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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

News of: Tuesday, 14th of December, 2010

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Huji training camp busted

The Rapid Action Battalion busted a hilltop training camp of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (Huji) in Chittagong early yesterday and held five leaders of the banned militant outfit with some training materials and explosives.

RMG protesters return to work

Production resumed in three of five units in Dhaka Export Processing Zone (EPZ) and in two units of 13 in Chittagong EPZ yesterday, as workers returned to some factories, a day after violent clashes.

Hartal good for nothing

Economic progress depends largely on political stability and harmony but hartals resulting from confrontational politics cause a haemorrhage to the national economy and inhibit faster growth, industrialists said yesterday.

Country could not care less

A shaken Shaheen Reza Noor helplessly watched the gunmen pushing his father, journalist Sirajuddin Hossain, towards a car in the small hours of December 10, 1971.

New house for Khaleda

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will move into a duplex in the city's Gulshan area on the first day of the New Year.

Italian-Thai venture gets expressway job

The communications ministry has finally selected the Italian-Thai Development Company Ltd (ITDCL) as technically responsive bidder for the proposed Dhaka Elevated Expressway (DEE).

Drive on hold for four days

The crackdown against overhead cables on city thoroughfares has been suspended for four days, allowing cable TV operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to remove their cables.

Two new mammals found

Two new species of mammals have been discovered in Bangladesh, taking the total number of mammals of the country to 124.

Government to honour '71 friends

The government has decided to honour around 500 foreign individuals and organisations that helped the nation win freedom in 1971.

Student crushed under bus wheels

A college student was crushed under the wheels of a recklessly driven bus at Bibirhat in the port city yesterday.

Int'l atomic body to back country's nuke activity

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an organisation that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, has pledged full support for the setting up of nuclear power plant in Bangladesh.

One killed in 'shootout' with Rab

An alleged criminal was killed in a “shootout” between his cohorts and Rapid Action Battalion men at Kafrul in the city early yesterday.

Driver fainted drinking tea

The Chattola Express, which moved onto a wrong track and collided head-on with Chittagong-bound Mohanagar Godhuli on December 8, had lost control as its loco master fell unconscious after taking tea at a station en route.

Iran not a rogue state

Australia is at odds with its major security ally the United States over Iran, saying it is not a "rogue state" and its nuclear weapons program is for deterrence, not attack, according to US cables released by WikiLeaks.

SC bar wants more power for HC judges

Leaders of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) yesterday decided to adopt a hard line including boycotting the chief justice's court, if he does not empower more High Court judges to hear and dispose of bail petitions.


Heightened disorder in garment sector

We are constrained to comment on the ongoing violence in the garments sector, for the second day in a row, as we are aghast at the scale of violence and lawlessness breaking out even after months since the resolution of the minimum salary issue. This was to take effect in November, 2010.

A new commission to protect rivers

We understand that draft of National River Protection Commission Act has been submitted to the Task Force on River Protection headed by the Shipping Minister and is likely to be put up for approval of the Cabinet shortly. The Act provides for establishing a commission with powers to prosecute river grabbers and encroachers.


Hosts start well

Bangladesh got their SAFF Women's Football Championship campaign off to a comfortable start with a 2-0 victory over Sri Lanka in their Group A encounter at the Cox's Bazaar Zilla Stadium yesterday.

Focus now on fine-tuning

Bangladesh signed off what is likely to be their last international engagement before next year's World Cup with a comprehensive series win over Zimbabwe, even as coach Jamie Siddons expressed his desire for more international cricket ahead of the cricket's showpiece event.

Up close with Frisk

Swedish defender and well-known female footballer Johanna Frisk was in Cox's Bazaar as a FIFA representative for the opening ceremony of the SAFF Women's Football Championship. Her trip was to encourage the women of this region to participate in football. The Daily Star Sport's Atique Anam met up with the 24-year-old three-time Swedish League Champion to discuss women's football, pay disparities, and her love for Manchester United and Michael Jackson.

Premier Cricket League delayed

The Premier Division Cricket League will not start today, as per earlier schedule, due to a problem with the grounds.

