The Daily Star

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Thursday, September 18, 2014


News of: Saturday, 24th of November, 2012

Front Page

IMF for fresh fuel price hike

The International Monetary Fund has asked the government to increase prices of petroleum products by Tk 10 per litre by next month as part of its condition to release $140 million, the second instalment of its $1 billion credit.

Phulbari tense

Ignoring Section 144, several thousand people of Phulbari upazila in the district yesterday evening held a brief rally at Nimtola More protesting the government decision to let Asia Energy resume its survey in coal mine area.

Repair cost soars

Bangladesh Army has made a fresh proposal for repairing Meghna and Meghna-Gumti bridges on Dhaka-Chittagong highway with a cost of Tk 447 crore.

New addition to public transport

A fleet of 10 articulated buses is set to hit the streets in the capital next month to ease the city's chronic transport problem.

It's part of conspiracy

BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday termed the matter of bringing back Arafat Rahman Koko's laundered money from Singapore by the Anti-Corruption Commission part of a conspiracy against the party.

FBCCI polls today amid tight security

The biennial election of the country's apex trade body Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) will be held today amid tight security.

Shibir men fight cops

Islami Chhatra Shibir activists early yesterday hurled a bomb and brickbats on police in Jessore town while the law enforcers besieged a student's mess allegedly controlled by the pro-Jamaat-e-Islami student body supporters.

Prothom Alo celebrates 14th anniversary

Prothom Alo, the country's leading Bangla daily, yesterday celebrated its 14th founding anniversary with the pledge to nurture impartial journalism.

Morsi 'power grab' angers opposition

Protesters torched Muslim Brotherhood offices yesterday, as supporters and opponents of President Morsi staged rival rallies across Egypt a day after he assumed sweeping powers.

BCL forgives 8 activists

The central committee of Bangladesh Chhatra League has withdrawn the suspension order of eight leaders and activists of its Rajshahi University unit, including former vice-president AKM Tawhid Alam Akheruzzaman Takim and organising secretary Towhid Al Tuhin.

Jewel, Al-Amin on remand

A Dhaka court yesterday placed Jubo League leader Aminul Haque alias Jewel Molla and another suspect Al Amin on a three-day remand each for their alleged involvement in the sensational Parag Mondol abduction case.

All 13 valid for mayoral race

The Election Commission gave the nod to all 13 candidates to contest for mayor in the Rangpur City Corporation (RCC) polls slated for December 20.

Glasses to ease jet l

It's one of the drawbacks for anyone setting off for far-flung places: How bad will the jet lag be when you get there?

Palestinian envoy seeks 'special role' for China

China can play a "special role" in the Middle East, a Palestinian envoy said yesterday, following eight days of deadly conflict between Israel and militants in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

S Korea marks island attack

A South Korean island yesterday marked the anniversary of its 2010 shelling by North Korea, with its residents still haunted by the assault and alarmed by Pyongyang's threat to strike again.

Editorial

Default culture again!

While the Hall-Mark loan scam will probably go down in Bangladesh's financial history as the single largest siphoning off of funds from a State-owned bank (SCBs), data published by the central bank (BB) for the last quarter (July September) reveals something alarming. The amount of bad loans up to June 30 stood at Tk29,000 crore. Yet, on September 30, this figure had shot up to Tk36,282 crore, a 1.58 per cent increase.

Combating food adulteration

The High Court directive to the government that it immediately stop import, distribution and sale of fruits, groceries and other edibles treated with formalin, carbide or any other toxic chemical couldn't have come a day later. How safe the food we eat is of utmost importance to public health but this has for long been neglected or at best approached on an ad-hoc basis.

Sports

Samuels makes Tigers suffer

Marlon Samuels hit his maiden double hundred and Mr Test Cricket, Shivnarine Chanderpaul ambled to yet another century as the West Indies piled the misery on hosts Bangladesh on the third day of the second Test at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium on Friday.

Work ethic pays off for Marlon

Marlon Samuels added another feather to his cap after making his maiden Test double-hundred against Bangladesh on the third day of the second Test at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium yesterday.

