The Daily Star

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Monday, April 23, 2018

News of: Tuesday, 24th of May, 2011

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Stop collection of excess fare

The High Court yesterday asked the authorities concerned to prevent transport operators from collecting extra fares from passengers in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Gazipur and Manikganj.

Take action against stockmarket culprits

A number of ruling alliance lawmakers yesterday in the parliament decried the delay in taking actions against "gamblers" who were identified by a probe body as key players involved in the recent share market crash.

Exploration in 2 deep sea blocks gets nod

The cabinet committee on economic affairs yesterday approved signing of an additional agreement with US oil company ConocoPhillips South Asia New Venture Ltd for oil and gas exploration from two deep-sea blocks.

Lightning kills 20 in 7 districts

At least 20 people were killed and 21 injured as heavy storms and lightning hit seven districts across the country yesterday.

Limon, his family have criminal link

Limon Hossain, a college student of Jhalakathi, and his family had links with a local crime gang, claimed Rapid Action Battalion yesterday, serving yet another blow to the teenage boy who lost a leg after being shot by the elite crime fighting force.

High-ups' remarks on Limon protested

Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, a component of ruling Awami League-led grand alliance, yesterday protested the statements of government high-ups regarding Limon Hossain, who was shot to disability by Rapid Action Battalion.

$140m loan deal with IDB today

After the World Bank and Japan, the government will enter another loan agreement of $140 million with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) today to finance the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project.

CID grills Rezzakul, Rahim

Investigators yesterday interrogated two former National Security Intelligence (NSI) directors general at Chittagong Central Jail gate in connection with the 10-truck arms haul cases.

Govt eyes 27pc more revenue next FY

The government may set the target of total revenue earning at Tk 1,18,380 crore in the national budget for the next fiscal year, which is 27 percent higher than that in the present budget.

Natore Jubo League activist shot dead

A Jubo League activist was shot dead in the town's Kanaikhali area last night allegedly by members of a rival faction.

Enclave survey to be done by mid-June

The decades-old issue of adversely possessed land (APL) along the border between Bangladesh and India is likely to be solved soon as by mid-June the countries will complete surveys in all four zones.

3 lakh workers in KL to get MRP

The government yesterday decided to issue over three lakh machine readable passports (MRP) to the undocumented Bangladeshis in Malaysia to help expedite their regularisation process.

Buet experts find faulty piling work

Low-quality soil, faulty design and inadequate protection measures in piling works led to the subsidence at a construction site in the city's Nakhalpara on Saturday, assessed an expert team from Buet.

Award for Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is going to be awarded gold medal by Duphine University, a leading Parisian university in France, in recognition of her contribution to the institutionalising and strengthening of democracy.

Muhit leaves advance camp today

MA Muhit, the second Bangladeshi to conquer Everest, is safe and staying at an advance base camp which he is expected to leave today.

5 'robbers' held after gunfight

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested five suspected robbers, four of them with bullet wounds, after a gunfight at Mohakhali in the capital Sunday night.

UPDF enforces road, river blockade

At least one person was bullet-hit during yesterday's dawn-to-dusk road and waterway blockade in Rangamati called by United People's Democratic Front (UPDF) protesting the killing of its four members on Saturday.

Interest rate of savings instruments may go up

Interest rate of savings instruments may go up by 0.5 to 1 percent in the next fiscal year, as their sale dropped by over 60 percent in the current fiscal year.


Speeding up development

We welcome the move to speed up implementation of Annual Development Programme (ADP). Slow implementation of development projects has often resulted in a substantial amount of the funds allotted remaining unused, ultimately impacting economic growth.

Disciplining auto workshops

Auto workshops are an integral part of mechanised transportation system. Yet, by Bangladesh Automobile Workshop Owners Association's own admission, only 800 out of 20,000 automobile workshops across the country are registered with their organization itself. The question that follows is: how many of them are registered with any government authority? Or do most of them, for that matter, have trade or industry licence to operate? We have no statistics nor any database for a proliferating and ubiquitous ancillary industry that is devoted to the useful tasks of servicing and repairing motorised vehicles.


