News of: Saturday, 27th of December, 2008
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Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her grand electoral alliance wants to bring a change to the country to establish a rule of honest people and economic freedom for the people, with a popular mandate.
The two main political parties, BNP and Awami League (AL), have been keeping a cloak of secrecy around their election finances with most of their policymakers left in the dark.
Almost no effort is being seen regarding the big challenge of winning the hearts of a large number of fresh voters in the campaigns for the ninth parliamentary elections.
Contenders in the upcoming parliamentary election have until 12:00am tomorrow to wrap up their campaigns as the curtain will fall on the last two weeks' hectic electioneering at midnight today.
The Government Attorney Department will now appoint lawyers only to the lower courts for dealing with cases on behalf of the state.
Judicial magistrates are facing difficulties in discharging their duties of trying electoral offences in the upcoming parliamentary polls due to non-cooperation of local administration.
In a whirlwind election campaign in the city, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia last night sought votes for the four-party alliance candidates in different Dhaka constituencies.
The election rally of Awami League turned into a human sea at Paltan Maidan and its surrounding areas yesterday as tens of thousands of people joined the party's final showdown in the capital ahead of the national polls.
At least 37 bombs were recovered from various places in Rajshahi, Naogaon, Jessore and Meherpur while three suspected JMB members were detained in Panchagarh yesterday.
Former state minister and BNP leader Lutfozzaman Babar has been expelled from the party for contesting the ninth parliamentary election as an independent candidate.
Dhaka morphed into a city of high-pitched rallies and processions as the election campaign yesterday moved closer to the final lap.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will address an election rally of 4-party alliance at the city's historic Paltan Maidan today, a day after her political archrival Sheikh Hasina's grand election rally at the same venue.
Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar will broadcast the speeches of Awami League President Sheikh Hasina and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia today ahead of the ninth parliamentary election.
The European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) yesterday deployed nearly 100 short-term observers across the country.
The Daily Star has converted most of the business section into election coverage. The regular four-page Star Business in pink will remain on hold until December 31, but we will continue to bring you stock updates in one page as long as the market is open. In the extended election coverage, two pages will carry the latest on Bangladesh elections, which is the demand of the time. Another page will be dedicated to world news, largely about the fast-unfolding financial recession. As the stock market is closed on Election Day in Bangladesh, we will not be able to provide you with capital market news on December 30; but the page will be refashioned into a space for more election news and pictures. Star Business comes back in pink with New Year's flavour on January 1.
Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday called upon people to cast their votes for honest and competent candidates in the December 29 national election for constituting an effective parliament that would work for healthy democracy in the country.
Pakistan began moving thousands of troops away from the Afghan border toward India yesterday amid tensions following the Mumbai attacks, intelligence officials said.
A local al-Qaeda chief known as "Imad the killer" escaped in a pre-dawn breakout from an Iraqi police station yesterday, triggering a wild shootout that left 13 militants and Iraqi policemen dead.
The three Indian oil and gas survey ships that entered seven miles into Bangladesh maritime boundary under Deep-sea Block-14 Thursday, continued their survey work yesterday claiming that they were inside their maritime boundary.
At least 25 people were injured and train services on different routes disrupted for about eight hours as two passenger trains collided head-on at Rajendrapur in Gazipur yesterday morning.
Prices of non-brand edible oil witnessed a sharp fall in the city markets last week while prices of all brands of soyabean oil are yet to come down.
A fantastic exhibition of left-arm spin from Shakib Al Hasan gave Bangladesh the upper hand on the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.
At least eight people were injured in clashes between the supporters of AL rebel and BNP candidates from Bogra-3 constituency at Adamdighi and Dupchachia yesterday.
Government forces yesterday wrested control of a strategic town after heavy fighting with Tamil Tiger rebels that left at least 40 people dead, the defence ministry said.
Christmas retail sales plunged in the United States, a poll showed yesterday, as Japan reported record cuts in production in November in a gloomy run-up to 2009 for the world economy.
