News of: Thursday, 31st of May, 2012
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A rashly driven bus at Keraniganj early yesterday took the lives of nine of a family, their two house helps, and their driver when they were going to their village home to spend summer vacation.
For the last few months, they all had been planning, scheduling, rescheduling, and discussing how school and university holidays could be complimented with leaves from work so that they could have quality time together at their village home.
Prof Muhammad Yunus yesterday urged stakeholders and the government not to take any step to change the legal structure of the Nobel-winning Grameen Bank.
The High Court yesterday summoned eight police officers to appear before it on June 6 and explain their roles in Tuesday's incident in which a girl and her parents were assaulted in front of Dhaka magistrate's court.
Alistair Burt, UK Foreign Office Minister for South Asia, yesterday expressed concern over the extrajudicial killings and disappearances in Bangladesh, and called for full investigations into the incidents.
Minister of State for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku has advised journalists to stay clear of policemen while carrying out their professional responsibilities.
Police yesterday detained 25 pickets during a six-hour hartal enforced in Chittagong city by Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami in protest of sending of a party lawmaker to jail.
Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad yesterday regretted the incidents of police assault on journalists and asked the home ministry to investigate the matter and aptly punish the perpetrators.
Eminent jurist Dr Kamal Hossain said yesterday State Minister for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku should apologise to the people for advising journalists to keep a “safe distance" from police while collecting news.
Amid widespread criticism over recent assaults by police, Home Minister Shahara Khatun yesterday claimed that police were now “far better” than anytime in the past.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Qatari counterpart on Tuesday night discussed a number of bilateral issues, including financing for Padma bridge project and construction of a new international airport in Bangladesh.
The Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC) in its final report has recommended the commerce ministry form a commission to investigate into the irregularities in Destiny Group that owns 37 sister concerns.
Three alleged robbers were killed in a gunfight with Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel in the Sundarbans at Sharankhola upazila in Bagerhat yesterday morning.
Agitated fishermen damaged the eyes of eight suspected robbers in two chars (islands) of Bhola district yesterday.
The defence team of war crimes accused BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury yesterday pleaded with the International Crimes Tribunal-1 to grant him bail or order special arrangements so that he could join the ongoing parliament session.
Malaysia has submitted an investment proposal of $5-6 billion for the construction of the proposed Bangabandhu International Airport.
Nishat Majumder and her fellow mountaineer MA Mohit remained stranded in Lukla for the third consecutive day yesterday due to bad weather while Wasfia Nazreen has been staying at Namche Bazar since Tuesday.
Former bureaucrats, politicians, academics, civil society members, corporate executives and media personalities yesterday showered Latifur Rahman, chairman of Transcom Group, with praise for glorifying Bangladesh's name abroad by winning the Business for Peace Award.
Jatiya Bharatia Parishad, an association of tenants, yesterday demanded the enforcement of House Rent Control Act, 1991, to prevent the house owners from increasing the rent arbitrarily.
Two more general managers of Sonali Bank have been accused of irregularities in giving loans of Tk 2,638 crore.
Top negotiators for Sudan and South Sudan have held their first talks since deadly border fighting last month took them to the brink of war, even as Juba accused Khartoum of fresh air strikes.
A conservative senator called on Tuesday for the United States to suspend all aid to Pakistan and grant citizenship to a doctor who was jailed for helping hunt down Osama bin Laden.
Tuesday's incident of police brutality has overstepped all limits. They had the temerity of unabashedly dragging a teenage girl and her parents from a motorcycle into the police club and assaulting them physically. In particular, they went so far as to abuse the girl physically. Then when the lawyers and journalists tried to help them, they were attacked and beaten up.
Every fraught situation must get worse before it can get any better. But that standard prescription does not appear to be working in Syria, where conditions have been getting increasingly worse. The massacre of as many as 108 civilians in the town of Houla by the country's security forces is but the latest manifestation of the desperation with which the Assad regime means to hang on to power. Of course, the regime has denied any role in the Houla killings and its apologists have tried shifting the blame on to the opposition arrayed against the president. Nothing can, however, disprove the fact that the government has once more killed its own people. With hundreds of Syrians already dead at the hands of the army and other security forces in Homs and other places, it is hard to believe President Bashar al-Assad's protestations of innocence.
The wait is over as the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) officially announced Richard Pybus as the next head coach of the Bangladesh cricket team on Wednesday.
Sahara Matribhumi yesterday made an offer of approximately 9.4 million dollars to become the next sponsors of the Bangladesh cricket team.
