News of: Monday, 2nd of July, 2012
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The government hopes that the World Bank will reconsider its decision to cancel the funding of the Padma bridge project, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday.
A day after the World Bank scrapped the loan agreement for the Padma bridge construction, the government said it had “alternative sources” to finance the largest infrastructure project of the country.
* WB statement insulting, undesirable, mysterious
Dear journalist friends of the print and electronic media :
The World Bank in a statement yesterday announced that it had cancelled the loan agreement signed with Bangladesh for the Padma Bridge financing. In the statement, the WB alleges that Bangladesh did not take appropriate steps to prevent a corruption-related conspiracy. It also claims it had sought the Bangladesh government's consent on three issues but did not get it.
Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Ghulam Rahman yesterday said the World Bank had earlier this year suggested that the commission seize the bank accounts and travel documents of former communications minister Syed Abul Hossain and high officials of his family-owned company SAHCO.
The government yesterday released a set of letters it had earlier sent to the World Bank on the Padma bridge issue.
A Narsingdi court yesterday accepted the charge sheet that was submitted clearing 11 of the 14 accused in the killing case of Narsingdi mayor Lokman Hossain.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said if her party was elected to power in future, the people involved in the Padma bridge corruption would be brought to justice.
Defending champions Spain secured an unprecedented third successive major trophy as they beat Italy 4-0 in the Euro 2012 final here Sunday.
Three leaders and activists of pro-Awami League youth body Jubo League were injured as unidentified miscreants opened fire on them inside their party office in the capital's Mohakhali yesterday.
Historian Muntassir Mamoon yesterday told International Crimes Tribunal-1 how some political parties and their leaders, including Jamaat-e-Islami and its former ameer Ghulam Azam, aided the Pakistani occupation forces to commit genocide during the Liberation War.
Myanmar yesterday reiterated its decision to take back its citizens staying both in and outside two refugee camps and also in prisons in Bangladesh after verification of their nationality.
Myanmar President Thein Sein's visit to Bangladesh has been deferred to a later date after Ramadan due to sectarian violence in the northern Rakhine state.
With the current spell of floods and landslides claiming 77 lives in Assam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi are scheduled to visit the affected areas today.
The government yesterday added three murder cases, including that of journalist couple Sagar and Runi, on the list of sensational cases under the home ministry's monitoring cell.
The flood situation worsened further in Sirajganj, Bogra and Gaibandha districts but remained static in Kurigram yesterday.
A moderate earthquake, measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, jolted some parts of the country including Dhaka and its adjoining areas yesterday.
The Rangpur municipality, located in north-western part of the country, has been turned into a city corporation.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said she asked the home ministry for taking measures for holding the trial of the killers of journalists as the government wanted to ensure justice.
A Dhaka court yesterday fixed August 5 for delivering an order on whether it would accept charges against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and three others in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case.
Senegal began voting in a legislative election yesterday with President Macky Sall seeking a majority to put his policies into action after ousting the veteran former leader from office in a March poll.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation called on Saturday for an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Israel's policy of building Jewish settlements on Palestinian land.
The number of extra-judicial killings in the first half of the year, according to a report of Ain Shalish Kendro, a dynamic human rights organisation, stands at 63. Neither numerically, or breakup-wise in terms of the agencies killing them off the situation is any better than in the corresponding period of last year.
The continuing delay in relocating Hazaribagh tanneries to Savar is inexcusable. One of the reasons for Buriganga's extremely bad state is the effluents that run off into this river which is the lifeline of the capital. All the leather factories should have been moved to the new location with an ETP set up in the new leather estate by February 2010, according to a Supreme Court order.
Spain confirmed their status as one of the greatest national teams in football history by overwhelming Italy 4-0 in Sunday's Euro 2012 final in Kiev to retain their European crown.
'The Greatest' Muhammad Ali once said he "floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee" and now he seems to have found a worthy successor, although not in the ring.
One hundred and twenty cricketers will be brought under central contracts by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), it was announced at the end of an emergency meeting yesterday.
Star-studded Mohammedan SC kept their winning spree intact in the Green Delta Insurance Premier Division Hockey League when they thrashed Bangladesh Police AC 8-0 in their third match at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.
