News of: Sunday, 29th of April, 2012
The BNP-led 18-party alliance has called back-to-back shutdowns for today and tomorrow for the government's “failure to return” missing BNP leader M Ilias Ali by the opposition-set deadline.
Four vehicles were torched in different parts of the capital yesterday on the eve of two back-to-back shutdowns called by the BNP-led 18-party alliance protesting the disappearance of former lawmaker M Ilias Ali.
Law enforcement agencies have apparently halted their drives to rescue missing BNP leader M Ilias Ali, restricting their activities only to interrogating suspects.
Bangladesh Chhatra League men at Jahangirnagar University yesterday beat up at least 15 cultural activists for protesting the pro-government student body's vandalism at a demonstration by teachers the day before.
Twenty days into the railwaygate scandal, none of the three committees probing the haul of Tk 70 lakh has visited the BGB headquarters in Pilkhana -- the spot of the incident.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged all to be cautious so that none can play games with people's fate and democratic rights.
Five members of a family were killed as a devastating fire broke out at a house in Bhanga upazila of Faridpur early yesterday.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) is ready to sign the loan agreement to finance the proposed metro rail project soon as the government finished some pending preparatory tasks, Jica officials told The Daily Star Thursday.
Around 60 people were injured in clashes between activists of Awami League and BNP in Natore, Feni and Bagerhat yesterday evening on the eve of today's hartal.
Eight passengers including two women of a human hauler were killed following a collision with a bus at Trishal of Mymensingh yesterday.
Most of the city streets were clogged with traffic yesterday afternoon as a larger number of city dwellers came out ahead of hartal today and tomorrow.
In the face of criticism, India's first woman President Pratibha Patil has said she will forgo the allotment of defence land for her post-retirement residence in the western Indian city of Pune.
Family members of Iftekhar Ahmed Dinar, a “missing” leader of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), staged a 3-hour long sit-in yesterday at the Central Shaheed Minar in Sylhet.
The education ministry has postponed Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and its equivalent examinations scheduled for today and tomorrow due to the hartals called by the opposition BNP.
A Jubo League leader was found dead in Faridpur sadar upazila yesterday morning.
Saudi Arabia has allowed the three widows and children of slain Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden entrance into the kingdom on humanitarian grounds, a Saudi-owned daily reported on Saturday.
After three consecutive days of hartal centered on disappearance of BNP's organising secretary Ilias Ali and four days of unsuccessful manhunt by the government to trace him out, BNP is literally enforcing its ultimatum. It has called for two consecutive days of dawn-to-dusk hartals preceding May Day, a holiday. In effect, only two working days are left of the whole week. This is extremely unsettling for a nation yet to recover from the shock effect of consecutive three days of hartal as the trepidation of an uncertain future grips us all.
The unrest between two opposing factions of Jahangirnagar University teachers has thrown academic life on the campus in disarray. In its most recent ramification, BCL cadres were seen to foil agitating teachers' demonstration programmes as they laid siege to the vice chancellor's residence. We are shocked to see things come down to this level where students' academic activities have virtually ground to a halt.
Rajshahi posted a comfortable nine-wicket victory to maintain their supremacy in the country's lone first-class competition as Khulna surrendered meekly on the third day of the five-day National Cricket League (NCL) final at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Rajshahi coach Khaled Mashud termed 'team spirit' the main reason behind his team's fourth consecutive success in the country's lone first-class competition, the National Cricket League.
Clashes over football matches are not that uncommon in our country, as elsewhere in the world. But has anyone heard of a football clash between policemen, who are thought to maintain discipline among them and for people?
Bangladesh suffered their 4th consecutive defeat in the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Zone Group-3 losing 1-2 against Vietnam in their relegation round match in Tehran, Iran yesterday.
A dazzling 93 from skipper Gautam Gambhir powered Kolkata Knight Riders to a 47-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata yesterday.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is still awaiting an official response from their Bangladeshi counterparts to try and annul a stay order from the Dhaka High Court, that has prevented the latter team from touring Pakistan for a two-match itinerary this month.
