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News of: Tuesday, 21st of December, 2010
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Two air force pilots were killed as the aircraft they were flying crashed near Barisal Airport yesterday.
A parliamentary sub-committee has recently revealed anomalies and corruption of the fire department in awarding international tenders for buying fire-fighting equipment.
An Australian company with expertise in underground coal gasification (UCG) technology has proposed to produce 400 megawatts of clean coal power from Bangladesh's unmineable coal within five years at a very low cost.
Bangladesh Ansar seeks authority to arrest anybody without warrant and believes such power would increase its efficiency in playing an effective role to ensure public safety.
Two alleged criminals were killed in “shootouts” with the Rapid Action Battalion in the capital and Tangail early yesterday.
Connectivity, trade and investment, import of electricity and transit will figure prominently in the bilateral talks between Bangladesh and Bhutan when Bhutanese prime minister will be in the capital on a five-day official visit starting January 10.
The government is working sincerely to introduce e-governance in public sectors to speed up development works, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said.
Dhaka stocks bounced back yesterday, after a steep fall on Sunday, with the key indices logging a healthy gain.
Bharti Airtel Ltd yesterday announced its new-look brand in Bangladesh with a promise of providing better services to customers.
Twelve men, aged between 17 and 28, have been arrested during a major anti-terrorist operation around 0500 GMT (11:00am BST yesterday), West Midlands Police said.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jingpin has said he looks forward to working together with Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia and her party in the future, for further strengthening relations between the BNP and the Communist Party of China (CPC).
The Election Commission declared fresh election schedules for six municipalities, which had been postponed by the High Court verdict, with the polling date for them now set for January 27.
The five Bangladeshi workers, who remain hostages of Afghan miscreants, are in good health and have been moved to Mazar-i-Sharif town in Afghanistan, foreign ministry assured.
Brazil's popular outgoing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who hands power to his political ally Dilma Rousseff in less than two weeks, said yesterday he could run for office again in 2014.
President Hamid Karzai could inaugurate Afghanistan's new parliament on January 20, officials said yesterday, after months of uncertainty triggered by widespread fraud during elections in September.
At least 16 workers were injured in a stampede as sparks from a sewing machine triggered panic at a garment factory in Jamgora, Ashulia yesterday.
Sensing public mood accurately, if perhaps a little belatedly, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has come up with words of caution for her colleagues to deliver rather than still bask in the waning sunshine of electoral victory and taken-for-granted invincibility. One cannot but be heartened by her introspectively wise counsel that the AL government now needs to act to deliver over the remainder of its tenure. It has to leave something tangible on the ground to be judged by the people.
The proposed Human Trafficking (Prevention and Protection) Act-2011 -- which has defined human trafficking as “sale or transfer of men and women by force, threats or cheating for sexual and commercial purposes or other forms of exploitation” -- also includes labour trafficking. Under the act, trafficking and related crimes will be non-bailable and non-compoundable and will be tried in speedy trial tribunals in all districts and metropolitan cities. While the initiative is commendable, implementation is another matter. The act is a broad one and enforcement must be as efficient.
The fate of the ICC World Cup tickets will be known next week as the Local Organising Committee (LOC) still could not confirm the major aspects of its sales.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president AHM Mustafa Kamal bowled a beamer on Monday against those who were rallying for the pressing issue of captaincy with the ICC World Cup 2011 just two months away.
The 2003 World Cup saw the entrance to the global stage of a lot of young players who are today at their peak, and those who have dominated the international arena. Champions Australia welcomed the monstrously athletic Andrew Symonds, who amazed crowds with huge sixes and by flying across the turf to catch and stop everything in sight. It was also the first Cup for Brett Lee and Shane Watson. Lee, one of the fastest bowlers on view and with Glenn McGrath, formed a potent opening partnership en route to becoming the second highest wicket-taker of the tournament with 22 wickets.
Swindling in the name of the World Cup has made its debut but the cheater got caught after the victims brought it to the notice of the authorities in the nick of time.
