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News of: Tuesday, 9th of August, 2011

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Khaleda sued

The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday sued former prime minister Khaleda Zia and three others for abusing power to set up a charitable trust named after late president Ziaur Rahman.

Tarique arraigned

A Dhaka court yesterday framed money laundering charges against BNP Senior Vice-chairman Tarique Rahman and issued an arrest warrant against him, who is now staying in London for treatment.

No bail for Babar

A Chittagong tribunal yesterday rejected bail prayer of former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar in two cases relating to 10-truck arms haul in 2004.

Police helped mob in killing

A police enquiry has found that law enforcers helped a mob beat dead 16-year-old Shamsuddin Milon in Noakhali on July 27.

Petrobangla rapped over gas failure

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday expressed her unhappiness over poor progress in improving gas supply and renewed her instructions to avoid load-shedding during Sehri and Ifter hours.

BAU teachers assaulted by BCL activists

At least three teachers of Bangladesh Agricultural University were injured yesterday as a group of Chhatra League activists swooped on a silent procession of teachers protesting an attack on the proctor's residence on Sunday night.

London riots enter day 2

Police have condemned a wave of "copycat criminal activity" across London in a second night of looting and disorder following riots in Tottenham.

Compromise not reached

The Supreme Court Bar Association's initiative for a compromise on two cases filed against 12 pro-BNP-Jamaat lawyers failed as pro-Awami League lawyers did not attend its “compromise meeting” yesterday.

One killed in gunfight with cops

One suspected criminal was killed in a gunfight between police and his cohorts at the capital's Porabosti slum at Kalyanpur early yesterday.

Fined for noisy generators

The Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined four business organisations Tk 6.5 lakh for causing noise pollution through generators at Gulshan in the capital.

Bad weather worsens traffic disorders

Long-suffering city commuters were stuck in severe traffic jam on major thoroughfares yesterday due to adverse weather conditions.

Dalai Lama's successor sworn in

Lobsang Sangay, a 43-year-old Harvard scholar, took office yesterday as head of the Tibetan government in exile, vowing to free his homeland from Chinese "colonialism".

Ulfa acted on its own

Top leaders of United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) slipped to Bangladesh after their lives came under threat in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, Arabinda Rajkhowa, chairman of the separatist group, told an Indian English daily.

Int'l day of indigenous people today

The International Day of the World's Indigenous People will be observed today in the country and around the globe at a time when the very identity of the adivasi people has become a subject of debate in Bangladesh.

Morning smoking riskier

People who smoke soon after getting up in the morning are more likely to develop cancer than those who light up later in the day, say US researchers.

Australia's Antarctic claim at risk: Study

Australia holds the largest claim to Antarctica but risks losing it in any race to unlock the frozen continent's potentially vast mineral and energy resources, an influential thinktank said yesterday.

Gestapo's most wanted WWII heroine dies at 98

One of the most highly decorated Allied secret agents of World War II, Nancy Wake, has died in London aged 98.


Throwing to the 'wolf' in Noakhali

The news, and that too, belated, of cops letting a mob in Noakhali beat a 16-year-old boy to death, is shocking. Not only has the worrying trend of mob violence become a common occurrence in recent days, but in this particular case, the role of the police has made it even more alarming. According to witnesses, the law enforcers actually verbally encouraged the mob to kill the boy. If he was in fact a robber -- as police have claimed but which locals have said is unlikely -- then it was the job of the police to arrest him, not let the mob beat him to death, thereby taking the law into their own hands.

River land grabbed by agencies

In what must be the most blatant violation of government rules and environmental laws by agencies of the government, the Rajuk, the DCC and the Rapid Action Battalion have been filling up portions of Ramchandrapur, Baunia and a channel of the Buriganga. The Baunia filling up is to build an approach road for Rajuk's Purbachal project, while the filling up of Ramchandrapur canal is for building a road in Mohammadpur area. The Buriganga is being filled up to make room for RAB-10 office and residential quarters. And there is also the BIWTA, which is filling up the Buriganga to construct a market at Sadrghat. The matter assumes a comical quality since some of the violators are also a part of the Task Force.