Gazi makes the cut

Off-spinner Shohag Gazi, who has impressed in the ongoing Test series between Bangladesh and West Indies, has been rewarded with a berth in Bangladesh's 14-man squad for the first two one day internationals, which was announced yesterday.

Small rewards for Rubel's shift

Rubel Hossain kicked the air in disgust after Shahriar Nafees reluctantly watched a ball flying through the slip to the boundary. Understandably, the young pace bowler was frustrated by the poor effort of his fielder when the chances were few and far between for the bowlers in a difficult surface at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna.

Bowlers on top

A brisk beginning to the fifth round of the National Cricket League saw three teams fold out early in their respective matches yesterday. Chittagong, at their home ground—MA Aziz Stadium—were bowled out for 138 by Dhaka as spinners Mosharraf Hossain and Nazmul Apu ran through the hosts' batting order.

Biplob in doubles final

Bangladesh's Biplob Ram and Tom Fancutt of Australia moved to the boys' doubles final of the Focal Point 26th Bangladesh ITF Tennis Championships, beating their Thai opponents Juprang Atikan & Thongvinit 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinal at the at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna yesterday. The pair will meet Naruka Digvijay Singh & Vellodi Keshav pair of India in the final today.

Div I football

Badda Jagoroni defeated Mohakhali Ekadash 2-0 in their lone fixture of the Popular Life Insurance Senior Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium yesterday. Alam Nabi scored the opening goal in the 23rd minute before Mohammad Mezba confirmed the victory scoring in the 65th minute.

Hockey team win at last

The Bangladesh Eleven ended their Nehru Senior Hockey Tournament campaign with a win as they handed a 3-1 defeat to Army Eleven in their last group match at the Shivaji Stadium in New Delhi, India yesterday.

Silva brace drives Muktijoddha

Last season's runners-up Muktijoddha Sangsad notched up their second successive victory in the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League as they defeated Brothers Union 2-0 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Pujara rescues India

Cheteshwar Pujara cracked his second consecutive Test century as India recovered from a precarious situation to restore the balance in the second cricket Test against England on Friday.

Smith keeps fighting

Skipper Graeme Smith survived two close shaves to reach a resolute century and give South Africa a sturdy start Friday after Australia's big first innings in the second Test in Adelaide.

Winning start for MSC, Rajshahi

Favourites Duronto Rajshahi and defending champions Mohammedan made a winning start in the Ultra Milk Premier Division Chess League which started at the National Sports Council Auditorium yesterday.

Kiwis aim to counter spin

New Zealand will be keen to put in an improved batting performance against Sri Lankan spin in the second and final Test in Colombo from Sunday to halt their losing streak.

Services kabaddi

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Bangladesh Army won their respective matches of the Walton Motorcycle Super Seven Services Kabaddi League matches at the Kabaddi Stadium yesterday. BGB beat Bangladesh Police by 16-7 points with one lona while Bangladesh Army defeated Bangladesh Navy by 20-8 points.

L'pool made to wait

Five-time European champions they may be but Liverpool must wait before they can take their place in the last 32 of the Europa League after allowing Swiss side Young Boys to draw 2-2 at Anfield on Thursday.

'Pele got lucky'

Late Brazil star Garrincha believed contemporary great Pele got lucky as he had such a brilliant ensemble playing alongside him in his glory years, it emerged in an interview published Thursday -- decades after the former's death.

Messi nears goal record

Superstar Lionel Messi, having taken his 2012 goals tally to 80 in midweek, can close in on German great Gerd Mueller's all-time record of 85 in a calendar year on Sunday.

Benitez's baptism of fire

Rafael Benitez began his reign as Chelsea interim manager insisting working with Roman Abramovich will be "easier" than the US ownership duo of George Gillett and Tom Hicks he knew at Liverpool.

QPR sack Hughes

Mark Hughes was dismissed as head coach of Queens Park Rangers on Friday, with the club bottom of the Premier League table after failing to win any of their first 12 matches of the season.

Mark set for EPL return

Referee Mark Clattenburg will return to action this weekend after being cleared of racially abusing Chelsea's John Obi Mikel, the Premier League announced on Friday.