Sania's winning return

Indian star Sania Mirza made a winning return to the French Open on Monday and said she was simply happy to be playing again after missing last year's event with a career-threatening wrist injury.

Abahani's dreams shattered

Bangladesh League champions Abahani's hopes of qualifying for the finals of the AFC President's Cup were shattered when they suffered a single-goal defeat to Phnom Penh Crown FC at the National Olympic Stadium in Cambodia yesterday.

Taufeeq lifts Pakistan

At lunch on Day 4, Pakistan reached 320 for 4 in their second innings and had accumulated a lead of 369 runs. Their position of strength owed much to a 129-run fourth wicket partnership between opener Taufeeq Umar and captain Misbahul Haq. Umar however was run out shortly before lunch for 135, but Misbah was still going strong with an unbeaten 85 with Umar Akmal keeping him company on 7.

Archery show from Friday

Bangladeshi archers will be looking to improve when the 3rd Asian Grand Prix and First Asian Youth Archery Championship gets underway from Friday at Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan with 122 contestants, including 37 women and girls from 14 nations fighting it out for 15 gold.

IPL's Blockbuster play-offs

The two most successful teams of the Indian Premier League's (IPL) first stage go head to head as defending champions Chennai Super Kings take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in what promises to be an engrossing first play-off of the event here in Mumbai on Tuesday.

Bangladesh get tough groupings

Both boys' and girls' teams from Bangladesh were drawn in a tough group in the Bangabandhu Invitational International Youth Table Tennis Championship when the draws were held at the Wooden Floor Gymnasium yesterday.

Bollywood is calling Hollywood

Australian spin legend Shane Warne has said he has been offered roles in Bollywood films and that he would consider acting now he is retired from cricket.

Self belief kept up Umar

Taufeeq Umar said keeping faith in his cricketing ability helped him regain his place in the Pakistan side.

Novak, Roger get going

Novak Djokovic took his unbeaten record in 2011 to 38 wins on Monday before Grand Slam king Roger Federer demonstrated to the unstoppable Serb that he is still a French Open force.

Idris powers Rahmatganj

A brace from Idris Kasirye helped Rahmatganj MFS to a 3-1 win over hosts Chittagong Abahani at the Cox's Bazar Stadium yesterday, their seventh victory in the current Grameenphone Bangladesh League.

MSC lose another foreigner

Mohammedan SC's Rwandan midfielder Habuinugisha Ismael left for his country yesterday, leaving the Black and Whites deeper trouble in the ongoing Grameenphone Bangladesh League.

National women's football

Kishoreganj and Feni played out a 1-1 draw in the lone match of the National Women's Football Cham-pionship at Birshreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Blackpool go down

Blackpool and Birmingham were relegated from the Premier League on Sunday as Wigan and Wolves scrambled to safety in a thrilling finale to the English season.

Udinese in Champions League

Udinese qualified for the Champions League for only the second time in their history after a 0-0 draw at home to AC Milan ensured they took fourth place in Serie A.

Chelsea sack Ancelotti

Chelsea fired manager Carlo Ancelotti on Sunday, after a 1-0 loss at Everton completed a season which had "fallen short of expectations", the club said in a statement.

Becks given green light

Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday gave the green light for David Beckham to play in former Manchester United teammate Gary Neville's testimonial on Tuesday.

Sahin voted Germany's best

German-born Turkish international Nuri Sahin, who is leaving Borussia Dortmund for Real Madrid, has been voted Bundesliga player of the 2010-11 season by his peers, Kicker magazine said Monday.

Pato misses Copa America

Brazilian forward Pato will miss July's Copa America in Argentina after dislocating his shoulder in Sunday's Serie A finale.


Food inflation hits record high

Food inflation hit 15.38 percent in April in rural areas, hitting a record on a point-to-point basis in the last three years.

