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News of: Tuesday, 8th of May, 2012
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The High Court yesterday ordered police not to arrest within a week around 30 opposition leaders, including BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, who are accused in two cases over hartal violence.
With the young learners doing well in English and mathematics, pass rate in this year's Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations has hit an all time record 86.32 percent, 4.16 percentage points higher than that of last year.
Although the pass rate in this year's Dakhil examinations increased to 88.47 percent from last year's 83.23 percent, the pass rate in SSC (vocational) exams dropped slightly from 81.37 percent to 80.69 percent.
Latifur Rahman, chairman and CEO of Transcom Group and vice-president of International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh, yesterday received Business for Peace Award 2012 at a function in the Norwegian capital Oslo.
India has assured Bangladesh that the Himalayan rivers will not be included in its river inter-linking project without prior consultation with Bangladesh, and said an agreement on sharing of the Teesta waters will have to wait till a consensus with West Bengal state is reached.
The government may allow whitening of undisclosed income only after imposing tax plus a penalty, not at a flat tax rate that goes against honest taxpayers, said the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) yesterday.
Bangladesh and India have agreed to conclude an extradition treaty at the earliest and vowed not to allow domestic or foreign militants and insurgents in each other's territories.
Although the female examinees in this year's SSC exams outnumbered male students in most general education boards, they failed to match the performance of the males.
The government may go for rice export due to lack of sufficient storage facilities and to ensure fair price for the marginal farmers, said Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque yesterday.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday said the water sharing issue between India and Bangladesh should be solved amicably as the issue will become contentious across the globe.
Along with breaking all records, the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination results showed that the number of institutions under 10 education boards with cent percent pass rate has increased significantly to 3, 377 from last year's 2,017.
The Election Commission (EC) yesterday declared BNP leader Maj Gen (retd) Mahmudul Hasan elected MP from the Tangail-5 constituency.
Muggers shot and wounded an employee of a wholesale shop in broad daylight yesterday and took away Tk 10.60 lakh from him in the capital's Jatrabari.
A teenage girl who appeared in the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations this year allegedly committed suicide at village West Gujra of Raozan upazila in Chittagong yesterday afternoon.
The Competition Commission of India said yesterday it had launched an anti-trust probe into Google's online advertising practices, deepening the Internet giant's legal woes in the country.
Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's trip to Dhaka has concluded on a positive note. It has been marked by a certain clearing of the air on issues that have been exercising the minds of people here. Simultaneously assurances were given on specific issues of concern to Bangladesh.
The French elections, which have brought Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande to power, have reflected the surge around the world -- that of change. From the Arab Spring last year, the world has been riding on the winds of change. This has been reflected in Europe, too, in the last three years since the debt crisis hit, and France's Nicolas Sarkozy is the latest and 11th successive casualty among European leaders to fall from power following his failure to counter a record 10% unemployment rate; his protectionist, anti-immigrant and even anti-European inclinations; accompanied by what some would call his arrogance.
Unheralded Abdul Matin of KGC raced to a two-stroke lead in the opening round of the bti International Golf Championship which teed off at the Kurmitola Golf Club yesterday.
Compared to the four previous editions, the fifth professional football league is being considered more competitive as at least three teams are in title race and at least four teams are in threat of relegation after the completion of the first leg matches.
The Chittagong Outer Stadium has recently fallen under the grip of various fairs and other anti-social programs. Once home to cricketing stalwarts like Akram Khan, Minhajul Abedin Nannu, Tamim Iqbal, Nurul Abedin Nobel, and Aftab Ahmed it is now almost never used for its actual purpose of games and sports.
Bangladesh all-rounder Nasir Hossain cannot go to Canada due to visa complications.
The Under-15s of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) will arrive at the capital on May 9.
Kenya coach Mike Hesson resigned on Monday only ten months into his two-year contract citing security concerns, Cricket Kenya (CK) officials said.
Kolkata Knight Riders chased down the target of 154 runs with eight balls to spare and beat Delhi Daredevils by seven wickets in the IPL match at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi.
