News of: Tuesday, 10th of July, 2012
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Japan thinks the Padma bridge project could be “undertaken under a new framework of donor arrangement” now that the World Bank has cancelled its funding commitment in the project.
No representative of the World Bank was present at the meeting Finance Minister AMA Muhith held yesterday with the development partners to brief them about the government's position on the Padma bridge project.
A witness yesterday told International Crimes Tribunal-1 that he saw his family members being brutally killed during a Pakistani army raid in 1971, with armed BNP leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury accompanying the army.
A group of policemen last month came across a girl at the entrance to Nayapara Rohingya refugee camp in the district's Teknaf. She wanted to enter the camp “to meet her sister”.
The BNP-led opposition combine plans to gear up campaign against the government's decision to construct the Padma Bridge with its own fund even by issuing sovereign bonds to collect $750 million.
Moha Sanghanayak S Dhammapal Mohathero, supreme spiritual leader of the Buddhist community in the country, passed away yesterday at Sriraj Hospital at Bangkok in Thailand.
Limon Hossain, the juvenile who was maimed by Rab shooting in Jhalakathi on March 23, 2011, has secretly been charge sheeted in the second case against him in connection with obstructing law enforcers from performing their duties.
A Bengal tiger entered a locality in Shyamnagar upazila of Satkhira Sunday morning, and finally went back to the Sundarbans yesterday noon.
Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) is selling sugar at a price higher than the current market price.
The Anti-Corruption Commission has asked the Chittagong City Corporation to submit files of 1,380 projects of fiscal 2010-11 along with a list of the officials involved within seven days for enquiry.
“The lives of us two sisters remain incomplete. We, who believe in Islam, know that when anyone's near and dear ones die, recitation from the holy Quran and special prayers are offered in their memory. Even if that is not possible, at least their faces are shown to their near and dear ones for the last time. But how unfortunate are we two sisters that we could not even see for the last time the faces of our father, mother and brothers when they were killed in 1975!”
Environmentalists, rights bodies and eminent persons have expressed deep concern over some provisions of The Wildlife (protection and safety) Act 2012, passed in parliament on Sunday.
The Indian Supreme Court yesterday sought the central government's response on a plea for probe into the alleged torture and extrajudicial killings by Border Security Force personnel in the border area of West Bengal.
At least 20 land subsidence victims of Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Ltd (BCMCL) and four law enforcers were injured in a clash at the mine site yesterday.
Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal may soon have rail connectivity with the northeast states of India thanks to a plan that includes establishment of links between Agartala and Akhaura.
Myanmar Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi made her historic parliamentary debut yesterday, marking a new phase in her near quarter century struggle to bring democracy to her army-dominated homeland.
The prosecution in its opening statement in the case against BNP leader Abdul Alim at International Crimes Tribunal-2 said a state probe launched just after the liberation proved Alim's anti-liberation role during the war.
Russia yesterday held a day of mourning for at least 171 people who died in its worst flooding disaster as questions mounted over whether officials did enough to warn of the impending calamity.
When the government vociferously claims that the law and order situation is better than ever before, we find the realities on the ground presenting an entirely different picture. Criminalities are engulfing ever newer pastures with an increasing vengeance, the latest case in point being the Dhaka-Chittagong highway, thanks to an investigative staff item.
In the endless repetition of road tragedies, yet another young life was extinguished in the Mirpur area on Sunday as a bus ran over a college student while he was getting off the vehicle he was travelling by. Reportedly, what caused the anger in particular was the fact that the victim was made to get off the bus hurriedly by the helper. What followed was complete anarchy on the street which lasted several hours.
Opener Tamim Iqbal said on Monday that they want to go to the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka on the back of a winning habit.
Australia's Brett Lee and Shane Watson both had their tour of England cut short by calf problems on Monday as they were ruled out of Tuesday's fifth one-day international at Old Trafford.
Bangladesh is hoping to improve their standing in the sub-continent carom when the 16th edition of the SAARC Carom Championship starts at the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan from tomorrow.
Kevin Pietersen has said there is still a chance he could play 'white ball' cricket for England again despite retiring from limited-overs internationals.
