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News of: Sunday, 6th of May, 2012
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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday urged all political actors in Bangladesh to settle their differences through dialogue and plan for holding the next general election in a free, fair and credible manner.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday requested the US to return Bangabandhu's convicted killer Rashed Chowdhury to Bangladesh.
Hillary Clinton yesterday said it is the responsibility of political parties to find out how a free, fair and participatory election can be held in Bangladesh.
* Meeting Yunus, Abed
Brac official Mohammad Mohiuddin, who was shot dead at Brac provincial office in Ghor of Afghanistan on Thursday, earlier had informed his senior officials about insufficient security, claimed his wife.
Indian Border Security Force has killed two Bangladeshis and injured 10 others on average per month this year despite repeated pledges by their home minister not to open fire along the border.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni flies to New Delhi tonight to co-chair the maiden Joint Consultative Commission meeting tomorrow, in which the issues of Teesta water-sharing, extradition and implementation of land boundary accord will come up for discussion.
Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will spend a busy day in Dhaka today -- the concluding day of his two-day trip.
The level of corruption in the country would have been much lower had the successive governments cleared audit objections timely, said Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Ahmed Ataul Hakeem yesterday.
Calm returned to Cairo yesterday after Egypt's military rulers imposed an overnight curfew around the defence ministry following fierce clashes between troops and protesters that killed two people.
Inflation edged down to single digit on a point-to-point basis in April due to a fall in rice prices.
Buddhists across the country will celebrate Buddha Purnima, the biggest religious festival of the community, today.
Influential American Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has told Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani that his country is a failed state and no amount of US aid money will ever change that.
Representatives of local government bodies yesterday said they could not take up many development projects due to poor allocation of funds and lack of the authority to collect taxes locally.
The daughter of missing BNP leader M Ilias Ali yesterday handed over a letter to visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton informing the top US diplomat about her father's disappearance.
Agitating students at Jahangirnagar University yesterday called off their fast-unto-death programme upon assurance from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that she would look into the matter.
Saudi Arabia's top religious official has blamed Muslim sinfulness for instability in the Middle East, where pro-democracy unrest has toppled four heads of state.
The government is not mulling a law to ban hartal in the country, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said yesterday.
A fire killed 14 people trapped in a locked down drug rehabilitation center east of Lima with no means of escape, the city's fire department said Saturday.
Five border policemen were killed when a roadside bomb ripped through their patrol vehicle in eastern Afghanistan, an official said yesterday.
There is little question that there is today an acute crisis over drinking water in the country. On top of that, when news comes in of residents in particular localities being put to an even worse crisis through the work of plants extracting groundwater and selling them, there is grave reason for concern. Briefly, the tubewells which the residents of Middle Halishahar in Chittagong have been wont to using for long are rapidly being rendered pointless because of the receding level of groundwater. And that, if residents' complaints are anything to go by, has happened because of the rampant manner in which three private firms have been extracting groundwater in the area over the past three years.
Observing the World Press Day on Thursday, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed grave concern over the mounting deaths of journalists the world over. Reporters Without Borders, an international organization defending press freedom, has mentioned in its reports that more than 60 journalists were killed in 2011 alone while 22 reporters and six bloggers have already been killed since the start of this year. The UN secretary general further noted that journalists ''face intimidation, harassment and censorship at the hands of the governments, corporations and powerful individuals seeking to preserve their power or hide wrongdoings and misdeeds." This conspicuous rise in torturing and killing journalists owes completely to the culture of impunity that perpetrators enjoy.
Kolkata Knight Riders prevailed in their prestige fight against Pune Warriors, defeating the Sourav Ganguly-led side by seven runs in a thrilling Indian Premier League match at the Eden Gardens yesterday.
No sooner had Stuart Law departed yesterday, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) intensified its search for the new head coach. Law's replacement could be named as early as this month with the major candidates being asked to come to the BCB headquarters and give their interviews.
Sports Minister for Youth and Sports Ahad Ali Sarkar led a delegation to Cox's Bazar to select the land for a stadium ahead of the 2014 Twenty20 World Cup.
Chelsea withstood a late Liverpool onslaught to seal their fourth FA Cup final victory in six seasons here Saturday with a 2-1 win at Wembley.
Mohammad Yousuf has insisted that he only arrived in Dhaka after being given a copy of the No Objection Certificate and clearance by Victoria Sporting Club.
