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News of: Tuesday, 4th of December, 2012
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Former communications minister Syed Abul Hossain yesterday said he had no complicity even if corruption allegations in the Padma bridge project were true.
Obstructed to hold rallies, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday called a countrywide hartal for today in a desperate bid to fight the government on the street.
Three trade unions yesterday demanded that US retailer Walmart compensate the families of those who were killed or injured in a deadly fire at Tazreen Fashions Ltd in Ashulia on November 24.
The BNP-led opposition parties' boycott of ongoing electoral talks has finally had the Election Commission bear the brunt of the confrontational culture in politics.
A Biman flight has become the first victim of the nine-hour shutdown period of Shahjalal International Airport's runway, resulting in delay for over 19 hours and causing immense suffering to 314 Jeddah-bound passengers.
Ranjana Akter Sathi knew there was a glass window which was not encased in an iron frame. It was near the sample room on the third floor of the burnt-out Tazreen Fashions Ltd.
Myanmar should recognise its ethnic minority Rohingyas as citizens, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos has said.
Awami Bastuhara League and Hotel Sramik League have grabbed a large part of Cox's Bazar Jele Park using the names of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged people to build up resistance to destructive activities of BNP, Jamaat, Shibir and other anti-liberation forces in this month of victory.
Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent examinations for 2013 will begin across the country on February 3.
An activist of pro-Jamaat student organisation Islami Chhatra Shibir, who sustained injuries in a clash with police in Chirirbandar of Dinajpur, died last night.
Two more eyewitnesses yesterday testified that Abul Kalam Azad alias Bachchu Razakar had killed their neighbour Madhab Chandra Biswas in Faridpur during the Liberation War.
Israel has said it will not backtrack on a settlement expansion plan after Britain, France and three other European governments summoned the Israeli ambassadors to London and Paris in protest at the authorisation of 3,000 new homes in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem.
The amount of heat-trapping pollution the world spewed rose again last year by 3 percent.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday backed a bid by US energy giant Westinghouse to build two new units at the Czech Temelin nuclear plant worth at least $10 billion (7.67 billion euros).
The leader of a landless peasant movement in Paraguay involved in a land dispute with a powerful politician has been shot dead.
One thing that came out clearly in roundtables organised by The Daily Star and several NGOs dealing with the disabled in Bangladesh, over the last fortnight, is the huge potential that the so-called handicapped people have in contributing towards national development. The caveat is that the government, and indeed the society, has not completely internalised the situation to allow the physically challenged to exploit that potential. We are still waiting for the proposed disability act to see the light of the day.
With Japan's approval of a $2.1 billion soft loan for Bangladesh's first metro rail system, the country's second largest infrastructure project after Padma Bridge appears to be on the anvil.
A happy Tigers returned to Dhaka yesterday after stupendous ODI success in Khulna, where they won both one-day matches against visiting West Indies by huge margins; a result not thought even in dreams before the start of the five-match series though they boast a record of winning a series against New Zealand 4-0 previously.
The spectacular and comprehensive manner of West Indies' defeats in the first two ODIs in Khulna have completely turned expectations surrounding the five-ODI series on its head. Sporting memory is short -- you are only as good as your last performance -- and so now the tourists occupy the space that the home side inhabited before the series. With the memory of Khulna fresh in mind, it is now hard to imagine how West Indies will get around to beating Bangladesh -- the overwhelmingly favourite result before the series.
Ricky Ponting put on a brave face after he was denied a fairytale ending when dismissed for eight in his final Test innings Monday, bringing the curtain down on a glittering 17-year career.
Bangladesh U-23 National Football Team made a frustrating start to the HE Mahinda Rajapakshe International Tournament, suffering a 1-0 defeat against Pakistan in one of two matches on the opening day at the Jayathailaka Stadium in Kandy yesterday.
Tickets for the third one-day international between Bangladesh and West Indies have been sold out on the very first day after those were put on sale yesterday.
Bangladesh fast bowler Abul Hasan, who suffered a side strain during the second one-day international in Khulna on Sunday, has been ruled out of the remaining matches of the series against West Indies due to the injury.
Dhaka Metro became the first team to win a match in the sixth round of the National Cricket League yesterday as they romped past Rangpur by nine wickets at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra. The match witnessed an aggressive century by Shamsur Rahman as Metro chased down the target with more than a day to spare.
South Africa thrashed Australia by 309 runs in the third Test on Monday to hold on to their number one Test ranking and ruin an emotional farewell for veteran batsman Ricky Ponting.
