The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, October 26, 2014


News of: Saturday, 28th of June, 2008

Front Page

700 Bangladesh workers unpaid for six months

Around 700 Bangladeshi workers who have been denied salaries for the last six months are passing days in inhuman conditions with shortage of food and amid fears of being evicted from the camp of their employer at Hasawi in Kuwait.

More power cos in the pipeline

After nearly 20 years of experimentation, the government's vaguely perceived donor-driven reforms in the power sector might take a final shape next year with the creation of three distribution and several power generation companies.

AL to take part in Aug 4 polls

Awami League (AL) yesterday decided to take part in the August 4 polls to four city corporations and nine municipalities.

20 injured as Bulu’s cadre sprays bullets

Over 20 people, including traders and customers of South Jatrabari wholesale vegetable market, received bullet wounds when an armed cadre opened fire on a crowd yesterday morning.

350 children continue to languish in jails

Three hundred and fifty children are languishing in 57 jails in the country, although the High Court (HC) ordered the prison authorities more than five years ago to either release the child prisoners or transfer them to juvenile development centres.

Top outlaws Akash, Tikka killed in Kushtia shootout

Two top leaders of outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-Janajuddho) faction were killed during a “shootout” between their cohorts and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) at Ganeshpur village under Khoksa upazila of Kushtia district early yesterday.

Manekshaw passes away

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, who was the chief of Indian army during the Bangladesh's War of Independence in 1971, died at a military hospital in Wellington in the southern state of Tamil Nadu late on Thursday night. He was 94.

Thousands to miss admission to colleges of first choice

Thousands of students who did well in this year's SSC examinations would be denied admission to colleges of their choice as seats in good institutes are disproportionately small for the number of students with GPA 4 and above.

4-party likely to take decision tomorrow

The BNP-led four-party alliance might take a formal decision tomorrow whether to participate in the August 4 polls to four city corporations and nine municipalities.

Poll schedule in last week of Oct, says CEC

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said the general elections would be held in the third week of December and the schedule would be announced in the last week of October.

Local poll should be held first to avoid political parties’ influence

The government should go ahead with its plan to hold local-government elections before the general election so political parties cannot influence local polls, civil society members in Khagrachhari yesterday said.

Saarc ministers hold climate change meet in Dhaka July 3

In view of the growing concern for climate change, environment ministers from eight Saarc countries will meet in Dhaka on July 3 to take a common stance on the climate change issue before the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December next year.

Hasan Ariff hurt but to join CA’s conference

Law Adviser Hasan Ariff, his APS, driver and gunman were hurt in a road accident while returning to Chittagong after a dialogue at Khagrachhari yesterday.

As they refused to sign rice supply accord

Sirajganj district controller of food cancelled 79 rice-mill licences as the mills did not sign an agreement with the government to supply rice to the authorities.

BSF kills one in Satkhira

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday gunned down a Bangladeshi cattle trader near Keragachhi border at Kalaroa upazila in Satkhira.

Pakistan calls for results in peace talks with India

Pakistan's foreign minister said yesterday his country and arch-rival India needed "to seize the opportunity" and start getting concrete results from their slow-moving peace process.

Obama, Hillary take first public step towards unity

When Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton step onstage in their first joint campaign appearance in New Hampshire, it will be the first public display of a rapprochement between former rivals hoping to set aside differences and unify the party while helping each other.

North Korea destroys reactor tower

North Korea destroyed the most visible symbol of its nuclear weapons programme yesterday in a sign of its commitment to stop making plutonium for atomic bombs.

Oil prices strike record highs above $142

Oil prices jumped to record high levels above 142 dollars a barrel yesterday, as the US currency weakened further and stock markets tumbled at the end of a volatile trading week for investors.

Dhaka Zoo brings 27 new animals

Dhaka Zoo brought 27 animals from South Africa on Thursday night, triggering huge enthusiasm among the animal lovers who flocked to the zoo yesterday to see the new inmates.

