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ISSUE 04/26, FRIDAY, 04 - 10 Mar 2011

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Shahanara Begum: Newly built St Pauls Way Trust School had their plaque unveiled by Mayor Lutfur yesterday. Over £40 million has been spent on the school ...continued on page 08

Mayor Lutfur's budget proposals Tower Hamlets Council will meet on Tuesday 8 March seeking to agree budget proposals that will see £55m worth of savings made to the council’s expenditure. Mayor Lutfur Rahman has published his revised proposals following the first ...continued on page 08

LondonBangla: The Audit Commission has awarded Tower Hamlets Homes a two-star rating and as a result has been given £94.5 million of Decent Homes Funding to invest in housing stock over the next five years. The Commission carried out a two-week inspection in November 2010, to evaluate our housing management service, looking at how well we deliver services such as repairs, collecting rent, resident engagement, customer access, and providing value for money across services. “This is an excellent result,” said Chris Creegan, Chair of Tower Hamlets Homes Board. “Our challenge from the outset has been to deliver high quality services that residents deserve. It is a great tribute to the hard work and dedication of ...continued on page 08

TOWER HAMLETS South Asian Women to lead CIVIC AWARDS 2011 the way in Elephant Atta’s Healthier Lifestyle Movement LondonBangla: On Tuesday the Civic Awards Ceremony was held at the Town Hall. This scheme recognises outstanding service/achievement by local resident,

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LondonBangla: Iconic South Asian chapatti flour brand Elephant Atta has launched a new campaign aimed at inspiring women to lead the way in changing unhealthy food and lifestyle habits amongst the UK’s South Asian population. Since women, ...continued on page 08

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Special News

Revealed: Blair's secret calls to Gaddafi Ex-PM phones Libyan despot – and urges him to quit, while SAS mounts daring rescue of oil workers stranded in desert. Tony Blair, widely criticised in recent days for offering Muammar Gaddafi "the hand of friendship" seven years ago, made an extraordinary personal intervention when he twice phoned the embattled Libyan dictator on Friday and asked him to stop killing protesters rising up against the regime. Britain's former prime minister made two unannounced calls to Colonel Gaddafi on Friday – the day the Libyan President appeared in public and exhorted a crowd of his hardcore supporters to "defend the nation" against the uprising and "crush the enemy" behind it. That defiant call to arms suggests that Col Gaddafi – who has rapidly returned to the international pariah status he had before the "deal in the desert" he negotiated with Mr Blair in 2004 – simply ignored the man who pioneered the dictator's temporary rehabilitation by the West. Reports from the Libyan capital yesterday suggested that the dictator was carrying out his threat to arm supporters to strike back against the uprising. As tensions rose, David Cameron ordered an SAS rescue mission to pick up

150 citizens stranded in the remote oil fields south of the port of Benghazi. According to Whitehall sources, Mr Blair made an initial call to

the Libyan President, who has ordered helicopter gunships to fire on protesters he described as "rats" and "cockroaches". The Middle East envoy urged him to

cease the attacks. The sources suggested that, after consultations with the British Foreign Office, Mr Blair was told that the UK Government would prefer the Libyan President to step down, and so he agreed to phone him again and transmit that message. There was no comment from Mr Blair's office yesterday. Government sources could not say last night whether ministers knew in advance about the initial phone call. The first oblique hint that Mr Blair might be in active contact with the Libyan regime came in a routine briefing on Friday in which US State Department spokesman P J Crowley said the former PM was among the international figures that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had spoken to during the day. Asked why Mrs Clinton called Mr Blair and if it was because of "his dealings with Gaddafi over the Lockerbie bomber", the spokesman said of Mr Blair: "He has very important and valuable contacts inside of Libya." Defenders of the "deal in the desert" – in which Col Gaddafi was to eschew global terror in return for having international oil companies help him extract Libya's massive oil reserves – have argued that it enabled the West to determine that Libya would give up plans for weapons of mass destruction. But critics argue that Western business, and oil interests, lay behind the rapprochement with Gaddafi and that it was a serious strategic mistake to rebuild relations with the man who had supported the IRA with weapons and instigated Lockerbie. Mr Blair has always said he never had any commercial relationship with anyone in the Gaddafi family or the Libyan government, but since leaving office he is understood to have travelled to Tripoli on business for the US bank JP Morgan Chase. He also met Gaddafi in Tripoli as recently as last summer.