England fast bowler Steven Finn, who missed the first two Test matches against India due to thigh injury, declared himself available for the third Test beginning here on Wednesday.
Boarder Guard of Bangladesh (BGB) and Bangladesh Police moved into the final of the Exim Bank 22nd National Men's Handball Championship beating their respective rivals in the semifinals at the Shaheed (captain) M Mansur Ali National Handball Stadium yesterday.
Badda Jagarani Sangsad posted a single-goal win over Dhaka Wanderers Club in the Popular Life Insurance Senior Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium yesterday. Rubel Mia struck the all-important goal one minute from time.
Jose Mourinho refused to add to the media speculation surrounding his future as Real Madrid coach on Monday, but failed to nip it in the bud when questioned in the run up to the Champions League visit of Ajax.
Contrasting wins for Napoli and Inter Milan kept them hard on the heels of leaders Juventus in Serie A on Sunday but Fiorentina lost ground after being held at home by improving Sampdoria.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insisted he still harbours aspirations of knocking rivals Schalke off their perch atop Group B as the final round of Champions League group stage fixtures takes place this week.
Joel Campbell showed what Arsenal are missing this season with his sweetly struck shot giving Real Betis a 3-2 win over Deportivo La Coruna in La Liga on Sunday.
Bayern Munich central defender Holger Badstuber will undergo surgery on Monday after suffering a torn cruciate ligament in his right knee that will rule him out for five months, the Bundesliga leaders said on Sunday.
Norwich City extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to eight games with a gritty 2-1 home victory over struggling Sunderland at Carrow Road on Sunday.
FIFA has suspended a South Korean player for two international matches over a post-match political gesture at the London Olympics, the South's football body said Monday.
Insurance companies are concerned over the growing number of accidents in apparel factories as the insurers' compensation for their clients in the garment sector has been on the rise over the years.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday hinted at increasing petroleum prices but did not say when.
Top business leaders and government officials both from New Delhi and Dhaka yesterday called for more investment in Bangladesh from India and buying more goods and products from the country to narrow the trade gap.
Bangladesh received nearly $1.1 billion in remittances in November, almost 21 percent higher than that in the same month a year ago, despite the financial crisis in major economies across the world. Bangladesh received more than $6.1 billion in remittance in the first five months of the current fiscal year.
Most garment factories in the port city have at least a few sets of fire fighting equipment but the workers do not know how to operate the extinguishers, officials of Fire Service and Civil Defence found yesterday.
Air India yesterday introduced a daily Dhaka-Delhi flight.
About 500 experts including economists, business leaders, policymakers, civil society members, diplomats and brand consultants from home and abroad will gather in Dhaka tomorrow to help Bangladesh present itself on the global stage.
The government will organise a three-day exposition to boost the country's information communication and technology sector.
Danish Minister for Trade and Investment Pia Olsen Dyhr is due in Dhaka today for a two-day visit with a business delegation of Denmark's 12 leading companies from clean-tech, energy and water and life science sectors.
Shah A Sarwar has joined IFIC Bank Ltd as its managing director, the bank said in a statement yesterday.
Bangladesh has failed to grab the required foreign investments due to an absence of business transparency, lack of knowledge about local business laws and skill deficit of bureaucrats, experts said yesterday.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) will disburse compensation today to the relatives of the workers killed in a fire at Tazreen Fashions.
A sense of deja vu gripped Washington Monday as Democrats and Republicans locked in who-blinks-first brinkmanship over taxes and spending, with pundits warning of economic chaos unless a deal is struck.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) yesterday said it has no concern about transparency in the funding of $2.1 billion it will provide for the $2.7-billion metro rail project.
The cabinet yesterday approved in principle amendments to the Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) ordinance, allowing the state-run company to change the face value of shares from Tk 100 to Tk 10.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government will soon enact a law to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities in the country and provide them with adequate facilities for their safety.
A man convicted for drug trading last month has been released from detention through forgery of the verdict documents.
Brac has decided to provide full financial and legal support to the family of Dr Sajia Arfin Eva, a part-time physician of its Dakshin Khan clinic in the capital, who was murdered during duty hours on Friday.
Various individuals and an organisation have expressed interest to support the hapless victims of the Tazreen Fashions fire incident with medical and education expenses following news reports by The Daily Star.
Former Bangladesh under-19 team wicketkeeper Kuntal Chandra Pappon was found dead by the Uttara-Ashulia road in Daur area yesterday.
