The Daily Star

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

News of: Tuesday, 15th of June, 2010

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China to help build deep-sea port

China yesterday proposed to give assistance to Bangladesh for building deep-sea port in Chittagong and installing the country's first space satellite.

PM pulls for water bodies

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the state minister for housing to go ahead with the plans to protect water bodies in the capital without yielding to pressure from any quarters.

Rivals gear up for close contest

Army personnel were deployed in Chittagong City Corporation area yesterday alongside other law enforcement agencies to improve law and order and ensure enforcement of the electoral code of conduct.

Onus on govt

Urban and environment experts who witnessed an unusual loggerhead between the housing minister and land developers said Dhaka city cannot be saved unless the government deals with the developers with an iron hand.

Italy held to a draw

Shot-shy Italy needed a scrambled second-half equaliser by Daniele De Rossi to snatch a 1-1 draw with Paraguay after the South Americans had looked like pulling off a shock victory in their World Cup opener Monday.

Walking not wanted

Md Selim Miah of Paikpara, Mirpur never imagined what lay ahead for him on his way to work. He was minding his own business walking along the footpath, the next thing he knew he was struggling to escape an encounter with ghastly sewer elements.

Old city wakes up to chemical reality

Loss of 121 lives in the Nimtoli tragedy created a deep sense of insecurity among the Old Dhaka dwellers. They apprehend they are living on a bomb that could go off anytime.

Supplementary budget passed

Parliament yesterday passed a Tk 11,987-crore supplementary budget for additional spending by ministries and divisions during the outgoing fiscal year.

Govt to recover money spent on 7 killers

The foreign ministry has moved to recover Tk 21 crore from the people, who spent it on the salaries and allowances of seven convicted killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman after August 15, 1975.

Student councils mulled for primary students

The government is going to launch student councils in public primary schools to inculcate democratic norms in the children's minds.

2 firms fail to add 160MW rental power in time

Once again, the Power Development Board (PDB) failed to increase generation as planned, because of two local contractors' failure to commercially launch their costly rental power plants by the June 4 deadline.

China keen to boost political, economic ties

Visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinpeng said that his country is interested to strengthen the economic, political and other participatory relations with Bangladesh.

'Outsiders' in campaign despite ban

A number of Awami League and BNP leaders from Dhaka were seen on the campaign trail in Chittagong yesterday for two mayoral candidates of CCC polls, violating an earlier decision by the Election Commission.

Top floor of tilted building demolished

Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) yesterday demolished the top floor of a four-storey tilted building at Begunbari in the capital as part of its ongoing drive.

Clash over control of city school

At least five persons including the headmaster of a junior high school at Kafrul in the capital were injured yesterday in a clash between supporters of Awami League lawmaker from the area Kamal Ahmed Majumder, and local ward councillor of the city corporation.

Menon for probe into trade over admission

An independent investigation into the allegations of admission trade at Viqarunnisa Noon School and College can be conducted, said president of the institution's governing body Rashed Khan Menon yesterday.

ACC asked to report on case by July 15

A Dhaka court yesterday asked the Anti-Corruption Commission to submit by July 15 the probe report of a case filed against acting editor of the daily Amar Desh Mahmudur Rahman for not submitting his wealth statement.

2 'robbers' beaten to death in Buriganga

Boatmen beat to death two persons and injured another on the Buriganga when the three allegedly attempted to rob a couple late Sunday night.

Indian Khasias intrude into Tamabil border

A tension prevailed on Tamabil and Sripur borders yesterday as a few dozen Indian Khasia backed by its Border Security Force (BSF) intruded into the Bangladesh territory and forcibly ploughed three hectares of land.

BSF kills 1

Indian Border security force (BSF) shot dead a Bangladeshi cattle trader early yesterday along Fatehpur borders in Shibganj upazila of Chapainawabganj.

US discovers huge mineral deposits

US geologists have discovered nearly one trillion dollars' worth of untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, including vast reserves of copper and lithium, the New York Times reported yesterday.

Iraq's new parliament convened

Iraq's parliament convened yesterday for the first time since a March election, cloaked by heavy security a day after gunmen and suicide bombers raided the central bank in a sign of continued lawlessness and instability.

