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News of: Saturday, 15th of September, 2007

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100 hurt as RMG workers, police clash at DEPZ

Production in most parts of the Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) in Savar remained suspended throughout the day yesterday as clashes between workers and police left at least 100 people injured.

Country not under dual rule and army has no political role, says CA

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed dismissed the notion that the country is placed under a dual rule and said he does not perceive any political role of the armed forces.

BTRC-Bangla Phone discord over optical fibre network

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has warned private telephone company Bangla Phone Ltd of cancelling its licence for installing 2000 kilometres of optical fibre network 'outside' its licensed area.

Dhaka braces for fresh flooding

Dhaka is bracing for a second spell of floods this season with water level of the Buriganga, Turag, Sitalakhya and Balu rivers rising for the last one week.

Show of strength by pro-Bhuiyan men

The BNP faction led by expelled secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan holds a meeting in the city today to assert its sway over the party councillors.

Hairline crack in AL now widening

The incident of four Awami League leaders being manhandled by some rank and file activists on Wednesday is being looked at as a wake-up call by almost all the leaders of the party as they feel the unity of the organisation is clearly on the rocks.

Ramadan starts with Juma day

Muslims yesterday observed the first day of Ramadan, the month of fasting in Hijri calendar, amid extra fervour as it was also the day of Juma prayers.

India win bowl-out

India defeated archrivals Pakistan 3-0 in a bowl-out after they produced a breathtaking tie in the last Group D match of the Twenty20 World Championship at the Kingsmead in Durban yesterday.

Gastright due Tuesday

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs John Anthony Gastright, Jr will arrive in Dhaka Tuesday on a three-day official visit apparently to observe the political situation in Bangladesh.

Foreign firms may be invited to explore gas reserves

Bangladesh plans to invite foreign firms to explore for offshore gas reserves to meet the soaring demand for energy to sustain the nation's rapidly-growing economy, an official said on Friday.

Docs at Rangpur Medical College Hospital on indefinite strike

Doctors at Rangpur Medical College Hospital (RMCH) went on an indefinite strike from yesterday noon, causing sufferings to the patients.

Russell Sangma remanded

Russell Sangma, arrested in connection with the seizure of around 29,100 pistol bullets from Bakakura village in Jhenaigati upazila of Sherpur district on Thursday, was placed on a five-day remand yesterday.

Garment unit owner held as Rab files case

Police arrested garment factory owner Ali Huq yesterday morning in a case filed following a conflict with two Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel in city's Kafrul area on Thursday.

Benazir won't be deported, but has to stand trial

Former premier Benazir Bhutto can return to Pakistan from exile but will have to face corruption cases against her, the government said, as her party announced her arrival date yesterday.

Bush orders partial Iraq pullout

US President George W Bush announced Thursday he will pull some 21,500 combat troops from Iraq by mid-2008, but ruled out a full withdrawal and promised an "enduring" US presence there.

Dravid resigns as captain

In a dramatic development, Rahul Dravid has resigned as captain of India, making himself unavailable for next month's home series against Australia.

Suicide attack on Pak military base: 20 killed

Pakistan vowed to step up its fight against terrorism yesterday after a suicide attacker penetrated a high-security military base and detonated an explosive-laden vehicle, killing 20 soldiers from an elite counterterrorism task force.

Party elder Fukuda is people's choice for PM: Poll

Japanese ruling party elder Yasuo Fukuda, a former top government spokesman, is the people's choice to be the next prime minister, a poll showed Friday.

Telephone line cut at Myanmar opposition party office

The only telephone line has been cut at the headquarters of Myanmar's major opposition party, a spokesman said Friday, as the junta seeks to tighten its grip after a series of protests.


Holding down prices

Prices of consumer items for Ramadan are on the rise owing to increase in demand which would normally imply that supply might not be enough to cater to the demand. But that is not the case as the market does not show any dearth of commodities; in fact it looks plentiful. There is, of course, an added dimension i.e. bulk or panic buying to the demand side which is instrumental in pushing up prices. For instance, consumers started buying commodities like onion, potato, sugar, lentil etc to store them for fear of any price hike during Ramadan.