If those words were runs

One could easily gauge the mood of Stuart Law yesterday; the look in his eyes, though he was wearing sunglasses, was one of frustration. As well as being upset by the worst possible start to his coaching tenure in terms of result, Law was as frustrated by the happenings behind the scenes in the dressing room.

Into the abyss

As far as hitting an abyss goes, the Tigers have hit an even lower one at the Harare Sports Club yesterday, if that was possible.

We never wanted a draw: Shakib

Shakib Al Hasan said that the Tigers never had the thought of drawing the one-off Test match against Zimbabwe, which they ended up losing by 130 runs yesterday.

Arg-Nig tickets on sale

Tickets for the Argentina-Nigeria International friendly match scheduled for September 6 went on sale yesterday at eight branches of IFIC Bank in the capital yesterday. However the sale of tickets did not gather much pace on the opening day as around 250 tickets of the allotted 11000 were sold. Those tickets were of both the Eastern and Western Galleries priced at Tk 7500 and Tk 10000 respectively.

Academy lose series

GP-BCB National Cricket Academy lost the one-day series against their South African counterparts with one match in hand when they suffered a six-wicket defeat against the CSA National Academy in the second match at Lenasia, Johannesburg on Sunday.

Booters lose to Pakistan

Bangladesh bid bye to SAFF U-16 Championship when they lost against Pakistan 2-0 in the first semifinal at the Dasrath Stadium in Kathmandu yesterday.


On the fifth morning, the back page of a local newspaper screamed, “We can smell victory” with a picture of Brendan Taylor on top.

Fingers crossed for MS

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni may be showing the first signs of buckling under pressure but the wicketkeeper-batsman remains the best man for the job, according to former players.

Sunny & Ravi bought off commentators?

Former India captains Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri have been accused of a conflict of interest amid claims payments from the Indian cricket board would sway their television commentary.

Big names struck off PCB roll

Pakistan on Monday dropped under-scrutiny former captain Shoaib Malik, wicketkeeper batsman Kamran Akmal and leg-spinner Danish Kaneria from the list of players awarded contracts.

Selection puzzles Akram

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram said Monday he was surprised over the decision to exclude pacemen Wahab Riaz and Umar Gul from the forthcoming Zimbabwe tour, saying it would hamper their progress.

Stepanek shock for Monfils

Radek Stepanek became the oldest winner of the ATP Washington Classic since Jimmy Connors in 1988, the 32-year-old Czech upsetting French top seed Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-4 in Sunday's championship match.

Trials for U-19 booters start

Bangladesh Football Federation started the trials of the forming the U-19 national team for the upcoming AFC U-19 qualifiers on Monday.

Pistorius's dream fulfilled

A dream came true for double-amputee Oscar Pistorius Monday when he was named in the South African team for the World Championships this month.

Gladbach stun Bayern

Star-studded Bayern Munich started the new season with a shock 1-0 home defeat to Borussia Moechengladbach on Sunday thanks to a mix-up between new signings Manuel Neuer and Jerome Boateng.

Monreal replaces Ramos

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has called up Malaga defender Ignacio Monreal to replace the injured Sergio Ramos for the squad to face Italy in a friendly on Wednesday.

Rennes rout Dijon

Rennes took top spot in the French Ligue 1 table after the first weekend of the new season with a 5-1 rout of newcomers Dijon on Sunday.

Hart extends City deal

England goalkeeper Joe Hart has signed a new five-year contract with Manchester City that will keep him at Eastlands until 2016, the Premier League club announced Monday.

Tevez's future uncertain

Want-away striker Carlos Tevez returned to Manchester City's training ground on Monday with the Argentina forward's future still up for debate.

Neuer admits blunder

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer took full responsibility for his second-half blunder as his new club Bayern Munich started the season with a shock 1-0 defeat to Moenchengladbach.


Exports rise 28pc in July

Exports increased by 28.70 percent in the first month of the current fiscal year compared with the same month last year, according to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data released yesterday.

SEC to set up committee on troubled market

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday decided to set up a committee with merchant banks in a bid to bring normalcy back to the troubled stockmarket.

JP Morgan to bankroll Biman aircraft

JP Morgan, a global financial services firm, has announced it would provide Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd with a loan of $277 million to support the airline's long-term expansion plan.

