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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Rajan The Swimming Elephant Of Andaman Islands...

BBC World Service, 6 March : Elephants love water and hosing themselves down to keep cool, but it's very unusual to see an elephant swimming in the sea. That's because elephants don't naturally like sea water.
But in the Andaman Islands, off the East coast of India, ten elephants were taught to swim in the sea so they could carry logs between the islands. That was in the 1970s - now only three of those elephants still survive. Two have been returned to the wild and no longer swim, which leaves only one seaborne elephant - called Rajan.
Extreme sports and underwater photographer Jody MacDonald went to Havelock Island in the Andamans specially to swim and photograph Rajan. She spoke to Outlook's Candida Beveridge.

Arrested Maoist Dipak had hatched plan to flee to B'desh
Kolkata, 6 March : The CPI (Maoist) in West Bengal has successfully developed a coordination system with some so-called Maoist forces in Bangladesh, arrested Maoist leader Venkateshwar Reddy alias Telugu Dipak has confessed.
Indian minister P Chidambaram had warned a few weeks ago about Indian Maoists having established links with similar groups in neighbouring countries. Before his arrest, Dipak was coordinating with Bangladeshi group Lal Pataka (Red Flag), a wing of the Purba Banglar Communist Party (Marxist - Leninist). According to West Bengal director general of police Bhupinder Singh, Maoists had tried to establish many such networks with terror outfits in India and abroad.
The main purpose behind establishing links with Lal Pataka was to set up subsidiary Maoist bases at the bordering districts of Maldah, Murshidabad and Nadia. “Setting up bases at these bordering districts would have helped them escape to Bangladesh as and when necessary,” a CID official said.

Daylight saving time starts again in B'desh from 31 March
BSS, Dhaka, 6 March : Bangladesh would return to the daylight saving time again on 31 March as per the decision of the cabinet by moving the clocks one hour forward.
"The clock will again be put forward by one hour from 31 March, and it will remain so until 31 October, 2010. The decision was made in light of factors such as the growing demand for electricity," M Abul Kalam Azad, Secretary of the power division told BSS on Saturday. Aimed at saving around 200 MW of electricity in pick hours and to ensure electricity into the irrigation pumps smoothly, government introduced DST from June last. "The amount of electricity saving is not the main issue, this system helps us a lot to face pick hours demand in city areas," Ataul Masud, Managing Director, Dhaka Power Development Company (DPDC) said.
Daylight saving time will be back by one hour on 31 October, in 2010. The clocks will move back one hour again.

Japan government sponsors vocational centre for 'OFFER'
Baruipur, 6 March : The Government of Japan has partnered a West Bengal NGO- OFFER ( Organisation For Friends Energies and Resources)- to launch the first ever vocational training centre in Kolkata for 51 specially-abled children.
Fujio Samukawa, Consul General of Japan Embassy and Kanti Ganguly, state minister of Sundarban affairs & Sports & Youth Services were present at the launch of the centre. The centre will cater to the more advanced technologies to help the challenged children of Apanjan NGO.

Sheikh Hasina says govt working on 'health services for all'
UNB, Sirajganj, 6 March : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said her government is working to reach the health services to the doorsteps of all people across the country.
Meanwhile, 6.82 lakh people in 400 upazilas have received health services through the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Trust. People in rural areas are now getting health services sitting at their houses as per the pledges of the grand alliance government, she said. The premier said this while addressing a meeting at Sirajganj University College ground in the town through videoconferencing. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Trust, Shadhinota Chikitshak Parishad (Shachip) and Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) jointly arranged the programme.
She further said the government is working hard to implement a charter of change and make a digital Bangladesh, adding this videoconference is a better example of their digitisation activities. Photo : Focus Bangla

Janshatabdi Express rams into ambulance in Assam
PTI, Jorhat, 6 March : Three persons of an ambulance were seriously injured when the Janshatabdi Express at an unmanned level crossing in Assam's Golaghat district hit their vehicle on Saturday.
The driver of the ambulance and two others travelling in the vehicle were seriously injured as the Moriani-Guwahati train hit them at Kakotigaon level crossing at around 3 pm, police said. The injured were admitted to the Civil Hospital at Golaghat in a critical condition.
Bus plunge : 6 die on the Dhaka-Khulna HW in Gopalganj
Gopalganj, 6 March : Six people were killed and 50 others injured as an overcrowded bus fell into a roadside ditch in Gopalganj Sadar Upazila on the Dhaka-Khulna highway Friday night.
Witnesses said the Bashpur-bound bus plunged into the ditch near Paikkandi area after one of its tyres punctured, killing 5 on the spot. The injured were admitted to Khulna Medical College Hospital, Gopalganj Sadar Hospital and different private clinics.
Hazarduari Utsav in Murshidabad, host a Sufi fest from 8/3
Kolkata, 6 March : The Hazarduari Palace in Murshidabad, known for its thousand real and false doors, will host a Sufi festival from March eight. The three-day festival organised by the West Bengal government would include songs by local artists of bauls and fakirs of murshidi and marfati genre.
A troupe would sing songs of Kabir and Warsi Brothers from Lucknow would entertain with qawalis. There would also be a sufi-kathak dance performance by Manjari Chaturvedi. The Hazarduari Utsav would be held on an open air stage with the 19th century palace as the backdrop, Tourism Minister Manab Mukherjee said. The palace was built in 1837 by Duncan McLeod for the Nawab Najim Humaun Jah, descendant of Mir Jafar.
The palace, which has been now converted into a museum, is spread over 41 acres and boasts of 114 rooms and 8 galleries, built in European architectural style. West Bengal Tourism is organising the Utsav in collaboration with West Bengal Minorities Development and Finance Corporation, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, SBI, Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre and an NGO.