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News of: Wednesday, 8th of February, 2012
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Former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder and former parliament secretary Kazi Rakib Uddin Ahmed have been recommended by the Search Committee for appointment as chief election commissioner.
The first democratically elected president of the Maldives resigned yesterday and was replaced by his vice president after the police and army clashed in the streets of the island nation amid protests over the arrest of a top judge.
The main opposition BNP yesterday rejected the recommendations submitted by the search committee formed to recommend persons for appointment as election commissioners of the next Election Commission.
The ruling Awami League in its manifesto amended in July 2009 had stated that there would be no law “discriminatory” between MPs and citizens of Bangladesh. After over two and a half years, the announcement saw some action when two bills were placed in Parliament on Monday to scrap a “discriminatory” provision from the laws concerned that exempts MPs and the speaker and deputy speaker from paying taxes on their remuneration.
The prosecution and the investigation agency probing war crimes have been failing over and over again to produce witnesses in a case against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee at the International Crimes Tribunal.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday hailed the members of Bangladesh Army for their role in quelling the recent conspiracy against her elected government.
Parliament yesterday passed a bill imposing a ban on sticking posters on walls or putting them up on any structures and scrawling graffiti on walls across the country.
Leaders of the ruling Awami League-led alliance and some non-partisan individuals are already gearing up their campaign for the polls to the Dhaka City Corporation north and south.
Construction of the Padma bridge might turn out costly for Bangladesh, point out an economist and a chartered accountant as the government hurries up the venture with the help of Malaysia.
Communications Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday said there was no conflict between the government and the World Bank over the Padma Bridge and that the lending agency would keep contributing to the country's development.
The death of Mohammad Ali Jinnah created a condition of political uncertainty in Pakistan, owing primarily to the fact that Jinnah had combined in himself the positions of governor general, president of the constituent assembly and head of the ruling Muslim League. No other politician matched his stature.
A woman was killed and six others were injured yesterday when a microbus hit their CNG-run auto-rickshaw in Demra on the outskirts of the capital.
The BNP high-ups have now fixed their eyes on formation of a non-political government to oversee the next parliamentary elections.
A Rajshahi court yesterday sentenced two people to life term imprisonment for killing a Natore college teacher after he had protested stalking of his students.
A Dhaka court yesterday issued arrest warrants against former Awami League lawmaker Haji Mohammad Selim and 20 others in connection with a case filed for assaulting police and preventing them from discharging their duties in 2004.
Stock prices bounced back yesterday, pushing the key index of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) up by nine percent, the strongest rally since January last.
The Awami League-led 14-party alliance yesterday formed a 20-kilometre-long human chain in the capital protesting "conspiracies and subversive activities" to hinder the ongoing war crimes trial and the democratic process.
Liberal Democratic Party chief Oli Ahmed was removed from the helm of the parliamentary standing committee on the planning ministry as the House yesterday reshuffled 13 parliamentary bodies.
Nine policemen and three doctors were sued at a district court yesterday afternoon over the killing of the Jamaat-e-Islami activist Shafiqul Islam, during the violence on January 30 in Rajshahi city.
Unidentified criminals shot dead a Jhut (garment waste) trader in the capital's Tongi Monday night.
Greece was hit by a new 24-hour strike yesterday called by the country's biggest unions to fight a new wave of austerity measures currently under negotiation with the EU and IMF.
That seven hundred promotions are in the offing for the posts of additional secretary, join secretary and deputy secretary in a week is quite extra-ordinary. Yet, the government is doing it in style. Clearly, it is not aimed to strengthen bureaucracy, rather it will weaken it. This could in effect leave the administration and policymaking more politicised, more partisan.
When in mid-July 2011 six students from different city schools and colleges were brutally lynched by an angry mob at Aminbazar with the police acting as mere bystanders, we were outraged, to say the least. What happened thereafter was equally horrendous. Instead of arresting the masterminds behind the violence, the police filed a robbery case against the students who were later proved to have no connection whatsoever with any criminal act. Now that an investigation has been initiated into another case accusing unknown villagers, we are rendered speechless to see that the probe has barely made any progress even after extensive media attention coupled with a High Court directive.
