News of: Thursday, 7th of June, 2012
Bangladesh economy has entered a dark tunnel and there is little flicker of light at its end.
For the first time since the restoration of democracy in 1990, the Jatiya Sangsad will have four budget sessions without the opposition MPs present.
Bangladesh witnesses the first-ever human trafficking case after parliament enacted the Human Trafficking (prevention and protection) Act, 2012 in February this year.
Eminent jurists yesterday urged the legislature and the judiciary to resolve the existing divergences between them in a manner that upholds mutual respect.
The High Court itself has in two previous verdicts upheld the immunity of MPs relating to their remarks in parliament by rejecting contempt of court petitions against two ministers over their comments in the House.
BNP leader Nazmul Huda yesterday announced his resignation as party Chairperson Khaleda Zia had not accepted his proposal to invite the prime minister to a dialogue on the caretaker government issue.
June 7 remains a milestone in the history of Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told parliament yesterday that her government wanted to explore gas and oil in the deep sea with the help of international oil companies “for the time being” as the task was “risky and expensive”.
BNP's soft posture towards the recent political development, including sending of opposition bigwigs to jail, filing of cases against alliance leaders and disappearance of Ilias Ali, has broadened its gap with Jamaat.
The top management of Padma Oil Company Ltd little bothered to monitor activities of its officials, allowing them to resort to irregularities in selling furnace oil in Chittagong, finds a probe of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday censured main opposition BNP for presenting its budget thoughts outside parliament.
The Great Wall of China has been officially declared even longer than previously thought.
ATN Bangla Chairman Mahfuzur Rahman has apologised for his recent comments on Sagar-Runi murder that caused a stir in the media.
An on-duty police officer of Fatulla Model Police Station died after a covered van had hit him at Kashipur Haatkhola of Narayanganj Sadar early yesterday.
Different national and international organisations have expressed grave concern over the threat to eminent Pakistani lawyer and human rights defender Asma Jahangir.
The International Crimes Tribunal-1 would today decide on the defence petition seeking review of charges pressed against former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Ghulam Azam.
The government has cancelled the licence of 20 pharmaceutical companies in 2011 for producing inferior quality drugs, Health Minister AFM Ruhul Haque said in parliament yesterday.
The United States on Tuesday condemned remarks by Serbia's new President Tomislav Nikolic denying that the 1995 Srebrenica massacre was genocide, calling them "counterproductive."
Japan's Prince Tomohito, cousin of Emperor Akihito, died yesterday, a palace official said. He was 66.
Saudi Arabia yesterday beheaded one of its citizens in the holy city of Medina after convicting him of murdering a fellow national, the interior ministry said.
Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua announced Tuesday they are withdrawing from a regional defense treaty dating back to the Cold War.
The Human Rights Commission (HRC) demanding of the government to set a time frame to complete investigations into the recent cases of sensational murders, disappearances and human rights violation resonates well with us.
A roundtable organised by this newspaper on Tuesday on deaths occurring on the roads may not have revealed anything spectacular, but it certainly threw fresh light on a condition which calls for firmer handling. Perhaps Obaidul Quader, minister for communications and railway, summed it up only too well. In his view, the transport system is so flawed that one quite does not know where to begin overhauling it. Besides, there is the matter of funds where making roads and highways safe is concerned. There are more than 200 accident prone spots all over the country. With the authorities currently trying to make 30 of those spots safe for commuters and vehicles, one can only make a guess about the future of the remaining spots.
Shakib Al Hasan has requested the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to give him rest during the Zimbabwe tour where Bangladesh will play an unofficial T20 tournament from June 18.
Paul the amazing clairvoyant octopus may be dead but now he has a worthy heir, a Polish-based Indian elephant named Citta.
Maria Sharapova on Wednesday reached her third French Open semi-final where she will take on Petra Kvitova, the powerful Czech who crushed her in last year's Wimbledon final.
After a two-day break, the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League resumes today with title contenders Muktijoddha Sangsad KC locking horns with Sheikh Russel KC in a crucial tie at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
For one week, the clock was turned back at the Shaheed Miraz-Tapan Stadium in Manikganj as numerous ex-footballers gathered to participate in the Dr Jibon Kumer Saha Smriti Veterans (Over-45) Football Tournament.
There seems to be no end to the issue of the Bangladesh Premier League players' payment as yet another deadline looms large on the six franchises.
