News of: Thursday, 17th of May, 2012
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BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and 32 other high-profile opposition leaders ended up in jail after a Dhaka court yesterday rejected their bail prayers in connection with an arson case.
Agitated leaders and workers of BNP-led 18-party alliance vandalised around 200 vehicles and dozens of establishments across the country yesterday, ahead of today's nationwide dawn-to-dusk hartal.
The BNP, which had been threatening to launch tough anti-government movements, suddenly finds itself in deep trouble as a record number of senior leaders of the party and its associated bodies have been put behind bars in an arson case.
Two reasons seemingly led to the rejection of bail prayers by 33 opposition leaders yesterday. However, doubters as always saw the government's hand in the affairs of the lower courts.
The government yesterday formed a four-member commission to review the activities of Grameen Bank and its associated organisations, and make recommendations on how to run the organisations.
Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur have agreed on state arrangements for recruitment of Bangladeshi workers by Malaysia eliminating middlemen from the process to reduce the cost of sending workers and end their perennial abuses.
Suranjit Sengupta announced his “return” to politics yesterday, a month after he resigned as railway minister taking full responsibility for the Tk 70 lakh scandal that involved his aide and two railway officials.
A Rajshahi court yesterday handed down death sentences to two former leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) unit at Rajshahi Polytechnic Institute for murdering Chhatra Moitree leader Rezwanul Islam Sunny two years ago.
Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan yesterday identified himself as a transport worker rather than a minister and said he has to face a lot of criticism for favouring drivers who alone are not responsible for road accidents.
Prevention of adolescent marriages and pregnancies at a young age and encouraging mothers to deliver babies at maternity care facilities can help reduce the maternal mortality rate in the country, speakers at a discussion in the city said yesterday.
Top officials of the shipping ministry yesterday staged an inquisitive day-long drama of demolishing two jetties of Shah Cement factory, built encroaching on river Shitalakkhya but the eviction team suspended its drive in the evening without doing anything.
The High Court yesterday ordered the cabinet secretary to set up a high-powered committee to investigate the allegation of grabbing land of Govt Bangla College against Awami League lawmaker Aslamul Haque.
A garment worker was killed and 30 others were injured when a bus carrying them plunged into the river Turag at Ashulia Bazar point on the outskirts of the capital yesterday morning.
Prof Anisuzzaman, who had testified against BNP lawmaker and war crimes accused Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, was cross-examined at the International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday for four and a half hours.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) shot dead a Bangladeshi youth early yesterday at Azmatpur border in Shibganj upazila of Chapainawabganj.
The Newspaper Owners' Association of Bangladesh (Noab) yesterday agreed in principle on formation of the 8th wage board for the newspaper industry.
The International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday fixed May 28 to decide whether it would indict Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah for crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the Liberation War.
Scientists in the US have developed a way to generate electricity using viruses.
Japan will put a commercial satellite into space on Friday, officials said, in its first foray into the European- and Russian-dominated world of contract launches.
Police in northern India are probing alleged fraud in the construction of giant sculptures of elephants and low-caste political heroes that were the $1.2-billion pet projects of former leader Mayawati.
Thanks to the new communications minister Obaidul Quader after decades of inertia, a fresh stimulus appears to have been injected into the long-ailing Bangladesh Railway (BR).
The non-govt primary school teachers agitating over the demand for nationalisation of their services were lathi-charged on Tuesday by the police. Quite brutally, we must say, as the news photos illustrated. As if that was not enough, hot water was doused on them in this sultry summer at one stage to disrupt their gathering or processions. As a result, a head teacher, Azizur Rahman from Jamalpur, died and several teachers were injured including some senior members of the profession. What signal do we put across by such ham-handed treatment of teachers?
Sheikh Russel KC extended their winning streak in the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League to four matches by posting a 3-2 win over minnows Rahmatganj MFS at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
There is a very slim chance the Tigers' training camp will get underway as per schedule after the stalemate regarding the resumption of the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket Super League ended on Tuesday.
England captain Andrew Strauss has insisted he has no desire to rid himself of the pressure of leadership despite a poor run of form with the bat.