Michael Phelps has regained his title as the world's best swimmer; for now. The Olympic legend defeated Ryan Lochte in their third duel in a U.S trials final on Saturday night, narrowly out touching him by .09 seconds in the 200 IM.
Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins was ruled out of the remainder of the one-day series against England on Sunday after suffering a side strain in the opening match at Lord's on Friday.
As Andy Roddick walked off Wimbledon's Centre Court after his third-round defeat by David Ferrer on Saturday, he blew a kiss and waved to the crowd in a manner which suggested the three-time runner-up might not be returning.
Sheikh Russel KC ended their Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League their campaign on a winning note when they handed a 3-2 defeat to newcomers Team BJMC at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Andy Murray reached the Wimbledon fourth round on Saturday with a 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 win over Marcos Baghdatis in a match which finished just past the 11:00pm Centre Court curfew.
Azhar Ali smashed 157 and Mohammad Hafeez narrowly missed a double century but wet weather dampened Pakistan's hopes of forcing a result over hosts Sri Lanka in the second Test on Sunday.
Ravi Bopara starred with both bat and ball as England coasted to a six-wicket win over Australia with 26 balls to spare in the second one-day international (ODI) at The Oval here on Sunday.
For the second time in two matches, there was very little separating India and Pakistan's under-19 teams, as they tied the final of the Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur in dramatic fashion on Sunday.
West Indies crushed New Zealand by 56 runs in the first Twenty20 international on Saturday with Kieron Pollard and Chris Gayle hitting impressive half-centuries.
Ahead of Sunday's Euro 2012 final against Italy, Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas admitted he still had difficulty taking in the scale of his achievements with the national team over the last four years.
David Villa and Carles Puyol will attend Spain's European Championship final against Italy as spectators after missing the tournament because of injury.
Laurent Blanc will not be staying on as France coach after his contract expires on Saturday, the French federation said, with Dider Deschamps tipped as the favourite to take the job.
Italy have a special ability to achieve beyond their means in times of difficulty, according to captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
The success of the Spanish national team is mainly down to the efficiency of its clubs' soccer academies and the high quality of coaching staff, coach Vicente del Bosque said.
Tottenham Hotspur's Welsh winger Gareth Bale is set to miss out on a place in the Great Britain Olympic football team after suffering a back injury in training.
Antonio Cassano has urged his Italy strike partner Mario Balotelli to control his aggression during the Euro 2012 final against Spain.
Andres Iniesta will head into Sunday's Euro 2012 final with little thought for personal honours, despite many tipping the Spaniard to win the Player of the Tournament award.
China's growing popularity as the preferred destination for ageing former English Premier League players shows no sign of slowing with striker Frederic Kanoute completing a move to Beijing Guoan, the Chinese Super League side said.
Leading private land-phone operator RanksTel yesterday relaunched its operations after a lull of more than two years.
The government-backed crisis management committees can hardly contribute to reining in violence in the garment sector due to a lack of cooperation among the local lawmakers, garment owners and administrations.
Income tax receipts soared 23 percent in the immediate past fiscal year, exceeding the collection target, thanks to taxmen's intensive vigilance and efforts to net more taxpayers.
The commerce ministry yesterday directed commodity retailers to limit profits on Ramadan sales to 10 percent with an immediate effect.
Bangladesh Services Ltd (BSL), the owning company of Ruposhi Bangla Hotel, took over the management and operations of Bangabandhu International Conference Centre yesterday.
Officials of bourses yesterday vowed to demutualise their stock exchanges within six months after enactment of a law on demutualisation.
Investors are hoping Premier Manmohan Singh, who unleashed radical reforms that turned around India's economy two decades ago, can work some similar magic after assuming the finance portfolio once again.
Airtel yesterday announced “name tunes” for its mobile customers in Bangladesh, the company said in a statement yesterday.
India's gold imports could pick up in the second half of 2012 if record prices ease but annual volumes will still fall about 30 percent after a tax hike, which could crimp demand until 2014, the head of Mumbai's gold trade association said.
