The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, March 18, 2019

News of: Saturday, 21st of June, 2008

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Polls to 4 city corporations, 9 municipalities Aug 4

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday announced that polls to four city corporations and nine municipalities will be held on August 4, while the caretaker government relaxed the Emergency Powers Rules (EPR) in respective areas allowing campaign processions and rallies.

BNP rejects poll schedule, AL terms it ‘farcical’

The BNP yesterday rejected the schedule for local-body elections while the Awami League (AL) termed it a 'conspiratorial and farcical move'.

Militants may regroup as 12 decisions unimplemented

Intelligence agencies fear that militancy might rear its head again as the 12 decisions the government took to step up its campaign against the menace about a year ago remain unimplemented.

Khaleda finally agrees to receive treatment

Detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has finally agreed to receive treatment and might be taken to a city hospital anytime.

Amended rules soon to stop unplanned urbanisation

The government is going to amend rules to stop unplanned urbanisation across the country as the current rules for private housing projects are only applicable for the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) areas.

Hasina to have fresh medical check-up after eight weeks

Former prime minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina will again undergo medical check-up at Yale University School of Medicine in Connecticut in the USA after eight weeks.

Eluding of cops by Tapan at Baradi still a mystery

It still remains a mystery how founder of outlawed Janajuddha Abdur Rashid Malitha alias Dada Tapan managed to hide himself at Baradi for the last six months without the knowledge of the law enforcers.


A Dhaka University student and contributing reporter of daily Prothom Alo had both his legs cut off as his trousers got stuck in a railway clip when a goods train rushed in near Tejgaon Railway Station yesterday.

‘Local body polls should not be delayed’

Education Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday said the government considers elections to local government bodies a way of democratic advancement.

Unity is must to face national challenges, says Dr Kamal

Eminent jurist and Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday called for national unity to build a terrorism-free country and face national challenges.

No Ruet action yet against the culprits

The Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) authorities are yet to take action against the students who rampaged through three dormitories Thursday, injuring 20 students.

‘Stop felling 1000 trees for new roads in Mirpur’

Environmentalists and residents yesterday called on the government to come forward to save about 1000 trees that the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) is planning to saw down in order to make way for two new roads in Mirpur neighbourhood.

Brawl over bus fare leads to death of passenger

An assistant cook of Birdem Hospital was crushed under the wheels of a passenger bus at Shahbagh yesterday noon as the conductor allegedly pushed him over following altercation over bus fare.

Release of evil forces won’t be acceptable: SSJ

Sammilito Sangskritik Jote (SSJ) has urged the government to remain alert so that the anti-people evil forces cannot be rehabilitated taking advantage of political consensus.

Learning to defeat floods and the fury of Jamuna

Five years ago, Firoza Begum had to move from her homestead at Khasrajbari in Sirajganj as the Jamuna devoured it.

Leaflets, posters seized from Dada Tapan’s house

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized leaflets, posters, letters, books and other documents along with boots and belts of outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-Janajuddha faction) from a house under Ishwardi upazila of the district early yesterday.

Body of cadet missing in Bay recovered

The body of a merchant vessel cadet was recovered yesterday morning at Anwara upazila in Chittagong.

Thus pesticides save eggplants, kill consumers

Pesticides are sprayed on eggplants growing in the northern and south-western region of the country over 100 times before it reaches the consumers.

Tiger kills 3 in Satkhira

Three people, including a woman, were killed in an attack by a Royal Bengal tiger at South Kadamtala in Shyamnagar upazila last night.

Teenage student goes missing in Bay while bathing at beach

An A-level student from the capital went missing in Bay while bathing at Cox's Bazar sea beach yesterday morning.

W Bengal, Orissa, Assam reel under floods: Death toll 25

There was no let-up in the flood situation in eastern India as West Bengal, Orissa and Jharkhand continued to bear the brunt of nature's fury while normal life was thrown out of gear in Assam's main city of Guwahati where most areas were submerged due to persistent rains.

Nepali PM offers to quit if alliance asks

Nepali Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on Thursday offered to step down if the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) asked him to do so and said Nepali Congress was ready to take up the role of main opposition.

