News of: Saturday, 14th of January, 2012
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The government has come up with more promises to ensure good governance in next four years whereas ruling Awami League's electoral pledges for the same purpose have remained largely unfulfilled in the last three years.
Prayers and sermons marked the first day of Biswa Ijtema -- one of the largest congregations of Muslims -- as it opened on the banks of the river Turag at Tongi yesterday morning.
The arrest of Ghulam Azam marks a significant step forward in the trial of those accused of crimes against humanity. It is our hope and expectation that the trial will meet the highest standards of law and fairness. For this, as a Bangladeshi, as a Bangalee, and as someone who had the honour of being one among millions to have joined the Liberation War in 1971, I am, and I am sure millions like me, are most deeply grateful to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and proud of what she has done.
Poor condition of Kanchpur, Meghna and Meghna-Gumti bridges has compelled the government to speed up efforts to build three bridges alongside the old ones to ensure uninterrupted traffic movement on Dhaka-Chittagong highway.
A joint team of Department of Environment (DoE) and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) early yesterday arrested four people in connection with hill cutting in Sitakunda upazila.
The ongoing crisis in Jahangirnagar University, following the killing of a student allegedly by Chhatra League activists, deepens with the administration taking a rigid stance against the removal of its proctor body, a major demand of agitating students and teachers.
President Asif Ali Zardari's ruling party lobbied coalition partners and Prime Minister appealed for backing from lawmakers yesterday for today's critical vote of confidence as the civilian government faces the most intense pressure from the powerful military since a 1999 coup.
The medical board, formed to check the physical condition of arrested former Jamaat-e-Islami ameer Ghulam Azam, is of the opinion that he is stable and does not need to be in hospital.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is likely to submit its report on the World Bank graft allegation regarding Padma Bridge project in a week.
The country's first private airlines GMG now plans to cut down its operations and lay off a significant number of workers even though it had earlier predicted business expansion.
An alleged criminal was killed in the city's Tantibazar area early yesterday in a so-called 'gunfight' between his accomplices and Rab members.
A high-level UN nuclear agency delegation will visit Iran late this month to try to clear up claims of covert weapons activities that have stoked tensions between Tehran and the West, diplomats said yesterday.
Popular writer Humayun Ahmed has been appointed special adviser to the Bangladesh Mission in the United Nations, reports a private television channel.
A burglary gang made a getaway with gold jewellery weighing around 1,200 tolas from a jewellery shop in the city's Naya Paltan area.
Expressing concern over mysterious disappearances and secret killings in the country, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has called for immediate investigation of all such incidents.
Two youths were crushed under a train yesterday morning at Salla in Kalihati upazila of Tangail, an area where seven more people died under trains in last four months.
Republicans got a stark reminder Thursday of President Barack Obama's juggernaut re-election campaign, as he and his Democratic party scooped up nearly $70 million in the last months of 2011.
Iranian President Mahmoud yesterday wraps up a four-nation tour of Latin America that yielded kind words from ideological allies but no clear offers to help ease Western sanctions against its nuclear program.
India's ruling coalition leader Congress party took the first step to stem the slide in its relations with its alliance partner Trinamool Congress (TMC) headed by Mamata Banerjee.
The New Year was greeted by violence of the Chattra League in the public universities and it has, regrettably, continued unabated. It is very difficult to accept the spurt in its violent activities. It is equally difficult to understand the ruling party's lack of response to stop these.
We are appalled to hear the news of eight workers having been forcibly confined to a small room at a brickfield in Khulna. That this could have happened in a part of Khulna city that too near a police station sends worrying signals across. This might be taking place in remoter locations.
Bangladesh A regained the lead in the five-match series after they defeated England Lions by 75 runs in the third one-dayer at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong yesterday.
Sheikh Russel KC qualified for the quarterfinals of the Grameenphone Federation Cup with a 2-1 win over neighbours Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club in their encounter at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday, thanks to a brace from their Nigerian striker Alamu Bukola.
West Indian batting great Brian Lara on Friday came in support of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, saying the under-fire Indian skipper "deserves another chance" despite the drubbings in England and the ongoing tour of Australia.
Jonathan Trott returned to form with 93 as England geared up for next week's first Test against Pakistan with a 100-run win over Pakistan Cricket Board XI in their three-day tour match here on Friday.
