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Friday, June 22, 2018

News of: Tuesday, 30th of August, 2011

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Front Page

Eid likely tomorrow

With the Eid-ul-Fitr only hours away, hundreds of people are heading homes withstanding the sufferings on the way.

Imagine PM had said the opposite

Recently ruling party MPs, for the first time, came out in droves on the Sangsad floor criticising the unforgivable failure of the communications minister resulting in major highways suddenly becoming unusable, and that also just before the Eid holidays. Commerce, finance, and power ministries also came under heavy criticism. Later the prime minister, in her question-answer session, reprimanded the criticising MPs saying why they were concentrating on a few minor failures when the record of the government is replete with success.

Advisers meet to fine-tune agenda

Advisers to prime ministers of Bangladesh and India yesterday fine-tuned the agenda for September 6 summit meeting and discussed implementation status of the decisions taken during Sheikh Hasina's visit to India last year.

CHT troubled by land rows

The government is sitting on thousands of complaints about land ownerships in the hills as the Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Dispute Resolution Commission has remained inactive since its inception 10 years ago.

Kanchpur erupts in violence on rumour

Kanchpur area in Narayanganj yesterday turned into a battleground as workers of a textile mill flew into fury and clashed with police following a rumour of death of a colleague in an accident.

Salvage vessels in bad shape

The two salvage vessels of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) are in a miserable condition and hardly capable of rescuing capsized launches.

Hard bargain defines last-minute shopping

The price of a pink dress was finally settled at Tk 550 after a hard bargain between a young shopkeeper and a female shopper.

Limon gets artificial leg

Limon Hossain, a college student who was shot and maimed by Rab five months ago, was fitted with an artificial leg yesterday.

Eid brings no joy for them

All is not well in Mirsarai. Hours before the Eid celebration, one senses no happy feelings, sees no happy faces there.

3 arrested for 'trade in kidney'

Police arrested three men from Bohuchi village under Kalai upazila of Joypurhat on Sunday night for their alleged involvement in kidney trade.

Pro-BNP lawyers for judicial probe

Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Forum, a platform of pro-BNP lawyers, has demanded a judicial probe into the death of Supreme Court lawyer MU Ahmed in the "custody of law enforcers".

9 Jamaat men arrested

Police arrested nine Jamaat leaders and activists from the city on charges of assaulting policemen and obstructing their duties during a reception to Rajshahi city unit Jamaat-e-Islami chief Ataur Rahman who was freed on bail last night.

Spanish unions call protest over budget law

Spain's biggest unions called yesterday for a "major demonstration" in Madrid on September 6 against plans to enshrine balanced budget rules in the constitution.

2 ferries run aground with 50 vehicles

Two ferries of Mawa-Kawrakandi route got stuck in hidden shoals in the river Padma with 50 vehicles, causing immense sufferings to over 1,000 homebound passengers.

Five suspects held

Mexican authorities detained five suspected members of the Zetas drug gang in a probe into an arson attack on a Monterrey casino last week which left 52 people dead, officials said yesterday.


The police headquarters in a rejoinder protested a report headlined “Threatened by probe body member” published in The Daily Star on August 24.

Eid Mubarak

The offices of The Daily Star will remain closed on August 30, 31 and September 1 on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr and there will be no issue of the newspaper on August 31 and September 1, 2. However, if Eid is celebrated on Sept 1, the following day (Sept 2) will also be a holiday and in that case there will be no issue of the newspaper on Sept 3.


The transcending Eid spirit

After month-long fasting, the holy Eid-ul-Fitr is here. Muslims all over the world will celebrate the day with deep spiritual contentment having practiced self-restraint, abstained from food, drinks and all forms self-indulgence during the daytime. This is also an occasion to further the fellow-feelings and brotherhood in the world.

Message from Anna's movement

The end of the 12-day hunger strike of India's anti-corruption campaigner, Anna Hazare, signifies a triumph for Indian democracy and the civic society movement. It brought the parliament, political parties and civil society on to the same page, with the people as the cardinal catalytic factor. Where previously politicians had claimed that Hazare's movement ignored, marginalised and, indeed, held parliament hostage by whipping up public sentiment, they have now accepted that the people's voices must be heard and acted upon.


