News of: Thursday, 9th of August, 2012
Two high-priority highway development projects have totally lost momentum as the government released funds thinly and that too not on time. Both projects also suffered from bidding delays, exposing the inefficiency of the bureaucracy in implementing the projects.
A group of 58 women leaders and professionals yesterday condemned the government move to amend the Grameen Bank Ordinance, saying it would deprive its real owners of their role in managing their bank.
Grameen Bank, for the first time, had paid Tk 10 crore in taxes to ensure compliance for a period of six months, when there was no tax exemption for the microfinance pioneer, said NBR officials yesterday.
Though the government has not taken any action against the authorities of Grameen Bank (GB), some members of the civil society have raised a hue and cry in the name of saving the bank, complained acting general secretary of Awami League Mahbubul Alam Hanif yesterday.
The BNP plans to make a formal proposal to restore the non-partisan caretaker government system with a change in the provision of appointment of the chief adviser.
Pakistan's top court yesterday summoned the new prime minister to appear later this month to face possible contempt charges, the clearest sign yet it could dismiss a second premier in a showdown over corruption cases.
Residents of Dhaka city, before going on Eid holiday, should lock their houses, Home Minister Shahara Khatun said yesterday. She added that the government had been taking security measures, though.
Raja Aungshoi Prue Chowdhury, the chief of Bomang Circle, is no more. He passed away yesterday morning due to old-age-complications at his palace. He was 98.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Ghulam Rahman yesterday said the graft watchdog will work with the World Bank's “panel of investigative experts” only if the global lender revives its funding for the Padma bridge project.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni has said people of Bangladesh are disappointed as the Teesta water-sharing treaty with India was not signed during the Indian prime minister's visit to Dhaka last year.
War crimes accused Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah directly took part in killing of around 60 people at Ghatarchar in Keraniganj on November 25, 1971, an eyewitness told the International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday.
Now nobody picks up the phone at the Metromakers office, Kutub Uddin said in frustration. “They said they had all the permissions and approvals. I am really frustrated now,” Kutub, an assistant professor of Dhaka University, said.
Afternoons are usually a busy time for any shop-owners in the run up to the Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest festival for Muslims, but things are pretty much the other way around this year.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday appealed to the Bangladesh government to allow non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to continue humanitarian aid for unregistered people from Myanmar's Rakhine state.
About 36 hours after Nasa landed its $2.5 billion rover on Mars, it released Tuesday what it jokingly dubbed a "crime scene" aerial shot of where the parachute, heat shield and vehicle came down.
Communications Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday claimed that condition of the country's highways was “good enough” to take the heavy traffic load ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.
An unidentified rickshaw-puller was killed when a bus knocked down his rickshaw and ran over him in the city's Gendaria yesterday.
The International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday accepted the statement of another witness, passed away recently, as evidence against Jamaat leader and war crimes accused Delawar Hossain Sayedee.
Fifteen activists of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) were abducted from Rajdweep village in Rangamati last night.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) yesterday cancelled its decision to give additional charge to a commissioner; a move insiders consider was made to calm the finance minister down.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday signed a new deal supporting efforts to fight AIDS in South Africa, which has the world's biggest population of people with HIV.
A Rupert Murdoch-controlled Australian tabloid yesterday laughed off a stinging rebuke from North Korea after it described the nuclear-armed state as "Naughty Korea" in its Olympic medal tallies.
Professional rent-seekers and criminals have seemingly established a hold in different parts of the city as well as on the inter-district highways. According to police, more than three hundred notorious criminals have reportedly become active within the city alone. They have been threatening citizens they have targeted for extortion of dire consequences over phone or with letters, in case they fail to meet their demands.
The defection of Syria's Prime Minister Riad Hijab to the opposition has, in a pretty medieval way, outraged the embattled Bashar al Assad. He appears to think that he now needs to hit the rebels harder than before, a strategy which in recent times has often proved to be the undoing of many. By now the Syrian president should have gone for a major rethink about the options before him. The recent deaths of his interior and defence ministers in an explosion were proof, if proof were needed, of the grave danger his regime has fallen into. It is a reality much of the rest of the world recognizes. Only Assad and his loyalists go on believing that in the end they will triumph.