Result

RESULTS
Anzhi Makhachkala (RUS) 2
(Samba 72, Eto'o 75) Udinese (ITA) 0
Liverpool (ENG) 2 (Shelvey 33, Cole 72) Young Boys (SUI) 2
(Bobadilla 52, Zverotic 88)
Academica Coimbra (POR) 1 (Edinho 88-pen) Viktoria Plzen (CZE) 1 (Horvath 57-pen)
Atletico Madrid (ESP) 1 (Raul Garcia 7) Hapoel Tel-Aviv (ISR) 0
Marseille (FRA) 0 Fenerbahce (TUR) 1 (Irtegun 40)
Moenchengladbach (GER) 2 (De Camargo 79, 90+1) AEL Limassol (CYP) 0
Club Brugge (BEL) 1 (Lestienne 86) Bordeaux 2 (Jussie 3, 39)
Newcastle (ENG) 1 (Marveaux 23) Maritimo (POR) 1 (Fidelis 79)
Molde (NOR) 1 (Chukwu 62) FC Copenhagen (DEN) 2 (Santin 21-pen, Gislason 76)
Steaua Bucharest (ROM) 1 (Costea 83) VfB Stuttgart (GER) 5 (Tasci 5, Harnik 18, Sakai 23, Okazaki 31, 55)
AIK Solna (SWE) 1 (Danielsson 35) Napoli (ITA) 2 (Dzemaili 20, Cavani 90+4-pen)
PSV Eindhoven (NED) 1 (Wijnaldum 18) Dnipropetrovsk (UKR) 2 (Seleznyov 24, Konoplyanka 74)
Basel (SUI) 3 (Schar 23, Stocker 66, Degen 70) Sporting Lisbon (POR) 0
Videoton (HUN) 0 Genk (BEL) 1 (Barda 19)
Neftci PFK (AZE) 1 (Flavinho 10) Partizan Belgrade (SRB) 1 (Mitrovic 67)
Rubin Kazan (RUS) 3 (Karadeniz 1, Rondon 87, 90+3) Inter Milan (ITA) 0
Hapoel Kiryat Shmona (ISR) v Athletic Bilbao (ESP) - postponed
Sparta Prague (CZE) 1 (Husbauer 53) Lyon (FRA) 1 (Benzia 46)
Lazio (ITA) 0 Tottenham (ENG) 0
Panathinaikos (GRE) 1 (Vitolo 67-pen) Maribor (SLO) 0
Metalist Kharkov (UKR) 2 (Cristaldo 46, Xavier 85) Bayer Leverkusen (GER) 0
Rosenborg (NOR) 3 (Chibuike 28, Elyounoussi 76, Prica 79) Rapid Vienna (AUT) 2 (Schrammel 53, Boyd 66)
Hannover (GER) 0 Twente (NED) 0
Helsingborgs (SWE) 1 (Sorum 89) Levante (ESP) 3 (Diaz 8, Diop 37, Iborra 81)

Lazio salute Gazza

Troubled former England star Paul Gascoigne was moved to the brink of tears on Thursday when he was hailed as a "lionheart" by Lazio fans on his return to the city where he spent three seasons.

Metropolitan

Bee-Eaters

It was a sunny day in early winter with a crystalline blue sky. The brown butterfly sailed blissfully high up in the air, unprepared for death. When it sensed the danger signs, it shook and fluttered (to come out of its reverie?) and flew faster on a zig-zag course. Too late. The two green birds with long pointed beaks were flying towards it perhaps five times faster. As they came close, one bird shoved the other away and effortlessly picked up the butterfly with its beak.

Dr Kamal demands 'formalin free politics'

Noted jurist Dr Kamal Hossain and eminent journalist ABM Musa at a discussion yesterday demanded “formalin free politics”.

Buddhists pray for religious harmony

Thousands of Buddhists yesterday attended the concluding session of the two-day Kathin Chibor Dan, the biggest religious festival of the Buddhist community in Chittagong Hill Tracts, in Rajban Bihar of Rangamati with prayers for peace and religious harmony.

Street children tell stories of hope

Nafis was only 13 when he left his home for Dhaka in search of work. New to the city, with no family or friends to turn to, he got heavily involved in drugs and alcohol, while he worked in a hotel at very low wages.