Match sure, all else up in the air

A lack of a decisive decision from the Celebrity Management Group (CMG), the Kolkata-based event management firm that is brokering the Argentina friendly match in Bangladesh is threatening to put the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) in a real mess.

Jeter clinches women's 100m

Carmelita Jeter of the United States held off a strong field to claim gold in the women's 100m at the World Championships on Monday.

Inquest a possibility

Manzur Ahmed said yesterday that an evaluation on the state of cricket in the country will be undertaken.

Jason crowned hurdles king

Dayron Robles was on Monday sensationally stripped of his world 110m hurdles title for obstruction, American Jason Richardson handed gold after a nerve-wracking race.

Messi still amiss

With only a week left for the scheduled FIFA friendly between Argentina and Nigeria in Dhaka, the football authorities here made little progress till yesterday in terms of the schedule of the two visiting high-profile teams. The Argentina team are expected to arrive here on September 3 while the Nigerians are scheduled to arrive two days later, with the marquee match slotted for September 6.

Maybe next time for Pistorius

Double amputee Oscar Pistorius saw his world 400m dream extinguished on Monday as defending champion LaShawn Merritt eased into the final just a month after returning from a drugs ban.

Kolkata all geared up

While it is still all very hazy here about Argentina's arrival and their schedule thereafter, Kolkata is gearing up in full swing for the September 2 friendly between Argentina and Venezuela.

Show of young sides

Rival captains Michael Clarke and Tillakaratne Dilshan will look to lead their young teams from the front when Australia and Sri Lanka begin their three-Test series on Wednesday.

A fuss kicked up

Usain Bolt, the world's fastest man, had barely left the track after his astonishing false start in the World Championships 100m final before a debate swirled over the controversial rule.

Pak game still in limbo

A year on from the spot-fixing scandal that ended in long bans for three leading Test players, Pakistani cricket is still struggling to recover.

'Sore hands affect MS'

Paul Nixon, the former England wicketkeeper, believes that India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has "sore hands" which could be affecting his wicketkeeping on the ongoing England tour.

Real destroy Zaragoza

A Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick helped Real Madrid get their Primera Liga campaign off to a perfect start with a commanding 6-0 victory over Real Zaragoza on Sunday as they look to claw the league title back from Barcelona.

Pastore inspires PSG

Record signing Javier Pastore laid on two goals as big-spending Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to record a timely 3-1 victory at Toulouse on Sunday as champions Lille won 3-2 at home against Marseille.

Capello calls up MU kids

Fabio Capello has selected Manchester United youngsters Phil Jones, Tom Cleverley and Chris Smalling in his England squad for next month's Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Wales.

Raul fires Schalke

Spanish veteran Raul fired Schalke 04 to second in the Bundesliga on Sunday, just behind leaders Bayern Munich on goal difference, in a hard-fought 1-0 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Eto'o makes dream debut

Record four-time African Footballer of the Year Samuel Eto'o came off the bench to salvage a point for new club Anzhi Makhachkala in the Russian Premier League at the weekend.

Akinfeev out for 6 months

Russia's international goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev will likely be out for six months after injuring his left knee playing for CSKA Moscow in Sunday's derby clash with Spartak, local media reported Monday.

Ricardo Gomes suffers stroke

Vasco da Gama coach Ricardo Gomes was in hospital after suffering a stroke during his team's Brazilian championship match against Flamengo on Sunday.


Huge cash withdrawals stretch banks

Huge cash withdrawals from banks ahead of the Eid fuelled the inter-bank call money rate yesterday, treasurers said.

Govt finalises spectrum fees

The government has finalised a total of Tk 7,563 crore as spectrum charges for four mobile phone operators -- Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi and Citycell, telecom ministry officials confirmed yesterday.

TV stations gear up for revenue battle

It's that time of the year again, when television channels spare no effort to attract viewers, and revenue as well.

Buyers drive down garment prices

International buyers have started readjusting prices of garment items as the prices of raw materials declined worldwide, industry insiders said.

Tailors' business goes slack

Tailors face an exceptional rush of clients during Ramadan, as people look for new outfits during Eid-ul-Fitr.

