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News of: Tuesday, 14th of September, 2010

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Blacklisted firm gets repair work

A blacklisted Chinese firm has been selected for repairing the cracks on the Bangabandhu Multipurpose Bridge.

HC pulls for environment

The High Court has declared illegal the construction of ship breaking yards at costal green belts of Sonaichhari in Chittagong as they “cause environmental degradation and damage to human lives”.

Hasina alerts govt high-ups

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday alerted her cabinet colleagues that the opposition might try to destabilise the country within the next couple of months in a bid to foil the upcoming trials of war criminals, according to highly placed government sources.

Big earthquake risk, little preparedness

Most essential buildings for providing earthquake victims with support, shelter and treatment are still vulnerable to moderate tremors indicating the authorities will be in real trouble after a disaster.

BB buys 10 tonnes of gold from IMF

Bangladesh Bank purchased 10 tonnes of gold from the International Monetary Fund on September 9. The $403-million purchase brings the value of BB's gold holdings up to 5.5 percent of total reserves.

Road crashes kill 63 in five days

At least 63 people, including two police sub-inspectors, were killed and 203 others injured in more than 32 road accidents across the country in the last five days.

4 of a family die in boat capsize

Four members of a family died in a boat capsize at a beel at East Deulbhog village under Srinagar upazila of the district in the early hours of yesterday.

Post of tax ombudsman set to go

The government yesterday approved the draft of the 2010 Tax Ombudsman (Abolition) Bill to scrap the Tax Ombudsman Act, 2005.

8 robbers held after gunfight with Rab

Two robbers were bullet hit during a gun battle between a Rab team and a gang of bandits at Kurarghat in the city's Kamrangirchar on Friday.

Eid-ul-Fitr celebrated

The holy Eid-ul-Fitr, one of the two biggest religious festivals of the Muslims, was celebrated across the country on Saturday after a month-long fasting amid religious fervour and festivity.

Tremors jolt country

Two tremors on the eve of Eid and one on Eid day panicked people spending their holidays across the country.

4 murdered in city

Four people were murdered in separate incidents in the capital in last three days from Friday during the Eid-ul-Fitr.

Fast-track bidding for Siddhirganj

The government has decided to float a fresh fast-track tender seeking construction of 450 megawatt Siddhirganj power plant after failing to complete the tender procedure for a 300 MW project.

Govt should sit with all to cut people's sufferings

Leader of the Opposition and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Saturday said all should sit together to find a way to overcome the sufferings of people caused by the present government's failure.

Solar panels for traffic signals

The Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) considers installing solar panels at all traffic signals as the automated system often remains out of order due to frequent power cuts.

Son kills father

A father was killed by his son in the city's Mohammadpur on Sunday.

Edn policy to build awareness of graft: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Thursday said the recently announced national education policy would encourage the students to build a corruption free society.

Royal Bengal Tiger beaten to death

Villagers beat a Bengal Tiger dead at Koira upazila of Khulna on Friday.

Convicted BDR man dies in hospital

A convicted BDR man of 20 Rifle Battalion died yesterday at Thakurgaon Sadar Hospital.

Maruf placed on fresh remand

A Dhaka court on Sunday placed Maruf Raihan, accused of threatening to blow up important installations of the country and to attack the police, on a three-day fresh remand.

Turkish reform vote gets Western backing

The US and European Union have welcomed the result of the Turkish constitutional referendum.

Plane with 47 onboard crashes in Venezuela

A passenger plane carrying 47 people crashed yesterday in southeastern Venezuela, Transport Minister Francisco Garces said, adding there was no word yet about possible survivors.

Clijsters keeps US Open title

Belgium's Kim Clijsters won her second straight US Open women's title on Saturday after crushing seventh-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-1 in the most lopsided triumph in 34 years.