Power, gas crisis delays investment

Registration of both local and foreign investment proposals rose in the first 10 months (July-April) due to the country's low production costs, easy market access to different export destinations and other facilities in overseas trades.

No procurement rules for TCB's Ramadan buy

The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) will not need to follow public procurement rules (PPR) to buy commodities for market intervention in the month of Ramadan.

Clouds clearing over MJL listing

Top leaders of two stock exchanges and authority of MJL Bangladesh Ltd sat in a meeting yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission to find a particular listing process for the lubricants company.

Stocks continue losing streak

Stocks continued a losing streak for the fourth consecutive day yesterday as the investors failed to rid themselves of apprehensions that the government might not manage to come up with any investor-friendly incentives in the upcoming budget.

Executive Technologies to distribute Kyocera copiers in Bangladesh

Executive Technologies Ltd (ETL) has become the authorised distributor of the world-renowned Japanese brand Kyocera to sell office automation products in Bangladesh.

China manufacturing at 10-month low

Chinese manufacturing eased to a 10-month low in May, preliminary HSBC data showed Monday, fuelling fears of a slowdown in the world's number two economy and sending Shanghai and Hong Kong shares down.

New top officials for Shahjalal Islami Bank

Anwer Hossain Khan has recently been elected chairman of Shahjalal Islami Bank Ltd.

India Mahindra Satyam posts Q4 loss on charge

Indian software services exporter Mahindra Satyam posted on Monday a net loss for its fiscal fourth quarter, hurt by a one-time expense due to settlement of a US shareholder lawsuit, sending its shares down as much as 6 percent.

Thai economic growth picks up

Thailand's economic growth accelerated to the quickest pace in a year in the first quarter of 2011, helped by surging exports, official data showed Monday.

Japan's banking giant unveils restructure

Japanese megabank Mizuho Financial Group on Monday unveiled a restructuring plan in an effort to restore client confidence following a computer breakdown that caused a massive stall in money transfers.

Greece cuts job restrictions, prepares debt measures

Greece launched on Monday deep reforms of 136 service occupations from breadmaking to butchering to end restrictive practices as the cabinet met to finalise measures to ward off a second debt crisis.

Backroom deal would undermine confidence in IMF

A backroom deal between Europe and the United States to select a new IMF chief could undermine the legitimacy of the global lender as well as a G20 commitment to give emerging economies a greater voice.

Pioneers of 'Arab Spring' look for lifeline at G8

Egypt and Tunisia expect vital financial aid from the great powers at this week's Group of Eight (G8) summit of wealthy nations to help save their political transitions from economic quagmire.

Economy to thrive on RMG

With the arrival of more buyers and renowned brands, Bangladesh is gradually making a mark in the global garments business. The country's widening share in the global garments sector reached nearly 5 percent recently.

No alternative to training

The Business Monitor International (BMI) recently in an article said Bangladesh's ready-made garments (RMG) sector will continue to contribute to national exports at a high rate in the coming years, as the country has some comparative advantages.

Teething problems shadow India's solar power dreams

From a lack of data and trained manpower to dealing with inexperienced investors, India's ambitious dream to boost solar power faces a host of problems that could slow plans to zoom production from near zero to 20 gigawatts by 2022.

Trinity shopping for more European fashion brands

Hong Kong luxury menswear operator Trinity Ltd, which last year bought Italy's Cerruti fashion house, is looking to acquire more heritage brands in Europe to fuel its expansion in China, set to become the world's biggest luxury market within the next decade.

Sony to report $3.2b annual loss

Sony Corp. is expecting an annual loss of $3.2 billion, reversing its earlier projection of a return to profit, as the electronics giant struggles with production disruptions from Japan's tsunami and a hacker attack on its online gaming service.

India still top in global consumer poll: Nielsen

Consumer confidence surged in the Middle East and North Africa in the first quarter in the wake of social uprisings, but deteriorated in the euro zone periphery as Portugal's financial woes came to a head, a survey showed on Sunday. India retained the top spot.

