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News of: Sunday, 1st of January, 2012

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Front Page

Mixed bag of bold steps, grave failures

Some years leave a deep imprint on the future for the better. This one was certainly not one of them. The best that can be said about it is that it was a mixed bag of bold initiatives and miserable failures. This being the third of a five year term, it was the Awami League government's last opportunity to undertake important but unpopular reforms. For the remaining two years the ruling party is likely to be in the 're-election' mode and therefore more prone to populist and costly decisions.

Railway unveils roadmap

Bangladesh Railway yesterday unveiled a two-and-a-half-year roadmap to implement 67 projects to develop the long-neglected railway sector.

Inter-dist bus fare hiked

The government yesterday increased fares of intercity buses by Tk 0.15 per kilometre less than 48 hours after increasing fuel prices. The new fare will be effective from tomorrow.

Textbook festival in schools today

The first day of 2012 will be celebrated as "Text Book Distribution Festival" in all primary and secondary schools and madrasas across the country.

Water tank collapses on house

An eight-year-old schoolgirl was killed and three others of the family sustained injuries as a water tank of their rented house collapsed on them while they were asleep early yesterday at Jigatola of the city.

Mass awareness key to fight cancer

Various forms of cancer are rising in Bangladesh, requiring multiple specialists' management for diagnosis and therapy, said noted oncologists and physicists at a discussion yesterday.

NHRC to probe if lawmen fail

National Human Rights Commission Chairman Prof Mizanur Rahman has warned the government of new trends in crime, including secret killings, in the country.

Loss shoots up despite growth in revenue

Biman Bangladesh Airlines incurred a loss of Tk 199 crore in the last fiscal year (2010-11).

Dhaka int'l trade fair opens today

The yearly Dhaka International Trade Fair kicks off today, in which 47 foreign companies from 12 countries are participating.

Secret killings to be probed

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday alleged that opposition BNP has resorted to killings and kidnapping across the country to fulfil its political mission.

Team Anna postpones meet

The core committee meeting of Team Anna, scheduled to be held at Ralegan Siddhi on January 2 and 3, has been postponed due to Anna Hazare's ill health, his aides said yesterday.

Bomb kills 2 Pak soldiers

A bomb ripped through a military vehicle yesterday killing two Pakistani soldiers in a village in the restive northwestern tribal area bordering Afghanistan.

Latif resents not calling him freedom fighter

Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddique yesterday came down heavily on a moderator of a workshop for not mentioning him as a freedom fighter.


Hope and expectations in 2012

The ringing in of a new year is always an occasion for an expression of hope and a time to look back at what has been and could have been. As we welcome the advent of the year 2012, it is poignant hope and profound expectations which today form the core of thoughts among individuals across the globe. For us in Bangladesh, the hope is simply one of life taking a more progressive turn through a turning away from everything negative that held us back in the year just ended.

Fuel price hike is not the answer

The government has once again raised the price of fuel, and once again by Tk5 across the board for all types. This is the sixth time in case of furnace oil and four times in case of petrol, octane, diesel and kerosene, that prices have been raised in one year. The increase has come only after 48 days of the last hike. This is a record of sorts admittedly, but more importantly the spate of increases exposes the state of desperation of the government, for which it is in a large measure to blame.


A year of moments

The Tigers got three chances to turn around their Test fortunes, but failure to save all three meant that they had a 0-4 record in five games this year, prompting awkward questions rearing their ugly head.

No conclusion yet on SAFF debacle

Zahid Hasan Emily, Zahid Hossain and Mithun Chowdhury will have to sit out for at least the opening matches of their respective teams in the Grameenphone Federation Cup as the National team Management Committee decided not to waiver their suspension due to indiscipline which had been imposed on them last year. Emily and Mithun's current club Muktijoddha and Zahid Hossain's club Abahani appealed for a waiver of suspension of their players to the BFF as the Federation Cup starts tomorrow and these players are vital to their team's performance. But since the players have not yet paid the monetary fines imposed which expired in November, the NTMC meeting decided not to waiver the suspension on the players.