The European Union (EU) has given a US$ 3.5 million (around Tk 28 crore) grant to Bangladesh through Unicef for improving the country's primary education sector.
The government will unearth the truth behind the fire, which killed Ganotantri Party president Nurul Islam and his only son at their house in 2008, Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir said yesterday.
Saarc does not have a comprehensive programme to address human rights, so there is an urgent need to formulate a regional human rights mechanism for South Asia, said speakers at a two-day workshop yesterday.
Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad yesterday regretted an election commissioner's misbehaviour with journalists and assured that such incidents would not recur.
The prevailing deadlock concerning removal of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) vice chancellor continued on the campus as Rajshahi city mayor's efforts yesterday to end the feud were ineffective.
A Dhaka court yesterday rejected a prayer for a one-day remand of the daily Amar Desh's four journalists and an employee in a case of assault on police.
A Dhaka court yesterday summoned five police officials to appear in person before it on December 6 and explain why they produced a senior assistant judge before the media without taking permission from a magistrate.
Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Assistant Secretary General Mujibur Rahman was yesterday sued for "threatening to kill" Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will provide Tk 2 lakh to the family of each victim killed in a garment factory fire in Ashulia and a flyover collapse in Chittagong on November 24.
A man was killed and at least 30 people were injured in a clash between two rival groups over land dispute at Charmahuadanga village in sadar upazila of Jamalpur yesterday.
Two dockyard workers sustained critical burn injuries in a gas cylinder explosion at Boalkhali upazila in Chittagong yesterday.
The ruling Awami League (AL)-led 14-party grand alliance sits today to discuss the country's latest socio-economic and political
Admission forms for class V, VI and VIII of Chittagong government schools for the 2013 academic year will go on sale from today.
Bangladesh Police Academy will celebrate its centenary with a three-day programme on its Sardah premises from December 6.
Immigration police arrested 11 youths at Shahjalal International Airport while they were trying to fly to Thailand with fake visas Sunday night.
Khondokar Abu Hossain, a freedom fighter and deputy commander of Muktijoddha Sangsad Sreepur upazila unit, passed away due to a cardiac arrest at his Tupipara village home in Sreepur upazila of Magura district at 11:00pm on Sunday. He was 63.
Renu Kona Das, mother of late journalist Mainul Hasan of Barisal, died of old age complications at her residence on Kabi Jibananada Das Road in Barisal city yesterday. She was 85.
Principal Hossen Ali, a freedom fighter, founder principal of Kahaloo Degree College, and adviser to Bogra district Awami League, died of a cardiac arrest at his Panai village residence in Kahaloo upazila of Bogra on Saturday night. He was 68.
A section of local influential people, allegedly with the connivance of forest officials, are grabbing the land of reserve forest at Gongamoti near Kuakata and converting it into agricultural plots.
A housewife, severely burnt allegedly by her husband and in-laws for dowry at Karimganj village in Raipura upazila on Sunday, is fighting for life at a hospital in capital Dhaka.
Diarrhoea has continued to spread in the town and other areas of the district.
On December 3 in 1971, the valiant freedom fighters freed the district town from the Pakistani occupation forces.
About 1,000 prisoners at the district jail are deprived of minimum treatment as the lone post of physician at the prison has been lying vacant for the last 14 years.
The agitating teachers of Islamic University (IU) besieged the administrative building yesterday demanding removal of the vice chancellor, pro-vice chancellor and treasurer for their alleged involvement in irregularities in the recruitment of 132 teachers and officials on September 7.
Fighting for life for about three weeks, acid victim Farzana Akhter finally died at a private hospital in the capital city Dhaka yesterday.
A schoolgirl and a youth allegedly committed suicide after parents turned down their love affairs in Biral upazila early yesterday.
A local leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) was killed and five activists were injured in a factional clash at Burichang upazila headquarters yesterday.
Police in a drive recovered five bombs from beside a canal at Dakhalpara village in Harinakundu upazila yesterday.
A four-year-old boy was electrocuted at Komolpur village in Monirampur upazila of the district on Sunday evening.
A man surrendered to police after killing his wife in Kalai upazila of Joypurhat district early yesterday.
A minor boy was allegedly strangled by his stepmother at Laharkandi village in Sadar upazila on Friday night.
Members of Indian Border Security Force (BSF) picked up two cattle traders and injured one of their associates by hurling bombs at Kushumpur border point of the district Sunday night. Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB) sources said three cattle traders-- Monirul Islam, Belal, 24, son of Rafi Uddin, and Amol, 25, son of Bhandu Biswas-- all hailing from Loraighata village in Moheshpur upazila, entered the Indian territory for buying cattle by crossing Kushumpur border at about 8.00am. BSF members of Fatepur camp chased them and threw hand bombs at them, leaving Monirul injured. They picked up Belal and Amol while Monirul managed to flee.