Ajax Sporting Club tasted their first success in the Green Delta Insurance Premier Division Hockey League with a 5-2 win over Dhaka Mariner Youngs Club at the Maulana Bhasani Stadium yesterday.
Bad weather washed out the entire second day's play in the third and final Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Pallekele on Monday.
Arambagh KS registered a 45-11 point win over Mansur SC in the Orient Bread First Division Handball League at the Shaheed M Mansur Ali National Handball Stadium yesterday.
Roger Federer praised golf superstar Tiger Woods on Sunday for the American's support as he stormed to a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title.
Andy Murray may have failed in his attempt to become the first British man since 1936 to win Wimbledon, but he has finally succeeded in capturing Britain's heart, the country's press said Monday.
British charity Oxfam has won more than 100,000 pounds thanks to Roger Federer's victory at Wimbledon after being left a bet in a gambler's will.
Belarussian Victoria Azarenka returned to the world number one spot in the latest rankings released on Monday thanks to American Serena Williams' victory over Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in the Wimbledon final.
More than a quarter of the British population tuned in to watch home favourite Andy Murray in the Wimbledon men's final, figures released Monday showed.
The men's 100 metres is the jewel in the Olympic crown and Yohan Blake's surprise humanisation of Usain Bolt has ensured that next month's showdown will be a race worthy of the Games rather than a mere time trial for the defending champion.
Chelsea and England defender John Terry racially abused rival footballer Anton Ferdinand in response to taunts about his alleged affair with a teammate's girlfriend, a court heard Monday.
France's World Cup and Euro winning captain Didier Deschamps was named coach of the national side on Sunday, the French Football Federation (FFF) announced on its website.
South Korean midfielder Park Ji-sung has joined Queens Park Rangers from Premier League rivals Manchester United on a two-year contract, the west London club said on Monday.
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was one of three over-age players included in the 18-man Uruguay squad for the Olympic Games that was announced here on Monday.
Angola have appointed Uruguayan Gustavo Ferrin to coach the national soccer team for the next two years, state news agency Angop reported on Monday.
Kamui Kobayashi was fined 25,000 euros by the FIA despite his apologising to his Sauber team after injuring three mechanics during a pit-stop in Sunday's British Grand Prix.
Nice defender Francois Clerc has reached agreement to sign a three-year deal with Ligue 1 rivals Saint-Etienne subject to a medical, his new club confirmed on Monday.
The summer transfer window has been open a short time now and a number of players have already made moves to new clubs, countries and even new continents, but former England goalkeeper Richard Wright might be the only to have already joined and left his new club.
Commerce Minister GM Quader yesterday said the government has not found any evidence of big-market syndication that inflates prices of essentials irrationally.
The government yesterday banned exports of green chilli, brinjal, onion and garlic until August 31 to help boost supply during the month of Ramadan.
Investors continue to remain unconvinced of market prospects, depressing the market further yesterday.
Grameenphone (GP) said yesterday it did not violate the labour law by stopping its terminated employees from entering the premises.
The time limit for conducting a regulatory enquiry on a massive fall of Dhaka bourse's share index that continued for five minutes on May 29 has been extended by seven workdays.
Bangladesh has so far kept up its growth momentum but may not achieve 7.2 percent economic growth set for fiscal 2012-13, Citibank said yesterday.
A three-day fair is set to start at the Thai embassy in Dhaka on Thursday, aiming to promote Thai products, services and to attract more Bangladeshi travellers to the Southeast Asian nation.
EXIM Bank announced 14 percent stock dividend for 2011 for its shareholders at its 13th annual general meeting at Basundhara Convention Centre in Dhaka recently.
Chowdhury Tanzim Karim has recently been elected as the chairman of Union Capital Ltd, the company said in a statement yesterday.
Mobile banking will speed up financial inclusion and bring more unbanked people under the banking system, said Bangladesh Bank Governor Aitur Rahman yesterday.
Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (IDCOL), a non-bank financial institution, will lend around Tk 400 crore to the owners of at least 70 brickfields to turn their brick kilns environment friendly by 2015.
