The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, October 19, 2017

News of: Saturday, 10th of January, 2009

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BNP front bodies to be dissolved, revamped: Khaleda

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said all committees of BNP and associate organisations would be dissolved and revamped through elections.

Israel defies UN call for truce, bombs Gaza

A defiant Israel pounded Gaza with bombs and shells Friday, vowing to pursue its war on Hamas despite a truce order from the UN Security Council, amid warnings the territory was running out of food.

Sheikh Hasina's cabinet: Gutsy but risky

She promised to surprise us with her choice of the cabinet, and she did. Though the media was able to get some predictions right but generally speaking she outwitted us all. Not only in choosing the individuals but equally in giving them portfolios, Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina showed a boldness and a spirit of moving away from the trodden path that is rare in our politics. However, in her 'thinking out of the box' she has also taken some very serious risks that can make or break her government's prospect for success.

Hasina promises balanced dev, no discrimination

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government will work for balanced development of all people, irrespective of caste and creed.

JS goes into first session Jan 25

The ninth parliament will convene at 3:00pm January 25.

Urgent steps to cut rice price imperative for new govt

The new government should immediately undertake measures to reduce rice price for a positive impact on other commodity prices and make agriculture profitable so that farmers stick to their profession, suggest former heavyweight ministers from both Awami League and BNP.

Bangabandhu's homecoming day today

The historic homecoming day of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will be observed across the country today.

Stolen cars sold between Tk 1-2 lakh each in city

Stolen cars are sold between Tk 1 and 2 lakh each while a stolen motorbike costs Tk 25,000 to 35,000 on the black market in and around the capital.

2 judges to be appointed soon to dispose of case

Two judges may be appointed to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court this week as per the recommendations of the Supreme Judicial Commission, paving the way for the disposal of long pending Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman murder case.

BNP hailed for attending oath-taking ceremony

LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam on Thursday hailed the opposition party BNP for attending the oath-taking ceremony of the council of ministers, saying that it is reflective of a positive political culture.

Army to be deployed in UZ polls

The Election Commission (EC) has decided to deploy army personnel to help ensure peaceful holding of election to 481 upazila parishads in the country on January 22, deviating from its earlier decision in this regard.

Rice prices may surge again this year: Experts

Rice prices are likely to rise sharply for the second straight year in 2009 as the global economic slowdown hits farmers and consumers alike, the International Rice Research Institute warned yesterday.

Experts' views on ordinances by caretaker govt Monday

Members of the legal experts' committee formed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will submit to the government on Monday their opinions on 117 ordinances promulgated during the tenure of the last two caretaker governments.

BNP criticises home minister's comment

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday claimed that 13 people were killed and innumerable others injured by the Awami League activists since the day after the December 29 elections.

Brawl in Baitul Mukarram Mosque over new Khatib

Two groups of people -- one supporting the acting Khatib and the other favouring the newly appointed Khatib of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque-- involved in scuffles and shoe-throwing at each other before Jum'a prayers yesterday.

Ruet BCL men oust Shibir

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) drove away Shibir activists from the residential halls of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) and ransacked their rooms in the early hours Thursday, injuring 13 Shibir men.

Move for probe, trial of killings

The new government will initiate investigations and trial of the killings of 21,000 Awami League (AL) men during the BNP-Jamaat coalition regime between 2001 and 2006, said AL spokesperson Syed Ashraful Islam.

5 hurt as BCL factions fight at DU Zia Hall

At least five activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student wing of Awami League (AL) were injured in a factional clash at Muktijodhha Ziaur Rahman Hall of Dhaka University (DU) in the early hours of yesterday.

ISI hands Mumbai information to India

Pakistan's main spy agency has given India information about the Mumbai terror attacks, the prime minister said yesterday, while denying media speculation of a rift between him and the president.

Dec 29- type poll important for S Asia: US

A spokesman for the US State Department has congratulated Bangladeshi people on the elections held on December 29, saying that it's important for democracy in South Asia.

More world leaders greet Hasina

More world leaders have congratulated Sheikh Hasina on her assumption of the office of prime minister.

Ashura observed

The holy Ashura, commemorating the Karbala tragedy, was observed across the country as elsewhere in the Muslim world on Thursday with due religious fervour.

