The Daily Star

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014


News of: Saturday, 26th of December, 2009

Front Page

BDR set to recruit over 1,000 jawans

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) will have 1,073 new members in January in its first recruitment since the February 25-26 mutiny at Pilkhana headquarters.

1.5 lakh bags of fertiliser lying on streets for 6yrs

A huge amount of imported fertiliser stockpiled at different places in the port city's Sadarghat and Bangla Bazar areas over the last six years is causing serious environmental pollution.

Canals left out of recovery drive

Canals in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Gazipur and Munshiganj will soon become non-existent unless the authorities concerned immediately bring them under the ongoing river-saving drive, said district administration officials and environmentalists of the four districts.

Buriganga cleaning drive starts in Jan

Rampant and mindless dumping of polythene bags, plastics, coconut shells and other waste materials especially from the kitchen markets has produced millions of tonnes of sludge on the bed of the river Buriganga, said a BIWTA official.

Boro worries in Barind

The drought that hit aman production in the Barind region this season is likely to affect the forthcoming boro too.

12,286 wetland birds spotted

About 12,286 wetland birds of 39 species have been spotted in Maheshkhali, Sonadia and Shahparir Dwip in Cox's Bazar, shows a recent bird census.

Bangladeshi to lead UN peacekeepers in Ivory Coast

The United Nations is going to appoint a major general from Bangladesh Army as the commander of its peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast.

Hasan trashes BNP's claim of PM's 'failure'

BNP's statement about the prime minister "failing" to uphold Bangladesh's interest in Copenhagen was a futile effort to confuse the nation, said State Minister for Environment and Forest Hasan Mahmud yesterday.

Woman knocks down Pope at Xmas mass

An apparently deranged woman knocked Pope Benedict XVI to the ground after vaulting over security barricades in a dramatic start to Christmas Eve mass at St Peter's Basilica.

Patrons of militants to face trial

Godfathers and patrons of militancy during the tenure of BNP-Jamaat-led government would be brought to trial soon, Home Minister Sahara Khatun said yesterday.

Two cops held for snatching

Zia International Airport police last night detained two constables of Armed Police Battalion after an angry mob beat them up for snatching foreign currency from a money exchanger at the airport.

Road accidents kill 8, injure 39

At least eight people were killed and 39 injured in road accidents in Sirajganj, Narayanganj and Narsingdi districts yesterday.

Christmas celebrated

Christmas, the biggest religious festival of Christians, was celebrated yesterday in Bangladesh like elsewhere in the world.

Schoolboy strangled in city

Unidentified miscreants strangled a boy at Tejgaon industrial area in the city.

Govt to take action against manipulators

The government will take actions against the people responsible for the artificial price hike of lentil, Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said yesterday.

Indian team announced

Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar was rested while pacers Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar were dropped from the Indian squad for the tri-nation ODI series from January 4 to 13 in Bangladesh.

Iraq attacks kill 27 ahead of Ashura

Twenty-seven people were killed and more than 100 wounded in a string of attacks across Iraq on Thursday ahead of Christmas and the Shia commemoration ceremonies of Ashura.

Taliban bomb 3 more schools in Pakistan

The Taliban blew up yesterday three schools in northwest Pakistan where troops are fighting against militants in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan while nine more militants were killed in military offensive in the same area, officials said.

Obama salutes US soldiers in Xmas message

President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle sent Christmas greetings to Americans and particularly US soldiers serving abroad in a special holiday message.

Commonwealth is 'face of future’

Queen Elizabeth II said the Commonwealth was the "face of the future" in her annual Christmas message and described 2009 as a "difficult year."

Editorial

BNP on govt's role in Copenhagen

WE cannot but help being surprised at Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)'s statement on what it termed 'complete failure' of the government to project Bangladesh's case at the UN climate summit and its inability to utilise the opportunity of leading vulnerable and least developed countries in Copenhagen. Such a reaction not only reveals a lack of information but also reflects a lack of basic understanding of what went on in the climate conference; indeed, what was the climactic inter-play of international diplomatic currents and cross-currents that shaped the final outcome as it emerged.

Beefing up food security

IN a fairly representative dialogue held on Wednesday, the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) engaged with the agriculture minister and the deputy minister, the senior joint secretary of BNP and a sprinkling of parliamentarians, agriculturists, economists, members of farmer organisations and bureaucrats to put across some recommendations on food security in a particular context.

