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News of: Thursday, 30th of August, 2012

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Deal 'as soon as feasible'

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday assured his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina of India's firm commitment to ink the proposed Teesta water-sharing deal "as soon as feasible".

Adviser's shadow in Hallmark scam

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has information that Syed Modasser Ali, an adviser to the prime minister, allegedly influenced Sonali Bank authorities into granting a huge amount of loan to the controversial Hallmark Group illegally, said ACC sources.

SC's no to Hallmark industrial park

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a High Court order that had directed Hallmark Group not to set up an industrial park in Savar for the next four months.

ACC to quiz Abul

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) will quiz former communications minister Syed Abul Hossain on September 3 on the alleged corruption and irregularities regarding appointment of a consultant for the Padma bridge project.

Mashiur must go

Mashiur Rahman, adviser to the prime minister, has to resign to meet the conditions the World Bank has laid down to revive its credit for Padma bridge, a highly placed government source said yesterday.

16 Rohingyas held at airport

Law enforcers yesterday arrested 16 Rohingya refugees from Shahjalal International Airport. They were trying to go abroad with fake Bangladeshi passports.

Cops block roads to DU, commuters suffer

Police closed down all major roads leading to Dhaka University area yesterday to avert further violence by DU students, who vandalised over 60 vehicles on Tuesday night over the death of a fellow student in a road accident.

No decision yet to restore old system

Despite widespread public discontent over the introduction of a geometrical billing system, the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (Berc) remains undecided about restoring the traditional billing method.

Directors demand Yunus-picked MD

Eight elected female borrower-directors of Grameen Bank yesterday said they wanted Prof Muhammad Yunus as the head of the selection committee that would choose the new managing director of the microcredit organisation.

Click here to read 1st instalment of Younus centre statement's

Ex-minister, 31 others convicted

An Indian court yesterday convicted a former state minister and 31 others of murder during one of the worst massacres in religious riots in Gujarat in 2002.

KL proposal has several loopholes

The latest Malaysian proposal to finance the Padma bridge project has "several gaps" for which the communications ministry has yet to determine exactly how much investment Bangladesh will seek, sources in the Bridges Division told The Daily Star.

Inform ACC of graft

A parliamentary body has recommended making it mandatory for the Comptroller and Auditor General, and chiefs of Bangladesh Bank, NBR, police and Rab to give the ACC information about their own efforts to fight corruption.

Witness recalls brother's killing

A witness yesterday told International Crimes Tribunal-2 Jamaat-e-Islami leader Muhammad Kamaruzzaman and his accomplices killed his brother at Serih Bridge in Sherpur on August 23, 1971.

Probe body finds BCL responsible

An enquiry committee formed into the burning of MC College hostel has held Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) responsible for the incident on July 8.

12-hr hartal observed in 3 hill dists

A 12-hour hartal was observed in three hill districts yesterday to protest government moves to amend the land commission act and to keep the local police administration under the Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council.

Ex-OC says Rab tortured him on Babar's order

Another prosecution witness of the arms haul cases told a Chittagong court yesterday that Rab personnel had brutally tortured him on the orders of the then state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar.

1.3m children engaged in most hazardous jobs

Around 7.4 million children in the country are labourers, of which 1.3 million are engaged in the most hazardous work, said country director of Save the Children at a human rights review workshop yesterday in the capital.

12-hr hartal observed in 3 hill dists

A 12-hour hartal was observed in three hill districts yesterday to protest government moves to amend the land commission act and to keep the local police administration under the Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council.

Enforcement deadline now Sept 15

The telecom regulator yesterday said it extended the deadline to enforce its 10-second pulse directive for all carriers to September 15.


Issue is professionalism in NCBs

Bangladesh Bank (BB) governor's request to the finance ministry to recast Sonali Bank's board of directors has sparked a tiff with the minister who thinks it is not within the central bank's remit to make such a recommendation.

