News of: Tuesday, 3rd of July, 2012
Finance Minister AMA Muhith said in parliament yesterday he believed former World Bank president Robert Zoellick had never taken into cognisance any of Bangladesh's proposals to end the stalemate over the Padma bridge project
Click here to read statement of the finance minister on Padma bridge project
What future awaits the Padma bridge? What price do we have to pay now that neither the World Bank nor the ADB will release funds for the project over allegations of corruption? How costly will the funds from alternative sources be?
Dhaka and New Delhi yesterday agreed to renew the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade for another two years and almost double the maintenance fees for six river routes inside Bangladesh.
The opposition BNP thinks Padma bridge project is still possible to be implemented using the World Bank's fund by reviving the loan agreement through taking stern actions against the corrupt persons in line with the information provided by the Bank.
The Padma multipurpose bridge will lead to a $6,000 million rise in GDP over 31 years from 2015, a World Bank assessment shows.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday interrogated a local agent of SNC-Lavalin in connection with the alleged corruption in appointing the Canadian company as the consultant for Padma bridge project.
The Department of Environment yesterday fined Abul Khair Group Tk 40.23 lakh for cutting hills illegally at Sitakunda upazila in Chittagong.
The ADB has said it is unable to finance the Padma bridge project after the lead co-financier World Bank pulled out of it, while Jica has made it known it will consult with the Japanese government before taking any decision.
1. We have been discussing issues surrounding the construction of Padma Bridge over the last four years.
In a bid to keep city footpaths free for public movement and ease traffic congestion on the streets, the LGRD ministry yesterday strictly directed the authorities concerned to remove all illegal roadside establishments, makeshift shops, banners and festoons within 24 hours.
Flood victims in Gaibandha were struggling for clean drinking water yesterday as most of the tube wells went under floodwater.
Admitting that some essentials are already selling at high prices ahead of Ramadan, Commerce Minister GM Quader yesterday warned of stern action against persons responsible for the price hike.
The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday interrogated nine Bangladesh Railway officials including suspended general manager (east zone) Yusuf Ali Mridha in connection with alleged corruption in recruitment.
The High Court yesterday extended bail for BNP leader Tarique Rahman for one year in three cases of extortion and tax evasion.
A college student was run over by a speeding bus while crossing the road in the capital's Farmgate area yesterday.
A Dhaka court yesterday asked former army chief Gen Moeen U Ahmed and three other high-profile witnesses to give their testimonies in connection with the carnage at BDR headquarters in 2009.
Utility service providers here have been directed to cut power, gas, and water supplies to people on risky hillsides in seven days to discourage habitation there.
The International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday completed cross-examination of fifth prosecution witness Prafullah Ranjan Sinha in the case against BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury in connection with crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War.
Opposition nominee PA Sangma yesterday tried to put block ruling UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee's presidential poll candidature by seeking cancellation of his nomination under the Office of Profit rules.
A powerful politician and dozens of his followers quit Japan's ruling party yesterday and are likely to form their own rival bloc, dealing a blow to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) has given the world about five million new people since the first test tube baby was born in England 34 years ago, according to an estimate released yesterday.
Five students including two female students of Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College (SBMC) were attacked and assaulted yesterday by the activists of pro-Awami League Bangladesh Chhatra League for protesting alleged sexual abuse and blackmailing of a fellow student last month.
Seven people, including a lawmaker and deputy commissioner of Kurigram, were held by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) for an hour yesterday for mistakenly crossing the Indo-Bangladesh border on a boat.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakib Uddin yesterday said preparation for holding election to the newly established Rangpur City Corporation was underway.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) killed two persons including a Bangladeshi cattle trader early yesterday.
Though we are shocked and saddened by the fact that our dream of a bridge over Padma stands temporarily threatened by the WB's decision, yet we are glad to note that prospect of revival of the project still exists. At least that is what came out of the Finance Minister's press briefing on Sunday. It is very clear that the government is not closing the Padma Bridge chapter with the World Bank (WB) and wants the Bank to review its decision.
When the whole nation is reeling from the World Bank's cancellation of the Padma Bridge loan, we are perplexed by Communications Minister Obaidul Quader's promise to spring a 'surprise' on the Padma bridge project. While the finance minister expresses his hope that the WB should see fit to review its decision, Quader claims that alternative funding the cost of which would be cheaper than WB rates is being negotiated.
It is only right that a unique team, as Spain are, should stand alone in the pantheon. No international side has won three major tournaments in a row before, unless you count the Olympics in the 1920s and 1930s. Since Euro 2008 they have exerted a numbing superiority over every team they have played and even those who advocate Satan for a living might struggle to argue that Spain are not the strongest international side of all.
