News of: Thursday, 29th of November, 2012
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The government has yet to move to form a national committee to ensure workers' safety in garment industries more than 11 years after the High Court directed it to make sure that all apparel plants comply with safety regulations.
At home waits two-month-old Siam to be fed when Ruhul Amin searches among the debris and in hospitals in Savar and Dhaka for the dead body of his wife and the mother.
A farmer from Kishoreganj, who lost his daughter in the Tazreen Fashions disaster, went to the National DNA Profiling Laboratory at Dhaka Medical College yesterday to give his blood sample in the hope of locating her grave.
“It was my fault,” said Delowar Hossain, managing director of Tazreen Fashion Ltd, yesterday.
White clouds drifted across the sky. The sun, on a winter morning, kissed the barren ground below, where everyone stood in the warmth of its rays.
Sea levels are rising 60 percent faster than the UN's climate panel forecast in its most recent assessment, scientists reported yesterday.
Switzerland landed on the first place in the index on the best place to be born in 2013, says a recent study compiled by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The worst place to be born next year is Nigeria.
Bangladeshi citizen Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis on Tuesday pleaded not guilty refusing the charges of a 'plot' to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in New York in October.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday warned the government of non-stop hartal if it did not meet the opposition's demands, including restoration of the caretaker government system, by next month.
Garment workers of Ashulia yesterday blockaded the Dhaka-Tangail highway for six hours and vandalised vehicles and several factories following a short-circuit mishap in a factory.
At least 60 garment workers were injured in three factories in Dhaka and Chittagong from fall and stampede yesterday as they ran for their lives following rumours of fire, with the apparel sector still reeling from the horror of Saturday's deadly fire in Ashulia.
The World Bank in a statement yesterday said financing for the Padma bridge project hinges on the progress of the investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission into the corruption allegations.
With the directives of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, four detainees were killed inside a Pakistani army camp in Sherpur during the Liberation War, a witness told the International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday.
The Bengal ITC-SRA (Sangeet Research Academy) Classical Music Fest 2012 will be inaugurated this evening at Army Stadium in Dhaka.
The Jatiya Sangsad yesterday passed a bill amending a law to allow the government to exercise for two more years the controversial authority to take up and implement any projects for quick generation, distribution and marketing of power and gas.
The government is considering steps to bring most wanted criminal Subrata Bain back home from India, said police sources.
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday dismissed opposition leader Khaleda Zia's demand for the restoration of the caretaker government, saying the next general election would be held in conformity with the constitution.
A 5.5-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of eastern Indonesia yesterday, the US Geological Survey said.
India does not subscribe to the idea of “isolating” China while dealing with the Asia-Pacific region, and would rather engage the country with which it shares a thriving trade relationship, into more cooperation, Indian envoy Nirupama Rao has said.
Hopes for a ceasefire in the battle within France's right-wing opposition UMP were dashed yesterday as party chief Jean-Francois Cope rejected plans for a referendum on a new leadership vote.
Workers put barricades on the road in front of Chittagong Export Processing Zone and vandalised five vehicles yesterday evening over a rumour that a security guard had beaten an urchin dead.
Those who are saying that Saturday's fire at a garment factory which killed 111 people comes as a warning, albeit a costly one, are wrong. Though the deadliest fire to date, it is certainly not the first, there have been more despite such warnings. Over 300 people have been killed in garment factory fires in the last six years. The reasons for the colossal losses to life and property have all been the same or similar. Lack of emergency exits -- indeed, lack of any exit, with workers being locked in to the premises. Lack of proper fire drills -- in fact, factory officials have often been reluctant to let the workers stop work and leave the building, whether for a drill or in the case of an actual fire; absence of fire extinguishers, or functioning ones, or staff who know how to operate them; lack of proper building planning and construction. All at the cost of thousands of lives that, on a good day, work from nine up to even 24 hours, for minimum wages of Tk. 3,000 per month; and, on a bad day, end up in ashes in a mass grave.
Among 10 major remittance recipient nations, Bangladesh has been pushed one notch down to eighth position, according to a World Bank report.
West Indies showed how big a challenge they will pose to Bangladesh in the five-match ODI series beginning on Friday when they crushed a BCB XI by 118 runs in their lone warm-up game at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna yesterday.
The tiny figure of Mominul Haque looked out of place and out of his depth as he found himself surrounded by the press horde. He had just been told, moments after playing his match for the BCB XI against the touring West Indians, that he was selected to the Bangladesh squad as a replacement for champion all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan for the first two ODIs, and all he seemed to be trying to do was escape the spotlight.
