The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, December 22, 2014


News of: Saturday, 25th of October, 2008

Front Page

Govt yet to stop sales of banned milk brands

The government did not take any measure as of yesterday to stop sales and display of eight brands of 'melamine-contaminated' powdered milk at shops as per a High Court (HC) order and most of these brands are still on the market.

Recession alarm rings around the world

Giants of the auto, airline and technology industries ordered emergency action against the global financial crisis yesterday as shares took a new hammering amid mounting gloom.

Ban on political activities may be relaxed early Nov

Despite repeated calls from BNP and Awami League (AL), the government has yet to clear stance on polls participation of Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina, and pledge to lift the state of emergency before the December 18 election.

Red tape major barrier to regulatory reform

Sixty percent of the recommendations by the Regulatory Reforms Commission (RRC) could not be implemented due to lack of cooperation from different government bodies, especially the environment ministry, Board of Investment (BoI) and Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms, RRC chief Akbar Ali Khan said.

Untested Chinese milk found on market

Amid worldwide panic among consumers about toxic melamine in powdered milk, an uncertified brand of undeclared Chinese milk powder has been found being sold on the market in the capital.

Polls under emergency might lead to puppet govt

BNP chairperson's adviser Brig Gen (retd) ASM Hannan Shah has said a certain quarter wants holding of parliamentary election under the state of emergency only to implement its design.

Poor gas supply cripples power generation in Ctg

Power generation at two power plants in Chittagong has remained virtually stopped for a long time because of a lack of sufficient gas supply.

DU deans meet today to settle admission row

Dhaka University (DU) deans' committee is scheduled to meet in the afternoon today in a bid to solve the latest admission crisis amid madrasa graduates' demand for relaxing admission rules for them.

2 Brac officials kidnapped in Afghanistan

Two Bangladeshi senior Brac officials working in Afghanistan were abducted in the Ghazni province Thursday afternoon.

Qualitative changes in politics a major challenge

Education and Commerce adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman has said quality improvement of politics in the country is now a major challenge, but it is the only way to bring about overall qualitative change in society.

Amar Desh lawyers contest version of Star counsels

Four lawyers for the Amar Desh have protested a report headlined "The Daily Star lawyers refute allegation" run by this newspaper on October 16.

Cops find past criminal records of the killer

Mohammad Amin, 32, who killed and beheaded lawyer Nasrin Akhter Tuli Thursday at Segunbagicha, was sent to prison twice before for raping a child in Segunbagicha and stealing in Saudi Arabia.

Weather concern for second Test against NZ

The second and the final Test of the Brac Bank Series between Bangladesh and New Zealand starts today with more concern on weather conditions rather than the prospects of the match.

Transport strike on Ctg-Cox's Bazar road called off

The indefinite transport strike on Chittagong-Cox's Bazar highway has been called off following a fruitful meeting between the district administration and the bus owners and workers yesterday evening.

Police foil rallies against sculptures

Police yesterday prevented three Islamist outfits from holding their scheduled anti-sculpture rallies near Zia International Airport and Baitul Mukarram mosque in the capital.

Rice, edible oil prices fall, hilsa dearer

Prices of essentials especially coarse rice, onion, green chilli, potato, ginger, garlic, battery chicken and edible oil have come down in kitchen markets of the capital due to adequate supply in the last few days.

Shahriar Kabir cleared of sedition charges

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has submitted a final report, clearing writer-columnist Shahriar Kabir of a sedition case filed in December 2001.

Dismantling of toxic ship goes on despite court order

Dismantling of MT Enterprise, an oil tanker blacklisted by Greenpeace for containing hazardous substance, continues at Madina Enterprise yard on a Sitakunda beach defying a court order.

Gen Ibrahim to contest from Dhaka-17 JS constituency

Major General (rtd) Syed Muhammad Ibrahim, chairman of Bangladesh Kalyan Party, yesterday said he will contest the upcoming parliamentary election from Dhaka-17 constituency (according to the revised delimitation of the parliamentary constituencies).

Paban freed on bail

Akhter Hamid Paban, son of BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain, was released yesterday on bail in a case for violation of Emergency Power Rules (EPR).

Japanese company recalls noodles over insecticide fears

Japan's Nissin Food Products Co. said Friday it was recalling half a million cups of instant noodles over fears of insecticide contamination in the latest food safety scare to rock the country's consumers.

European, Asian leaders agree on $80b fund to combat financial crisis

European and Asian leaders pledged united and bold action in combating the unprecedented challenges posed by the global economic crisis, as a major regional summit got under way here yesterday.

