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News of: Tuesday, 22nd of March, 2011

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Sailors received in tears

Torrents of tears and smiles, joy and relief engulfed Shah Amanat International Airport as the 26 crew of hijacked ship MV Jahan Moni landed yesterday afternoon.

A date with destiny

The crew knew they were entering a dangerous territory infested with pirates; and they were on the watch.

Biman begins repatriation from Tunisia

Morshed Ali Khan writes from the spot where thousands of Bangladeshi workers have taken shelter after fleeing the Libyan upheaval

$4.62m ransom came in 2 bags

When the two suitcases wrapped specially for waterproofing were opened on the bridge of MV Jahan Moni, the pirates gave out a cry of joy. Bundles of greenbacks, all in hundred dollar denomination, were stacked inside.

A den of pirates

* Somali pirates' range now covers more than one million square miles
* Piracy cost the global economy about $5-7 billion dollars last year
* Pressure mounted on Somali govt to step up its anti-piracy campaign.
* Many Somali lawmakers support the pirates and term them as 'heroes'
* Some pvt companies launched security escort service for merchant ships

Don't trust army, Mujib told Bhutto

On the morning of March 22, 1971, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman resumed his dialogue with President Yahya Khan. At the same time, the Awami League team was busy negotiating the wording of the proposed proclamation with the President's advisers. On arriving at the President's House, Mujib found Bhutto there. As the Bangalee leader would later say, he pulled the PPP chairman aside and on to the verandah in order not to have their conversation overheard or bugged. Bhutto would later corroborate Mujib's statement and would go on to say that at a certain point both leaders were taken to see General Yahya Khan. Once they were together, all three men exchanged polite greetings.

Govt to seek assistance for rehabilitation

The government will appeal to the United Nations and other international organisations seeking compensation for Bangladeshi migrant workers who were compelled to return home due to recent turmoil in the Middle East.

Gaddafi bases bombed

A missile strike has destroyed a building in Libya's capital, Tripoli, which Western officials say was one of Col Muammar Gaddafi's command centres.

Brac responds

The country's leading NGO, Brac, has undertaken a project to rehabilitate at least 500 migrants who returned from Libya penniless, says a press release of Brac.

Severe radiation in food

The World Health Organisation said yesterday that radiation in food after an earthquake damaged a Japanese nuclear plant was more serious than previously thought, eclipsing signs of progress in a battle to avert a catastrophic meltdown in its reactors.

Diatribes at JS again

BNP-led opposition lawmakers stormed out of the parliament yesterday protesting use of vulgar diatribes by a ruling Awami League lawmaker against Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia.

39 workers flee Libya to Egypt

As the repatriation from Egypt ended, another 39 Bangladeshis from Libya have crossed over to Al Salloum border check point in Egypt, said a foreign ministry press release yesterday.

Caretaker system should stay

Eminent jurist Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday told the Supreme Court that the caretaker government system should remain in force for holding free and fair elections in the country.

Burnt dowry victim dies

A housewife died in the capital yesterday, three days after she was set on fire allegedly by her husband over dowry.

Wife stabbed over family feud

A housewife was critically wounded by her husband who stabbed her in the throat after beating her over a family feud in the capital's Gendaria yesterday.

30 ships still under siege

As many as 30 ships were being held by the Somali pirates until March 17 this year, reports Reuters. Here are the details:

Latest alert messages

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB), which is a focal point for the international trading and shipping industry and those associated with facilitating the movement of goods, posts alert on incidents of attack and piracy on its website. Here are the latest ones.

100 days of captivity

When MV Jahan Moni sailed from the port of Tanjung Buli of Indonesia on November 11 last year with 43,150 tonnes of nickel ore, little did its crew knew what lay ahead for them.


Speaker is right to be upset

We can only commiserate with the Speaker of the Jatiyo Sangshad for his frustration at the way some members of the parliament have conducted themselves in the House, and has vented his displeasure, rightly. It is for the second time in as many weeks that we have commented on the issue. To say the least, the standard of debate in the Sangsad that we have been unfortunately exposed to recently has left us dumbfounded.