Eruption of violence at Shahbagh

The mayhem in Shahbagh following a Dhaka University student's death in a road crash at the notorious intersection on Tuesday was a sad and violent deja vu. We are increasingly facing two kinds of violence -- one, in the recklessness of callous and unskilled drivers with no regard for human life and the second, in uncontrolled public fury -- especially that of university students who take the law into their own hands -- resulting in damage to public and private property. The general public, meanwhile, are sandwiched in between the two forms of excess, sustaining bodily injury, damage to vehicles, and endless hours of being stuck in traffic stemming form the violence and roadblocks.


No quick fix, says Pybus

The Bangladesh cricket team will enter the last stage of their preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup, when they leave for Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday. The unofficial tour, which begins on September 6, will see the Tigers play Barbados and Afghanistan, apart from the hosts. Having already toured Africa and Europe, this will be Bangladesh's third tour, away from home, in as many months.

Shakib confident

Bangladesh had a stupendous start in ICC World Twenty20 cricket when they beat West Indies by six wickets at the Wanderers Stadium in the tournament's first edition in 2007. But after that losses were the norm for the Tigers in the tournament's last three editions. Will it be different this time around when they play the tournament in Sri Lanka? According to the world's number one all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, things will be different this time.

Wozniacki crashes out

Defending champion Novak Djokovic and triple women's winner Serena Williams stormed into the US Open second round on a breezy and humid Tuesday night at Flushing Meadows.

Strauss quits

Andrew Strauss resigned as England's Test captain and announced his retirement from professional cricket with immediate effect on Wednesday.

BD women win at last

The Bangladesh Women's Cricket team finally tasted success on their European tour when they posted a four-wicket victory against Ireland Women's team in their T20 match at the Clontarf Cricket Club Ground in Dublin on Tuesday.

Siddikur back to business

After a lengthy break of two and a half months, Bangladesh's vaunted golfer Siddikur Rahman gets down to business again as he takes on a host of Asian and global stars at the Omega European Masters in Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Switzerland today.

Amla classic takes SA to No. 1

Hashim Amla looked forward to returning to the scene of his greatest triumph after punishing England with yet another superb century.

Nafees not in BD A squad

Shahriar Nafees was ignored when the selectors picked an 18-member preliminary Bangladesh A squad for the training camp ahead of their home series against the West Indies High Performance team.

Aussies overcome Pak spin threat

Mitchell Starc took 5-42 and Michael Clarke and George Bailey hit fifties to help Australia beat Pakistan by four wickets in the first limited overs international here on Tuesday.

Fortunes swing for BD

Fortunes continued to swing for Bangladesh men's and women's chess teams in the 40th Chess Olympiad as the women's team recorded a straight 4-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago while the men's team were trailing 0-2 against Armenia, when this report was filed.

Hawking to star in Paralympics opening

A spectacular opening ceremony starring acclaimed British scientist Stephen Hawking was set to ring in the biggest ever Paralympic Games on Wednesday, aiming to transform ideas about disability and champion the human spirit.

Invitation from Boca Juniors

The Bangladesh Football Federation has been invited to send a team of fifteen players to participate in Argentinean club Boca Juniors' project titled 'for all the youngsters of the world'.

Bolt, Rudisha to headline Zurich

Sprinting legend Usain Bolt and 800m world record-holder David Rudisha will headline a stellar track and field line-up at Thursday's Diamond League meeting in Zurich.

Braga stun Udinese

Heartbreak befell Udinese in the Champions League play-off round for the second year running after they lost on penalties to Sporting Braga in the second leg of their qualifying tie on Tuesday.

Stoke, Fulham crash out

Stoke and Fulham were biggest casualties in the League Cup second round on Tuesday as the Premier League clubs slumped to shock defeats against Swindon and Sheffield Wednesday respectively.

