The Daily Star

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Monday, April 21, 2014


News of: Saturday, 20th of March, 2010

Front Page

China's help sought for deep-sea port, road link

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday sought Chinese cooperation to construct a deep-sea port in Chittagong and establish road link between Chittagong and Kunming.

Dhaka places draft of interim Teesta deal

Bangladesh and India last night exchanged draft agreements and promised to go ahead expeditiously towards resolving the vexed Teesta water-sharing issue.

Shady business with seized rickshaws

A section of ruling party men are allegedly making a fast buck selling seized rickshaws meant for free distribution among the poor outside the capital.

Accolades for outstanding students

The Daily Star yesterday honoured 1,118 O and A levels graduates for outstanding achievements, including 52 who ranked among the world's top scorers in the exams of 2008 and 2009.

Cops dictate terms for Ahmadiyya programmes

Bowing to threats of Khatme Nabuwat Movement, Brahmanbaria police yesterday imposed seven conditions on the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat community's annual religious programme at Kandipara.

Top Jamaat leaders to be tried first

State Minister for Law Quamrul Islam yesterday said the trial of identified war criminals including Jamaat leaders Matiur Rahman Nizami, Ali Ahsan Mojaheed and Delwar Hossain Sayeedi will be held in the first phase.

Siddhirganj power project hits a snag

The troubled tender process for 300 megawatt Siddhirganj gas-fired peaking power project hits a snag again as the government and the World Bank have taken contradictory stance over the use of equipment manufactured by German company Siemens in the project.

Life back on waterways

Inland water transport resumed plying yesterday after the workers called off their indefinite strike following a tripartite meeting with the government and vessel owners Thursday night.

Dhaka-Beijing jt statement outlines closer cooperation

Bangladesh and China have decided to establish a “Closer Comprehensive Partnership of Cooperation” from the strategic perspective and on the basis of the principles of longstanding friendship, equality, and mutual benefit.

Ministry sitting on DMCH probe report

The health ministry has been sitting idle for more than a month since a probe report published by Dhaka Medical College Hospital revealed massive corruption in its recruitment processes.

WB to help build small power plants

The World Bank will assist Bangladesh with US$ 257 million for facilitating Private-Public Partnership (PPP) in setting up small power plants.

Govt shuts RanksTel operations

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission yesterday shut down all operations of RanksTel for its alleged involvement in illegal VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) business and detained three of its senior officials.

Hasina meets Chinese president

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday sought Chinese assistance and cooperation to turn Bangladesh into a modern digital country and face climate change battle.

India mulls 'no-firing' for a year

India yesterday said it might declare a unilateral "no-firing" along its border with Bangladesh for a year to avoid civilian deaths in crossfire.

EC asks parties to report on affiliated student wings

The Election Commission (EC) has asked three political parties to notify the commission about the affiliation with their respective student wings.

52 students get world highest marks

Thirty-one Bangladeshi students secured the highest marks worldwide in 14 subjects in GCE O-level examinations and another 21 in six subjects in A-level exams in 2008-2009 academic session.

Jahirul set for debut

Jahirul Islam will make his international debut today when Bangladesh take on England in the second and final Test at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

1,130 trees cut down in Srimangal

At least 1,130 trees were chopped down at Nahar Tea Garden in Srimangal as of yesterday.

10 Indians arrested at Benapole

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) arrested 10 Indian citizens including four children at Benapole check post yesterday evening while they were being trafficked to Bangladesh.

Criminal killed in clash with rivals

A criminal was killed and five others were injured in a clash between two rival groups at Fatullah of Narayanganj yesterday.

Headley pleads guilty in Mumbai attack plot

A Chicago man pleaded guilty Thursday to using his Western appearance as a cover while scoping out sites for the deadly 2008 Mumbai siege and plotting to kill a Danish cartoonist.

Putin, Hillary clash over Iran nuke plant launch

The United States and Russia Thursday clashed over Iran's first nuclear plant which Russia is helping build after strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the station would come online this summer.

Taliban lose control of Marjah but remain strong

In the capital of Afghanistan's Helmand province, Taliban roam the streets freely. Barely a kilometre outside Lashkar Gah, they wield more control than the government, according to residents.

Editorial

China visit

REFLECTING substantive nature of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's five-day official visit to China, on its very second day, following her meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, three accords and one MoU were signed on Thursday between China and Bangladesh.

