The Daily Star

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Sunday, May 27, 2018

News of: Saturday, 13th of November, 2010

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Front Page

CJ warns errant district judges

Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque yesterday warned district judges not to take any benefit from court head-clerks or get involved in any sort of monetary dealings with them.

Suu Kyi on cusp of freedom

Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi is on the verge of being freed from house arrest, officials in the military-ruled country said yesterday as hundreds of her supporters gathered in anticipation.

Some household items shifted

Sources in the army confirmed last night that Khaleda Zia had moved some household items from the cantonment residence in the last few days even though top BNP leaders yesterday reiterated that Khaleda would not leave.

China-US spat hobbles major progress in G20

G20 leaders vowed yesterday to avoid currency manipulation and trade protectionism, but deep differences between China and the US prevented major progress in rebalancing the skewed global economy.

Ctg steel mill worker dies

A worker died and six others were injured when a splash of melted iron fell on them at Baizeed Steel Mill in Chittagong yesterday morning.

UNDP offers support for digitisation

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is ready to support digitisation of Bangladesh's land records, population registration and criminal data, its top official said in Dhaka yesterday.

Hasina for stronger AL

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked her party grassroots-level leaders to strengthen the organisational activities and reach the benefits of development works to the doorsteps of commoners.

Eastern bypass uncertain

The fate of the Dhaka Integrated Flood Control Embankment-Eastern Bypass Road Multipurpose Project or the Eastern Bypass Project seems uncertain due to unavailability of funds nearly 13 years after it was approved.

Two killed in 'shootout'

Two people were killed in a shootout between Rapid Action Battalion personnel and alleged carjackers in Ashulia early yesterday.

Herons in danger

Poachers are indiscriminately trapping and shooting a large number of pond herons and cattle egrets in the vast marshlands of the northern region every day to satisfy the appetite of consumers in the capital.

Beggars' census on the cards

In an attempt to rehabilitate beggars and offer them a better living, the government is going to conduct a comprehensive census in the capital.

Criminals shoot Pabna contractor

A gang of criminals yesterday shot a contractor, also an activist of BNP, at Kalikapur Bazar in Pabna in a dispute over a tender.

Stalker fined Tk 5,000

A man was punished by a mobile court for stalking a woman in Nabinagar upazila headquarters yesterday.

College student kills herself

A student of Siddheswari Girls' College died while her roommate fell sick after they took poison to commit suicide at their mess in the city's West Malibagh early yesterday.

Turkish PM due today

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his spouse Emine Erdogan arrive here today on a two-day visit.

State minister for law gets threat

State Minister for Law Qamrul Islam yesterday received a threat over the cellphone to release the detained Jamaat-e-Islami leaders before Eid-ul-Azha.

BSF tortures Bangladeshi cattle trader

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) left a Bangladeshi cattle trader seriously injured, severing his two ears and nose in Kalaroa upazila of Sakhira early yesterday.

Police source hacked to death in Pabna

Unidentified criminals hacked man to death at Chak Chatiyani village of Pabna Sadar upazila yesterday.


Weeks before it turns 20, The Daily Star has moved to its own premises. So, find us at 64-65 Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue, Dhaka-1215 from now on.


Making IT available across the country

Char Kukri Mukri union of Bhola has hogged news headlines with a modernist edge. As Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina cut the digital ribbon launching information and service centres in 4501 unions with Helen Clerk, UNDP administrator and former Prime Minister New Zealand sharing the great moment from Kukri Mukri, Bangladesh has taken a stride. It has immense potentiality. We welcome the event wholeheartedly.

Children's place in the media

The study titled "Baseline Study: Children in Bangladesh News Media" said about 70 percent of the children's issues published in the newspapers was negative in nature. Moreover, newspapers cover 3 percent and TV airs 2 percent of news on children. According to the study, 'the most alarming problem in the surveyed news stories' related to issues of safety, security, protection and privacy of children.


Dhaka thru', Barisal only just

Dhaka's 79-run win over Barisal yesterday took them to the final of the National Cricket League's one-day competition, but their opponents would only be identified after authorities confirmed with the playing conditions.

ICC Cricket World Cup History

Pakistan vs West Indies
As it was early days for limited overs cricket with teams still finding their feet in the format, a lot of the matches were woefully one-sided. There was one match though, that would have had current viewers of thrill-a-minute T20 matches gnawing through their nails.

