News of: Tuesday, 17th of April, 2012
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Nearly five months into his taking over as railway minister, Suranjit Sengupta resigned yesterday on the prime minister's instructions the night before, following the midnight recovery of Tk 70 lakh from the microbus of his close aide.
A 55-year political career of Suranjit Sengupta has fallen flat on its face in the railway-gate scandal that abruptly ended his over four-month stint in the cabinet.
The whereabouts of the driver of Suranjit Sengupta's assistant personal secretary remain a mystery since he drove the microbus into the Border Guard Bangladesh headquarters on April 9 night and blew the whistle about bribe money being carted.
Eminent personalities and civil society members yesterday welcomed Suranjit Sengupta's decision to step down as railway minister, and said his resignation would help a fair probe into the Tk 70 lakh scandal.
Suranjit Sengupta has retained his dignity as well as that of other politicians and the government by stepping down as railway minister, said his former colleagues in the council of ministers yesterday.
The cabinet yesterday engaged in a friendly debate on whether the government was heading towards the right direction by signing a memorandum of understanding with Malaysia on Padma bridge funding six days ago.
Since the restoration of democracy in 1991, nine ministers, including Suranjit Sengupta, have so far resigned following scandals of corruption, irregularities and political conflicts.
The High Court yesterday stayed holding polls to the bifurcated Dhaka city corporations for three months as the procedure required for the elections has not been completed.
The Anti-Corruption Commission decided to investigate properties and income sources of Soumen Sengupta, son of Suranjit Sengupta who resigned yesterday as railway minister following a cash haul involving his APS and two top railway officials.
Over-zealous ruling party men have put up hundreds of billboards and posters illegally at and around every important roundabout of the capital to anoint the prime minister on 'maritime boundary victory', ignoring public comfort, disregarding environmental impact and disrupting sports activities.
The World Bank chose Korean-American physician Jim Yong Kim as its next chief yesterday in a decision that surprised few despite the first-ever challenge to the US lock on the Bank's presidency.
Three years ago as the bus carrying the Sri Lanka cricket team in Lahore turned the corner less than a mile away from the Gaddafi Stadium, militants launched a rocket aiming for its fuel tank. The rocket missed by a whisker, but the militants armed with automatic weapons sprayed enough bullets to kill the sporting ambassadors of Sri Lanka, who had actually gone to entertain the Pakistani people when no one else was willing to travel.
A Bangladeshi national was injured on Sunday night when members of India's Border Security Force (BSF) hurled a hand-made bomb at the zero line of Birampur border in Dinajpur.
The International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday fixed April 24 for passing orders on two petitions filed by Salauddin Quader Chowdhury to discharge him and to bring some changes to his indictment order.
Today is April 17, the historic Mujibnagar Day.
A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to former Dhaka City Corporation mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka and three others in a corruption case.
A garment worker and his relative were killed in a road accident in front of BAF Shaheen College on Airport Road in the capital Sunday night.
The Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined the mayor of Savar municipality Tk 50 lakh for dumping solid wastes into Karnapara canal in Savar.
Though it comes belated, we welcome the resignation of the railway minister in light of the recent scandal concerning his ministry and some of its high-ranking officials. The dramatic episode has brought into sharp focus the blatant nature of corruption and has corroded the credibility of the government. The detachment of the minister, therefore, from not only the process but also the concerned ministry at this time was expected in the interests of a fair investigation.
News appearing in this paper recently that the principal of the Agriculture Training Institute (ATI) in Faridpur was assaulted in his residence by the thugs of a union parishad chairman because he was not offered “proper protocol” by the principal when he had called on the latter in his office, is indeed disturbing. The principal felt threatened enough to flee his place of work and take refuge in Dhaka.
Stuart Law has resigned as the Bangladesh head coach after only nine months in the job, it was announced yesterday. The man who oversaw the national team's Asia Cup progress will however be part of plans till June 30 when his contract expires though his initial contract was till 2013.
Tamim Iqbal, one of Bangladesh's senior players, has said he had no idea that the national coach Stuart Law was going to resign. He was talking hours after Law announced his decision to quit as Bangladesh coach.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) arranged a press conference yesterday mainly to disclose the head coach Stuart Law's resignation, but other pressing issues like Bangladesh's brief tour to Pakistan and the deadlock in domestic cricket enjoyed as much attention during the marathon briefing.
