The Daily Star

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Friday, April 25, 2014


News of: Saturday, 3rd of December, 2011

Front Page

Delhi open to Dhaka's stake

Mentioning that Bangladesh would not be harmed by the 1,500MW Tipaimukh hydroelectric project, India now suggests that Bangladesh could acquire a stake in it by making an investment and getting electricity in exchange.

HSBC, Star honour climate heroes

Saving the environment is not a daunting task but failure to do so has bigger consequences for the future generations.

UNO-led bodies run upazilas

Different ministries formed over 80 committees in the last three years to run development and other activities in Kazipur upazila of Sirajganj, keeping government executives at the helm of most committees, Mozammel Haque Sarker, chairman of Kazipur upazila parishad, has told The Daily Star.

Outsourcing can fetch $5b every year

Bangladesh has the potential to create over 2 lakh direct and 50,000 indirect jobs and earn $5 billion in foreign currency per year in the next decade through outsourcing business.

A few hurting democracy

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the country's civil society members to play constructive role to further strengthen the foundation of democracy in the country.

Disappointing draw in Delhi

Bangladesh's quest for Saff (South Asian Football Federation) Championship glory got off to a stuttering start as they played out a goalless draw in their opening match against Pakistan at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium yesterday.

A hill of let-down

Pledges remain unmet.

AL extremely communal

Santu Larma yesterday termed the ruling Awami League an extremely communal political party.

BNP warns of non-stop agitation

The main opposition BNP yesterday threatened to go for a non-stop movement to force the government abandon the splitting of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) into two.

Half of world pollution done by five nations

More than half of all carbon pollution released into the atmosphere comes from five countries, according to a national ranking of greenhouse gas emissions.

10 file papers for candidacy in Comilla mayor race

Ten mayoral aspirants have filed nomination papers in the Comilla City Corporation polls, slated for January 5.

A ray of hopes, finally

After a week of grim news, at least some light shone yesterday when a new window of fund termed Loss and Damage has been finalised.

Locals agitate for relocation of polluting factory

Several hundred people yesterday blocked the Dhaka-Mawa highway for an hour demanding relocation of a factory that emits toxic gas over their villages in South Keraniganj.

Three years on, no progress made

The investigation into the sensational fire incident that killed Ganotantri Party president Nurul Islam and his son three years ago has made no significant progress.

Ashraf vows polls to DCCs within 90 days

LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday said maiden polls to Dhaka north and south city corporations will be held within the stipulated 90 days.

15 killed in political violence

At least 15 persons were killed and 759 injured in political violence throughout the country last month, rights organisation Odhikar revealed yesterday.

Eight killed in Iraq attacks

Bomb and gun attacks in Iraq have killed eight people, including four anti-Qaeda militiamen, and wounded 12 others, security officials said yesterday.

City JP leader shot dead

Police early yesterday recovered the body of a Jatiya Party Dhaka city leader from a ditch beside Dhaka-Aricha highway in Dhamrai.

FDI row to delay Lokpal Bill: Hazare

Anna Hazare yesterday alleged that Congress might have taken a U-turn on contentious issues of lower bureaucracy and CBI in Lokpal under Rahul Gandhi's instructions and claimed that the government was delaying resolution of FDI imbroglio to avoid passing Jan Lokpal Bill in the Winter Session of Parliament.

Editorial

Bangladesh's corruption image slightly better

Bangladesh has fared better in 2011 compared to its performance in curbing corruption last year, according to the Transparency International (TI)'s report released on December 1.

The matter of spelling

There is always a time to go back to basics, especially where learning is concerned. And a serious aspect of learning has to do with spelling. That is one of the earliest phases we go through in school and from then on it remains our endeavour to achieve mastery over a part of education that must sustain us in our personal and professional life. It is in that spirit that we are pretty enthused by thoughts of a spelling competition which we understand will take place next year. The moving spirit behind this rather innocuous but nevertheless necessary exercise is Champs21, an initiative of this newspaper. And on board with it is GlaxoSmithKline Bangladesh Ltd.