Domestic violence

Research findings of a number of relevant governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as UN agencies strongly point to the fact that domestic violence has taken an epidemic form in Bangladesh. A large number of women and children fall victim to atrocities committed on them by close relations at home or by strangers outside, which often result in deaths and disfigurement. These issues came up for discussion at a workshop styled 'National Workshop on Domestic Violence Legislation', jointly organised by CARE and ActionAid, Bangladesh.

Let us get our act together on jute

The jute sector which has steadily been going downhill has recently attracted special attention because of the current Administration's decision to close down four jute mills -- Peoples Jute Mills in Khulna, Karnaphuli Jute Mills and Forat-Karnaphuli Carpet Factory in Chittagong and Quami Jute Mills in Sirajganj. It has been claimed that they were shut down to help the government run the rest of the mills more efficiently.

First shot goes waste

The Nawaz Sharif episode has made one thing clear: people in Pakistan are not yet willing to come to the streets to retrieve democracy. True, four to five thousand were detained before he landed at Islamabad, and some more when they tried to enter the barricaded airport. But they were mostly members and supporters of the Muslim League (Nawaz Sharif).

Land dispute: Legacy of deprivation of the poor

Land dispute is an existing old conflict linked to the socio-economic and political systems in Bangladesh society. It is harming quite a considerable number of people, directly or indirectly, each year. Specially the landless and poor fishermen community, other occupational mini communities, poor Adibasi groups residing on various char and khas lands of the country are falling hapless victim to this dispute to be harmed both financially and socially. At places this dispute has led to the eviction of socially weak landless people. Even incidents of killing and grievously injuring rivals their homestead loot and arson, oppression and harassment also happened centring such disputes. And this increasing trend of land dispute cases has caused serious negative impact on our society and economy.


'Victory on mind'

Fresh from a splendid six-wicket win over West Indies which confirmed them a spot in the second round of the ICC World Twenty20 Championships, Bangladesh face hosts South Africa with the glorious memory on their mind.

Australia bounce back

Australia bounced back from the embarrassment of defeat against Zimbabwe to crush England by eight wickets in a World Twenty20 match at Newlands on Friday.

Game before leadership

Prolific middle-order batsman Rahul Dravid has stepped down as India captain just a month after leading his team to a rare Test series victory in England, the country's cricket board said.

Lankan lesson for Kenya

Power-packed Sri Lanka posted the biggest victory in Twenty20 cricket on Friday as they thrashed hapless Kenya by 172 runs in the world championships here.

Decision shocks all and sundry

Jolted by Rahul Dravid's out-of-the blue decision to relinquish national team captaincy, the cricket fraternity on Friday reacted with shock and wondered what made him quit the job.

Yusuf inspires Sena Pally

Sena Pally High School maintained their winning run in the Dhaka School Football League (Under-11) when they comfortably beat Motijheel Government High School 2-0 at the Motijheel Government High School ground yesterday.

Indians take over Ramna

It will be an all-Indian semifinal line-up after Rohit Bisht, Mohit Mayur, Rakshay Thakkar and Ronit Bisht all won their quarterfinals of the Prime Bank Asian Under-14 Tennis tournament at the Ramna National Tennis Complex yesterday.

C.Ron return adds MU firepower

Cristiano Ronal-do's return for suspension will provide Man-chester United with a badly-needed injection of firepower for a testing trip to Everton on Saturday.

Japan dash Argentine hopes

Defending women's World Cup champions Germany were held to a goalless draw by arch-rival England Friday as the United States and North Korea took giant steps towards the quarter-finals.

Schuster lapping up plaudits

New Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster can do no wrong at the moment with the champions starting with a perfect two wins and playing the sort of exhilarating football that his predecessor Fabio Capello could not provide.

Altintop twins meet head on

There will be no love lost between twin brothers, and best friends, Halil and Hamit Altintop when the Turkish internationals go head-to-head as Bayern Munich face Schalke 04 on Saturday.

