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Sunday, September 21, 2014


News of: Saturday, 1st of March, 2008

Front Page

Cellphone jammers to be installed at jails

Following detection of quite widespread use of mobile phones by prisoners in violation of the jail code, the government decided to install cellphone jammers at all 67 prisons across the country.

Train link with Kolkata likely from Pahela Baishakh

The passenger train service between Kolkata and Dhaka is likely to begin from 'Pahela Baishakh', Chief of Bangladesh Army Staff Gen Moeen U Ahmed said yesterday.

7 more bodies recovered, many still missing

The death toll from launch disaster in the river Buriganga on Thursday afternoon rose to 39 with the recovery of seven more bodies yesterday while at least 10 passengers remained missing.

Smaller parties join hands to set pre and post-poll strategies

In a rare move, a good number of smaller political parties are working to forge an effective secular platform to resist the anti-liberation forces and deal with pre- and post-election situation.

Billboards still being put up on rooftops flouting ban

New billboards are still being installed on top of roadside buildings in the capital flouting a Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) ban on the practice.

Smith & McKenzie unstoppable

Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie produced the highest South African opening partnership as they sent Bangladesh on a leather hunt on the opening day of the second and final Test match at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Govts since '71 neglected the teachings of history: CEC

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said governments since the country's independence in 1971 neglected the teachings of history eventually leading to the changeover of 1/11.

Malaysia allows inter-company transfer of Bangladeshis

The Malaysian authorities have agreed for the first time to allow transfer of Bangladeshi workers from one company to another.

Bush admn distancing itself from Musharraf

The US's second-ranking diplomat today signalled that the Bush administration was distancing itself from Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf after Opposition victories in last week's elections.

Data collected from Khaleda, Hasina to make voters

Former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina provided their personal data yesterday to fill their voter-registration forms.

ACC corruption charges against Tariqul, 4 family members

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has pressed charges against detained former forest and environment minister Tariqul Islam and four members of his family in a corruption case.

Reconciliation move in BNP hits snags

The reconciliation move in BNP seems to have run into a snag with none of the factions ready to budge on two crucial issues--status of the expelled leaders and the post of secretary general.

Conspiracy to destroy BNP won't work

Khandaker Delwar Hossain, chairperson-appointed BNP secretary general, yesterday said a certain quarter's conspiracy to destroy the party will not succeed.

Locals take away bricks, artefacts of another Bogra bihar

An ancient Bouddha Bihar in Kahaloo upazila of the district is falling into ruin as locals take away bricks and other artefacts from the archaeological site.

Arms, ammo recovered in Khagrachhari

Army personnel recovered firearms and ammunition from a criminal den at Pumangpara under Dighinala upazila of Khagrachhari district yesterday.

Fresh rise in prices of essentials

Prices of essentials, including rice varieties, pulses, flour and sugar, registered a fresh hike on both wholesale and retail markets in the capital last week.

'Give Liberation war heroes their due respect'

The contribution of the liberation war heroes should be recognised with due respect to establish a secular Bangladesh free from exploitation, discrimination and deprivation, said speakers at a meeting yesterday.

Ekushey Book Fair ends

Thousands of book lovers crowded Bangla Academy yesterday as the month-long traditional Ekushey Book Fair ended on the academy premises.

Saarc ministers to talk outlines of investment, protection accord

Broad outlines of an investment promotion and protection agreement among Saarc countries are expected to be discussed at a meeting of South Asian commerce ministers this week.

Two parties call to withdraw emergency

Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Gonotrantrik Bam Morcha yesterday demanded that the government immediately withdraw state of emergency, ensure democratic rights and check criminalisation of politics, businesses, administration and the media.

Trial of Sylhet cases hampered for judge shortage

Trial of 24 sensational cases is being hampered as the Sylhet divisional special tribunal has been short of judge.

Exhibition of 185 artefacts starts Monday

The government has organised a weeklong exhibition of 185 artefacts that were supposed to go to Guimet Museum in Paris. The move comes after 42 artefacts, which finally made it to Paris, returned to Bangladesh.

