
Today is the last day for submission of nomination papers for the upcoming pourasabha elections in Chittagong and Sylhet divisions.
A nine-member Indian delegation will arrive here today for a four-day visit to finalise the joint celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore in 2011.
A Dhaka court yesterday placed Garment Sramik Oikkya Parishad President Mosrefa Mishu on a one-day fresh remand in a case filed for damaging vehicles and garment factories.
Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina yesterday issued a strong warning to recruiting agencies, discouraging them from cheating migrant workers.
Different government and non-government organisations yesterday observed the International Migrants' Day with a call for establishing migrant s' rights by stronger regulations and better training for the expatriate workers.
A BDR special court yesterday upheld its earlier verdict in which a mutineer was jailed for six months on charge of contempt of court and rejected bail petition of another accused.
A tannery owner died after being bullet-hit mysteriously at his residence in the city's Hazaribagh on Friday night.
At least 14 people were killed and 50 others injured in separate road accidents in Dhaka city, Dhamrai, Keraniganj, Chittagong, Gaibandha and Jhenaidah yesterday.
The premier show of “Climate Tribunal'', a video documentary on the life and livelihoods of climate-hit people and their cry for justice, was held at British Council in the city yesterday.
Noted citizens yesterday demanded proper investigation into the deaths of former president of Ganotantri Party Nurul Islam and his son Tamohar Islam.
Bangladesh High Commission in Brunei Darussalam on Thursday celebrated the 40th Victory Day in a befitting manner, according to a press release received here yesterday.
Holy Cross College yesterday celebrated its 60th anniversary with different colourful programmes on the college premises in city's Tejgaon.
A charge sheet against the two accused of murder of Mizanur Rashid was submitted yesterday noon to a Natore magistrate's court. Mizanur, a district college teacher, had been killed for protesting stalking of his college students.
Teachers and students of Aditmari Degree College began an indefinite class boycott yesterday protesting alleged assault on a teacher of the college by the managing committee president.
Two people were jailed for arranging child marriage while another was for stalking a schoolgirl in Sylhet and Jhenidah districts on Wednesday.
Foreign minister Dr Dipu Moni has stressed the importance of social resistance against stalking as it creates obstacles in the way of flourishing talent and playing appropriate role of women in the society.
Although the nation achieved the final victory over Pakistan occupation forces on December 16 in 1971, the people of Rajshahi had to wait two more days to get the real taste of freedom.
Leaders of Barapukuria Coal Mine Officers Welfare Association have urged the government to introduce a new pay structure for the company to attract experienced experts.
Five villagers were kidnapped allegedly by the activists of Parbattya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) in two upazilas of the district on Thursday and Friday.
A housewife, who fell victim to fatwa (religious edict) and was whipped 40 times at Kochua village in Tanore upazila a month ago over allegation of an illicit affair with her stepson, died on December 14.
A Bangladeshi national was shot dead by Border Security Force (BSF) of India at bordering Uttar Gomnati village of Domar upazila on Friday morning.
Students of Nawab Abdul Latif Hall at Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday besieged the residence of the provost and demanded his removal.
Due to inefficiencies of RAJUK and DCC, Dhaka has turned into a concrete jungle. Except for a few commercial amusements parks situated in different places, there is no playground or children's park in Dhaka. Our children have started playing football and cricket earmarking portions of various roads and streets obstructing movement of pedestrians as well as vehicles and also causing accidents.
Three poor youths of different villages under Rupganj upazila of Narayanganj have been missing since Oct 23, after a bloody violence erupted between the villagers and members of law-enforcing agencies over purchase of land for an army housing project in Rupganj. According to a front-page report published in your daily on Nov 21, parents and relatives of the missing youths-Shamsher, Masud and Saidul- looked for them in all the nearby hospitals and clinics of Dhaka, but in vain.
On November 25, 2010, my friend and I went to the Prothom Alo office at Karwan Bazar. At 6pm we came out of the office and as we entered the underpass to cross the road, suddenly the electricity went off. A few girls and women were also there in the underpass. Some boys were obscene comments at the girls. We were astonished to hear the comments. I felt guilty as I could not do anything at that moment.
