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News of: Tuesday, 16th of August, 2011
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As the country's road network teeters on the brink of collapse, the communications minister stays preoccupied with ambitious projects like elevated expressway and Padma bridge.
Misappropriation of funds meant for repair and maintenance of highways is particularly blamed for the sorry state of roads and highways.
The driver of the bus that killed five persons, including filmmaker Tareque Masud and media personality Ashfaque Munier Mishuk, in Manikganj on Saturday was arrested yesterday from Gangni upazila of Meherpur.
The parliamentary body on communications ministry has long been criticising Minister Syed Abul Hossain for his poor performance and indifference to repairing roads and highways, but the minister did not pay heed to that.
The communications ministry has recently claimed that it could not repair roads and highways due to fund crunch, while it failed to spend timely the money allocated for two major donor-funded road development projects.
"I was unconscious for a moment," said Monis Rafique.
Three people including a TV cameraman were crushed under the wheels of a train in Kalihati upazila of the district early yesterday.
The government will incorporate a chapter on road safety and road use in primary and secondary textbooks next year to raise awareness about it.
Holding his father's hand, Chirantan Mahip Shanan was asking one question after another as he stared at an array of photographs inside the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhanmondi.
Dilapidated road condition, badly managed intersections, disrespect to traffic rules and overwhelming number of vehicles have not only turned the country's highways extremely dangerous but also increased travel time between the capital and the rest of the country.
The government has moved to ease the ongoing road transport crisis through operating 30 BRTC buses on two strike-hit routes yesterday as the private bus owners continued their strike for the fourth day.
In any directions you want to travel from the capital, you will find the highways riddled with mortal danger.
Two advisers to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will reach New Delhi today to hold talks with officials for fine tuning the key agreements to be singed during the visit of her Indian counterpart to Dhaka next month.
A relentless barrage of bombings killed 63 people yesterday in the most sweeping and coordinated attack Iraq has seen in over a year, striking 17 cities from northern Sunni areas to the southern Shiite heartland.
A mother and her two children died as she jumped under a train with her four kids in Madhabpur upazila of Habiganj yesterday morning. The two others sustained severe injuries.
Surgeons have fixed the fractured jaw and realigned the displaced teeth of painter Dhali Al Mamun, one of the survivors of Saturday's car crash that killed five including Tareque Masud and Ashfaque Munier Mishuk.
Our Correspondent, Rangamati
A policeman and four Taliban insurgents were killed overnight when militants attacked government offices in central Afghanistan, the local police chief said yesterday.
Saturday's road collision on the Dhaka-Aricha highway which killed five, among them, renowned filmmaker Tareque Masud and noted broadcast journalist, Mishuk Munier, has caused public outcry, including a demand for the resignation of the Communications Minister. The minister, however, has shifted the blame to the limited budgetary allocations to roads and highways and to the failure of the previous government in this regard.
There must be something seriously wrong with the system when those that we turn to for safety and help themselves resort to robbing and mugging. News reports, of two incidents in recent times regarding cops snatching money from the public, speak volumes of the degeneracy of the law enforcing agency.
The Tigers have a final chance to put one foot in the door as Zimbabwe look to close it by wrapping up the five-match one-day series today.
Bangladesh are currently engaged in a 5-match ODI series in Zimbabwe, and are trailing 2-0. There are three matches to go starting with today's 3rd ODI, so there is an outside chance of the Tigers bouncing back. But for Bangladesh cricket fans it may actually be wiser to support Zimbabwe today.
The Bangladesh batsmen are swinging between two beliefs about one bowler and their hesitancy has so far made them sitting ducks.
An International Cricket Council official has confirmed to the Bangladesh team management that one person who is in the ICC's list of suspected bookies has gone missing from Harare after it was reported in India that four people in connection with betting on the Bangladesh-Zimbabwe first ODI were arrested in New Delhi on Sunday.
The latest tug of war between the CCDM and the NSC over the renovation of dressing rooms at the Bangabandhu National Stadium ahead of the Argentina-Nigeria friendly has once again brought forward the age-old question; who owns the iconic national sports venue and, no less importantly, what should be the purpose of this stadium?
Rain ruined the GP-BCB National Cricket Academy (NCA)'s chance to win the first four-dayer of the two-match series against their South African counterparts in Tuks, Pretoria yesterday.
Serena Williams won the WTA Rogers Cup title Sunday, beating Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-2 to hammer home her credentials as a US Open favourite when the last Grand Slam event of the season starts in two weeks' time.
Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara urged teammates to lift their game ahead of a must-win match on Tuesday in the one-day series against the visiting Australians.
Andy Flower is looking forward to continuing to work alongside the "outstanding" Andrew Strauss as the pair bid to keep England at the summit of Test cricket.
Novak Djokovic says a small shoulder niggle which bothered him en route to a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 defeat of Mardy Fish to win the Montreal Masters won't be a problem in next week's final tune-up before the US Open.
Pakistan cricket captain Misbahul Haq on Monday urged his team's new talent to take advantage of the tour of Zimbabwe to rebuild the crisis-hit national side.
Saiful Bari Titu is all set to take charge of Bangladesh League champions Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club for the next season and the contract is expected to be done today after the final meeting with club president Manjur Kader.
Graham Onions has been called into the England squad for the fourth Test against India at The Oval, after Chris Tremlett was ruled out on Monday and James Anderson emerged as a new injury concern.
Real Madrid and Barcelona drew 2-2 in the first leg of the Spanish Supercup on Sunday in front of 80,000 fans in Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu as the two bitter rivals kicked off the new season.
Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has completed his move to Barcelona by signing a five-year contract with his boyhood club, the Spanish giants confirmed on Monday.
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has been ruled out for six weeks after suffering a hamstring injury in a 2-1 win at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
Manchester United started their defence of the Premier League title with a hard-fought 2-1 win over West Brom on Sunday.
Dynamo Kiev and Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko will be out of action for several weeks after breaking his jaw in a league game, his club said on Monday.
The father of Chelsea and Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel has been abducted in his homeland, the player's representatives said in a statement Monday.
The European Union may remove its obligatory rule to test 20 percent of frozen fish consignments from Bangladesh, raising hopes for hurdle-free shipments to a major export destination, said officials and exporters yesterday.
Around 15,000 factories -- from giant denim to spinning mills, readymade garments, ceramics, tiles, glass and pharmaceutical plants -- all are facing serious problems with carrying raw materials and getting the finished goods out due to the battered condition of the Dhaka-Mymensingh road networks.
South Asian Federation of Exchange (SAFE) will launch a 'Saarc mutual fund' in October for capital markets in South Asia, an official said yesterday.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has asked the Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchanges to submit a final report on much-talked-about demutualisation of bourses by August.
Google shook up the mobile phone industry Monday with the announcement it is buying US handset maker Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash in a bid to extend the reach of its Android platform.
Google Inc said it will buy phone hardware maker Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc for $12.5 billion in cash to bolster the adoption of its Android mobile software. Following are instant reactions from market analysts:
Oil prices were higher in Asian trade Monday, lifted by buoyancy in regional stock markets but analysts said the spectre of another global recession was expected to limit gains.
The dollar was stable against the yen in thin trade in Asia on Monday, following a volatile week when the greenback had neared a post-war low against the Japanese unit.
The chances of the US economy slipping into another recession have risen significantly and now stand at 30 percent, USA Today reported late Sunday.
Indian mobile giant Bharti Airtel rolled out operations in Bangladesh last year after acquiring 70 percent of Abu Dhabi Group-owned Warid Telecom. Chris Tobit, managing director and chief executive officer of Airtel Bangladesh, has recently sat with The Daily Star to discuss its network plans, renewal, policy and regulatory issues in the telecom sector.
There is some misconception about the 3G (third generation) mobile technology in Bangladesh. People think that it is a luxury product and it has the capacity to change the people's live overnight, which is wrong. The policymakers as well as the media are also presenting the technology in the same way, said a telecom analyst.
As Germany emerged from the destruction of World War II, it rebuilt its economy on a system of strong rules governing virtually every aspect of business, from auto manufacturing to competition among regional newspapers.
India's second-biggest mobile firm, Reliance Communications, has reported a worse-than-expected 37 percent dive in quarterly net profit as revenues remained under pressure in the competitive sector.
Japan's economy shrank less than expected in the April-June quarter, data showed Monday, fuelling hopes that its recovery from the March 11 quake and tsunami disasters is on track.
Used to the good life, France has lagged behind many other countries in using the marketing muscle of the internet to spur interest in second-hand goods.
Time Warner Cable has reached a deal to buy The Carlyle Group's cable operator Insight Communications Co for around $3 billion in cash, a source familiar with the matter said on Sunday.
The government, different political and socio-cultural organisations across the country yesterday observed the National Mourning Day with due solemnity.
Be it rainy season or not, it is all the same to the inhabitants of Char Chaktai in the port city as they chronically suffer from waterlogging caused by regular tidal waves.
