News of: Wednesday, 30th of November, 2011
Ignoring widespread criticism and protests, parliament yesterday hurriedly passed a bill to split Dhaka City Corporation into two.
The areas under two cantonment boards and four DOHSs in the capital should be brought under the jurisdiction of Dhaka City Corporation, LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam said yesterday.
The main opposition BNP yesterday asked the government to withdraw its decision to split Dhaka City Corporation or face a tougher movement.
A number of eminent personalities yesterday threatened to launch a greater movement against the government's decision to split Dhaka City Corporation into two.
Visiting German President Christian Wulff said yesterday his country would explore new areas of cooperation with Bangladesh in trade, investment and power.
German businessmen look to ways of forming long-term trade and investment ties with Bangladesh instead of making quick money, said the leader of the delegation accompanying visiting German President Christian Wulff.
The much-awaited trial in the 10-truck arms haul cases began in a Chittagong court yesterday, seven years after the biggest-ever arms recovery in the country.
The World Bank has suggested the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to approach the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for information regarding alleged corruption in the $2.97 billion Padma Bridge project.
The lush green stretches of pocket forests and the lapping blue ocean of Durban belie the heat already generated at the climate conference as prospects of a continuation of the Kyoto Protocol -- the only legal binding on carbon emission -- look set to fall apart.
Bangladesh is a country most affected by extreme weather events in the last two decades, reveals the Global Climate Risk Index (CRI), 2012.
BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury yesterday accused the judges of the International Crimes Tribunal of intimidating his lawyers, to which the tribunal responded, “This (tribunal) is a court, not a place for fun.”
The communications ministry is yet to prepare reports on how much it spent on roads in the last 10 years even though the prime minister asked for the reports three-and-half months ago.
Two robbers were killed in a mob beating in Kuliarchar upazila of Kishoreganj yesterday when they were fleeing after robbing a house.
Major global aid donors began a three-day meeting yesterday, trying to coordinate efforts to lift millions out of poverty and bring influential new donors such as China on board.
Bus service on the Dhaka-Sylhet highway remained suspended yesterday after a group of transport workers vandalised several buses protesting a new bus service by a rival company in Habiganj.
Dhaka City Corporation staff yesterday threatened to call a strike if their demands including the cancellation of the plan to split the municipality are not met.
Two advisers to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina are leaving for New Delhi today amid growing tensions between Bangladesh and India over the Tipaimukh dam issue.
Parliament yesterday passed a bill vesting executive powers of the upazila parishad in the chairman instead of the parishad itself.
Suranjit Sengupta and Obaidul Quader, who were inducted into the cabinet as full ministers Monday night, are yet to receive their portfolios.
Narsingdi Jubo League president Ashraful Islam Sarkar yesterday confessed to his involvement in the sensational murder of Narsingdi Municipality Mayor Lokman Hossain early this month.
Ruling Awami League yesterday decided to back party leader Afzal Khan for mayor in the maiden Comilla City Corporation polls scheduled for January 5.
The story of men, women and children plucked from their homes in the West's colonies and exhibited like zoo animals is the focus of a major show that opened on Monday at Paris' tribal arts museum.
A grocer died of cardiac arrest during a “police raid” on his shop in the city's Farmgate area last night.
What should have been a roar has ended in a whimper. Given the three-year record of poor-to-middling quality performance with occasional flashes of brilliance, that too hamstrung with self-created controversies, people expected a qualitative cabinet reshuffle to take place. But what has happened has more of quantity than quality to it.
We are worried at the news of 500 female Bangladeshi garment workers at the Maintrend International factory in Jordan returning home before the expiry of their job contracts. The owners abruptly decided to shut down the factory late last month following a series of strikes allegedly by Chinese, Indian and Jordanian workers. But skilled Bangladeshi workers have had to bear the brunt of whatever consequences there ensued. Worse still, the female workers who were only seven months into their contracts, were not offered any compensation whatsoever, except being paid the airfare for returning home. When contacted, nor the Jordanian authorities would allow the affected workers to move to other factories. This is a gross violation of their rights as workers.