Mutu challenges Ibra

Adrian Mutu was presented to the media by modest French club Ajaccio on Tuesday and promptly vowed that he would score more goals this season than Paris Saint-Germain superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

France recall Diaby

France coach Didier Deschamps on Wednesday recalled midfielder Abou Diaby, who has not played for the national team for over a year, for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers in Finland on September 7 and at home against Belarus four days later.

Bojan joins Milan

Bojan Krkic is to be unveiled as AC Milan's latest signing after the Spain international announced his move to fans via his official Facebook page on Tuesday.

Bayern snap up Martinez

Spain midfielder Javier Martinez looks set to sign for Bayern Munich on Wednesday after passing the obligatory medical in the Bavarian capital, according to reports in the German media.

Lisandro out for several weeks

Lyon's Argentine striker Lisandro Lopez has been ruled out for between two and three weeks with a thigh muscle injury, his club announced on Tuesday evening.

Lampard eyes Chelsea job

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard wants to manage the European champions once his playing days are over.


New horizon opens for drug makers

A new international clinical research institute will be set up in Bangladesh within a year, paving the way for further research in medical science and increased exports of pharmaceuticals.

Sonali Bank directors blame scam on management

The board of directors of Sonali Bank yesterday claimed they were not guilty of a recent loan scam involving more than Tk 3,606 crore.

FBCCI demands action against Hallmark Group for loan scam

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) yesterday urged the government to take stern action against Hallmark Group for its alleged involvement in a loan scam.

160 professionals oppose change to Grameen rules

The government should immediately void the amendment made to the Grameen Bank Ordinance as the changes are out of touch with reality, a group of professionals said yesterday.

Mozena lists priorities for further growth

The US ambassador in Dhaka yesterday said Bangladesh will have to address four key issues -- political instability, inefficient port management, inadequate energy and corruption -- to attain further economic growth.

BJMC cash-strapped

The state-run Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), raw jute exporters and private millers suffer from a cash crunch to buy raw jute in the current harvesting season, hurt by falling exports earnings.

StanChart wins award for best foreign commercial bank in Bangladesh

Standard Chartered Bank has recently been named the “Best Foreign Commercial Bank in Bangladesh 2012” by FianaceAsia, a financial publication in the region.

BTRC calls for introducing flat call rates

The telecom regulator yesterday ordered the country's mobile operators to introduce flat call rates in every package instead of different tariff system within a call.

Stocks buoyant on Padma bridge hope

Stocks surged 3.76 percent yesterday, as investors went on a buying spree after US Ambassador Dan W Mozena said talks between the Bangladesh government and the World Bank on Padma bridge funds would be successful.

GM to invest $1b in Russian plants

US auto giant General Motors will invest a billion dollars in its Russian plants by 2018 to build more cars for the expanding market, a GM executive said Wednesday.

New tourism law to ensure eco compliance

The government is set to form a new law for the tourism sector to strictly monitor the registration process of tourism services providers and to offer high quality services.

Apple's patent victory is a victory for competition

Apple's resounding patent victory over Samsung in a California courtroom last Friday is a blow to the competition, which now won't be able copy Apple's technology. But it is a win for competition. It will force everyone to think harder about turning the unimaginable into the normal.

BB profits up 105pc

Bangladesh Bank's net profits, buoyed by increased government borrowing and repo operations, shot up 105 percent to Tk 3,858 crore in fiscal 2011-12.


Eminent citizens stand by Limon

A group of 19 eminent citizens started for Jhalakathi last night to show sympathy and solidarity for Limon Hossain, who was shot and maimed by Rab last year.

Ruling party interferes in safety net programmes

Local ruling party leaders influence all Union Parishad (UP) activities and compel elected UP chairmen and members to hand over to them a portion of the government's social safety net programme allocations to distribute those themselves, alleged the chairmen yesterday.

Govt decision unfair: DAB

Doctors Association of Bangladesh (DAB) yesterday termed unfair the government's decision to admit students to medical and dental colleges on the basis of SSC and HSC examination results.