Their one last chance

A trio of crusty veterans are gearing up for one last charge at the World Cup in South Africa.


Land developers' aggressive posture

THE way the land developers tried to push forward their case, a patently untenable one, in a meeting with the state minister for housing was appalling, to say the least. They not only challenged the government decision to preserve 21 percent of the city's land as water bodies but also accused the government of influencing Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury, the head of the DAP review committee, to have the report in its favour.

Public vow to stop stalking

WE are happy to note that a public declaration was made the other day by all segments of society to put up a common front to resist the evil of eve-teasing. This was done under the aegis of the education ministry. We endorse the move and pledge our full support to the cause.


Rusty Dutch still good enough

Netherlands rarely moved out of first gear but still had far too much in the tank to leave Denmark trailing as they secured a 2-0 victory in their opening World Cup Group E match at Soccer City on Monday.

A new Germany

Three red cards, six goals, the first African triumph and a debut win were only to show for until the World Cup finally exploded to life on Sunday.

Mystery men in Brazil's way

Dunga's Brazil have often looked at a loss when trying to break down packed defences and facing the mystery men from North Korea in their opening Group G game at Ellis Park on Tuesday could be their worst nightmare.

Japan ride on Honda

Japan beat a lacklustre Cameroon 1-0 in Bloemfontein on Monday through a Keisuke Honda goal to notch their first ever World Cup victory on foreign soil.

Media Dunga's 4th opponent

Brazil coach Dunga has been accused of giving his side a fourth World Cup opponent -- the massed ranks of the country's football media.

SL-Pak opener today

Asia's Test-playing nations begin their preparations for next year's World Cup when they contest the region's top one-day prize from Tuesday.

A mouthwatering prospect

Two of the world's finest footballers were set to grace the World Cup stage here on Tuesday as Portugal open their campaign against top African hopes Ivory Coast.

All whites dreaming big

New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert is confident that his players will not be struck by first night nerves as they seek to make World Cup history against Slovakia on Tuesday.

Big boots to fill

He has something to live up, replacing Ronaldo, the "Phenomenon" who fired Brazil to glory in 2002 and broke Gerd Mueller's all-time World Cup scoring haul of 14 goals in Germany last time out.

Kim plots big upset

North Korean coach Kim Jong-Hun said on Monday he is plotting one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history when his side take on five-time champions Brazil in their opener.

Vuvuzela being toned down

Makers of the vuvuzela plastic horns that have become the talking point of the World Cup have come up with a toned-down version after a growing backlash against the din at matches.

Fouling Is Timing

France must make the right fouls at the right time to avoid being booked by pernickety World Cup referees, defender Eric Abidal said. "Referees pay more attention to detail during the first few matches and will put their hands to their pockets more easily," Abidal told reporters at France's base in Knysna, Western Cape. "It's up to us to be more intelligent and to make the right fouls when we need to."

Serbs blame everything

Serbia players could not hear their fans over the incessant din of vuvuzelas, had trouble controlling the World Cup ball and lost their concentration to give away a 'stupid' penalty and lose 1-0 to Ghana.

Ghana toast of Africa

Inspired by a sense of playing for all of Africa, Ghana's Black Stars became the first Africans to win a World Cup match on their home continent by downing Serbia 1-0 in their opener Sunday.

National Sports Awards given

The government yesterday named ten sportsmen and organisers as winners of the National Sports Awards 2009 for their outstanding contributions to the development of sports both at national and international levels.

Abahani trounce Police

Abahani recorded a massive 9-2 win over newcomers Police AC in the Green Delta Premier Division Hockey League at the Maulana Bhasani National Stadium yesterday.

It's the time to Diski

Forget famous goal celebrations such as "The Robot" by Peter Crouch and "The Dive" by Juergen Klinsmann, here comes the South African "Diski dance."

Steyn guns WI down

Fast bowler Dale Steyn starred again as South Africa secured a 163-run victory over the West Indies in the opening Test on Sunday.

Socceroos savaged back home

Australian pundits and former Socceroos lined up Monday to sink the boot into the national team following their 4-0 humiliation by Germany in Durban.

