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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

News of: Saturday, 9th of October, 2010

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Front Page

Ceaseless rain paralyses life

Incessant rainfall all through the day drenched the entire country yesterday, flooding many streets and neighbourhoods of the capital, and ushering tidal surges in coastal districts.

Power crisis likely to end in 2012

A quarter of the persisting electricity crisis is likely to go by December with five new rental power projects coming into operation.

Boraigram upazila chairman killed

Awami League activists yesterday beat to death Sanaullah Noor Babu, BNP-backed chairman of Boraigram upazila, during a BNP procession in Bonpara Bazar, Natore.

Military rulers used them as weapon

Military dictators Ziaur Rahman and HM Ershad craftily used local government bodies to consolidate their power at the grassroots.

AL, BNP look for right candidates

Ahead of the municipality and union parishad elections, both the ruling and opposition high-ups have directed their grassroots leaders to start selecting “suitable” candidates to contest the polls.

Speed monitoring system by April

The government will introduce a monitoring system by next April to control vehicle speed on Dhaka-Chittagong highway in a bid to curb road accidents.

Jana Sanghati leader shot dead in Rangamati

A leader of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) was gunned down early yesterday at his Kalyanpur residence in the town allegedly by members of United People's Democratic Front (UPDF).

Ctg dockworkers attack pvt berth operators, 15 hurt

Around 15 workers of a private berth operator were injured and three port officials assaulted yesterday at Chittagong Port when dock workers protested against the handling of containers by the berth operator before fulfilling their demands.

Deals on border haat, trade this month

A business delegation led by Commerce Minister Faruk Khan will leave for New Delhi on October 20 aiming to ink a number of deals related to investment, border haat (market) and removal of trade barriers.

Jailed Chinese dissident Liu wins Nobel Peace prize

Jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo has been named the winner of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

Cops fail to arrest anyone

Police are yet to arrest the Chhatra League activists who were allegedly involved in Thursday's killing of a Jubo League leader in Moghbazar of the capital.

Victims' family members face threat

Six months into the killing of their parents, Shihab and his wife Momtaj Begum came under attack by the killers' cohorts in the city's Badda yesterday.

PM calls for promoting local arts

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called upon all concerned to be more attentive for promoting local arts and culture and take initiative to develop an “art-language” of local heritage and culture.

Teenage suicide bombers strike Karachi shrine

Two teenage suicide bombers blew themselves up at a Sufi shrine in Karachi killing nine worshippers, including two children, as Pakistan battles a new wave of Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked violence.


The off-season downpours

What appeared to be a welcome relief from sweltering heat over the last week turned problematic for the city dwellers as the rain fell alternatively in drizzles and downpours clogging city streets. But for the people of the coastal districts, it proved to be a bane rather than a blessing as the low in the Bay behind the rain caused tidal surges that inundated some 52 villages in Cox's Bazar. In Patuakhali, on the other hand, the tidal surges damaged flood protection dam washing away Aman crops in the field and fishes in the hatcheries causing huge loss to fish stock and the crops. The experience has quite upset the traditional pattern of agricultural farming which depends to a large measure on the knowledge of the farmers about the seasonal cycles. But the recent changes in that seasonal pattern, a phenomenon called 'climate change', has caught our peasants off-guard. They can no more plan their cultivation and cropping strategy ahead of the appropriate times for the different stages of the cropping seasons. Worse still, their age-old knowledge of preparedness against the vagaries of nature such as drought, downpour, floods and the seasonal storms and tornadoes -- which, too, they could predict from the movement of the winds and the clouds -- has lost its usefulness and efficacy in the face of the recent global shift in the climatic pattern. But agriculture is still the mainstay of the livelihood of 60 per cent of the population. This population, the vast majority of whom are farmers, also feed the entire nation. So, it is the turn of the nation, especially its leaders and policymakers, to provide the farmers with the scientific know-how to cope with the challenge posed by 'climate change'. The government and all other stakeholders will have to work in concert to provide the farmers with the technical know-how and resources to adapt themselves gradually to the climate change. The experiences of the successive years call for urgent steps on the part of the government to undertake such a process forthwith. Otherwise natural calamities like Aila, Nargis along with sudden floods and torrential rains will continue to deal blows to the farming community. The incessant rain over the last few days should be a wake-up call for the government to swing into action. The non-stop rain that has upset the city life will be over within a day or two as forecast by the meteorological department. But that should not make us complacent and forgetful of the bigger picture of climate change and our compulsions to face it right now.