ASP accused of stealing mobile of foreigner

A foreign national yesterday filed a complaint, accusing an assistant superintendent of police (ASP) of stealing a mobile phone set from her at Zia International Airport.

Nasim ‘stable’, suffers from poor sight

Awami League (AL) leader Mohammad Nasim remained “clinically stable”, but was suffering from poor sight in his left eye, doctors yesterday said.

Editorial

These encouraging SSC results

We congratulate all the students and all the schools which have achieved record-breaking results at this year's Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations. The pass percentage of 70.41 is indicative of the vast improvement that has been made in the school leaving examination process. It is to the credit of the students, their teachers and their guardians that altogether 41,917 students have achieved GPA-5 scores. The increase in the number of schools with a pass percentage of 100 per cent, from 778 last year to 2,272 this year, is without question a remarkable feat. We expect that all the students who have succeeded at the SSC this year will live up to their reputation as they move into higher education.

Plastic mix in road construction

Why such an innovation as blending plastic waste with bitumen to lay roads hasn't been brought up to the public so far? It is a question that naturally pops up given the multifaceted benefits derivable from it vis-a-vis the bitumen topped layers of soft brick fragments and brick slabs -- the conventional road construction technology. We felicitate Bangladesh Transport Foundation(BTF)and Practical Action, an international NGO, for their efforts in bringing to light the findings of the BUET laboratory tests and a study conducted by a team of planners, engineers and development administrators of BTF. The BUET, of course, has a big share of the credit.

The plight of migrant workers must be looked into

LURED by the promise of lucrative job offers, big money and better future, thousands of Bangladeshis have fallen victims to the unscrupulous brokers and fake manpower agents. Many of these illegal migrants have perished while crossing the rough seas and others have seen their dreams shattered by the cruel hand of fate. Many of them after being arrested by the police are passing their days in pain.

Gujarat remains challenge to secularism

THE two states which I have visited in the last few days are Kerala and Gujarat. They are hundreds of miles apart, but I saw something common between the two. Kerala in the south is left of the centre and Gujarat in western India is right of the centre. Both are headed by persons who are ideologically fundamentalists. Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan is committed to communism which has Stalin as its hero. Gujarat is headed by Narendra Modi, a fundamentalist in Hindutva drawing inspiration from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Learning and teaching English

THE process of developing students' proficiency positively prevails in the communicative approach. For example at the primary level, grammar-translation method has been introduced to develop students' grammatical foundation, sense of parts of speech, tense, sentence, structure development etc.

Sports

Focus on own game

With all the media interest reserved for the Indian team, the Bangladesh squad had a calm and quite training session at the National Bank of Pakistan ground near the famed Clifton beach yesterday afternoon. After feeling the heat of Lahore the weather in Karachi has come as a relief for the Bangladesh players who had a couple of hours in the nets with a soothing breeze blowing in from the Arabian Sea.

Spanish fans go wild

The strains of "Que Viva Espana" rang out across central Madrid Thursday as around 10,000 Spanish fans celebrated their team's 3-0 defeat of Russia in Euro 2008, which they watched on giant outdoor screens.

Federer in last 16

Five-time champion Roger Federer eased into the Wimbledon last 16 on Friday only to find Lleyton Hewitt, the 2002 winner, standing in his way of making the quarterfinals.

Gul ruled out

Pakistan's Asia Cup campaign suffered a crucial blow after frontline paceman Umar Gul was ruled out of the rest of the tournament, chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed said Friday.

'Run-out behind us'

New Zealand quick Mark Gillespie is adamant the run-out row which marred the Black Caps' dramatic one-wicket win in the fourth one-day international against England at The Oval will not leave a legacy of ill-feeling come Saturday's series finale at Lord's.

Tigers keep Dhoni alert

Wary of an unpredictable Bangladesh team, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni yesterday said his side would not make the mistake of taking their opponents lightly as even a hint of complacency could lead to them being upstaged in the super-four encounter of the Asia Cup here tomorrow.