Jewel Ahmed marked his maiden appearance in the National Swimming Championships with a new national record on way to winning three gold medals on the opening day of the 26th edition of the meet at the Syed Nazrul Islam National Swimming Complex in Mirpur yesterday.
The Khulna District Stadium was the site of a baton charge by police yesterday on the thousands lined up hoping to purchase tickets for the first one-day-international between Bangladesh and West Indies. 25 people were injured during the charge by local police, the resultant scuffle also leaving two policemen injured. Additionally, around 30 fans fell ill after having waited in line for more than 24 hours in their wish to witness the first ODI in the city since a Bangladesh-Zimbabwe match in November 2006.
Stand-in West Indian captain Kieron Pollard was a satisfied man after his team enjoyed a near-perfect warm-up encounter against the BCB XI, who they beat by 118 runs at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium here yesterday.
Holders Mohammedan SC extended their winning streak in the Ultra Milk Premier Division Chess League to maintain their lead at the close of the sixth round at the auditorium of National Sports Council yesterday.
South Africa and Australia will both be forced to call on fringe players when the number one ranking in Test cricket
Tim Southee and Doug Bracewell rocked Sri Lanka with two wickets apiece to boost New Zealand's chances of posting a series-levelling win in the second and final Test on Wednesday.
Ashley Giles will take over as England limited-overs head coach, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Tuesday as officials try to ease the burden on team director Andy Flower.
Exim Bank 22nd National Men's Handball Championship gets underway tomorrow at two separate venues of the capital, with 28 teams participating.
Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) XI made a solid start in the Chittagong Premier Division Football League defeating Muktijoddha Sangsad 1-0 at the MA Aziz Stadium yesterday.
Bangladesh Women's Kabaddi team made a winning start in the Bangabandhu Invitational Women's Kabaddi Tournament in Kolkata as they defeated Biddyasagar Sonapur Kabaddi Club yesterday.
Third tier Cacereno came within centimetres of upsetting Malaga in the King's Cup on Tuesday, winning 1-0 at the Rosaleda but going out on away goals after drawing 4-4 on aggregate.
Borussia Dortmund conceded a late equaliser to draw 1-1 at home to 10-man Fortuna Duesseldorf on Tuesday as Bayern Munich's lead at the top of the Bundesliga leaders remains a commanding eight points.
Lazio continued efforts to distance themselves from their right wing fan base by wearing 'No Racism' shirts during a dominant 3-0 win over Udinese on Tuesday.
Brazilian legend Zico has resigned as coach of the Iraqi national team blaming a dispute over his contract.
European football's governing body are considering scrapping the Europa League in favour of extending the Champions League, UEFA president Michel Platini told Wednesday's edition of the daily Ouest-France.
Luiz Felipe Scolari is set to be named as the new coach of 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil on Thursday, a source close to Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) told Reuters on Wednesday.
Struggling La Liga club Espanyol have appointed Mexican Javier Aguirre as their new coach after Argentine Mauricio Pochettino was sacked on Monday, following a disappointing start to the season.
Shakhtar Donetsk striker Luiz Adriano has been banned for one match for unsporting behaviour during a Champions League match against Nordsjaelland last week, UEFA said on Tuesday.
The officials of Tazreen Fashions Ltd in Ashulia, where more than 100 workers died in a fire on Saturday night, played music to suppress the sound of the fire alarm, a survivor alleged at a discussion yesterday.
German Ambassador Albrecht Conze yesterday blamed the sufferings of readymade garment workers partly on the international buyers' tendency to get products at excessively cheap rates.
The workers injured in a fire at Tazreen Fashions in Ashulia may contact Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
The power and energy crisis will be solved by 2017 thanks to the various steps taken by the government, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday.
The Walmart's decision of cutting ties with Bangladeshi garment supplier Tazreen Fashions is 'deceitful', said BGMEA President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin yesterday.
With four days to go to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) conference in Dubai, the government is yet to decide on its stance over the case of monitoring internet usage suggested by some ITU member states.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $1 billion as loans to give a boost to Bangladesh's power supply system and to develop the country's capital market.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) has extended the deadline for submitting supporting documents for licence application for NRB Global Bank and Madhumati Bank.
Tata Motors and Nitol-Niloy Group yesterday launched two new sedans and a hatchback for the Bangladesh market.
The Swiss ambassador to Bangladesh yesterday urged training initiatives for Bangladesh's cheap labour force to attract more investment.
Tribal chiefs of Meghalaya yesterday demanded immediate opening of at least 38 haats along the border with Bangladesh saying they are beneficial for local residents.
