News of: Thursday, 23rd of February, 2012
A government committee has recommended waiver of up to 50 percent interest on margin loans taken by small investors who suffered financial losses due to the recent stockmarket crash.
Paschimbanga Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday focused on the leakages in the Farakka barrage, which, she claimed, had led to an excess water flow to Bangladesh.
The volume of water in Teesta irrigation canal has dropped down to 450 cusec while that of the Teesta River below 1,000 cusec as India, the upstream country, is apart from withdrawing, diverting the water.
Even 20 months after a major gas-fired power plant in Ghorashal went out of order due to negligence of its technicians, the Power Development Board (PDB) could not select a contractor to repair it due to a slow bidding process and change of decisions.
A government probe committee discovered anomalies in international call management at the two state-owned telecom companies, Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd and Teletalk, which could cause loss of revenue for the state.
The journalist community yesterday announced one-hour work abstention for Monday to press home their demand for immediate arrest and trial of the killer(s) of journalist couple Sagar and Runi.
Hundreds of passengers suffered a travel chaos yesterday as the transport workers in eight districts of Rajshahi division enforced a 72-hour strike to realise their eight-point demand.
The police officer who falsely implicated Dhaka University student Abdul Kadar in a robbery case has apologised to a Dhaka court and sought mercy from it, saying that he was compelled to do so under orders from his boss.
The High Court yesterday summoned Liberal Democratic Party chief Col (retd) Oli Ahmed to appear before it on February 28 to explain his role in constructing a resort on the Cox's Bazar beach in violation of environmental laws.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday requested the European Union to nominate Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus as the president of the World Bank.
Bangladesh will ask India to strengthen joint patrols on the border to check crimes and killings of Bangladeshi nationals by India's Border Security Force, said a high official at the home ministry.
Three top-class schools in the capital -- Oxford, Green Dale and London Grace -- yesterday hosted The Daily Star Spelling Bee competition organised by champs21.com.
Reacting to BNP chief Khaleda Zia's remark that her party will not take revenge if elected again, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said "good sense" had prevailed upon Khaleda.
Former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Ghulam Azam gave frequent statements praising and supporting the atrocities of the Pakistani occupation forces during the Liberation War in 1971, the International Crimes Tribunal was told yesterday.
Three months before the 2009 Pilkhana mutiny, some jawans of the now-defunct BDR had placed their demands before Fazle Noor Taposh, now an Awami League lawmaker, which he had conveyed to his party chief Sheikh Hasina.
The High Court yesterday directed the authorities concerned to demolish all structures, excluding a grave, located on the land of the Central Shaheed Minar in the next 48 hours.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday morning detained two Bangladeshi youths at Durganagar border in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal.
Five government agencies, in the presence of top district officials and the police, in a joint drive on Tuesday night stopped the 'unauthorised' filling up of a pond by ruling party lawmaker Enamul Haque at Meherchandi in Rajshahi city.
The US special envoy on North Korea yesterday said he welcomed Pyongyang's return to bilateral talks so soon after Kim Jong-Il's death, as he prepared to meet a delegation from the isolated state.
Unidentified miscreants stabbed to death a travel agency broker in the city's Paltan area yesterday.
Pakistan's foreign minister said she would meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at Thursday's London meeting on Somalia to discuss the strained ties between Washington and Islamabad.
Months after declaring himself cancer-free, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said he will undergo more surgery in Cuba to remove a new lesion he said is likely cancerous.
Despite the government's recognition of the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector as an important driver of economic development and employment generation, real headway is yet to be made in the sector.
A recent case of a woman and her husband's male friend being sentenced to 101 lashings for engaging in 'anti-social activities' made its way into some newspapers. The woman, from Naogaon, was reportedly talking to her husband's friend in her home where no other male member was present. Upon discovering this, an over-enthusiastic neighbour claimed that the two were engaging in unethical relations and caught and tied the man to a tree. A local arbitration later sentenced both the woman and man to 101 lashings each, and fined them a total of Tk. 5,000. The money was later used to feed sweets to the locals to celebrate saving of the woman's marriage, according to a local influential who was a part of the arbitration. The sentence, as is often the case, was given by a local religious leader.
Young Mominul Haque brought Khulna Royal Bengals down to earth as Barisal Burners snatched an exciting four-wicket victory in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here yesterday.