Keeping track of budgetary performance

FINANCE Minister A M A Muhith, true to his promise at the time of presenting the national budget in June last year, has submitted a half-yearly performance report to the parliament. Thereby he has set a precedent, not in a ritualistic sense but quite substantially at that, so we would like to believe. The budgetary performance has been subjected to parliamentary accountability. We would add first step taken towards that.

Sports

Another step on the learning curve

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan was reluctant to give much away on the eve of the second and final Test against visiting England that starts at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today. The all-rounder was perhaps not interested to parrot the usual promises but coach Jamie Siddons stuck with his guns saying that he expected his boys to be consistent in their performance.

MSC gain no ground

Mohammedan Sporting Club kept their faint hopes of a title alive in the Bangladesh League after playing out a goalless draw against leaders and arch-rivals Abahani in their crucial home match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

England to go for spin?

There was some surprise when England chose to stick on with their usual three-man pace attack and just the one spinner on a spin-friendly track in Chittagong. However, their tactics did not backfire due partly to the more experienced batting line-up of the English and the partly to the guile of Graeme Swann who took 10-for to take England to a 181-run victory.

Player Profile

Name: Mohammad Jahirul Islam

Champs get Gunners

Arsenal face Barcelona in the Champions League quarterfinals in a repeat of the 2006 final won by the Spanish giants.

BCB punishes Rokibul

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has terminated Rokibul Hasan's players contract with the national team and banned the batsman for three months.

Saptarshi keeps lead

Indian IM Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury maintained his solitary lead in the Six Seasons Grandmasters Chess Tournament at the close of the fifth round at the Tulip Hall of Uttara Club yesterday.

Four win opening games

Scholastica School, BIS, Green Herald and Dhanmondi Tutorial won their respective opening matches of the Sunny Dale 7th Boys' Mini Handball Tournament at the newly-build Handball Stadium yesterday.

Malik, Naved cleared for PCL

Pakistan gave permission Friday for banned former captain Shoaib Malik and all-rounder Rana Navedul Hasan to play in the Port City League (PCL) the Bangladeshi domestic Twenty20 league that will take place in Sharjah later this month.

No contracts for Younus, Yousuf

Pakistan excluded banned ex-captains Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf from a list of central contracts announced Friday, raising further doubts over their international careers.

MU face L'pool test

Michael Carrick believes Manchester United can open the door to an unprecedented fourth consecutive Premier League title by slaying their recent Liverpool jinx this weekend.

Fulham stun Juve

Unfashionable Fulham stunned mighty Juventus to reach the Europa League quarterfinals on Thursday where they were joined by seasoned campaigners Liverpool.

Messi is the key

Barcelona's fight for the title with Real Madrid depends more than ever on the form of superstar Lionel Messi who has scored eight of their last ten goals.

Milan in summit push

AC Milan could end a tumultuous week which saw two of their star turns end up under the surgeon's knife by sitting atop Serie A for the first time this season.

Bayern's vital 3 weeks

Bayern Munich begin their 'three weeks of truth' on Saturday against Eintracht Frankfurt with the Bundesliga leaders still bidding for three trophies.

Tricky tie for Liverpool

Three-time winners Liverpool face a tricky Europa League quarterfinal against Benfica after the draw made here on Friday.

Becks has WC role

Fabio Capello has confirmed that he has asked David Beckham to join the England squad at the World Cup, despite the midfielder being ruled out of the tournament with an achilles injury.

Defoe out for a month

Jermain Defoe will be sidelined for up to a month after tearing one of his hamstrings in a blow to Tottenham's hopes of finishing fourth in the Premier League and securing a place in next season's Champions League.

Honda's big dream

Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda, who helped steer CSKA Moscow into the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time, said Thursday he had always dreamed of scoring in Europe's elite competition.

Global crisis affects WC ticket sales

The world economic downturn has forced World Cup organisers to review initial projected ticket sales, but host South Africa on Friday was confident of full stadiums.

Deccan sneak to a win

Despite a fabulous 60 from Irfan Pathan, Kings XI Punjab fell to a 6 run defeat against Deccan Chargers in their IPL clash at Cuttack yesterday.

Clarke seals satisfying century

Michael Clarke has had to display a lot of patience over the past fortnight and he applied an unflappable, measured approach as his century steered Australia into a strong position. Clarke showed no lasting effects from the break-up of his engagement, which forced him home to Sydney last week, as he paced his innings perfectly.

Ljubicic books Nadal clash

Defending champion Rafael Nadal, trying to reignite his injury-disrupted season, will face a rejuvenated Ivan Ljubicic in the semifinals of the Indian Wells ATP Masters 1000.