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LSE takes £1.5mill of Libya’s cash

Saif al-Islam son of Gaddafi in 2009 pledged a £1.5m donation to the LSE from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation. The LSE's involvement with the Libya prompted student protests last week. On Monday, LSE director Sir Howard Davies, admitted he felt "embarrassed" by the university's ties with the family of Colonel Gaddafi. He said the decision to accept research funding from a foundation controlled by Saif Gaddafi had "backfired". The LSE's ties with Saif alIslam Gaddafi, a son of the Libyan leader, are proving to be controversial He also expressed regret that he had visited Libya to advise the regime about how it could modernise its financial institutions. Sir Howard, who is a former head of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and deputy governor of the Bank of England, said the decision to accept £300,000 from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation had been debated "extensively" within the LSE. Last week the university said it

was reconsidering its links with Libya "as a matter of urgency." But that did not appease angry students. Last Wednesday a dozen students stormed his offices, demanding the £300,000 of the £1.5m donation already accepted be "paid back" to the Libyan people. There were also protests outside the School, as students gathered to express their concerns. Saif al-Islam studied at the LSE from 2003 to 2008, gaining both a Master of Science degree and a doctorate. But allegations have emerged that he used a ghost writer, and copied sections of his thesis. In a statement, the university said: "LSE is aware that there are allegations of plagiarism concerning the PhD thesis of Saif Gaddafi. "The School takes all allegations of plagiarism very seriously, and is looking into the matter in accordance with standard LSE procedures." The London School of Economics has confirmed it is investigating allegations that Colonel Gaddafi's son plagiarised his PhD thesis.

Gordon Brown Blocked Steve Jobs from Honorary Knighthood Apple CEO Steve Jobs turned down an invitation from thenPrime Minister Gordon Brown to speak at the Labour Party conference of 2009. Just another denied request for Jobs to work a stage, but this one would come back to bite him. Brown blocked a request by a senior Labour MP to have Jobs knighted for his services to technology, according to a new report. The former MP, who left Parliament at the last election, said: "Apple has been the only major global company to create stunning consumer products because it has always taken design as the key component of everything it has produced. "No other CEO has consistently shown such a commitment." Apple was aware of the propos-

al, he said, and it reached the final stages of approval, but was rejected by Downing Street. Mr Jobs was snubbed despite the 2005 award of an honorary knighthood to Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft and a longterm rival. His friend Bono, the U2 front man, who collaborated with Apple on a special charity edition iPod, is also an honorary KBE. The former MP was told by Downing Street that the decision was related to a failed attempt to attract Mr Jobs to Labour's annual conference. Given his status as a superstar of business and technology, such an appearance would have been viewed as a coup for Mr Brown. The former Prime Minister's office did not respond to a query.

Designer drug abuse out of control he problem of so-called "designer drugs" is running out of control in many regions of the world, the U.N. global drugs watchdog said Wednesday. The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) said detailed instructions for how to make designer drugs, which are slightly altered to bypass existing control systems, are often shared via the Internet. The report said the problem was "escalating out

of control" and "major efforts" were needed to counter it. "Given the health risks posed by the abuse of designer drugs, we urge governments to adopt national control measures to prevent the manufacture, trafficking in and abuse of these substances," Hamid Ghodse, the INCB's president, said at a briefing in London as the board's annual report was published.


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UK NEWS

CCTV use should be transparent, Thousands face school setback says government Organisations should be more open about their ownership and use of CCTV and ANPR, according to a new draft code of conduct. A consultation on the planned code of conduct, published on 1 March by the Home Office, says the code provides the opportunity for increasing transparency around camera use, except for those involved in covert investigation, which are covered by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act. "The aim should be to enable any individual wishing to know more about an overt surveillance camera to be able to obtain that information easily and readily, whilst the personal data itself is appropriately safeguarded," it says. Some local authorities publish the location of CCTV covering public spaces online, and many label their cameras. However, police forces have repeatedly

refused to disclose the locations of automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) cameras, a stance that has been backed by the Information Commissioner's Office. The consultation says the code may offer specific guidance on retention periods for ANPR images. Police forces retain the core data of all vehicles for two years, much longer than the one month retention period for many CCTV systems, or the 12 weeks for which Transport for London retains Oyster journey data. In general, it says that authorities should consider whether their use of the technology is proportionate, with assessments of the need for camera schemes. This may include whether or not a proposed installation is "part of a developed and integrated strategy," whether there are alternative means of achieving the desired outcomes, a cost-benefit analysis and consultation with partners

Almost one in five pupils, including some in London, could miss out on their first choice of secondary school this year, latest figures suggest. In some areas of England, including the capital, nearly two in five youngsters face the disappointment of not being able to attend their preferred school. Councils across the country are sending out letters to about half a million families informing them of the school their child has been allocated to this September. While for the majority the news will be the result they had been hoping for, thousands of others will be let down as competition for the best schools is fierce, particularly in big cities. The latest small-scale snapshot survey, conducted by the Press Association, suggests that 82% of youngsters have been given their first choice, meaning 18% have missed out on a spot at their chosen school.