Big furniture makers shine in Eid market

Small furniture makers suffer a slowdown in sales but the sector heavyweights see brisk business amid a shopping spree ahead of the Eid festival.

Xlibris releases book on intellectual property

A book on licensing and commercialising of intellectual properties, authored by M Rashid Khan, was released yesterday.

India proposes to allow more private banks

India's central bank on Monday outlined proposals to allow more private players in the banking sector to foster greater competition and widen the availability of banking services.

FM urges Saudi Arabia to invest in Bangladesh

Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni has urged Saudi Arabia to invest in the potential sectors like pharmaceuticals, tourism, and hospitality of Bangladesh.

Race to succeed India's Ratan Tata narrows

The race to succeed Ratan Tata as head of India's giant steel-to-telecom Tata conglomerate has boiled down to around three candidates out of 11 shortlisted by a search panel, a report said Monday.

Greek banks merge, raise funds

Alpha Bank and Eurobank, hit by heavy losses, said Monday they will merge to form Greece's largest lender, backed by fresh cash to restore faith in the debt-hit country's cash-starved banking system.

Biggest Nordic bank Nordea to cut 2,000 jobs

Nordea, the biggest Nordic bank which today employs around 34,000 people, said Monday it planned to cut some 2,000 jobs across the region by the end of 2012 to counter the effects of rising costs.

Ctg malls in for brisk sales

Malls in Chittagong expect Eid sales to beat expectations, as people from all walks of life are eager about meeting their last-minute shopping needs.

A walk through markets in the port city

Chittagong presents a wide variety of options for shoppers. From fancy malls to makeshift roadside shops, there is always something to look out for here. In the quest for the ultimate bargain, shoppers leave no stone unturned.

Merkel vulnerable as euro and Libya backlash builds

Germany's Angela Merkel faces the biggest challenge to her leadership since coming to power in 2005, with traditionally loyal conservative allies openly criticizing her approach to the euro zone crisis and her hands-off Libya policy in shambles.

Economic leaders fear policy paralysis

The heads of the U.S. Federal Reserve, IMF and OECD stepped up pressure on political leaders on both sides of the Atlantic to shake off their inertia and tackle urgent economic problems.

Race to succeed India's Ratan Tata narrows

The race to succeed Ratan Tata as head of India's giant steel-to-telecom Tata conglomerate has boiled down to around three candidates out of 11 shortlisted by a search panel, a report said Monday. Ratan Tata, one of India's most powerful industrialists who has propelled the group's global expansion, is to retire in December 2012 at the age of 75.

Germany celebrates 125 years of the automobile

Germany is celebrating this year the birth of the automobile, with a patent applied for by Carl Benz 125 years ago for a motorized tricycle, in hopes of drawing tourists smitten by cars.

Samsung launches instant messaging tool

Samsung Electronics Co said on Monday it would launch a mobile instant messaging tool in its latest push to attract more consumers to its handsets and challenge rivals such as Apple and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion.


Developing human capital should be a priority

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director Dr Babatunde Osotimehin suggested investing the highest in developing human capital and putting the young population at the centre of the country's development.

Double delight from Pizza Hut

To celebrate the Eid, the world's favourite pizza restaurant, Pizza Hut, has introduced a double stuffed crust “Cheesy-sausage Crust” pizza from yesterday.

Fourteen die in road accidents

Fourteen people were killed and five injured in separate road accidents in Gazipur, Mymensingh, Sylhet, Sirajganj, Munshiganj and Jhenidah yesterday and Sunday.

Police only measure to ensure road safety ?

Deployment of a number of traffic policemen on troublesome highways is the only measure the government is going to take to ensure road safety and ease public suffering during the Eid holidays.

DMCH patients caught in Eid holiday plight

Sufia Begum was repeatedly denied admission to the burn and plastic surgery unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) in the last four days as admission is put on hold temporarily with most doctors and nurses on leave.

'Join Eid day rally'

A newly-formed civic body will demonstrate at Central Shaheed Minar in the city on Eid day demanding Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain's removal and an end to corruption in the communications sector.

Main Eid jamaats

The main Eid jamaat (congregation) of holy Eid-ul-Fitr will be held at National Eidgah on the High Court premises in the city at 8:30am, if the weather remains favourable.