Was Bob Diamond really irreplaceable? Barclays' board operated for 15 years on the assumption that he was. As a result, the UK bank's chief executive became more powerful -- and ever harder to replace. Now that he has been kicked out in the wake of the Libor rate-rigging scandal, Barclays is struggling to find new leadership.
Several hundred students of different colleges under National University (NU) yesterday laid siege to the NU campus in Gazipur demanding immediate solution of the session jam at honours level at the university.
Freedom fighters and politicians yesterday urged foreign citizens, who played a vital role in Bangladesh's Liberation War, to raise their voice globally to complete the ongoing war crimes trial.
Residents of the main hostel for male students of Chittagong Medical College (CMC) are suffering immensely as the building is in a dilapidated condition with unhinged doors and leaking sanitary pipes in bathrooms and toilets among many other problems.
President Zillur Rahman yesterday called for boosting fish production in the country alongside preserving indigenous species of fishes by introducing science-based bio-management strategy.
In the next 9 years, surface water will be used to meet 70 percent of Dhaka city's total demand for water, said Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) Managing Director Taqsem A Khan yesterday.
It was an atypical exhibition for the Bangladesh spectators since coins and currency notes of eternal Bengal have been on display for the first time in the country since its independence in 1971.
The High Court yesterday summoned four Biman officials, including its acting managing director AM Mosaddique Ahmed, to appear before it on July 22 on charge of violating its directive over recruitment of officials to Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
From now on, Bangladeshi citizens can directly obtain Indonesian visit visas from its embassy in Dhaka as the country dropped Bangladesh from the list of countries under the Indonesian “calling visa's” policy.
Twelve people, including three of a family, were killed and thirty-six others injured in separate road accidents in Dhaka, Sirajganj, Rajshahi, Chittagong, Jessore, Manikganj, Mymensingh and Narail on Sunday and yesterday.
At least two accused jawans of the BDR carnage case, confined to Dhaka Central Jail, were also listed as witnesses in the case.
Hundreds of people on many risky hillsides in Chittagong continue to have access to utility services at the end of a seven-day deadline today to cut power, gas and water supplies to discourage habitation there.
Grief-stricken people of different unions under Mirsarai upazila yesterday commemorated the deaths of 44 school students and a local guardian who died owing to a road accident on Abu Torab road on July 11 last year.
The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the death sentence of Md Saleh Nur from Chittagong for killing his wife and two-month old daughter in 2002.
Police arrested three activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Omar Gani MES University College unit in Chittagong on Sunday and yesterday.
The students, who could not complete their registrations for Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations to be held in 2013 due to unscheduled break of studies, are going to get a chance to have their registrations.
A number of Dhaka University students yesterday donated Tk 6,500 to assist in the construction of the proposed Padma bridge which the government plans to build with local funds.
Reiterating the party stance regarding Padma bridge construction, BNP standing committee member MK Anwar yesterday asked the government to resolve the dispute with the World Bank instead of turning to local funds to construct the bridge.
The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a High Court order that stayed the operation of an Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) notice asking BNP leader Moudud Ahmed to appear before the commission in connection with a money laundering allegation.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) officials talked to Meherun Runi's mother for around three hours at its headquarters in the capital's Uttara yesterday over Runi and her husband's murder.
A domestic help was killed in a fire at a house in the capital's Uttara area in the early hours of yesterday.
Two people were killed as trains hit them in two incidents in Dhaka and Sirajganj on Sunday and yesterday.
Speakers at a discussion urged the government to form a compensation fund to provide support to climate change victims to cope with the loss and damages.
A mobile court fined two bakeries Tk 2.5 lakh in Paschim Madar Bari area in Chittagong city for producing bakery items violating Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institution's (BSTI) rules.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-7) seized 700 pieces of Yaba tablets and arrested three persons in this connection from Chandgaon area in Chittagong city yesterday.
Dhaka University Professor Dr Muhammad Samad has been appointed as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Information Technology and Sciences (UITS).
Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) had declared ATN Bangla Chairman Mahfuzur Rahman and eleven journalists personae non grata for manipulating news and attacking a union leader at a human chain programme on June 24, said a DUJ statement yesterday.
A mobile-court yesterday fined an importer Tk 5 lakh for storing and selling 30 kinds of imported products, including baby food, without clearance of Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI).
