The Daily Star

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

News of: Saturday, 12th of December, 2009

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Front Page

Govt to encourage single-child families

A draft population policy advocates introducing "single-child families" at national level by 2015 to avoid a serious socio-economic debacle due to the country's ever-increasing population.

Poor nations to get 7.2b euros from EU

European Union nations have agreed to give 7.2 billion euros to help developing nations tackle climate change, the Swedish EU presidency announced yesterday.

Convicted war criminals can now join BNP

War criminals convicted under Bangladesh Collaborators (Special Tribunals) Order, 1972 can now have membership or leadership of BNP's committees at any level since the party has deleted the barring provision from its constitution.

Coalitions yet to solve all disputes

Despite the UNFCCC secretary general terming the ongoing negotiations of coalitions satisfactory, different coalitions could not reach a common stance with only a day remaining before high-level segment of climate talks begin in Copenhagen.

Bangladesh exit with a whimper

Hosts Bangladesh put on a listless show as they bowed out of the Bangabandhu sixth SAFF Championship with a 0-1 loss to a youthful India at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Unfit water vessels pose risks of disaster

Two-thirds of the water vessels plying on different river routes across the country do not have registration while many of them are operating without fitness, putting the passengers at great risk, a survey says.

Bangladesh showcases adaptation experiences

Vulnerable communities of Bangladesh are already adapting with the changing climate and the world can learn to acclimatise to the impacts of climate change from them and disseminate the knowledge.

Waterbuses on circular waterway by June

The government will introduce waterbuses to ply the waterway around the capital from June next year with a view to making the route effective and reducing traffic congestion in the city.

BSF shoots 4 Bangladeshis

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) shot and wounded four Bangladeshi nationals in two separate incidents in Lalmonirhat and Chapainawabganj districts early yesterday.

Bimstec signs deal to fight terrorism

The seven-member Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral, Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) yesterday signed a convention to combat terrorism and agreed to conclude a free trade agreement (FTA) soon.

Rich nations must give compensation

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday said the government has a firm position over realising compensation from the developed nations responsible for climate change already affecting Bangladesh and low-lying countries.

BDR jawan, cook die

Another Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) man died yesterday at the prison cell of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) raising the death toll to 54 in separate incidents since the mutiny on February 25-26.

PM flies to Copenhagen on Dec 14

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leaves here on December 14 to lead the Bangladesh delegation at the crucial UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

Dense fog continues, cold wave next week

The country might experience a mild to moderate cold wave next week while dense fog that covered many regions yesterday might continue for the next few days.

Rivals kill 2 drug traders

A drug gang kidnapped two of their rival gang members at gunpoint from Bhashantek slum in front of a crowd and gunned them down a kilometre away in Balurmath of Mirpur-13 early yesterday.

Gunfight kills one in Dighinala

An activist of Parbattya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) was killed in a gunfight between two factions of PCJSS at Dighinala upazila in Khagrachhari yesterday.

Convocation of DU today

The 45th convocation of Dhaka University will be held today.

EU, US, allies warn of new Iran sanctions

European leaders will support new sanctions against Iran, warning that Tehran's refusal to negotiate over its nuclear programme must be met with a "clear response".

Drone attack kills top Pak Qaeda man

A US government official said a top al-Qaeda operative has been killed in a drone attack in western Pakistan.

Blackwater guards join Afghan, Iraq CIA raids: Report

Private security guards working for Blackwater USA participated in clandestine CIA raids against suspected insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, The New York Times reported yesterday.

Indian FM meets Lankan counterpart on resettlement issue

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna met his Sri Lankan counterpart Rohitha Bogollagama and is understood to have enquired about the progress in the resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northern parts of the country.


Plight of tricked job-seekers

Cheating of job-seeking foreign-bound workers by local fraudulent recruiting agencies and their counterpart suppliers in the host countries has been continuing unabated. After Malaysian experience, one is now faced with the extreme plight of migrant workers in Libya at the hands of the Bangladeshi brokers and Libyan companies with dubious antecedents. Reports have it that between five and six thousand Bangladeshi workers are held in confinement in different desert locations, where Bangladesh-origin brokers in collusion with their Libyan accomplices are holding these hapless job seekers to ransom.

