The Daily Star

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

News of: Saturday, 17th of May, 2008

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Long waits for customs job discouraging passengers

Launched amid much enthusiasm and fanfare over a month ago, Dhaka-Kolkata passenger train service now sees not even one third of seat capacity of the carriages used.

Four top outlaws break out of Chuadanga jail

Four top outlaws in the country's southwest region serving out long prison sentences broke out of Chuadanga Jail Thursday night.
The escaped convicts are Aktaruzzaman Sohag, 38, Abdul Hamid, 37, Jorap Ali alias Bachchu 32, of Chuadanga and Asiqur Rahman Tagar, 36, of neighbouring Kushtia.

BNP reunification move on the rocks again

Just when reunification of BNP seemed only a matter of time, a cloud of uncertainty formed over the process again.
The uncertainty was created by pro-Khaleda faction chief Khandaker Delwar Hossain's intransigence over making a joint public statement with the rival faction, and his insistence that pro-Saifur faction makes a public announcement nullifying its founding meeting, even before the next reunification meeting of the feuding factions, according to sources.

Timely availability to serve justice better, say experts

Some senior lawyers and former judges believe quick and full delivery of the Supreme Court (SC) judgments, particularly the ones of crucial importance, would allay concerns among the litigants and lawyers.

Unregulated pay channels cost Tk 100cr revenue

The government is being deprived of an annual revenue income of Tk 100 crore as pay channel businesses remain unregulated, while some cable operators allegedly remit money abroad for using devices smuggled in from India.

Patronise good filmmakers, create greater market

Terming cinema a strong medium for reflecting life and the society, filmmakers and cultural activists yesterday called for launching a film movement in the country in collaboration with the government and private entrepreneurs.

50 hurt as KU students clash with transport workers and police

At least 50 people, including six policemen, were injured as students of Khulna University (KU) clashed with transport workers at Sonadanga bus terminal at Thursday midnight and then with police on Khulna-Satkhira Highway yesterday.

Prices of eggs, battery chickens spiral

Prices of eggs rose sharply in the city's kitchen markets in the last two days while the price of battery chicken also witnessed a fresh hike.

No electoral alliance with anti-liberation elements, says AL

Awami League (AL) yesterday announced it would not enter into any electoral alliance with the anti-Liberation War forces.

‘Most units in city don’t have ETP, discharge waste into rivers’

Most industries in the capital are yet to install Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) for safeguarding the city's surrounding rivers from further pollution although the deadline for mandatory installation of ETP in all industries ended six months ago, environmentalists said yesterday.

Neglect of duty, poor bldg construction blamed for jailbreak

Negligence of duty on the part of prison officials and poor construction of the jail building are responsible for the breakout of four convicts from Chuadanga Jail Thursday night, officials yesterday said.

Mobile jammer at Dhaka jail not working

The cellphone jammer installed in Dhaka Central Jail to prevent unauthorised phone calls of inmates does not work properly due to the jail's close proximity to several cellphone towers.

Free Hasina before dialogue

The key leaders of Awami League yesterday said the party will not participate in the government-proposed dialogue and the parliamentary election without detained party chief Sheikh Hasina.

40 Bangladeshis rounded up in Rajasthan

Illegal Bangladeshi migrants in Rajasthan will be identified in 30 days and could be deported as they came under the scanner of the state government after the serial blasts while a hotelier claimed he saw one of the suspects in Udaipur two days before the attack.

Army recovers arms, ammo in 2 CHT dists

Army personnel yesterday recovered firearms, ammunition, firearms-making equipment mobile phones, medicine and surgical equipment from two hideouts of criminals at Ugoichhari of Rangamati and at Ujirchhara of Khargachhari early yesterday.

Gas cylinders of two vehicles explode after collision: 10 hurt

Ten persons were injured as a microbus and a private car collided head-on on Brahmanbaria-Comilla Road in sadar upazila of the district yesterday. Cylinders of both the CNG-run vehicles exploded after the collision, badly damaging the vehicles.

Financial grants for 224 DU students

A total of 224 students of Dhaka University (DU) were awarded financial grants yesterday in recognition of their outstanding academic results.