Australia do the double

The World Cup returned to England after 16 years for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1999. There were twelve teams, with three associate and nine Test nations. Bangladesh and Scotland made their World Cup debuts, while Kenya were playing their second Cup. The group divisions were the same as in 1996: two groups of six each. The big change was that in 1999, the Super Six was introduced.

V-Day sports

To mark the Victory Day, a one-day sports competition with the participation of street children, organised by Population Services and Training Centre, was held yesterday at the ground adjacent to the Kisholoy School in Mohammadpur.

Warne calls laughable

England coach Andy Flower Monday laughed off suggestions champion leg-spinner Shane Warne could make a shock Ashes comeback as Australia become increasingly desperate to find a way to win back the prized urn.

Van Zyl relies on record

India's Test series with South Africa beginning at Centurion Thursday spiced up with the home coach Corrie van Zyl reminding the visitors of their poor record here and saying that getting used to pace and bouncy conditions would not be easy.

Dan takes the blame

Dejected after the embarrassing ODI series whitewash against India, New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori on Monday said senior players, including himself, will have to take the blame for the debacle.

Ansar, BJMC reach final

Defending champions Bangladesh Ansar and re-enrolled Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) moved into the final of the Exim Bank 21st National Women's Handball Championship beating respective rivals in semifinals at the Handball Stadium yesterday.

Khaled 4th

Saifullah Khaled finished fourth in bodybuilding event of the 2nd Asian Beach Games in Mascot, Oman after he scored 40 in the final round of 85kg category.

BD win five medals in Goju-Rye karate

Bangladesh has won two silver and three bronze medals in the just concluded 3rd Asian Goju-Rye Karate Championships, which was held in Nepal from December 2 to 4.

'Those money were all mine'

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has said thousands of pounds of cash discovered by police searches of his hotel room during spot-fixing inquiries was all part of his legitimate tour allowances.

Sagar takes lone lead

National champion FM Minhazuddin Ahmed Sagar took a solo lead in the 8th Amritolal Dey international rating chess tournament at close of sixth round held in Barisal yesterday.

Jayasuriya, Vaas in WC probables

Sri Lanka picked veterans Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas in a preliminary squad for next year's World Cup.

Spurs hold off Chelsea challenge

Chelsea missed the chance to go top in the English Premier League after Didier Drogba saw a late penalty saved in a 1-1 draw away to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Milan pull clear

AC Milan went six points clear at the top of Serie A on Sunday after winning for the 10th time in 12 league games with a 3-0 success at Bologna while Lazio slumped to a last-gasp 2-1 defeat at Juventus.

Carroll assault charge dropped

Newcastle United say they are "pleased'' that an assault charge against England striker Andy Carroll has been dropped.

Racing beckons Abbondanzieri

Former Argentina and Boca Juniors goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri may have a go at car racing after retiring from soccer at the end of the Club World Cup.

Blazing Barcelona

Barcelona produced another magical display of attacking football to sweep aside Real Sociedad 5-0 and return to the La Liga summit on Sunday.

Neuer Schalke's hero

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was the hero for Champions League last 16 qualifiers Schalke on Sunday as his second-half penalty save sealed his side's 1-0 win at Mainz.

Adriano voted worst again

AS Roma striker Adriano won Italy's infamous Golden Bin award for a third time on Monday after again being voted Serie A's worst player by fans.

Estudiantes Argentine champs

Estudiantes won their fifth Argentine league title on Sunday after beating Arsenal 2-0 with Uruguayan international Hernan Rodrigo Lopez scoring both goals.

Charlton greets Chilean miners

Manchester United and England football great Sir Bobby Charlton welcomed the Chilean miners who were trapped underground for two months to Old Trafford on Sunday.


Regulator doubles share credit

The stockmarket regulator yesterday doubled the ratio of share credit in an effort to increase liquidity flow in the market.

New committee to tackle RMG unrest

The government will form a tripartite steering committee to tackle the unrest among the garment workers and oversee the implementation of their new wage structure, said the state minister for labour and employment yesterday.