The government's bodies, socio-political and cultural organisations observed the National Mourning Day in Rajshashi city yesterday with due solemnity.
Some eight to ten construction workers were beaten for allegedly stalking female workers of a garment factory in Love Lane area under Kotwali Police Station in Chittagong city yesterday.
Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) will soon start repairing the city's rain-damaged roads and lanes, says DCC Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka.
Three people, including a minor girl and her mother, were killed and 13 others injured in road accidents in Chittagong and Sirajganj yesterday.
A policeman of Fulbari police outpost was suspended yesterday on charge of snatching Tk 8,700 from a poultry trader in the town on Sunday night.
Four Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) jawans, held by Indian security forces yesterday at Petrapole, opposite to Benapole land port, were released after a hefty negotiation.
Burglars looted Tk 15 lakh in cash from a garment factory office at Dewan Hat in the port city early yesterday.
The construction worker, who suffered severe head injuries as a brick fell on him from an under-construction building at Bailey Road in the city on Saturday, succumbed to his wounds on Sunday night.
Awami League will arrange a discussion today, marking the 36th anniversary of martyrdom of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
An elderly woman was murdered by a gang of unidentified assailants in her three-storey building at Shahjadpur in the city's Gulshan area last night.
Two rival factions of Chittagong city Awami League (AL) yesterday observed National Mourning Day separately one led by City president ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury and another by Primary and Mass Education Minister Afsarul Ameen.
The Non-government Teachers Registration and Certification Authority (NTRCA) has extended the time for submission of application for the 7th non-government teacher registration examinations by nine days.
A man was trampled to death at a feeding programme for the destitute in the city's Shantinagar yesterday marking National Mourning Day.
The first year honours admission test of Jahangirnagar University (JU) for 2011-2012 session will be held on October 8 to 17.
Birendra Chandra Dev Chowdhury, a zamindar (landlord) of Shalna upazila of Sunamganj, passed away due to old age complexities at his residence on Friday night at the age of 102.
Renowned freedom fighter and Gonotontri Party's Dhaka city unit president Mirza Golam Kibria Kablu passed away due to cancer at a city hospital on Sunday at the age of 70.
Rizia Kashem, mother of daily Amar Desh Staff Reporter Mahmuda Dolly, passed away due to a cardiac arrest at her residence in Dhamura village under Uzirpur upazila of Barisal on Sunday night at the age of 58.
Today is the eighth death anniversary of Ameena Mashiur Rahman, former women affairs secretary of National Awami Party (NAP)- Bhashani and a social worker, says a press release.
Today is the first death anniversary of Atif Rahman, former assistant managing director of Bengal Airlift Group.
People of six villages in Poyla union under Ghior upazila formed a human chain at Begun Narchi village yesterday demanding immediate steps to save the villages from erosion by the Kaliganga River.
A section of 'general students' in Pabna University of Science and Technology (PUST) have boycotted the authorities' weeklong programmes marking the National Mourning Day, in protest against a 'pro-Islami Chhatra Shibir' official's selection as secretary of the 'mourning day observation committee' at PUST.
The authorities of Islamic University in Kushtia asked its students to vacate their dormitories by yesterday afternoon following clashes between Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Islami Chhatra Shibir activists that left 25 students injured.
Complainant of a robbery case has been killed in Rangpur Sadar upazila.
A man was killed and at least 10 people were injured in a clash over land dispute at Dewan Nagar village in Sadar upazila yesterday.
A tribal housewife was beaten to death allegedly by her husband and brother-in-law at Bakakura village in Jhenigati upazila on Saturday night.
Five pirates were arrested along with firearms and ammunition in Char Gazaria Asrayan (shelter for the homeless) Project on the bank of the river Meghna in Ramgati upazila yesterday.
Pirates abducted a union parishad member in Hatiya upazila of Noakhali early yesterday.
At least eight people, including two policemen, were injured during a clash between two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) in Sharonkhola upazila yesterday afternoon.
A boy was electrocuted in Lenguria area in the town yesterday. The deceased was identified as Hasan, 12, son of Bais Uddin. Witnesses said Hasan came in contact with a snapped electric wire of a hatchery on the bank of a canal at noon. He was taken to a local hospital where he died soon after admission.
Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized firearms and sharp weapons from Badurgacha village under Amtali upazila of Barguna district at yesterday. They arrested a man named Md. Zakir Hossen, 35, of the village. When a Rab patrol team challenged three men crossing the area riding a motorbike at around 9:00am, two of them managed to flee. The elite force then arrested Zakir and recovered one 7.65mm pistol, one LG, four bullets, one Chinese axe, two billhooks, three knives and one machete from the spot.
