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News of: Thursday, 27th of December, 2012

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No compromise on caretaker

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said her party had no objection to the Awami League government's completing its tenure, but warned of tougher, non-stop movements if the Hasina administration does not restore the caretaker government system.

Azad verdict anytime soon

The crimes against humanity trial against expelled Jamaat-e-Islami member Abul Kalam Azad concluded yesterday and the verdict could be delivered any day.

Retrial sought despite having no provision

Ghulam Azam's counsel Abdur Razzaq said even though there was no provision of retrial under the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973, the tribunal could exercise its inherent power to reinitiate the case.

Dhaka not happy with Ankara

Dhaka has sharply reacted to Ankara over misuse of “on arrival visa” facilities by a NGO delegation, which visited Bangladesh from December 20 to 24 and reportedly advocated in favour of the accused under trial for war crimes.

It's almost like hartal day

City commuters experienced a travelling bliss during the opposition's mass contact programme yesterday as many citizens stayed at home and only a few public transport plied the streets for fear of trouble.

2 key accused held

Two prime accused of Padma bridge corruption conspiracy -- ex-secretary of Bridges Division Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and superintendent engineer of Bangladesh Bridge Authority Kazi Mohammad Ferdous -- were arrested in the capital's Shahbagh area yesterday.

Keep vigil

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged all, including members of the armed forces, to remain alert against the misdeeds of the anti-liberation force.

N-power deal with Russia next month

Bangladesh and Russia will sign a $500 million deal in January to complete the pre-construction phase of the nuclear power plant to be set up at Rooppur in Pabna.

Fog disrupts train services

Bangladesh Railway has been struggling to maintain its schedule for the last two weeks for thick fog that slows trains down. Lack of capacity and manpower added to the crisis.

Rajuk goes for re-tender

The Rajuk yesterday decided to run a fresh bidding process for the Tk25 crore Uttara bridge project.

All students to get new books on Jan 1

All students of primary and secondary grades across the country will receive a new set of textbooks on the very first day of the new academic session.

2 candidates appeal for review of EC decision

Two independent candidates out of four whose nominations in the Chittagong-12 by-polls were cancelled have appealed to the Election Commission.

Abducted teen rescued in Bogra,6 arrested

Police rescued a teenager and arrested six of his kidnappers at Bejora Bridge area of Shajahanpur in Bogra around 10:00pm yesterday.

ACC sues 2 Sonali officials, 3 others in N'ganj

The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday filed three cases against five people, including two ex-officials of Sonali Bank, for misappropriating Tk 62.9 crore.

MKA blasts Khaleda for calling him Razakar

Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir yesterday blasted BNP chief Khaleda Zia for questioning his role during the Liberation War.

Gulf council to unify militaries

The Gulf Cooperation Council will fold the military of its member states under a single command structure, Bahrain's foreign minister announced Tuesday, the state-run Bahrain News Agency reported.

Morocco busts Qaeda cell

Moroccan authorities on Tuesday said they had broken up a recruitment cell for al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in the central Fez region, after announcing the discovery of a jihadist network last month.

Iran rejects interference accusations by Gulf states

Iran yesterday rejected as "baseless" allegations by Gulf Arab states that Tehran is interfering in their internal affairs, the official IRNA news agency reported.

ROK stages live-fire drill near sea border

South Korean Marines yesterday staged a live-fire exercise near the disputed Yellow Sea border with North Korea amid high tensions over a display of front-line Christmas lights.

Heavy rains flood Iraq capital; 4 killed

The worst rains to hit Baghdad in 30 years left four people dead and many of the Iraqi capital's residents struggling to cope with heavy flooding yesterday as the government declared a national holiday.

Central African rebels seize another town

Rebels waging an offensive in the Central African Republic seized another major town Tuesday, a military source said, bringing them a step closer to the nation's capital.


Concern over Rohingyas' plight

Expressing serious concern at the difficult plight of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the UN General assembly has urged Myanmar government to address the reported abuses of human rights there.

