The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, September 2, 2014


News of: Tuesday, 17th of May, 2011

Front Page

30pc rise in fare

Against the backdrop of a recent chaotic situation over transport fares, the government yesterday increased bus fares by around 30 percent to be effective from May 19.

KL to legalise 3 lakh workers

Malaysia has decided to regularise an estimated three lakh undocumented Bangladeshi workers alongside other foreign labourers, bringing a relief to the migrants facing threats of arrest and deportation.

Truth Commission illegal

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the High Court verdict that declared illegal the Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac) the Fakhruddin Ahmed-led caretaker government had formed as part of its anti-graft crackdown.

Target new formula for caretaker govt

The parliamentary special committee on constitutional amendment is now looking for a new formula for the caretaker government system, for holding two more parliamentary elections.

Tax-free income limit to widen

The limit of tax-free income will be widened in the national budget for the next fiscal year considering the rise in cost of living, said finance ministry officials.

High-powered nuisance

Human intervention and unplanned government projects now pose an existential threat to the Halda river, one of the world's major natural sweet water fish breeding spots.

Ensure adequate green funds

The industrialised nations should provide adequate fund for adaptation and easy access of green technology at an affordable price to vulnerable economies, urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday at Geneva.

Japan to give $600m

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said the Japanese government has agreed to give Bangladesh $600 million loans for the Padma bridge project, a safe drinking water supply project in Khulna, and for the development of the SME sector.

Gunmen kill Saudi diplomat in Karachi

Gunmen on motorcycles shot and killed a Saudi diplomat in the Pakistani city of Karachi yesterday, police and the Saudi ambassador said, the second attack on the mission since the killing of Osama bin Laden increased tensions in the region.

No plan to cut ties with Libya

Bangladesh has no intention to sever its ties with Libya, a North African nation wrecked by a civil war between Nato-backed insurgents and forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.

IMF chief faces more sex assault charge

A French writer is to make a complaint alleging Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her in 2002, her lawyer said yesterday, after the IMF chief was arrested in New York on a similar charge.

River pillars to be checked

A government sub-committee will visit three rivers of the capital on Friday to check whether boundary pillars have been put up including the foreshores.

Gen Moeen wanted to become Zia

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia blamed former army chief Moeen U Ahmed for the 1/11 changeover and alleged that he [Moeen] dreamt of becoming Ziaur Rahman with the support of a handful of unfaithful BNP leaders.

JS body seeks ACC opinion

The parliamentary standing committee on law ministry yesterday for the first time invited the Anti-Corruption Commission for giving opinion on 10 proposed amendments to ACC act.

UAE set to deport 224 Bangladeshis

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will deport 224 Bangladeshi workers arrested by Abu Dhabi police on May 9 for having no valid residence permits.

Housewife burnt to death

A housewife was burnt to death allegedly by her husband and in-laws in Keraniganj early yesterday.

Lightning kills 6

Six people were killed and three injured as of lightning struck in Bazitpur and Nikli upazilas of Kishoreganj district yesterday.

Set up Tagore Centre in 3 universities

A committee of University Grants Commission (UGC) has recommended to set up a 'Tagore Study Centre' at Dhaka University (DU) and 'Tagore Chair' at Rajshahi and Chittagong universities in a bid to do research on the Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore, said a press release.

Thousands flee as floodgates open

Thousands have evacuated the US state of Louisiana after floodgates were opened on Saturday to relieve pressure from the swollen Mississippi River.

Jayalalithaa sworn in as Tamil Nadu CM

All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) chief J Jayalalithaa was sworn in as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister for a third term along with 33 others in her Cabinet yesterday.

Editorial

Land grabbed with impunity

While we get to hear, courtesy the media, about big chunks of land being illegally grabbed by big-scale land-grabbers, hardly do we come by news exposing small timers in this regard commandeering small pieces of land that do not belong to them. One such incident has recently come to our knowledge from a report in this newspaper. In this instance a substantial portion of 1.75 acre of public land belonging to government health complex in Patuakhali has been occupied illegally, ostensibly for the purpose of constructing markets.

Road safety in a tumble

In line with the United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety 2011-2022, 18 ministries of the government are to work in tandem to reduce road collision casualties within the next 10 years. The initiative, prompted by a foreign body, comes better late than never.