Media cricket cup is Daily Star's Destiny

In his famous play Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare observed that there is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.

Aus-BD Test series may be rescheduled

Australia's Test series in Bangladesh in April next year is likely to be rescheduled as it is clashing with the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League, according to reports.

Athletes take to field today

After a spectacular opening ceremony of the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou yesterday, athletes from different countries will lock horn today with Bangladesh opening their campaign in disciplines of shooting, weightlifting, chess, wushu and billiard.

Asian Games open with much pomp

The Asian Games opened with a spectacular water-themed gala ceremony on Friday, culminating years of planning for an event that is set to reinforce China's regional sporting dominance.

Siddikur steady at Singapore

Siddikur Rahman continued his good showing in the Barclays Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club yesterday as he finished second day at joint-fifteenth position while Australia's Adam Scott took a two-stroke lead with defending champion Ian Poulter in second before bad light cut short the day's play.

BCB U-17s win series 3-0

BCB Under-17s took the series 3-0 against the visiting CAB Under-17s as they posted a 51-run victory in the third one-dayer at the Sylhet Divisional Stadium yesterday.

City look to rebound

Manchester City assistant manager David Platt has urged his players to bounce back with victory over Birmingham after their goal-less Premier League stalemate in the Manchester derby.

All eyes on San Siro

Inter Milan coach Rafael Benitez has a huge problem ahead of Sunday's city derby against AC Milan, but he believes Argentina forward Diego Milito can be the solution.

Japan face Argentina

Guest team Japan will meet hosts Argentina in the Copa America next year while Uruguay and Mexico will repeat their 2010 World Cup group clash following Thursday's draw for the continental tournament.

Bayern aim to close gap

Defending champions Bayern Munich are hoping to have captain Mark van Bommel and playmaker Franck Ribery back on Sunday as they face Nuremberg looking to close the gap behind leaders Dortmund.

Villarreal not scared

Nilmar has vowed that Villarreal will go out and attack Barcelona when they meet on Sunday, as they seek to confirm their place in the fight for the championship.

Houllier after Makoun

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier has been sounding out Cameroon international Jean II Makoun ahead of a possible swoop for the want away Lyon midfielder in the January transfer window, reports said Friday.

Atletico deny Forlan sell offer

Atletico Madrid Thursday denied a report they had offered to sell Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan to crosstown rivals Real.

McIntosh inspires NZ

Opener Tim McIntosh struck a fine 102 to steer New Zealand to 258-4 on the first day of the second Test against India on Friday.

SA dominate Day One

Graeme Smith struck a fighting century to put South Africa on track for a big total against a hapless Pakistan attack on the opening day of the first Test here on Friday.

Nielsen still hopeful

There has been no panic or infighting in the Australia camp during the run-up to the Ashes series despite a particularly poor run of form, according to coach Tim Nielsen.

Roger sails, Novak fails

Roger Federer continued his current hot streak as the Swiss claimed a place in the quarterfinals of the Paris Masters as the final lineup for the eight-man year-end championships in London was settled Thursday.

Yousuf out of SA Test series

Pakistan suffered a major blow in their Test series against South Africa when their most experienced batsman, Mohammad Yousuf, was ruled out and was due to fly back home, team manager said Friday.

PCB not to pick 5 for WC 2011

Pakistan have provisionally agreed not to select five players for next year's World Cup on the subcontinent as they seek to come clean on match-fixing charges against some of their stars.

Warne to get his own stadium

Australian legendary spinner Shane Warne will now have a stadium named after him under a proposed multi-million dollar renovation.

Inzaghi out for season

AC Milan veteran striker Filippo Inzaghi is set to miss the rest of the season after tests on Thursday showed he had suffered a torn cruciate knee ligament and will need an operation to repair the damage.


My Bhutti Adventure

I love reading about adventurers searching for mysterious animals.

Bangladesh on right track: Helen Clark

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) administrator Helen Clark yesterday said Bangladesh is on the right track towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Rules of business main challenge

Rules of business for the Development Project Proposal (DPP) and Technical Project Proposal (TPP) is the main challenge for improved project implementation in future, said the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director in Bangladesh.

Pvt practice at BSMMU on the cards

The doctors of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) are likely to have opportunities to conduct private practices after office hours on the campus everyday afternoon, highly placed sources said yesterday.