Yussuf Abdullah Harun, has recently been re-elected as chairman of Asia Insurance, the company said in a statement yesterday.
Angela Merkel was portrayed across Europe as the big loser of a euro zone showdown in Brussels after the German chancellor was forced to accept the crisis-fighting measures championed by countries struggling with their debts.
In a wheat field near the mighty Ganges river stands a cracked foundation stone surrounded by nibbling goats and farmers driving their cattle in the baking sun.
Companies in Asia's leading economies have "strikingly" few women in senior jobs, missing out on a vital pool of talent to fuel the region's growth, consultancy firm McKinsey & Company said Sunday.
Chinese appliance and electronics giant Haier is aiming to expand into Europe with higher-end products, helping to upgrade China's reputation for churning out mostly cheap, low-quality goods.
After a dire stock market debut, Facebook has clawed back a large chunk of its losses as investors look past the flubbed initial public offering and gradually warm to the leading social network.
Cannes. More often than not, people associate the city in the French Riviera with the world's oldest, prestigious and the most influential of film festivals, the Cannes International Film Festival. But the city, every year, not long after the film festival ends, flocks in another bunch of artistic minds for the Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity.
The budget for the year 2012-13 seems to be based on a bureaucratic mindset. The outlay is fat with a deficit of Tk 52,000 crore and the glimpses are to impress the common people.
A leading healthcare expert yesterday called for early detection of diabetes and primary intervention as improving diabetic care is more cost-effective than treating its complications.
Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus has been chosen as chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University, a public university in Glasgow, Scotland.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the senior army officials to consider professional efficiency, the spirit of the Liberation War, leadership, discipline, honesty, trust worthiness and loyalty as the criteria for promotion.
The Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) yesterday fixed the prices of beef and mutton for the upcoming month of Ramadan.
The Sylhet Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal is running without any case as no case was referred to the special court in recent months.
Following two cases filed in two courts in Chittagong, arrest warrants were issued yesterday against 14 Unipay2u officials including its chairman and managing director on charge of misappropriating Tk 5.12 crore.
At least 24 activists of opposition BNP and its front organisations were injured in an attack launched by ruling Awami League backed Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists at Gournadi upazila town in Barisal district yesterday afternoon.
Leaders of Poribesh Bachao Andolon (Poba) yesterday formed a human chain demanding formulation of a national hill management policy to stop hill cutting, deforestation, and unplanned human settlements, which are causing landslides in Chittagong.
Vice Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Dr Pran Gopal Datta warned a number of doctors who were either absent in their duties or were late in attending office at the hospital yesterday.
A murmur of appreciation rose from a crowd peering at a water tub housing a curious looking lily having leaves broad enough for a man to sit on.
Eight people were killed and 10 others injured in separate road accidents in Mymensingh, Chittagong, Rangpur, Lalmonirhat and Meherpur on Saturday and yesterday.
Leaders of different journalist organisations in a joint statement yesterday protested the ban on journalists' access to Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) office and the restriction on providing information regarding corruption to the media.
Dhaka University students, teachers and staff celebrated the university's 91st anniversary amid fanfair and festivity yesterday.
Seven Islami Chhatra Shibir activists were arrested yesterday after they clashed with Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) men in the vicinity of Bara Aulia Degree College in Lohagara upazila in Chittagong.
Two schoolgirls drowned in Begunbari Jheel in the capital's Tejgaon Industrial area yesterday.
Judgment of a Yaba haul case filed against businessman Amin Huda, nephew of businessman Aziz Mohammad Bhai, and his close aide Ahsanul Haque Hasan, will be delivered on July 8.
Some compact discs and cassettes containing important information were stolen from the archive of ATN Bangla's Karwan Bazar office, reported the private TV channel.
Information and Communication Technology Minister Syed Abul Hossain yesterday said the way World Bank cancelled its $ 1.2 billion credit for the Padma bridge project and blamed Bangladesh for it was unexpected and regrettable.
A Dhaka court yesterday deferred till August 5 the hearing on charge framing against Arafat Rahman Koko, younger son of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, in a tax evasion case.
Former president Prof AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury yesterday said Awami League will have to pay a high price for corruption in the Padma bridge project if the next election is held under a neutral government.