Regan and Asif boys' doubles champs

The boys' doubles title in the AB Bank 29th National Table Tennis Championships went to Chittagong when Regan and Asif defeated Biman pair Auntu and Javed 3-1 in yesterday's final.

New tie-breaker rule in place

The bowl-out has been used in two Twenty20 international games so far, but those could well be the only instances of its implementation in an international match. In the ICC Annual Conference which starts in Dubai on Sunday, the chief executives' committee will discuss the possibility of replacing the bowl-out with a one-over eliminator in the case of a tied game.

Aragones sounds a caution

Spain coach Luis Aragones quoted former England striker Gary Lineker after his side thrashed Russia 3-0 to set up a Euro 2008 final against Germany on Sunday.

Guus gracious in defeat

Russia's Dutch coach Guus Hiddink admitted Spain had been the better side and deserved to be in the Euro 2008 final after his side's 3-0 defeat here on Thursday.

Euro 2008 Briefs

Euro 2008 briefs on Thursday:
ZERO OUT OF FOUR
ZURICH: Swiss bank UBS didn't just get it slightly wrong, it got it all wrong. The venerable bank predicted ahead of Euro 2008 that the Czech Republic would win the tournament, with Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland all making it into the semifinals. In fact, Italy and the Netherlands only came as far as the quarters, while the other two were eliminated in the group stages.

Press laments exit

Russian newspapers lamented Friday "the end of the fairytale" after their national team crashed out of Euro 2008 with a 3-0 defeat to Spain.

Fabregas don't want to lose

Spain's Cesc Fabregas says that he has no intention of letting Sunday's Euro 2008 final against Germany slip through his hands.

Merkel will attend final

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will attend the Euro 2008 final in Vienna on Sunday between Germany and Spain, a government spokesman announced on Friday.

Special ball for final

The balls set to be used for Sunday's Euro 2008 final between three-time champions Germany and 1964 winners Spain have been called "Europass Gloria" announced sports equipment giants adidas on Friday.

Lippi returns as Italy coach

Italy's World Cup winning coach Marcello Lippi returned to the post on Thursday.

Big Bonus for Spain if they win

All the Spanish squad members will receive bonuses of 214,000 euros each should they beat Germany in Sunday's Euro 2008 final, the Spanish Football Federation announced on Friday.

Frings would play himself

Germany midfielder Torsten Frings insists he would play himself in Sunday's Euro 2008 final against Spain if he was German coach - despite having a fractured rib.

Terim set to stay

Fatih Terim is to stay on as coach of Euro 2008 semifinalists Turkey according to the president of the Turkish Football Federation on Friday.

Semifinal drew record TV audience

Spain's 3-0 demolition of Russia in the Euro 2008 semifinal drew a record television audience of more than 17 million viewers, a media and marketing firm said on Friday.

Socceroos draw Japan

Australia were grouped with Japan Friday in the final Asian qualifying round for the 2010 World Cup, but avoided fellow heavyweights South Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

SA on standby

The International Cricket Council has put South Africa on standby as a possible Champions Trophy venue, but insists that Pakistan remains its first choice as hosts, an ICC source told AFP Friday.

What is Malik's role?

When Imran Khan pontificates, people still listen. He's not wrong as often as his critics claim or right as often as his supporters do, but take note they all do. So when he writes a column, part of which robustly questions Shoaib Malik's credentials as player and captain, ripples are inevitable.

South Korea stun Holland

Australia moved atop the table of the men's field hockey Champions Trophy alongside Spain and Argentina after notching up a 3-1 win over Germany here on Thursday.

Moores behind Colly

England coach Peter Moores has backed Paul Collingwood following a difficult week for the one-day captain.

Coach denies fixing claims

India's field hockey coach Ajay Bansal on Thursday played down reports that Malaysia deliberately lost a recent international, saying his team had won fair and square.