The traditional duel of the Dhaka Premier League turned out to be a drab affair yesterday when Abahani sauntered past Mohammedan Sporting Club by five wickets at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium. Old DOHS meanwhile signed off their first leg campaign with their ninth win, beating Prime Doleshwar by 21 runs at the BKSP.
The International Cricket Council's decision to reconsider the role of the vice-president -- a position current Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president AHM Mustafa Kamal was set to take up from 2012 -- dampened Bangladeshis' fond hopes of seeing one of their own lead the global sporting body from 2014. The man himself, however, seemed unperturbed.
A brace from Nigerian hitman Joel Ujumefun helped Arambagh KS come from behind to beat Brothers Union 2-1 in their Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League fixture at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
One-day cricket idol Michel Bevan said that the Bangladesh Premier League T20s is a great opportunity to play with and against experienced and skilled international players, which will make the local players learn newer techniques.
Experienced middle-order batsman Ian Bell was Tuesday dropped from England's one-day squad after struggling to find his form during his team's 3-0 Test defeat to Pakistan.
Pepsi will be the official beverage of the Bangladesh Premier League which begins on February 9.
Dhanmondi Cricket Academy beat Gopibagh Friends Association by 50 runs during their Second Division Cricket League game at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.
Striker Toklis Ahmed slammed a hattrick to power title contenders Victoria SC to an emphatic 3-0 win over Agrani Bank in their opening fixture of the Premier Bank Bangladesh Championship League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.
Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic was named Sportsman of the Year at the annual Laureus World Sports Awards here on Monday. Kenyan distance runner Vivian Cheruiyot was named the Sportswoman of the Year.
Pakistan's cricket team put its numerous problems behind them through consistent performances as they wiped out the world's best team England 3-0 with captain Misbahul Haq aiming to move on to further heights.
Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal on Tuesday created more confusion about his bowling action, by claiming he has special dispensation from the game's governing body to straighten his arm beyond the allowed 15 degrees.
Pakistan on Tuesday included all-rounders Shahid Afridi and Hammad Azam in its one-day and Twenty20 squads for the series against England in UAE.
Luis Suarez's return from an eight-match suspension failed to inspire Liverpool as they were held to a goalless draw by Tottenham at Anfield on Monday.
Inigo Lopez grabbed a late winner for Granada to boost their hopes of avoiding relegation with a 2-1 home victory over local Primera Liga rivals Malaga on Monday.
An overwhelming 13 of the 16 teams qualified for Euro 2012 have opted for base-camps in Poland, tournament organisers said Monday, leaving fellow-host Ukraine virtually out in the cold.
England football great Sir Bobby Charlton underwent "minor surgery" Monday after being taken ill before the Laureus World Sports Awards in London, organisers said.
AC Milan's Swedish international striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss the top of the table clash with Serie A leaders Juventus on February 25 after he was suspended for three matches on Monday.
Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong said Monday he could be out of action for up to nine months after a knee injury cut short his loan spell at top-flight rivals Wolves.
A cat that invaded the famous Anfield turf for three minutes during Liverpool's 0-0 Premier League draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Monday has become an internet celebrity.
Palestine Football Association has invited Bangladesh national football team to take part in the Al Nakba International Football tournament, scheduled to be held in May.
Zenit St Petersburg and Portugal winger Danny will be sidelined for up to eight months and miss Euro 2012 after injuring his knee in training, the Russian champions said on Tuesday.
The government and the insurers have taken an opposite stance on a provision that bars an insurance director from holding the same position with another financial organisation.
Private commercial banks yesterday self-imposed a cap on their lending and deposit rates to check unhealthy competition in the market.
Bringing down inflation to a single digit level will not be possible in near future as inflationary expectations remain high in the face of increased money supply and depreciation of the taka, said economists yesterday.
