First News
Volume:7, Number:27
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Wishing our readers, contributors, patrons and well-wishers a very Happy New Year 2017
SPOKEN AT HOME

“So, What Has Happened to Speedy Trial?

“So, What Has Happened to Speedy
Trial?

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed her resentment over the slow progress in the trial for the killing of four members of the police force in Gaibandha. She was having a video conference with the officials of the Rangpur Division on January 4 to discuss suppression of militancy and extremism and development issues when she said, “The incident took place in 2013 and this is how far it has come? Then what has happened to speedy trial?” She further said, “Today they have killed one of my MPs. Who knows what will happen next.” Jamaat activists ransacked a police camp in Sundarganj upazila and beat up four police members to death after the verdict on their leader Delwar Hossain Sayeedi was announced.

Grameen Bank Needs to Be Disciplined

Grameen Bank
Needs to Be
Disciplined

Finance minister AMA Muhith has said that the government would like to discipline Grameen Bank and the government also wants to return to mainstream banking. The minister further said that efforts are already underway to make it happen. He told journalists on January 1 at his office in Bangladesh Secretariat, “We have not done anything for a long time. Now we have decided not to leave Grameen Bank just like this. We need to discipline it.”

Ershad’s Party is a Domesticated Opposition in Parliament

Ershad’s Party is a
Domesticated Opposition in
Parliament

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir commented that Jatiya Party is a domesticated opposition party in the current parliament. He said that the leaders of a real opposition party could not be government ministers at the same time. He said it at a function held in Thakurgaon on December 31. Alamgir also said that people’s issues are not discussed in this parliament while Ershad’s party seldom criticizes the government and quickly falls back in line when the government puts pressure on them.

Destroying the Pillars of Democracy

Destroying the Pillars of Democracy

BNP standing committee member barrister Moudud Ahmed complained that the government has destroyed all pillars of democracy in the country. He said 50 million voters could not go to the polling centers in the January 5, 2014 election, because 153 candidates had already won uncontested, which means half the voters in the country could not cast their votes. Ahmed said these in a meeting held on January 6 at National Press Club. He said Awami League has a different definition of democracy and it is ludicrous that the democracy Awami League talks about means nothing but violating people’s rights. He also resented that this government talks a lot about development but failed to infuse values in young minds and leave behind a future for them.

“Give Me a New Life”

“Give Me a
New Life”

Elderly politician Hussein Muhammad Ershad would like to have the taste of power again. The former military ruler was speaking at a function marking the founding anniversary of his Jatiya Party on January 1 when he expressed his desire before the party workers. He called the 2019 election the last election of his life and added, “I have reached the end of my life. Who knows how long more I am going to live. Give me a new life.” He further said that Jatiya Party will have to return to power if he has to live longer.

BNP Shall Return to Power Again

BNP Shall Return to Power Again

BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has assured her party workers that it will launch a movement when the time comes and will return to power again. Although she did not give them any date for that movement, she asked her men to be ready for it. She was speaking at a ceremony marking the founding anniversary of Chhatra Dal on January 1 when she said, “I had launched the movement against Ershad and stayed with you on the street. And I have brought this BNP to power for three times.” Khaleda said she would reorganize the party without any room for grouping or lobbying and lead those who are qualified to bring the party back in power.

GPA-5 is Not Worth a Penny

GPA-5 is Not
Worth a Penny

Writer and researcher Dr. Zafar Iqbal has said that GPA-5 is not worth a penny nowadays. He said what is more important is how much a student knows. Dr. Iqbal further said that many GPA-5 scorers cannot get admission in the universities because even though they got A-Plus, their knowledge is limited. He also added that the places where one should practice one's values are family and books, but these days one reads too little and sees too much. He resented that between book and Facebook, students now spend more time giving likes and comments in Facebook. Iqbal made his comments at an event held at Sylhet Police Line School on January 5.

“People Will Decide Where You Belong”

“People Will Decide Where You
Belong”

Agriculture minister Matiya Chowdhury said with reference to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia that while Awami League is in the field, Khaleda is spending her time in the court. “In future, people will decide where you belong”, Chowdhury added. She was speaking on the January 5 “Victory of Democracy Day” when she further said, “The election of January 5 has fortified democracy in the country whereas Khaleda Zia trifled with the lives of people before that election.” The minister accused her of pushing many young lives to death by giving them petrol bombs instead of waiting for the election.

The One-eyed Monster of Arabian Nights

The One-eyed Monster of Arabian
Nights

BNP’s senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi compared the government with the one-eyed monster of the Arabian Nights after the government dilly-dallied over granting permission to BNP to hold its rally at Suhrawardy Udyan. He said at a press conference on January 6 that his party had not yet got the permission to hold its rally in Suhrawardy Udyan and resented that when the ruling party holds its rally with so much fervor, it is always a problem when it comes to the opposition party. He also mentioned that even the Jatiya Party was allowed to hold its rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on January 1. Rizvi then said that the government, like the one-eyed monster in the Arabian Nights, sees its own interests in one way and the interests of others in another.

“Will Uniformed Men Put Her in Throne?”

“Will Uniformed
Men Put Her in
Throne?”

Public administration minister Syed Ashraful Islam has insisted that there is no alternative to elections under a democratic system. He said whoever wishes to come to power has to do it through elections. Taking a dig at BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, Islam asked if uniformed men were going to put her back in the throne. The minister made his remarks at a rally held on the January 5 “Victory of Democracy Day” at Road No 32 in Dhanmondi. He said that would never happen and Khaleda would have go to power through elections only.

