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News of: Thursday, 20th of December, 2012
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Declaration of martial law is an act of high treason against the state, says the Supreme Court in its full verdict in the historic case on the seventh amendment to the constitution.
City commuters suffered from gruelling traffic in the pre-hartal evening yesterday as 12 Islamist and likeminded parties are set to enforce a countrywide dawn-to-dusk strike today.
A total of $14.059 billion had been siphoned off from Bangladesh in 10 years since 2001 through trade mis-invoicing, corruption, bribery and tax evasion, said a report of Washington-based Global Financial Integrity (GFI).
Finance Minister AMA Muhith hopes that the foundation stone of the Padma bridge will be laid during the tenure of the present government.
Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir's recent move to become chairman of the proposed Farmers' Bank clearly goes against the country's constitution.
Major global apparel companies continue to put at risk the lives of garment workers in Bangladesh by covering up problems identified in confidential audits and ignoring best fire safety practices, a Washington-based labour rights group said yesterday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the armed forces and civil administration officials, and people to remain alert about the anti-liberation forces' conspiracy against the sovereignty of the nation.
Branding Syed Abul Hossain and Abul Hasan Chowdhury as "thieves," BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said the government spared the duo to protect some other bigwigs from being exposed.
Defence counsels for former Jamaat chief Ghulam Azam yesterday filed a 600-page petition seeking retrial of the crimes against humanity case against their client.
The International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday fixed December 23 for recording closing arguments of the case against expelled Jamaat-e-Islami member Abul Kalam Azad.
Parents who lose children in accidents may be able to clone "copies" to replace them within 50 years, a British scientist who won this year's Nobel prize for medicine has predicted.
To tackle illegal activities along the border with Bangladesh, Indian Border Security Force (BSF) will now use a new type of bomb containing world's hottest chilli powder, instead of explosives, reported BBC yesterday.
Enamul Huq, suspended security commandant of railway's Dhaka division and one of the four who were detained at Pilkhana over the railway-gate scandal, has been sued for concealing his wealth information.
Cambodia's Khmer Rouge war crimes court suffered a new setback yesterday with the resignation of three international lawyers who have complained of political interference.
Foreign Office ministers are to raise serious concerns about human rights abuses in the Maldives after a Guardian investigation revealed close ties between the British and Maldives police.
Democratic Republic of Congo's M23 rebels yesterday demanded Kinshasa sign a formal ceasefire, accusing officials of dragging out peace talks to bolster the army's position on the ground.
President Jalal Talabani, a key figure in Iraqi politics for decades who has sought to bridge political and sectarian divides, was showing "improvement" in hospital yesterday, a doctor said.
Within less than three weeks in this solemn month of December, we have had a hartals galore. Already, we have endured, with great pain and hardship, one road blockade-turned-general strike and three hartals called by BNP and Jamaat, including one by left parties. Another full day's hartal has been called by a combine of Islamic parties for today.
Illicit outflow of money originating from crime, corruption and tax evasion has been causing massive haemorrhage of the economies of the developing world. In the decade between 2001 and 2010, nearly US$ 6 trillion has thus been siphoned off those economies.
Khilgaon Football Academy emerged champions in the Dhaka City Corporation (North & South) Pioneer Football League with a 5-3 win over Matuail Udayan Sangsad in tiebreaker in the final at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
When the players' auction for the second edition of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 begins at 10:30 am at the Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel today, all parties will enter it on a gentleman's agreement, which was also the case during the inaugural edition of the tournament, leading to a lot of disputes.
Kevin Pietersen will be offered a new England contract, says head coach Andy Flower.
India need to put behind the humiliation of losing the Test rubber against England and regroup quickly to take on the confident visitors in the first of the two T20 Internationals on Thursday.
Medal winning members of the Bangladesh Special Olympic squad have been accorded a reception by the National Sports Council at its office yesterday.
The New Zealand Black Caps will be underdogs on their cricket tour of South Africa, with the first Twenty20 International against South Africa scheduled for Durban on Friday.