Zardari, Sharif meet to talk out differences

Ruling PPP Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his coalition ally PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif met here on Friday for the second time this week in a bid to narrow their differences on key issues of possible impeachment of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and the restoration of sacked judges.

Obama team weighs Nunn, Edwards as running mates

Former Sens John Edwards and Sam Nunn are on a list of potential running mates for Democrat Barack Obama, a congresswoman said Thursday, one day after she met with the team Obama has reviewing possible candidates.

Suicide attack on US convoy in Afghanistan kills 7

A suicide attack on a military convoy killed a US-led soldier and six Afghans in southern Afghanistan yesterday, a day after a huge operation to drive Taliban rebels from a key stronghold.


Adoption of RTI ordinance - a welcome act

THE caretaker government must be complimented for approving the Right to Information Ordinance in principle. Commitment shown by this government, especially the Chief Adviser, is highly praiseworthy. We believe the ordinance will go a long way in strengthening the foundation of 'people's right to know' and thereby lay the foundation of an accountable government. The very purpose behind the ordinance, one for which individuals and groups of citizens have struggled long and hard, is to enable people to come by the information they need in their own as well as in the national interest. We have written earlier of the good that will accrue to the country through the adoption of a Right to Information Act. We have in these months of deliberations on the RTI maintained that citizens in a democratic society hold the right of access to information. That right, we believe, can now be ensured through an expeditious and efficient implementation of the RTI ordinance.

An airport without fire-tenders!

WORKINGS of some of the state agencies never cease to startle us. But the violation of airport safety regulations by the airport authorities at Chittagong airport tops it all for the way the authorities have displayed an appalling lack of concern for passenger safety.

Success of dialogue can ensure democracy

THE necessity of a meaningful dialogue between the CTG and the political parties at this moment of the nation's history can hardly be overemphasized. With Sheikh Hasina's temporary release, AL circle is now willing to participate in the dialogue. But the unrelenting attitude of the Khaleda-led BNP to join any dialogue without Begum Zia's unconditional release tagged with her two sons' treatment abroad has almost stalled the dialogue process, going as far as stalling the prospect of an election through participation of all the parties.

Obama's dream

CONSISTENT with his belief that one should have the audacity to hope, Senator Barack Obama has eventually emerged as the first Afro-Caribbean to be the presumptive nominee of a major US political party. It has been an uphill task but he has hung on doggedly. He has soldiered down the campaign trail, with stops to explain, denounce and detach himself from some of his surrogates along the way.

Let's resolve differences and hope for the better

MOST political observers reckon that Bangladesh may have plunged into yet another period of political uncertainty. It is probably naive to expect that the present caretaker government will be able to put an end to these long periods of political deadlock very easily. However, with the departure of Sheikh Hasina for treatment abroad and the expected release of Begum Zia and her two sons, perhaps there is a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. Some may criticise the caretaker regime for flip-flops, but an overwhelming majority may approve of "constructive engagement" with the two major parties, so that we can finally have an agreement that will make our elections conform to modern democratic practices, and their results will be accepted without the rancorous disputes we normally see in our country. Bangladesh needs to move beyond the corruption scandal. But before it does, the people have to know exactly what happened, regardless of the precise legality of each case.


Booters' transfer ends

The transfer trails for the 2008 football season ended yesterday amid rain, some fun and hope for the game to return to the ground after a yearlong wilderness.

Muktis to stay

In a noble gesture, Feroz Mahmud Titu and Co has decided to play for Muktijoddha Sangsad in the coming football season virtually for free.

Last-minute drama takes Turkey thru'

Turkey lived up to their billing as comeback kings with a 3-1 penalty shootout win over Croatia here on Friday to put them into the Euro 2008 semifinals.

Dutch go Orange crazy

As Orange fever rises with every goal scored in the Dutch team's Euro 2008 campaign, lawyers, housewives and school kids become crazed wig-wearing fans adorning their homes, bikes and even their pets in the national colour.