Some pyrotechnics with the bat and a disciplined effort with the ball gave Rajasthan Royals a convincing 43-run victory over Kings XI Punjab in their IPL match at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali yesterday.
After wreaking havoc against England at the beginning of the year, ace Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, is now aiming to knock down Sri Lanka during next month's tour.
The training camp for the AFC U-22 Asian Cup is expected to get underway on the 8th of this month, according to Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) President Kazi Salahuddin, but the man in charge of the side is still confused about whether the camp can be started so soon as there are a lot of decisions still to be made.
Rajshahi reached the final of the Standard Chartered Young Tigers Under-16 National Cricket Championship as they defeated Dinajpur by one wicket at the Shaheed Miraj Tapan Stadium in Manikganj yesterday.
Somerset will not be taking legal action against Chris Gayle for breach of contract. Gayle had signed to play for Somerset in this season's FLt20 competition but, after resolving his differences with the West Indies team management, has made himself available for the limited-overs section of their tour of England.
The Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Timothy George, has expressed his desire to see the return of international cricket to Pakistan, but did not give any time frame when the Australian cricket team would visit Pakistan to play a full series.
Disgraced Pakistan fast-bowler Mohammad Asif remained adamant that his six-month sentence has had no effect on his fitness as he looks to make a comeback after his release from prison, according to reports.
Former India captain Ajit Wadekar has asked the cricket board to concentrate more on promoting Tests than cash-rich Twenty20 tournament Indian Premier League (IPL).
Players will step onto the untried blue clay courts of the ATP-WTA Madrid Masters from Sunday, with serious doubts and some hostility as preparations for the French Open are fine-tuned.
Cambodia has selected an eccentric Japanese comedian to compete in the men's marathon at the 2012 Olympic Games -- but the country's best long-distance runner is not amused.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Saturday criticised the Argentinian government for exploiting the London Olympic Games with an advertisement showing the captain of their field hockey team training in the Falklands.
Tiger Woods's bid to bounce back from a disastrous
Croatian third-seed Marin Cilic booked his place in the final of Munich's ATP tournament here with a straight sets win over wildcard Tommy Haas in Saturday's semifinal.
Arsenal's bid for a top-four finish suffered a major setback as Steve Morison's late goal earned Norwich a deserved point in a six-goal thriller at the Emirates.
Manchester City are steeling themselves for one final assault on the Premier League at Newcastle on Sunday, where victory over the Magpies will leave them on the brink of the title.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has expressed concern about the slow pace of preparations for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and said he wanted the delays to be made up as soon as possible.
Rashidi Yekini, the former African Footballer of the Year has died at the age of 48.
Barcelona fans in India, who are still mourning their favourite club's exit from the Champions League, have reasons to get excited. Talks are on at the highest level to hold a farewell exhibition match for Barca coach Pep Guardiola against Italian giants Inter Milan in Kolkata.
France international Bacary Sagna was ruled out of next month's European Championship on Saturday after breaking his leg in Arsenal's 3-3 Premier League draw with Norwich, manager Arsene Wenger confirmed.
Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker, sidelined for three months because of an ankle injury, is "very confident" he will be fit to play for Germany at Euro 2012 next month.
Rafael Nadal blames the ATP for allowing the introduction of the blue-clay surface.
Inflation slowed to single digits on a point-to-point basis in April, for the first time in 13 months, thanks to a drop in rice prices.
Paragon Agro Ltd, a leading agro-based company, has started producing electricity from poultry waste.
Latifur Rahman, chairman of Transcom Group and vice president of ICC Bangladesh, has left Dhaka early this morning for receiving Business for Peace Award 2012.
Twenty-two garment exporters of Bangladesh are facing an uncertainty in receiving payments worth $5 million from an Indian company troubled by dwindling working capital.
Stocks ended the last week flat, after a significant correction amid fears of political instability stemming from the disappearance of an opposition party leader.
A plant will be set up in Munshi-ganj Sadar upazila to make environment friendly and energy saving bulbs.
Business leaders in Sylhet yesterday demanded the government immediately remove illegal vendors and makeshift shops from the footpaths in the city in a bid to address traffic congestion.
Italian carmaker Fiat is to set up its own car dealer network in India to grow sluggish sales, ending a six-year distribution agreement with Tata Motors.
Yahoo Inc could be weeks away from selling 15 to 25 percent of Alibaba Group's stock back to China's largest e-commerce company, in a deal designed to eliminate complexities that had scuttled the parties' previous negotiations, a person familiar with the matter said.