Torture of domestic workers

We express deep concern over the repeated stories of torture against domestic workers, the latest reported case that of nine-year-old Baby in Khulna, who was not only underfed but also allegedly beaten by her employers with sticks and electric wires. As is often the case, the child's parents were unable to file a case and Baby saved herself the only way she could, by running away. Not all domestic workers are as lucky, however. Numerous cases have been reported where they have borne inhuman torture, some of them allegedly murdered and others forced to commit suicide.


State security for Windies

Bangladesh will ramp up security to 'state-level' for the West Indies team in an attempt to ensure their World Cup quarterfinal passes off trouble-free, a senior police officer said Monday.

Pakistan riding on Aussie win

Pakistan's World Cup victory over Australia has restored the team's battered image and boosted their credentials as champions-in-waiting, skipper Shahid Afridi told AFP on Monday.

After all it's the last 8 big boys standing

After four gruelling weeks, thousands of air miles clocked up and 42 matches played, the World Cup quarterfinals will still feature the world's eight top-ranked teams.

'Board meeting to discuss Siddons future'

The future of Jamie Siddons as the head coach of the Tigers will be discussed on Friday in the next directors' meeting of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).

Dhoni gunning for glory

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni vowed his team will be at their best when they face defending champions Australia in the World Cup quarterfinals.

'We hoped you lost daddy'

England's Paul Collingwood has revealed his daughters wanted the side to lose their must-win World Cup match against the West Indies because they were missing their father so much.

'Conditions will favour NZ'

New Zealand wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum believes his side will benefit from playing their World Cup quarterfinal in Dhaka despite recent painful defeats in the city.

Ravi elated at Sachin scalp

West Indies fast bowler Ravi Rampaul said he had delivered the "perfect ball at the perfect time" after dismissing India great Sachin Tendulkar in the World Cup.

All roads lead to India-Pakistan

Bitter rivals India and Pakistan are on a World Cup collision course, but the two neighbours still have quarterfinal hurdles to overcome as the marathon tournament enters its sixth week.

Seize the day, says Yuvraj

India star Yuvraj Singh has told his teammates to seize the moment and capitalise on Australia's vulnerability when the teams meet in Thursday's World Cup quarterfinal.

It's a numbers game

Rival bowlers desperate to see the back of India's flamboyant opener Virender Sehwag early at the World Cup can now blame the back of his shirt when they are being smashed to all corners of the ground.

Five magic moments

Five magical moments from the first round of the 2011 World Cup:

Gooch calls for the title

England batting coach Graham Gooch believes Andrew Strauss's men can succeed where he failed as a player and win the World Cup.

Samba lights up Chelsea

Chelsea climbed above Manchester City into third place in the Premier League after David Luiz's late goal inspired a 2-0 win on Sunday.

Bowlers rule the day

Khulna left-arm spinner Bishwanath Halder and Rajshahi opener Myshekur Rahman were the opening day's heroes during the National Cricket League's third round that began yesterday.

Inter close gap

Inter Milan closed the gap on leaders AC Milan to just two points ahead of the top of the table city derby in two weeks time with a 1-0 victory over lowly Lecce on Sunday.

Bangladesh lose to Palestine

Bangladesh made a frustrating start to the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers when they suffered a 2-0 defeat against Palestine in Group A opener at the Youth Training Centre, in Yangon yesterday.

'Stars are exhausted'

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho admits his side are suffering from fatigue as they challenge on three fronts after his stars laboured to a fortunate 2-1 win over derby rivals Atletico Madrid on Saturday to stay five points behind Barcelona in the title race.

Djokovic dispels Nadal

Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic won the ATP Indian Wells title on Sunday, rallying to beat world No. 1 Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 and improve his record this season to 18-0.

Italy drop De Rossi

Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi has paid for a wayward punch by being excluded from Italy coach Cesare Prandelli's 25-man squad to play Slovenia in a Euro 2012 qualifier.

