News of: Wednesday, 28th of November, 2012
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Every morning and evening, they would walk swiftly through the crowds in the country's many industrial zones and hardly anyone would notice them. Yesterday, as 53 of them made their final procession, the nation took a pause.
US global retailer Walmart yesterday said Tazreen Fashions, the garment factory where a fire killed at least 111 people, had been making clothes for the retailer without its knowledge.
Garment workers bitterly complain that lax safety measures in factories lead to deadly fires like the one that killed 111 people at Tazreen Fashions in Ashulia on Saturday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked businessmen to ensure safety at their industrial units to prevent a repeat of Saturday's deadly fire that killed 111 workers at a garment factory in Ashulia.
Activists yesterday urged US rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs to push for better working conditions after revealing clothing for his fashion line was made in a Bangladeshi factory where 110 staff died in a fire.
A Dhaka court yesterday directed the Anti-Corruption Commission to confiscate all the properties of controversial business group Destiny.
The co-financiers of Padma bridge project would sit today at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters to decide on a new implementation strategy for having more control over procurement, said finance ministry officials.
Testifying in two cases yesterday, a freedom fighter said he was tortured by war-crimes accused Azad and others after Jamaat leader Mojaheed held a meeting with a Pakistani army officer and Razakars at Faridpur Circuit House.
Subrata Bain, a most wanted criminal in Bangladesh, was arrested in Kolkata of West Bengal yesterday, 18 days after his escape from a jail in Nepal.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is likely to give Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's administration another ultimatum for restoration of the caretaker government system in today's mass rally in the capital, party sources said.
The High Court yesterday made a split order on a petition challenging the legality of running a money-laundering case in a lower court against BNP Senior Vice-chairman Tarique Rahman and his business partner Giasuddin Al Mamun.
Bangladesh Army yesterday closed its rescue operation 82 hours after Bahaddarhat flyover in Chittagong partially collapsed, killing 12 people.
It may sound like a plot straight out of a science fiction novel, but a US mission to blow up the moon with a nuke was very real in the 1950s.
Catalonia's leader has vowed to push ahead with a referendum that could lead to a historic split from Spain, despite being punished in snap regional elections.
Top federal and Kurdish security officials agreed in Baghdad on Monday to "activate" coordinating committees between their forces and work to calm the situation in northern Iraq, a statement said.
Israel's former foreign minister Tzipi Livni announced her return to politics yesterday at the helm of a new party called The Movement, nearly seven months after stepping aside following a primary defeat.
Sri Lankan lawyers have asked the Supreme Court to declare parliament's impeachment of the chief justice illegal, a legal spokesman said yesterday, a move that could trigger a constitutional crisis.
A 22-year-old Mexican beauty queen was killed in a gunfight between soldiers and a suspected gang she was riding with in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, prosecutors said Monday.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon called Monday for renewed efforts to achieve a two-state solution in the Middle East following last week's ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
Saudi authorities yesterday beheaded two nationals for murder, including one who stabbed his wife to death and burned her corpse, the interior ministry said.
It is welcome news that Malaysia is going to officially withdraw its ban on recruiting Bangladeshi workers after a lull that lasted four years. But more welcome than that is the fact that workers hoping to work in the Malaysian labour market may not be fleeced as before. As per newspaper reports, the government-to-government agreement allows for job seekers to pay maximum Tk40,000 to avail work opportunity in Malaysia.
The Chitttagong flyover girder collapse almost coincided with the Savar garment fire shocked the entire nation. It was again another instance of collective irresponsibility on the part of Chittagong Development Authority (CDA), firms in charge of construction and consultancy, ministry of works and district administration. This led to the avoidable deaths of 12 people so far.
The Bangladesh national team suffered a setback in the lead-up to the five-match ODI series against the West Indies, stumbling to a five-wicket loss to BCB XI in their warm-up match at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna yesterday.
The National Sports Council (NSC) on Tuesday formed a 13-member ad-hoc committee for the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) naming incumbent president Nazmul Hassan Papon as its chief.