Kings XI Punjab defeated the Chennai Super Kings by 7 runs in Chennai yesterday. Upon winning the toss, Punjab elected to bat first and compiled 156/8 in their 20 overs. In reply, the reigning champions could only muster 149-8.
Rafael Nadal crushed Fernando Verdasco for the 13th time in his career on Saturday to set up a fourth Barcelona Open final with long-time rival David Ferrer.
Siddikur Rahman continued his impressive surge in the Ballantine's Championship as he climbed up to a joint 18th position after the third round on Saturday. The 27-year-old fired six birdies along with two bogeys at the Blackstone Golf Club yesterday to go to an aggregate of 4-under-par 212.
Former Bangladesh football team captain Ashrafuddin Ahmed Chunnu laid out his elaborate plans for taking Bangladesh's football forward if elected in the senior vice-president's post in the BFF election on April 30. The former Abahani midfielder and Narayanganj DFA president revealed a six-point plan for the development of the game as he addressed the press at the BFF conference room yesterday.
Maria Sharapova needed more than three hours to complete a marathon three-set comeback against US Open winner Sam Stosur to reach Saturday's semi-finals at the Stuttgart WTA clay-court tournament.
Rafael Nadal served up back-to-back finishing aces on Friday as the Spaniard's claycourt juggernaut headed closer to a seventh title at the Barcelona Open with a 6-2, 6-2 thrashing of Janko Tipsarevic.
Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry admitted that it would be "a dream" to one day return to the club as manager.
Sri Lanka's World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga's tenure as the head of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) came to be short-lived because of his opposition to IPL, a report here has claimed. 'The Island', quoting SLC documents said Ranatunga was removed "after the BCCI applied pressure on the Sri Lankan government". Ranatunga was unavailable for comment on the matter.
Michael Clarke celebrated a year in charge of Australia with a 75-run victory over West Indies in the third and final Test, but insisted his team is far from the finished article.
Michael Clarke headed for his first stint in the Indian Premier League on Friday, insisting that he was looking forward to playing under former India skipper Sourav Ganguly.
The Inter-Club players transfer for the Green Delta Insurance Metropolis First Division Hockey League has been deferred by four days.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) emerged champions in the Bangladesh Police Handball Tournament defeating Armed Police Battalion 29-17 in the final at the Shaheed Captain Mansur Ali Handball Stadium in Paltan, yesterday.
Newcastle's bid for Champions League qualification suffered a reality check on Saturday as Wigan eased their relegation fears with a thumping 4-0 win over the Magpies.
Roberto Mancini insists Manchester United will still be favourites for the Premier League title, even if City win Monday's derby at Eastlands.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp admits he failed in an audacious bid to sign Manchester City's Carlos Tevez in January.
Interim Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo believes his bid to secure the job full-time will not come under threat from Pep Guardiola, who will quit as coach of Barcelona in a few weeks.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson believes strike pair Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck could emulate the Old Trafford goal-scoring havoc once wreaked by Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole.
Munich's Olympic Stadium will host the first official public viewing of a Champions League final when Bayern Munich take on Chelsea at the Allianz Arena on May 19, UEFA announced on Friday.
Gareth Bale has warned Tottenham that he will have to consider his future if the north London club fail to qualify for the Champions League.
Champions League finalists Chelsea have signed German international midfielder Marko Marin from Bundesliga side Werder Bremen, the Premier League club confirmed on Saturday.
Hailing the Indian government's decision to nominate Sachin Tendulkar to the Rajya Sabha, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said the senior batsman deserves much more than that.
Economists yesterday said Bangladesh would need to accelerate investments, productivity and reforms to achieve 7-8 percent growth.
Chain superstores such as Meena Bazar and Nandan, or area-based departmental stores such as Consumers Shop usually see thin crowds during mid-afternoon.