BPL governing council chairman Gazi Ashraf Hossain has more faith on the spoken word than pen on paper when it comes to crucial agreements.
The Mashrafe Bin Mortaza-led Dhaka Gladiators outclassed winless Sylhet Royals by eight wickets to bounce back strongly in the race of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here yesterday.
Kevin Pietersen hit his second successive century to help a resurgent England beat Pakistan by four wickets in the fourth and final day-night international here on Tuesday for a 4-0 whitewash.
Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq said his side are desperate to redress the balance in a Twenty20 international against England Thursday after a one-day series whitewash by the tourists.
South Africa battled to a thrilling three-run win over New Zealand to claim the Twenty20 series 2-1 after the Black Caps suffered a dramatic late batting collapse in Auckland on Wednesday.
Electronic board is all set to feature again after a gap of one year when the Walton 37th National Athletics Championships get underway at the Bangabandhu National Stadium tomorrow.
Nigerian striker Sunday Chizoba slammed season's first hattrick as league leaders Muktijoddha Sangsad came from behind to beat Arambagh KS 4-1 in their Bangladesh Premier League encounter at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Khulna Royals all-rounder Nasir Hossain has been fined Tk 45,000 for his inappropriate gestures towards fans during his team's BPL T20 match against Chittagong Kings on February 20.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has confirmed that a ten-member security team will travel to Pakistan on March 2. The assessment reporter after this short trip will determine whether the Tigers will tour there in April.
World number one Victoria Azarenka has paid the price for her 17-match winning start to the year after being forced to withdraw from the 2,000,000-dollar Dubai Open with a damaged ankle.
Hasanuzzaman Khan Bablu and Satyajit Das Rupu were elected unopposed president and general secretary of the Football Coaches' Association of Bangladesh for a four-year term yesterday.
Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez looks set to return from his self-imposed exile after apologising to the club for his conduct in recent months.
Napoli piled the pressure on Andre Villas-Boas and put one foot in the Champions League quarterfinals with a 3-1 first leg victory over Chelsea at the San Paolo here on Tuesday.
An injury-time goal on his debut by Swedish midfielder Pontus Wernbloom grabbed CSKA Moscow a 1-1 draw with Spanish giants Real Madrid here on Tuesday in their Champions League Last 16 first leg match.
Manchester United's march towards the latter stages of the Europa League looks set to continue on Thursday when they line up against Ajax at Old Trafford leading 2-0 from the first leg in the round of 32.
Germany coach Joachim Loew has responded to his mounting injury list by giving youth a chance in next Wednesday's Euro 2012 warm-up friendly against France.
Chelsea captain John Terry is to undergo surgery on his injured right knee and faces several weeks on the sidelines, manager Andre Villas-Boas confirmed on Tuesday.
Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema will undergo scans on a suspected groin injury suffered in the 1-1 Champions League draw away to CSKA Moscow, the Spanish league leaders said Wednesday.
A new football league in the Indian state of West Bengal featuring semi-retired world stars has been postponed after encountering "many problems", organisers said Wednesday without elaborating.
England striker Wayne Rooney will miss Manchester United's Europa League match against Ajax at Old Trafford on Thursday with a throat infection, Sir Alex Ferguson said Wednesday.
The taka has gained against the dollar because of a reduction in import pressures and intensified monitoring by the central bank.
The finance ministry has instructed government officials and institutions not to take any decision or comment on the stockmarket without prior discussion or consultation with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Software exports from Bangladesh nearly doubled in the first five months of the current fiscal year, compared to the same period a year ago.
Bangladeshi businessmen yesterday urged the Indian high commission in Dhaka to simplify the visa procedures and remove trade barriers to minimise the widening trade gap with the neighbour.
Companies will not be allowed to declare dividends on the profits of a single year following losses of preceding years under a new Companies Act, experts said yesterday.
Bharti Airtel introduced a special language application -- Airtel Bangla Keypad (Panini Keypad) -- that allows its users to type SMS and save phone numbers in Bangla, in a bid to celebrate International Mother Language Day.
China will overtake the USA as the world's leading trading country by 2016, according to the latest HSBC Global Trade Connections Report published yesterday.
Venkat Anantharaman, managing director and co-head of wholesale banking for South Asia of Standard Chartered Bank, is now in Dhaka for a two-day official visit.