WE note with satisfaction the consistency with which the police and the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) have been chasing the remnants of outlawed militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and of similar groups in Bangladesh. Only two days after the successful recovery of five grenades from two JMB men in Comilla last week, the combined force again caught eight senior level members of JMB in Gaibandha on Thursday and recovered a large cache of explosives, casings of grenades, grenade-making materials, and some jihadi books. The Rab and police authorities suspect the militants have been regrouping to commit subversive activities ahead of the national election.
IN view of the fast approaching parliamentary election, a mid-term review of ADP implementation may be somewhat remote from the public mind. But that needn't be so. Given the whole lot of implications that a poor implementation rate will have for the economy, let alone the newly elected government, the matter of where we are in terms of ADP utilisation is important at this cross-roads of transition to an elected government.
MOST consider a free, fair and credible election to be the first step towards the achievement of the eventual goal of democratic governance. Special emphasis is also laid on arranging a “level playing field” so that controversy does not surface after the polls.
IN addition to the cynics and hard-boiled critics many citizens are, of late, expressing the view that nothing has changed for the better during the last two years, when expectations for a healthy polity were high.
TENSIONS, if prolonged, burst into, consequences which are hard to handle. A warlike atmosphere develops. Nations are sucked into jingoism because they feel insecure. New Delhi has enacted a new, harsher law on detention. And all know who calls the shots in Pakistan.
The dense fog, bad decisions, missing chances and in the end, it was Bangladesh's rare effort that marked the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
A group of friends went to see a Test match yesterday and were so engrossed in their favourite game's finer points that the looming general elections seemed distant.
Mahmudullah Riyad is itching to get back into the national team after a rewarding few months in the domestic circuit.
There was heavy fog; the wicket was two-paced; there was variable bounce; the noises from outside were too loud; the Christmas meal was not good enough.
Sri Lanka's President has given the green light for the national team to tour Pakistan next month in place of India, who cancelled their five-week series over the Mumbai attacks.
Ricky Ponting stepped up in his bid to level the series with a century, but South Africa maintained the momentum that was gained over the past week by limiting the impact of the captain's accomplices. While Australia were in a festive mood when Ponting was on the way to a classy 101, they ended the day at the doubt of 6 for 280 after another tight contest.
A more relaxed approach to batting has been the success mantra for Indian opener Gautam Gambhir who today acknowledged that coach Gary Kirsten played a vital role in making 2008 the "best year" of his cricketing career.
Sri Lanka were looking forward to score around 300 runs to put pressure on the home team even after being reduced to 172 for six on the first day of the first Test at Mirpur yesterday.
Destiny 2000 brushed aside Titas Club 4-0 in the 14th round at the Chess Federation hall room yesterday to consolidate their lead in the Dutch-Bangla Bank First Division Chess League.
A Chris Gayle blast in a special "eliminator over" broke the deadlock between the West Indies and New Zealand to give the tourists the honours in the opening Twenty20 cricket match here Friday.
From being just another promising young shuttler to breaking into the world's top 10, the year gone by has seen the metamorphosis of Saina Nehwal into a sensation, whose exploits helped India rise up the world badminton chart.
Makhaya Ntini is not the man Matthew Hayden wants to be facing while trying to justify extending his career. When Ntini collected Hayden for 8 it was the ninth time he had picked him up in the 11 Tests they have played against each other. No bowler has taken Hayden's wicket more times and no batsman has been dismissed by Ntini more often.
As Sir Alex Ferguson watched Ryan Giggs sprint towards the jubilant Manchester United supporters packed into one end of Wigan's JJB Stadium, a look of relief spread across his face.
Barcelona midfielder Alexander Hleb was named Belarus Player of the Year for the fourth consecutive year, the country's sports weekly Press Ball announced Thursday.
Citizens' Rights Movement at a view exchange meeting yesterday called for strengthening the campaign for 'No vote' to raise awareness among the voters so that they can opt for it in the event that all the candidates in their constituencies are corrupt and dishonest.