While Bangladesh and BCB XI were locked in a warm-up battle at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium here yesterday, West Indies held a practice session at the nearby indoor facilities, with some players peeping into the ground to catch a slice of the action in the middle.
The Citycell 26th National Swimming Championships gets underway from today at the Syed Nazrul Islam National Swimming Complex in Mirpur. Nearly 500 swimmers will be fighting for 42 gold medals amid the uncertainty of using the electronic scoreboard.
After a week-long training stint at the Manchester United Soccer School in England, twelve budding booters from Bangladesh return with a dream of playing for the Bangladesh national team at an international level.
The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday announced a 20-member Under-23 national squad for the four-nation Mahinda Rajapaksa International Football Tournament in Sri Lanka.
Siddikur Rahman missed out on a European Tour card for the next season as he ended the four day initial qualification at the PGA Catalunya Resort in Spain in 109th position.
Thilan Samaraweera hit a half-century under pressure to lead Sri Lanka's recovery on the third day of the second and final Test against New Zealand at the P Sara Oval in Colombo on Tuesday.
Ricky Ponting has the unanimous backing of selectors as he searches for runs to save his Test career and will play in the series decider against South Africa, coach Mickey Arthur said Tuesday.
Holders Mohammedan SC maintained their lead in the Ultra Milk Premier Division Chess League after the fifth round at the National Sports Council Tower Auditorium yesterday.
Sachin Tendulkar has kept his place in India's 15-man squad for the third Test against England in Kolkata despite criticism of his form.
The Premier Division Football League starts today at the MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong with ten teams fighting it out for the chance to be champions. Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Eleven will play against Muktijoddha Krira Chakra in the opening match. Each of participating teams will be eligible to play three foreign players in each match, informed SM Sahidul Islam, general secretary of Chittagong District FA yesterday.
Inter Milan coach Andrea Stramaccioni has hit out after a 1-0 defeat to Parma ended the Nerazzurri's hopes of closing the gap on Juventus to just one point.
Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez will face the wrath of his new club's fans for the second time in four days on Wednesday when they tackle London rivals Fulham in the Premier League.
Brazil still faces major challenges to stage the 2014 World Cup, particularly with respect to transport and accommodation for the hundreds of thousands of fans, the FIFA secretary-general said here Monday.
Brazilian Football Confederation president Jose Maria Marin on Monday dismissed reports the five-time world champions are going to sign former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola to lead their 2014 World Cup campaign.
Barcelona defender Dani Alves will be sidelined for 15-20 days after injuring his right thigh muscle during Sunday's 4-0 away victory over Levante, the club said Monday.
Norwich City confirmed on Monday that they have made a formal complaint to police over alleged racial abuse sent to Cameroonian defender Sebastien Bassong on Twitter.
Former Norway and Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who enjoyed a glittering career as a player before becoming a successful manager, is the first to be inducted into the country's Hall of Fame, it was announced on Monday.
Banglalink now looks forward to a 3G licence to fulfil its plan to strengthen its presence in the data or internet business in the country.
The IMF has suggested bringing amendments to the Banking Companies Act, saying the existing law has restrained Bangladesh Bank's autonomy leaving scope for government intervention in the bank's supervisory authority.
Dan Mozena, the US ambassador to Bangladesh, yesterday said there is plenty to learn from Tazreen Fashions' tragic episode to enhance the country's apparel sector.
The government implemented 14.9 percent of the total budget allocation in July-September when non-development expenditure increased more than the spending on development.
Parliament yesterday passed a bill bringing changes to the Securities and Exchange Ordinance1969, which will empower the government to set up special tribunals to try cases related to the capital market.
Turnover at the Dhaka Stock Exchange fell below Tk 200 crore, lowest in the last four months, as investors lost confidence to make fresh investment in the market.
Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal was to tackle a French nationalisation threat in talks with President Francois Hollande on Tuesday as the finance minister defended the country's credentials as a safe investment location.