Housewife burnt to death for dowry

A housewife succumbed to her injuries after her husband allegedly set her on fire for dowry in Anantaram village of Rangpur.

Two more arrested over Ramu attacks

Two more people were arrested from different areas of Teknaf upazila in Cox's Bazar over recent attacks on Buddhist temples on September 29.

Efforts of graft conspiracy were underway: ACC boss

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Ghulam Rahman yesterday said there had been efforts of a corruption conspiracy in the Padma bridge project.

Jalil slams home minister's call

Awami League leader Abdul Jalil yesterday criticised the home minister for his call to BCL and Jubo League to resist Jamaat-e-Islami, saying it would only create anarchy in the country.

Campaigns weakening environmental criminals

Chief Executive of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela) Syeda Rizwana Hasan yesterday said the growing notion of protecting the environment has started to weaken the criminals who pose a threat to it.

AL men fell govt trees

Some ruling Awami League leaders on Thursday illegally cut down five timber trees at the Public Works Department (PWD) land in the town without taking any permission from it.

Tarique's torturers to be brought to book

BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed yesterday said if BNP takes office in the next general election, the persons responsible for torturing BNP leader Tarique Rahman would be brought to book.

BGB detains 14

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) on Thursday nabbed 14 people for allegedly attempting to go to Malaysia illegally.

BNP trying to foil war crimes trial: Inu

Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu yesterday alleged that the main opposition BNP was trying to foil the ongoing war crimes trial and save militants and communal forces in the country.

Patients deprived as interns' strike continues at SBMCH

Poor patients went home again without receiving treatment at Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital (SBMCH) as interns continued indefinite strike for the third day yesterday protesting assault on them by attendants of a patient who died at the hospital Wednesday morning.

Stop to commercial activities demanded

Green activists at a rally yesterday demanded a stop to the use of Dhanmondi playground for commercial purposes.

Form alternative political force: CPB

Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) President Mujahidul Islam Selim yesterday urged the country's people to form an alternative political force by rejecting the two political parities, Awami League and BNP.

Niketan Society's new executives

Shamsul Arefin Chowdhury and Taznur Rahman Chowdhury have been elected as president and general secretary respectively of the new executive committee of Niketan Society for 2013-2014, said a press release.

2 held at airport for murder links

Immigration police arrested two people from the capital's Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Thursday night and early yesterday, who were accused in two separate murder cases in Brahmanbaria.

Ethical journalism to prevail

Eminent journalist Abed Khan yesterday said although Bangladesh's journalism is currently facing corporate onslaught, ethical journalism would win in the long run.

RP Saha's 116th anniversary of birth today

Today is the 116th birth anniversary of Ranada Prosad Saha also known as RP Saha, a philanthropist and 1971 Liberation War martyr.

Dalit leader Jharna Lal Das passes away

Jharna Lal Das, a leading personality of dalit community in Barisal, died of old age complications at Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital yesterday. He was 85.

Tiger kills fisherman in Khulna

Forest guards recovered the decomposed body of a fisherman, who was killed in a tiger attack, from the Sunderbans under Baniakhali Forest Station in Koyra upazila of Khulna district yesterday morning.

Man stabbed to death in Ctg

A man died from stab injuries in Chittagong city early yesterday.

'Thief' lynched in Noakhali

An alleged thief was beaten to death by a mob at Rajapur village in Companigaj upazila of Noakhali early yesterday.

Alcohol making factory unearthed

Police unearthed a alcohol making factory and arrested a woman with alcohol making materials at Baniajan village in Dhunat upazila on Thursday morning.

College boy jailed for stalking

A mobile court sentenced a college boy to a four-month imprisonment and fined him Tk 5,000 on Thursday night for stalking a schoolgirl in Sujanagar upazila of Pabna.

International

India, China in map row again

Unhappy over China showing Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as its territory in maps of the country on their new e-passports, India has retaliated by issuing visas, containing Indian maps including these regions as part of it.

Disruption forces Indian parliament to adjourn

It was another day of disruptions in parliament with the Lok Sabha being adjourned till Monday and the Rajya Sabha till 2.30pm as differences continued over the issue of foreign investment in multi-brand retail.