The government aim to digitise its service delivery activities to provide better and quality services to the masses, especially the poor, said a senior government official yesterday.
It is becoming clear that the Renminbi (RMB) will inevitably become the next global reserve currency. Policy-wise, in the upcoming 12 months, we expect regulators to shift gear and focus their RMB efforts away from appreciation towards internationalisation.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday suggested setting up information technology parks in all proposed divisional economic zones in the country.
Compared to the number of visitors on February 21, Amar Ekushey Boi Mela saw a dwindling turnout yesterday.
The bodies of eight slain army officers, including that of the BDR chief, were collected from the Darbar Hall and adjacent areas to be dumped behind the BDR Hospital after directions from nayeb subedar Torab Ali on February 25, 2009, a witness said yesterday.
At least 15 candidates in the upcoming Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examinations were injured as police used batons during their protest demanding rescheduling of the exams yesterday.
A traffic sergeant, who was hit by a recklessly-driven private car at Panthapath in the city on February 14, succumbed to his injuries at a city hospital yesterday.
The High Court yesterday directed the police authorities to suspend two sub-inspectors of Gulshan Police Station and transfer two other officers in connection with torture on Rakib Hossain, a grandson of the country's first Prime Minister Tajuddin Ahmed.
Hundreds of journalists yesterday brought out a procession and held a rally at Shaheb Bazar in Rajshahi city demanding immediate arrest and trial to the killers of the journalist couple Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi.
The High Court yesterday summoned the officer-in-charge (OC) of Raninagar Police Station in Naogaon and four others before it in connection with an incident of the lashing a housewife on the charge of an extramarital affair on her part.
A Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leader of Dhaka University allegedly assaulted the university correspondent of the English daily The Daily Sun inside the Teacher-Student Centre cafeteria last night.
A two-day international symposium titled “Science for Society” will start in the city tomorrow on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Bangladesh-Japan diplomatic relationship.
A two-day long Shonkho-Dyang, an arts festival of Chittagong, will kick off at DC Hill in the port city from tomorrow.
Speakers at a discussion yesterday urged the government to increase campaign about the Domestic Violence Act (Prevention and Protest)-2010 to make women as well as people from all walks of life aware of the act.
Around 26 hours into slipping past security and boarding a ship to leave the country, hunger forced a stowaway to give himself up to the ship's crew.
A high-level delegation led by Prime Minister's International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi recently visited South Sudan with a view to establishing bilateral diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Jatiya Party Chairman HM yesterday expressed his apprehension about the confrontational situation in the country over the issue of the caretaker government.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia said her party was ready to join talks with the government regarding a neutral and non-party government to ensure a free, fair and credible general election in the country.
A packed commuter train slammed into a retaining wall at a railway terminus in Buenos Aires during rush hour yesterday, leaving at least 49 dead, 550 injured, and dozens trapped in the wreckage.
Two examinees of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination could not take part in the exam as they were injured in a road accident in Singra upazila of the district yesterday.
The High Court (HC) yesterday rejected a bail petition filed by former BNP state minister for energy AKM Mosharraf Hossain in connection with a corruption case.
The Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) wing of Chittagong University (CU) demanded installation of a Model Police Station on the campus to ensure security of the students.
Three people suffered severe burn injuries in a fire inside the substation of an English-medium school in the city's Bashundhara Residential Area yesterday morning.
Eminent lawyer Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud yesterday said he would not contest any election of the Supreme Court Bar Association.
Today is the 35th death anniversary of Lt AM Ataul Haque, a freedom fighter, says a press release. He joined the Royal Indian Navy in 1945.
Defence counsels of BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury yesterday appealed to the International Crimes Tribunal to withdraw six of the 25 charges in the case filed in connection with crimes against humanity.
A youth was crushed under a train at Habla level crossing in Basail upazila yesterday.
Police arrested a woman and seized three kilograms of cannabis from her possession in Jelepara area under Khulshi Police Station of the port city early yesterday.
A four-day photography exhibition began at the Shilpakala Academy in Chittagong city Tuesday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate two hospitals and a motel and lay foundation stones of three bridges and a upazila parishad building during her Patuakhali visit on Saturday.