Kings XI Punjab acting captain David Hussey on Wednesday defended his team's integrity amid allegations of corruption in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Bangladesh Hockey Federation is all set to introduce women's hockey from Friday at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium, following instructions from International Hockey Federation and Asian Hockey Federation. Four schools and two district teams, split into two groups, are taking part in the UBC Development Cup First Women's Hockey even though there was women's hockey played in the country from 1977 to 1983 under the Bangladesh Women's Sports Association.
A 24-member Bangladesh U-14 football team leaves for Nepal today to take part in the AFC U-14 Football Festival which started in Kathmandu on May 10.
The two chess stars vying for the world title ground out another draw on Tuesday, the fourth such result in as many matches and leaving the series all square one-third of the way through.
Government on Wednesday said "law will take its own course" in the alleged spot-fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League (IPL) if there was any violation.
West Indies face England in the first of a three-Test series at Lord's here on Thursday with the tourists' batting likely to determine the course of the match.
Roger Federer braved dust storm conditions to blow past Argentine Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-4 and open his week with a second-round victory at the Rome Masters on Wednesday.
Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore on Wednesday warned his players they faced a battle on next month's tour of Sri Lanka, saying the hosts were tough opponents in home conditions.
West Indian cricket icon Brian Lara has called upon Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the world's number one batsman, to move up the order for his team's three-Test series with England which begins on Thursday.
Australia captain Michael Clarke is now a married man. Clarke announced his marriage to girlfriend Kyly Boldy via his Twitter stream.
Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited (Citycell) has renewed its alliance with domestic basketball by assuring to sponsor the 1st division, premier league and school basketball tournament this year apart from running a training camp for the basketball players.
Fast-rising opener Nasir Jamshed was Wednesday ruled out of Pakistan's tour of Sri Lanka after fracturing a finger in his left hand.
Kenny Dalglish was sacked as Liverpool manager on Wednesday, the English Premier League club confirmed.
Roberto Di Matteo is bracing for the toughest managerial challenge of his career as he attempts to lead an injury and suspension-hit Chelsea to Champions League glory over Bayern Munich.
France coach Lau-rent Blanc named Yoann Gourcuff in his preliminary 26-man squad for Euro 2012 on Tuesday, while there was a surprise first call-up for Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Veteran defender Rio Ferdinand was the highest-profile casualty on Wednesday as England manager Roy Hodgson unveiled his squad for the European Championships.
Japan international Shinji Kagawa revealed Wednesday that he had met Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, as rumours swirl that the Borussia Dortmund star is eyeing a move to the Premier League.
Two Danish league matches will be used this month to test GoalRef, one of two goal line technology systems being evaluated by FIFA, soccer's governing body said on Wednesday.
U.S. President Barack Obama poked fun at one of sport's biggest stars at the White House on Tuesday, remarking that British soccer player David Beckham had a knack for combining athletic prowess with commercial appeal.
Everton's Australian attacking midfielder Tim Cahill launched a broadside at Newcastle's French international Yohan Cabaye after accepting a three-match ban for his red card in his side's 3-1 victory last Sunday.
Football star David Beckham will bring the Olympic flame from Greece to Britain for the torch relay ahead of the London 2012 Games, organisers said on Wednesday.
Kolkata Knight Riders played three spinners for the first time in this year's IPL against Mumbai Indians last night and the decision paid rich dividends as the visitors successfully defended a paltry total of 140.
The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) has identified five major factors that threaten the targeted economic growth in fiscal 2011-12.
A group of retail investors yesterday staged demonstrations at the High Court as it opened a hearing on writ petitions filed by directors of several listed companies against mandatory shareholding rules.
The government is likely to finalise the import policy for 2012-15 restricting imports of scrap, old computers and other office equipment to prevent environmental hazards, Commerce Secretary Ghulam Hossain said yesterday.
Amjad Khan Chowdhury's long career is full of awards and accolades, but the Daily Star-DHL award inspires him the most -- to reach new heights of success.
Refrigerator and air-conditioner merchants yesterday urged the government to reduce import duty on those products in the 2012-13 budget.
National Credit and Commerce Bank will introduce banking products for schoolchildren to encourage them to build a habit of saving.
Indian drugmaker Piramal Healthcare on Wednesday said it will
India's rupee hit a record low against the dollar Wednesday and stocks fell nearly two percent as uncertainty over the eurozone debt crisis and weak domestic indicators hit Asia's third-largest economy.