Cox's Bazar will host matches of the upcoming Bangladesh League as the league committee yesterday approved the seaside venue as the home of Chittagong Abahani.
The tension and excitement in the Bangladesh camp was palpable yesterday on the eve of today's second semifinal of the SAFF Women's Football Championship against Nepal.
India on Monday celebrated the record-breaking feats of Sachin Tendulkar after the champion batsman scored an unprecedented 50th Test century.
When Sachin Tendulkar started his Test career 21 years ago he was a wide-eyed 16-year-old who had to face up to a world-class Pakistan bowling line-up which included Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Abdul Qadir and a young Waqar Younis.
Fast bowlers Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn took a wicket apiece as South Africa completed victory by an innings and 25 runs on the fifth day of the first Test against India at SuperSport Park on Monday.
India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the first innings deficit was too much to handle and a defeat was inevitable after the visitors conceded a massive 484-run lead to South Africa in the first Test.
New Zealand installed former Test captain John Wright as Black Caps head coach Monday, handing him the formidable task of lifting the team's woeful form ahead of next year's World Cup.
The Runner Group Victory Day tennis tournament began yesterday at the National Tennis Complex with seven players advancing into the next round in men's singles.
India eased into the final of the SAFF Women's Football Championship with an comprehensive 8-0 victory over Pakistan in the first semifinal yesterday.
Woman boxers were the highlights of the daylong Victory Day boxing competition held at the Mohammad Ali Boxing Stadium yesterday.
Argentine international winger Angel di Maria scored a vital 77th minute winner as 10-man Real Madrid defeated Sevilla 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday to close to within two points of league leaders Barcelona ahead of the Christmas break.
Lazio and Napoli closed the gap on leaders AC Milan to just three points with victories Sunday but Juventus failed to keep pace as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Chievo.
A second-half equaliser by French international Mathieu Valbuena saw champions Marseille draw 1-1 with Lyon and deny the visitors top spot in the league table on Sunday.
Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez claimed a hattrick as an early Christmas present in an eight-goal thriller on Sunday as the German champions routed struggling Stuttgart 5-3 at home.
Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti refused to comment on Monday amid media reports Rafael Benitez was to be sacked as coach following his outburst over signings.
Germany coach Joachim Loew said Monday his side can win Euro 2012 or the 2014 World Cup after showing itself to be one of football's most consistent teams in recent years.
Paris Hilton is to co-own a team in the 2011 Moto 125cc grand prix series.
After suffering the steepest fall on Sunday, Dhaka stocks recovered half of the previous session's losses yesterday, with the key indices making a record gain.
India, now looks forward to transit access through Bangladesh, has began expanding and improving its road and rail connectivity to short distances between its remote north-east region and the rest.
Inflation on a point-to-point basis declined 0.75 percentage points to 6.86 percent in October, thanks to the easing of food prices that had been putting an extra pressure on the wallets of consumers for the past several months.
The central bank yesterday capped the call money rate at 50 percent to ease money market volatility.
India yesterday decided to suspend exports of onion until January 15 in the wake of skyrocketing prices of the commodity.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) is set to establish a 'national payment switch' by 2011 in an effort to ease electronic payment, said the governor on Sunday.
Rokia Afzal Rahman, president of Bangladesh Employers Federation, speaks at a meeting on CSR presentation in Khulna on Sunday. Management and Resources Development Initiative in partnership with Manusher Jonno Foundation organised the programme.
The government will reset the soybean oil prices tomorrow, an official said yesterday.
Jute Spinners Ltd, a jute yarn manufacturing industry in Khulna, has declared 20 percent dividend for its shareholders for 2009-10.
Decoration pieces made of jute were a hit among visitors at the Tatthya Mela held in Dinajpur recently. It would be much help if the sector got partners with financial support and distributors in the region to promote the merchandise
Minimal décor, an array of colours and various shades of the golden fibre -- all define an exclusive shop for jute-made toys. Dolls, bags and birds with nests were a must for showpiece lovers to see at the daylong “Tatthya Mela” held in Dinajpur recently.