Asif returns home

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif arrived home on Friday after Dubai prosecutors dropped charges against him of possession of an illegal drug.

Bangladesh A reach Dublin

The Bangladesh A team arrived in Dublin yesterday to play four matches against their counterparts.

All set for last qualifiers

The MPPJ Stadium here in the capital of Malaysia will host the Group A qualifying matches of the AFC President's Cup from Sunday, featuring Bangladeshi champions Abahani who arrive here on Friday morning, Nepal's Police Club, WAPDA of Pakistan and the 2005 champions Regar-TadAZ of Tajikistan.

Bangladesh play Sri Lanka today

Bangladesh will take on South Asian rivals Sri Lanka in the last four stage of the 3rd Men's AHF Cup -- the qualifying hockey tournament for Asia Cup -- in Singapore today.

Umpires given more power

Officials will be allowed to reduce the length of the interval between innings during the remainder of the one-day series between England and New Zealand.

Arshavin plots Dutch fall

Russian striker Andrei Arshavin has warned Marco van Basten's Holland to expect his side's attacking machine to hit top gear for Saturday's Euro 2008 quarterfinal here.

Carlo confident of victory

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has told La Gazzetta dello Sport he does not envisage Italy missing suspended World Cup winning midfield duo Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso in their Euro 2008 quarterfinal against Spain.

'Criticism inspired us'

Germany captain Michael Ballack said his side used the criticism levelled at them after their shock group stage defeat by Croatia to knock Portugal out of Euro 2008 with a 3-2 victory.

Scolari bemoans mistakes

Luiz Felipe Scolari claimed a major blunder by referee Peter Frojdfelt could have cost Portugal their chance of a place in the last four at Euro 2008.

Press slams defence

The Portuguese defence and goalkeeper Ricardo took a hammering from the domestic press on Friday following their 3-2 defeat by Germany in Thursday's Euro 2008 quarterfinal.

New coach will be named in mid-July

The successor to Luiz Felipe Scolari as Portugal coach will be named by mid-July the president of the Portuguese Football Federation announced on Friday.

Barzagli to train in a fortnight

Italian defender Andrea Barzagli underwent a successful operation on his left knee here on Friday, the head doctor of Euro 2008 announced.

Germans rejoice last four place

Germans prepared to celebrate into the night on Thursday after their football team beat fancied Portugal to reach the semifinals of Euro 2008.

Federer opens with Hrbaty

Roger Federer will have to get past Novak Djokovic before a probable Wimbledon final showdown with his arch rival Rafael Nadal.

C'Ron not for sale: MU

Manchester United slapped a 'not for sale' sign on striker Cristiano Ronaldo Friday following the Portuguese international striker's most recent bid to pave the way towards joining Real Madrid.

Pawar softens ICL stance

Sharad Pawar, the BCCI president, has said that all teams participating in the proposed Champions League have the freedom to include players of their choice for the US$5 million multi-club Twenty20 tournament, even it means including players with ties to the unauthorized Indian Cricket League (ICL). But he placed the onus on letting such teams go through on the countries they represent and warned that the BCCI would then have the freedom to take its decision on the issue.

Turning to baseball?

On the last Ashes tour I got talking to the Australia fielding coach, Mike Young, an American whose main expertise was in baseball. He was a figure of fun at times, prowling around the outfield shouting, “Let's play ball, Australia” and perching by the boundary rope in typical baseball fashion -- left knee on the ground, right elbow on the other knee, right hand resting under a chin jutting forward in anticipation while regularly spitting out chewing tobacco and applauding the most mundane moments.

Indo-Pak tie made costly

In a bid to cash in on the popularity of India-Pakistan clash, the Pakistan Cricket Board has kept the ticket prices for the encounter between the two sides in the Asia Cup at the highest pedestal.

No switches for Punter

Kevin Pietersen's innovative switch-hit has found yet another admirer in Ricky Ponting but the Australian skipper has no plans of trying it himself or encourage his teammates to experiment with it as he is "uncertain" about the shot's legality.

Champions Trophy hockey starts today

Five of the top six world ranked men's field hockey teams will meet at the Champions Trophy starting here Saturday in what is the last major international tournament before the Olympic Games.