Facebook Inc increased the size of its initial public offering by almost 25 percent, and could raise as much as $16 billion as strong investor demand for a share of the No.1 social network trumps debate about its long-term potential to make money.
The telecom regulator should hold regular talks with the operators to end all disputes in the sector, Grameenphone Chief Executive Officer Tore Johnsen says.
Everyone knows it is a giant of the Internet that will make money for a long while. But is Facebook worth investing in at its elevated initial public offering price?
The government will focus on attaining higher economic growth and containing inflationary pressure in the next fiscal year, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said Tuesday at a pre-budget discussion.
A devastating fire in Kazibari slum in the capital's Shyamoli yesterday gutted over 250 shanties and left at least 12 people wounded including two children with severe burn injuries.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday stressed the need for continuing the country's democratic process to build a prosperous Bangladesh through economic development.
Polls to some 1,600 posts reserved for women in the upazila parishads may be held anytime this year, completing formation of the local government bodies more than three years after the system was restored.
Speakers at a citizens' condolence rally in Sylhet yesterday said late Awami League leader Iftekhar Hossain Shamim had served the common men throughout his life.
The draft of Foreign Donation (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Act, 2012 prepared to oversee foreign donations of NGOs was presented at a meeting at NGO Affairs Bureau office in the capital yesterday.
Now 12 more children in every 1,000 live births are able to celebrate their fifth birthday while nine more infants per 1,000 live births make it to their first year, said noted child health expert Prof MQK Talukder yesterday.
With the government contemplating more budgetary outlay for expansion of social safety net programmes (SSNP), a research initiative was formally launched yesterday to find out the best modality to transfer assistance under such projects.
Speakers at a roundtable yesterday stressed the need for a single regulatory body to check food adulteration and sub-standard drugs in Bangladesh.
A Rajshahi court yesterday sentenced three people to death and another person to life imprisonment and fined each Tk 1 lakh for raping and murdering a Santal woman in the district last year.
Non-government primary school teachers yesterday withdrew their sit-in programme, scheduled to be held at the capital's Central Shaheed Minar premises today demanding regularisation of their jobs.
Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan yesterday threw out a challenge to his critics, saying that he would quit if it was guaranteed that no accident would happen after his resignation.
A parliamentary standing committee yesterday asked the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Affairs Ministry to take measures so that hill people get interest to engage in the country's mainstream politics instead of local and regional politics.
The High Court yesterday summoned journalist Shafik Rehman to appear before it on May 22 for receiving a plot on the proposed 60-feet-wide road under Begunbari-Hatirjheel project in the capital “illegally and improperly.”
Journalists besieged Dhanmondi Police Station for an hour yesterday, demanding removal of its officer-in-charge for baton-charging newsmen and firing gunshots when they were protesting the death of Bibhas Chandra Saha in the capital on May 11.
The students of seven Christian missionary schools, who have passed this year's SSC examination, were offered felicitations at St Placid's School in Chittagong city yesterday.
The Department of Environment (DoE) fined a textile dyeing factory Tk 21 lakh in Savar yesterday on charge of releasing untreated chemical effluents into the river Dhaleswari.
Today's scheduled exams of Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) were postponed due to a nationwide dawn-to-dusk hartal called by BNP.
Bangladesh's Maj Shahidur Rahman Osmani, who had been abducted by Syria's opposition force protesters, was freed yesterday, said an ISPR release.
A construction worker was killed after he fell from the fifth floor of a 14-storied under-construction building in the capital's Green Road area yesterday.
The Department of Environment (DoE) seized 500 kilograms of banned polythene bags from eight shops in Chittagong city yesterday.
Bangladesh Police Women's Network, an association of the country's female police members, formed its divisional executive committee of Chittagong yesterday.
A minor boy was killed on the spot after being run over by a bus in Banur Bazar area in Sitakunda upazila yesterday.
Tajruna Binte Rahman Bristy, an HSC examinee from Chilmari Mahila Degree College of Kurigram, who passed SSC examination with GPA-5 in all subjects, has been suffering from blood cancer.
Twelve-year-old Mohammad Zahid has been suffering from cancer since long. He is the son of Mohammad Abdur Rahman, a resident of the capital's East Rampura.
Today is the 9th death anniversary of Rahmat Ullah Chowdhury, a freedom fighter and founder of Bangladesh Railway Sramik League, says a press release.