A team of four budding entrepreneurs yesterday finished as toppers of HSBC Young Entrepreneurs Challenge, after their idea of producing capsule shells from fish fins and scales was rated as the best business concept.
Two years ago, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) launched a petition to fight hunger with the slogan: "1,000,000,000 people live in chronic hunger and I'm mad as hell."
For generations, our understanding of economics has been based on the traditional model. That is, a nation's economy is like a machine; it is linear and rational. The more inputs (such as the factors of production: capital, intellect, land and labour) that are added, the more output is achieved -- in a predictable fashion.
The government should strongly raise its voice to win just compensation from the industrialised countries, which are mostly responsible for the vagaries of climate, noted environmental scientist Dr A Atiq Rahman said at a rally yesterday.
A special court yesterday sentenced 309 soldiers of 36 Rifle Battalion of erstwhile Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) to up to seven years of rigorous imprisonment for their role in the mutiny on February 25-26, 2009.
Bangladesh and the United States yesterday signed a joint declaration on “Bangladesh-US Partnership Dialogue”, aiming to establish regular dialogues on strategic cooperation.
Speakers at a seminar yesterday demanded budgetary allocation for the development of the Dalit community members.
The deadlock at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), which was created over alleged anomalies in the administration, apparently came to an end, as agitating teachers called off their 27-day strike on assurance from the prime minister yesterday.
A High Court bench has granted bail to 23 accused in a case filed for attacking some Hindu people and damaging their property in Satkhira last month, although another bench earlier refused to hear their bail petitions “considering the case as sensitive”.
Two persons were killed and one was injured in two road crashes in and outside of the capital yesterday.
The governing body of Ramna Kali Mandir in the capital yesterday urged the government to demarcate the temple's land immediately to protect it from illegal grabbers.
Police arrested five alleged members of banned outfit Hizb ut-Tahrir as they were trying to bring out a procession at the capital's Nilkhet yesterday in protest of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Dhaka.
The Sector Commander's Forum (SCF) yesterday accepted the letter of Lt Gen (retd) Harun-ar-Rashid (Bir Protik) requesting to relieve him of the responsibility as the secretary general of the Forum.
Motor vehicles in the country are likely to get retro reflective registration number plate with radiofrequency identification (RFID) system as a proposal in this regard is likely to get the approval of the Cabinet Purchase Committee.
Police recovered a skeleton from a char in the Padma River in Dohar and a highly decomposed body from the Buriganga River on Friday night.
Speakers at a programme in the capital on Friday said it was very necessary to formulate a national physical planning to stop the ongoing unplanned development throughout the country.
At least five people were injured in DIT commercial area of Narayanganj yesterday when police charged batons on a Jubo Dal rally organised to protest the filing of cases against the organisation's central leaders including its president and general secretary.
Design of passenger vessel should be checked properly before its approval while following the proper design thoroughly to make it safe and durable to avert accidents.
Several left-leaning student organisations brought out a procession and rally and burnt the effigies of US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee at Dhaka University yesterday protesting their arrival.
Six people, including four friends, were killed in separate road accidents in Kishoreganj, Pabna and Jamalpur on Friday and yesterday.
Leaders of Sampradayikata-Jongibad Birodhi Mancha, an anti-communalism platform, yesterday urged the government to extend all-out support to the war crimes tribunal for speeding up the trial proceedings.
University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Prof Dr AK Azad Chowdhury yesterday underlined the need for infusing leadership quality into the graduating students so that they could lead the South Asian region.
A housewife allegedly committed suicide at her Jurine residence in the capital yesterday.
Leaders and workers of BNP and its front and associate organisations yesterday paid their last respects to party leader and former state minister for religious affairs Mosharref Hossain Shahjahan.
Some human skeletal remains kept in a bag were recovered from the landfill of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) in Anandabazar area yesterday.
A man allegedly committed suicide in the port city yesterday.
Some 100 students of Rajshahi University's (RU) crop science and technology department laid siege to the administrative building yesterday demanding the shifting of the department to the main campus from Narikelbaria, situated 16 kilometres away.
Valuables worth about Tk 1.5 lakh were gutted as a fire broke out at a Shershah Colony shop in Chittagong city early yesterday.
An unidentified man was killed after falling from the rooftop of a running train in Parbatipur upazila on Friday evening.
Prof Jamilur Reza Choudhury joined University of Asia Pacific (UAP) as Vice Chancellor on May 2, says a press release.