20 lead in nat'l chess

Twenty players were sharing the lead in the preliminary phase of the 36th National Chess Championship at close of the second round games at the Bangladesh Chess Federation Hall Room yesterday.

Germany hails 'dream start'

"We're going to blow you all away", screamed Bild newspaper on Monday after Germany's 4-0 humiliation of Australia in their first World Cup match in Durban.

Ronaldo hits out at vuvuzelas

Cristiano Ronaldo added his voice Sunday to the complaints about the wall of sound being made by the vuvuzela trumpets at the World Cup, protesting they disturb the players' concentration.

Rosell Barca's new chief

Barcelona's former vice chairman Sandro Rosell was Sunday elected to replace Joan Laporta as the boss of the Spanish champions, the club announced.

World Cup One Twos

Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm are not for sale, Bayern Munich sports director Christian Nerlinger said in the wake of interest from major clubs in the two.


Massive VAT reforms on cards

The government is set to undertake a massive reform programme to raise revenue income through value added taxes (VAT) next fiscal year.

Ceramics makers on expansion mode

Ceramics makers are on an expansion drive to cash in on growing demand for exports.

AB Bank to invest in Sri Lankan bank

AB Bank shares cheered up in DSE's morning trade yesterday after the bank announced a plan to make equity investment in a new Islamic bank in Sri Lanka.

DSE turnover soars to all-time high

The single-day turnover on the premier bourse touched a new high of Tk 2,440 crore yesterday.

Robi signs $100m deal with Chinese bank

China Development Bank (CDB), the largest bank for international investment and financing in China, yesterday signed a $100 million deal with Bangladesh's third largest mobile operator Robi and Chinese vendor Huawei.

Envoy Group halts production

Envoy Group yesterday suspended production in its three units, fearing a labour unrest.

Tax will set back stockmarket: CSE

The Chittagong Stock Exchange has opposed any rise in tax at source on brokerage commissions.

Barua urges easy credit for SME sector

Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday urged banks and financial institutions (FIs) to increase credit disbursement flow and simplify disbursement process for small and medium enterprise (SME) sector to ensure further economic growth.

Growth caught in the fog of stats

Growth estimates on different indicators made by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) and the Ministry of Finance (MoF) have sparked a debate -- which one is right?

A balanced budget through tax hikes

Governments in modern day economies engage in numerous social welfare and national development activities, which they finance through their income.

Emerging market telco M&A needs skill, humility

Potential buyers need to pay attention to detail and keep their egos in check to prevent regulatory and political hurdles derailing the richest-ever phase of emerging markets telecom consolidation.

Bextex, Huntsman team up

Huntsman Textile Effects will provide textile dyes, chemicals and technical service to Bextex Ltd, according to a statement released yesterday. Huntsman and Bextex have signed a partnership deal.

Knitwear sector sees glum prospect

Knitwear manufacturers predict a slump in the growth of ready-made garment (RMG) exports if the proposed budget for fiscal 2010-11 is implemented.

Container handling to go automated at Ctg port

An automated container handling system will be set up at Chittagong Port in August on a trial basis.

Premier Leasing re-elects chairman

Premier Leasing and Finance Ltd re-elected Mizanur Rahman Shelley as chairman and elected Syed Muhammad Abbdul Mannan as vic chairman, the company said in a statement.

Shops asked to close before 8pm

Power distributing companies on Sunday asked the subscribers to close shops, shopping malls and markets in the city before 8 pm to keep load- shedding at tolerable levels until the end of the World Cup in South Africa.

Corporate Briefs

Yussuf Abdullah Harun, Minhaz Mannan Emon and Silvana Masood Akbani, sponsors/directors of the bank, said they had completed buying 75,000, 25,000 and 1,04,703 shares at prevailing market price through stock exchange as announced earlier.

Oil up

Oil prices were up in Asian trade yesterday as a strengthening euro lifted the market, analysts said.

AXA in talks to sell British businesses for 3.3b euros

French insurer AXA is in talks with British rival Resolution on a 3.3-billion-euro ($4 billion) deal to sell its life insurance and savings businesses in Britain, the French company said yesterday.

Britain's Inmarsat moves into satellite phone market

Inmarsat, a leading provider of global satellite communication services, yesterday unveiled its first phone model in a bid to grab a slice of the increasingly affordable market.