and the public. The government is also planning to discuss with manufacturers and users whether it should introduce a British Standard for cameras. This would make it easier to transfer data from such systems and to produce images of sufficient quality to be useable in criminal proceedings. "CCTV and ANPR systems play a vital role in the prevention and detection of crime. However it is

important they are used in a way that does not invade law abiding people's privacy or undermine the public's confidence in them," said crime prevention minister James Brokenshire. "That's why we are establishing this code and that's why we are asking the public what they think should be in it. Alongside this, we will appoint a new commissioner to monitor the code and ensure it is effective."

Cameron defends forces jobs cuts

University head in funds warning

David Cameron has defended the decision to make 11,000 redundancies in the armed forces - potentially including some troops now on the front line in Afghanistan. The Prime Minister conceded that axing around 5,000 personnel from the Army, 3,300 from the Navy and 2,700 from the RAF would be "difficult" for those affected. He insisted the losses were necessary to "modernise and update" Britain's forces for future challenges but Labour criticised the Government for announcing details of the cuts at the same time Mr Cameron has been suggesting the RAF could help enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. Last autumn's Strategic Defence and Security Review set out plans for reducing the size of the armed forces by 17,000 in total. Some of that number will be met by not replacing people who were retiring or leaving for other reasons. But defence officials disclosed that 11,000 personnel still face being redundant on a compulsory or voluntary basis. The RAF became the first service to give details of its redundancy programme. The Army and Navy will spell out their approach over the coming weeks. Some 1,020 RAF personnel will go in the first tranche, including up to 170 trainee pilots - but no qualified pilots. Up to 100 from the Weapons System Officers Branch and the same number from the Weapons System Operator Trade are under threat, along with 529 "ground tradesmen". A further 121 officers up to the rank of Air Commodore could go, and numbers of top brass will be reduced - but those departures will be handled outside the normal redundancy scheme. The MoD also announced that two Tornado squadrons, 14 and XIII, were being disbanded. Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy said: "This is incredible. At the same time as planning a no-fly

David Cameron has defended the decision to make 11,000 redundancies in the armed forces zone over Libya the Tory-led Government chooses today of all days to sack RAF personnel. The pilots will be stunned and the country will be confused. These are the very same people who would help enforce no-fly zones. The Government is losing its way on defence and should re-open its Defence Review." However, speaking at a Downing Street press conference alongside Afghan president Hamid Karzai, Mr Cameron laid the blame on mismanagement by the former Labour government, saying: "These were incredibly difficult decisions, but we had an inheritance of a defence budget that was overspent by £38 billion and where decisions had been put off and put off and we were not modernising and updating our armed forces so they were able to cope with the modern challenges they were going to have to meet."

Karzai in Britain for talks, exhibition launch Afghan President Hamid Karzai was to hold talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday before opening a major London exhibition of artefacts from his country. Karzai, who arrived in London late Monday for a two-day visit, is expected to discuss issues including the planned transition of security responsibility from international troops to their Afghan counterparts in 2014. His spokesman Siamak Heravi told AFP ahead of the visit that the president would also

have discussions with Foreign Secretary William Hague and Defence Secretary Liam Fox. Later on Tuesday, Karzai will inaugurate a major exhibition of Afghan artefacts at the British Museum, which is due to open to the public two days later. Britain has around 9,500 troops in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, based in the troubled southern Helmand Province.

A "serious commitment" of public funds is needed for higher quality universities in Scotland in the future, a university principal has said. Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea, principal of Edinburgh University and a member of Universities Scotland, made the comments after a meeting where a report on the potential funding gaps for the sector was discussed. Education Secretary Michael Russell presented the findings of the report, published on Monday, at the summit in Glasgow. Speaking after the meeting, Sir Tim said: "The approach that's been talked about today requires a very serious commitment of public funds and a prioritisation of the universities in the allocation of public funds. "The report is fine. The report is a very good one. It lays out a number of scenarios and these are absolutely realistic estimates of where we might be. Obviously we have to wait for some key parameters like what the average fee is actually charged in England. "This is the most demanding time we've had since 1997."The report, prepared in partnership with Universities Scotland, presented a range of options for increasing income for universities - as well as setting out various scenarios on the possible future funding gap between Scotland and England based on increased tuition fees south of the border. Sir Tim said a graduate tax åcould not be ruled out to plug the gap. He said: "I don't think it's unavoidable. Unless the amount of money it takes to run the universities is larger than the amount of money that Scotland has in tax." Liz Smith, Conservative education spokeswoman, said: "It became clear today at the summit that Scottish universities face a funding gap which could be as large as £260 million depending on how high English universities set their tuition fee levels.