Junior Cricket Training Academy beat Bangladesh Boys Club Cricket Academy by 35 runs in the inaugural match of the CJKS-Urban American Under-18 T20 tournament at the MA Aziz Stadium yesterday.
Title contenders Moha-mmedan moved to the semifnals of the Walton Club Cup Hockey Tournament with a third consecutive victory yesterday. Moha-mmedan defeated Mariner Youngs by 5-0 in the match played at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium, after taking a 2-0 lead in the first-half.
Spanish sixth seed David Ferrer defeated British fourth seed Andy Murray 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday to set up a semifinal clash against compatriot and six-time champions Rafael Nadal in the French Open. Nadal defeated fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 6-3 earlier on the day to reach the semifinals without dropping a single set.
A series where plenty of attention has been given to absent West Indies players concludes with the focus on England resting spearhead seamer James Anderson from the third Test here at Edgbaston.
Sri Lanka will look to improve their recent one-day record against Pakistan when they clash in a five-match series starting in Pallekele on Thursday.
Usain Bolt's pre-Olympic European roadshow touches down in the Norwegian capital on Thursday, the Jamaican track star aiming to ratchet up the pressure on pretenders to his double sprint crowns.
Dhumketu outplayed Bakshi Bazar by 89-54 points in their Citycell Premier Division Basketball League match at the Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnasium yesterday. The first half was a bit more competitive than the second as the winners led by 31-20 points before the break.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf expects to revive cricketing ties with India this year and is even willing to play against the arch-rivals at a neutral venue.
West Indies opener Adrian Barath has said "it's great" Chris Gayle is returning to the one-day squad -- even if the recall has come, in part, at his expense.
France thanked a brace from Real Madrid's Karim Benzema on Monday as they thumped Estonia 4-0 in an impressive Euro 2012 tune-up to give Group D rivals England food for thought.
Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine are dreaming of an historic success for a young nation two decades after independence but their hopes are blighted by a tough group and a litany of injury troubles.
Spain on Wednesday began fine-tuning their bid to retain the European title they won four years ago, as the last teams for Euro 2012 were expected to arrive in Poland and Ukraine.
Official jerseys for the upcoming Euro 2012 have been handed a red card by a consumer group even before the tournament kicks off for being tainted with lead, nickel and other toxic substances.
Sweden beat Serbia 2-1 in their final pre-Euro friendly on Wednesday, securing an encouraging victory which nonetheless raised questions about whether the team's defence is up to scratch ahead of Euro 2012.
Davide Astori is to join up with the Italy Euro 2012 squad as cover for injured veteran centreback Andrea Barzagli it was reported by ANSA on Wednesday.
Ukrainian football's chief Grigory Surkis said on Wednesday the Ukrainian players would be well-rewarded for succeeding at Euro 2012 which they are co-hosting with Poland, local media reported Wednesday.
Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin dismissed fears about his team's poor form ahead of the European championship following the co-hosts second consecutive friendly defeat at the hands of Turkey on Tuesday.
The size of the next fiscal year's budget will rise by more than 17 percent to around Tk 192,000 crore, where the expenditure and income will go up almost equally over the current year's original outlay.
The budget for fiscal year 2012-13 comes at a critical time when the economy is facing a good number of challenges, which if not addressed, are likely to stunt growth and bring disorder in the macroeconomic management.
US Ambassador Dan Mozena yesterday warned Bangladesh that restive developments in the garment sector could undercut apparel exports to the US market.
Sonali Bank suspended two of its staff members following detection of loan irregularities of up to Tk 2,638 crore.
Sugar prices will remain stable during Ramadan amid high demand for the sweetener, as the government is working to increase its stocks, Industries Minister Dilip Barua said yesterday.
Dhaka Stock Exchange will launch an internet-based platform for share transactions on Sunday.
A parliamentary body yesterday asked Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd to take in Tk 1,000 crore in arrears from different international carriers over ISD calls.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the leaders of Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association to increase frozen food export, including some varieties of local fish, to boost export earnings.
Nasir Uddin has recently been elected as the chairman of Social Islami Bank Ltd, the bank said in a statement yesterday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday sought more German assistance in Bangladesh's various sectors, including power, IT and health.
The Centre for Policy Dialogue on Monday published an analytical review of Bangladesh's macroeconomic performance in 2011-12. The following is the third part of the executive summary.
The impact of the economic downturn in Europe and USA has impacted the Bangladesh Economy. Bank borrowing by the government has increased substantially. The growth in revenue collection was less than the growth in public expenditure.