Bangladesh's batting frailties were exposed against a sublime bowling attack as Pakistan's tour got off to a flying start with a comfortable 50-run victory in the one-off T20 International at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
The Tigers' 50-run defeat to Pakistan in yesterday's Twenty20 could be a recurring theme (nightmare, whatever you want to call it) for the next three weeks but the nature of capitulation must be less frustrating if the home side are to end 2011 with a smile on their face.
The atmosphere at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium at the start of the lone Twenty20 International between Bangladesh and Pakistan was electric. But as the game unfolded and the Tigers limped towards a whimpering end, the enthusiasm of the crowd followed the trend.
Rohit Sharma hit a responsible 72 under pressure as India survived a top-order collapse to post a thrilling one-wicket win over the West Indies in the opening one-dayer on Tuesday.
Dhaka Metropolis rode on Asif Ahmed's superb 152 against Rangpur on the second day of the National Cricket League's sixth round at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.
Bangladesh national football team reached Indian capital New Delhi on Tuesday morning to take part in the SAFF Championship which starts at the Indian capital New Delhi on December 2. The team checked in at Hotel Hilton in the morning and will have their first practice session today, according to a message received yesterday.
It came as a big surprise when Bangladesh's playing eleven against Pakistan for yesterday's T20 match was announced without the presence of dashing opener Tamim Iqbal.
Australia will field their most inexperienced bowling attack in decades against a New Zealand team chasing their first Test victory in Australia for 26 years at the Gabba on Thursday.
Four clubs including Brothers Union yesterday completed their players' registration for the upcoming season which is expected to get underway from the third week of December.
India put in a disciplined bowling performance to restrict the West Indies to 211-9 in the opening one-day international on Tuesday despite Darren Bravo's impressive 60.
Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Bangladesh Police moved into the final of the Exim Bank 21st National Handball Championship after defeating their respective rivals in the semis at the Handball Stadium yesterday.
Narayanganj and Jessore moved into the semifinals of the KFC Women's Football Super League from Group B after registering their second consecutive victories at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.
Bangladesh Biman and Bangladesh Ansar emerged champions from their respective women's groups in the AB Bank National Table Tennis Championship beating respective rivals at the Wooden-Floor Gymnasium yesterday.
Maniknagar Unnayan Samiti registered a 59-24 win over Matuail Milon Smriti Sangsad in the First Division Kabaddi League at the Kabaddi Stadium yesterday.
Brendan Taylor, the Zimbabwe captain, was named the country's cricketer and batsman of the year at the annual awards ceremony in Harare on Monday. Left-arm fast bowler Brian Vitori won two awards while medium-pacer Keegan Meth was the bowler of the year.
Ten-man Malaga maintained their impressive home record with a 2-1 victory over Villarreal on Monday that kept their European ambitions on track.
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has turned down a one-year contract extension with the Premier League side and is looking for a big-money move to finish his career, his agent said on Tuesday.
The family of Gary Speed on Monday expressed their thanks for the overwhelming support they have received following the tragic death of the Wales football manager.
British police have quizzed Chelsea and England football captain John Terry over claims that he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, British media reported Monday.
The Granada versus Real Mallorca Primera Liga game, halted after a linesman was hit in the face with an umbrella, will be played behind closed doors on December 7, the Spanish football federation said Tuesday.
Former England captain Alan Shearer admitted to the BBC on Monday he was numb and in shock following the death on Sunday of Wales manager Gary Speed.
Cologne's German international Lukas Podolski has been involved in a car crash, police said on Monday.
Germany will raise the concern of Bangladesh about a proposed EU duty waiver to Pakistan at the next World Trade Organisation meeting in Brussels, said the leader of a delegation with visiting German President Christian Wulff.
German investors yesterday expressed worry over the gas and power crises in Bangladesh.
The amount of defaulted loans rose by
Stocks returned to the red yesterday as institutional investors are yet to become active in the market and small investors went for panic sales.
Growth in Southeast Asia's six major economies is expected to slow through 2016, the OECD said Tuesday, urging them to find new growth drivers as the key US and European export markets a stuck in crisis.