Ensure humanitarian accountability

Speakers at a seminar stressed the need for ensuring humanitarian accountability in different development organisations for their survival.

Women seek divorce more than men, say DCC records

The incidence of divorce (dissolution of marriage) is increasing significantly in the city as 50,000 divorce-seeking petitions were recorded at the Dhaka City Corporation's (DCC) marriage and divorce section in last three months.

Digital map to save Tk 374cr a yr: Study

Digital topographic map, which is now under preparation, can save at least Tk 374 crore in a year, according to a recent study of Survey of Bangladesh (SOB), the national surveying and mapping agency.

3 held from Noakhali

Police arrested three people from Begumganj and Sudharam areas of Noakhali yesterday in connection with the theft of newsprint worth Tk 10 lakh for The Daily Star.

Uzbek urges Dhaka to identify trade barriers

Uzbekistan has proposed Bangladesh to form a joint trade commission to identify problems standing in the way of furthering trade ties and solve those, a commerce ministry statement said yesterday.

US believes in cooperation

The United State's Special Representative to Muslim Community Farah Anwar Pandith yesterday said her government believes in cooperation among all communities in the world and President Barak Obama is trying to develop relations among the communities.

Hasina for stronger AL

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked her party grassroots-level leaders to strengthen the organisational activities and reach the benefits of development works to the doorsteps of commoners.

Helen Clark meets Khaleda

Visiting UNDP Administrator Helen Clark has emphasised the continuation of Bangladesh's progress in education and health sectors.

Conduct pragmatic research on Sundarbans

Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, needs a pragmatic research to explore and conserve its existing biodiversity and other valuable resources in the wake of changing climate caused by global warming.

Expand nursing edn

Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University (DU) AAMS Arefin Siddique has urged all concerned to come forward for expansion of nursing education in the country.

Six outlaws held

Police arrested six outlaws, including a regional leader of Purba Banglar Communist Party (PBCP), Janajudhha faction, from Kishtopur village of Ataikula of the district on Thursday.

City garment factory fined over Tk 16 lakh for pollution

The Department of Environment (DOE) has fined Kimia Garment Industries Ltd (washing unit) at Baridhara in the city Tk 16.23 lakh for polluting environment.

Provide legal support to trafficking victims

Speakers at a discussion stressed the need for a standardised modern system to give legal support to the victims and survivors of trafficking.

Rajuk fails to start demolition work

Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) could not start the scheduled demolition work of the tilted seven-storey building at Kathalbagan in the city yesterday, as they failed to complete the safety measure around the building.

Accused BDR man dies in hospital

A member of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), an accused in Pilkhana mutiny case, died at Gazipur Sadar Hospital yesterday.

Mirza Fakhrul gets bail in defamation case

A Dhaka court on Thursday granted bail to BNP's Senior Joint Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir in a defamation case filed for making derogatory comments about State Minister for Law Qamrul Islam.

Under-trial prisoner dies

Mohammad Jalal, 32, a prisoner under-trial, died in the prison cell of Barisal Medical College Hospital yesterday.

Schoolboy murdered

Ashraful Haque, a student of class seven, was killed at Alimabad village in Muladi upazila early yesterday.

Invent climate-tolerant crops: Ainun Nishat

Noted climate expert Prof Ainun Nishat stressed the need for more agricultural researches to invent climate-tolerant crop varieties to address the challenges of food crisis in near future because of climate change.

Theodore calls on chiefs of three services

US Oregon State Governor Theodore (Ted) Kulongski and Commander 1st Marine Air Wing Brigadier General Beydler called on Acting Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Md Mainul Islam at Army Headquarters on Thursday.

Help challenged people

Jatiya Sangsad Deputy Speaker Shaukat Ali urged the people of all strata to extend their helping hand to the people with disability.


Task force cautions Obama on high cost

An independent task force cautioned President Barack Obama yesterday about the high cost of the Afghanistan war and said he should consider a narrow military mission if his December review finds the current strategy is not working.

UNHCR signals more fight in Myanmar

The UN refugee agency said on Friday that most of the 15,000 people who fled from Myanmar earlier this week have returned from Thailand despite renewed post-election fighting near the border.

G20 vows to 'spare no effort' for Cancun climate meeting

The world's 20 largest rich and emerging economies including China vowed Friday to "spare no effort" at upcoming climate change talks in Mexico, a year after Beijing stymied a deal in Copenhagen.