Bangladesh Bank gave the green light to nine private sector projects to take loans worth $292.3 million from foreign sources, the regulator said in a statement yesterday.
Clothing is king in Bangladesh, a country that exports more garments than any other in the world except China. It is responsible for four out of every five export dollars and has turned factory owners into members of parliament and leaders of sports clubs.
The France Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised the French annual gala on Saturday at Radisson Water Garden Hotel in Dhaka.
Outraged citizens in a protest programme yesterday demanded justice for the unwarranted deaths of garment workers of Tazreen Fashion, who died in a devastating fire at the factory on November 24.
Prof AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury and Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday blasted the government especially Labour Minister Raziuddin Ahmed for his ministry's “negligence” in overseeing garment factories safety standards.
Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon yesterday demanded taking action against those responsible for the Saturday's fire at Tazreen Fashions Ltd in Ashulia that killed 111 workers.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government would bring back from abroad all the money siphoned off by the two sons of BNP chief Khaleda Zia.
Local EU heads of missions, the prime minister of Singapore and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in separate statements yesterday expressed deep shock at the loss of lives in a fire that killed 111 workers of a garment factory in Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital on Saturday night.
Speakers at a programme yesterday urged the government to preserve quotas at all government educational institutions for students from the underprivileged and discriminated Harijan community.
The government yesterday dismissed seven sub-registrars from their service for falsely claiming themselves to be the staff of Mujibnagar government to get appointments under the law ministry.
A gang of armed assailants shot a construction contractor at his Madhya Badda office in the capital last night.
Proper knowledge of adolescent reproductive health issues helps female children to be aware of various social problems including child marriage and stalking, claimed a study of Plan Bangladesh.
Experts yesterday recommended innovative methods to create awareness about tobacco use and amending the tobacco control act by imposing higher duties on tobacco products and raising fines to prevent public smoking.
A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to Omar Faruque Talukdar, sacked assistant private secretary (APS) of former railways minister Suranjit Sengupta, until December 10.
A prosecution witness yesterday told a Chittagong court that he thought three government high officials knew about the 10-truck arms haul way ahead of the consignment arrived in Chittagong on April 2, 2004.
Three people, including a Grameen Bank official, were killed and at least seven people injured in separate road accidents in Dhaka, Bagerhat and Jhalakathi yesterday.
Taking part in the talks with the Election Commission, leaders of some political parties yesterday urged the EC to hold the next parliamentary polls with the participation of all political parties.
Teachers, students and officials of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) went on an indefinite strike from Monday demanding removal of vice chancellor Prof Sirajul Karim Chowdhury.
A Dhaka court yesterday warned that it would not allow any more time to BNP chief Khaleda Zia for attending the hearing in Zia Charitable Trust graft case.
A Dhaka court yesterday rejected bail petitions of two accused, including Jubo League leader Aminul Haque Molla, in connection with the Parag Mondol abduction case.
Mother of Dr Shamsul Alam Khan Milon, who was killed in 1990 by armed cadres of the then autocratic ruler HM Ershad, yesterday urged ruling Awami League to oust Ershad from its alliance for the sake of democracy.
Authorities of all the public universities should arrange students' union elections to strengthen the movement against fundamentalism and communalism in the country, said speakers at a discussion in the capital yesterday.
A Dhaka court yesterday placed Mobarok Hossain, the managing director of the controversial multilevel marketing (MLM) company, Uni-Route Finance and Commerce, on a five-day remand in a case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission.
Locals caught two robbers with a fire arm while their gang was committing robbery at a union parishad member's residence in the capital's Turag yesterday.
Top achiever scouts from home and abroad shared their views and experiences with their fellows and friends at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital yesterday.
Police arrested six people from Rangunia upazila of Chittagong in connection with a robbery incident at a Buddhist meditation centre in the upazila early yesterday.