India's government faced pressure Tuesday to backtrack on reforms opening the retail sector to foreign chains such as Wal-Mart, after an all-party meeting on the issue failed to reach a consensus.
Within a fortnight, the Indian government has further cut the export price of onion by $100 to $250 a tonne to make it competitive in international markets.
China's central government on Tuesday raised the country's rural poverty line by more than 80 percent as part of efforts to increase aid to its struggling low-income population, state media reported.
France and Germany are battling for a key post at the European Central Bank amid deepening differences over the role the bank should take in the eurozone debt crisis, sources revealed on Tuesday.
Japanese consumers reached deeper into their wallets in October, data showed Tuesday, spending more on everything from cosmetics to fuel as the quake-hit country's economic recovery ticks along.
Bangladesh's Prime Finance and Investment Ltd yesterday beat competitors from other South Asian countries to win the top award for best published accounts and corporate disclosures.
Myanmar has come to the attention of the global leaders for the country's reformist steps taken by the newly elected civilian government since February.
Further clarifying the status, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said Grameen Bank is "purely a statutory body" and in no way an NGO.
Admission tests, which otherwise correlate with hours of continuous stress, couldn't be more relaxing if not for the campus that has a perfect touch of God-gifted scenic beauty, so say admission seekers about Chittagong University (CU) campus.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) is going to introduce 24-hour emergency hotlines to provide services to victims of violence against women.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday urged the visiting German President Christian Wulff to invest more in Bangladesh for flourishing the country's industrial sector.
Expressing concern over the marginalisation process of the country's indigenous people, diplomats yesterday suggested holding dialogues with the government to address the longstanding issues affecting these communities.
Nine people were killed and at least 15 others injured in separate road accidents in Tangail, Pabna, Naogaon and Gaibandha early Monday and yesterday.
Visiting Bangladesh Army chief General Mohammad Abdul Mubeen yesterday said his country's relations with China were not at the expense of India.
India yesterday said the current visit of Bangladesh Army chief Gen Md Abdul Mubeen to the country has a “major significance in the burgeoning defence cooperation between the two countries.”
Two persons,one of them a woman, were killed at the city's Jatrabari and Keraniganj yesterday.
Abdur Rouf, former whip and a member of the 1972's constitution draft committee, died of lung disease at a city hospital at the age of 70 yesterday.
A second police investigation has not found any evidence in support of allegations against the then principal of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College and the incharge of its Basundhara branch.
Women's rights activists, lawyers and police officials yesterday stressed the need for creating people's awareness and their participation in anti-violence activities to build a society free from violence against women.
The Bangla department at Jahangirnagar University (JU) celebrated 'Nabanna Utsab' (the festival of new harvest) with various colourful events and programmes yesterday.
Speaker Abdul Hamid said yesterday the mass media and democracy walk hand in hand and as long as the media remains active, democracy also remains vibrant.
Three educationists have been appointed full-time members to University Grants Commission (UGC).
The Lab Medicine Department of Apollo Hospitals, Dhaka has introduced a new blood test for diagnosis of "Chikungunya" fever, an abrupt onset of fever frequently accompanied by joint pain, said a press release yesterday.
A couple was detained from their Mohammadpur residence on charges of negligence in treatment for their teen-age domestic help who died yesterday morning.
A Dhaka court on Monday again asked officer-in-charge (OC) of Lalbagh Police Station to submit report on execution of arrest warrant against Mufti Fazlul Haq Amini, chairman of a faction of Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ), in connection with a sedition case.
Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday called for increasing the number of women in police department for more involvement of women in policing, women's empowerment as well as bringing female criminals to book.
Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) has selected renowned physician and National Professor Brigadier (Retd) Abdul Malik for awarding him Khan Bahadur Ahsanullah Gold Medal in recognition of his pioneering role in cardiology treatment in Bangladesh as well as his outstanding contributions in building skilled manpower for cardiology treatment.
Gias Uddin Majumder, special and diplomatic correspondent of the New Nation, passed away at Square Hospital in the city early yesterday at the age of 65.
Today is the 23rd death anniversary of Begum Anwara Khatun, a member of erstwhile Bengal Legislature Assembly.
The 12th death anniversary of Syed Mahbubul Haque (Benu Mia) will be observed today.
