News of: Sunday, 23rd of December, 2012
Bangladesh and Thailand yesterday agreed to strengthen mutual cooperation in some specific areas aiming to double bilateral trade by 2016.
Hardcore criminal Bikash Kumar Biswas, whose sudden and secret release from jail triggered huge controversy, has been facilitated with safe passage to India, said sources in police and the ruling party.
As many as 340 Biman passengers, scheduled to fly today from London to Dhaka, are facing a delay of about 24 hours because their flight has a seat reserved for President Zillur Rahman and he is unable to make it before tomorrow.
Dhaka and Bangkok yesterday penned two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) to expand bilateral relations on agriculture and promote consultation to strengthen friendly relations between the two countries.
Senior lawyers and civil society personalities yesterday urged the ruling and opposition parties to work out a way to hold the next parliamentary polls through dialogue and protect the country from chaos and confrontation.
A moderate earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale jolted parts of the country including the capital last night.
A CNG-run auto-rickshaw driver, Jalil waited exactly an hour at the Farmgate Police Box intersection yesterday before the traffic signal went green and he could drive towards Khilgaon.
Ruling Awami League-led 14-party leaders yesterday vowed to complete the ongoing war crimes trial in the face of whatever conspiracies the BNP and the Jamaat-e-Islami hatch against it at home and abroad.
Bangladesh is among a number of emerging countries that could overtake the west by 2050, as they are growing fast, according to The Guardian newspaper.
Had the two top leaders -- Hasina and Khaleda -- respected each other, politicians would not have the chance to taint one another, said BNP spokesperson and standing committee member Tariqul Islam yesterday.
Poor visibility disrupted air, road, rail and waterways communications across the country while a mild cold spell was sweeping over north-western districts since Friday night, causing sufferings to thousands.
Who is going to be the next general secretary of the ruling Awami League?
Energy Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury yesterday hinted that the government might raise fuel prices any time to cut down on losses for selling fuel at subsidised rates.
At least 10 panic-stricken workers were injured in separate incidents of stampede yesterday, when fire broke out in two garment factories at the capital's Uttara and Nischintapur in Ashulia.
Egyptians voted yesterday on a constitution drafted by Islamists in a second round of balloting expected to approve a charter that opponents say will create deeper turmoil in the Arab world's most populous nation.
Gangnam Style has become the first video to clock up more than one billion views on YouTube.
Nepal's senior army officers have been ordered to ditch their cars at least once a week when coming to office - to reduce air pollution and traffic jams.
A fire broke out in a factory in eastern Saudi Arabia yesterday killing six workers, a spokesman for the Jubail industrial zone said, updating an earlier death toll of five.
Unknown gunmen killed 11 people as they prepared to illegally leave Pakistan in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, officials said yesterday.
The recent release of infamous criminal Bikash from Kashimpur Jail has raised serious public concerns. The manner of his setting free, reportedly, under special protection in presence of some senior police officials, further adds to the deep misgivings.
Bangladesh Railway has been trudging along for a good number of years without any purposeful measures being taken to make it go faster. And now that it has run into problems over its move to purchase 70 metre gauge diesel-electric locomotives, owing specifically to arguments by various firms that the locomotives are outdated and also that the tender for the purchase of the locomotives favours a single company, in this instance a Korean firm, there are fresh causes for worry.
Mohammedan Sporting Club joined league leaders Abahani and Sheikh Jamal DC when they handed a 1-0 defeat to struggling Arambagh KS in their Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. Ghanaian forward Osei Morrison's 16th minute header, his sixth in the league, decided the match in favour of the Black and Whites and took them to 10 points from 5 matches.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) agreed that the Tigers will embark on a short two-match tour of Pakistan next month.
A two-party agreement between the Bangladesh Premier League's (BPL) governing council and five out of the seven franchisees of the league was signed at the Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) headquarters in Mirpur yesterday.
Cricket broadcasting is famous for its gizmos and tricks but the latest innovation to the Test summer, which would be rolled out at next week's Boxing Day Test at the MCG is a virtual Matrix-inspired 3D replay that will be part of Channel Nine's latest broadcasting gimmick for Australia's second Test against Sri Lanka.
The Shaheed Miraz-Tapan Stadium in Manikganj witnessed 200 intellectually-challenged children fight it out in an eventful competition organised by the Society for the Welfare of the Intellectually Disabled, Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh District and Divisional Sports Organizers Council (BDDSOC) has demanded election of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) within one month.