Suicide bomber kills 33 in Pakistan

At least 33 people were killed and 50 wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up yesterday during the funeral for a police official in northwest Pakistan, officials said.

UN may slap sanction on Iran today

Britain and France said Thursday they expect the Security Council to vote today and approve new UN sanctions against Iran for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment.

Musharraf pardons Indian on death row for 35 years

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has pardoned an Indian national who spent 35 years languishing on death row on espionage charges, a minister said yesterday

Iraq approves execution of 'Chemical Ali'

Iraq's presidency on Friday approved the execution for genocide of Ali Hassan al-Majid, the top hatchet man of Saddam Hussein known to the world as "Chemical Ali" for ordering gas attacks on Kurds in the 1980s.

Barack Obama seeks to conquer Texas

Democrat presidential frontrunner Barack Obama is seeking to conquer Texas, the conservative home ground of President George W Bush, hoping to permanently derail rival Hillary Clinton's run for the White House.

Editorial

Message from ADB report

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its December economic update report sees the expected GDP growth rate for 2008 at below 6 percent, half a percent lower than in the previous year. In the same breath, the ADB expresses an optimism for recovery in the second half of fiscal 2007-08. In other words, we would like to hope that the economic downturn will be reversed in the remainder of the year and that the GDP growth rate will more or less be comparable with that of the recent years. But this will take a lot of doing.

Tragedy on Buriganga

We are shocked at the loss of lives of passengers of an ill-fated launch when it sank in River Buriganga on Thursday. The tragic incident took place when the Munshiganj-bound launch was hit from behind by a fully loaded cargo vessel in broad daylight. The sudden impact had caught the passengers unaware, as a result of which many got trapped inside the cabins and the bottom deck. Only the lucky ones could swim to shore and safety. This is perhaps the first time that a passenger vessel sank for no fault of its own.

Avian flu and the rural economy

THE past year has been an unmitigated disaster for the rural economy in Bangladesh. We have seen tens of millions of people affected first by the twin floods and then by the destructive cyclone Sidr. Unfortunately, the ravages of avian influenza have now further compounded the situation.

State of the nation

IF you want to assess a country's progress you should pick up the poorest from among the people and see how far he has gone up the ladder, so said Mahatma Gandhi. The budget session of parliament, in progress, is a stock-taking exercise, not of economy alone but of other fields as well. With an array of 'liberal' measures, India has more than doubled its growth rate which was once dubbed the Hindu growth rate of four per cent.

Let our resolve remain firm

ON the t of 1/11 when President and the then CA of CTG declared that he had relinquished the post of CA and imposed state of emergency the whole nation practically heaved a sigh of relief that the country was thus spared a brewing holocaust being pushed to by the two main political parties always at daggers drawn over the issue of holding national polls that remained just a fortnight away.

Sports

'All about hard work'

There was no point for any Bangladeshi player to turn out for the press conference after the first day of the second Test match against South Africa at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday, as it was all about their humiliation. They were at the receiving end of their opponents' record breaking spree, keeping them at bay all day.

Chittagong Chillies

The authority's decision to allow school students free entry into the stadium paid full dividend on the first day of the second Test between Bangladesh and South Africa here at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium (CDS) yesterday.

Premier League from today

Abahani start defence of their Premier Cricket League title against Surjo Torun today at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur Stadium as the prestigious domestic competition begins across the city.

Mohammedan face Churchill today

Mohammedan Sporting Club will take on Goa's Churchill Brothers in today's IFA Shield match at Howrah.

Local Snippets

Mosharef bagged four wickets for 19 to help Young Pegasus B snatch a thrilling five-run win against Dhaka Mariners in yesterday's First Division Cricket League at the Jahangirnagar University ground.

Some solace for SL

Australia's Adam Gilchrist smashed a blistering 83 in his farewell appearance at the MCG but his teammates collapsed to hand Sri Lanka an unlikely 13-run win here on Friday.

Real look for tonic

After having the unfamiliar sensation of losing three games in a row, Spanish league leaders Real Madrid will be hoping to get back on track at lowly Recreativo Huelva on Saturday.