Anwar Choudhury leaves today

Wrapping up his four-year assignment in Bangladesh, British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury leaves this morning for London by a British Airways flight.

Probe identifies 7 reasons behind Nikli disaster

One of the two probe bodies formed to investigate last week's launch capsize in Ghorautra river in Nikli upazila submitted its report yesterday, identifying seven reasons behind the disaster that claimed at least 46 people.

Low over Bay may intensify

The well-marked low formed over east central Bay and adjoining northeast Bay is likely to intensify further as it persisted there at 9:00am yesterday.

100 killed in new Nigeria pipeline inferno

An oil pipeline explosion killed about 100 people on Thursday near a primary school in a suburb north of Lagos, the Red Cross said.

Suicide blast kills 10 in Sri Lanka

A suicide bomber on a motorcycle rammed into a bus carrying riot police in Sri Lanka's capital yesterday, killing 10 people, including eight policemen, and wounding 85 others.

Oil price surges to record high above $ 127

The price of oil rocketed to a record high point of 127.43 dollars per barrel yesterday, as US President George W. Bush prepared to urge Saudi Arabia to pump more crude, analysts said.


Farmers leading the way

BUT for the boro bumper, good wheat crop and abundance of potatoes we would have been in dire straits in a food-short world today. Our farmers can be credited with rising from the catastrophic floods and Sidr with a firm determination to make up for the losses. They have proved that with their will and government's assistance, the farmers can work wonders.

Disaster relief in Myanmar and China

THE recent natural disasters in Myanmar and China should be enough to give any sentient human being pause. After we register our shock at the extent of the calamity and extend our sympathies to the families of those who have been killed or are suffering, there are two further considerations that must be kept in mind.

The humanitarian crisis of Myanmar's survivors

Natural disasters are something that the people of Bangladesh are familiar with. Floods and cyclones, death and devastation, associated with such occurrences, have become part of our lives. Over the last fifty years, in addition to many tornadoes, we have had massive cyclones that have at times killed more than one hundred thousand unfortunate people at a time and tens of thousands of livestock. I recall in this context, the cyclones of the sixties and the monster at the end of 1970. An entire generation of people living near the coast was seriously affected. After this was the disaster in the first quarter of 1991 and finally Sidr that hit our south western districts late last year.

Disposable commodity called editor

THIS is not the first time that an editor in India has been sacked unceremoniously. Nor will it be the last time. But the case of M.J. Akbar, who was till recently the Editor of The Asian Age, raises certain fundamental questions. Does the owner have the right to dismiss his editor whenever he wants or however he wants?

For a cohesive blend of all types of education

Bangladesh proceeded with a multi-faceted form of education in deviation from the constitution which provides in Article 17 that the state shall adopt effective measures for the purpose of establishing a uniform, mass-oriented and universal system of education and ensuring free and compulsory education to all children to such stage as may be determined by law and relating education to the needs of society and producing properly trained and motivated citizens to serve those needs. Everybody knows how our governments have behaved with such a vital socio-economic necessity like education. The doldrums must end.


Story of a dull derby

The lifeless Abahani-Moha-mmedan encounter was best summed up when Zunaed Siddiqui came on to bowl his off-spin in the 12th over. He cut a casual figure loosening his shoulders and measuring a short run-up. As he confirmed to see if the batsman on strike was left or right-handed while setting the field, Zunaed offered a smirk or it could have been a hapless smile.

Abahani to play opener against Nepal Police

Abahani will have to travel to Malaysia in the last week of June to play their AFC President's Cup matches in Petaling Jaya, a city adjacent to the capital Kuala Lumpur.

Usha keep winning

Usha Krira Chakra destroyed Ajax Sporting Club 6-2 at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday to join Abahani atop the points table of the Green Delta Insurance Premier Hockey League.

Warm-up matches for booters

The National football team will leave Dhaka on May 25 if the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) can confirm preparation matches in Thailand for next month's SAFF Football Championship.