Int'l solidarity crucial to address human displacement issues

The United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon yesterday made an urgent call to the international community to redouble their efforts to address both the causes and consequences of forced human displacement.

Fatal bacteria found in drinking water in Rajshahi div

Coliform, a fatal bacteria, has been detected in the drinking water of several northern districts including Bogra, says a survey report of the environment department of Rajshahi division.

300 to 500 families become homeless a year

Around 300 to 500 families become homeless every year due to river erosion causing massive displacement of people in the country, said University Grants Commission Chairman Prof Nazrul Islam yesterday.

Grameen Shakti wins green energy award

Grameen Shakti, which has installed 150,000 solar home systems in the country and is adding around 5,000 new systems each month, was awarded the 2008 Outstanding Achievement Award at the Ashden Awards ceremony in London on Thursday.

Hydrographic Day today

The 3rd World Hydrographic Day will be observed in the country today as elsewhere across the globe.

Allow non-govt teachers in local govt polls

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday urged the caretaker government to allow the teachers of non-government high schools, colleges and madrasas in taking part in upcoming local government election.

Lift emergency for credible election

Workers' Party of Bangladesh (WPB) President Rashed Khan Menon has again urged the government to withdraw the state of emergency to establish a congenial atmosphere for free, fair and credible election.

First anniversary of Jalladkhana Killing Field Memorial today

Liberation War Museum will observe the first founding anniversary of Jalladkhana Killing Field Memorial today.

Two traders robbed of Tk 3.2 lakh

Members of Agyan Party robbed a rice trader of Tk 2.85 lakh on his way to Gazipur on Thursday night while a gang of muggers looted six mobile phone sets and Tk 40,000 from a mobile phone trader after stabbing him in the city's Badda area early yesterday.

Poet Sufia Kamal's birth anniversary observed

The 97th birth anniversary of poet Sufia Kamal was observed yesterday with a call for ensuring equal rights of women in every sphere of life.

Robbers strangle housewife

A gang of armed dacoits yesterday strangled a housewife at a remote village under Doarabazar upazila in Sunamganj.

Two killed in road accidents

At least two people were killed in separate accidents in Brahmanbaria and Jhalakati yesterday.

UK minister visits Brac school in city

UK Minister for International Development Shahid Malik visited a Brac primary school in the city's Korail slum area on Thursday during his three-day tour of Bangladesh, says a press release.

BAF certificate awarding ceremony held

A certificate awarding ceremony of the 14th Fighter Conversion Course (FCC) of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) was held at BAF Base Zahurul Haque in Chittagong on Thursday, says an ISPR release.

Seminar on English at JU

A two-day seminar on 'English for Today' began at Jahangirnagar University (JU) in Savar yesterday.

Rajshahi Festival begins in city

A four-day Rajshahi Festival 2008 began at Shilpakala Academy in the capital yesterday.

Woman found dead at mango orchard

The body of an unidentified woman was found hanging from a tree at a mango orchard at Ulashi in Sharsha, Jessore, yesterday.

Jubo Union demands withdrawal of bus fare hike

Bangladesh Jubo Union yesterday strongly protested the bus fare hike on different routes in the city.

BDR Qirat, Azan competition ends

The concluding ceremony of inter-sector Azan and Qirat competition-2008 of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) was held at Pilkhana Central Mosque yesterday.


Toll paying commuters suffer as Natore-Sirajganj road rundown in five years

Five years into opening, the country's first and longest 'toll road' connecting Natore and Sirajganj on Rajshahi-Dhaka Highway has become risky for thousands of commuters due to substandard construction and poor maintenance.

Hunt on for 8 'top criminals' of Khulna district

Security forces are on hunt for eight 'top criminals' of Khulna city and the district. The criminals who earlier controlled the underworld, went into hiding following operations conducted by joint forces and Rapid Action Battalion.

Police to be more active, people friendly

Additional Inspector General of Police Naba Bikrom Kishor Tripura yesterday said a three-year reform strategy has been designed to make police more active, honest and people friendly.