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan returned home yesterday after a successful campaign in the Indian Premier League (IPL), with his side Kolkata Knight Riders clinching the trophy of the fifth edition of the money-spinning tournament.
League leaders Abahani tightended their grip on the title as they came from behind to beat hosts Team BJMC 3-2 in their crucial match of the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League at the Tangail Stadium yesterday.
The much-discussed polls of Bangladesh Chess Federation will be held today at the National Sports Council with 117 voters to elect a 25-member committee.
By all accounts and even letters, it is guaranteed that the Super League phase of the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League will resume today with the Abahani-Victoria Sporting Club rematch at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium.
Europa Youth defeated Bakshibazar by 97-35 points, after leading the first half 53-21, in their Citycell Premier Division Basketball League match at the Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnasium yesterday. Bappi and Ibrahim scored 25 and 18 points respectively for the winning side.
India's Viswanathan Anand on Wednesday retained his world chess title by outgunning his Israeli challenger Boris Gelfand in a quick-fire shootout forced after their 12-game Moscow epic ended all square.
An Indian engineer will learn Thursday whether his challenge to the English system for determining the winner of rain-affected cricket matches -- one of the most complicated rules in the sport -- has been successful.
The widely-held belief that moisture in the air during humid conditions helps make a cricket ball swing has been clean bowled in a scientific study.
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic gave themselves more work than anticipated in moving into the third round of the French Open on Wednesday.
The United Kingdom's Foreign Office Minister for South Asia, Alistair Burt MP, yesterday paid a visit to the National Swimming Complex in Mirpur to extend his support and cooperation to Bangladeshi Olympic swimmer Mahfuzur Rahman Shagor, who is training for the Games in London this summer.
Serena Williams crashed to the worst Grand Slam defeat of her career on Tuesday when she slumped to a dramatic and thrilling 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 French Open loss to France's world 111 Virginie Razzano.
With the "golden generation" led by Luis Figo long since retired, Portugal head to Euro 2012 secure in the knowledge that at least expectations will be lower than at the tournament they hosted eight years ago.
"All in one rhythm," is the official slogan of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, FIFA announced Tuesday, saying it would unite fans who head to the Samba nation for the football extravaganza.
Mario Balotelli, named in Italy's 23-man squad for the European Football Championships, has threatened to walk off the pitch if he is racially abused by fans.
England midfielder Scott Parker admits he is determined to make up for lost time at Euro 2012 after his international career appeared to be on the rocks.
UEFA has suspended Besiktas from European competitions for one year and fined them 200,000 euros ($250,700) due to financial problems at the Istanbul club, Turkish media reported on Wednesday.
A former South Korean national football player who was desperate for money after being banned for life for match-fixing has been arrested for robbery and kidnapping, police said Wednesday.
Italian Claudio Ranieri was on Wednesday unveiled as coach of fallen giants Monaco, who finished eighth in the French second division last season.
Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar will take oath as member of Rajya Sabha on June 4. Tendulkar, who turned 39 recently and was nominated to the Upper House in April, is scheduled to take oath as member in the chamber of Chairman Hamid Ansari, State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said on Wednesday. Two others -- actress Rekha and industrialist Anu Aga -- who were nominated to Rajya Sabha along with Tendulkar have already taken oath earlier this month when the House was in session. Tendulkar was busy with the IPL season, which had just ended earlier this week.
A Bangladeshi company supplies uniforms to the British army, which is another testimony to the excellence of the country's garment sector.
Microfinance institutions (MFIs) should not be dependent on an individual to function properly. These should rather create strong institutional structures and succession plans to carry out activities without their founders or leaders.
The central bank yesterday warned 16 banks against a rise in their classified loans in recent months and asked them to bring down the amount immediately.
Builders of export-oriented vessels are focusing on domestic demand as export orders are on the decline in the face of a debt crisis and economic turmoil in Europe, a key market for local shipbuilders.
Deposits and advances with Indian banks have shrunk so far in the fiscal year that began in April, with sluggish economic growth crimping loan demand, the Reserve Bank of India said on Wednesday.
Stocks broke a six-day losing streak yesterday as investors went for buying amid renewed optimism.
Global telecom giant LG Corp that produces electronics, chemicals and telecommunications products is projecting Bangladesh as its next investment destination.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman has recently been awarded with the prestigious World No-Tobacco Day Award 2012 by the World Health Organisation in recognition of his significant contribution towards anti-tobacco movements in Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi High Commissioner in New Delhi Tariq A Karim and his Indian counterpart Pankaj Saran are expected to visit Tripura on June 5 to discuss a range of trade-related issues between the two countries, a Tripura minister said yesterday.