Australia reached 267 for six at lunch on the second day of the second Test against West Indies at the Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad yesterday.
The International Cricket Council's (ICC's) Executive Board confirmed a constitutional amendment that will alter the role of its president and create a new post of a non-voting Board Chairman. If the amendment is approved by the ICC's general body in June, the presidency of cricket's governing body will become a rotational one-year term, starting 2014, at which time the post of vice-president will cease to exist. The chairman, who will now head the Executive Board, will serve three-year terms, with a maximum of two terms.
Salvador Cabanas, the Paraguayan international shot in the head two years ago in a Mexican nightclub, returned to action Saturday night with Itaugua, the second division Paraguayan outfit where he started out.
Bangladesh Cricket Board has rescheduled the remaining National Cricket League matches to begin from April 20.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) Executive Board has decided to expand the number of teams in the 2014 Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh from 12 to 16 to give more opportunities to the non-Test playing nations.
Within hours of Stuart Law's announcement that he will quit as Bangladesh coach, former Australia batsman Dean Jones has thrown his hat into the ring as a possible candidate.
Holders Bangladesh will start their AHF (Asian Hockey Federation) Cup campaign today, taking on Chinese Taipei in Bangkok, Thailand.
Bangladesh Football Federation president Kazi Salahuddin yesterday bought the nomination paper for the upcoming BFF elections in a bid to retain the post of president for another four years.
Delhi Daredevils beat Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday.
Delighted Pakistani cricket fans, players and politicians Monday welcomed Bangladesh's decision to tour the troubled country and end its three-year exile from hosting international matches.
Jurgen Melzer of Austria and Paul-Henri Mathieu of France both won in straight sets to reach the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Monday.
Leaders Cox's City FC were held to a goalless draw by Victoria SC in the Premier Bank Bangladesh Championship League at the Cox's Bazar Stadium yesterday.
Reigning world 100-metre champion Yohan Blake set the fastest time in the world this year in his 2012 debut at the distance, winning in 9.90 seconds in cold and rainy conditions.
Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger has insisted Bayern Munich must make home advantage count against Real Madrid in Tuesday's Champions League semifinal first-leg.
Two goals from Wayne Rooney, including a controversial penalty won by Ashley Young, helped Manchester United reclaim a five-point lead in the Premier League following a 4-0 win over Aston Villa.
Chelsea thrashed Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 to set up an FA Cup final showdown with old rivals Liverpool after a Wembley semifinal tinged by controversy here on Sunday.
Malaga were held 1-1 by battling 10-man Real Sociedad on Sunday, which prevented them from taking advantage of Champions League qualification rivals Valencia's 4-0 thrashing at Espanyol earlier in the day.
A South Korean footballer who was banned for life over a match-fixing scandal has taken his own life, police said Monday, the third suicide linked to the controversy that erupted last year.
English football's governing body The Football Association has again called for the introduction of goal-line technology after a disputed goal in the FA Cup semifinal between Chelsea and Tottenham.
Senegalese footballer El-Hadji Diouf was arrested and Premier League defender Anton Ferdinand questioned following a brawl in a Manchester nightclub, police confirmed on Monday.
US Ambassador Dan W Mozena yesterday linked Bangladesh's demand for duty-free access for garment exports to the Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (TICFA) that both countries may sign in future.
Bangladesh's exports to the EU are likely to be affected if the proposed India-EU free trade agreement (FTA) is signed and apparel items are included in the deal, said an official of the commerce ministry of Bangladesh.
Indicators of twin bourses closed in the red yesterday as investors sold shares and mutual fund units to take profits.
Hundreds of workers of Mascot Apparels Ltd yesterday blocked the road through Mohakhali in the capital for three hours, demanding their due salaries for the last three months.
The Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday decided to award top 30 firms listed on the premier bourse.
The next national budget will prioritise electricity, agriculture, human resource development, health and communication, the finance minister said yesterday.
Handmade shoes face stiff competition from the imported ones due to a narrow price gap between the two types.
The economy faced a range of risks and pressures last year that may harden macroeconomic management in 2012, the International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh said in an editorial yesterday.