Army thrash Air Force

Bangladesh Army beat Bangladesh Air Force by 76-37 points in the opening match of the Citycell 25th National Basketball Championship match at the Dhanmondi Indoor Basketball Gymnasium yesterday.

Amol, Biplob in final

Amol Roy and Biplob Ram moved into the boys' singles final of the Runner Group Victory Day Open Tennis Championship after they beat their respective opponents in the semifinals at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna yesterday.

Li Na wins dual battle

French Open champion Li Na has blamed her perplexing slump on her sudden celebrity status -- and her irritation at being yelled at by her husband.

SCG Sachin's favourite outside home

Batting great Sachin Tendulkar has termed the SCG as his 'favourite ground' outside India and hoped to continue his love affair with the stadium in the second Test against Australia, starting January 3.

'Aussie pace could be the best'

Australia's fast bowlers have the potential to be the best pace attack in the world, coach Mickey Arthur said Saturday as they prepare to take on India in the second Test.

India's No. 6 headache

Ever since Sourav Ganguly hung his boots in the winter of 2008, the number six slot has got Team India in crosshairs and the problem continues with Virat Kohli failing miserably in the first Test against Australia.

Djokovic, Ferrer in final

David Ferrer stunned fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal in straight sets on Friday to set up a final showdown with world number one Novak Djokovic at the 250,000-dollar three-day exhibition tournament here.

Boucher axed from ODIs

Wicketkeeper Mark Boucher was one of three players dropped on Friday when South Africa named their squad for next month's one-day internationals against Sri Lanka.

Victory Day taekwondo concludes

Bangladesh Army and Bangladesh Police emerged champions in the men's and women's senior groups respectively in the Popy Departmental Victory Day Taekwondo Competition which concluded at the Sultana Kamal Women's Sports Council Gymansium yesterday.

Feni cricket

Manchester United Club beat KMCC Club by 54 runs in their Beacon Group First Division Cricket League at the Shaheed Salam Stadium in Feni yesterday. Manchester United scored 154 runs and then got KMCC bowled out for 100 runs in the match.

Gerrard lifts Liverpool

Steven Gerrard's huge influence on Liverpool was clearly apparent again on Friday as he took just 31 minutes to inspire a 3-1 Premier League win over Newcastle United in his team's final fixture of the year.

Mancini predicts close race

Manchester City reach the midway stage of their Premier League campaign on Sunday with manager Roberto Mancini predicting the title race will go right down to the wire.

Torres's place in doubt

Spain striker Fernando Torres could miss selection for next year's European championship if he does not get more playing time with Premier League club Chelsea, Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque has said.

'No new signings'

Spanish league leaders Real Madrid will not be looking to sign new players during the transfer window, coach Jose Mourinho said Friday.

Eusebio set to leave hospital

Portuguese football legend Eusebio is set to be released fromn hospital on Saturday a spokesperson for the hospital announced on Friday.

Fergie to stay till 2014

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson marked his 70th birthday on Saturday with a vow to stay at the club for at least three more years.


e-banking rides high on IT

The financial sector made remarkable progress in adopting electronic forms of payments instead of traditional paper-based ones in the just concluded year.

US removes sleeping bags from GSP

The Obama administration has cancelled the GSP facility on exports of sleeping bags from Bangladesh on complaints from US-based Exxel Outdoors, a sleeping bag maker.

Hoteliers, florists eye brisk New Year sales

Hotels, restaurants and florists expect brisk sales riding on people's zeal for a new beginning with the New Year celebrations.

Demand for jute bags may rise manifold: study

Demand for jute bags will shoot up if the law on the mandatory use of jute packaging is fully enforced, according to a study released yesterday.

Citi upbeat on govt's growth target

Bangladesh has done reasonably well in maintaining its growth momentum and achieving the target growth of 6.7 percent in real GDP in fiscal 2011, banking giant Citi said in its annual market update. Following is the first report in a series.