Oil prices tumble to $61 despite major slash in Opec output

OPEC said yesterday it will slash oil output by 1.5 million barrels a day from November 1 as it seeks to shore up crude prices, triggering a verbal backlash from recession-threatened Britain and the United States.

NY Times endorses Obama

The New York Times endorsed Barack Obama for president yesterday, saying the Democratic hopeful has grown into the kind of leader the United States needs after eight years of George W. Bush in the White House.

Editorial

Admission crisis at Dhaka University

IT was a matter of the deepest shame when a group of students, all seeking admission to first year honours classes at Dhaka University, recently vandalised the office of the vice chancellor to push their demand for a relaxation of admission rules. Indeed, the incident took place in the presence of the vice chancellor himself, which was clearly a sign of the limits these admission seekers were ready to go in order to make themselves heard. Such behaviour on the part of the young, indeed on the part of anyone for that matter, calls for stringent disciplinary action. Unfortunately, though, not only has action not been taken; but now a group of teachers known as the white panel at Dhaka University have echoed the demands of these admission seekers. Something of disbelief comes with such action on the part of the teachers. It is these very teachers who were earlier involved with finalising the admission procedures. In an about turn, they have now warned the vice chancellor that unless the rules are relaxed, they will have nothing to do with the admission process this year. There is certain whiff of an attempt to politicise matters here. If that is the case, it will be most unhealthy.

Hand Washing Day, a brilliant idea

SOMETIMES a simple event can have a ground breaking significance. In this category belongs the news of 15 million children in 75,000 schools in Bangladesh washing their hands to mark the first-ever Global Hand Washing Day launched by the Unicef. Children are most vulnerable to pollution; besides, a good habit formed at a tender, impressionable age, can be an enduring acquisition for life.

United States and the Islamic world

SINCE 11 September, 2001, popularly known as 9/11, there has been a growing interest in the United States in trying to understand the existing dynamics within the Islamic world. Before that date US policy makers and think tanks displayed some interest in the evolving peace process in the Middle East and the question of finding an acceptable solution to the Palestinian problem, but that was marginal compared to their careful monitoring of economic and trade potentials in the energy-rich member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Distressed Indian society

I have never found Indian civil society so much in despair as it is today. It feels insecure as if everything around is falling apart. The real concern is over violence which has spread in the country in one shape or the other. Incidents are not many but they do scare the society which has been living more or less peacefully till some time ago.

South Talpatti-New Moore dispute

AFTER 28 years our big neighbour India extended her hands in discussing maritime boundary inclusive of the South Talpatti vs. New Moore island issue. But the outcome was only 'diplomatically successful', in actuality it was just a failure.

Sports

Tigers target 'session wins'

The weather was gloomy but there was no darkness in the face of the Tigers ahead of the today's second and final Test at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Pitch, Oram are Vettori's worries

The New Zealand team returned to the hotel without conducting any practice at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur because of rain yesterday. There has been more rain forecast following a low in the bay but it's difficult to predict whether the rain may cause a complete washout because of the tremendous drainage system at the 'home of cricket'.

Hosts' last-gasp win

Late goals in each half including Ridon's 89th minute strike gave Chittagong Mohammedan their second win in three games when the hosts came from a goal down to beat Khulna Abahani 2-1 in the Citycell B. League at the MA Aziz Stadium here yesterday.

MSC meet Brothers tomorrow

The unfinished matches of Rounds 5, 6 and 7 will start from tomorrow before the eighth round of the B. League is to begin.

Gilchirst, Tendulkar hold 'clear the air' talks

India's Sachin Tendulkar on Friday said Australian star Adam Gilchrist had phoned him to clarify his controversial comments about the batting great in a new book.

Pakistan sack Lawson

The Pakistan Cricket Board sacked national coach Geoff Lawson on Friday, just 15 months after the former Australian paceman took up the position, the board's spokesman said.

Narsingdi defeat hosts Manikganj

Narsingdi defeated hosts Manikganj by 36 runs in the under-14 national cricket competition at the Shaheed Miraz-Tapan Stadium in Manikganj yesterday.

Vietnam face Malaysia in final

Having stopped Myanmar's bid to reach the final of the Merdeka Cup for the third successive time, Malaysia will face Vietnam in today's final of the Merdeka Cup at the National Stadium, Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur.

Viqarunnissa win opener

Viqarunnissa Noon School got off to a fine start in the first ever school football event for women in the country when they defeated Australian International School 2-1 in the opening match of the Dhaka Metropolitan Women's School football tournament at the Dhanmondi Women's Sports Complex yesterday.

More misery for Spurs

English Premiership tailenders Tottenham found no respite from their domestic woes Thursday in going down 2-0 at Italy's Udinese in their opening UEFA Cup group match.