Bumper production of chilli has brought smile on the faces of farmers in char areas of Fulchhari upazila.
Contractors of Water Development Board have continued extracting sand from the Tangon River within 50 metres of two important bridges over the river in Thakurgaon despite objection from Roads and Highways Department (RHD).
Starvation was common for Shadhona just a few years ago. She could not visit a doctor or buy medicine when her family members fell sick.
Hundreds of depositors besieged the regional office of Sandhani Life Insurance Company at Aampatti in the district town yesterday afternoon in protest against alleged cheating by an official of the company.
Police yesterday rescued two teenage girls while they were being trafficked to India through the border under Kaliganj upazila of the district and arrested an alleged trafficker.
Forty-five people have been sued on charge of attack on police at Protap village in Sadullpaur upazila of the district on Monday.
An HSC (Higher Secondary Certificate) examinee was murdered at Dulalpur village in Shailkupa upazila yesterday morning.
Police arrested two activists of Hizb-ut-Tawhid from in front of the local residence of State Minister for Religious Affairs advocate Shahjahan Mia in Patuakhali town on Tuesday night.
Forest officials arrested a poacher along with 250 grams of venison from C&B Bazar area in Sadar upazila on Tuesday evening.
A man was killed and five others were injured as a gas cylinder exploded at Uchaliapara village in Sarail upazila yesterday
Two people were killed and another was injured by lightning at Murapara village in Chokoria upazila yesterday morning. The deceased are Solim Ullah, 45, and his wife Rashida Begum, 37. The injured, Saima Akhter, 19, wife of Mohammad Hossain of the area, was admitted to the upazila health complex.
Police recovered the body of a teenage girl from Chinishpur area in Sadar upazila yesterday. The victim, Shrabonti Roy Jui, 18, daughter of late Poritosh Roy of Palash upazila, was an HSC first year student. Locals found the body beside rail tracks and informed the railway police who recovered the body and sent it to Narsingdi Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy.
At least six shops were gutted in a fire at Baira Bazar in Singair upazila on Tuesday night. On information, a fire fighting unit from Manikganj Fire Service and Civil Defence Station rushed to the spot and doused the blaze after two hours of frantic efforts. The affected shop owners claimed that the loss caused by the fire could go up to Tk 50 lakh.
A mobile court here on Tuesday sentenced a young man to one year's imprisonment for stalking a college girl. The convict is Abdul Aziz, 30, son of Nafizuddin of Kaliakoir village in Singair upazila. Police said Aziz used to tease the girl for long on her way to college. On information, locals caught the stalker and handed him over to the police. Later, he was produced before the court led by UNO Mostafa Kamal who handed down the verdict.
Former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic went on trial yesterday accused of carrying out a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing and Europe's worst massacre since World War II.
Syrian forces were accused of having executed 15 civilians yesterday, as the office of UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan said UN observers were evacuated from a tense town a day after a blast hit their convoy.
Pakistan yesterday said it had ordered officials to finalise an agreement as quickly as possible on lifting a six-month blockade on overland Nato supplies into war-torn Afghanistan.
A new Palestinian government in the West Bank featuring 11 new faces was sworn in yesterday at a ceremony in Ramallah, in a move which angered the Hamas government in Gaza.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee yesterday said the government would resort to a fresh spell of austerity measures to deal with the difficult economic situation, but made it clear that he was not pressing the “panic button”.
Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou has been fined $17,000 by electoral authorities for urging his Facebook followers on polling day to vote for him, the Central Election Commission yesterday said.
France unveiled President Francois Hollande's new government yesterday, with former prime minister Laurent Fabius, 65, named foreign minister and Pierre Moscovici, 54, finance minister.
Better care has cut the number of women dying in pregnancy and childbirth by nearly half in the past two decades, but there is still a death every two minutes, according to UN figures released yesterday.
Greek elections will be held on June 17, the Athens News Agency yesterday said, adding that a senior judge had been tasked with heading a caretaker government to organise the ballot.
An all-out army offensive against al-Qaeda in south Yemen raged into a fifth straight day yesterday with battles around the restive town of Loder leaving another 13 people dead, most of them jihadists, sources said.