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EDITORIAL

I

t may not be enough to say that democracy in Bangladesh is standing at the crossroads, because democracy may have actually lost its way. Since our independence in 1971, the journey to a lasting political system has been disrupted again and again either by military coups or by democratically elected governments verging on authoritarianism. Lately, even the slightest consideration for democracy seems to have faded. A growing distance between government and people threatens the smooth transfer of power in Bangladesh. The national election held on January 5, 2014 has been a watershed in the ...

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COVER STORY
THIS WEEK
first news magazine

Democracy
in
Decline?

S

ince the liberation war in 1971, Bangladesh has been all over the spectrum of political systems. The people of Bangladesh have experienced a number of political systems including democracy, auto ...

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IDLE MIND
by SYED BADRUL AHSAN
SYED BADRUL AHSAN
That Farewell to Power

T here is a certain charm in resignations and abdications by men and women in public life. And with that comes a bit of sadness in knowing that a resignation is in effect a cutting short of what could have been an illustrious career. When French president Francois Hollande made it known some weeks ago that he would not be ...

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SPORT
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Photo of the Week

Temple parishioners clean up the Reclining Buddha at the Nanzoin temple. Some 200 monks and visitors take part in the annual year-end dusting of the statue

WEB ARCHIVE
W1 W2 W3 W4 W5
JAN 01 08 15
PERISCOPE

BRAC Bank Organizes DAUR 2017 - a Marathon for Humanity

The employees of BRAC Bank organized a mini-marathon titled "BRAC Bank DAUR 2017 – Kalyaner Pothochola" to raise fund for charity. This is the first such marathon initiative by a bank in the cou ...

BRAC Bank Organizes DAUR 2017 - a Marathon for Humanity
NATION IN THE NEWS

Textbooks Riddled with Errors

Between their sleek and shiny covers, the textbooks for primary and junior secondary levels are riddled with errors. Already the “Orna” controversy and the issue of altering the words of poem ...

Textbooks Riddled with Errors
BUSINESS & FINANCE

Treacherous Transactions

The mobile money transfer services are being used by miscreants to carry out extortionist activities. Since the widely used money transfer system bKash is not a traditional banking system, and m ...

Treacherous Transactions
AROUND THE WORLD

Three Shakes Are All It Takes

A computer science student in a Kenyan university named Edwin Inganji was happily pursuing his passion until he lost his laptop in an armed robbery. Beaten and bruised, and wondering how he could ...

Three Shakes Are All It Takes
First News Magazine V-726 First News Magazine V-725 First News Magazine V-724 First News Magazine V-723 First News Magazine V-722 First News Magazine V-721 First News Magazine V-720 First News Magazine V-719 First News Magazine V-718 First News Magazine V-717 First News Magazine V-501
MORE THAN WORDS
MORE THAN WORDS

"I would like us to renew our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst." -- Pope Francis has told bishops around the world they must adhere to a policy of zero tolerance for clergy who sexually abuse children

MORE THAN WORDS

"It will not happen." --US president-elect Donald Trump dismissed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s claim that his country was close to testlaunching an intercontinental ballistic missile, raising the prospect of putting parts of the United States in range

MORE THAN WORDS

“It is particularly bitter and sickening when terror attacks are committed by people who claim to seek protection in our country.” -- German chancellor Angela Merkel said in her New Year message that Germany is stronger than terrorism and the government will do everything to ensure “security in freedom.”

MORE THAN WORDS

“We were one-sidedly imbalanced in favor of the US.” --The new Philippine ambassador to China, Jose “Chito” Sta. Romana, said his country is not abandoning its alliance with the US but normalizing relations with China

MORE THAN WORDS

"In these modern times, the more skin women show, the more they are considered fashionable." --India’s Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi said while blaming women for the mass molestation that occurred in Bengaluru on the New Year’s Eve

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LIVING
Key Indicators Linking Violence and Mental Illness Identified

US researchers claim to have found the risk factors associated with adults having mental illness becoming victims or perpetrators of violence. Previ ...

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LIVING ETCETERA

Everybody knows that the essence of America’s structural constitution is checks and balances. But where does this concept of “check” come from? All the usages of “check” come from the game of chess. The game of chess has Persian origin. The king, in Persian, is shah, and shah mat means “the King is dead”. In Russian, the game of chess is itself called shákhmaty, and “check” is called shakh. This became scaccus in Latin, and from there you get échec in French, chess in English, and lots of other forms in different languages. The shah might really be dead in Iran, but he lives on in the hearts and mouths of English speakers. ...

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FUN FACTS
Naming of Emmy
Naming of Emmy

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the United States originally called their awards the “Immys” – at the time, immy was common slang for “imageorthicon camera tube.” But the statue, a graceful, winged woman holding an atom, just looked too much like, well, a woman! Everyone started calling it “Emmy” even before the first ceremony. And the name stuck. ...

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LEISURE
Om Puri No More
Om Puri No More

T he year 2017 started on a sad note for Bollywood as it woke up to news that one of its most talented actors, Om Puri, had died on the morning of January 6 after a massive heart attack. According to family sources, the actor was found dead in his bed. He was 66. The actor has appeared in mainstream Bollywood cinema as well as Pakistani, British and Hollywood films. The actor has received an OBE as well as Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India. An alumnus of Film and Television Institute of Ind ...

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ENTERTAINMENT

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