Independence Day kabaddi

Border Guard of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Army won their respective matches of the Independence Day Kabaddi tournament at the Kabaddi Stadium yesterday.

Independence Day basketball

Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan registered a hard-fought 72-68 win over Border Guard of Bangladesh in the Independence Day Basketball tournament at the Dhanmondi Wooden Floor Gymnasium yesterday. Dumketu Club also recorded a tense 69-67 win over Bangladesh Police in the day's other match.


Economy under stress: IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the macroeconomic and financial pressure on Bangladesh economy has intensified since December last year.

Credit info now a click away

Waiting for days, or even months, for obtaining credit reports on borrowers is going to be a history next month with the full automation of the Credit Information Bureau (CIB) of the Bangladesh Bank (BB).

Panel threatens to take BGMEA polls to court

Forum panel leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) yesterday threatened to go to court challenging the validity of the biennial election of the trade body that was held Sunday.

Regulator, stakeholders spar on book building

Market stakeholders will now come up with recommendations for modifications in book-building rules as they could not agree with the regulator's proposal of some changes in the pricing method.

Empower women through technology to bridge digital divide

Women entrepreneurs in the country should embrace the rapidly changing technology to empower themselves and actively participate in the nation building, speakers at an event said yesterday.

Brac to rehabilitate Libya-returnees

Brac has recently launched a pilot project aiming at smooth re-absorption of Libya-returnees into the economy.

StanChart's Islamic banking chief due in town

Wasim Akhtar Saifi, global head of Standard Chartered Bank for Islamic banking, is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka today for a two-day official visit, said a statement yesterday.

DHL Global Forwarding gets new country manager

Nooruddin Chowdhury has been appointed country manager of DHL Global Forwarding with effect from February 14, says a statement yesterday.

Seminar urges quick formation of financial reporting council

The financial reporting council should be formed soon, said a former caretaker government adviser yesterday.

Peg growth to youth

The introduction of 3G technology could create a huge job for Bangladesh's vast population of talented youth and give a noble experience to its growing mobile users, said a top official of a leading telecom European vendor yesterday.

Ctrip surfs China's homegrown travel wave

A crescendo of voices builds on a typically bustling day in the Shanghai headquarters of as staff put together hundreds of tourist trips. It is the sound of China's travel boom.

Career path for young talents

Young talents should refrain from building a career in one particular sector. They should pursue a career based on understanding market trends, passion and development opportunities to be successful in their working life, say career experts.

Managing your career some tips

Each individual wants to have a pleasant career path throughout one's life. They strive to build a career that truly suit their desires and exhibits their potential.

Japan quake a buying opportunity: Buffett

US billionnaire investor Warren Buffett said Monday that a massive natural disaster would not hamper the future of the Japanese economy and could prompt a new bout of stock buying.

Boeing's new jumbo makes 'perfect' maiden flight

US aerospace giant Boeing's newest and biggest jumbo jet, the 747-8 Intercontinental, made its maiden flight Sunday, watched closely by aviation fans and European rival Airbus.

Disaster could cost Japan $235b: WB

Japan's massive earthquake and tsunami could cost its economy up to $235 billion, or 4.0 percent of output, and reconstruction could take five years, the World Bank warned Monday.

Beijing targets luxury ads amid wealth gap

China's capital has banned outdoor advertising that promotes hedonistic or high-end lifestyles as the government seeks to ease public concerns about the country's widening wealth gap.

Yen weaker against dollar after G7 pact

The yen fell against the dollar in Asia trade Monday after Japan and its fellow G7 partners vowed last week to halt the currency's rise with a joint intervention, analysts said.

Medvedev finalising investment fund project

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was on Monday set to chair a meeting to hammer out details of a key joint investment fund in a bid to bring new foreign capital to the country, a newspaper said.

Asian shares up

Asian shares rose Monday on hopes that crews would avert a meltdown at a Japanese nuclear plant, but dealers were still cautious while air strikes in Libya hurt sentiment and sent oil higher.