Bangladesh Bank yesterday gave a go-ahead to five private sector projects to take loans worth $152.8 million from foreign sources, the regulator said in a statement.
A fair of plastic, packaging, printing and food processing goods will start at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital on February 16.
Garment exporters are facing difficulties as an organised syndicate steals stored exportable apparel items from the cargo village at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Ltd yesterday launched the Young Entrepreneur Challenge (YEC) in Bangladesh to promote business ideas and creativity of undergraduate students.
Netcad, a leading software company from Turkey, yesterday organised a conference in Dhaka to showcase its world class solutions for areas such as cartography, urban and regional planning and road design.
Novo Nordisk was ranked number one in the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World Index by Corporate Knights, a Canadian and North American business magazine.
Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday said higher bank interest rates discourage entrepreneurs and hold back industrialisation in the country.
Autosoft Dynamics Ltd, a Pakistan-based banking solution supplier, yesterday unveiled a package for clients, offering a full spectrum of products and services that cater to the needs of the financial services industry.
As the world changed over the past decades because of the technology evolution, so did marketing.
With a view to enhancing interaction between law enforcers and common people, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), for the first time, has set up a bookstall at the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela.
At least 20 lawmakers of the Awami League-led alliance in parliament yesterday described the sorry state of public hospitals and health centres at upazila and district level in their respective areas.
Two senior officials of US State Department will travel to four South Asian nations, including Bangladesh, to consult on a wide range of issues with government and civil society leaders.
The High Court yesterday asked the government to submit a report on how many Bangladeshi nationals were languishing in different jails of Saudi Arabia and their legal status before it by April 8.
Three policemen of the capital's Kafrul Police Station along with a retired army personnel and three others were sent to jail yesterday for abducting a businessman in an attempt to extort Tk 50,000 from his family last Thursday.
Islamic University (IU) unit Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) yesterday claimed that its two leaders went missing after "law enforcers picked up them from a bus" on Saturday.
The railway ministry is going to introduce e-ticketing to check black marketing of railway tickets and make tickets more available to the passengers, reducing their plights.
Several hundred students, teachers and officials of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday brought out a peace procession on the campus marking 'Inter-religious harmony week' announced by United Nations (UN).
The Teesta water sharing agreement will be signed within the tenure of the incumbent government, Foreign Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister Gowher Rizvi said yesterday.
Continued political stability is crucial to hold Bangladesh's next general elections on time in a free, fair and credible manner, said US Ambassador to Dhaka Dan W Mozena yesterday.
A female university student allegedly committed suicide at her residence in the city's Bongshal area yesterday.
The Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Dr Mizanur Rahman, yesterday said many ordinary people are humiliated by a section of educated people.
Upon directives of the Department of Environment (DoE), local encroachers have removed a 200-foot embankment built illegally on the river Gaghot in the sadar upazila of Rangpur.
A Dhaka court yesterday sent three robbers to jail after they surrendered and sought bail in a case filed for robbery by killing a truck driver and his helper in January last year.
The High Court yesterday issued a rule upon the Election Commission (EC) and the government to explain in three weeks why the EC's decision, which cancels the parliamentary membership of former Awami League lawmaker Maj (retd) Jasim Uddin, should not be declared illegal.
The High Court yesterday stayed for 10 days the effectiveness of the environmental certificate issued by the Department of Environment (DoE) for implementation of a water supply project of Khulna City Corporation (KCC).
Eight people were killed and five others injured in separate road accidents in Narayanganj, Bagerhat, Kishoreganj, Dinajpur, Natore and Sirajganj early Monday and yesterday.
The High Court yesterday sought an explanation from the government why the initiation and continuation of the tax evasion case against BNP leader Moudud Ahmed should not be declared illegal.
Two people, including a minor girl, were killed in separate incidents as trains hit them in Sirajganj yesterday.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered 115 bottles of foreign wine from Naval Ghat area No. 17 under Patenga Police Station in the port city Monday night.