STG Corporation, an organisation of Japan, will appoint nine workers from Bangladesh who have successfully completed a course on Japanese language recently, said a press release.
The fourth death anniversary of Advocate AKM Khalilur Rahman, former vice-president of Dhaka Bar Association, will be observed today.
Farmers in eight northern districts see bumper yield of amon during the ongoing harvesting season but low market price of the paddy makes them disappointed.
An activist of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) was killed and 11 others were injured as two factions of the ruling Awami League-backed student body clashed at Gournadi upazila town under Barisal district on Monday night.
A brick kiln owner was kidnapped by a gang of criminals in Ganna Bazaar area under Jhenidah Sadar upazila early yesterday.
Chairman of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Regional Council (CHTRC) Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma yesterday said the CHT peace accord does not see full implementation due to lack of political goodwill among the policy makers in the government.
A three-member committee yesterday started investigation into alleged corruption of the vice-chancellor, Pro-vice-chancellor and treasurer of Islamic University.
Cultivation of 'Rupvan', an early variety Indian bean, has appeared as an unprofitable venture for over 10,000 farmers in eight upazilas of the district this year.
Two factions of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) clashed at Jessore MM College yesterday. Witnesses said the clash ensued when a faction led by Shariful Islam attacked the procession of another faction led by Shimul on the campus at noon. Both sides used firearms and exploded bombs during the clash that continued for half an hour. Being informed by college authorities, police went to the campus, dispersed the clashing groups and brought the situation under control.
Doctors at Magura Sadar Hospital yesterday called off their indefinite strike following arrest of the accused in the case for assaulting a doctor on Saturday night. The doctors took the decision to withdraw their strike at a meeting held at the conference room of the hospital after police arrested the accused on Monday night, hospital sources said. "We called off our indefinite strike as police arrested the culprit involved in assaulting our fellow doctor", Dr Muktadur Rahman, residential medical officer of Magura Sadar Hospital told this correspondent. Doctors began indefinite strike from 9: 00am on Monday protesting assault on doctor Nirmal Kumar Das by the son of a patient who died at the hospital due to cardiac ailments on Saturday night.
At least 50 people were injured in a clash between two rival groups at Dani Barokapon village in Chatak upazila on Monday. Police said there had been a longstanding conflict between Manik Miah and Anis Ali of the village over a disputed land. On Monday morning, the supporters of the two, equipped with lethal weapons attacked each other, leaving at least 50 people from both sides injured. Being informed, police went to the spot and brought the situation under control. Of the injured, seven were admitted to Sylhet Osmani Medical College Hospital in a critical condition while the rest given first aid at different private hospitals and clinics. Police have been deployed at the village to avert any further clash.
The latest World Bank report on climate change has warned Bangladesh of being one of the worst sufferers, saying that by 2100 the sea level will rise by up to 3 feet. The sea level rise will cause water scarcity and falling of crop yields, which will exacerbate hunger and poverty in Bangladesh according to the report. The report has also mentioned that the cities located in Bangladesh (and in some other countries) will become highly vulnerable due to the sea level rise. The Germany-based organizations, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics, prepared the report for the World Bank.
I would like to start with the lines of famous Caribbean poet Derek Walcott:
“The violence of beast on beast is read
As natural law, but upright man
Seeks his divinity by inflicting pain.”
(A Far Cry from Africa)
Holy Ashura, the tenth day of Muharram, is observed in the whole Muslim world including Bangladesh as a day of mourning recalling the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain Ibn Ali (RA), the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (SM) at the Battle of Karbala. On the day of Ashura this year, the relatives and family members of the victims of two fatal accidents in our country were trying to identify their near and dear ones among the dead. The Ashulia factory fire in Dhaka and Bahaddarhat's under-construction flyover collapse in Chittagong killed at least 111 and 13 people respectively and injured more than one hundred people.
While the event of Karbala is often referred to as a battle, for ordinary folks like me, it is important to understand the significance of Karbala.