Water, sanitation by 2015 plan finalised

The government has finalised a sector development plan (SDP) to ensure modern drinking water supply system and quality sanitary latrine for all by 2025.

Dhaka for restraint in action on Libya

Bangladesh has urged restraint in the implementation of the UN Security Council Action on Libya “so that military action is resorted to only when absolutely essential and solely for neutralising military targets.”

Foundation stone of UAP city campus laid

The foundation stone laying ceremony of the University of Asia Pacific was held with unveiling of the plaque by President Zillur Rahman at 74/1, Green Road in the city on Sunday.

Doa for Delwar held

A doa mahfil for BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain was held at his village mosque in Khirai Pachuria of the district after Asr prayers yesterday.

Judges need to awaken to end disparity: NHRC chief

National Human Rights Commission Chairman Dr Mizanur Rahman yesterday said the court compound and judges are in sleep mode and need to wake up to eradicate all kinds of disparity from the country.

Maternal mortality rate reduces by 40pc

Maternal mortality rate in Bangladesh has reduced by 40 percent during the last 10 years for better health service and dissemination of proper information, said a Unicef official.

26 BGB men indicted

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday indicted 26 more members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) for the 2009 carnage at their Pilkhana headquarters, raising the total number of accused to 850.

Jamaat city chief freed on bail

Jamaat-e-Islami Dhaka city unit chief Rafiqul Islam Khan was released on bail from Dhaka Central Jail last night after 7 months of detention.

Four to die

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced four people to death and two others to life term imprisonment for killing Jubo League leader Jamal in 2009.

Three cops suspended

Three Nilphamari police constables were suspended yesterday, a day after they dragged an elderly man, punished for contempt of court order, out of a courtroom in the district.

53 hired land grabbers held

Rab in a drive in Gazipur yesterday arrested at least 53 people on allegation of grabbing land, using firearms and other weapons, in exchange for money.

Tripura governor calls on PM

Governor of Indian State of Tripura Dr DY Patil yesterday paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Gonobhaban.

Shah Alam appeals against conviction

Detained Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan Shah Alam yesterday filed an appeal with the High Court (HC) against the trial court judgment that sentenced him to eight years' imprisonment in a tax evasion case.

Movement big challenge for BNP: Fakhrul

BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday said it would be a great challenge for BNP to achieve the highest feat in the anti government movement by organising people and making the party stronger.

BNP man killed in bomb attack

Unidentified criminals killed a BNP activist and injured two others in a bomb attack in Mujibnagar upazila of Meherpur yesterday.

Japan grant for fishery dev

A US $ 97,122 grant contract for a development project for fishery in rural Bangladesh through Grant Assistance for Grass Roots Human Security Projects (GGHSP) was signed at Japan embassy in the city yesterday.

Faridpur dist committee formed

Faridpur district unit committee of Bangladesh Shikkha Protisthan Karmachari Federation was formed on March 19 with Mohammad Lokman Hossain as president and Mohammad Ali as secretary general.


Salty water damages melon on 700 acres

Salty water from the Bay and adjoining rivers has damaged watermelon worth over Tk 35 lakh on around 700 acres of land in Galachipa, Baufal and Dashmina upazilas of Patuakhali district during the last few days.

Khaleda's remarks on Santu Larma sparks protest

Leaders and activists of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) and its front organisations held a rally in the district town yesterday protesting the remarks made by opposition leader Khaleda Zia about Santu Larma and CHT peace accord.

Tidal surge hits 4 upazilas of Khulna, Bagerhat

Tidal surges under the influence of full moon hit Paikgacha, Dumuria, Koira upazilas of Khulna and Mongla upazila of Bagerhat on Sunday.

20 injured as AL, BNP clash

At least 20 people, including four policemen, were injured as Awami League and BNP activists clashed at Shibpur under Puthia upazila on Sunday night amid Section 144.

Steps needed to stop using financial, political muscle

Speakers at a view exchange meeting have urged measures to stop use of black money and muscle power and ward off political influence to conduct the upcoming union parishad election in a free, fair and transparent way.

