News of: Sunday, 8th of January, 2012
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Dhaka is sinking over half an inch a year on average because of excessive extraction of groundwater and inadequate recharging of the vacuum it creates below the surface, found a recent study.
Bangladesh may lose a big opportunity to make its mark in the world in ICT-based healthcare if it fails to formulate an effective policy and implement it in partnership with the private sector, experts said yesterday.
The government's policy support for farm sector along with better management of public food distribution system (PFDS) helped the country achieve a sustained growth in agriculture sector over the last three years.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is set to announce fresh agitation programmes, including mass processions across the country, from a rally in Chittagong tomorrow, ending a two-day road march.
Students and guardians yesterday staged demonstrations before Monipur High School and College main branch at Mirpur, and Shewrapara branch, in the capital, protesting high admission fee charged by the school authorities.
Khaleda Zia might lead the BNP delegation at President Zillur Rahman's dialogue over the formation of a new election commission.
Kamal Ahmed Majumder, member of parliament and an influential cog in the wheel of the ruling Awami League, on Tuesday struck television journalist Aparna Singha on the hand. That act, apart from causing her pain, was also an unpardonable assault on one individual by another.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the Comilla City Corporation election was a complete manifestation of the government's neutrality.
After the success with electronic voting machines in the Comilla City Corporation polls, the Election Commission yesterday strongly advocated for the use of this “safe and user-friendly” device in all polls including the next general elections.
Youths at a gathering yesterday expressed frustration over the degradation of moral standards in mainstream and student politics.
While there has been a fall in incidents of extra-judicial killings, the number of 'enforced disappearances' allegedly at the hands of law enforcers saw an alarming rise last year, the rights group Odhikar said yesterday.
Initiatives have been taken for the repair of Kanchpur, Meghna and Daudkandi bridges on Dhaka-Chittagong highway, Communications Minister Obaidul Quader said.
The government will form another tribunal within February to try crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War in 1971, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed told The Daily Star yesterday.
Champs21.com, an initiative of The Daily Star, and Channel i, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday under which the private satellite TV will air the globally renowned English spelling competition “Spelling Bee”, to be launched by the newspaper.
Farjana Easmin, the young woman who drew the nation's attention last year through calmly and courageously divorcing her husband hours into their wedding as a protest against his family's demand for dowry, says she dreams of freeing the country from the malaise one day.
Unicef Executive Director Dr Anthony Lake arrived in Dhaka yesterday on a three-day official visit to highlight the challenges faced by children and women.
The widening rift between Congress and Trinamool Congress came out in the open yesterday with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lashing out at her ally at the Centre and said it was free to quit the alliance.
Business icon Samson H Chowdhury was laid to eternal rest at his family graveyard in Pabna yesterday with love and respect of people of all walks of life.
Syria's interior ministry has vowed to "strike back with an iron fist" at what it say is a recent "escalation" of anti-government terror attacks.
Libya's 1.2 million schoolchildren returned to classrooms nationwide yesterday, to learn a revamped curriculum that includes the revolution that ousted Moamer Gaddafi and purges his personal teachings.
Medical tests performed after Argentine President Cristina Kirchner had her thyroid removed in a three and a half hour operation found that she did not have cancer as initially believed, her spokesman said yesterday.
The 64th founding anniversary of the Bangladesh Chhatra League should have been an occasion for celebration considering the significant role the organisation has played in Bangladesh's history. Unfortunately, much of the joy was marred by the sudden surge in unlawful, indeed criminal activities by BCL activists at higher educational institutions across the country. At Buet, Jagannath University, Rajshahi University, Shahjalal University and Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, BCL men went on a rampage without any thought to the consequences. In Satkhira, the two top leaders of the BCL unit there have been accused by an artiste of attempting to rape her. One of the men is on the run. The Awami League has now informed the country that there will be zero tolerance over any wrong committed by the BCL.
Acombination of ethics and innovation is quite an unusual one in the world of business. But for Samson H Chowdhury it became a recipe for a consistent ascent in entrepreneurial success.
Rahmatganj MFS sprung to the top of Group D in the Grameenphone Federation Cup thanks to a 3-0 win over Wari Club at the Birshreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday while neighbours Farashganj SC kept in touch with a 1-0 win over fallen giants Brothers Union at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
The Bangladesh A team that take on England Lions in the first one-day game in Chittagong today is a squad of cricketers that was picked after negotiations, not on merit.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will request the government to send a security team to Pakistan to evaluate the security arrangements ahead of Bangladesh's proposed tour in April.