Jankovic, Stosur in semifinal showdown

Former world number one Jelena Jankovic reached the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open Thursday with a battling straight-sets victory over Alisa Kleybanova.

Biltu thrash Anirban

Biltu Club got 74 runs victory over Anirban Cricket Club in the inaugural day in the Khan Real Eastate Second Division Cricket League at Shahid Miraj-Tapan Stadium in Manikganj yesterday.

Metropolitan

Law, order slide in Rajshahi city for laxity of police

Law and order is becoming worse in Rajshahi city, as extortionists, drug peddlers and muggers have become very active in many localities due to lax monitoring of the law enforcers.

Dhaka, Beijing to expand bilateral trade

Bangladesh and China have decided to establish a “Closer Comprehensive Partnership of Cooperation” from the strategic perspective and on the basis of the principles of longstanding friendship, equality, and mutual benefit.

Bangladeshi set to start expedition to Everest

MA Muhit, a Bangladeshi and a member of Bangladesh Mountaineering and Trekking Club (BMTC), is set to start an expedition to the Mount Everest next month.

Govt working to recognise women's domestic labour

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said his government is working to recognise the domestic labour of women, which always remains uncounted in patriarchal society.

Hafiz for army deployment

BNP Vice Chairman Maj (retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed yesterday urged the Election Commission (EC) to deploy army for the Bhola-3 by-election.

BNP-Jamaat govt issued 66,000 fake FF certificates

Land Minister Rezaul Karim Hira yesterday said the previous BNP-Jamaat government issued 66,000 fake certificates of freedom fighters during its five-year rule.

Govt conspiring against BNP, says Khasru

The government's refusal to allow BNP to hold its divisional public rally at Outer Stadium in Chittagong is part of a conspiracy, Chittagong city BNP President Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury said yesterday.

Loco masters caught on charges of pilfering oil

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested three people, including driver and assistant driver of a train, on charges of abetting pilferage of diesel by some miscreants from the train early yesterday.

Tipra man files case against timber lifters

A Tipra community leader filed a case against a gang leader of timber lifters yesterday on charges of robbery on Thursday night.

Sundari timber seized

Members of Coastguard seized sundari timber worth about Tk 15 lakh from a trawler in the Pashur River in Mongla upazila yesterday morning.

Govt to build 11,268 flats in city for middle-income people

The government will build 11,268 flats with modern amenities in the capital in the next three years to sell out those to the government employees and general public.

'Declare Feb 1 as Sign Language Day'

Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday demanded state recognition to sign language and declaration of February 1 as 'Sign Language Day' for establishing rights of the deaf.

7 injured in fire in motor works

Seven persons were injured in a fire at a motor works here yesterday.

Worker killed in Khulna brickfield clash

A man was killed and six others were injured in a clash between two groups of workers in a brickfield at Khurnia in Dumuria, Khulna, on Thursday night.

10 shops burn down in N'ganj

Ten shops were burnt to ashes in a fire in Chaittankanda area of Araihazar upazila here on Thursday night.

9 killed in road crashes

Nine people were killed in separate road accidents in Satkhira, Mymensingh, Netrakona and Jessore in the last two days.

'Give priority to public welfare at every stage of project'

Speaker Advocate Abdul Hamid yesterday said public welfare should be given priority at every stage of a project -- from formulation to implementation.

Body of youth recovered

Police recovered the floating body of a youth from a canal at South Keraniganj, on the outskirts of the city, yesterday.

2 workers injured in fall from multi-storey bldg

Two construction workers received severe injuries after they fell down from a multi-storey under-construction building at Gulshan in the city yesterday.

Teenage girl raped in city

A gang of local criminals allegedly raped a teenage girl storming into a residence in the city's West Nandipara early yesterday and looted gold ornaments and a cellphone set.

Two domestic helps commit suicide

Two teenage domestic helps allegedly committed suicide in separate incidents at Lalbagh and Mohammadpur in the city yesterday.

International

Taliban talks halted by arrests in Pakistan

The arrests of top Taliban figures in Pakistan abruptly halted secret UN contacts with the insurgency at a time when the efforts were gathering momentum, the UN's former envoy to Afghanistan said yesterday.

Thai protesters to gridlock capital with travelling rally

Thai anti-government protesters announced plans yesterday to snarl up the capital with a travelling rally in a bid to win support after rejecting a conditional offer of talks by the prime minister.