Euro zone, China PMIs ease as policy bites

Manufacturers in Europe and China tapped the brakes this month and price pressures eased as tighter policy measures to control inflation began to bite, purchasing managers' indexes showed on Monday.

Asian stocks tumble

Asian stocks fell sharply on Monday as traders were spooked by a downgrade of Greece's credit rating and fears over how the eurozone can dig itself out of its debt hole.


Adventure festival begins at DU

In a bid to attract youths towards adventurous activities, a week-long adventure festival began on Dhaka University campus yesterday.

Charges against 847 accused read out in court

The prosecution yesterday completed reading out charges against 847 accused, including former BNP lawmaker Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu and Awami League leader Torab Ali in the BDR carnage case.

Dipu Moni for trade with Kazakhstan

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday said Bangladesh and India achieved substantial progress in important areas, including resolving sharing of Teesta water, border demarcation and trade imbalance.

83pc child domestic helps abused physically, 17pc sexually: Study

About 17 percent of the child domestic workers are abused sexually while 83 percent physically by the family members of their employers, says a study.

Only IOM to repatriate Bangladeshis in Libya

The cabinet committee on economic affairs at a meeting yesterday approved appointment of International Organization for Migration (IOM) as the single agency for repatriating Bangladeshi migrants fleeing conflict-torn Libya.

Bus fare hike condemned

Dhaka Mohanagor Shomonnay committee of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) yesterday condemned the recent hike of bus fare in the capital.

Graft, red tape obstacle to development

Municipal mayors of Rajshahi division yesterday said corruption, bureaucratic tangles, and lack of economic strength of the municipalities are still hampering the progress of planned urbanisation.

Speaker Hamid for high tax on costly cigarettes

Speaker Abdul Hamid yesterday in parliament suggested that the government impose high tax on cigarettes especially on costly ones.

Dr Zahid freed on bail

Dr AZM Zahid Hossain, secretary general of Doctors' Association of Bangladesh (DAB), got bail yesterday in all eight cases filed against him in connection with Saturday's Nakhalpara land subsidence.

FM stresses trade with Kazakhstan

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday stressed the importance of exploring potentials in enhancing bilateral relations with Kazakhstan in various fields, particularly in trade and culture.

BNP protests arrest

BNP yesterday strongly protested and condemned the arrest of the party chairperson's advisory council member Dr AZM Zahid Hossain, saying that the government detained him, as he was working to reorganise professionals against the government misdeeds.

Mystery over kidnap of bank official

Mystery shrouds over the kidnapping incident of a bank officer from Agrabad Commercial area here on Sunday afternoon.

Chidananda Dasgupta passes away

Noted film critic Chidananda Dasgupta, father of renowned actor and director Aparna Sen, died in Kolkata on Sunday night following brief illness.

'Raise budgetary allocation in edn'

Increase of budgetary allocation in education sector should get top priority in the Sixth Five-Year Plan (SFYP), speakers at a discussion said yesterday.

HC asks for law on migrants' rights

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain within 15 days why it should not be directed to enact a comprehensive law and formulate a guideline to ensure rights of Bangladeshi migrants and workers abroad and to prevent human trafficking.

Body of housemaid recovered

Police recovered the body of a female domestic help from a house at Kalyanpur in the city yesterday.

25kg of grapes destroyed, sellers fined

A mobile court yesterday destroyed 25kg of grapes ripened with chemical and penalised the sellers Tk 2 lakh at a market in the city's Mohammadpur yesterday.

Malaysian killed in city road accident

A Malaysian citizen was killed in a road accident at Kakoli in the city early yesterday.

Kamrul Ashraf new BFA chair

Kamrul Ashraf Khan was elected the chairman of Bangladesh Fertilizer Association (BFA) for the period between 2011 and 2013, says a press release.

Baby Islam's anniversary of death today

Today is the first death anniversary of noted cinematographer, photographer, director, and producer Baby Islam.