Seismic tremors

The earthquakes of moderate intensity on the night before Eid day and into the following day, are the latest reminders of a bigger quake that might strike us any day. Thankfully, the joy of Eid was not marred by any report of casualty or damage to property. There were three tremors within 24 hours. Earthquake experts believe that these rather minor quakes could indeed be an indicator of a seismic howler of great magnitude coming our way.

Four-lane Dhaka-Chittagong highway

It seems that the upgrading project of the most important link between the capital and the port city is being constantly hamstrung by various glitches. It speaks of the tortuous bureaucratic process that besets our development plans. Conceived in 2006, the project has not yet got off the ground even four years after the tender was floated in September 2006.


Nafees in, Ashraful out

Left-handed opener Shahriar Nafees has been recalled to the national side when the selectors announced a 14-member team for next month's five-match one-day series against New Zealand yesterday.

Shakib strikes 7 times

Shakib Al Hasan took a career-best 7 for 32 to send woeful Middlesex spinning to a remarkable 111-run defeat at Lord's on Friday last and keep Worcestershire firmly in the County Championship Division Two promotion race.

Tamim out of NZ ODIs

Tamim Iqbal will miss next month's home series against New Zealand after the opener underwent surgery on his left wrist in Australia yesterday.

Ryder replaces injured Styris

New Zealand cricket bad boy Jesse Ryder, who is on a "last chance" warning about his off-field behaviour, was Sunday included in the Black Caps squad to tour Bangladesh next month.

Abahani reach Bordoloi final

Abahani reached the final of the 58th Bordoloi Trophy beating Shilong Lajong FC 1-0 in the semifinal at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Guwahati, Assam yesterday. Veteran striker Alfaz Ahmed, who moved from Arambagh this year, scored the all important goal in the 7th minute of 2nd half of extra time to take the Sky Blues to the final.

Queen Kim keeps crown

Kim Clijsters defended her US Open title on Saturday by crushing the challenge of a shell-shocked Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-1 in just 59 minutes, the fastest final since timing records were first kept.

Strauss seals Eng win

England almost failed to make the most of captain Andrew Strauss's hundred before sealing a four-wicket win over Pakistan in the second one-day international at Headingley on Sunday.

Indian teams hit form

Indian Premier League teams flexed their muscles during the first weekend of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament in South Africa with Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore recording emphatic wins.

Argentina world champs

Argentina defeated reigning World, Olympic, European and world top-ranked Netherlands 3-1 to take their second women's field hockey World Cup here Saturday.

Rain defers Nadal quest

Rain showers on Sunday forced postponement of the US Open men's final to Monday for the third year in a row, giving Novak Djokovic a much-needed rest day before he has to face top-ranked Rafael Nadal.

'Irfan can't be excused'

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi called for the review system to be introduced into one-day internationals but saved his strongest criticism for Mohammad Irfan after another loss to England.

Alonso rules at Monza

Fernando Alonso kept alive his world championship challenge with a near-flawless drive for an emotional and exciting victory in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix, his maiden race on home soil for Ferrari.

Tweeting to be stricter

England cricket chiefs have vowed to get tough with players who "overstep the mark" on micro-blogging site Twitter following a string of controversies in recent weeks.

Tennis to make debut at CWG

With some proven champions and emerging stars in its ranks, India can hope for a medal rush when tennis makes its debut at the Commonwealth Games next month.

Blues surge clear

Chelsea maintained their perfect start to the Premier League season on Saturday as a dramatic injury time fightback saw a Wayne Rooney-less Manchester United throw away victory at Everton.

Tricky tie for Inter

The opening shots of the 2010/2011 Champions League campaign are fired this week with tricky assignments lying in wait for Inter Milan and the main pretenders to the Italian holders' coveted crown.

Barca, Milan shamed

Barcelona and AC Milan, with 10 European Cup and Champions League titles between them, suffered embarrassing defeats at the weekend as Europe's formbook was turned upside down.

Bayern fire blanks

Defending champions Bayern Munich were held to a dull goalless draw by Werder Bremen on Saturday as both sides prepared for next week's Champions League opening games with mediocre performances.