Dropped all-rounder Shahid Afridi might be reconsidered for Pakistan's one-day international series against India, limited-overs captain Misbahul Haq said on Wednesday. Afridi was picked only for the two Twenty20s against India this month but left out of the three one-dayers because he's scored only 182 runs in his last 16 ODIs with only one half century.
In reply to the reports published in the national media yesterday concerning the amendments made in the Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) constitution, the BCB through a press release stated:
Mohammad Fahad Rahman clinched gold in the U-9 age group of the 8th Asian Schools Chess Championship as he beat Lu Kaiyan of China in the ninth and final round in New Delhi yesterday. Fahad secured 7.5 points from nine games to emerge champion. A total of 57 players from nine countries took part in the U-9 group.
The Walton National Junior Men's and Women's Wrestling Championship begins today at the Hand-ball Stadium in Paltan.
Four matches took place in the First Division Cricket League yesterday. BKSP defeated Partex Sporting Club by four wickets at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium while the Young Pegasus Club beat Uttara Sporting Club by 10 runs in a close encounter at the City Club Ground.
The quarterfinal lineup of men's singles in the Runner Victory Day Open Tennis Tournament was completed yesterday with eight players reaching the last eight at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna yesterday.
Bangladesh Army defeated Bangladesh Police in the opening match of the Victory Day Kabaddi League at the Kabaddi Stadium yesterday. Army won the game with a creditable 'lona.' Bangladesh Jail recorded a slim 23-22 win over Bangladesh Fire Service.
Liverpool forward Suso was fined £10,000 (12,300 euros, $16,219) on Tuesday after labelling team-mate Jose Enrique "gay" on Twitter.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has expressed hope legendary Sachin Tendulkar keeps playing Test cricket for the country despite poor run of form.
Australia captain Michael Clarke is confident he will be fit for the second Test against Sri Lanka and started an intensive physio campaign Wednesday to overcome a hamstring strain.
The South East Bank Victory Day Hockey Competition will begin at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium on Saturday, with six teams taking part.
Pakistan's tour of the West Indies in July 2013 is likely to be split into two parts in order to accommodate the Pakistan Cricket Board's plan of hosting India in August for a series that is yet to be confirmed. Pakistan were due to play two Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20s in the Caribbean in June and July but now they will only play either Tests or limited-overs matches to create a window for India.
Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery was sent off for slapping an opponent just after halftime but that did not stop his side moving into the German Cup quarterfinals with a 2-0 win at Augsburg on Tuesday.
A glamour ceremony to be held in Nyon, Switzerland on Thursday will unveil the much anticipated pairings for the knockout phase of the Champions League, as the 16 remaining teams continue their quest to reach the May 25 final at Wembley.
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo said in an interview published on Wednesday that he would love to win this year's Ballon d'Or but it would not be the end of the world if the prize went elsewhere.
Sao Paulo on Tuesday gave a heroes' welcome to its beloved Corinthians on their return home from their 1-0 weekend victory over European Champions Chelsea in the Club World Cup in Japan.
Mario Balotelli has accepted a fine of two weeks' wages from Manchester City after withdrawing his appeal against disciplinary action taken by the Premier League champions, the club said on Wednesday.
Brazil have slumped five places to an all-time low 18th in the latest FIFA World Cup rankings as they struggle to regroup under new manager Felipe Scolari.
Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has suffered a relapse on the cancer in his saliva glands, Spanish daily El Pais reported on Wednesday citing sources at the club.
The Bangladesh Bank board has strictly advised the governor not to give his consent to any incompetent person for directorship at any state bank.
The telecommunications regulator has set 1 megabits per second (Mbps) as the standard broadband internet speed, a significant improvement from the current 128 kilobyte per second (Kbps) in Bangladesh.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday asked Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics to produce data in a way that is acceptable to all as figures from various sources create confusion.
The government will recognise 35 businesspeople as commercially important persons today for their outstanding performance in the industrial sector.
Economic ties between Bangladesh and India are far below potential, said a World Bank study.
Grameenphone has recently appointed Vivek Sood as its new chief executive officer who will take charge from outgoing CEO Tore Johnsen on January 7.