Zia, Rakib share second spot

Grand Masters Ziaur Rahman and Abdullah Al Rakib won their respective eighth round matches to share the second spot along with two other players in the Mayors Cup 1st International Open Chess tournament in Mumbai yesterday.

Mishra sinks Deccan

A dramatic final-over hat-trick by Amit Mishra, when Deccan Chargers needed only 15 runs off six balls, clinched a tense 12-run victory for the Delhi Daredevils and ended their four-match losing streak. Half-centuries from Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan set Deccan a formidable target of 195 but Mishra's timely strikes in his two spells broke Deccan's growing momentum during the chase.

Sidebottom thwarts Kiwis

Ryan Sidebottom turned in a miserly spell of four wickets for five runs in 10.1 overs Friday as New Zealand were bowled out for 277 on the second day of the first Test here at Lord's.

Sanath back in SL fold

Sanath Jayasuriya makes a return to the Sri Lanka squad for the Asia Cup in Pakistan after having been dropped for the one-dayers in the West Indies last month. Jayasuriya, who has retired from Tests, was included in the 15-member squad following the intervention of Gamini Lokuge, the country's sports minister, after selectors had left him out of the original squad.

Ganguly hopes for ODI recall

Sourav Ganguly has brushed aside notions of Twenty20 being a young man's game, pointing out how seniors players have thrived in the Indian Premier League.

Pistorius makes history

South African Paralympics champion Oscar Pistorius won an appeal at the Court of Arbi-tration for Sport (CAS) Friday that could pave the way for an historic participation in the Beijing Olympics.

Del Piero's last chance

Veteran striker Alesandro Del Piero has one last chance to convince Italy coach Roberto Donadoni to pick him for the Euro 2008 squad, which will be announced on Tuesday.

Chelsea are underdogs

Joe Cole admits Chelsea will go in the Champions League final against Manchester United in the unusual position of being underdogs.

Maria battles through

New world number one Maria Sharapova was made to battle all the way before reaching the Rome International quarterfinals with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) victory over Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki on Thursday.

A final for romantics

Portsmouth meet Cardiff City at Wembley on Saturday (1400 GMT) in a final the FA Cup has been crying out for even if the absence of familiar names may prove the competition's lack of appeal for the big clubs.

Van Basten trims squad

Dutch coach Marco Van Basten has whittled down his list of Euro 2008 hopefuls to 26, ahead of shedding another three players for his final squad, the Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) said Friday.

C'Ron stokes Real fires

Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo has dropped a potential bombshell on the club by telling Spanish television he could consider his future following the Champions League final on May 21.

Germany spring Marin surprise

Uncapped teenage winger Marko Marin, from second-division Borussia Moenchengladbach, is the shock inclusion in Germany's extended 26-man squad for next month's Euro 2008 tournament.

Man City gifted UEFA Cup spot

Manchester City have been awarded a 'Fair Play' place in next season's UEFA Cup, the English Premier League announced on Friday.

Ronaldinho out, Adriano in

Barcelona superstar Ronaldinho was again ignored by Brazil coach Dunga when the squad for the next round of 2010 World Cup qualifiers was announced on Thursday.

Zidane to play in Sydney

French football legend Zinedine Zidane will play an exhibition match in Sydney next month alongside a number of teammates from his 1998 World Cup winning side, the promoter said Friday.

Laudrup packs bags at Getafe

Dane Michael Laudrup said Friday he was quitting as coach of Spanish side Getafe after just one season.

Deco quitting Barcelona

Portuguese international midfielder Deco handed Spanish giants Barcelona another bombshell on Thursday by announcing he will not be with the club next season, Spanish media reported.

Local Snippets

BKSP blanked Mukta Jiban 2-0 in the inaugural south zone match of the Pioneer Football League at the Mohammadpur Idgah ground yesterday.

'ACL revamp essential'

With D-Day scheduled for May 20, when the AFC Pro-League ad-hoc committee announces the list of countries eligible to participate in the revamped AFC Champions League (ACL) next year, AFC president Mohamed Bin Hammam said he would like to make the elite competition comparable to its European relative.