Growing interest in jute

The recently slapped government ban on raw jute export has caused the once famed 'Golden Fibre' to come to the fore. The background story speaks for itself. During the July-September quarter of this fiscal, export of raw jute registered a rise of 28 per cent over what it was in the corresponding previous fiscal. The volume of raw jute produced this year is also estimated to be as high as 5.5 million bales. Matching the rise in exports, the price of raw jute, too, has shot up in the local market. Some traders are also allegedly stocking up on raw jute raising its price artificially in the market. As a consequence, jute mills, which manufacture various jute-based commodities like gunny bags, carpet backing and the like are facing crisis in the supply of their raw material.

Expanding the use of renewable energy

We all know that there is a close association between the availability of reliable, uninterrupted power supply in industry and commerce and in the attaining of socio-economic potential and decent living standards. In this era of globalisation, there are few issues that better demonstrate the confluence of politics and business than energy. From fuelling the economies of the rich countries to driving economic development in poor ones, it has an effect on almost everything that we do. Consequently, ensuring the safe supply and distribution of energy has to be an important part of strategic state policy.

Judiciary losing its sparkle

During World War II, when Great Britain was losing on every front, Winston Churchill, then prime minister, wrote to Lord Chancellor, the Chief Justice, to ensure that the judiciary delivered justice. Surprised, Lord Chancellor frantically asked Churchill why he had expressed such a fear when his attention was focused on how to stop the advancing Nazis. Churchill replied immediately to observe that as long as people were sure to get justice, they would fight for the country even in the midst of reverses.


Hosts have no answers

It was all set up for a Bangladesh victory. Team spirit was supposedly at its highest, the stands were packed with thousands who had braved the winter chill to turn up at the Bangabandhu National Stadium, the opponents were India and the spirit of 2003 had been invoked.

Maldives steamroll Sri Lanka

Reigning champions Maldives moved into the Bangabandhu SAFF Championship final after inflicting a humiliating 5-1 defeat on Sri Lanka in the first semifinal at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Tight schedule for Pak players

Non-contracted Pakistan players hoping to be in the next IPL auction will have to contact the league directly to be put into the pool for the next edition of the league. Four Pakistan players already have contracts with franchises but they stand suspended for now, after failing to obtain the relevant paperwork and clearances in time. They can only play if their franchises choose to cut another foreign player from the squad, but for any other player hoping to line up a spot, the process appears more straightforward.

India ask SA to play two Tests

Widespread fears over the future of Test cricket have been partly assuaged by the news that the BCCI has asked South Africa to play two Tests in India during their tour early next year, dropping two one-day internationals from the schedule to make space for the five-day matches.

Kiwis dominate Day One

Don't be fooled by the score. It was a flat track in Napier but Iain O'Brien was on a mission to make his last Test memorable and Pakistan's top order, as ever, was in a self-destructive mood. Imran Farhat lifted Pakistan from the depths of 59 for 5 and resuscitated his career with a fighting century but New Zealand will be more than pleased with their efforts, especially after a dogged batting display from the openers, on the first day of the final Test.

Much ado about nothing

Emergency executive committee meetings, a 'decisive' democratic decision making process, an animated press conference and a re-integration. Bangladesh football has been busy, behind the scenes, in the last month. But nothing has changed as far as the national football side are concerned as Shahidur Rahman Shantoo's boys slumped to a pitiful 1-0 loss to an Indian national side only in name.

Fans frustrated

A large number of spectators turned out at the Bangabandhu National Stadium last night, expecting a repeat of their 2003 performance, when they beat rivals India in the semifinal to advance to the final where they lifted the SAFF Championship trophy for the only time beating Maldives in penalties

Five more tournaments mooted

The South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) yesterday proposed to introduce five more competitions alongside the existing SAFF Championship for the year of 2010-11.

Hammam meets with PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Friday reaffirmed her government's commitment to provide all supports and cooperation in developing football and other sports in the region, including Bangladesh.

Gunners visit Anfield

Liverpool started this season with hopes of winning their first English title since 1990; they face Arsenal on Sunday desperate to maintain their bid for a top four finish.

Juve need a pick-up

The pressure will be on Juventus to bounce back and quickly to avoid damaging their Serie A title chances following their midweek exit from the Champions League.

Pizarro back for Bremen

Werder Bremen welcome striker Claudio Pizarro back for Satur-day's key Bundesliga clash against Schalke 04 with coach Thomas Schaaf insisting his side must prove they are Bundesliga title contenders.

Lille thrash Etienne

France's Europa League representatives Lille and Toulouse both warmed up for crucial matches in the competition with comfortable victories in their rescheduled domestic league fixtures on Thursday.