Sports

Rahmatganj rob Abahani

Defending champions Abahani paid the price for missing numerous scoring opportunities including a penalty kick as they lost 1-0 against Rahmatganj MFS in their Grameenphone Bangladesh League fixture at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Khulna: No star, no team

The 12th National Cricket League has concluded on May 14, bringing an end to the country's first-class season. Eight months ago, The Daily Star Sport ran previews of all six divisional sides taking part in the competition and now as part of its evaluation of the campaigners, today it is publishing the second episode that of Khulna's. Tomorrow, the third part of this series will be published.

Tamim interested to play in SLPL

Though Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal missed the opportunity to play in the cash-rich Indian Premier League, the left-hander may yet play in another money-spinning Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka.

School rugby from today

Cooline AC 2nd School Rugby Tournament gets underway tomorrow at the Paltan Ground with St. Gregory's School taking on Nabokumar Institute in the opening match.

Chargers breeze past Warriors

Deccan Chargers made light work of Pune Warriors as they won by six wickets during their IPL encounter at the Dr DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai last night.

Invincible Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is just starting to get used to hearing his name mentioned in the same breath as the legends of the game.

Only apology not enough

A local cricket association is set to lodge a criminal complaint against Australian bowling legend Shane Warne for his part in a bust-up with an official, reports said on Sunday.

Kim cleared to play in French Open

Belgium's Kim Clijsters will take part in the French Open which gets underway at Roland Garros here on Sunday, her manager Bob Verdee has told Le Soir newspaper.

We needed this: Sammy

The two-Test series between Pakistan and West Indies is a battle of two notoriously mercurial sides, with both having to deal with problems on and off the field. Heading into the first Test on 12 May at the Guyana National Stadium, it was the West Indies who had more to prove, with their last test win coming more than two years ago.

Olympic marathoner Wanjiru dies after fall

The Olympic marathon champion Sammy Wanjiru has been killed in a fall from a balcony at his home in Kenya following a domestic dispute, police said on Monday.

Dilshan's riposte

Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan answered a hundred from England skipper Andrew Strauss with one of his own on the second day of the islanders' tour opener against Middlesex at Uxbridge on Sunday.

Azlan Shah Cup Aussies'

World Champions Australia won the 20th edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup on Sunday beating Pakistan 3-2 through a golden goal in extra-time.

Maria ends title drought

Triple Grand Slam title winner Maria Sharapova won her first tournament in almost a year as she powered past Australia's Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-4 to win the Rome International on Sunday.

C'Ron equals record

Portuguese goal machine Cristiano Ronaldo equalled the all-time league record of 38 goals with a brace in Real Madrid's 3-1 victory at Villarreal on Sunday.

Al-Wasl hire Diego

Argentina legend Diego Maradona is to take over as coach next season at Dubai's Al-Wasl, the club announced on Monday

Jovovich lights up Shakhtar party

Ukraine's leading football side Shakhtar Donetsk celebrated their 75th birthday in a spectacular party at their new stadium with pop star Rihanna and Ukrainian-born actress Milla Jovovich.

Hammers relegated

West Ham were relegated from the English Premier League after squandering a 2-0 lead in a 3-2 defeat away to fellow strugglers Wigan on Sunday.

Jessore start with a goal-spree

The first round of National Women's Football Championship started at the Jessore Stadium yesterday with hosts Jessore scoring a comprehensive 5-0 victory over Rajbari. Sharmin Akter Lima slammed a hattrick while Rehana Khatun scored the other two as Jessore coasted to an easy victory.

Open squash begins Thursday

The Grameenphone Open Squash Tournament begins on Thursday at the Dhaka Club Squash Court.

Phelps clinches 200m b'stroke

US Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps beat Ryan Lochte in the 200m backstroke Sunday to leave the Charlotte UltraSwim long course Grand Prix with one victory.

Liu off the mark with a bang

Chinese star hurdler Liu Xiang thrilled a hometown crowd in Shanghai on Sunday, starting his outdoor season with the fastest 110m of the year as he seeks to recapture Olympic glory at London 2012.

Comilla face Mymensingh in 1st semi today

The first semifinal of the 31st Inter-district cricket championship between Comilla and Mymensingh will be held at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.