Signs of militants regrouping

The recent arrest of a large number of militants in Bangladesh is both good and bad news. It is bad because the arrests are very clear indications that the activities of these elements have not subsided a bit, and that is only natural.


Rain wins 2nd ODI

The writing was on the wall since Thursday morning when the skies opened up so it was not a surprise when yesterday's second one-dayer between Bangladesh and New Zealand was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

Shakib agrees to lead Tigers

Shakib Al Hasan has agreed to lead the Tigers in the remaining matches of the ongoing one-day series against New Zealand.

Laxman doubtful

India kept batting hero Venkatsai Laxman under wraps ahead of the final Test against Australia which starts on Saturday, as the tourists lost bowler Doug Bollinger to injury.

Behind Jamaica's track supremacy

Despite the absence of world's two best sprinters -- Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell -- Jamaican athletics team have showed they can still dominate track and field in the XIX Commonwealth Games after Lerone Clarke won the 100m sprint gold on Thursday night.

Misbah Pak Test captain

Pakistan Friday appointed Misbahul Haq as Test captain for upcoming matches against South Africa and retained Shahid Afridi as limited-overs skipper.


Boxer Suruz Bangali was eliminated from the 69kg pre-quarter finals in the XIX Commonwealth Games when he went down against North Ireland's Patrick Gallagher at the Takatara Indoor Stadium in New Delhi yesterday.

Fed Cup deferred

Start of the Grameenphone Federation Cup 2010 has been deferred to October 10 due to incessant rain and unplayable field condition at the Birshrestha Shaheed Sepoy Mostafa Kamal Stadium.

Int'l Club Cup kabaddi

Three more teams reached the semifinals of the Meizan International Club Cup Kabaddi eliminating their rivals at the Kabaddi Stadium yesterday.

'India must open doors to Pak players'

Legendary Pakistan cricketer Wasim Akram has stated that India should open its doors to Pakistani players in the next IPL auction due early November, as this would help 'improve ties' between the two countries.

Gold rush at Games

The Commonwealth Games reaches the halfway stage of competition on Friday with the busiest day of gold medal action in prospect.

Somdev, Sania in finals

India's Somdev Devvarman pulled off the first leg of what he hopes will be an Australian double to reach the men's singles final at the Commonwealth Games tennis tournament on Friday.

Nadal, Monfils in semis

World number one Rafael Nadal cruised through to the semifinals of the Japan Open Friday, joining Frenchman Gael Monfils, who saved a match point before overcoming American Andy Roddick.

Sneijder to extend with Inter

Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder said Thursday he is set to sign a contract extension that will see him remain with European champions Inter Milan until 2015.

MU report huge losses

Manchester United on Friday reported huge losses despite an operating profit, due to the hefty interest payments on their loans.

Brazil ease past Iran

A much changed Brazil from the one that disappointed at the World Cup finals eased to a 3-0 victory over Iran in an international friendly here on Thursday.

Playmakers boost France

France coach Laurent Blanc is grappling with the configuration of his midfield prior to the visit of Romania for the Euro 2012 Group D qualifier at the Stade de France here on Saturday.

Japan stun Argentina

Japan upset a full-strength Argentina side 1-0 Friday in a historic friendly win that crowned the coaching debut of former AC Milan boss Alberto Zaccheroni.

Owen hoping for recall

Manchester United striker Michael Owen insists he is not writing off his England career.

Khedira defends Ronaldo

Germany midfielder Sami Khedira on Thursday insisted his Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo is a 'super guy' and is a world away from his stereotyped image of an arrogant player.

'WC fatigue no excuse'

Bayern Munich defender Philipp Lahm insisted Friday the defending Bundesliga champions can no longer blame their poor early season form on fatigue from the World Cup.

Dwyer a big fan of Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar's popularity transcends the boundaries of cricket as star Australian hockey player Jamie Dwyer is a big fan of the champion Indian batsman and considers him one the greatest willow-wielders of the game.


Call to share agri knowledge

Agriculturists yesterday called for stronger collaboration among the South Asian countries for exchange of the best vegetable varieties and findings of the agricultural researches to increase productivity for meeting increasing demand of nutrition.

51 educationists nominated for pvt varsities' syndicates

The government, for the first time, has included its representatives in the management of the private universities of the country to ensure monitoring over the universities.

'Include article on Dalit community in constitution'

Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement yesterday demanded inclusion of a special article in the constitution to ensure citizens' right, human dignity and social security of the Dalit community.