Janajudhdha dockets seized from Dada Tapan's house

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday seized leaflet, posters, letters, books and other documents of the outlawed Janajuddho faction of Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) in Ishwardi upazila, Rab said.

2 kg cocaine seized in C'nawabganj

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) seized two kg cocaine worth Tk 2 crore and 1500 bottles of phensidyl in Sadar and Shibganj upazilas of the district on Thursday night.

4 get life for murder

Additional district and sessions judge of Nilphamari Sharif Md Lutfar Rahman has sentenced four persons to life term rigorous imprisonment (RI) in Dulal member murder case.

Plaintiff punished for giving false statement

Satkhira Women and Children Repression Preventive Court yesterday sentenced a plaintiff of a case to suffer 15 days' simple imprisonment for giving false statement before court to save the culprits.

5 Jubok staff sued for cheating client

A case was filed with additional chief judicial magistrate's court here yesterday against five staff of Jubok, an NGO, for cheating a client, court sources said.

One arrested for offering bribe to Patkelghata OC

Police yesterday arrested a quack for offering Tk 3,000 bribe to the officer in charge (OC) of Patkelghata police station (PS), police said.


EU to lift sanctions against Cuba

EU nations agreed Thursday to definitively lift their sanctions against Cuba, in the hope of encouraging democracy on the island, European diplomats said.

Lankan forces keep on fighting Tigers: 29 die

Fighting between the government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels along the northern front lines killed 26 rebels and three government soldiers, the military said yesterday.

Manmohan govt's fate to be decided on June 25: Karat

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat said on Friday that the Left's next meeting with the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) on the India-US nuclear pact June 25 will decide the government's fate.

NWFP allowed to strike deal with Taliban

Islamabad has authorised the NWFP government to enter into deals with the Taliban for ensuring peace in the province and called for respecting such agreements.

Mugabe vows to remain in power until land returned

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has warned a week before a run-off election that he will not leave power until land is returned to the majority black population, state media reported yesterday.

Thousands of Thai protesters clash with police

Police held back thousands of protesters attempting Friday to punch through a cordon around Thailand's government offices, which demonstrators vowed to peacefully besiege until the prime minister resigns.

Iran warns of 'strong blow' if Israel attacks

Tehran Friday warned its arch-enemy Israel of a "strong blow" if it takes forceful measures, after the US media reported military exercises by the Jewish state were a possible practice for a strike against Iran.

Gazans savour peace as truce enters 2nd day

Gaza residents savoured a first weekend of calm after months of bloodshed in the impoverished Palestinian enclave as a tenuous truce with Israel entered its second day yesterday.

10 killed as Thai army helicopter crashes

A Thai army helicopter crashed in an insurgency-plagued area of southern Thailand on Friday, killing all 10 people on board.

4 Pak soldiers killed in firing at border with India

Four Pakistani soldiers were killed on Thursday in an exchange of fire with unknown attackers at the border with India in disputed Kashmir, the military said.

Security beefed up at UN offices in Pakistan

The United Nations has beefed up security at its offices in Pakistan in the wake of a suicide car bombing outside the Danish embassy here, an official said in Islamabad.

Cash crunch threatens food aid for Myanmar's needy: WFP

A critical shortage of funds threatens a helicopter operation delivering desperately needed food to Myanmar's cyclone survivors, the United Nations said yesterday.

Scientists believe Mars lander exposed ice crumbs

Scientists believe Nasa's Phoenix Mars lander exposed bits of ice while recently digging a trench in the soil of the Martian arctic, the mission's principal investigator said Thursday.

IAEA inspectors visit Syria

The UN's atomic watchdog is sending a team of top-level experts to Damascus from Sunday to probe allegations of a clandestine nuclear facility in the remote Syrian desert.

Obama to try to widen the battleground

Barack Obama faced two critical questions: where to play and how to pay. To answer both, the Democrat reversed course to become the first candidate to reject $85 million in public money for the general election.