Iraq power-sharing deal frayed as Maliki named PM

A power-sharing pact that saw Nuri al-Maliki named premier-designate of Iraq looked frayed yesterday after parliament ended in disarray over claims the deal was broken just hours after being sealed.

Suicide rates soar among US veterans

The economic downturn and the trauma of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have pushed more US veterans to suicide, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said Thursday.

Oldest dino embryos unearthed

Palaeontologists have identified the oldest known dinosaur embryos, belonging to a species that lived some 190 million years ago.

Clinton-Netanyahu meeting produces no breakthrough

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held lengthy talks here Thursday but failed to break an impasse that has stalled Middle East peace negotiations.

UN appeals for aid to avoid being 'overrun'

The United Nations yesterday appealed for nearly 164 million dollars in aid to tackle cholera in Haiti and avoid being "overrun" by the growing epidemic.

Rare disease kills 260 in Sudan in one year

A rare parasitic disease has killed 260 people in southern Sudan in the past year, a figure that is threatening to double in the coming months, the World Health Organisation said on Thursday.

Obama lauds inclusive Iraq govt amid frictions

President Barack Obama praised Iraqi moves to form an "inclusive" government on Friday, but the two-day-old deal was already looking fragile after Sunni lawmakers walked out of parliament, clouding the possibilities for working with Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Russia's spies must learn from betrayal Medvedev says

President Dmitry Medvedev told Russia's once mighty spy agency yesterday to put its house in order after a senior spymaster betrayed a network of agents to the United States.

Nobel Peace Prize winners urge nuclear weapon ban

The Dalai Lama and other Nobel Peace Prize laureates from the last four decades gathered yesterday at a hotel a few miles from ground zero of the world's first atomic bomb attack to urge the end of nuclear weapons.

Bomb shows militant reach in Pakistan

Islamist militants who attacked a police facility in the heart of Pakistan's largest city were attempting to free comrades they believed were detained there, a senior minister said yesterday.

250 Congress leaders held in Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh Congress president Dhanendra Sahu and Leader of Opposition Ravindra Choubey were among the 250 Congress leaders arrested here yesterday for protesting against former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief KS Sudarshan's derogatory remarks against their party president Sonia Gandhi.

Afghanistan to sign mining MoU with India

Afghanistan will sign a memorandum of understanding with India on mining in a month, the country's mines minister, Wahidullah Shahrani, told reporters yesterday during a visit to India.

Gujarat plea against special probe rejected

In an embarrassment to the Gujarat government, the Supreme Court yesterday dismissed its plea challenging the constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) by the Gujarat High Court to probe the killing of teenager Ishrat Jahan and three others.

Nato convoy attacked by suicide car bomb in Kabul

A suicide car bomber has attacked a convoy of international troops in the Afghan capital, Kabul, the Nato-led international force, Isaf, says.

Lanka denies visas to Al-Jazeera staff

Sri Lanka has denied visas to at least three staffers of Al-Jazeera television, after the station broadcast images of bodies and execution-style killings, said to have occurred during the final weeks of the civil war against Tamil rebels last year.

Arts & Entertainment

Homage to five dance gurus

As homage to five deceased dance gurus -- Gaohar Jamil, G.A. Mannan, Altamas Ahmed, Alpana Mumtaz and Abul Kashem -- of the country, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) arranged a programme at National Music and Dance Centre auditorium of BSA on November 11.

“Mahotshab”: A major traditional festival in Magura

A three-day long programme featuring, Naam-jagya (hymns), jatrapala, mela (fair), Kabigaan (light songs in the form of questions and answers between dueling bards) and special prayers were held at Durgapur village under Magura sadar upazila to mark the “Mahotshab” (literally, grand festival) -- a longstanding tradition celebrated by the local Hindu community.

Chhayanaut’s fundraiser for Bipul Bhattacharya today

Cultural organisation and music school Chhayanaut has arranged a special musical programme to raise funds for the ailing singer Bipul Bhattacharya. The programme will be held this evening at the main auditorium, Chhayanaut Shangskriti Bhaban in Dhanmondi, Dhaka.

DU Theatre Festival ends

The weeklong 5th Dhaka University Annual Theatre Festival ended on November 11 at the TSC Auditorium on campus. On the concluding day, the Department of Drama and Dramatics, Jahangirnagar University staged “Rahu Chandaler Haar”. The festival also featured plays by Dhaka University and Rajshahi University.