Cloud hangs over Slomka

Taking on Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich is enough of a challenge, but Mirko Slomka has the added pressure of knowing a defeat could signal the end of his reign at Schalke 04.

Villa test for Gunners

Martin O'Neill does not hide his admiration for Arsenal but that will not stop the Ulsterman from celebrating if his Aston Villa side derail the Gunners' Premier League title bid on Saturday.

Only UCL to fight for

With Inter Milan snatching a late equaliser against Roma on Wednesday to maintain their nine-point lead at the top of the table, it is Champions League qualification that takes the focus at the weekend.

Henin stopped at Dubai

World number one Justine Henin's unbeaten run of 17 matches at the Dubai Open came to an end as she went down to a 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/4) quarterfinal defeat to Francesca Schiavone on Thursday.

Taylor hopeful for Eduardo

Birmingham defender Martin Taylor said on Friday that he'll be a happy man when Arsenal striker Eduardo returns to action.

Getafe beat Santander

Getafe moved a step closer to their second consecutive King's Cup final by beating Racing Santander 3-1 in their semifinal first leg on Thursday.

Real covet Benzema

Real Madrid are interested in snapping up Lyon's French international striker Karim Benzema, even if the Spanish champions know the young talent will be difficult to prise away, Marca sports daily reported Friday.

Mascherano close to full deal

Argentinian midfielder Javier Mascherano said Thursday that he is "really close" to finalising a permanent deal with Liverpool.

Kaka extends Milan deal

World player of the year Kaka has extended his contract at AC Milan until 2013, the club said.

Rain halts Pak, SA

Heavy rain brought play to an early end in the under-19 World Cup semi-final day-night clash between Pakistan and South Africa here on Friday.

First final tomorrow

With the war of words between the sides, the stage is set for a thrilling conclusion to the last triangular one-day series when the finals get underway with a clash between arch rivals Australia and India here on Sunday.

Harmison takes five

It's never easy to tell what's going through Steve Harmison's head, but on a day when he produced his first five-wicket haul of the New Zealand tour, the good vibes were more clearly visible than usual. While his fellow bowlers succumbed to injury and illness -- and in Chris Tremlett's case, ended up being booked on a flight back to England -- Harmison bowled ten overs off the reel to finish with figures of 5 for 100, a performance that sparked his side's fightback against the New Zealand Select XI.

CA seek big boys

Cricket Australia officials are to hold a high-level meeting with the country's top players to address growing dissatisfaction with the ruling body.

KP's no to IPL

England batsman Kevin Pietersen has revealed that he was offered the chance to play in the Indian Premier League but insisted that he would never "turn my back on England," in return for a bumper payday.

Dizzy hangs up boots

Former Australian fast-bowler Jason Gillespie announced his retirement from first-class cricket Friday.

No super league for Arambagh

Arambagh Krira Sangha failed to reach the super league of the Senior Division Football League when they wasted their last chance yesterday.

'IPL to oblige counties'

The Indian Premier League (IPL) will look to reschedule its calendar in future to accommodate England players in the multi-million dollar Twenty20 tournament.

Rohit says right stuff

Young Indian batsman Rohit Sharma feels the youngsters in the team would need to rise up to the occasion to win the cricket tri-series finals against Australia starting Sunday.

Gilly talks down glove furore

Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist has played down the furore over Indian counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni's illegal gloves.

Samuels denies any offence

In a week when he was banned from bowling after his action was ruled illegal, Marlon Samuels' troubles appear to have grown with news that an internal West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) investigation into bribery allegations has found there is enough evidence to charge him with misconduct.

Lawson's ultimatum for Akhtar

Pakistan's chief coach Geoff Lawson on Friday backed down from giving full support to the inclusion of Shoaib Akhtar in the national team, saying the fast bowler's return to the side would depend on his focus on his cricket.

Tremlett out of NZ tour

Seam bowler Chris Tremlett has aggravated a side injury and is to return home from England's tour of New Zealand, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Friday.

Metropolitan

'Disabled-friendly technology needed to mainstream them'

Finance Adviser Dr M M Azizul Islam yesterday said disabled-friendly technology would have to be introduced to incorporate people with disabilities into the mainstream of development.