Overhead, there was the distant whirl of the helicopter blades. Down below though, swans still swam elegantly and peacefully on the brimming Serpentine. A cool breeze rustled through the leaves of the lush green surroundings of Hyde Park. The only thing breaking the serene monotony was the noise.
Sally Pearson gave Australia a much-needed boost at the Olympics Tuesday with gold in the 100m hurdles while Algeria's Taoufik Makhloufi won the 1500 metres a day after he was disqualified.
The Bangladesh Under-19s completed their preparation with a four-wicket defeat to South Africa Under-19s in an exciting warm-up match before the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup at the Kev Hackney Oval, Buderim yesterday.
Mushfiqur Rahim has been retained as captain of the national cricket team and Mahmudullah Riyad will continue as his deputy till the home series against West Indies in November this year.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced a 19-member squad for the national team camp yesterday keeping all the players who played in the Tigers' recent tour of Europe.
The Bangladesh A team are set to face a tough task against Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) XI after the end of the third day's play of their last four-day encounter of the Safi Darashah Invitational Tournament in Bangalore yesterday.
Australia's Sally Pearson said she had been inspired by the victory of Cathy Freeman at the Sydney Olympics after she charged to gold in the Olympic 100m hurdles on Tuesday.
The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has said it would look into claims by Brothers Union manager Amer Khan of having forced to play a fixed match against eventual champions Abahani.
South African star Caster Semenya moved a step closer to adding the Olympic title to her controversial 2009 world title as she eased into the 800 metres semifinals on Wednesday.
Virat Kohli cracked a half-century and Irfan Pathan bagged three key wickets to help India post an easy 39-run win over Sri Lanka in the one-off Twenty20 international in Pallekele on Tuesday.
The Federation Shield, qualifying tournament for the Federation Cup, will be held in three separate venues in Chittagong, Sylhet and Faridpur.
FM Mehdi Hasan Parag maintained his solo lead in the Open International Rating Chess Tournament at the close of the eighth round at the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall room yesterday.
Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang will go under the knife in London on Wednesday after a serious Achilles tendon tear put him out of the London Olympics, an official said.
Chris Gayle has been ruled out of the inaugural season of the Sri Lanka Premier League due to a serious groin strain. Gayle, the icon player and captain for the Uva Next franchise, was among the marquee players for the tournament.
Deep inside the Wembley Stadium on Tuesday, following Mexico's comprehensive victory over Japan in the Olympic semifinals, a group of journalists were working while the TV beamed images from Old Trafford. Brazil had looked streaky at the start, as they cleared two South Korean attacks off the line but just as they scored their second goal through the prolific forward Leandro Damaio, the journalist lent over to his colleague and said something that could yet be prophetic.
Sir Chris Hoy crowned his Olympic career with a record sixth gold medal here Tuesday to become the most decorated British Olympian in history after powering to victory in the keirin.
Russia's Ilya Zakharov ended China's hopes of a clean sweep of all eight diving gold medals at the London Olympics with a thrilling victory in the men's 3m springboard final on Tuesday.
Great Britain went through to the semifinals for the first time since 1988 when they were gold medal winners, with a 1-1 draw against Spain, who were runners-up four years ago.
Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang will go under the knife in London on Wednesday after a serious Achilles tendon tear put him out of the London Olympics, an official said.
China completed a clean sweep of all four table tennis gold medals when they beat South Korea 3-0 in the men's team final on Wednesday.
India's five-time world champion M.C. Mary Kom apologised Wednesday after being knocked out of the Olympic Games flyweight semifinals, while teenager Clarissa Shields keeps the US flag flying.
German great Natascha Keller set up a goal with her very last touch Wednesday as she bowed out of women's international hockey with a world-record 425 caps.
London 2012 are investigating how a bucket of unofficial condoms found its way into the athletes' village without official consent.
Australia's sports minister Kate Lundy Wednesday promised to wear a Team GB shirt and row the Olympic course after losing a bet with her British counterpart.