Sports

Buck stops with batsmen

Sitting in front of the dressing room, Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim was deep in thought while talking to the selectors Akram Khan and Minhajul Abedin yesterday.

Pakistan await special sixth

Pakistan have the added bonus of wrapping up a record sixth consecutive ODI series win this year when they take on Bangladesh in the second one-dayer today.

Ilievski still hopeful

Despite having drawn the first match against Pakistan, Bangladesh coach Nikola Ilievski is optimistic about advancing into the last four from Group B. But the Macedonian believes that the Pakistan team showed far greater motivation than Bangladesh and were hence rewarded with the draw.

Battle lines drawn

Old rivals Germany and Netherlands were drawn together on Friday in the toughest of the four groups for next year's Euro 2012 soccer finals in Poland and Ukraine. The two former champions will be in Group B along with two other tricky western European nations, Portugal and Denmark.

Delhi Belly

Last year's runners-up Maldives were held to a 1-1 draw against Nepal in the second match of the SAFF Championship at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium yesterday.

All eyes on Kiev

Europe's top football nations gather in Kiev on Friday to discover their fate when the draw takes place for Euro 2012 with all eyes looking out for the cliched 'Group of Death'.

Split, tours hurt Dhaka

This season's National Cricket League has been nothing short of a nightmare for Dhaka division. They have lost five out of the six games, gathering just 31.52 points which is more than seven short of Barisal who are in fifth place.

Siddikur misses UBS cut

Bangladesh's vaunted golfer Siddikur Rahman bowed out of the UBS Hong Kong Open on Friday after being placed on tied 87th position with 5-over-par (145) after the second round at the Hong Kong Golf Club yesterday.

CWAB attends meeting with ILO

Huan Somavia, Director-General of the International Labour Organisation held a meeting with UNI Global Union at its headquarters on November 24 in Geneva.

Kamal's grant for BKSP

Bangladesh Cricket Board president AHM Mustafa Kamal has declared a Tk five lakh grant to the BKSP's cricket department yesterday.

Div I cricket

Ishaq took five wickets in Partex's 26-run win over Khelaghar in a First Division Cricket League match at the BKSP-2 ground yesterday.

Rampaul rallies WI

Tailender Ravi Rampaul and opener Lendl Simmons both cracked half-centuries as the West Indies recovered from an early collapse to post 269-9 in the second one-dayer against India on Friday.

Vettori shrugs off missing ton

New Zealand's Daniel Vettori was philosophical about his brain snap which cost him his first Test century against Australia at the Gabba on Friday.

Ponting leads Aus fightback

Ricky Ponting, searching for an elusive century to save his Test career, led an Australian fightback on the second day of the first Test against New Zealand at the Gabba on Friday.

City eye more points

Manchester City could end this weekend eight points clear at the top of the English Premier League as Roberto Mancini's men look to edge closer to a first league title since 1968.

Alonso stays focused

While La Liga gears up for the first Clasico of the season next weekend, Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso refuses to be side-tracked and says a win against Sporting Gijon will be just as valuable.

Lucas out for season

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, the English Premier League club said on Thursday.

Jones takes Stoke thru'

A Kenwyne Jones header 10 minutes from time earned Stoke City a 1-1 draw with Dynamo Kiev on Thursday that sealed their place in the Europa League knockout stages, after Fulham lost at Twente Enschede earlier in the day.

Inter's Udinese test

Inter Milan host Udinese in the crunch clash of the weekend in Serie A with both teams looking to prove a point in vastly contrasting seasons so far.

C'Ron back in Real squad

Real Madrid's Portuguese star striker Cristiano Ronaldo rejoined the squad for Spanish league action this weekend after recovering from an ankle strain, his club said on Thursday.