61 Bangladeshis rescued from boat in Bay

The Indian Coast Guard on Thursday rescued and apprehended 61 Bangladeshi nationals allegedly trying to enter illegally into Thailand in a mechanised boat through the Bay of Bengal.

Tigers open against Zim today

Bangladesh take on Zimbabwe in the opening match of the Grameenphone Tri-Nation Cup at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur today.

4 bombs rock Lahore

Four small bombs exploded outside a theatre and near a major government building in an eastern Pakistan city late last night, but there were no casualties, police said.

Top Qaeda operatives killed in Pakistan

The head of al-Qaeda in Pakistan and his lieutenant were killed in the past days, a US counterterrorism official told AFP on Thursday, reportedly struck by a missile fired from an unmanned drone.

Strike sparks fuel crisis in India

Petrol stations in cities across India ran dry today as a strike for better pay by state oil employees entered a third day and talks with the government broke down.

Somali pirates release Saudi supertanker

Somali pirates said yesterday they had freed a Saudi-owned supertanker, whose capture nearly two months ago wreaked panic in international shipping and spurred the world into tougher anti-piracy action.

Qatar may raise salary limit for family visas

Immigrants working in Qatar getting a salary less than USD 1,924, might soon find it difficult to bring their spouses and children here, as authorities in Qatar are looking to increase the minimum monthly salary limit for family visa by more than 50 percent.


Welcome move by BNP

We are indeed very happy that the Bangladesh Nationalist Party has decided to join the inaugural session of the newly elected Jatiyo Sangsad on January 25. In a political culture where the parliamentary opposition has generally not taken kindly to its defeat at general elections, the BNP's move is certainly encouraging. We would like to think it is the first of many steps the party will take in contributing to the growth of a new, sophisticated political culture in the country. In the last few days, Begum Khaleda Zia and Khondokar Delwar Hossain have made allegations, out of pique and in less than good taste, about the fairness of the recent elections, comments we think were highly off the mark in light of the credible way in which the voting took place. Even so, the party has demonstrated a degree of political acumen in agreeing to play its role in Parliament. The decision to go to the JS is clearly a sign of maturity and must be appreciated.

Remittances keep growing

The just-concluded calendar year, despite the ongoing global financial meltdown, has yielded an upbeat note on remittances from Bangladeshi wage earners abroad. These have posted $8.22billion topping $6.55billion the year before and are headed to cross the $10billion mark by the end of the current financial year. This is a big bounty compared with $2billion in 2000. The graphic rise in the export of manpower is illustrated by the statistics that whereas 3.81lakh workers had gone out of the country in 2006, the present figure is close to nine lakh.

A stern and caring guardian for police

Shaikh Hasina, our Prime Minister of unprecedented popularity has indicated the two uppermost priorities of her government, that of providing economic relief to the common people and improving the law and order situation. This writer wishes to deliberate on the latter issue in the fond hope that our first ever female Home Minister, an activist politician and a daring advocate of considerable real life experience, gets a helpful insight into the working of police that have to shoulder a large part of the responsibilities of improving the law and order.

Future US engagement in Palestine

The aerial and naval bombardment undertaken by Israel against the citizens of Gaza along with the ground offensive is now expected to wind down after the adoption of Security Council Resolution on Friday. Hundreds have died including innocent women and children. Residents in certain areas of Israel have also been subjected to crude home-made rocket attacks from Gaza. The international community in the meantime have failed to act with resolve. This has further exacerbated the situation.


Tigers cautiously optimistic

With recent marker suggesting Bangladesh as a better team than Zimbabwe, anything other than a win would be a disaster for the Tigers in the tri-nation opening match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.

Big names linked with Abahani, newbies Gazi

Defending champions Abahani have gone for the most sought-after player in domestic cricket as the three-day players' transfers for this year's Premier Cricket League starts at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.

Brothers' costly draw

A twin blow from Aram-bagh this season cost Brothers Union the second place in the Citycell B. League table on the final day of the explosive 14th week that produced as many as 27 goals.

No escape for Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen flew back into London on Thursday to face a barrage of criticism over the events that led to him resigning as England's cricket captain and have left the national team in disarray at the start of an Ashes year.

'Don't hurt KP'

Andrew Strauss was adamant he would have no problems working with ousted predecessor Kevin Pietersen after being confirmed as England's new Test captain.

Utseya confident against Tigers

Zimbabwe captain Prosper Utseya was upbeat ahead of their battle against Bangladesh in the tri-nation opening match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.