When trendy youths run after jeans trousers from India, China and Thailand, a local market -- Kaliganj in Keraniganj upazila -- offers them wider choices, at cheaper rates.
Development organisation BRAC has redesigned its management structure as part of its efforts to institutionalise its various activities and facilitate the decision-making process.
Bangladesh Bank has directed all banks to open two accounts -- one for local and the other for foreign currency -- for receiving contributions to the fund for the Padma bridge project.
India's struggling Kingfisher Airlines was forced to cancel more than 30 flights on Wednesday after pilots and engineers refused to show up for work because of unpaid salaries.
A team of Bangladeshi students has won the first runner-up prize at the regional HSBC Young Entrepreneur Challenge 2012 for their business concept of producing capsule shells from fish fins and scales.
France is headed back into recession for the second time in three years, its central bank warned Wednesday in a setback for the recovery prospects of the stricken eurozone.
Stocks gained 1.2 percent yesterday as institutional investors, buoyed by falling inflation and money market stability, injected fresh funds into the market.
Hewlett Packard Co raised its third-quarter earnings forecast on Wednesday and said it was writing down the value of its services business by $8 billion.
Bharti Airtel, India's top telecoms carrier, posted its 10th straight quarter of profit decline as cut-throat competition squeezed margins, sending its shares to their lowest level in two years.
Every year the creative weavers of Tangail come up with trendy varieties in saris for the biggest Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Fitr. They weave yarn into beautiful saris of different qualities and kinds, including cotton, Jamdani, silk, half-silk, Endy silk, Benarasi, Baluchuri, Tassar and Khaddar.
The US Treasury Department and Federal Reserve were blindsided and angered by New York's banking regulator's decision to launch an explosive attack on Standard Chartered Plc over $250 billion in alleged money laundering transactions tied to Iran, sources familiar with the situation said.
Speakers at a meeting yesterday stressed the need for application and preservation of customary laws and traditional practices of the indigenous people to resolve land disputes in the hills.
International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples is being observed by the country's indigenous communities amid non-cooperation from the government in recognising and observing the day.
A cousin of Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal activist Monwar Hossain, one of the three victims killed in Biswanath during a BNP hartal, yesterday sued six policemen and 359 activists of the ruling Awami League and its front organisations.
The ex-metropolitan magistrate Shamima Parvin, who recorded confessional statements of 32 BDR jawans in 2009 in Pilkhana carnage case, yesterday told a court that the jawans confessed their guilt willingly and without any pressure.
Some gangs active in the capital impersonate CNG-run auto-rickshaw drivers to get acquainted with the real drivers and make them unconscious with dope to rob them of their vehicles, said Detective Branch of Police.
Ten people were killed and 23 others injured in road accidents in Faridpur, Kurigram, Comilla, Panchagarh and Sirajganj on Tuesday and yesterday.
A student of Chittagong College was stabbed to death over a financial feud in Halishahar area of Chittagong Tuesday night.
The High Court yesterday quashed a defamation case against Chief Executive of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela) Syeda Rizwana Hasan and Bela's lawyer Iqbal Kabir Lytton.
Robbers looted valuables, including 2.5 tolas of gold ornaments, from a house on Chunkutia Girls' School Road in South Keraniganj yesterday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend the Global Hunger Event to be held in London at the close of the Olympic Games on August 12.
Janmashtami, marking the birth of Lord Krishna, will be observed with due religious fervour today.
Former chairman of Khelafat-e-Majlish, Shaikhul Hadith Azizul Haque, passed away from old-age complications at his Azimpur residence in the capital yesterday at the age of 94.
The National Energy Security Day-2012 will be observed in the country today, aiming to increase people's access to energy.
The murder case filed against Humayun Ahmed's wife, Meher Afroz Shaon, and Mazharul Islam, publisher of Anya Prokash Publication Ltd, was withdrawn by the plaintiff in Chittagong yesterday.
Burglars allegedly looted Tk 1.18 lakh from an office of telecom operator Teletalk at Dampara in Chittagong city yesterday.