Diaby suffers new setback

Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby has suffered a new injury setback, with a hamstring injury ruling him out of Saturday's match with Wigan, his club confirmed on Friday.

Local snippets

Bagerhat rule in TT

Raul Europe's goal king

Spanish veteran Raul moved further clear at the top of the list of all-time leading scorers in European competition Thursday, taking his tally to 74 by netting the decider in Schalke's 2-1 win over Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League.

Metropolitan

Games in city fair foster math solving

There was only 20 seconds left before a “mad patient” had to be cured by solving the value of “x” in the equation “3+x=12”. Keeping his cool, Walid Hossain, a 10-year-old boy, clicked on the number “9” on the screen in front of him and the patient leapt up from the operating chair, all cured.

Over 70 hurt in cop action

About 70 to 80 people were wounded in police action in South Keraniganj yesterday.

Share techniques on dermatology

Experts at a conference urged the South Asian countries to help each other develop knowledge and treatment techniques under Dermatology.

Call to play role for sustainable dev

Professional accountants can play a vital role for achieving sustainable development, speakers said at an international seminar here Wednesday.

Butterflies flutter JU

Zahir Raihan auditorium at Jahangirnagar University yesterday took a colourful look as hundreds of live butterflies and pictures were put on display along the corridors and the surroundings.

Scrutinising starts tomorrow

Bangladesh Bank will start scrutinising 37 applications, submitted by sponsors and entrepreneurs for permission to set up new banks, tomorrow.

Comilla Jamaat ameer not to join city polls

Comilla City Jamaat Ameer Kazi Deen Mohammad has decided to boycott January 5 election to Comilla City Corporation in protest against the use of EVM system and non-deployment of army in the polls.

Muggers hack trader, snatch Tk 4 lakh

A group of muggers hacked a cloth trader and snatched Tk 4 lakh from his possession at Sayedabad bus terminal in the city early yesterday, police said.

Upazila vice chair stabbed by brother

The female vice-chairman of Moulvibazar sadar upazila was stabbed by her drug addicted younger brother as she tried to persuade him not to take drugs on Thursday night.

Workers injured in cylinder blast dies

Two workers of Western Marine Shipyard, who received burn injuries from gas cylinder blast, died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) on Thursday night.

Man killed in road accident

A motorcyclist was killed and two others were injured in a road accident in Shukrobari-Goalibazar area of Gomostapur upazila yesterday morning.

Transport strike called off in Chapai

Bus and truck owners and employees of Chapainawabganj called off their indefinite strike beginning on November 28 after the district administration assured of meeting their demands yesterday.

'Enforce vested property return act'

Leaders of Bangladesh Sanatan Dharmio Sammilita Parishad, a platform of the Hindu community, yesterday demanded the complete implementation of the recently passed Vested Properties Return (Amended) Act 2011.

New school launched in city

US Model School Bangladesh Limited, a USA-curriculum based school, was launched in the city yesterday.

RU anthropology dept events begin

A two-day programme begins at Rajshahi University yesterday to celebrate the 12th anniversary of its Anthropology department.

BRUR admission tests Dec 12

The admission tests of Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur (BRUR) for first year honours course of 2011-12 session will begin on December 12 and the result will be published on December 18.

Teachers' registration exam begins

The 7th Non-government Teachers' Registration Examination-2011, a pre-qualifying examination to appoint teachers in schools, colleges, madrasas and technical institutes, began across the country yesterday with around 3.21 lakh applicants.

Obituary

Adrian Robero, an eminent businessman and social activist, died on Thursday at Gulshan in the city after suffering from chest pain. He was 45.

Death anniversary

Today is the 40th death anniversary of martyred Lieutenant Bodiuzzaman, Bir Protik.

National

18 lakh power connections by 2015

The Rural Electrification Board (REB) is expected to launch a project to provide 18 lakh new connections in next four years as part of a massive government campaign to cover all the villages under the government's Vision 2021 programme.