Garment exporters yesterday expressed concern over frequent strikes and road blockades, saying these programmes seriously affect the economy and the apparel sector.
US photography giant Eastman Kodak said Wednesday it had agreed sell its digital imaging patents for $525 million to help it emerge from bankruptcy protection. Kodak said 12 intellectual property licensees, led by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation, will buy the patents.
The Nitol-Niloy Group yesterday launched its new commercial vehicle, the TATA Super ACE, to facilitate business activities in rural Bangladesh.
Michael Kuehner, chief executive officer of Robi, and Chris Tobit, CEO of Airtel, were elected as chairman and vice-chairman respectively of the Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh for 2013, the AMTOB said in a statement yesterday.
Adcomm Ltd became the only agency from Bangladesh to win a medal at the South Asia Agency of the Year Awards 2012 hosted by the Campaign magazine in Singapore recently, said a statement.
The Dhaka city people suffered throughout yesterday as severe traffic jams had been crippling different routes since morning.
Calling upon judges to be sincere about the judiciary's dignity and interests, Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain yesterday warned that no judicial official involved in tarnishing the judiciary's image would be spared.
Some 50 people, including 10 policemen, were injured yesterday after workers of a Narayanganj garment factory clashed with law enforcers protesting the factory management's alleged act of locking them in during a fire on Monday.
The government has introduced digital land registration system to reduce people's sufferings.
Police cannot competently tackle cyber criminals like professional hackers as the force lacks knowledge in cutting-edge technologies, Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir said yesterday.
It was a terrible time--her motherland was attacked and thousands of women were facing extreme tortures. So the 19-year-old girl rose against the Pakistani army and went to the battlefield vowing to protect her motherland as well as herself.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has ordered its investigating team to arrest four Bangladeshis who have been sued along with three Canadian nationals for their alleged roles in a graft conspiracy in the Padma bridge project.
Dense fog and clouds enveloped the country, especially the northern region, yesterday, disrupting road and river communications and causing suffering to passengers.
A combined effort by the government, NGOs, and civil society organisations is needed to improve the nutrition status of the country's people, said Health Minister AFM Ruhal Haque yesterday.
Saifuzzaman Chowdhury Javed, son of recently deceased Awami League lawmaker Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu, has won the AL nomination for the Chittagong-12 (Anwara-Paschim Patiya) by-election slated for January 17.
The country's economic development can be intensified through exporting skilled manpower if the cost of migration is reasonable, said speakers at a discussion yesterday.
President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday praised the members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) for their role in protecting border areas of the country with utmost sincerity.
Dhaka Urban Comprehensive Eye Care Project (DUCECP) yesterday emphasised active coordination among stakeholders of eye care services.
The decomposed body of an eight-year-old boy, strangled by kidnappers after the boy's father failed to provide the ransom, was found inside a sack floating in Meghna river under Hizla upazila of Barisal yesterday, said police.
The government will send the project concept paper (PCP) to Saarc Information Centre (SIC) for establishing a permanent Saarc news agency.
India will never give support to the anti-liberation forces in Bangladesh, said acting Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Sandeep Chakravorty yesterday.
Two trust funds -- Mustafizur Rahman Khan-Saleha Khanam Memorial Fund and Prof Mahfuza Khanam-Barrister Shafiq Ahmed Trust Fund -- have been set up at Dhaka University (DU).
The Dhaka University Teachers Association (Duta) elections for the year 2012-2013 will be held on December 31 at DU Teachers' Club.
Five people were killed and five others injured in road accidents in Natore, Chittagong, Gaibandha and Narail yesterday.
Speaker Abdul Hamid yesterday said it is possible to construct one Padma Bridge every year with the money that goes down the drain because of corruption in the country.
Police recovered two bodies, including that of a new born baby, in separate incidents at Kapasia upazila of Gazipur yesterday.
Some firearms and ammunition were found in an abandoned condition at a betel leaves plantation at Kalamarchara village in Maheshkhali upazila of Cox's Bazar yesterday.
Police picked up three activists of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir from the capital's Banani yesterday.