Brescia 3 (Dallamano 3, Eder 28, Caracciolo 43-pen) Palermo 2 (Pastore 22, Balzaretti 83)

Becks wants to play for England

David Beckham has not ruled out the possibility of resurrecting his England career after making a successful return from injury for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Perez plans to cover Bernabeu

Real Madrid plan to cover their famous Santiago Bernabeu stadium in the heart of the Spanish capital, the club's president Florentino Perez has said.

Deadlock over Robben

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealed Saturday there has been no resolution in the compensation fight with the Dutch football association over the World Cup injury to winger Arjen Robben.


BB takes refuge in gold

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has increased its investment in gold instead of foreign currencies to reduce risk, against a backdrop of a sharp decrease in revenue and profits from its foreign reserves.

Govt resets cash incentive for exports

Exporters can take up to $10 million in loans from the Export Development Fund (EDF), according to the finance ministry.

Bourse shakes off brief panic

Within just 15 minutes of opening on the first trading session after Eid holidays, it suffered a drop of 150 points that it recovered gradually over the remaining hours.

T-shirt exports take a hit from recession

The exports of T-shirts declined by nearly 7 percent in fiscal 2009-10 from the year before because of slumping orders in the wake of global recession.

HP to pay $1.5b for security firm

Hewlett-Packard Co announced a deal to buy security software firm ArcSight Inc for $1.5 billion in a bid by the world's top personal computer maker to cash in on growing demand for security technology.

IMF urges stimulus for jobs

The world's rich countries need to extend initiatives to boost spending and support employment to fix a "dire" labor market that could threaten entire societies, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday.

Jute price hike cheers up growers

The market prices of jute rose to

Salt growers to get loans at 4pc interest

Salt farmers in the southern coastal region will get bank loans at a subsidised rate of four percent during the farming season.

Growth for dummies

Growth is not always good for a company, as it can dilute a company's brand and destroy its value if not properly managed, argues professor Edward Hess, of the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business.

Basel eases banks' capitalisation fears

New bank capital rules agreed by global regulators brought relief to the world's banks on Monday although one of the architects said the sector would have to raise hundreds of billions of euros eventually.

Fareast Islami Ins gets senior EVP

Fareast Islami Insurance Company Ltd has appointed Apel Mahmud as senior executive vice-president (EVP), the insurer said in a statement yesterday.

Interest rate hike expected as India battles inflation

India is expected to hike interest rates this week for a fifth time in six months after a surge in industrial output strengthened the case for another dose of monetary tightening, economists say.

Vodafone plans sell-off of French assets

British mobile phone giant Vodafone is preparing to sell its multi-billion-pound stake in French telecoms company SFR as part of a strategy to focus on core markets, a report said Sunday.

Deutsche Bank chief outlines Postbank takeover plan

The head of Germany's top bank, Deutsche Bank, unveiled on Monday the strategy behind its record capital increase a day after historic new bank regulations were agreed in Basel, Switzerland.

Venezuela to compensate $650m to Holcim cement

Swiss cement giant Holcim said on Monday that Venezuela will pay 650 million dollars (507 million euros) in compensation for nationalising its Venezuelan subsidiary.

Corporate Briefs

The Board of Directors of the company has recommended 15 percent cash dividend and 25 percent stock dividend (one bonus share for every four shares) for 2009-10. The AGM will be held on October 28 (at 11:30am) at National Sports Council Bhaban in Dhaka. The record date is September 22. The company has also reported net profit of Tk 2,130.50 million, earnings per share of Tk 106.52, net asset value per share of Tk 302.50 and net operating cash flow per share of Tk (35.46), as of June 30, 2010. There was no price limit on the trading of shares yesterday following its corporate declaration.


Help build poverty-free digital Bangladesh

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday sought cooperation from all classes of the people to build a poverty-free digitally enabled golden Bangladesh as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

10 broad gauge locomotives get Ecnec nod

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Thursday approved 10 development projects involving Tk 1993 crore that includes procurement of 10 broad gauge locomotive for Bangladesh Railway.