Bangladesh should go for cleaner cookstoves to save its thousands of women and young children from premature death and improve their livelihoods and combat climate change, said an expert yesterday.
If the euro really is on the verge of collapse, as many pundits are now proclaiming, how come it is still so highly valued against other currencies, including the US dollar?
The visiting British Minister for South Asia Alistair Burt has stressed on transparency in utilisation of funds of different aid programmes in various countries.
A number of ruling alliance lawmakers yesterday lambasted Water Resources Minister Ramesh Chandra Sen for his 'poor performance' in preventing river erosion in their constituencies and poor condition of dams.
The government yesterday withdrew a case filed against former Awami League lawmaker Haji Mohammad Selim and some 25 others considering it “politically motivated”.
The prosecution and the defence yesterday completed their arguments over charge framing hearing against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed in connection with crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War.The three-member International Crimes Tribunal-2 headed by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir with members Justice Obaidul Hassan and Judge M Shahinur Islam, however, did not fix date for passing the order on charge framing as hearing on two prosecution petitions are pending.
Police have prepared a digital database of around 600 vehicles lifters with their recent photographs, addresses and other details to check such crimes.
A South Asian regional seminar began here yesterday with a proposal to set up a regional protocol on strengthening news exchange cooperation between South Asian news agencies aimed at promoting trade, investment and development initiatives of the Saarc.
The country's people must keep at following the idealism which Prof Muzaffer Ahmad upheld and fought for during his lifetime, said Dr Akbar Ali Khan at a discussion yesterday.
The training aircraft of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF), which made an emergency landing on a paddy field in India due to bad weather on April 25, was returned yesterday.
A student of Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (Cuet), who has been missing since May 23, came back to his house in the capital yesterday.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Benazir Ahmed at a conference yesterday warned his fellows not to engage in rows with newsmen while discharging their duties.
Police raided three hostels of Chittagong Government College in Chittagong city yesterday following a half-day hartal enforced by Jamaat-e-Islami.
Several social, political and rights groups condemned the recent police harassment and assaults on journalists and lawyers, including a teenaged girl.
A Dhaka court on Monday acquitted a Jahangirnagar University teacher of leaking question papers of last year's admission test for medical and dental colleges.
The High Court (HC) has allowed the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to proceed with a corruption case filed against former Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka and 12 others.
Six people were killed and two others injured in road accidents in Faridpur, Sylhet and Jhenidah yesterday and Tuesday.
Prime Minister's Energy Advisor Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury yesterday urged the electricity consumers to be patient and wait for rain to experience lesser hours of load shedding.
The Detective Branch (DB) of police yesterday recovered 56 bales of stolen cotton worth Tk 40 lakh from Latifpur under Pahartali Police Station in the port city Tuesday.
Detective Branch (DB) of Police arrested five alleged hitmen, possessing three firearms and 22 bullets, from the capital's Mirpur and Mohammadpur yesterday for killing a man in Shah Ali area on May 14.
Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) yesterday afternoon announced an earning-expenditure balanced budget of around Tk 381.15 crore for 2012-13 fiscal.
Two senior ruling party lawmakers and the treasury bench whip yesterday blasted lawmaker Fazlul Azim for raising the issue of last Tuesday's police assault on journalists at the court premises.
The World No Tobacco Day will be observed in Bangladesh as well as 174 other countries in the globe today to sensitise people about bad, injurious effects of tobacco use.
Five armed muggers shot a cloth trader in the abdomen and snatched Tk 3 lakh from him in broad daylight on the Dhaka-Narayanganj Puratan Sarak yesterday.
An NGO worker and her two minor children narrowly escaped death after miscreants locked them in the house and set it on fire at Croakchar Natun Bazar village in Shibchar upazila Tuesday night.
Leaders and workers of the BNP and its front and associated organisations across the country observed the 31st death anniversary of the party's founder, late president Ziaur Rahman yesterday.
Annual Urs of Hazrat Shah Syed Azizul Bari (RH) Shah Saheb of Paribag will be held at the Paribag Mazar premises in the capital tomorrow. A munajat will also be held on the occasion at 11:00am, says a press release.
Two alleged muggers were caught from Lakhan Bazar area in the port city yesterday.
Food and Disaster Management Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque yesterday said poor sanitation causes about 6.3 percent loss in the country's GDP, said a press release.