Environment Minister Hasan Mahmud yesterday stressed the need for enhancing regional connectivity for the development of South Asian countries.
The new iPad will be available in India from April 27, Apple Inc said on Monday, a month after it started selling the latest version of its popular tablet computer in 10 countries including the United States.
Bangladesh should spend more on roads, electricity, irrigation and inputs delivery in addition to research and development to boost farm sector output, an economist said yesterday.
The Internet Age is becoming as known for patent litigation as it is for online innovation.
The introduction of a fresh index on the stockmarket is facing a setback as the Dhaka Stock Exchange is yet to fully take preparations to launch the new index that would be based on a free-float method.
There is a saying "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". History is littered with good intentions gone wrong from Hitler's Germany to modern day Chavez's Venezuela; that is why countries are usually governed by laws that usually follow due processes to ensure it protects every citizen's interest rather than good intentions.
Application of nanotechnology would enhance industrial and agricultural production at low-cost for the future development of Bangladesh, said noted scientists at a roundtable yesterday.
The government should take effective initiatives to stop harassment of sex workers and protect their fundamental rights, some rights activists demanded at a seminar yesterday.
Pakistan Army killed at least 7,000 people on the dark night of March 25 in 1971, said eminent British journalist Simon Dring, who covered the liberation war of Bangladesh.
National Human Rights Commission Chairman Mizanur Rahman yesterday said no intimidation would work in preventing the commission from discharging its duties.
The International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday transferred three cases of crimes against humanity to the second tribunal, formed in March, as “much time” would be taken for it to dispose of the eight cases it is currently handling.
The cabinet yesterday expressed satisfaction over the implementation rate of its decisions, numerically 91 percent, taken in the Awami League-led grand alliance government's 39-month tenure.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman yesterday urged the government to allocate 20 percent of the upcoming budget for the education sector and 0.8 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for higher education.
The editor and a reporter of the daily Sangram yesterday apologised unconditionally to the International Crimes Tribunal-1 for publishing a “contemptuous” report over one of its proceedings.
Communication experts and media men said the use of ICT in the service delivery and management system ensured hassle-free cost effective and speedy services enabling people achieve sustainable development.
A newly-wed girl allegedly hanged herself to death at her father's house in the capital's Adabor yesterday, as her husband left her there for the last six months demanding dowry.
President of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) Hasanul Hoque Inu said here yesterday that the accomplishment of the trial of war criminals would be the gateway to a secular society.
Speakers at a roundtable yesterday underscored the need for creating awareness among adolescent girls and women through the government and non-government organisations' (NGO) initiatives on reproductive and sexual health and adverse effects of premature marriage.
The High Court yesterday, in response to a writ petition, stayed for three weeks the process to hold the 33rd Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations, the preliminary test of which was scheduled to be held on June 1.
Three people, including two school students, were killed in separate road accidents in Noakhali, Sirajganj and Rangpur yesterday.
An investigation officer (IO) of the murder case over the 2001 Pahela Baishakh blasts at Ramna Batamul yesterday narrated what he unearthed during his 14-month probe.
Two Bangladeshi workers died and three others suffered injuries as they were struck by lightning at a rubber farm in Pos Balau of Malaysia on Sunday, according to a local newspaper.
Sayed Rezaul Hayat, former communications secretary and freedom fighter, passed away at a city hospital yesterday at the age of 67.
A foreign crew of Stadt Hamburg ship of Germany, was missing in the Bay of Bengal from yesterday as he fell down from the ship.
A mobile court of Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) fined two food and beverage companies Tk 5 lakh and destroyed 10,000 cans of beer and 1,000 bottles of Mojo Light for illegally producing and selling the drinks.
Teachers and students of political science department of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday demanded effective steps to ensure road safety.
A fire in a private-owned container depot gutted cotton worth Tk 5 lakh at Patenga in the port city on Sunday night.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni has expressed her frustration over the failure of the developed nations in keeping up their commitments to funding for mitigation and adaptation programmes to cope with climate change.
Jotey Bashakhi Utshab-1419 was held at all showrooms of Jotey Sharee in the city on Sunday.
Engineer Md Rezaul Karim Khan, former additional director general (infrastructure) of Bangladesh Railway, was elected president of the new council of Bangladesh Society for Non-Destructive Testing (BSNDT) for 2012-13.