Singapore's 2011 growth lower than forecast: PM

Singapore's full-year growth for 2011 fell short of previous estimates amid persistent European debt worries and an "uncertain" economic climate, prime minister Lee Hsien Loong said Saturday.

New Year's resolutions

PEOPLE greet the New Year amid festivities, enthusiasm and fervour. It is an occasion to look back to the past and, perhaps more importantly, an occasion to look forward to the future.


Depoliticisation of army a must for democracy

Depoliticisation of the armed forces is an imperative to sustain and strengthen the country's democracy and development, speakers said at a seminar yesterday.

No self-respecting country can accept caretaker system

Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman yesterday said no self-respecting country can accept a caretaker government system.

Road accidents kill 8, injure 42

Eight people, including three women and a child, were killed and at least 42 others injured in separate road accidents in Chittagong, Narsingdi and Madaripur yesterday.

Razzak not shown due respect in his last days

A section of former leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday expressed resentment saying that late veteran Awami League (AL) leader Abdur Razzak was not accorded “due respect and recognition” by the party in the last days of his life.

Call to follow ideals of Prof Kabir Chy

Cultural personalities and educationists yesterday recalled eminent educationist and litterateur Prof Kabir Chowdhury by garlanding his photograph at Central Shaheed Minar in the city.

First online school starts operation

The country's first online school supported by Alliance Holdings Ltd has come into operation in Tongi, the outskirts of the capital, in the month of December.

Fuel price hike protested

Different organisations yesterday staged demonstration in the city protesting fuel price hike.

Hamidullah Khan to be buried today

Wing Commander (Retd) M Hamidullah Khan Bir Pratik will be buried at Banani graveyard in the city today.

Patient slapped, driven out of hospital

Two brain tumour patients were "forcibly" released from Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) immediately after they had a quarrel with the ward boy yesterday.

No seat problem for SSC qualified

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said there will not be any shortage of seats in colleges for those who have passed the SSC examinations.

'46 domestic help die in 2011'

At least 81 domestic help were victims of torture while 46 of them died in different incidents in 2011, reveals a study conducted on news published in different national dailies.

20 youths on remand

Police yesterday took 20 youths on a five-day remand who were arrested on Friday from Retina coaching centre at Farmgate on the charge of allegedly plotting subversive activities.

Pro-AL panel sweeps Cuta polls

Awami League-backed 'yellow' panel bagged nine posts while BNP-Jamaat-backed 'white' panel won two, including the post of president, in the Chittagong University Teachers' Association (Cuta) election yesterday.

'Fake doctor' jailed

Suspicion over a prescription revealed yesterday that a physiotherapist was impersonating a doctor at Modern Diagnostic Centre in the city's Fakirapool.

JU student dies in rooftop fall

A masters student of Jahangirnagar University (JU) yesterday died after falling from the rooftop of a four-storey student dormitory on the campus.

Fake NSI man arrested in Keraniganj

A fake National Security Intelligence (NSI) officer was arrested in Keraniganj yesterday.

Journo killed in road crash

A journalist was killed in a road accident at Kotalipara upazila of the district yesterday.


Remove cross dams & sluice gates, revive Boral River

People from 15 upazilas of Pabna, Natore, Rajshahi and Sirajganj districts yesterday joined a rally demanding steps to save the Boral river.

One killed, 50 hurt in clash over capture of water body

One person was killed and 50 others were injured in a clash between two rival groups over capture of a water body in Tarail upazila yesterday.

20 tender trees cut to vent wrath

Criminals felled 20 one-year-old mahogany trees on a land belonging to Kibria Hossain at Mollikpur village in Kaliganj upazila under the district on Friday night.

Woman killed over 'dowry'

A woman was killed by her husband allegedly for dowry in Satkhira while a man killed by his wife's paramour in Jessore yesterday and the day before.

Speedboat overturns near Laboni point at Cox's Bazar: 10 hurt

A speedboat overturned near Laboni point on Cox's Bazar sea beach yesterday, injuring 10 tourists.