Creation of job opportunities pivotal to stability

WITH the country racked by political infighting, prices of food items shooting up, and inflation mounting, the news item that some 30,000 Bangladeshi workers from Kuwait and thousands others from Oman are being repatriated is most disquieting. During the last 11 months, some 68,000 Bangladeshis working in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia returned to Bangladesh and about 2121 working in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia died.

Copenhagen and beyond

THE outcome of the Copenhagen Summit is just a few loose pillars on which we have to build our safe home. We will have to make sure that these pillars get tightened as quickly as possible, by making a legally binding agreement. The 193-nation conference ended with delegates simply "taking note" of a US led climate deal that included limiting temperature rises to less than 20C. The vast majority countries wanted a legally binding treaty to protect the planet.

Sports

MSC continue unabated

Ten-man Mohammedan handed a 3-0 defeat to visiting Chittagong Abahani to maintain their winning streak in the Bangladesh League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

All eyes on Mashrafe

The focus will be on Mashrafe Bin Mortaza when the selected cricketers for the upcoming tri-nation one-day series play a limited-over game at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.

Ponting likely to play

Feeling "better" after Friday's practice session, Ricky Ponting is confident of leading Australia in the Boxing Day Test, the first of a three-game series, against Pakistan today.

India seal series

Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli hammered impressive centuries to power India to a seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the fourth one-day international on Thursday.

Shoaib overlooked

Temperamental Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar's dreams of making a 'shock' comeback to the international cricketing scene has been shattered, as the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) selection committee has ignored him for an important first class domestic tournament.

Rana in charge of Beanibazar

Ekramur Rahman Rana has been appointed the head coach of Bangladesh League outfit Beanibazar Sporting Club after Joshimuddin Ahmed Josi stepped down a couple of days ago following disagreement over team selection.

KP braced for Durban return

Controversial England batsman Kevin Pietersen hopes to end his topsy-turvy 2009 by playing a match-winning role on the Kingsmead ground where he learnt his trade.

Sport's great comebacks

Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher is to make a comeback at the age of 41 for Mercedes GP for the 2010 Formula One season.

No Victoria stint for Tanvir

Pakistan's all-rounder Sohail Tanvir Friday pulled out of a contract with Australian side Victoria after doctors advised him to rest an injured knee.

V-Day tennis

Top four men seeds booked their places in the Victory Day Tennis Tournament 2009 with easy wins at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna yesterday.

Asian chess

Bangladesh men's chess team tasted their first victory in the third round of the Asian Team Chess Championship defeating Yemen 4-0 at the Town Hall in Kolkata on Thrusady.

V-Day hockey

Bangladesh Police finished third in the Victory Day Hockey Competition when they handed a 2-1 defeat to Bangladesh Air Force in the final group match at Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Ganguly hails Gambhir

Adding to the list of admirers of Gautam Gambhir, India's most consistent batsman in recent times, is former captain Sourav Ganguly, who is impressed by the temperament of the Delhi dasher.

Light fiasco to be probed

Embarrassed over the power failure in one of the floodlit towers at the Eden Gardens during the fourth ODI between India and Sri Lanka on Thursday, the Cricket Association of Bengal has constituted a seven-member panel to inquire into the incident.

Blues aim to extend lead

Chelsea can cement their position on top of the Premier League with a win over Birmingham on Saturday, while new Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini gets his first taste of English football against Stoke.

'City stars back me'

Roberto Mancini insists there has been no dressing room rebellion at Manchester City in response to his arrival as replacement for sacked boss Mark Hughes.

'Progress being made'

Arsene Wenger has claimed that Arsenal's last four trophy-less seasons have given him more satisfaction than any other spell in his long career with the Premier League team.

Harry won't sell Robbie

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp insists he has no intention of selling Robbie Keane despite the striker's role in his squad's controversial Christmas party.

Forest dream of big-time return

While the chaos and intrigue engulfing Liverpool and Manchester City in recent weeks has inevitably hogged the sporting headlines in England, an equally intriguing story is quietly gathering pace at former European champions Nottingham Forest.

Hull boss furious at FA charge

Hull manager Phil Brown has hit out at the English Football Association after his club were charged with misconduct following last weekend's brawl at Arsenal.