Barca extend UNICEF deal

Barcelona said Monday they will put the UNICEF logo on the back of the team jersey next season after agreeing to extend their support for the UN Children's Fund.

Serie A lagging behind

Ex-Italian star Franco Baresi said Monday Serie A is losing out to the English Premier League and Spain's La Liga because Italian sides do not own their stadiums and players earn more money elsewhere.

West Ham sack Grant

Avram Grant was sacked as West Ham United manager on Sunday in the aftermath of the club's relegation from the Premier League, the club announced.

Business

BB takes tough line on farm loan

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has taken a tough stance against private and foreign banks who will fail to reach their targets of farm loan disbursement.

Find alternative job markets

The government should explore alternative job markets in Europe, East Asia and Africa to offset fallout from the ongoing crises in the Middle East, North Africa and Japan, said a study carried out by a leading chamber yesterday.

Weak taka weighs on consumers

Bangladeshi consumers will face tough times ahead as the ongoing taka depreciation against the greenback is likely to push prices of imported goods up, and fuel inflation further.

Troubled markets in focus

Top leaders of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) yesterday called on the newly appointed chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, M Khairul Hossain, and member Helal Uddin Nizami.

NCC Bank goes for cluster financing

National Credit and Commerce (NCC) Bank has taken a new approach to banking for cluster financing to help innovative initiatives flourish across the country.

No representation of Bangladesh at ITU yet

Bangladesh is yet to nominate its representative to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) although the country received the membership of the ITU council in October last year.

Banglalion gets 1 lakh subscribers

Wireless broadband service provider Banglalion has clocked up 1 lakh subscribers, the operator said yesterday.

Airtel makes rapid network roll-out

Airtel Bangladesh has undertaken efforts to go for rapid network expansion to bring the whole country under blanket coverage as soon as possible, the mobile operator said in a statement yesterday.

BNP Paribas plans Hong Kong listing

French banking giant BNP Paribas is planning to list its shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange, a report said Monday, in a bid that is likely to boost its profile in Asia, especially China.

Indian inflation dips but pressure lingers

Inflation dipped in April, but significant upward revisions to recent past readings and the prospect of rising energy prices will keep pressure on the RBI to raise rates in June and maintain its hawkish stance.

Are businesses adding to the common good?

Roger Martin is an unlikely revolutionary: He is the dean of the Rotman School of Management, the business school at the University of Toronto, he sits on blue-chip corporate boards, and he has worked as a consultant for big, traditional companies like Procter & Gamble and General Motors. All in all, very much the résumé of a pillar of the corporate establishment. (Disclosure: I am a member of the Rotman School's advisory board.)

Nokia shuts door on Ovi

Nokia's new management will dump its Ovi services brand in favour of its company name across its offerings, the world's largest cellphone maker said on Monday.

Drug ingredients, now in our hands

How many people know that the raw material needed to make antibiotics or 'active pharmaceutical ingredients' (API) can be found in potato starch or glucose or molasses. Except drug chemists and scientists, the numbers would be few.

From a vision to reality

Engrossed in an academic research paper on chemical engineering at a university in the USA, an idea flashed across Saifur Rahman's mind. He thought to himself, why not apply the research findings to his homeland, Bangladesh.

Hopes for bumper tourist season in bin Laden town

Pakistani hoteliers in the now notorious town where Osama bin Laden was killed by elite US forces are praying the views and balmy weather still reel in bumper tourist numbers this year.

Samsung sees better LCD performance; no big investments

Flat screen prices are stabilizing after a year-long fall and demand growth is picking up as television makers prepare for new product launches, the head of Samsung Electronics Co's LCD business said.

China's clamp down on gas oil exports may fuel Asia rally

China's moves to clamp down on diesel exports come at a bad time for Asian buyers of the transport fuel, sapping supplies just as demand rises to meet summer demand from tractors and air conditioners.

Yahoo faces tough ride to iron out differences with Alibaba

Yahoo Inc and Alibaba Group will find it difficult to resolve their feud over the Chinese company's transfer of a major Internet asset, raising questions over how long its troubled marriage would last.

EU officials talk of carrots, sticks for Greece

European Union economic affairs chief Olli Rehn pressed Greece on Monday to speed up reforms as a German colleague floated the idea of an EU plan for less competitive countries.