Dilshan earns ODI recall

Tillakaratne Dilshan's Player-of-the-Series performance in the Tests against Bangladesh earned him a recall to the one-day squad for the three-match series against Pakistan later this month. Dammika Prasad, the fast bowler who is part of the squad for the tri-nation series in Bangladesh that starts on Saturday, makes way for Dilshan in Pakistan.

Catch the Spirit in Bangladesh

Following the launch of the ICC centenary year in Sydney last week, the Catch the Spirit flag will now travel to Bangladesh to celebrate during the tri-nation one-day series to be staged in Mirpur from January 10 to 16.

Monfils stuns Nadal

Rafael Nadal made a miserable start to the first season he has ever begun as world number one, losing in the Qatar Open quarterfinals to Gael Monfils in less than an hour and a half on Thursday.

No place for Hayden

Matthew Hayden is clinging to his international career after being told he is not in Australia's limited-overs plans. Hayden, who had an awful Test summer of 149 runs at 16.55, was omitted as the selectors looked to players who could be part of the World Twenty20 in England in June and the 2011 World Cup.

Smith puts off elbow surgery

Graeme Smith, the South African captain, has decided to delay surgery for a tennis elbow injury until after the home series against Australia, beginning on February 26.

Team to leave for Malaysia today

A five-member Bangladesh tennis team will leave Dhaka for Malaysia today to take part in the Group-2 competition of ITF Under-14 Asian Championships.

'It all started in India'

The signs of a strained relationship between the then captain Kevin Pietersen and sacked coach Peter Moores were evident towards the end of the tour of India, England's new skipper Andrew Strauss revealed here today.

Strauss waits on dual role

Andrew Strauss could find out Friday whether he has been entrusted with the leadership of England's one-day team, having been unveiled as the new Test captain at a press conference at Lord's on Thursday.

Surprised Tait now eyes Tests

A surprised Shaun Tait has looked to the future after being picked in Australia's limited-overs squads by saying a return to Test action is "not out of the question". Tait has been hit by hamstring injuries this season, forcing him out of one-day and four-day games, but he said he was in good shape for the Twenty20 matches in Melbourne on Sunday and Brisbane on Tuesday.

Lanka to split Pakistan tour

Sri Lanka's national cricket team will tour Pakistan in two segments, playing three one-dayers from January 18 and then returning in February for a two-Test series, a top official said Thursday.

C'Ron's lucky escape

Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo walked away unscathed Thursday despite writing off his Ferrari in a spectacular car crash near Manchester airport.

Barca looking ominous

Barcelona are back to league action on Sunday looking to continue their perfect start to 2009 with a win at bottom side Osasuna after demolishing Atletico Madrid 3-1 in the Spanish Cup in midweek.

Rome braces for Becks

Former England captain David Beckham is set to make his Italian league debut for AC Milan in Sunday's match at AS Roma following a midweek friendly and weeks of anticipation as teams return from the winter break.

Rivals be warned: Rafa

Manchester United head into their summit meeting with Chelsea this weekend with a warning from Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez ringing in their ears.

Derby shock Man Utd

Championship strugglers Derby County, with new manager Nigel Clough watching from the directors' box, beat Manchester United 1-0 in the semifinal, first leg of the League Cup here on Wednesday.

Sentence, but no jail for Moggi

Luciano Moggi, the man at the centre of the 2006 Italian match-fixing scandal, was sentenced to a year and a half in prison by a Rome court on Thursday.

UEFA rejects Real bid

European football's governing body UEFA on Thursday night rejected a bid by Real Madrid to have both new signings Lassana Diarra and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar eligible for Champions League action.

Another probe into Tevez affair

The English Football Association and the Premier League on Thursday announced a new investigation into the terms of Carlos Tevez's employment by West Ham in the 2006/07 season, raising the possibility that the club could face further sanctions over the affair.


Ctg port to be upgraded as per int'l standard

Newly appointed Shipping Minister Dr Afsarul Amin on Thursday sought cooperation from all in carrying out the already initiated infrastructural change programme of the Chittagong port and expressed his determination to upgrade the port to international standard.

'Settle disputes, create separate ministry to protect sea territory'

The new government should attach high priority to settling disputes over demarcation of maritime boundary with India and Myanmar to avert any aggression by external forces, said the experts on sea resources and academics yesterday.