China's AgBank IPO could raise $28b

Agricultural Bank of China's planned share sale could raise as much as $28 billion, putting it on course to be the world's largest initial public offering (IPO).

Europe, US interest rate hikes not expected before 2011: BIS

European and US interest rates are unlikely to rise before next year so as not to hurt a global economic recovery that is being weakened by Europe's debt crisis, the world's top central bank body said Sunday.

Standard Bank gets new exec body chief

Standard Bank has elected Harun Rashid Chowdhury as executive committee chairman, the bank said in a statement yesterday.


Thirty-one jailed

A mobile court sentenced a retired police constable to one month's imprisonment for cheating and harassing people on the BRTA office premises at Mirpur in the city yesterday, just three days after he came out of jail after serving 10 days on the same charges.

'Audacious behaviour' of Shah Alam condemned

Some eminent citizens yesterday condemned the 'audacious behaviour' of Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan alias Shah Alam with State Minister for Housing Abdul Mannan Khan at a meeting on Sunday.

Hearing on Tuku's petition adjourned

A Dhaka court yesterday for the third time adjourned till July 8 the hearing on a petition seeking attachment of properties of former army chief General (Retd) Moeen U Ahmed in a Tk 100 crore defamation case.

'Formulate coal policy to end energy crisis'

Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad yesterday urged the government to extract coal from four mines in the Rangpur division and produce coal-fired electricity to ensure adequate power supply to the region.

Statement of SCBA president, secretary is personal view

Assistant Secretary of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Moshfaqur Rahman Sabuj yesterday protested the statement made at a press conference by the president and the secretary of the bar association and said it will be considered as their personal and political opinions.

Shamim joins Betar as DG

AKM Shamim Chowdhury yesterday joined Bangladesh Betar as its director general, said an official notification of the establishment ministry.

Police hand over charge of Proshika to CEO

Pallabi Police yesterday handed over the charge of the Proshika Manabik Unnayan Kendra to its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mahbub-ul-Karim, says a press release.

Changes in fitness inspection rules

The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has brought some changes to fitness inspection regulations, allowing long-distance buses, minibuses and trucks registered in Dhaka city to have their fitness inspection done outside Dhaka.

SCBA demands release of Mahmudur

Echoing Sunday night's statement of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) said the perpetrators who tortured Mahmudur Rahman, acting editor of the daily Amar Desh, in the name of police remand would be brought to justice in future.

DCCI support for Nimtoli fire victims

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) yesterday donated medical equipment to the Burn and Plastic Surgery unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) for treatment of Nimtoli inferno victims, says a press release.

Two killed in road accidents

At least two people were killed and 30 others injured in separate road accidents in Narayanganj, Narsingdi and Kishoreganj yesterday.

BRACU Youth Festival begins June 16

Brac University will organise a youth festival titled '1st BRACU Inter-University Youth Festival' on its premises on June 16 and 17, says a press release.

'Allow Jamuna TV to air programmes'

Journalists, technicians and employees of Jamuna Television yesterday formed a human chain in front of National Press Club in the city yesterday demanding that the government immediately allow the satellite television channel to broadcast its programmes.


Tidal water floods 52 Cox's Bazar villages

More than 800 dwelling houses in 52 villages under six upazilas of the district were inundated as embankment collapsed during high tide Sunday night.

35 hurt as BCL clashes with Jamaat-Shibir

At least 35 people were injured during a clash between Jamaat-Shibir and Chhatra League activists in the town on Sunday night.

Four get life, three acquitted

A court here yesterday sentenced four people to life term imprisonment in the sensational Liton Das murder case.

Students lock two RU buildings for 4 hours

Students of different departments under social science, law and business studies faculties at Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday put two academic buildings under lock and key for four hours from 8:00am demanding cancellation of evening master's courses under the faculties.

Major punishment for a trifling mistake

A young girl is fighting for life at Faridpur Medical College and Hospital (FMCH) as another girl poured boiling milk on her person.