Villarreal test for Atletico

Atletico Madrid ended a run of three consecutive defeats with the 1-1 Cham-pions League draw against Liverpool on Wednesday and Javier Aguirre's team must now put Europe on the back burner to improve their league position, starting with Sunday's tough trip to Villarreal.

Roma look to bounce back

Reeling AS Roma travel to high-flying Udinese this weekend looking to overcome the 'psychological problem' threatening to derail their season.

Bayern hunt Wolfburg

Bayern Munich attempt to prove their win over Fiorentina in the Cham-pions League was no fluke when they take on Wolfsburg this weekend while surprise package Hoffenheim aim to down leaders Hamburg.

'I deserve Ballon d'Or'

Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo believes he deserves to win this year's prestigious Ballon d'Or.

L'pool mull Torres gamble

Rafael Benitez is contemplating one of the biggest gambles of his career as he mulls over whether to throw Fernando Torres into battle in the Premier League summit meeting with Chelsea this weekend.

Matthaus wants Ballack disciplined

Former Germany captain Lothar Matthaus said Thursday die Mannschaft coach Joachim Loew must discipline current national skipper Michael Ballack for his recent criticisms of Loew in the media here.

Matthaus wants Ballack disciplined

Former Germany captain Lothar Matthaus said Thursday die Mannschaft coach Joachim Loew must discipline current national skipper Michael Ballack for his recent criticisms of Loew in the media here.

Kinnear extends with Magpies

Newcastle United's interim manager Joe Kinnear will sign a one-month extension to his short-term contract as owner Mike Ashley continues to seek out buyers for the club, reports said Friday.

Referee Michel ends career

Slovak referee Lubos Michel, who was in charge of the 2008 Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea, has decided to retire for personal and health reasons, the Slovak Football Association said on Thursday.

Money talks!

Kevin Pietersen may have been insisting the winner-takes-all-clash Twenty20 clash against the Stanford Super Stars in Antigua next week wasn't about the money but, unlike his extraordinary reverse hits, few would have been fooled by the England captain.

Mushi is Eng spin coach

Mushtaq Ahmed was named as the new England spin bowling coach by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) here on Thursday.

Teetotal kick works for Watson

Shane Watson is unique for an Australian cricketer: he doesn't drink or lift weights. Since injuring his hamstring for the umpteenth time during the World Twenty20 last year he has restructured his training and cut out alcohol in an effort to get the most out of his body.

Fergie not surprised

Sir Alex Ferguson insists he is not surprised by David Beckham's planned move to AC Milan.

Southern T20 league?

New Zealand, Australia and South Africa are exploring the possibility of setting up a regional Twenty20 cricket league from 2011, New Zealand's cricket chief said Friday.

Headingley to be Pak 'home'?

Yorkshire have said they are keen to stage Pakistan 'home' matches at their Headingley headquarters ground.

ECB-SL tour postponed

Cricinfo has learnt that the ECB and Sri Lanka Cricket have agreed to postpone Sri Lanka's tour of England in 2009.

Clarke named CA chairman

Solicitor Jack Clarke has been elected as Cricket Australia chairman following the retirement of Creagh O'Connor, CA said Friday.

Euro, Basabo win in Div II

Basabo Tarun Sangha and Euro Famous won their respective matches in the Second Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Metropolitan

Dhaka remains committed to UN goals

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said Bangladesh remains unswervingly committed to the goals and aspirations enshrined in the charter of the United Nations.

'Bring war criminals to book'

Acting president of Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee Shahriar Kabir has reiterated his demand for the trial of the war criminals, says a press release.

Workers' festival celebrated with high hopes

The first-ever 'Workers' Festival 2008' was celebrated in the country with participation of huge numbers of garment workers in a festive mood with their hopes high at Osmani Stadium in Narayanganj yesterday.

Ctg Eye Infirmary celebrates 25th anniversary today

With a commitment to providing specialised and professional treatment of international standards to eye patients, Chittagong Eye Infirmary and Training Complex (CEITC), locally known as Pahartali eye hospital, at Pahartali celebrates its 25th anniversary today.

Call to take immediate steps to tackle climate change

Leaders of the Lions Club of Dhaka Central at a discussion yesterday said the southern part of Bangladesh would go under water while the middle part and the northern region would often face natural disasters mainly due to the adverse impacts of global climate change.

3 students held for attack on media men

Police arrested three students of BCIC College on Thursday night for their alleged involvement in vandalising some vehicles and beating two TV crew of ATN Bangla.

7-yr-old girl strangled after rape

A seven-year-old schoolgirl was raped and strangled at Ashulia sometime between Thursday evening and early yesterday morning.