Pneumonia major killer of children in Bangladesh

Pneumonia has been claiming the highest number of child lives in the country, despite a remarkable progress in under-five child survival for immunization and oral saline over the last three decades, pediatricians and health scientists said here yesterday.

KL to launch world's first anti-piracy canine unit

Malaysia will launch the world's first anti-piracy canine unit to fight compact disc piracy, an industry watchdog said yesterday.

'Uphold Dhaka's heritage'

The skyline over Dhaka University (DU) campus yesterday changed its colour with the glitter of colourful kites.

Drive against use of cellphone while driving in Chittagong

Traffic department of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) starts drive to check use of cellphone while driving in the port city from today.

Prof Saifuddin made KU VC

Prof Dr Mohammad Saifuddin Shah of Fisheries and Marine Resource Technology Discipline of Khulna University (KU) has been appointed vice chancellor of the university.

Int'l scientific cancer confce on Mar 21

A four-day International Socio-Scientific Cancer Conference will begin in the city on March 21.

Prof Tamim to attend confce on renewable energy in USA

Chief Adviser's Special Assistant for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Prof M Tamim leaves for the USA today to attend a conference titled 'Washington International Renewable Energy 2008'.

Qulkhwani of Bazlur Rahman held

Qulkhwani of Bazlur Rahman, eminent journalist and editor of the daily Sangbad, was held at his Ramna residence in the city after Asr prayers yesterday.

Ex-lawmaker Shamsul Haque laid to rest

Former lawmaker Advocate M Shamsul Haque, who died of old-age complications at Birdem Hospital on Thursday, was laid to rest at the Martyred Intellectuals' Graveyard at Mirpur in the city yesterday.

Abdul Matin gets Matribhasha Padak

The Tamuddin Majlish has awarded the 'Matribhasha Padak 2008' to ABM Abdul Matin for his significant contributions to historic Language Movement, says a press release.

Rangpur Cadet College becomes champion

Rangpur Cadet College became the champion while Shaheed Bir Uttam Lieutenant Anwar Girls College runner-up in the 10th National Television School Debate, said a press release on Thursday.

Two killed in road accident

Two children of a family were killed in a road accident on Dhaka-Chittagong highway near Madanpur bus stand in Narayanganj yesterday.

Outlawed party leader arrested

An outlawed party leader was arrested with two firearms, 11 rounds of bullet and one cartridge at Saurail village in Pangsha upazila on Thursday.

Gulshan Society executives

CM Shafi Sami, former adviser to the caretaker government, and Jahurul Islam Chowdhury, a businessman, have been elected president and general secretary of Gulshan Society for 2008-09, says a press release.

BBC Bangladesh Sanglap today

BBC World Service will hold topic-based special editions of BBC Bangladesh Sanglap this month.

National

Untreated waste from yarn dyeing mills poses health hazard in Sirajganj

Toxic water released from several yarn dyeing and processing mills in Belkuchi upazila of Sirajganj district is polluting the local environment, causing untold suffering to thousands of people and posing serious health hazard.

Nirmul Committee demands trial of war criminals

Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee formed a human chain in front of the local press club on Thursday in the afternoon demanding trial of war criminals of

100 mango trees felled in Jhenidah

Rivals felled down about 100 mango trees from a garden of a youth as a sequel to village feud at Bhatoi village in Shailkupa upazila Thursday night, locals said.

Postmaster held for embezzling deposited money in Satkhira

The postmaster of Kalaroa upazila main post office has been arrested on Thursday on charge of misappropriating Tk over 50 lakhs from depositors savings and permanent deposit scheme accounts.

Dependence on forests to be reduced

A sustainable eco-tourism programme has been developed in the protected forests areas to reduce local people's dependence on forests by creating alternative job opportunities for them.

Rapist gets 40 years RI

A person has been sentenced to 40 years rigorous imprisonment (RI) on charge of raping a minor girl and causing abortion.

One killed in Pabna clash

One person was killed and five others were injured in a clash over harvesting pulses at village Charkurulia in Ishwardi upazila of Pabna on Wednesday night.