Mahmudul Hasan and Dr Zahedul Hassan were elected president and general secretary of the Executive Committee of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Scientists Association (BAESA).
Today is the 41st death anniversary of Lt Col Mo-hammad Abdul Qadir.
Once barren lands on the Karotoa River at Shikarpur village in Boda upazila under Panchagarh district are now full of greenery, thanks to the introduction of a solar power-run irrigation project there.
Nor'wester lashed Rangpur, Lalmonirhat and Jamalpur districts on Sunday evening, killing two people and injuring at least 25 others.
Unripe watermelons on over 200 hectares of land in Kotalipara upazila have been totally damaged in the last few days, due to flood water triggered by heavy rain, coupled with tidal surges from the adjoining river.
The body of a Bangladeshi cattle trader, who was shot dead by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) on Chouka border in Shibganj upazila in Chapaianwabganj early Saturday, was returned to Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) yesterday morning.
A 'mysterious' fire burnt down important official documents and valuables worth Tk 50 thousand at the office of Jaldhaka upazila controller of food (UCF) in the district early Sunday.
Police failed to arrest anybody on charge of killing UP Chairman Abdur Razzak till filing of this report at 8:00pm yesterday.
One person was killed and three others were injured in a clash over a piece of disputed land at Omarpur village of Dhamurhat upazila in Naogaon yesterday morning.
Teachers of Dinajpur Polytechnic Institute yesterday staged an hour-long sit-in to press home their eight-point demand.
Border trade through Bhomra land port remained suspended since yesterday morning.
At least 42 shops were gutted by a devastating fire at Gouripur Madhya Bazar in Daudkandi upazila early yesterday.
Two people were killed and 10 others injured as they came in contact with a live electric wire at Haripur village in Kalmakanda upazila yesterday morning. The dead are Nur Nabi, 25 and Nizamuddin, 30, of the village. Police and local people said the victims came in contact with a snapped wire of a Palli Biddut pole while going to a nearby paddy field at about 6:00am.
An eight-month-old boy drowned in a drain in Sahednagar area of the district town on Sunday noon. The victim is Shahriar, son of Nurul Islam of the area. Locals said the incident happened when the victim's mother Khushi Begum went inside the house to bring a towel to wipe the boy after bathing at the courtyard at noon.
Police in a drive arrested a fugitive accused of a robbery case from Rajapur village in Mohammadpur upazila early Sunday. The arrestee was identified as Solaiman Mollah, 35, son of Samad Mollah of Baroikhali village in Sadar upazila. M Sogir Mia, officer in-charge of Mohammadpur PS said, on secret information, they raided the village late at night and arrested Solaiman.
A poor farmer allegedly committed suicide at
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said yesterday that a coordinated Taliban attack showed a "failure" by Afghan intelligence and especially by Nato, as heavy street fighting between insurgents and security forces came to an end after 18 hours.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday it is the Syrian government's responsibility to guarantee freedom of movement within the country for UN observers monitoring the nation's 5-day cease-fire.
Reaching out to states opposed to the National Counter Terrorism Centre, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday favoured joint and coordinated efforts to deal with challenges of terrorism whatever its origin, whether internal or external.
Sudan parliament voted unanimously yesterday to brand the government of South Sudan an enemy, after southern troops invaded the north's main oilfield.
The UN Security Council yesterday tightened sanctions against North Korea over its failed rocket launch and warned of new "action" if the isolated state stages a new nuclear test.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday pledged to review the country's tough sedition law that critics say has been used to silence dissent as part of reforms to claw back votes.
Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his 85th birthday yesterday with visitors from his native state of Bavaria in Germany and is now the oldest pope since Leo XIII, who died in 1903 aged 93.
Anders Behring Breivik pleaded not guilty for his massacre of 77 people in Norway, making a defiant far-right salute as his trial began yesterday before being confronted by dramatic recordings of the slaughter.
Arts & Entertainment
Around 1,000 artistes, along with noted Tagore singer Rezwana Chowdhury Bonna, sang the song “Probhato Bina Tabo Baje” at the dawn of Pahela Baishakh (April 14) that commenced the grand celebration jointly arranged by Shurerdhara and Channel i. The programme was held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
Bangla Academy held a cultural and discussion programme at the Nazrul Mancha on the academy premises on April 14 to celebrate Pahela Baishakh. On the same day, a 10-day Baishakhi fair opened at the academy.