Climate change imperils Sundarbans: CF

Frequent flooding of the Sundarbans due to sea level rise is gradually squeezing the wildlife habitats in the world's largest mangrove forest, says conservator of forests.

Village Rain

For city-dwellers, the prospect of getting caught in a downpour in the countryside, far from the nearest shelter, can be daunting. For me it was a memorable experience.

'Save Buriganga, Shitalakhya rivers'

Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa) and Nirbhik (Narayanganj) yesterday demanded a pollution-free Buriganga and Shitalakhya rivers and appealed to save the rivers from encroachment.

Khaleda to address Sirajganj rally Monday

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will address a student rally on Monday at Ullapara upazila in Sirajganj district. Chhatra Dal is organising the rally to mark the Shahid Jihad Day.

AL leader killed in Tangail

A local Awami League leader was killed at Kalihati upazila of Tangail yesterday morning.

Santinekatan may be listed as world heritage

A Unesco delegation has wrapped up a two-day visit to Santinekatan in West Bengal state to assess whether Rabindranath Tagore's abode of peace, which also hosts Visva Bharati University, could be listed as a world heritage site, officials said yesterday.

Osmani airport to get refueling facilities

Initiatives have been taken to launch aircraft refueling facilities at the Sylhet Osmani International Airport to enable foreign airlines to operate on flights to Sylhet.

Stop interfering in dev plans

Speakers at a programme called for stopping the World Bank's interfering in climate fund management and five-year development plan of Bangladesh.

Fire burns Ruet auditorium

Fire incinerated the entire interior of the central auditorium of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) yesterday.

HC asks govt to tell about compensation

The High Court (HC) issued a rule upon the government to explain within three weeks why it should not be directed to pay compensation to Prof Muntasir Mamun for arresting him during the BNP-led government.

Man commits suicide after killing wife

A man committed suicide after killing his wife in Noapara of Abhaynagar upazila of Jessore on Thursday night.

BBC journo Kallol's father dies

Mohammad Abdul Aziz Miah, father of BBC journalist Kadir Kallol, passed away here yesterday. He was 67.

Criminals now attack son, daughter-in-law

Six months into the killing of their parents, Shihab and his wife Momtaj Begum came under attack by the killers' cohorts in the city's Badda yesterday.

Death toll rises to 10

Another person died at the Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital after being burnt in the Wednesday's chemical factory fire in South Jatrabari.

Jubo League man shot in city

A ward level Jubo League leader was wounded after extortionists shot him at Kotwali in the city yesterday.


Climate talks impasse on rich nations: China

China said rich nations must vow greater cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and warned of lost trust in talks over a climate change deal, while rich countries accused Beijing of under cutting progress.

Pakistan's ISI, a hidden, frustrating power for US

Top US defense officials are concerned some elements of Pakistan's main spy agency may be interacting improperly with the Taliban and other insurgent groups, said a Pentagon spokesman.

Hungary sludge almost the size of Gulf spill

The mighty Danube was apparently absorbing Hungary's massive toxic red sludge spill with little immediate harm, officials reported yesterday -- even though the amount of caustic slurry spewed over the western part of the country was nearly as great as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Democrats see glimmers of hope in election gloom

With only weeks left in the campaign, some staggering Democrats have jumped back into contention in congressional and gubernatorial races around the country, giving the party glimmers of hope that Election Day won't also be doomsday.

Afghan security contractors fund Taliban: US Senate

Heavy US reliance on private security in Afghanistan has helped to line the pockets of the Taliban, a US Senate report says.

Governor among 20 dead in Afghan mosque blast

A provincial governor and at least 19 other people were killed by a massive bomb blast inside a packed mosque during Friday prayers in northern Afghanistan, where insurgents have stepped up violence amid intensified Nato-Afghan military operations.

Abbas seeks Arab League backing

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, is set to present his case to the Arab League for suspending peace talks with Israel until it extends a moratorium on illegal settlement construction.

Top Obama nat'l security aide resigns

President Barack Obama's national security advisor James Jones is retiring and will be replaced by hard-charging deputy Tom Donilon, in a new shake-up yesterday of key White House staff portfolios.

Supreme Court to hold hearing on October 18

Myanmar's Supreme Court announced yesterday that it would hold a hearing on October 18 on detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's latest appeal against her house arrest.

US sheds 95,000 jobs amid govt downsizing

The US economy unexpectedly shed 95,000 non-farm jobs in September and unemployment remained stuck at 9.6 percent, government data showed Friday, highlighting the sluggish recovery ahead of key mid-term elections.

