News of: Tuesday, 17th of July, 2012
The government yesterday decided to open two bank accounts to collect "voluntary contributions" from the public in its efforts to construct the Padma bridge with the country's own funds.
Slamming the World Bank for suddenly cancelling the Padma bridge loan, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said she had information beforehand that the global lender would scrap the loan agreement because of a bank's managing director.
Despite opposition by a section of teachers, the Jahangirnagar University authorities are firm on holding a special senate session on July 20 to elect a three-member panel of probable vice chancellors.
The Buet teachers agitating for the removal of the vice-chancellor and his deputy have threatened to resign en masse if the demand is not met by Sunday.
The BNP standing committee last night decided not to take part in any polls, not even the Gazipur-4 by-election, during the tenure of the present Awami League government and the Election Commission.
The BCL leader, who was shot during a gunfight between two BCL factions at Rajshahi University early yesterday, succumbed to his wounds in a Dhaka hospital nearly 12 hours after the incident.
The three chiefs of the armed forces had suggested that the prime minister negotiate with the mutineers rather than go for military action during the February 25-26 BDR mutiny in 2009.
Transport owners and workers of 10 districts of Khulna division called off their indefinite strike last night following a meeting on their demands with Rajbari deputy commissioner.
Newspaper owners yesterday urged the government to increase the rate and quota of its advertisements in the press and cut import duties on newsprint to help the industry overcome its current crises.
Two activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League of Jagannath University unit were stabbed indiscriminately and beaten up by their rivals on the Dhaka University campus yesterday afternoon over previous enmity.
A witness to the genocide committed during the Liberation War in his description of wartime brutality yesterday said he had seen bodies of two pregnant women with their half-born babies.
The government will limit power cuts to half an hour at a time during the Ramadan to ease public suffering, the energy adviser to the prime minister said yesterday.
A Dhaka court yesterday sent four Bangladesh Chhatra League activists to jail after their surrender before it in connection with the murder of Jahangirnagar University student Zubair Ahmed.
Children who increase the number of hours of weekly television they watch between the ages of two and four years risk larger waistlines by age 10.
A tripartite meeting of government officials, CNG-run auto-rickshaw owners and workers yesterday went nowhere as they blamed one another throughout the deliberations instead of focusing on checking irregularities in the sector.
The country's population is around 15.25 crore with an annual growth rate of 1.37 percent, according to the final results of Population and Housing Census, 2011.
Around Tk 53.46 lakh worth of oil spilled near Chitoshi Railway Station in Chandpur after an oil tanker train derailed on Sunday.
In an oblique response to a direct query by a correspondent whether the government would disclose the World Bank's reports containing “evidence of corruption” in the Padma bridge project the Finance Minister said that the he did not believe in character assassination and that he had been against character assassination all his life.
Students of nearly 85 educational institutions including schools, madrasas and colleges in the Charfassion upazilla of Bhola were made to abandon classes on Saturday to greet the home minister. This is deplorable and a clear violation of the government directive in this regard.
Mashrafe Bin Mortaza's three early wickets helped Bangladesh to an easy win over an Ireland XI by seven wickets at The Green in Belfast yesterday, their first practice match on tour.
Indian cricket chiefs on Monday said they had invited Pakistan for a series later this year, their first in five years, in a further sign of improving ties between the neighbours.
Monday's news of renewed cricketing ties between India and Pakistan is immense for cricketers, fans, officials and broadcasters of the two countries. A first series in five years, albeit just three ODIs and two Twenty20s, in between India's full series against England during the Christmas break, the matches would work as thawing of icy political relations.
The moment the concept of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) was brought into public attention, a debate began over Bangladesh Cricket Board's ability to stage a tournament modelled on the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Azad SC tasted their first victory in the Green Delta Insurance Premier Division Hockey League when they defeated Bangladesh SC 3-2 at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday swiftly welcomed the first proposed cricket series with India in five years, saying millions of fans would be delighted.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has asked the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) governing council to provide all payment information the six franchises made. This was learned yesterday after the NBR officials last Thursday decided to squeeze the applicable tax payments out of the franchises.
