The Daily Star

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

News of: Saturday, 18th of June, 2011

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Front Page

Tidal surges batter coast

The depression over the Bay made landfall between the southwestern districts of Bangladesh and West Bengal, triggering tidal surge that destroyed homes and crops, damaged dams and disrupted communication in the wee hours yesterday.

Graft documents vanish

The documents on Roads and Highways Department officials' confessions of corruption and irregularities have mysteriously vanished from the communications ministry.

Talks only option for BNP, says AL

The country's constitution would be amended in line with the Supreme Court verdict if the main opposition BNP does not join talks with the ruling party over the caretaker system.

Foresters fight uneven battle with loggers

The gang of illegal loggers could not but laugh when three forest officials equipped with sticks challenged them on a canal under Patkostha forest camp deep in the Sundarbans.

Bangladesh peacekeepers to lead Sudan reinforcement

More than 120 Bangladeshi troops will lead reinforcements sent to the strife-torn Sudanese state of South Kordofan, where Khartoum government troops are battling forces loyal to southern Sudan, UN officials said Thursday.

BNP defers road march for bad weather

The main opposition BNP has decided to delay its road march to the northern region for inclement weather, say party high-ups.

Workers Party for caretaker

Workers Party of Bangladesh yesterday spoke in favour of holding the next two parliamentary elections under the caretaker government.

Road crash kills 4 cops in Bogra

Five people including four policemen were killed and at least five others injured yesterday afternoon in a road accident on the Bogra-Natore highway in Shahjahanpur upazila.

Hope against hope for Rumana's eyes

Rumana Manzur, the Dhaka University teacher who was brutally assaulted by her husband, is coming back home as doctors in India could not give much hope about her eyes, said family sources.

Saleh won't return

Embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, being treated for shrapnel wounds in Riyadh, will not return home, a top Saudi official told AFP yesterday, contrary to Sanaa's claims that he will return soon.

Global food prices to be high, volatile

Food prices will be high and volatile for the next decade, driven by rising incomes in emerging nations and demand for biofuel, a joint OECD and FAO report forecast yesterday.

Jamuna urea factory shut for 3 months

Jamuna Fertiliser Company Limited (JFCL), country's largest urea producing company, remains shut for nearly three months due to gas crisis.

Khaleda unhappy

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia expressed unhappiness over the leaking of party decisions before the party formally announced them or even before she approved them.

Bumper harvest of pineapple

Madhupur upazila of Tangail district is having a bumper yield of pineapples this season.

CU student commits suicide

A student of Chittagong University (CU) committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his rented house on Khawja Road under Chandgaon Police Station in the port city on Thursday evening.

Indian army chief due tomorrow

Indian Army Chief Gen V K Singh arrives Dhaka tomorrow on a five-day visit.

2 brutally killed in Dinajpur

Police recovered two decapitated bodies from a paddy field near Dhapa River in Kaharol upazila of Dinajpur district yesterday morning.

1 dies in Rangpur poll clash

A man was killed and five were injured in a clash over union parishad elections in Pirgachha upazila of Rangpur yesterday evening.

Rape 'tools of war' in Libya: Hillary

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused the forces of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Thursday of using rape and violence against women as "tools of war."

Jailed Iran brothers win global health prize

Two Iranian doctors who were jailed three years ago for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government were awarded a global health prize on Thursday for their efforts to treat patients with HIV.


Khaleda's signal can be built up on

For the first time since the ruling AL and the opposition BNP locked their horns on caretaker issue, we think, Begum Zia has indicated a willingness to have talks with the ruling party if the caretaker system were retained. Though the prime minister had initially ruled out the retention of CTG 'after the court verdict', lately she has been making repeated overtures to the opposition leader urging her to place her formula for CTG reform on the table. This, she felt, was necessitated by the SC verdict as well as the experience with the abuse of the system in 2007-08.