Ponting plays 300th ODI

Australian captain Ricky Ponting played his 300th one-day international on Friday, joining the great Steve Waugh as the second Australian to have reached the mark.

A captaincy dream realised

Kevin Pietersen will fulfil a dream when he takes over as England captain from the suspended Paul Collingwood in Saturday's fifth and final one-dayer against New Zealand at Lord's.

Inter-services football title Army's

Bangladesh Army lifted the Inter-services football title with a 2-1 extra-time victory against Bangladesh Air Force in the final at the BAF Base Matiur Rahman in Jessore on Thursday.

Metropolitan

Take part in local govt elections

Leaders of Unity for Political Reforms (UPR) yesterday called upon all political parties to take part in the polls of city corporations and upazila parishads before the national election.

Frequent power outages a nightmare for city dwellers

Residents of the city's Rampura and Badda areas, especially the elderly people and children, are becoming sick after passing successive nights due to frequent power outage, a situation they never experienced in the past.

Ensure uninterrupted power supply to RMG units

Business leaders at a press conference in Chittagong yesterday called for increasing gas supply to different garment units through new connections and addressing load shedding and power outage on an emergency basis.

Mother of three falls victim to hilla marriage in Thakurgaon

A mother of three children has fallen victim of 'hilla' marriage at Kochubari in Thakurgaon Sadar upazila.

Indigenous people demand constitutional recognition

Indigenous leaders at a discussion yesterday demanded their constitutional recognition and ensuring their rights to their mother tongue, culture and land.

7 killed in road accidents

At least seven people were killed and 11 others injured in separate road accidents in Sirajganj, Dinajpur, Jhenidah, Mymensingh and in the city in last two days.

BDB to take part in local govt polls

Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) President Prof AQM Badrudozza Chowdhury yesterday said his party will participate in local government polls before the national election.

'Construct building without felling trees’

Green Voice (GV), an environmental organisation, yesterday formed a human chain on Dhaka University (DU) campus demanding the authorities construct the proposed new building on Jagannath Hall premises without felling trees at the selected spot.

6 Bangladeshis climb Singu Chuli peak

Six Bangladeshi youths including a girl conquered the Singu Chuli peak (21238 feet) of the Himalayan range recently.

Drug addict beaten to death in Mymensingh

A drug addict was beaten to death in the name of treatment at a rehabilitation centre for the drug addicts at Digarkanda in the district town on Thursday night.

Indigenous youth shot dead in Bandarban

An indigenous youth was shot dead at Kanaiupara under Sadar upazila here on Thursday night.

Road show arrives in Mymensingh

The road show titled 'Eso Bangladesh Gori' is now in Mymensingh.

Int'l ICT confce begins at RU

A three-day International Conference on Electrical, Computer and Communications (ICECC) began at Rajshahi University (RU) senate building yesterday.

Death of Manekshaw condoled

Various organisations and individuals yesterday expressed deep shock at the death of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, who was the chief of Indian army during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.

'One-stop crisis centres should be designed as legal aid providers'

Leaders of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad at a discussion yesterday said the One-Stop Crisis Centres for the victims of violence against women should be designed as legal aid providers and people-friendly organisations to prevent repression of women.

DU to observe Anti-repression Black Day every year

Dhaka University (DU) will observe 'Anti-repression Black Day' on August 23 every year commemorating the repression on its teachers and students by the law enforcement agencies in connection with the campus violence last year.

Call to demolish illegal structures along Suvadda Canal

Save the Environment Movement yesterday demanded the authorities demolish the illegal structures along the Suvadda Canal to save it from pollution and encroachment, says a press release.

Low over Bay likely to intensify

The low over north-west Bay and adjoining area still persists and it is likely to intensify.

IUCN likely to submit post-survey report in July

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a union of governments and NGOs working on environmental issues, is likely to submit its Lawachhara forest post-survey report to the Ministry of Forest and Environment next month.

37th national council meet of Bangladesh Scouts today

The 37th national council meeting of Bangladesh Scouts opens today at Mouchak in Gazipur, says a press release.