Body found in Gopalganj

A housewife's body has been found dead at her father-in-law's house at Kaligram in Muksudpur upazila, police said.

BNP leader held

Joint forces arrested a BNP leader here on charge of fertilizer smuggling from Chandpur to Burma through secret river routes Thursday afternoon.

International

Turkish troops withdrawing from northern Iraq

Turkish troops began withdrawing from northern Iraq on Friday, Turkish media said, amid conflicting reports on whether the army's week-old offensive against Kurdish rebels in the region was over or not.

'Good news' soon on Pak consensus govt: Zardari

The Pakistan People's Party, which has emerged as the largest parliamentary group in the National Assembly in the Feb 18 elections, on Thursday formally invited a fractured Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal to become part of the proposed government of national consensus in order to steer the country out of the present crisis.

Israel mulls major Gaza action after deadly raids

Israel was mulling yesterday intensifying its operations against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, where the Islamists called for mass protests against strikes that have killed 30 Palestinians in two days.

US 'ready to lift sanctions' on North Korea

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Japan on Wednesday that Washington is ready to remove political sanctions on North Korea in order to move to the next phase of denuclearisation.

US support for Musharraf causes Pak anger

The US has a puzzle to crack in Pakistan.

Musharraf may reinstate sacked Pak judges

In a major climbdown, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has sent a message to the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) chief Asif Ali Zardari that sacked judges of the higher courts can be reinstated provided they don't hear cases against him, said an official privy to the developments.

Japanese scientists eye new planet

Scientists at a Japanese university said Thursday they believed another planet up to two-thirds the size of the Earth was orbiting in the far reaches of the solar system.

Senators irked over Musharraf's Rs 63-lakh hotel bill

Pakistani Senators have questioned President Pervez Musharraf's fat hotel bill of Rs 63 lakh during his recent three-day visit to Britain, saying it caused a deep hole for the state exchequer.

India hikes defence budget to $26.40b

India yesterday jacked up defence spending by 10 percent to 26.4 billion dollars, the steepest hike since independence to fund a mammoth modernisation programme.

India, IAEA moves closer to clinch accord

India and IAEA have moved a step closer to finalising the 'agreed text' on India-specific safeguards agreement, a key requirement under the Indo-US deal.

Tamil suicide bombing rocks Lanka capital

A suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew himself up yesterday injuring seven people as police tried to search his house in the heavily-guarded Sri Lankan capital, officials said.

Prince Harry to quit Afghanistan

Prince Harry will be withdrawn from active service in Afghanistan after a news blackout on his deployment was broken, British media reports said Friday.

Hillary counts on women for comeback

Fighting to survive, Hillary Rodham Clinton is counting on female power to energize her faltering presidential bid. She's hoping a double-digit lead among women in Ohio is the answer.

Kenya leaders thrash out details of power sharing

Kenya's rival camps sat down yesterday to hammer out the details of a power-sharing deal signed by President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga to end a bloody two-month political crisis.

US, Britain urge Myanmar to include Suu Kyi in polls

Senior diplomats from Britain and the United States on Friday urged Myanmar's military junta to include Aung San Suu Kyi and her pro-democracy party in a promised referendum and elections.

Thai PM sacks police chief, say officials

Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej yesterday sacked the national police chief, who was a member of the previous military-led government, a senior police official said.

Thailand lifts currency controls

The Bank of Thailand said yesterday it will lift the remaining currency controls imposed by the previous military regime, marking a sharp shift in economic policy.

Mars project faces problems

Nasa's flagship mission to land a nuclear-powered, next-generation rover on Mars is facing development problems and ballooning costs that could threaten its scheduled launch next year.

'Doomsday' seed vault comes to life in Arctic

A vault carved into the Arctic permafrost and filled with samples of the world's most important seeds was inaugurated this week, providing a Noah's Ark of food crops in the event of a global catastrophe.

US to set up military hotline with China

The United States and China yesterday signed an agreement to establish a telephone hotline between their militaries, a US defence department official said.

China okays individual pollution fines

China's legislature passed an amendment on Thursday to a pollution law that could result in docking half the salary of individual managers whose factories pollute waterways, state press said.