United Arab Emirates will not ban Blackberries

The United Arab Emirates has said it will not go ahead with plans to ban Blackberry services, following talks with maker Research in Motion.

20 detained in Beijing for celebrating Nobel to Liu

Police in the Chinese capital detained at least 20 human rights activists who were celebrating yesterday's award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the jailed dissident writer Liu Xiaobo, one of the activists said.

Three parties meet, discuss a formula

Unfazed by plans of others to approach the Supreme Court, three main parties in the Ayodhya title suits yesterday came together for the first time on a public platform and discussed a formula for a negotiated settlement.

French court approves veil ban

France's highest court has approved a law banning full-facial veils in public - with the exception of mosques - eliminating the last hurdle for the ban.

N Korean official confirms heir's succession

A senior North Korean official has given the first public confirmation that the youngest son of veteran leader Kim Jong-Il will succeed his father, The Associated Press reported yesterday.

Int'l Court orders restart of Congo warlord's trial

The International Criminal Court yesterday ordered the resumption of the war crimes trial of Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga, stalled since July, and reversed an order to free him.

UK Labour leader names shadow cabinet team

Ed Miliband, the new leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, unveiled his shadow cabinet team yesterday, handing ex-home secretary Alan Johnson the key finance brief in a surprise move.

Arts & Entertainment

Concert and film screening for Bipul Bhattacharya

Shadhin Bangla Betar Kendro singer, and one of the artistes featured in the film “Muktir Gaan”, Bipul Bhattacharya has been ailing from lung cancer and it is not possible for him to continue medical treatment unless additional funds are raised. In this regard, a fundraising concert and screening of “Muktir Gaan” have been organised by singer Shaheen Samad and filmmaker Tareque Masud on behalf of the “Muktir Gaan” team. The concert and screening will be held this Monday (October 11) at 5 pm at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Central Public Library, Shahbagh in Dhaka, according to a press release.

Veteran singer Mohammad Ali Siddiqui critically ill

Mohammad Ali Siddiqui -- popular playback singer and music director of the 1960s and '70s -- is critically ill. At present, the artiste is being treated at LabAid Specialised Hospital in the city, under Dr. Ashraf Ali.

Generating awareness on minority rights with a play

“Handi Kutum”, a play that aims to generate awareness on the rights of indigenous people and dalit, was staged at different villages under Sadar and Pirgonj upazila of Thakurgaon last Tuesday and Wednesday.

Boikuntho, group of reciters, turns 24

Boikuntho -- an organisation of reciters -- celebrates its 24th anniversary this year. On the occasion, the organisation arranged a three-day programme highlighting recitation, titled “Joog Jog Joog”, at the Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium, Central Public Library, in Dhaka.

All for the love of reading

Events like book fairs play an important role in generating interest in books, developing reading habits and encourage new readers. Unfortunately however, most major book fairs are held in the capital while readers in other parts of the country remain sidelined. Reputed publication houses should expand on the divisional and district levels to encourage the national reading habit -- speakers at the opening of a book fair, organised by the publication house 'Oitijhyo', said. The programme was held at the premises of Sylhet Press Club on Thursday.

Pirate Johnny Depp makes surprise school visit

Hollywood star Johnny Depp has made an unannounced visit to a London primary school after receiving a letter from one of its pupils.

Gypsy days

Suraj Bhopa is a folk healer and musician from village Nanglimega, Alwar district, Rajasthan, North India. He plays the ravan hatha, an ancient Indian musical instrument, and sings ballads to earn a living. “It's a very hard life and I am in grave financial difficulties. We move around so much that the children cannot go to school most of the time,” he laments.


The indefensible desperation

The pathetic recurrent reality of extra-judicial killing has once again attracted attention and, thus, The Daily Star editorial concern on such aberration comes as no surprise. The question that should engage thinking minds is, shall such deviation continue to be a part of our law enforcement culture? Alternately, one could ask as to how we have arrived at a situation wherein it is becoming extremely difficult to de-link a lawful outfit from an unlawful practice.

Future hangs in balance

No doubt, there has been peace and tranquillity in India after the judgment on the Babri masjid-Ram janambhoomi dispute. No untoward incident has taken place in the country. But the credit for this must go to the Muslims who, although generally sullen, have abided by their earlier declaration that they would accept the court's decision and go to the Supreme Court if they felt aggrieved. And they have declared that they will go in for an appeal.