Asian shares fall

Shares fell in Asia on Monday as worries over Europe's debt crisis were brought sharply into focus by the arrest of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Metropolitan

3,000 get DBBLscholarship

Dutch Bangla Bank Ltd (DBBL) provided scholarships to 3,021 poor, meritorious, and challenged students of different colleges from across the country on Saturday as part of its corporate social responsibility and social welfare programme.

CU BCL men block train

Chittagong University unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday blockaded the movement of campus-bound shuttle trains demanding resignation of the proctor.

English in context of Bangladesh needed

Speakers at a press conference yesterday said Bangladesh is yet to have any effective plans to an English language development programme in tune with country's socio-cultural context.

Robber to die, 2 others get 31 years RI

A robber was sentenced to death and two of his accomplices awarded 31 years' rigorous imprisonment yesterday for killing a lawyer in 2009.

Probe report within 10 days

The investigator, whom the home ministry commissioned to probe the Rab firing at 16-year-old college student Limon Hossain, yesterday completed recording statements of the witnesses.

3 mugged by dope gangs in city

Three persons fell victim to dope gangs, popularly known as 'ogyan party', in two separate incidents in the city yesterday.

Lab launched to test HIV for free

Dhaka Ahsania Mission launched a voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) laboratory for drug dependants at Ahsania Mission Drug Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre, Gazipur yesterday.

Experts collect samples from anthrax patients

A team of experts from Institute of Epidemiology, Disease, Control and Research (IEDCR) visited anthrax affected Chinanari village of Santhia upazila in the district to collect samples from the infected yesterday.

Road crashes kill one, injure 21

A person was killed and 21 others injured in road accidents in Chittagong and Gaibandha yesterday.

25 injured as Hatiya AL men clash with local lawmakers' supporters

At least 25 people were injured in a clash as supporters of a local Awami League leader allegedly vandalised the house of an incumbent lawmaker of Hatiya upazila in the district yesterday morning.

'Stop use of chemicals'

Environmental activists yesterday urged the government to take strong measures immediately to stop the entry of seasonal fruits contaminated with chemicals into market.

Hasina's Homecoming Day today

Bangladesh Awami League and its associate bodies are set to celebrate the Homecoming Day of Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina today.

Some leaders not happy

The announcement of the new convening committee of BNP Dhaka city unit created mixed reactions within the party, as some of the committee leaders are not happy with their positions.

CJ refuses to receive farewell from SCBA

Chief Justice Khairul Haque yesterday refused to receive farewell from the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) that severely criticised him throughout his tenure, insiders say.

Help write region-based history: Info minister

People will get a detail and objective history of the Liberation War of 1971 once Bangla Academy has successfully finished writing the region-based history of the war, said Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad yesterday.

Maulana Farid discloses several names

Maulana Sheikh Farid, a leader of banned outfit Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami, has disclosed names of his accomplices who were involved in the bomb attack on a CPB rally in 2001, a CID official told a Dhaka court yesterday.

Govt lacks teamwork, coordination

Awami League Presidium Member Obaidul Quader yesterday strongly criticised the government for what he said “lack of coordination and teamwork” in increasing price of compressed natural gas (CNG) and instability in share market.

'Save Kayettuli playground'

Residents of Kayettuli area of Old Dhaka and leaders of Save the Environment Movement (SEM) yesterday demanded to save Kayettuli playground from being converted into a multi-storied colony for Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) employees.

ICT directive to jail authorities

The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) yesterday directed the jail authorities to arrange treatment for Jamaat-e-Islami Nayeb-e-Ameer Delwar Hossain Sayedee at Ibrahim Cardiac Hospital alongside Birdem Hospital.

DV lottery clarification

The US Department of State issued a notice that all Diversity Visa (DV) selection results for DV-2012 published worldwide between May 1 to 6 this year have been voided due to a computer error in the random selection process.

Classmates demand punishment of killers

Classmates of Himel Das Supam, an SSC GPA-5 achiever who was strangled by hired killers for property, demanded capital punishment and immediate arrest of all killers.

College girl kills herself

A college girl committed suicide at her bedroom in Saltgola area under Bandar Police Station in the port city yesterday.