Manmohan's visit to add new dimension to Dhaka-Delhi ties

The upcoming visit of Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to Bangladesh would add a new dimension to Dhaka-New Delhi bilateral relations.

Workers to be sent to Iraq under govt arrangements

Bangladesh has decided to send workers to Iraq under government arrangements to avoid malpractices in the overseas employment sector and end exploitation of labour.

Draft of Nutrition Research, Training Instt Act approved

The cabinet yesterday approved in principle the draft of “Bangladesh Applied Nutrition Research and Training Institute Act 2011” in a bid to strengthen the research work to ensure nutrition for all in the country.

Int'l Day of Disappeared today

Today is the International Day of the Disappeared.

Greenpeace ship arrives

Rainbow Warrior II, a Greenpeace ship contributing to environmental movements and campaigns in seas since 1987, anchored in Chittagong port yesterday.

Govt plots to ruin BNP

BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam alleged yesterday that the government is conspiring to destroy BNP with the aim to stay in power forever, but people will resist it by forging a tougher anti-government movement.

1 shot, mugged on DU campus

Armed criminals on a motorbike shot a sales staff of a private firm and snatched Tk 4 lakh from him in broad daylight on Dhaka University campus yesterday.

Khaleda returns today

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will return home today concluding her 11-day visit to Saudi Arabia.

Join anti-govt protest

BNP acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir held a meeting with the leaders of Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) at BDB president's Baridhara residence in the city yesterday and discussed the opposition's upcoming anti-government movement.

Expedition to keep Keokradang clean

Aiming to raise awareness among the tourists to keep the country's hills clean, a team of 25 people will set off on a four-day long expedition to Keokradong, one of the highest peaks in the country, on September 2.

Hasina, Khaleda to exchange Eid greetings with people

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Khaleda Zia will exchange greetings separately with politicians, eminent citizens, members of the diplomatic community, and common people in the city on Eid day.

Ambulance with Phensidyl seized

Police seized an ambulance and arrested three youths on charge of carrying smuggled Phensidyl in the city's Khilgaon early hours yesterday.

MU Ahmed's death condoled

Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), a human rights organisation, yesterday expressed condolence and sympathy over the death of Supreme Court lawyer MU Ahmed.


Jamila Khatun, mother of Zakir Hossain, organising secretary of Workers Party of Bangladesh, passed away at her son's residence at Urea Fertiliser Factory Staff Quarters in Narsingdi due to old age complications on August 28 at the age of 85, says a press release.

Syeda Rabeya Khatun

Syeda Rabeya Khatun of Dharkapon of Moulvibazar town passed away at Sylhet Ragib Rabeya Medical College Hospital due to old age complications on August 28 night at the age of 85.

Death anniversary

Today is the tenth death anniversary of Majibur Rahman Talukder, former chairman of parliamentary standing committee on the ministry of land and member of parliament, says a press release.

Khurshid Alam

The 2nd death anniversary of Md Khur-shid Alam, fiction writer and former additional secretary will be observed on September 1, says a press release.

Shamsul Hoque

Today is the third death anniversary of Alhaj Shamsul Hoque Mojumder, a retired engineer of PWD Division and eminent social worker, says a press release.

Golam Kabir Bhuiyan

Today is the sixth death anniversary of Golam Kabir Bhuiyan, father of joint secretary of Bangladesh Krishak League M A Karim, says a press release.


Holidaymaking with risky launches

Thousands of home-bound passengers ahead of Eid are taking risky journey in unfit launches, trawlers, small engine boats and speedboats on the turbulent rivers in the southern region during the ongoing monsoon.

Aloron yield makes farmers happy

Patuakhali farmers are happy as cultivation of hybrid Aloron paddy is bringing them three to four times more production than the local variety.

3 victims of nature's freak that has hardly any cure

Two brothers have become paralysed and the third one is following them due to an unknown disease caused by genetic disorder at Manikchand Kathalpara village under Boda upazila in Panchagarh district.