PM returns the love

The poor rickshawpuller showed a rare love for Bangabandhu and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has responded to return the favour.

AIGP to be made probe agency chief coordinator

An additional inspector general of police will be appointed soon as the chief coordinator between prosecutors and investigators of the war crimes tribunal, said Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday.

DMCH sees surge of patients

Though almost all private and public hospitals in the capital saw a minimum rush of patients during the Eid holidays, Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) on the other hand experienced an influx of treatment seekers.

65th UNGA begins Sept 23

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will leave here for New York on September 18 to attend the 65th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) beginning September 23.

Khaleda protests move to burn Quran

Leader of the Opposition and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Friday strongly protested and condemned the threat of a Christian cleric of the United States to burn the holy Quran on the anniversary of 9/11.

Runa, Ratna, Asma meet prime minister

Three victims of Nimtoli inferno-Runa, Ratna and Asma, along with their husbands, met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Gono Bhaban yesterday evening to convey Eid greetings to her.

Help eradicate drugs, militancy: Sahara

Home Minister Sahara Khatun sought support of the print and electronic media to further improve the law and order situation by eradicating drugs, terrorism and militancy from the country.

Man kills ex-wife, then himself

A man stabbed his ex-wife to death and took his own life within minutes at Dohar in Dhaka district on Saturday.

3 missing as boat sinks

Three people went missing when a boat capsized yesterday in the river Pashur at Mongla upazila of Bagerhat district.

Ensure justice to litigants

Chief Justice Mohammad Fazlul Karim yesterday urged the judges to ensure that the litigants are not deprived of justice.

Over 275 get diarrhoea in Satkhira

Over 275 people contracted diarrhoea after consuming adulterated and poisonous food served during Iftar at Kashimari mosque in Shyamnagar upazila on September 10, according to district health department sources.

Indo-Bangla army team reaches mountain peak

A joint Bangladesh-India Army mountaineering expedition team on Saturday, the Eid day, has scaled Mount JOGIN-III peak in the Garhwal Himalaya ranges in India.

One killed in AL feud

A man was killed and some 40 others wounded in a clash between two factions of ruling Awami League at Sadardi near Bhanga upazila yesterday morning.

Youth held for ransacking temple

A youth was arrested for ransacking a temple of Hindu community at Goshailedanga in Chittagong city on Saturday night.

Heroin worth Tk 1cr seized from train

Heroin worth around Tk 1crore was seized from an inter-city train in Joypurhat yesterday.

Cabinet body okays import of 1.3 lakh tonnes of rice, wheat

Cabinet committee on purchase yesterday approved import of 1.30 lakh metric tonnes of rice and wheat.

One killed by friend

A man was stabbed to death by his friend inside a bus at Maijjyartek under Karnaphuli Police Station in the city early hours of yesterday.


Storm lashes 2 Kurigram unions on Eid day

Storm accompanied by heavy rain lashed two unions under Chilmari upazila of the district in the early hours of Eid day, damaging at least 300 houses and injuring 25 people.

200 shrimp, fish enclosures washed away in Bagerhat

More than 200 shrimp and fish enclosures in Bagerhat have been washed away as an embankment adjacent to the Bhairab River collapsed on Friday night.

2 youths, 3 children drown

Two college students and three children drowned in Sylhet and Narsingdi on Thursday and Sunday while three people went missing in river Passur in Khulna yesterday.

Ticket crisis, high fares haunt Eid returnees

Passengers, who went to observe Eid festival with the dear and near ones in the southern region, have continued suffering even during their return journey to work stations due to scarcity of tickets and high prices.

28 injured as AL men clash over sharing of 'Eid bonus'

At least 28 Awami League (AL) activists were injured as two groups of a local unit of the ruling party clashed over sharing of 'Eid bonus' sent by Magura district unit at Rajapur village under Sreepur upazila on Sunday.