Maruf Islam Priam, 17, dreamt of becoming a pilot ever since he was a student of class three at Rajshahi Collegiate School. He was determined to pursue a career as a commercial aviator by 2008 when he passed his HSC from Rajshahi City College.
Galaxy Flying Academy Ltd aspires to lead the aviation market of Asia by being involved in all five aspects of the business, said the academy's founder Masudur Rahman in an exclusive interview with The Daily Star.
Vietnam's nearly-bankrupt shipbuilder Vinashin faced a debt payment deadline Monday as wider economic fallout from the state-owned firm's crisis prompted speculation of a government bailout.
President Dmitry Medvedev will try to convince India to buy Russian fighter planes and seal a nuclear deal when he travels there this week for talks aimed at boosting ties with the second-fastest growing economy the world.
Sony on Monday said it may fall short of its sales goal of 25 million liquid crystal display TV sets this fiscal year as it struggles to be profitable in the sector, Dow Jones Newswires reported.
Strong currencies and a travel boom are fuelling a festive shopping spree in Asia's retail capitals even though consumers remain wary of a new downturn, economists and retailers say.
Kazi Faqurul Islam joined Bangladesh House Building Finance Corporation as managing director on December 15, said a statement.
Oil prices rose in Asia on Monday as strong US economic data brought cheer to the markets, analysts said.
Rising tensions on the Korean peninsula hit Asian stocks Monday with markets in Seoul and Tokyo sinking as the South decided to press ahead with a live-fire artillery drill.
China Eastern Airlines said Monday that it would pump 1.05 billion yuan ($157 million) into its China Cargo Airlines joint venture as it looks to stave off competition from Air China.
Different government and non-government institutions including brokers and recruiting agents obtain hard cash from non-organised migrant workers, but they insufficiently show responsibility to the overseas employees, experts said yesterday.
Leaders of two human rights organisations yesterday demanded justice on the incidents of violence against physically challenged people across the country.
Some 45 lakh working children in Bangladesh are at risk-involving labours, said Social and Economic Enhancement Programme (Seep) yesterday.
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith yesterday said war crimes trial is not a political issue rather it would ensure punishment to the criminals and establish human rights.
The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday upheld the High Court (HC) orders that granted ad interim bail to five detained Jamaat-e-Islami leaders in five separate cases filed against them on charges of obstructing police from discharging duties.
A tin-shed house was gutted in a fire at kusumbagh of the city's Sobujbagh area yesterday.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested a bullet-hit mugger after a gunfight with his accomplices at Adabar in the city early yesterday.
Bangladesh Islami Oikkyo Jote (IOJ) yesterday said the December 26 hartal called by a section of ulemas is a bid to save the war criminals and foil the trial.
A man was killed in a road accident on Brahmanbaria Town Bypass Road on Sunday night.
A crane operator of Chittagong Port was killed when a forklift accidentally hit him early yesterday.
Bangladesh Academy of Sciences (BAS) organised two seminars at the auditorium of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Centre in the city on Sunday.
Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL) donated an ambulance to Mosabbir Palliative Cancer Care Unit, a project of Mosabbir Memorial Foundation (MMF), to set up a Palliative Care unit.
A three-day long Zikir mahfil will begin tomorrow at Manikganj Darbar Sharif of Siddiknagar.
Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said that the trial of the detained war crimes-accused will start in January-February next year.
Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Dr Ferdous Ahmed Qureshi yesterday demanded broadcasting of all television programmes of foreign languages except English after dubbing into Bangla.
BBC Janala, an English lessons, is available on compact disk on sale at retail stores throughout Bangladesh from yesterday, says a press release.
A team of government officials along with local community leaders launched a ten-day drive for cleaning the Gulshan-Baridhara Lake yesterday.
The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday cleared the way for holding elections to Chandpur Sadar, Madaripur Sadar and Netrokona's Madan Pourasavas.
A magistrate court at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Saturday sentenced a person to two months simple imprisonment for displaying pornography on a big screen in front of the airport terminal.
Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday said human trafficking cannot be combated effectively due to structural weaknesses and interests of different quarters.
Tender evaluation committee on Dhaka Elevated Expressway (DEE) submits its appraisal report on the winning bidder's financial bid to the communications minister today for approval.
The medical officers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), who lost their jobs following a recent High Court (HC) verdict, blamed the current administration yesterday.
The written test for selection of candidates for the post of assistant teachers of government high schools will be held on January 7 next year.
Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Ward Councillor and film actor Monwar Hossain Dipjol was remanded yesterday for two days in a case filed for ransacking and torching vehicles on June 26.
A Chittagong court yesterday rejected a 10-day remand prayer for Mufti Izharul Islam Chowdhury, president of a faction of Islami Oikkya Jote (IOJ), and sent him to jail.
Speakers at a programme stressed the need for formulating a comprehensive law on human trafficking to cover all forms of trafficking and exploitation.
The visiting Indian delegation of 1971 War of Liberation veterans from the Indian Armed Forces left Dhaka yesterday for India after a six-day visit.
Two BDR Rifles Security Unit (RSU) members yesterday pleaded guilty of their involvement in the February 25-26 mutiny last year at a special court at the Darbar Hall of Pilkhana.
Five people, including two physicians, were killed and 40 others injured, 10 critically, in a road accident on Naogaon-Rajshahi Highway at Sabaihat in Manda upazila yesterday evening.
ReliSource Technologies Ltd and Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) have agreed to work for building a hi-tech society, says a press release.
Survey on much-talked Dibir Haor border in Jaintapur upazila and Padua-Protappur border, which could not resume as per earlier schedule yesterday, now seems to be delayed for days more due to various reasons.
Widows and children of those martyred at Jhathibhanga village under Thakurgaon Sadar upazila in 1971 observed hunger strike at the deputy commissioner office premises yesterday demanding trial of the killers.
Mutiny charges were yesterday framed against 25 BDR personnel of 43 Rifles Battalion in Naogaon and 23 personnel of 40 Rifles Battalion at Phulbari in Dinajpur.
Police charged batons on BNP procession at Chowrangi intersection in front of their party office in Panchagarh town yesterday.
Environment officials at a workshop in Rajshahi yesterday urged the brick kiln owners to get prepared for compulsorily introducing the new environment-friendly technology within two years as per the government's circular issued in last September.
People in Tala upazila yesterday formed a human chain and held a rally urging the government to take immediate steps for dredging silted River Kabodak to solve the perennial waterlogging problem to mitigate sufferings of 50 lakh affected people in Satkhira, Khulna and Jessore districts.
A teenage girl, who was gang-raped allegedly by two other teenagers on Sunday, died at Doripaka village under Gomostapur upazila in the district.
Leaders of Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA), Chittagong unit, at a press conference yesterday demanded immediate removal of the Civil Surgeon of Chittagong for his alleged link with Doctors Association of Bangladesh (DAB), which is loyal to opposition BNP.
The enquiry committee on Saturday night's boat capsize in the Surma in Jamalganj upazila of Sunamganj district will submit its report to the deputy commissioner tomorrow.
Inspector General of Police Hasan Mahmud Khondker yesterday denied allegations of torture on detained BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury under police remand.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said he has "nothing to hide" from an investigation into the sale of phone licences for a fraction of their value.
Rogue army officers, local militias and Rwandan Hutu rebels have been forcibly recruiting hundreds of young men and boys in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Human Rights Watch said yesterday.
Sri Lanka's government yesterday banned the felling of coconut trees as the island battled a severe shortage of nuts -- a dietary staple -- and ordered imports for the first time.
South Korea has held military exercises using live artillery fire on Yeonpyeong island, weeks after the North shelled the island following a similar drill.
Belarus police yesterday arrested hundreds of protestors including four opposition candidates as they broke up a mass demonstration against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange pushed back yesterday after US Vice President Joe Biden blasted him as a dangerous "hi-tech terrorist."
Australia yesterday called off the search for bodies from last week's horrific asylum-seeker shipwreck, as the prime minister said about 48 people had died and warned the exact toll may never be known.