Leaders of United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF) yesterday called on the government to recognise indigenous people constitutionally, ensure their rights to lands and language and stop repression in the name of security personnel's operations in the CHT areas.
Two pieces of northern black polished ware (NBPW) and some other artefacts, including ancient brick-built structures, have been found in an excavation at Basu Bihar archaeological site under Shibganj upazila recently.
A total of 39 candidates, having different levels of educational qualifications including literate to PhD degrees, will contest for eight Jatiya Sangsad seats in Tangail district in the upcoming national election.
Bangladesh Scholarship Council yesterday distributed scholarships among 250 meritorious students at its 14th annual scholarship distribution ceremony.
Two people were killed and 31 others injured in separate road accidents in Jessore and Rajshahi in last two days.
Jhenidah police launched a drive and arrested a Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-Janajuddha) cadre at Harinakunda upazila early hours of yesterday.
Activists of pro-CHT peace accord Parbattya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) yesterday launched an attack on a meeting of anti-peace accord United People's Democratic Front (UPDF) at its new office in Rangamati town.
Four people, including daughter of BNP leader Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, were injured in an attack allegedly by Awami League supporters at Ainta yesterday.
UCEP-Bangladesh was awarded Mother Teresa Gold Medal-2008 for its contribution in transforming underprivileged children into human resources, says a press release.
Leaders of Forum of Possible Upazila Parishad Chairmen and Vice Chairmen yesterday called on the government to hand over power to an elected government after holding the upazila polls on January 22, says a press release.
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Border Security Force (BSF) of India at a flag meeting yesterday agreed to strengthen their vigilance along the border to stop smuggle of explosives and arms to Bangladesh ahead of 9th national election on December 29.
The health ministry has recently taken departmental action against only one official of the National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital (NICRH) six months after the probe committee submitted its report identifying several other officials and staffs involved in corruption at the institute.
Around 5,000 former students of different batches gathered on the BSF Shaheen School and College premises yesterday amid huge enthusiasm and joy in their first-ever reunion.
Leaders of National Front of Teachers and Employees (NFTE), a platform of eleven teachers' organisations, yesterday urged all teachers not to cast vote for war criminals, repressors of women and corrupt candidates in the upcoming national election.
TIB Chairman Prof Muzaffer Ahmad yesterday stressed the need for ensuring equal rights of education for all (EFA) in order to create talented politicians who will stand beside the deprived people with a view to solving their problems.
A man was killed and two others were injured in a clash over land dispute at Agua village in Baniachng upazila on Thursday.
Freedom fighters at a press conference yesterday urged the countrymen to reject the anti-liberation forces in the national election.
Japan Bangladesh Friendship Hospital (JBFH) and Aktel, a private mobile phone operator, jointly took an initiative to provide health services free of cost marking the upcoming elections and the second round of the 17th national day of immunisation, says a press release.
Police recovered three bombs from a house at Lautara village in Benapole yesterday morning.
KMR Manzoor was elected president of Uttara Club Limited for the term 2008-09, says a press release.
Awami League (AL) chief Sheikh Hasina has said if voted to power she will strengthen the Anti Corruption Commission and take steps to ensure accountability at all levels to reduce corruption.
Bagerhat-1 has been a prestige issue for Awami League as Sheikh Hasina is running from there in December 29 Parliamentary elections.
Family members of slain BNP leader businessman Jamal Uddin Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday urged voters in Chittagong-12 (Anwara) constituency not to vote for alleged killer and 4-party candidate Sarwar Jamal Nizam in the upcoming election.
Journalist Kazi Kamruzzaman was killed in police shooting and beating on February 19, 1996 after the 6th parliament election when he was taking photographs of police atrocity on opposition protesters at Nilphamari but neither any judicial enquiry has yet been held nor punishment given to the persons responsible for the killing.
New faces are challenging veteran candidates of opponent electoral alliances in Chittagong-2 and Chittagong-3 constituencies.
BNP-led four-party alliance candidate in Barisal-2 (Uzirpur) Constituency have already spent about Tk 16 lakh in his election campaign which is double the amount he told the Election Commission as his estimated polls expense.
Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad yesterday called upon the people to cast vote for grand alliance to fulfill the dreams of of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by building a happy and prosperous Bangladesh.
Rickshaw-puller Md Hasmat Ali, running for December 29 parliamentary election from Jamalpur-3 (Melandah-Madarganj) constituency with Krishak Sramik Janata League ticket, said he is a representative of the poor.
Three female candidates are in the poll race in 21 constituencies in Barisal division.
In Rajshahi-3 (Paba-Mohonpur) constituency, grand alliance candidate Miraj Uddin Mollah is in a better position than the candidates of four-party alliance belonging to BNP and Jamaat-e Islami who are locked in internal feuds.
Police yesterday arrested 11 activists of Jatiya Party (JP) from Boirati in Mithapukur on charge of distributing controversial leaflets and letters with forged signature of Awami League (AL) acting General Secretary Sayed Ashraful Islam.
Barguna district returning officer (RO) yesterday relieved four presiding officers (PO) from election duty in Barguna-2 constituency for their partisan role in favour of a candidate.
Candidates and political leaders at a 'citizens' dialogue' held at Barisal BNDN auditorium yesterday pledged to take steps to reduce violence against women.
In the 5th parliament Awami League had 2 out of 4 and in the 7th parliament they managed only one in Habiganj district, where as in the last 3 polls BNP got no seat in the district. This is why AL considers the Habiganj district as their stronghold. But, things may get different this time for reasons while the BNP-led alliance is also trying their best to end the AL's influence in the district.
Saifur 's cousin injured
Unidentified terrorists Thursday night injured former finance minister and BNP nominee for Moulvibazar-3 M Saifur Rahman's cousin Rafiqul Islam Mani Miah and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leader Suhel Ahmed.
Independent runner Khagrachhari Awami League secretary Mohammad Jahidul Alam yesterday said if voted, he will ensure equal development in all areas of the hill district.
Natore police arrested two leaders of BNP and Islami Chhatra Shibir from Hazratpur Bazar in the city on charges of distributing leaflets containing derogatory remarks about Awami League (AL).
Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance eyes a 'big victory' in Kushtia-1 (Daulatpur) constituency in the upcoming parliamentary election, party leaders said, claiming that its nominee Afaz Uddin Ahmed is 'clearly ahead of his poll rivals'.
At least three persons including a woman were injured in attack on BNP men by opponent Awami League activists at two villages in Thakurgaon Sadar upazila on Thursday night.
Voters of the Brahmaputra shoal at Baitkamari of Kamarjani union in Gaibandha-2 (Sadar) constituency are yet to decide to whom they will cast vote in the upcoming election which is only three days ahead.
In a show of unity, five candidates vying for the Bhola-5 constituency stood on the same platform and vowed for helping hold a peaceful election and working for development of the district.
Pakistan on Thursday reduced its rhetoric a notch, with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani saying "there is absolutely no question of war" with India.
Israel moved closer to invading Gaza, saying Thursday it had wrapped up preparations for a broad offensive after Palestinian militants fired about 100 rockets and mortar shells across the border in two days.
Militant violence in Kashmir has fallen to an all time low, Indian police said yesterday, while noting that more than 800 Islamist militants still operated in the state.
The Asia-Pacific faces an era of large-scale natural disasters, which could kill up to one million people at a time, with Indonesia, the Philippines and China most at risk, an Australian report said yesterday.
With heightened terror threat to the aviation sector, a series of instructions has been issued to all state governments, airports and agencies concerned across the country by the Civil Aviation Ministry, which has asked for their strict compliance.
A man dressed in a Santa Claus costume burst into a Christmas Eve party at his former in-laws' house and opened fire, killing at least eight people before taking his own life, US officials said yesterday.
Chinese warships armed with special forces, guided missiles and helicopters set sail Friday for anti-piracy duty off Somalia, the first time the communist nation has sent ships on a mission that could involve fighting so far beyond its territorial waters.