A mobile court here on Sunday sentenced a young man to two months' imprisonment for sexually harassing a college girl in Saturia upazila of the district. Executive magistrate and upazila Nirbahi Officer Shahin Akhter, who led the mobile court, handed down the punishment to Anwar Hossain, 18, son of Badar Uddin, resident of Hargaj Noyapara village under the upazila. Police said, Anwar had been harassing the girl, a student of Kalushah Degree College, for long on her way to the college. On Saturday, the victim's mother lodged a complaint with the local police station in this connection. Police arrested Anwar from his house the next day and handed him over to the mobile court.
Police recovered the body of an unidentified woman at Talimganj village in Mithapukur upazila yesterday morning. Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal, officer in-charge (OC) of Mithapukur police station said locals saw the body at a paddy field at Talimganj village and informed the police. Kamal said criminals killed her by slitting throat on Sunday night somewhere else and later dumped the body at the paddy field.
A mobile court in Adamdhigi upazila of the district yesterday sentenced two people to three months rigorous jail for being addicts and keeping drugs. The convicts are Shankor, 33, son of Jitendra Nath of Noagaon and Bhulu Mia, 28, son of Akkash Ali of Sataharpara of the upazila. Police said that they were arrested with drugs on Sunday night.
Judges in Egypt yesterday refused to oversee a vote on the country's new draft constitution, to be held in two weeks.
Cameron's government is divided on the future of the press after the Liberal Democrats, the junior partners in his Conservative-led coalition, said they would join forces with the opposition Labour party and support a new law.
News Corp announced a new head of its troubled British newspaper arm yesterday and said it was ending publication of its iPad app, The Daily.
The Maldives said yesterday it would ignore a court ruling staying its decision to kick out Indian infrastructure group GMR, risking a deeper a row with New Delhi, which has threatened to cut off annual aid worth $25 million.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday issued a "strong warning" to the regime of Bashar al-Assad over the potential use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people.
China yesterday branded a US-Japan security treaty "a product of the Cold War" after Washington reaffirmed its commitment to Japan in its territorial dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands, known in Chinese as the Diaoyus.
Viewing the rapid modernisation of Chinese Navy as a "major concern", navy chief Admiral D K Joshi yesterday made it clear that India will protect its interests in the disputed South China Sea, even if it means sending forces there.
Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo told National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon here yesterday that China was looking to forge stronger ties with its neighbours following the leadership transition.
A strong typhoon was heading towards southern Philippines yesterday hundreds of people were evacuated coastal areas in the storm's path.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich yesterday accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his government and told the cabinet to stay on in an interim capacity, according to a decree published on the presidential website.
A mortar shell left from the Vietnam War has exploded in a southern village, killing four children and seriously injuring five other people.
Democratic Republic of Congo troops entered the eastern mining hub of Goma Monday, two days after rebel M23 fighters ended an almost fortnight-long occupation in line with a regionally brokered deal.
The Maldivian parliament yesterday voted to hold a secret vote on a no-confidence motion against President Mohamed Waheed in a move that threatens the leader who took charge during turmoil less than a year ago.
Ten Christians had their throats slit and militants killed two police officers during attacks on churches and border posts in a fresh wave of violence in northern Nigeria, officials reported Sunday.
A UN agency is trying to calm fears that the internet could be damaged by a conference it is hosting.
Arts & Entertainment
The four nightlong 'Bengal ITC SRA Classical Music Festival 2012' wrapped up on a high note on December 2. The festival, aiming to promote, practise and disseminate the essence of classical music to every nook and corner of Bangladesh, was held at Bangladesh Army Stadium in Dhaka. Arranged by Bengal Foundation and ITC Sangeet Research Academy (SRA), the festival had Prothom Alo as the strategic partner and The Daily Star as partner. Maasranga Television was the broadcast partner of the festival.
Dhaka Theatre brings a new play featuring female protagonists who put up a happy façade despite experiencing unbearable agony.
As part of the 15th Asian Art Biennale 2012, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) organised a two-day (December 2 and 3) seminar titled, “Cultural Crosspollination and Regional Perspectives”. The event was held at the Seminar Room of National Art Gallery, BSA.