Arts & Entertainment

Dotara maestro Abinash Chandra Sheel remembered

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) arranged a memorial programme to pay tribute to the renowned dotara player Abinash Chandra Sheel at the National Music and Dance Centre, BSA on February 28. Speakers discussed the life and works of the dotara maestro at the programme. A cultural programme followed the discussion.

UNESCO Book Exhibition '08 ends

To mark the International Mother Language Day, National Association of UNESCO Clubs in Bangladesh arranged a two-day long book exhibition in collaboration with the UNESCO Dhaka office at the Central Public Library.

Felicitation and cultural programme in Sirajganj

“To ensure a better future for our next generation, people from all walks of life should join hands and fight corruption, as they did during the Language Movement in 1952 and the Liberation War in 1971,” said Language Movement veteran Abdul Matin.

Street Theatre Festival '08 begins today

The weeklong Street Theatre Festival '08 starts today at the Central Shaheed Minar premises, says a press release. Eminent cultural personality Asaduzzaman Noor will inaugurate the festival at 4 pm.

"Srotar Ashor" A mélange of musical at Chhayanat

Chhayanat's monthly musical soiree “Srotar Ashor” was held at the Rameshchandra Auditorium, Chhayanat Sanskriti Bhaban on February 28. The programme held on the third Thursday of every month, features different artistes at each session. This month's programme featured performances by Shaikat Mukherjee, Champa Banik, Tania Mannan, Nasima Shaheen and Rokaiya Hasina Neeli.

Shah Abdul Karim Festival in Sunamganj

Shah Abdul Karim Festival will be held at Ujandhal under Derai Upazilla of Sunamganj District on March 2 and 3. The event will be inaugurated by the Divisional Commissioner of Sylhet, Aziz Hasan, on March 2, according to a press release.

International Mother Language Day observed in Dinajpur

Cultural organisations of Dinajpur observed the International Mother Language Day recently with different programmes including discussion, music and dance.

OP-ED

Missing the opportunity to free the Royal Bengal Tiger

ON 1/11, the country was saved from being torn apart by the savage pull of opposing power and wealth-hungry political forces by the calling of emergency and formation of a new caretaker government with the backing of the armed forces.

Handle with care

IN late December, our progressive chattering classes -- in political addas, opinion pages and the blogosphere -- recoiled in disgust and disbelief almost instantaneously upon learning that 19-year old Bilawal Bhutto was designated to succeed his assassinated mother at the helm of Pakistan People's Party, leaving the leadership of the party in the hands of three successive generation of its founding family.

The making of Muktir Gaan

It was in the fall of 1990. Tareque and I had been in the US for about one year. We didn't really have any particular plan in mind at the time for staying in the states. Rather, it was a "decompression" of sorts, after a hectic period in Bangladesh and India when we had struggled to complete "The Inner Strength," Tareque's documentary film on the life and art of the painter S.M. Sultan.

Banker, Trader, Soldier, Spy

OVER the past few decades, a quiet economic transformation has taken place in Burma and Pakistan. In the absence of accountability and transparency, the extent of "security interests" in the economy has increased significantly, compromising the long-term prospects for democracy and economic development.

Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendro and Bangladesh's Declaration of Independence

THE last message from Dacca Betar Kendro was delivered by announcer Nazma Akhtar.

Star Health

Climate change and our health

Climate change is a significant and emerging threat to public health, and changes the way we must look at protecting vulnerable populations.

New survey finds highest rates of drug-resistant TB to date

Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) has been recorded at the highest rates ever, according to a new report, says World Health Organisation (WHO). The report presents findings from the largest survey to date on the scale of drug resistance in tuberculosis.

Coping with male infertility

"Normal" sperm count, as defined by the World Health Organisation is characterized by:

  • The concentration of spermatozoa should be at least 20 million per ml
  • The total volume of semen should be at least 2ml
  • The total number of spermatozoa in the ejaculate should be at least 40 million
  • At least 75% of the spermatozoa should be alive (it is normal for up to 25 per cent to be dead)
  • At least 30% of the spermatozoa should be of normal shape and form
  • At least 25% of the spermatozoa should be swimming with rapid forward movement
  • At least 50% of the spermatozoa should be swimming forward, even if only sluggishly

Bringing healthcare to doorsteps of farmers

Like other basic needs, healthcare for our farmers has been disgruntling over the years. Yet, it is the most unaddressed requirement which needs to be focused urgently.