52pc slum children attend school

Bangladesh attained remarkable progress in fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on children issues, especially in reducing infant death, raising the rate of enrolment in primary education and bringing gender equality in primary education.

Six killed in road crashes

Six people were killed and five others injured in separate road accidents in Habiganj and Khulna yesterday.

Autorickshaw drivers threaten indefinite strike

Dhaka District Autorickshaw Sramik Union yesterday threatened to go for an indefinite strike from November 23 in the city if its 11-point demand is not meet immediately, says a press release.

2 intending contestants accused of violating election code

Two businessmen, who intend to contest the upcoming parliament election, are violating the election code spending huge amount of money to seek Awami League (AL) nomination from Rajshahi-5 constituency, alleged another nomination seeker.

Jatiya Party asks candidates to collect forms for nomination

Jatiya Party (Ershad) candidates, who are interested to contest the upcoming parliamentary election, have been asked to collect their nomination forms between October 26 and 30.

Boy burnt to death in Sherpur

A boy was burnt to death as a fire broke out at his house at village Char Duklai in Sadar upazila on Thursday night.

State-run mills begin sugarcane crushing

Sugarcane crushing at state-owned 15 sugar mills began yesterday with a target to produce over 1.73 lakh tonnes of sugar by crushing 22.72 lakh tonnes of sugarcane during the current fiscal year.

Shrimp trader stabbed to death

A shrimp trader was stabbed to death at Chouddohajari village in Bagerhat on Thursday night.

Man gets life for possessing heroin

A special court in Gopalganj has sentenced a man to life imprisonment for possessing heroin.

800 sacks of fertiliser seized

The police captured a trawler along with 800 sacks of fertiliser in the river Padma in Naria on Thursday.

Low over Bay intensifies

The low over west-central Bay and adjoining area moved slightly west-northwestwards and intensified into a well marked low over west-central Bay and adjoining northwest Bay.

National

Declare war criminals ineligible for polls

Sector Commanders Forum (SCF) Chairman Air Vice Marshal (retd) AKKhondokar Bir Uttam yesterday called upon the people to remain alert and united so that no war criminal can get into the parliament because they are not friends of the nation.

Unending ordeal as promises belied

Thousands of commuters on Satkhira-Khulna highway have been suffering much as the direct road link between Satkhira and Khulna has remained cut since October 2 due to flooding of the road at Mirzapur and Noapara points.

Row in Magura AL over nomination

Rival factions of Sreepur upazila unit Awami League (AL) have continued mudslinging over former lawmaker Dr MS Akbar's possible nomination from Magura-1 constituency (Magura Sadar and Sreepur upazilas) for the next general election.

Protests on against demolition of Lalon statue

Protests are still going on in Magura, Moulvibazar, Rajshahi and Manikganj condemning demolition of Lalon statue at the airport roundabout in Dhaka recently.

Four-party will go to power, says Mojahid

Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid yesterday expressed hope that four-party alliance, will go in power in the next polls by the grace of Allah.

'Build permanent dam on Jamuna at Ranigram'

People from all walks of life of 12 villages in Sirajganj Sadar upazila, at a rally held at Charmalshapara intersection here yesterday, demanded of the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) authorities to construct a permanent dam from Ranigram heart point to Jamuna Bridge in the ongoing dry season.

Rejoinder

In a rejoinder on October 22, former commander of Muktijoddha Sangsad Magura District Unit, Khan Ali Reza Raja, expressed shock at finding name of a late local leader in our October 20 story titled 'Magura war criminals' list controversial'.

College girl Rimu murder case shifted to CID after 11months

As police failed to find any clue to the murder of college girl Rimu in 11 months, the sensational case was shifted to CID yesterday.

One drowns, 10 hurt in B'baria boat capsize

A child drowned and at least 10 of a bridal party were injured when a trawler dashed a mechanised boat in Joydarkani Beel in Sarail upazila yesterday

Correction

Caption of a photograph published on the National page of The Daily Star on October 23 erroneously mentioned the person at the centre as the Swiss ambassador to Bangladesh. Actually the Swiss ambassador appeared at the left in the photograph.

International

India, Pakistan discuss Kabul embassy blast

India and Pakistan officials discussed yesterday the July bombing of India's embassy in Kabul that had threatened peace moves between the South Asian rivals, a foreign ministry statement said.

25 Kurdish rebels killed in Turkey's airstrikes

Turkey's military said Friday that its airstrikes in northern Iraq last week killed 25 Kurdish rebels and wounded many more.

