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News of: Tuesday, 25th of September, 2007

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More former MPs, relatives sued

The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) has filed separate cases against former minister Shajahan Siraj and his wife Rabeya Siraj, three former lawmakers, some of their family members and a former member of the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Polls before Dec 2008 possible on EC action

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed has said the next general election in Bangladesh could be held before the set deadline of December 2008 if the Election Commission (EC) completes all process in line with its road map.

India triumph in thrilling Twenty20 final

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's young Team India snatched the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 Championship world title after defeating arch-rivals Pakistan by five runs in a rousing final on Monday.

Akbar's son confesses to GATCO scam

Ismail Hossain Simon, son of a late shipping minister also BNP leader Col (retd) Akbar Hossain, yesterday made a confessional statement before a magistrate, implicating himself in a graft case in which former premier Khaleda Zia and her younger son Arafat Rahman Koko are also defendants.

Three public universities face session jam again

The three main universities of the country--Dhaka University (DU), Rajshahi University (RU) and Chittagong University (CU)--are facing additional session jam of at least six months following last month's street and campus violence that started in Dhaka University.

EC rev for full-scale voter listing in November

The Election Commission (EC) is preparing to launch its full-scale field level campaign of voter listing in November, aiming to have the voter list ready before the deadline of October next year.

CA urges global efforts for clean atmosphere

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday urged all major gas emitters to collectively achieve a global target to stabilise the atmosphere with short, medium and long-term measures.

BB advises banks for objective consideration

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has advised all commercial banks to consider the criminal cases against businessmen objectively allowing their firms to carry out banking transactions smoothly.

700 fishermen take shelter in India

About 50 fishing trawlers with more than 700 fishermen aboard took shelter in different costal areas in India since Thursday as they could not return home due to high waves in the Bay triggered by sudden storms.

Lifting of state of emergency depends on politicians

Law Adviser Mainul Hosein has said lifting of emergency depends on the behaviour of politicians.

Mobile court catches TCB selling low quality sugar

Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) stopped selling sugar in Chittagong Sunday after lab tests found that the sugar was completely unfit for consumption.

Next graft list of over 200 this month

Communications Adviser Major General (retd) MA Matin yesterday said the government will publish a list of 200-220 corruption suspects this month.

Delay in Biman flight schedule worries private hajj agencies

The private hajj agencies fear their management teeters on the edge of collapse, as Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd is yet to inform them about its hajj flight schedule.

Tax return submission deadline now Oct 31

The deadline for submitting individual tax returns for 2007-08 tax year has been extended till October 31 by the National Board of Revenue (NBR).

BNP laments EC silence on poll talks

The BNP in a letter to the chief election commissioner (CEC) yesterday alleged that the Election Commission (EC) remains silent on communicating with the party on electoral affairs, taking cognizance of objections by expelled BNP leaders.

Trial of 2 RU teachers, 12 others begins

The trial of two Rajshahi University (RU) teachers and 12 others for torching a DGFI vehicle on RU campus in August began yesterday.

Aminul Haque, Dulu, Nadim sued again for abetting militants

Two fresh cases have been filed against former BNP minister Aminul Haque, ex-deputy minister Ruhul Kuddus Talukder Dulu and ex-lawmaker Nadim Mostafa for extortion and abetting militancy.

Prisoner flees from cop custody

A prisoner fled from police custody in Chittagong while being produced before the court yesterday.

Criminals gun down city Jubo Dal leader

Armed criminals gunned down Pallabi Thana Jubo Dal general secretary and wounded his manager at Arambagh in the city's Pallabi yesterday morning.

BIWTA starts drive to free Shitalakkhya

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) yesterday launched a four-day long drive to free the Shitalakkhya river from illegal settlements.

'Ex-judge to stand against Musharraf'

Pakistani lawyers announced yesterday that they would field a former judge as a candidate against military ruler Pervez Musharraf in presidential elections due on October 6.

Israel orders graft probe into Olmert

Israel's chief prosecutor yesterday ordered a criminal corruption probe of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert over the purchase of a Jerusalem home.