Real's Valencia test

Real must do without 164 million euros worth of talent for Saturday's crucial title duel at Valencia as they bid to slice Barcelona's five-point lead at the top.

Ashton hangs up his boots

West Ham and England striker Dean Ashton on Friday announced his retirement from professional football.

Yobo out until New Year

Everton defender Joseph Yobo will be sidelined for the rest of December after aggravating a hamstring injury in last weekend's draw with Tottenham.

Dominguez joins Sevilla

Argentinian forward Alejandro Dominguez, who was playing with Russian reigning champions Rubin Kazan this year, announced his transfer to the Spanish league high-flyers Sevilla, local media reported Friday.

Spalletti takes over at Zenit

Russia's 2007 champions Zenit St Petersburg confirmed Friday they have appointed Italian Luciano Spalletti as their new manager.

Romario convicted of tax evasion

Former Brazilian international footballer Romario has been convicted of tax evasion for the second time by a court here on Thursday.

Bollinger vows to retain spot

Doug Bollinger proved during the Adelaide Test that he is a passionate character on the field and he has enjoyed stepping in to Australia's new-look fast-bowling group in the absence of Ben Hilfenhaus. Australia view Bollinger, Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle as the future of the Test attack, and despite being the oldest of the four, Bollinger is the least experienced in Tests.

SA, NZ players' body want IPL window

The South African and New Zealand players' associations have pushed for a separate window for the annual IPL and the Champions League, in such a way that it does not disrupt other international fixtures.

Swann strikes as England draw

Off-spinner Graeme Swann took six wickets before England's two-day tour match against a South African Invitation XI ended in a draw at Buffalo Park on Thursday.

Sakeef wins StanChart golf title

Sakeef Salam with 37 points became the winner of the 14th Standard Chartered Golf Tournament at the panoramic Bhatiary Golf and Country Club (BGCC) here in Chittagong yesterday.

Abu Dhabi to host season opener

Abu Dhabi will stage the 2010 English domestic season opener between county champions Durham and the MCC under floodlights and with pink balls.

Bordeaux welcome Lyon

French league leaders Bordeaux welcome Lyon to the Stade Chaban-Delmas on Sunday knowing that victory would take them eight points clear of their title rivals at the top of the table.

German ref takes legal action

German referee Georg Schalk is taking legal action against Arminia Bielefeld assistant coach Frank Eulberg who allegedly called him a "dirty homosexual" after a second division match last week.

Doctors blamed for death of Wasim's wife

Doctors blamed for the death of Pakistan cricket legend Wasim Akram's wife have been suspended and had their practice licences cancelled, the health ministry announced Thursday.


Yesterday's front-page story of The Daily Star Sport, titled “Kalabagan down Biman” carried an erroneous headline.


Address climate change issue as nat'l crisis

European Union Ambassador Stefan Frowein yesterday said it is now a crucial time for the national parliament of Bangladesh to have a debate on climate change and address the issue as a national crisis.

Ctg BNP hails Khaleda, Tarique for being re-elected party leaders

Different groups of Chittagong city unit of BNP organised separate rallies and took out jubilant processions yeserday hailing Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman for being re-elected chairperson and senior vice-chairman.

Call to change lifestyle to prevent cardiac diseases

Speakers at a press conference yesterday called on the people to change their food habit and lifestyle as well as to do exercises in order to check cardiac diseases.

JCD, BNP men beaten in Feni

Unknown miscreants severely beat up a Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) activist and a BNP leader at Sonagazi in Feni on Thursday night.

Bangladesh needs $4.2b to save coastal people

Bangladesh needs at least 4.17 billion US dollars for the construction of polders to save the lives of coastal people from sea level rise and storm surge, according to a recent study.

Engineer killed in accident at cement factory

Ruhul Amin, an engineer of Akij Cement, was killed in an accident at its factory at Ekrampur in Narayanganj yesterday.

Expedite trial of war criminals

The newly elected politburo of the Workers Party of Bangladesh yesterday called on the government to expedite the process of trial of the war criminals.

Climate change threatens human security: FM

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday said that climate change is not only an environmental issue but also a developmental issue, as it threatens human security in the areas of food, energy and livelihood security.

Disaster management project extended for 5 yrs

Bangladesh and UNDP signed a deal worth $50.75 million on Thursday to extend the Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP) for another five years.