Skeleton of crocodile recovered in Sharankhola

Forest guards recovered the skeleton of a crocodile from possession of a poacher at Sonatala village under Sharankhola upazila of Bagerhat district on Friday.

Tipai dam to bring disaster

Speakers at a seminar in Sylhet yesterday expressed concern over the Indian initiative to construct Tipaimukh dam defying objection of the people of Bangladesh and India's north-eastern region.

658 farms in Khulna on bird flu alert

Six hundred and fifty-eight poultry farms in nine upazilas of Khulna district and in the city have been asked to remain on high alert against outbreak of bird flu.

Four bombs recovered

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel recovered four bombs from Balunda village under Benapole Police Station on Friday afternoon. Acting on a tip-off, a team of Rab-6 raided the village at around 4:00pm and found the bombs on a field in an abandoned condition. None was arrested in this connection as of 5:99pm yesterday.

10 hurt as villagers clash

At least 10 people, including five women, were injured as two groups of villagers clashed at Dhanno khola village under Benapole Police Station in Jessore district yesterday. Police quoted locals as saying that the two groups locked in the clash following an altercation over a trivial matter at around 3:00pm, leaving at least 10 people from both sides injured.

Clash over land, one killed

A man was killed and 10 others were injured in a clash over a disputed land at Uttar Palashtola village in Bakshiganj upazila of the district yesterday morning. The deceased was identified as Abul Kalam, 48, son of Asgar Ali. Police quoting locals said Harun Miah of Dakkhin Palashtola village and Bahauddin of Uttar Palashtola had a longstanding dispute over the ownership of 1.30 acres of land at the village. As the supporters of Harun group equipped with lethal weapons tried to capture the land at around 10:30am, Bahauddin's men swooped on them, leading to a clash between the two groups. Abul Kalam of Bahauddin group was killed on the spot while and ten others from both sides were injured.

Sec 144 in Daudkandi

Local administration yesterday imposed Section 144 on a school ground in Daudkandi upazila as local units of BNP and Awami League called meetings at the same venue and time. BNP called a meeting at M A Jalil High School ground at 3:00pm as part of its road march programme while Daudkandi Awami League convened a meeting demanding trial of war criminals at the same venue and time. Apprehending clash, the upazila administration imposed restrictions on rallies and processions on the school ground for 12 hours from 12:00 noon.


A Year of Protests

2011 was a year for protests which counted for many governments.

Syria opposition charts transition

Syria's opposition, hoping to topple President Bashar al-Assad, has charted a transitional period, as more civilians died in a regime crackdown despite the presence of peace monitors.

Iran keeps tensions high over oil strait

Iran kept tensions simmering over its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil tankers by readying war game missile tests near the entrance to the Gulf yesterday.

'Nothing unusual' in protests: Putin

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin yesterday said there was nothing unusual in the mass protests against his domination of Russia, describing the turbulence as the "unavoidable price of democracy".

Karzai welcomes US remarks on Taliban

Afghan President Hamid Karzai yesterday welcomed US Vice President Joe Biden's remarks that the Taliban "per se is not our enemy".

Manmnohan regrets impasse over Lokpal

Amid a war of words between government and Opposition, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said it was “unfortunate” that the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill could not be passed by the Rajya Sabha and asserted that the government was committed to an effective anti-corruption law.

Cyclone 'Thane' toll rises to 42

Relief operations were launched on a war-footing to bring back normalcy in Tamil Nadu's cyclone-battered Cuddalore district and adjacent Puducherry, as the toll caused by the severe storm mounted to 42 yesterday.

Sectarian clash over prophet cartoon in Egypt

Sectarian clashes broke out in the southern Egyptian province of Assiut after a Christian student posted a drawing of the Muslim prophet on the Internet, officials said yesterday.

Two Kurdish rebels killed in Turkey

Two Kurdish rebels died yesterday in Turkey's southeastern Diyarbakir city in a shootout after a police raid on their hideout, police said.

N Korea declares Kim military chief

North Korea yesterday said new leader Kim Jong-Un has formally been appointed supreme military commander, another sign he is tightening his grip on power, as it renewed vitriolic attacks on Seoul.