Toxic tastes

Food is the basic necessity for life and there is nothing worse than adulterating it. Yet, many fruit orchard owners, traders and distributors are unabashedly ripening and preserving the natural produce using all kinds of unnatural chemicals. A mobile court has recently destroyed around 30,000 toxic bananas in Pabna Sadar upazila. But it's only one of many such cases.


Brothers confirm Super Cup berth

Brothers Union confirmed their Super Cup berth with a 2-1 win over Rahmatganj MFS in the Bangladesh League fixture at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday, thanks of a double-strike from Brazilian playmaker Everton Souza.

Windies reduce margin

World champions India were trumped by half-centuries from Darren Bravo and Ramnaresh Sarwan that guided West Indies to a second consolation victory in the final one-day international on Thursday.

Siddikur swings back

Siddikur Rahman moved up to joint fourth at the end of round two of the Queen's Cup with a sparkling 68 at the Santiburi Samui Country Club in Thailand yesterday. Coupled with his first round score of 69, Siddikur was tied with three other golfers at five-under-par 137 (71-par-course) as some 67 players made the cut into the final two rounds. Last year's champion Tetsuji Hiratsuka shot a 70 but is six shots back.

Rajshahi, Dhaka in today's final

Rajshahi take on Dhaka today in the final of the Meizan National Youth Kabaddi Competition at the Kabaddi Stadium.

Sachin doubts 'consistency' of UDRS

Batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar has defended India's refusal to use the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) during an upcoming tour of England, saying it needed to be more consistent.

Cantonians, Shoans win in baskteball

The Shaons club continued their winning streak in the Citycell Basketball League beating Josephites 67-45 in their latest match at the Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnasium yesterday. Courtesy of 28 points scored by Bashar, The Shaons took a first-half lead of 32-18. Lincoln scored 16 for Shaons while Tanvir and Shakib scored 16 and 9 points respectively for the losing side.

Munshiganj champs

Munshiganj clinched the title of the 5th Women's Kho Kho Championship for the fourth in a row when they defeated Khulna by an innings and two points in the final at the Volleyball Stadium on Thursday.

Tremlett 6 destroys SL

Chris Tremlett marked his return to the Rose Bowl with a Test-best haul to leave Sri Lanka on 177 for nine when rain forced an early tea on the second day of the third and final Test.

Either Serena or Venus

The imposing figures of Serena and Venus Williams are looming over Wimbledon as the most famous sister act in sport attempts to maintain a decade of dominance at the All England Club.

Li looking for double

China's Li Na rewrote the record books by winning the French Open, and the overnight Asian superstar can cement her place among the game's elite by sealing back-to-back Slams at Wimbledon.

Planting the seeds

Two decades into their induction as a Test-playing team, the West Indies assembled a number of supremely talented cricketers in the immediate decade after World War II.

Gayle, WICB clash

Rebel West Indies batsman Chris Gayle is so frustrated and disillusioned with his Cricket Board officials that he might consider walking away from the national team, a media report has claimed.

Isner & Mahut in Wimbledon repeat

American John Isner and France's Nicolas Mahut were improbably drawn to face each other in Wimbledon's first round on Friday, in a repeat of their marathon 183-game epic at last year's championships.

Haider fined

Pakistan on Friday fined runaway wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider 5,800 dollars and put him on a year's probation for abandoning the team in Dubai over alleged death threats.

Barcelona warn Real Madrid

Barcelona on Thursday warned their great rivals Real Madrid they would be forced to sever ties between the clubs if Real continue to "cross the line" of sportsmanship.

United to enter Modric chase

Manchester United are considering entering a bidding war with Chelsea for the services of Tottenham's Luka Modric, while it is believed that Manchester City are also keen on joining the race.

Villa appoint McLeish

Alex McLeish vowed to win over Aston Villa's supporters on Friday after being confirmed as the Premier League club's new manager following days of angry protests by fans.

MU open at West Brom

Champions Manchester United will kick off the defence of their Premier League crown at West Brom before facing Tottenham and Arsenal at Old Trafford, fixtures for the 2010/2011 season showed Friday.