International

Suu Kyi hopeful on reforms

Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday said she is hopeful that Myanmar can get on to "the road to democracy", after talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Pakistan's appetite for peace eroding

Deadly Nato strikes have sapped Pakistan's appetite for helping the United States carve out a settlement in Afghanistan, experts say, with army chiefs under pressure from their furious junior ranks.

Egypt awaits polls results

Egypt awaited yesterday the delayed publication of results for the opening phase of its first post-revolution election, with the hardline Islamists set for comfortable win.

Pak officials green signalled for attack

Pakistani officials gave the green light for the Nato strikes that killed 24 of their troops last month, unaware that the forces were in the area, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

WikiLeaks unveils global surveillance industry

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange launched the website's new project Thursday, the publication of files it claims shows a global industry that gives dictatorships tools to spy on their citizens.

Sanction bite cripples Syria

Europe and the United States tightened economic sanctions on Syria, ramping up international pressure as the UN said more than 4,000 people had died in a crackdown on dissidents.

Won't topple govt

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's attempt to win over ally Trinamool Congress on government's decision to allow foreign direct investment in retail was yesterday rebuffed by Paschimbanga Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who told him her party cannot back the move.

UN slashes world growth forecast

The United Nations on Thursday slashed its forecast for world growth to 2.6 percent in 2012 and warned the eurozone debt crisis could further undermine the global performance.

Syria rebels attack intel base, kill 8

Mutinous soldiers have attacked a Syrian air force intelligence base in the northwestern province of Idlib, killing eight people, a rights group said yesterday.

US Senate hits Iran with new sanctions

The US Senate on Thursday unanimously adopted harsh new economic sanctions on Iran, dismissing US officials' fears they risked fracturing global unity on blocking Tehran's suspected nuclear weapons program.

Pak Senate stands united

The Pakistan Senate yesterday passed a unanimous resolution against the recent Nato's attack on a Pakistani check-post, reports the dawn.

Thaksin to get Thai passport

Thailand will issue a passport for its fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra "very soon," his sister's government said yesterday, angering the controversial ex-leader's opponents.

Flesh-eating banana!

Rumours of flesh-eating bananas in Mozambique have sparked a plummet in the sale of the fruit, prompting the health minister yesterday to reassure people of its safety.

Gillard to be paid more than Obama

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is set to get a Aus$90,000 (US$92,000) pay rise, meaning she will earn more than US President Barack Obama, reports said yesterday.

18 killed in DRC vote violence

Election-related violence in Democratic Republic of Congo has already killed 18 civilians, a rights group said yesterday, amid fears that fresh unrest could erupt over alleged fraud.

US army hands main base to Iraq

The US military returned its biggest base in Iraq to the government yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Man of the masses

Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, in collaboration with Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre, High Commission of India, Dhaka and Akar Prakar Gallery, Kolkata, has organised a prints exhibition, titled “Wounds”, featuring the works of noted Indian printmaker and sculptor Somnath Hore (1921-2006). The exhibition is on at Bengal Gallery, Dhanmondi, Dhaka.

Rashid Karim remembered

Bangla Academy held a memorial meeting on the recently deceased novelist Rashid Karim on December 1 at the academy's Rabindra Chattor.

Travels through Liberty

Soon after Bangabandhu's March 7, 1971 speech, I went to Faridpur where I engaged locals and asked them to join the war. Our strategy was to fight the Pakistani army in guerrilla style. I went to India [in June], where I received special training.

China regulator bans TV advertisements during dramas

China has ordered a ban on advertisements during TV dramas as part of its reform of cultural activities.

Bangla Academy to celebrate its 56th founding anniversary

Bangla Academy is going to celebrate its 56th anniversary with elaborate programmes at the academy premises. The celebration will be held today (December 3).

Musical soiree Praner Khela at Bengal Gallery

Instrument (sitar) and Rabindra Sangeet renditions were the highlight of last month's instalment of 'Praner Khela', a regular musical programme arranged by Bengal Foundation. The soiree was held on November 29 at the Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, Dhanmondi in Dhaka.