Papin to end Nancy fairytale

French league leaders Nancy will be hoping to continue their fairytale start to the season when they travel to Lens this Saturday for what, on paper at least appears an unlikely high-profile clash.

UEFA opens Scolari inquiry

European football's governing body UEFA on Thursday opened an inquiry into the alleged assault by Portugal coach Luis Felipe Scolari on Serbia's Ivica Dragutinovic.

Leaders defend perfect record

Juventus and Roma defend their perfect record in the Italian league this weekend against Udinese and Reggina.

McLaren fined, docked points

McLaren boss Ron Dennis has refused to accept the FIA's decision to strip his team of their 2007 constructors' championship points for their involvement in the Formula One spy saga.

Rooney battles for place

Emile Heskey believes his telepathic partnership with Michael Owen can help the Newcastle striker break Sir Bobby Charlton's England goal-scoring record.

A viable new layer

Only three days ago cricket's new age was heralded with the beginning of the World Twenty20. Perhaps it is a sign of the times that a newer age beckons already. The Champions Twenty20 League, announced with pomp and grandeur on Thursday, promises to transform cricket worldwide. Judgment must be suspended on whether it will be for the better or worse, but it can be said that it will be cricket like we have never known it.

Raju slams hattrick

Raju Ahmed struck a hattrick as Shantinagar trounced Mirpur Chalantika 4-1 in the Third Division Football League at the Outer Stadium yesterday.

Maradona gets facelift

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona last month visited a clinic in Colombia to iron out some wrinkles and shrink his double chin, a doctor said Thursday.

Sarwan laments inconsistency

West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan called on his team to be more consistent after they crashed out of the ICC World Twenty20 in the first round.

Trans-Tasman T20 soon

New Zealand teams could compete in Australia's domestic Twenty20 competition as soon as 2008-09. The boards of Australia and New Zealand are discussing the potential for a Trans-Tasman tournament, with the top sides going on to compete against teams from India, England and South Africa in the newly-announced Champions Twenty20 League.


RMG makers' hopes high as Dhaka, Delhi sign MoU tomorrow

Local apparel exporters have high hopes as Dhaka and New Delhi sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) tomorrow on duty-free entry of eight million pieces of Bangladeshi apparels into India a year.

Oil prices ease in Asia after striking fresh record at $80

Crude oil prices pulled back below 80 dollars a barrel in Asian trade Friday on profit taking after striking fresh record peaks overnight due to a hurricane in the United States, dealers said.

Income gap widening between rural, urban areas in China

The income gap between rural and urban areas is widening in China, government data published Friday showed, despite years of efforts from the top echelons of government to bridge the divide.

China hikes interest rate to slow economy

China's central bank announced Friday its fifth interest rate hike this year, after a slew of data showed the world's fourth-largest economy was still racing ahead with inflation at a decade high.

Japanese firms fail to meet Chinese norms

Japanese companies operating in China lag behind in dealing with the strict application of Chinese National Standards for industrial products manufactured and marketed in China.

EU finance ministers to back banks to deal with credit crunch

European Union finance ministers will back the ability of banks and financial institutions across the 27-nation bloc to deal with the credit crunch in the financial markets on their own at a meeting over the weekend, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

India to see more greenfield airports

Besides the major facelift to metro and non-metro airports, the aviation industry in India is gearing up for the next phase of its airport modernisation and expansion programme for greenfield airports.

FDI in Vietnam to hit $13b in 2007

Foreign direct investment in Vietnam is likely to reach US$13 billion by the end of the year, beating the target by $1 billion, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agency.

Banglalink, Parjatan sign MoU to boost tourism

Mobile phone operator Banglalink and Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) will work together for the development of the country's tourism industry. The operator has also become the official partner of the tourism organisation to support its activities across the country.

HK exchange chairman calls for single China market

China and Hong Kong should create a single stock market to take-on the world's leading bourses, the head of the southern city's exchange said in an interview published Friday.