Myanmar protesters number 100,000

Some 100,000 anti-government protesters led by a phalanx of Buddhist monks marched yesterday through Yangon, the largest crowd to demonstrate in Myanmar's biggest city since a 1988 pro-democracy uprising that was brutally crushed by the military.

Iran president begins US visit amid controversy

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was engulfed in bitter controversy yesterday as the alleged "Holocaust denier" who has been accused of backing terrorism prepared to address a skeptical US public.

UN chief opens summit on climate change

UN chief Ban Ki-moon opened a summit on climate change here yesterday, warning that the world's response to the global warming crisis "will define us, our era, and ultimately the global legacy we leave for future generations".

Kashmir must cut greenhouse gases

Indian Kashmir should cut emissions of greenhouse gases by cracking down on polluters to save the environment, a report said yesterday, amid mounting concern over vanishing glaciers.

Saudi prince wants to set up political party

A reformist Saudi prince has called for the creation of a political party in the ultra-conservative desert kingdom where parties are banned.


Invigorate local government system

THERE are no two opinions about the role of local government in giving democracy a firm footing and strengthening its institutions from grassroots level. And nobody can contest either its central role in a country's overall development. However, the institution of local government in Bangladesh, in spite of its huge potential has so far not been able to unfurl its full potential. And that is not because of the institution itself but how the system had been or not been utilised by the powers that be.

March of the monks in Myanmar

THERE are reasons to think that world leaders gathering in New York for the UN General Assembly session might bring pressure to bear on the Myanmar junta to introduce democratic reforms in the country. The United States and the European Community could be taking a lead in drawing attention to the latest development in Myanmar. There is little question that this new interest in what happens in the isolated country has been sparked by what has been happening over the past several days in Yangon. Thousands of monks have marched, in pouring monsoon rain, in the streets, first to protest the abnormal, sudden rise in fuel prices decreed by the junta and then to demand a return to democracy. Even the detained Aung San Suu Kyi, the symbol of the democratic struggle in her country, has watched the monks march before her residence.

Demarcating maritime zones in the Bay of Bengal

IT is common knowledge that India is hungry for energy and its search for oil and gas has been put on a high gear. It is understandable that India will explore the areas within its territory, including in the maritime zones, for oil and gas.

UPA's retreat on Ram Setu

THE United Progressive Alliance, which took power on a secular platform, has capitulated to Hindu communalism and beaten an ignominious retreat on the Ram Setu (Adam's Bridge) issue pertaining to the proposed Sethusamudram ship-canal project in the Palk Straits.

Global risk of US credit crisis

The US Federal Reserve cut the "Fed funds rate" from 5.25 per cent to 4.75 per cent on Tuesday, ending a long period of stability. Stagnation and inflation, once thought banished from the US because of high productivity growth and globalisation, could re-emerge, and that could have implications for the global economy.


The perfect finale

India v Pakistan has always been too emotionally wrought for the laws of probability to matter and in the inaugural final of World Twenty20 it defied all predictions. India won it, lost it, and finally won it by five runs as the man who had threatened to defy them at the last, Misbah-ul-Haq, slumped disconsolately on his haunches at the bowler's end.

Wonderful Wanderers

A sea of flags whipped around a packed Wanderers Stadium Monday, the tension palpable as arch-foes India and Pakistan faced off in a climactic battle in the ICC World Twenty20 Championship final in South Africa.

India's Road To Glory

Sept 13: India's first group match against Scotland was washed out due to rain.

Bad shots cost us, says Malik

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said "a few bad shots" cost his side in their five-run defeat by India in the final of the ICC World Twenty20 Championship in Johannesburg on Monday.

Dhoni forgets WC failure

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said India's ICC World Twenty20 triumph had made amends for their 50-over World Cup nightmare.