Taliban kill 3, wounds 90 in Afghanistan

A suicide car bomber killed three people and wounded dozens near a Nato-run training base yesterday, in an attack claimed by the Taliban as revenge for the execution of its militants.

Wal-Mart suspends India staff

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has suspended a "few associates" at its joint venture in India amid an ongoing probe into bribery allegations.

India girl killed over pee protest

A teenage girl in the Indian capital Delhi has been shot dead by a man after she objected to him urinating near the gate of her family home, police said yesterday.

Morsi defends 'power grab'

Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi yesterday told supporters that Egypt was on the path to "freedom and democracy," a day after he assumed sweeping powers that critics said made him a dictator.

Mexico seeks to change its name

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has sent a bill to congress to change the official name of the country.

EU summit edges towards collapse

EU leaders yesterday looked set to throw in the towel as talks on a trillion-euro budget for the 27-member bloc faltered over tensions between rich and poor states and Britain's "virulent" demands for austerity.

Missiles near Syria risk serious conflict: Russia

Russia yesterday warned any deployment of Patriot missiles by Turkey on its border with Syria may create a temptation to use the weapons and spark a "very serious armed conflict" involving Nato.

Sri Lanka top judge hearing begins

Sri Lanka's parliament yesterday begun an impeachment hearing against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.

President sets deadline, calls for unity govt

Nepal's president yesterday set a November 29 deadline for the country's warring political parties to form a national unity government in an attempt to break the deadlock crippling the Himalayan nation.

The last of the Ninjas

Japan's era of shoguns and samurai is long over, but the country does have one, or maybe two, surviving ninjas.

Israel kills Gazan despite truce

A Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces near the Gaza border yesterday, the first casualty since the two sides agreed a truce ending their week-long conflict, Palestinian medical sources said.

Israelis dissatisfied with truce

A poll shows about half of Israelis think their government should have continued its military offensive against Palestinian militants in Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Delhi widens ban on plastic bags

The Delhi government yesterday imposed a blanket ban on the use of all plastic bags in an attempt to tackle the city's mounting rubbish problems, an official said.

Nigeria to host D8 trade talks

Nigeria will host trade talks among the Developing Eight in February as part of efforts to increase business within member states and Africa, Nigeria's trade and investment minister said.

India test-fires missile interceptor

India yesterday test-fired a ballistic missile interceptor from a defence base in Odisha as part of its efforts to create a shield against incoming enemy missiles, defence officials said.

2 killed in 100-vehicle pile-up in US

Two people have died and dozens were injured after a pile-up involving some 100 vehicles on a foggy motorway in the US state of Texas.

Congo suspends army chief

The head of the army in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been suspended pending an investigation into claims that he sold weapons to rebel groups.

Arts & Entertainment

Ustad Allauddin Khan: Pride of Bengal

The much-hyped Bengal-ITC SRA Classical Music Festival will kick off on November 29 at Army Stadium in Dhaka. The entire festival has been dedicated to Sangeet Samrat Ustad Allauddin Khan while opening, second, third and concluding day's programmes will be dedicated to musicologist Waheedul Haque, Ustad Vilayet Khan, Pandit Uday Shankar and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan respectively. On this occasion, let's take a glance at the life of Ustad Allauddin Khan, one of the most important North Indian classical musicians of the 20th century.

43rd International Film Festival of India off to a good start

It was an evening of Bollywood glamour, a sprinkling of leading global cinema personalities and a promise to make India an international destination of good cinema that marked the start of the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2012) in Goa last Tuesday evening.

Off the beaten track

Anisur Rahman Milon, a popular face on television, has recently signed the contract for a new film, although this is not his first appearance on the big screen. The busy actor recently had a conversation with The Daily Star, on his works and other subjects.

Musical soiree at Bishwa Sahitya Kendra

As part of its regular monthly programme, Shuddha Sangeet Proshar Goshthi (SSPG) arranged a classical music soiree at the Bishwa Sahitya Kendra, Dhaka on November 22. This month's soiree featured both classical vocal and instrumental performances.