Afghanistan will start pumping oil for the first time within five months, an official said yesterday, as part of the nation's efforts to tap underground treasures estimated to be worth billions.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith believes killer drivers should get the capital punishment but for some reasons this cannot be enforced right now.
Moscow authorities broke up a week-long Occupy protest yesterday that sprung up in response to President Vladimir Putin's inauguration, warning they would prevent similar actions during his third term.
Australia yesterday pledged to contribute US$300 million to Afghanistan in the years following the withdrawal of foreign troops to assist local forces with the transition.
Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney won primary ballots in Oregon and Nebraska on Tuesday, partial results showed, moving him a step closer to winning his party's formal White House nomination.
Japan will put a commercial satellite into space on Friday, officials said, in its first foray into the European- and Russian-dominated world of contract launches.
Italy yesterday seized a hotel complex and land belonging to the family of slain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in the latest such confiscation, the ANSA news agency reported.
Sarath Fonseka could be free "within days" after Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse held talks yesterday with the jailed former army chief's political party, officials said.
Arts & Entertainment
Interior Depot, a newly opened lifestyle gallery in Gulshan, Dhaka, houses one of the most diverse collections of artworks. Khan Rezaul Hoq aka Bulbul runs the gallery. He said, “The gallery itself is less than a year old. The gallery exhibits a changing selection of paintings, antique furniture, ceramics, crystals and sculptures by major artists and artisans. Though most of the paintings and sculptures belong to local artists, the rest of the pieces (different periods) have been collected from several continents.”
Marking the 130th birth anniversary (May 10) of the initiator of Bratachari Movement, Gurusaday Dutt, a five-daylong Bratachari Workshop is on at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). Bratachari, Bangladesh in association with BSA is organising the workshop.
Over the years, Alkap songs have gained much popularity among the rich sub-genres of Bengali folk music. Around 50 or 60 years ago the genre was developed by both Hindus and Muslims of the country. Alkap song is the folk heritage of northern parts -- Chapainawabganj, Rajshahi and Natore -- of Bangladesh. The people of this region are closely acquainted with this tradition that is a great source of amusement for them.
Students of Sunshine Grammar School and College enthralled the audience as they showcased their talents at the school's annual cultural function on Wednesday.
Rabindranath Tagore's noted short story “Chutti” was staged in Santhia Upazila Parishad auditorium on Tuesday, marking the 151st anniversary of Tagore. Child artists of Santhia Theatre staged the play, organised by Santhia upazila administration.
Music lovers of the port city flocked to see “Kal Mrigaya”, a dance-drama composed by Rabindranath Tagore at Theatre Institute, Chittagong (TIC) on May 14.
Wadjda, the first-ever film shot in Saudi Arabia, hits the Cannes market as The Match Factory begins pre-sales at Cannes' Marche du Film on the coming-of-age drama from Haiffa al Mansour, the first female Saudi filmmaker.
About the "wonder building" I shall talk about later since that is the focus of this piece. But first about the Wonderland -- the children's park in Gulshan, that has been recently demolished by Rajuk. And Rajuk was following the instructions of the High Court in letter and spirit.
Readers going through the cache of letters that were released early this month from Osama bin Laden's hideaway in Abbottabad, Pakistan, may have been taken aback by a reference -- in the midst of discussions of tactics, regional politics and exchange rates for ransom money -- to poetry.
Myanmar's President Thein Sein is in the final throes of overhauling his government which may even see the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi become a parliamentary speaker. The immediate catalyst for the changes is the resignation of Vice-President Tin Aung Myint Oo last week for health reasons.
Post Fukushima, every one is concerned about nuclear accidents. It added a new dimension. Rightly or wrongly more people characterise nuclear power plants as terribly unsafe. Similar perceptions prevailed over fifty years ago when governments attempted to commercialise nuclear power.
Science as a contact sport; inside the battle to save Earth's climate by Stephen Schneider is an illuminating book by a world renowned climate scientist and professor at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. In 2007, Schneider received the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), along with Al Gore. His book is a recounting of his efforts over three decades to get the US government and the rest of the world to pay attention to climate change science.
The last British Liberal Party government (led by Herbert Henry Asquith) falls.
A case was lodged yesterday against 17 leaders and activists of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in connection with the seizure of bomb-making materials from the party's Chittagong office the day before.