Supply fertilisers at low price for bumper Boro yield

Experts at a roundtable yesterday said the new government should immediately supply fertilisers at low price by providing subsidy so that farmers can produce bumper Boro paddy in the next season.

Change attitude towards children with disabilities

Speakers at a programme yesterday called on all to change their attitude towards the mentally and physically-challenged children and work together to bring them to the mainstream society.

2 abducted businessmen rescued, seven arrested

The police arrested seven kidnappers and rescued two real estate businessmen in the early hours of yesterday.

'Many women still unaware of breast cancer risk'

A 35-year-old Nurjahan Begum, who lives at Chandana Chowrasta of Gazipur, heard about a camp for raising awareness about breast cancer and free breast screening.

BNP man killed in Kushtia

Some unidentified criminals swooped on BNP activist Sarwar and killed him at Begunbaria field on Wednesday night when he was returning home from a local bazar.

Four killed in city

Four people were killed and another was shot in separate incidents in the city's Kotwali, Rampura and Jatrabari areas in the last two days.

CJA condemns killing of Sri Lankan journalist

The Commonwealth Journalists' Association (CJA) is outraged at the killing of Lasantha Wickramatunga, editor of the Sri Lankan newspaper Sunday Leader, on Thursday.

Attack on BNP leader's house in city

Two houses of a ward commissioner of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) were vandalised twice allegedly by Awami League activists at Madhya Basabo yesterday.

Israeli air strikes on Gaza condemned

Different political and socio-cultural organisations yesterday condemned Israeli invasion in Gaza.

Non-judicial stamp available in post offices

The government has urged the valued customers to purchase non-judicial stamp from post offices across the country.

Two killed in road accidents

Two people were killed and two others injured in separate road accidents in Nilphamari and Jhalakati in the last two days.

Solo art exhibition of Khurshid Alam begins in Beijing

A 15-day solo art show of New York-based Bangladeshi artist Khurshid Alam Saleem began at the Artist Village Gallery in Beijing on January 4.

Man strangles wife for dowry

Police arrested one person for killing his pregnant wife over dowry at his house in Harinal area of the district town on Thursday.

Community clinic to be built in every village

Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr AFM Ruhul Haque on Thursday said the government would take steps soon to build one community clinic in every village in the country.

Exams at Curzon Hall deferred

The examinations of Dhaka University scheduled to be held at Curzon Hall have been postponed until tomorrow due to unavoidable circumstances, says a press release.

Prisoner dies in Barisal

A convicted prisoner died of old-age complications at Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital (SBMCH) yesterday.

Two held with 485 Phensidyl bottles

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested two people with 485 bottles of Phensidyl syrup from Ghatarchar village under Keraniganj Model Thana.

Workshop on customer service excellence

Prothom Alo organised a workshop on 'Customer service excellence and service culture' at the seminar room of the Prothom Alo office yesterday, says a press release.

US Educational Advising Centre closed from Jan 11-18

The Educational Advising Centre of the American Centre of the US Embassy in Dhaka will remain closed from January 11 to 18.

Lindau meeting of Nobel laureates in June

The annual meeting of Nobel laureates with the young scientists from across the world will be held at Lindau in Germany from June 28 to July 3, says a press release.


Hill cutting rampant again in Khagrachhari

Hill cutting in eight upazilas in Khagrachhari hill district continues in the name of development work, making houses and business centres ignoring existing environmental laws and defying ban by Department of Environment (DoE).

3 Satkhira MPs vow to fight corruption

Three lawmakers, elected in the December 29 elections from Satkhira district as Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance candidates, yesterday vowed to root out corruption from the society for the development of the country.

Police give final report after 5 years

Investigators have submitted final report on the bomb attack on the premises the shrine of the shrine of Hajrat Shahjalal (RA) in Sylhet as they failed to find any clue to the tragic incident in five years.

Candidates use party identity in upazila polls

Although the upazila elections are to be held non-partisan, candidates are using their political identity during the campaign in almost all the upazilas of the district.

43 women runners against 52 men in 9 Khulna upazilas

'Woman for woman' is now the main slogan of women candidates to draw sympathy of women voters in the upcoming upazila election in Khulna.

BSF returns Bangladeshi's body

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) returned the body of a Bangladeshi youth after a company commander-level flag meeting with Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Thursday evening.