The Dhaka Premier Cricket League has been postponed by three days and will continue from January 11.
Goals rained on the opening day of the Trust BankViyellatex 28th National Hockey Competition as Dhaka, BKSP and Faridpur inflicted heavy defeats on their opponents at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.
Captain Michael Clarke was Saturday praised as the force behind Australia's second Test victory over India, in which he scored a triple century and took the crucial wicket of Sachin Tendulkar.
Captain Misbahul Haq insisted on Saturday that Pakistan had thoroughly dispelled all thoughts of the spot-fixing scandal that engulfed his side, ahead of the series against England.
Pressure mounted on India's ageing cricket stars Saturday after their dismal batting performances on tour in Australia, with former players calling for an injection of youth to the side.
The Czech Republic thrashed France to lift their second Hopman Cup on Saturday as world number two Petra Kvitova sent warning signals to her closest rivals ahead of the Australian Open.
Bangladesh Boys defeated Partex by six wickets in their First Division Super League match at the BKSP-3 ground yesterday.
Barcelona's Pep Guardiola was on Friday elected coach of the year for 2011 by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).
Khulna, Bangladesh Air Force and Bangladesh Police won their respective second round matches of the Citycell 25th National Basketball Championship at the Dhanmondi Indoor Basketball Gymnasium yesterday.
Bangladesh International School emerged Group G champions in the National School Football Islami Bank Tournament beating Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment School by 2-0 goals in the final at the Uttara Friends Society ground yesterday.
Left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc is the only change, coming in place of injured fast bowler James Pattinson, in the 12-man Australian squad for the third Test against India in Perth, starting on January 13.
Andy Carroll scored at Anfield for the first time this season to help Liverpool reach the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 5-1 win over League 1 (third division) Oldham Athletic on Friday.
Roberto Mancini has warned his Manchester City players to beware an "angry" Manchester United as the two rivals go head-to-head in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.
Manchester United and Wayne Rooney moved swiftly on Friday to deny a report that the striker was poised to leave Old Trafford, dismissing the claim as "nonsense."
The chances of seeing Kaka playing in the colours of Paris Saint-Germain receded slightly further on Friday when Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho said the Brazilian still featured in his plans for the rest of the season.
Arsene Wenger backed Thierry Henry to enhance his legendary status at Arsenal after the New York Red Bulls striker rejoined the Gunners on a two-month loan deal on Friday.
Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o has had a 15-match ban reduced to eight months, meaning the former African Footballer of the Year will miss just four competitive matches before August.
Michael Ballack has hinted that he will leave Bayer Leverkusen at the end of the season but does not intend to retire.
The youth can play a vital role in transforming South Asia with their visionary entrepreneurship, said some successful entrepreneurs of the region yesterday.
The media must speed up efforts to bring people in South Asia closer so that they can move across the region without any visa restriction, said a top Indian journalist yesterday.
The central bank has tightened money supply to discourage imports and reduce mounting pressure on forex reserves, Governor Atiur Rahman said yesterday.
Officials of Dhaka Stock Exchange will sit with Asian Development Bank's Country Director Thevakumar Kandiah today to discuss how to complete the bourse's demutualisation soon.
UK-based company Farland Investment plans to begin commercial production of agricultural items, including rice and other crops, in Uganda.
US President Barack Obama promised Saturday to do "whatever it takes" to maintain growth in the US economy as he announced a summit with business leaders dedicated to job creation at home.
The government will soon lower the internet bandwidth price by 20 percent, said Telecom Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju yesterday.
Howard Stringer, the Welsh-born American head of Japanese games, music and electronics giant Sony, is to step down as the firm's president, reports said Saturday, while remaining CEO and chairman.
The world's biggest technology trade show will feature razor-thin laptops, powerful new smartphones and fancy flat-screen TVs, but talk in the cavernous halls of the Consumer Electronics Show, which kicks off on Monday night, may focus on whether the show itself has a long-term future.
The eurozone's debt-wracked economies came under renewed pressure on Friday as bad economic data undermined leaders' attempts to reassure markets that an end to the crisis is in sight.
Dynamic senior officials from the bureaucracy should be engaged in implementing the country's commercial and development projects, said a leading entrepreneur in Chittagong.
After fighting through the sea of camera-wielding car enthusiasts clutching their bags filled with corporate gifts to meet with Anand Mahindra, vice-chairman of the Mahindra group, it was difficult to argue with his rosy view of India's car industry.