New JUAAB body meets Japanese envoy

The newly elected executive committee members of Japanese University Alumni Association (JUAAB) along with the advisers met Japanese Ambassador Tamotsu Shinotsuka at his office at Baridhara in the city on Thursday.

Accused still at large

Police are still to nab the three accused of Jan-e-Alam Babu murder case filed with Panchlaish Police Station in Chittagong on May 8.

RSF quiz results on May 20

The results of Paribesh Utsab quiz competition, organised by Rural Services Foundation (RSF), will be published on May 20, says a press release.

Sorptimist Int'l Club executives

Prof Nilufar Sultana and Dr Farida Hasan were elected president and general secretary of the Sorptimist International Club of Dhaka at its 28th annual general meeting held at a city restaurant on Saturday.

AL leader hurt in bomb attack in Khulna

A local leader of Awami League was injured in a bomb attack in Fultali upazila of Khulna Sunday night.

Kiln workers: None arrested yet in confinement case

Police have yet to arrest any of the four persons accused in a case filed for confining 19 workers of a brickfield for 15 days in Fatikchari, Chittagong.

Journalism Foundation launched

Journalism and Peace Foundation, an organisation for the promotion of journalism and peace, was launched yesterday in the city, says a press release.

Death anniversary

Today is the eighth death anniversary of Alhaj Rahmat Ullah Chowdhury, a freedom fighter and founding president of Bangladesh Railway Sramik League, says a press release.

National

Luck smiles on farmers of Hakaluki Haor

Farmers of Hakaluki Haor (water body) are in joyous mood as they are harvesting boro paddy after two years of water logging problem.

Abducted college student rescued in Khulna

A Rab-6 team early yesterday rescued an abducted college student from the first floor of a house in Chandmari area in the city.

In aid of the poor FFs

A private organisation has introduced monthly honorarium for poor freedom fighters of Melandah upazila of the district.

Victim of acid attack demands justice

Acid victim Ekhlas Sarker, 25, who is now undergoing treatment at Manikganj Sadar hospital, has demanded immediate arrest of the attackers.

Eleven students fall sick

Several agitating students of the Food Technology and Nutritional Science (FTNS) department at Maolana Bhasani University of Science and Technology (MBUST) fell sick yesterday on the third day of their fast unto death programme.

3 arrested on rape charge

Three youths were arrested here yesterday on charge of raping a teenage girl on Saturday.

Housewives commit 'suicide'

Two housewives allegedly committed suicide at Purbo Nalta village and Pania village in Kaliganj upazila yesterday and the day before. The victims were identified as Khadija Khatun, 28, wife of Firoz Babul of Purbo Nalta village and Saira Khatun, 55, wife of Md Arijulla of Uksa village in Kaliganj upazila. Quoting local people police said, following family feud Khadija took poison and died on the spot at about 12:15 pm yesterday. In the other incident, Saira Khatun went to her relative's house at Pania village on Friday and she allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling of the house at about 11:00 pm on Saturday. The cause of the suicide could not be known immediately.

2 PCP leaders hurt in attack

Two leaders of Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP), associate body of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) were attacked and injured allegedly by the armed cadres of United People's Democratic Front (UPDF) in Narikal Bagan area under Dighinala upazila on Sunday evening. The injured were identified as Babul Chakma, 28, president of PCP Dighinala thana unit and Parantu Chakma, 25, senior vice-president of PCP Dighinala college unit. They were admitted to Khagrachhari Adhunik Sadar Hospital. President of Khagrachhari district unit PCP Sumir Chakma condemned the attack and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits. On other hand, press secretary of Khagrachhari district unit UPDF Niran Chakma denied the allegation and said that the incident was a sequel to internal conflict in PCJSS.

10 get life for murder

A court here on Sunday sentenced 10 people to life term imprisonment for murder case and seven years imprisonment each for abduction. The court also fined them Tk 10,000 each, in default, to suffer one year more rigorous imprisonment (RI). The convicts were identified as Abdus Sattar, Kalam, Yusuf Ali, Azim Uddin, Gani Miah, Mohammad Ali, Abdul Haque, Moksed Ali, Iman Hossain and his wife Majeda Begum. According to the prosecution, the convicts abducted Hanif Ali, son of late Amin Ali of Kutuberchar village in Dewanganj upazila due to enmity on June 8, 2005. Two days later, police recovered Hanif's body from nearby Boral River. Later, the deceased's elder brother filed an abduction and murder case in this connection.