Kidnapped Frenchman released

A French businessman who was abducted in southern Afghanistan last month has been released safely along with two Afghan colleagues, the French Foreign Ministry announced yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Feminine expressions on canvas

Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts and Akar Prakar are holding an exhibition of 30 works by 10 female artists of Bangladesh. The display titled "Faces of feminine expressions from Bangladesh" is being held in Kolkata, from June 19 to 30. The artists include Nazlee Laila Mansur, Farida Zaman, Nasreen Begum, Rokeya Sultana, Dilara Begum Jolly, Murshida Arzoo Alpana, Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Tayeba Begum Lipi, Atia Islam Anne and Shulekha Chaudhury.

Two-day dance programme ends at Shilpakala

A two-day folk and classical dance programme, organised by Music and Dance Centre, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) ended on June 19. Noted and upcoming artistes and groups performed folk and classical dance at the programme held at Music and Dance Centre, BSA.

Participation of children from ethnic minority and underprivileged groups

Twenty troupes representing different ethnic minority and underprivileged groups staged plays during the last three days -- June 18 to 20 -- at the "Children Theatre Festival" organised by Peoples Theatre Association (PTA). Perhaps this is the first time in Bangladesh that a children theatre camp for ethnic minority groups had been arranged.

Musical programme “Srotar Ashor” at Chhayanat

Chhayanat's monthly musical programme titled "Srotar Ashor" was held at the Ramesh Chandra Dutta Smriti Milankendra, Chhayanat Sanskriti Bhaban on June 19. The programme is held on the third Thursday of every month, featuring performances by upcoming and seasoned artistes.

Fundraiser for poet Samudra Gupta in Sirajganj

A two-day long cultural programme was held at the Bhashani auditorium in Sirajganj town to generate funds for the treatment of renowned poet Samudra Gupta. Gupta is suffering from gallbladder cancer.

“Jey Bhuley Tomaye Bhuli” on Rtv

Rtv will telecast a single-episode play Jey Bhuley Tomaye Bhuli tonight at 8 pm in its "drama of the week" slot. Written and directed by Chayanika Chowdhury, the play depicts a triangular love story.

“Fête de la Musique” begins today

A two-week long annual music festival "Fête de la Musique", jointly organised by Alliance Française de Dacca and the Teacher-Student Centre (TSC) of Dhaka University, begins today amid festivity and enthusiasm in Dhaka.


Rationale for a revised Police Act

OF late, we have heard a great deal about the imperatives of a revised or amended Police Ordinance in the interest of public service. The police management is striving hard to modernise the organisation, and it was on June 16 that the Inspector General of Police formally launched a three year Strategic Plan of Bangladesh Police. However, it is the considered view of the concerned quarter that without a supportive and revised Police Act the planned police modernisation efforts will not bear much fruit.

Wounds heal, scars remain

IT was a conflagration the emergency imposed by Mrs Indira Gandhi in June 33 years ago. In 19 months, the period for which it lasted, every institution got scarred. The constitution was mutilated. Personal freedom was forfeited. The press was gagged. The judiciary was shackled. Parliament had its tenure extended. The largest democracy in the world put under detention more than 100,000 people without trial. And, as the then Attorney General said, the state could kill anyone with impunity.

Homestead food production: Ensuring security, empowering women

WHEN some staff from Helen Keller International (HKI) met Chaindapru Marma (55), she was working in her homestead vegetable garden after returning from prayers at the nearest Buddhist temple. Chaindapru has been involved with HKI's Homestead Food Production (HFP) program since 2006, which the organization implements in partnership with Integrated Development Foundation (IDF).

Upholding prisoners' right to justice

IN fact, justice prevailed in the United States when historic ruling by the Supreme Court was announced on June 12 upholding the rights of 270 alleged foreign terrorist suspects to appeal in civilian courts on the American mainland despite intention otherwise of the administration and rubber stamp congress until November, 2006. These foreign terrorist suspect have been held in Guantanamo Bay for an indefinite period without trial.


Is biodiversity conservation mere tree plantation?