Today is the first death anniversary of freedom fighter Lt Col (retd) Quazi Nooruzzaman (Bir Uttam).
Today is the sixth death anniversary of Siddiqa Begum, former principle of Kishoreganj Girls' High School and wife of Deputy Magistrate Shamsuddin Ahmed, a noted martyr of the Liberation War.
Alamgir Md Kabir, son of former Dhaka University chief engineer late Dabir Uddin Ahmed, passed away due to liver complications at Upstate University Hospital, Syracuse, New York, USA recently at the age of 69.
Prof Solaiman Miah, founder and former head of English department at Pabna Edward College, died of cardiac arrest at United Hospital in the capital on Friday at the age of 75.
Women nurture the crop plants in vast fields of Teesta River basin in Sundarganj upazila while the male members of their family leave home in search of work.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) killed at least 71 Bangladeshi nationals since January 2007, but they gave autopsy reports of only eight victims to their Bangladesh counterpart Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).
Police arrested a drug addict in Bhairab municipality area yesterday for allegedly trying to sell his five-month-old child for Tk 2,000.
Another indigenous man, injured in Friday's clash at Chakgopal village in Manda upazila, died yesterday, raising the death from the melee to 4.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Abhoynagar upazila unit in Jessore has called for a daylong hartal in the upazila today demanding immediate arrest of the killers of Rafiqul Islam, organising secretary of the unit.
Erosion by river Teesta have rendered at lest 55 families at three villages in Sadar upazila homeless in the last three days.
Bangladesh Railway (BR) will introduce a new intercity train on Dhaka-Sylhet route from May 15.
Acting officer in-charge (OC) of Feni Sadar Model Police Station was closed yesterday on charge of assaulting a magistrate and two land officials on Thursday. Meanwhile, Additional Divisional Commissioner (Revenue), Chittagong Md Nurul Islam, reached Feni yesterday to investigate the incident. Sources said, a team led by Feni Sadar upazila nirbahi officer Shaheen Akther went to carry out an eviction drive at the gate of the police station on Thursday. As police claimed ownership of the land, they engaged in an altercation with the magistrate. At one stage, the OC physically assaulted the officials.
A woman drowned in River Chitra at Vatia village in Sadar upazila on Friday.Narail firefighters recovered the body from the Ghorakhali boat terminal area. The victim was identified as Hamida Khatun, 25, daughter of Sukur Ali of Vatia village under Narail municipality. Locals said, Hamida went to the river to take a bath in the afternoon but she did not return home. Locals later found the body floating in the river in the evening and informed firefighters.
Cultural activists and left leaning political leaders and activists at Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday demanded Rucsu (students' union) election to revive fair political activities on the campus. They also demanded restart of Teachers-Students Cultural Centre (TSCC) at the university. Around one hundred leaders and activists under the banner of Bangladesh Chhatra Union yesterday formed a human chain in front of the university central library at around 12:00pm. They also started a week-long mass signature campaign on the campus in favour of their demands.
A minor boy was strangled allegedly by another boy while playing football at Dhanusara village in Chouddagram upazila on Friday. The victim was identified as Russell, 10, son of late Bacha Mia of the village. Police quoting locals said, an altercation ensued between Russell and Liton, 12, son of Yasin of the village at one stage of playing football in the afternoon. Later, Liton swooped on Russell and tightly pressed his throat leaving him critically injured. The victim died on the way to hospital.
An agreement still appeared to elude the Centre's proposal on the National Counter-Terrorism Centre with States ruled by non-Congress parties rejecting it as “not acceptable” and opposing it “tooth and nail”, notwithstanding appeals by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram for a broad consensus.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ended a tense visit to China yesterday with a fragile deal in hand over a top dissident, as anxious activists waited to see if Beijing would let him leave the country.
A US drone attack targeting a militant compound killed at least 10 insurgents in a troubled Pakistani tribal district along the Afghan border early yesterday, security officials said.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam yesterday gave its backing to Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as United Progressive Alliance's presidential candidate.
Most Americans want US troops out of Afghanistan and oppose a significant long-term commitment to support that nation's economy and security, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Friday.
Boris Johnson has won a second term as London mayor, beating Labour rival Ken Livingstone by 3%, after a far closer contest than expected.
Blasts rocked Syria's capital and second city yesterday, killing several people, a watchdog said, accusing the government of carrying out the attacks to prevent funerals for anti-regime protesters.
France held its breath yesterday on the eve of a presidential election that Socialist Francois Hollande was predicted to win despite incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy closing the gap after wooing the far-right.