Bangladesh's hope of securing a quota place for the London Olympics in the men's 10m Air Rifle was shattered when shooter Asif Hossain Khan and Abdullah Hel Baki put up disastrous performance on the opening day of the 12th Asian Shooting Championship in Doha, Qatar yesterday.
Kalabagan Cricket Academy beat Azad Sporting Club by 119 runs in their First Division Super League clash in BKSP-3 yesterday.
Bangladesh won four gold and three silver medals in the 2nd Fazilatunnesa Mujib International Martial Art Competition that
English cricket chiefs have offered an amnesty to players to report past match-fixing approaches after former Essex bowler Mervyn Westfield pleaded guilty to spot-fixing at the Old Bailey on Thursday.
David Warner smashed the fastest Test century by an opening batsman as Australia humbled India on the first day of the third Test on Friday, dismissing the tourists for 161 before racing to within 12 runs of that tally.
It was another black day on what is proving to be a disastrous Australian tour, but Indian batsman Virat Kohli said Friday his embattled team were just a good side out of luck.
After blasting the second-fastest Test century at the WACA Ground Australian opener David Warner said Friday he went into the third Test against India with serious doubts about his ability to perform in Perth.
Victoria Azarenka ended Li Na's unbeaten two-year run at the Sydney International with a fighting three-set victory in the final on Friday.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are in the same half of a grand slam draw for the first time in seven years in the selection made Friday for next week's Australian Open in Melbourne.
A second-string Barcelona set up a King's Cup quarterfinal clash against holders and great rivals Real Madrid when they came back from a goal down to beat Osasuna 2-1 on Thursday for a 6-1 aggregate victory.
Even more attention than usual will be focused on Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo when the La Liga leaders play at Real Mallorca on Saturday after his petulant reaction to whistling from disgruntled fans last weekend.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is to stay at Anfield after signing a contract extension with the Premier League club.
Pato has scuppered Paris St Germain's hopes of landing the Brazil forward by announcing that he is staying with AC Milan.
AC Milan have abandoned talks with Manchester City over the possible transfer of Carlos Tevez following Pato's decision to stay in Italy, Italian news agency Ansa said Thursday.
Manchester City playmaker David Silva should be fit for Monday's Premier League trip to Wigan Athletic but striker Mario Balotelli is a doubt, assistant coach David Platt said on Friday.
Everton have signed Ireland midfielder Darron Gibson from Manchester United for an undisclosed fee, the Premier League club said on Friday.
Italy striker Mario Balotelli added to his long list of madcap antics on Thursday when he parked his Bentley outside a Manchester school and wandered in to find a toilet.
In one of my earliest memories, my father stands patiently under a Krishnachura tree in our Sylhet home, right hand holding a microphone while the left cradles a small reel-to-reel tape recorder where he collected various bird songs. It is spring and the tree is awash in red flowers. He is waiting for a bou-katha-kao bird to start singing for his recorder. Bored with the utter silence he demands, I leave his side, but later that afternoon, he plays back the bird songs for his family. They sound scratchy and distant - even muffled occasionally - but are magical to my young ears.
Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs is scrutinising proposals to amend Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and Evidence Act.
With his death, the Pabna people lost their guardian while the country lost a brilliant entrepreneur and an asset to the nation, said speakers at a citizens' condolence meeting in Pabna in memory of Samson H Chowdhury, former chairman of Square Group.
Fourteen people, including a freedom fighter, were killed and 31 others injured in separate road accidents in Comilla, Mymensingh, Chittagong, Netrakona and Rangpur yesterday.
Health Minister Dr AFM Ruhal Haque said more than six crore people took health services from the community clinics during the last three years.
Law enforcers are yet to recover the pistol, loaded with eight bullets, which Jamaat-Shibir activists snatched from a traffic inspector after attacking him near Fakirapool Petrol Pump in the city on Thursday.
Though the government came to power promising to provide massive employment opportunities for the young generation, it is yet to take any effective initiative, said speakers at a discussion yesterday.
One person died on Thursday after taking treatment from a quack in a Jhenidah village. Sensing possible trouble, the fake kabiraj fled the village days ago.
Police rescued a schoolboy from a village of Kushtia sadar upazila early yesterday, a day after Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) rescued one kidnapped in Daulatpur upazila.
Garment workers yesterday demanded formation of new policies to fix house rent and its implementation immediately.