HR activists protest enforced disappearance

Human rights activists yesterday condemned forcible disappearances and illegal detention of persons without disclosing their whereabouts.

Arrest of Hallmark MD demanded

Journalists at a demonstration yesterday issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the government to arrest Hallmark Group's managing director and employees who assaulted a private television channel's journalists on Tuesday.

Teachers seek govt intervention

Teachers of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) yesterday said government's intervention was required to break the deadlock at the institution.

DSCC gets highest offer at Tk 4.38cr

The Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) yesterday opened the tender of 10 makeshift cattle markets in the city and received the highest offer of around Tk 4.38 crore for Armanitola cattle market in Nayabazar.

Contempt of court charges sought against Matia

Defence counsels of war crimes accused Muhammad Kamaruzzaman yesterday filed a petition asking ICT-2 to bring contempt of court charges against Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury for allegedly making statements disrespecting the tribunal.

Mozena meets Khaleda

In a surprise move, US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan W Mozena met BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan residence in the capital and held a one-and-a-half-hour discussion.

Submission of tender ends today amid controversy

Amid controversy and opposition from different corners, Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) is all set to collect tender documents regarding appointment of private operators for its New Mooring Container Terminal (NCT).

8 killed in road accidents

Eight people were killed and 17 others including six Rab personnel injured in road accidents in Chittagong, Khagrachhari, Narsingdi, Dhaka, Narail, Rangpur, and Chapainawabganj on Tuesday and yesterday.

ICT-1 gets new judge

President Zillur Rahman appointed Justice Jahangir Hossain Selim, a High Court judge, as a member of International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday following the resignation of another tribunal judge.

9 govt officials promoted

Nine officials of BCS (Economics) cadre have been promoted to the positions equivalent to additional secretary and made officers on special duty (OSD) in the Planning Division.

Plaintiff's cross examination deferred again

A Chittagong court yesterday deferred the cross-examination date of the plaintiff of the Banshkhali carnage case to September 16.

Vietnamese envoy joins office

The newly appointed Ambassador of Vietnam to Bangladesh Nguyen Quang Thuc has begun his diplomatic assignment in Bangladesh.

Four testify against JMB men

A special tribunal in Habiganj yesterday recorded deposition of four prosecution witnesses in three cases over the 2005 synchronised bomb attacks.

Minister stand releases two railway officials in Rajshahi

Communications Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday stand released two Bangladesh Railway (West Zone) officials and ordered a show cause notice to another for their involvement in some irregularities including land related concerns in Rajshahi.

Jamaat, Shibir men clash with cops in capital

At least three law enforcers were injured when activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and pro-Jamaat student organisation Islami Chhatra Shibir clashed with police in the capital's Malibagh yesterday.

Non-govt teachers' registration exam from August 31

The 8th Non-government Teachers' Registration Examination-2012, a pre-qualifying examination to appoint teachers in schools, colleges, madrasas, and technical institutes, will be held in two phases from August 31.

Detained medical college admission seekers released

Eight students, who were detained on Tuesday from an agitation programme of medical college admission seekers in Chittagong city, were released yesterday.

Two USAID officials arrive to help promote food security

Two senior USAID officials arrived in Bangladesh yesterday for a six-day tour to promote food security and further strengthen partnership between the US and Bangladesh, says a press release.

DNCC, Ahsania Mission ink anti-smoking MoU

Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) is going to operate mobile court drives to make public places and transport vehicles free from smoking.

Church staff 'commits suicide'

A church accountant allegedly committed suicide at the Assemblies of God church in the capital's New Eskaton area yesterday.

Death Anniversary

Today is the 4th death anniversary of Alhaj Shamsul Hoque Mojumder, an engineer of Public Works Department Division and eminent social worker, says a press release.