Specialised evening consultation service will begin at Eye and Gastroenterology departments of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) on December 1, said a press release yesterday.
A team of Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined four brick kilns Tk 12 lakh in Konabari of Gazipur for polluting environment and running their operations without clearance of the department.
Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD) Week-2011 begins today to create awareness among people about fire as well as train up them facing fire and earthquake.
Angry mob beat two thieves while fleeing after looting valuables from a journalist's residence at Azimpur in the city yesterday.
Lack of buyers is forcing the potato growers in Delduar upazila under the district to sell the vegetable at throughway prices as they have to take back the item from cold storages at the expiry of the contract period.
A betel leaf grower and his men have vandalised the house of another betel grower at Choto Bighai village in Patuakhali Sadar upazila following a quarrel with the latter's family.
Probe report found negligence of police in taking action after slain freedom fighter and teacher Kazi Zinnat Ali had filed a general diary (GD) against his daughter's stalker.
Bus owners and workers in the district went on an indefinite strike on Monday evening to press their two-point demand including ban on shallow-engine driven human haulers.
Khulna City Corporation (KCC) has decided to demolish the two-storey Zia Hall with a view to building a 33-storey city centre on the site.
Police yesterday morning arrested four leaders of Chitalmari upazila BNP in connection with Sunday's Awami League (AL)-BNP clashes that left Chitalmari UNO and OC injured.
Students of Moragachha High School in Khoksa upazila under the district have continued class boycott and agitation since November 21 demanding stoppage of an adjoining brick kiln that disturbs their study and poses health hazards.
Three housewives allegedly committed suicide in Rangpur and Kishoreganj districts on Sunday and the day before.
Department of Environment (DoE) has summoned president of Sylhet Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI) Faruque Ahmed Misbah on charge of causing environmental degradation by illegal hill cutting in the district.
Khulna city Awami League President and KCC Mayor Talukder Abdul Khaleque yesterday said all mills and factories in Khulna-Jessore industrial belt were shut down during the rule of BNP-led four-party alliance government.
Several hundred people of five unions in Sadar upazia yesterday noon put up a barricade on Satkhira-Kaliganj Road demanding repair of Padmashakra sluice gate on the bank of the river Ichhamoti. The protesters blocked the road at Alipur check post intersection for an hour from 11:00am, creating huge traffic congestion there. The waterlogged people of the unions also threatened to launch a tougher agitation if the demand was not met soon.
Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) personnel on Sunday seized huge contraband Indian goods from different frontier areas of the district and arrested three people. The arrestees are Raja, 36, Zohurul, 22, and Parul, 35, residents of the district town. On secret information, a patrol team of BGB arrested the trio along with 130 litres of liquor from Kalyanpur area in Chapainawabganj municipality at 11:00am. In another drive, the team seized huge clothes, including 226 pieces of shirts, from Sonadichar area in Sadar upazila at around 9:00am. Another BGB team of Monakosha camp in Shibganj upazila recovered 545 bottles of phensidyl and other contraband items from Boglauri Padmachar area of the upazila at 10:00am.
Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested three people along with a gun from Itagachha area of the district town yesterday. The arrestees are Babul Sardar, 24, son of Abul Kalam Sardar of Itagachha area, Sohel Rana, 25, son of Abu Salek, and Atiqur Rahman, 24, son of Golam Maula of Laxmidari village in Sadar upazila. Police said on suspicion, a team of Rab-6 stopped a motorbike riding by the three and arrested them. The elite force also seized a shutter gun their possession. A case was filed with Sadar Police Station, said Officer-in-Charge Aslam Khan.
The law enforcers in separate drives arrested a fugitive convict and two others wanted in criminal cases from different villages of Atrai upazila in Naogaon district early yesterday. The arrestees are Rahmat Ali, 30, son of Khairul Islam of Poichhata village, Soharab Hossain, 45, son of Mohammad Khalil of Bhartetulia village, and Abdus Salam, 35, son of Mojibur Rahman of Kholapara village. Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of Rab and police raided the house of Ali and arrested him at around 12:30am. He was absconding after a Naogaon court sentenced him to three years' imprisonment in a case. In another drive, the team raided Bhartetulia and Kholapara villages around 1:30am and arrested Hossain and Salam. The two other were wanted in criminal cases.