Federer in semis

Defending champion Roger Federer booked his place in the semifinals of the Hamburg Masters Series with a straight sets win over Fernando Verdasco on Friday.

Blanc plays down chances

Former World Cup winner Laurent Blanc has played down his chances of claiming the French league title this weekend after his first full season as manager of Bordeaux.

Brendon shifts talent

Brendon McCullum transported the special skills of limited overs cricket to the spiritual home of the game on Thursday in a bittersweet day for the New Zealand wicketkeeper.

Sehwag hit by stones

Less than a day after Glasgow Rangers supporters went on the rampage in Manchester, it was the Delhi Daredevils' turn to reflect on moronic behaviour from so-called fans. The game was tantalisingly poised, with the Deccan Chargers needing 24 from 11 balls and the in-form Venugopal Rao on strike. At that moment, Virender Sehwag ran in from the boundary to speak to Brian Jerling, the umpire. There was a lengthy delay, with no one quite sure what was going on. Only later, at the post-match press conference, did the reason come forth.

Pup to miss first Test

Australian vice captain Michael Clarke will miss the first Test against the West Indies after delaying his departure to the Caribbean for family reasons, the player and officials said Friday.

Kumble on Dravid's side

Anil Kumble has firmly backed Rahul Dravid, the captain of the Bangalore Royal Challengers, and said it was time "people who matter" understand what sports is all about.

Time to rise for WI: Dyson

West Indies coach John Dyson believes his team's daunting, imminent challenge against Australia could be the making of his Caribbean team.


Dhaka sees unprecedented rise in land price since '70s: Study

Dhaka city has experienced an unprecedented increase in land price since the early '70s with Dhanmondi showing a rise of 12,000 percent, says a study.

Sit with politicians to resolve various crises

Bikalpadhara Bangladesh (BDB) yesterday urged the government to sit with politicians frequently to find ways to resolve various crises like price hike of essentials and power outages.

Work together for dev, poverty alleviation

The government, civil society members and international development partners should work together to support development, pro-poor growth and poverty alleviation.

Govt looks for competent vice chancellor

Unlike previous governments which appointed the vice-chancellors of Rajshahi University (RU) mainly on political consideration, the caretaker government is likely to appoint a new one considering his academic background and efficiency.

Russian company recruits 60 skilled garment workers

Sixty skilled garment workers have been recruited by a Russian company opening the export of Bangladeshi workers to Russian Federation.

Govt to provide yarn to weavers at fair price

Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Adviser Anwarul Iqbal yesterday said the government will provide yarn to the country's weavers at fair price so that they can produce clothes at a low cost.

VoIP equipment seized

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) equipment worth Tk 10 lakh in the port city on Thursday night.

Woman electrocuted

A woman was electrocuted at a sweater factory at Shyampur in the city yesterday.

Khaleda's release demanded

District BNP leaders at a discussion yesterday demanded immediate release of party Chairperson Khaleda Zia and withdrawal of cases filed against her.

Elderly woman beaten to death

An elderly woman was beaten to death by her neighbour over a trifling matter at Ranidighi in Rajshahi city yesterday morning.

Chhatra Union condemns police action on KU students

Bangladesh Chhatra Union (BCU), a left-leaning student organisation, yesterday condemned a police action on Khulna University (KU) students.

Beheaded body of bus helper found in city

Beheaded body of a bus helper was found at Meer Hazirbagh in the city's Shyampur area yesterday morning.

Girl rescued from trafficker

Members of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday rescued a teenage girl and arrested a trafficker at Benapole Bazar.

2 killed in road accidents

Two people were killed in separate road accidents in Sirajganj and Pabna in last two days.

4-yr-old boy rescued, four held on charges of abduction

The police rescued a four-year-old boy from Alamdanga in Chuadanga yesterday four days after he was abducted from Dhaka.

Rotary Int'l president arrives today

Rotary International President Wilfrid J Wilkinson and his wife Joan Wilkinson are scheduled to arrive in the city today on a three-day visit to Rotary District 3280, which comprises the whole country.

World Telecom & Information Society Day today

The World Telecommunications and Information Society Day will be observed in the country as elsewhere of the world today with a call for bringing the people of all races closer to each other around the globe.