Mossammat Nazma Rahman, wife of Dr Sheikh Zillur Rahman, died of brain hemorrhage at Khulna Medical College Hospital on Monday. She was 48.


Slow buy at 'free' rates by govt mills adds to dull jute price

Jute markets in eight northern districts remains awfully dull as assigned jute mills under Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) have continued purchasing jute at a very slow pace, reports our Nilphamari correspondent.

Jute drying up for poor rain

Thousands of farmers in Rangpur division are facing problem to rot their harvested jute this season due to lack of sufficient water in rivers, ponds and canals.

Indefinite transport strike in Satkhira, Pabna

Transport workers in Satkhira and Pabna districts went on an indefinite strike yesterday.

Rescue JCD leader Firoz by 48 hours

Barisal district and city units of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) at a press conference here yesterday gave a 48-hour ultimatum to the law enforcement agencies to rescue ward JCD leader Firoz Khan Kalu, abducted allegedly by plainclothes men, from Chittagong city on August 24.

Killing of schoolteacher in C'nawabganj sparks protest

Teachers and students of different educational institutions under Sadar upazila blocked Chapainawabganj-Sonamasjid highway in Lalapara area for half an hour from 10:00am yesterday, demanding immediate arrest and exemplary punishment of the killers of schoolteacher Lutfar Rahman.

6 kids drown in 4 districts

Six children drowned in ditch, pond and river in Narsingdi, Sirajganj, Brahmanbaria and Rangpur districts yesterday and the day before.

Move to shift exam centre protested

Students and teachers in Patgram upazila yesterday formed a human chain and held a rally, protesting a decision to shift an examination centre four kilometer away from its earlier place.

Humiliated by forced marriage, schoolgirl takes her life

Humiliated by forced marriage, a schoolgirl took her life by hanging from the ceiling of her house at Kalmegha village in Pathorghata upazila of Barguna district on Monday.

Stalker behind bars, but intimidation goes on

Losing two fingers and an ear at the hands of a stalker, class ten student Momina Khatun now faces threat by the perpetrator's family to withdraw the case filed for the brutality.

UP member, 3 others held

Police yesterday arrested four men in Ambaria area of Khoksa upazila in connection with the killing of three people, including a union parishad (UP) chairman.

Man killed in clash over land dispute

A man was killed and 10 others were injured in a clash over land dispute at Kochua village in Saghata upazila on Tuesday afternoon.


Ban talks N-standoff, Syria with Iran

UN chief Ban Ki-moon yesterday held talks with Iran's leaders on its nuclear activities, the Syria conflict and human rights ahead of a summit at which Tehran aims to boost its international standing.

More time needed to win battle, says Assad

President Bashar al-Assad said his regime needs more time to win the battle for Syria and scoffed at the idea of creating buffer zones for displaced people, as fighting raged across his country yesterday.

France opens Arafat murder inquiry

French prosecutors have opened a murder enquiry into Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's 2004 death near Paris following claims he may have died of polonium poisoning, sources told AFP Tuesday.

Romney wraps up Republican nomination

Mitt Romney wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday as wife Ann prepared to sell their family values and personal love story to US voters in a prime-time convention speech.

SC upholds Kasab's death sentence

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the death sentence of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack convict Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, saying that waging war against the country was the primary and foremost offence committed by the Pakistani terrorist.

Isaac batters US coast near New Orleans

Hurricane Isaac battered New Orleans yesterday, flooding homes and driving stormy waters over the top of at least one levee, seven years to the day after Katrina devastated the city.

Another journalist arrested

British Police investigating computer hacking and privacy offenses arrested a journalist yesterday at his home.

Australia reaches out to NAM states

Australian envoys attending a Non-aligned summit in Tehran tomorrow are to reach out to several participating countries, but will walk out of the event if Iranian leaders air their anti-Israeli rhetoric, an Australian foreign ministry spokesman said.

Mars rover Curiosity intriguing geological find

The Mars rover Curiosity is indulging in a flurry of multimedia activity ahead of its science mission proper.