Imran Khan warns against US 'surge' in Afghanistan

Pakistan ex-cricket star turned politician Imran Khan warned against any Iraq-style surge to tackle violent militancy in Afghanistan, telling AFP the two situations were "completely different".

Lankan troops push into Tiger territory

Security forces pushed deeper into territory held by Tamil Tiger rebels in northern Sri Lanka and captured several strongholds of the guerrillas, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Mass kidnapping as wave of attacks hits S Russia

More than 10 people have been kidnapped in the volatile province of Ingushetia in southern Russia, a local official said yesterday, as guerrilla attacks by rebels in the region intensify.

Black turnout is strong in early voting in South

Blacks are already surging to the polls in parts of the South, according to initial figures from states that encourage early voting a striking though still preliminary sign of how strongly they will turn out nationwide for Barack Obama in his campaign to become the first African-American president.

French lead European love-in for Obama

Europeans, particularly the French and Germans, overwhelmingly want Barack Obama to win the US presidential vote next month, an opinion poll said yesterday.

Eight militants killed in India's northeast

At least eight suspected separatists have been killed in shootouts with security forces in India's restive northeastern state of Manipur, police said Friday.

US military training starts in Pakistan

A small contingent of US military instructors have begun a training programme scheme aimed at turning Pakistan's Frontier Corps into an effective counter-insurgency force, a US military official said Thursday.

Thousands protest killing of Afghan civilians

Thousands of people took to the streets of eastern Afghanistan yesterday to protest against the killing of 27 civilians by Taliban insurgents.

Shas rejects joining new Israeli govt

An ultra-Orthodox party announced yesterday it will not join a new coalition government being formed by prime minister-designate Tzipi Livni, making it more likely Israel will soon hold national elections.

Grandmother may not see Election Day

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says he's not sure his gravely ill grandmother will live to see Election Day.

Nato warships ready to tackle piracy off Somalia

Nato warships are in place off the Somali coast to tackle rampant piracy in the waters, and are ready to escort UN aid vessels under threat, a spokesman for the alliance's naval command said Friday.

Astronauts land safely

A Soyuz capsule carrying an American and two Russians touched down on target in Kazakhstan on Friday after a descent from the international space station, safely delivering the first two men to follow their fathers into space.

Stephen Hawking to retire from prestigious post

Cosmologist Stephen Hawking will retire from his prestigious post at Cambridge University next year, but intends to continue his exploration of time and space.

Arts & Entertainment

National Film Awards generate enthusiasm

The winners of the National Film Awards (from 2002 to 2007) received their awards from Chief Adviser Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed on October 23 at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre.

Sangskriti Bikash Kendra celebrates 17th anniversary

Cultural organisation Sangskriti Bikash Kendra (SBK) arranged a three-day programme to celebrate its 17th birth anniversary at its premises, starting from October 23, according to a press release. Renowned artist Qayyum Chowdhury inaugurated the programme.

Maple Leaf Int'l School stages “Valmiki Pratibha”

The students of Maple Leaf International School staged Rabindranath Tagore's "Valmiki Pratibha" at the Shishu Academy auditorium on October 23.

Honourable mention for Mohammad Al Atiq

This is for the second time that Qatari artist Mohammad Al Atiq has won an Honourable Mention at the Asian Art Biennale organised by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. At the 13th Asian Art Biennale '08 Atiq has won the award for his abstract work "Untitled 111".

Beyonce would like to be known as “Sasha Fierce”

Just like the "Seinfeld" episode where George wanted everyone to call him "T-Bone," Beyonce Knowles would like to be known by a bold new name.

“Style Icon ‘08” to begin soon

ATN Records Ltd, a concern group of ATN Bangla; Ittefaq Group and Concord Group are jointly organising a beauty pageant, "Style Icon '08," says a press release. The agreement was signed on October 23. Dr. Mahfuzur Rahman, chairman, ATN Bangla; Arshad Hossain, managing director, Ittefaq Group and SK Lala, managing director, Concord Group signed on the agreement papers on behalf of their respective organisations.

Single episode play “Ekakitto” on ntv

Written by Dilip Chakrabarti and directed by Manirul Islam Masum, single episode play "Ekakitto" will be aired tonight on ntv at 9pm.

Ayub Bachchu on “Hot Seat”

The audiences of Radio Foorti will have an opportunity to get in touch with rock star Ayub Bachchu on the programme "Hot Seat" tonight, from 7 to 10pm.