Telling twists

Oh Misbah not again
Poor Misba-hul Haq found himself facing the fire once again in an India-Pakistan match. Like their last encounter, he kept Pakistan in the match by playing intelligently, and picking the right balls to hit. A huge six in the last over, which started with Pakistan needing 13, seemed to swing the match decisively in favour of Pakistan, but with only one wicket in hand, and fine leg in the circle, Misbah went for that scoop which, not for the first time, ended in tears for the batsman. Sreesanth would have never taken a more important catch in his life. But for Misbah, who has been Pakistan's surprise star of the tournament, it will take some forgetting.

Windfall for Team India

There was windfall for the Indian cricket team after they lifted the inaugural Twenty20 cricket World Cup beating archrivals Pakistan in the finals here today.

Double blow for Aussies

Injury and compassionate leave have ruled batsman Mike Hussey and speed bowler Nathan Bracken out of the Australian squad for the upcoming tour of India, while captain Ricky Ponting is not fully fit, officials said Monday.

NCL attracts just one sponsor

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has got poor response from corporate houses for sponsorship of the upcoming National Cricket League, the lone first-class competition of the country.

Local Snippets

Holders BKSP brushed aside Joypurhat 16-0 on the opening day of the Araf Apparels 21st National Youth Hockey Championship at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Mega deal awaits India

India, the winners of the World Twenty20 Championship final will be invited to play a match worth 5 million dollars against the Stanford Super Team.

Warne, again?

Australian cricket superstar Shane Warne's ex-wife has accused him of ruining a reconciliation attempt by mistakenly sending her a text message meant for his lover.

Chelsea woes compound

A new chapter in the remarkable recent history of Chel-sea opened in controversial and inauspicious fashion at Old Trafford on Sunday as Avram Grant's first game in charge of the club ended in a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester United.

Roma remain atop

Roma retained the Italian league lead on Sunday, but they were left with a hatful of regrets after Juventus hit back to draw 2-2 in the day's big match at the Olympic Stadium.

Real snatch a draw

Real Madrid's flawless start to the season came to an end with a 1-1 draw away to mid-table Valladoid on Sunday.

'Team before Ronaldinho'

Dutch legend Johan Cruyff insists that Barcelona can afford to leave their Brazilian star Ronaldinho out of the squad.

Kirtley backs Colly

England bowler James Kirtley has given backing to under-fire skipper Paul Collingwood after the team's ICC World Twenty20 Championship disappointments.

Grant remains positive

Avram Grant, Chelsea's new manager, insists he is confident he will prove a successful replacement for Jose Mourinho despite a debut defeat against Manchester United.

Owen's woes continue

Michael Owen will have a second scan on his groin as the Newcastle striker's injury woes continue.

Bayern crush Karlsruhe

Bayern Munich's four summer signings - Luca Toni, Miroslav Klose, Hamit Altintop and Ze Roberto - all scored to put their side top of the Bundesliga with a 4-1 win at Karlsruhe on Sunday.

$70 million for Arsenal?

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been promised an enormous 70 million pound (142m dollars) transfer kitty after Arsenal revealed themselves to be one of Europe's richest clubs.

Lyon drop points again

Fans of arch rivals Paris St Germain and Marseille are finally united - although it is mostly in grief, at the respective performances of their sides in the French first division.

BFF gets land in Barisal for academy

The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday received documents of a piece of land in Barisal for their training centre to be built under FIFA's tsunami fund.

Szavay stuns Jankovic

Hungarian teenager Agnes Szavay came back from the brink to win the China Open on Sunday with a tough three-set victory over Jelena Jankovic, denying the top seed a fifth title this season.


Govt yet to approve export targets

The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) is yet to release the country's July export statistics as three months into the current fiscal the government still has not fixed export targets for the year 2007-08.

Bimstec TNC meet begins to reach consensus on FTA

The Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) meeting of Bimstec began here yesterday in a bid to reach a consensus among the member countries and establish a free trade area (FTA) in the region.

India absent as Iran, Pakistan resume gas talks

Iran and Pakistan on Monday started a new round of talks over finalising a long-delayed multi-billion dollar gas pipeline project with India, but in the absence of Indian officials.

Indian rupee heads up against dollar

India's rupee is set to head higher against the dollar as foreign investors pour money into the rapidly growing economy and the only question is how fast the currency will rise, analysts say.