Health service in Madarganj upazila under the district is limping as the union-level health sub centres utterly fail to provide proper treatment to a large number of patients, especially those living far away from the upazila headquarters, due to lack of doctors and infrastructures.
Robbers stabbed six bus passengers in Jessore yesterday and killed a man in Barguna on Monday.
Fifty-four Bangladeshi young men, who were arrested by Indian police while going to Malaysia illegally, have returned to the country after serving 14 months jail term.
A brick kiln at Aminpur village in Bera upazila of Pabna continues to flout environmental laws, causing serious pollution to environment as well as affecting agriculture.
Baukul farmers in the district are hoping to earn fairly good bucks due to bumper production of the popular seasonal fruit this year.
One person died and two fell sick after taking toxic liquor at Komail village in Mohadevpur upazila of Naogaon district yesterday.
Two teachers and a staff of Benapole High School have been sued on charge of torturing a student.
A court here yesterday sentenced a local BNP leader to one year jail as the bank bounced his cheque. Convict Gias Uddin is president of Sonagazi upazila BNP unit and former chairman of Chandia union parishad. Judge Zebunnahar Ayesha of District Joint Session Judge's Court handed down the verdict yesterday afternoon in absence of the accused. The court also fined him Tk 15 lakh. According to the case statement, Kabir Ahmed Choudhury, a businessman of Feni town, paid Tk 12 lakh to Gias Uddin in instalments in order to buy a piece of land from him. However, Gias later refused to sell the land and gave Kabir a cheque for Tk 15 lakh including interest. As the cheque bounced, Kabir filed a case against Gias.
Police arrested a rickshaw van puller on charge of sexually harassing two schoolgirls near Panchpeer bazaar in Sundarganj upazila on Tuesday night. Police said, accuse Nawshad Ali was carrying two schoolgirls -- one of class four and another of class three. Both were returning to their home at village Bochagari from coaching centre at Panchpeer bazaar. At a lonely place, Nawshad allegedly tried to molest the girls. The girls raised a hue and cry for help. Locals rushed to the spot and rescued the girls and caught the stalker from the spot. Later Kanchibari police arrested the stalker.
An indigenous woman was beaten to death allegedly by her husband in Chandpur village in Sadar upazila on Monday night. The victim was identified as Parul Pahan, 23, daughter of Moghram Pahan, of village Sankarbhag. Police quoting local people said, Parul and her husband Nikheel Pahan locked in an altercation over a trifling matter on Monday night. At one stage, Nikheel beat up Parul with a wooden stick. Horen Pahan, brother of the Parul claimed that Nikheel beat her sister to death and went into hidden.
Detective Branch of police (DB) arrested two criminals along with two US made pistols, four magazines and seven bullets from a bus at Bobelghoria in the town on Tuesday night. The arrestee was identified as Farid Mian, 35, son of Siddik Mian of village Awliapara in Narsigdi Sadar upazila and Kauser Hasan, 25, son of Ismail Hossain of village Gangkul of Belabo upazila of the same district. A DB official said, on secret information, they raided the Dhaka bound bus from Rajshahi at around 1:00am on Tuesday and arrested Farid and Kauser and recovered the arms.
Iran's nuclear work will go on, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday after UN inspectors left Tehran following a visit that failed to lift their suspicions of atomic weapons research.
Two Western journalists were among 26 people killed yesterday as Syrian forces pounded the rebel city of Homs, activists said, while calls mounted for a truce to allow in humanitarian aid.
Australia's Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd yesterday resigned amid widespread reports of a leadership tussle between him and Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Russia on Wednesday warned a strike against Iran could have "catastrophic" consequences and urged nations not to draw early conclusions from this week's failed mission by UN nuclear experts.
At least five Afghans were shot dead and dozens wounded yesterday in clashes between police and demonstrators protesting over the burning of the Quran at a US-run military base, officials said.
Fierce clashes between two tribes in Libya's remote southeastern desert have killed more than 100 people over the past 10 days, tribal sources said on Tuesday.
An astronaut attempting to visit recently discovered planet GJ1214b would land in hot water -- literally, US scientists say.
Egypt yesterday wraps up two-stage elections for the upper house of parliament, which caps a landmark legislative poll that saw Islamists propelled to the centre stage of politics.
Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has denied allegations about his involvement in the assassination of ex-premier Benazir Bhutto, saying President Asif Ali Zardari knows who killed her.