Quantum of Solace

Tonight on Star Movies at 7 pm
: Action/Adventure


Police remand and judicial confession

The subject of taking accused persons to police custody on remand and obtaining judicial confessions from them has generated lot of heat and discussion and criticisms due to apparently justifiable reasons. However, it is felt that ordinary members of the public are not desirably aware of the necessity and ramifications of those two processes of law. Therefore, in the fitness of things, some discussions on these two judicial measures may serve the public interest.

Can Obama break the status quo?

India's prosperity and integrity depends on the prosperity and the integrity of Pakistan."

Stem the alarming trend

With the menacing cloud of drug abuse and drug trafficking looming large, the nation seems incapable of stemming the tide of this scourge. Reports in newspapers about kidnapping, assault and murder by addicts have captured the attention of the citizenry. The various types of drugs available in the market spell disaster for the country. And to a nation that espouses adherence to religious principle, commitment to piety, morality and strict code of puritan life, drug addiction has emerged as the dark side of our character.

It's positive approach that matters

I feel deeply privileged that Prothom Alo has asked me to write a few words on the occasion of the 12th anniversary of its publication. I would like to commend it for its fearless and constructive role in the life of the nation.

A guide to modern music

EVER been to a junior school disco? It's basically World War III with Barbie accessories.


Managing agricultural inputs for climate change adaptation

Climate change is changing most of our traditional agricultural practices as the seasonal cycle and rainfall pattern have changed, droughts have become more frequent, violent stresses of cyclones, earthquakes, prolonged floods, salt water intrusion are increasing day by day. The average temperature has increased in the summer while winter season has shortened. There are some projections about climate change that are matter of concern for Bangladesh such as: temperature would rise 1.30 C by 2030 and 2.60 C by 2070, the sea level rise would be up to three feet and a greater part of the costal area would be inundated. As a consequence 17 percent of total cultivable land would be affected. Three core people would lose their farms and homestead. Threatening the richest and most productive region of the country, sea level rise could have dramatic consequences for the economy of the country. Increased flooding from glacial melt, more intense monsoons, or more intense cyclones could also adversely affect agriculture in near term by periodically inundating much of farm land. Sea level rise under climate change would also result in saline intrusion into the river system. Several hundred thousand tons of grain production could be lost as a result of increased salinization from sea level rise. The Global Climate Risk Index 2009 showed Bangladesh as the most vulnerable to extreme weather events as a result of climate change. World Resources Institute (WRI) said, “impacts of climate variability and change cause an additional risk for agriculture”. Moreover, agricultural production is already under pressure from increasing demands for food. In this regard, the present writeup tries to find out possible alternatives of agricultural inputs to ensure expected yield of agricultural crops.

Save plankton and bio-diversity for food security

Climate is ever-changing. The past million years or so have shown a pattern of glacial advances and retreats, changes in sea levels, changes in rainfall pattern and so forth; all having tremendous impact on the living beings at the time. Nevertheless, it's different now-a-days; when climate changes, so must agriculture and, as has been observed, man, as he is conservative in his agriculture behaviour. Consequently, any rapid change of climate, in whatever direction is bound to decrease food supply. But South Asia is a region of significant importance for its rich phytoplankton, marine and coastal resources, fisheries, and bio-diversity etc. Therefore, it is high time to save phytoplankton and bio-diversity in this region including Bangladesh.

Planting a billion trees

The 'Billion Tree Campaign', the combined campaign for tree plantation by Art of Living Foundation and United Nation's Environment Programme (UNEP) has been launched in Bangladesh. Marico Bangladesh has supported the phase one of the project as part of their 'Go Green' campaign.


Musical Shakespeare

“ The man that hath no music in himself / Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds / Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils / The motions of his spirit are dull as night / And his affections dark as Erebus / Let no such men be trusted”

Utsav --- The Party

Anwar Ali is supposed to be in one of his best moods at the moment. Only a couple of hours back, he was in the midst of a roaring party. He was invited to a boubhat (post wedding lunch or dinner given in honour of the bride). The host happened to be a rich friend celebrating his nuptials at his plush, well-appointed Dhanmandi residence. As usual, Anwar enjoyed the occasion, feasting his eyes on a good number of glitzy maids. Also, he had managed to make the acquaintance of a few of those rare starry-eyed starlets. The sweetly fragrant memories of the party should be soothing Anwar's otherwise vulnerable existence for at least a week now.