Destiny takes over Best Air

Destiny Group has bought off 80 percent stakes in the troubled Best Air for Tk 150 crore, said a top official of the local airline yesterday.

Barua sees foul play in RMG sector

The industries minister here yesterday termed the violence in different factories of Chittagong Export Pro-cessing Zone (CEPZ) on Saturday and Sunday as premeditated.

DCCI urges efforts to fix infrastructure

Bangladesh will have to fix its infrastructure in the next four years to make use of global companies' China-plus 1 investment strategy, a chamber leader said yesterday.

Unbanked to get financial services

bKash Ltd -- a joint venture company between BRAC Bank, Bangladesh, and Money in Motion LLC, USA -- signed an agreement with ShoreBank International, an international consulting firm, to provide financial services through an extensive network of community-based agents and existing technologies, including mobile phones.

LankaBangla joins Bloomberg terminal

LankaBangla Securities Limited became the first stockbroker to use a Bloomberg terminal to reach global investors and provide them information on Bangladesh's capital market.

Novo Nordisk high-ups due in Dhaka

Three high officials of Novo Nordisk are scheduled to arrive in Dhaka tomorrow to take part in a two-day event, says a statement.

China-Norway deal signed

Despite a row between Beijing and Oslo over the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to a jailed Chinese dissident, trade ties appear to be intact as a Chinese oil firm signed a deal with Norway's Statoil.

Bankers asked to finance tourism

Speakers at a daylong refreshers training course have asked the branch level bankers to put in their best efforts to resist money laundering and finance tourism for the sake of freeing the nation from various social crimes.

Ramco Systems to enter Bangladesh

Software and service provider Ramco Systems of India seeks a slice of a burgeoning market in Bangladesh with a view to tapping business from the public, power and banking sectors.

Mixed optimism

With the Doha Round multilateral trade negotiations, under the World Trade Organisation, entering its 10th year, stakeholders are pushing hard to conclude the deal within 2011.

Uncertainty over South Korean economy: central bank

South Korea's economy faces "considerable" uncertainty next year following North Korea's artillery attack and due to the eurozone's debt problems, the central bank chief said Monday.

Dubai economy to bounce 4pc in 2011: StanChart

Dubai's economy is expected to bounce 4.0 percent next year as it recovers from a recession that struck in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis, Standard Chartered bank said Sunday.

Grocery chain A&P files for bankruptcy

Grocery store chain Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co filed for bankruptcy on Sunday, drained of cash by tough competition and a sluggish economic recovery.

Reckitt Benckiser to buy Paras for 32.6b rupees

British consumer goods firm Reckitt Benckiser agreed to buy privately-held Indian company Paras Pharmaceuticals for about $726 million, to boost its operations in a fast-growing healthcare market.

Oil rises

New York oil prices rose above 88 dollars in quiet Asian trade on Monday owing to a narrower US trade deficit and a blizzard sweeping across the American midwest, analysts said.

Corporate Briefs

The company's Board of Directors has recommended 20 percent stock dividend for all shareholders and 10 percent cash dividend only for general shareholders for the year ended on June 30, 2010. The AGM will be held on December 29 (at 12noon) at White House Hotel in Dhaka. The record date is December 19. The company has also reported net profit of Tk 12.68 million, earnings per share of Tk 56.11, net asset value per share of Tk 2,588.00 and net operating cash flow per share of Tk 56.56 for the year ended on June 30 against Tk 10.32 million, Tk 45.67, Tk 2,547 and Tk (152.02) respectively for the same the-year-ago period. There will be no price limit on the trading of shares yesterday following its corporate declaration. Share trading of the company will be allowed only on the spot market and block/odd lot transactions will also be settled as per spot settlement cycle with cum benefit from yesterday to Wednesday. Trading will remain suspended on December 19, the record date.


HC starts hearing on Bela petition

The High Court yesterday started hearing a petition filed by Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela) seeking its directives on the government to frame specific rules over the import of ships for scrapping in accordance with HC guidelines.