Match-fixers get lifetime ban

South Korea's professional football league on Friday imposed a lifetime ban on 10 players who have been charged with match-fixing schemes, the toughest penalty in its 28-year history.

USA face red-hot Jamaica

The United States will take on red-hot Jamaica in Sunday's quarterfinal match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the most important contest for the US since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

'The animal' put in a cage

Former Brazil forward Edmundo was arrested on Thursday in connection with a car crash in 1995 that left three dead, police here reported.


Withdraw cases against Limon

Songkhubdho Nagorik Samaj, a platform to protect human rights, yesterday demanded withdrawal of cases against Limon Hossain who lost a leg in Rab shooting late March.

Habibur raps home minister's no-sorry stance

Former chief justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman yesterday said he is disappointed because the home minister does not regret extrajudicial killings rather she defends them on grounds of "self-defence".

Water Women

I see them whenever I visit Shakhari Bazar, old Dhaka. Wearing bright saris, they gather around tubewells, filling Kolshis with water. The shiny aluminium Kolshis have their own queue next to the tubewells. After a Kolshi is filled, its owner lifts it, places it on her waist, hooks her arm around its neck, and walks off. The next Kolshi takes its turn.

BSF tortures 3 cattle traders

Three Bangladeshi cattle traders, tortured and left unconscious by Border Security Force (BSF) of India on Thursday night at Dhannokhola village of Benapole, were admitted to a local hospital in critical condition yesterday.

Implement funds for environment

Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa) yesterday demanded government's effective initiatives to implement the proposed allocation of national budget for the environmental sector.

5 killed, 17 hurt in road crashes

Five people were injured and 17 others injured in road accidents in Thakurgaon, Chapainawabganj, Natore, Comilla and Rangpur districts yesterday.

UP info centres solving social problems

Many people in rural areas, where Facebook and Twitter are still less familiar, have found the Union Information Service Centers (UISCs) more convenient and effective online platform for precise reasons, specially for getting solutions to various types of social problems.

Rewrite war history listening to people

Speakers at an international seminar here yesterday said historians should go to people's door to obtain the true history of the country's liberation war.

2 Jubo League men held after attack on journos

Police arrested Mohonganj upazila unit two Jubo League activists on Thursday night following vandalism and attack on journalists at Mohonganj Press Club on Wednesday night.

PSC with ConocoPhillips condemned

Different political and social organisations yesterday strongly protested the government's signing of a production-sharing contract (PSC) with US-based oil company ConocoPhillips for oil and gas exploration in two deep-sea blocks.

Pry teacher sued for rape attempt

A primary school teacher in Sailkupa upazila has been absconding since June 14 after he attempted to rape a class III student during school hours the same day.

Youth murdered in city

Unidentified criminals hacked a youth to death at his residence in the city's Jatrabari on Thursday.

Youth hacked to death

Criminals hacked a youth to death at Chakchatiani village in Sadar upazila on Thursday night.

Mayor Manjur wants 2,000cr to prevent waterlogging

Chittagong city Mayor Manjur Alam yesterday urged the government to allocate Tk 2,000 crore for Drainage Master Plan to permanently solve waterlogging in the port city.

Punishment to rapist demanded

Different indigenous organisations yesterday staged demonstration demanding exemplary punishment of the rapist of an indigenous student in Baro Ultachhari village of Langadu upazila of Rangamati.

Cultural org office set afire

Unknown miscreants set fire to a leading cultural organisation, Shilparath, in the district town of Manikganj yesterday.

Paturia-Daulatdia ferry resumes

Ferry service on Paturia-Daulatdia route resumed around 9:30am yesterday after 12 hours of disruption for stormy weather.

Tower control room gutted

The control room of a Banglalink tower in Gondho-baria under Lohagara upazila was gutted in a fire originated from electric short-circuits yesterday.

Call for fight against drug abuse

Pro Vice Chancellor of Chittagong University (CU) Dr Md Alauddin yesterday warnings on cigarette packets are a wrong way to discourage smoking and the government must impose a ban on marketing cigarettes.