Communications and Railways Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday said the bulk portion of works for upgradation of the Dhaka-Chittagong highway to four lanes will be completed by December 2013.
Speakers at a mass signature collection campaign yesterday demanded enforcement of the Premises Rent Control Act, 1991 to prevent arbitrary rent hikes by landlords.
Prof Shahid Akhtar Hossain and Prof Nasreen Ahmad have been made pro-vice chancellors and Dr Kamal Uddin treasurer of Dhaka University.
Wasfia Nazreen, the second Bangladeshi woman to conquer Mount Everest, is all set to return to Dhaka on Saturday instead of the earlier scheduled Friday.
Bodies of 10 Bangladeshi workers, who died from smoke inhalation in Bahrain last month, arrived in the capital early yesterday.
Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee yesterday held deliberations with chief ministers of seven northeastern states and Sikkim of the country to give a push to the government's renewed northeast policy and key infrastructure projects linking neighbouring countries with rail and road.
Speaker Abdul Hamid would give his ruling in a day or two on High Court Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik's “derogatory” remarks about him.
Bangladeshis in the US have demanded cancellation of the Indian River Linking Project (IRLP), which is aimed at diverting the course of the Brahmaputra and the Ganges rivers away from Bangladesh and toward western and southern India.
Suranjit Sengupta, the former railways minister, yesterday said the “confusion” over the remark made by noted litterateur Prof Abdullah Abu Sayeed could be resolved within parliament, through its rules of procedure and the constitution.
A recent railway job circulation which requires applicants to be traditionally sweeper has left little scope for the downtrodden community due to an abundance of preserved quotas.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel early yesterday rescued 26 men while they were being trafficked to Malaysia and arrested three members of the trafficking syndicate.
Government and non-government organisations (NGOs) should cooperate and work more sincerely to prevent AIDS and build public awareness of the disease, speakers said at a discussion yesterday.
The nation will observe the historic Six-Point Day today, marking the demand of the autonomy for the erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.
At least three Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists were injured in a factional clash at Buet early yesterday.
The government has decided to 'experimentally' vaccinate poultry birds to protect the poultry industry from avian influenza virus, Fisheries and Livestock Minister Md Abdul Latif Biswas said yesterday.
Sheikh Rehana along with her daughter Azmina Siddiqui Rupanti attended a number of programmes in the United Kingdom celebrating Queen Elizabeth's 60 years in throne, said an official message in Dhaka.
A high-level Indian team has held crucial talks with the officials of Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (Cirdap) to promote regional cooperation by assisting national actions and exchanging the best practices among the member states.
Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Enamul Bari has been appointed chief of air staff of Bangladesh Air Force for the next three years from June 12, 2012 to June 12, 2015, said an ISPR press release yesterday.
Strengthening Partnerships, Results and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING), will work jointly with Bangladesh government to improve health and nutrition status of pregnant and lactating women and children aged under two in the country.
Odhikar, a rights body, yesterday expressed concern over the fact that the opinions of some citizens are being termed “seditious” in an attempt to bar freedom of expression.
Two men died after being electrocuted in separate incidents in the port city yesterday morning.
Police detained 32 Islami Chhatra Shibir activists while they were holding a “secret meeting” at Cafe Badsha Hotel in Shahid Faruque Road of the capital's Jatrabari yesterday evening.
Body of an SSC holder of 2012 was found on a paddy field at Berapathalia village in Jamalpur Sadar upazila yesterday.
Badruzz-aman Mia, Bir Pratik, died of cardiac disease at National Cardiology Institute in Dhaka at 8:30pm Tuesday night.
Road communications from Rangpur division with other parts of the country remained suspended for the second day yesterday as the transport workers continued their 72-hour strike.
Unscrupulous people have cut down around 200 roadside trees in Haripur union under Haripur upazila of the district and sold them to locals.
Erosion by the Jamuna River has rendered at least 350 families of Hasil Kandi village under Shaghata upazila homeless in the last one week.
Rangpur City Corporation Bastabaeon Sangram Parishad will organise a 'long march' today to press its demand for issuing a gazette notification on formation of RCC before the upcoming budget.
With the emergence of a new group comprising some leaders and activists of the district and city units, internal feud in Sylhet BNP has further deepened.
At least 10 people were injured in clashes between the activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) in city's Pathantula and Subidbazar areas on Tuesday night.