Eminent Pak citizens hail war crimes trial

Several eminent Pakistani citizens welcomed initiatives to try 1971 war criminals as the nation observes with grief the Intellectuals Martyred Day today.

2.5 lakh buildings extremely vulnerable to earthquake

At least 2.5 lakh buildings of the country are extremely vulnerable to earthquake and tsunami, said Food and Disaster Minister Abdur Razzaque yesterday.

Govt gets 24 days more for hearing

The High Court yesterday allowed the government 24 days to prepare for hearing of the writ petition that challenged the martial law trial and execution of Col Abu Taher in 1976.

Programmes to observe Martyred Intellectuals Day today

The country pays tribute to the martyred intellectuals today on the occasion the Martyred Intellectuals Day when the collaborators of Pakistani army killed the country's prominent intellectuals and professionals in 1971.

HC order on petitions tomorrow

The High Court will pass orders tomorrow on the petitions filed by five detained leaders of Bangladesh Jamaat-e Islami for quashing the proceedings of International Crimes Tribunal against them in connection with crimes against humanity in 1971.

8 companies fined for noise pollution

The Directorate of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined eight establishments Tk 2.5 lakh for the first time in Chittagong for sound pollution.

Dental college admission test result published

Result of Bangladesh Dental Surgeons (BDS) admission test under the session 2010-11 was published yesterday.

Stop earth filling, construction in Rajshahi city water bodies

The High Court yesterday asked the government to stop earth filling and construction of all kinds of structures in the water bodies including rivers, canals, ponds and drains in Rajshahi city for next three months.

Control noise pollution

Leaders of Coalition Against Pollution (CAP) yesterday demanded involvement of traffic police in controlling noise pollution.

War Museum programme today

Liberation War Museum authority will organise a cultural programme at the premises of the museum today as a part of its weeklong programme to celebrate the victory day.

Change law to protect migrant workers' cause

With changing problems in overseas recruitment system, it has become imperative to amend the Emigration Ordinance 1982 to bring discipline in the sector, said speakers at a consultation yesterday.

Implement new pay scale

Protesting police attack on the garment workers in Dhaka and Chittagong, different rights and labour organisations yesterday reiterated the demand of implementation of the new pay scale for the workers.

Local govt polls to be acceptable: CEC

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda said the upcoming local government elections would be held in such a manner that no one could arise any question or allegation about its credibility and acceptability.

35 accused cross-examine six witnesses

Seven witnesses gave their depositions against the accused of record wing under BDR headquarters before a special court while 35 jawans cross-examined six witnesses during the hearing yesterday.

Road crashes kill 4

Four people were killed and two others injured in road accidents in Thakurgaon and Sirajganj yesterday and on Sunday.

18 alleged robbers held

DB police and Rab in separate drives arrested 18 alleged robbers from the city's Jatrabari and Uttara early yesterday.

18 alleged robbers held

DB police and Rab in separate drives arrested 18 alleged robbers from the city's Jatrabari and Uttara early yesterday.

18 alleged robbers held

DB police and Rab in separate drives arrested 18 alleged robbers from the city's Jatrabari and Uttara early yesterday.

Police reject TIB report

Bangladesh Police Service Association (BPSA) came down heavily on TIB, raising questions whether its recently published report was prepared after interviewing militant operatives or addicts.

Police reject TIB report

Bangladesh Police Service Association (BPSA) came down heavily on TIB, raising questions whether its recently published report was prepared after interviewing militant operatives or addicts.

Police reject TIB report

Bangladesh Police Service Association (BPSA) came down heavily on TIB, raising questions whether its recently published report was prepared after interviewing militant operatives or addicts.

Gulshan Club not exempted from paying income tax

Gulshan Club would have to pay income tax and submit tax return to National Board of Revenue (NBR) as a High Court bench yesterday rejected its writ petition.

DU to establish research centre on '71 genocide

Dhaka University is to establish the ''centre for genocide studies'' and the ''department of educational psychology''.