US current account deficit narrows to $190.8b

The US balance of payments deficit narrowed in the second quarter to 190.8 billion dollars from 197.1 billion in the first quarter, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

HSBC to buy stake in Vietnam insurer

HSBC has agreed to buy a 10 percent stake of a leading Vietnamese insurance company, as the global banking giant continues its Asian expansion strategy.

Square Pharma declares 50pc cash, 50pc stock dividends`

Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd has declared a 50 percent cash dividend and a 50 percent stock dividend for its shareholders for the year that ended on March 31, 2007.

Contribution of SMEs to Malaysian GDP rising

The contribution of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to Malaysia's gross domestic product is expected to rise to 37 percent by 2010, up from 32 percent in 2005.

Indian inflation stays below central bank target

India's annual inflation stayed well below central bank targets for a third week in a row, data Friday showed, paving the way for an easing of monetary policy in the fast-growing economy.

New SME helpline centre launched

A new SME helpline centre was launched on the premises of Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) office at Gulshan in Dhaka on Thursday, says a press release.

Pragati Life Ins okays 12pc dividend

Pragati Life Insurance Ltd has declared a 12 percent dividend for its shareholders for the year 2006.

Weekly Currency Roundup

September 09-September 13, 2007


Producing biofuel a threat to food security

Producing biofuel from plants and foodgrains will be a threat to food security as well as the environment, said an environmentalist and biodiversity expert at a discussion yesterday.

'Tourism industry can help expedite development’

Speakers at a press conference have underscored the need for boosting up tourism industry for rapid development of the country.

1.57 lakh register as voters in Rangpur Pourasabha

A total of 1.57 lakh people in Rangpur Pourashabha registered as voters as the pilot project preparing a voter list with photographs and National Identity Cards (NICs) completed its task here on Thursday.

College student dies as brick falls on him

A college student died when a brick fell on his head from an under-construction building in the city yesterday.

Injured trader succumbs to injuries

A trader, who sustained injuries in a clash between the students of a training centre and local people at Berun in Ashulia on Thursday night, succumbed to his injuries at a local clinic yesterday.

'Displaced children face rejection from community'

Children and women rescued from trafficking or hazardous jobs face huge challenges to get integrated with their families and societies due to the lack of a supportive environment.

Expedition to Mera Peak in Himalayas starts Sep 20

A team of Bangla Mountaineering and Trekking Club (BMTC) is set to start an expedition to 21830-foot Mera Peak in the Himalayas, the highest peak likely to be conquered by Bangladeshis.

Flats for low-income group to be constructed

Flats for low-income group will be constructed at Dattapara near Tongi under the supervision of National Housing Authority.

Recording of statements of PWs resume tomorrow

Recording of statements of prosecution witnesses (PWs) in one of the two cases filed in connection with the grenade attack on British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury will resume tomorrow and continue till September 19, court sources said on Thursday.

Children's painting contest

The submission deadline for Grameenphone Zainul-Quamrul International Children's Painting Competition 2007 is September 30, says a press release.

INSA essay competition

Bangladesh Unnayan Parishad (BUP) is going to organise an essay competition for the students of class VIII to XII under the auspices of Imagine a New SouthAsia (INSA).

Software Freedom Day today

Today is Software Freedom Day (SFD).

15 muggers of 'Malam Party' held in N'ganj

Police arrested nine muggers who allegedly belong to what is popularly known as 'Malam Party' and used to snatch away valuables from people applying ointment on their eyes, at Siddhirganj on Dhaka-Chittagong highway on Thursday night.

'Observe Sept 15 as Language Movement Declaration Day'

Nine distinguished personalities, including four language movement veterans, yesterday urged the caretaker government to observe September 15 as Language Movement Declaration Publication Day.

Appeal for help

A poor but brilliant student is fighting for life as both of his kidneys have been damaged.

Boy killed in wall collapse

An eight-year-old boy was killed and another severely injured in a wall collapse in Jhenidah on Thursday.

BBC Bangladesh Sanglap today

The eighth edition of BBC Bangladesh Sanglap will be held at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the city at 1:45pm today.