Today is the 21st death anniversary of Shamsuddin Mollah, a key organiser of Liberation War in 1971, a member of the constitution drafting committee and also a former member of the parliament.
Students of 11 more schools in Kurigram, Joypurhat, Jhenidah, Habiganj and Narsingdi districts yesterday spent an eventful day as they took part in 'English language fairs held under English in Schools (EIS) programme, a joint initiative of The Daily Star and mobile operator Robi.
Cultivation of jute has decreased by 70,593 acres in eight districts of Rangpur Division in the current season.
Students of Carmichael College yesterday vandalised a laboratory, boycotted classes and put the administrative building under lock and key.
The Government Murari Chand College was closed for an indefinite period yesterday following Sunday's violence between the activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League and Islami Chhatra Shibir.
Townspeople formed a human chain and held a rally in front of Shaheed Satu Hall yesterday to press for their five-point demand, including early introduction of intercity train service between the district town and the capital.
Bus workers went on an indefinite strike on all routes of the district yesterday, protesting death of one of their fellows in a clash with students on Sunday.
International envoy Kofi Annan has said he agreed with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on an "approach" to end Syria's conflict that would be put to the rebels.
Libya's wartime rebel prime minister Mahmoud Jibril called for the some 150 political parties in the North African nation to back the creation of a grand coalition government as election results were expected yesterday.
Egypt's top court yesterday rejected a decree by President Mohamed Morsi to reinstate the parliament it ruled invalid, setting the president on a collision course with the judiciary and the military that enforced the ruling.
Greece's three-week-old government suffered its third casualty yesterday when the junior labour minister resigned in an apparent dispute over the handling of key talks with EU-IMF auditors.
United Progressive Alliance (UPA) presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee yesterday said he will talk to Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee to seek support for his candidature when she is ready to talk to him.
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai yesterday hailed international donors for pledging $16 billion in aid to the war-torn nation, but called for more help to clamp down on corruption.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has given his permission to exhume the remains of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, a top aide said yesterday, days after a Swiss institute reported finding elevated traces of a radioactive substance on the late leader's belongings.
Gunmen killed seven security personnel at an army camp close to Islamabad yesterday, officials said, hours after a protest march against the resumption of Nato supply convoys passed through the area.
Mexican leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said yesterday he does not accept the July 1 election results in which he placed second.
President Benigno Aquino yesterday suspended a province governor for a month without pay for storming a state-run radio station and hitting a broadcaster on the head with a microphone.
Bosnian Serb ex-army chief Ratko Mladic's genocide and war crimes trial resumed yesterday with the first prosecution witness telling how Bosnia's ethnic groups lived in peace before its brutal war erupted.
Arts & Entertainment
A group art exhibition, titled “Colour of Time,” featuring the works of 10 contemporary painters of Bangladesh, is on at Radius Centre in Gulshan, Dhaka.
Not only us, the Bengalis, people from indigenous communities had a significant contribution to the Liberation War as well. They fought to free the country, making immense sacrifices.
Angelina Jolie has become an honorary citizen of Sarajevo at the city's film festival, in recognition of her film about Bosnia's 1992-1995 war.
Filming for the new Hobbit movies has finished, according to their director Peter Jackson.
Music school, Shurotirtho, will arrange a two-day music festival featuring Rabindra Sangeet, on July 13 and 14, according to a press release. The programme will be held at the main auditorium of the National Museum in Dhaka.
Dance enthusiasts of the Port City attended a programme featuring fusion choreography of contemporary European, hip-hop and traditional Bangla dance.
Musical talent hunt “Channel i Shera Kantho-2012” will kick off soon. Renowned singers Sabina Yasmin and Kumar Bishwajit will be the chief judges of the competition.
Age may have slowed down 80-year-old veteran music teacher Goura Gopal Haldar but he continues to forge ahead by giving music lessons at Surodhani Music Academy in Jessore. He has won awards several times from different music academies.