Magurchhara Day

The national committee for protection of oil, gas and port Moulvibazar district unit formed a human chain yesterday to demand compensation from the Occidental for Magurchhara gas well explosion. The human chain was addressed by BSD leader Maynur Rahman Magnu, CPB central presidium member Syed Abu Zafar Ahmed, Nilimesh Ghose and Mamunur Rashid Shuhel. On this day in 1997, a gas well at Chawmuhana Square in the town exploded causing a huge damage to the surrounding areas. But the US company is yet to pay necessary compensations to the victims of explosion, the speakers said.

APPs place demand

Assistant Public Prosecutors (APP) at the judge and magistrate courts here on Saturday demanded increased honorarium for moving cases on behalf of the state. At a press conference held at Rajshahi Metropolitan Press Club at noon, around 10 APPs urged the prime minister and law minister to increase their daily honorarium to Tk 1000 from Tk 200. The honorariums were not increased for the last two decades after the increase in 1991, they said. At the present rate of Tk 200 daily honorarium, we hardly get over Tk 3600 a month after payment of taxes, said an APP adding that the officials are facing hardship and difficulties in pleading the cases sincerely.

11 hurt in plaster collapse

At least 11 students were injured as plasters of the school's roof collapsed on them in Daudkandi upazila yesterday. The injured were identified as Samina, Rupa, Zakia, Amena, Suraia, Meem, Maria, Tania, Shukhi, Salma and Suravi. They were students of class V1 at Gouripur Subal Aftab High School. Sources said the incident occurred at about 11:00am when the students were attending classes. The injured were admitted to Gouripur hospital.

Two killed in Meherpur

A woman and a farmer were killed in Gangni upazila in Meherpur in separate incidents on Sunday and Monday. Of them, the farmer was murdered over a land dispute at Baniapukur village while police recovered decomposed body of an unknown woman yesterday from a field at Ghoratala. Police said Nurul Huda, 40, had a feud with one Wazzel of the same village over a piece of land. On the fateful night his rivals stabbed him to dead during an arbitration. Police recovered body of a woman, aged about 30, from Ghortala field. They suspect the woman was raped before killing.

Youth shot dead

Masked criminals stormed into a house at Bakail village in Alfadanga upazila and shot dead a young man early yesterday. A gang of five to six criminals equipped with firearms entered the house at about 3:00am breaking open the door, said Arshad Molla, an uncle of the victim. They attacked the family members and at a stage dragged Firoj Sheikh, 25, son of Atiar Sheikh to the yard and shot him dead, as he tried to resist them. Firoj succumbed to his injuries on way to the upazila health complex.

Islamic University reopens

Islamic University (IU), Kushtia reopened yesterday after eight days of closure. All halls and offices of the university have been opened while the classes will resume today. The university was closed after a clash between two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), IU unit, over forming committee on June 6. Additional police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) have been deployed on the campus to avert any untoward situation. Meanwhile, a group of BCL men led by Mahbub, a leader of a faction, ransacked a student bus of the university at Madhupur bazar on Sunday night. Police and university sources said the BCL men attacked the bus at about 9:30 pm when it was returning to Kushtia after dropping students at university.


Kyrgyz ethnic violence death toll hits 124

At least 124 people have been killed and more than 1,685 wounded in spiralling ethnic violence in the south of the ex-Soviet state of Kyrgyzstan, the health ministry said yesterday.

ICRC says Israel's Gaza blockade breaks law

Israel's blockade of Gaza is a clear violation of international humanitarian law, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said.

Hayabusa capsule recovery begins

Japanese scientists began the process yesterday of retrieving the Hayabusa capsule from the Australian Outback.

BP presents oil containment plan

Energy giant BP has presented a new plan to contain more than 50,000 barrels a day of oil gushing from a ruptured Gulf of Mexico well by the end of June, an administration official said yesterday.

Two Koreas to address UN over ship sinking

North and South Korea will address the UN Security Council separately over the deadly sinking of a South Korean naval ship in March that has raised tension on the Korean peninsula, an official said yesterday.

EU invites Iran for nuke talks

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton has written to Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili inviting him to talks as Europe plans new sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear programme.

‘Zardari, a US national, suffers from depression’

In what could probably add to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's string of troubles, a US database website has declared him as an American national.

Indian forces to break Manipur blockade

India will send paramilitary troops yesterday to end a blockade of a northeastern state by tribal groups that has cut food and medical supplies for over two months, a top official said.