RU admission tests from Nov 12

Admission tests for first year honours courses at Rajshahi University (RU) under 2007-08 academic session will begin on November 12.

Visiting hours in museums

The authorities have rescheduled the visiting hours of Bangladesh National Museum, Ahsan Manzil Museum, Zia Memorial Museum, Osmani Museum in Sylhet and Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Museum in Mymensingh during Ramadan, says a press release.


B'baria BNP bigwigs not with Bhuiyan

Most front ranking leaders of BNP and its fronts in Brahmanbaria are united under the leadership of party chief Begum Khaleda Zia, claims former state minister and district BNP president Abdus Sattar Bhuiyan.

Ex-Jamaat MP sent to jail after remand

A former Jamaat lawmaker has been sent to jail by a court here on completion of his 3-day remand at Shyamnagar police station.

Alleged bid to grab Hindu family land in Rajshahi

Some influential people are allegedly trying to grab the ancestral land of a poor Hindu family in Talaimari area of Rajshahi city on the plea of building a madrassah there.

Arrest warrant against Tariqul's son

Warrant for arrest has been issued against former minister and BNP bigwig Tariqul Islam's son Aninda Islam alias Amit for his alleged involvement in the three bomb blasts in Jessore town on August 25.

8 hurt in attack on Hindu families

At least eight members of Hindu community were injured and a house was burnt in an attack by a gang of armed miscreants in Marichbunia village in Patuakhali Sadar upazila yesterday.

'Strengthen local govt bodies'

Speakers at a discussion here underscored the need for strengthening the local government organisations at the grassroots level for development of the country.

BSF abducts 2 Bangladeshis

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) abducted two Bangladeshi cattle traders from Challishpara border point in Daulatpur upazila in Kustia on Thursday.

Colleges should be free from politics

Principles of government and non-government colleges in greater Kushtia in a view exchange meeting said that students at higher secondary level need not be involved in politics and that the campuses should be free form politics.


India adopts 3-pronged strategy to end deadly Kashmir insurgency

India has adopted a three-pronged strategy, including stepping-up operations against Muslim rebels, to end a deadly insurgency in Kashmir, New Delhi's top representative says.

Clash in Afghanistan kills 75 people

Fighting in Afghanistan killed some 75 people as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began, including 45 suspected Taliban militants who died in airstrikes and Afghan army gunfire, officials said Thursday.

Bush must face trial over Iraq: Khamenei

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday that US President George W. Bush had been defeated in his Middle East plans and would one day stand trial for "atrocities" committed in Iraq.

'US pullout will hasten Iraq's demise'

The killing of one of his key Iraqi allies on the day he announced a troop pullout from Iraq came as a stark reminder to US President George W. Bush of just how precarious the situation still is in Iraq.

India forced to stall 'blasphemous' sea lane project

India's government said yesterday it was putting on hold its bid to dredge a crucial shipping lane after being accused of blasphemy by Hindu activists who argue the project will damage a sacred site.

Aid rushed to quake victims in Indonesia

Rescue workers in Indonesia rushed aid Friday to Sumatra's west coast after massive earthquakes killed 13 people there and scared thousands of survivors into sleeping outdoors.

Japan launches moon probe

Japan's space agency launched its much-delayed lunar probe Friday, beginning what it calls the largest mission to the moon since the US Apollo flights.

Duma endorses Putin's choice as PM

Russia's lower house of parliament confirmed President Vladimir Putin's choice as prime minister on Friday, approving the previously obscure official Viktor Zubkov in a vote whose result was a foregone conclusion in the Kremlin-controlled chamber.

Lanka claims killing 10 Tigers

Sri Lankan security forces yesterday shot dead at least 10 Tamil Tiger rebels who tried to attack an army position in the northern Jaffna peninsula, the defence ministry said.

Arts & Entertainment

A homage to women

Maksudul Ahsan has been contemplating dedicating an exhibition entirely to women -- particularly Bengali female activists, along with Mother Teresa. He has accomplished this in his ongoing exhibition Drohe nari, Nirbane nari at Shilpangan.