OP-ED

Confronting violent politics

As of now, many cities and townships are witnessing unprecedented violent incidents caused by a particular political party and its student wing activists, many of whom are suspected to be maintaining link with banned extremist outfits. Planned and deliberate attacks on police testify to diabolic designs and definitely do not augur well for a democratic polity. It is thus no wonder that the home minister has brushed aside suggestions for holding discussions with the protesters and is determined to confront and subdue them before talks can start.

A fine display of US diplomacy

United States President Barack Obama's history-making visit to Southeast Asia this week was a consummate display of American high-level diplomacy.

G8: Returning to its roots

One year on from the Olympics, the eyes of the world will again be on the United Kingdom next summer, as we host the G8 at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland. Some people ask: does the G8 still matter, when we have a G20? My answer is "Yes." The G8 is a group of like-minded nations who share a belief in free enterprise as the best route to growth. And as eight countries making up around half of the world's entire GDP, the standards we set, the commitments we make, and the steps we take can help solve vital global issues, fire up economies and drive prosperity all over the world.

The bell tolls

Dhaka, once the hub of dream and optimism, is becoming a nightmarish city. People here, before long, will feel like being driven away by the accelerating deterioration in the quality of life caused by clogged roads, eye-stinging smog, polluted streets, parks, and lakes, unaffordable housing, overcrowded schools, colleges and hospitals and polluting industries. The very qualities that lured millions to Dhaka 30 years ago are threatening to disappear. In this winter season, auto exhausts and chemicals hang lower and longer than before, affecting human health.

Independent directors in NCBs, SBs and FIs

In order to ensure better corporate governance, efficiency, profitability and more vibrancy, the state-owned commercial banks were converted into public limited companies few years ago, giving more power and responsibilities to the board of directors. In view of this, the government formulated policy guidelines in April 2009 with respect to appointment of directors and chairman in nationalised commercial banks (NCBs), specialised banks (SBs) and financial institutions (FIs). These policy guidelines, inter-alia, include maximum number of directors, qualification and experience of directors, disqualification of directors, term, re-appointment and other pertinent issues.

This Day In History

November 24
1940

World War II: Slovakia becomes a signatory to the Tripartite Pact, officially joining the Axis Powers.

Environment

How long the injurious emissions?

We are so constrained a people, situationally and conditionally, that we tend to ignore many implied ills for a single apparent gain. Such an issue is the ever-expanding “brick-making industry”, given the fact that brick appears to be an essential item in this era of urbanisation and industrialisation. But, unfortunately, many consequential problems have arisen for not having any effective precautionary measure to contain establishment of illegal brick kilns and use of firewood as fuel, check loss of cropland and top soil, and stop hill cutting.

The deafening silence on climate change

Global warming has seldom been mentioned this year on the campaign trail, despite Obama's promise to the contrary

Literature

Challenge and opportunity for Bangla Academy

By 2030, more people in India will be reading English fiction and non-fiction than in Europe and North America. This population is estimated to be 500 million (half a billion). It is no wonder Western publishers are making book launches more and more in India these days. India is where an emerging English fiction and non-fiction reading market lies. More and more words, phrases and caricatures of South Asian origin are entering English literature. With a wave of freshness and originality, authors of Indian origin have changed the landscape of English literature and created a new wave and genre totally of their own. This genre is different because the Soul of South Asia is different --- rich in variety, deep in history and tradition.

Fakrul Alam: A pupil's tribute

Fakrul Alam (notice the missing h) is the youngest of the trio that also includes Syed Manzoorul Islam and Kaiser Haq. They have been friends for more than four decades. They are almost of the same age. They are the most creative among our teachers who are still active. Even readers expect me to write simultaneously on all three of them. This time I have a powerful reason. I remembered Syed Manzoorul Islam and Kaiser Haq when they reached sixty in January 2010. Then a few readers enquired, 'What about Dr. Fakrul Alam?' I assured them that I would write on him when he reached sixty in July 2011. I am sorry that I am a little late in keeping my promise.

An allegory of optimism and simplicity

Take a moment to imagine the world from the point of view of a deaf-mute person. For those of us who are blessed with the ability to hear and speak, imagining ourselves being silent in a silent world is not an easy task. Very few of us comprehend how blessed we are to possess those abilities and even fewer of us refrain from complaining about our almost perfect lives. It is simply because we take those abilities for granted and forget to be grateful.