Birth anniversary of Principal Kashem today

Today is the 88th birth anniversary of Principal Abul Kashem, one of the architects of historic Language Movement.

Awal elected chairman of NSU Foundation

MA Awal, a founder life member of the North South University (NSU) Foundation, has been elected chairman of the foundation and the university for a two-year term (2008-09) at its 16th annual general meeting in the city on Thursday, says a press release.

Piar, Ziko elected JBBA president, secretary

Bangladeshi businessmen Md Piar and Zakaria Masud Ziko were elected president and secretary of Jackson Heights Bangladeshi Business Association (JBBA), biggest organisation of Bangladeshi businessmen here.

National

Maize farming on Teesta shoals brings joy to monga-hit people in Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat

Once quiet and lifeless Teesta shoals are now buzzing with activities.

Five teachers get 'illegal' promotion, three eligible ones deprived

Five teachers of Maulana Bhasani Degree College in Sirajganj town allegedly got promotion to the post of assistant professor from lecturer through irregular means while three teachers who were eligible for promotion did not get it.

Two Jamaat activists held on murder charge

Two Jamaat activists have been arrested at Boyra here on charge of committing murder, harbouring outlaws and other crimes.

Absconding JCD cadre arrested in Sylhet

An absconding convict and a cadre of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) was arrested from a house at Khashdobir here on Thursday.

Tributes to 2 slain Khulna journalists

Tributes were paid in memory of two slain journalists Humayun Kabir Balu and Rafiquzzaman here yesterday.

Banker suspended on forgery charge

A banker was suspended here on charge of misappropriation of bank money through forgery of cheques.

Struggling Nikhil gets GPA-5

Nikhil Kanti Pal, pursuing study through hardship from the very beginning, has achieved GPA-5 in this year's SSC examination from Khagrachhari Government High School.

Madrasa student commits suicide

A female madrasa student committed suicide at Bhadra village in Sadar upazila last night as she could not come out successful in Dakhil examinations this year, police said.

International

Sharif vows to support sacked judges

Former Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif pledged yesterday after his party won the most seats in by-elections that he would keep pushing for the restoration of judges sacked by President Pervez Musharraf.

Pakistan fails to pressure Taliban on Afghan border

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday said Pakistan's failure to put pressure on Taliban forces on the country's border with Afghanistan had fuelled a rise in violence, but said Islamabad appeared to recognise the problem.

Indo-US nuclear deal not dead: US official

The Indo-US nuclear deal is "not dead" but probably won't happen this year, former US Assistant Secretary of State Robin L Raphael said.

G-8 offers plan to fight Afghanistan terrorism

Foreign ministers of the Group of Eight nations issued a joint statement on Afghanistan on Thursday, pledging to increase aid and reform activities in areas near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, which have seen surging violence by terrorist groups.

Voters led to polls in Zimbabwe election

Paramilitary police deployed in a park in Zimbabwe's capital and marshals led voters to polling stations yesterday for an internationally discredited presidential runoff held in an atmosphere of intimidation.

Martian soil good enough for asparagus: Nasa

Martian dirt is apparently good enough for asparagus to grow in, Nasa scientists said Thursday, as they announced the results of a soil analysis collected by the US Phoenix Mars lander.

Thai premier survives no-confidence vote

Thailand's prime minister survived a no-confidence vote Friday, fending off accusations of incompetence, mismanagement and yielding national sovereignty.

Bill Gates exits Microsoft

Macintosh computer fanatics won't have Bill Gates to kick around anymore.

New poll blow for British PM on first anniversary

Britain's governing Labour Party yesterday slumped to a humiliating fifth place in a worse-than-expected by-election result, in a new poll blow exactly a year after Gordon Brown took office.

Water causes one in 10 diseases: WHO

Unsafe water leads to one in 10 diseases and six percent of deaths worldwide, according to estimates in a report published by the World Health Organisation on Thursday.