“Pragoitihashik”: Highlighting primitive human instincts

The premiere show of theatre troupe Nagorik Nattyangon's latest production Pragoitihashik was staged at Mahila Samity on September 13. Pragoitihashik is the 15th production of Nagorik Nattyangon. Its first production was Kholosh in 1995.

Masud Ahmed's maiden novel brings in both sides of a war

“Liberation War has been featured in our poetry, short stories and novels over the last three decades,” said educationist Professor Zillur Rahman Siddiqui at the launching programme of Masud Ahmed's Liberation War-based novel Chaitrapaban O Digantarekha. The programme was held at Poet Sufia Kamal Auditorium, National Museum recently.

Songs of Three Poets at Chhayanat

At the Ramesh Chandra Dutta Conference Centre at Chhayanat, songs of the three poets -- Atul Prasad, Dwijendra Lal Roy and Rajanikant Sen -- were performed on September 13. Mita Haque, Elora Ahmed Shukla, Neelotpal Sadhya and Nilufar Jahan rendered songs at Chhyaanat's monthly musical soiree, Srotar Asar.


Historical determinants of policing

The differences of Police structure and styles of operation come into clearer focus when seen in largely different socio-political context. One such context that is interestingly instructive relates to colonial policing.

The holy month of Ramadan is here again

The holy month of Ramadan is here again. The Muslims all over the world must have accorded a hearty welcome to this greatest lunar month of the Islamic calendar for this enables the Muslims to observe “Siam” (Fasting) besides other concomitant duties as enjoined by Almighty Allah in Ayat (Verse) 183 and Ayat 184 of Sura (Chapter) Baqara of the Holy Quran. In Ayat 183 Allah “Rabbul Alameen” (Lord of the worlds) says: “O ye who believe Siam (Fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you that you may (learn) self-restraint”.

Open-pit coal mining : Bangladesh perspective

An open pit coal mine may contribute four, five, even ten times more than an underground coal mine do in energy production. This is an example sighted from Germany. However, the controversy lies with different scenario which is often overlooked while advocating for open pit mining in Bangladesh. The first line of comparison between the two should be drawn based on the principal condition with the same level and standard. If the level and standard between the two are different then the comparisons made are not likely to sustain.

The George Bush countdown clock

More than a year ago, a friend gave me a keychain called the "Bush Countdown Clock," with the number of days, hours, minutes, and even seconds until the end of George Bush's presidency. As I write this -- watching the seconds fly by -- the clock tells me that we've got 493 days until the end of our National Nightmare -- until the end of the world's nightmare. I'm in the camp that believes that George Bush has done more damage to the world than just about anyone since World War II.

WTO: Nightmare for LDCs?

The World Trade Organization (WTO)'s Doha Round has been receiving blows one after another at its sixth year in incubator. An all-out effort was made in June last targeting to reach an agreement before the expiry of President Bush's special negotiating authority on June 30. But the crucial G4 meeting in Germany at this end collapsed acrimoniously due to stubborn differences between the parties. The Group of Four (G4) -- the United States, the European Union (EU), Brazil and India -- sat aiming to reach a breakthrough on slashing farm subsidies but broke up on disagreements over agricultural trade and industrial market access.


Opening of the floodgates

Outsourcing has become part of the business lexicon as big companies around the globe have opted for delegating some of their operations to external firms in a bid to gain a competitive edge in cut-throat global market.

Oracle gives a peek into 11g

Software heavyweight Oracle recently unveiled its latest database software, "Database 11g", with a set of new features, which may well cement the giant's continuing dominance in the niche market.

Canon unveils new inkjet printer

Renowned printer manufacturer Canon Inc recently introduced a cost-effective, high-performance bubble jet printer, PIXMA iP1880, in the local market.

Tech Jargon VII

Readers, through this space, I've been trying for the past few weeks to help those who were curious about technological jargon, but did not have time to go through big fat books to enhance their knowledge. Hope I've been successful in doing so. With this expectation, I'm winding up my series this week and giving up my space to other deserving enthusiasts and their articles…Oh the pain of goodbyes!