As a departure from the reports of violence and misery that fill the pages of local dailies, a report on a library set up by a young villager along with its photograph sent by a correspondent from Jhenidah, was published in a local English daily on 17th. November. It was indeed a breath of fresh air for all readers who came across the news. Tutul, the young man who was behind this noble effort and his mother, deserve support and encouragement from all quarters. He accomplished the feat through a decade of perseverance and support from many local people. Maybe, your esteemed daily could help them with internet facilities and a computer to give them wider nationwide connectivity. I wish Tutul God speed and good luck for such a noble venture!
The shameless display of rage at the TIB report by; lawmakers in parliament is, sadly, not surprising in the least. For all our vaunted talk of democratic values, we as a people remain fundamentally incapable of stomaching any criticism.
We highly appreciate the decision of the government that there will be no reservation for lawmakers in private school admission process. On the contrary, 5% quotas for children and grandchildren of freedom fighters have been kept in the amended policy. It is also learnt from newspapers that the officials and employees of the education ministry would have the 2% quota benefit in the said arrangement. Perhaps this could not satisfy the guardians of the admission seeking students. This may tarnish the image of the government. As lawmakers are not going to enjoy this advantage, the employees of the ministry should not be provided with such opportunity. All decisions regarding the admission procedure should be pragmatic. So our humble request to the ministry is to please make a healthy competitive environment in the admission process. Hope the authorities would kindly consider the aspiration of the commoners.
Children's Day is observed across the world to celebrate childhood and create awareness about children's welfare. But it is unfortunate that when the day ends, nobody cares about children's rights. Thousands of children still have to pass sleepless nights on the streets. It is the responsibility of the government to look after these helpless children but the government hardly plays its part. Losing a father or guardian, a number of children have to run their family instead of going to school. Many of them get involved in crimes and anti-social activities. We should extend our helping hands towards them for ensuring a better future for them.
Here are some comments that came in response to Tuesday's The Daily Star news report headlined “Grief-struck”
Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi faced nationwide protests yesterday after digging in his heels over a controversial decree granting him sweeping powers, in the most divisive crisis since he took power in June.
Is the man who would be king tired of waiting his turn?
Syrian aircraft attacked towns in the country's north and east and killed at least five people in a strike on an olive oil press as fighting raged in the capital Damascus yesterday, opposition activists said.
The remains of iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat were exhumed yesterday, eight years after his death, with experts set to test for signs that he was poisoned.
Palestinian diplomats on Monday released a draft resolution on a bid for UN recognition as the United States again warned that a successful vote this week could cost the Palestinians dearly in US aid cash.
The leader of Nepal's Maoists proposed a new unity government yesterday, offering political rivals the pick of the top cabinet posts in a bid to end a deadlock crippling the restive Himalayan nation.
Greece won breathing space yesterday with long-frozen eurozone loans to restart from December and a first clear admission that a chunk of the country's debt burden will need to be written off down the line.
Pakistan's umbrella Taliban faction yesterday claimed responsibility for planting a bomb under the car of a prominent journalist and TV anchorman and threatened a second assassination bid.
'For standing up to the Taliban, and everything they represent' made Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old child activist from Swat Valley, shine on the number 6 spot of the Top 100 Global Thinkers list.
Vietnamese border guards yesterday said they were refusing to stamp entry visas into controversial new Chinese passports which feature a map of Beijing's claim to almost all of the South China Sea.
North Korea could carry out a long-range missile test in the next three weeks, with new satellite images showing increased launch site activity, according to satellite operator DigitalGlobe Inc.
Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo yesterday said they would withdraw from Goma, a week after their capture of the key eastern city sparked fears of a new war in the volatile region.
Four more Tibetans have set themselves alight in protest at China's rule, overseas media said yesterday, taking the total to more than 20 this month.
The UN General Assembly on Monday passed its first resolution condemning female genital mutilation, which opponents say more than 140 million women worldwide have had to endure.