A tribunal here on Tuesday sentenced two people to life imprisonment in a human trafficking case.
At least five people were injured in a clash between two groups at Shaheb Bazar in Shibchar upazila on Tuesday night.
A court in Jessore on Tuesday sentenced a woman to two years imprisonment for keeping drugs.
A housewife was beaten to death allegedly by her husband and in-laws for dowry in Purbo Rasti village in Sadar upazila on Monday night.
Police arrested an acting upazila parishad chairman on charge of assaulting deputy general manager of Rural Electrification Board (REB) in the district yesterday.
Interns at Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH) called off their strike and returned to duties yesterday following a fruitful discussion between the KMCH authorities and the leaders of intern doctors. Dr. Kazi Karim Newaz, president of intern doctors' association told this correspondent that the KMCH authorities beefed up security measures at every ward and introduced gate pass system from yesterday morning. He also said that the eight-member committee assured them of taking steps to realise their two point-demand by next 7 days. Interns enforced the work abstention from Tuesday morning.
Two activists of Hizbut Tawhid were arrested from Akkelpur police station premises on Tuesday. The arrestees were identified as Zahid Islam of Gangni upazila in Meherpur district and Abu Sayeed of Panchbibi upazila of Joypurhat district. Police said two unidentified men entered Akkelpur PS and started explaining the role of Hizbut Tawhid organisation and criticising the government before the officer in-charge in the evening. Suspecting militant, police arrested them immediately and sent them to jail after interrogation on the same night. A number of Jihadi books, leaflets and mobile phones were seized from them.
A contractor of the food directorate was found dead at a residential hotel in the district town on Tuesday. Police recovered the body of Tofazzal Hossain Akanda, 52, son of late Khoda Baksh Akanda of Soidebgaon village in Muladi upazila of Barisal district, from Salam International Hotel in the afternoon. Police said Tofazzal checked in at room 304 of the hotel on Sunday. The hotel authorities informed police after getting no response from him till Tuesday noon. Later, police broke into the room only to find him lying dead. Officer in-charge of Sadar police station Gopal Chakrabarty said Akanda died of cardiac arrest.
Workers at Benapole land port withdrew their identified strike yesterday after the authorities accepted their demand for implementation of the government-declared minimum wages. Loading and unloading of goods resumed at the port around 2:00am. Earlier, Benapole Port-handling Workers' Union went on an indefinite strike on June 2 demanding pay hike. Export and import between Bangladesh and India came to a halt as the workers of Petropole Port in India expressed solidarity with the Benapole workers. The workers called off the strike after local lawmaker Sheikh Afiluddin mediated the matter.
Police arrested a man on charge of raping a teenage girl at village Talukder of Chareshawar union under Hatiya upazila yesterday. The victim was a daughter of a farmer of the village. Md Iqbal Hossain, sub-inspector of Hatiya police station said when the victim came out of her house to respond to the call of nature at around 1:00 am, Elias, 25, son of Azhar Ahmed and his accomplice Irak Ahmed gagged mouth, took her to a nearby place and raped her. Hearing the screaming of the victim, her parents started shouting. Neighbours immediately caught Elias, but Irak managed to flee the scene. Elias was handed over the Hatiya police station after a good beating.
Pentagon chief Leon Panetta yesterday vowed to expand defence ties between India and the United States, saying New Delhi was a "lynchpin" in a new US military strategy focused on Asia.
Pentagon Chief Leon Panetta yesterday said the US would continue to attack al-Qaeda in Pakistan despite complaints from Islamabad that the drone strikes violate its sovereignty.
China, Russia and four Central Asian countries have vowed to play a bigger role in Afghanistan, Chinese President Hu Jintao said in comments published yesterday, as Nato forces prepare to pull out.
China's Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday said closer ties with Russia were of "crucial importance" for global peace, as the two nations seek to resist international action on Syria and Iran.
An eruption in religious tensions in Myanmar has exposed the deep divisions between the majority Buddhists and the country's Muslims, considered foreigners despite a decades-long presence.
China and Russia yesterday said they were "decisively against" intervention or regime change in Syria as Arab and Western calls mounted for tougher international action in the 15-month conflict.
The president of Sri Lanka has been forced to cancel a keynote speech in the City of London after concerns about the threat of large demonstrations by Tamil rights groups.
Israeli MPs yesterday voted down the preliminary reading of a draft bill that would have retroactively legalised settler homes built on private Palestinian land.