The US coalition said Friday its forces killed 11 Taliban militants, including the leader of a bomb-making cell, during an operation in southern Afghanistan.
Tens of thousands of Pakistanis massed yesterday near the tomb of slain former premier Benazir Bhutto on the eve of ceremonies marking the first anniversary of her killing, officials said.
Nearly 5,000 higher-level Chinese government officials were punished for corruption over the past year, state media reported yesterday.
Russia has begun to fulfil a 250-million-dollar contract to deliver surface-to-air missiles to seven countries including Libya, Syria and Venezuela, the Vedomosti business daily reported yesterday.
Bereaved families across Asia wept and prayed on Friday as they marked four years since a huge tsunami devastated the shores of the Indian Ocean in one of the worst ever natural disasters.
Arts & Entertainment
A spirited demonstration of 'lathi khela' was on at the Bakultala premises, Charukala (Faculty of Fine Arts, DU) yesterday morning. The demonstration was part of a five-day workshop that began on December 22. Shadhona -- a centre for advancement of South Asian music and dance -- arranged the workshop, which was conducted by artiste Sutapa Pradhan from Medinipur, West Bengal.
“Tui je amar mon munia
Kingbodonti chander kona
Buker bhitor lukiye achhish
Eartha Kitt, who purred and pounced her way across Broadway stages, recording studios and movie and television screens in a show-business career that lasted more than six decades, died on Christmas Day. She was 81 and lived in Connecticut.
Harold Pinter was speaking to the press just after receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005. "I was told today that one of the Sky channels said this morning that Harold Pinter is dead.' Then they changed their mind and said, 'No, he's won the Nobel prize.' So I've risen from the dead."
Eminent litterateurs Rabeya Khatun and Syed Shamsul Haque turn 74 today (December 27).
A new drama serial, "Naksha," goes on air on ATN Bangla tonight at 9:20 pm. Written and directed by noted theatre and TV personality Mamunur Rashid, the serial features ATM Shamsuzzaman, Nazneen Hasan Chumki, Joyraj, Sujata, Lutfur Rahman George, Azad Abul Kalam, Tushar Khan and others.
A new drama serial, "Naksha," goes on air on ATN Bangla tonight at 9:20 pm. Written and directed by noted theatre and TV personality Mamunur Rashid, the serial features ATM Shamsuzzaman, Nazneen Hasan Chumki, Joyraj, Sujata, Lutfur Rahman George, Azad Abul Kalam, Tushar Khan and others.
Drama serial "Jogphol" will be aired tonight on Banglvision at 8:15 pm. The serial has been written and directed by TV actor Tazin Ahmed.
World Food and Agricultural Organization's (FAO's) recent projections to 2030 suggest that globally the share of food in average household expenditure will continue to decline. However, recent trends, at least for some commodities, appear to be showing the reverse, with food prices increasing faster than incomes. Growing scarcities of water, land and fuel are likely to put increasing pressure on food prices, even without climate change. Additional pressures on these resources due to climate change, the introduction of mitigation practices that have the potential to create land use competition, and the attribution of market value to environmental services to mitigate climate change, also have the potential to cause significant changes in relative prices for different food items and an overall increase in the cost of an average food basket for the consumer.
Weeks ago I went through the article 'Blazing Dhaka: An urban heat island' written by one of my departmental fellows in The Daily Star. It should undoubtedly be a great concern for the urban experts. The UHI is the worse outcome of urban metabolism process (exchange and transformation of material and energy flow) and is very much explicit in most of the densely built urban environments. But most of the economically developed countries are totally dependent on artificial air cooling system to get rid of the uncomfortable local climatic situation which again discharges waste energy in the atmosphere attributing to the global warming. Dhaka, unless address and takes proper initiatives to attenuate the impact of UHI, the city life will be really very much miserable and not unlikely that the city becomes abandoned while also facing other environmental issues as majority of city dwellers are not so rich to own AC and AC in every house in congested localities simply unbearable environmentally.