South East Bank Victory Day Hockey Competition took off at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday. In the opening match, Hockey Federation XI, comprising national players, blanked Bangladesh Police 11-0 thanks to three goals each from Pushkor Khisha Mimo, Krishno Kumar, Moinul Islam Koushik and a brace from Russel Mahmud Jimmy.
Germany can win the 2014 World Cup, team manager Oliver Bierhoff believes, pointing to the presence of three Bundesliga sides in the Champions League last 16 to support his assertion.
Paceman Peter Siddle has backed Australia's attack to shrug off a glut of injuries that have hit the team's fast bowling stocks ahead of the second Test against Sri Lanka starting on Wednesday.
A typically inventive 26-ball 49 from Eoin Morgan, including a last-ball six to seal the match, powered England to a six-wicket victory in the second and final T20I against India in Mumbai yesterday. England needed to win the match to take a share of the two-match series, with India having won the first match in Pune on Thursday.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum was unapologetic for his team's approach after South Africa trounced them by eight wickets with 47 balls to spare in the first Twenty20 international on Friday.
Dhaka District Sports Association emerged champions in the men's event of the Walton Mobile 21st National Junior Wrestling Championship which concluded at the National Handball Stadium yesterday.
Maggie Vessey, an American 800-metre runner hoping to qualify for her third trip to the World Athletics Championships, was given a doping warning Friday by the US Anti-Doping Agency.
Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath Saturday said that because Australian batsmen have faced so little quality spin bowling recently he is in a good position to take wickets in the upcoming Boxing Day Test.
Bangladesh Army emerged champions in the Victory Day Kabaddi League which concluded at the Kabaddi Stadium in the capital yesterday. Army defeated Border Guard Bangladesh by 13-7 points with one lona in the final. Bangladesh Police became third defeating Bangladesh Prison 22-17 in the place-deciding match. State Minister for Liberation War Affairs Captain A B Tajul Islam distributed prizes among the winners as the chief guest in the concluding ceremony.
The Trust Bank 12th National Senior and Junior Taekwondo Championship will begin at the National Sports Council gymnasium on Wednesday.
Manchester City closed the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester United in dramatic fashion as Gareth Barry's stoppage-time winner clinched a crucial 1-0 victory over Reading on Saturday.
Inter Milan fell further behind Serie A leaders Juventus on Saturday after being held 1-1 at home to struggling Genoa.
Spanish side Malaga will appeal a one-year ban from European competition which was handed down by UEFA on Friday, angrily claiming they had been made "scapegoats" in a row over financial irregularities.
Paris Saint-Germain guaranteed they will go into the winter break as Ligue 1 leaders after beating 10-man Brest on Friday, the capital city club's fourth successive win.
Real Madrid are unlikely to strengthen their squad in the January transfer window and little-used Brazil playmaker Kaka will probably not leave, coach Jose Mourinho said on Friday.
Substitute Adrian Lopez hit an important winner as Atletico Madrid beat Celta Vigo 1-0 on Friday to keep the pressure on Barcelona at the top of La Liga.
Brazil President Dilma Rousseff has inaugurated the second stadium designated to stage 2014 World Cup matches.
Portugal defender Jose Bosingwa has reportedly been fined two weeks' wages by QPR after refusing to be a substitute for last weekend's victory over Fulham.
A team of two students from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) yesterday won the maiden "SME Business Plan Competition" for their ideas to produce sodium silicate from rice bran.
A taskforce formed by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) starts a drive today to check safety compliance in apparel factories.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman yesterday said microcredit played a significant role in poverty alleviation in Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called for narrowing the trade gap between Bangladesh and Thailand for mutual benefit as greater market access to each other's products and services would further boost bilateral trade.
Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) yesterday urged the country's apex trade body to help resolve a conflict between the association and the government over labour migration.
Dhaka stocks gained for the second week as investors injected fresh funds into large-cap companies.
Jute Diversification Promotion Centre (JDPC) showcased diversified jute products at an event organised in association with Katalyst in Dhaka yesterday.
The subscription of Golden Harvest Agro Industries' initial public offering begins today and will remain open till next Sunday.