The Spanish government intends to raise the retirement age and change the calculation method of pensions as part of an overhaul aimed at reducing the public deficit, Labour Minister Valeriano Gomez said yesterday.
Iran yesterday hanged 11 members of the Sunni militant group Jundallah which claimed last week's devastating suicide bombing of a Shiite mourning procession, a judiciary official said.
USAID, the European Union and other foreign donors yesterday expressed concern over the slow pace of Nepal's peace process, saying a political deadlock was draining confidence.
Taliban militants in northwest Pakistan attacked NATO oil supply trucks with rockets and assault rifles yesterday, destroying two vehicles, officials said.
Russia said yesterday that any attempts by US Republicans to "fix" the new START treaty would spell the end of the historic nuclear disarmament pact between the two former Cold War foes.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sacked the head of Iran's National Youth Organisation yesterday and appointed a woman to the cabinet post, official media reported.
Amnesty International yesterday called on Iraq's government to step up protection of Christians, after 44 worshippers were killed in a late October attack on a Baghdad church.
Israel has ordered its soldiers to ease the passage of Christian tourists and pilgrims through military checkpoints during the Christmas period.
China pays Nepalese police to arrest Tibetan refugees as they cross over the border to escape persecution, according to US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks.
Fresh leaks of diplomatic cables from 2009 by online whistleblower Wikileaks yesterday showed US doubts over Israel's commitment to the Middle East peace process due to disagreement over Israeli settlements.
A storage facility housing Yemen's radioactive material was unsecured for up to a week after its lone guard was removed and its surveillance camera was broken, a secret U.S. State Department cable released by WikiLeaks revealed yesterday.
The European Union is set to impose a travel ban on Ivory Coast's incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo over disputed elections, a diplomat has told the BBC.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki is due to unveil a partial list of cabinet ministers, his spokesman says, amid reports of ongoing disputes among Iraq's rival political factions.
Somali pirates hijacked a cargo vessel from the United Arab Emirates yesterday after firing small arms and rocket-propelled grenades at the ship, Europe's anti-piracy mission said.
Arts & Entertainment
The three-day Victory Day celebration programmes by Shammilita Sangskritik Jote (SSJ) -- held simultaneously at six different venues, including the Central Shaheed Minar premises -- ended on December 16. Different cultural organisations performed songs, recited poetry, dances and plays on the concluding day to celebrate the 40th Victory Day.
Cultural programmes marked the weeklong celebration organised on the occasion of Victory Day at Chhoto Bazar in the town. The programme included discussions on the Liberation War and reminiscences of the valiant freedom fighters.
The daylong 3rd Channel i Chalachchita Mela was held at the Bangabandhu International Convention Centre, on December 19. Veteran actress Anwara received this year's Lifetime Achievement Award at the programme.
The two-day Khulna divisional literary conference ended in Chuadanga last Saturday.
To a certain extent human beings are gullible; they have a proclivity to believe what they are told. At least initially. For many, however, first impression is their last impression, even if facts change. In an unfortunate manifestation of our lingering colonial mentality, this proclivity to believe takes a quantum leap if the message is packaged and delivered by a Westerner.
In 2001, the median age of Bangladesh population was about 18 years. From 1951, the death rate started declining but with little effect on birth rate. The population increased from 40.21 million in 1951, 89.9 million in 1981,109.9 million in 1991and 130.5 million in 2001. As the second phase of the theory of demographic transition has been passing through the composition of census data of 1974, 1981, 1991 and 2001 respectively, show the “baby boom” generation and slight edge of the population in the old ages.
If the migrant population worldwide formed a state of their own, with more than 215 million people, or 3% of the world population, it would be the fifth largest country of the world. This hypothetical country would be placed between the fourth most populous country, Indonesia (235 million) and fifth largest country, Brazil (193 million).
Jawadur Rahman, one of the most experienced professionals in national journalism, passed away about a year ago at the age of 73.