In an effort to sustain its polio-free status, Bangladesh yesterday completed first round of the 20th National Immunisation Day (NID) across the country by providing two drops of polio vaccines to children aged 0-59 months.
Billal Hossain, 45, is a farmer. He cultivates paddy, wheat, vegetables and fruits on the 15 bigha (1 bigha = 33 decimal) of land he owns.
President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged leaders of the Saarc member states to build up youths of the region as skilled human resources for proper utilisation of the potential of South Asia.
Zaker Party and Bangladesh Tarikat Federation are scheduled to hold talks with President Zillur Rahman today at Bangabhaban in the city to discuss on the formation of the next Election Commission.
The government will act tough if those who have established private universities for commercial purpose do not change their view, University Grants Commission Chairman Prof Dr AK Azad Chowdhury said yesterday.
The history of theatre in this sub-continent goes back a long way while the theatre activists of the region have been experimenting on theatre constantly, said Vice Chancellor (VC) of Jahangirnagar University Prof Shariff Enamul Kabir at a conference.
Speakers at a seminar yesterday stressed the need for an acceptable mass media policy.
Rajshahi City Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton yesterday demanded a speedy trial of those who committed crimes against humanity during the War of Liberation in 1971.
The archaeological site of Puthia Rajbari (royal palace) is likely to become private property due to negligence of the government, the people of Puthia said at a demonstration yesterday.
Every young learner should pay more attention to learning science as only science can drive out darkness and make a society free from all superstitions, said eminent scientist Prof Jamal Nazrul Islam.
Three people were killed and 37 others injured in separate road accidents in Rangamati, Lalmonirhat and Chandpur yesterday.
Detective police arrested four members allegedly of a car-lifting gang along with arms and two stolen cars from the city yesterday.
The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday caught an absconding activist of outlawed outfit Harkatul Jihad al Islami (Huji) at Gaglajur village of Chhatak, Sunamganj yesterday.
US Congresswoman Betty McCollum yesterday laid emphasis on women empowerment as she shared her views with the students of Asian University for Women (AUW).
A staff of a steel mill died after being hit by a bundle of steel bars at the mill in Sitakunda in the district early yesterday.
The speakers urged the government at a seminar to make the youths free from frustration and take special care of them.
Prof Dr Mohammad Mahbub Ullah, vice-chancellor of International Islamic University of Chittagong (IIUC), passed away at Apollo Hospitals in the capital yesterday due to cardiac arrest at the age of 63.
A construction worker died after falling from the 13th floor of a 14-storey under-construction building in the city's Pallabi yesterday morning.
Police found an Indian bus driver dead in a Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) restroom at Kamalapur in the city yesterday.
Today is the 36th death anniversary of Mohammad Sirajuddin, founder chairman and managing director of Modhumita Group, says a press release.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested five people and seized 19,170 pieces of textbooks from their possessions at Durgapur in the district on Friday night.
Bangladesh Coast Guard detained four pirates and seized an engine-run boat with lethal weapons from their possession at the outer anchorage of Chittagong Port on Friday night.
Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (Cuet) opens today after a 13-day winter vacation.
Valuables worth Tk1 lakh of a jute manufacturing factory were gutted in a fire in the port city yesterday.
Police arrested three people on Friday night for their alleged involvement in snatching a laptop from an army soldier from the city's Pahartali area.
The National Primary Education Week 2012 will begin on January 9 with the slogan of 'Hundred per cent Literacy; Pride for Nation,' said an official handout yesterday.
Awami League (AL) led 14-party alliance and their associate bodies organised processions and rallies in different districts across the country yesterday demanding speeding up the process of war criminals' trial.
Law enforcers rescued a trader and a child and arrested four abductors in Netrakona and Rajshahi on Friday.
Import of coal in the Indian state of Meghalaya through Tamabil land customs station resumed on Thursday after its suspension for two weeks.
Robbers kidnapped eight fishermen for ransom from Harmal Canal in the eastern part of the Sundarbans under Sharankhola upazila of Bagerhat district on Friday.
A man yesterday strangled his seven-year-old daughter following a quarrel with his wife at his Thanapara house in the town.
A gang of muggers took away a private car after killing its driver at Durgapur in Pangsha upazila at midnight on Friday.
Train communication on Jamalpur-Mymenshingh route yesterday remained suspended for four hours following a train derailment near Nurundi Railway Station. Jamalpur Railway Station sources said a bogy of a Chittagong-bound goods train from Jagannathganj Ghat Railway Station went off the tracks near the station at around 9:00 am. Following the accident, train service on the route came to a halt. The train communication on the route resumed at about 1:00pm after a relief train from Mymensing cleared the line.