Wife burned to death for dowry

A housewife was burned to death allegedly by her husband for dowry in Doleshwar area of Dakkhin Keraniganj early yesterday. The deceased was Halima Afroz alias Omi, 20, wife of Mamun of the area. Family sources said Omi, daughter of Sajid, was married off with Mamun one and a half years ago. Mamun took Tk 2.50 lakh dowry from Omi's family since the marriage. Recently, Mamun put fresh pressure on Omi to bring Tk 1 lakh more from her father. On the fateful night, Mamun locked in an altercation with Omi over the issue and physically tortured her. At one stage, he hit Omi with an iron rod in the head. As she lost consciousness, Mamun poured kerosene on the body of Omi and set her on fire. Being informed by locals, victim's father rushed her to Mitford Hospital in a critical condition where the on-duty doctor declared her dead.

International

Int'l Criminal Court seeks arrest of Gaddafi

The International Criminal Court chief prosecutor is seeking the arrest of Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi and two others for crimes against humanity.

US senator Kerry warns Pak on frayed ties

Some lawmakers believe Osama bin Laden presence Pakistan may have frayed ties with the United States beyond repair, Senator John Kerry told Islamabad yesterday, but added that their strategic relationship was too important to let go.

Mamata takes oath Friday

After singlehandedly demolishing 34 years' rule of Left Front and leading her party Trinamool Congress to power in West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee will be installed as the first woman chief minister of the state on May 20.

Drug feud kills 27 in Guatemala

The decapitated bodies of at least 25 men and two women have been found near Guatemala's border with Mexico on Sunday.

'Mass grave found' in Syrian protest hub

Syria's brutal crackdown against pro-democracy protests took a chilling turn yesterday with the discovery of a mass grave in Daraa, the town at the heart of protests roiling the country for two months, an activist said.

Quakes 'could rupture Himalayan glacial lakes'

Glacial lakes in the Himalayas could pose a major hazard to population centres if they are ruptured by earthquakes, scientists say.

Bin Laden was a US prisoner before being killed: Iran

Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden was a prisoner in US custody for "sometime" before he was killed by the American military, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday.

Irish militants warn of bomb in central London

Irish militants opposed to the peace process with Britain warned of a bomb in central London on Monday, a day before Queen Elizabeth makes a historic visit to Ireland, security sources said.

German hairdresser lifts 'best beard' trophy

A German man scooped the title of world's best beard on Sunday after impressing competition hosts in Norway with his facial hair featuring a moose and a Norwegian flag.

Hawking: Heaven is a fairy tale

Heaven is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark, the eminent British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking said in an interview published yesterday.

China's online users now 477m

The number of Internet users in China, already the world's largest online market, hit 477 million at the end of March, a senior government official was quoted by state media as saying yesterday.

Mothers charged for murdering daughters

Police in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have filed preliminary charges against two women accused of killing their daughters.

Jayalalithaa sworn in as Tamil Nadu chief minister

All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) chief J Jayalalithaa was sworn in as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister for a third term along with 33 others in her Cabinet yesterday.

Scientists find genetic link to depression

Scientists say they have discovered the first solid evidence that variations in some peoples' genes may cause depression -- one of the world's most common and costly mental illnesses.

Arts & Entertainment

Soaring Imagination

Samiran Dutt is an emerging sculptor who has been committed to wielding a hammer and chisel. His works are intimately connected with nature. The artist uses twigs, branches, trunks, dry shrubbery, roots, coconut shells, brushwood and varied natural fibres in his sculptural works. Dutt's works depict birds, human figures, aquatic species etc. Some of his creations also function as domestic objects like chair, mirrors, windows and more. With his imaginative touch these objects come to life, demonstrating passion, joy, woes, conscience and courage.

Sushobhan Adhikary's lecture on Rabindrik art and dance

Kala Bhavan Museum (Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, India) curator Sushobhan Adhikary delivered a lecture on various aspects of Rabindranath Tagore's contribution to art and dance at Dhaka Art Centre in Dhanmondi on May 14. The title of the lecture was “Rabindranath-er Nrityo Chinta O Rabindranath-er Chitrakala”.