Over the past two decades, Bangladesh converted its trade policy regime from a near-autarkic one during the 1970s and 1980s to a progressively more open regime. The policy reforms have been focused and comprehensive involving a dismantling of most quantitative trade restrictions and sharp reductions in custom duties. This has served Bangladesh well. Merchandise trade (exports plus imports) to GDP ratio has expanded from 21 percent in FY1992 to 52 percent in FY2012. Exports have grown from a mere $2.6 billion in FY1992 to $24.3 billion in FY2012, attaining a heady pace of growth of 12 percent per year. The readymade garment sector, which has been the leader in the exports boom, alone has created 3.6 million jobs, accounting for almost 60 percent of total manufacturing employment. Overall, the expansion of exports has contributed substantially to GDP growth, employment and poverty reduction.
A subtle shift in monetary policymaking is afoot with a new generation of central bankers, striving to secure global economic recovery, prepared to challenge the old doctrine of inflation-fighting at all costs.
Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus is now in Nepal to attend a series of high-level meetings on social business and microfinance organised by the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI).
US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan W Mozena yesterday visited Bharateswari Homes and Kumudini Hospital at Mirzapur in Tangail.
Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Li Jun yesterday reiterated his country's willingness to help construct a deep-sea port in Bangladesh and enhance connectivity with his country while Bangladeshi experts suggested Beijing's engagement in exploration and providing security in the Bay.
Speakers at a discussion yesterday stressed that the country needs better medical facilities and human resources to detect and treat tuberculosis (TB) among children.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said corruption was still prevalent in the upper layer of the government but it was seeing a downward trend.
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) yesterday expressed deep concern over the reported initiative by a section of the US lawmakers to review the status of duty-free access of Bangladeshi garments to the US market in the wake of Tazreen factory fire.
Hindu marriage registration must be made mandatory in the recently passed Hindu Marriage Registration Act, 2012 to protect the rights and ensure the social and financial security of Hindu women, said discussants at a roundtable yesterday.
Leading water expert Kalyan Rudra, heading the one-man commission set up by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to find an acceptable solution to Teesta river water sharing with Bangladesh, has said he has done his studies and is ready to finalise the report whenever he is asked to.
A Bangladeshi national, Hasibul Jamal Hasu, was arrested by a special task force of police in Kolkata on Friday for his suspected links with Pakistan-based terror outfit Harkatul Jihad al Islami (HuJI).
Academic activities in Rajshahi University is not only being impeded by a politically volatile situation but also by the presence of over 500 policemen deployed there round the clock since 2009.
Hundreds of poor people suffer in Rajshahi and its surrounding areas in lack of warm clothes as the region is swept over by a cold wave.
A host of environmental and social problems beset the port city of Chittagong due to mushrooming of slums, which is largely blamed on unplanned urbanisation.
Road accidents killed six people and injured ten others in three districts yesterday.
A scrap ship caught fire in a ship breaking yard in Chittagong yesterday morning.
Two teenage boys confessed before a Dhaka court on Friday to killing a woman by slitting her throat in the capital's Pallabi on December 8.
Hygienic latrines not only improve the general health of the masses but also save huge government resources spent in curing diseases caused due to open defecation, opined speakers at a seminar in the capital yesterday.
Six people, including three of a family, drowned when an overloaded small boat capsized in the Nabaganga river in Magura early yesterday.
A Dhaka court yesterday placed 38 leaders and activists of pro-Jamaat student body Islami Chhatra Shibir who were arrested in the capital on Thursday and Friday on a three-day remand.
Former Chittagong city mayor and senior Awami League leader ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury yesterday said the activists of 14-party would not go back home till the completion of the war crimes trial and execution of the verdicts.
An unidentified man, aged around 40, died after a train ran him over in Joar Shahara railgate area near Dhaka Cantonment rail station yesterday.
Bangladesh Student Council, an organisation run by students, yesterday distributed more than 2,000 pieces of warm clothes and 100 blankets to the deprived people in different areas in the capital.
Management Net will be celebrating its 15th anniversary with a reunion at Teacher Student Centre on Dhaka University (DU) campus on December 28, says a press release.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-7) arrested a man with 1,480 Yaba tablets worth around Tk 5.92 lakh at Cox's Bazar on Friday night.
Today is the first death anniversary of Abdur Razzak, former minister for water resources and Awami League leader.
Today is the fifth death anniversary of Mahbubul Alam Chowdhury, a journalist, language movement hero and poet.
The northern districts are bearing the brunt of the cold spell that has been sweeping the country for the last two days.