A mobile court yesterday fined two fish depots Tk 10,000 on charge of storing and selling Jatka (fries of Hilsha).
The first ever Biology Olympiad in the country will kick off through a regional competition in Faridpur on Friday, a press release said.
Japan-Bangladesh Friendship Hospital has been nominated for Fobana Outstanding Community Service Award 2012, says a press release.
Today is the 5th death anniversary of Alhaj Nizam Uddin Ahammad, former member of parliament and an organiser of the War of Liberation, says a press release.
The report under the headline "Hearing on charge framing today" published on Tuesday mistakenly mentioned February 7 as the hearing date for charge framing against Salauddin Quader Chowdhury instead of March 7. We regret the error.
Rabeya Akhter, mother of lawmaker KM Khalid Babu from Muktagacha, died of cardiac arrest at a hospital in the capital on Monday night at the age of 82.
Abdul Wahab Suruj, member of Tannery Association in Natore, died of cancer at his Bonbelghoria residence in Natore town on Monday night at the age of 56.
All the five ferries operating on three routes of Kuakata-Kalapara road often go out of order, much to the sufferings of locals as well as tourists to Kuakata sea beach.
Nine people were murdered in separate incidents in four upazilas of Gaibandha district last month.
An officer of Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) allegedly committed suicide at his residence at Kazipara in Puraton Kasba area of Jessore town yesterday.
Four drug peddlers were jailed while several others held in five districts on Monday.
Police yesterday arrested two people on charge of killing SSC examinee Masum Reza in Sharsha upazila two weeks ago.
A former official of Telephone and Telegraph office in the district was killed allegedly by throwing him from the rooftop of a building on Monday evening.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) is yet to hand over a Bangladeshi youth to Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).
Criminals killed Moloy Bose, 45, chairman of Atghar union parishad in Saltha upazila yesterday morning.
A Narsingdi court here yesterday granted bail to Sadar thana unit BNP general secretary Md Nurul Islam, a prime accused in the municipality mayor Lokman murder case.
It seems that Syrian crisis is deepening day by day. The unrest that has gripped Syria since March 2011 has claimed more than 5400 lives. Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged the Security Council to overcome differences over Syria and take action to stop a crackdown on dissent. And the latest draft of the resolution strongly condemns violence and human rights abuses by the Syrian government. We have learnt from a recent report published in The Daily Star that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members US, UK, France, Germany, Portugal and Morocco have drafted a resolution, which Russia has vetoed, to impose sanctions or authorise military intervention.
I refer to Hussain Imam's recent open letter to two ministers on the above subject. I am amazed that Mr Imam still has the myopic conception of blaming rickshaws for Dhaka's horrific jams. Has he never been stuck in jams on the so-called VIP roads which have been rickshaw-free for years? Has he never read the opinion of urban experts who blame the soon to-be-extinct empty/half-empty 500,000+ fossil fuel-run Gas Guzzling Monstrosities (GGMs) running on narrow, pot-holed roads with a capacity for 200,000 GGMs at best, for the jams and air/noise pollution?
Like other years, Ekushey book fair is being held on the premises of Bangla Academy. This book fair is a great occasion when the readers can browse through the titles of their favourite writers. Surely, this fair promotes the habit of reading---a practice which is feared to be on the wane, especially among the younger generation. It is said that the very existence of book is being threatened by the electronic devices like computer and television.
The recent articles posted in The Daily Star in relation to the torture of a Bangladeshi citizen by the BSF men in the Murshiabad district of West Bengal have stirred a widespread feeling of helplessness and powerlessness. Despite withstanding so much torture and brutality by the BSF men for so many years, it is extremely saddening to see that we are still not vocal enough to take action for ending the BSF killings and tortures. It is incredible to think that at this day and age, with information at our fingertips 24 hours a day, we are still unable to bring an end to such inhuman activities. I urge Human Rights Watch (HRW) to go ahead in its initiative to prosecute BSF (The Daily Star, front page, Feb 1, 2012) and let BSF know that they may fool some of the people for some time, but not all of the people all of the time.