Tagore & the West

On the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, American Alumni Association (AAA), Dhaka is paying homage to the Nobel laureate poet. The programme will be held at the auditorium of American International School, Dhaka (in Baridhara) on May 19.

Tagore birth anniversary celebration in Tripura

As part of the celebration of 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, a vibrant cultural event was held recently at the premises of Ujjayanto Palace in Agartala, Tripura, India. The programme was inaugurated by Chief Minister of Tripura, Manik Sarkar. Amidst much fun and frolic, the state government conferred the Rabindra Award to researcher Bikoch Chowdhury. The event also included book launches.

Artistes fare well in West Bengal elections

Remember Anup Ghosal's memorable songs in Satyajit Ray's "Goopi Gayen Bagha Bayen" and "Hirok Rajar Deshey" or Chiranjit Chakrabarty, the hero of Kolkata remake of "Beder Meye Josna", or national award-winning actress Debosree Roy's impressive performance in "Unishey April"?

Israeli director turns camera inward

Israeli director Joseph Cedar, whose film about the army withdrawal from southern Lebanon garnered an Oscar nomination, said Sunday he was looking inward with his current Cannes entry.

OP-ED

The scourge of price hike

The government has once again raised the price of the compressed natural gas (CNG). Last time, it was in April 2008 that the caretaker government doubled the price from Taka 8.50 to Taka 16.75 per cubic metre.There were reasons galore for the raise. No serious challenge was noticed against the decision for obvious reasons. People took it in their strides.

Osama's death ensures Obama's second term

President Barack Obama declared: "Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama Bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children."

Buddha's message

Today is the Holy Buddha Purnima, the most sacred and most significant day for Buddhists all over the world. On this happy day the Buddha was born at the Lumbini Garden in 624 BC, attained Enlightenment under the Bo-tree at Gaya in 589 BC, and passed into Mahaparnibbana at Kushinara in 544 BC. The thrice-sacred events of Buddha Purnima are of great significance to the people of the world. It is observed all as the most blessed day with peace, happiness, universal love and purity.

Amending the Constitution

The people of Bangladesh sacrificed a lot to attain independence in 1971. They had the vision to establish a secular democratic country. Their dreams were shattered in less than four years of independence with the assassination of Bangabandhu. After the death of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman the country was run by military dictators. Democracy returned to Bangladesh in 1990 and its still continuing (with a break for 2 years).

This Day In History

May 17

1940
World War II: Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium.

Science & Life

Cosmic quirk in microcosm

Scientists have detected the Doppler effect a quirk of physics that makes an ambulance's siren change pitch as it drives by on the scale of a single molecule.

Crop ancestors to feed world!

The race is on to develop and test improved crop varieties to feed the world's growing population and help may lie in Syria's wild plants.

Ozone hole on the mend

Scientists may have spotted Antarctica's ozone hole on the road to recovery, at least a decade sooner than they thought healing would be noticeable.

Swirling clouds on Jupiter

This one will be fairly easy for some folks, impossible for others.

Why is countdown so important?

A countdown is loudly counting in reverse from 10 to 1, prior to an event. In a rocket launch, a countdown is a carefully devised set of procedures ending with the ignition of a rocket engine, which starts 72 to 96 hours prior to its launch time. During the countdown, step-by-step procedures like placing the vehicle at the launch site, loading the essentials needed for the launch, setting up communication with the launch centre, etc are executed. When everything is okayed, 'T minus Time', that is, 3 minutes and 40 seconds is set and the process of ignition begins.

Super energy bank

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have helped to uncover the nanoscale structure of a novel form of carbon, contributing to an explanation of why this new material acts like a super-absorbent sponge when it comes to soaking up electric charge. The material, which was recently created at The University of Texas -- Austin, can be incorporated into "supercapacitor" energy-storage devices with remarkably high storage capacity while retaining other attractive attributes such as superfast energy release, quick recharge time, and a lifetime of at least 10,000 charge/discharge cycles.

Insect brain

The brain is a coding machine: it translates physical inputs from the world into visual, olfactory, auditory, tactile perceptions via the mysterious language of its nerve cells and the networks which they form. Neural codes could in principle take many forms, but in regions forming bottlenecks for information flow (e.g., the optic nerve) or in areas important for memory, sparse codes are highly desirable.


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