BBC Bangladesh Sanglap today

The 38th edition of the BBC Bangladesh Sanglap will be held at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the capital today.


'Ignored' BNP leaders come up as Saifur era wanes in Moulvibazar

With Saifur era virtually on the wane in Moulvibazar BNP, senior and dedicated party leaders sidelined by him during his tenure are coming up in the leadership, party insiders said.

Court acquits 3 accused, orders action against IO

A court has acquitted all the three accused in Prasahanta murder case in Kaliganj upazila due to negligence of the investigation officer (IO), court sources said.

Neonatal deaths rise at RMCH

As many as 238 babies and children died at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) in three months till March.

Paddy with shrimp cultivation

A salt tolerant Boro paddy, evolved by Satkhira regional office of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), has opened up a new horizon for farmers in coastal region. They can also grow rice in shrimp enclosures.

BSF kills one in Kurigram

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) killed a Bangladeshi cattle trader at bordering Gaytapara village under Raumari upazila in the district on Thursday morning.

117 polling centres listed in SCC

As part of preparatory works for Sylhet City Corporation elections expected to be held in July, election officials have sent a list of 117 polling centres to all concerned including the ward commissioners and assistant registration officers.

4 CBA leaders, engr charge-sheeted for graft

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has submitted charge sheets against four CBA leaders of Zia Fertiliser Factory and Ashuganj upazila engineer to the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate in Brahmanbaria for graft and misuse of power.


Myanmar won't budge on foreign relief: EU envoy

The European Union aid chief said yesterday that Myanmar's junta still would not budge on accepting foreign relief workers, two weeks after the cyclone tragedy that has left more than 71,000 dead or missing.

China counts cost of quake losses

Cracked dams and buckled roads, collapsed buildings and toppled factories China has begun tallying losses from the calamitous earthquake that struck earlier this week, with estimates ranging to over $20 billion.

US toughens stance on Pak govt's talks with militants

The United States is refusing to comment on the missile attack on Damadola but has toughened its stance on a proposed agreement with the militants, saying that any deal Pakistan reaches with them should be “worth more than the paper it is written on”.

Terrified survivors flee quake town of death

Death stalks every street of this ruined town and for the traumatised survivors there is just one overwhelming impulse -- to flee the horror as quickly as possible.

Pakistan optimistic about progress in India talks

Pakistan has said it is optimistic about progress in the peace process with India when the two countries resume their dialogue next week.

US warns China over weapon links in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan

The United States has warned Beijing over reported use of Chinese weapons by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the Asian giant's continued sale of arms to Iran, Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said Thursday.

Voting starts in key Indian state election

Voters started turning out under heavy security yesterday in a crucial southern Indian state election, hours after suspected Maoist rebels shot dead two men, officials and news reports said.

Militants behead Pakistani soldier to avenge US missile strike

Pakistani authorities Friday found the body of a paramilitary soldier beheaded by Taliban insurgents in a tribal area where a suspected US missile strike left 12 people dead, an official said.

US House Republicans block war funding bill

The US House of Representatives Thursday rejected 163 billion dollars in emergency spending for Iraq and Afghanistan, in an unexpected but symbolic twist to a fierce political battle over war funding.

9 killed in Philippines during bank robbery

At least eight bank employees and a security guard were lined up and shot dead in the head Friday in a bloody Philippine bank robbery, police said. Another employee was in critical condition at a hospital.

17 saved days after China quake

Rescuers here pulled 17 people alive from the rubble on Friday, four days after a major earthquake struck China as emergency workers hoped for "more miracles," state media said.

Hamas to send team to Egypt for truce talks

The Palestinian Hamas movement will send a delegation to Egypt to discuss a proposed truce with Israel in the Gaza Strip where the Islamists seized power nearly a year ago, a spokesman said on Friday.

Laden slams West over Israel, vows to fight on

al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden slammed Western leaders for taking part in Israel's 60th birthday celebrations and vowed that Muslims would fight and not give up "one inch of Palestine," in an audio message yesterday.