Mohammedan Sporting Club take on Cricket Coaching School in one of two opening day matches of the 4th Women's Club Cricket League in BKSP from May 11.
A three-week camp of the Bangladesh Under-19 team will start from Wednesday at the GP-BCB National Cricket Academy in Mirpur.
Top seed Juan Martin del Potro retained his title here at the Estoril Open on Sunday after inflicting a 6-4, 6-2 defeat on second seed Richard Gasquet.
West Indies insisted they still have enough time to prepare properly for their upcoming Test series against England and get all their squad on board after another rain-marred day at Hove on Sunday.
Sri Lanka Cricket has signed a new deal with Somerset Entertainment Ventures to hold the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) in 2012, ESPNcricinfo has learned. The deal was signed on Saturday and the tournament has been tentatively scheduled to be held between August 10 and August 31, just ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 that will be held in Sri Lanka in September.
Germany's double world-record holder Paul Biedermann is hoping to produce the race of his career at the London Olympic Games as he looks to again beat US swim superstar Michael Phelps.
Czech Petra Kvitova kick-started her title defence at the Madrid Masters on Monday with a 6-2, 6-3 defeat of New Zealand's Marina Erakovic.
Chinese star Liu Xiang clocked 13.09 seconds in winning the 110m hurdles at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Kawasaki, Japan on Sunday.
Khulna beat Dhaka by seven wickets on Saturday to clinch the 32nd inter-district cricket championship at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium.
Green Valley got a five-wicket win against Dashora Nabojagoron Sangsad in the Colonel Malek Smriti Premier Cricket League at Shahid Miraz-Tapan Stadium in Manikganj yesterday.
Juventus won the Serie A title for the 28th time following a 2-0 win at Cagliari as nearest rivals AC Milan crashed 4-2 in their city derby against Inter on Sunday.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson hopes Manchester City's "unethical" sacking of Mark Hughes will rebound on them when the Premier League title is decided this coming Sunday.
Newly-crowned Italian champions Juventus dominated the sports pages on Monday as the Italian press hailed their league win but dispute raged about exactly how many times they have won the Serie A crown.
Germany coach Joachim Loew on Monday named uncapped teenage midfielder Julian Draxler and goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen in his provisional squad for Euro 2012.
Inter Milan and AC Milan were both fined on Monday for insulting chants and banners at Sunday's city derby at the San Siro.
Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk named a preliminary 36-man squad on Monday for their pre-Euro 2012 training camp that starts next week.
Away from the bright lights of the IPL, one man is harvesting wheat crop wearing a Pune Warriors jersey in Nadwa Sarai village in Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh. Not a fan, but someone who has been at the heart of the IPL only three years ago.
The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) yesterday said the government must revive stagnant investments to achieve higher economic growth -- a major challenge in the upcoming national budget.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman has received the prestigious Indira Gandhi Gold Plaque 2011 at a ceremony in Kolkata, the central bank said in a statement yesterday.
State-run telecom company BTCL has dropped a participant from a bidding process, disregarding the decision of a review panel on public purchases.
The High Court yesterday again asked the stockmarket regulator to explain within two weeks why a directive for directors to hold individually at least 2 percent stakes in companies should not be declared illegal.
Standard Chartered Bank has arranged a syndicated term loan of Tk 92 crore for ACME Specialised Pharmaceuticals.
A farmers' rights organisation yesterday demanded the government raise paddy procurement price, saying that the recently announced rate is far from enough for farmers.
Mobile operator Robi Axiata Ltd has launched a corporate grooming effort for the Bangladeshi youth to develop leadership skills, the company said in a statement yesterday. The project, known as Robi Experiential Programme, was launched at Westin Hotel on Saturday.
A two-day regional seminar on infrastructure aimed at fostering cooperation among countries in South Asia will begin in Dhaka tomorrow, organisers said yesterday.
The youth, especially women, should focus on social entrepreneurship as it will enable them to show their creativity and help the country generate more jobs, says a leading woman entrepreneur from India.