Brighter days beckon Bangladesh and the youth should realise that potential, US Ambassador Dan Mozena said yesterday.
The Dhaka Stock Exchange has set June 10 as a fresh date to start e-trading using an upgraded trading software -- MSA-Plus.
Bangladesh must ensure efficient infrastructure and take drastic measures to curb inflation to achieve its budgetary goals and 7 percent economic growth, ICCB said in a statement yesterday.
Dealers of reconditioned vehicles yesterday demanded the government equalise the import duty structure of old and new cars to ensure fair prices on the domestic market.
Meghna Group of Industries yesterday opened five new industrial units set up at a cost of Tk 1,500 crore, said Mostafa Kamal, chairman and managing director.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not imposed any conditions on its recent loans to Bangladesh rather a reforms programme was attached to the credit to help the country achieve sustainable growth, said a senior official of the lender.
Ferdousi Kazal of Kurigram said her father walked out on her mother during her birth. Although it was too tough to bear the family expenses, her mother -- a worker -- never put a stop to her daughter's study.
Bangladesh stands at a crossroads; behind it lies its difficult economic past while ahead lies the promise of a much brighter future. However the route to that brighter future is by no means direct. Bangladeshis must collectively decide how to get there. The West, led by America, offers one model of growth which is driven by the free market and mass consumption. Essentially, this western model believes that individuals (either people or firms) should bear the risk -- and reward -- of success or failure. It espouses low taxes, few regulations and individual ownership of the factors of production. While this model certainly works, it works more for some than for others, generating a lot of inequality amid the wealth it creates. As one of my economics professors used to say “do not confuse efficiency with equality”.
Stocks declined 3.8 percent last week -- the lowest in two months -- as investors sold off shares amid fears of political instability stemming from the disappearance of BNP Organising Secretary M Ilias Ali.
Panic-stricken victims and witnesses of the 2003 Banskhali arson, which left 11 members of a Hindu family dead, are passing their days with fear of attack as trial of the case opens on May 15.
The four policemen, who were allegedly involved in beating a journalist, were closed and a case was filed against them with Panchlaish Police Station in the port city yesterday.
The government has made Suranjit Sengupta a minister without portfolio in line with the constitution, and nobody should make any comment on this issue, which can create confusion, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said yesterday.
Students and teachers of Islamic history and culture department of Dhaka University demanded exemplary punishment to the members of in-laws' house of former DU student Farzana Noor Sukhi as they allegedly killed her on April 22.
Employers must ensure safety and health of workers and make industries environment friendly as laws require, labour rights activists and high officials said at a national seminar yesterday.
Prize money of Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) has been doubled raising the amount to $ 1 million from $ 500,000, says a press release.
Several child rights activists yesterday advised parents to improve early childhood care and education for proper physical and mental growth of children.
Some 24 cases were filed in Sylhet district against BNP, Jatiya Chhatra Dal and Juba Dal activists last week over violence centring the “disappearance” of BNP leader Ilias Ali on April 17.
An elderly female domestic help was tortured for over three months by a Bangladeshi couple in their second floor flat of a six-storey building in Singapore.
A prosecutor dealing with cases concerning war crimes committed during the 1971 Liberation War yesterday expressed hope that verdict in some of the cases will be handed down within the next four months.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, Sergei Aleinik, called on Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni at her office yesterday and discussed the bilateral issues.
Abdul Kader Siddiqui, president of Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Janata League, yesterday said he would teach the government the ways of politics in the future.
Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, who is facing war crimes charges, yesterday took part in his brother's namaz-e-janaza, who died on Friday, in a parole for six hours.
Police yesterday arrested two youths in the port city on charge of bringing mobile phone sets and accessories from abroad without proper documents.
A "mentally challenged" husband killed his wife in Kamrangirchar area of the capital yesterday.
Seven students of Chittagong University (CU) were injured in a clash on the campus over establishing supremacy in different compartments of a shuttle train yesterday morning.