Demanding release of Abu Sufian, senior vice-president of BNP Chittagong city unit, and withdrawal of all cases against the party's 64 leaders, BNP yesterday submitted a memorandum to CMP commissioner.
Selima Afroz Chowdhury, wife of noted journalist and litterateur Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, died at the University College Hospital in London on Tuesday night after a prolonged illness. She was 71.
Harunur Rashid, freedom fighter, former treasurer and organising secretary of Bangladesh Chhatra Union, died of cancer yesterday. He was 62.
The voters of newly formed Rangpur City Corporation (RCC) will today exercise their right to franchise to choose a mayor and 44 councillors in its maiden election today.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to visit Jessore today.
A government official was beaten up allegedly by the upazila vice chairman and her husband in Muladi over distribution of test relief (TR) on Tuesday.
This year's Victory Day has also passed off but the names of two razakers (collaborators of Pakistani occupation forces) and a few fake freedom fighters still remain engraved on the victory memorial plaque in the district town.
Sixty leaders and activists of the local Jubo Dal have been sued on charge of attacking a Bangladesh Chhatra League leader and exploding bombs during the December 13 hartal called by the 18-party opposition alliance.
Two workers were killed as a boiler went off at a rice mill in Ishwardi upazila yesterday morning. The deceased are Md Sajedul Islam, 30, of Shibnagar village in Natore, and Md Saidul Mondol, 32, of Char Mirkamari village in the upazila. Md Abdul Hai, officer in-charge of Ishwardi police station, said the boiler exploded with a big bang when Sajedul and Saidul were boiling paddy at the mill at Boroichora village around 10:00am. Sajedul and Saidul died on the spot, the OC said.
Launch services on Dhaka-Patuakhali route resumed yesterday after six days of strike. Owners of double decker launches withdrew their strike at noon after 'fruitful' talks with local political leaders and administration. Md Mahbub Uddin, chairman of BIWTA said, local political leaders including lawmaker, administrator of district council, municipality mayor and administration on Tuesday night assured the aggrieved parties of lawful action against the extortionists as soon as possible. In case of no action in time we will go for tougher programmes, he added. The double decker launches on the route went on strike on Thursday after a few ruling party men assaulted a launch supervisor at Patuakhali launch terminal for refusing to pay illegal toll.
A local leader of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) was arrested at Chormara Dighirpar in the town on Tuesday evening. Police raided the area and arrested Marufuzzaman Kanchan, vice president of district unit JCD. Police said he was arrested in connection with a case filed for a clash at Government MM College on November 27. Two groups of JCD activists blasted bombs and also fired shots during the clash. Mehedi Hasan, district unit JCD president, later filed a case with Kotwali Model PS against eight people, including Kanchan.
Riot police fired water cannon yesterday at a protest in New Delhi over the gang-rape of a 23-year-old student who was left fighting for her life as anger against the brutal attack grew across India.
South Korea elected its first female president yesterday, handing a slim but historic victory to conservative ruling party candidate Park Geun-Hye, daughter of the country's former military ruler.
Israel's plans for new settler homes are accelerating Palestinian moves to appeal to the Hague court over Jewish settlement policy, a senior official told AFP yesterday.
Time magazine yesterday named the recently re-elected US President Barack Obama as its person of the year for 2012 -- the second time it has accorded him this honor.
A long-awaited inquiry into a deadly militant attack on the US mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi late Tuesday slammed State Department security arrangements there as "grossly inadequate."
An 11-year-old boy has been charged with possessing a deadly weapon after bringing a gun to school, claiming he was worried about a massacre like Connecticut's, a schools' spokesman said Tuesday.
President Barack Obama yesterday appointed Vice President Joe Biden to lead a government panel tasked with formulating a response to gun violence after last week's school massacre.
Gunmen in Pakistan mounted fresh attacks yesterday on health workers carrying out polio vaccinations, taking the death toll to nine and prompting Unicef and Who to suspend work on a campaign opposed by the Taliban.
As mountaintops go, this one is for meditating. And the odd UFO sighting. But now it is closing for a few days to avert a mass suicide by folks girding for the world's end.