India delayed by one year the introduction of measures to crack down on tax evasion on Monday, moving to mollify overseas investors whose panic has led to a dramatic exodus of funds and hammered the rupee.
The conservatism that served Infosys Ltd so well for three decades is now stunting its growth, prompting calls from investors for new blood at the top of India's showpiece outsourcer.
Describing education as the main tool for building a poverty-free Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government was firmly committed to achieving the goal.
The International Crimes Tribunal-1 will record on May 14 the testimony of the first prosecution witness against BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury regarding the crimes against humanity that he allegedly committed during the Liberation War of 1971.
Former BNP lawmaker Abdul Alim's lawyers yesterday sought discharge of their client from charges of crimes against humanity at the International Crimes Tribunal-2 claiming that the charges were brought on "insufficient legal and factual basis".
At least 50 people, including 15 policemen, were injured as slum-dwellers clashed with police, who made a pre-eviction spot visit to the slum in Hathazari upazila yesterday.
Sitar maestro Pandit Ravishankar has been nominated for the first Tagore Award, instituted by the Indian government to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of the Nobel Laureate for promoting values of universal brotherhood.
A joint team of Indian and Bangladeshi officials will visit northeastern Indian state of Tripura next month to make an on-the-spot study of infrastructure for trade including Border Haat.
Rajuk demolished frontal boundary wall of Wonderland amusement park in the capital to free around 4-acre area of Gulshan central playground yesterday following a verdict of the Supreme Court.
A Dhaka court yesterday served a fresh order on police to submit by May 24 reports on execution of the arrest warrants against nine fugitive accused in Jahangirnagar University student Zubair Ahmed murder case.
Some eminent personalities yesterday hoped that the relationship between Bangladesh and Russia would be strengthened during the new term of President Vladimir Putin.
The cabinet committee on purchase yesterday approved three furnace oil-based private power plants having a total generation capacity of 150 megawatt.
Gone are the days of hartal.
The National Security Intelligence (NSI) failed to provide advance information regarding 10-truck arms haul in 2004, Assistant Director of NSI Mohammad Ali Chowdhury told a Chittagong court yesterday.
BNP leader M Ilias Ali had repeatedly tried to communicate with one of his lawyers over cell phone an hour before his missing but failed, an investigation officer (IO) told a Dhaka court yesterday.
Speakers at a workshop here yesterday suggested that the government should allocate 10 percent of national budget in healthcare sector against the present allocation of 6.5 percent.
A Chittagong court yesterday rescheduled the hearing of the remand of Lt Col (sacked) Zulfiqar Ali Majumder, accused of robbing Tk 2.07 crore from a shrine in Chittagong six months ago, to May 10.
The High Court yesterday summoned the officer-in-charge and three sub-inspectors of Feni Sadar Police Station on May 14 to explain their roles over the assault on an assistant commissioner (AC) (land) of Feni.
Three people were killed and 30 others injured in road accidents in Dhaka, Natore, Panchagarh, Satkhira and Thakurgaon on Sunday and yesterday.
Some 100 pro-BNP teachers of Rajshahi University formed a human chain before the senate building yesterday demanding withdrawal of cases filed against BNP leaders.
Police yesterday arrested a Rajshahi University student suspecting him to be an activist of Islami Chhatra Shibir.
Police seized about 25 sharp weapons and detained two students during a raid at a dormitory of Dhaka College early yesterday.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) yesterday froze bank accounts of Shakil Rizvi, former president of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), on charge of tax evasion.
Elections to Bangladesh Bar Council became uncertain on its scheduled date, as the Supreme Court yesterday upheld a High Court order that stayed the process for holding the elections.
The Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined two companies a total of Tk 11 lakh on charge of marine pollution through oil spillage at Sitakunda.
After attending the first meeting of the Bangladesh-India Joint Commission in New Delhi today, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni will travel to Egypt to join the NAM Ministerial Meeting and then fly to Turkmenistan to attend an OIC meeting on Muslim refugees.