Police recovered the beheaded body of a young man from Belkuchi Telephone Exchange Complex in Belkuchi upazila on Friday night. The victim, Jewel, 25, was son of Khalilur Rahman of Sifatnagar village in Jhalakathi. Being informed, police went to the spot, recovered the body and sent it to Sirajganj General Hospital morgue for autopsy, Mostafizur Rahman, officer in-charge of Belkuchi Police Station, said they are trying to unearth clues to the murder.
At least 15 people were injured in a clash between two groups of villagers over a land dispute at Alokdia village in Shalikha upazila on Friday morning. Of the injured, Sunil, 50, Goutam, 22, Subir, 17, Parimol, 40, and Swaraswati, 35, were admitted to a local hospital in a critical condition. Shalikha police said an altercation erupted between one Sukumar and Schin Kumar of the village over the matter. Later, both the groups equipped with lethal weapons attacked each other, leaving at least 15 from both sides injured.
A housewife was stabbed to death at Enta village in Jhikargachha upazila early yesterday. The deceased was identified as Khaleda Khatun, 45, wife of Hazrat Ali. Police said a gang of 4/5 entered Khaleda's house at dead of night and stabbed her. She died instantly. On information, police recovered the body from the spot and sent it to hospital morgue for autopsy. Jhikargachha police said Khaleda's son abducted a girl of the adjacent village two weeks ago and later she was allowed to return to her house. The woman might have been killed as a sequel to the incident, police added.
Members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) recovered 13 tonnes of garlic worth about Tk seven lakh from Sundarbans early Friday. However, no one was arrested. BGB Commander Major Hasib said on secret information, they raided the area and seized garlic while it was being smuggled to India by a gang of criminals.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested two along with 131.45 cft stolen Segun timber worth about Tk 2.5 lakh from Bangabir Road in Dakkhin Surma upazila early Friday. The arrestees are Jamal Uddin, 40, son of Sheikh Saru Mia of Kasusuna village, and Jewel, 38, son of late Gani Mia of Ajgai village of the upazila. Acting on a tip-off, a team of Rab-9 conducted a drive in the area and arrested the duo along with the timber.
A mobile court in Sherpur upazila sentenced two drug peddlers to six months imprisonment each and two gamblers to 30 days each on Friday morning. The drug peddlers are Aynal Haque, 24, son of late Hames Ali of Sherua village and Abu Zafar, 40, son of Anwar Hossain of Krishnapur village. The gamblers are Lal Mia, 25, son of Altaf Ali of Shibpur village and Rubel, 45, son of late Dabir Uddin of Parbhabanipur village in the upazila. Police said they arrested Aynal and Zafar early in the morning while they were selling heroin. Later, the duo were produced before the court led by Upazila Executive Magistrate Manjur Alam who penalised them. Gamblers Lal Mia and Rubel were arrested from Khamakandi village in the upazila and punished by the same court.
Local administration yesterday imposed Section 144 at Karimganj upazila headquarters as two factions of Awami League upazila unit called separate meetings at the same venue and time. Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Md Golam Kabir imposed restrictions on rallies and procession at the upazila headquarters from 3:00pm to 10:00pm, apprehending a clash between the two groups. Two rival groups--one led by Nasirul Islam Awlad, convenor of Karimganj upazila AL, and the other by Abdul Qaium, Karimganj municipality mayor--called separate meetings in Nazakandi More (intersection) at 3:00pm, Local AL sources said.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari says his government is not "at war" with the army and judiciary after a scandal over an unsigned memo asking for US help in curbing the might of the military.
Pakistan should consider establishing ties with Israel, said exiled former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, remarks likely to anger many in the Muslim-majority country where he hopes to make a political comeback.
A rapid rise in air pollution from fossil fuels and biomass burning has worsened winter smog and extended its duration in many parts of South Asia, scientists and officials have said.
Kenyan fighter jets killed at least 60 Islamist Shebab insurgents in southern Somalia in the latest assault by regional countries to heap pressure on the extremist rebels, officials said yesterday.
Frontrunner Mitt Romney and his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination faced off yesterday in a high-stakes debate ahead of New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary.
Hundreds of Christians have begun to flee northern Nigeria after dozens were killed in a series of attacks by Islamist militants who issued an ultimatum to Christians to leave the mainly Muslim region or be killed, witnesses said yesterday.