Former mayor of Chittagong City Corporation and President of city Awami League (AL) ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury yesterday said as from tomorrow the International Crimes Tribunal would start recording deposition of the witnesses, it would be the government's duty to make sure that the witnesses could reach the court safely and got their job done.
An hour's spell of shower yesterday brought a sigh of relief for Chittagong dwellers who were struggling to cope with the baking heatwave coupled with frequent power cuts and rise in humidity.
Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakkha (Rajuk) will hold the second phase of lottery for allotment of 270 plots at Jheelmil housing project among the remaining categories of applicants at the housing ministry today.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni will receive the prestigious Mother Teresa Lifetime Achievement Award in Kolkata today.
World Frog Preserving Day was observed on Friday in Chittagong and different areas of the country for the first time.
Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said no war criminal could escape the trial, as the criminals, who were on the run or abroad, would be brought to the country to face the trial.
Students of crop science and technology department at Rajshahi University demonstrated yesterday demanding shift of their department to the main campus.
A young man was crushed under train in Sirajganj early yesterday.
One person was killed and eight others were injured in separate road accidents in Brahmanbaria and Chittagong yesterday.
Journalist Parvez Khan, former president of Bangladesh Crime Reporters' Association (CRAB), and his driver were attacked by some armed people over parking his car at the capital's Green Road yesterday.
Over 150 fourth class employees of Dhaka University blocked the road before the vice chancellor's residence yesterday evening demanding punishment to a teacher who slapped their colleague for negligence in duty.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested three drug peddlers and seized around 800 pieces of Yaba tablets worth about Tk 3.20 lakh in Cox's Bazar and Chittagong on Friday.
A laundry shop was gutted in a fire in the port city yesterday noon.
Freedom fighter Golam Rahman passed away at his house in Satkhira town yesterday at the age of 75.
Nor'wester lashed Satkhira, Bagerhat, Khulna, Noakhali, Jessore and Madaripur districts yesterday, leaving ten people dead and at least 35 others injured.
Construction work of the road, replacing the old and narrow one from Shaheb Bazar to Gourhanga in Rajshahi city, has remained stalled for four months due to fund crisis following increase in the estimated project expenditure by Tk 20 crore.
Rival Awami League men set three houses on fire following a feud at Bolpur village under Hoglapasha union of Morelganj upazila on Friday evening.
Authorities of Alinagar High School in Gomostapur upazila under the district suspended yesterday's first terminal examinations of different classes as local Awami League arranged a rally with a state minister as the chief guest at the ground of adjacent Santoshpur primary school.
Onrush of water from the upstream has washed away a portion of an embankment in Netrakona and developed breaches in another dyke in Habiganj.
At least 20 bombs were exploded and two people injured during a clash between two rival groups at Chunakhali-Gumpara of Sadar upazila in the district yesterday noon.
Four firearms were recovered and six people arrested in this connection in Sirajganj, Jessore and Joypurhat districts on Friday.
The much-awaited border haat (market) at remote Dolura frontier in Sunamganj district would now start on 1 May, officials said yesterday.
Six leaders and activists of Jamaat-e-Islami including a Surah member and district unit ameer were injured as Chhatra League activists attacked district Jamaat office in the town Friday night.
At least 14 shops were gutted in a devastating fire at Dadanchak Bazar of Shibganj upazila early yesterday. Rokonuzzaman, sub-inspector of Shibgonj police station, said the fire originated from an electric short circuit. Firefighters from Shibganj upazila rushed to the spot and extinguished the blaze after one hour of hectic efforts. The affected shop owners claimed that the loss caused by the fire could go up to Tk 2 crore.
Police recovered 114 bullets from the house of one Forkan Ali at Foyla Masterpara village in Kaliganj upazila town yesterday morning. Forkan said the masons found the bullets while digging earth for making a latrine at his residence at about 10:30am and informed police. Sayed Kamruzzaman, officer in-charge of Kaliganj police station, said the ammunition became damaged as those were hidden there during the liberation war.