Vikram Seth speaks at IUB

Renowned author and poet Vikram Seth delivered a talk at Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) on Sunday, 18 November 2012 at its permanent campus at Bashundhara, Dhaka. Prof. Razia S Khan delivered the introductory speech and welcomed everyone to the talk where she introduced the author. Among others, Towhid Samad, Chairman, Board of Trustees, IUB and Prof M Omar Rahman, Vice Chancellor, spoke on the occasion.

Star Health

Healthcare in urban slums: do we care?

Although the best service providers from public, private and NGO sectors are active in Dhaka city, most of the slum dwellers have a very limited access to modern facilities due to financial inabilities, lack of information and awareness about how to utilise the services.

More hope for the patients after liver transplant

End stage liver diseases are no longer a helpless situation. There are solutions to the terminal stage patients to get a liver transplant. Over time, the procedure is becoming well practiced and the survival of the patients is increasing.

Int. Hepatology Conference highlighted disease burden in the country

Recently International Hepatology Conference organised by the Hepatology Society was held in Dhaka. Eminent experts across the world attended the conference.

Laughter as a form of exercise

Is laughter a kind of exercise? That offbeat question is at the heart of a new study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B that showed that laughter is just not an emotional effect but also a good exercise.

Walking, cycling may ease cancer-related fatigue

People who have been treated for cancer often have lingering fatigue, but regular walking or cycling might help boost their energy, according to a UK study appeared in The Cochrane Library that looked at more than two thousand people.

Antibiotics in pregnancy tied to asthma in kids

Children whose mothers took antibiotics while they were pregnant were slightly more likely than other kids to develop asthma in a new Danish study published in The Journal of Paediatrics.

Strategic Issues

From Syria to Gaza

With over 100 reported killed by Israeli airstrikes, and a further 700 injured, the attack on Gaza is already starting to resemble the 2008-9 'Operation Cast Lead' massacre. Israeli politicians have again trotted out the usual Zionist crowd-pleasers about the need to “bomb Gaza back to the Middle Ages” (Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai) and “flatten all of Gaza” (Ariel Sharon's son Gilad). Yet the regional situation today is very different to what it was back then. In 2009, the 'resistance axis' of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas was strong, and Iran took concrete steps to provide military supplies to Hamas at a time when the best most other states had to offer was impotent and generally hypocritical 'condemnation'. As intelligence analysts Stratfor have noted, where “the rest of the region largely avoided direct involvement….Iran was the exception. While the Arab regimes ostracized Hamas, Iran worked to sustain the group in its fight.” The report elaborates: “In early January 2009, in the midst of Operation Cast Lead, Israel learned that Iran was allegedly planning to deliver 120 tons of arms and explosives to Gaza, including anti-tank guided missiles and Iranian-made Fajr-3 rockets with a 40-kilometer (25-mile) range and 45-kilogram (99-pound) warhead…The long-range Fajr rocket attacks targeting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in the current conflict are a testament to Iran's continued effort.”

How Palestinian and Israeli firepower compare

The upsurge of fighting between Israel and Hamas has highlighted, once again, the total disparity of force between the two sides.

Obama's re-engagement with Southeast Asia

Barack Obama's visit to Southeast Asia, which started on Sunday 18 November and is culminating with his attendance at the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, underscores America's stepped-up re-engagement in what is considered China's backyard.

Star Books Review

A life lived in stirring times

Note: It was a special privilege to be a discussant on the panel of the Daily Star Publications launch of the esteemed journalist Kuldip Nayar's book on 16 November, at 6.30 pm, at Bangla Academy. I was asked by the Daily Star representative to look at the literary aspects of the autobiography. I chose to focus on the 'Culture of Geography'.

In renewed search of faith

The liberation of Bangladesh witnessed a spectacular surge in immigration outside the motherland. Almost every part of Bangladesh, rural and urban, felt the effects of the new trend. But not much research was undertaken in the academic circles on this aspect of the new country.

Of parents and children

It is believed that parents know their children better than anyone else. But do they really? And do they always know what's best for them? Jodi Picoult's The Pact, like several of her other novels, deals with adolescents and their dilemmas. It is an eye-opener, a wake-up call for all parents.



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