IEA sees 'strong likelihood' oil prices will remain high

A top official with the International Energy Agency warned Monday there was "a strong likelihood" that short- and medium-term oil prices would remain high, citing demand-supply tensions and robust growth in China and India.

Nat'l Housing to offer home loan at 10pc interest

National Housing Finance and Investments Ltd has signed a participatory agreement with Bangladesh Bank under which National Housing will get refinancing from the central bank for concessional financing to housing sector at 10 percent interest, says a press release.

Mobile-land phone inter connection fee cut to Tk 0.40

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has reduced interconnectivity fees between mobile and land phone operators to Tk 0.40 from existing Tk 0.66.

Leading social entrepreneur in Asia Pacific honoured at DHL YES Awards

DHL, the world's leading express and logistics company, has announced Aysha Saifuddin of Pakistan as the leading social entrepreneur among five Asia Pacific countries participating in the inaugural DHL Young Entrepreneurs for Sustainability (YES) Awards, says a press release.

NationalPhone gets land phone licence for Dhaka

Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has given licence to the National Telecom Limited to start fixed phone service in Dhaka.

Training on business journalism ends in Bogra

A weeklong training programme aimed at improving business journalism at two local newspapers in Bogra concluded on Sunday, says a press release.

World financial crisis to have 'far-reaching' impact: IMF

The turmoil stemming from the US subprime property market and tighter credit will have a "far-reaching" impact on the world economy, the International Monetary Fund said Monday.

Hotels and restaurants directory published

“Bangladesh Hotels and Restaurants Directory” listing almost all the hotels and restaurants in Dhaka, Chittagong, Cox's Bazar and Sylhet, has been published in Bangladesh for the first time.

Pubali Bank, Uttara Finance ink Tk10cr term loan agreement

A Tk10 crore term loan agreement was signed between Pubali Bank Limited (PBL) and Uttara Finance & Investments Limited at the bank's head office in Dhaka recently, says a press release.

China set to lift ban from Sino-foreign brokerages

Foreign investment banks will be able to establish joint ventures with securities firms in China by the end of the year, the Financial Times reported Monday.

Samsung, Giorgio Armani team up

Samsung Electronics said it agreed Sunday to develop new premium electronic products with Italian luxury goods designer Giorgio Armani.

Dell to sell PCs through retail stores in China

US computer giant Dell said Monday it would sell its products through China's largest consumer electronics retailer, Gome, in a move analysts said was partly aimed at halting a market share slide.


'Strengthen govt-NGO coordination to rehabilitate victims'

The second phase of floods has posed new challenges for the government and the development partners in their efforts to rehabilitate the flood-affected people, experts at a workshop said yesterday.

People should unite behind govt for timely polls

British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury yesterday said one of the biggest challenges facing Bangladesh is to prevent political events and uncertainty from distracting the Election Commission (EC) holding general elections by the end of 2008.

Ex-DCC commissioner, four others to die

A Dhaka Court yesterday sentenced five people, including a former ward commissioner of Dhaka City Corporation, to death for killing Dhanmondi Sporting Club President Khairul Anwar Piaru in 2004.

‘Ensure birth registration for all children’

Meena Day was celebrated in the country yesterday with a call for birth registration of all children.

'Enforce laws strictly to elect clean candidates'

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday called for strict application of election laws to stop use of black money and muscle power in the next general election.

3 envoys happy over voters' list project in Bogra

Swedish, Danish and Norwegian Ambassadors yesterday expressed their satisfaction over the ongoing voter registration activities in Bogra.

Implement tripartite contract to remove workers' dissatisfaction

Leaders of different garment workers' associations yesterday demanded the government to take necessary measures for removing dissatisfaction of the garment workers in the light of tripartite contract.

2 lakh affected with cancer every year

There are about 40 lakh cancer patients in the country and two lakh more are afflicted with the disease every year, Chairman of Oncology Club Prof Dr ABMF Karim said yesterday.

Expatriate citizen seeks security of her family

A Bangladesh-born American citizen in a press conference yesterday sought justice and urged the authorities to ensure her family's security.