Sramik Karmochari Oikya Parishad (SCOP), a platform of workers and employees, yesterday formed a six-member probe committee to investigate Saturday's Ashulia fire incident.
Etihad Airways has recently launched its loyalty programme -- BusinessConnect -- for businesses in Bangladesh, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates said in a statement yesterday.
Amid the ash, broken glass and melted sewing machines at what is left of the Tazreen Fashions Ltd factory, there are piles of blue, red and off-white children's shorts bearing Walmart's Faded Glory brand. Shorts from hip-hop star Sean Combs' ENYCE label lay on the floor and are stacked in cartons.
An unprecedented debate over how the global internet is governed is set to dominate a meeting of officials in Dubai next week, with many countries pushing to give a United Nations body broad regulatory powers even as the United States and others contend such a move could mean the end of the open internet.
When Citigroup Inc's board of directors was looking for a chief executive in 2007, it called Michael O'Neill, who had turned around Bank of Hawaii Corp a few years before.
A Rajshahi court yesterday sentenced seven activists of banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to 10 years rigorous imprisonment in an August 17, 2005 synchronised bomb attacks case.
Burglars stole around 450 tolas of gold jewellery from a shop in the capital's Eastern Plaza between Monday night and early yesterday.
Taking a swipe at the opposition leader for "trying to protect the war criminals," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged Khaleda Zia to shun her "ill-efforts" to obstruct the war crimes trial.
The Jatiya Party, a key component of the Awami League-led ruling alliance, yesterday asked the Election Commission (EC) to make necessary electoral reforms to legally ensure deployment of army in both local and parliamentary elections at all times.
Two French-made multi-role high speed twin engine helicopters were inducted into the Army Aviation fleet through an auspicious commissioning ceremony at Army Aviation Complex at Tejgaon Old Airport yesterday.
Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid expressed his sympathy and offered condolences to those affected by the recent tragedies in Ashulia and Chittagong.
Continuous destruction of elephant habitats, deforestation, extension of agricultural land and encroachment on elephant resources have led to rising number of clashes between humans and the large mammals, said Tapan Kumar Dey, conservator of forests.
Police personnel formed human chain in Barisal city yesterday with a call to end violence against women.
Intern doctors at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) beat up three class IV employees and six nurses following an altercation over admitting two sick nurses to the hospital yesterday.
The first ever Bangladesh International Model United Nations (BIMUN) conference began in the capital yesterday, aiming to end violence against women.
Election to Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) 2012 will be held today amid the two major contesting panels accusing each other of misbehaviour and issuing threats.
Eight people were killed and 15 others injured in road accidents in Chittagong, Rangpur, Jamalpur, Magura, Panchagarh, and Comilla yesterday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday told parliament that her government had taken necessary measures to stop killing of Bangladeshis by India's Border Security Force (BSF).
The government would amend the Disaster Management Act, 2012, said Mohammed Sayedul Hoque, a lawmaker and chairman of parliamentary standing committee on the food and disaster management ministry.
Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) yesterday appointed a project director temporarily to lead the work of Bahaddarhat Flyover project.
A total of 35 magistrates from 34 districts took an oath to play an “honest and courageous” role in protecting the environment from pollution.
Bangladesh has been elected the chair of International Organisation for Migration (IOM) unanimously for a period of one year.
Some fellow villagers stabbed a man to death over land dispute at Tetli Uttarpara village in Dakshin Surma upazila Tuesday night.
The second convocation of Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (Cuet) will be held today.
A number of joint district judges and equivalent officials have been transferred and given new postings in a latest reshuffle in the lower judiciary.
Civic organisations of Chittagong at a human chain yesterday demanded punishment of the culprits responsible for the Bahaddarhat flyover collapse in the city.
The first death anniversary of Abdur Rouf, a former whip and member of the 1972's constitution draft committee, will be observed in his home town in Nilphamari today.
The 10th death anniversary of valiant freedom fighter Capt Mozammel Hossain will be observed at Hossain Nagar Baitus Mozammel Jame-Mosjid in Savar after Asr prayers today.
Today is the second death anniversary of social worker Renuka Dasgupta.
The coastguard seized a cargo carrying 1100 sacks of fertiliser worth over Tk 12 lakh from Paira River in Patuakhali as it was being sent to Galachipa from Jessore allegedly for sale in the black market on Tuesday.
Rajshahi Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-1 on Monday awarded ten years rigorous imprisonment (RI) to five people in the case for provoking suicide of Serafina Mardi, an indigenous girl of Godagari upazila in Rajshahi.