Land, labour and capital are essential for industrialisation. Except labour (mainly unskilled), we are seriously short of the other two. Without adequate development of infrastructural facilities like power and communication modern industry cannot flourish. These need huge investment and time. For a country like Bangladesh, acquisition of adequate fund for building infrastructural facilities is extremely difficult. In addition, there are technical problems. We do not have any option except giving adequate attention to solve the problems of our labour, considered as the cheapest in the world.
In the article "Tapping our own resources" printed yesterday, the word "because" was mistakenly written in place of "although" in the second-last paragraph.
Science & Life
There has always been a great deal of interest about Saturn's mystifying yet magnificent set of rings. In fact, the formation of the nine rings of this sixth and the second largest planet of our solar system has always intrigued astronomers for ages. But a recent study conducted by the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), USA, is shedding some conclusive light on the origins of Saturn's majestic rings. The study has been published in details in Nature's Advance Online Publication of December 12.
European scientists are going to try to measure the movement of the oceans by tracing their magnetism alone.
Prime numbers provide a rich source of speculative mathematical ideas.
Celestial Christmas bauble? This delicate shell, photographed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, seems to float serenely in space, but the apparent calm hides inner turmoil. Called SNR B0509-67.5 (or SNR 0509 for short), the bubble of gas is the remnant of a colossal explosion of a star, or supernova, in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small galaxy about 160,000 light-years away. Ripples in the shell's surface may be caused either by subtle variations in the density of the gaseous environment, or possibly be driven from the interior by fragments from the initial explosion, astronomers say. The reddish shroud of gas is 23 light-years across and is expanding at more than 18 million km (11 million miles) per hour.
A small area deep in the brain called the perirhinal cortex is critical for forming unconscious conceptual memories, researchers at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain have found.
The possibility that a hornet might be harvesting sunlight for energy has researchers abuzz. Scientists have constructed an electricity-generating solar cell using a pigment from the oriental hornet, a team reports in the December Naturwissenschaften but much more evidence would be needed to link solar input to power output in the living beast. Oriental hornets (Vespa orientalis) spend their days clearing soil from their underground nests to make room for nest expansion. While many wasps would go about such business in the cooler morning hours, previous research led by the late Jacob Ishay of Tel Aviv University noted that the nest-expanding activity peaks in sweltering midday. Experiments also showed that shining a light on the hornets generated voltage differences across their hard exoskeletons. These and other finds suggested that the hornets were maximizing exposure to sunlight. So Ishay's doctoral student, Marian Plotkin, decided to further investigate the brown and yellow pigments on the insect's cuticle. Examination of the striped patch on the hornet's backside revealed a microstructure that traps incoming light, preventing reflection. And when the researchers extracted a yellow pigment called xanthopterin from the hornet's outer shell and plopped it into a solar cell that uses dyes to absorb light, the solar cell squeaked out some electricity. The find is interesting but not surprising, says Andrew Parker of the Natural History Museum in London. The skins and shells of organisms from butterflies to diatoms can have complex microstructures that manipulate light. In some instances, such as a weevil with an opaline exoskeleton, this microstructure creates a brilliant color. Similar structures in other insects, such as the textured eyes of certain flies and moths that are active at dawn and dusk and need every available photon of light, may serve to maximize absorption. The researchers have a long way to go to demonstrate that the oriental wasp is solar-powered, says Parker. The team hasn't shown that xanthopterin is linked to production of ATP, the energy-storing molecule of cells. And any number of pigments might eke out some electricity if stuck in a dye-sensitized solar cell. Even if it turns out that this wasp uses the sun in a more ordinary manner, the idea that insects might get an energy buzz from sunlight isn't so farfetched. “Virtually everything that's been engineered in the physics world,” Parker says, “turns up in nature.”
Source: Science News
A vegivore is a person who craves or has a special fondness for vegetables. This need not be because the person has an aversion to eating meat but solely due to an intense craving for vegetables. To a vegivore, meat products may only seem like an accompaniment to add flavour to the dish. He/ she will find the vegetable dish more satiating than the meat dish.