The cabinet yesterday approved a draft of National Labour Policy 2012 to ensure rights, welfare and dignity of both local and expatriate labourers.
Newly appointed French Ambassador to Bangladesh Michel Trinquier has assumed office after presenting his credentials to President Zillur Rahman on April 19.
A teenage female garments worker allegedly committed suicide in her rented house at Rajab Ali Jhilpar slum under Rupnagar police station on Sunday night.
The qulkhawni of Prof. Razia Matin Chowdhury, former principal of Dhaka University Laboratory School and College, was held at Lake Shore hotel after Magrib prayers on Sunday.
Police arrested two muggers in connection with Milon murder in the port city early yesterday.
Police arrested two people and seized a locally made gun from their possession in the port city on Sunday night.
Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (Cuet) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Md Jahangir Alam said if one wants to be an eligible technologist, he or she has to learn good command over information technology (IT).
The programmes to observe the 64th founding anniversary of the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB) began in the port city yesterday.
A seminar titled “Laws and policies on affirmative action in Bangladesh: Rhetoric and reality” organised by the Faculty of Laws was held at the Chittagong University (CU) yesterday.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized 1,316 bottles of contraband beer and 518 bottles of foreign liquor at Patenga in the port city on Sunday night.
Alhaj Md Serajul Huq Khan, retired director of Directorate of Jute and Jute Goods Inspection, Ministry of Jute, died of cardiac arrest at Ibrahim Cardiac centre in the capital on April 27. He was 82.
The eco-park in Kuakata sea beach is losing its attraction to tourists day by day as the park, badly damaged by super cyclone Sidr on November 15 in 2007, has hardly seen any renovation.
With 91.78 percent pass rate in this year's Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations, Sylhet education board emerged as the most successful among all the ten education boards in the country. Last year, the pass rate was 81.23 percent.
The wheat growers of the district are being deprived of fair price of their produces allegedly due to a syndicate of businessmen and slow pace of procurement drive of the government.
Betel nut export to India through Benapole port has doubled in the current fiscal year due to its growing demand in the Indian markets.
Habiganj municipality mayor and staff yesterday demanded immediate withdrawal of the 'false' case filed against them by the ruling party men on Sunday.
The pass rate of female students surpassed that of males in this year's SSC examinations under Rajshahi Education Board (REB).
The success rate of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Examinations under Dinajpur Education Board shows an upward trend as 87.16 per cent of the candidates passed this year's examinations.
Pabna Cadet College secured second position in the merit list of Rajshahi education board.
A housewife allegedly committed suicide by taking poison at village Purbo Narayanpur in Kaliganj early yesterday.
A court yesterday sentenced two youths to life term imprisonment in a rape case.
Members of about 50/60 landless families, living at Hazipur village under Pirganj upazila, besieged the deputy commissioner office yesterday, demanding allocation of khas land.
A school teacher was murdered at Basail upazila yesterday morning over land dispute. The deceased is Yasin Ali, 70, of Sunna village and former headmaster of Abbasia High School in the upazila. Victim's brother Nurul Islam said, centering a previous quarrel over some trees on a disputed land, four neighbors attacked Yasin with sticks, leaving him dead on the spot.
A four-year-old boy was electrocuted at Khatuadanga village in Monirampur upazila yesterday morning. The deceased was identified as Ifat Hossain, son of Abul Kalam of the village. Local people said, Ifat was playing with his friends near his neighbor's house. There he came in contact with a live electrical wire and died on the spot.
A schoolgirl drowned in a river in Katiadi yesterday morning. The victim was identified as Purnima Akter, 9, student of Class III at Doshpakhi Government Primary School and daughter of Nuru Mia of Doshpakhi village. Locals said, Purnima drowned in the Arial Kha River near her house as she went to take a bath there along with friends at 11:00am. She did not know how to swim.
Pakistan yesterday called for a "new era" in economic collaboration with arch-rival India, as business leaders from the two countries met for a trade conference.
Israel's Supreme Court yesterday rejected an appeal by two Palestinian prisoners who have been on hunger strike for 69 days in protest at being held without charge, their lawyer told AFP.