A schoolboy was killed by his uncle and cousin following an altercation over a trivial matter at Madhupur village in Sujanagar upazila early yesterday.
Raas festival, a traditional religious festival of the Hindus, kicked off at Kantanagar temple in Kaharol upazila of the district on Tuesday night.
The people of Panchagarh will observe different programmes today, marking liberation of the area from the Pakistan occupation forces in 1971.
The hearing on charge-framing against college student Limon Hossain in a case filed by Rab was deferred again yesterday.
Three activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) were injured in an attack by Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) men in Sreepur upazila town on Tuesday. The injured were identified as Chanchal Mahmud, Mohan Raihan and Babul Hossain. Upazila Unit JCD Joint Secretary Shafikur Rahman said the trio sustained injuries in the evening as BCL men attacked a procession brought out by JCD men to protest attack on unit president Bablur Rahman. On Saturday, Babulur was critically injured as BCL men stabbed him indiscriminately.
A shopkeeper allegedly committed suicide in Tikapara area of Sadar upazila early yesterday. The deceased Arif Hossain alias Saddam, 24, was son of Aiub Ali of the area. Jahangir Alam, sub-inspector of Thakurgaon Police Station, said Arif's wife left his house about five months ago over a family feud. On Monday, he along with his mother went to his in-law's house bringing back his wife but she refused to return. Being refused, Arif took his life by hanging himself from the beam of his room. On information, police rushed to the spot, recovered the body and sent it to Thakurgaon Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy, said the SI.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested an alleged criminal along with a pistol and 20 bullets at Kathegera in Nalcity upazila on Tuesday night. On secret information, a team of Rab-8 raided arrested Kalu Gazi from the area where he along with his accomplices was taking preparation to commit crime. However, Kalu's cohorts managed to flee the scene sensing the presence of the elite force, said ZM Masudujjaman, officer in-charge of Nalcity Police Station. Following the arrestee's confessional statement, Rab men recovered the arms and bullets from the house of one Harbon Mir, said the OC.
A court here on Tuesday sentenced a man to life imprisonment for killing his wife five years back. District and Sessions Judge Nazrul Islam pronounced the verdict against Abdul Gaffar, 50, of Vora area in Betagi upazila. According to the prosecution, Gaffar stabbed his wife Minara Begum, 40, dead on June 20, 2007, for not cooking a chicken in time following his order. Later, Minara's daughter Aklima Begum filed a murder case accusing her father with Betagi Police Station. The court handed down the judgment after examining witnesses and evidence.
Police in separate drives arrested three leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh from different areas in the district yesterday morning. The arrestees are Moshiur Rahman, secretary Salmara union Jamaat, Ashraful Islam, organising secretary of Bongram union and Abul Kashem, activist of Ballamjhar union, said police. They were arrested on charge of attacking law enforcers and creating anarchy in the name of agitation.
An underground operative was murdered at Debottar village under Atghoria upazila of the district on Tuesday. The outlaw was identified as Md Abdur Rashid, 45, son of late Abdul Gafur of Shimulchhora village in Ataikula upazila. Police said Rashid was a regional leader of outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) and wanted in three criminal cases. Officer-in-Charge Md Monirul Islam of of Atghoria Police Station said Rashid was stabbed to death and the body was dumped in a pond in Shutirbiil area of the upazila. Locals found the body in the pond yesterday and informed the police who recovered the body and sent it to Pabna Medical College Hospital morgue for autopsy, the OC added.
A court here on Tuesday sentenced a man to one year's rigorous imprisonment for possessing contraband Phensidyl. Judge Nurul Alam M Nepu of the District Special Tribunal-4 pronounced gave the verdict to Kamrul Ahsan, 30, of Pipolita village in Sadar upazila. The court also fined the convict Tk 2,000 and acquitted his wife Kajol Begum of the same case.
Local administration of Lalpur upazila imposed Section 144 as two factions of local BNP unit called their programmes at the same time and venue. Upazila Nirbahi Officer Abdur Rahman said the restriction on holding any programme in Gopalpur municipality will remain in force for 16 hours from 6:00am to 11:00pm on Thursday.
Switzerland, Denmark, Spain and Norway yesterday joined a growing list of European countries that back an upgrade for Palestinians to non-member status at the United Nations, a victory that would be a diplomatic boost to their aspirations for statehood.
Egypt yesterday plunged deeper into its worst political crisis since Islamist President Mohamed Morsi took office, with a top court going on strike to protest his decision to grant himself sweeping powers.