Joy of Eid still elusive to Sidr, Aila victims

Like the last couple of years, the joy of Eid will remain elusive to a large number of people in the coastal areas this time too as they are yet to recover from the losses caused by cyclones Sidr and Aila in 2007 and 2009.

Bumper harvest of aus in Sylhet region

The greater Sylhet region is having a bumper harvest of aus crop this season due to favourable weather and better planned cultivation.

UP office besieged alleging scam

Several hundred people yesterday besieged Sundarganj upazila parished office in Gaibandha protesting alleged corruption in Test Relief (TR), Vulnerable Group development (VGD), and Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) programmes.

Journalist, his brother stabbed in Laxmipur

An elderly journalist and his brother were injured in an attack by a gang in front of Sadar Hospital in the town early yesterday.

Housewife hacked to death in Sherpur

A housewife was hacked to death allegedly by her husband at Kuripara village in Sribordi upazila early yesterday.

Eid today at 55 villages

Around 25,000 people will celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr in Patuakhali and Shariatpur districts today in conformity with Saudi Arabia.

Express trains halted at Naldanga demanding stoppage

Local people stopped two express trains, putting up barricades on tracks at Naldanga station in Sadullpur upazila of the district on Sunday demanding a stoppage of the trains at the station.

Police quiz two more accused

Two accused in the case for killing of elderly lawyer Shamsul Islam Chowdhury were sent to jail yesterday after their 5-day remand.

Appeal to Indian PM

Convenor of Sundarban Supporters' Committee (SSC) Alhaj Liakat Ali and member-secretary Rafiqul Islam Khokan have urged Indian Prime Minister (PM) Dr Manmohan Singh to vote for the Sundarbans for making it one of new seven wonders of nature, during his visit to Bangladesh. In a statement issued to press on Saturday, the SSC leaders said that Sundarbans still holds top position and remains progressively ahead in the list 28 finalists. Sundarbans is holding the first position in international voting while second position in national voting, they said. So, the visit of Indian PM has given an excellent scope in gearing up campaign for the Sundarbans which is an asset for both the countries, the SSC leaders said.

One killed in trawler mishap

One person was killed as a trawler carrying about 70 passengers capsized in the Tentulia River at Alimabad union under Mehendiganj upazila early yesterday. Saddam Hossain, 20, died while the rest of the passengers either swam ashore or rescued by locals. Zulfikar Md Gazzali, officer in-charge of Mehendiganj police station, said the trawler broke into pieces after it hit an iron bridge at Majh Kazir Char point.

Two children drown

Two kids drowned in a canal at Buripota village under Sadar upazila in Meherpur on Sunday afternoon. The dead were identified as Shakila, 5, daughter Sahajul Islam and Sharmina, 5, daughter of Mirazul Islam of the village. Family members said cousins Shakila and Sharmina went missing around 2.30:pm on Sunday. Finding no trace, they sought help from local people through loudspeakers. Local people launched a massive search and at one stage found their bodies near Ganges-Kobadak (GK) canal at about 4:00pm.

Youth stabbed to death

A youth was stabbed to death by an auto-rickshaw driver for protesting teasing of girls at Rahimanagar Bazar under Kachua upazila on Sunday night. The deceased was identified as Md Mohsin, 25, son of Ameer Hossain of Saharpara area under the same upazila. On information, police rushed to the spot and recovered a sharp knife from the spot but culprit Kamal managed to flee the scene. Borhan Uddin, assistant sub-inspector of Kachua police station said the incident occurred around 8:00pm when Kamal made an indecent remark at three young girls while they were returning from market after Eid shopping. As Mohsin, brother of one the girls, protested it Kamal beat him up and stabbed him mercilessly.


Gaddafi still threat for Libya and world

Libyan rebel chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil warned in Doha yesterday that Moamer Gaddafi still posed a danger inside and outside of Libya and urged no let-up in international action against the strongman.

Libya rebels on outskirts of Gaddafi's hometown

Libyan rebels prepared yesterday to launch an assault to capture strongman Moamer Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte and win full control of Libya, while scrambling to get war-ravaged Tripoli back on its feet.

Indian Congress says it's not practical

Indian anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare's proposal to giving voters the right to recall elected representatives and reject candidates yesterday evoked mixed response with ruling Congress party terming it as "not practical".