OP-ED

'Good political environment will come if leaders are respectful towards each other'

Brig Gen (retd) ASM Hannan Shah, adviser to the BNP chairperson, joined politics in 1984 after retiring from the army in 1982. He worked as organising secretary of the party's central committee and president of Gazipur district unit, and actively participated in the movement against military autocracy in the '80's. He was elected member of the parliament in the fifth and sixth parliaments and served as minister from 1991 to 96. Shah was the only vocal leader in favour of Khaleda Zia when she was virtually under "house arrest" before her arrest on September 3, 2007. He has been arrested several times during the present government. Rakib Hasnet Suman and Rashidul Hasan took this interview.

Flickers of hope

AS the general election draws near along with the expected termination of the tenure of the present extended caretaker government, there is a mood of despondency in many quarters. Responsible people in such quarters are of the view that the villains of our public life have not been punished in sufficient numbers and that we are very steadily reverting to wherefrom we started on 11th January 2007. The question is should we lose heart as quickly as we do? Is it not time to dispel the gloom?

The population bomb is ticking

CLIMATIC disruption, barren fields, dried up wells and hunger on a scale never before known by humanity are now a reality. The prospect is horrifying, and this is what Lester Brown, president of the World Watch Institute in Washington predicts for 2050, when the earth's population will have more than doubled from the present 6 billion and the capacity of science to devise methods for coaxing more food out of the soil will, in his view, be greatly diminished. The situation may be too alarming as Brown calculates, with specific mention of the dire economic situation in some Asian countries. Look at the figure : the population of Bangladesh at the time of liberation in1971 was 75 million and in less than 40 years it has crossed 140 million mark. With 953 people living in a space of one km and the present birth rate standing at 1.43 percent as said by the Chief Adviser Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed while inaugurating the World Population Day programme in the city in the recent past, (although the figure revealed by other sources puts the growth figure at 2% ) there would be 30 lakh new mouths to be fed every year. Consequently the agricultural land in the country continues to decrease by one per cent every year bringing the present cultivable land to 60 lakh hectare from 90 lakh hectare in 1980. With population increasing even at this rate, we will become more populous and impoverished than many other Asian countries bigger than our size.

Environment

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gases naturally blanket the Earth and keep it about 33 degrees Celsius warmer than it would be without these gases in the atmosphere. Over the past century, the Earth's temperature has increased by about 0.5 degrees Celsius and scientists believe this is because of an increase in concentration of the main greenhouse gases namely carbon dioxide (76%), methane (13%), nitrous oxide (6%), and fluorocarbons (5%). People are now calling this climate change over the past century the beginning of 'Global Warming'. Fears are that if people keep on producing such gases at increasing rates, the results will be just negative in nature, such as more severe floods and droughts, increasing prevalence of insects, sea level rising, and Earth's precipitation may be redistributed. These changes in the environment will most likely cause negative effects on society, such as lower health status and decreasing economic development.

Success of Bangladeshi environmentalist

Yet another expatriate Bangladeshi has been gaining prominence slowly but steadily in the international arena. He has been working on renewable solar energy for more than a quarter of a century. This particular area of science has come to the forefront in view of energy crisis and global warming. Recently he has won Boston Mayor's Green award for community leadership in energy and climate protection.

Blazing Dhaka: An urban heat island

Whoever has experienced the sweltering summer days of Dhaka will agree that average temperature of Dhaka City has increased over the decades. The scorching heat during daytime and hot, see thing nights coupled with load shedding are the bane of the city dweller's life. But why the temperature is so high in Dhaka? The answer can be attributed to a unique feature of the urban climate known as Urban Heat Island (UHI) Effect. The urban heat island phenomenon was first discovered in the early 1800s in London. But it is not clear yet whether it is related to global warming.

Water, water everywhere

Satyajit Ray's film Shatranj ke khilari satirises two determined chess-playing nawabs who are so engrossed in their game that they ignore the evaporation of their princedoms by the British.

Literature

Tajhat Rajbari and the Making of Kuhelika Chhariye

“That's him, Simon. That's the guy I want.”

Stories from Nepal

Writing in a May 2008 issue of the 'London Review of Books' about turbulent Nepalese politics, Manjushree Thapa began with a memorable line, “In Kathmandu, the conventional wisdom has it that you show up early on voting day: the lines at the booth may be longer, but the chances are that no one else will yet have voted in your name. And trouble, if it comes, comes in the afternoon.”

The 'Asian Booker' Shortlist 2008

The winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize (nicknamed the 'Asian Booker') will be announced on November 13, 2008. The Prize was established in 2006 to bring greater worldwide attention to Asian writing and authors. The Prize is open for unpublished works in English, as well as for translations. It is jointly administered by representatives of the Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival, the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and is sponsored by Man Group plc, a leading global financial services firm based in London.