The news titled "AL to take to streets on BNP rally day" published in The Daily Star on February 4, 2012 has upset us deeply.
It's really a matter of great regret and pain that some unscrupulous people have involved themselves in a heinous trade of selling human bones. Reportedly, human skeletal remains are sold abroad through an underground black market. According to a news report, remains of 23 persons have been stolen recently from the graves of a village in Gazipur. It has been stated that bone traders in the area had dug a number of graves and stole the dead bodies from there. Gazipur police administration has reportedly taken measures to protect the graves.
We are quite frequently watching how Bangladeshi nationals are being mercilessly tortured or killed along our border with India. Thankfully, the media has been reporting these incidents faithfully. I would request our media to carry detailed reports on the border killings in the future with particular emphasis on the problems being faced by the border security people of both India and Bangladesh. Investigative journalism is required in this case which may address the following issues:
Recent articles and reports published on Bill Gates in all national dailies will hopefully help the effort to reduce, if not remove, the burden of poverty from the world. It is a noble and profound thought coming from one of the world's richest persons! Here is a man, seriously and sincerely trying to lighten some of the misery of the poor that most of us just shrug off and tend to ignore. We all hope and pray that he may live long, and do whatever he can to lighten the load of human misery, help those who have nothing, not even the assurance of the next meal.
The comments made by the Bangladesh minister on the inhuman torture of our citizens by the BSF took the nation by surprise. While the video clip shook the Indian media by storm, our minister tried to downplay the gravity of the issue by terming it as an 'ordinary' incident at the border. If the incident was an 'ordinary' one, why the Indian authorities deplored the same and suspended the culprits, will the minister please explain? Even an influential daily Hindu asked for unconditional apology from the Indian government.
The other day, on my way to the public library, I saw some children who were selling books to passers-by. I stopped there to buy a book written by Dale Carnegie. One of them said, “Bhaiya, did you publish our photo in the newspaper? My photo was published many times in several newspapers. Many people come to us, listen to our stories and take our photos. But our fate never changes."
Here are some comments that came in response to Tuesday's The Daily Star news report headlined “Rapid bus project given go-ahead”
The European Union stepped up pressure on Syria yesterday as several nations recalled their ambassadors from Damascus and the bloc considered new sanctions to cut the regime's access to cash.
(The essay was published before President Nasheed's resignation)
US President Barack Obama has placed stricter sanctions on Iran's government, including its central bank.
Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically elected leader of the Maldives, was a former political prisoner who rose from grassroots activism and journalism.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy spends £10,000 a day on food and keeps 121 cars at his Elysee Palace, a new book says.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday suspended the membership of 28 legislators, including three ministers of the federal government, elected in by-elections held after the spring of 2010 on the premise that the polls were conducted under the charge of a partly-constituted election commission.
Russia's foreign minister said after talks in Damascus yesterday that President Bashar al-Assad was "fully committed" to ending the bloodshed in Syria even as regime tanks pounded the city of Homs for a fourth straight day.
Republican White House hopefuls vying in three presidential votes were unlikely yesterday to knock Mitt Romney off his front-runner perch, despite a surge from conservative rival Rick Santorum.
The US has eased one of the sanctions it levels against Myanmar amid a series of political reforms in the country.
Reports from Iran say several people have been detained for alleged links to the BBC's Persian Service, which is banned in the country.
Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was in stable condition Monday after he was rushed from his prison cell to a hospital for treatment following a possible stroke, officials said.
Candidates for Egypt's first presidential election since the ouster of veteran leader Hosni Mubarak can start registering from March 10, a month earlier than expected, the head of the elections committee said on Monday.
Arts & Entertainment
Talking about the month-long Ekushey Book Fair, eminent author Hasan Azizul Haq says that it has become a trend for the writers, authors and publishers to discuss issues prior to or during the initial phase of the fair. He is of the view that it is better to evaluate the successes and anomalies of the fair after the end.