JP demands party ticket for Abed Ali

Jatiya Party leaders yesterday demanded nomination for district organising secretary of the party Abed Ali in the upcoming by-lection in Rangpur-3 constituency.

Mother, son in UZ polls race in Kurigram

Presence of a mother and her son in the election race has created much enthusiasm among local voters in Ulipur upazila (UZ).

Freedom fighter's body recovered in Magura

The body of a freedom fighter was recovered from a latrine tank at Basho village in Mohammadpur upazila Thursday afternoon.


Most Gazans go hungry

Israel's onslaught in the Gaza Strip has left most of the 1.5 million people living there in need of food, but lack of security is hampering efforts to distribute aid supplies, a UN spokeswoman said yesterday.

Lebanese rockets raise fear of 2nd front

Residents of this northern Israeli town awoke Thursday to one of their country's worst nightmares: Rockets from Lebanon, and the possibility of a second front in a battle that has raged for two weeks in Gaza.

US abstains from UN vote on Gaza truce

The United States says it supports a UN resolution that calls for a ceasefire in Gaza but abstained from the Security Council vote because it is awaiting the outcome of Egyptian-mediated talks with Hamas and Israel.

10 killed by bomber in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber walked into a produce shop in southern Afghanistan yesterday and detonated explosives strapped to his body, killing at least 10 people, the provincial governor said.

Israeli forces move 110 Palestinian civilians into a house and shell it repeatedly

The United Nations yesterday cited witnesses saying Israeli forces moved about 110 Palestinians into a house, told them to stay inside, and later shelled it repeatedly, killing about 30 people.

Illinois House on verge of impeaching Blagojevich

Gov Rod Blagojevich faces almost certain impeachment by the Illinois House, a historic step that would trigger a trial to determine whether the Democratic governor should be tossed out of office.

Gaza conflict seen as boost to ME hardliners

Israel's military offensive in Gaza plays into the hands of Arab extremists and hardline regimes such as Iran while also killing off hopes for a Palestinian state, experts warn.

Lanka takes full control of Elephant Pass

Sri Lankan troops fighting Tamil rebels captured Elephant Pass yesterday, a highly strategic causeway linking the Jaffna peninsula with the mainland, the president said.

Pakistan needs to do more to rid region of extremism: US

A top US diplomat yesterday praised Pakistan for its crackdown on Islamists blamed for the Mumbai attacks, but called for its government to go further to rid the region of the scourge of extremism.

14 killed in strong Costa Rica quake

Rescue workers rushed Friday to try to free about 600 people, half of them foreign tourists, trapped when boulders and earth wiped out a mountain road in Costa Rica after a strong earthquake that left at least 14 people dead.

40 killed in Karachi slum fire

At least 40 people were killed, more than half of them children, when a fire tore through dozens of homes in a shanty town in Pakistan's largest city Karachi, officials said yesterday.

Zardari-Gilani rift widens

The US has asked Pakistan to withdraw the sacking orders of Mahmood Durrani as national security adviser, a move that laid bare the widening gulf between President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and the lack of coherence in tackling crucial issues like the Mumbai attack probe.

Lankan war-critic editor shot dead

The editor of a Sri Lankan newspaper that has been highly critical of the island's hawkish government and its war on Tamil rebels was shot dead Thursday, in the second attack on the press in a week.

Arts & Entertainment

Celebrating the bounties of winter

To celebrate the season of winter, 'Poush Mela Udjapon Parishad' has organised a two-day 'Poush Mela' (Winter Fair) at Ramna Botomul. The festival was inaugurated yesterday morning.

Dev D Sarat Chandra’s classic anti-hero gets a Generation Y makeover

“Dev D" is a modern-day interpretation of the classic novel "Devdas" by Sarat Chandra. The main characters Dev, Paro and Chanda reflect the sensibilities, conflicts, aggression, exuberance and recklessness that define the Generation Y -- a generation that is torn between eastern roots and western sensibilities.

Nirjhar’s Nomuna ready for release

Architect turned filmmaker Enamul Karim Nirjhar hit the jackpot with his debut feature film, "Aha!", in 2007. Apart from receiving wide acclaim at international festivals, the movie bagged four National Film Awards including best director and best editor. Nirjhar's second feature film, "Nomuna", is ready for release. The director made the announcement at an informal get-together at Voot in Dhanmondi on January 7.