Arts & Entertainment
Bengal ITC-SRA Classical Music Festival is being held in Dhaka this year. The four-day mega event will begin on November 29 at Dhaka Army Stadium, with renowned names in classical music from both Kolkata and Bangladesh taking part. The programme will feature classical vocal and instrumental performances and classical dance. Acclaimed artistes from India's SRA (Sangeet Research Academy) -- Vidushi Girija Devi, Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Ustad Rashid Khan, Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar, Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan, Pandit Rajan Mishra, Pandit Sajan Mishra, Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan, Alarmel Valli, Buddhadev Dasgupta and others -- will come to Dhaka for the festival, while grandson of Ustad Allauddin Khan's brother Ayet Ali Khan, sarodiya Ustad Shahadat Hossain Khan, Dhaka University teacher and vocalist Priyanka Gope, and eminent sitarist Alif Laila will also participate representing Bangladesh at the festival.
The 7th Dhaka University Annual Theatre Festival is in its sixth day today. Arranged by the university authority and managed by the Department of Theatre, the fortnight-long festival features plays produced, performed and directed by the students and teachers of the department. Several world classics as well as works of noted local playwrights such as Munier Chowdhury and Abdullah Al Mamun are being staged at the TSC Auditorium, the festival venue.
Lebanese-French multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer Abaji mesmerised music aficionados of the port city on Monday evening.
Norwegian capital Oslo recently observed the 100th death anniversary of Swedish playwright August Strindberg, who is considered to be the 'Shakespeare of Scandinavia'.
The Embassy of Switzerland in Bangladesh, in cooperation with the Alliance Française de Chittagong, is organising a Swiss Film Festival on November 28-29 in the port city. Four Swiss feature films will be presented at the Alliance Française auditorium in Panchlaish, says a press release.
To celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of poet Dwijendra Lal Roy, Bodhon (an organisation of elocutionists in the port city) hosted a cultural programme at DC Hill premises last Monday.
Twelve previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix tracks are to be released on a new album next year.
We may be living through insipid times here in Bangladesh, but you do have to agree that politics is the one area where we come across some of the thrills we need to carry on in life. Dr. Kamal Hossain and A.B.M. Musa have just enlightened us on what it is precisely that we need to do about the stale and yet riveting nature of our politics. The veteran politician and the veteran journalist have called for politics to be made formalin-free. Which is rather intriguing, considering that of late citizens have been wracked by thoughts of the damage being done to their health by fish and meat and vegetables treated with formalin. Something has indeed emerged from all this concern over how formalin may be pushing all of us to an early grave. In these past few weeks, with quite some degree of fanfare, ministers and other government functionaries have been going around distributing formalin detecting machines to be used in urban markets. Many among us have cheered.
When Abraham Lincoln was told at the height of the devastating civil war that his most successful general, Ulysses Grant, was drinking too much he wanted to know the brand of Grant's favourite whisky so that he could send his general a few cases. Eight decades later, during the Second World War, rumour was rife that Dwight Eisenhower, commander of the European theatre of operations, was having an affair with the lady who drove his car. Censorship ensured that this never escaped the confines of coterie gossip. The American system, sensibly, might not care too much about peacetime generals but it protected its wartime commanders. Grant and Eisenhower went on to become elected presidents.
D-8 consists of the eight most populous Muslim majority countries -- two from South East Asia (Indonesia and Malysia), two from South Asia (Bangladesh and Pakistan), two from Middle East (Turkey and Iran) and two from Africa (Egypt and Nigeria).
After years of indifference the Rohingya issue has drawn interest nationally as well as internationally. While the recent plight of the members of the community has attracted huge international attention and compassion, it generated a negative reaction among the government circles and also in a section of the influential media in Bangladesh.
Alarmed by the recent upsurge in anti-mainland sentiment in Hong Kong, with the more extreme residents openly denying their Chinese identity, Beijing has responded by adjusting some of its policies towards the Special Administrative Region (SAR).
Albania declares its independence from the Ottoman Empire.