Al Qaeda No 2's death not yet confirmed: Pakistan

Pakistan still had no confirmation on yesterday that al Qaeda's deputy chief had been killed in a recent US drone strike near the Afghan border, two days after American officials said his death was a major victory in the war against the group.

Islamists probed amid new violence

Investigators probed an Islamist sect yesterday over the suicide bombing of the UN headquarters in Nigeria that killed at least 21 people in one of the bloodiest attacks targeting the world body.

Obama picks jobs expert as top adviser

US President Barack Obama yesterday nominated Alan Krueger, a Princeton University expert on unemployment, as his top economic adviser as he prepares a new jobs plan.

Six killed in Syria raids on dissidents

Syrian security forces killed six people and wounded dozens yesterday in raids in the northwest and around the capital, as tanks rumbled into a village bordering Lebanon further south, rights groups said.

Strauss-Kahn on farewell visit to IMF

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was to make a farewell visit yesterday to the International Monetary Fund to meet his former colleagues following the dismissal of sex assault charges, according to a staff memo.

Lockerbie bomber "at death's door" in Libya

The Libyan convicted in the 1988 bombing of a US-bound airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland has been found in Tripoli and appears "at death's door," CNN reported on Sunday.

Irene blamed for 29 deaths in US

Hurricane Irene is being blamed for at least 29 deaths in nine eastern US states, emergency officials and local media said yesterday, as Vermont and other states suffered disastrous flooding.

Japan's finance minister to become latest PM

Japan's premier-designate Yoshihiko Noda yesterday vowed a safe pair of hands in rebuilding the country from its tsunami-nuclear disasters after he was elected the ruling party chief.

Afghans scuttle US, Taliban talks

Infuriated that Washington met secretly at least three times with a personal emissary of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Afghan government intentionally leaked details of the clandestine meetings, scuttling the talks and sending the Taliban intermediary into hiding, The Associated Press has learned.

Mumbai hit by heavy flooding

Heavy rainfall left parts of the Indian financial hub Mumbai underwater yesterday, flooding homes, closing schools and badly disrupting train services.

Taiwan deploy troops as typhoon hits

Taiwan deployed more than 50,000 troops yesterday and evacuated thousands of people as Typhoon Nanmadol pummelled some of the island's most densely populated areas.

Landslides kill at least 23 in Uganda

Landslides triggered by torrential rains killed at least 23 people in eastern Uganda early yesterday as mud engulfed homes and buried entire families, a Red Cross spokeswoman said.

Russia to elect parliament on December 4: Medvedev

President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday set a parliamentary election for December 4 that will set the stage for Russia's presidential vote next March.

Palestinian wounds seven Israelis in Tel Aviv attack

Seven people were wounded early yesterday when a Palestinian crashed a stolen taxi into a group of border guards outside a Tel Aviv nightclub, then attacked them with a knife, police said.

Baghdad mosque attack kills MP, 27 others

Men gathered yesterday at Baghdad's biggest Sunni mosque for the funeral of one of at least 28 people, including a lawmaker, killed in a suicide attack that has been blamed on al-Qaeda.

Arts & Entertainment


Intolerance unlimited

Following the uproar in the Parliament centering the communications and the finance minister some quarters expected that the prime minister this time would come up with corrective measures against the non-performing ministers. Many thought that she could ill-afford to pass up the resentment expressed by senior party leaders and alliance members in the house, in full glare of the TV cameras, watched by the whole nation.

A cancer at the heart of democracy

There is an eminently logical reason why the corruption debate reels like a drunk bounced out for being too disorderly even for a high-consumption bar. This is because everyone wants to end corruption but not end it completely. And so the BJP would like honesty everywhere, with a little margin for mine-diggers in Karnataka. The Congress wants a clean India down to every well in every village, but not so pure that it cannot feed the venal thirst of ministers or its holy cows -- and these days the herd includes a holy bull. No political party is really free from this trap. A regional leader who postures as the epitome of simple, rumpled honesty sends a businessman whose blubber is not limited to his bank account to the Rajya Sabha.