Chaotic crossings

Only last Friday, a woman was killed at Khilgaon level crossing when her rickshawpuller failed to wait for the gate to open and a train ran her over. Yet, as recent newspaper reports and photo stories have shown, the unbridled chaos and indiscipline at railway crossings across the capital continue unabated, with people and vehicles vying to get ahead of each other by a few seconds -- a few seconds which could cost them their lives.


Sharmin dethrones Ratna

Sharmin Akhter won her first gold in five years in national competitions when the 2004 South Asian Games gold medalist put behind holder Sharmin Akhter Ratna and national gold winner Suraiya Akhter in the 10m Air Rifle event in the IFIC 5th National Air Gun Championships at the National Shooting Complex in Gulshan yesterday.

BCL starts amid high hopes

The inaugural edition of the Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL), a new-look franchisee-based four day competition and Bangladesh's second first-class cricket league is set to kick off today with the two opening matches taking place at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium (SBNS) in Mirpur and the Shaheed Chandu Stadium (SCS) in Bogra.

Cycling meet ends with BJMC's domination

Tariqul Islam and Sonia Yasmin drove Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) to complete dominance in the Dr Abdul Basit 36th National Cycling Championships which concluded at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

SA take series 2-1

A fine innings from opener Henry Davids and incisive bowling from slow left-armer Aaron Phangiso carried South Africa to a series-clinching 33-run victory in the 3rd and final T20I against New Zealand at St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth yesterday.

Sk Russel's chance to profit

Title aspirants Sheikh Russel KC will have a chance to take the solo lead in the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League when they take on strugglers Brothers Union at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.

Tamim hits his groove

Dashing left handed batsman, Tamim Iqbal got into his groove in the ongoing HRV Cup -- a T20 competition in New Zealand -- as he hammered 35 runs off 18 balls in his second match of the competition yesterday. His innings included five fours and one six and eventually helped his side, Wellington, beat the Central Districts by

Div I football

Badda Jagarani Sangsad recorded a 3-0 win over Mohakhali Ekadosh in the Popular Life Insurance Senior Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium yesterday.

Del Piero dismisses Sydney exit talk

Alessandro Del Piero's uncertain future in Australia could be close to being resolved, with the former Italy striker pledging his support for struggling Sydney FC.

Kumar a la Brian, Sachin

Elegant Kumar Sangakkara helped lift some of the gloom of another underwhelming Sri Lanka first innings as the tourists face a game of catch-up with Australia in the second Melbourne Test on Wednesday.

Aussies assume control

Australia skittled out Sri Lanka for 156 and trailed by just six runs at stumps after an eventful opening day saw 13 wickets fall in the second Melbourne Test on Wednesday.

MS blames middle-order

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels the failure of middle-order batsmen to capitalise on the good start provided by openers led to the five-wicket loss against Pakistan in the first Twenty20 encounter on Tuesday.

Dhaka eliminated

Dhaka City team were eliminated from the World Cities Team Chess Championship on Tuesday when they suffered defeat against Saratov city of Russia in their first match of the knockout phase at Al-Ain Sports Complex, United Arab Emirates.

Brad extends Spurs deal

Veteran American goalkeeper Brad Friedel has extended his contract with Tottenham Hotspur until 2014, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.

Walton T20

Shaheed Tozo Smrity Sangsad beat Ardency Club by 59 runs in the inaugural match of the Walton T20 Cricket Tournament at the Jessore Shamsul Huda Stadium yesterday.

Army overwhelm Police

Bangladesh Army came from one goal down to register a massive 16-1 victory over Bangladesh Police in the Southeast Bank Victory Day Hockey Tournament at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Nene in talks with Besiktas

Paris Saint Germain's wantaway Brazilian forward Nene is close to reaching agreement to join Turkish side Besiktas, local press reported here on Wednesday.

Is China worth it?

If Frank Lampard is to swap Chelsea for China, he might do well to first consider the colourful experiences of his former teammates Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba.