Fashion design training house for acid survivors inaugurated

The Acid Survivors' Foundation (ASF) and the Australian High Commission organised 'Projapoti Christmas Collection 2009 Charity Fashion Show' yesterday where clothes and other fashion items made by acid violence survivors were put on display.

Jute export thru' Benapole land port suspended

Raw jute export to India through Benapole land port remained suspended as the government imposed a ban on the export on December 7.

'96pc suffer from water crisis during dry season in CHT'

About 96 percent people have been suffering from acute water crisis during winter season in Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) areas, revealed a survey yesterday.

Eviction of Indigenous People

Tension is prevailing at Shiallor village under Haripur upazila here as a group of people led by local influential people prevented the indigenous people from building houses on their ancestral land on Thursday.

Low over Bay intensifies

A well-marked low over southwest Bay and adjoining southeast Bay intensified into a depression over the same area yesterday.

French high commissioner for youth arrives today

Martin Hirsch, French high commissioner for youth and active inclusion against poverty, arrives in Dhaka today on a three-day visit, says a press release.


Iraqi leaders tired of war, want a unified Iraq

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates told American troops yesterday in a meeting at northern city of Iraq that their mission in Iraq remains critical despite the nation's focus on Afghanistan and that plans are on track to reduce forces starting in March as Iraqi leaders are tired of war and want a unified Iraq.

Global temperature may hit record level in 2010

The global average temperature could reach a record high in 2010, according to the UK's Met Office.

Philippine rebels warn of killing hostages

Tribal gunmen in the southern Philippines warned yesterday they would massacre dozens of hostages if police made a rescue bid, as hundreds of security forces surrounded their mountain lair.

N Korea agrees on nuke support with US

North Korea said yesterday it will work with the United States to resolve unspecified "differences" remaining after rare high-level talks with President Barack Obama's envoy aimed at restarting international nuclear negotiations.

Cambodia's king pardons Thai spy

Cambodia's king pardoned a Thai man yesterday three days after he was sentenced to seven years in prison for spying on Thailand's fugitive ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a case that soured relations between the neighbours.

T rex 'little cousin' discovered

Researchers have unveiled a new species of dinosaur from the late Triassic period - a small, early relative of T rex and Velociraptor.

US media positive on Obama's Nobel speech

US media and leading opinion makers yesterday had largely positive views of Barack Obama's Nobel Peace award speech in Oslo, with US conservatives especially delighted with his choice of words.

Israel arrests Palestinian barrier protest leader

A leader of the most persistent Palestinian protest movement against Israel's West Bank separation barrier was asleep in his home when troops broke down his door and arrested him.

FBI grills US men for Taliban link

A group of detained young Americans grilled by the FBI in Pakistan had tried to join Islamist militant groups and travel to the northwest Taliban heartland, officials said yesterday.

Protests over new Indian southern state

Protests against plans to carve out a new state in India's southern Andhra Pradesh state have led to sporadic violence.

US for Kashmir issue to be solved bilaterally

The United States has clarified that the long pending Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan should be resolved bilaterally with the people of Kashmir.

Lahore HC orders ex-parte against Musharraf

The Lahore High Court's (LHC) Rawalpindi bench ordered ex-parte proceedings against Former President Pervez Musharraf, former Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi and former minister General (retired) Hamid Nawaz as they failed to appear before the court during the hearing of a petition seeking registration of a criminal conspiracy case in connection with the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

India interfering through Afghanistan: Gilani

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has reiterated that India is interfering in Pakistan through Afghanistan, and added that he himself had asked his Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh to refrain from doing so.

16,000 troops have orders to Afghan war

The Pentagon's top military officer said 16,000 troops have received their orders for Afghanistan since President Barack Obama announced his new war strategy.

Arts & Entertainment

Footprints in the creative arena

Born in Barisal, Ananta Hira stepped into the creative arena through a theatre troupe called Barisal Natok. He had been a member of the troupe for five years (1984-89) and acted in a play titled “Chetonaye Hanchhey Aghat” besides publishing a little magazine.

A celebration of Bangla music

Noted Nazrul artiste Khairul Anam Shakil, recently performed at Jalpaiguri, India at the 'Jalpaiguri Sangeet Utshab 2009.'

“Third Person Singular Number” released across country

Mostafa Sarwar Farooki's much awaited feature film "Third Person Singular Number" premiered at the Star Cineplex on December 10. Produced by Impress Telefilm Ltd., the already internationally acclaimed film released simultaneously at several theatres across the country.