The figures are based on an analysis of information provided by 45 councils outside London, plus data for 33 councils in the capital, published by the Pan London Admissions Board. There are sharp differences in acceptance rates around England. In London alone, 35% of children have missed out on their first choice of secondary school, the figures show. In Manchester and Essex - one of the largest authorities - 83% of children have been given their first preference. In York this figure is 94.9% and in Devon it is 91.8%. But just 60.2% of children in Westminster have been offered their first choice, while in Southend this figure is 61%. Official figures on the numbers of pupils who have missed their preferred school will be published later this month. Last year nearly one in six children in England failed to gain a place at their first choice secondary school, according to Government figures. Results for applications by more than half a million children showed 83.2% were offered a place at their preferred school in 2010, resulting in a refusal rate of 16.8% - the same percentage as March 2009.

Electric rail lines given go ahead Electrification of a key rail line is to be extended to south Wales, the Government has announced. A plan to electrify the Great Western line from London to Berkshire and Oxfordshire has already got the go-ahead. Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said the Great Western electrification would be extended to Bristol and Cardiff. But he ruled out a further extension to Swansea although he announced plans for electrification of Welsh valley routes. Mr Hammond also announced that the Government was going ahead with a revised bid from Agility Trains, a consortium led by Hitachi, for the new intercity express programme (IEP) which will see most of the old intercity 125 trains replaced. The acceptance of the Agility bid means that Hitachi will go ahead with a carriage and trainbuilding facility at Newton Aycliffe in County Durham bringing the prospect of hundreds of new jobs to North East

England. Mr Hammond said LondonCardiff journey times would come down to one hour 42 minutes, while 22 minutes would be saved off London-Bristol journeys. He said his plans would be a boost for passengers and for the economies of south Wales and north-east England. The IEP is a £4.5 billion deal, while the Great Western electrification between Cardiff, Bristol and Didcot in Oxfordshire is worth £704 million. The IEP go-ahead means the building of a combination of around 100 electric trains and bi-mode - diesel and electric intercity trains which will run to Great Western line stations including Oxford, Swindon, Reading, Cardiff, Swansea, Bath and Bristol and to East Coast Main Line stations such as Peterborough, York, Doncaster, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness.


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I N T E R N A T I O N A L

Gaddafi: 'There Are No Protests in the East' Colonel Gaddafi has told supporters that there are "no protests at all in the east", saying the only clashes happened when Al Qaeda sleeper cells attacked security forces. The Libyan leader appeared on state television and in front of the world's media to deny extensive protests across the country. His speech came as David Cameron told the House of Commons Britain would send the military to evacuate refugees from the Libya-Tunisia border to Egypt. Footage of Colonel Gaddafi's appearance shows him being mobbed by supporters in the capital, chanting: "You will remain great". His public address, considered to be a show of strength in front of the world's media, comes a day after his son Saif said the regime had not lost control in the east. He told the crowd that he was surprised at the protests against him and said nobody should doubt that Libya is ruled by anyone other than its people. Referring to calls from foreign leaders for him to step down, Colonel Gaddafi said he had no position to leave as he is a symbol for the Libyan people and represents their history. His speech comes as witnesses near the town of Ajdabiyah, less than 500 miles from Tripoli, claim two fighter jets have launched air strikes on the area in a "hit and run" attack. The reports come as rebels confirmed a bloody battle with Gaddafi forces overnight in the nearby port town of Brega, which apparently left 14 people dead. Although revolutionaries initially said the town and oil export terminal had been taken by the leader's men, they claim they

have once again regained control. "They tried to take Brega this morning, but they failed," said Mustafa Gheriani, a spokesman for the rebel February 17th Coalition. "It is back in the hands of the revolutionaries. He is trying to create all kinds of psychological warfare to keep these cities on edge." However, Libyan state television contradicted the rebel reports, claiming Colonel Gaddafi's forces are now control the airport

and the seaport at Brega. A rebel police general, speaking on condition of anonymity, said men from Ajdabiyah had travelled to help defend the port town. Witnesses claim more than 100 vehicles, thought to contain militia or Gaddafi's forces, made their way towards Brega yesterday and say helicopters as well as planes were used in the raid. Mr Gheriani said Ajdabiyah was also now "stable" and said rebels were regrouping to prepare for "any major assault."