Syed Kamrul Islam

Today is the 28th death anniversary of parliamentarian Barrister Syed Kamrul Islam Mohammad Salehuddin, says a press release.


Abeda Khanam, wife of Adv Abdur Rahim, former president Satkhira Bar Association and central committee member of Jatiya Party (JP-Ershad), passed away due to old-age complications at a clinic in Satkhira town Sunday night. She was 72.


AM Tasadduk Hossain, a former government official and elder brother of Prime Minister's adviser HT Imam, died of old age complications yesterday at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University at the age of 91, says a press release.


Bid winners for dead trees felling live ones

Labourers of two bid winners for cutting down dead trees are allegedly felling live trees along Lalmonirhat-Burimari highway in Patgram and Hatibandha upazilas of the district.

8 sued, others on list for Patuakhali river grabbing

Eight people have been sued for constructing structures, encroaching upon the Shibbaria River in Kalapara upazila of the district.

Students thank ministry but vow to continue fast unto death

Students of food technology and nutritional science (FTNS) department at Maolana Bhasani University of Science and Technology (MBUST) continued their fast unto death programme for the tenth day yesterday to realise their two-point demand.

Shibir men at SBMC beaten up, handed over to police

Activists of Chhatra League (BCL), student front of ruling Awami League, severely beat up their rival activists of Chhatra Shibir, student front of Jamaat-e-Islami on the Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College (SBMC) campus and handed them over to police yesterday.

Suspected Huji man arrested

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested a suspected operative of banned Harkat-ul Jihad Al Islami (Huji) and seized a few books on jihad (Islamist uprising) in Sadar upazila Sunday night.

Attempt to murder case against 36 in Natore finally withdrawn

An attempt to murder case, filed against 36 people in 2009, has been withdrawn considering it “politically motivated” and aimed at “harassment”.

13 pirates killed in gunfights with law enforcers in a year

Two notorious pirates killed in gunfight with a joint team of Rapid Action Battalion-8 and coastguards in the Sundarbans on Saturday were identified as Abdul Quddus Fakir, 52, of Pathorghata upazila in Barguna district and Jahangir, 42, of Rampal upazila in Bagerhat district.

Kala-Azar kills 1, infects 43 in Thakurgaon

A man died of Kala-Azar at Debiganj upazila health complex yesterday.

Transport strike called off

Indefinite transport strike on 18 routes of south-western region from Khulna has been called off.

Woman killed as house collapses during storm

An old woman was killed as an abandoned old building collapsed on her during storm at Saidpur town yesterday morning. Two of her sons were also injured in the incident.

Madrasa teacher abducted

A madrasa teacher was abducted on Sunday evening from Mohadebpur village of Ishwardi upazila.

2 housewives murdered in Satkhira, Natore

Two housewives were murdered in Satkhira and Natore districts yesterday and the day before.


Gunbattle in Yemen as transition deal collapses

Yemeni loyalist forces fought a gunbattle yesterday with opponents of entrenched President Ali Abdullah Saleh one day after he backed out of a Gulf-brokered accord for him to step down.

Troops end Taliban siege of Pak naval air base

Pakistani troops have ended a siege by militants who attacked a naval base in the city of Karachi, navy sources say.

Chile exhumes remains of late president

Nearly 38 years after President Salvador Allende died in a military coup and became a Cold War martyr of the international left, his body is being exhumed in a bid to determine the exact cause of his death.

EU sanctions Syria's Assad for first time

Europe tightened the noose on President Bashar al-Assad yesterday, sanctioning the Syrian leader for the first time for "unacceptable violence" as it responded to change in North Africa and the Middle East.

Sudan's Abyei ablaze after capture by north: UN

Sudan's flashpoint town of Abyei was ablaze yesterday with gunmen looting properties after its capture by northern troops, the United Nations said after demanding Khartoum pull out its forces.

Time for Priyanka to get into Indian politics

Veteran Congress leader Vasant Sathe has said it is time for Priyanka Vadra, daughter of the President of India's ruling Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, to get into active politics to help the party to retain power on its own in the 2014 parliamentary polls by discarding the coalition partners.