The vice chancellor and a Bangladesh Chhatra League leader at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sust) received death threats over phone on Thursday and last evening.
The decomposing body of a man was found yesterday with the same injuries and floating on the same spot in a lake of Botanical Garden in the city where his neighbour's body was found on Wednesday.
The government must check the fall in potato prices and fix it as per the production costs, said speakers at a meeting yesterday.
Aiming at enthusing the students of schools and colleges with science education, the third Divisional Science Olympiad was held at Premier University in the port city yesterday.
Prof SM Abdul Khaleque, chairman of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Sylhet, passed away at MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital in Sylhet yesterday due to cardiac arrest at the age of 54.
Prof Enamul Haque, a teacher of English department of Rajshahi University (RU), passed away at Green Life Hospital in Dhaka yesterday due to cardiac arrest at the age of 59.
A couple who were severely burned in a cooking gas cylinder explosion in Jaikathee area of Patuakhali town on December 25 succumbed to their injuries two hours apart in the capital's City Hospital early yesterday.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested 13 people and recovered two foreign pistols, four magazines of bullet, some local arms, two bottles of wine and four bottles of phensidyl from their possession at Mirzanagar in Ashulia on the outskirts of the city yesterday.
The unveiling ceremony of a book, From Protest to Freedom: The Birth of Bangladesh, written by Prof Mokerrom Hossain of Virginia State University in the US, was held in the city's Liberation War Museum recently.
The BSF has yet to return the Bangladeshi youth who the Indian security force had picked up from Lalakhal border of Jaintapur upzila on Thursday morning.
Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique at a discussion yesterday demanded exemplary punishment for all war criminals including Ghulam Azam for their involvement in crimes against humanity during Bangladesh's liberation war in 1971.
Police seized 135 bottles of Phensidyl in an abandoned condition at Paruliya village of Hatibandha upazila yesterday.
A delegation of Qatar Coast Guard, led by Director General of Qatar Coast Guard Brigadier Naval Staff Ali Ahmed Saif Al Badid Al Manai, left Dhaka yesterday ending an eight-day visit to Bangladesh.
Monno Medical College started its journey through a reception to its first batch MBBS students at its campus in Manikganj yesterday.
Qulkhwani of Amena Khatun, wife of poet Ameer Ali Chishti, will be held at Samasabad at Nawabganj on the outskirts of the city after Zohr prayers today, says a press release.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani telephoned the top British diplomat in the country this week expressing fears that the Pakistani army might be about to stage a coup, a British official and an official in Islamabad said yesterday.
Arab League head Nabil Elaraby said yesterday he feared a possible civil war in Syria that could have consequences for neighbouring countries, as longtime Damascus ally Moscow kept up its opposition to calls for tougher action against the regime, saying they were flagrant attempts to bring about its downfall.
Myanmar pardoned prominent dissidents, journalists and a former premier yesterday under a major prisoner amnesty, intensifying a surprising series of reforms by the army-backed regime.
A US military tribunal is recommending a court martial for Army Private Bradley Manning for allegedly funneling thousands of classified US documents to WikiLeaks, the US Army said Thursday.
Western powers were drawing up plans yesterday for tougher sanctions on Iran, despite the reluctance of Russia and Asia to take part, diplomatic pressure having failed to halt Tehran's nuclear drive.
New ethnic clashes in South Sudan's troubled Jonglei state have killed 57 people, the government of the world's newest nation said late Thursday.
Taiwan's presidential candidates were winding up a packed last day of campaigning yesterday, wooing floating voters who will decide the outcome of a tight race watched intensely in Beijing and Washington.
Nigeria's trade unions yesterday suspended their protest over fuel for two days to allow more talks with the government.
An Oslo court yesterday ordered a new psychiatric evaluation of Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in twin attacks in July, after an earlier and widely contested test found him criminally insane.
The US Marines believe they have identified the troops seen urinating in a shocking video on the corpses of insurgents in Afghanistan, a senior American military official said Thursday.
Israelis and Palestinians will hold their third round of face-to-face meetings this year on Saturday in what diplomats hope might lead to the resumption of full peace talks, sources on each side said yesterday.
Arts & Entertainment
While two local films -- “Guerrilla” and “Moner Manush” -- compete for the top honour, 35 more are being screening in different sections at the 12th Dhaka International Film Festival, starting on January 12. 'Tribute to Tareque Masud' and 'Bangladesh Panorama' sections naturally feature all Bangladeshi films, while local productions are also being screened in sections like 'Short and Independent', 'Spiritual' and a special segment on Rabindranath Tagore.