AIDS epidemic a disaster for Africa: Red Cross

Africa's AIDS epidemic is so severe that it should be classed as a disaster comparable to floods or famine, the Red Cross said Thursday.

IT waste 'major challenge' to human health: UNEP

Millions of discarded mobile phones and computers are posing a "major challenge" to human health, the chief of the United Nations Environment Programme said Thursday.

Global warming causing plant migration in Europe

Global warming has caused numerous European plant species to migrate to higher elevations over the decades, according to new research published Thursday.

Scientists rewrite history of avian evolution

A five-year project has revolutionized scientific thought on the evolution of birds and the results are so surprising that now even the textbooks will have to be rewritten, a study said Thursday.

Arts & Entertainment

Dance to convey social message

Anisul Islam Hero, of Srishti Cultural Centre, along with Stefanie Steup weaved a world of mystery and wonder in modern dance. The pieces were fusions of east and west, of modern and traditional, and fascinated the audience at the Goethe-Institut on June 26.

Ode to the seasons of Bangladesh

From time immemorial, this land has been known for its diversity -- that diversity is reflected in every aspect of life including the seasons. In six seasons -- Grishmo (summer), Barsha (monsoon), Sharat (autumn), Hemanto (late autumn), Sheeth (winter) and Bashonto (spring) -- the nature of Bangladesh takes on new hues, new appearances. The changes in nature and the way the people of this delta celebrate the seasons have inspired the poets. Rabindranath wrote: "Jagater majhey koto bichitro tumi hey, tumi bichitro-roopini..."

James McAvoy hits Hollywood action with "Wanted"

Scottish actor James McAvoy bursts onto Hollywood's blockbuster movie scene with his new film "Wanted," but don't expect the actor best known for art-house cinema to start playing the part of a Tinseltown superstar.

Painting competition to mark Int'l Day in Support of Victims of Torture

A painting competition among schoolchildren was held in Tangail on June 26 to mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

Popularising folklore: In need of a major revamp

Bangladeshi folklore gives an honest insight into the country's social and ethnic background as well as peoples' habits and beliefs. Our folklore also depicts much about the denizens of the past such as their ideologies, customs and views on home or social affairs. Diverse ethnic groups that have resided in the land throughout the preceding periods have largely influenced Bangladesh's folklore.

Jolie-Pitt donate $1 million to children affected by war in Iraq

Film stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have donated $1 million (£506,000) to help children affected by the war in Iraq.

Programmes to mark anti-narcotic drive in Khagrachhari

Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shahdat Hossein handed prizes among the winners of different events organised as part of an anti-narcotic drive on June 26. The prize-giving programme was held at the town hall in Khagrachhari.

OP-ED

Of impervious investigations and innuendos

IN recent times there have been many comments on the revised charge sheet submitted against a new set of accused persons involved in the dastardly grenade attack on Sheikh Hasina's meeting on 21st August 2004. Some commentators have doubted the veracity of the second charge sheet that does not find any one of the previously accused persons guilty of any criminal offence. Still others have raised suspicious fingers by branding the subsequent investigation as politically motivated.

Our tourism sector: Moving forward

FOR the last few weeks there have been several articles in the print media and many workshops over the prospect of tourism in our country. Views have been expressed in this regard by officials from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, jouralists, diplomats and those associated with tourism from the private sector. This initiative underlined the importance of this sector, identified its potential and also its existent drawbacks.

Further international recognition for microfinance programme

MICROCREDIT is undoubtedly the number one image builder for Bangladesh. It has earned the most coveted Nobel (peace) prize for the initiator Dr Muhmmad Yunus and his Grameem Bank. It has earned many other international applauds for the operators, including the recent "Banking at the Bottom of the Pyramid" prize jointly awarded by the Financial Times of London and the International Investment Institute (IFC) to ASA. Mayor of London Boris Johnson formally announced the prize on June 3 selecting the Bangladesh institution from among 129 institutions of 54 countries.