Afghan spy chief dismissed

Afghan President Hamid Karzai yesterday announced the dismissal of his intelligence chief ahead of an imminent cabinet reshuffle involving the top security ministries.

Ex-Egyptian PM Shafiq on travel watchlist

Former premier Ahmed Shafiq, who left Egypt amid a corruption probe after losing to Mohamed Morsi in a bitterly fought presidential election, has been placed on a watchlist and given a travel ban, judicial sources said yesterday.

Militants kill 8 Pak soldiers

At least eight Pakistani soldiers were killed in clashes after militants attacked a checkpost in the country's lawless tribal northwest yesterday, officials said.

China to deploy drones

Amid increasing maritime disputes with a host of its neighbours, China yesterday said it plans to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) along its coast line to conduct "remote-sensing marine surveillance."

US gurdwara shooter's death declared suicide

The death of a white supremacist who killed six Sikh worshippers during a shooting rampage at a US gurdwara has been declared a suicide.

Arts & Entertainment

Mamunur Rashid's Manush translated into Cantonese

Mamunur Rashid's 1991 play for Bangla Theatre, “Manush”, has been translated into Cantonese language and will be performed by a theatre company in Hong Kong. Moreover, Rashid will be in Hong Kong to perform in the Bangla Theatre production, “The Distant Near”.

Romancing Kashmir

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh is romancing Kashmir as much as the beautiful valley is enchanting the actor.

Clooney star guest at Obama fundraiser in Switzerland

George Clooney was the star attraction on Monday in what was billed as the U.S. Democratic Party's biggest fundraising event abroad aimed at helping President Barack Obama win re-election.

Singer-Channel i Shahoshikota Award 2012 to begin soon

With the aim of honouring acts of courage and heroism, Singer-Channel i Shahoshikota Puroshkar: Kingbodonti 2012 will be launched soon.

Pallavi Dance Centre to stage “Shapmochan” at Shilpakala Academy

Artistes of Pallavi Dance Centre, Dhaka, will stage the classic Tagore dance-drama “Shapmochan” at National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on September 1 at 7 pm.

Workshop on sound techniques

A workshop on sound techniques for television and films will be conducted by International Academy of Film and Media from September 1, at its Kalabagan office in Dhaka.

Seminar on Wari-Bateswar artefacts

As part of the ongoing Selim Al Deen Festival, a seminar on artefacts found at archaeological sites Wari and Bateswar was held at the Seminar Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, on August 28.


Let not Grameen's tale be a tragedy

The amendment to the Grameen Bank ordinance has for all practical purposes robbed the Bank of its unique characteristic as a bank overwhelmingly owned by poor women. A bank for the poor and by the poor has been obliterated by a government ordinance; and that too by a democratically elected government. There was no compelling reason to do so as the record of Grameen Bank's performance is much superior by any standard to the government owned banks. Grameen's collective savings is around $1.4 billion and its interest rate is the lowest amongst micro-finance lenders around the world.

Breaking the Padma Bridge logjam

It has been nearly two months since our face-off with the World Bank on Padma Bridge financing, and the latter's decision on cancellation of the proposed credit. In the last two months we have heard rhetoric from two extremes of the spectrum. It ranged from denouncement by some of the decision by the world organisation as biased, one sided, and self-serving, to recognition of the decision by others as appropriate and deserving for our government's failure to redress the accusations of corruption in the project. We heard our political leaders giving public vent to their chagrin with loud denials of any wrongdoing in the project by any public official. We also heard rhetoric of going to the extra length of announcing to the world the intention of going it alone. Some overzealous patriots even lauded this utopian promise and suggested ways and means to fund the project by floating bonds.

Questions by critics on Grameen Bank and the facts by Yunus Centre

A debate is now ongoing on the performance and legal standing of Grameen Bank, and the role played by its founder,

The Daily Star

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