Stocks spring back

,Dhaka stocks bounced back yesterday, bucking a losing trend. The benchmark yardstick of Dhaka Stock Exchange, DGEN, rose 103 points, or 1.69 percent, to 6,223 points.

Muhith points at manipulators

Finance Minister AMA Muhith said he found no reason for the stockmarket to be shaken up. The market was rather manipulated by some people, he added.

Analysts call for efforts to ensure food security

Regional experts yesterday called for efficient and sustainable use of increasingly dwindling water resources to ensure food security in South Asia, one of the poorest regions in the world.

Poverty cuts hinge on strong local govt

The strengthening of local government is the key to cutting poverty, said former caretaker government adviser Akbar Ali Khan yesterday.

From Afghanistan with harrowing memories

"At first I could not believe the news of my father's return. I had heard that people abducted by Afghan mujhahideen never come back," said 12-year-old Abid, son of Imam Uddin, who returned home after over seven months of ordeal under captivity in the hands of abductors in Afghanistan on Sunday.

Dhaka to seek waiver from child labour issues in TECF deal

Bangladesh will seek exemption from compliance with child labour laws while signing Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (TECF) agreement with the US, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday.

India pays 1b euros in oil arrears: Iran

Iran has received less than a third of the 4.8 billion dollars India owes it in oil arrears because of payments problems, the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company said on Monday.

Malaysian airline shares halted amid tie-up report

Trading in the shares of flag carrier Malaysia Airlines and upstart budget airline AirAsia was suspended on Monday, the country's stock market said, following reports of a share-swap plan.

In dark Kashmir valley, a ray of light from India's economic surge

In a cheerful hall humming with voices, rows of young men and women handle calls from irate cellphone subscribers in eastern India in perfect Hindi.

Crises cloud summer holidays for European leaders

A widening eurozone debt crisis cast has played havoc with European leaders' plans to spend their summer vacations quietly basking in the sun from southern Spain to Sardinia.

Education for executives

A mid-level officer at a pharmaceuticals company, Shohag Mustafiz, has been eyeing a promotion for a couple of year now. Even though he has proved himself at work, he lacks the academic qualifications to bag the next big post.

The basics of an EMBA

DEMAND for an MBA degree is increasing in the corporate world of Bangladesh. Many executives at corporate houses are chasing that degree to upgrade their position in the office. Public and private universities are also opening up different MBA programmes to impart the specialised degree to full-time executives. The executive master's in business administration (EMBA) is one such programme that is high in demand. The Daily Star speaks to people in the sector to know the basics of an EMBA.

Asian banks face squeeze after US debt rating cut

Asia's banks are seen facing a bump-up in dollar-funding costs and potentially slower credit growth after Standard & Poor's historic US debt rating downgrade, strengthening China's case to push the yuan as a global alternative to the dollar.

ECB backs Italy and Spain in bid to halt euro crisis

The European Central Bank intervened dramatically in bond markets on Monday, backing up a verbal pledge to support Spain and Italy with action in an attempt to avert a financial meltdown in the euro zone.

Emirates eyes EU carbon tax of $1b over 10 yrs

Emirates, Dubai's flagship carrier, said the European Union's planned carbon emission scheme may cost it as much as $1 billion over 10 years, as it joined others airlines in objecting to the tax.

Oil prices slump as US downgrade stokes demand worries

Oil prices slumped more than three dollars Monday over fears of slowing energy demand in the United States after a shock credit rating downgrade for the world's biggest economy, analysts said. New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate light, sweet crude for delivery in September, plunged $3.01 to $83.87 a barrel.

Dubai firm vows to repay $4b in debt

A Dubai government-run conglomerate that controls some of the emirate's industrial powerhouses will repay in full $4 billion worth of debt coming due later this month, the city-state vowed Monday in a move that could reassure investors amid fresh concerns about the strength of the world economy.

Asian stocks slide

Asian stocks tumbled on Monday after last week's historic downgrade of the United States' credit rating, which compounded concerns over the world's biggest economy as well as the global outlook.