All indications point to another spiral in the cost of living. Such pessimism comes from the fact that one of our largest benefactors, the World Bank has suggested the introduction of royalty on natural gas. From what has recently been published in the press of late is that the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) along with Petrobangla need to come up with a retail-based pricing mechanism that is built on the basis of costs -- production, transmission and distribution. If we are to go by the report submitted by the International Development Agency which states "it is proposed that during the following years, the average gas price will be increased every year, by a fixed amount of $0.86 per GJ. By 2016, the average price of gas will reach $6.00 GJ." All these indicators point to a steady raising of primary fuel prices in both bulk and retail categories over the course of the next few years. Needless to say, such price adjustment is unavoidable given ground realities and government energy bodies are busy working out the new pricing regime.
The killing of 20 civilians by the Central Reserve Police Force in Bijapur in Central India's Chhattisgarh will go down as a black mark in the history of Indian counter - insurgency. All evidence suggests that the CRPF gravely mistook a village meeting to plan a seed festival for a Maoist gathering and indiscriminately fired on it.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has been an important part of the economic transition, business liberalisation and macro-economic growth story in Bangladesh over the last decade. Our strong showing in attracting FDI is an example of how a number of corrective measures could go a long way in promoting economic growth.
An electoral college comprising federal MPs and deputies from state assemblies is set to elect India's new president later this month.
The reaction of the government to the Human Right Watch (HRW) report on the BDR trials is unfortunate. When governments are uncomfortable about their human rights record, the easy way out is to challenge the integrity of the research ("this is a conspiracy to damage the country"), and when that fails, to rubbish the information ("it's all imaginary"). As the former Secretary General of Amnesty International (AI) I am no stranger to such responses, whether in Bangladesh or elsewhere, but in taking that path, governments do more harm than good to their own reputation.
The Vellore Mutiny is the first instance of a mutiny by Indian sepoys against the British East India Company.
Science & Life
How old is the Universe? How long ago did the Big Bang take place? It may seem like a daunting task to date the birth of something as vast and all-encompassing as the Universe. But according to Edwin Hubble, the indisputable father of modern astronomy, it is not.
In 1964, the British physicist Peter Higgs wrote a landmark paper hypothesizing why elementary particles have mass. He predicted the existence of a three-dimensional "field" that permeates space and drags on everything that trudges through it. Some particles have more trouble traversing the field than others, and this corresponds to them being heavier. If the field later dubbed the Higgs field really exists, then Higgs said it must have a particle associated with it: the Higgs boson.
SIR Isaac Newton was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemists, and theologian. He is considered to be one of the most influential scientists, who ever lived. He was born on December 25, 1642 in Wools Thorpe. He described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion. These theories dominated the scientific view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. His monograph Philosophić Naturalis Principia Mathematical was published in 1687 for most of classical mechanics.
Active volcanoes shake, rattle and roll; scientists can't always be sure whether such activity indicates that molten rock is rising. Now, volcanologists have linked earthquake swarms at Mount St. Helens in Washington state with fresh magma pulses. A team led by Kate Saunders of the University of Bristol in England studied more than 300 rock crystals formed during the 1980-1986 eruption of Mount St. Helens.
What is cosmic censorship? It is a hypothesis, developed in 1969 by British physicist Roger Penrose. It states that the Universe contains no singularities that are visible to the faraway observer, especially from the vicinity of a black hole. All the familiar singularities are located at the center of a black hole, which are hidden behind the event horizon that makes it invisible. Since what goes on in the region of singularity (a point in space-time at which the space-time curvature becomes infinite) is completely hidden from observation, we cannot see the comic events that take place inside that region. And this cosmic “unseeing” is referred to as cosmic censorship hypothesis and the singularities are called naked singularities.
Tiny 'bone-devouring worms', known to both eat and inhabit dead whale skeletons and other bones on the sea floor, have a unique ability to release bone-melting acid, scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego have recently discovered.
English astronomer and mathematician Sir Fred Hoyle FRS (24 June 1915 20 August 2001) and noted primarily for his contribution to the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis was a strong critic of the Big Bang. He is responsible for coining the term "Big Bang" on BBC radio's Third Programme broadcast at 1830 GMT on 28 March 1949. It is popularly reported that Hoyle intended this to be pejorative, but the script from which he read aloud shows that he intended the expression to help his listeners.