Life after “Harry Potter”

They might have been trained to ride flying broomsticks and mix potions but life after Hogwarts is still a riddle for the young magicians of the Harry Potter series.

The concerned crooner

On the day the climate change negotiations began in Copenhagen, thousands of miles away on the bank of the picturesque Dal Lake in Kashmir surrounded by snow-capped mountains, American pop star and Youtube's award-winning singing sensation Terra Naomi crooned, seeking to make the world aware of the disastrous consequences of global warming.

Nobanno festival in Magura

With the harvesting of Aman paddy, comes the Nobanno (harvesting) festival. The denizens of the rural areas of Magura are now busy ushering in the age-old traditional festival with a difference.

Programme generating anti-corruption awareness

A discussion, painting competition for children and a cultural programme were held in Pabna on Wednesday to observe International Anti-Corruption Day. Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), Pabna and Anti Graft Body, Pabna jointly organised the daylong programme to promote the anti-corruption movement. The event was held at the Pabna Town Hall premises.

Cultural programme to build public awareness about health and education

Sushashoner Jonno Pracharavijan (SUPRO) organised a discussion and cultural programme to promote awareness on the need to develop education and health service facilities for the underprivileged. The programme was held at Pabna Town Hall premises on Tuesday evening.


A preventable disaster

IN a country that stumbles upon calamity, mostly man-made, with unerring regularity and embraces disaster with disturbing stoicism, death's sting has long been blunted. For

Replacing dollar as reserve currency

THE international reserve currency (IRC) of preference is the US dollar. By an IMF estimate, 64% of the world's reserves are held in dollars, followed by 26.5% in euro, 4.1% in British pound, 3.3% in Japanese yen, and all others 2.1%.


The world Buddhadev Bose inhabited

This sketchy analysis of Buddhadev Bose's (1908-1974) writings, the major poet and prominent writer of Bangla literature of thirties, is a tribute to his centenary anniversary (which of course was observed last year). I write to focus on especially three autobiographical essays of the poet. I remember I had an opportunity to meet him at his 202 Rash Biharee Avenue residence in Kolkata four decades back on a cruel April morning in 1972 along with my friend Serajuddin Ahmed, a short story writer with whom Buddhadev had intimate regular correspondence. Even during those days of the military regime under the dictatorship of Field Marshal Ayub Khan, President of the then Pakistan (1958-1969), there was no normal movement of printed material between two countries, India and the then Pakistan.

An exclusive club . . . and passing time

1956 was another momentous year for me. It was the year I was inducted as a life member of a most exclusive club. I was giddy with pride at my self-importance of this unique distinction. I was the only life member. Even those who conferred this honour on me were just ordinary members of the same illustrious organisation.

Out of nature

I wondered lonely as a cloud --- the poet had laid down these words long ago, substantiating a feeling for intellectuals, scholars and literati to ponder on for many generations after him.

What Is It That Preoccupies You All So?

Is it always bound to end in despair and sighs?
What makes people taste what must turn to ash?
In my eyes everything looks lovely and fresh,
All that I view appear to be pure and full of life,
The sky seems to me molten blue and fields green
I find buds blooming softly and moonlight serene
All that I behold seem to reflect my tranquility!
All that I see smile and sing even till death,
I feel no pain, know no tears, and taste no grief!
Flowers shed joyously, moonlight fades dreamily
The stars sail in a sea of light into the horizon!
Who can be this happy? Come and join me,
Friends, my happy songs will set you free.
Even if you must cry forever taste bliss this once
At least once in life forget pain and sing joyously!

Star Health

Catastrophic impact of climate change on health

Climate change is now regarded as the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. Enormous health hazards ranging from large number of deaths through natural disasters to emergence of vector-borne diseases, water and food insecurity, vulnerable shelter and human settlements, population migration etc. are already evident. If timely action, appropriate public health policy to combat climate change is not taken, more human lives will be destroyed by frequent catastrophic events and health will be endangered severely.

Ways to prevent UTI in women

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is one of the common causes for which women visit physicians. Women tend to get urinary tract infections more often than men because bacteria can reach the bladder more easily in women. The urethra is shorter in women than in men. So bacteria have a shorter distance to travel. But with little precaution and simple measures, women can prevent UTI effectively.

Alternative Medicine

Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine developed by German physician and chemist, Dr Christian Fredric Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). It is based on the principle “Law of Similar". It states that a disease can be cured by a substance that produces similar symptoms in healthy people. Dr Hahnemann believed that by inducing a disease through use of drugs, the artificial symptoms empowered the vital force to neutralise and expel the original disease and that this artificial disturbance would naturally subside when the dosing ceased.