Billboards having Khaleda's portrait damaged

Two billboards containing portraits of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and Secretary General Khondaker Delwar Hossain were damaged allegedly by the ruling party men at Baniajuri Bus stand beside Dhaka-Aricha highway under Ghior upazila early Sunday.

Teenage girl raped in Ctg

A teenage girl was raped at Rauzan uapzila in the district on Sunday.

4 including outlaw murdered in Pabna

At least four people including an outlawed party activist were killed at Chatmohar, Santhia, Atghoria and Santhia upazilas during the Eid vacation.

Thousands marooned, road links snapped

Flash floods hit vast areas of seven upazilas inundating dwelling houses and submerging huge aman crop in the last 24 hours ending at 6pm yesterday.

Jubo League leader, 2 others killed in Bogra

A Jubo League leader and two others were killed in separate incidents in Gabtoli, Kahalu and Sadar upazilas of the district in the last four days.

AL-BNP clash

At least 17 people were injured in a bloody clash between the activists of Awami League and BNP at Chikondi in Sadar upazila at noon yesterday.


Match fixing

There has been uproar in the cricket world that Pakistan team in recent England tour has done match fixing in the match against Australia. In that scam one Pakistani gambler has been arrested in the hotel suit of Pakistan team with a huge amount of money. It is presumed that entire deal of match fixing was supposed to be done through that gambler. Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raja Zilani vowed to bring to book the culprits of match fixing who tarnished the image of Pakistan. Match fixing is not new in the cricket world. Previous Indian Cricket Captain Mohammed Azharuddin had been implicated into the scam of match fixing. There had been voice of denouncement and condemnation from around the cricket world against this heinous act. People in India spitted at the portraits of the cricket captain in public places where those were available. Azaharuddin had been banned from cricket for life by a ruling of Indian Cricket Board once this scam had been proved. The Daily Star in its 30th August issue in the sports page quoted some foreign journalists as saying “Pakistani cricket players are after money, women and food” whenever they visit England. The Pakistan cricket captain in his immediate reaction told one cannot be implicated or prosecuted into a case without proof. It has been estimated at least 7 Pakistani cricketers will be implicated into the case of match fixing. So, arch rivals of two superpowers in this subcontinent are not free from malpractices.


Tens of thousands held without trial in Iraq jails: Amnesty

Tens of thousands of detainees are being held without trial in Iraqi prisons and face violent and psychological abuse as well as other forms of mistreatment, Amnesty International said yesterday.

China an 'important engine' for world economic recovery: Wen Jiabao

China's economy is in "good shape" and has helped power the world's recovery from the devastating financial crisis that erupted two years ago, Premier Wen Jiabao said yesterday.

S Korea to give N Korea flood aid as tensions ease

South Korea yesterday announced aid to flood-stricken North Korea and a US envoy discussed the possible resumption of nuclear disarmament talks, amid signs of a thaw in cross-border relations.

Sensitive touch for 'robot skin'

"Artificial skin" that could bring a sensitive touch to robots and prosthetic limbs, has been shown off.

Afghans ready to secure election

Afghan security forces, backed by foreign troops, are "completely prepared" to secure elections this week, the president's office said yesterday, despite soaring violence and a Taliban threat to disrupt the vote.

Rahul's Bengal visits to galvanise Congress for 2011 polls

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi will begin his second visit to West Bengal today in less than a fortnight, giving a clear signal that the party is going all-out in its preparations for next year's assembly polls in the state.

Police shoot dead 15 in Kashmir protests

Police have shot dead 15 civilians in the deadliest day in Indian-administered Kashmir since protests erupted three months ago.

South Pakistan faces new flood threat

Six weeks after the start of Pakistan's devastating floods, waters pouring into a lake in southern Pakistan are threatening several towns and forcing tens of thousands of people to flee, officials said yesterday.