The excitement of the just-concluded European Championships is set to spill over to the domestic front today where all is poised for a mouthwatering finish to the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League when three-time champions Abahani and star-studded Muktijoddha Sangsad battle it out in the virtual championship-deciding match.
World number one Maria Sharapova crashed out of Wimbledon on Monday, while four-time winner Serena Williams and defending champion Petra Kvitova survived major scares to reach the quarterfinals.
Young batsman Anamul Haque has made way for Shakib Al Hasan in one of two changes made by the selectors for the Tigers' tour to Europe later this month. Bangladesh Cricket Board yesterday made the announcement of the 15-member squad for the Twenty20 matches to be played against Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands.
Six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer shrugged off a rare medical time-out to defeat Xavier Malisse 7-6 (7/1), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 on Monday to reach a 33rd successive Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Resolute Sri Lankan batting and wet weather frustrated Pakistan's bid to drive home the advantage on the third day of the second Test in Colombo on Monday.
Michael Phelps is headed to the London Olympics with a chance to match his glittering eight-gold haul of 2008.
Yohan Blake upset reigning Olympic champ Usain Bolt by winning the 200 metres in 19.80 seconds at the Jamaican Olympic Athletic Trials on Sunday, just two days after beating him in the 100 metres.
The Bangladesh Football Federation has decided to start the 2012-13 season from September 15 through the qualifiers of season's curtain raising tournament Federation Cup.
Abahani continued their winning run in the Green Delta Insurance Premier Division Hockey League when they thrashed Wari Club 11-0 at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.
West Indies notched up their second crushing Twenty20 victory over New Zealand in as many days here on Sunday.
Spanish left wing Andres Iniesta was named player of Euro 2012 on Monday by European football governing body UEFA.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli was generous in his praise of European champions Spain after their 4-0 victory in Sunday's final but was left ruing the lack of preparation time his team had.
They entered the realm of legend and restored pride to a nation in crisis: the Spanish press Monday lavished praise on their team's history-making victory in the Euro 2012 final.
Squad of the Euro 2012 championship as selected by a UEFA-approved 11-man technical committee announced on Monday after Spain beat Italy 4-0 in Sunday's final to retain the trophy:
Twenty-two million Italians tuned in to watch their side be crushed 4-0 in the Euro 2012 final by Spain, official data released on Monday showed.
Spanish striker Fernando Torres won the Golden Boot award for top scorer at Euro 2012 edging out Germany's Mario Gomez UEFA announced on Monday.
Implementation of the competition law is only possible under an independent and powerful commission, speakers said at a seminar yesterday.
Aromatic rice exports have resumed after the government waived a three-year-old ban last month, encouraged by a bumper yield and good stocks at home.
The primary share market is losing its shine as a good number of companies listed in the recent times failed to draw considerable response.
Korean-American physician Jim Yong Kim took over as the new World Bank chief Monday, immediately challenged to ensure the eurozone crisis does not set back global poverty-fighting efforts.
The government will raise the export target by up to 12 percent for fiscal 2012-13 from last year's achievement, a commerce ministry official said yesterday.
Dhaka stocks fell by 4.15 percent yesterday as investors reacted to the news of the World Bank withdrawing its loans for the Padma bridge project.
Partnership opportunities must be created to build synergy in the process of establishing an enabling business climate for women entrepreneurs in the country, said the president of Bangladesh Federation of Women Entrepreneurs (BFWE) yesterday.
Light engineering, electrical and electronics industries are being handicapped by the discrepancy in tax structures, experts said on Sunday.
An annual international exhibition on textile and apparel technology, machinery and allied services -- 13th Textech Bangladesh-2012 International Expo -- begins at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital today.
Standard Chartered has launched an international advertising campaign over TV, print, outdoor and digital media to reinforce their commitment to a positive impact on the communities where they operate, the bank said in a statement yesterday.
It was time for departure. As our four-and-a-half-year son Yazdaan walked with me hand in hand, down the airport hallway to the car concourse at John F Kennedy Airport, New York, to join his waiting mother, uncle and aunt, I kept repeating, I'll be back soon. He kept on asking, how soon? Couple of days, I mustered to say. As soon as he got in the car, he dropped the window glass, reached out and grabbed my hand.
State-owned oil company Petronas is tired of being Malaysia's cash trough. Its growing pique at the government flared into public view here in early June at the World Gas Conference.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday promised her government's all-out support for flourishing the talents of the country's cultural activists through maintaining a congenial atmosphere for them.
Leaders of the Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) yesterday urged the owners of the media to stop illegal termination of journalists and other employees from jobs and pay their arrears immediately.