Police yesterday arrested three persons with fake pistol as they tried to mug a beauty parlour employee in the guise of detectives in the capital's Gulshan area.
The High Court (HC) yesterday upheld a Dhaka district magistrate's decision that declared Advocate SM Baksh Kollol as publisher of the daily Amader Shomoy.
The High Court (HC) yesterday rejected a bail petition filed by Rajshahi University (RU) unit Islami Chhatra Shibir President Shamsul Alam Golap in connection with RU student Faruk Hossain murder case.
Dabirul Hasan Junaid, an eminent tea planter, died at his residence in Dhaka on Monday. He was 73.
Cultivation of transplanted aman (T-aman) paddy in several districts across the country is facing a setback due to inadequate rain during the ongoing monsoon.
A Barisal court yesterday sentenced a stalker to death for killing schoolteacher Zinnat Ali in the city in 2011.
Five students of Pabna University of Science and Technology, arrested on August 1 on charge of unruly activists on the campus, were granted bail yesterday.
At least two people were killed and 17 others injured in a clash between two rival groups over a piece of disputed land at Amdanga village in Lohagara upazila yesterday morning.
Workers at Bangladesh Fertiliser Association (BFA) godown at Mohendro Nagar village in Sadar upazila yesterday withdrew their indefinite strike after the authorities agreed to meet their demand.
A Habiganj court yesterday acquitted 34 Jubo Dal and JCD men in a case filed under the Speedy Trial Act on April 21.
Locals and teachers of two educational institutions in Fulchhari upazila on Tuesday besieged the district education office, demanding refund of 'extra fees' taken for enrolment of teachers and employees in the list of monthly payment order (MPO).
Three young men were held while distributing leaflets against a ruling party lawmaker in the district town on Tuesday night.
A trucker was killed in a road accident when he along with his truck, carrying phensidyl, tried to flee a Rab check post in Laujani area of Sadar upazila on Tuesday.
A man was beaten to death and his wife injured by their neighbours over a trivial matter at Chandai village in Kumarkhali upazila Tuesday morning.
Robbers looted cash, gold ornaments and other valuables from a home after killing a college student at Bhabanijibonpur village in Begumgonj upazila early yesterday.
A fish trader was killed allegedly by his rival over a piece of disputed land in Dumki upazila early on Tuesday. The deceased was identified as Jalil Fakir, 45, of Chargorabdi village. There was a longstanding conflict between Jalil and his neighbour Rafiq Gazi over the land. Police said a gang allegedly led by Rafiq waylaid Jalil at around 2:00am when he was going to the district town to buy fish. They stabbed him mercilessly and gauged out his left eye near Chargorabdi launch terminal, leaving him critically injured. Later Jalil died at the upazila health complex.
Five houses of a family were gutted in a fire incident at Char Arajipalashbari village of Halokhana union under Kurigram Sadar upazila on Tuesday night. Locals said the fire originated from a mosquito-coil in the cowshed of Mohammad Ali at about 11:30pm and quickly spread to the adjoining houses. The fire destroyed his five houses and goods and valuables within 20 minutes.
Plainclothes police arrested two people and seized 1,800 kgs of stolen iron rods from a trawler at Balakaghat in the city on Tuesday. The arrestees were identified as Mohammad Siddique, 45, and Kalam, 40, of Deyara village in Rupsha upazila. DB police said, on secret information, they raided the terminal at Bhairab River at Kalibari at about 11am and recovered the stolen iron rods worth over Tk one lakh from the trawler. Later, the team arrested two people from the trawler. The rods were stolen from Madaripur, police said.
A shopkeeper who went 'missing' in Begumganj upazila on July 29 was found dead on Tuesday. Police recovered the body of Sohrab Hossain, son of late Kabir Hossain of Baroitan village in the upazila, from a ditch at the village around noon. He had a tea stall at local Bangla Bazar. Police said a neighbour called Sohrab out of his house in the small hours of July 29. Since then, he remained missing. A villager saw the body of Sohrab while collecting hyacinth from the ditch around noon and informed police.