Biodiversity Conservation Projects are designed to change something, to protect biodiversity. One of the major differences between biodiversity conservation projects and other projects, however, is that some people think it is often difficult to define -- in clear, operational terms -- precisely what it is that biodiversity conservation projects are trying to achieve. In a business setting, the project goal is usually financial profit and it is usually pretty easy to evaluate how much money a company is making or losing. But for biodiversity conservation projects, what practical and meaningful measures of project impact are available to us? In many fields, the cause-and-effect relationships between specific interventions and resulting impacts are easy to see. They are not so apparent in conservation. This makes it difficult to measure the impact of a project on the biodiversity in a given area.

Tropospheric ozone and air pollution

Ozone is one of the highly reactive gases, which is photo chemically active. It is composed of three atoms of oxygen (O3) and its role depends on its location in the atmosphere. This gas plays a different role in the lowest two layers of the atmosphere, known as the stratosphere and troposphere. In the stratosphere, above the tropopause about 90 percent of the ozone protects life on earth from the sun's dangerous ultraviolet radiation. In contrast, the layer surrounding the earth's surface is the troposphere where the presence of ozone is harmful for the environment as well as for human health.

Summer Solstice 2008

June 21st is the Summer Solstice for the northern hemisphere. On this day, the sun rises at its northernmost position, attains the highest position in the sky, and sets at the northernmost position. This day also carries a special meaning for Bangladesh because of an imaginary geographic line that runs through the middle of the country. The Tropic of Cancer runs through Comilla, south of Dhaka, and through Faridpur and Kushtia before it enters West Bengal. On this day, if you happen to find yourself on the Tropic of Cancer, the sun would shine directly overhead and cast no shadow of any erect object. The time would be about 12:30 p.m.

Biodiversity of Sonadia at stake

Sonadia Island, rich in natural resources and bio-diversity, is under serious threat today. The ministry of environment and forestry declared it an Environmentally Critical Area (ECA) by issuing a gazette in 1999. Nonetheless, the invaluable bio-diversity of this island is now on the verge of extinction. It is high time to take necessary measures for the recovery and preservation of the remaining bio- diversity of this island.


Mystery Mail

Things never seemed to go well for Afra. Sometimes she wondered if she was always going to be doomed to bad luck. Maybe it was her star sign that didn't bode well for her. Taurus, the bull! What good was a bullish nature to an attractive teenager? Why couldn't she have been born a Virgo a beautiful, svelte creature? Or Libra, nice and perfectly balanced? Or even Leo, the audacious and courageous Lion?

Of Tulips, Open Spaces and Freedom

The city of Toronto appears to undergo a subtle change about a week before the Victoria Day long weekend (May 19).There is a murmur that begins in the early spring breeze and lingers on the white sails of the boats in Lake Ontario, bobbing up and down on the gentle aqua blue waves. The murmur swells into a whisper and then into a voice that can be heard on every lips, every heart in the city: “It's the first long weekend of the summer - we must get away from the city!”

In Memorium

Angus (Lindsay Ritchie) Calder, b. 5 Feb.1942, d. 5 June 2008

A Kolkata Book Launch

Book launches are daily affairs in Kolkata. The university bookstore at dusk hosted the launch of Rimi B.Chatterjee's novel, The City of Love (Penguin India, 2008). The air filled with Moushumi Bhowmik singing “Ami opar hoye boshey achi." Rimi acknowledged her debt to scholars for the Indian Ocean bits in her novel. Finally, Dr.Amlan Das Gupta, English professor at the Jadadvpur University, played Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on a CD Rom drive. The author termed her book as "a non-verbal record of where the spice trade began." The theme was clear: Trade and love.

Star Health

Migraines: Simple steps to head off the pain

Medication is a proven way to treat — and prevent — migraines. But medication is only part of the story. It is also important to take good care of yourself. The same lifestyle choices that promote good health can reduce the frequency and severity of your migraines. In fact, combining lifestyle measures with medication is often the most effective way to handle migraines.

Vitamin D may protect against heart attack

Men with low levels of vitamin D have an elevated risk for a heart attack, researchers said in the latest study to identify important possible health benefits from the "sunshine vitamin."