Zimbabwe run-off election set for June 27

Zimbabwe's long-awaited run-off election was finally set yesterday for June 27 as opposition leader and first-round winner Morgan Tsvangirai prepared to return home for his final push for power.

Cries for help echo from under quake rubble

Cries for help echoed from under the rubble of shattered communities yesterday as China warned time was running out to save survivors of an earthquake that has claimed an estimated 50,000 lives.

Arts & Entertainment

"Prince Caspian": Out of the wardrobe, into a war zone

Here in the unenchanted world of ordinary moviegoing, it has been about two and a half years since The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first instalment in Walt Disney and Walden Media's mighty Chronicles of Narnia franchise. In wartime England, where the Pevensie children live when they're not consorting with talking lions and battling witches, a year or so has gone by. But in Narnia itself, to which the four plucky Pevensies return in Prince Caspian, the second movie in the series, centuries have passed, and everything has changed. The grand hall where Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy were made monarchs of the realm has fallen into ruin, and the friendly woodland creatures with their homey British accents and computer-animated fur seem to have vanished from the scene.

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy honours Professor Momtazuddin Ahmed

The Department of Theatre and Film, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) has taken an initiative to honour renowned theatre personalities since 2006. As part of the initiative, this year BSA honoured Professor Momtazuddin Ahmed for his immense contribution to Bangladeshi Theatre. BSA awarded theatre personalities Askar Ibne Shaikh in 2006 and Sayeed Ahmed in 2007.

Mrinal Sen turns 85

Mrinal Sen has stopped directing films since long and when he turned 85 last Tuesday (May 13) last, he made it clear that he did not have any plan to make movies now.

"Symphony in Drawing": Ranjit's economic and dramatic strokes

Ranjit Das' latest venture Symphony in drawing, which is on at Shilpangan, includes more than just drawings: It has acrylic and washes in watercolour, apart from Chinese colour and ink, and charcoal. Collage and mixed media have been used as well.

Hitting social issues with music

Singer Hyder Husyn is well known for his effusive and at times sardonic lyrics containing strong social messages.

Sri Lanka Women's Association to hold its first cultural programme in Dhaka

The Sri Lanka Women's Association ('Seva Vanitha'), together with the Sri Lanka High Commission in Dhaka is organising a cultural programme in Bangladesh for the first time, says a press release.


Beckoning of democracy and past failures

EVENTS preceding 1/11 and disclosures made thereafter show the banality of evil that has come home to us with a strange poignancy. As a nation we displayed scant concern for public good and few citizens were interested in public welfare. The erosion of our national character could not be checked. The eloquence of our public leaders flourished most when our public affairs were in the worst condition.

Poor governance fuels corruption

SO says a senior professor of the Public Administration Department of the Dhaka University , “ We have too much government, but too little governance.” Good governance means achieving goals and delivering results while working with checks and balances.

The rise of the rest: The next American century

MANY look at the vitality of this emerging world and conclude that the United States has had its day. "Globalisation is striking back," Gabor Steingart, an editor at Germany's leading news magazine, Der Spiegel, writes in a best-selling book. As others prosper, he argues, the United States has lost key industries, its people have stopped saving money, and its government has become increasingly indebted to Asian central banks. The current financial crisis has only given greater force to such fears.

Let the world be reflected in Bangla

Roaming all over the world
Roaming all over the world
And coming back home
I feel let the world
Be reflected in Bangla


Brushes with faith, sin and the weird

I’m in my car, driving. The cell phone pressed against my ear, I'm listening to a funny story about Muslim speed dating in Houston. The next minute, my eyes take over. Just ahead, to my right, is the tallest cross I've ever seen, its metal body gleaming in the morning sun. A few dozen people are gathered at the base. Some are praying on their knees.


On June 11, 2008 the City of Toronto is launching a literary anthology titled ‘TOK 3: Writing the New Toronto’ at the Luminato-Toronto's Festival of Arts and Creativity. Among the writers being published is an emerging Toronto writer of Bangladeshi origin and to my surprise it is I! How did I turn into a diaspora writer and what does Toronto as a city do to the Bangladeshi literary soul?