A man allegedly committed suicide by taking poison at Bishnupur village in Kaliganj upazila yesterday. The victim is Akbar Ali Sardar, 45, son of Abdul Hamid Sardar of the village. AKM Ali Nur, officer in-charge of Kaliganj police station, said Akbar killed himself at his house in the afternoon following a family feud.
A mobile court fined three brick kilns Tk 70,000 in Pirganj upazila on Friday for polluting environment. The court led by executive magistrate Kamol Kumar Gosh fined Abu Ibrahim, owner of ABM Bricks Ltd Tk 30,000, Md Illias, owner of NSM Bricks Ltd Tk 20,000 and Alamgir Badsha, owner of ALN Bricks Ltd Tk 20,000. The brick kilns had no clearance certificate from Department of Environment, said Gosh.
Members of coastguard seized a trawler loaded with Sundari timbers in Latakata area of Payra River in Patharghata upazila on Friday morning. On secret information, a team of Patharghata coastguard conducted a drive in the river and seized the trawler along with 300 cft Sundari timbers. However, no one was arrested.
The EU's chief diplomat urged Myanmar to make its progress towards democracy "irreversible" after meeting Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday amid Western efforts to bolster reforms in the former pariah state.
A leading Chinese activist who escaped from house arrest last weekend is now under US "protection" and Washington and Beijing are in talks over his status, an overseas rights group said yesterday.
Sudan yesterday rejected UN Security Council involvement in efforts to end weeks of border clashes with South Sudan that have raised fears of a wider war.
Israel's former security chief Yuval Diskin accused top ministers of misleading the public about the chances any pre-emptive military action against Iran's nuclear facilities succeeding.
Guinea-Bissau's coup leaders released the country's ousted prime minister and interim president on Friday after more than two weeks of captivity.
The United States could let Iran partially enrich uranium in return for strict measures to curb its ability to build a nuclear bomb, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.
The official Syrian press yesterday accused UN chief Ban Ki-moon of encouraging "terrorists," the regime term for anti-regime fighters, and Damascus ally Russia said "terrorist groups" need a "decisive rebuff."
India must hike fuel prices to offset spiralling oil import bills, Premier Manmohan Singh said yesterday, after refiners threatened to raise petrol prices to curb growing losses.
Osama bin Laden is dead and gone but his demise has been trotted out as a campaign issue by President Barack Obama, whose new ad questions whether his Republican rival would have ordered such a risky military raid.
High-level talks on ending a diplomatic deadlock between the United States and Pakistan have ended in failure over Pakistani demands for an apology from the United States, The New York Times reported yesterday.
Former BJP president Bangaru Laxman was sentenced yesterday to four years in jail by a Delhi court for taking a bribe of Rs one lakh in a fictitious arms deal case 11 years ago.
Saudi Arabia yesterday said it had recalled its ambassador from Egypt "for consultations" and closed its embassy and consulates in the country for security reasons after protests against the kingdom's arrest of an Egyptian lawyer.
Embarrassed over a Colombia sex scandal, the US Secret Service has released new conduct guidelines that forbid agents from visiting "non-reputable establishments" or bringing foreigners to their hotel rooms.
A hotline between the United States and Russia designed to defuse misunderstandings that could trigger a nuclear conflict will likely expand to cover the potential risk of a cyber war, The Washington Post reported Friday.
United Nations members on Friday voted Indian supreme court judge Dalveer Bhandari to sit on the International Court of Justice, the UN's highest court.
Romanian President Traian Basescu wasted no time Friday naming a left-wing opposition leader to succeed the toppled centre-right prime minister in a bid to reassure financial markets.
The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Saturday that it will resume talks with Iran on Tehran's nuclear programme in mid-May.
The trial of former Ukrainian PM Yulia Tymoshenko on tax evasion charges has been delayed until late May. The presiding judge said it would be impossible to hold the trial in her absence.