1,350 bottles phensedyl seized

Police seized 1,350 bottles of phensedyl with a private car at Kazipara village of Sailkupa upazila on Thursday night.

Death anniversary

Today is the 30th death anniversary of Ehsan Ul Haque Md Al Mahfuz, a naval cadet and son of AM Ataul Haque, a former acting chief of the Bangladesh Navy, says a press release.

Dhaka University Day on July 1

Dhaka University (DU) authority will celebrate Dhaka University Day on July 1 on the campus in the city with much festivity and enthusiasm.

Fire breaks out at Trust Bank's Dhaka Cantt branch

A fire originated from a source unknown till filing of the report gutted a room of a floor of Trust Bank Ltd at Garrison in Dhaka cantonment last night.


More than one million evacuated

More than one million people in China have been evacuated following downpours that have raised water levels in rivers to critical highs, and triggered floods and landslides, the government has said.

Gaddafi in talks with Libya's rebels: Russian envoy

Muammar Gaddafi's regime is in direct talks with Libya's rebels, a Russian envoy has indicated, as the strongman's son said the way out of a months-long conflict is the staging of elections.

Dispute escalates

China staged three days of military exercises in the South China Sea and plans to boost its offshore maritime patrol force, state media said yesterday, as tensions with its neighbours simmer.

UN official calls for aid to North Korea

A senior United Nations official yesterday called for urgent aid to North Korea, pleading with international donors to overlook political difficulties in the face of a humanitarian crisis.

Japan to clean radioactive water

Emergency crews at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant yesterday prepared to start decontaminating more than 100,000 tonnes of highly radioactive water from three months of reactor cooling operations.

Saudi women defy drive ban

A number of Saudi women drove cars yesterday in response to calls for nationwide action to break a traditional ban, unique to the ultra-conservative kingdom, according to reports on social networks.

No chance of peace

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman yesterday bluntly told the European Union's top diplomat that UN recognition of a Palestinian state in September would render the Oslo Accords null and void.

Greece axes finance minister amid debt crisis

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou axed his finance minister yesterday amid the country's crippling dead crisis, promoting defence minister Evangelos Venizelos to the post, a spokesman said.

Syrian forces kill six protesters

Security forces opened fire on Syrian protesters yesterday and killed at least six people, including two in the northern flashpoint city of Homs, activists told AFP in Nicosia.

UN Council backs Ban for 2nd term

The Security Council yesterday unanimously recommended that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon be elected for a second five-year term beginning in January 2012.

Sudan troops lock in fresh border clashes

The armies of north and south Sudan clashed on the country's tense border on Friday, near the flashpoint Abyei region, the southern army spokesman said, less than a month before southern independence.

Nepal begins first census in 20 years

Nepal began its first nationwide census in 20 years yesterday, mapping its population and towns for the first time since the end of its decade-long civil war that claimed an estimated 16,000 lives.

Philippines hails landmark maids treaty

The Philippines, which sends out tens of thousands of maids to work abroad every year, yesterday hailed a landmark International Labour Organisation treaty giving protection to domestic workers.

Four troops shot dead in Thai south

Unknown gunmen shot and killed four soldiers on motorbike patrol in Thailand's insurgency-plagued south, police said yesterday.

Six killed in Vietnam gold mine accident

Six people died when an illegal gold mine collapsed in central Vietnam, a government official said yesterday, in the latest incident of its kind.

Nigeria's Islamists claim suicide bombing

A radical Islamist sect has claimed responsibility for Nigeria's first suicide bombing, saying the attack that killed two at Abuja's police headquarters targetted the country's police chief.

UN rights council passes 'historic' gay rights resolution

The UN Human Rights Council yesterday passed a "historic" resolution that seeks equal rights for all regardless of sexual orientation, marking significant progress for gay rights.

Russia to sign French warship buying deal

Russia will sign a contract for the purchase of two French Mistral-class warships yesterday, the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Russian defence officials as saying.

Flights resume as ash moves off New Zealand

Flights between Australia and New Zealand were returning to normal yesterday after an ash cloud spewed by a Chilean volcano moved away, almost a week after causing trans-Tasman havoc.