Drama Serial “Sagai” on ATN Bangla

ATN Bangla will air the drama serial “Sagai” tonight at 8 pm. Written and directed by M. Sakhawat Hossain, the cast of the series includes Mamunur Rashid, Jayanto Chattyopadhyay, S.M. Mohsin, Anisur Rahman Milon, Apurbo, Jyotika Jyoti, Borsha and others.

“First Minister” on Channel i

Talk show "First Minister" will be aired on Channel i tonight at 11:30 pm. Highlighting ministers who have been recently sworn in for their first term, the show is aired every night at 11:30 pm.

“Dark Knight” sweeps People’s Choice Awards

"The Dark Knight" soared away with every trophy it was nominated for last Wednesday at the 35th annual fan-favourite ceremony. The caped crusader flick won five awards, including favourite cast, superhero, action movie and on-screen matchup for Christian Bale's Batman and the late Heath Ledger's Joker.

Asaf-ud-Daula on “Amar Ami” tonight

Former secretary and founder editor of Bangladesh Today, Mohammad Asaf-ud-Daula, is tonight's guest on the talk show "Amar Ami". The programme will be aired on Banglavision at 9:05 pm.


Let change be ushered in soon

In the aftermath of the landslide victory of the Mohajote led by AL in the recently held Parliamentary election, the AL chief and the Prime Minister of the new government Sheikh Hasina asked her party men to refrain from arranging victory celebration that might lead to inter-party clashes. But before the AL chief could take the reins of administration, some incidents of clashes, looting and even killing took place in different parts of the country perhaps taking advantage of apparent police inaction in the transition period.

Social business to promote social welfare

The concept of social business got international focus when Grameen Bank launched a joint venture with Danone, a French multinational company, so that the undernourished children of the country could have access to nutritious fortified yogurt.

Agenda for change

The people of Bangladesh have once again asserted in the just concluded parliamentary election that they are serious about their rights and responsibilities; they cannot be sidelined and ignored; and moreover, they are not apolitical. They have delivered their verdict for change, and the change is for peace and progress for the entire population across the country. They have clearly shown that the people's wish is supreme.

Governance envisaged

After the national election held under constitutionally invoked non-party caretaker government, Bangladesh has entered upon the pre-existing constitutional parliamentary government. We expect the parliament to respect the expectation of citizens who are the holders of all powers of the state and fulfil the promises made by the members of the ruling regime in manifesto. Political parties are expected to realize the detriment that hartal, besiege, wrongful confinement, destruction of property etc. impose on socio-economic and productive enterprises.


Memories of Kerala

The completely different way of life practiced in a matrilineal taravad of Kerala became the foundation of childhood memories that defined my identity. It was embodied in many things; mukkeri, the gritty black tooth powder wrapped in small squares of newspaper, wedged between ierkalas, finely-stripped, split lengths of flexible cane used as tongue cleaners. They were laid out on the edge of the veranda with shining brass water containers for us to brush our teeth every morning. The elders and young ones lined up together to brush their teeth and clean their tongues with these home-made toiletries.

Encouraging Emerging Talents: Year 4

First Proof: The Penguin Book of New Writing, Volume 1 began its life in 2005, with the expressed wish by the publisher, Penguin India, that it represented an attempt to “showcase emerging talent and writers who have enjoyed acclaim but not as wide a readership as they clearly deserve.” In that inaugural volume Penguin took the decision not to publish or approach authors who had published more than two books, or those who had received exceptional notice with their debut works - the latter condition, for example, automatically ruled out an Arundhati Roy or Aravind Adiga. That particular opening book did indeed impress readers and reviewers with its exceptional collection of pieces and authors who tended to inhabit the lesser-lit spaces of Indian writing in English.

Death by Landscape

“Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow”


It was mostly during the summer months,
when arriving early before class
we'd dart across from college,
ducking under the sun that made
the street glisten and shimmer
like cathode heat,

Star Health

Get protected from cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix — the lower part of the uterus, which opens into the vagina. Cervical cancer is the second-most-common type of cancer that strikes women worldwide after breast cancer.

Management of Psoriasis in pregnancy

Psoriasis is a chronic disease of the immune system that appears on the skin, usually in the form of thick, red, scaly patches. Women who develop psoriasis often worry about becoming pregnant. They ask themselves if the baby will develop normally. Will they be able to breastfed? Will their psoriasis get worse during pregnancy? Are the treatments safe for the baby?