Four dwelling houses were gutted in a devastating fire at Ambaria in Mirsarai upazila on Tuesday night.
The Department of Environment panalised two steel re-rolling mills with a fine of Tk 27.5 lakh in Demra and Narayanganj yesterday for polluting air.
A court sentenced a youth to life term imprisonment and fined Tk 5,000 in default to which to suffer three months more, for possessing 100 grams of heroin.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested two youths and seized 473 bottles of contraband foreign liquor allegedly from their possession at Patenga in the port city on Tuesday morning.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered 24.2 kg of cannabis, worth around Tk 1.45 lakh, from Chittagong Railway Station in the port city yesterday.
The Department of Environment (DoE) fined two brick kilns in Narayanganj Bandar area Tk 15 lakh for harming the environment through using farmland topsoil to establish brick kilns.
The Workers Party of Bangladesh has demanded withdrawal of the Energy Regulatory Commission's recent decision of providing electricity to mills and factories at 2.5 times the current price.
Today is the 39th death anniversary of AFM Nurul Haque Hawlader, former lawmaker and an organiser of the War of Liberation, said a press release.
Criminals have dismantled a Shaheed Minar on the premises of Purbo Nolbari Dakhil Madrasa in Khansama upazila under the district and ploughed the playground of the institution.
Internal feud in Jubo Dal Magura district unit surfaced anew after formation of a convening committee on Tuesday.
A youth was killed as two rival groups of villagers locked in a clash over a trifling matter at Kulia village in Sadar upazila on Tuesday afternoon.
Mymensingh Medical College (MMC) unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday enforced an indefinite strike at the college to realise its six-point demand including holding election of MMC Students' Union immediately.
Islamist outfit Hizb-ut Towhid has geared up activities in several districts of Khulna division.
'Maxim Multipurpose Cooperative Society' is running illegal banking activities in their two unapproved branches in Kalapara upazila under the district.
At least 35 people, including a police sub-inspector, were injured during a clash between the activists of Awami League (Al) and BNP at Rangabali upazila headquarters yesterday morning.
A faction of BNP Ishwardi upazila unit yesterday foiled the programme arranged by their rival group to observe the 31st death anniversary of president Ziaur Rahman, the founder of BNP.
At least six people were killed by lightning in Dinajpur and Sirajganj districts yesterday.
Police arrested an operative of an outlawed party with firearms and ammunitions from Baoyikula village in Atghoria upazila yesterday morning. The arrestee, Ashkar Ali, 32, son of Dinu Mohammed of the village is the regional leader of outlawed PBCP Lal Pataka faction, police said. Officer in-charge of Ataikula police station Md. Robiul Hassan said acting on a tip-off, a police team caught Ashkar from Baoyikula village in the early hours. During the drive, police also recovered a foreign made revolver and 6 rounds of bullets from his possession, the OC said.
Eight BNP leaders and activists including Bonpara municipal unit BNP secretary Lutfar Rahman were sent to jail yesterday after their bail petitions were rejected in an arson case. Judge Mahmudul Hasan of Natore Speedy Trial Tribunal sent the accused leaders and activists to jail around 4:30pm. Earlier, the accused surrendered before the court around 11:30am and filed a petition for bail. A total of 13 leaders and activists of BNP were accused in a case for torching a vehicle near Bonpara Bazar during hartal hours on April 30.
Local residents yesterday blocked the Laxmipur-Dhaka highway for four hours demanding uninterrupted supply of power. They placed logs and bricks at different points of the road from Jaksin Bazar to Mandari Bazar creating long tailback on both sides of the highway. The blockade from 8am caused immense sufferings to the commuters. However, they withdrew the programme at noon following assurance from Palli Biddyut Samity men and police officials.
Bhaluka police arrested a Swechhasebok Dal leader from his Shantiganj Bazar residence in the upazila Tuesday night for his alleged involvement in criminal activities. The arrestee was identified as Jahangir Alam Master, convener of Dhitpur union Swechhasebok Dal unit in Bhaluka and a clerk at Borogoan Dakhil Madrasha in Trishal. According to sources, Jahangir arranged a meeting of the unit at his residence in the evening marking the death anniversary of Shaheed President Ziaur Rahman. When the meeting was on, a police team led by Zakiur Rahman, officer in-charge (OC) of Bhaluka police station raided the meeting place and arrested Jahangir Master at around 8pm and took him to the police station. He was produced before a Mymensingh court yesterday noon and the court sent him to jail, police said.