India has reduced 35,000 troops in Kashmir

Without much fanfare, India has withdrawn over 35,000 troops from Jammu and Kashmir. More troops are expected to be withdrawn soon.

Musharraf's new political party closer to reality, but will he return?

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has reportedly accepted former President General Pervez Musharraf's application to register a new political party named-All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), thus clearing the road for Musharraf to return to the country for another political stint.

ME Quartet tells Israel to halt settlements

The Quartet for the Middle East yesterday urged Israel to stop building settlements and set a target for a final deal with the Palestinians within two years.

Obama legacy at stake as health vote looms

US President Barack Obama was leading his Democratic allies in an all-out campaign to win over wavering lawmakers ahead of a cliffhanger vote tomorrow on his historic healthcare overhaul.

Scientists turn mosquito into 'flying vaccinator'

A team of Japanese researchers has developed a mosquito that spreads vaccine instead of disease.

Headley's confession may help nail Pakistan: BJP

Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley's confession about his involvement in the Mumbai terror attack would add weight to New Delhi's claims of Pakistan's involvement in terrorist acts against India, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said yesterday.

Central forces in Orissa for anti-Maoist operation

About 500 Border Security Force (BSF) personnel have reached Orissa to hunt down Maoist guerrillas, an official said yesterday.

Deal near for Guantanamo closure, military trials

The White House is nearing a bipartisan deal with US lawmakers to close the Guantanamo Bay prison by putting more detainees on trial before military commissions, a report said yesterday.

Scientists find proof of global warming changing natural event

Scientists have established the first casual link between climate change and the timing of a natural event, which is namely the emergence of the common brown butterfly.

Obama hails immigration overhaul plan

Two senators Thursday outlined a bipartisan framework for comprehensive immigration reform legislation, drawing immediate praise from President Barack Obama.

Mousavi vows 'year of perseverance' against Iran government

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi vowed a "year of perseverance" in his fight against the government, in an Internet message on Friday marking the Persian New Year.

Geneva atom smasher sets record for beam energy

Operators of the world's largest atom smasher yesterday ramped up their massive machine to three times the energy ever previously achieved, in the run-up to experiments probing the secrets of the universe.

Saturn rings' atmosphere made up of oxygen

Nasa's Cassini orbiter's latest snapshot of Saturn has revealed the rapidly rearranging rings of the planet, as well as colliding moonlets, and an oxygen atmosphere.

Iran jails ex-vice president, reform activist

A former Iranian vice president and prominent reform activist convicted of spreading propaganda against the ruling clerical establishment has begun a one-year prison sentence, a close relative said Friday.

Japan PM hints at keeping US base in Okinawa

Facing mounting pressure from Washington, Japan's centre-left Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama yesterday suggested a disputed US military base could stay on the southern island of Okinawa.

3-D invisibility cloak developed

European researchers have taken the world a step closer to fictional wizard Harry Potter's invisibility cape after they made an object disappear using a three-dimensional "cloak," a study published Thursday in the US-based journal Science showed.

Arts & Entertainment

A celebration of youth

Featuring young theatre activists, the four-day festival "Mahola Magan" by the troupe Prachyanat ended on March 18 at the Studio Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. On the last day, two plays -- "Keramatnama" and "A New Testament of Ancient Mariner" -- were staged at the venue.

Baby Naznin begins her nationwide tour in Dhaka

Popular singer Baby Naznin began her nationwide tour through performing at a concert in Dhaka on March 18. The concert, titled 'UCB Presents Baby Naznin Live' was held at Hall of Fame, Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city. The concert was arranged by Cultural Journalists' Forum of Bangladesh (CJFB).

Cultural programme for children with special needs

Some 65 differently-abled children took part in a unique cultural programme in Rajshahi last Thursday on the occasion of National Children's Day.

Can talent outweigh size in Hollywood?

It has not been that long since Gabourey Sidibe attended the 82nd Annual Academy Awards as a best actress nominee and folks are already questioning whether her career is over.

Generating awareness on rivers through art and music

As rivers are gradually disappearing from Bangladesh, which used to be known as a "country of rivers," social and environmental activists have come forward with campaigns and movements. To propagate awareness on the devastating state of rivers, a daylong cultural programme -- led by Amy Rahman -- was held at Rabindra Sharobar on March 18.

Special programme for Independence Day begins in Pabna

The district administration has started a ten-day long cultural programme in the district headquarters marking the upcoming Independence Day (March 26). The programme is being held at Pabna Town Hall premise. The State Minister for Home, Advocate Shamsul Haque Tuku, inaugurated the programme last Wednesday.