Puritanical nationalism and woeful anatomical complaints

Set on Campbell Road -- an apparently ordinary residential street in Bangalore, Brinda Charry in Naked in the Wind (Penguin India, 2007) introduces us, one by one, to its far from ordinary inhabitants, all brought together by a single, significant, event -- the return of Venugopalan Vasu accompanied by his quietly ominous side-kick, Anand.

On The Blink

My wall clock has stopped
With hour hand at 8
And minute hand at 36
Or 37, depending
On where you're looking from:
Parallax or something
I once learnt in high school science.
The second hand jerks
Between 40 and 41,
Like a discharging dick.

Star Health

Measure your blood pressure at home

Hypertension has emerged as global epidemic that affects over 1.5 billion people worldwide. It is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney and eye diseases. Hypertension may kill you silently as it does not typically cause symptoms. Many hypertensive people are not aware of it and do not take proper action to prevent the impending dangers created by it.

5 ways to control high blood pressure

Controlling high blood pressure requires combination of various approaches. It includes effective monitoring, appropriate treatment and most importantly, some changes to lifestyle choices. Following five changes will have an enormous impact both on controlling high pressure as well as your long-term health.

The sweet solution - 1

Which is the mother of all medicines? Yes, ‘honey’. It takes 300 bees flying 15,000 air miles to make about 1/2 kg of honey, which will contain the pollen of two million flowers. It is available in most of the countries and not that costly. Finally it is gaining scientific recognition and international attention as a wonderful food and medicine. Recently, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration has also approved honey as a medicine. However, it has been used as a medicinally in India, Egypt and the Middle East for thousands of years.

Treatment decision: Migraine

Living with migraine is a daily challenge. When it comes to migraine treatment, there are no guarantees. But you can work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that meets your needs. Consider the basic pros and cons of acute and preventive treatment.

Human touch helps stroke survivors regain mobility

Six months after a stroke, survivors who are able to walk but still have moderate-to-severe difficulty in doing so, make better progress in their walking ability through physical therapist-assisted training than training provided by a robotic device, according to report published in the medical journal Stroke.

Breastfeeding halves rheumatoid arthritis risk

Women who breastfeed their babies longer are less likely to get rheumatoid arthritis, Swedish researchers said.

Popular launched Azithromycin injection

Popular Pharmaceuticals Ltd. has launched Azithromycin in injection formulation in the local market recently. The antibiotic is used to treat certain respiratory infections (e.g. pneumonia) or pelvic infections (e.g., pelvic inflammatory disease). The company manufactured this injectable formula, first ever in the country entitled Zibac.

Free health screening at JBFH

With a view to mark the World Hypertension Day, Japan Bangladesh Friendship Hospital (JBFH) in collaboration with Sandoz will organise a free health screening programme today at their hospital premises. People over 40 years will be screened for high blood pressure and its associated adverse effects on other systems of the body. They will also arrange a training programme to educate people how to measure blood pressure at home. The programme will continue from 8.30 am to 1.30 pm.

Strategic Issues

Our foreign policy and the foreign ministry

RETIRED Ambassadors were unanimous on two issues in a Round Table (RT) organized by The Daily Star (TDS) and the Centre for Foreign Affairs Studies (CFAS) recently. First, foreign policy is not important in governance in Bangladesh. Second, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Bangladesh is “the weakest in the world”. It is not that these apprehensions are new. People informed on these issues have known these for a long time.

Nuclear India: Ten years after Pokhran-II

TEN years ago, after conducting five nuclear tests on 11 and 13 May 1998, India declared itself a state with nuclear weapons. While many reasons like a quest for world power status were attributed to former Prime Minister Vajpayee's decision to bring India's nuclear weapons out of the closet, the primary motivation clearly stemmed from living in a dangerous nuclear neighbourhood with two inimical nuclear powers, China and Pakistan, colluding with each other to destabilise India through a nuclear warhead-ballistic missile nexus and a long-drawn proxy war under the nuclear shadow.