BSF 'tortured' Maoist suspects

Claims that Indian paramilitary forces tortured villagers while pursuing them in the central state of Chhattisgarh are under investigation.

Taiwan to hike wage by 3.47 percent

Taiwan said yesterday that it plans to increase its minimum wage by 3.47 percent, as part of its efforts to narrow a record income gap between rich and poor.

UN, Iran clash over barred nuke inspectors

UN atomic watchdog chief Yukiya Amano expressed "great regret" yesterday at Iran's decision to bar key inspectors from the country, saying it hampered the agency's ability to investigate.

Kosovo town hit by violent riots

Ethnic Serbs and Albanians have clashed in Kosovo's divided town of Mitrovica, wounding three international peacekeepers and six locals, officials have said.

Arts & Entertainment

Nadia hits a high note

Nadia is known for her many talents dancing, acting, modelling and even directing special dance programmes. The silver screen seems to be the only medium that eludes the artist. The explanation? Nadia admits there is no definite reason behind her absence from films. Although she holds nothing against this medium of entertainment with even TV personalities directing good movies nowadays - Nadia says she is mostly attracted by TV dramas.

Painter Nurul Islam passes away

Veteran artist Nurul Islam died at his Khilgaon residence in the city on September 7. He was 77. The artist had been ailing from heart diseases.

A long musical odyssey: Bishwanath Bhattacharya

Classical artiste and music teacher Bishwanath Bhattacharya is a familiar name to local music lovers. Most of the Betar (radio) artistes in Jhenidah are his students. In fact though he is 76-years-old, he is still immersed in his practice of classical music and Nazrul Sangeet at his residence. His soulful renditions often draw neighbours to his residence.

Momtaz’s solo musical programme

Titled “Momtaz-er Kichhu Kotha Kichhu Gaan”, a solo musical programme featuring the folk diva Momtaz will be aired on the fifth day of Eid on ATN Bangla. The musical will be aired at 10:40pm. The artiste will sing four of her popular numbers at the programme. She will also share experiences about her career. Ruhina Tasmin Anu is the director of the programme.

Shabana Azmi’s part in an inspiring play

When it comes to doing something for the empowerment of women, you can always bank on activist-actress Shabana Azmi. That is why she has agreed to be part of a play to be staged here on September 17 at the call of a New York-based NGO working for emerging women leaders.

Lady Gaga wins eight MTV Video Music Awards

Lady Gaga dominated the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles taking home eight prizes including video of the year.

Chayanika’s seven plays on air this Eid

This Eid, seven plays by Chayanika Chowdhury are being aired on different TV channels.

Variety show “Eid-er Bajna Bajerey” on ATN Bangla

Variety show “Eid-er Bajna Bajerey” will be aired on the fourth day on ATN Bangla at 10:40pm. The programme will feature various skits such as a group dance by senior Japanese high officials, who live in Bangladesh at present. The Japanese team will perform a fusion dance with a Mila number. Noted magician Jewel Aich will perform some of his illusion in the show as well. The show also includes Hero's innovative dance composition with American dancer Juditha and Japanese dancer Jecinto.

Goethe-Institut Bangladesh presents ‘BETTER CLASSROOM DESIGN’

Goethe-Institut Bangladesh is holding an exhibition titled “Better Classroom Design”. The exhibition showcases the contributions for the international competition on design and architecture organised by Open Architecture Network and launched by Architecture for Humanity, according to a press release. The exhibition will showcase the need for safe, sustainable and smart classroom design.


Monetary policy: A retrospective on its effectiveness

Bangladesh Bank recently published its 10th issue of Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) covering the period July-December 2010. The practice of publishing half-yearly MPS is a welcome development because economic agents have the benefit of a preview of the policy stance for the next six months. Advance information can provide the basis for rational behaviour by all economic agents.

Monetary policy: A retrospective on its effectiveness

Bangladesh Bank recently published its 10th issue of Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) covering the period July-December 2010. The practice of publishing half-yearly MPS is a welcome development because economic agents have the benefit of a preview of the policy stance for the next six months. Advance information can provide the basis for rational behaviour by all economic agents.