Zamora dazzles Hodgson

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson believes Bobby Zamora's dazzling goal-scoring form has been instrumental in the Cottagers' push into the top half of the English Premier League as well as into Europe.

Metropolitan

Perpetrators' easy access to acid keeps violence unabated

Massive campaign against acid violence and strict laws could not bring much success to control the crime in the country as two sets of the existing laws are being abused, leading the perpetrators' access to acid easily and, at the same time, helping them escape from punishment.

Various facilities for war heroes planned

The government will take initiatives to offer various facilities to the freedom fighters, the best sons of the soil, for their welfare, State Minister for Liberation War Affairs AB Tajul Islam said yesterday.

Prepare list of razakars

Deputy Leader of the House Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury yesterday called upon the Awami League leaders and activists to prepare lists of razakars in their respective areas and said every razakar would be tried.

50 injured as cops club crowd

The law enforcers charged truncheon on a scrambling crowd, waiting to enter the venue of a talent hunt programme, leaving around 50 persons injured in Rajshahi Thursday night.

Sorry state of Bou Bazar road slows down business

Shah Alam, a keeper of betel leaf shop who started his business by selling a piece of land at Tk 2.40 lakh, is now thinking of leaving the shop as he incurred a huge loss due to the poor condition of Bou Bazar road at Lalbagh in the city.

Work to brighten country's image

State Minister for Liberation War Affairs AB Tajul Islam yesterday called on the armed forces and police members working in different peacekeeping missions to work sincerely to brighten the country's image abroad.

Help establish rule of law

Justice Mirza Hossain Haider yesterday called on the judges and lawyers to put in their best efforts to establish the rule of law in order to institutionalise democracy in the country.

70,000 bales of cotton yield expected next season

The country is likely to see some 70,000 bales of cotton production in the next season, as the Cotton Development Board (CDB) has planned to bring more lands under hybrid cotton cultivation.

India eases tourist visa rules

India has announced relaxation in the new guidelines on tourist visas issued last month, which had made it mandatory for foreigners holding long-term multiple-entry visas to take a two-month break between two visits.

'Take steps to stop Tipai dam'

Islami Andolan Bangladesh organised a rally on the Government Alia Madrasa premises in Sylhet yesterday on the way to taking their long march to Zakiganj.

President hosts Xmas reception

President Zillur Rahman yesterday hosted a reception for members of Christian community at Bangabhaban on the occasion of the holy Christmas.

7-year-old girl raped, one arrested

The police arrested a person on Thursday night on charges of raping a seven-year-old girl at village Bhairabpur Uttar Para in Bhairab.

Textile mill owner stabbed to death in Narsingdi

A gang of assailants killed the owner of a textile mill and looted his money in his mill at Choula in the district town on Thursday night.

70pc plan to give up smoking

As over 5 million people die globally each year due to tobacco-related diseases, nearly 70 percent of the current smokers in Bangladesh are planning to quit smoking, according to a survey.

Pre-monsoon floods in haor areas may cause food crisis by 2050

Bangladesh is likely to face a severe food crisis by 2050 as pre-monsoon flooding in the country's northeast haor areas might lead to a sharp fall in Boro output, according to experts.

Self-sufficiency in food by 2012

Bangladesh will achieve self-sufficiency in food by 2012, Food and Disaster Management Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque said on

'Hold election to Muktijoddha Sangsad soon'

District commanders of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad (BMS) on Thursday demanded the government hold the elections to the central, district and upazila commands of BMS immediately.

Exclusive tourism zone in Cox's Bazar, Bandarban soon

An exclusive tourism zone would be built up in Bandarban and Cox's Bazar for increasing facilities to the tourists.

Transport worker killed in Pabna

A transport worker was stabbed to death in the midtown here in the early hours of yesterday and police arrested one person in this connection.

Manhunt for four people

Intelligence agencies have launched a manhunt for four people in connection with illegal import of liquor worth over Tk five crore through false declaration.

Sugar cane crushing begins

Thakurgaon Sugar Mills, the largest sugar mill in the northern part of the country, started its production yesterday.

One held for assaulting Satkhira SP

Police yesterday arrested one person who was allegedly involved in the attack on Superintendent of Police in Satkhira on December 9 at Norarchak in Debhata upazila in Satkhira.

4 robbers held with arms

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested four robbers with arms in Srimongal on Thursday.