In the hilly hamlet of Hoaikong in southeastern Bangladesh, villagers are used to welcoming new residents on a weekly basis.
I could clearly see behind our house the ash heap beside which the huge date palm rose up into the sky, and in which the five babui bird nests swayed in the breeze. Even in the midst of such pain, I felt a joy on seeing them. We had entered into the country on December 6th. That day had been for our group a mix of intense sadness and laughter. At noon, before we left for our mission, Nawsher Bhai, our group leader, came running to breathlessly inform us, I've got some good news for you fellows.
After the news reached Calcutta of Dhaka's surrender there began victory celebrations. Thousands of people congregated at Theatre Road (where was housed the Provisional Government of Bangladesh). Spontaneous victory parades and marches came out joyously on roads and streets. Various leading figures and luminaries of West Bengal political parties, cultural and social organizations rushed over to Theatre Road to congratulate the leaders of the Provisional Government. During the whole nine months of the war the area of Theatre Road had been a security zone. Tajuddin's status had been like that of a secret refugee. But with the announcement of the fall of Dhaka, this secretiveness melted away in a flood of joy and celebration. Standing on the upper-storey verandah of the house at No. 8 Theater Road, Syed Nazrul Islam and Tajuddin Ahmed acknowledged the congratulations and gave thanks to a jubilant crowd by waving their hands. Calcutta's journalists and foreign correspondents jammed at Theatre Road. Sunlight sparkled on the whole area: A light that spread throughout the whole world--the joyous news of the liberation of a nation.
The present volume of Kali O Kolom began on an interesting note with the lead article by Sanatkumar Saha being on three celebrated English-language novels by Bangladeshis who were deemed by him to be probashis in various degrees: Monica Ali's Brick Lane, Abid Ali's Seasonal Adjustments and Tahmima Anam's A Golden Age. However, midway through the piece, the reviewer brought in a poetry volume of a Ms. Seema Nusrat Amin, Bootsole Unbound (Dhaka: OUP, 2005), which he then proceeded to discuss in the same terms as the other three. The inclusion of this volume and poet within this particular discussion was incomprehensible--in no way is it comparable with the other three. The sample lines of poetry from the book reinforced the above thought in no small measure: “...you, slim-twigged lavender birch/thrashed but rooted in the yellow sorrow/with you I have passed, these desert stars' harrow...”. It immediately and conclusively rendered suspect the reviewer's ability to deliver credible critical assessment of South Asian English fiction. It also brings into question Kali O Kolom's reviewing of English language fiction--its reviewers must be vetted for English language fluency, and knowledge of English language fiction, before being tasked with such assessments.
Srabon wrote its
Story on your body
--that taste I haven't forgotten
In the neighbouring home
A girl sings a song of forgetfulness,
The tired tune
Floats in the air like a fallen leaf,
And fires flare up once in a while
In the forest of the dark sky.
With the dropping of temperature, the incidence of asthma attack increases extensively as cold air is a major trigger of asthma. When we inhale a blast of cold air in winter, our airways respond by going into bronchospasm, a condition caused by contraction of the airways, which causes them to get narrow making breathing difficult. This is because of the severe temperature difference between the outside air and your airways.
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) which is more familiar as Global Fund is a unique global public/private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Youth who study just a short walk from a fast-food outlet eat fewer fruit and vegetables, drink more soda and are more likely to be obese than students at other schools, according to research published recently.
1. Diabetes sufferers should only eat very small amounts of carbohydrate
Carbohydrates, which are found in a range of foods including beans, bread, cereals, pasta and rice and from which the body gets much of the glucose needed for energy, are an important part of our diet, whether or not we are diabetic. Such foods also contain much of our essential fiber intake. The secret for diabetics is simply to ensure that carbohydrates are balanced with other foods and that portions are kept to a reasonable size.
If you sit behind a desk for hours at a time, you are probably familiar with the aches that are common among the office workers.