Six players advanced to the next round of boys' U-15 unseeded group in the Lotto Open Table Tennis Competition beating their respective rivals at the Wooden Floor Gymnasium yesterday.
Ryan Giggs, who will captain the British soccer team at the Olympic Games this month, says he is considering a career in management when he finally quits playing.
Former champion Pete Sampras saluted Roger Federer for Monday surpassing his mark of 286 weeks at the top of the men's rankings.
Athletes began arriving at the Olympic Village on Monday under leaden skies and persistent drizzle to what will be their home for the next three weeks and the scene of their quest for gold.
Serena Williams became the first woman since 2006 to repeat as champion at the WTA Stanford event as the five-time Wimbledon winner defeated lucky loser Coco Vandeweghe 7-5, 6-3 on Sunday.
Tangail emerged unbeaten champions to qualify for the finals of the KFC Women's Football Super League after beating Faridpur 3-0 at the Bangladesh Agriculture University ground yesterday.
Batsman Callum Ferguson was Monday recalled to Australia's one-day squad for next month's series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
Sri Lanka on Monday named a 15-man squad for the five-match one-day series against India starting in the southern port town of Hambantota on July 21.
The court trial that found John Terry not guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand was "traumatic" for the QPR defender, his manager Mark Hughes said on Monday.
FIFA should strip disgraced former boss Joao Havelange of his honorary title, President Sepp Blatter said Sunday, just days after fresh allegations of corruption emerged.
The Russian Football Union (RFU) on Monday appointed Italian coach Fabio Capello as new national manager to revive the flagging fortunes of the team after its flop at Euro 2012.
Dimitar Berbatov has said it would be "better for everyone" if he left Manchester United even though he wants to stay at the English Premier League giants.
Internacional claim Chelsea are close to smashing the Brazilian transfer record to sign Oscar.
Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo has revealed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic's transfer to the French side will not be completed on Monday as expected.
Roma has completed the signing of U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley from Chievo Verona.
Seasonal poverty and hunger is still prevalent in parts of the country due to a lack of government attention, a leading economist said yesterday.
A total of 106 listed companies failed to submit information on the shareholding status of their sponsors and directors to regulators.
The Appellate Division yesterday allowed Grameenphone, BTRC and NBR to move separate appeals against different portions of a High Court verdict over the telecom regulator's demand for additional spectrum fees and VAT from the mobile operator.
The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) plans to import refined palm oil from the international market to curb dependence on local refiners to keep the market stable round the year, an official said yesterday.
Stocks ended flat yesterday with low turnover due to lack of confidence among investors and also because of the absence of institutional investors.
A coordinated effort is necessary to eradicate extreme poverty, said speakers at inter-ministerial dialogue yesterday.
Citigroup Inc said on Monday quarterly earnings fell 12 percent as it was stung by losses from credit crisis-era assets, but the bank's results were better than many analysts expected after cost-cutting.
The scandal of banks having manipulated the Libor global interest rate benchmark is taking a toll on confidence in the markets, the International Monetary Fund said Monday.
Standard Bank Ltd has decided to invest an additional Tk 100 crore in the capital market in the next two months, the bank said in a statement yesterday.
Banks and non-bank financial institutions will not be allowed to spend more than Tk 35 lakh to buy cars and more than Tk 50 lakh to buy Jeeps from its own funds, the central bank said yesterday.
Improved cooking facilities can help improve public health in rural areas of developing countries, according to a study by economists Rema Hanna, Esther Duflo and Michael Greenstone.
Global consumer confidence dipped in the second quarter from the previous three months, according to a survey published on Monday which also showed that Indonesians have overtaken Indians as the most upbeat consumers.
The new loan classification and provisioning rules of the Bangladesh Bank may give rise to default loans in the short-term, but will ultimately reduce the number of wilful defaulters and benefit both banks and borrowers, according to a BB study.