Governing in crisis proves the mettle of leadership

Ominous crises of mythic proportions have taken hold over the country, breaking down hopes and aspirations of the people. Foremost among them is the simmering political crisis. The administration, leaders of political parties and their operators do not act on the basis of rational discussion and orderly action. The rule of reason or a consensus seems to be an illusion. They continue to be the guiding spirit in newspapers, public speeches of the leaders and seminars.

Developing democratic culture

If Bangladesh has to establish democracy quickly its major parties, the AL and the BNP, will have to work together to make amendments in the constitution and the election procedures. Without such an effort the present negative practices in its democracy may continue and the common people will never be able to see establishment of a true democracy in Bangladesh.

The day I lost my computer

Many people tell you to make back-up copies of your computer files. Don't listen to them. I did, and this is what happened.


Bringing back the green cover

Bangladesh has lost her last stadium size forest'- this may be a newspaper headline after few decades. The forces of over-population are invading the natural habitats, hastening the demise of the forests. During the past 40 years, close to 70 percent of the forest coverage has been cut down -- more than in the whole of previous 250 years since the British colonization began. Due to high population density and sharply skewed distribution of land, the forest resources are overexploited.

Car dependency: Contemplating way out

Over the course of the 20th century, the automobile rapidly developed from an expensive toy for the rich into the de facto standard for passenger transport. The development of the automobile built upon the transport revolution started by railways, and like the railways, it introduced sweeping changes in infrastructure, manufacturing and legislation. The wide reaching effects of automobiles on everyday life, however, have been a subject of much controversy. Proponents on one end of the spectrum claim the car is a marvel of technology that has brought about unprecedented prosperity, while opponents on the other end claim it leads to a mode of urban and suburban planning that discourages walking and human interaction, uses large amounts of polluting fuel, etc. In this assignment, I try to find the impacts of car dependency and the solutions.


Women and animals in Byron's life

Let us suppose for a moment, in an on-going teaching session on the English Romantic poets, a traditional teacher asks his or her learners: “Can you accurately spell out the full name of Byron?” What may be the potential responses? My present experience as a university teacher in English suggests, at least eighty per cent of them will fail to give a right answer. It is not because the name is difficult but because today, very few students have the propensity to research into writers they study in each semester. Moreover, forgetting names of writers, teachers, relatives, friends, colleagues and acquaintances is now almost endemic in casual learners. Senior English teachers will certainly bear me out that it had been customary in our time to dig out the essential details of writers' lives before their texts were taken up for explication. However, let me answer the question for those who stumble in recalling Byron's name in full. It is George Gordon Lord Byron who was the most 'flamboyant' among the British poets and is rated as a true embodiment of literary Romanticism.

For whom the bell tolls

There is a certain charm in the chime and resonance of a sounding bell. While the chime chills you with a soothing effect, the dings leave their continued and long-lasting resonance. Long-lasting, I said, not ever-lasting, did you notice? And that is because, however a sounding bell reverberates, you simply do not let yourself lost into it. In our practical lives, we are rather keen to make a meaning of all these bells around, be it in the schools or exam halls, in offices or households, of one from a Monday church or from a rickshaw at our back, simply because we know they carry actions associated with them.

The Chair

How could you make handles like these?
What's the deal with this 'sir' business of yours? Can't you see how fat I have become? Do you think I can sit with my legs clung to each other for ten straight hours!
No, Sir!
You guys lack common sense, which by the way has become so uncommon.
If these handles were a bit slimmer, I would have been able to stretch out a bit. That's what I have been trying to tell you.
Sir! The carpenter's wife has been suffering from some sort of girly sickness. He is off to Diamond Harbor … on leave for the last fifteen days.
Let him go to hell! This is not a job for old haggards anyway. Do you know that three-fourths of a working man's life are spent in his office chair? Is it too much to ask for a boss to ask for a comfortable chair?
Sir, I will return in another two weeks, and cut these handles down to size.
Thank you. You don't have toby that time fungi will grow in my crotch. Please leave.
Big Boss presses his calling bell. Haripad appears.
What's the deal with you guys?
What 'Sir'? For how many days do you think I need to strive for a single chair? The chair for an officer is everything. He does things sitting in his chair, and if that chair is not okay nothing is okay. You can't even fix that chair. See…

Star Health

Poor suffer the most from mental illness

WHO estimates that more than 75 percent people with mental, neurological and substance use disorders living in developing countries do not receive any treatment or care due to lack of services in primary level although inexpensive and effective treatment can be implemented

Altering attitude to fight stigma in mental illness

Mental illness can be called the invisible illness. Often, the only way to know whether someone received a diagnosis with a mental illness is if they tell you. Having someone in the family mentally sick or being oneself with any psychiatric disorder is still stigmatised.