What practical help can the physicians offer to people who say they cannot sleep? A useful 10 minute consultation article in the BMJ suggests the following:
Many people are not aware of the sour tastes of artificial sweeteners. Some switch from one dangerous artificial sweetener (aspartame) to another (e.g. sucralose or acesulfame-k).
THERE is one fundamental difference between the present caretaker government and the Ershad regime. Ershad knew he did not have the people's support. He looked for political roots, organizing heterogeneous elements willing to collaborate, even patronised a pliant opposition after fortifying power. As a popular move he downsized the districts to subdivisions, created upazillas and had elections. That some people still remember him, and he is a countable political force, is due to his people friendly activities in spite of the convictions and allegations.
MANY countries around the world today possess or have the means to acquire weapons of mass destruction. They may be nuclear, chemical, biological or other types of weapons, which can be delivered through diversified ways. It is mainly the more powerful and wealthy nations that have such weapons although some poorer nations are also obtaining them. In recent years, there have been several movements and treaties to facilitate control of the flow and deployment of arms, be they landmines, small arms, or weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear weapons though most of these are considered as controversial. Disarmament is now an issue that cannot be found even in a fairy tale now.
The US President-elect Barrack Obama has promised not only the scrutiny of the national defense strategy but also of some of the leading defense acquisition programmes of the previous regime - programmes that promised to shape the future direction as well the deployment capabilities of the US military over the next two to three decades.
A test launch of Russia's new Bulava submarine-based intercontinental ballistic missile has failed, which will further delay this effort to revamp Moscow's aging nuclear deterrent.
An Iranian warship has entered the Gulf of Aden to protect Iranian vessels against pirates off the coast of Somalia, state radio said on Dec. 20. "After traveling more than 4,000 maritime miles ... an Iranian warship entered the Gulf of Aden to protect Iranian ships against pirates," the radio said, without further details. Iran said last month it was negotiating with pirates who seized a ship it had chartered but that it was ready to use force to free the vessel.
Star Books Review
In Spirit Driven Success, Dani Johnson presents a subject matter that is as old as time itself but in a sparklingly refreshing manner. Her overriding message throughout the book is that human life has a definite purpose which a person may not be aware of because oftentimes we tend to live or rather prefer to live in a status quo, but for the realization of which we must seek God, the Supreme, the Ultimate. From her deep conviction, the author avers that in spite of one's having ability, skill and other qualities, one shall not have wholeness of life until and unless one surrenders oneself to Him and puts in efforts to be the best according to His will. The advice 'submit oneself' to God recurs throughout the book and Johnson makes the meaning of the word 'submit' very explicit, that is, to respect and honour. She urges, 'accept instructions from His mouth and lay up His words in your heart.' Then again she adds, 'God doesn't make you submit. He gives you the choice'. And whenever a person chooses to submit to Him, miracles occur in life. She further says that one has to ask for His help and for miracles to happen in one's life, to one's people. The word 'life', according to the author, refers to all areas of life that are physical, mental, emotional, social, relational and, she adds emphatically, financial as well. Her resounding advice is to seek God whole-heartedly and totally unconditionally for all time so that the maxim, "Many are called but few are chosen" flashes incessantly in one's vision and one is ready to be chosen.
The more one reads the more one is convinced of how less one really knows. Kudos to Raana Haider for her wonderful work. The slimness of the volume belies the depth of knowledge and wisdom embedded in it. The work is a wonderful appetizer/eye opener to a more in depth appreciation of China. Indeed a savoury appetizer with delectable observations and morsels of wisdom interspersed at regular intervals.
A world heritage site, Tanguar Haor is one of the largest freshwater inland wetlands; it is important and is of national significance, was designated as the second 'Ramsar' site, and was released from the 1930 leasing system on January 20, 2000. Earlier the government of Bangladesh designated 59,600 hectares of the Sundarban Forests as the first Ramsar site.
Things Fall Apart is one of the thinnest books on my shelf and yet one of the most precious ones. Plainly and colourfully, Chinua Achebe, in this book, shows how a rigid thing like tradition falls apart under stubborn alien powers.