Thriller sends MU 7 clear

A 90th-minute goal by Javier Hernandez gave Manchester United a thrilling 4-3 victory at home to Newcastle United on Wednesday that put Alex Ferguson's men seven points clear in the Premier League.

'Bosingwa's QPR future in balance'

Portuguese international defender Jose Bosingwa's future at English Premier League strugglers QPR remained in the balance on Tuesday after the club's manager Harry Redknapp refused to say whether he would play for the side again.

Sterling pledges England future

Liverpool's teenage winger Raheem Sterling has pledged his international future to England, thereby calming fears he was considering a switch of allegiance to Jamaica.

Liege threaten to join Ligue 1

Standard Liege will breakaway from the Belgian league and join France's Ligue 1 if a new Belgian-Dutch league is not created, club owner Roland Duchatelet warned on Wednesday.


New GDP base year on cards

The government will introduce a new base year next month to calculate the country's gross domestic product in a more accurate and realistic manner, an official said yesterday.

Fraud puts international trade at risk

Companies engaged in international trade are facing growing threat from fraud and forgery and the recent scams in some state banks have shaken private commercial banks, a business leader said.

Govt signs deal with Marubeni, Hyundai on power project

The Power Development Board yesterday signed a Tk 2,923 crore deal with a consortium of Marubeni Corporation and Hyundai Engineering and Construction to build a 399.28MW power plant in Habiganj.

Bangladesh moves 6 notches up

Bangladesh has moved up six positions to rank sixth among 12 countries in South and Central Asia and 91st out of 140 countries in the DHL Global Connectedness Index (GCI) this year.

New Year optimism powers stocks

Stocks gained yesterday thanks to a buying spree in anticipation of a bull run in the New Year.

BTCL internet gateway down for 3 hours

The state-run Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Ltd's (BTCL) internet gateway service was down for three hours yesterday due to a disruption in its network.

Cheap imports pull down lentil prices in Chittagong

Cheap imports from Canada and Australia have flooded the lentil market in the last fortnight to bring down the item's price significantly.

Samsung hits back at Ericsson in patent battle

South Korea's Samsung Electronics said Wednesday it had filed a complaint to seek a US import ban on some Ericsson products in an escalating patent battle with the Swedish mobile giant.

Grounded Kingfisher lacks funding plan

Grounded carrier Kingfisher Airlines has failed to present regulators with a clear funding plan under a proposal to get it flying again, Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said on Wednesday.

Toyota raises 2012 sales forecast to 9.7m vehicles

Japan's Toyota group forecast Wednesday a 22 percent jump in worldwide sales this year to 9.7 million units, driven by surging demand which may help it regain the top spot in the global auto market.

Bangladesh to gain from changes to global telecom rules

Least developed countries like Bangladesh will be benefitted from the recent amendment to international telecom regulations, said an official.

Ratan Tata hands over reins of empire tomorrow

Indian industrialist Ratan Tata retires on his 75th birthday tomorrow, handing over the reins of his sprawling business empire after decades at the top of the country's turbulent corporate world.

India offers incentives to revive exports

Faced with a widening trade deficit, India yesterday announced an incentives package to reverse declining exports, which are set to fall much short of the $360 billion target for the current financial year.

Wheat exports to rise

India raised its 2013 wheat export limit by 500,000 tonnes from a year ago on hopes for a bumper harvest and said it would pay its farmers 5.1 percent more for purchases of the grain, contrary to expectations, due to higher input costs.


Hackers to be punished

The government will take action against persons involved in hacking the Skype conversations of the former International Crimes Tribunal-1 chairman as leaking someone's personal conversation is a punishable offence, said Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu yesterday.

SC stays HC bar

The SC yesterday stayed for six weeks an HC order that barred the daily Amar Desh from publishing reports related to Justice Md Nizamul Huq's Skype conversations with an expatriate Bangladeshi legal expert.

HC questions RPO provisions

The High Court yesterday questioned the legality of amended provisions, introducing preconditions for registration of political parties, of the Representation of the People Order, 1972.