Arts & Entertainment
Thursday evening, Bangabandhu Conference Centre played host to a constellation of stars and exceptional personalities. The long awaited Meril-Prothom Awards ceremony had finally begun.
Rabindra Sangeet legend of the Indian subcontinent and one of the founders of Chhayanaut Sanjida Khatun has been conferred with Visvabharati University's highest recognition Desikottoma at Shantiniketan on April 27.
Throughout his career, director Nasiruddin Yousuff has imbued his theatrical ideology with a vision that tries to go beyond conventional forms. His directorial skills saw some successful plays produced by Dhaka Theatre. The late playwright Selim Al Deen's philosophy known as “Daitadaitobad” and Yousuff's directorial approach have together spawned a theatrical ideology for Dhaka Theatre known as “post-colonial narrative”.
Shanarei Shanu was the winner in the first edition of the Lux Channel i Superstar competition. She was followed by Momo, Biddya Sinha Mim, Chaity, Mehzabin and Rakhi. The competition is all set for its seventh edition, with the theme, “The search for a star in a sky of beauty”.
The two-day long Bengal Foundation ITC-Sangeet Research Academy (SRA) Classical Music Recital titled "Mayar Madhuri" begins today at 7pm at the main auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum. Eminent artistes from Kolkata ITC Sangeet Research Academy, including Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty and Brajeswar Mukherjee will perform at the event.
A week-long educational printmaking workshop titled “Soul-Soil-Symbol” was recently held at Cosmos Centre 71 in Malibagh. Printmakers Kalidas Karmakar and Nagarbashi Barman were the conductors of the workshop, with material support from Samdani Art Foundation.
There are two differing views about the present state of the economy of Bangladesh. If you ask the government, the answer is that there are a few challenges which need to be addressed like inflation and dearth of liquidity in our banks. But we are on track. The economic indicators seem to say so. The next budget is being based on this optimism.
Who would you consider a better guide to contemporary politics: Chaudhry Birender Singh, General Secretary of the Indian National Congress with charge of Delhi, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, or Mirza Asadullah Ghalib, Urdu-Persian poet-philosopher during the dusk of the Mughal Empire? The choice may not seem quite as obvious, on second glance. If you prefer the Chaudhry, you are clearly reasonable. The Mirza, however, might be a more illuminating guide during periods of great existential strain.
BANGLADESH is the motherland of the International Mother Language Day. English is widely used in this country because of its colonial history. There are some people here who speak Urdu and there are also many indigenous languages. This multilingual condition is a blessing for us. Globalisation demands and speeds up the process of becoming multilingual citizens. Many cities have people who can speak in more than one language. The number of bilingual and even trilingual people is rising day by day. And there is the increasing economic pressure to keep it rising on.
ECONOMISTS opine what we produce makes us who we are; i.e. a nation is known by the goods it produces. It is not merely a matter of pride but also of economics. Nations that produce high value-added commodities such as capital, durable and intermediate goods requiring sophisticated human intellect have the highest national per capital income. The case of Japan or Germany, and more recently that of the BRICS countries, provides evidence to support this contention.
My current visit to Bangladesh has been rewarding in several ways. The cultural vibrancy that seems to be running ahead of the economic regeneration is particularly stimulating. The months of February, March and April were packed with so many musical festivals and artistic events that one actually had to make considered choices about attendance! It is also encouraging to note the relentless efforts by the civil society and the NGO sector to ameliorate poverty and provide basic social services. Last but not least, the professional manner in which the Asia Cup Cricket was hosted made me feel truly proud.
Islamic conquest of Hispania: Moorish troops led by Tariq ibn-Ziyad land at Gibraltar to begin their invasion of the Iberian Peninsula (Al-Andalus).
More than two decades ago, on this very day in 1991, Gorky, a tropical cyclone with wind speed of 160 miles per hour struck the coastal areas of southern Bangladesh.