GP comes to aid of six acid survivors

Grameenphone (GP), a leading mobile phone operator, has provided employment to six acid survivors with a view to making them self-reliant.

Mild earthquake shakes country

An earthquake jolted Bangladesh at around 4:30pm yesterday.

BNP distributes relief at Jatrabari

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday urged the government to undertake massive rehabilitation programmes to recoup the loses caused by the monsoon floods that hit the country twice.

Move to curb irregularities at Shikkha Bhaban

A complaint box and help desk will be set up at the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE), widely known as Shikkha Bhaban, very soon with a view to eliminating irregularities and bringing back transparency in its activities.

Disqualify war criminals to get registered under EC

Different organisations urged the government not to allow the war criminals and religion-based political parties to get registered under the election commission (EC).

Declaration of 9 Rangpur dailies cancelled

Rangpur district administration has cancelled the declaration of nine daily newspapers for irregularities in publication and violation of the existing laws.

Delay in implementing 6th wage board condemned

Leaders of Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) yesterday condemned delay in implementing the 6th wage board.

Nasa aims to put man on Mars by 2037

Nasa aims to put a man on Mars by 2037, the administrator of the US space agency indicated here yesterday.

Three vessels detained in Ctg

At least three lighterage vessels were detained by the magistrate court of the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) in separate drives yesterday.


Party men demand punishment of ex-BNP MP in Magura

Party men now demand punishment of former BNP lawmaker from Magura-2 constituency Quazi Salimul Huq alias Quazi Kamal, accusing him of tarnishing party image by allegedly being involved in corruption, bribery and tender manipulation.

Tension mounts as sit-in continues

A tense situation is prevailing in the laid-off Alim Jute Mills following BJMC chairman's comment on allocation of fund for payment of all outstanding dues to workers and purchasing raw material.

Indigenous members return to Madhupur Nat'l Park Committee

All six indigenous members who had resigned from the Madhupur National Park Committee yesterday withdrew heir resignation letters and joined it again.

9 Jubo League, BCL men chargesheeted in Sylhet

The Speedy Trial Magistrate Court in Sylhet yesterday framed charges against nine activists of Awami Juba League and Bangladesh Chhatra league for bringing out a procession in Kanaighat upazila headquarters on July 25 defying emergency.

7 more PWs examined

The Sylhet Sadar Speedy Trial Magistrate Court yesterday examined seven more prosecution witnesses (PWs) in the case against detained former BNP lawmaker Shafi Ahmed Chowdhury for alleged misappropriation of relief goods.

2 UPDF men held with arms in Khagrachhari

Three hill plunderers were arrested here yesterday, police said.

Outlaw held in Jhenidah

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested a regional leader of the outlawed Gono Mukti Fauj at Pira Gati village in Shailkupa upazila here, police said.

Son gets 17-year RI for killing mother in Barisal

A court here yesterday sentenced a youth to 17 years rigorous imprisonment (RI) for killing his mother at West Ratanpur village in Mehendiganj upazila, court sources said.


Women's contribution

Nowadays women are participating in every sector of development. But the working conditions in offices or mills and factories are from ideal for women.

Helping the flood victims

I went to my village to see for myself the condition of flood victims. It was really pathetic as I saw people struggling to keep themselves afloat. I tried to raise funds with donations from the affluent in our locality (Naya Paltan).

Parliamentary election

In our parliamentary elections, a candidate can contest from three seats. It was five in the past. What a world we are living in that we have a shortage of candidates, and so a person has to contest for more than one seat. I don't get the point--keeping the number of corrupt politicians as small as possible?

Traffic management

I went out to pick up some Eid items the other day and noticed a number of things contributing to our Eid traffic problem:

Tsunami scare

A wave of panic engulfed the nation on 12 September night when the Indonesia earthquake prompted the weather department to issue a tsunami warning. Thousands of people in coastal regions moved towards the town. In a country just recuperating from flood, the tsunami would have been a big disaster, to say the least.

The shackled tiger?