Bangladeshi scientist's discovery to save human lives

POLITICIANS and their surrogates have vitiated the atmosphere of Bangladesh while at least some professionals have earned reputation and brought laurel for the country by dint of their efforts, study and research in different fields. In micro finance Professor Mohammad Yunus has earned international fame by receiving Nobel Prize while Professor Abul Hussam has been awarded Grainer Challenge gold and one million dollars by prestigious National Academy of Engineers of the United States of America for his innovative and cost effective project of filtering out arsenic from well waters.

Urban

Warning bells have been ringing

The less written about the general working conditions in most garment factories the better, least not for the welfare of the workers, but in order not to embarrass a nation in front of its international buyers. But fire threatens life.

Fire safety in garments industry: Design matters

"Phenomenal growth of garment exports to Europe and America continent over the last one decade from Bangladesh has provided a unique opportunity for further industrialization, income and employment generation and diversification of the industrial sub-sector.” -Dr. M. F. Haque

Literature

Till Human Voices Wake Us

I woke up feeling wired. It had been a rough session the night before. Moti and some of his friends came over and they brought a shitload of pills with them. We stayed up most of the night chasing and watching the Matrix movies. It was a lot of fun but after they had all left to go back to their homes it was a real messed-up morning for me.

London Book Fair: The publishing industry and an ex-urban guerrilla (Part I)

Working in London, connected with Bangladesh via the Internet and dodgy Polish phone cards, one sifts in the evenings through a deluge of e-mails, spam and digital invites to sometimes find the odd interesting message. Thus came Rodney's e-message saying that he was arriving next week, would stay for two days and would like to meet me for lunch or dinner. The fact that he had more than passing acquaintanceship with two family members back in Dhaka, as well as the fact that our meeting place would the annual London Book Fair (14th to 16th April) inspired me to board London's rattling underground train on a weekday. Notwithstanding that the District Line's average speed from Richmond to Earls Court imitates the slow drool with which OAPs (Old Age Pensioners) work through their soup stock at Age Concern.

Talking with Kamila Shamsie

AH: How important is it for you to know your 'audience'?
KS: Not at all. By that, I mean I don't know my audience. My novels are not only published in several countries, they're also published in several languages, so in some cases I have no way of even knowing what version of my book is coming across to readers (because all translations are, of course, different 'versions' of the original text.) I suppose my attitude towards 'audience' is shaped by the fact that I grew up reading books for which I couldn't have been the 'intended audience.' I mean, I don't suppose any of the writers I read and loved thought of an Anglophone Pakistani as their 'audience.' And yet, I was still able to appreciate and love books which showed no sign of having a Pakistani readership in mind - even though I would often run into cultural references I didn't understand. I learnt to read around those moments of confusion, or to understand them via context - and as a writer, I always assume that my readers will be able to do the same.

Star Health

Help your autistic child

It seemed like the school of Amir Khan in the Hindi movie Taare Zameen Par where a child with dyslexia got appropriate care for learning when I visited the learning and education centre of the Society for the Welfare of Autistic Children (SWAC) last week at Lalmatia in the city. The effort is hundred times more here, because near one hundred autistic children are getting support with due dedication and affection.

Amphetamine abuse tied to heart attack at young age

Young adults who abuse amphetamines may be raising their risk of suffering a heart attack, a new study shows.

Diabetes and skin care

Diabetes can affect every part of the body, including the skin. As many as, one third of people living with diabetes will have a skin disorder caused or affected by diabetes at some time in their lives.

The marvelous magnesium

Magnesium is a vital mineral essential to good health. Although it has been known for many years to help night time leg cramps, but very few people are aware of the different marvelous role that magnesium plays in our body.

WHO suggests checklist to prevent surgery errors

Mark the surgical site. Ask about allergies. Count the sponges. Count the needles.

Know the friendly bacteria

Mostly we talk about pathogenic bacteria and rarely about friendly bacteria.