Appeal for help

Md Fazlul Haque, a visually impaired person, has appealed for financial assistance for his treatment, as he has been suffering from cancer since 2005.

International

'Turkey option for nuke exchange with West'

Iran's foreign minister says Turkey could be a venue for Tehran to exchange nuclear material with the West.

N Korea may conduct another nuclear test

North Korea could conduct another nuclear test next year in an attempt to solidify itself as an atomic power, a news report said yesterday, citing a state-run South Korean think tank.

'No chance of coup as Army, PPP working together'

Rejecting apprehensions regarding a possible military coup in the country, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) government and the Army, probably for the first time, are working in tandem with each other.

Protests continue in Telangana

The Telangana region remained relatively peaceful Friday though protests continued for the second consecutive day against the central government's move to put on hold the process of forming a separate state.

Lanka's tsunami recovery dogged by graft, delays

Billions of dollars were pledged after the 2004 Asian tsunami to help people like Pradeepa Niroshani who waited in vain for money to rebuild her destroyed home.

Suicide bomber kills 8 in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber with a horse and cart detonated himself Thursday in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, killing eight people and wounding five, a senior police officer said.

Pakistan extends custody of US militant suspects

A Pakistani court yesterday remanded five American militant suspects in custody for another 10 days after police sought more time to complete their investigations.

More troops to join Indian anti-Maoist drive

Home Minister P Chidambaram has said that India would renew anti-Maoist operations with the deployment of additional paramilitary troops.

Peru bus plunges off ravine, killing 40

A passenger bus that may have been overcrowded with Christmas Eve travelers plunged into a ravine in the high Andes of southern Peru Thursday, killing at least 40 people, police said.

US storm curtails Christmas celebrations

A massive winter storm forced scores of US churches to cancel Christmas services yesterday as blizzards and freezing rain brought treacherous holiday travel conditions for millions of Americans.

Crew of N Korean arms plane jailed for 12 days

The crew of a cargo plane loaded with weapons from North Korea was ordered Friday to remain in a Thai prison for 12 more days, as authorities request more time to investigate the plane's cargo and final destination.

Netanyahu asks Livni to join govt

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has again asked moderate opposition leader Tzipi Livni to join his government.

Chinese dissident gets 11 yrs for subversion

A Chinese court sentenced a prominent dissident to 11 years on Friday the longest term ever handed down for subversion charges, according to rights groups that say it signals the government will take an increasingly hard line against activists in the year ahead.

New Taliban video shows captive US soldier

The Taliban released a new video yesterday purportedly showing US soldier Bowe Robert Bergdahl who was captured in Afghanistan about six months ago.

17 die as Indian bridge collapses

Rescuers were battling yesterday to free dozens of workers trapped under a collapsed bridge in western Indian state of Rajasthan, killing 17, officials said.

Pakistan frees 100 Indian fishermen

Pakistan yesterday released 100 Indian fishermen who had been jailed for three years, as a "goodwill gesture" to India, its South Asian neighbour, officials said.

Arts & Entertainment

Images that speak

I was first introduced to veteran photographer Naib Uddin Ahmed in mid-2003 at his younger brother Dr. Nowazesh Ahmed's residence on Green Road. At the time, he was very frail but could speak articulately. Whenever he visited Dhaka, he would stay with his brother. I met him a number of times and had discussions with him on a range of issues. As a man, he was liberal and believed in secularism. He was also very scholarly.

Konal wins “Channel i Shera Kontho 2009”

“And the winner is ...Konal,” TV presenter Farzana Brownia dramatically announced at end of the four-hour grand finale of "Channel i Shera Kontho 2009", a musical talent hunt, held at Rajshahi District Stadium on Thursday night.

Rhapsody of musical notes

Paris-based Indian singer Kakoli Sengupta's solo musical performance was held at the Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, Dhanmondi on December 24. The soiree featured Bangla and Hindi songs, including raaga based numbers, songs of Nazrul, Rajanikant, Lalon, Atul Prasad and ghazal rendered by the artiste.

A boost to classical music

As part of its ongoing annual programme, Chhayanaut is holding a three-day classical music festival (both vocal and instrumental) at its main auditorium. Starting on December 24 evening, the festival continued almost at a stretch and comes to an end this morning.