Blake sees Benapole immigration process

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O Blake visited the Benapole Immigration Check Post yesterday to see the computerised immigration process carried out in the country's biggest land port.

Arrest culprits of Jubo League within 72 hrs

Polytechnic teachers here yesterday gave a 72-hour ultimatum to the authorities to arrest Jubo League cadres who assaulted two teachers on Sunday afternoon.

Supporters of rival candidates clash, 20 hurt

Supporters of two rival chairman candidates in the upcoming election to Kalikapur Union Parishad (UP) under Patuakhali Sadar upazila clashed on Saturday night, leaving at least 30 people from both sides injured.

Police foils JCD human chain at RU

Police foiled a human chain formed by Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) at Rajshahi University (RU) on Sunday.


Middle East boils with Libya strikes, Yemen on brink

Middle East boiled yesterday after fresh air strikes in Libya, a mass protest in Syria and Yemen on the brink after top generals backed protesters battling to overthrow President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Putin: West in 'mediaeval Crusade'

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said yesterday a UN resolution authorising military action in Libya resembled "mediaeval calls for crusades" after Western forces launched a second wave of air strikes.

Delivering drugs to brain

A new way of delivering drugs to the brain has been developed by scientists at the University of Oxford.

52 feared dead in Pak coal mine blast

Rescuers used shovels and bare hands Monday to dig out miners buried after a gas explosion deep in a coal mine in southwestern Pakistan, lining up wooden caskets to await the bodies from an accident that left 52 feared dead.

Smoke slows race to cool nuke plant

Smoke belched from a stricken nuclear plant in Japan yesterday, disrupting urgent efforts to repair the cooling systems as Tokyo halted some food shipments owing to radiation worries.

Europe divided over Libya operation

Europe's powers headed for a clash over the allied campaign in Libya as foreign ministers from the 27-nation EU went into talks yesterday divided over the initial intervention and a possible Nato role.

Yemeni generals back democracy protesters

Top generals, ambassadors and some tribes threw their support behind Yemen's anti-government protesters yesterday in a major blow to President Ali Abdullah Saleh as he tries to survive growing demands for his immediate departure.

Arts & Entertainment

A Mosaic of Feminine Visions

A group art exhibition, titled “Women in Nature”, featuring works of Mafruha Begum, Afroza Anjum and Kamrun Nahar, is on at Drik Gallery in Dhaka. Cultural personality and lawmaker Asaduzzaman Noor inaugurated the exhibition as chief guest. Professors at the Printmaking Department, Faculty of Fine Arts (FFA), University of Dhaka -- Mahmudul Haque and Abul Barq Alvi -- were present as special guests.

Manipuri Int'l Literary and Cultural Fest-2011 in Moulvibazar

Manipuri International Literary and Cultural Festival-2011 wrapped up on March 19 at the Manipuri Lalitkala Academy in Kamalganj upazila, under Moulvibazar district. Bangladesh Manipuri Samaj Kalyan Samity, a socio-cultural organisation of the indigenous Manipuri community, arranged the vibrant event.

Rural Life in Focus

A three-day Grameen Jibon Jatra Mela (fair highlighting rural lifestyle) and cultural programme ended at Kazirpara village in Jhenidah district on March 21. The event was arranged by a local NGO, Unnayan Dhara, to raise farmers' awareness in suitable agricultural practices and climate change.

Rocking the Crowd

Popular Bangladeshi bands -- Warfaze, Aurthohin, LRB and Miles -- played to a huge crowd at the Rajshahi District Stadium on March 18.

Most Awaited Animated Films of 2011

Here's a look at some of the major animated releases coming your way in 2011:

Remembering Poet Muniruddin Yusuf

Bangla-Urdu Shahitya Foundation organised a discussion and recitation programme in memory of writer, poet and thinker Muniruddin Yusuf at YWCA Auditorium, at Mohammadpur in Dhaka on March 20. At the programme, Poet Muniruddin Yusuf Literary Award 2011 was conferred on rhymester Sheikh Tofazzal Hossain.