In a bid to stabilise the capital market, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) issued a circular on November 21, 2011 asking people to invest black money in the stock market without fear. According to the circular, if anybody invests black money in stock market, the NBR will not raise any question about the source of the funds.
Our prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in his last sermon urged people to treat women well and be to be kind to them. But violence against women in Muslim countries is common. We are surprised when Sheikh Hasina gives carte blanche to her "golden" boys to do whatever they wish. Hence police think twice before taking any case, whether the crime was perpetrated by those marked boys or by others. The immunity enjoyed by those boys leads to crimes like stalking, rape, killing and racketeering. I hope Sheikh Hasina and all our leaders will take instructions from the holy Quran and act accordingly. Only then crime against women, men and humanity will stop and people of this God forsaken land will find the long lost peace.
The pavements of the busy areas of the city remain occupied by hawkers selling clothes, fruits, vegetables and other things. These makeshift stalls block the movement of the pedestrians.
There is no guideline for the house rent in the country. But this is an old issue. Many tenants want a redress and a guideline for all to follow.
The government has made a mess of everything. Looking around, we do not find any sector functioning as it should. The communications ministry, finance ministry, home ministry and foreign ministry have made us dissatisfied. People have become enraged and demonstrating against those who are in charge of these ministries.
The Indian Prime Minister Dr. Monmohon Singh, during his visit to Bangladesh in last September, promised that India would not take any steps that might adversely affect Bangladesh.
The IBA admission test for the session 2011-2012 was held on 25th November 2011. I was a candidate. I reported to the Arts building, Room no 4051, 3rd floor. There were two invigilators in my room. One of them rebuked some students for failing to ask him the appropriate questions and for not having minimum common sense. I had the idea that the DU faculty members were the most conscientious people in the country. But the invigilator proved me wrong. Throughout the exam, he spoke at the top of his voice asking the roll number of the candidates and enquiring about their details. Worst of all, he started chatting with the other invigilator just at the end of the first 30 minutes of the exam. I don't know how it affected the other students but I could not concentrate on my paper at all.
Influenza is a common illness prevailing in every part of the world. It is an acute infection caused by the influenza viruses. There are vaccines available for controlling influenza. The commercial name of one such vaccine is Fluzone, manufactured by the Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the sanofi-aventis Group. In USA and other countries this vaccine is commonly used to prevent influenza.
Here are some comments that came in response to Tuesday's The Daily Star report headlined “Two of the old guard made ministers.”
Pakistan's prime minister ruled out "business as usual" with the United States on Monday after a Nato attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and the army threatened to curtail cooperation over the war in Afghanistan.
Protesters in the Iranian capital, Tehran, yesterday broke into the UK embassy compound during a demonstration against sanctions imposed by Britain.
Pakistan yesterday decided to boycott a key international conference on Afghanistan next month, widening its protest over lethal cross-border Nato strikes and exacerbating a deep crisis in US ties.
Egypt yesterday hailed the start of its first post-revolution election as a triumph for democracy as more voters headed to the polls, boosting turnout for a vote that had looked in doubt last week.
Foreign Policy magazine named 14 "brave" individuals who helped bring the pro-democracy Arab Spring movements to the Middle East and North Africa as the top global thinkers of 2011.
UN investigators on Monday said Syrian security forces had committed crimes against humanity, including the killing and torture of children, as Damascus lashed out at Arab League sanctions.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said the government's decision to allow foreign equity in retail was not taken in haste but after a careful thought to how it would benefit the common man in India.
UN climate talks got under way here Monday amid calls for action to head off worsening drought, floods and storms but also to fears of a bust-up just two years after a near-fiasco in Copenhagen.
Psychiatrists tasked with determining the mental state of Anders Behring Breivik when he carried out twin attacks in Norway have found he was insane at the time of the crime, the VG daily reported yesterday on its website.
Nepalese MPs extended parliament's term for a fourth and final time yesterday, to allow the drafting of a new constitution in line with a peace accord brokered after the civil war ended in 2006.