The vegetable vendor

The vegetable vendor
outside my apartment building
is an old man,
lips brinjol purple
in the heat
dark old-potato skin
peeping through
the patches in his shirt
as he bends over to tend
to the greens and reds on
the ragged field of broken baskets
spread out in front of him…

Star Health

Team up for breast cancer awareness

Your mom, your aunt, your colleague, your best friend, your relatives — someone you know may have breast cancer, the deadly disease every woman should be aware of. Breast cancer awareness takes centre stage this October. Many women are interested to learn more about this life-threatening disease and ways how to prevent it.

Melamine menace: Know the facts to protect your child

The Ministry of Health of China reports that more than 53,000 children have sought medical treatment and have been hospitalised due to powdered infant formula contaminated with melamine, a toxic chemical. There have also been several deaths reported in this connection. In addition, dairy products made in China and exported to other countries have been found to be contaminated with melamine.

Stand tall, speak out for your bones

World Osteoporosis Day (WOD) is a global call to take charge and improve osteoporosis healthcare policies around the world that was observed on October 20th, 2008. This year's theme was “Stand tall, speak out for your bones” which aimed to initiate the change needed in osteoporosis healthcare policies by marshalling millions of people to speak up and speak out in order to help improve osteoporosis procedures in government and private health care systems.

Depression in pregnancy tied to preterm birth!

Women with depression symptoms early in pregnancy may be at heightened risk of delivering prematurely, a recent study suggests.

Work smart, NOT hard!

Japanese are known as workaholic nation. But now, death from overtime work has become a social concern in that country. Some believe, most cases are due to the sudden onset of a fatal cardiovascular or cerebro-vascular events. In 2002, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in Japan announced a comprehensive programme for the prevention of health problems due to overwork.

Health cutbacks in crisis would be mistake: WHO

Governments should resist the temptation to cut their health budgets in response to a global financial crisis, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

Soy reduces breast cancer risk by receptor status

Rather than protecting against all breast cancers, high levels of soy food consumption appears to specifically reduce the risk of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative tumors, Japanese researchers report in the International Journal of Cancer.

Strategic Issues

Pakistan: From religious politics to religious extremism Part-II

THE fall of Kabul to the CIA-ISI sponsored Mujahideen forces in 1992 after eleven years of civil war was considered a great victory of the religious forces and of the government of Pakistan. However, the vicious power struggle between Mujahedin factions led to a civil war that devastated Afghanistan the second time. As the Mujahedins were busy fighting a new force composed of young Madrassa students, known as the Taliban (Students), came sweeping from Pakistan's border all the way to Kabul in 1996. The Taliban were recruited from Afghan refugee camps, indoctrinated in Pakistani madrassas, and trained and equipped by the ISI. Darul Uloom Haqqania, a madrassa in Akora Khattak, about 40 miles west of Peshawar, run by Maulana Samiul Haq, a JUI leader, claimed to have provided most of the Taliban recruits and the leadership. Meanwhile, the Madrassas across Pakistan had no shortage of students especially from poor rural background for whom free lodging, food, as well as some education was far better than being jobless and hungry at home. Many of these students have routinely been recruited by the Jihadi organisations to go to Kashmir or inside India to spread the Jihad. Some of them are now turning against their own government as suicide bombers or assassins. It has been reported that the poor parents with a number of sons are pressured to give one or two sons in the way of the Allah i.e. become a Jihadi. The parent's refusal could bring shame and harassment, and if they agree, financial inducement follows. Interestingly, the Mullahs or their children never decide to become a Mujahid or a suicide bomber; always the poor are sacrificed on the altar of God.

The Powell endorsement: Will it seal the deal for Obama?

IN a campaign not going well for Senator McCain, there was more bad news this week. Gallup Poll taken on October 20th gave Senator Barak Obama an 11% point lead in the presidential vote preference of all registered voters, 52% to 41%. The real bad news, though, came in the form of the endorsement given a day earlier to Senator Obama by former Secretary of State General Colin Powell who crossed party lines to do so.

Smaller, lighter Mraps headed to Afghanistan

The Pentagon is speeding deliveries to Afghanistan of armoured vehicles designed to protect troops against roadside bomb attacks - smaller, lighter versions of what are known as MRAPs.

USAF laying out 4-decade UAV plan

The U.S. Air Force's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Task Force is set to brief the new service chief and Defense Secretary Robert Gates December 15 on the long-term future of UAVs. The task force is laying out a road map for UAVs all the way to 2047, the Air Force's centennial, said Colonel Eric Mathewson, director of the Air Force Unmanned Aircraft Systems Task Force at the C4ISR Integration conference in Arlington, Va., October 17. That future will include something of a change in mind-set for Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), said Colonel (select) Scott Murray, the Air Force headquarters special assistant for ISR transformation.