US President Barack Obama holds his first official reelection rallies at an unfortunate moment, as signs of the strong economic rebound he hopes to ride to a second term seem to be dimming.
Japanese utility Hokkaido Electric Power Co began shutting the country's last active nuclear reactor yesterday, leaving the world's third-biggest user of atomic energy with no nuclear-derived electricity for the first time since 1970.
The self-confessed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and four co-accused were due to be arraigned Saturday at Guantanamo Bay, with all facing the death penalty if convicted.
Not only Greece but yesterday Europe also braced for an election that polls indicate will decimate the two main parties and fail to produce a clear winner, sparking market fears about fresh eurozone turmoil.
Ukraine's jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko yesterday agreed to be treated locally for a back problem, according to a visiting German doctor.
At least 23 people were killed on Friday in gruesome circumstances in the Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo, on the US border.
Adolf Hitler had a "messiah complex" and became increasingly obsessed with the perceived Jewish "enemy within" as World War II turned against Germany, according to a secret 1942 assessment unveiled yesterday.
A United Nations investigator probing discrimination against Native Americans has called on the US government to return some of the land stolen from Indian tribes as a step toward combatting continuing and systemic racial discrimination.
Arts & Entertainment
Marking the conclusion of the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore and hailing the Bard's 151st birth anniversary, Artistes of Pallavi Dance Centre, Dhaka, staged Tagore dance-drama “Shapmochan” at National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on May 4.
While the year long grand celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore are coming to an eventful end, cultural organisations that strive to nurture the creative genius of Tagore are gearing up to celebrate the 151st birth anniversary of the Nobel Laureate poet.
Bengali thespian Soumitra Chatterjee, honoured with this year's India's highest national film award, the Dada Saheb Phalke award, says he did not try his luck in Bollywood as he would have been a "misfit".
Bangladesh and India have jointly organised a two- day celebration programme marking the concluding ceremony of the 150th birth anniversary of Nobel Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore and inaugural event of the Bard's 151st birth anniversary. Artistes from both Bangladesh and India will perform at the event.
Yesterday afternoon, Hilary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, arrived in Dhaka. So far she had a busy schedule here. Besides meeting her counterpart Dipu Moni she called on our prime minister as well as the leader of the opposition. A meeting with a select group of civil society members is fixed for this morning as well as with our Nobel Laureate Mohammed Yunus. She flies off to India in the afternoon. Hillary's visit to Bangladesh is not sudden. Nor is it a goodwill visit. Although this is her first visit as a Secretary of State, the last time she came to Dhaka twelve years back she was then the first lady of the US.
Though Asian economies as a whole have so far fared better than Europe and the United States, their need to build a regional firewall against a possible escalation of the global financial crisis is no less imperative.
A year has gone by since we lost Colonel Quazi Nuruzzaman B.U. to posterity. For those of us who had the opportunity to work with and serve under him during the Liberation War his memories remain vivid. He was a soft-spoken man with gentlemanly manners. He could easily be mistaken for a university professor, yet, he never lectured his audience. He was a good listener who could ask poignant questions. The men who served under him during the Liberation War loved and respected him.
After three consecutive days of hartal enforced by the BNP-led 18 party alliance because of disappearance of BNP leader M. Ilias Ali, they called another shutdown for two more days beginning from April 29 for the failure of the government to find him by the opposition-set deadline. With disappearance issues featuring as headlines in the national dailies for the last few months, Ilias Ali's has heightened the crisis in our confrontational politics.
Even twenty years ago Dhaka was a pedestrian-friendly city, with leafy streets, lush green parks and wide sidewalks. You could actually walk in a residential neighbourhood without the nuisance of bleating cars, piled up construction material, and makeshift kiosks. I can distinctly recall neighbours starting the day with a leisurely stroll, occasionally interrupted by greeting passers-by. In fact, these morning walks helped the community to stay connected and provided opportunities for exchange of professional views as well as domestic tit-bits. Regrettably, those idyllic days are a matter of the past -- a tragic casualty to rapid urbanisation!
The British East India Company disbands the 34th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry whose sepoy Mangal Pandey had earlier revolted against the British and is considered to be the First Martyr in the War of Indian Independence.
After strangling his wife and two children with a rope, a man allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself with the same rope in Chittagong's Rangunia early yesterday, reportedly over family feud.
A BNP leader in the port city went missing on Friday night with his family and police coming up with conflicting reports on his whereabouts.