THE International Monetary Fund stepped up its warnings Monday on risks to the global economy, especially coming from Europe, as it trimmed its growth forecast for the rest of the year.
After the financial crisis, the investment banking mantra became “Shanghai, Mumbai, Dubai or goodbye.” While the rest of the world was falling apart, the countries stretching from Saudi Arabia to India, Southeast Asia and China were growing, and could pick up some slack. Or so the thinking went. But the swingeing decline in the Asian equities business -- the most expensive pillar of Wall Street's expansion -- suggests this was a fallacy. A retreat now looks inevitable.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday sought cooperation of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for setting up fish preservation and processing plants in Haor areas of the country.
Over a week into the torching of 42 rooms of MC College's hostel in Sylhet with two probe bodies showing no progress in identifying the culprits, the home affairs ministry yesterday formed a third investigation committee.
The funds promised to Bangladesh to fight against climate change impacts should be spent in the recovery activities of the country's marginalised people, said Ambassador of the European Union (EU) in Bangladesh William Hanna yesterday.
Bangladesh will raise question about the World Bank's procedure in canceling the loan commitment for Padma bridge project, said Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday.
Consumers' rights groups and left-leaning political parties yesterday strongly opposed the government's plan to increase the bulk power tariff and urged the government to look for other revenue sources.
The only state-run safe home in the capital lacks separate accommodation for autistic children, access to emergency medical services and specialised manpower for tending to its residents, said speakers at a workshop yesterday.
A Chittagong court yesterday sentenced a rapist named Ahmad Hossain to 60 years' rigorous imprisonment under two sections in a case filed on March 25, 2007 for raping a girl after kidnapping her.
The International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday rejected a defence petition seeking recall of its July 12 order allowing two female witnesses to give testimonies behind closed doors, in a case against Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah.
Indigenous people are still being oppressed because they are not recognised in the constitution and the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord is yet to be implemented, speakers said at a rally yesterday.
Around 7,000 residential students of Chittagong University and teachers and other staff residing in the campus area have been suffering from serious water crisis since Wednesday evening after the largest water pump of the campus became dysfunctional.
Local subscribers yesterday besieged and ransacked the revenue office of Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd (DPDC) at Shimrail intersection in Siddhirganj upazila of Narayanganj, protesting harassment and inflated bills of electricity.
A 10-day Vital Infrastructure Security training course, held by the US government through the state department's Anti-terrorism Assistance Program and the US embassy's Regional Security Office, concluded in Dhaka on July 12.
Torrential rain for three consecutive days and onrush of water from Khagrachhari hills flooded 16 unions out of 20 in Chittagong's Fatikchhari upazila marooning over 10,000 families and obstructing traffic on Chittagong-Khagrachhari road.
Ten ruling Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance lawmakers, who are members of Bangladesh-Japan Parliamentary Friendship Group, will visit Japan soon to persuade top officials of Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) not to cancel its funding for the Padma bridge project.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-7) seized VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) equipment worth about Tk 15 lakh and arrested one person in this connection in Chittagong city yesterday.
ATN Bangla Chairman Mahfuzur Rahman, in an undated written statement, apologised to the journalist community for his derogatory comments on murdered journalist couple Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi.
A Chittagong court yesterday fixed for the next hearing date of Banshkhali carnage case on August 2.
President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged journalist leaders to give highest priority to the national interest by being accountable to the country and its people.
Office hours during the month of Ramadan have been fixed from 9:00am to 3:30pm with a 15-minute prayer break from 1:15pm to 1:30pm for all government, semi-government, autonomous and semi-autonomous organisations.
Journalist leaders yesterday condemned the torture on Mostafizur Rahman Sumon, a crime reporter of online news agency Justnewsbd.com, after detaining him for more than two days in custody of DB police as well as implicating him in a false stealing case.
Five people were killed and fifteen others injured in separate road accidents in Sunamganj and Gazipur yesterday.
There is a strong association between perinatal depression of mothers and underweight babies, according to a study conducted in Bangladesh by Brac in collaboration with Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
The High Court yesterday granted anticipatory bail to the daily Ittefaq's Editor Anwar Hossain Manju for four months in a defamation case.