Munir, Hossain president, secy of IEB Dhaka

Engineer Munir Uddin Ahmed and Engineer Mohammad Hossain were elected the president and the general secretary of the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB), Dhaka centre, says a press release.

4 top staff arrested

Police arrested four top officials of Abdul Latif Bawani Jute Mill of city's Demra early yesterday suspecting their involvement in a fire incident that gutted three godowns of the mill Sunday night.

EC warns errant officials

The Election Commission yesterday warned election officials of stern action on failure to discharge duties properly in the mid-January municipality polls.

Free treatment on Victory Day

Japan-Bangladesh Friendship Hospital will provide free treatment during Bijoy Mela organised by private television station channel-i at Tejgaon in the city.

20 fall sick in Narayanganj

At least twenty people including pedestrians fell sick following release of toxic gas from a chemical factory at Bottola area under sadar upazila of Narayanganj yesterday.

Climate Fund: EU channels £8.5m

The European Union (EU) has contributed 8.5 million pounds to Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF) to help face climate change multiple impacts.


Keep elephants away, save the betel leaf gardens

Indigenous Khasia people living at Kailin Punjee and Aslam Punjee near a tea garden in Srimongal upazila of Moulvibazar district have appealed to the authorities concerned to stop carrying chopped trees from there by elephants to save their paan punjees (betel leaf plantations).

Aspirants file nominations for municipal election

Mayor and councillor candidates yesterday submitted nomination papers to contest the election to the municipalities scheduled for January 12 in Rajshahi division, report our correspondents.

Proper healthcare at hospitals, pvt clinics demanded

Rajshahi city people yesterday formed a human chain demanding proper healthcare services at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, other government and private hospitals and clinics and at diagnostic centres.

Death of student in road accident sparks protest in Patuakhali

Death of a female student of Patuakhali Government College in a road accident yesterday morning sparked protest in the town.

Death of student in road accident sparks protest in Patuakhali

Death of a female student of Patuakhali Government College in a road accident yesterday morning sparked protest in the town.

10 fishermen injured in pirate attack

At least 10 fishermen were injured as a gang of pirates attacked a fishing trawler in the Bay of Bengal at noon on Sunday. Of the injured five fishermen were sent to Barisal Sher-E-Bangla Medical College Hospital in critical condition.

BSF kills 1

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) shot dead a Bangladeshi cattle trader inside the Indian territory opposite to Kakdanga frontier under Kolaroa upazila on Monday.

Krishak Dal leader held

A Rab-8 team at Patuakhali camp arrested Abdur Rob Howlader, president of Bangladesh Krishak Dal district unit, also former chairman of Utbaria union parishad under Sadar upazila yesterday.

Bijoy Mela begins in Manikganj

A 15-day-long 'Muktijuddher Bijoy Mela' began at Manikganj Government Boys' High School playground in the town yesterday.

RU to remember martyrdom of 3 teachers today

Rajshahi University (RU) will recall today the sacrifices of three RU teachers who embraced martyrdom during the Liberation War .

'Name Pabna Medical College after Dr Rabbi'

The people of Pabna district have reiterated their demand for naming Pabna Medical College after the name of martyred intellectual Dr Fazle Rabbi, a glorious son of the district.

Dinajpur, Sirajganj were freed on this day

Dinajpur and its nearest upazila Biral were freed from the clutches of Pakistani occupation army on this day in 1971.


Wen Jiabao seeks delicate balance in Indo-Pak trip

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits India and Pakistan this week with the delicate task of easing Indian suspicions about China's rise while reaffirming close ties with New Delhi's rival Islamabad.

New climate battle looms in South Africa in 2011

The world's governments face a new battle in South Africa in 2011 between rich and poor about slowing climate change, buoyed by some progress in Mexico but with faded hopes for a new treaty in coming years.

Children hostages freed in French school

Masked French gendarmes detained a 17-year-old who took a class full of preschoolers hostage yesterday, releasing all the children safely after hours of tense negotiations that drew nationwide attention.

Indian parliament session ends without passing any bill

India's parliament ended its winter session yesterday without having passed a single piece of legislation, after the opposition forced adjournments for 22 business days in a row.