Simultaneous car bombings in a mostly Christian and Druze town near Damascus killed at least 38 people yesterday, as rebels downed a military aircraft for the second successive day.
Facebook has run into a fresh attack from privacy activists after the huge social network modified policies on how it manages users' data.
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra Wednesday easily survived a no-confidence vote orchestrated by her opponents in parliament who accused her of failing to crack down on graft.
A US diplomat hotly tipped to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has admitted releasing incorrect information after September's attack on the American consulate in Libya that killed four Americans , including Ambassador Christopher Stevens..
Although the Nobel Prize-winning physicist's brain was divided into 240 blocks and distributed to researchers after his death in 1955, most of the specimens were lost and little was written about its anatomy.
Pakistan will hold general elections in May, state media quoted a cabinet minister as saying Tuesday, although a spokesman for the presidency said a date had yet to be finalised.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the State Department are being sued for allegedly allowing American aid money meant for the Palestinian Authority to be used by terror groups like Hamas.
The US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan is stepping down, an official said Tuesday, in yet another shake-up of President Barack Obama's foreign policy team.
China is considering changes to its one-child policy, a former family planning official said, with government advisory bodies drafting proposals in the face of a rapidly ageing society in the world's most populous nation.
Pakistan yesterday test fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile with a range of 1,300 kilometres, the military said.
A French court has delayed a decision on whether to drop pimping charges against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn until December 19, prosecutors said yesterday.
Seeking a cooperative relationship with India to build an Asian century, a senior Chinese official yesterday underlined that China will not pursue a policy to obstruct or oppose India's efforts to get a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.
Arts & Entertainment
I take great pride to think I was born in Bengal, in this part of the subcontinent where creativity seems to flourish. There was even a saying: “What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow.”
There was a knowledgeable being that inhabited Waheedul Haque. He was into song, into all those feelings that contribute to the making of aesthetics. Tagore for him was a lifeline, to culture, indeed to politics. He was always humming a tune, on the rickshaw rides we took together on steamy afternoons, at his desk as a breather from the drudgery of writing editorials at a time when there was not much to write about. Tagore for him was a metaphor, for all the celebratory in life. And as a way of explaining away the darkness that enveloped Bengali society, it was Tagore he went back to. Which is when he broke into a soft rendition of ekhono gelo na andhar / ekhono roilo je badha.
Popular singer Ayub Bachchu was admitted to a private hospital in the capital on November 27. He is now in the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) under supervision of a cardiologist of the hospital. Bachchu, the front man of the band LRB, is suffering from lung ailment.
“Pizzasin” -- an animated fiction film scripted and directed by young filmmaker Gaushey Shahariar -- will be part of the upcoming 12th International Short and Independent Film Festival, Dhaka. The film is one of the official selections for the festival, informed the filmmaker.
6 pm till 4:30 am next day
That we are alive is an accident and not the other way round. And nowhere is it more palpably demonstrated regularly than Bangladesh. The two shocking incidents, the girder collapse of an under construction flyover in Chittagong and the Ashulia fire that took the lives of more than 100 people, not only reconfirm the fact that it is because of sheer providence that we get to see the sun rise every morning, these also reveal two aspects most vividly -- one, the authorities' utter disregard for the safety and security of human lives, particularly of the poor workers, and two, the ill effects of blatant partisan consideration in handing out government contracts for public works.
The Nobel Prize remains by no means a measure of true leadership, let alone a measure of a person's integrity or moral standing.
One of the most disposable items in our country is human life. Abroad we read about loss of hundreds of lives from sinking of overloaded motor launches in rivers, from runaway buses driven by half-trained operators that fall into ditches and, as added measures, deaths from fires in factories in premises that never have been inspected for safety. We are used to watching on TV horrific and heart-rending video images of bodies being recovered from sunken vehicles, scorched buildings, and road side ditches.
In the wake of persistent recessionary economic condition in the developed countries, international development organisations (e.g. IMF, United Nations, World Bank and the regional development banks) have been advising the developing countries to restructure their economies. The suggested direction of restructuring is that developing countries should shift growth strategy away from exports in favour of domestic demand. In an earlier paper (DS. July 8, 2010) I argued that Bangladesh had very little option other than to pursue strong export-oriented growth strategy. This article emphasises the importance of investment as the key determinant of export success as well as overall economic growth.
The eighteenth conference of parties (COP18) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) opened on November 26 in Doha, Qatar with over 15,000 participants attending from all over the world.
The treaty, Punctation of Olmütz, is signed in Olomouc. Prussia capitulates to Austrian Empire, which took over the leadership of German Confederation.