It was a blast from the past that saw cinema lovers in Kolkata keeping its date with history -- that of watching the Indian premiere of the 1959 Pakistani movie “Jago Hua Savera” (Day Shall Dawn) which has dialogues and songs by legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
A weeklong theatre festival, arranged by Natyajan, begins today at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The festival will feature nine plays staged by eight troupes. Plays will also be staged at the Experimental Theatre Hall.
A fascinating exhibition of musical instruments of yesteryears attracted a large audience cutting across all age groups. Nabab and Co., a renowned shop in Mymensingh making, selling and repairing musical instruments, organised the three-day exhibition that concluded on January 7 at the Town Hall premises.
Marking 40th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between the People's Republic of Bangladesh and Federal Republic of Germany, Meghdut Abritti Sangsad with Goethe Institut, Bangladesh and Bangladesh Embassy in Germany organised a Bangla-German poetry recitation programme at the Berlin Hall of Goethe Institut in Dhaka on January 12.
The Bangladesh Art Society of North America (BASNA) has organised a group art exhibition featuring the works of Bangladeshi expatriate painters -- Iftikhar Uddin Ahmed, Mazharul Haque, Syed Najmul Alam, Sherin Nigar, Nahid Shariar, Fahmida Hossain Urmi, Kawsar Ahmed Khan, Naznin Shirazi, Sonia Israt Jahan, Nil Utpol and Moinur Rahman Arju. The exhibition is now on at Systems Art Gallery, Danforth in Toronto, Canada. The exhibition was inaugurated on January 5. High officials of Bangladesh High Commission in Canada, art collectors and critics attended the inaugural session.
The apparently clueless murders of a number of persons who remained untraced for good length of time have raised a furore. Some have termed it as secret killings bearing the hallmarks of totalitarian establishment. One rights body has gone to the extreme length of portraying such killings as state sanctioned and is of the view that the same has been resorted to after lessening of extra judicial deaths and so-called crossfire causalities.
The army chief is in the news in India as well as in Pakistan, but for different reasons. In both cases, the Supreme Court of either country is an arbiter. In India, Chief of Army Staff General V.K. Singh claims that his year of birth is 1950 while the Ministry of Defence has recorded it as 1951. If the government sticks to its date, as it is doing, he retires this May, nearly 10 months before his own calculation of birth date. Not General Singh himself, but some retired top brass have made it a point of honour for the armed forces and want him to vindicate it by challenging the government's decision in the Supreme Court.
The struggle to raise a nation's standard is undergone first and foremost in the classroom. What has established this idea so unshakably in people's minds is a recent, and to many a rather alarming, phenomenon -- the new intensity of global economic rivalry. The key to economic progress is deeply rooted in a nation's advancement in scientific learning and skill in the application of technical knowledge and a free and unfettered atmosphere for the growth of creative skills
The latest news in the telecom sector is "International Terrestrial Cable (ITC) license holders will be allowed/issued International Internet Gateway (IIG) license by default." The ITC license holders have already had meetings with the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication (MoPT) and Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on the matter.
Maritime shipping is probably one of the oldest businesses in the world. It is also by nature perhaps the most international business. It cannot be regulated by any national law because its activities go far beyond the borders of any nation. There are many international conventions and protocols that regulate safety and security of maritime operations and protection of the marine environment. There is no international police force to ensure compliance of the provisions of these treaties.
The adverse impacts of climate change have continued to devastate the lives and livelihoods of millions of people and inflict large economic losses. According to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there has been a global increase in weather related disasters between 1980 and 2003. The report estimated that during that period the economic loss due to damage caused by natural disasters is one trillion USD in total. Moreover, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has estimated that in 2008 over 20 million people were displaced by sudden onset of climate-related disasters. It also reported that climate change is already causing 300,000 deaths per year throughout the world and seriously impacting the lives of 325 million people [September 2009].