Competition on inspirational songs

Khulna divisional gano sangeet (inspirational songs) competition was held yesterday at the Shilpakala Academy auditorium in Magura with the participation of 60 competitors of nine south-western districts. The participants were divided into 'ka' and 'kha' groups.

OP-ED

The challenge of countering religious militancy

THERE is a considered view that ideology and modern-day terrorism go hand in hand. It is not unusual to see highly motivated groups with radical views against the establishment using violence as a means to make their point.

Europe 2020 strategy proposed

THE European Commission is in the midst of an innovative exercise. This was reflected a few days ago in its proposals published in the format entitled Communication on Europe 2020. This contained certain concrete proposals, which could be described as being a successor format to the Lisbon Strategy. The impact of the public finance crisis coupled with demographic trends has made this reform a critical success factor for Europe's economic and social model and for long term sustainability. It is expected that these will be discussed at the forthcoming Spring Council.

Empowering women for development

WHILE the nation celebrated the 100th International Women's Day, the stark reality is that the status of women has not substantially changed for the better even after an appraisal of the fact that empowering women, meaning redistributing power from men to women, can ensure more balanced development. Gender inequalities in access to resources and opportunities negate the concept of human development and the spirit of democracy. Empowerment that would have given the vast majority of women the choice and self- development is missing.

Women reservations can wait

JIHAD has different meanings. Islamist terrorists have one. Leaders of other backward classes (OBC) in India have another. The latter have used the word jihad to raise the standard of revolt against the government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. His Congress party had the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Parliament, endorse the controversial Women's Reservation Bill.

For a sustainable teacher development

IMPROVING the quality of primary education largely depends on improving the teaching and learning in the classroom. And to facilitate improved teaching-learning in the classroom, a crucial factor is to ensure that effective teachers are engaged in teaching. But it is hard to come by such teachers in our socio-economic context. In the circumstances, the single most important factor is to establish a teacher development system to properly train the teachers, upgrade their knowledge and teaching skills and bring about an attitude change in them, so that they can improve their classroom teaching permanently.

Environment

Ensuring growth of green energy

THE discovery and control of various forms of energy is one of the greatest achievements of man as energy is a strategic input necessary for socio-economic development. We want energy supply at the flick of a switch to turn on a light, fan or any utility device. In fact our way of life now depends upon instant access to energy. The demand for energy is increasing day by day.

Climate oddities: Bangladesh case

Despite claims of late that polar ice and mountain glaciers would not melt at the dreaded rate apprehended, Bangladesh remains one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change impacts as before. Its low lying coastal belt just gets inundated whenever there is even a mild cyclone surge from the Bay. Only half of the calculated rise in the sea level due to envisaged lesser melting of polar ice would render quite a sizable of its population climate refugee.

Safe drinking water and sanitation

While complaining about the gas and power crisis, most seem to overlook the diminishing supply of water against the increasing population in both urban and rural areas of Bangladesh.

Protecting crops against stresses

Global warming has significant impact on conditions affecting plans, including temperature, carbon dioxide, precipitation and the interaction of these elements. Climate change induced by increasing emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide is likely to affect crops differently from region to region. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that due to decreased water availability because of global worming, the poorest countries will be hardest hit with reduction in crop yields in most tropical and sub-tropical regions.

Literature

Love in its timelessness

The question “What is love?” still intrigues those who have experienced love and those who are yet to experience it. Poets, novelists, dramatists, philosophers, psychologists and educators have tried to discover the meaning of love. It seems no word is more misused or overused than love and leadership.

At my funeral

I breathed my last yesterday morning. As I now lie in the casket waiting to be lowered into my final resting place, I can hear my wife, or should I say my widow, whispering to my brother Sam about something, probably a last minute detail or to check on some other arrangement before the four gravediggers are called in to crank the pulley to lower the coffin into the crypt.

By a Woman Writ

Incense scented breeze, platters of cheese and thou (the muse going into overdrive) - this may not be vintage Khayyam but for some of us this is the stuff that dreams are made of.

Star Health

Drug-resistant tuberculosis now at record levels

In some areas of the world, one in four people with tuberculosis (TB) becomes ill with a form of the disease that can no longer be treated with standard drugs regimens, a World Health Organisation (WHO) report says.

Upholding nursing as a noble profession

Like many countries in the world, Bangladesh is facing an acute crisis of skilled nurses. Although nurses are the essential part of healthcare system, there are very little initiatives to promote this noble profession. Thousands of patients are not getting proper medical care due to deficiency of skilled nurse. With proper attention and suitable programme, we can help revive the profession.