The Arab Spring

When a young man set himself aflame on a street in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid, his cry of anguish at the hardship of life under a stifling autocracy echoed across the region. Within weeks, his protest had sparked a full-blown people-power revolution that spread quickly throughout the Middle East and inspired people through out the world.

Killing of bin Laden and its aftermath

On Sunday night, May 1, 2011, President Barack Obama made a televised declaration from the White House, heralding the discovery and death of Osama bin Laden, the US's most wanted foe. Bin Laden had been tracked to a compound in Abbottabad, a leafy town not far from Islamabad, Pakistan's capital. The clandestine raid that followed carried out by a crack unit of Navy SEALs took the world (and likely Pakistan's leaders) by surprise. Bin Laden's body was reportedly given Muslim rites of burial and dumped into the Arabian Sea.

Japan's triple disaster

James Nachtwey, an award-winning photographer for TIME who has spent years documenting the ravages of war, was awed by the destruction caused by the March 11 earthquake off the northeast coast of Japan and the cataclysmic tsunami it spawned. "The scale of this is beyond belief. It's apocalyptic," he said after visiting Japan in the quake's aftermath. Measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale, the temblor was one of the worst natural disasters in modern history, so powerful it knocked the whole planet off its axis by a foot.

The fall of Gaddafi

Muammar Gaddafi's four-decade-long dictatorial rule over the oil-rich North African nation of Libya came to a grisly end Oct 20, 2011, but the months preceding his death were similarly bloody. In early March, uprisings sparked by the Arab Spring unrest in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia exploded into full-fledged civil war, as barely trained militias rose up against Gaddafi's forces. Prompted by a rumored threat of genocide should Gaddafi overrun the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, the United Nations adopt a resolution in March that in essence legitimated a foreign intervention. Nato operations formally began at the start of April and steadily rolled back Gaddafi's forces. The war ended on Oct 20, after Gaddafi was seized by rebels and killed, his body placed on display in a meat locker in the port city of Misrata.

Key Events

Tunisia's president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali flees the country after 23 years in power.

Palestinian statehood bid at UN

With the Mideast peace process as moribund as it has ever been, the leaders of the Palestinian Authority this year chose to appeal directly to the United Nations in their pursuit of statehood.

Famine in the Horn of Africa

Deepening the already crisis hit region, this year was a terrible drought -- the worst, by some accounts, in more than 60 years. In July, the UN declared much of southern Somalia to be in a state of famine. Hundreds of thousands of starving Somalis fled to refugee camps on the Kenyan border at a rate of more than 1,000 a day. Thousands of people died in the Famine.

Wind of change in Myanmar

Myanmar, which replaced a long-ruling military junta this year, freed democracy icon Aung Sung Suu Kyi and adopted a series of reformist moves to end decades of international isolation. The reformist pledge was awarded by US as its Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a landmark visit to a Myanmar.

Hazare's anti-corruption fasts

In a year with more than its share of protests worldwide, perhaps the most striking act of dissent took place in India, where the country's ruling coalition took flak for a host of corruption cases implicating a number of leading politicians. Anna Hazare, a 74-year-old activist with a Gandhian air, embarked on a series of hunger strikes in protest of the graft that his supporters say pervades all strata of Indian society. The anti-corruption bill, for which Hazare fasted, is still being debated in Indian parliament.

The Norway massacre

On July 22, Norway experienced its worst single spasm of violence since World War II. In Oslo, a car bomb detonated near a set of prominent government buildings, killing eight people. The news was about to get far grislier: at a youth summer camp on the island of Utoya, a gunman had mowed down 69 people.

DSK vs Maid

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a high-profile figure in French politics and global economics, resigns and faces trial after being accused of a sexual assault on a maid in his hotel suite in New York. The charges are later dismissed, but his presidential ambitions are ruined.

