• Thursday, December 18, 2014

Freedom in the air

City

220 journos in jail worldwide

At least 220 journalists are imprisoned worldwide for their work for the third consecutive year, reflecting a global surge in authoritarianism, a New York based organisation said in its annual census report on the issue published yesterday. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said the number increased by nine from last year. The tally marks the second-highest number of journalists in jail since CPJ began taking the annual census in 1990, and highlights a resurgence of authoritarian governments in countries such...

Graft Cases Against Khaleda

Defence foils hearing again

A prosecution witness in two corruption cases against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia failed to give his testimony in court for the third time yesterday due to clamour by the defence lawyers over rejection of four of their petitions. Harun-ur-Rashid, deputy director of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), also complainant of the Zia Orphanage and Zia Charitable trusts graft cases, appeared before the Special Judge Court-3 of Dhaka but the court was forced to adjourn recording his statement only 15 minutes later,...

Pak school gun attack condemned

Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) and Bangladesh Christian Association yesterday condemned and protested the barbaric killing of 141 people, including 132 school kids, in a Peshawar's school of Pakistan by Taliban gunmen on Tuesday. ASK in a statement said the gun attack showed a horrendous form of terrorism which has spread everywhere in the world. If the people do not resist such terrorism collectively, more dangerous situation will come for all, the rights body warned. Bangladesh Christian Association in another statement...

Defamation case against Fakhrul dismissed

A Dhaka court yesterday dismissed a defamation case against BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir as the complainant skipped the hearing for five consecutive days. Advocate Abdul Malek alias Moshiur Malek, founder and president of Bangabandhu Foundation, filed the case against Fakhrul on July 18, 2010 for allegedly terming the then state minister for law Qamrul Islam “insane” at a discussion organised by Zia Parisad in the capital's Jatiya Press Club on July 14. During yesterday's hearing, Fakhrul was...

Seven held for forging cheques of Tk 50 lakh

Seven persons, including two Dutch Bangla Bank Limited staff, were paraded before the media on being arrested for, as Rab says, forging cheques to withdraw around Tk 50 lakh from accounts with a high number of transactions and of Bangladeshi expatriates. The arrests were made around the capital including Uttara, Badda, Baridhara and Dhanmondi from Tuesday night to early hours yesterday while three chequebooks, around 200 cheques of different banks, 102 Xerox copies of cheques, 286 bank statements, 114 account...

Maligning Bangabandhu

Tarique asked to apologise to nation

A Supreme Court lawyer yesterday sent a legal notice to BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman asking him to apologise unconditionally to the nation for calling Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman a “Razakar, murderer, and Pakbandhu." Tarique has damaged the history of independence and the ideology and spirit of the Liberation War through the comments, Advocate Momtazuddin Ahmed Mehedi said in the notice. “You have established yourself as talkative, stupid, immature, and precocious by making such an indecent statement devoid of political etiquette....

Mozena offers words of peace before leaving

Mozena offers words of peace before leaving

All political parties in Bangladesh need to use political space peacefully, outgoing US Ambassador in Dhaka Dan W Mozena said yesterday, after his farewell meeting with BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan residence in the capital. Mozena told reporters that they discussed the important role of the opposition in democracy. He also said he...

Sending Workers to Malaysia

Private recruiters may get operation clearance

Alongside government channels, private recruiting agencies which have been barred since last year from sending workers to Malaysia may soon be allowed to resume operations, said Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday. “The Malaysian government banned hiring workers from Bangladesh at least three times for anomalies of recruiting agents. Later, we approached them and they opened the market to hire our people under a transparent system,” he said. The system or government channel was opened following the...

Yet another man held with smuggled gold at Dhaka airport

Customs officials detained a man with three gold bars, worth Tk 1.1 crore and weighing 2.1kg, at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in the capital yesterday. SK Mainuddin arrived at the airport from Malaysia by a Malaysian Airlines flight at 11:35am. The officials challenged him while he was crossing the green channel and found two gold bars from his shoes and another from mobile phone, said Customs officials.

Fazle Hasan Abed advocates stronger public health system

Highlighting health interventions based on water, sanitation, immunisation and safe and nutritious food, Brac founder and Chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed yesterday called for stronger public health systems to improve the population's health status, especially that of mothers and children. “Child mortality was 23 per 1,000 in New York in 1979 while it was 135 in Bangladesh,” Abed told as chief guest the inaugural of a two-day fifth regional public health conference the Bangladesh University of Health Sciences (BUHS) and...

War Crimes Trial

Another implicates Siraj, Latif in 42 Hindu killing

Another implicates Siraj, Latif in 42 Hindu killing

When the Pakistani army and Razakars cordoned off the market, Ananda and his father Moni Lal held each other closely in fear. But they would be separated soon.  “While I was holding my father closely, Razakars hit me in the left of the head with the rifle's butt,” Ananda told the International Crimes Tribunal-1,...

Quality programmes must for popularity

Bangladesh Betar's popularity can be restored by updating its equipment and ensuring quality, interactive programmes addressing the future generation and focusing on popular demand and feedback surveys, speakers told a seminar yesterday. The radio, alongside Bangladesh Television, should have greater autonomy for a better performance with the former's history interlinked with the Liberation War for its crucial role in inspiring the people and freedom fighters, they said. "Challenges and Responsibilities of our Betar with Fast Changing Context” was organised in the...

Political parties must give women more chances

All political parties must create opportunities for women to participate in all tiers of their organisations -- from the grassroots to national level, said discussants at a roundtable yesterday. Politicians, irrespective of which political party they belong to, must change their patriarchal mindset to promote women's engagement in politics, they viewed. The Bangla daily Prothom Alo with support from Democracy International organised the roundtable on women's participation in political parties' leadership at the office of the daily in the capital. According to...

Disappearance of Ctg Jeweller Palash

Seven months gone, cops still mum

Seven months gone, cops still mum

Police are yet to find the whereabouts of missing jeweller Palash Dhar even after almost seven months since he disappeared on the way to Noakhali from Chittagong city on May 12. Palash Dhar, 37, owner of SN Jewellers in the port city's Chawk Bazar area, left the city for Sonapur in Noakhali around 5:00pm to get medicine for his daughter. His wife said he called her around 11:30pm that night and he was not heard from since. Talking to The Daily Star, Nipa Dhar, Palash's wife, said, “My husband called me from an unknown number at 10:00pm and said his mobile phone has been snatched. Later at 11:30pm, he called again...

News In Brief

Int'l lit conference on World War I starts at DU today Staff Correspondent         A two-day international literature conference, “The Great War and English Studies”, organised by Dhaka University's English department, opens today in Muzaffar Ahmed Chowdhury Auditorium of the social sciences faculty. Papers will be presented by academics and historians of Bangladesh, India, Nepal and the UK, said a press release. The opening and closing sessions are open to all, but Tk 1,000 is needed to join the others, it...

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