All is not over, I hope

My editor was so saddened by the inglorious exit of the Tigers from the Cricket World Cup that his pen did not move to write the obituary. I am also hurt, rather deeply wounded and intensely perturbed by the last defeat of the team. Still I write to tell you that all is not over. The young boys have shown flicker of hope in the four out of six games that they played. It was a calamity against the West Indies and a tragedy against the South Africans.

Lessons from Fukushima

On Day 1 (March 12), they dismissed it as a minor accident. On Day 2, when there was an explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, they denied it was an emergency "as described by [the] media." One of them described it as "a well-planned emergency preparedness programme." On Day 3, as the crisis worsened, they maintained it would be over soon.

Sustainable impacts for the extreme poor

The term "sustainability" is often heard in policy discussions on poverty alleviation. How can we achieve sustainable positive impacts in the lives of the extreme poor; gains that are protected and can be built upon after a poverty alleviation project has ended?

Nuclear disaster in Japan

Japan is in the throes of an epic disaster of a magnitude the world has not seen before. The earthquake of 8.9 magnitude in the Richter Scale, with the epicentre only a few kilometres away from the Fukushima reactors (6 units), was the strongest in living memory in Japan. The many aftershocks of 6/6.5 magnitude were considered as minor irritations, whereas in any other place a 6 magnitude earthquake would have been considered a major disaster.

Prof. Yunus: A rare gem

The 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Prof. Yunus, is like a rare gem. This rare gem should be displayed in the National Museum as a treasured showpiece; instead, some people in Bangladesh are trying to break the gem into pieces to verify its purity. There is no need to destroy this treasured gem in the name of purity verification.

This Day In History

March 22
Nadir Shah occupies Delhi in India and sacks the city, stealing the jewels of the Peacock Throne.

Science & Life

Icy gaze into Big Bang

Scientists of the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) in Innsbruck, Austria, have reached a milestone in the exploration of quantum gas mixtures. In an international first, the research group led by Rudolf Grimm and Florian Schreck has succeeded in producing controlled strong interactions between two fermionic elements -- lithium-6 and potassium-40. This model system not only promises to provide new insights into solid-state physics but also shows intriguing analogies to the primordial substance right after the Big Bang.

How serious is Japan nuclear crisis?

As it was almost bound to do at some point, Japan's nuclear safety agency has uprated its assessment of the Fukushima power station incident from a level four to a level five.

Atom smasher a time machine!

In a 'long shot' theory, physicists propose that the world's largest atom smasher could be used as a time machine to send a special kind of matter backward in time.

Mind melds with machine

Nerve cell tendrils readily thread their way through tiny semiconductor tubes, researchers find, forming a crisscrossed network like vines twining towards the sun. The discovery that offshoots from nascent mouse nerve cells explore the specially designed tubes could lead to tricks for studying nervous system diseases or testing the effects of potential drugs. Such a system may even bring researchers closer to brain-computer interfaces that seamlessly integrate artificial limbs or other prosthetic devices.

Carnivores that suck up prey

Carnivorous bladderworts trap prey with speed that would make a Bond villain shudder in gleeful envy.

A nerve cell in three-dimension

For the first time, scientists have reconstructed a three-dimensional circuit of connected cells in the brain's seat of consciousness. Their new approach, which involves the use of high-tech microscopes and a supercomputer, offers the unprecedented opportunity to unravel the complex wiring of the brain by navigating through the tangled and dense jungle of cells similar to the way Google crawls the Web.

How can we foretell Earthquake?

China has suffered some terrible earthquakes, and it isn't surprising that China's scientists want to find ways of forecasting them. In 1975, they were successful. They cleared the city of Haicheng two hours before a devastating quake and saved the city's population. Earthquake forecasting is, however, still inexact; the Chinese have failed to predict several earthquakes since 1975, but they have advanced the science of earthquake prediction.

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