Cut salt to keep children thin: study

Reducing the amount of salt that children eat could provide a short-cut to keeping them slim, British researchers reported.

Yogurt may take the bite out of gum disease

Regularly eating yogurt and other foods with lactic acid may be good for your mouth, Japanese researchers report.

Strategic Issues

The spectre of religious militancy

The spectre of militancy with an overtone of religious extremism has again raised its ugly head in the remotest south western part of Bangladesh. The report published in the national dailies on January 19 indicates that religious militants are organizing again in Patuakhali and greater Barisal district under the banner of Hizbut Tauhid. It is an Islamist organization not yet banned but propagating jihad through distributing books and leaflets among villagers and school children, reportedly with the verbal permission of certain government high ups of the locality. This information has come as a chilling reminder of the irreparable damage done in the by gone days when Bangla Bhai and his ilk dominated the political arena of Bangladesh during the alliance rule.

Kosovo's independence: An anxious period for Europe

The United Nations envoy for Kosovo says independence is the "only viable option" for the territory, in a report to the Security Council. The envoy, Finnish diplomat Martti Ahtisaari, (former President of Finland and one time UN Under- Secretary General) says Kosovo should have internationally-supervised independence for an initial period.

Pakistan elections: Some observations

Most elections are cathartic, allowing society to let off steam. Some are transformational, like Ukraine's Orange Revolution and as the 2008 US presidential elections could be. Others have revolutionary impact: the 1970 elections in undivided Pakistan divided it, materially changing South Asian geopolitics.

Star Books Review

Tales of a dictator and his victims

Bangladesh's history in its first decade of freedom was fundamentally a story of bloodletting. You do not have to go into research to arrive at such a morbid conclusion. But you cannot escape feeling a certain sense of irony as you recapitulate the whole episode of the country's actually claiming, and taking, its place in the global community. If the war of liberation in 1971 saw three million Bengalis dying at the hands of the Pakistan armed forces, the post-liberation era turned into a long tale of blood and gore as most of the new nation's founding fathers and war heroes bit the dust through bloody coups d'etat and internecine armed conflict. The series of tragic happenings that engulfed Bangladesh between August and November 1975, followed by the execution of Abu Tahir, a soldier for freedom, in July 1976, will remain a blot on the conscience of a nation which yet struggles to find a way out of the woods for itself.

Aching realism and provocative meditation

Human beings are seekers of truth. The Infinite Plan is a poignant saga of one man's search for love and his struggles to find the meaning of life. The protagonist of the story is a seeker of truth that can make him free. Isabelle Allende weaves a vivid and engrossing tapestry of how a Mexican family is absorbed into life in America. This is the story of Gregory Reeves telling the story of his life. The story is a mixture of first person and third person narrative. Gregory speaks of his own realisations and life axioms. Other characters and plots, vibrant and richly imagined, enter the story line in the third person.

Through a landscape of ideas

Anisur Rahman, a passionate fervent poet, is basically more a poet than an essayist in his

The man behind the caretaker details

The publication of The Ishtiaq Papers by the University Press Limited on 21 January 2008 on the occasion of the 76th birth anniversary of Barrister Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed is surely a commendable move.

Of sensuality and seduction

Books about lost love and sacrifice are always available to readers. There are also books about one generation passing on its secrets and lessons to another. There are books about making decisions that can change the track of one's entire life. Marisol's The Lady, The Chef And The Courtesan mirrors all these topics, but does so with such warmth and élan that a reader forgives its familiarity and just loses himself in the book.

At a glance

Half of a Yellow Sun
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Harper Perennial
A tale of the dreams that worked in Nigeria in the early years of freedom, this work is perhaps one of the best to have come from a writer with roots in Africa. Adichie writes in a style that brings together local heritage and cosmopolitan behaviour and weaves it all into a pattern that leaves the reader terribly impressed.



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