The apparent retaliation by Gaddafi loyalists comes as men, apparently fearing the capital was under attack, gathered in Tripoli to show their support for the leader. Men carrying posters of Colonel Gaddafi and green flags appeared after an oil tanker overturned and caught fire, sending plumes of smoke above the city. "Within minutes, dozens of people had rushed to the scene to show their support for Colonel Gaddafi."

China rail minister took Karzai, new US envoy huge kickbacks hold first meeting China's sacked railways minister is under investigation for allegedly taking more than 800 million yuan ($122 million) in kickbacks linked to rail construction projects, state press reported Tuesday. Liu Zhijun, who was sacked last month, allegedly took payouts for doling out contracts for the rapid expansion of China's booming high-speed railway system, amounting to up to four percent of each deal, the Global Times said. Since Liu became rail minister in 2003, China's spending on highspeed rail construction has skyrocketed, with investment surpassing 700 billion yuan last year, the paper said. Liu, 58, also had at least 10 mistresses, some of whom worked as actresses, it said. Liu is the highest-ranking official to be placed under investigation since former Shanghai Communist Party head Chen Liangyu was dismissed in 2006 and later convicted of corruption in a case that highlighted China's

graft problem. Liu allegedly worked with railway supplier Ding Shumiao, a close friend, who is being investigated for kickbacks totalling

China's former railway minister Liu Zhijun (R) is interviewed in Beijing 422 million yuan, the paper said. No formal charges have been filed against Liu. The case is being investigated by the ruling Communist Party's internal disciplinary arm. If the current investigation finds Liu guilty of graft, the case will be handed over to the state's judicial authorities.

The United States' new special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan held his first meeting in the job with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in London Tuesday, Afghan officials said. Marc Grossman met Karzai during his first official trip since being appointed last month to take over from Richard Holbrooke, who died suddenly in December. Karzai, who met the US official during a two-day visit to Britain, called for greater cooperation between Afghanistan, Washington and Pakistan during the meeting, a statement released by the presidential palace in Kabul said. "The president wished Mr Grossman success in his new position and said that the government of Afghanistan hopes that cooperation between Afghanistan, America and Pakistan will further expand and the three countries succeed in overcoming the challenges caused by terrorism in the region," the statement said.

"In return, Mr Grossman pledged that he will try to expand relations and coordination in the activities of the three countries." US officials declined to comment. There are around 140,000 international troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, around two-thirds of them Americans. Control of security in Afghanistan is due to pass from foreign forces to the Afghan army and police in 2014, with a limited international troop withdrawal due to start in some safer parts of Afghanistan from July. In a speech on February 18 confirming Grossman's appointment, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stressed the need for a political solution to help end the war. She said the Taliban could "rejoin Afghan society" if they met conditions such as renouncing violence and breaking ties with Al-Qaeda. Grossman is also due to visit Jeddah, Kabul, Islamabad and Brussels during his tour.

Assassins kill Pakistani minister Islamic fundamentalists have murdered the only Christian in Pakistan's cabinet for opposing the country's blasphemy laws. Minister of minority affairs Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic in his 40s, was sprayed with bullets outside his parents' home in Islamabad. The killing further undermines Pakistan's image as a moderate Islamic state and could deepen recent political turmoil. In pamphlets found at the scene of the shooting, al Qaida and the Pakistani Taliban said they targeted Mr Bhatti because of his faith and because he allegedly belonged to a committee that was reviewing the blasphemy laws which at the moment carry the death penalty for insulting Islam. Mr Bhatti had just pulled out of the drive when three men standing nearby opened fire. Two of the men opened the door and tried to pull him out, as a third fired his Kalashnikov rifle repeatedly into the car. The killers then drove off. The government condemned the killing but made no direct reference to the blasphemy law controversy that apparently motivated the assassins. A spokesman for president Asif Ali Zardari said: "This is a concerted campaign to slaughter every liberal, progressive and

Shahbaz Bhatti humanist voice in Pakistan. The time has come for the federal government and provincial governments to speak out and to take a strong stand against these murderers to save the very essence of Pakistan." In January, Punjab province governor Salman Taseer was killed by a bodyguard after the politician opposed the blasphemy laws. Many ordinary citizens praised the assassin. The leaflets at the scene of the shooting blamed the government for putting Mr Bhatti, an "infidel Christian", in charge of an unspecified committee and said that "this is the horrible fate of this cursed one".

Zimbabwean Egypt detentions 'a step back' The UN human rights chief said Tuesday that the detention of Zimbabweans meeting about Egypt protests was a serious step backwards and underlined a growing crackdown on civil society in the country. "These arrests appear to be part of a growing crackdown on civil society and members of the political opposition, and are a clear sign that the establishment of a consolidated democracy in Zimbabwe is still very far from assured," said Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. "All those who are being illegally held in detention should be released without delay. Freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are rights guaranteed under Zimbabwean and international law," she called.