Late writer-director Humayun Ahmed's last film “Ghetuputro Komola” and Mostofa Sarwar Farooki -directed “Television” have been nominated for awards in three categories at the 55th Asia-Pacific International Film Festival in Macau, to be held from December 14.
A cultural team from Meghalaya, India entertained hundreds gathered at Askipara in Haluaghat, a frontier upazila of Mymensingh, to commemorate the 'Wanna' (harvest) festival, one of the biggest celebrations of the Garo community in Mymensingh.
The stage was set and the singer was tuning her voice with the mrindagam, the violin and other instruments used for the Bharatanatyam pieces to be performed shortly. Bangladesh Army Stadium was full of lovers of the classical performing arts, swarming around looking for a good place to sit and witness the beauty that was about to embrace them.
On paper, there is no lack of regulations or codes when it comes to the readymade garments (RMG) sector. One columnist highlighted the situation in a national daily recently: As per Bangladesh Gazette 29/5/2008, exit access, exit, and an exit discharge fall under the compulsory requirement for a factory unit. No factory can have less than 1.1 meter wide exit if it has less than 50 workers; no factory can be exempted from the basic requirement of three exits if it has more than a thousand workers; no factory can escape the rule of law, which clearly states that there has to be at least one fire extinguisher per every 5,500 square feet with 25% of the workers having full operational knowledge of fire fighting, rescue and coordination. The stairs have to be at least 55 inches wide and at least 78 inches in height. There have to be gas and powder-type extinguishers on the floor along with 30 refill masks, blankets, fire hoses, fire beaters, lock cutters, stretchers, ropes, etc.
Within a week of President Obama's re-election, the Middle East has erupted in deadly violence. It began on November 14 when Israel killed Ahmed Al-Jaabari, the head of Hamas military wing, in a targeted air strike in Gaza.
Bangladesh has joined the Global 16 Days Campaign on ending violence against women. The theme of this year's campaign, which runs from November 25 to December 10, is "Safe home, safe society: Stop violence against women now."
The World Bank, referring to its earlier complaints on corruption in the implementation process of Padma Bridge, withdrew its funding proposal on June 30, 2012. It accused some senior government officials, the consultant SNC Lavalin and some non-government officials of corruption, for which they sent letters to the Finance Ministry and Anti Corruption Commission in September 2011 and April 2012. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, on July 8, criticised the World Bank in the Parliament and demanded its audit, and raised the possibility of building Padma Bridge on local initiative. We appreciate PM's comments in the Parliament, but also say that transparency is needed at every step of this project.
Where are we now, sonar Bangladesh? The scale of extreme poverty in Bangladesh is deplorable. 25 million citizens of Bangladesh -- girls, boys, men, women, of flesh and blood and dreams, just like you and me -- suffer daily. They are left to survive without access to services such as health care, education, safe drinking water or sanitary facilities, because they cannot afford to buy these services. They have no skills or assets with which to earn sufficient money in an economic system which makes no room for them. They cannot eat the minimum required calories to be healthy, and their children are stunted. Unable to afford land, they are pushed to the furthest corners of our country, where they face the hazard of cyclones and floods which threaten to wash away their homes and family members. Among them are mostly hapless girls and overburdened women, forced into subhuman conditions, denied a basic right to life, by us.
First Crusade: The Crusaders sack Sidon.
Science & Life
In the early 17th century, the great Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) had to face the wrath of the Catholic Church for his endorsement of Copernicus' heliocentric model of the cosmos. The church believed that the model was contrary to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures and branded it as heresy. It hit at the very core of the church's belief in the geocentric cosmos of Aristotle.
On the flight to Melbourne, Australia, I close my eyes and reflect on the day. What a day! July 4, 2012 will be a day to remember: another one like this may not come in my career. Essentially, we have announced the discovery of the Higgs boson today. I think back on the scene.
Though a parrot might not understand any words it's saying toward you, there's a good chance its aim is to address you individually, new research suggests.
An excited comment by a NASA scientist set off a bout of feverish online speculation last week about what new discoveries might be coming from the surface of Mars.
Scientists have discovered for the first time how humans -- and other mammals -- have evolved to have intelligence.
Spin waves are propagating disturbances in the ordering of magnetic materials. These low-lying collective excitations occur in magnetic lattices with continuous symmetry. From the equivalent quasiparticle point of view, spin waves are known as magnons, which are boson modes of the spin lattice that correspond roughly to the phonon excitations of the nuclear lattice. As temperature is increased, the thermal excitation of spin waves reduces aferromagnet's spontaneous magnetization.