A hot air balloon burst into flames and crashed in New Zealand yesterday after hitting a power line, killing all 11 people on board as their families watched on in horror.
Jamaica's new Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, has said she intends to make the island a republic, removing Queen Elizabeth as the head of state.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has said the Kremlin should heed the recent mass protests over ballot-rigging and adjust its policies.
Arts & Entertainment
The year 2011 was a watershed in the singing career of Shama Rahman, leading Rabindra Sangeet exponent. Here in New Delhi to perform in a series of concerts, Shama opened up about her latest project for UNESCO and her enduring passion for Tagore songs.The UNESCO coup had its genesis in the celebrations of Tagore's 150th birth anniversary, she explains. Approached by the UN agency to do five audio albums in the course of 2011, she says her immediate reaction was one of trepidation. “Any other artiste would have jumped at such an opportunity, but I thought it placed too much responsibility on me,” she says as she unwinds after a two hour journey from Dhaka. Finally, she says she agreed to sing for the album, with unstinting support from music director Durbadol Chattopadhyay.
Quazi Nawshaba Ahmed, popularly known as Nawshaba, has shot into the limelight with her eponymous role in the ntv serial “Rupkotha”.
Cultural organisation Jago Art Centre, based in Maryland, USA, staged the dance drama “Rainbow in a Heart” at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, on January 6. The dance drama is written by Sharmin Ahmad and choreographed by Rosemary Mitu Gonsalves.
With dance, discussion and a musical soiree, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) together with Projonmo- 71, Chalachchitram (film society), Natukay(theatre group) and dance troupe Nrityam accorded a reception to noted international mime maestro Partha Pratim Majumder at the National Theatre Hall of BSA on January 5, says a press release.
Latin American singing sensation Shakira will lend her voice and also possibly act in a feature film whose cast will include some leading names of Indian and Bangladeshi cinema, the film's director Enamul Karim Nirjhar of Bangladesh said yesterday.
Shilpakala Academy in Jhenidah is in a state of disrepair due to lack of maintenance by the authorities. This academy at Harinakundo upazila was established in 1985. Since then no renovation has been carried out. Consequently, students are bearing the brunt of this negligence.
Last week, the foreign ministry issued a special two-page supplement in our national dailies entitled "Foreign Policy: 3 years in retrospect (2009-2011)." Along with messages of good wishes from the president, the prime minister and the foreign minister, it was a narration of the activities of the ministry.
The principal difference between an "off the record" and "on the record" conversation with a politician is that the former is likely to be much closer to the truth. Off-the-record does not mean outside-the-discourse; after all, the best way to keep anything to yourself is to remain silent. When a politician chooses to talk without attribution, it only means he, or indeed she, is sending a message with an in-built denial clause. Off-the-record is a means of placing frustration and anger into public play. This is par for the course, and far more fun than the carefully chosen phrases of official fudge.
Since long a lot of development programmes had been undertaken in CHT by many of our development partners. However, more needs to be done to fulfill the needs of the tribal people. And there are significant realities that the state faces, and those are felt by the “loyal soldiers” too. Therefore, this paper will analyse the peace and development issues of CHT and look for newer approaches for a long-lasting peace as the people dream.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, humanity has been witnessing assassinations of leaders of states that recall the middle age or further back. The latest is the killing of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi who was shot, kicked around and buried at a secret location in the desert. During his reign, US President Ronald Reagan, throwing any sign of civility to the winds, called Gaddafi a “mad dog.” On the other hand, Nelson Mandela, the most honoured leader in the present world, has always considered this “mad dog” as one of his greatest friends because of his contribution to freeing South Africa from the yoke of apartheid.
During the recent holiday season my social life suddenly erupted into an unusual explosion of activities. Excuses for entertainment ranged from baby showers, weddings, anniversaries and birthdays. Amidst all the dinners and lunches I attended, the one that stood out as a truly epicurean experience was the party organised by my friend to celebrate her husband's retirement. My friend's gastronomic creations are renowned for their exquisite taste, natural ingredients, and stylish presentation. Be it beef stroganoff, chicken tikka massala or vegetable frittata, the sauces and flavours of the dishes she cooks are distinctively different -- yet they seem to preserve the character of the originals. The amazing thing is that my friend can make the process of putting together a gourmet meal seem like an effortless exercise. Despite a hard day's labour in the kitchen, she manages to greet her guests with a glowing smile looking more fresh and manicured than the invitees!