Natural and man-made disasters around the world this year, including Superstorm Sandy, will cost at least $140 billion (106 billion euros), according to a study published by Swiss insurance group Swiss Re yesterday.
Eleven prisoners and six guards were killed Tuesday in armed clashes at a prison in northern Mexico that erupted when inmates attempted a jailbreak, state security officials said.
Four Afghan policemen were shot dead and three wounded after being poisoned by a colleague in southern Afghanistan yesterday, officials said.
Nepalese officials yesterday said lovesick elephant which has trampled several people to death was captured a month ago -- but set free to kill again.
Well armed pirates who stormed and ransacked an oil tanker off Nigeria have kidnapped five Indian crew members, said a statement Wednesday from the operators of the ship.
Britain will slash its military force in Afghanistan next year, withdrawing nearly 4,000 troops as local security forces become increasingly capable, Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday.
Arts & Entertainment
Forty one years have passed since our heroes freed the country from the Pakistani oppressors, but how many of us know about the Freedom Fighters? We now celebrate Independence Day, Victory Day without having any clear idea about the life sketches and sentiments of those people who toiled to bring about Sonar Bangla. Many of those sacrificed their lives in the hope of a new country, but their feelings and experiences at the battlefields remained unknown to us.
As part of its ongoing annual programme, Chhayanaut is holding a two-day classical music festival (both vocal and instrumental) at its main auditorium. Starting on December 20 evening, the festival comprises three sessions --first from 6pm to 11pm on the opening day; second from 9am to 1pm on December 21 and starting from 7pm on the concluding day, the third and final session will continue at a stretch and come to an end on Saturday morning (December 22).
Marking the Victory Day celebrations, Alokchitra Shilpi Sangsad (Ashis), Mymensingh organised a photography exhibition at Boishakhi Mancha of Shaheb Quarter Park area on December 16.
On Victory Day, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) organised a cultural programme and discussion. The cultural programme featured a musical soiree and dance performance. Artistes from the different socio-cultural organisations from different parts of the country performed at the National Theatre Hall of BSA.
An episode of ATN Bangla's documentary series 'Environmental Development and Poverty Reduction' was awarded the silver medal at the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) Award 2012, says a press release. Zillur Rahman - Manager (Program) of ATN Bangla, received the award in the category of 'The United Nations Foundation Prize for Coverage, in any Medium, of the Humanitarian & Development Aspect of the UN'. This was the only award in this year's competition that came to Asia.
Veteran filmmaker Martin Scorsese is to make a documentary about Bill Clinton, he said Monday, describing the former US president as "a towering figure" on the world stage.
The risk of coming out with conspiracy theories consistently and attributing anything that happens to you to devious schemes is that you are likely to be taken as a part of that conspiracy. And that is what the ruling party has come to be thought of by many. With the government trying to make us believe in its postulation of conspiracy everywhere, its inability to go to the roots of those and exposing the "conspirators" is being taken as its unwillingness to do so, it being a part of so-called conspiracy, they think.
The handover of China's leadership to president-in-waiting Xi Jinping has raised the prospects of a more reformist-oriented regime in China.
A report by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), titled "Parliament Watch," has been creating a great deal of commotion both in and outside the Parliament. Our Hon'ble Prime Minister has discovered a conspiracy behind the report to destroy democracy and transfer power to unelected persons. The Speaker has found it contemptuous. The information and civil aviation ministers have rejected the report. Some senior parliamentarians have not only rejected it, but have also recommended convening the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Privileges and summoning TIB before it. Some lawmakers have even proposed to stop TIB from operating.
Dr. Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Senior Research Fellow CPD, talks with A.B.M. Shamsuddoja of The Daily Star about the current state of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and prospects for the future.
There were three major happenings in Hong Kong last night for people interested in literature. Two kilometres south-west of where I stood, the current holder of the Man Booker Prize, the pre-eminent literary award was having dinner. I am fascinated by John Banville's writing, but I declined the invitation.
Peninsular War: The Siege of Zaragoza begins.