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     Volume 5 Issue 113 | September 22, 2006 |

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News Notes


A street pet vendor is seen selling spotted doves in front of Ramna Police Station in the city. Although the law prohibits this practice, the authorities are blind to it. The government imposed a five-year moratorium on netting, hunting and trading of migratory birds back in 1988. However, it proved ineffective. Bangladesh's Wildlife Act, 1973 permits the sale of animals, which can be bred in captivity, namely, dogs, cats, hares, lovebirds, pigeons and quail. But certain shops and street vendors also sell wild birds like Spotted Dove, Rose-Ringed Parakeet, Alexandrine Parakeet, Blossom-Headed Parakeet, Red Munia, Green Munia, Black-Headed Munia, White-Throat Munia, hilly Myna and some finches. The Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis) is a pigeon, which is a resident breeding bird in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to south China, and Southeast Asia. They are also known as the Spotted Turtle Dove.

The tale of Biman and its flights
And as the story goes, once again, Biman airlines makes the headlines with yet another one of it's emergency landings. This time, the flight BG052 was heading towards Osmani International Airport in Sylhet all the way from Dubai, when it was forced to make an emergency landing at the Zia International Airport last week. It seems that the pilot of this unique flying machine noticed a leakage in the aircraft's hydraulic system, after which he immediately asked the authorities at the Zia International Airport to make an emergency landing.
The plane (Airbus 320) landed safely at 12:45 pm whereupon the passengers were sent to Sylhet by another flight later.
Stories of technical defects on many of the Biman airlines have been reported regularly in the past. Though a few met with unfortunate endings, many of them successfully fought fate itself and landed courageously.
A very recent landing was on August 12, when a London-bound Biman flight, BG-114, made an emergency landing at Osmani International Airport due to a technical fault just five minutes after it took off at 8:10 pm.

It was just a quote, says the Pope
news02While addressing a mass at the University of Regensburg on September 12, Pope Benedict XVI angered the whole Muslim world by making derogatory comments against Islam at a time when religion has becoame a volatile issue.
In his speech, the German-born Pope quoted the 14th Century Orthodox Christian emperor Manuel II Paleologos of the Byzantine Empire saying: "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
Although he said the medieval text, which he quoted, did not express in any way his personal opinion, he obviously used it to make his point.
As if to shift the blame away from him but still get the message across to his followers the Pope said, "I quote" twice prior to saying the excerpt.
Later he made a feeble attempt at apologising by saying, "I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address at the University of Regensburg, which were considered offensive to the sensibility of Muslims."
It appeared as if he was saying he was sorry for the outrage but not necessarily the remarks themselves.
This is in fact, not the first time Pope Benedict has been at the centre of criticism for his views on Islam.
Before becoming Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger, as he was known, was considered a theological conservative. He appeared to be uncomfortable with Pope John Paul II's attempts to improve dialogue with the Islamic world. His predecessor was the first pontiff to step inside a mosque, during a visit to Syria in 2001.
During his time as a cardinal, Pope Benedict opposed Turkey's bid to join the European Union, saying it belonged to a different cultural sphere, adding that its admission would be a grave error against the tide of history.
In 1996, he wrote that Islam had difficulty in adapting to modern life. And last year he accused Muslim leaders in Germany of failing to steer their youth from what he described as the darkness of a new barbarism.
In Egypt, where the Pope is set to visit in November, the Muslim Brotherhood head Mohammed Mahdi Akef said the Pope's words "do not express correct understanding of Islam and are merely wrong and distorted beliefs being repeated in the West".

Mirpur's Godfathers
Even after the arrests of 10 infamous criminals, crime in Mirpur is in the rise. Though Police officials deny any involvement, newspaper reports suggest that members of the infamous Shahdat-Khorshed group, in connivance with some in the law enforcing agencies, have been demanding a large sum of money from ordinary citizens of Mirpur-Pallabi area. The group also boasts an IT section, these reports say, for tracking down the phone numbers of the rich and wealthy people of the locality. Another unit of the gang also visits mosques to offer prayers after which its members collect phone numbers of the fellow Faithful to choose and pick potential victims.
The law and order situation in Mirpur is grim indeed; the area, which has a population of over three million, is a city within a city itself. Even though subsequent governments have promised to turn it around, Mirpur has remained a ghetto with a history of unabated crime and sheer underdevelopment. While the other areas of the city have gone through some face-lifts, this particular township, it seems, is given a cold shoulder. The much-hyped Rapid Action Battalion, as in rest of Dhaka, is itself a problem; stories of extortions of the innocent by Rab members do not make it into the front page of the dailies any more-- such is the extent to which the Rab, which is supposed to help the Police hold peace, has been faring.
Mirpur is one of the most densely populated areas of the city, colleagued with that are a dark grim world of crime and corruption. Risks are there that the situation will go out of hand, which may snowball into something even more ghastly and dangerous.

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