Burdened with sitting service

In the name of sitting service, the majority of the city bus operators continue to overcharge passengers even if the government hiked bus fares by 30 percent this May.

EC to wait for BNP's opinion till Dec, says CEC

The Election Commission will wait until December for BNP's opinion on the electoral reform proposals, said Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday.

Ensure proper use of power, gas

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged all to ensure proper utilisation of electricity and gas, considering those as valuable national resources.

Indian advance team due today

A month ahead of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Bangladesh, a six-member advance team from New Delhi will arrive in Dhaka today to discuss security matters, programme schedule and recce the venues.

2 asked to surrender before lower court

The Supreme Court yesterday directed two accused, who were earlier acquitted by the High Court, to surrender before a lower court to face the trial of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) president Kazi Aref Ahmed murder case.

Establish good governance in NGO sector: Gowher Rizvi

Foreign Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister Gowher Rizvi urged the non-government organisations (NGOs) to ensure accountability and transparency at beneficiary level to establish good governance in NGO sector.

German woman mugged at Gulshan

A 51-year-old German woman sustained cuts and bruises after snatchers on a car dragged her around 150 metres along with her bag in the city's Gulshan on Sunday.

Rehana allowed to withdraw writ

The High Court yesterday allowed Sheikh Rehana to withdraw her pending writ petition that challenged the BNP-Jamaat alliance government's action of taking over the House No # 21 of Road No # 6 at Dhanmondi in the city to make a police station.

Recognise as per election pledge

Leaders of indigenous communities yesterday demanded of the government to review the 15th amendment to the constitution to recognise indigenous people “as per its election pledge.”

Govt misusing police force

BNP acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday said the government is misusing the police force to repress the opposition party and destroy the democracy by making it "Frankenstein" [a destructive agency that cannot be controlled].

Ads misleading people about dengue

Most people remain misinformed about the breeding grounds of Aedes mosquitoes that carry the germs of dengue fever, some insect experts said yesterday.

Govt suffers from 'security phobia of separatist movement' in CHT

Suffering from a “security phobia of separatist movement” in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), the government denies to recognise hill people as indigenous, said Dr Mizanur Rahman.

HC order on writ petition today

The High Court yesterday fixed today for passing order on a writ petition that challenged a remark of ATM Azharul Islam, acting secretary general of Jamaat-e-Islami, "undermining" the Supreme Court.

RMG staff shot, mugged Tk 36.70 lakh in city

Armed muggers on motorbikes shot an employee of a garments factory yesterday in broad daylight in the city's Matuail and rode away with Tk 36.70 lakh he had withdrawn from a bank.

8 parties host Iftar

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday attended an Iftar party hosted by eight like-minded political parties at Hotel Purbani in the city.

Eight killed in road crashes

Eight people, including a government official, were killed and 15 others wounded in road accidents in Sylhet, Gaibandha, Dinajpur, and Brahmanbaria yesterday.

Bail petitions of 2 ex-IGPs rejected

A Dhaka court yesterday rejected bail petitions of two former inspectors general of police (IGPs) in a case filed for killing 24 people in the grenade attack on an Awami League rally in 2004.

PM hosts iftar for professionals

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hosted an iftar party at her Gono Bhaban residence yesterday in honour of eminent citizens and people of different professions.

Girl found dead in city

Police recovered the body of an unidentified girl from a playground in the city's Pallabi area yesterday morning.

Punish cops Demands ASK

Rights group Ain O Salish Kendra yesterday demanded punishment of the police personnel responsible for handing over a teenage boy to a mob that killed him in Noakhali last month.

One lynched by mob

Locals beat a youth to death as he tried to lift a CNG-run auto-rickshaw in Bishnupur area under Anwara upazila Sunday night.

Papia gets bail

BNP lawmaker Advocate Syeda Asifa Ashrafi Papia and two pro-BNP lawyers got bail yesterday in a case filed for torching a vehicle in the city's Ramna on June 4.

Construction worker dies in fall

A construction worker died yesterday evening after he fell from an under-construction building at Mohammadpur in the city.

JU English deptt launches Prof Abu Rushd scholarship

Department of English of Jahangirnar University launched a scholarship titled Prof Abu Rushd Motin Uddin Memorial Trust Fund yesterday to assist poor students of the department.