Phone hacking row

The News International phone-hacking scandal involving the News of the World and other British tabloid newspapers unethical practice rocked the world. In July 2011, it was revealed that the phones of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, relatives of deceased British soldiers, and victims of the 7/7 London bombings were accessed, resulting in a public outcry against News Corporation and owner Rupert Murdoch. The incidents resulted in the closure of the News of the World on 10 July, ending 168 years of publication.

UK Royal wedding

Britain's Prince William and his bride Kate Middleton marry with huge crowds and a global TV audience watching Britain's biggest royal celebration for three decades.

Europe's financial crisis

The government-debt crunch rattled Europe's financial system and weighed on the global economy. Portugal became the third European country, after Greece and Ireland the year before, to require a bailout as its borrowing costs soared. And investors grew worried that countries with much larger debts, such as Spain and Italy, would also need help.


Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces during a raid on his compound in Abottobad, Pakistan.

Arts & Entertainment

2011 ends on a high note!

The year 2011 was one of ups and downs in the TV media, with experienced actors fighting to maintain their presence among the viewers, while newcomers worked hard to cement their own positions in the media. Different TV channels aired a plenitude of serials, as well as countless one-hour TV plays. Here is looking back at the past year:

Those who passed on…

Classical singer Ila Majumdar
Noted classical vocalist Ila Majumdar, wife of late Barin Majumdar and mother of Bappa Majumdar, died on May 3. She died of stroke at her Maghbazar residence.

The year that was…

Nation celebrates Tagore 150th birth anniversary
Marking 150th birth anniversary (May 8, 2011) of Rabindranath Tagore, different organisations of Bangladesh had chalked out elaborate programmes throughout the year. Bangladesh and India had jointly organised a grand celebration on the occasion. The inaugural ceremony of a three-day programme was held on May 6 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Vice President of India, Mohammed Hamid Ansari, graced the event as guests of honour.

Fast Five is 'top pirated film of 2011'

Action movie Fast Five was the most pirated film of 2011, according to file-sharing blog, Torrent Freak.


A peep inside North Korea

If you ever happen to meet a North Korean government official and ask him about the size of his country and the population, do not be surprised if he gives the land area of the two Koreas combined and quotes the population that inhabits both North and South Korea. This is because he thinks that the division of the Korean peninsula into two countries is a temporary phenomenon and the two territories will return to be one country again.

The year of ludicre

What precisely is the difference between ridiculous and ludicrous? With their inter-changeable syllables they even sound like each other. Philology is not very helpful. One word has a root, ridicule; but there is no "ludicre" in English. Why? Since language does not have a Pope whose word is law, we will never get an answer. My own view, that ridiculous is pathos and ludicrous is bathos, is probably no more than a literary conceit dredged up to justify the inexplicable.

It's still a beautiful world

It's that time again: time to reflect on the year that has gone by. To hold on to the good things that life offered, to fondly remember the people we lost and take stock of missed opportunities.


Nationalism was identified as a pillar of our nationhood because our founding fathers recognised that liberation was tied up with our struggle to establish our national identity as distinct from Pakistan. Our founders were also conscious about asserting our identity vis a vis India, our friend and neighbour, who had played such a critical role through their support of our liberation struggle. However, in the day to day affairs of nation building the issue of nationalism is more concerned with the need to recapture autonomy over our political as well as policy choices. Our founders were aware that their Pakistani rulers had surrendered autonomy over policymaking, in large measure, to international development partners on whom we had become heavily dependent for both military and economic aid. However, in a fast globalising world policy choices available to a least developed country such as Bangladesh are severely constrained. Regrettably, successive regimes in Bangladesh have made little effort to design our policies and restructure our economy so as to enhance our flexibility in coping with the challenges of globalisation.

Comrade Moni Singh: A lifelong communist

In 1945, a general session of the Council of All India Peasants was held in Netrokona. At that time, Netrokona town was no bigger than a bazaar. Thousands of people attended the session. A weeklong bazaar was organised on this occasion, and it created shortage of cash money. Papers signed by Comrade Moni Singh were used as currency to tackle the crisis. People had such unflinching faith in and respect for him.

This Day In History

January 1


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