IVF pioneer wins medicine Nobel prize

British physiologist Robert Edwards, whose work led to the first test-tube baby, won the 2010 Nobel prize for medicine, the prize-awarding institute announced recently. Sweden's Karolinska Institute lauded Edwards, 85, for bringing joy and hope to the more than 10 percent of couples worldwide who suffer from infertility.

Palliative care: The right to relief

The concept itself is relatively new in Bangladesh. In short, ‘Palliative care’ means ‘taking care of patients suffering from pain for a long time’. Any patient suffering from intense pain like cancer to renal diseases or paralysis requiring long term care can get benefit from this. The objective of this is to improve the quality of life and render living acceptable.

Morning sickness may signal healthier pregnancy

New research confirms that women plagued by morning sickness in early pregnancy are less likely to miscarry. But women who do not experience nausea and vomiting during their first trimester should not be alarmed, Dr Ronna L Chan of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of the study's authors, told. "Not all pregnant women who go on to have successful pregnancies experience nausea and vomiting early on or at all. In addition, pregnancy symptoms can vary from one pregnancy to the next, even for the same woman."

Strategic Issues

Indo-Bangladesh relations: the importance of perception

The excitement spun by the Bangladesh government about a paradigm shift in Bangladesh-India relations following Sheikh Hasina's state visit to India in January is receding. The promises made by India have either been slow in coming or where given, the Indian concessions have not been properly reflected in the media, particularly in Bangladesh.

Muslims and the contemporary challenge

When the Egyptian-born theologian, Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, died on 18 October 1505 it is said that, “his reputation as a scholar and the aura of godliness which were already his during his lifetime, then reached their zenith; his clothes were bought as if they were relics.” Although he lived for only sixty years, a 1983 study credits him with the authorship of 981 works the central message of which was “everything is based on the Qur'an.”

Pakistan steps up nuclear construction

WASHINGTON: Pakistan appears to have stepped up construction of a new atomic reactor that could help the country produce easier-to-deliver nuclear weapons, a US research institute said Tuesday.

Taiwan faces rising China threat despite warmer ties

TAIPEI: Taiwan's vice defence minister warned that China represented an increasing threat to the island's security despite improving ties between the former bitter rivals, Taipei-based media reported Tuesday.

Star Books Review

Splendid success story in snowy Toronto

Quietly tucked away in the rather bland environs of Toronto, Canada, a high quality literary journal called Bangla Journal has been making its yearly presence felt for over a decade. The editor of the magazine, Prof. Iqbal Hasnu, is from Bangladesh but his audience is from all over the Bengali-speaking world. While many journals carry a distinct geo-national identity mark, Iqbal Hasnu has crossed these boundaries by choice and in the process has even brought closer common interests, concerns and interests of the two peoples living in Bangladesh and West Bengal. And it is bi-lingual to boot. Since its debut in 1999, first as a twice yearly and now an annual, the Bangla journal has reached a point of excellence in a mature cultural space.

The dangerous paths of love

Sparks certainly knows how to tug the reader's heart strings! A rich assortment of characters, romance, intriguing plot and mystery make The Guardian a book that is to be read by holding one's breath till the end comes. The saga continues to fill the heart with the joy of reading and excitement bubbles even long after reading the book!

The life and times of a revolutionary

Binod Bihari Chowdhury, the iconic revolutionary figure of the subcontinent, turned one hundred on 10 January this year. By all accounts yet a young man, he has produced a book called Ognijhora Dingulo (The Flaming Days) through dictation where he has deliberated on his long as well as told and untold stories of his eventful life. There is no doubt that the publication of the book will help us learn more about this centenarian figure who has observed the three phases of the evolution of the Bengali nation the British era, the Pakistan era and the present Bangladesh era and thus has made himself an erudite figure in the historical perspective.

It's all about reading

Crass commercialism seems to be taking over at Dhaka's Aziz Market. What used to be a place for books, for good conversation, could soon be a thing of the past, forced out by boutiques and beauty parlours. Ask any bookshop owner there. They will tell you they cannot cope with any more increases in rent. The boutiques and the parlours can, of course. And there's the rub. Your reading is going down. And now it is the bookstores that are an endangered species. But let us talk of reading, for now.

The Daily Star

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