Department of Environment (DoE) fined a steel mill Tk 25 lakh on charges of polluting the environment and running its activities without the approval of the DoE in Chittagong city yesterday.
Bangladesh Tourism Board yesterday launched its official website to make the country's tourism related information available for tourists.
IDLC Finance Limited, the largest multi-product non-banking financial institution in Bangladesh, has become a partner of ABC Radio, one of Bangladesh's leading FM radio stations, in sponsoring various initiatives regarding environmental and social responsibilities.
A Chittagong court yesterday granted bail to 47 activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in two cases over attacking police and vandalising and torching vehicles on Chittagong-Dhaka highway at Sitakunda upazila on June 24.
The annual general meeting of Free Election Movement Association (Fema) elected its new committee for next three years on Friday.
Jahangirnagar University (JU) Vice Chancellor Prof Anwar Hossain handed over a cheque of Tk 2 lakh to Zubair Ahmed's father at the former's office on the campus yesterday.
Dr Md Muzibur Rahman Shamim, senior registrar of Internal Medicine Department of Apollo Hospitals Dhaka, died of cardiac arrest at the hospital yesterday at the age of 39.
Bus owners and workers enforced an indefinite strike in six southern districts yesterday, demanding ban on plying of shallow engine-driven vehicles on highways.
Ninety-eight brick fields across the district have continued their illegal operation, despite several notices from the Department of Environment (DoE).
Hajee Danesh Science and Technology University (HSTU) of Dinajpur, which was closed on June 11 following the death of a student, reopened yesterday.
A freshers' reception programme at Pakshey Railway Degree College in Ishwardi upazila was yesterday foiled allegedly by BCL men.
Police arrested three Jubo league activists in an extortion case filed with Baufal police station yesterday.
A rice trader was stabbed to death at Khaskhamar village of Atrai upazila in Naogaon on Saturday night. The deceased was identified as Golam Mostofa, 48, son of late Enayetullah of Khaskhamar village under Bisha union in the upazila. Abdul Latif, officer in-charge (OC) of Atrai police station, said criminals stabbed Golam Mostofa indiscriminately at around 9:30pm when he was returning home from the embankment of Nagor River, near his house. The criminals fled the scene after he died on the spot. Police suspected that Mostafa was killed over previous enmity. Police arrested one suspected killer Abdul Jabbar, son of Madari Sardar, of Khaskhamar village yesterday.
Trishal upazila administration with the help of local journalists yesterday foiled a bid for child marriage at village Chakrampur. According to sources, Moyna Khatun, 11, daughter of Nizamuddin Nizu, also a Class Seven student of Rampur High School was set to be married with one Emdadul Haque, son of Abdul Gafur of the same village today. Moyna, daughter of a betel-leaf vendor, refused the proposal but her step-mother pressed repeatedly for the marriage, locals said. On information, a team led by upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Trishal Md. Mizanur Rahman, rushed to the spot and stopped the marriage.
Police recovered one foreign made pistol, one gun and three bullets at Baralia village in Sadar upazila on Saturday. On secret information that some youngsters were moving suspiciously in the Mesturibari area of the village, a team of police of Dattapara investigation centre raided the area in the afternoon. Sensing the presence of the law enforcers, the gang fled the scene, leaving the arms and ammunition behind.
A man and his son were killed and three others injured in a clash over a piece of disputed land at Polashgora village in Durgapur upazila on Saturday morning. The deceased were identified as Billal Mia, 45, and his son Al-Amin, 22, of the village. Police and local sources said there had been a conflict between Billal and one Sekander Mia of the same village over the land for last few days. The supporters of the rivals attacked each other with lethal weapons, leaving the duo dead on the spot following an altercation over the issue at around 9:00am.
World powers struck an agreement that a transitional government should be set up in Syria to end the conflict there but they remained at odds over what part President Bashar al-Assad might play in the process.
TRANSITION GOVERNMENT: Could include members of the present government and the opposition and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent.
After being sworn in as the country's first freely elected civilian president on Saturday, Morsi formally received a transfer of power and pledge of support from the military.