Zimbabwean police arrested 46 rights activists on February 19 and charged them with treason. They were also tortured last week, a lawyer had said. "I see these unwarranted arrests as a serious step backwards, especially with elections possibly taking place later this year," said the UN rights chief. "The government needs to take measures, beginning with the release of these activists, to restore some faith in the country?s political processes," added Pillay. The arrests have drawn international condemnation, including from the US State Department, which said Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe "did not learn the right lessons" from the popular revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.

Anti-rocket system passes combat test in Gaza clash A state-of-the art anti-rocket system designed to protect tanks had its baptism of fire on Tuesday as Israeli forces clashed with Palestinian gunmen on the Gaza border, the army said. The military said an Israeli tank on border patrol was attacked by an anti-tank missile, but used the new equipment to neutralise the attack and did not return fire. "For the first time during operational activity, the Trophy (ASPRO-A) system, also known as the 'Windbreaker,' designed to

actively protect against anti-tank missiles, identified, alerted and intercepted the missile," the army said in a statement. In a separate incident an army unit saw a group of gunmen approaching the border and opened fire at them, the army said. Both events occurred in the southern Gaza Strip. Palestinian medics said a man was wounded by a tank shell near the south Gaza town of Khan Yunis. An Israeli military spokeswoman said there was no tank fire.


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BANGLADESH

Muhammad Yunus eyes 'graceful' Grameen exit Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus has said he wants a "graceful exit", as he launches a legal challenge to his sacking from the Grameen Bank. Prof Yunus said he was happy to step down but he wanted to secure the future of the microfinance bank he founded. On Wednesday, the central bank sacked him, saying he was past retirement age and had been improperly appointed. Correspondents say the effort to remove Prof Yunus is the culmination of a long-running feud with the government. On Thursday, he lodged a case challenging his dismissal in Bangladesh's High Court but he made it clear that he is happy to leave his post as managing director as long as there is a stable handover to his successor. "If there is any lack of confidence over Grameen Bank and if people have lack of trust over the institution, then the Grameen Bank will be a shaky institution," Prof Yunus said after the court hearing. "It is no matter whether I remain in the institution or not. I am trying to secure the future of the institution," he said. The court is set to rule on the dis-

establishing it in 1983 - beyond retirement age. The government owns a 25% stake in Grameen Bank, which pioneered the microfinance concept of lending small amounts of money to the poor which has been replicated worldwide. Correspondents say that the attempted sacking of Prof Yunus is not likely to be well-received internationally. A group of charities led by former Irish President Mary Robinson came to his defence last month, arguing that he had been unfairly vilified by the government. The latest developments come after a difficult six months for Prof Yunus.

missal on Sunday. Prof Yunus fell out with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2007. He angered her by trying to set up a new party while she was under house arrest on the orders of the military government.

Govt lets Ershad off the hook A government committee yesterday decided to withdraw 76 more "politically motivated" cases including the much-talkedabout radar purchase graft case filed against Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad. The High Court cleared the way for trial of the radar purchase case on August 8, 2006 after proceedings of the case had been stayed for a long time. Different quarters expressed concern over the decision saying the case should be settled in the court as the HC cleared the way for trial. The decision was taken at the 26th meeting of the government committee on withdrawal of cases filed for "harassing" political leaders during the BNPJamaat and immediate past caretaker government rule. The now-defunct Bureau of Anti-Corruption filed the case against Ershad and four others with Cantonment police on May 4, 1992. Trial of the case filed 18 years ago against former president Ershad and three others resurfaced on November 2 last year with deposition of the complainant. Abdus Sattar Sarkar, an official of the Bureau, pressed charges against Ershad and four others on October 27, 1994, showing 38 people as prosecution witnesses. According to the prosecution, Ershad in collusion with others had allegedly caused a loss of Tk 64.04 crore to the state exchequer by purchasing radars from the US instead of France for the air force while he was in power. The court framed charges against Ershad and three others on August 12, 1995. But the government had withdrawn charge against another accused Shahazad Ali, a director

of United Traders Ltd. Ershad was accused in 21 cases including several graft cases after he was ousted from power in 1990. He has so far been acquitted and discharged from 18 cases as the prosecution failed to prove the charges brought against him. Three cases including the radar purchase graft case are under trial. Contacted, Transparency International Bangladesh Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman told The Daily Star as the HC had cleared the way for trial of the radar purchase case, it should be settled in the court. "Why should the government settle graft cases off the court? Can't the court detect which case was filed with political motivation?" Iftekharuzzaman asked. The government is dropping graft cases considering these politically motivated, he said, adding, such practice is encouraging impunity culture. Briefing newspersons after the meeting at the home ministry, State Minister for Law Qamrul Islam, who heads the government committee, said "A total of 863 cases were placed before them yesterday. The committee has suggested withdrawal of 76 cases." He added they rejected 29 cases after scrutiny of the case references, as they found those cases were not filed to harass anyone. He said 759 more cases, suggested by the district level committees, will be placed before the next meeting of the committee. Asked why the "sensational" radar graft case was suggested to be dropped, the state minister said the committee took the decision after analysing the case references meticulously.