Maoists 'killed' in Indian operation

Police in the north-eastern Indian state of Jharkhand say they have killed 10 Maoist rebels.

Party leaders revolt against Prachanda

A day after central office bearers of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (UCPN-M) decided that party chairman Prachanda would head the national unity government, senior leaders in the party spoke out against him.

No Pakistan victory in Orakzai despite hue and cry

It was a classic case of military hubris: when Pakistan announced it has defeated Taliban militants in one of their major bases recently, it was a far cry from reality in the volatile Orakzai region.

Many feared dead in Indian boat capsize

At least 20 people are feared drowned after a boat capsized in a river in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Kashmir shut over boy's death in anti-India protest

A strike is being observed in Indian-administered Kashmir to protest against the death of a teenager who locals say was killed by the police.

Arts & Entertainment

A theatrical ode to the ‘Baul Shamrat’

The life and songs of 'Baul Shamrat' Shah Abdul Karim (1916-2009) will soon come to stage. Theatre troupe Subachan Natya Sangsad's 33rd production “Mohajoner Nao” is based on the bard's mystical journey into the world of music. Shakur Majid, who has made a documentary “Bhatir Purush” on Abdul Karim, is the writer of the play. Sudip Chakraborty, teacher at the Department of Theatre, Dhaka University, is directing the play.

Mila tries her hand at music composition

Popstar Mila has earned a fanbase among young music lovers in the country with her unique singing and style. Her albums “Pheley Asha,” “Chapter-2” and “Re-defined” have been very popular. Recently Mila has recorded songs on FIFA World Cup 2010 and Michael Jackson. The artiste has composed the songs as well. The popstar talked about her latest project in a recent interview. Excerpts:

Celebrities on World Cup 2010

I have always been a fan of Brazil. To me, Brazil, football and Pelé are synonymous. Argentina and Maradona have played significant roles in the current football scenario as well. Among the players now, Messi is doing well. This year, some African countries could be in good positions in the end. Football is very popular in Bangladesh but without government intervention, and resolute ambition, it is impossible to reach a certain position.

‘Borsha Boron Utshab’ at Dhaka University

Bangladesh Udichi Shilpi Gosthi will arrange a programme to welcome the monsoon at Dhaka University today. Starting from 8 am at Faculty of Fine Arts premises, the programme will feature songs on monsoon, dance performances, recitation and more, says a press release.

The “useless” work of Anish Kapoor

Few artists have engaged with the public realm in recent years as convincingly as Turner Prize-winner Anish Kapoor.

“Borshaboron” on Banglavision tonight

Marking Pohela Ashar (the first day of monsoon), Banglavision will air a special programme “Borshaboron” tonight at 9:05 pm.

Pabna Drama Circle observes 29th anniversary

Pabna Drama Circle, one of the leading cultural organisations of the district, has launched a 12-day programme marking the 29th anniversary of the organisation. A colourful rally was brought out from Pabna Town Hall yesterday morning. The 12-day programme kicked off last Sunday at the organisation's office premises.

“Poush Phagun-er Pala” goes on air on ATN Bangla tonight

Drama serial “Poush Phagun-er Pala” goes on air on ATN Bangla tonight. Directed by Afsana Mimi, the first episode of the serial will be aired at 9:20 pm. The serial is an adaptation of Indian writer Gajendrakumar Moitry's trilogy of novels. Iraz Ahmed and Mansur Rahman have developed the script for the serial.


Making space in Old Dhaka

IT is time to think and talk about old Dhaka and the people living there. It is more pertinent to do so after the tragic fire incident at Nimtoli that claimed so many lives recently. We must not let it happen again. Old Dhaka is unique by every definition. It has a character of its own that can be felt only by people who continue to live there or who had lived there for at least a good number of years. New Dhaka lacks that character.

From pillar to post

GENERAL Ayub Khan, then at the helm of the Pakistan government, is believed to have told Soviet Union's Prime Minister Kosygin that if India were to come to a settlement with Sheikh Abdullah, head of the Jammu and Kashmir government at that time, Pakistan might accept the agreement. Kosygin was trying his best to span the distance between India and Pakistan, despite Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's doubts over the role of Russia, who had been supplying arms to Pakistan.