Calcium may help prevent severe pregnancy complications

Providing calcium supplements to women who are deficient in the mineral can lower the incidence of several severe complications of pregnancy, according to research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Promoting perinatal health is an urgent need

Despite significant improvement in medical science in recent decades, mothers and their babies in the third world countries like Bangladesh are still at risk during the perinatal period, which covers pregnancy, delivery and the postpartum.

How homeopathy treats a patient

Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine developed by German physician and chemist, Dr Christian Fredric Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). It is based on the principle “Law of Similar". It states that a disease can be cured by a substance that produces similar symptoms in healthy people. Dr Hahnemann believed that by inducing a disease through use of drugs, the artificial symptoms empowered the vital force to neutralise and expel the original disease and that this artificial disturbance would naturally subside when the dosing ceased.

Strategic Issues

New troop deployment and Obama's approval rating

ALMOST a year into his tenure as President, Obama is getting bogged with problems that are making it difficult for him to back his promise for change with results. One of the problems is in Afghanistan where he is finding it difficult to finish the unfinished war of his predecessor. Another major setback is the economy. A combination of greed of leaders of the financial sector, lack of government regulation and the hundreds of billions of dollars spent in Iraq/Afghanistan wars during the Bush era (total cost of the wars is now getting close to US 1 trillion) has pushed the economy into the worst recession for decades.

Sense of déjà vu in Pakistan

GENERALS ruled Pakistan for half the time since its independence in 1947. Civilians have ruled the country only for 27 years out of 62.

Sense of déjà vu in Pakistan

GENERALS ruled Pakistan for half the time since its independence in 1947. Civilians have ruled the country only for 27 years out of 62.

Emerging China and the Bay of Bengal

THE mariners always feared the Bay of Bengal for its turbulence. However, the advancement of science and technology made the turbulent water the backyard of many powerful navies. The key to control of the waves is innovation. With the technological emergence of China, the Bay of Bengal is slowly gaining a different momentum. It still is a long shot for China to contest the international maritime order. However, if China emerges to its potential, the vitally important Indian Ocean will feel its presence. The maritime security of the narrow Malaccan strait between Malaysia and Sumatra of Indonesia will be the chokepoint of China's maneuver towards the Indian Ocean. The Bay of Bengal will provide the bridgehead of its westerly thrust.

Marrow transplant cures adult sickle cell disease

Bone marrow transplants, already used to treat some children with sickle cell disease, also may cure some adults with this deadly genetic defect that causes red blood cells to contort, U.S. scientists said recently.

Star Books Review

Realism, surrealism and everything in between

THE word Oshtorombha is in fact zero. It is Papri Rahman's third collection of stories and her fifth book. Papri Rahman carries the banner of a writer, an editor and a critic, quite comfortably. She doesn't write about the issues related to women which we commonly see in other contemporary writers, as she claims. Whenever she finds a story that is out of the ordinary, she tries to colour it in the canvass of story telling. This makes her somewhat different from other female writers that we come across.

Tales of familiar dilemmas

THE ingredients of Anita Rau Badami's Tamarind Mem are: an interesting theme (the relationship between mothers and daughters); an engrossing story (told, in turns, by a mother and her daughter), and recognizable characters with familiar dilemmas portrayed with insight and poignancy.

Begunpora, fish jhols, chhana --- all yours

Chitrita Banerji makes us happy and makes us remember all the culinary traditions we are heir to in this gem of a book. Indeed, it is at the very beginning of Bengali Cooking that you get to remember that certain cultural aspect of your being. As a host, you will likely implore the one visiting you thus: “Do please grace my poor hovel with your presence and share our simple meal of dal and rice.” Sounds familiar? You bet it does, for who has not heard of Bengali hospitality? It is as spontaneous as is the manner in which a Bengali loves to eat with his family.

What diplomats should, and should not, do

Craig Murray lives these days in quite pitiable conditions in London with his Uzbek girlfriend Nadira. In these past few years he has been a candidate for a parliamentary seat and then rector of a university. It was in Blackburn that he took on Jack Straw, the man he considers his nemesis, at the 2005 elections. He lost, but then he actually did not expect to win. It was his way of getting back at the man who he believes linked up with the mandarins in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Straw was then foreign secretary) to deprive him of his job as British ambassador to Uzbekistan.

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