A book on Abdul Matin Choudhury and his life and works has been launched in Sylhet city.
Pro-ruling Awami League candidates won five positions while pro-BNP candidates secured one in the election for teacher representatives to the syndicate and academic council of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sust) held on Sunday.
A fire broke out in a bakery and destroyed its goods in Muradpur area in Chittagong early yesterday.
A mobile court yesterday shut down a food manufacturing factory and fined it and a super shop a total of Tk 1 lakh in Chittagong.
Students of 121 flood-affected schools in four upazilas of Gaibandha district have remained deprived of class lessons for over two weeks.
English language fair held under English in Schools (EIS) programme, a joint initiative of The Daily Star and mobile operator Robi, saw lively participation of young learners from a school in Pirojpur district yesterday.
Heavy rains and onrush of water from across the border have triggered flash flood in Nilphamari, Kurigram and Netrakona district, marooning over 50,000 people.
Newsmen here yesterday called for bringing the killers of journalist Shamsur Rahman to justice.
Several hundred manual rock lifters barricaded different points of Panchagarh-Tentulia highway under Sadar and Tentulia upazila yesterday protesting extraction by dredgers.
Police rescued two abducted underage girls on Sunday while a girl fled from the clutches of human traffickers on the day before.
A man was killed and four others were injured as a bomb exploded at Ulashi village of bordering Sharsha upazila of the district on Sunday night.
Criminals shot dead a local Jubo League leader in Meherpur while an activist of the same party was stabbed to death in Noakhali early yesterday.
'Politically motivated' question at the second terminal examinations of Khalilpur High School in Sujanagar upazila under the district gave rise to angry demonstration by students, guardians and locals.
At least eight people, including three policemen, were injured in a clash between the supporters of two rival lessees, over collecting toll at Mawa ferry ghat yesterday.
Labourers of Akij Bidi Factory yesterday demanded punishment to the culprits who killed two of their colleagues on Sunday.
Two people were electrocuted in two upazilas yesterday morning. The deceased were identified as Rokeya Khatun, 55, wife of Momtaz Uddin of Bagan village in Trishal upazila and Johirul Islam, son of late Siddique Miah of village Pachhar in Gouripur upazila. Johirul was a class nine student at Pachhar High School. Police said, Rokeya came in contact with a live electric wire at her house and died on the spot at around 11:00am. Johirul, while fishing in a pond nearby his house, came in contact with a live electric wire at around 8:00am.
A schoolgirl drowned in canal at Chowratari village in Aditmari upazila yesterday. The victim, Jannati Akhter, 8, daughter of Ershad Hossain of the village, was a student of class three at Chowratari Government Primary School. Family members said Jannati along with her two other classmates went to a canal for bathing near the homestead at noon yesterday and drowned.
Security personnel arrested three activists of United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF) on charge of collecting illegal toll in Gargojjachhari area of Sadar upazila yesterday. The arrestees are Rupandu Chakma, 22, Rathu Marma, 18 and Roket Chakma. On secret information, a team raided the area and arrested the trio along with toll collecting memos, said sources.
US President Barack Obama heads to the Midwestern state of Ohio yesterday after refusing to apologise for accusing Mitt Romney of outsourcing jobs while in charge of Bain Capital, a charge his Republican opponent has dismissed as "false."
Israel and the United States must think and act together to face the changes sweeping the Middle East, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday after meeting Israeli President Shimon Peres.
The Philippine government ombudsman called for graft charges to be filed against former president Gloria Arroyo yesterday for alleged diversion of state lottery funds in the latest accusation to hit her.
Indian politicians yesterday rejected US President Barack Obama's concerns about the investment climate in the country, which has recently suffered a sharp slowdown in economic growth.
North Korea's army chief has been removed from all his posts due to illness, state media announced yesterday, which analysts said showed new leader Kim Jong-Un tightening his control over the powerful military.