Honey comb corals around Saint Martin's island are under stress due to coral bleaching. While the COP 17 -- UN climate convention -- was being held in Durban of South Africa, a Nature Watch Team (NWT) of Ekattor Television watched that a noticeable coral bleaching was defacing the corals of Saint Martin's island of Bangladesh due to global warming. A four-member Scuba diving team moved under water around Saint Martin's during the last week of December, 2011. They observed that the honey comb corals on the east coast of the island are severely affected by the bleaching. In addition, the team also identified corals are getting blanketed by sediments and thus failing to perform their natural physiological activities as a result of over plying of large tourist ships/ferries in the area.
When the war started, we were unfortunate enough to be based in Pakistan's capital Islamabad. We lived in different countries as part of my husband Syed Najmuddin Hashim's foreign postings. In 1970, he was appointed Executive Director General of Pakistan Council. In that connection, we found ourselves in the official quarters located in the foothills of Margala Hills in Islamabad. Before that we were in Paris, France.
Razia Khan Amin taught us English literature at the University of Dhaka in the mid-seventies and early eighties. She died at seventy five in a Dhaka hospital of old age complications on December 28, 2011. Kaiser Haq, one of her best students and Bangladesh's premier English language poet, SMS-ed me the news of her death. I was dumbfounded. I didn't even know that she was in a hospital.
A wintry breeze is towing my soul somewhere
I go out for a drive to see
How my city looks when winter emerges
And roll down the window glass of my car
To feel the chilly light wind beat in . . .
It makes me see in my mind's eye
And whispers in my ears:
'Let go. Let go, my love
You suffer desperately, weighed down
By the parting with your beloved
Somebody belongs to none
Who you love is only destiny's child!”
Thalassaemia is a genetic disorder that affects haemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells) by early destruction. To keep the patient fit and maintain adequate amount of haemoglibin, regular blood transfusion is considered to be essential. In many cases, blood transfusion is started soon after birth and is continued indefinitely.
Global studies including Bangladesh provide evidence that up to two thirds of newborn deaths could be prevented if known effective health measures were provided at birth and during first week of life.
Star fruit or Carambola, which is locally known as Kamranga is a refreshing treat and a healthy delicacy. But for some people with impaired kidney function, it can be deadly and may cause sudden kidney shutdown. It can also affect healthy people who consume a certain amount of juice, especially in raw form or an empty stomach.
Eating lots of red meat ups the likelihood of having a stroke while poultry lowers it, according to a new study. Men who ate more than two servings of red meat each day — which was at the high end of the meat eaters — had a 28 percent increased risk of stroke compared to men who averaged about a third of a serving of red meat each day, the low end of the red meat eaters.
Walnut consumption helps ward off bad cholesterol and diseases, claims study from University of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Walnuts contain very high levels of polyphenol, an anti-oxidant that can protect the body from molecules which damage tissue.
On January 5, 2012, President Barack Obama proposed a historic shift in the US military's size and ambitions, scaling back its ability to wage the type of war and occupation that just ended in Iraq as the administration seeks to cut defence spending over the next decade.
The debate on cyber-terrorism ranges from predictions of an 'Electronic Pearl Harbor,' where chaos and destruction resulting from cyber-terrorism attacks on critical infrastructure and communication systems would result in riots, panic and death, to the dismissal of any genuine threat and attributing the media and government as contributors to the hyperbole. To derive a pragmatic opinion on the contemporary threat posed by cyber-terrorism, a non-partisan analysis of definitions, perceptions and facts must be undertaken.
Star Books Review
War really does strange things to otherwise ordinary human beings. In 1971, the Bengalis of East Pakistan were caught up in a bitter armed struggle to rid itself of West Pakistani hegemony to realize the sovereign independent nation-state of Bangladesh. The rest is history. Snippets of that history are recounted in accurate details in Niaz Zaman's novel A Different Sita. But it is a fictional story that is interspersed with actual political events that led up to the burst of hostilities that the West Pakistani military visited on the Bengali nation on 25 March 1971. Almost the entire novel is restricted to the close to nine months of the conflict that formally ended with the surrender of Lt. Gen. AAK Niazi to Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora on 16 December of that year.
With the publication of Condoleezza Rice's bulky account of her experience as George W. Bush's closest adviser on foreign policy, the memoirs of the major figures involved in the muddled, fateful decision to invade Iraq almost nine years ago are now nearly all in. We've heard from the president himself, his vice president, defense secretary, CIA chief and, indirectly, from his first secretary of state. (Colin Powell decided it was the better part of valor to let a sympathetic biographer give his version of how he was circumvented and, finally, sidelined.)