Risk factors for oral cancer, its prevention

The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about routinely such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer. It is not because of the fact that it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development.

Clean water for a healthy world

One in eight people do not have access to clean water. Two million people, most of them children, die every year from water-borne diseases like diarrhoea and millions become seriously ill. Diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid, hepatitis, polio, trachoma and tapeworms spread through water — many of which can be fatal to people in the developing world like Bangladesh. Other water-associated diseases, such as malaria and filariasis, affect vast populations worldwide.

Long-acting insulin boosts diabetes care

Long-acting insulin works better than other types of injections for people who need more than pills for their type 2 diabetes, researchers reported.

Recovering from LASIK

LASIK eye surgery reduces a person's need to wear glasses or contact lenses. But an improvement in vision often is not quick. You can expect the followings after the procedure:

Prevent a fungal nail infection

A fungal infection of the fingernails or toenails can make them hard, brittle and discolored.

Strategic Issues

Will Iraq's election bring peace and democracy?

BY Iraqi standard, the second general election since the US intervention held on March 8th ended peacefully. Voter turnout, though lower at 62% than 76% in the previous one, was significant. However, with the US committed to withdraw its combat troops of 50,000 by August and the rest by end of next year, the election was held to take Iraq into comfort zone politically and from security point of view, given the fact that in recent times Iraq has made significant strides on both counts. The US has not so far seen any negative elements in the elections and has reiterated its commitment to withdraw. However, analysts are expressing apprehensions.

Iran: The Western concern

EARLY this month the Vienna chapter of the Non-Aligned Movement, in a veiled criticism of the Western powers and Israel, along with a reaffirmation from the new Director General of IAEA, stated that it is the basic and inalienable right of all states to develop atomic energy for peaceful purposes. The NAM also reiterated their support for nuclear free zone in the Middle East; declared “any attack or threat of attack against peaceful nuclear activities, operational or under construction” as a serious danger to human beings and environment and a violation of international law; expressed concern and sought clarification from the DG of IAEA of “the possible implication of the departure from standard verification language in the summary of the report of the DG; and more or less expressed happiness over access given by Iran for inspection of its nuclear facilities. It concluded that diplomacy and dialogue are the only way for long tern solution of Iran nuclear issue.

India's missile shield test fails

India's home-grown interceptor defence shield developed to detect and destroy incoming ballistic missiles failed during a test on Monday, military officials said.

Nuclear weapons deal with US is near

President Obama and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, believe Washington and Moscow are close to reaching agreement on a new nuclear disarmament treaty, the Kremlin said March 13.

Star Books Review

Two countries, their dictators, their politics

William B. Milam served as America's top diplomat in Bangladesh and Pakistan at points of critical and crucial significance for the two countries. You can call that a most opportune happening or a mere coincidence. But the fact that the United States government thought it proper to have Milam serve in countries which once were linked through politics, indeed were a single state, is a rarity. And rare too is something else: Milam witnessed the fall of General Ershad in late 1990 and the beginning of a move back toward democracy; and then, in October 1999, as US ambassador to Islamabad and away in California, he heard about the coup that brought General Pervez Musharraf to power in Pakistan. And over the years since then, Milam has clearly made it his preoccupation to study politics in the two countries, which again would be regarded as analyses of the similarities that have characterized their political landscapes. Milam's subtitle, Flirting With Failure in South Asia, is a pointer to the questions he has before him.

The dilemma in the Middle East

The wound in the heart of the Middle East has been bleeding ever since the Jewish state came into existence. Thousands of Palestinians have been killed, hundreds have been evicted from their homes and abodes have been pulled down to make space for the growing number of Jews migrating from across the world. This never-ending process has the direct support of the United States and many European allies. Despite efforts at eye-washing on the part of the United States to establish peace, nothing concrete has happened. Such efforts have only acted as an intoxicant to keep many a Middle Eastern country in a state of stupor.

Innocence losing it all to hard realities

Inspired by his boyhood in rural Arkansas, John Grisham has come up with this unique novel. Set in the early summer and late fall of 1952, it is a heart rending account of a little boy's journey from innocence to experience. It is the writer's first major work outside the legal thriller genre in which he has established himself. Narrated through the eyes of the seven year-old Luke Chandelier, the story comes with pictorial descriptions of the cotton harvesting season. Arkansas, called the Natural State, is depicted with picture perfect sceneries throughout the moving tale.


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