Butter milk factory owners jailed

A mobile court aided by Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday jailed two owners of a butter milk factory in the city's Kadamtoli for failing to pay a Tk 3.5 lakh fine for producing adulterated butter milk.

IGP leaves for Sweden today

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Hasan Mahmud Khandaker is leaving Dhaka today to attend the 21st annual meeting of International Police Executive Symposium in Sweden.

Driver hacked, car snatched in Kalyanpur

Unidentified men snatched a private car after hacking its driver in the city's Kalyanpur early yesterday.

Driver stabbed to death

A covered van driver was stabbed to death by hijackers on Dhaka-Chittagong Highway at Sitakunda yesterday.


Abu Naser Chowdhury, a close associate of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, passed away at a hospital in Los Angeles in the US on Sunday after suffering from cancer for long. He was 84.

K Rafiqul Alam

K Rafiqul Alam, a retired joint commissioner of taxes, passed away at his Baridhara residence in the city on Sunday. He was 88, says a press release.

Jamila Khatun

Mosammat Jamila Khatun, mother of Muhammad Aminul Haque, managing director of private television channel Bangla Vision, passed away yesterday at the age 88.


Price spiral of chicks, feed hits poultry farmers in 8 N-dists

Unusual rise in the price of one-day-old chicks and poultry feed has come as a serious blow to the already limping poultry industry in eight districts of Rangpur division.

Woman murdered allegedly by college teacher husband

A housewife was beaten to death allegedly by her husband for dowry in the town on Sunday.

Huge quantity of fake cosmetics seized

Detective branch police on Sunday seized a huge quantity of adulterated and date expired cosmetics from a house at Shahipara in the town.

Flood hits 50,000 in 5 Lalmonirhat upazilas

Flash flood hit more than 50,000 people in five upazilas of the district following three consecutive days of heavy rain till yesterday and overflowing of two rivers.

Pirates loot trawler, injure fishermen

Pirates raided a trawler, injured at least 10 fishermen and looted Tk 5 lakh from them at Satiartala in the river Meghna under Sarail upazila Saturday midnight.


London riots reveal social strains

Two night of riots that rocked London point to deeper social unease in poor areas of the British capital, community leaders said yesterday, but police and politicians said much of the violence was opportunistic.

Gulf states recall envoys as Syria further isolated

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain recalled their Damascus envoys as Sunni Islam's top body yesterday urged an end to the crisis in Syria, increasing the regional isolation of President Bashar al-Assad.

US chopper crashed in Taliban trap

The Taliban lured US forces into an elaborate trap to shoot down their helicopter; killing 30 American troops in the deadliest such incident of the war, an Afghan official said yesterday.

Pakistan military 'concerned'

Pakistan's military voiced concern for the first time yesterday over ethnic and political violence in the country's financial capital that has killed 800 people so far this year.

Typhoon Muifa nears Chinese mainland

High winds and torrential rain are battering parts of eastern China as the region's most powerful storm in decades approaches land.

David Cameron returns to tip waitress at Italian café

Prime Minister David Cameron has returned to an Italian cafe to make amends for failing to tip a waitress.

Ramadan fast 'lasts longer' for residents of Burj Khalifa

Muslims living in the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, should fast longer during the Ramadan holy month, Dubai's leading clerics have said.

Rebels 'still holding' captured town

The Libyan town of Bir al-Ghanam, close to Tripoli, appears to be still under rebel control after an assault on Saturday, despite government denials.

Kashmir policemen, army officer arrested

Three policemen and an army officer have been arrested in Indian Kashmir as part of separate investigations into the death of a man in custody and an allegedly faked gunbattle, officials said yesterday.

Duchess 'gives up fortune to marry'

One of Spain's richest women, the Duchess of Alba, is reportedly giving away her personal fortune in order to marry a civil servant.

Suu Kyi remembers Myanmar's 1988 uprising

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi attended a ceremony yesterday to mark the 23rd anniversary of the failed pro-democracy uprising that made her a national hero.

Rahul Gandhi favourite to be next PM

Rahul Gandhi, scion of India's Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, is the favourite choice to be the country's next prime minister, an opinion poll showed yesterday.