The whole nation in a labyrinth

AFTER completing my usual daily morning chores on May 21, while glancing through the heap of newspapers, a sub-editorial in The Daily Star, "A general in his labyrinth," written by a well-known columnist whose writings I always read, caught my attention.

Life must go on

NO elaborate Bengali wedding rituals took place for three days, no shehnai played raga dhun by Ustad Bismillah Khan, nor were there live musicians who sang wedding songs. Their houses were not filled with the usual ruckus associated with a house where a wedding is about to take place, nor were there multitudes of sweetmeats arranged for the guests. They had no house.

Science & Life

Does Titan support life?

OF late, extra-terrestrial civilization has gained some importance both in the realms of science and fiction. According to Hubble Telescope's observation, there are at least 6.25 billion life-supporting solar systems out there! Even the legendary theoretical physicist Dr. Stephen Hawking has voiced the possibility of much advanced extra-terrestrial civilization somewhere in this universe. Within our solar system there are indeed some strong candidates that scientists believe harbour alien life. These include Mars, Europa and now Titan, Saturn's largest moon. Two very recent findings from NASA's Cassini spacecraft, of which the details have been published in the journal Icarus and the Journal of Geophysical Research, have suggested the possibility of alien life-forms on Titan. Observations with the spacecrafts Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer and the probe's Composite Infrared Spectrometer revealed that hydrogen, produced by UV-triggered chemical reactions in the planet's atmosphere, is flowing down Titan's atmosphere and then disappearing at the surface. According to astro-biologist Chris McKay at NASA Ames Research Center, this could be a tantalizing hint that hydrogen is getting consumed by life. In his own words, “It's the obvious gas for life to consume on Titan, similar to the way we consume oxygen on Earth”. And at the same tim, another study investigating hydrocarbons on Titan's surface found out with the aid of the probe's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS), that there is big shortage of Acetylene, a chemical compound that could be consumed as food by life-forms that relies on liquid methane instead of liquid water to survive. According to Dr. McKay, “If these signs turn out to be a sign of life, it would be doubly exciting because it would represent a second form of life independent from water-based life on Earth”.

Ancient tools found under arctic ice

Warming temperatures are melting patches of ice that have been in place for thousands of years in the mountains of the Canadian High Arctic and in turn revealing a treasure trove of ancient hunting tools.

Youthful planet

New images have confirmed that a tiny point of light first photographed near the star Beta Pictoris in 2003 is indeed an orbiting planet, one of only a handful of extrasolar planets ever imaged. At a youthful 12 million years of age, the planet, which weighs the equivalent of nine Jupiters, is the youngest ever directly recorded orbiting a star, providing firm evidence that massive planets can form in a hurry.

Learning from mistakes

The following makes the third instalment of Dr. M Ali Asgar’s original article titled “Establishment of an Interactive science discovery centre in Asia-Pacific region.”

Travellers’ southward bias

People making travel plans may unwittingly heed a strange rule of thumb southern routes rule. In a new experiment, volunteers chose paths that dipped south over routes of the same distance that arched northward, perhaps because northern routes intuitively seem uphill and thus more difficult, researchers suggest.

Harnessing solar power

Every hour the sun beams onto Earth more than enough energy to satisfy global energy needs for an entire year. Solar energy is the technology used to harness the sun's energy and make it useable. Today, the technology produces less than one tenth of one percent of global energy demand.

How did spectacles originate?

Lenses are the key component of spectacles and were made even in ancient times. However, it is not known whether such lenses were used merely as ornaments or as visual aids. It was discovered around 1000 AD that a glass sphere, when placed on a surface, enlarged the contents of the surface beneath it. The first wearable eye glasses were made by an Italian, Salvino D'Armate, in the 13th century AD. Soon, they became quite popular with priests. While spectacles have undergone many design improvements since then, the credit for making spectacles with double-hinged side pieces is given to British designer James Ayscough, who made them in 1752. In 1784, American inventor Benjamin Franklin made the first bifocals.

Science events in city

1. First Abdul Jabbar Memorial Lecture by Prof. Arshad Momen, FREPD Auditorium, Palashi, 5pm, 19th June. Open for All.

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