In December, Ms Hasina accused Prof Yunus of treating Grameen Bank as his "personal property" and claimed that it was "sucking blood from the poor". Bangladesh Bank, the country's central bank, said that Prof Yunus had

violated the country's retirement laws by staying on as Grameen's head long past the mandatory retirement age of 60. Prof Yunus is 70. Prof Yunus argues that he has special dispensation to stay in charge of the Grameen Bank - which he heads after

He has had to defend himself against increased efforts by the government to force him out as well as allegations in a TV documentary that aid money was wrongly transferred from one part of Grameen to another in the mid-1990s. While his supporters say that he helped lift nine million mostly female borrowers out of poverty, critics argue that the microfinance concept worldwide has been discredited. In India, it has been alleged that onerous conditions placed on borrowers have led to a spate of suicides.

Islami Bank Ahsraful thinks clarification WI beatable Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) clarified a news item telecast in some electronic media and also published in different national dailies quoting State Minister for Home that "Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited spends its profit on militancy". "We like to make it categorically clear that IBBL never spent its profit for any illegal activity nor financed any individual or

organization linked with propagating militancy. Besides, the Bank always spent its Zakat fund only for the shariah approved purposes", the clarification said. "While we deny any involvement of IBBL in extra banking transactions, we state that there exists no scope even for a Bank to spend money unlawfully that are always subject to regulatory, internal and external audit", the statement added.

Expanded 'open market sale' of rice begins tomorrow The government has decided to expand the open market sale (OMS) of rice by increasing its quantity and also the number of trucks. The number of trucks, engaged under the programme, will be increased by 50 in the capital. Presently, a total of 200 trucks have been selling OMS rice in the city, five days in a week. From now on, rice will be sold six days a week. The government will also allocate 0.1 million tonnes of wheat under test-relief (TR) soon. The food and disaster management ministry Wednesday took these decisions in a meeting, chaired by Minister Dr. Md Abdur Razzak. The decisions will come into effect from tomorrow (Friday). The meeting also decided to allow each union-level dealer to sell 1.5 tonnes of OMS rice, from existing 1.0 tonne. However, union-level dealers in Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Bandarban, Khagrachhari, Rangamati, Sylhet, Khulna and Satkhira can sell 2.0 tonnes of

rice. Besides, two dealers will be appointed in each union to run the OMS programme. The food minister also instructed the officials to monitor the OMS activities closely to help thwart any irregularities. The ultra-poor and the Class-IV government employees are receiving rice from JanuaryFebruary through fair-price cards. Presently, the government has 9,02482 tonnes of food grains in stock, and another 2,18,000 tonnes are in the pipeline. Food grains stock stood at 7,95,000 tonnes last year. The government will start the sale of subsidised rice and wheat in full swing to 4.5 million ultrapoor people of 4,500 unions of the country in the second week of this month, officials said. Ahmed Hossain Khan, head of food directorate, told the FE, the government has almost completed the list of 1000 ultra-poor people of each union and would distribute cards soon to ensure the availability of such "cheap" food for the targeted people only.

The West Indies have emerged as the opponents most likely to prove the third scalp that would propel Bangladesh into the quarterfinals of the ICC World Cup 2011 and former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful found a lot of logic behind the belief. The West Indies have emerged as the opponents most likely to prove the third scalp that would propel Bangladesh into the quarterfinals of the ICC World Cup 2011 and former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful found a lot of logic behind the belief. The Tigers will take on West Indies on Friday at the Sher-eBangla National Stadium in Mirpur in their third Group B match with a hope of brightening their chances of making the last eight. “Without any doubt West Indies is a very good team and they have some experienced players like Chris Gayle, (Ramnaresh) Sarwan and (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul and as well as a very good number three in Darren Bravo. But still I believe that we have a very good chance against them if you consider the conditions and our spin attack,” said Ashraful, who came to Mirpur yesterday along with a few other players for practice despite it being an optional day for the players. The Tigers lost the opening game to favourites India by 87 runs but strongly came back against Ireland with a 27-run victory in their second group encounter and Ashraful said that they must ensure that all three departments click together in the third game.

