Dhaka metro govt proposed

May 21, 2009

JS body members for combining Gazipur, N’ganj with capital giving them city corporation status
Members of the parliamentary standing committee on the local government ministry at a meeting yesterday discussed forming Dhaka metropolitan government combining Gazipur and Narayanganj to improve city life.
Members of the parliamentary body suggested that Dhaka City Corporation should be divided into two parts each having a mayor to better Read more

Construction industries face slide : Prices of raw materials up

May 21, 2009

Country’s construction industries face slide, as the prices of raw materials of this industry are increasing day-by-day following the global economic recession.
Due to the economic meltdown across the world, thousands of Bangladeshi workers employed in the construction industries in Middle East, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia have been discharged from their jobs.
The jobless people are forced to return home. The increasing numbers of homecoming labourers along with continuous price hike of electricity, oil, gas and raw materials may badly affect the country’s construction Read more

A story of embattled media: 28 journalists killed in 19 countries

May 21, 2009

At least 28 journalists have been killed while covering the news in 19 countries as we approach the mid-point of 2009. INSI (International News Safety Institute) counts an additional 13 deaths in 10 countries where it is not yet clear whether the victim died as a result of their work as a journalist.
The worst countries are Pakistan (first with 3 deaths and equal first with Russia and Palestine in cases still under investigation), and Somalia, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Libya and Iraq with 2 deaths each.
There has been a welcome drop in casualties in Iraq, due to the general reduction of violence there. Iraq had been the worst killing Read more

50,000 die, 40,000 become disabled every year

May 21, 2009

Direct effect of tobacco
About 50,000 people die and 40,000 become disabled due to smoking and direct affect of tobacco every year in the country.
Some 12 lakh people suffer from eight kinds of various respiratory, brain and kidney-related diseases due to the use of tobacco every year, speaker yesterday said this while addressing a workshop on ‘Tobacco control law’ held at the civil surgeon office in the city.
The civil surgeon office in Dhaka and the WBB, a non- government organisation, jointly organised the workshop. The WBB is working Read more

Banglalink, AKTEL may merge

May 21, 2009

Mobile operators Banglalink and AKTEL are in talks for a possible merger in an aggressive bid to grab a substantial market share of Bangladesh’s 46 million market, giving a hint that the number of operators will come down in the already saturated six-operator market.
The merger issue was disclosed by Orascom Telecom Holdings Chairman Naguib Sawiris recently, when he talked with journalists on Read more

Cell phone industry seen facing more trouble

May 21, 2009

A recovery in cell phone demand will not happen until well into 2010, researcher Gartner said on Wednesday, while Reuters data showed the industry could suffer its worst quarter ever in April-June.
The handset market fell 9.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2009, Gartner said, adding it saw demand stabilising but it would not be until next year before demand would grow again.
‘We do not expect demand to get better before second half of 2010,’ said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi.
A Reuters poll of 34 analysts forecast handset vendor phone sales in the April-June quarter to slump 14.5 per cent, with 2009 sales Read more

Siddons targets India

May 20, 2009

ICC World Twenty20
Siddons targets India
Bangladesh national cricket team have tar-getted beating India in their first match of the ICC World Twenty20s in England and are all set to depart amidst some modest but important concerns from coach Jamie Siddons.
Siddons’s biggest worry is the lack of international exposure that the Tigers have had ahead of the tournament and he believes that it is a worrying factor as the players have not faced quality bowling attacks in the recent Read more

Unplanned housing, infrastructure cuts down cropland

May 20, 2009

The dwindling size of farms, rise in landlessness and constant depletion of farmland are posing formidable threats to Bangladesh’s agriculture, increasing poverty and trapping many ultra-poor people in a vicious circle, according to various reports.
The average farm size has been reduced to less than 0.6 hectares and the percentage of landless people stands at 58 in a country where nearly 80 per cent of the ultra-poor live in rural areas.
Official statistics also show that the country is losing more than one per cent or 80,000 hectares each year from its original 13 million hectares Read more

BDR recast report placed in part, govt probe report soon

May 20, 2009

Absconding jawans now 25; no mercy for post-Feb 25 rebels
The committee, headed by Director General (DG) of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Maj Gen Md Mainul Islam, that was formed to report on restructuring the paramilitary force, submitted yesterday a partial report suggesting the new logo, the new uniform and the new name for the border guards. 
Meanwhile, the number of the absconding BDR jawans, who went into hiding after the bloody Peelkhana carnage on February 25 and 26, now stands at 25, as most of the fugitive border guards reported to their nearby units and police stations or were arrested by Read more

152 industries wreaking havoc

May 20, 2009

Villagers along polluted Turag moving to safer places
Indiscriminate discharge of liquid waste by the industries in and around Konabari industrial zone has ruined a large part of the Turag river and Baimail Jheel, causing immense suffering to residents living on the banks.
Industrial liquid waste and black smog created by brick kilns have doubled the sufferings and even compelled many to move their houses.
Locals say brick kilns have left their fruit trees unproductive, while industrial waste exterminated fish in the Read more