Arts & Entertainment

A riveting demonstration of Chhau dance

A workshop (starting from June 8) on Chhau dance ended with performances at Bangladesh Shishu Academy auditorium, in Dhaka, on June 16. Organised by Nrityanchal, the workshop held at the Rehearsal Room of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy was conducted by Chhau exponent Swapan Majumder and his wife Sucheta Majumder. Around 75 young dancers participated in the workshop.

Defence of Socrates

Theatre troupe Drishyapat staged its much-acclaimed production “Socrates-er Jobanbondi” at the National Theatre Festival on June 16. The play was staged at the Experimental Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Written by Shishir Kumar Das, the play was directed by Ali Mahmood.

Aamir Khan: The whole system changed after “Lagaan”

Ten years ago, Aamir Khan's life changed in a way he could have never imagined. It was when his debut production “Lagaan” hit the screens.

“Poush Faguner Pala” scores century

“Poush Faguner Pala”, the mega serial directed by Afsana Mimi, is set to hit the 100-episode landmark on June 21. Cast and crew of the serial gathered at the ATN Bangla office last Tuesday to mark the occasion through a press briefing.


Behind the caretaker controversy

Political climate in Bangladesh, as of now, is ominously hot. The acrimonious debate centres around the retention or otherwise of the constitutionally incorporated neutral and non-partisan caretaker arrangement that oversees the general election. The apex court while pronouncing on the illegality of the caretaker dispensation has perhaps taken note of the political and administrative reality on ground. It is thus no wonder that while declaring the arrangement prospectively void, it has reportedly recommended the retention of the same for two more general elections.

India and the ISI

It's a welcome development that New Delhi has found time to hold talks with Pakistan in the midst of internal upheavals that the Manmohan Singh government faces. Foreign secretaries of the two countries are meeting later this month at Islamabad. They talked to each other during the summit at Thimpu, Bhutan, in February but apparently found little time to pursue any topic.

Pessimism grips citizens, sanity needed

Leaders of the political parties are drifting on the tides, oblivious of the thunderheads piling high on the far horizon. Nobody realises that the country is sliding into a crisis -- the loss of faith in all. This erosion of confidence in leaders and politics of the country may be fatal for our fledgling democracy.

US foreign policy and Israel

US president Obama has adopted a new foreign policy to recover the image of US damaged by the Bush Doctrine of "might is right." The main objectives of Obama's foreign policy are:

FAO and the promotion of universal food security

This article is intended to all of those who wish to contribute towards the fight against hunger in the world. I decided to write it in support of the candidacy of my friend José Graziano da Silva to the office of Director General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).


In the last sentence of the fourth paragraph of our last Friday's article titled "Maturity, if not statesmanship…" the words 'two years' should have read 'two terms'. The author regrets the error.

This Day In History

June 18

French forces under the leadership of Joan of Arc defeat the main English army under Sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay. This turns the tide of the Hundred Years' War.


CHT forests: Hidden treasure

Forests occupy approximately one-third of Earth's land area and contain about 70% of carbon present in living things. Forests are a unique economic asset. They are the lungs of our planet and they provide for untapped potential of carbon capture and storage through afforestation, reforestation, and enhanced forest conservation, which is also a major component for climate change mitigation. At the same time, forest is the provider of many other ecosystem services such as freshwater enhancement, soil conservation, biodiversity conservation etc. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) considered forests throughout the world as the basis for more than 5000 products, from aromatic oil distilled leaves to herbal medicines, fuel, food, furniture, and clothing. However, total forestlands of Bangladesh are decreasing day by day. As a signatory to CBD, it is mandatory to emphasize on conservation of every forest to enhance sustainable development including massive afforestation programme.