Exclusion depriving slum dwellers

Slum dwellers are being deprived of their rights to enjoy the facilities of Dhaka city corporations as they have not been included in The Local Government (City Corporation) Act-2009, said speakers at a workshop yesterday.

Waterway workers threaten strike

Water transport workers yesterday threatened to go on a strike for an indefinite period from the early hours of January 9 across the country, if their 16-point demand, including further revision of their wage structure, is not met by that time.

Mojaheed took part in torching Hindu houses

Jamaat-e-Islami leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed along with non-Bangalee Biharies and Pakistani army had taken part in torching several Hindu-dominated villages in Faridpur during the Liberation War, a prosecution witness testified yesterday.

No alternative to democracy despite two top leaders' failure

There is no alternative to a democratic ruling system though the heads of the two major political parties have failed to nurture democracy in the country, speakers said at a discussion yesterday.

DU in election mode

An election mood has set in on the Dhaka University (DU) campus over the last couple of days, with various candidates campaigning for the officers' association and teachers' association elections scheduled for today and December 31 respectively.

Fake therapists flood Ctg

Patients are being deprived of proper physiotherapy treatment as some quacks, technicians and diploma holders in medicine have been providing the treatment without having necessary skill, expertise and experience in the treatment in Chittagong, according to leaders of Bangladesh Physiotherapy Society (BPS).

Road crashes kill 6

Six people were killed and 24 others injured in separate road accidents in Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Brahmanbaria and Narsingdi yesterday.

AL Dhaka city unit council today

The council of Dhaka city unit of the ruling Awami League (AL) will be held today after a lapse of nine and a half years.

Political influence degrades rule of law: Dr Kamal

Eminent jurist Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday expressed his concern over the degradation of the country's rule of law due to rising political influence in all sectors.

Muggers hack man in capital

Muggers yesterday hacked and injured a man and snatched his cellphone as well as Tk 500 in the capital's Khilgaon.

Woman found dead on rail tracks

A woman was found dead on the rail tracks in the capital's Khilkhet on Tuesday night.

Dipu Moni hopes for amicable settlement

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday said Bangladesh hoped the Korean Peninsula would see amicable settlement of all outstanding issues and establishment of a nuclear free zone in the region in near future.

Primary, junior school exam results today

Results of this year's primary and ebtedai (madrasa) terminal examinations and Junior School Certificate (JSC) and Junior Dakhil Certificate (JDC) examinations will be published today.

PM directs district admins to provide help to cold-hit poor

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed the local administrations of the country's 64 districts to stand beside the cold-hit poor people.

Woman 'commits suicide'

A housewife allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan in the capital's Turag yesterday.

Stabbed sweeper dies

A sweeper who was injured in a fight with another sweeper in the capital's Shahajahanpur died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital yesterday morning.

PM gives cheques to families of Ctg girder collapse victims

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday handed over cheques of Tk 2 lakh each to the families of nine people who died when a flyover partially collapsed in Bahaddarhat of Chittagong.

Worker falls to death

A construction worker fell down from a four-storey under-construction building in the capital's Fakirapool yesterday.


'Free Rayer Khal from encroachers'

Rights activists have demanded immediate steps to free six-kilometre-long Lakutia Rayer Khal (canal), which is flowing through Barisal Sadar and Babuganj upazilas, from illegal occupation.

Acid attack on two women in Sherpur

Two women sustained severe burn injuries as rivals threw acid on them as a sequel to a land dispute at Haldibata village in Jhenigati upazila of the district early Tuesday.

Obscene dance, gambling at jatra go on unhindered

Obscene dance and gambling in the name of jatra (open air drama) have been going on in several places of Natore, Lalmonirhat and Jessore districts.

Sit-in on roads demanding release of Fakhrul

District unit BNP observed a three-hour long sit-in on the roads of the district town yesterday, demanding release of its acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and withdrawal all false cases against him.

Cotton factory, jute godowns gutted

A cotton factory, two jute godowns and several shops were gutted in two separate fire incidents in Barisal city and Gourandi upazila yesterday.