The court of appeal has refused anti-capitalist protesters camping outside St Paul's Cathedral permission to challenge orders evicting them.
An Israeli committee was to approve construction of 500 new homes in the West Bank settlement of Shilo and retroactively legalise more than 200 built without permits, a spokesman said yesterday.
An inferno at an overcrowded prison in Honduras that killed 360 inmates last week was accidental and may have been caused by a cigarette, local and US authorities said Tuesday.
The verdict in the landmark murder and corruption trial of ousted Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak has been set for June 2, Judge Ahmed Refaat said yesterday.
Arts & Entertainment
It was a spectacular sight as 1,00,000 candles, in the shape of Shaheed Minar and Bangla alphabets were lit in memory of the Language Movement at the playground of Narail Government Victoria College on February 21.
Three-year-olds Aditto Chowdhury and Nahian Al Waeshy, together with around 50 children in their age group, wrote Bangla alphabets for the first time in a 'Hatekhari' (initiation to education) programme held at Shaheed Shadhan Sangeet Mahabidyalay in Pabna last Tuesday morning.
Samdani Art Foundation (SAF), in collaboration with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and Bangladesh National Museum, will organise the 1st Dhaka Art Summit. The summit will be held from April 12 to 15 in the city.
The three-day 'World Bengali Conference' wrapped up on February 21 at Rabindra Sarobar Mancho, Dhanmondi in the capital. London-based organisation, Bengali International (BI), in association with Sammilita Sangskritik Jote leaders, organised the conference for the first time.
Nasiruddin Yousuff's film “Guerrilla”, based on the Liberation War, was screened at Manikganj Press Club premises on Tuesday evening. Manikganj District Shangskritik Oikya Parishad arranged the event to celebrate 60 years of the Language Movement.
Today (February 23) marks the 13th death anniversary of Abu Zafor. Zafor was a noted educationist, essayist and columnist of our country. His writing enriched the literary movement in the '60s and '70s -- decades regarded as a “golden age” for Bengali litterateurs. He was actively involved in national movements; in particular his immense contribution to the Liberation War will be remembered with utmost reverence.
Michael Madhusudan Dutt's epic “Meghnadbadh Kabya” is no more a highly potential yet alien text for non-Bengali readers due to William Radice's excellent translation, which was published in November 2010. Radice's rendition has since received critical acclaim from researchers as famous as Ghulam Murshid.
Divided physically by the border but united at heart by the language and culture.
The Nobel Laureate has been rather off the scene at home, and it was after a very long time that we read his comments in the media a couple of days ago made at a function organised by the Gana Shasta Kendra to honour some freedom fighters.
When China's Vice President, Xi Jinping, visited the White House on Tuesday, President Obama renewed calls for China to play more fairly in the world economy. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. echoed those sentiments, telling Xi that the two countries could cooperate "only if the game is fair."
To take a nation forward requires numerous factors to work in unison. Fundamental to this process, however, is the quality of its people -- its brain pool. When the brain pool is undeveloped, underdeveloped, or depleted (brain drain) it sets serious constraints on how far a nation can go and how quickly.
Poor governance is one of the principle causes of extreme poverty. In Bangladesh, the majority of the nation's decision-making power rests in the hands of a minority of elites. There is generally not much scope for the more vulnerable groups in society to participate in the process. If the government wants to increase equity, it needs to address dimensions of exclusion and develop spaces for participation which allow extremely poor people to demand their rights and hold government to account.
The massive development in information and communications technology together with economic reforms in the developing nations over the last two decades have made responsible futures research more urgent. The new opportunities for responsible futures research in Asia are wide. Almost all developing nations of Asia have been achieving high to moderate growth over the last two decades, thanks to economic globalisation and information revolution, which have created more opportunities for trade in these nations. It is time to identify new areas of research with a view to addressing Asia's development challenges of the 21st century, and deliver constructive policy directions in order to sustain growth momentum under difficult and uncertain conditions.
First demonstrations in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The beginning of the February Revolution.
Most of the high-rise buildings are being constructed defying building code in the port city.
The Statistics Bureau in Chittagong region has been experiencing a serious shortage of staff.
Photography exhibition ends
A photography exhibition titled 'Beautiful Bangladesh' concluded at Theatre Institute in the port city on Sunday.