Forests: Ecological, economic and cultural services

Forests and human beings are closely related with each other from the very beginning of the human history. Great social value of forests and their many ecological and economic services render significant contribution towards maintaining life conditions on earth. However, forest resources are being depleted at a great pace worldwide causing increased threat for living conditions on this planet. In the face of continuing deforestation (at 5.2 million hectares worldwide per year) the theme of World Environment Day 2011 “Forests: Nature at Your Service” appeared rather challenged. At the juncture of global climate change and rapid deforestation in Bangladesh (the annual rate in Bangladesh is 3.3 percent which is 0.6 percent in South Asia), it is now high time to look back at the ecological, economic and cultural roles played by forests. So that appropriate measures are taken before it is too late.


Syed Manzoorul Islam: Tales of the post-modern

Successful post-modern Bengali writers of short stories in Bangladesh are few in number. And surely Syed Manzoorul Islam, professor of English at Dhaka University, is among those few who have embellished the genre of short story in many ways. In contemporary Bengali literature Syed Manzoorul Islam is one of the remarkable pioneers of postmodernism and is equally well-versed in writing on a number of genres, namely short story, essay, novel, literary and art criticism. However, he disagrees with the notion of himself as an author of multifarious genres. He simply considers himself to be a storyteller. The way he relates stories is similar to the way Gabriel García Márquez tells his stories. Both move from one point of view to another.

Kolkata revisited . . .

I was visiting Kolkata after ten long years. It was last December. One of my childhood friends received me at the airport. As he drove down the roads I remembered the times when I would travel with my mother from India to what was then East Pakistan. Night had fallen and I could hardly recognise the roads that took me to the area I was quite acquainted with --- Elliot Road in the Park Circus area. It was the place where I had gone to school. Yes, we, my husband I, were going to live with my friends on Elliot Road, the spot where I spent twelve formative years of my life. It was Loreto Day School which had opened up my world to the world which beckoned outside. The roads seemed more crowded and pollution had increased. But the sounds and smells were the same that I had known earlier.

Dream evening in Heidelberg

The launch of the Bengali-German poetry compilation of Bangladeshi poet Sheikh

Wayfarer's song


Star Health

More blood, more life

Treating the patient with blood and thus saving valuable lives when all other means of treatment becomes standstill is a miraculous achievement in the history of medicine. This art of treatment gives a sense of doing something for humanity. Millions of people owe their lives to people whom they never met — the heroes who donated blood voluntarily and without any reward.

How to clean baby’s ear safely

New parents always want to take best possible care of their babies. Sometimes they cannot deliver the best care simply because they do not have experience. Very often, parents ask physician about cleaning of baby’s ear. Is it really necessary to clean the ear? How to clean them safely or how often we should do that? These are frequently asked questions asked by new parents.

Is your child using Marijuana?

Marijuana use has some common signs among most of its users. If your child is high on Marijuana, they might seem dizzy and have trouble walking; seem silly and giggly for no reason; have very red, bloodshot eyes; and have a hard time remembering things that just happened. When the early effects fade, over a few hours, the user can become very sleepy.

Proper medical waste management to prevent HIV

My first impression of Sobuj was made by his helpless look, a severely ill 18-year old boy, weighing just over 20 kg. He was scared but willing to get treated. For the last two years he had been suffering from recurrent respiratory tract infections, oral infections, low grade fever with productive cough, stomachache, running nose and severe diarrhoea. He was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS that was transmitted through contaminated needle.

Olive oil helps prevent stroke

Olive oil can help prevent strokes in people over 65, a study published in the Journal Neurology suggests. The study found the stroke risk was 41 percent lower in those who regularly used olive oil compared with those who abstained, once other factors such as diet, exercise and weight were taken into account.

Syphilis screening in pregnancy cut baby deaths

Hundreds of thousands of babies' lives could be saved each year if pregnant women were screened for syphilis, researchers say. The research study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, showed that testing and antibiotics could more than halve the number of deaths.