Russia yesterday defiantly slammed the West for using "blackmail" over a new UN Security Council resolution on Syria and ridiculed the idea it could convince President Bashar al-Assad to step down.
Turnover of cross-border organised crime is about $870 billion a year, more than six times the total of official development aid, and stopping this "threat to peace" is one of the greatest global challenges, a UN agency said yesterday.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh was yesterday chosen by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as its unanimous candidate for the August 7 Vice-Presidential election against UPA nominee Hamid Ansari.
United Nations Chief Ban Ki-moon told a Bosnian daily yesterday that the organisation's failure to prevent the Srebrenica massacre of up to 8,000 Bosnian Muslims will stay in UN consciousness forever.
Corrupt leaders in war-ravaged Somalia should face immediate Security Council sanctions, a UN report said, stressing that 70 percent of state revenues were stolen or squandered.
South Africa's Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma won a tight fought vote to become the new head of the African Union Commission, the first woman to hold the post, African leaders said.
A court in the Maldives will hear how former president Mohamed Nasheed came to order the arrest of a judge, whose detention sparked protests that forced Nasheed to quit in February.
Three elderly Kenyans began a court battle yesterday to win damages from the British government for brutality they claim they suffered at the hands of British troops during the 1950s Mau Mau uprising.
A car bomb killed a Somali lawmaker allied to the president, an official said yesterday, in an attack claimed by the al Shabaab militant group that is fighting the Western-backed government.
Egypt's prosecutor general yesterday ordered convicted former strongman Hosni Mubarak back to prison nearly a month after he was moved to a military hospital in Cairo after reportedly suffering a stroke.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague met Libyan officials yesterday to discuss bilateral cooperation and the progress of a probe into the 1984 murder of a British policewoman.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez maintains a 15 percentage-point lead over opposition challenger Henrique Capriles in the run-up to the October 7 election, pollster Datanalisis said yesterday.
Arts & Entertainment
Dhaka music connoisseurs were treated to melodies on monsoon, on the second day of the two-day long bi-monthly Bengal Foundation ITC-Sangeet Research Academy (SRA) Classical Music Recital, titled “Mayar Madhuri”, on July 15, at the main auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum in Dhaka. The opening day's programme was held at the District Shilpakala Academy Auditorium in Mymensingh on July 13.
Proshanto Karmakar's acrylic at Shilpangan, in Dhanmandi, Dhaka, has captured the details of the beauty of Isa Khan's old capital city, which happens to be surrounded on four sides by rivers. It has Shitalakhya, Meghna, Dhaleshwari and Brahmapura -- to the east, west, south and north. It remains a favourite tourist attraction. It grew as a commercial hub of this Muslim enclave, which supplied high quality cotton to Rome and the rest of the world. This was in the 13th and 14th century. Famous travellers and writers -- Ibn Batuta, Ma Huan and Fa-hsien -- spoke of its importance in linking up China, India, and the Maldives, supplying Muslin, thinnest of handicrafts, made by the master weavers of Bangladesh.
Eminent poet-playwright Syed Shamsul Haq delivered the Abdullah Al Mamun Memorial Lecture, as Theatre (Bailey Road) celebrated the 70th birth anniversary of the late theatre icon with a programme held at the Experimental Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, on July 15.
The 123rd death anniversary of mystic bard Pagla Kanai was observed at Pagla Kanai complex with solemnity on July 12 in Jhenidah. The programme was arranged by Pagla Kanai Smriti Shangrakkhan Sangsad of Berbari village, Jhenidah. The programme continued the whole day.
Panthojon, a recitation organisation, arranged a cultural programme to celebrate the monsoon titled “Monghol Aloye Alokito Houk Path Chola…Manobotar Joy Houk” at Theatre Institute Chittagong (TIC) in the port city on Sunday evening.
Songs of the rainy season were performed at the Pabna Press Club premises last Saturday to mark Borsha Utshab (monsoon festival). The event, organised by Pabna Press Club, featured a discussion and cultural programme.
A three-day workshop on theatre concluded at Mymensingh Shilpakala Academy Auditorium today.