Tens of thousands of protestors took to the streets of Hong Kong yesterday, adamant there was nothing to cheer as the former British colony marked 15 years of Chinese rule and swore in a new leader.
A European Union embargo on Iranian oil went into effect yesterday, provoking anger in Tehran which says the measure will hurt talks with world powers over its sensitive nuclear activities.
A US drone aircraft killed eight suspected Islamist militants in northwest Pakistan yesterday, security officials said.
Gunmen killed 16 people and wounded dozens when they opened fire and hurled grenades into two churches in the eastern Kenyan town of Garissa yesterday, officials said, in the latest in a string of attacks.
Iceland's President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson is set for a record fifth term in office after facing down a challenge from a well-known television reporter who had a new baby on the campaign trail.
Mexicans were voting in an election to elect a new president amid a weak economy and raging war on drugs.
Australia yesterday introduced a controversial carbon tax in a bid to tackle climate change, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard hailing the move amid opposition warnings it will stifle industry.
Ex-prime minister Yitzhak Shamir, a former soldier, spy and statesman, has died at the age of 96, Israeli officials announced on Saturday.
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has decided not to attend a new session of parliament this week to give herself time to recover from a gruelling European tour, her party said yesterday.
Renewed tribal clashes in the Libyan city of Kufra have claimed at least 47 lives and left more than 100 others wounded in three days, local leaders and a medic told AFP on Saturday.
Arts & Entertainment
The 139th death anniversary of the pioneer of Bengali sonnets, Michael Madhusudan Dutta, was observed at Madhu Mancho premises in Sagardari village under Keshob purupazila of Jessore district with great enthusiasm on June 29. The event was organised by Madhusudan Academy.
Renowned singer Khairul Anam Shakil performed in an hour-long solo musical soiree at Ramesh Chandra Datta Smriti Milonkendra of Chhayanaut Shangskriti Bhaban in Dhaka on June 30. Panchabhaskar arranged the soiree titled, “Srotar Ashor”. The artiste rendered an array of music including raga based monsoon melodies along with several golden oldies, ghazal and many more.
A six- day Khulna divisional Rabindra theatre festival ended in Kushtia on Saturday night amidst festivity.
The 100th staging of the play “Ekti Obastob Golpo” was held at the Theatre Institute Chittagong last Friday evening much to the delight of local theatre enthusiasts.
'Nazrul Sandhya', an evening of songs and poems of the National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, was held at District Sports Association auditorium in Manikganj recently.
Approaching 80 with a handful of Oscars under his belt, American film veteran Woody Allen says what drives him still is the desire to make a great movie.
A two weeklong theatre festival, featuring over 100 plays based on the Liberation War, begins today at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, as chief guest, is expected to inaugurate the grand festival. The inaugural ceremony will take place this afternoon at 4pm at the National Theatre Hall of the academy in Dhaka.
After their Oscar-winning association in “Slumdog Millionaire”, Indian composer A.R. Rahman and British film director Danny Boyle are coming together again -- this time for the inaugural programme of the London Olympics.
In the wake of the World Bank's (WB) cancellation of its contract with the Government of Bangladesh for $1.2 billion credit for the Padma Bridge, the government faces an acid-test which like any challenge in life can be converted into opportunity. This can, however, happen only if the government shuns the apparent denial syndrome and generates the courage and commitment to ensure a fully independent, credible investigation into the allegations of corruption and deliver exemplary punishment, if found guilty.
I have deliberately "misappro-priated" the title of an epic movie for this piece. And I must confess that there couldn't have been a more appropriate title for this article that deals with, what I like to call, the Padma Bridge disaster. Those who are conversant with military history will find a parallel between the botched Allied operations to capture, among other bridges, the most important bridge in Arnhem in occupied Holland. The episode has been captured in an epic 1977 movie titled, "A Bridge Too Far."
The World Bank has finally cancelled the assistance agreement for construction of the Padma Bridge. Our worst apprehension has come true. What has happened is really very unfortunate. It is doubly embarrassing because of the alleged reason for cancellation of the agreement.
The Ottoman Admiral Turgut Reis sacks the Italian city of Paola.
WB scraps Padma loan