Law enforcers recovered the bodies of two youths from Kalkini upazila in Madaripur district yesterday morning. The dead were later identified as Sumon Sardar, 22, son of Akkel Sardar, and Rahim Hawladar, 25, son of Nazrul Hawladar of Chenguria village in Agailjhara upazila of Barisal. Locals found the bodies beside the road at Uttar Khil village in Dashar Union of the Kalkini upazila at around 7:00 am and informed the police who recovered the bodies at around 9:00am and sent them Madaripur Sadar Hospital for autopsy. Police said the bodies bore several injury marks.
A thee-year old child drowned in a pond at Bandakati village in Kaliganj upazila yesterday morning. The victim was identified as Firoj, son of Md Hazrat Ali. Police quoted local people as saying that Firoj was playing on the bank of the pond near their house. Suddenly, he slipped into the pond and drowned. Local people found the body floating in the pond and recovered it at around 1:00pm.
Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) personnel seized 1,102 pieces of Indian saris at Samta village in Sharsha upazila on Sunday night. Acting on a tip-off, BGB men conducted a drive at the village at around 11:00pm and recovered the saris worth about Tk 12 lakh from there. Later, the border guards deposited the seized saris to Benapole Customs House.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said corruption was a deep concern for all and needs simultaneous action on many fronts but asked leading social activist Anna Hazare not to go on hunger strike from today on the issue of graft.
US President Barack Obama sets out to shore up his fragile political standing yesterday, launching a bus tour through key Midwestern states which will resonate with voter anxiety over the economy.
British Prime Minister David Cameron announced yesterday a sweeping review of government policy to reverse a "slow-motion moral collapse" that he blames for last week's riots in which five people died.
Syrian forces shelled residential districts in Latakia yesterday, residents said, the third day of an assault on Sunni neighborhoods of the ancient port city which had seen mounting protests against President Bashar al-Assad's autocratic rule.
Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak, bound to a stretcher and caged, appeared in court yesterday before the judge announced a three-week adjournment and an end to live television broadcasts.
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has given the green light to build 277 new homes in Ariel, a Jewish settlement deep inside the occupied West Bank, his office said yesterday.
President of India's ruling Congress party Sonia Gandhi, who underwent surgery in the US recently for an unspecified ailment, is "much better", her son Rahul Gandhi said yesterday.
Libyan rebels yesterday fought forces loyal to Gaddafi around oil installations in the key eastern town of Brega while keeping a firm grip on a residential zone, an AFP reporter saw.
Nepal's president yesterday called for a national unity government after the resignation of the prime minister left the impoverished country facing another political crisis.
Arts & Entertainment
I had first met director Tareque Masud in 1995 at a screening of his famed documentary “Muktir Gaan” (The Song of Freedom) in Dhaka where I was posted as a journalist and I have since then retained the image of his as a young man bubbling with energy and passion for filmmaking.
Dr. Mridul Kanti Chakrobarty -- noted singer, instrumentalist, writer, researcher, music critic and Professor at the department of Music, Dhaka University -- died yesterday at Labaid Cardiac Hospital in the capital. He was 56. Dr. Chakrobarty was severely dehydrated. Yesterday morning at around 10, when dehydration caused heart attack, he was rushed from his Fuller Road residence to the hospital where he succumbed to death after an hour.
Alfred Hitchcock was born 112 years ago on August 13 in Leytonstone, London. His father would have him locked in the local jail for ten-minute stretches as punishment for minor misbehaviour. His mother would make him stand at the foot of her bed and recount his sins for hours. It's no wonder he became the master of the psychological thriller; what's incredible is how incredibly funny -- nervously, darkly funny, but still funny -- his films are, too.
Bangla Theatre brought to the stage a new monodrama highlighting core aspects of the writings of two creative titans -- Rabindranath Tagore and William Shakespeare. The play, titled “The Distant Near”, has been written by Shahidul Mamun, and directed, designed by Faiz Zahir. Veteran thespian Mamunur Rashid enacted several characters in the play including Tagore, Shakespeare and major characters created by both the bards.
When the news that Tareque Masud along with Mishuk Munier and others met with a tragic accident on the Dhaka-Aricha highway broke out, people of Manikganj where Masud's next film “Kagojer Phool” was to be shot were left dumbfounded. They only had words of praise for Tareque Masud and his team.
Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts is hosting a weeklong painting exhibition titled, “Ecological Agonies: Tribute to Rabindranath Tagore”, featuring the works of Indian artist Dipali Saha at the gallery in Dhanmondi, Dhaka.
DS Café will have TV and film actor Chanchal Chowdhury take your calls today. Readers will have the opportunity to converse with him on different issues regarding his acting, singing and vision as a theatre activist. Call 8126155 today, between 12 and 1 pm, to speak to Chanchal Chowdhury!!!
We would talk volubly about road accidents and deaths, only after they have come about. It is an exasperating ritual we are deeply involved in. Following every accidental death the onrush of commiseration stuffed with age-old phrases has become a pattern. To some, soft words of sympathy now sound like expletives. We promise a thorough query and exemplary punishment to the killer drivers, which we invariably renege on.
We lost the central hinge of the plot on August, 15, 1947. We thought that raising the tricolour over Edwina and Lord Louis Mountbatten's palace marked the end of the freedom project launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1919. It was only the beginning of a second and equally difficult freedom struggle. The first had been against the British. The second Indian freedom struggle would be against fellow Indians.
The weeklong London riots have been a blow to Britain's proud self-image as a "haven of stability," so said John Burns in his Friday's article in the New York Times. But the riot in question was also not the first of its kind in England. The one in 1985, for instance, took place at the same flashpoint of Tottenham in North London. However, the spread and the scale of devastation caused by rioters this time has been far greater than those of any other time since World War II. In either case, it was the death of a resident during police raid in the area that sparked the violence.
Four decades after our independence and thirty six years of his death, what does Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman mean to our one hundred and fifty million people? He is our best ever politician. He is the selfless leader who fought his whole life for an independent country for his Bangalee brothers and sisters. He achieved his goal although he had to leave tragically a few years later. His people love and respect him beyond description. He loved them to a fault and they love him in return. As long as the Padma and the Meghna will flow, Bangabandhu will be fondly remembered by his people.
In a society where few acts are selfish and no commitment is final, where sacrifice is neither unheard of nor expected and loyalty is mostly partisan, Brig. Gen. Jamil (Bir Uttam) is one of the most unusual persons of all. He drove down to certain death because duty called and once and for all established the ultimate example of courage and sacrifice. It would be very hard indeed to find another like him in our history.
The 1929 Palestine riots break out in the British Mandate of Palestine between Arabs and Jews and continue until the end of the month. In total, 133 Jews and 116 Arabs are killed.
Science & Life
IS our universe just one of many? While the concept is bizarre, it's a real possibility, according to scientists who have devised the first test to investigate the idea.
ONE of the accomplishments of the Persian mathematician Omar Khayyam was to give geometrical constructions for the roots of a cubic as the intersections of two conics. Of course, this approach had been used earlier by Menaechmus and others to solve certain special cubic's, especially in relation to the problem of "duplicating the cube”. But Khayyam generalized it to cover essentially all cubics. Although with many individual cases so as to avoid negative numbers). It's usually said that Khayyam erroneously believed the cubic could not be solved algebraically, but I think we need to be careful about assuming that Khayyam was referring to the modern idea of what constitutes an "algebraic" solution. One of his most famous quotes is
WITHIN 14 years of a national marine park in Mexico's Gulf of California closing its borders to fishing, the total mass of its denizens more than quintupled, a new study finds. Over the same period, the share of top predators sentinels of a healthy ecosystem also soared. Both trends countered those for fish in unprotected regions of the Gulf.
ONE of the biggest underground markets on the planet nutrient trading between plant roots and fungi turns out to run on a system of reciprocal rewards for good suppliers and less business for bad ones.
ASTRONOMERS have discovered the darkest known exoplanet -- a distant, Jupiter-sized gas giant known as TrES-2b. Their measurements show that TrES-2b reflects less than one percent of the sunlight falling on it, making it blacker than coal or any planet or moon in our solar system.
The fossil of a pregnant plesiosaur who died 78 million years ago indicates that the ancient sea monsters were surprisingly like today's marine mammals.
It is architecture in another form, the creation of living and working spaces which are a harmonious blend of technology, multimedia, intelligent systems and user interactivity. These spaces can be customized and the residents can claim to be the world's most connected community. Cybertecture even allows a person to select preferred background music. One such cyberstructure is coming up on an area of 32,000 square metres in Mumbai called the Cybertecture Egg. It will have 13 floors of offices, and include a feature to monitor occupants' health, besides virtual scenery which can be changed.