Healing the wounds

In a musical tribute to the victims of the 2008 deadly terrorist attack in Mumbai that left 166 people dead, Bollywood music composer Aadesh Srivastava has launched a music album “Sounds of Peace” in collaboration with actor Amitabh Bachchan and international singer Akon.

Kanye, Adele, Bruno Mars and Foo Fighters lead Grammy Nominations

Adele has earned six Grammy Award nominations including the award show's major categories, album of the year, record of the year and song of the year.

OP-ED

Confrontational politics and enforcement dilemma

From all indications one can see that the two major political parties are once again on an ominous confrontational course. This time also on the issue of holding the next general election under political party government or caretaker government the two parties hold diametrically opposite views. At least, as of now, there is no sign of either one budging an inch from their entrenched position.

Charge of the old guard

If it had been only another item on the continuing agenda of economic reform, the decision to permit foreign direct investment in retail would have been taken at least two years ago. Dr. Manmohan Singh's government has been in its favour from the moment it was sworn in seven and a half years ago, but was thwarted by the Left, without whose support it could not have maintained a majority in the Lok Sabha during its first term. That is understandable. No sensible government risks its survival for the benefit of a multinational's bottom line. But 2009's general elections changed the arithmetic of the Lok Sabha dramatically, and with it the algebra of policy manoeuvres. However, the Left's decimation did not alter a basic fact: that opposition to retail FDI cuts across partisan lines. The government has majority support in a compliant cabinet, but not in the less obedient Lok Sabha. The coalition that governs India is now split, although not broken.

Tipaimukh Dam: Bane or boon?

The unilateral Indian move to construct a dam at Manipur to regulate flow of the river Barak and generate electricity, despite opposition from upstream state Manipur and downstream country Bangladesh, has been made without any discussion with the government of Bangladesh as required by international law on common rivers.

Realising Digital Nation and eAsia2011

Realising Digital Nation" is the slogan of eAsia2011, an international event on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Development being held in Bangladesh (Dec 1 to3). As announced by the organisers of the event, the main objective of eAsia2011 is to reinforce technology and knowledge-centric growth and the needs of Asia, including Bangladesh, through capitalisation of market economy and boosting of human development. The event will also commemorate the 40th anniversary of independent Bangladesh and celebrate the progress of Digital Bangladesh agenda of the government.

Protest and protect, or perish

Climate change is a global challenge which affects all nations, some more than others. Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries of the world to climate change. It is a threat to social and economic stability and sustainable human existence. There is no doubt that climate change affects the fundamental requirements for health -- clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secured shelter.

This Day In History

December 3

1959
The current flag of Singapore is adopted, six months after Singapore became self-governing within the British Empire.

Environment

DURBAN CLIMATE TALKS UNDERWAY

The seventeenth conference of parties (COP17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) got underway in Durban, South Africa on Monday 28th November with a colourful Zulu dance and powerful speech by the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma. The presidency of the COP was officially passed on by the Foreign Minister of Mexico who chaired COP16 in Cancun, Mexico last year, to the South African Foreign Minister who will now chair COP17 for the two weeks in Durban.

Capabilities of and threats to Bangladesh

Briefly the definition and causes of climate change (CC) are: [1] increased greenhouse gases (GHGs) emission following industrial revolution; [2] increased GHGs level in the atmosphere; [3] more heat energy from sunlight absorbed by increased GHGs and reemitted in the atmosphere; [4] overall increase in the temperature of the planet; and [5] changes in the precipitation and wind pattern along with the temperature. It is proven that the CC is the results of greenhouse effects (GHEs) evidenced by intensified natural disasters, melting of polar icecaps and rising up of sea levels. Most of the world's population lives near coasts, so any changes, which might cause sea levels to rise, could have a potentially disastrous impact.