US Marines to hold joint exercise in Ladakh

After the Royal Marines, the US marines will also be holding a joint military exercise with the Indian Army in Ladakh. US Army Chief General George Casey along with his Indian counterpart Deepak Kapoor visited Ladakh and its adjoining areas to select the location where the Indo-US military exercises would be held. "Dates for these joint exercises could be decided only after the US Army chief will get satisfied with the venues for these exercises," Defence spokesman, Lt Col Anil Mathur told The Indian Express.

Navy diverts warship to fight Somali pirates

The Indian Navy has diverted a ship that was already in the west Asian region to the Gulf of Aden to carry out anti-piracy patrols, sources have confirmed. "The ship has enough endurance to remain there and provide security to Indian flagships carrying cargo till another warship is sent there to replace it," a sources said. The government on Thursday had approved the deployment of an Indian naval warship with helicopters and marine commandos on board in the Gulf of Aden to carry out anti-piracy patrols of the route followed usually by Indian commercial ships between Salalah (Oman) and Aden (Yemen) in west Asia.

Indian Air Force with its own exercise

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning to host its own version of the US Air Force's (USAF's) Red Flag' exercise, in which it recently participated for the first time. “We are working towards holding our own multination war games with realistic war scenarios two to three years down the line, but they would be on a more modest scale,” Vice Chief of Air Staff Marshall PV Naik said on 18 September.

New 'Typhoon' combat aircraft for RAF

The RAF has taken delivery of the first of 91 new Typhoon combat aircraft, ordered four years ago and delivered on time and to cost. The new Defence Equipment and Support Minister Quentin Davies was at RAF Coningsby to witness the arrival of the second generation Typhoons.

Star Books Review

A poet sings of the city he loves

Shamsur Rahman, Dhaka's illustrious son, was a living legend. That he was a brilliant writer of prose too is manifested in his novels and short stories, however few they may be in number. His best work in prose is, however, Smritir Shahar, his memoirs of Dhaka written for adolescents but liked by adults even more. The book was first published in 1979 and later reprinted in 2000 by Jatiyo Grantha Prakashan. It was first serialized in the late sixties in the monthly Tapur Tupur, perhaps the finest juvenile magazine ever to be published from Bangladesh. Shamsur Rahman and Dhaka are inseparable entities. He spent the whole of his creative life, in fact the whole of his life, in Dhaka. While singing Dhaka's glory in Smritir Shahar, he declares his unconditional love for the city and reaches great heights as a narrator.

The spiritual emerging from the poetry

It is said that great and lofty ideas can only be expressed in parables (Oslu).The epic poem Masnavi of Jalal al-Din Rumi is a book of such parables. Masnavi means rhyming couplets. Its original Farsee name is Masnave Manavi, meaning spiritual couplets, which has an immense influence on Islamic literature and thought. It is the greatest masterpiece of Moulana Jalaluddin Rumi who lived in Persia (modern Iran) during the 13th century (1207-1273). For the last 800 years, Masnavi has been considered an invaluable treasure of human civilisation, a beacon of light in philosophy and religious literature. As a recognition to this unparalleled contribution of Rumi, UNESCO declared 2007 as the year of Rumi. Worldwide programmes were chalked out in the same year to commemorate the 800th anniversary of Rumi's birth where Rumi's contributions to world literature were highlighted. Against such a backdrop, Isa Shahedi, a well known Farsee scholar in Bangladesh, embarked on translating Masnavi from original Farsee to Bangla in order to meet the long awaited thirst of Bengali readers.

One man's worldview and the layman's law

Rabindranath Tagore's visit to China in 1924 must have been a moment of realisation for him. There were those in the country, scholars as well as students, who saw in him an august presence already made famous by the Nobel Prize for literature. Among these individuals was the scholar Xu Zhimo, who happened to be in Cambridge at the time. His enthusiasm about Tagore's trip was a pronounced affair. Years earlier, in 1913, Qian Zhixian celebrated Tagore's coming by the Nobel through an article, describing the Indian poet as one dedicated to his motherland and the welfare of mankind. And as Muhammad Habibur Rahman informs us in this excellent collection of essays, translations of Tagore's works began to appear in China, not a politically stable country at the time, as early as 1917.

A tale of horror and overcoming it

Acid terrorism has become a common phenomenon in Bangladesh. Observing the woes of acid victims, Ali Idris, a sensitive writer, could not remain idle, as a mute spectator. He turned his pen into a mighty weapon to fight the social evil and ended up writing a fictional account titled,Torol Agune Pora.



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