Indian, Israeli firms agree to joint development

Tata Advanced Systems, the defense arm of Indian industrial house the Tata Group, has agreed to cooperatively develop and manufacture advanced defense products in India, including missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic warfare systems and aerospace products with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

Lebanon army gives gunmen deadline to disarm

The Lebanese army said May 12 it will use force if necessary to disarm gunmen and restore law and order after five days of deadly fighting between opponents and supporters of the government.

U.S. army tests prototype .50-Cal. gun

The U.S. Army Soldier Weapons Center at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., has ordered three prototypes of a first-of-its-kind lightweight .50-cal. machine gun that fires with less recoil force and can be carried more easily in rough terrain than the Army's current .50-caliber weapon, service officials said.

France to cut active overseas troops

France plans to drastically reduce the number of military personnel it deploys overseas in active theaters of war, Defense Minister Herve Morin said May 14.

Estonia to upgrade field artillery

Estonia's Ministry of Defense (MoD) has launched a twin-track proposal to purchase new or secondhand field artillery for the Estonian Army's Suurtükiväegrupp, or Artillery Group.

U.S. calls for cooperation in combating sea piracy

The U.S. called on May 14 for increased civilian and military cooperation worldwide to combat sea piracy, off the perilous coasts of Africa in particular.

Star Books Review

Royalty, aesthetics and the story of mosques

In his remarkable study, The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier (1997), Richard M. Eaton observes how Bengal first achieved cultural autonomy from the Delhi Sultanate in the fourteenth century. This, he points out, was the period when the “first indigenous reference to “Bengal” itself is to be found. Eaton notes that “the emergence of the independent Ilyas Shahi dynasty” at this time “represented the political expression of a long-present cultural autonomy”. After the North Indian armies gave up their bid to exercise strict control over the frontier province and a sovereign dynasty emerged decisively, Bengal remained relatively undisturbed for a fairly long period. Not surprisingly, the now confident rulers of Bengal embarked on building mosques and monuments that would attest to their “imperial glory”. This was also when Sufi saints began proselytizing in the region vigorously, but in a manner that was rooted in indigenous traditions as well as imported ones. One consequence of the consolidation of the Sultanate and the rise of Islam was an efflorescence of Islamic architecture in eastern Bengal.

An interworking of maturity and experience

The book is Benazir Bhutto's posthumous publication. The manuscript was carried by her when she landed in Karachi on 18 October 2007 after a long exile abroad. In her own language, “Within hours of my reaching Pakistan some of the pages of this book would be symbolically charred by fire and splattered with the blood and flesh of dismembered innocents thrown up by devastating terrorist bombs.” She had to reconstruct those chapters in spite of her heavy schedule. She could not see the final publication but left behind a masterpiece on the most contemporary issues, such as the rise of so-called Islamic radicalism and rediscovering the values of tolerance and Islam. The book ends with an epilogue from her family.

A quest for technique and form

The book has come out from Spain and art aficionados will get a chance to enjoy the renowned artist Monirul Islam's printmaking from the year 1973 to 2006. The time is a big journey for a printmaker. He has devoted himself to the print media for more than three and a half decades. His major specialty is printmaking and it is this inclination which has helped him to hold his position in the forefront of the Spanish art scene. But his profound grasp and expression regarding other mediums is really praiseworthy. He is exceedingly fond of experimenting and trying out new forms and techniques. To search for fresh themes and present them with a novel approach is one of his characteristics.

Women, men, fish and bicycles

A woman without a man, says Gloria Steinem, is like a fish without a bicycle. That sounds rather strange, even bizarre, until you realise the wit in that statement. And wit is something we have been doing without, much to our surprise, for quite a while now. When was the last time you heard someone among the glamorous and the glitzy come up with a wisecrack? There is Ronald Reagan, with his 'Honey, I forgot to duck' comment to his wife moments after the assassination attempt on him in March 1981. There was John F. Kennedy, who regaled newsmen on his visit to France in 1961 with the remark, 'Gentlemen, I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris.' Rack your brains and you just might recover some of the gems of humour you may have lost over the years.

The Daily Star

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