Forest guards arrested a Sundarbans robber with arms from village Tengrakhali in Shyamnagar upazila Tuesday night. The arrestee is Bablu Hossain Gazi, 35, son of Mandar Gazi of the village. Acting on tip-off, forest guards led by Kaikhali forest station officer Ala Uddin, raided the village as soon as Bablu Hossain reached his house from the Sundarbans at about 10pm. The guards recovered two foreign guns and 10 cartridges from his possession. Contacted, Shyamnagar PS officer in-charge (OC) Alamgir Hossain said that Bablu is a member of a gang of robbers and there are several cases against him.
West has stepped up its pressure on Syria after the Houla massacre which killed 108 people, many of them children, with French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday that he did not rule out military intervention.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday received a rapturous reception in Thailand from crowds of cheering compatriots who flocked to celebrate her first trip outside Myanmar in nearly a quarter of a century.
Britain's Supreme Court yesterday ruled that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden, but his extradition was put on hold to give his lawyers a chance to re-open the case.
Mitt Romney clinched his Republican party's White House nomination Tuesday by winning its Texas primary, vowing to get America "back on the path to prosperity" by defeating Barack Obama in November.
The window for dialogue over Iran's nuclear programme is closing, the US ambassador to Israel said yesterday, insisting Washington holds no illusions over Tehran's agenda at the talks.
Fan-in-chief Barack Obama invested legendary singer songwriter Bob Dylan Tuesday with America's highest civilian honor, praising the gritty folk legend's never ending quest for truth.
Scottish police yesterday detained British Prime Minister David Cameron's former communications chief Andy Coulson on suspicion of committing perjury.
A UN-backed war crimes court yesterday sentenced Liberia's former president Charles Taylor to 50 years in jail for arming rebels in Sierra Leone in return for "blood diamonds".
Yemeni forces pressed an offensive against al-Qaeda loyalists in Abyan province in the south yesterday, leaving six soldiers and 22 militants dead, military and other officials said.
Arts & Entertainment
With a vision to demonstrate the diversity of Asian theatre, the weeklong “International Theatre Festival, Seminar and Workshop” presented a traditional Chinese opera on May 29 (third day) at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Farah Ruma has been in media for more than a decade. She has demonstrated her brilliance in drama, modelling, cinema, and in hosting TV shows. “Amaro Gaite Ichche Holo”, a music show hosted by her has been aired for about two and half years. The programme is telecast on ntv at 9pm once a week. Ruma has shared her thoughts with The Daily Star regarding the programme and other issues as well.
Bangladesh Nazrul Sangeet Sangstha (BNSS) organised a musical programme marking 113th birth anniversary of the National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam at Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium of Central Public Library on May 29. General Secretary of BNSS Khairul Anam Shakil delivered welcome address while eminent Nazrul exponent and singer Sudhin Das and president of BNSS, Khalid Hossain, spoke at the event.
A recitation programme titled “Megh Bollo Jabi” was held here on Sunday in the port city.
Unveiling of the book, “Father Marino Rigon”, written by journalist Gazi Munsur Aziz, was held at Liberation War Museum premises in Dhaka on May 29. Eminent poet Al Mahmud was present as chief guest, while Poet Asad Chowdhury, photographer Nasir Ali Mamun and freedom fighter Hemayet Uddin Bir Bikram were present as special guests at the event.
For the past five years, The Daily Star and Standard Chartered Bank have been organising the “Celebrating Life” contest. Last year a new segment was added, the “Celebrating Life Filmmaking Workshop”, along with the usual ones. As we all know, even though there is a huge interest in filmmaking, there is also a lack of capacity. The workshop was introduced with the goal of enabling creative minds to produce films of an international standard.
Musical instruments, books, sports items and more were provided to students of primary schools and disadvantaged children in Birganj upazila of Dinajpur.
We do not know how we should take the statement of the state minister for home who has suggested that the journalists keep a safe distance from the police while going about their professional duty. Is it an advice or a threat? If it is an advice our fear that, "advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't" comes true.
As noted by a number of observant intellectuals and analysts, negative words such as "terrorism," "extremism," "radicalism" and "fanaticism" have often been used against groups or individuals having or expounding different -- especially fundamentally opposing -- worldviews and positions.
Formation of the Commission of Inquiry
The news was unpleasant to me as well as many others in the country, specially the poor women who are the owners of Grameen Bank. The finance ministry formed a four-member Commission of Inquiry through promulgation of an order on May 15, 2012. The Commission has been given three months to submit its report.