The Afghan government yesterday condemned the recent Taliban announcement of the start of their annual "spring offensive," calling it cowardly and un-Islamic and saying the country's forces would thwart any attacks.
Syrians cast ballots yesterday in parliamentary elections billed by the regime as key to President Bashar Assad's political reforms, but the opposition dismissed the vote as a sham meant to preserve his autocratic rule.
The United States called on Iran yesterday to take "urgent practical steps" to build confidence during nuclear talks with world powers, and the European Union said Tehran must suspend sensitive atomic activities.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday he will push for September 4 as the date for early elections, as he moved to have a bill passed to dissolve parliament.
Vladimir Putin took the oath of office in a brief Kremlin ceremony yesterday, while on the streets outside thousands of helmeted riot police prevented hundreds of demonstrators from protesting his return to the presidency.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday that Pakistan had not taken enough action against Hafiz Saeed, the Islamist blamed for masterminding the 2008 attack by Pakistan-based gunmen on Mumbai, India's financial capital.
Francois Hollande's honeymoon after his election as France's first centre-left president in 17 years was cut short yesterday by jittery financial markets eager for signals on his policies and how hard he will push back against German-led austerity.
Islamist gunmen killed at least 32 soldiers yesterday when they stormed a military position in southern Yemen where militants control broad swathes of territory, a military official said.
Nepal's third-largest political party yesterday rejected appeals by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to join a national unity government, threatening an attempt to break years of deadlock.
At least 26 people were killed and more than 100 were missing after flash floods hit a wedding party in northern Afghanistan, an official said yesterday.
Magnet-making bacteria may be building biological computers of the future, researchers have said.
Eleven Pakistani soldiers were killed including two who were beheaded after being captured during fighting with Islamist militants in North Waziristan, officials said yesterday.
Hundreds of Egyptian riot police stormed out of their camp and cut off a desert highway out of Cairo following reports that an officer had killed one of their colleagues, state media reported yesterday.
Malaysian clerics have issued a fatwa against demonstrations, days after Prime Minister Najib Razak said a quashed election reform rally was being used to topple the government ahead of polls.
Armenia's governing party yesterday won parliamentary elections that strengthened President Serzh Sarkisian but again highlighted problems with the ex-Soviet state's fragile democracy.
Arts & Entertainment
When Tagore came to Rajshahi and Kushtia (1890) to take charge of his property, it seemed miles away from a life he was used to. The setting was a sharp contrast to Kolkata. But shortly he settled down to the different lifestyle, and spent long stretches of time watching the panoramic scenery from his boat on the river Padma. The seasonal variations enthralled him. On a rainy day he would watch the lightning darting across the dark clouds, listen to the thunders echoing over the plains. In summer, the unruffled peace and tranquility, the truant boy who played the flute on the sultry afternoons, all enchanted him. And most importantly, the young 30-year old zamindar became increasingly fascinated by the folk melodies of the bauls, fakirs and bhaisnabas (folk artistes).
Whether it's possible to effectively transform moving poetry into remarkable artworks, or not, remains debatable. Nevertheless, creativity can never be restrained by boundaries.
Bangladesh and India jointly organised a two-day celebration on the occasion of the closing of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore and the inaugural of his 151st birth anniversary. The function kicked off on May 6 and ended yesterday. The programme featured an art exhibition and live performances.
Shantiniketan, the internationally acclaimed educational institution founded by the Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore, is a creation at par with the poet's music, literature and paintings. Stories have it that classes at Shantiniketan, especially those of music, dance and drama, often take place in the open air-- literally in the lap of nature, just as we hear of the ancient universities of Greece and Rome. And students from Shantiniketan often say that songs, accompanied with the tanpura, emanated from various parts of the ashram.
Adapting literature for the TV or the silver screen is a common practice around the world. Bangladesh also follows the trend, especially during birth and death anniversaries of Tagore and Nazrul.