The closing ceremony of the 1st edition of Dhaka Art Summit was held on April 15 at the Main Auditorium, Bangladesh National Museum (BNM). Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Abul Kalam Azad was present as chief guest. Eminent art historian of France, Gerard Xuriguera, was present as the special guest on the occasion. Azijur Rahman, chairman, Board of Trustees, BNM, presided over the programme.
Baul songs were performed in Tangail town on April 14 on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh.
The traditional Sangrai [New Year] celebration of the Marma community concluded on Sunday at the compound of Betbunia High School, under Kawkhali upazila.
The three-day 'Manipuri Uthsab-2012' ended in Sylhet city last Thursday night with participation of the Manipuri community from different areas of greater Sylhet division.
As part of three-day celebrations of Pahela Baishakh, Baishakhi Utsab Udjapon Parishad, Mymensingh organised a boat-race on the inaugural day on April 15.
The combined attacks on government installations including the parliament and Nato garrisons in three separate districts have driven home one message loud and clear: Afghan security forces trained by the United States are hardly in any shape to takeover from the International forces in 2014. Though the battle raged on for hours on end and there was little damage done, the reputation of the newly trained Afghan forces has taken a serious hit, particularly so because insurgents were able to hit some of the best defended sites in the capital and elsewhere.
India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan have planned 552 hydropower projects in the Himalayas. Some of these are under construction, some have been completed and still others are on the drawing board. When they are implemented some of them will impact Bangladesh.
Immediately after the delivery of the judgment by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS/Tribunal) in the Bangladesh/Myanmar maritime delimitation case on March 14, there were claims by AL of a complete victory over Myanmar. These claims were complemented by casting blame on BNP for its failure to have the maritime boundary dispute resolved. BNP, on the other hand, has taken the position that the government's campaign over winning the case is a trick to deceive people and urged the government not to confuse people by telling lies.
Masu, is no more? It is about four weeks now that Masum physically ceased to be with us, but yet I fail to comprehend a world without him.
Geoffrey Chaucer tells the Canterbury Tales for the first time at the court of Richard II.
Science & Life
From time immemorial, we gazed at the night sky and were fascinated by the sight of the moon, stars, meteors, comets, and neighboring planets. We wish upon a shooting star. We wonder how our lives are connected to the objects that adorn the sky.
Brain size and smarts are, to some extent, genetic and now, a team of more than 200 researchers has uncovered specific genes that are linked to both brain volume and IQ.
Researchers from the Department of Chemistry at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden, have managed to construct a molecular catalyzer that can oxidize water to oxygen very rapidly. In fact, these KTH scientists are the first to reach speeds approximating those is nature's own photosynthesis. The research findings play a critical role for the future use of solar energy and other renewable energy sources.
Even though bacteria in Lechuguilla Cave have been cut off from the surface for millions of years and were never exposed to antibiotics for medicine or agriculture, most of the 93 strains analyzed in a new study are resistant to several antibiotics. Bacteria found in the cave have ways of fighting off up to 21 kinds of antibiotics, researchers from the University of Akron in Ohio and McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, report online April 11 in PLoS ONE.
Expanding on previous research providing proof-of-principle that human stem cells can be genetically engineered into HIV-fighting cells, a team of UCLA researchers have now demonstrated that these cells can actually attack HIV-infected cells in a living organism.
If a pulsing star exists near the center of our Milky Way galaxy, where a giant black hole is thought to lurk, it could shed light on the workings of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, scientists say. The flashes of light from such a star, called a pulsar, could be used to determine how much the behemoth black hole distorts space-time around it.
Fulgurite is the name for fossilized lightning. They are natural hollow glass tubes formed in quartzose sand, or silica, or soil by lightning strikes and are formed when lightning with a temperature of at least 1,800 degrees Celsius instantaneously melts silica on a conductive surface and fuses grains together. The image above is a fulgurite.
The suspension of the ongoing recruitment in around 3,500 posts for railway's east zone has generated new hope among the deceived job seekers who failed to pay as much bribe as demanded by a syndicate of railway officials, staff and workers.