Strategic Issues

Pak - Afghan war of words

ON 14th June, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai threatened to send Afghan troops across the border to fight militants in Pakistan, a forceful warning to insurgents and the Pakistani government that his country was fed up with cross-border attacks.

What Obama should say on Iraq

BARACK Obama needs to give a speech about Iraq. Otherwise he will find himself in the unusual position of having being prescient about the war in 2002 and yet being overtaken by events in 2008. The most important reason to do this is not political. Iraq is fading in importance for the public and, to the extent that it matters as an electoral issue, most people agree with Obama's judgment that the war was not worth fighting.

Impact of Israel and Hamas ceasefire

ON 19 June, Israel, and Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip, agreed to a ceasefire through an indirect negotiation by Egyptian mediators. It took three months for the Egyptian mediators to organize this truce between the two sides. However, it is uncertain how long this recently agreed truce will last.

Star Books Review

That unmistakable knock in the night

Time is the unmistakable knock in the middle of the night that must be answered. Abul Hussain is no exception to this truism. In his twilight years he has come forth with his memoirs, Dushswapner Kaal, reminiscing on the liberation war. Hussain, our doyen of poets, still throws off sparks in his poem: 'Surely there is no escape to aging'. In such moments of his age, the obviousness of such thought is inarguable by any measure. What is amazing is that even after decades, the minutiae that enrich the memoirs so worthily are drawn from his memory alone and are surprisingly flawless. It is intriguing that the author, who is so well-organised in his personal life should have done without keeping a diary and relying only on memory for information. His long writing career blossomed as far back as the 1940s with Naba Basanta, which he dedicated to Rabindranath Tagore. The author came by appreciation for his book from literary stalwarts of the time --- Binoy Kumar Sarkar, Nihar Ranjan Roy and Subodh Sengupta.

Fiction crafted in a new ambience

In my last book review I tried to describe the brilliance of Shaheedul Zahir's fiction, especially Dolu Nodir Hawa O Annanya Galpo, and called him one of our best story-tellers. I was happy to pay my tribute to the quietly writing and abruptly dying author. After a lot of thought I decided to write on the stories of Abid Anwar this time. He is slightly older than Zahir and equally brilliant as a literary figure. They have another similarity. The Bangla Academy and our Ekushey Padak department have blissfully ignored them all these years. Much lesser men have been recognised in the past. This makes me all the more affectionate to these highly gifted writers, who are only a few years older than me.

Making sense of so much nonsense?

This book exposes many luminaries/philosophers/cultural theorists' abuse of scientific terms in their writings. Particularly, intellectuals belonging to the genre 'postmodernism' are caught by this endemic. The writers of this book are professional physicists who have examined the various treatises written by these intellectuals and shown that oftentimes they used scientific terms without any honest regard to their true meanings. It is as if to show-off the rigour of their work. “The story of this book starts with a hoax”. Disturbed by the 'abuse of science' or more explicitly “…an intellectual current characterised by the more-or-less explicit rejection of the rationalist tradition of the Enlightenment, by theoretical discourses disconnected from any empirical test, and by a cognitive and cultural relativism that regards science as nothing more than a “narration,” a “myth” or a social construction among many others”, one of the authors, Alan Sokal, wrote a “parody” of the type of work that was “fashionable” in the mainstream American cultural-studies journals. This was titled “Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity” and got published in a special edition of the journal Social Text in 1996. When Sokal revealed this hoax, it was a big embarrassment for the postmoderns. This particular parody was constructed “around quotations from eminent French and American intellectuals about the alleged philosophical and social implications of mathematics and the natural sciences”.

The going gets tough

The media are doing wonders in today's world of a continuous flow of breaking news, views and photographs. People these days do not even think of spending a day without being in touch with the media. Frankly, people globally have become very much dependent on the media for the daily developments around them. Politics, economy, lifestyle, human rights, crime and even traffic jams all these matter so much in people's lives that they have to be in touch with the media all the time.



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