Assange says Pentagon plans for prosecution

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who angered Washington by releasing secret cables, said in a documentary on Sunday he faced prosecution by the United States and was disappointed with how Swedish justice had been abused.

Berlusconi appeals over confidence vote 'folly'

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has called on legislators not to jeopardise the government out of narrow political interests, as he faces votes of confidence.

'China's relations with India fragile'

Relations with India are "fragile", China's ambassador said yesterday, but the two countries can work together to emerge as a "world factory and a world office".

S Korean boat sinks in Antarctic; 22 feared dead

A South Korean fishing boat sank in the Antarctic Ocean's frigid waters yesterday, with 22 sailors feared killed in the open sea where vessels trawl for deep-water fish.

Wham's 'Last Christmas' most annoying Xmas song!!

British pop group Wham!'s 1984 hit single "Last Christmas" was voted most annoying Christmas song in a poll in Bulgaria, beating Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas," organisers said Monday.

Bomb hits Pak school bus; driver killed; 2 kids wounded

A roadside bomb exploded near a school bus in northwest Pakistan's main city yesterday, killing the driver and wounding at least two children, police said.

Indian envoy asked to remove turban in US

India's foreign ministry has expressed concern after another of its diplomats was reportedly subjected to a security search at a US airport.

Arts & Entertainment

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

A massive pile of old plasticwares in one corner of the room and a series of photos -- all zooming in on seemingly discarded items -- in various forms may seem a little strange at an exhibition. But if you get to know the message that the photographer wants to convey, this oddity will make sense.

Shohag’s ode to nature

Shilpangan Contemporary Art Gallery has organised a solo exhibition of artist Shohag Parvez. The exhibition began on December 12 and will continue till December 26.

James Cameron hopes to make a film on Indian epics

If there is anything that would convince world famous Hollywood director James Cameron to make a film in India, it would be its popular ancient epics, the “Ramayan” and the “Mahabharat”.

A rich celebration

A play was staged at the regional office premises of The Leprosy Mission International of Thakurgaon unit at Salandar village under Thakurgaon Sadar upazila on Thursday.

Lending a hand to Aila survivors

Cyclone Aila hit the coasts of Bangladesh in May 2009. The casualties and damages made the headlines then, but as time passed the hardship and woes of the Aila survivors seemed to get overlooked. But Cuppa Coffee Club in Gulshan, Dhaka brought to light the plight of Aila-victims again through its fund raising campaign.

Docu Fest-4 in the offing

The fourth instalment of Bangladesh Documentary Film Festival will be held in February next year.

Japan gets a glimpse of “1971”

Footage of director Tanvir Mokammel's yet-to-be-completed documentary on Bangladesh's Liberation War were shown recently to a deeply moved audience at the Ito Akaban Centre in Tokyo.

Documentary Al Badar on Desh TV

To mark the Martyred Intellectuals' Day, Desh TV will air a documentary titled “Al Badar” today at 4:30pm. Fakhrul Arefin Khan directs the documentary.

Hasan Imam on “Raat Biratey”

Eminent cultural personality Hasan Imam will be the guest of tonight's episode of the street show “Raat Biratey”. The programme will be aired on Banglavision at 11:30pm. Tonight's episode will also mark the Martyred Intellectuals' Day.


Segregation and settlement in Palestinian Occupied Territories

My taxi sped down the double lane highway from Tel Aviv and arrived in Jericho in the West Bank of the Palestinian Occupied Territories in just an hour. Very different from my last visit in 2006 when I was held up for 4 hours at an Israeli military post.

A hobbled Phoenix

Next year, Bangladesh celebrates its 40th year of independence. It is a good moment to pause and reflect on what has been achieved. In 1971, Bangladesh arose Phoenix-like from the ashes of civil wara new nation ravaged but full of hope. Despite the carnage and betrayed trust, Bangladeshis step by step rebuilt their economy.