Green Climate Fund

The major outcome of the Sixteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (CoP-16) was establishment of Green Climate Fund (GCF) to combat climate change. The Transitional Committee (TC) consisting of 25 developing and 15 developed countries met four times in last seven months under the leadership of three co-chairs from Mexico, Norway and South Africa, and two vice chairs from Australia and Singapore under the framework of Cancun Agreement. At the end of the last meeting held in Cape Town, South Africa, the TC has prepared the report covering four thematic elements including objectives and guiding principles, governing instruments, operational modalities and monitoring and evaluation to be presented before the parties at the CoP 17. The report was sent with disagreement of the USA and Saudi Arabia, and reservations of some countries such as Venezuela and Columbia.

Literature

Keats: “On First Looking into Chapman's Homer”

The first time I had to judge books formally was when I became a member of the jury for the Commonwealth Writer's Prize in 2004. I was thrilled to be adjudicating such a prize, even though I was judge only for the Eurasia region (there are four regions in this competition: Africa, Canada and the Caribbean, Eurasia, South East Asia and the South Pacific; the regional winners are eventually considered for the award later). However, I soon found out that while the idea of being a judge is thrilling, the judging process itself is quite demanding. If my memory serves me right the three of us in the Eurasian jury (Professor Sanjukta Das Gupta of the University of Calcutta, and Maya Jaggi, of the literary page of the British newspaper The Guardian, were my co-judges) had to read 108 books in just about four month's time. I remember that while I had set out to devour all the books initially I soon found comfort in Bacon's worldly-wise observation of ways of managing one's reading in his classic essay, “Of Studies”: “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested, that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence, and attention”. Adopting Bacon's method, at the end of my reading I could claim that I had tasted about fifty books, swallowed about thirty-five or so of them, and chewed and digested the rest. The books that I read really diligently and with rapt attention were of course the ones I had short-listed. When we met as a jury in Kolkata's Tollygunge Club we brought along the best of these short-listed books. Then in one day of intense negotiation we chose the winners from them: Mark Haddon's brilliant book about an autistic child, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, we agreed merited the Best First Book Prize while Caryl Phillip's sensitively rendered tragic tale of an African man's death in an English village, A Distant Shore, impressed us as the book most deserving of the Best Book of the Year Award. I should add that the process of arriving at these choices was not an easy one. After all, there were at least a few other works in our individual short-lists that had their claims to be made the “best” book in these two categories, though we certainly did not feel the same way about all of them. But it was a great feeling to be present in the delightfully preserved Bengal Club of Kolkata where the winners were announced. And as jurors of our region we felt vindicated in our final choices when some months later our selections were announced overall winners of the Commonwealth Prize in the “Best First Book” and “Best Book of the Year” categories at the Sydney Literary Festival later that year.

Rashid Karim: voice of modern fiction

This is the way the world ends, warns one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. It ends not with a bang but a whimper.

The cruel conflict

Shojib is surprised to see the door unlatched. The door creaks as he pushes it open. The midnight breeze blowing across brings in a sweet smell as he stands on the balcony. The lights of the dining room are switched on, and from the balcony he sees sleepless Rehana in a crumpled up sari standing in the middle of the narrow corridor that connects the dining space with the balcony. For a minute or two they keep looking at each other with their eyes wide open. Then she walks clumsily to him and leans her body against his broad shoulder. He gets a feeling that a roach is slowly creeping up from his feet. Holding her straight by his hands, Shojib mutters: “What happened? Why didn't you sleep?”

Star Health

Children with HIV in Asia resistant to AIDS drugs!

Teenagers in Asia receiving treatment for HIV are showing early signs of osteoporosis and children as young as five are becoming resistant to AIDS drugs, an anti-AIDS group said recently, urging more attention be given to young HIV patients.

Exercise for the benefit of brain

For centuries, people have known that exercise remodels muscles, rendering them more durable and fatigue-resistant. But very little thing was known whether it helps to keep brain fit or not. To learn more about how exercise affects the brain, scientists in Ireland recently asked a group of sedentary male college students to take part in a memory test followed by strenuous exercise.