“It’s Complicated”: But not complicated enough

In "It's Complicated", Jane, a woman in her late 50s, played by Meryl Streep, 60, is an object of great desire. Her ex-husband, Jake (Alec Baldwin), who left her 10 years ago for a skinny mean woman, has suddenly taken major interest in her. Meanwhile, a lonely, reasonably attractive architect named Adam (Steve Martin) wants to take her to French film festivals and dance with her.

Deepu’s solo art exhibition in Maulvibazar

A solo art exhibition featuring works of Sheikh Abu Naim Deepu is now on in Maulvibazar at the Dr. Syed Mujtaba Ali Auditorium. The exhibition will continue till December 30. Portraits of eminent personalities including Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Jibanananda Das, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Bishnu Dey, Dr. Syed Mujtaba Ali and Baul Shah Abdul Karim are highlights of the exhibition.

OP-ED

How safe is our bottled water?

I was watching a television programme the other day on adulteration of food items in Dhaka and elsewhere in our country. It featured a former Magistrate who gained enormous respect for his dedicated effort aimed at combating this pernicious practice. Participants discussed about the use of different toxic materials and chemical agents that were contaminating food items. This included the use of deadly formalin for the preservation of fruit, fresh fish and sometimes even milk. Mention was also made of the use of the insecticide DDT by some producers of dried fish. Towards the end of the programme some footage was also shown about how some people in the Sadarghat and Chowk Bazar areas in Dhaka had been caught while filling water directly from the tap into plastic containers with forged labels. Apparently they were subsequently sealing these bottles with unsafe water and marketing them as safe drinking water to unwary customers.

Marine accidents: Escalating concern

IT'S like a haunted region where people's lives are consigned to fate and mass people's deaths are consigned to oblivion. Every year, hundreds of lives are lost in launch disasters and the death tolls are simply archived. This year, MV Koko-4 capsized on November 27, with a high casualty.

Solar power as a prime energy source in Bangladesh?

THE Daily Star reported on December14, 2009 that a company has been tasked with setting up a 20-25kW solar power supply to Bangladesh Bank at a cost of Tk.1 Crore. I question the wisdom of this investment based on current energy costs in the market and the life expectancy of such a system.

Literature

Bittersweet symphony . . .

As Faria came out of her room she was still making a last ditch effort to dry off her hair with the towel. She caught a glance of Nathan. Still in his pajamas, he was helping himself to a cup of coffee. He looked so innocent yet mischievous with his evil grin.

'Potua' and freedom's colours

As the mercury steadily dropped, the chill in the air felt starkly different from the fiery situation prevailing everywhere across the country. This was early February, the year 1971. The mass upsurge of 1969 followed by the non-cooperation movement in 1971 against the Pakistani regime had pushed the country to a point of no return.

Woman Rebel: Silu's story

This past October, the short documentary Woman Rebel by 25-year old director, producer and photographer Kiran Deol was short-listed for the Oscars (otherwise known as the Academy Awards here in the United States). This is an outstanding achievement for a young South-Asian American woman, who only graduated from Harvard University in 2005. (There will be a second round of voting in February to decide the final nominations; out of eight short-listed documentaries, five will get the nomination.) The day after her graduation in 2005, Deol left Cambridge, Massachusetts, and got on a plane to Nepal to film her documentary. Deol wrote her creative honours thesis about a female Nepalese soldier, as a novel on the advice of Jamaica Kincaid, the acclaimed Antiguan novelist who teaches fiction writing at Harvard. This creative writing project formed the basis of inspiration for her endeavour: from extensive fund-raising and with help and support from her friends and family, Deol began her next, more difficult journey, alone, to Nepal to fulfill her dream. Deol's story, as much as her film, is extraordinary. She says her South Asian roots, along with her passion to tell the truth, kept her connected with issues of women in this distant, remote area of the world. She has always been interested in exploring the plight of Third World women and their position in oppressed societies. Upon arrival in Nepal, Deol wrote the screenplay and started filming.

You make me an artwork

You are the artist
You are more than a poet,
More than a sculptor, painter or whatever!
You are all in one.

Star Health

Practical approach to deal with prolonged fever

Fever is body’s defense against intruders. In maximum cases, it usually lasts for three to five days. However, the causes of fever in certain cases are hard to pin down and the duration may be prolonged enough to cause unbearable suffering. Knowing the general approach to identify the cause may help your doctor to reach early diagnosis and can lessen the intractable infliction.