Post-election clash between the supporters of two defeated councillor candidates in Rangpur city yesterday left a man dead and 15 others injured.
Criminals severed tendons of a Jubo League leader in Naruli area of the town early yesterday morning.
A Golpata (a kind of leaf) collector was killed in a tiger attack at Sachianangla under west zone of Sundarbans on Friday evening.
Boro seedbeds in many areas of Lalmonirhat district are getting damaged under the impact of the ongoing cold wave and dense fog.
Two prisoners died in Khulna and Jessore jails yesterday and the day before.
An indigenous girl was killed after rape at Borodalupara village in Kawkhali upazila of the district on Friday.
It was a happy occasion for 17 orphan girls and their bridegrooms who tied nuptial knots at a festive mass wedding at Lions Shishu Niketan, an organisation meant for rehabilitation of female orphans, in the district town on Friday afternoon.
Leaders of Santal community, one of the ethnic minority groups, have urged the government to add chapters to primary textbooks, using 'Roman Santali' alphabets so that their children could receive education in mother tongue with the help of Roman alphabets.
A journalist leader was seriously injured as a group of activists of local Jubo League and Shramik League beat him up at Fakirhat upazila press club on Friday evening.
At least 36 people were injured in clashes between rival groups in Gopalganj and Gaibandha districts on Friday.
Robbers stormed into a filling station in Dattabari area of the town and looted it early yesterday.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested five alleged members of Islamist outfit Hizb-ut Tawhid in the city early yesterday.
Two siblings met their tragic end in Chowgachha upazila of the district on Thursday and Friday.
Members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) arrested an alleged criminal along with a firearm and 18 bullets at bordering village Baro Achra in Benapole early yesterday. The arrestee, Foysal Hossain, 17, was son of Abdur Rahman of Rajbari under Benapole police station. Fazlul Haque, commander of BGB-28, said on secret information, a team raided the area and arrested Foysal when a gang of smugglers were sending a consignment of firearms from India to Dhaka.
Three bombs were exploded at Uttarpara in Gangni upazila early yesterday. Assistant superintendent of police Golam Rbbani, camp commander of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), said three bombs were exploded within two minutes in the area at about 12:30 am. Police and Rab members cordoned off the area immediately and recovered one shutter gun in an abandon condition from the spot. None was arrested in this connection, said the ASP.
Members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) seized a truckload of smuggled fruits worth Tk 26 lakh from Amrakhali area here on Friday. Rafiqul Islam, commander of 26 BGB Battalion, said acting on secret information, a team raided the area at night and seized a truck. Later, the BGB men recovered huge watermelon, amalaki and capsicum from the vehicle, he said. However, the trucker and his helper fled the scene sensing the presence of the border guards, added Rafiqul.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in separate drives recovered one single-barrel gun and 570 grams of heroin here on Friday night. Acting on a tip-off, a team raided Raikhani village in Biswanath upazila and recovered he gun from near a pond in an abandoned condition at about 10:00pm. In another drive, the elite force recovered 570 grams of heroin from old railway station in the city at about 10:30pm.
As protests over the horrendous gang rape incident intensified, Indian Congress president Sonia Gandhi yesterday spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking for swift and immediate action in the case.
The National Rifle Association, one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the US, has called for armed security guards to be posted in every school in the country and insisted that the only solution to gun violence in the wake of the Newtown massacre was more guns.
A mob broke into a Pakistani police station and burnt a man accused of desecrating the Quran alive, police said yesterday, in the latest violence focusing attention on the country's blasphemy laws.
President Hamid Karzai on Saturday blamed foreigners for most of the corruption in Afghanistan and said the withdrawal of Nato troops in 2014 would help rid the country of graft.
Amid increasing international criticism of Israel's recent approval of construction plans in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a television interview Friday that he doesn't "care what the UN says."
The Philippines has passed landmark legislation that criminalises state abductions, a presidential spokeswoman said yesterday, in a move hailed by human rights groups.
Rigorous new sanctions against Iran's banking, shipping and industrial sectors took effect yesterday, as part of the European Union's effort to force Tehran to scale back its nuclear programme.
Japan's incoming premier yesterday pledged to seek a thaw in ties with China after a report said he will send a special envoy on a fence-mending mission to Beijing.
A vicious cold snap across Russia and eastern Europe has claimed nearly 200 lives, officials figures showed yesterday, as forecasters warned it would last until Christmas Eve.