Director Quentin Tarantino unlocked the secrets of his upcoming action flick "Django Unchained" at Comic-Con on Saturday with explosive clips of the slave revenge movie, which takes place in the pre-Civil War U.S. South.
Presently, the government is expending more than 4% of its GDP on subsidising energy prices, which is more than what it spends on health and social welfare programmes. As with many developing economies, energy subsidies have strong advocates who preach that such measures aid the poor, particularly agriculture, where the heavy duty usage of energy-intensive equipment such as irrigation pumps that play a crucial role in production. With about seven-tenths of the total cultivable land being tilled with some form of mechanisation, any talk of reforming subsidies on energy is bound to be political dynamite.
It is quite commendable that Bangladesh Bank has started consultation meeting with the experts, bank representatives and businesspeople to shape up its upcoming monetary policy statement in a participatory way. Indeed, monetary policy, like fiscal policy, has profound implications to a country's nominal and real economic sectors. The two major objectives of Bangladesh's monetary policy are to promote overall economic growth, and to curb and maintain inflation at an acceptable level. The general point-to-point consumer inflation has come down at 8.56 in June, which is perceived to be a success of the "cautionary" monetary policy pursued for quite some time. The new fiscal year has just started with many challenges and opportunities in both internal and external sectors, which have to be realised, addressed and accommodated properly in the forthcoming monetary policy statement.
The global economy has clearly lost momentum in the first six months of this year. The US economy continues to expand at a sub-par annual rate of around 2%. Growth in the Chinese economy has dropped below 8% for the first time since 2009. Many European countries have slipped back into recession; while most of the emerging markets have seen minor downgrades in economic activity.
With prices rising almost every day and incomes remaining the same, all classes of people excepting the affluent section are in dire straits. The rise in the price of petroleum products for the fourth time has pushed them to the brink. The government handout explaining the rationale behind the hike, in a bid to save the exchequer of the subsidy burden and transfer the burden on the people already living on the margin, seems to be very unkind.
The failure of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to issue a joint communiqué after a regular meeting of foreign ministers concluded in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh last Friday was truly unprecedented.
Catherine II becomes tsar of Russia upon the murder of Peter III of Russia.
Science & Life
When the harmony of nature is disturbed, it takes revenge. People of Bangladesh have recently seen this devastating side of nature, when soil of Chittagong Hill Tract collapsed, causing death to so many people.
New Horizons, the spacecraft presently on its way to Pluto is doing science in its sleep, as it approaches the dwarf planet..It's gathering data while in hibernation.
Back on February 15, 1564, was born the first child of Vincenzo Galilei (a famous Italian music theorist). Today that child is known as Galileo Galileo, who grew up to be a physicist, mathematician and astronomer. He played major role in the field of scientific revolution and he is often called the father of modern observational astronomy. His achievements include the improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support for Copernicanism.
The project idea: The electrical conductivity of igneous rocks is uniquely controlled by defect electrons on the oxygen anion sub lattice of rock-forming minerals, also known as positive holes. When positive holes cross the rock-water interface, they stoichiometrically oxidize H2O to H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide).
New research by Columbia Engineering demonstrates remarkable optical nonlinear behavior of graphene that may lead to broad applications in optical interconnects and low-power photonic integrated circuits. With the placement of a sheet of graphene just one-carbon-atom-thick, the researchers transformed the originally passive device into an active one that generated microwave photonic signals and performed parametric wavelength conversion at telecommunication wavelengths.
Mentors at the Rockefeller Institute had warned Peyton Rous not to waste his career fooling with “the cancer question.” Then he got the bright idea that tumors might be contagious. Rous extracted part of a sarcoma from a hen, strained out the cells and injected the remnants into another bird. The second hen also developed cancer. Something hidden inside the tumor must be causing the cancer. His culprit: a virus.
Allotropy or allotropism is the property of some chemical elements to exist in two or more different forms, known as allotropes of these elements. Allotropes are different structural modifications of an element; the atoms of the element are bonded together in a different manner.