Jazz can be very difficult to grasp. However, what was played last Saturday at the residence of the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea was easy on the ear though the Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh, Taiyoung Cho, advised the audience to “listen with the heart, not the head”. Around 300 invitees followed his words and enjoyed the “Night of Jazzy Flare”, on a lush evening.
Young filmmaker Kamar Ahmad Simon's “Shunte Ki Pao!” (Are You Listening) has been invited to 'Campus Studio Lab' at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival 2012, according to the filmmaker. The film will be showcased as part of the section, 'Berlinale Talent Campus'.
Alliance Française, Chittagong organised a conference on February 3 on a newly translated version of Tagore's “Gitanjali”. Well-known poet and translator William Radice has done the translation.
The opening ceremony of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 will take place at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur tomorrow at 6pm. Both Bangladeshi and Indian silver screen stars and singers will perform at the show.
Thousands of devotees from Dinajpur and other districts took a holy dip here in the historic Ramsagar pond to celebrate the historic 'Baruni Festival'. The festival has been celebrated since 1755.
To generate awareness on promoting 'safe migration and local development' Bangladeshi Obhibasi Mohila Sramik Association (BOMSA) arranged 'Jari gaan' and theatre at Borongail Haat premises under Shivalaya upazila in Manikganj on Thursday.
Shamsunnahar Lovely's fifth solo photography exhibition titled “Rabindra Smriti” was inaugurated on February 5 at NAFA Gallery in Kathmandu. Noted Indian actress Manisha Koirala inaugurated the exhibition as chief guest. Kiran Manandhar, Chancellor of NAFA and veteran Bangladeshi painter Dr. Abdus Sattar were present as special guests at the inauguration of the exhibition. The exhibition ended yesterday, according to a press release.
The book titled “The Bangladesh Sundarbans” was launched on February 3 at Cosmos Centre, Malibagh. Authored by Enayetullah Khan, editor-in-chief of UNB and founder of Gallery Cosmos, the volume was published by the Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh.
You cannot ignore the bamboo. More to the point, you cannot cast aside the truth that the bamboo has played a vital role at various points in our history. That it has a power of its own, either to intimidate or set the mind thinking was demonstrated a couple of weeks ago when a young lawmaker in Rangpur, hundreds of his followers in tow and with sleek, green bamboos in hand, descended on the local medical college for purposes that were as nefarious as they were reprehensible. The bamboo came in handy, even when those under attack fought back and gave the lawmaker and his hangers-on a taste of that self-same bamboo.
There is one exit poll which no Indian election commissioner can ban. It is called word-of-mouth. This word does not come out of the mouth of politicians on the stump, or journalists on the fly. It emerges from those with feet firmly planted on the ground, voters, who have protected their treasured franchise with jealous secrecy till the day of decision, but now that it has been made are happy to discuss it at their familiar community focal points, the teashop, or perhaps over a warm fire on a cold evening that breathes some life into the night.
Japan recognised Bangladesh on February10th, 1972 and this year will mark the 40th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. A week- long function has been organised in this regard in Dhaka and Japanese investors are expected to attend it.
Many years ago, in a desperately poor village in Rajasthan, people decided to plant trees on the land adjoining their pond so that its catchment would be protected. But this land belonged to the revenue department and people were fined for trespass. The issue hit national headlines. The stink made the local administration uncomfortable. They then came up with a brilliant game planthey allotted the land to a group of equally poor people. In this way the poor ended up fighting the poor. The local government got away with the deliberate murder of a water body.
The US Defence Secretary, Leon Panetta, has disclosed that Dr, Shakil Afridi who ran an anti-polio campaign in Abbottabad succeeded in obtaining DNA samples that led to the discovery of Osama bin Laden and his subsequent death at the hands of US Special Forces during the May 2 raid last year.
The Mongols burn the Russian city of Vladimir.