Cultured people happier, less stressed: study

People who go to museums and concerts or create art or play an instrument are more satisfied with their lives, regardless of how educated or rich they are, according to a study released yesterday.

Attacks kill five in Iraq

Violence in Iraq's disputed northern oil province of Kirkuk killed five people yesterday, the latest in a string of attacks in the region, as part of nationwide unrest that left nine dead.

US urges Saleh to step down

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton is accusing Yemen's president of turning his back on his commitments after he rejected a deal to step down.

N Korea's Kim visit east China

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il visited a development zone in eastern China yesterday, media reports said, as he pursued a secretive trip aimed at seeking answers for his nation's crippled economy.

Is Taliban leader Mullah Omar dead?

An International Security Assistance Force spokesman in Afghanistan said he "did not know" whether unconfirmed reports on yesterday of Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar's death were true or not.

Study ties Saif al-Adel with the offence

Saif al-Adel, an Egyptian militant recently appointed interim leader of al Qaeda operations, has been linked to the killing of US journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan in 2002, US investigators said in a report.

Socialists suffer crushing defeat

Spain's governing Socialist party has suffered heavy losses in local and regional elections.

Four killed in Afghan suicide blast

A suicide bomber struck a crowded Afghan bazaar yesterday, killing four civilians and wounding another 14 in a remote town in the east of the country.

Deadly Missouri tornado kills at least 89

At least 89 people have been killed after a tornado tore through the city of Joplin in the US state of Missouri, officials have said.

Icelandic volcano still erupting ash

An eruption by Iceland's most active volcano put Europe on high alert yesterday as a billowing ash cloud drifted toward Scotland and threatened to shut down airports across the northern edge of the continent.

Arts & Entertainment

1st Dhaka Int'l Theatre Festival

Three local troupes staged four plays on the second day (May 22) of the ongoing 1st Dhaka International Theatre Festival at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). The Bangladesh Centre of International Theatre Institute (ITI) has arranged the festival with support of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and BSA.

Three-day programme in Trishal on Nazrul's 112th birth anniversary

A three -day national level programme marking the 112th birth anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam will begin in Trishal here (at Nazrul Stage) on May 25. Jointly organised by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Mymensingh district administration, the celebration is to conclude on May 27.

Pop Sensation of Yesteryears Pilu Momtaz Passes Away

Pop phenomenon of yesteryears, Pilu Momtaz, is no more. She died of heart attack at Apollo Hospital, Dhaka at around 2am yesterday. She was 52. Born in Dhaka, Pilu Momtaz was the third of renowned artiste Ustad Momtaz Ali's seven children.

Monica Jahan Bose's solo painting exhibition in Washington D.C.

The Bangladesh Embassy in Washington D.C. recently held artist Monica Jahan Bose's solo painting exhibition, titled “Who Have You Left Behind?”. The exhibition featured bold mixed-media paintings and a feminist, fabric installation, using burnt saris and other materials. This exhibition was part of the celebration of 150th birth anniversary of Tagore, according to a press release.

Impressive Cultural Diplomacy

The Maitree (Friendship) Hall at the Bangladesh High Commission here was, on May 21, the venue of a “jugalbandi” (duet) featuring Rabindra Sangeet singer Dr. Chanchal Khan and reciter Dahlia Ahmed on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.

Cannes Gives Top Prize to “The Tree of Life”

In a strong year that was nearly eclipsed by off-screen scandals, the top prize for the 64th Cannes Film Festival was given to “The Tree of Life,” the long-awaited film from the American director and writer Terrence Malick. A story about transcendence that divided critics, who were alternately transported and turned off by its religious themes and elliptical storytelling, it is the first film from Malick since “The New World” (2005). The famously shy Malick did not appear to accept his award, which was introduced by Jane Fonda, who spoke in emphatic French before saying, “And maintenant, now, let's cut to the chase.” The competition jury president, Robert De Niro, hurriedly announced the winner.