Mario Monti late Friday resigned as Italian prime minister, officials said, keeping a promise to step down after the passing of his budget by parliament.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday denounced the West's "dangerous" stance in support of Syrian rebels seeking to unseat President Bashar al-Assad.
Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher is recovering in hospital after having a growth removed from her bladder.
The UN on Friday said a helicopter from its peacekeeping mission in South Sudan has been shot down by the army, killing all four crew, believed to be Russians.
Pope Benedict XVI yesterday pardoned his former butler Paolo Gabriele, who was sentenced to 18 months in jail for leaking secret papal memos, but banished him from the Vatican.
Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali kicked off viewing yesterday for an auction of thousands of luxury items once owned by ousted dictator Zine El Abidine Ali and his family.
Phone-hacking victim Hugh Grant has accepted a "substantial sum" after settling his legal claim against the News Of The World, his solicitor said on Friday.
Two suspected suicide car bombers attacked the offices of two major telecoms companies in the volatile northern Nigerian city of Kano yesterday, police and the army said.
Arts & Entertainment
Under the title “His Light His Shadow”, Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts has organised a group drawing exhibition featuring the works of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, Quamrul Hassan, SM Sultan, Mohammad Kibria, Paritosh Sen, Shamsur Rahman, Humayun Ahmed, Mrinal Sen, Jogen Chowdhury, Ganesh Pyne and many other renowned Bangladeshi artists, poets and writers.
A riveting cultural programme and discussion were recently held in Faridpur on the occasion of the 6th death anniversary of gifted folk singer Hajera Bibi.
Successful solo artistes are twice as likely to die early compared to those in bands, the journal BMJ Open reports.
A traditional horse race was held at Shaldaga village under Debiganj upazila in Panchagarh on Tuesday afternoon.
The sixth season of Chhayanaut's two-day classical music festival got underway on December 20 at its main auditorium in Dhanmondi. The festival, comprising three sessions, featured performances by a number of vocalists and instrumentalists.
Subachan Natyasangshad's biographical play on the folk legend Shah Abdul Karim saw its 50th staging on December 21 at the Experimental Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Written by architect Shakoor Majid and directed by Sudip Chakrobarthy, the play is a journey into the life and philosophical doctrines of the bard endearingly known as 'Baul Samrat' among the masses.
A public library has been inaugurated at Ramjankathi village under Gava-Ramchandrap union of Jhalakathi district on Friday morning.
As 2012 winds down, it may be appropriate to assess how the country performed over the year. Detailed assessment later will be backed by reliable statistics. But it may be interesting to present a broad brush for experts to later follow up. At the end of the year one can say that Bangladesh is at a political crossroad. On the one hand, the hope of any political reforms is temporarily crushed. The present government has been marked by poor governance indicators: corruption, partisan political institutions, worsening human rights violation and deteriorating law and order. By restricting democratic space it has prevented constitutional changes. State organs are still in the hands of party sympathisers.
Just a few hours after the tragic shooting last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut, which killed 20 children and six adults, my colleague suggested that we should discuss gun control in our weekly Across America Talk video programme.
On December 3, 2007, Muktijoddha Gono Parishad (MGP), an organisation of freedom fighters, arranged a gathering of war veterans attended by hundreds of freedom fighters. The attendees of the congregation in a united voice urged the then government to form a special tribunal to try the war criminals. Presided over by MGP President Ishtiaq Aziz Ulfat, the meeting was addressed among others by language movement veteran Abdul Matin, Lt Col (Retd) Kazi Nuruzzaman, Sector Commander and Maj Gen (Retd) Syed Muhammad Ibrahim Bir Pratik, Mili Rahman, wife of Matiur Rahman Bir Shreshtha, and Prof. Saad Uddin.
The whole world condoles with the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. It is a terrible tragedy: 27 people dead, 20 of them six and seven year-old kids. It is the worst school massacre in the history of the United States.
I vividly recall the day when my daughter was in second grade and I received an unexpected call from her teacher asking me to bring her home because she was running a fever. I dashed to the school expecting to see her slumped at the back of the class, probably sobbing. Instead, I was directed to the nurse's office where I found my little girl comfortably snuggled in a cot with a blanket wrapped around her. I cannot describe the sense of relief and comfort I felt. Since then I have always thought of school as a safe haven where children are nurtured and cared for. The news about the tragedy in the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut has completely shattered that belief and sent my world awry.