Bangladeshi shot by BSF in Joypurhat

A Bangladeshi national was injured by bullet as Border Security Force (BSF) if India opened fire on him at Koriya border under Panchbibi upazila of Joypurhat yesterday afternoon, BGB sources said.

Gambler drowns while escaping police raid

A gambler drowned in a pond while he was trying to evade police raid at Satpar village in Sadar upazila of the district on Tuesday evening.

Benapole port active again

The import and export activities between Bangladesh and India through Benapole land port resumed yesterday.

Tiger kills crab collector

A crab collector was killed in a tiger attack at a point of Markey Canal near River Arua Shibsa under Sunderbans west zone on Tuesday.

Prisoner dies

A prisoner died at Patuakhali jail yesterday morning.


Blast targets US base in Afghanistan; 3 killed

A suicide car bombing at a US military base near a flashpoint city in eastern Afghanistan killed at least three Afghans and wounded seven others yesterday, officials said.

India announces rape inquiry

India's government yesterday ordered a special inquiry into the gang-rape of a student which sparked mass protests, as police announced the arrest of 10 men over another multiple sex assault.

‘Myanmar needs transformation'

Myanmar's president yesterday called for a shake-up in the running of his fast-changing country, which he said was still mired in corruption and inefficiency and lagging behind its international peers.

Egypt constitution signed into law

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has signed into law a new constitution voted in despite weeks of opposition protests, but he was left facing an economic crisis and international disquiet over his rule.

Netanyahu launches re-election bid

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday put Iran at the top of on his re-election campaign, pledging that halting Tehran's nuclear programme would be his first priority as premier.

Japan PM unveils cabinet

Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday unveiled his cabinet as he begins the task of economic revitalisation.

Killing people is 'what I do best'

A convicted felon who committed suicide after shooting dead two firefighters he lured into an inferno wrote in a note that killing people was his favorite pastime, police said Tuesday.

Syria police chief defects

The commander of Syria's military police has defected from President Bashar-al Assad's government and reportedly fled to Turkey as the death toll in Syria's civil war has topped 45,000, a watchdog said yesterday.

Myanmar probes deadly plane crash

Myanmar yesterday hunted for clues about the cause of an airplane crash-landing that left two people dead, as foreign tourists told of their miraculous escape from the burning jet.

Modi begins fourth stint as CM

Narendra Modi, who powered BJP to an emphatic victory in Gujarat, was sworn in yesterday as Chief Minister for the fourth time as the head of a 17-member ministry, in a ceremony boycotted by Opposition Congress and NDA ally JD(U).

North India cold snap toll hits 25

At least 25 people have died in a cold snap sweeping across northern India, state-run broadcaster All India Radio said yesterday.

Thousands flee Malaysia floods

Floods triggered by torrential monsoon rains in Malaysia forced almost 14,000 people to flee their homes and seek shelter at relief centres, the official Bernama news agency said yesterday.

Emerging powers to pay more for UN

China, Brazil, India and other emerging powers yesterday agreed to major increases in their United Nations payments as the global body hammered out a new budget deal this week to avoid its own fiscal cliff.

Winter storms kill two in US

A major winter storm system swept through the southern United States on Tuesday, spawning tornadoes in several states and killing two people in weather-related road accidents.

27 killed in Kazakh army plane crash

All 27 people on board a Kazakh military jet that crashed while carrying the Central Asian state's top border guard officials have died, the state security service said yesterday.

Russia clears last hurdle

Russia's upper house of parliament yesterday unanimously backed a bill barring Americans from adopting Russian children, leaving the controversial measure in the hands of President Vladimir Putin.

Obama cuts holiday to deal crisis

President Barack Obama was to cut his holiday short and head back to Washington yesterday to try to address the "fiscal cliff," a set of tax hikes and spending cuts to take effect next year.