A Malaysian prince is promoting a noble weapon against the worsening scourge of dengue fever: A protein "pill" that starves mosquito larvae and could revolutionise the global dengue fight.
A twin suicide bombing attack killed 23 people yesterday in a car park crammed with vehicles supplying a major Nato base in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar, police said.
Links between Europe's financial crisis and corruption can no longer be ignored, with Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain doing the least against malpractice, Transparency International said yesterday.
Chinese authorities have closed Tibet to foreign visitors, travel agents said yesterday, just 10 days after two Tibetans set themselves on fire in the troubled region.
At least 15 civilians, including women and children, were killed in a Nato airstrike on a home in Afghanistan's Logar province south of Kabul, Afghan officials said yesterday.
Presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney was set to win the Republicans' California primary and four other state polls Tuesday, a week after passing the tally needed to take on Barack Obama.
Russia's upper house yesterday adopted a controversial bill that would greatly increase fines for opposition protesters, hours after the lower house approved the measure in a stormy midnight vote.
Nigerian soldiers killed at least 16 militants, the army yesterday said, after gunfire and blasts rocked an area of the country's northeast where Islamists were believed to be hiding.
Arts & Entertainment
Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts in Dhanmondi has organised a special solo art exhibition titled “Tribute to Great Master Safiuddin Ahmed”, featuring works of the recently deceased artist Safiuddin Ahmed.
In 2011 Samira Rahmatullah, a Bangladeshi citizen living in Silicon Valley, California, USA decided to leave her job as a strategy consultant in order to explore a career in the arts. Based on her love for art, earlier this year she launched Alluvial Arts, an organisation dedicated to promoting contemporary Bangladeshi art in the San Francisco Bay Area and eventually across the USA. As someone who has worked with a variety of art institutions in San Francisco over the years, Samira believes now is a very exciting time to be paying attention to Bangladeshi art. As she explains, in the last decade contemporary art from Bangladesh has grown tremendously in exposure and recognition across Asia and Europe, marked by its participation in the 2011 Venice Biennale; its first international art fair, the Dhaka Art Summit, in April 2012; the emergence of online portals for contemporary Bangladeshi art such as Artist Trekker and Jolrong; and finally, the considerable growth in market price of Bangladeshi art over the last few years.
There is sudden surge of Bengali actors in Bollywood cinema after the box-office success of Vidya-Balan-starrer, “Kahaani” and Paoli Dam's “Hate Story”.
A three-day cartoon exhibition and competition on environmental issues was held recently at the Drik Gallery in Dhanmondi, says a press release. The exhibition, titled “Gachh Lagao! Gachh Bachao!”, held from June 1 to 3, featured 70 works by noted and upcoming cartoonists.
As a TV play director, Shokal Ahmed's popularity is on the rise with many one-hour-dramas and tele-films in his bag. His mega serial “Terminal” is currently being aired on ntv. The talented director recently talked to The Daily Star about his latest project, his beginnings as a director and several other subjects:
A new entertainment show, featuring diplomats based in Bangladesh at present, starts tonight on ntv. The programme, titled “Hello Excellency”, will be aired fortnightly on Thursdays at 6:45 pm on the channel.
A day after a blistering swipe at the media by the prime minister, when she came down hard on those in the media and in civil society who were, in her words: "Portraying the country in a bad light," a few members of Parliament came down heavily on a respected personality, Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed. Over the years, through his dedicated works, Prof. Sayeed has established himself as a person who people listen to whenever and whatever he preaches. There are not many in our society, unfortunately, who so selflessly uphold the values that we very much wish every citizen emulates.
It is reported that Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) recently announced a scheme for uninterrupted supply of power for industrial use at a rate which is more than double the existing one. The new scheme is to be effective from June 1. The current average rate of electricity for industrial use is Tk. 5.55 per kWh. BERC calls the privileged group of industrial customers "Q class power consumers" who will pay
Dr. Binayak Sen is a Research Director at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS). He was lead consultant in the preparation of I-PRSP for Bangladesh and also a Member of the Public Expenditure Review Commission. His main areas of work cover growth, poverty, inequality, labour and governance issues. Here, he talks on the upcoming ADP with A.B.M. Shamsud Doza and Zaheen Zaema Khan of The Daily Star.
The First Crusade: The Siege of Jerusalem begins.
A moderate rainfall early yesterday submerged many areas in the port city with knee-deep water, causing misery for locals.