Proud of Prof. Yunus

Prof. Yunus is known around the world as the “Father of Microcredit” and a Bangladeshi, and the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize was just an icing on the cake. There are many others who received Nobel Peace Prize, but their demand and glory faded as soon as the next winner was announced. But, Prof. Yunus is an exception to the norm.

Liberating politics

The present political scenario appears to be showing some ominous signs. People in general consider the present condition as politics of intolerance, which may ultimately lead us to confrontational politics as it existed before 1/11. This is certainly not congenial for moving forward to democracy.

Science & Life

Swarm intelligence in plants

They're underfoot and underappreciated. But the roots of a plant may demonstrate the remarkable wisdom of crowds just as swarms of honeybees or humans can.

Neem and all its wonders

NEEM (Scientific name- Azadirachta indica) is an evergreen medium-sized tree which can reach to a height of about 30-40 feet with spread-out branches. Its bark is moderately thick; dark grey outside and reddish inside. Neem tree is usually seen around villages and on roadsides and is considered beneficial for environment. The flowers start appearing from March until May and its fruit becomes ripe during June-August. They are greenish yellow when ripe, and usually contain only one seed.

Discovering new primes

You may think that searching for new prime numbers is a job for super-computers. However, on 13th November 1996, Frenchman Joel Armengaud discovered a new one using his humble PC. He was taking part in the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS), the brainchild of George Woltman, a computer programmer from Orlando, Florida.

New life in sunken Titanic

A never-before-seen microbe has been found in the wreck of RMS Titanic. The Halomonas titanicae bacterium was found in "rusticles", the porous and delicate icicle-like structures that form on rusting iron.

Beware of being too clean

Young people may suffer more allergies if they're overexposed to antibacterial soaps with a common ingredient, triclosan, a study indicates. The chemical is widely used in products such as antibacterial soaps, toothpaste, pens, diaper bags and medical devices. The scientists cautioned that their analysis didn't clearly determine cause-and-effect relationships. For example, some people might use more antibacterial soaps because they have more allergies, rather than the other way around. But the triclosan findings may “support the 'hygiene hypothesis,' which maintains [that] living in very clean and hygienic environments may impact our exposure to micro-organisms that are beneficial for development of the immune system,” said Allison Aiello of the University of Michigan School of Public Health, principal investigator in the study. The research also found that excess exposure to Bisphenol A, a substance found in many plastics and as a protective lining in food cans, among adults may weaken the immune system. Both chemicals are in a class of toxicants called endocrine-disrupting compounds, thought to affect health by mimicking or acting on human hormones, said the researchers. The investigators used data from 2003 to 2006 generated by a previous U.S. study known as the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They compared urinary Bisphenol A and triclosan levels with diagnosis of allergies and with levels of antibodies to the pathogen cytomegalovirusboth considered signs of immune system changes. People over age 18 with higher levels of Bisphenol A exposure had higher cytomegalovirus antibody levels, “which suggests their cell-mediated immune system may not be functioning properly,” said Erin Rees Clayton, research investigator at the school and a member of the investigative team. Researchers also found that people age 18 and under with higher levels of triclosan were more likely to report diagnosis of allergies and hay fever. There's growing concern among the scientific community and consumer groups that these endocrine-disrupting compounds are dangerous at lower levels than previously thought, some scientists said.

Source: World Science.

Easter Island mystery

Considered the other "Easter Island mystery," Rongorongo is the hieroglyphic script used by the region's early inhabitants. While no other neighboring oceanic people possessed a written language, Rongorongo appeared mysteriously in the 1700s. However, the language was lost--along with the best hopes for deciphering it--after early European colonizers banned it because of ties to the islanders' pagan roots.

What is philosopher’s wool?

The compound zinc oxide (ZnO) is called philosopher's wool. Alchemists, as part of their rituals, would burn zinc in air and collect the residue, which formed into white woolly tufts. They called it lana philosophica in Latin, meaning philosopher's wool. Zinc oxide has many uses: as white pigment in paints, component in zinc ointment for treating skin diseases, material in sun screens and sun lotions, in rubber manufacture and in photocopying products.

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