Russia activated a radar warning system against incoming missiles in its exclave of Kaliningrad on the borders of the EU yesterday, in response to Western plans for a US missile shield in Europe.
It is the so-calle among its erstwhile inha d city of dreams that counts some of the greatest luminaries of music and art bitants.
The UN Security Council on Monday called for those behind killings and rights abuses in Yemen to be "held accountable" as demands grew for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to face trial.
A tribal group yesterday lifted a four-month highway blockade that caused a serious shortage of essential supplies in parts of the northeastern India state of Manipur.
A judge jailed Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray for the maximum four years yesterday, three weeks after he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the star's 2009 death.
The only daughter of brutal Soviet tyrant Joseph Stalin -- who defected to the West in 1967 and became a vocal critic of the Soviet Union -- has died at age 85, the New York Times reported Monday.
Eleven people died and 13 others were injured in a traffic accident yesterday on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, state media reported.
Five Emirati Internet activists, jailed for up to three years on charges including insulting the Gulf state's leaders, have been pardoned, state news agency WAM and their lawyer said on Monday.
Arts & Entertainment
Soumitra Chatterjee's baritone and Sharmila Tagore's bold and mischievously charming reading at the bilingual “Onnishesh Pran: Life Unending” enthralled Dhakaiites at the Radission Blu Water Garden Hotel Dhaka last Monday evening. On the occasion of Rabindranath Tagore's 150th birth anniversary, Excalibur Entertainment and Jatrik hosted the production -- a narrative of the bard's life and works. The event was sponsored by Airtel Bangladesh in association with The City Bank Ltd.
Noted Rabindra Sangeet artiste Rezwana Chowdhury Bonya and Indian adhunik singer Srikant Acharya performed to a full-house at a programme hosted by Eastern Bank Limited (EBL) on November 28. The programme, titled “EBL Corporate Night”, was held at the Celebrity Hall, Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.
A couple of years ago, noted contemporary Bangladeshi painter Tajuddin Ahmed migrated to Toronto. Before leaving Dhaka, he did several paintings, mostly centred on themes like nature, nostalgia and his beloved old Dhaka. He also meticulously developed the patterns with basic architectural lines and shapes in his works.
Handicraft shops from different parts of the country including Dhaka set up stalls at the Cooperative Fair held at Mymensingh Town Hall premises.
An exhibition of clay ornaments by artist Shahidul Hasan began at Sangskritik Biplobi Sangha (SABIS) Auditorium in Manikganj town on November 27.
When it comes to espousing a cause, you will always find Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan to step forward first.
DS Cafe will buzz as one of the leading rock icons of the country Shafin Ahmed drops in to take your calls. Call 8126155, 01711623915 and 01711623917 TODAY (Wednesday) between 4pm and 5pm to speak to Shafin Ahmed! The countdown has begun!!
The entry of experienced politicians into the cabinet, any cabinet, is generally an enlightening affair. It is so because these individuals bring to government their accumulated wisdom, a process which has taken a long number of years, to bear on the concept of governance. It is against this backdrop of reality that one feels rather thrilled by the entry of Suranjit Sengupta and Obaidul Quader into the council of ministers.
China was taken aback by America's ardent push for renewed engagement with the Asia-Pacific this month, and is now trying to figure out how it can best counter-balance American influence, analysts say.
Rivers are gifts of nature and their flow knows no territorial boundaries. Human beings and rivers have symbiotic relations. Water is life and water sustains nature with all its bounties.
It seems more than likely that the BNP, the opposition party, will not participate in the next general election under the Awami League-led government -- an inevitability under the recent 15th Amendment to the constitution. It is quite possible also that the present government will not yield to the opposition's demand for a neutral caretaker government.
Catastrophic flooding and crop losses in Thailand, the world's leading rice exporter, is raising concerns that another food crisis may be in the offing. Further disquieting is the possibility that the world may have already entered a new era where persistently high food prices are the "New Normal."
Cold War: In Geneva, representatives from the United States and the Soviet Union begin to negotiate intermediate-range nuclear weapon reductions in Europe.