Denial is no strategy

The Lancet, a reputed British medical journal, recently published a paper co-authored by Indian and British scientists on antibiotic resistance induced in certain bacteria by a gene named New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1. The Indian government maligned them. It now demands that the Indian scientists explain how they sent biological samples abroad without permission.

Establishment of rule of law

Rule of law is a much-used term among our politicians, academics, members of the so- called civil society and the public in general. Conceived in ancient Greece in 350 BC, it was defined by many people, including Plato and Aristotle, in different ways.

Bangladesh Liberation War Memorial Park in Tripura

India and Soviet Union were great friends of Bangladesh in time of need, in 1971, and the neighbouring Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya were the greatest support providers as they bore the burden of ten million refugees pouring across their borders. Tripura had a population of 1.5 million in 1971 and they alone sheltered 1.6 million of our refugees in their state!

Science & Life

Dark forces of the Universe

Dark energy is a cosmic phenomenon that mysteriously powers the accelerating expansion of the Universe. Discovered as early as early as 1998, this strange force, though invisible, makes up a staggering 72 per cent of our known Universe! Of the rest, 24 per cent is made up of “dark matter”, which is also invisible but can be detected by its gravitational pull. And as for the rest of the Universe, a measly 4 per cent is actually made up of “the stuff that makes up people, planets, stars and everything that are made up of atoms”. Scientists strongly believe that the pressure exerted by this dark energy is exactly what that pushes the Universe to expand at an ever-increasing rate. And a recent finding by an international team of astronomers, with the aid of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and European Space Agencies Very Large Telescope, concludes that, it is very likely that our Universe will expand forever. Led by Prof. Eric Jullo of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, the study findings, the details of which have been published in the August 20 issue of the journal Science, also conclude that not only the Universe will not stop growing but also eventually it would become a dead and cold wasteland with a temperature that is scientifically referred as “absolute zero”.

Search for life on Mars

Carbon-rich organic molecules, which serve as the building blocks of life, may be present on Mars after all, say scientists - challenging a widely-held notion of the Red Planet as barren.

Looking at atomic scale

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have devised a new technique -- using a sheet of carbon just one atom thick -- to visualize the structure of molecules. The technique, which was used to obtain the first direct images of how water coats surfaces at room temperature, can also be used to image a potentially unlimited number of other molecules, including antibodies and other biomolecules.

Hawking sees no divine hand

We're not certain the news reports about Stephen Hawking's new book are 100 percent accurate (and we're looking into it -- trying to get our hands on a copy of the book) but apparently Hawking has written something to the effect of this: God did not create the universe.

Lightning for energy

Why do the roiling, black clouds of a thunderstorm produce lightning? Ben Franklin and others helped prove that such lightning was discharged electricity, but what generates that electricity in such prodigious quantities? After all, storms generate millions of lightning bolts around the globe every yeareven volcanoes can get in on the act as the recent eruption of Eyjafjallajökull did when photographs captured bolts of blue in the ash cloud.

Bat bombs

These nocturnal flying mammals became part of a bizarre animal experiment during World War II. A dental surgeon upset by the Japanese attack on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor proposed attaching tiny incendiary bombs to bats. The creatures were meant to set thousands of small blazes across Japan's cities as they flew to roost beneath building roofs. But the idea floundered after receiving the green light from President Roosevelt. Many uncooperative bats simply dropped like rocks or flew away, despite the U.S. Army using as many as 6,000 of the mammals in their experiments. The U.S. Navy spent $2 million after taking over the effort, before finally giving up. Still, the bat bombs did manage to set fire to a simulated Japanese village, a U.S. Army hangar and a general's car. Nowadays, Pentagon scientists study how bat flight mechanics could inspire future aircraft designs and spy robots.

What is zero net?

Zero net is the modern strategy to regulate pollution by controlling the use of energy in constructions...

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