DS Café

This month DS Café will have popular actor Mahfuz Ahmed take your calls. Readers will have the opportunity to converse with him on different issues and interesting aspects of his memorable roles. Call 8126155 on May 25, between 3 and 4pm, to speak to Mahfuz Ahmed!!!


A party in disarray

Moudud Ahmed, while addressing a protest rally of the BNP in Dhaka recently remarked that if the government withdraws the pending cases instituted against its party leader Khaleda Zia, his party would start attending parliament session from the very next day. There's nothing wrong with the demand, it being one of many that BNP has come up with. Interestingly it has been coming up with new demands every day. All to do with the party's convenience; and nothing really to do with national issues or people's interest.

System going flaming mad

I was on my way to a public sector workplace which deals with the receipt, storage and clearance of passenger and company cargo. On entering the premises, I saw a bored-looking uniformed operative standing at the entrance and checking entry and exit of people and vehicles. Fairly small, cramped and nondescript for a sizable multifunctional organisation, the car-park was filled with hundreds of frantic people and scores of assorted vehicles. We found a small niche fortuitously and parked the car. The paved area under the parked car betrayed traces of somewhat-fetid wastewater.

Education policy and 21st Century skills

The world has undergone fundamental shifts in recent decades -- widespread advances in technology and communications, booming economic developments and increased competition, increased dependency between and among nations, and the escalation of global challenges from financial meltdowns to global warming.

'Thy need is greater than mine'

The abiding link between the two events was not visible. Nevertheless, the innate significance radiated by both cannot but strike a responsive chord in sensitive hearts. The earlier event happened in Japan in a relief and rehabilitation center. It exemplified an instance of touching sacrifice by a teenager. Details of the moving incident will follow in a later paragraph.

Science & Life

Genes not still, they move

Every living cell, whether it is of animal or of plant origin, contains genes on their chromosomes inside the nucleus which is the heart of this basic unit of life. These arrays of genes are arranged on the chromosomes in such a way that they take positions in different places of the three dimensional space within the nucleus. Surprisingly, the genes can move! They are in a state of dynamism, so they are highly organized as well as very finely tuned at any given time and condition. The genes change their positions in response to the metabolic state of the cell and outside environment and the activity and function of genes are highly influenced by this.

Protein errors spark complexity!

Over four billion years of evolution, plants and animals grew far more complex than their single-celled ancestors. But a new comparison of proteins shared across species finds that complex organisms, including humans, have accumulated structural weaknesses that may have actually launched the long journey from microbe to man.

Smart, agile octopus

In case you thought that octopuses were smart only in guessing the outcome of soccer matches (remember the late Paul the octopus in Germany who picked all the right winners in last year's world cup matches in Johannesburg?), scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have now shown that not only are they smart, they can make some pretty good moves as well.

Milky Way a rare beauty

A new study suggests the Milky Way doesn't need a makeover: It's already just about perfect. Astronomers base that assertion on their discovery of a vast section of a spiral, star-forming arm at the Milky Way's outskirts. The finding suggests that the galaxy is a rare beauty with an uncommon symmetry one half of the Milky Way is essentially the mirror image of the other half.

Studying gravity ripples

Scientists in Europe will unveil plans today for an ambitious new observatory to seek out gravitational waves tiny ripples in the fabric of space-time and potentially uncover secrets of the earliest moments of the universe.

Face of 49-million-year-old spider

A very old spider has shown its face to the world for the first time in 49 million years, as scientists used high-tech X-ray methods to peer through the shroud of amber encasing the fossilized arachnid.

What is ophidiophobia?

Ophidiophobia is a Greek term which is a combination of 'ophis' meaning snake and phobia meaning fear. Ophidiophobia refers to the fear of snakes, alternatively termed as herpetophobia. This kind of phobia is quite distinct from the fear of venom. An ophidiophobiac is usually afraid of snakes, not only when they come in contact with one but even when they think of snakes or see them on TV or in a magazine.

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