I was really taken aback reading the news, "Banks cash in on SME loan definition" written by Sajjadur Rahman and published in your daily on 3rd Dec 2010. It contained so many information on SME lending in which I found huge rooms to respond. The core part of the writing was SME definition and its implications on pan banking loan portfolio size. Bangladesh Bank (BB) has defined SME in May 2008 exactly in line with the same available in the then Industrial Policy 2005.
Transparency International Bangladesh has stated what we knew all along. The evidence is everywhere. Many policemen seem to think corruption is in their job description and show no remorse.
I don't know whether letters of expatriates published in the dailies are valued by policy makers in Bangladesh at all, because we don't see any action or response as if our only duty is to send remittance, the and utilisation of which we are not supposed to know.
A report on extortion by law enforcers in uniform was published in a local English daily on 4th December. It is indeed sad when law protectors themselves become law breakers. Imagine the law enforcers forcing truck drivers to pay toll on cargo of food, vegetables and edibles, or else! This could be a reason for the rise in food prices, since ultimately the consumers indirectly pay the toll to the police. Little wonder people in general distrust the police. Now, they too have become a party to "Chanda-Baji"! Only God can help us.
The Junior School Certificate (JSC) examinations for the students of class Eight, the first of its kind in the country, were held in November 2010. The students got less than a year to take preparation for the examinations; the syllabus was different from that of the junior scholarship examination, and new subjects were included in the syllabus. We did even not get some books. In spite of all these hurdles, we, the students have successfully taken our examinations by the grace of Allah.
These days women empowerment is the most discussed issue around the world. But some of us seem to have misconception about this. It is not about wearing smart and western cloths, which most of the girls in the city think. It is more important than that. It is about making their own decisions, giving importance to their own choices and thoughts in the family, and many more things.
While drafting the mail on the topic, I feared a backlash from none other than Mr. Sikander Ahmed, and it happened exactly the way I thought. Since we cannot communicate with one another on a personal level, I hope the esteemed daily shall allow me the privilege to express my response in these columns.
A recent news item on 'Today' msnbc.com attracted my attention. It was a video by You Tube depicting a family of ducks tossed and shaken by high winds in Toronto, Canada. The mother duck was seen with her young ducklings struggling to rescue herself and the ducklings from the destructive effects of the high stormy winds. The poor ducklings were almost swept away by the high wind but miraculously none was hurt and they finally succeeded in saving their lives!
People around the country have celebrated the Victory Day with much festivity. In Dhaka the young boys were celebrating the day like any other day, such as Valentine's Day, scaring the girls around them.
South Korea vowed yesterday to go ahead with a live-fire drill on a border island bombarded by North Korea last month, despite the North's threat to strike back hard.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said it was "increasingly likely" the US would try to extradite him on charges related to leaked cables as he savoured his first day on bail.
Cable Also Revealed
She repeatedly urged her husband Rajiv Gandhi to avoid politics.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir siphoned off nine billion dollars (6.79 billion euros) of oil money into British bank accounts, according to US diplomatic cables revealed by WikiLeaks Saturday.
Sri Lanka's government was complicit in the activities of paramilitary groups engaged in political killings, kidnappings, extortion and prostitution, a leaked US diplomatic cable suggested Friday.
Rahul Gandhi, widely seen as an Indian prime minister-in-waiting, believes Hindu extremists may be a greater threat to his country than Islamist militants, a leaked US diplomatic cable said Friday.
US officials fear lax security at Indian laboratories could make the facilities targets for terrorists seeking biological weapons to launch attacks across the globe, according to comments in a leaked US diplomatic cable made public Friday.
An unofficial US envoy visiting North Korea has warned that the situation on the peninsula is a "tinderbox".
Pakistan's top spy agency denied speculation yesterday that it helped unmask the CIA's station chief in Islamabad in retaliation for a New York City lawsuit linking Pakistan's intelligence chief to the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, India.
Nearly 60 people have been killed in a series of attacks by US drones in the past 24 hours in Pakistan's Khyber tribal district, officials say.
Senate failure to ratify a new arms control treaty with Russia threatens to undermine the US relationship with Moscow and stall progress in waging the Afghanistan war and confronting Iran's nuclear program, President Barack Obama said yesterday.