Many ignorant of heart attack signs

Many people with heart disease do not know the symptoms of a heart attack, even though their risk of suffering one is five to seven times higher than those with no such history, researchers reported.

Study finds depression can trigger diabetes

People with depression have a higher risk of developing the most common form of diabetes than others, according to a study published that sheds light on the interplay between the two conditions.

High blood pressure lifestyle

If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure (a systolic pressure of 140 or above or a diastolic pressure of 90 or above) or with pre-hypertension (a systolic pressure between 120 and 139 or a diastolic pressure between 80 and 89), you might be concerned about taking ‘prescription drugs’ to bring those numbers down.

Basic laparoscopy course offered in the city

Laparoscopic technique has been accepted as a standard practice worldwide. The learning curve of laparoscopy is long and skill development opportunities for future specialist surgeons are extremely limited in Bangladesh. This inspired Prof Dr M A Salam, a pioneer urologist of this country to establish a training center for basic and advanced laparoscopy.

Skipping anti-epilepsy drugs can have dire results: Study

People with epilepsy who do not take their anti-seizure medications as prescribed could face serious or even fatal consequences, according to a new study.

Strategic Issues

The reforms must not fail

WHEN a columnist writes under the caption, "Will repair do more damage?" (The Daily Star - June 13) and concludes, "Time will tell that when we restore democracy, we shall plant the seed of disruption" - he speaks the heart of many.

US air strike on Pakistan

IN a new escalation of US-Pakistan tensions, on June 11, a US air strike was performed in the Mohmand tribal region in the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA), which is in south western Pakistan bordering Afghanistan.

West's new Iran strategy

WESTERN countries, including the US, cannot handle Iran because many believe there is a double-standard in their stance. They allow Israel to retain nuclear weapons (about 150 nuclear heads) but would not allow Iran to pursue nuclear programme to generate electricity. They suspect Iran, one of the world's greatest oil and gas reserves, does not need to generate electricity from nuclear reactor and their nuclear enrichment programme is to make nuclear weapons.

Star Books Review

The long story of a tortured heritage

There are all the various phases of Bengal you go through as you reflect on its history. And you do that considering the seminal events which have contributed to an upholding of its heritage as well as a breaking down of its geographical unity. If the partition of Bengal in 1905 infuriated the Hindu bhadralok class, it surely offered hope to the poorer, overwhelmingly Muslim population in the eastern part of what was then a province in British colonial India. And then, of course, came the annulment in 1911 of the partition which, for a very large number of people in the province, meant a restoration of history. The wrong perpetrated in 1905, it was argued, needed to be righted. And it was.

Arranged marriages can work out just fine

To me Shobhaa De is a 'counselor' who has delved into human psychology to bring out for us a 'manual' which I think is a rare collection for any library. Her insight into human relationships is remarkable. She says there is no such thing as a perfect marriage or a perfect spouse. This statement is in itself explains the truth about marriage.

Relaxing in summer, with romance and mystery

Are you looking for a book that holds rich romance and is spiced with mystery? If you are, then Summer in Eclipse Bay is your book. There can be two types of summer books; the vacation type and the beach type. Summer in Eclipse Bay is a book that makes for both, a vacation and a beach reading. The book, with its revealing characters and deeply absorbing plot, is a sure catch for readers who wish to relax and enjoy a good romance. And yet there is just the right amount of mystery to set the reader's nose go sniffing. Jayne Ann Krantz has come up with a sparkling romance that is bound to find its way into several beach bags this summer.

An amorphous presence

It is a wonder that Egypt's master novelist, Naguib Mahfouzthe firstArab writer to win the Nobel Prize for literaturesurvived the attackon his life by an Islamic fanatic in 1994. More wondrous, indeed,that he kept writing, though often dictating his work to others.During the final four years of his life before he died in 2006, herelied totally on the dictation processespecially for his dreams,which were first published in Arabic in the magazine "Nisf al-dunya,"and now finally in English as "Dreams of Departure," in a superbtranslation by Raymond Stock (who is also Mahfouz's biographer).

The Daily Star

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