Criminals killed an elderly farmer at Kola village in Sadar upazila of Meherpur on Tuesday night. The dead was identified as Sader Ali alias Sedu Mia, 65, son of late Sobed Ali of the village. Officer in-charge (OC) of Meherpur Sadar police station Jahangir Alam said, a gang of about 4/5 attacked Sedu when he was talking to some people in front of his house at about 10:30pm. The criminals stabbed Sedu severely and blasted two bombs while fleeing the scene.
A housewife allegedly committed suicide following a family feud at Aminpur village in Monirampur upazila of Jessore district early yesterday. The deceased was identified as Beauty Begum, 30, wife of Jahangir Hossain of the village. Police said Beauty demanded Tk 3000 from her husband for buying a sari for Eid which he refused on Tuesday night. Angered by the refusal, Beauty hanged herself from the ceiling of her bedroom late at night. Later, she was rushed to Jessore General Hospital where she died early in the morning. A UD case was filed in this connection.
Syria said its troops seized a rebel-held Aleppo district yesterday after storming it and "annihilating" most of the insurgents, as a long-threatened ground assault on the key city was launched.
Southeast Asian nations are considering humanitarian assistance for Muslim-minority Rohingya facing "pain and suffering" in Myanmar, the head of the ASEAN regional bloc said yesterday.
The main opposition party in the Maldives yesterday announced an end to six months of street protests triggered by what it called a "coup" that ousted former president Mohamed Nasheed.
Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi sacked his spy chief and two generals yesterday after a deadly ambush on soldiers prompted the military to launch unprecedented air strikes on militants in the Sinai.
Libya's National Transitional Council was to hand power later to a new assembly in a symbolic move marking the first peaceful transition of power after more than 40 years of rule by the late Muammar Gaddafi.
The monsoon session of Indian parliament began yesterday on a stormy note when BJP veteran L K Advani triggered uproar by dubbing the UPA-II government as "illegitimate" but was forced to withdraw the remark in the face of strong protests from Congress led by its chief Sonia Gandhi.
The word "terrorism" in the United States usually brings to mind plots linked in some way to al-Qaeda, while the danger posed to the public by white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and other right-wing militants is often overlooked.
More than one million people in and around the Philippine capital battled deadly floods yesterday amid relentless monsoon rains, with neck-deep waters trapping slum dwellers and the wealthy on roofs.
Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney is losing favor among US voters just three months ahead of his tough election battle with President Barack Obama, a new poll showed yesterday.
Nepal is considering a ban on tourists trekking alone in the Himalayas, officials said yesterday, after several foreign visitors were attacked or have disappeared.
The number of Afghan civilian casualties has fallen for the first time in five years, dropping by 15 percent in the first half of 2012, the United Nations said yesterday.
Myanmar authorities yesterday warned that it was facing a deepening drug crisis after seizing narcotics including more than 1.4 million amphetamine pills and 116 kilos of heroin in July.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich yesterday signed into law a bill which will make Russian the official language in parts of the former Soviet republic, angering opponents who warn it risks splitting the country.
An Israeli court on Tuesday backed an Israeli government policy of allowing Christians from the Gaza Strip to pray at Israeli and West Bank holy sites, and denying the enclave's Muslims the same right.
At least 31 people were killed and 27 critically injured when a bus fell into a deep gorge in northeastern Indian state Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district yesterday.
A double suicide attack killed three Nato soldiers in eastern Afghanistan yesterday, Afghan and Western officials said.
The United States will reward efforts by Zimbabwe's leaders to pave the way toward free elections, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday.
Sweden's ties with Belarus soured further yesterday as Minsk expelled all Swedish diplomats and closed its mission in Stockholm, five days after the ex-Soviet state expelled the Swedish ambassador.
France is headed back into recession for the second time in three years, its central bank warned Wednesday in a fresh blow to the recovery prospects of the stricken eurozone.
A car bomb targeting Shia pilgrims in Iraq and the shooting of a lawyer and his family left 19 people dead yesterday, after al-Qaeda warned it would target lawyers and retake territory in a new campaign.