Bomb attack wounds 10 Pak soldiers

A bomb attack yesterday wounded at least 10 Pakistani soldiers in the Taliban and Al-Qaeda hotspot of Waziristan on the Afghan border, officials said.

India to probe 5-hour blackout at Delhi airport

India said yesterday it would probe a five-hour electricity blackout at Delhi airport after a new terminal was plunged into darkness, affecting scores of domestic and international flights.

'Nato a terrorist group'

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe yesterday brandished Nato a 'terrorist' organisation over attacks in Libya, saying the military alliance wanted to kill veteran leader Moamer Kadhafi.

Eight killed, two hurt in US shooting

A gunman has shot nine people and killed seven -- including three children -- before police shot him dead in a small town in Ohio, officials said.

New Thai PM gets royal endorsement

Thailand's king endorsed Yingluck Shinawatra as the new premier yesterday, an official said, allowing the sister of fugitive ex-leader Thaksin Shinawatra to take the helm of the troubled nation.

Malaysia PM to be interviewed in Anwar trial

A Malaysian judge yesterday ordered Prime Minister Najib Razak and other key witnesses to submit to interviews with lawyers defending opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in his sodomy trial.

Arts & Entertainment

Different strokes

Gallery Chitrak is hosting a group art exhibition featuring the works of 60 contemporary Bangladeshi painters at its new premises in Dhanmondi (house 5, road 6), Dhaka. The exhibition has been dedicated to the recently deceased painters Mohammad Kibria and Aminul Islam. Works of master painters Zainul Abedin, Quamrul Hassan, Mohammad Kibria, SM Sultan, Aminul Islam, Rashid Chowdhury, Abdur Razzaque and Kazi Abdul Baset have enriched the exhibition.

Man of the Heart

A lecture-demonstration and multimedia projection on the songs and philosophy of Fakir Lalon Shai was held yesterday (August 8) at the Seminar Room of Bangla Academy. Indian researcher, Professor Sudipto Chattopadhyay, who teaches English and Drama at Loughborough University, Leicestershire, UK, gave the lecturer interspersed with some Lalon songs.

Ramendu Majumdar A man of goodwill, theatre and peace

When writing about Ramendu Majumdar, where shall I start? Not an easy task. When I heard about him for the first time, a friend told me that he is a “prince of Bangladesh”. That was probably about twenty years ago, I was attending my first congress of the International Theatre Institute (ITI). I knew only a few people and did not understand the structure of the organisation -- neither the fight about petty points at the general assembly, nor the value of each of the delegates. I remembered the “prince” remark, but didn't dare to ask him if he was a prince or not; actually I never asked him that. But I observed: whatever he did, he did in a princely manner.

Mahfuz Ahmed A full calendar

Actor Mahfuz Ahmed has scripted several TV plays. This Eid his fans will get the opportunity to view two, one-hour plays and a tele-film written by him. However, acting remains a long standing passion.

70th death anniversary of Tagore

The 70th death anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore was observed on the 'zero line' -- Bangladesh-India border at Hili port area, under Hakimpur upazila of Dinajpur -- yesterday morning with a vibrant cultural programme by artistes of South Dinajpur, West Bengal.

Stirring up a controversy

A galaxy of Bollywood stars who comprise the cast of film “Aarakshan” (Reservation) descended on the capital on August 5. There was the redoubtable Big B (Amitabh Bachchan), Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Manoj Bajpai, Prateik Babbar, co-writer Anjum Rajabali and of course its director Prakash Jha at his feisty best.


Now they cry for peace

The finance minister's entreaty to the opposition to give the government a chance to serve the country at least for four years in peace underlines the unhappy state of affairs in the country. His apprehension that the country stands to lose $25 billion in next one and half years in the event of political instability deserves mention in that these observations come from a senior minister of the government and the man who manages the finance of the country.

Mark this Antony

Unqualified, unmitigated congratulations to All India Radio. The government's official broadcaster was not fooled by a mere communiqué from the All India Congress Committee, even when it was personally read out by the prevailing all-purpose party official, Janardan Dwivedi.