It's time to turn around

Ilive in Sylhet and often travel to Dhaka in my microbus. I see trucks and buses veering into our lane to overtake other vehicles. To avoid head-on collision we often have to get off the road. I thought of writing about this many times, then again I thought, what for? When ministers travel, escorted by police cars, they cannot imagine the risk-prone nature of the roads.

Eid-Ul-Fitr: No ordinary festival

EID" in Arabic means "joy" and "fitr" stands for "return to normalcy." Eid-ul-fitr, one of the two main festivals in the Islamic calendar, brings joy and happiness together with a glorious opportunity to "return to normalcy" for Muslims all over the world. It was Eid-ul-fitr and yet the great Caliph Omar bin Khattab (RA) -- the man whose walking stick, in the words of Emerson, "struck more terror into those who saw it than another man's sword" -- was weeping and trembling like a lamb ready for slaughter.

This Day In History

August 30

Guru Ram Das becomes the Fourth Sikh Guru Master.

Science & Life

Bacteria to eradicate dengue!

We, generally, get a picture of pathogens and disease causing microorganisms in mind when we think of bacteria. However, many of them are also beneficial to humans. In fact, our body harbours a large number of bacteria on our skin and inside our gut. We call them commensals. They are useful bacteria that probably became associated with us in course of evolution. But those bacteria, which are not commensals, may also benefit humans by preventing diseases carried by insect. Recently, scientists have shown a way to prevent and, possibly, to eradicate dengue fever with the aid of a bacterium Wolbachia. In two papers published recently in Nature, Australian researchers showed how female mosquitoes infected with the Wolbachia bacteria transmitted the bug to their offspring with ease, making them all dengue free and hence unable to spread the virus in humans. The scientists claimed they have discovered a cheap and effective method of preventing the transmission of dengue fever. Until now, pesticides are being used to kill mosquitoes carrying particular types of viruses inside them but those contribute to only increasing the resistance of the mosquitoes to these chemicals. However, the newly discovered method gave rise to dengue- virus-resistant mosquitoes and they can be released in the wild to spread their population making the mosquito population of a particular region homogenous for the dengue resistant ones.

New drug to fight any virus?

Most bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, discovered decades ago. However, such drugs are useless against viral infections, including influenza, the common cold, and deadly hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola.

Trapping greenhouse gases

Increasing global population, ongoing urbanisation, and humanity's growing dependence on science and technology are leading to a sharp increase in the demand for energy. Fossil fuels, being the core source, account for 75 - 80% of today's global energy use and three quarters of humanity's total carbon dioxide emissions. The consequences of the emissions-- a global temperature rise and natural calamities leading to catastrophes. Millions of dollars are spent on research to surmount this change, either through efficiency improvement, fuel switch or the use of renewable energy. But with oil, coal and gas to remain the primary sources of energy for decades to come, besides renewable energy sources, a technology is to be thought of that strikes the balance between economic development and environmental sustainability. One such technology is Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS). What's striking about CCS technology is that it isolates CO2 from the atmosphere by providing long term storage options that are economically feasible and environmentally acceptable.

Strange galactic pair

The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope has taken a striking image of a beautiful yet peculiar pair of galaxies nicknamed The Eyes. The larger of these, NGC 4438, was once a spiral galaxy but has become badly deformed by collisions with other galaxies in the last few hundred million years. This picture is the first to come out of ESO's Cosmic Gems programme, an initiative in which ESO has granted dedicated observing time for outreach purposes.

Dust of time

Well, more than 1,500 specks, most less than 50 millionths of a meter in diameter. Plucked from the surface of the asteroid Itokawa by Japan's Hayabusa spacecraft, the tiny grains carry a record of the solar system's early days. Now, scientists have decoded the particles and read in them a tale of the asteroid's history, a story that spans billions of years, from the asteroid's birth to its future demise.

Flying on sunshine

LightSail, designed by the Planetary Society, measures 5.6 meters on each side. Once launched, it will turn 90 degrees twice every 90 minutes as it circles Earth.Stellar Exploration

What is ferberizing?

Ferberization is a technique invented by Dr. Richard Ferber to solve infant sleep problems. It involves "baby-training" children to self-soothe by allowing the child to cry for a predetermined amount of time before receiving external comfort.

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