Strategic Issues

Heroes beyond national frontiers

On 27th May 2011, nation received a text message from Armed Forces Division which reads as follows: On "International Day of UN Peacekeepers", May 29, we pay tribute to all peacekeepers and are proud to be number one in UN peacekeeping in the world AFD. It was indeed very good news for the nation to be the leader of Peacekeeping in the World competing with other professional Armed Forces. It is not the first time that we become a world leader; we have been the leader in 2005 too. Thanks to UN and AFD for remembering us and the sacrifice made by our friends and colleagues to bring peace throughout the globe. But this leadership in peacekeeping did not come in a day or two. Bangladesh Armed Forces had to sacrifice a lot to come to this state.

Russia, Iran, and the Reset

In addition to improving cooperation on other issues, one of the goals of the Obama Administration's effort to "reset" Russian-American relations was to obtain greater help from Moscow with regard to the Iranian nuclear issue. In 2010, it appeared that this policy was highly successful. In June 2010, Russia joined with the US and most other members of the UN Security Council in imposing increased sanctions on Iran for its continued non-cooperation on the nuclear issue. And in September 2010, Russian President Medvedev announced that Moscow would not be shipping the S-300 air defense missile systems to Tehran that it had earlier agreed to do. So far in 2011, though, Moscow has been backpedaling on Iran. President Medvedev has reverted to the earlier Russian line that there is no proof that Tehran seeks to acquire nuclear weapons. Foreign Minister Lavrov has made clear -- repeatedly -- that Moscow not only does not support further sanctions against Iran, but thinks that the time has come to ease them.

Russia protests arrival of US Navy cruiser in Black Sea

Russia on Sunday protested the arrival of a US Navy cruiser equipped with a ballistic missile defence system in the Black Sea to take part in naval exercises with neighbouring Ukraine, saying it was a threat to its national security.

Global Strike Command tests nuclear readiness

Airmen with Global Strike Command recently completed the first command-wide nuclear operational readiness exercise, called Constant Vigilance, without taking a break from scheduled wing-level activities, exercises and training. "This operation energized every part of the command," said Maj. Scott Ryan, the deputy chief for the Air Force Exercise Operations branch at Global Strike Command headquarters. "It allowed our units to train like they fight."

Star Books Review

Between reality and fantasy

I was not surprised when presented with a printed copy of Amiya Sadnam Chowdury's debut English novella Wings as I had earlier had an opportunity to have a glimpse of the typed manuscript. What really surprised me was this young writer's grasp of the English language as it is not his mother tongue, nor was he brought up, as far as I know, in an ambience where this foreign language could be a part of his being. But it's not just the language of the novella that kept me almost glued to its pages. His very attractive art of storytelling pulled me along the pages of the rather slim volume of this novella.

Friends in emotional upheaval

Something Borrowed is now a major motion picture that people are crowding to watch. This is a book for all people who have friends and know that the world can be a lively place when friends are around. The story is about loyalty to friends and about betrayals. Rachel and Darcy have been friends ever since their childhood. Both girls have grown up as neighbors in Indiana, USA. They have been best friends throughout their elementary and high school. And now both are in New York and are working; and the great thing is that they are still the best of friends. Rachel, the lawyer, is the quiet and steady one and Darcy, working for a private firm, is loquacious, the one who can be out partying all the time.

An inquiry into Hindu philosophy

Three separate long essays on the Vedas, the concept of God in Hinduism and the philosophy of the Gita comprise the book Sonaton Sonskriti (Hindu Culture). The title is well enough to make one understand the contents of the book written by Subrata Bhattacharya, a philanthropic knowledge-seeker of Kurigram, Bangladesh. The worthy introduction by the noted naturalist Dwijen Sharma along with lucidity in language and simplicity in presentation have made Sonaton Sonskriti a good handbook for every reader, irrespective of religious beliefs or inclination.

The sorry end of a nationalist

Fifty years after his murder, Patrice Lumumba continues to inspire spirited passion in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Of course, in the days when the Soviet Union was around, Lumumba was accorded immortality through the establishment of a university after him in Moscow. On top of everything, men who have waged bitter struggles against western colonialism around the globe have been relentless in their remembrance of the man who became the Congo's founding prime minister and who, soon afterwards, was pushed to a death in the most horrible of circumstances.

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