Civil-military relations and democracy in Bangladesh

While analysing democracy and civil-military relations in Bangladesh, two very important statements are noteworthy. First, in 1991, the newly elected Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, after resolving the debate over presidential vis-à-vis parliamentary system in bipartisan manner, stated that the Jatiya Sangshad was a symbol of the nation's collective wisdom, and it would take a hot-headed general to drive his tanks through that House (Talukdar Maniruzzaman: 1992).

The rise of China's currency

China's spectacular economic growth has been the hallmark of global economy for the past few decades. While economists debate whether China can maintain its current high growth rates in years to come, the dragon magic is not ending soon. The rise of China's currency, the Renminbi (RMB), seems to be the single most important phenomenon in global finance in this decade.

12 best excuses ever

ZAP! A mysterious lightning bolt struck many members of a North Korean sports team, leaving no visible marks but wiping out their skills. That's how coach Kim Kwang Min explained his team's failure in a women's soccer tournament recently.

This Day In History

August 91810
Napoleon annexes Westphalia as part of the First French Empire.

Science & Life

Belief, scepticism and the brain

Beliefs come first, reasons follow. A common question from skeptics and science-based thinkers ask, “How could anyone believe that?” Sometimes people do believe false and even weird things. In fact, the brain is a belief engine. It finds meaningful patterns in both meaningful and meaningless data. Once beliefs are formed, we seek out confirmatory arguments and evidence to justify them ignoring the contrary evidence. Indeed, we do not like to admit that we are wrong.

Studies in Medical Physics at home

In the years between 1996 and 2000, the task group “Medical physics in developing countries” of the German Society for Medical Physics (DGMP) arranged five seminars/workshop in Dhaka on medical physics with the physics department of BUET. The seminars were largely attended by physicists working in nuclear physics, solid state physics, radiation protection, nuclear medicine and by physicians from radio-oncology and nuclear medicine. The first impetus to start a Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering in Bangladesh came from that time.

Saltwater on Mars!

Flows of saltwater may ooze from rocky outcrops on Mars. Seasonal dark streaks on some Martian slopes could come from briny water, American and Swiss researchers suggest in the Aug. 5Science. Still, the researchers haven't actually detected any water, frozen or liquid. Nor can they explain how the water would be replenished in the dry, harsh Martian environment.

Earth's “Trojan” asteroid

Recently, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), mission has detected orbiting the Sun in loops around the plane of Earth's orbit. Before getting into details, let's explain what Trojan is in the realms of astronomy. A Trojan is a minor planet or natural satellite (moon) that shares an orbit with a larger planet or moon, but does not collide with it because it constantly lead or follow in the same orbit as the planet. Prior to this latest discovery, it was known that within our own solar systems, Saturn has the most known Trojan satellites: Saturn's moon Tethys has two Trojan moons (Telesto and Calypso), and Dione also has two Trojan moons (Helene and Polydeuces). In the scientific community, it was a long-held belief that Earth should have Trojans however their discovery was a sternly challenging one since they are relatively small and appear close to the Sun from Earth's point of view. According to Martin Connors of Athabasca University, Canada, who is also the lead author of the paper on this discovery that appeared in the July 28th issue of the journal Nature, “These asteroids dwell mostly in the daylight, making them very hard to see. But we finally found one, because the object has an unusual orbit that takes it farther away from the sun than what is typical for Trojans. WISE was a game-changer, giving us a point of view difficult to have at Earth's surface”.

NASA's mission to Jupiter

NASA's solar-powered Juno spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 9:25 a.m. PDT (12:25 p.m. EDT), Aug. 5, 2011 to begin a five-year journey to Jupiter.

Ageing in captivity

A bonnethead shark, part of the hammerhead family, reaches a record age in captivity. At 22, this Tennessee Aquarium bonnethead is 10 years older than most sharks of his species in the wild.

What is artificial gravity?

Artificial gravity is the varying of gravity using artificial means. It is used largely in space, but also on Earth. It can be achieved by the use of different forces, in particular centrifugal force and (for short periods) linear acceleration. The creation of artificial gravity is considered desirable for long-term space travel or habitation. It allows for ease of mobility, and helps to avoid the adverse health effects of weightlessness in the absence of gravity.

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