The Beauty of Belonging

Is this what it's like to lose yourself in

Reluctant Thinkers

Purba Banglai Chintacharcha (1947-1970) Dwanda O Protikria by Morshed S. Hasan: Dhaka: Anupam Prakashani; February 2007; pp. 1031; Tk. 700.00

On a Shikari and an Ode on an Ode

I was riveted by the publication (The Daily Star literature page, July 28th), of an excerpt from a long-forgotten book, Man-eaters of Sunderbans, (1961), by the then renowned Pakistani shikari, Tahawar Ali Khan, along with an article by Khaleel Mahmood, a Pakistani expatriate in New York.

Strategic Issues

Hong Kong 1997 and Bangladesh 2007

Past imperfect, present tense and future conditional was how a departing British bureaucrat described Hong Kong in October 1997 on its reversion to PRC control.

Will Hillary make it to the White House?

American Presidential race-2008 is surging ahead rather early for a variety of reasons. The Bush era is struggling with little hope of late hour turning around. VP Dick Cheney is not running, never mind the health grounds; the race is without incumbency since 1928. The dismal approval rate of President Bush has not encouraged many Republicans including Jeb Bush, the governor of Florida, to run. Mayor Rudy Giuliani is an exception, still walking above the Bush approval rating due to his brave leadership following 9/11. Dubbed as the Mayor of America, an able crisis leader of Italian origin, he was never tested outside cosmopolitan New York. Rudy walked off the senatorial race in 2000 against Hillary Clinton in the greater state of New York on health ground. In one-on-one presidential race, snap polls suggest he is convincingly behind.

The Sydney APEC Summit

A catchy slogan appeared in Sydney “Twenty-one leaders, one great city” for APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Coopera-tion) Summit. The Summit took place on 7th and 8th September and the delegations including ministers, senior officials and top business leaders started arriving at Sydney from 3rd of September.

Star Books Review

A community embattled or weakened from within?

This work by Salahuddin Ahmed is a timely venture towards expending fresh thoughts on the Muslim community living in the twenty-first century. It appears that the present world has been divided into camps, 'us' and 'they'. In the interest of an appreciation of diversity there is nothing wrong in that division; but there should be no animosity between them, knowing that the world is a place for co-existence of mankind with all colours, languages and civilisations.

All about sexual, textual politics

Impervious to temptations around them, speakers in Kajal Bandyopadhyay's poems, included in the anthology Phoolo Unmotto Rangeen, are dispassionate truth-seekers. They question established systems and beliefs; they challenge the authenticity of the so-called thought-provoking discourses. They deconstruct grand narratives. God and his devotees, politicians and their lackeys, thinkers and their followers, and especially women and feminism; all these are subject to the poet's bold scrutiny. In short, Kajal Bandyopadhyay's poems are political tracts in verses.

Sci-fi that excites the adult imagination

The True Price of Immortality is a sequel to Abdul Ahad's award-winning first novel, First Ark to Alpha Centauri, released August 2005. It is a young adult sci-fi fantasy series about mankind's survival in the far distant future on a long duration interstellar voyage to Alpha Centauri.

Neighbourhood lives

Prolific Irish writer Maeve Binchy writes about Ria and her husband Danny Lynch in her novel Tara Road. The story takes place in Dublin, Ireland. The plot, engaging a ring of people who live on Tara Road is captivating. While reading this story one feels as if the last page seems to come too quickly. The story telling is at its finest epic in sweep. It is intimate and psychologically acute, moving but unsentimental. It is richly authentic in its period detail and fresh and contemporary in its style. The reader falls into a pace with the story and seems to be very much living with the happenings. Each chapter seems to hold light for the next and the story becomes gripping, keeping the reader spellbound to the very last word.

At a glance

Curzon's Partition of Bengal and Aftermath
Sukharanjan Sengupta
Naya Udyog, Kolkata

The Daily Star

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