Arts & Entertainment

Of Men, Music And Movies

In Bengal (Bangladesh and West Bengal), a song or 'gaan' for long was considered a verse expressed in the form of a tune. The verse being primary, poets from Tagore to Nazrul often used tunes from various sources to express their thoughts.

Interplay of grace and rhythm

A three day Kathak Dance Festival wrapped up yesterday at the main auditorium of Chhayanaut Shangskrti Bhaban, in the capital. Arranged by Kathak Dance Community (KDC), the festival, inaugurated by noted dance personality Laila Hasan, featured an array of solo and group dances by noted and promising dancers of Bangladesh along with several dance schools.

Friends and fans pay homage to Sanjeeb Chowdhury

Friends, well-wishers and fans commemorated singer-songwriter and founder of the band Dalchhut, Sanjeeb Chowdhury, through a music festival named after him at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University on December 25. The “3rd Sanjeeb Festival” featured Dalchhut along with a few up and coming bands.

Xmas celebrations

Christmas was celebrated on Tuesday at Purbadhala in Netrakona district. To mark the day the Garo Christian community drew up various programmes, including readings from the Bible, discussions on the life and ideals of Jesus, a cultural function, distribution of sweets, cakes, and other culinary delights and special prayers to seek divine blessings for the progress and prosperity of the nation and welfare of mankind.

Veet-Channel i Top Model crowns victors

The grand finale of the “2nd Veet-Channel i Top Model” was held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka on Tuesday, crowning Nowshin as the top model for the 2012 edition of the pageant. Asha was adjudged first runner up, while Tania picked up the prizes for second runner up.

Has 3D filmmaking had its day?

It's three years since audiences around the world swarmed into cinemas to see James Cameron's “Avatar”. It rapidly became the biggest grossing film of all time, in part because of its ground-breaking digital 3D technology.


A tale of two hartals

As we say good bye to 2012, we want to look at the defining moments of the year that we said good bye to. There may not have been very many defining moments last year but surely the country's politics, more so the prospect of enduring even more hartal in the next one year than we had in last four, surely occupy our thoughts, as does the trial of the war criminals, which, because of an unusual development, has become a matter of public discussion. But we will deal with the issue of hartal only as for now.

Sino-US ties need new approach

The United States has a huge and growing stake in the Asia-Pacific region, one that offers great promise for the American economy through trade and investment but one that also poses some of the greatest foreign policy and diplomatic challenges.

Security dimensions of Bay of Bengal and Sino-Bangla cooperation

Bangladesh and China are both maritime countries from ancient days. They both enjoyed best maritime relations. It was during the Ming dynasty about 600 years ago, when Emperor Yong Le reigned, that the most famous voyager and navigator of that time Admiral Zheng He, the envoy of peace, sailed the Indian and Pacific Oceans and created the Chinese maritime Silk Road. Between 1405 and 1433, Admiral Zheng He's fleet of more than 100 ships on seven transoceanic expeditions visited 30 Asian and African countries. His fleet visited the port city of Chittagong twice. Sultan Giasuddin Azam Shah, the Sultan of Bengal, received the Admiral from China in his capital at Sonargaon. The Sultan also reciprocated by sending valuable gifts to the Ming King, including one long necked giraffe, which is, according to Chinese tradition, a symbol of divine fortune, Since ancient times it has been only China, though mighty both on land and sea, which never colonised any country, never occupied others' land, showed utmost respect for countries' sovereignty and believed in non- interference in others' internal affairs.

Egypt's unfinished revolution

Egypt, the centre of the Arab world, is today a deeply divided nation. The revolution, which began in January 2011 and toppled strongman Hosni Mubarak, has not come full round.

Easter Island collapsed, and so could we

The spectacular statues of Easter Island, a sparsely populated Pacific isle which is seemingly so desolate that there are not even any large trees on it, have been a mystery for centuries. How could an island of a few thousand people produce hundreds of such statues, the largest of which are 33 feet tall and weigh 82 tons? This question inspired Erich Von Daniken, a best-selling author of the 1970s, to speculate that the statues were erected by aliens from outer space.

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