The well known 'Golden Bengal' was one of the richest regions on earth, famous for 'Muslin'-- the luxurious fabric, precious jewellery, silk, spices, jute and tea. It was the goose that laid golden eggs which lured 'traders' from all around the world who turned into 'rulers'. It had far greater economic, intellectual and cultural excellence than the rest of India which gave birth to the 'Bengal Renaissance' starting with Raja Ram Mohan Roy in the 18th century. Bengal was the birthplace of numerous notable intellectuals including Tagore, the first Asian Nobel laureate in 1913 for 'Geetanjali', Physicist Sir J.C. Bose, pioneer of radio and microwave optics investigation in 1895 and Chemist P. C. Roy, founder of 'Bengal Chemicals' and discoverer of medicinal compounds using cattle bones in 1896.

VIP and non-VIP roads

There are four types of roads in Dhaka i.e. (i) VIP roads (ii) Non-VIP roads (iii) Two-lane (ways) roads and (iv) One-lane roads.

New taxpayers

I refer to your staff correspondent's report in the August 28 issue. In the drive to widen the tax-net and raise government resources for the income tax, this is definitely a welcome step. If the drive is further extended to all the districts and upazila towns, big hats and bazars in the rural areas, the number would increase significantly. Without such widening of the tax net, it would be impossible to increase the tax revenues in a big way. Apart from this, the following steps would be effective:

Plight of Biman

The PCP appeal to CA (17.09) is a thoroughly competent article from an experienced insider who is neither a bureaucrat, accountant or administrator.


Ambushes, clashes kill 26 in Afghanistan

Ambushes and gunbattles around Afghanistan killed at least 26 people, including 12 government employees and unarmed police killed by gunmen in the relatively calm north, officials said yesterday.

Deadly clashes amid Lankan peace offer

Clashes between security forces and Tamil separatists in northern Sri Lanka over the weekend claimed heavy casualties on both sides amid a fresh offer of peace talks, officials said yesterday.

Rahul takes top Cong job

Rahul Gandhi, scion of India's famed Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, was named yesterdayas a general secretary of the ruling Congress in a sign the party could be readying for early elections.

Arts & Entertainment

Flamboyant samples from seven countries

IT is not often that art work of well known artists from different countries come together on one platform. Shilpakala Academy currently has paintings from seven countries, including USA, Germany Italy, Greece and Nepal at the National Art Gallery. These are modern, experimental works, and delight the viewer with a penchant for the nouveau trends.

“Swapnodanay” going to the Oscars

Golam Rabbany Biplob's award-wining film Swapnodanay (On the Wings of Dreams) has been nominated to go to the 80th Academy Awards, scheduled to be held on February 24, 2008 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

A lifelong devotion to Tagore songs

Lily Islam is one of the leading Tagore singers in the country. Lily was born to a music-oriented family. Her mother was a singer, though she did not sing at public occasions.

New children's programme on ATN Bangla

The new children's programme on ATN Bangla Openti Bioscope begins today.


It's not Star Wars

Before Robert A. Hefner came along, many people assumed natural gas was limited in its quantity and uses. But since its founding in 1959, Hefner's company GHK alone has discovered more than 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas around the world. The company also pioneered the technology now used by all major companies in the United States to reach deep, high-pressure wells. Hefner recently spoke with Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria about why he thinks natural gas needs to be central to any strategy to transition beyond fossil fuels.

Lessons of party democracy

SHOULD our political parties reform themselves to become democratic parties? Our major political parties are one person shows. Sheikh Hasina decides what is good for the AL, and Khaleda Zia does the same for the BNP.

Opening doors for women

WORLD Tourism Day 2007 will be observed on September 27 with the theme "Tourism opens doors for women," to celebrate women's achievements in the tourism sector and encourage continuous action in support of the UN's Millennium Development Goal 3 "Promoting Gender Equality and Women Empowerment." This year's host country is Sri Lanka, an active UNWTO member for 30 years, which has a vibrant cultural heritage in which women have played a prominent role. The theme highlights an issue of fundamental importance for our future.

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