“Charulata” on Channel i
To celebrate the 151st birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, Impress Telefilm has made a digital film based on the much-adapted story, “Noshto Nir”. The film is titled “Charulata”.
As in previous years, this year Channel i will hold a daylong Rabindra Mela at its premises in Tejgaon. At the event today, noted Tagore singer Sadi Mohammad will receive a Lifetime Achievement award for his contribution in the field of Rabindra Sangeet.
The flurry of activities at the diplomatic and political circles in Dhaka over US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit is over. And along with it, all media speculation about the possible outcome of the visit and the talks that followed has died down. There will still be some gossip about what else might have transpired in the talks that did not come in press reports.
Once touted as a "bottomless basket" by an American statesman in the early years of its journey as an independent nation, today, the country has a vibrant economy that has grown at an average of 6% per annum over the last decade; it is a major player in the world apparel industry, and it is known for its innovative microcredit programme that is being replicated on a grand scale in various continents outside Asia.
China's economic prospects will be a key factor shaping how the global economy will fare in 2012. As China entered the year of the dragon in 2012, it did so with an economy that is clearly losing steam. China posted an annual growth of 9.2% for 2011. However, the focus on the officially reported growth masks the true extent of the deceleration in the economy.
Professor Imtiaz Ahmed of the Department of International Relations, Dhaka University, talks to A.B.M. Shamsud Doza of The Daily Star on the recent three high-profile visits.
At least five people lost their lives and properties worth crores of taka damaged in the recent three days of hartal and pre-hartal violence, just because the opposition suspects the party in power has abducted one of its leaders. Only on suspicion they embark on such actions that harm the unsuspecting public more than the targeted power that be. Hartal is a democratic right, no doubt, but is the way it is enforced democratic? Rather, it vitiates the democratic environment.
Mohandas Gandhi begins a 21-day fast in protest against the British rule in India.
Science & Life
The atmosphere of Mars is less than 1 percent the density of Earth's. It's one of the reasons liquid water covers much of our planet but cannot exist on the Red Planet. As more research points toward the possibility of water on early Mars, scientists have increased their studies on the density of its atmosphere billions of years ago. It's not an easy task. In fact, it's very difficult to even determine Earth's atmospheric pressure from the same time frame.
A copyediting error appears to be responsible for critical features of the human brain that distinguish us from our closest primate kin, new research finds.
Magnet-making bacteria may be building biological computers of the future, researchers have said.
Time-lapse snapshots showing Greenland's glaciers racing toward the sea in recent years have turned up some good news, and some bad news. As the island's glaciers disintegrate over coming decades, they won't raise the world's oceans as much as the most pessimistic forecasts had shown possible, researchers report in the May 4Science. But the blocks of ice are still melting rapidly and may contribute worrisome centimeters to sea level rise by the end of the century.
This mottled landscape showing the impact crater Tycho is among the most violent-looking places on our Moon. Astronomers didn't aim NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to study Tycho, however. The image was taken in preparation to observe the transit of Venus across the Sun's face on June 5-6.
A fungus that invades the brains of ants, turning them into zombies on a death march, may have met its match. Another parasitic fungus, it turns out, effectively castrates the zombie-ant fungus so it can't spread its spores, a new study finds. Shown here, the mature, fruiting body of a zombie fungus is growing through this zombie ant's neck.
The Chandrasekhar limit is the maximum mass of a stablewhite dwarf star. It was named after Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, the Indian-American astrophysicist who predicted it in 1930. White dwarfs, unlike main sequence stars, resist gravitational collapse primarily through electron degeneracy pressure, rather than thermal pressure. The Chandrasekhar limit is the mass above which electron degeneracy pressure in the star's core is insufficient to balance the star's own gravitational self-attraction. White dwarfs with masses greater than the limit undergo further gravitational collapse. Those with masses under the limit remain stable as white dwarfs. The Chandrasekhar limit is analogous to the TolmanOppenheimerVolkoff limit for neutron stars.
Hundreds of students and their guardians flocked to the schools in Chittagong city and burst out in joy after the results of the SSC examination were out yesterday afternoon.