An autistic's mind is normal, even brilliant!

Autism is a severe developmental disorder that begins at birth or within the first two-and-a-half years of life. Most autistic children are perfectly normal in appearance, but spend their time engaged in puzzling and disturbing behaviours which are markedly different from those of typical children.

Opportunity for Bangladesh in the health care business

After nearly sixteen years, I recently travelled Bangladesh and stayed more than three weeks-travelling, meeting people and examining the immense changes in Bangladesh. I had the opportunity to view not through the eyes of a tourist, but through the eyes of an experienced healthcare scientist who felt and saw the tremendous accomplishments that Bangladesh has been made despite all negative movement. I was amazed seeing all signs of a robust and thriving economy.

Fascinating facts of cinnamon

Cinnamon has a long history both as a ‘masala’ (spice) and as a medicine. It is the brown bark of a small tree that is commonly found in South Asia, China and the Middle East some times.

Feeling old and blue? Green tea may help

Elderly men and women who sip on several cups of green tea a day may be less likely to have the blues, hint findings of a study from Japan.

Want sun protection? Wear red or blue

Fabric color affects absorption of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, researchers say recently. Deep blue and red cotton fabrics are better than yellow at protecting skin against damaging UV radiation from the sun, according to Spanish scientists.

Strategic Issues

The Copenhagen Accord and the frustration of the developing nations

THE Copenhagen Climate Conference has been both frustrating and encouraging. Despite across the board acknowledgement by all the 193 attending nations that global warming is a common and impending threat to mankind, the Conference failed to adopt a binding agreement. Instead, the outcome of two weeks of intense negotiation has been a non-binding document named Copenhagen Accord, ironically put together by five of the biggest polluters, namely the United States, China, India, Brazil and South Africa and brokered by the US President Barak Obama. It has been more frustrating for majority of the developing nations because they went to Copenhagen following two years of hard work since the Bali Conference in 2007, confident that they had been able to place before the big polluters enough scientific evidence to encourage them to adopt a binding document on global warming.

Pakistan's political woes after Supreme Court ruling

PAKISTAN'S judiciary was generally perceived as subservient to the executive, whether it was under political or military leadership. Political leaders such as the late Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto, .Benazir Bhutto, and Nawaz Sharif were as arbitrary and as ruthless in imposing their will on the judiciary as Gen.Zia-ul-Haq and Gen. Musharraf were. It goes to the credit of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry that he broke from this past habit of subservience.

India, Israel discuss more cooperation

Indian and Israeli defense officials and top planners met here Dec. 22 to discuss ways to increase defense ties, boost counter-terror efforts and share intelligence.

Russia, China agree on new sanctions for Iran

Russia has agreed to prospective new sanctions, which China will also adopt eventually, to punish Iran's failure to accept foreign scrutiny of its nuclear program, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said December 21.

Star Books Review

History, with all the facts . . .

Abdul Matin's interest in history and in Bangladesh has never wavered. As an expatriate, he has found little reason not to reflect on what has been happening in the home country he left long ago to make a home in the West. From the distance of London he has, with something of determination and with a huge deal of principle, focused on the need to set the history of Bangladesh in the proper perspective. That Matin was on his way to being a commentator on Bangladesh came through as far back as the early 1970s, when he ventured into a work that was to emerge as Geneva-e Bangabandhu. He has come a long way since then. And in all the works he has come forth with thus far, Matin has deemed it refreshingly necessary to play by the rules. And that has consisted in adding to the substance of his works through bringing documentary evidence into it.

The disappearing mother

Kit McMahon lived in the quiet Irish country of Lough Glass. Here everyone knew each other. Childhood sweethearts grew up amidst laughter and tears and married. Kit was at the end of her high school. Her life wound around her family, her best friend Clio and the other friendly neighbours. Sister Madeleine, the hermit living in a rundown cottage, was fond of Kit and always welcomed her. Philip O'Brien, her childhood pal, had loved her from very early childhood. To an outsider Kit's life may have seemed charming. But in the midst of all these seemingly good things Kit was deeply troubled by her mother Helen McMahon.

Myths, half truths, metaphors

No, the woman wasn't made of stone but the stone showed fading traces of a woman who probably was a pagan goddess. And it is to her that the novel's characters disgorge their secrets it must be her silence that made her a worthy listener.


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