Arts & Entertainment
To observe the 71st death anniversary of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore, Bangla Academy arranged a discussion and musical soiree at the Seminar Hall of the academy on August 6.
Sitting at the Café Brasila, near my hotel in the heart of the city of Paris, having double espresso is a privilege. I have been coming to Paris for the last four years now. Summer is supposed to be the best time to be in Europe but this no longer feels like proper summer. With global warming, nothing is predictable anymore. But never the less, these places never cease to excite me.
On the occasion of Eid, Channel 9 will air a special six-episode programme featuring folk songs of Bangladesh. The 'uncrowned queen of Bangladeshi folk music', Momtaz, will host the show titled “Banglar Eid Utshab”. The programme will start from Eid day and continue for six consecutive days, at 5:40 pm.
Theatre troupe Prangane Mor is rehearsing its upcoming production, featuring the life of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The troupe will hold the technical show of the play later this month; it hopes to premiere the play in the fourth week of next month.
On 7:50 pm, Eid day, Channel i will air the last play written by the recently deceased iconic writer Humayun Ahmed. The play, titled “Pipilika”, has been directed by Saiful Islam. The cast includes Shuhel Khan, Pran Roy, Gazi Rakayet, Shamima Nazneen, Jewel Rana and Putul.
With each Eid prompting a frenzy of special TV dramas, actors in demand also begin a mad dash to be titled “the most visible face” on the small screen. Popular actor Sajal has been the frontrunner in the race for the past few years. He, however, defends his frequent appearances on TV during Eid, claiming that since he does not appear in serials or mega-serials throughout the year, many of his one-hour-dramas are aired during the Eid festivals. This Eid, 20-30 dramas featuring Sajal are likely to be aired. However, the actor is not entirely sure of the exact number, as he has worked in a large number of TV dramas.
On Eid day, at 8:45 pm, Maasranga Television will air the play “Zarda Jamal”. Written by Polash Mahbub and directed by Hasan Morshed, the play features Mosharraf Karim and Nowsheen in lead roles.
Oscar-winning director James Cameron said on Wednesday that he will open a joint venture in China to provide 3-D filming technology, the latest move by Hollywood to secure a foothold in the country's booming movie industry.
Fasting in the month of Ramadan is an opportunity to make significant changes in lifestyle and develop the resolve to make healthy living choices. Fasting is a physical and spiritual experience requiring a great deal of preparation. What and how much you eat affects your health directly, and refraining from food can help improve self-discipline and restraint if done appropriately. It is an opportunity to make healthy lifestyle choices and give up some bad habits like smoking, eating pan, telling lies, speaking ill of others, back biting, losing temper and vain talk. Being mindful of how you fast and how you break your fast can help to improve your overall health -- both physical and mental. Fasting is not only a physical but also a spiritual exercise that has many lasting benefits like a sense of heightened consciousness of God. It also helps you to become less preoccupied with bodily appetites, and gives the heart and mind the freedom to reflect upon deeper spiritual matters, such as the relationship with God and with fellow human beings. It enables a person to develop sustained consciousness of God.
Not only Bangladesh but also many other countries like India, United Kingdom and Russia are facing floods.
Only Myanmar can solve the longstanding crisis besetting their Muslim minority Rohingya population. The International community should also exert pressure forcefully on Myanmar to bring an end to the decades old oppression on Rohingyas.
While presiding over an inter-ministerial meeting on food and poultry sectors held at his ministry on July 29, Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith said that the government was planning to export rice, and added that although the final decision had not been made, the market for rice export would be explored. Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, Food Minister M. Abdur Razzaque, amongst others, were present in the meeting. In this article, rice will mean coarse rice.
In recent times, India's image and international standing have declined dramatically. A series of events have transformed India from being a rising global power a year ago to a tottering banana republic unable to hold itself together and getting increasingly alienated from the rest of the world. How and why did this happen? Was it the cosmic power of stars that brought about this dramatic shift or was there a man-made conspiracy at work?
Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi is arrested in Bombay by British forces, launching the Quit India Movement.