Antiobitics before infections save lives: study

Giving antibiotics to patients in intensive care units as a precaution saves lives, according to a major Dutch study published recently.

The resolution countdown is on!

Unrealistic resolutions are easily discarded. So do not resolve to change your whole life. Instead, set small, specific goals. Get up 15 minutes earlier for a quick morning walk. Sip water rather than coffee. Eat a piece of fruit after dinner. Stretch during TV commercials. Choose only those resolutions that are realistic and that help you feel good about yourself. When the clock strikes midnight, you will be poised for success.

India's West Bengal reports fresh bird flu outbreak

Health and veterinary workers culled poultry in a densely populated eastern Indian state on last Saturday after a fresh outbreak of H5N1 bird flu, officials said.

The great green tea

Time has come to say, few cups a day — keep the doctor away. I am talking about green tea.

Coffee may protect against oral cancers

New research indicates that drinking coffee lowers the risk of developing cancer of the oral cavity or throat, at least in the general population of Japan.

New health screening packages at Apollo Hospitals Dhaka

Apollo Hospitals, Dhaka has added 4 new screening packages recently to strengthen its Master Health Check (MHC) system, says a press release.

Strategic Issues

Bangladesh's proposal for joint initiative to fight terrorism

The victory of the Awami League has been hailed worldwide as a victory of secular forces over fundamentalism. While this is a partial explanation of an unbelievable victory, it will nevertheless give the new administration of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina international recognition that could be crucial for success of her Government for making Bangladesh a Muslim majority country with liberal traditions. External support, particularly of Bangladesh's development partners would be extremely important for translating to reality the massive electoral promises of the AL. In this context the image that the elections has created would be very helpful.

An Israeli trap for Hamas

The truce between Hamas and Israel ended in the early hours of December 19, but the accusations over why it ended have followed the missiles and rockets across the border.

India to build homeland security on US model

Indian Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram will discuss with U.S. officials how to model India's future Homeland Security Agency on the lines of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security during a Jan. 9-10 visit to Washington, sources in the Indian Home Ministry said.

Iraq: Security forces ready to defend country

Iraqi officials insisted on Jan. 4 that the fledgling security forces are ready to defend the country even as a suicide bomber killed at least 35 people and injured dozens in northern Baghdad.

Estonia calls for more Baltic cooperation

The Baltic nations must accelerate their cooperation in land, air and naval forces, Estonia's Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo said Jan. 5.

India signs $2.1b aircraft deal with Boeing

India has signed a $2.1 billion deal with U.S. aerospace giant Boeing to buy maritime surveillance aircraft for the Indian navy, officials told AFP on Jan 5.

Star Books Review

When death stalked the land of the free

In the final days of his life, M. Mansoor Ali was a prisoner in the country he went all the way to free from Pakistani colonial rule. He was part of the Mujibnagar provisional government between April and December 1971, one of the many inspirational voices in what would turn out to be an annus mirabilis for the Bengali nation. He was part of the team that organized, in the absence of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (by then a prisoner in an undisclosed location in Pakistan) the guerrilla war which in nine months would lead to the emergence of Bangladesh as a free socialist, secular republic. As finance minister in Mujibnagar, it was a difficult job he was compelled to carry out. In post-liberation Bangladesh, his mettle was sorely tested when, as home minister, he was expected to handle law and order in a society where the disorder that follows a revolution was soon to manifest itself. He proved equal to the task. And in early 1975, as Bangabandhu took the country into the Baksal political system, Mansoor Ali took charge as prime minister.

A gourmet's delight it surely is . . .

Eating is a biological necessity, but cooking is an art. Instruction in the art is codified in recipes. The first recipes must have been orally transmitted, but with the invention of writing, recipes, like other forms of literature, began to be inscribed. A Babylonian clay tablet from around 1500 BC preserves the recipes for certain appetizing ancient dishes. This may well be the earliest known precursor of the cookbook.

Sights and sounds

A Zoo in My Luggage is a hilarious account of Gerald Durrell's world of animals when he starts collecting them for a zoo of his own. It is a refreshing experience to enter the animal world and get insights into how the animals behave under different situations. Once the reader starts reading the book it is impossible to put it down until the last page comes with the last burst of laughter and keeps the reader smiling for a long time.

The Daily Star

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