Christmas travellers are facing further transport chaos as heavy snow falls across many parts of the UK.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Friday said his organization had come under attack from banks, as he vowed to release damaging leaks about them.
The latest tensions on the Korean peninsula are, among other things, a test for the US military alliance with South Korea.
The crew of a Chinese trawler and a South Korean patrol ship have clashed, leaving one fisherman dead and two missing, South Korean officials say.
The documents released by Wikileaks provide a fascinating insight into the relationship between two of the world's most secretive nations - China and North Korea.
Suspected Maoists on Friday shot dead seven activists of Forward Bloc including a woman in the state's Purulia district, a constituent of West Bengal's ruling Left Front.
The banned Indian outfit Ulfa yesterday claimed that two of its leaders were picked up by Indian intelligence agencies in Bangladesh.
Arts & Entertainment
Sculpture is a three-dimensional art form and it draws quick attention. It reflects on culture, history, time and moment. The main purpose of erecting a sculpture is to demonstrate one's artistic faculties through highlighting a certain theme.
Adibashi Sangskritik Unnayan Shangstha (ASUS) accorded 15 indigenous freedom fighters a warm reception at a function held in Rajshahi in connection with Victory Day celebrations.
“Piar Chand”, a play based on the memoirs of a female freedom fighter of Sunamganj district, was staged at 'Bijoy Mela' (victory fair) at the Manikganj Government High School playground last Wednesday night.
Based on the theme 'Retrieving the Whole', a photo exhibition was held at Arjuntala on the campus of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST),Sylhet on Thursday to mark Victory Day.
A two-day photo exhibition and film screening on the Liberation War concluded at Railway Krishnachura Chattar on December 16. The exhibition, organised by Youth Engagement Support (YES) and local Concerned Citizens Committee (CCC), was supported by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB). It was second such exhibition supported by TIB.
To celebrate the 40th Victory Day a vibrant cultural programme was held at Thakurgaon District Shilpakala Academy Auditorium on Thursday night.
A three- day photography exhibition with 100 rare images of the Liberation War of 1971 concluded on December 16. Patuakhali Shaheed Smritee Pathagar organised the programme at its office in Patuakhali town.
On December 10, the Nobel Committee met in Oslo to award a Chinese citizen, Mr. Liu Xioabo, the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010. Mr. Liu was not present at the function as he was serving a jail sentence in his country. The Committee took the decision to go ahead with the Award ceremony with an empty chair in the dais symbolising the absence of Mr. Liu Xioabo.
The malfeasance of police functionaries has attracted large-scale adverse media attention and thus it was no wonder that the findings of the TIB with regard to police as the topmost corrupt group was the lead story in many newspapers. The Bangladesh Police Service Association has taken strong objection to such derogatory assessment and has threatened legal action while questioning the method and credibility of the TIB study.
The founder of microfinance reportedly called them loan sharks. Newspaper reports looked on them as debt-traps for the poor. Some leading politicians of the country described them in much worse terms. It is a little hard to believe that it is microfinance institutions themselves -- or at least some of them -- that are being so unflatteringly described.
An ex-student of mine at Buet, who is now teaching in USA, came to Bangladesh with his eight year old son. When I asked him about his experiences of Dhaka, he told me in an anguished tone that next time he would never bring his son to this choked city. He told me that air pollution had reached menacing proportions and he found the city unlivable, and feared children here would turn sterile if the situation did not change. Could it be that his anxiety over the fate of our progeny was exaggerated? Looking around the country, especially Dhaka city, one may not be able to disagree with his assertion.
Wikileaks boss Julian Assange is the reincarnation of Guo Zyi. In the Tang Dynasty (AD 618 to 907) in ancient China, a man named Guo Zyi became disgusted that all government business was done using sneaky secret alliances.
In response, he nailed his front door open.
The Wikileaks disclosures appear to be a blessing in disguise; exposing the menacing tentacles of hidden ways of controlling capitalistic wealth. This is a very sensitive issue for the economically backward people in the third world countries (four billions out of six billions on this Earth). After probing the diplomatic services, it is now said to be concentrating on corporate corrupt practices.