The country's nurses are lagging behind in their quality of work due to lack of continuous training on modern nursing methods and technology during their service period, health experts at a programme said yesterday.
The students of Chittagong Nursing College yesterday protested the authorities' decision to strictly enforce the institutional dress code during class time.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) officials yesterday further interrogated Destiny Group Chairman Rafiqul Amin, also managing director of Destiny 2000 Ltd, over various allegations of irregularities and corruption in his organisations.
Jahangirnagar University (JU) will nominate a three-member vice-chancellor (VC) panel on July 20, a JU press release said yesterday.
The two female Everest conquerors of Bangladesh yesterday urged fellow women to continue their efforts to bring about a positive change in the life and attitude of all women in the country.
The government has taken an initiative to export over 30 lakh Bangladeshi workers to different labour markets in the next five years, Labour and Employment Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain told the parliament yesterday.
The International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday deferred the date to July 15 for recording statements of the prosecution witnesses against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, an accused of war crimes.
Advocate Ashraf-Ul Alam of the daily Kaler Kantha and Advocate Anwarul Kabir Babul of the daily Jugantor have been elected the president and general secretary respectively of the Court Reporters' Association (CRA) for the period 2012-2013, said a press release yesterday.
Four people were killed and four others inured in separate road accidents in Netrakona, Satkhira, Thakurgaon and Bagerhat on Sunday and yesterday.
Language Movement veteran Abdul Matin and noted academician Professor Emeritus Dr Anisuzzaman of Dhaka University have been nominated for the Geetanjali Honorary Award 2012 for their contribution in the country's arts, literature, and culture.
The government has moved to provide food items at fair prices soon to garment and knit workers, Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzak told in parliament yesterday.
The High Court yesterday granted ad interim bail for six months to eight leaders and activists of BNP and its affiliated organisations in a case filed for killing a driver in the capital in April this year.
Former Indian president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam will arrive here tomorrow on a two-day visit to attend the 33rd Foundation Day Celebration of the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (Cirdap).
Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) recovered the decomposed body of an unidentified woman from Halishahar area under Bandar Police Station in Chittagong city yesterday.
A cleaner of a private bank was stabbed to death by unidentified miscreants in the capital's Sutrapur area early yesterday.
The National Birth Registration Day will be observed across the country today as President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina appreciated initiatives for easing birth records process through online registrations.
A vegetable vendor died early yesterday after being hacked by a group of people in Chowkidekhi area of Sylhet city on Sunday.
A Chittagong court yesterday summoned Mahfuzur Rahman, chairman of ATN Bangla, to appear before it on September 30 for making derogatory remarks about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
A mobile court in separate drives yesterday sealed off a vermicelli and a salt factories and fined them Tk 1 lakh for running their activities in unhygienic environment in Chaktai Rajakhali area of Chittagong city.
Fire gutted a battery curing chamber at the factory of Navana Batteries Limited in Sitakunda upazila yesterday noon.
Police seized an Indian clothes-laden truck in Mohakhali area of the capital early yesterday as customs duty was not paid for the clothes at Benapole border.
A mobile court fined three eateries Tk 15,000 in Laldighi area of Chittagong city yesterday.
Students of five more schools in Dinajpur, Jhenidah and Faridpur districts yesterday took part in joyful events at English language fairs held under English in Schools programme, a joint initiative of The Daily Star and mobile operator Robi.
Seven union parishad (UP) chairmen in Biswanath upazila, charge-sheeted in a case for vandalising public property at the upazila headquarters during BNP enforced hartal on April 23, have been suspended.
Gunmen sprayed bullets on a leader of the reformist faction of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) in Rubber Bagan area of Dighinala upazila on Saturday afternoon.
At least two people were killed and five others injured in a clash over a piece of disputed land at Sidhuli village in Gurudaspur upazila yesterday.
Transport owners and workers in Meherpur and Chuadanga districts yesterday went on an indefinite strike while they called it off in six southern districts.
Students, teachers and employees of Hajee Danesh Science and Technology University (HSTU) yesterday formed a human chain, demanding arrest of Mrinal Goswami, the prime accused in Bipul murder case.
An under trial prisoner, who fell seriously sick in the district jail, died at Sadar Hospital yesterday.
A housewife, a girl and a young woman allegedly committed suicide in Chapainawabganj and Magura districts on Sunday.
A devastating fire gutted a cotton mill in Jumjumpur area at Jessore municipal town in Sadar upazila early yesterday.
The head of the Arab League called yesterday for the fragmented Syrian opposition to unite and said a UN-brokered plan for a transitional government in Syria fell short of expectations.
Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, condemned the death yesterday of three British soldiers in Afghanistan and vowed that the Taliban would not impact on the alliance's campaign.
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez on Sunday staged a huge rally despite his lingering health problems as he and rival Henrique Capriles formally launched their campaigns ahead of October elections.
Mexico's old rulers claimed victory in a presidential election on Sunday, ending 12 years in opposition after a campaign dominated by a sputtering economy and rampant drug violence.
Iran's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee has drafted a bill calling for Iran to try to stop oil tankers from shipping crude through the Strait of Hormuz to countries that support sanctions against it, a committee member said yesterday.
The International Steering Group overseeing Kosovo's independence decided yesterday that the territory will acquire full sovereignty in September, Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said.
Jordan is trying to woo the powerful Muslim Brotherhood after it gained more ground following the election of Islamist Mohamed Morsi as Egypt's first civilian president, analysts said yesterday.
Libya yesterday freed four officials from the International Court (ICC) whose detention since early June on spying allegations had plunged the interim government into its biggest diplomatic controversy since last year's revolution.
Arts & Entertainment
Athena Gallery of Fine Arts, a newly opened art gallery in North Badda, Dhaka, has a great collection of paintings. The collection comprises works by master artists of the country. Nilu Murshed, CEO of the gallery, is a well-known art collector. She has been collecting artworks for over 40 years.
Apurba's career in TV plays and modelling spans only a few years, but during this period, he has carved a niche for himself as a romantic hero. Apurba has worked with every popular actress on the scene. Although acting takes up most of his time, he is also preparing to become a director. His primary goal will remain acting, while the direction gigs will be undertaken out of personal interest.
On June 23, Melbourne's 'Srotar Ashor' organisation staged the third of its annual events, presenting music and poetry to commemorate the arrival of the Borsha season. As the curtain was raised at the Chandler Community Centre for the commencement of “Badol Din-er Prothom Kodom Phul”, the audience was treated to a digital display of torrents, which made up the backdrop to a stage decorated with umbrellas and floral arrangement. What followed was a two and a half hour presentation of much-loved Bengali songs and poetry, set to a symphonic arrangement of guitar, piano, keyboard and tabla. The theme of the evening was monsoon, and the programme served not only as a celebration of the rainy season, but also as a tribute to Bangladesh's rich culture. Compilimentary hot tea was provided during the intermission, as well as enough jhalmuri to feed 300 patrons, contributing to the festive mood.
Satellite channel ntv turns ten today. To mark the occasion, several special programmes will be aired on the channel throughout the day. Highlights of some of the programmes:
The road to promulgation for a generally acceptable education policy has been a long one. Attempts have been made to do so in different decades, none of which made it to enactment: the Hamoodur Commission Report in the '60s, Qudrat-i-Khuda report in the early '70s, education policy in the early '80s during H.M. Ershad's regime all failed for one reason or another. The present government promulgated the Education Policy in 2010. This in itself is a major milestone for the government.
Last week in Cairo, a historic ceremony took place. Mr. Mohammed Morsi of the Freedom and Justice Party of Egypt (the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood), was sworn in as the new Egyptian president. With this swearing-in, Egypt has pole-vaulted into a new political age.
It is a sad state of affairs when an entire nation has to suffer for the actions of just a few. The World Bank has claimed to have found credible evidence of a high-level corruption conspiracy among selected government officials involved in the Padma Bridge project.
Syed Badrul Ahsan ended his article on the above subject (The Daily Star June 27, '12) with these two sentences -- "False history was what we lived through between 1975 and 1996. Must we go through that dark tunnel again?" Most certainly not. And that is why I should like to point out to, what I think to be some factual inaccuracies, errors and misinterpretations in what Mr. Ahsan wrote in response to the comments of Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the acting Secretary General of BNP, about Awami League's support for unconstitutional military regime.
In a move that should quieten, at least for the time being, the chorus of liberal-minded cynics who call Pakistan a failed or failing state, its Supreme Court has established that the rule of law does prevail. Last week, the court disqualified Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani from holding a seat in Parliament from the date of his contempt of court conviction on April 26. This was for having failed to pursue corruption charges against President Asif Ali Zardari, the co-chairman of the ruling Pakistan People's Party. This dramatic denouement would have been unnecessary had Pakistan's National Assembly acted on the earlier court ruling. Given its refusal to do so -- with the Speaker declaring that Gilani was not disqualified despite his conviction for contempt of court -- the court has stepped in to make the ambit of its authority clear.
Hugh Capet is crowned King of France, the first of the Capetian dynasty that would rule France till the French Revolution in 1792.