Lanka free from terror, declares Rajapakse

May 20, 2009

Prabhakaran’s ‘body’ recovered from battlefield
Sri Lanka’s president declared his country “liberated from separatist terror” yesterday as the military said it recovered the body of Tamil Tiger rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran from the battlefield on which he was slain.
The images were shown after the Tigers announced the guerrilla leader was still alive and well, and that they would continue fighting for a separate Tamil homeland despite President Mahinda Rajapakse’s call to unite the nation.
Under international pressure to reach out to the Tamil minority, Rajapakse vowed in a nationally televised speech that “terrorism” had been defeated and that a political solution to the island’s Read more

Machine-readable passport project goes to army

May 20, 2009

The government is going to entrust the army with the much-discussed machine-readable passport and visa project that would cost nearly Tk 283 crore.
The home affairs ministry took the move following directives from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for engaging the army in implementing the project which was originally initiated in 2004 by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led alliance government.
Citing the performance of army in preparation of voters’ list and issuance of national identity cards, home affairs minister Sahara Khatun Read more

Nat’l ID cards to be made must for all

May 20, 2009

Meeting finalises machine readable passport work plan
National identity (ID) cards would be made compulsory for every citizen of the country by amending the citizenship act, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday.
“If necessary laws will be amended to make national ID cards compulsory because laws are for the people’s welfare,” he told reporters after a meeting with Home Minister Sahara Khatun and State Minister for Home Affairs Tanjim Ahmad Sohel Taj at the home ministry.
Muhith also hinted that in future none would be able to claim citizenship of Bangladesh without the national ID card and Tax Identification Read more

Traffic congestion continues in city

May 20, 2009

Auto- traffic signal proves ineffective
The severe traffic congestion in the city of Dhaka has been continuing despite promise given by Dhaka Metropolitan Police to ease. It is true, hardly there is any city in the world free of traffic jamming, but in the case of Dhaka it is beyond tolerable level.
The installation of auto-traffic signal at a cost of taka 13.80 crore has been proved much ineffective because most of the members of Police posted in the city’s different traffic points use to control movement of vehicles manually. Read more

Lending to women entrepreneurs included in CAMEL Rating: Atiur

May 20, 2009

Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman on Tuesday said disbursement of loans to women entrepreneurs has been included in the CAMEL Rating so that they can easily avail loan facility for running trade and business.
Speaking at a pre-budget discussion meeting of Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity, with BWCCI president Selima Ahmed presiding, Dr Atiur said since 2007, a total of 220 women entrepreneurs had taken loans from banks whereas the number was 73 in the first quarter of Read more

Legal notice to stop illegal occupation of Buriganga, Shitalakkha

May 20, 2009

A legal notice was served yesterday to the government for taking immediate steps to stop illegal encroachment on the banks of rivers Buriganga, Turag and Shitalakkha.
Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) served the notice seeking steps to stop earth filling and building any kind of temporary and permanent structures along the rivers in Dhaka and Narayanganj.
The notice also demanded of the authorities concerned take steps to remove the temporary and permanent structures built on Read more

Japan closes 4,000 schools for swine flu

May 20, 2009

178 infections confirmed
Japan reported 178 swine flu infections yesterday and closed more than 4,000 schools, colleges and kindergartens for the rest of the week to slow the spread of the virus, officials said.
Experts warned that infections had probably already spread to other regions including the capital Tokyo, which with almost 36 million people is the world’s most populous urban area and the heart of the Japanese economy.
“The virus’s spread to Tokyo is near certain, and it would be little wonder if the virus had already landed in Tokyo undetected,” said Read more

Three-decade abortive war of independence: Prabhakaran killed

May 19, 2009

Sri Lanka declared Monday it had crushed the Tamil Tiger rebels, killing their chief, Velupillai Prabhakaran, and ending his three-decade quest for an independent homeland for minority Tamils.
State television broke into its regular programming to announce Prabhakaran’s death, and the government information department sent a text message to cell phones across the country confirming he was killed along with top deputies, Soosai and Pottu Amman.
The announcement sparked mass celebrations around the country, and people poured into the streets of Colombo dancing and Read more

HC starts hearing Khaleda’s writ on cantt house

May 19, 2009

Hearing adjourned till May 25, govt directed not to disturb her till then
At last the High Court took up hearing on writ petition challenging government notice asking BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia to vacate her cantonment house.
A Division Bench comprising Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Moinul Islam Chowdhury started the hearing Monday although the writ was refused earlier by four other benches.
After hearing both sides for almost two hours, the court adjourned hearing till May 25, 2009 and directed Read more

Rohingya rebels trained JMB men

May 19, 2009

Investigators glean it from Boma Mizan; Huji too received training from the RSO
Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) had close links with Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO), an insurgent group in the Myanmarese state of Arakan, JMB explosives expert ‘Boma Mizan’ revealed in interrogations.
Sources close to Rab interrogators said Mizan and some other JMB operatives received training from RSO arms experts in a camp near Myanmar border in 2002.
Now executed JMB chief Shaekh Abdur Rahman sent them for the training. In exchange for arms training, JMB’s explosives experts trained RSO men to improvise and detonate bombs and Read more

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