The pearl in the oyster

She sings, she becomes the song, she wafts in melody
. . . and she rises, in sure degrees, to tell me she is
She is my song, she is the melody I play on the strings
Of my soul.
She is my soul, the keeper of its rhythms, the arbour
Of its wildest dreams and its purest songs.

Star Health

Diabetes: Let’s take control

Diabetes imposes life-long demands on people with diabetes and their families, who have to make a multitude of decisions related to managing diabetes. As outcomes and prevention of complications are largely based on the decisions they take, it is of paramount importance that people with diabetes receive ongoing, high-quality diabetes education that is tailored to their needs and delivered by skilled health professionals.

Diabetes drugs may help control lung cancer: study

Commonly used diabetes drugs such as metformin may help control lung cancer, and may help prevent it, U.S. researchers reported recently.

Personality type and its impact on health

Human psychology is very much diversified. Some are tense, impatient, aggressive, restless, highly ambitious and on the other hand some are relaxed, calm and quiet, less tensed.

WHO says deadly TB preventable, urges action

Health authorities worldwide must do more to combat tuberculosis, which killed an estimated 1.7 million people last year, mainly adults in their prime in Africa and Asia, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said recently.

Korea MTS offers plastic surgery, hair implantation

The Korea MTS Limited has offered state-of-the-art plastic surgery at reasonable costs for Bangladesh citizens at different hospitals in South Korea.

Strategic Issues

President Obama charms India

President Obama's three day visit with his wife Michelle from 7th November has gone down very well, according to the media. There has been a positive public response to the visit which has been covered extensively on the country's many cable TV news channels. "Delhi feels Obama's first words in India hit the right notes," read a front-page headline in the newspaper The Hindu.

Pitfalls in the political structure of Russia

NO country is free from political obstructions in the world. Likewise though outwardly today's Russia seems to be a tower of strength but in reality the political scenario is little bit different. The existence of some political realities can slow down the future development of Russia from becoming a super power. Though the realities are not so apparent but the impact of those realities can be very sturdy. The following points can draw a brief outline of the political tensions in today's Russia.

Violent protests in Germany slow nuclear waste train

Dannenberg, Germany: Protests against a train carrying nuclear waste from France to Germany erupted in violence Sunday as police wielding batons charged activists trying to halt the cargo's progress.

Star Books Review

A feel of myriad experiences

Contemporary Short Stories from Bangladesh, edited by Niaz Zaman, presents twenty five short stories by veteran and young writers felicitously translated into English by both writers and academics, which gives a glimpse into the rich array of contemporary Bangladeshi writing to the readers without access or familiarity to Bangla. What first sparks the interest of the reader is the cover sketch of Tokai by M. Rafiqun Nabi that speaks volumes about the content of the edition. The simple sketch of a little village boy in traditional clothing flying a kite in the sky while modern day skyscrapers loom large amply describes the atmosphere of most of the short stories in this collection. The stories depict an amalgam of both the rural and urban life of contemporary Bangladesh. The stories are set in both rural and urban Bangladesh. In many of the stories, the characters move between town and village or live in semi urban localities.

The world of expatriate Bangladeshis

The novel Snake Dance in Berlin, written by Ronny Noor, was co-published by Orient Black Swan of India and Parama Publishers and Distributors of Bangladesh in 2009 with an attractive cover page. It is a kaleidoscopic view of Bangladeshis who lived in Berlin during the second half of the 1970s and the first half of the 1980s. The author was a student in Berlin during that period and so gathered practical experience on the activities of the Bangladeshis there.

What more could you ask for?

The Last Man Who Knew Everything. That is one book you will want to read. It is about Thomas Young --- scholar, mathematician, philosopher, philologist, polymath and what have you. Andrew Robinson does a good job of it. Something stirs in the heart when you come across new books. And then something cracks in it when you remember you simply cannot afford to buy all those books because of the prohibitive prices that come with them. With all this twenty two per cent tax imposed on the import of books, you cannot argue with the bookseller and ask him why he cannot give you the tomes you need at prices you can afford. He too has a life and a career to plod through. Now, the queer bit here is that he is in no position to give you the book the way you want it; and you are not quite ready to spend all that money you happen to have at a given moment on that book you have been eyeing for a while.

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