Myofascial pain syndrome

Myofascial Pain Syndrome is a chronic form of pain that affects muscle (Myo) and connective tissue surrounding muscle (Fascia). It involves some sensitive spots of the muscle called myofascial trigger points. These trigger points are painful when touched. Pain and spasms can spread throughout the surrounding muscle.

Tips to help manage angina

Angina describes the pain and discomfort that occurs when the heart lacks a sufficient supply of oxygenated blood. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute offers these suggestions to help manage angina symptoms:

Fish consumption reduces Alzheimer’s risk

People who eat baked or broiled fish on a weekly basis may be improving their brain health and reducing their risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Low vitamin D linked to heart disease, death

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to heart disease and death, but the risk is more than halved when they are given supplements, according to a large new study published in The American Journal of Cardiology. Sunlight exposure and certain foods, like oily fish, eggs and enriched milk products are good sources of D.

Strategic Issues

Myth of "global zero"

The world is haunted by its own making nuclear weapons, though this argument makes sense but the growing complexity of international politics, nuclear weapons being inseparably linked, does not allow the strategists to think of a world beyond nuclear shield. This debate has grown bigger with the Obama administration's dismantling of the last US biggest B53 nuclear bomb, a Cold War relic 600 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Though the US is considering this development as a milestone in President Obama's mission to rid the world of nuclear weapons and the end of the era of big megaton bombs, the world is not naive enough to accept such claim, rather some thinks of it as a strategic approach to increase US moral authority to take actions against Iran, supported by a subsequent IAEA's report claiming to find evidence of nuclear weapons development by Iran.

Changes in Myanmar: Lessons for Bangladesh

Myanmar has been trying to diversify its foreign orientation in the context of rapidly-changing regional geopolitical dynamics since the military dominated Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) assumed power in November 2010. It has recently witnessed significant political developments which moved the country from the 'policy of isolation' towards a 'policy of engagement.' Political developments include the recently enacted bill in parliament allowing citizens to protest peacefully, initiatives to resume dialogues with other political parties and release of political prisoners. As a result, Myanmar, to some extent, has elevated its position in International Politics. Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) agreed that Myanmar would chair the regional bloc in 2014. These changes have already given an indication that the country wants to realign its foreign policy breaking its long phase of isolation for decades. It also gives an assessment of which direction the country might take in the coming months and years.

Russian arms in US backyard: Back in Cuba

Russia has launched a military partnership project with its Cold War ally Cuba, amid rising tensions over US plans to deploy an anti-missile system in Europe.

Star Books Review

Peregrinations of a diplomat . . .

Since the liberation of Bangladesh there have been three critical periods in the history of our country. These were 1975, when the Father of the Nation was assassinated in August and then General Ziaur Rahman took over power in November, 19891991 , when General Ershad's army backed government was toppled and democracy was 'born again' with general elections held in 1991, and 2007-2008 when the army and some countries backed a caretaker government into power. Krishnan Srinivasan, who was India's High Commissioner to Bangladesh from 1989 to 1992 , wrote his memoirs , which was published in 2008 , which covers the 1989-1991 era.

The symbolism remains strong

Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea is a classic work that brought him the 1954 Nobel Prize in literature. It has been translated and read in many different languages. It is a book that is familiar, at least by name, to almost anyone who has had a primary education. Growing up, I too heard a great deal about this book. Frankly, I wondered what all the fuss was about. It was met with the reply, as all kids will know, that I was too young to understand. Eventually, I decided to read the book and discover for myself.

A dash of poetry . . .

Poetry is an ageless experience. There is about it a timelessness that you cannot quite ignore. And that is because poets, being the unacknowledged legislators of the world they are, in Shelley's famous formulation, transcend time and space to ensure their commonality of passion about life and all that it is reflective of.


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