“It's very much possible to beat West Indies if we can put up a good score on the board. We have a very good spin attack and it will not be easy for the West Indians to handle our spinners in these conditions if our batsmen click. I hope 250-plus runs will be a good score for us,” he said. “You know our bowling was not good against India but we batted well while in the second game we had a poor batting show despite a good start but our bowlers did well to snatch the victory. We must ensure that all three departments click together in the third game against West Indies,” continued Ashraful. The experienced campaigner singled out Gayle as the most dangerous player for the Tigers. “In my opinion half the job will be done if we can dismiss Gayle early because he is a very dangerous batsman. And I believe we have the weapons in our hand to dismiss him early and it will also not be an easy task for him to bat well in our conditions especially against our spinners,” observed Ashraful.


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COMMUNITY NEWS

DON’T MISS THE CENSUS BUS AS IT TRAVELS AROUND THE UK

Members of the Bangladeshi community that have questions about the upcoming census will be able to ask a team travelling the country in the purple origami bus from the TV adverts when it stops in a number of towns and cities across the UK. The purple bus will be host to local area managers and community advisors, with teams of helpers speaking a variety of languages including Bengali, to remind people about the census and explain how the questionnaires will work. The teams will

also direct people to places where they can go to get help filling out the forms, such as local citizen’s advice bureaus, community groups or places of worship. The bus will then spend 24 March – 3 April visiting various London boroughs. Shabbir Kawsar, a 2011 Census community adviser for the Bangladeshi community, said: “The census is an important chance for the Bangladeshi community to make a difference in their local areas as results are used to plan services such as schools,

hospitals and transport. I encourage people to come along and have a chat with members of the census team onboard the bus to ask any questions they may have about the upcoming census.” The 2011 Census takes place on Sunday March 27. Questionnaires will begin dropping through letterboxes from midMarch. It can be completed securely online via the census website at www.census.gov.uk or on paper and posted back in the pre paid envelope.

Cllr Fozol responds to homophobic accusations. Recently elected Councillor Fozol Miah has written a letter to the Chief Executive Kevan Collins regarding the accusations of Cllr Anna Lynch. Lynch accused that a member of the audience had shouted a homophobic comment whilst Cllr Peter Golds was speaking. Lynch’s accusations have led to many counter-accusations and many complaints being written. This letter is in response to the complaint submitted by Cllr Carli Harper-Penman: “Dear Kevan, I have seen a letter sent to you by Carli Harper-Penman. I have to say I am disgusted by the contents of that letter. Councillor Lynch claimed she heard a homophobic comment. This was vehemently denied by all those in the vicinity of where she claimed the comment came from. Officers present also said they heard no such comment. Councillor Lynch then claimed that she was threatened and/or intimidated by someone because of the comments she had made. Again, absolutely no evidence of this was forthcoming. We take homophobia very seriously and we would not hesitate to condemn any homophobic comments or actions, but we have seen and heard no evidence that any such event too place last Wednesday. The same applies to any threat that might be made to a councillor. We would condemn any such action but we have seen no evidence that such an action took place. In the absence of such evidence, these allegations constitute a slur against at least a section of the public who attended the council's budget setting meeting, as is their democratic right. Although we in the Respect Party have had our disagreements with the Assistant Chief Executive Legal Services in the past, on this occasion, I believe that she acted entirely correctly. However the chairman of the council, on the other hand, acted quite wrongly to clear the public gallery in the face of these unsubstantiated allegations. Our democracy is limited enough without this kind of high-handed action which I believe owed more to Labour playing political games. It is the chairman of the council who owes an apology to the public he ejected from the meeting. I very much hope that Councillor Harper-Penman's letter will be rejected by you for the political shenanigans it represents. Yours sincerely, Councillor Fozol Miah Town Hall Mulberry Place London E14 2BG” The next Council meeting will be held on the 8th of March at 7:30 at the Town Hall, this will be an extension of the previous Budget meeting where the politicians were unable to reach a compromise regarding the budget setting.

Community languages Tower Hamlets second are celebrated in style worst for child poverty ONE DAY INTENSIVE INTRODUCTORY Hundreds of people celebrated Tower Hamlets’ cultural diversity by attending the council’s annual Community Languages showcase this month. Held at the newly refurbished Bethnal Green Technology College, the event was organised to mark International Mother Language Day, and recognise the high standards children are achieving in mother tongue languages in the borough. The council’s Community Languages Team works with teachers, parents and community organisations to teach 3,000 children a range of community languages outside school hours, producing excellent results. In the past year, 98 per cent of 11-14 year olds sitting an early language GCSE in Tower Hamlets achieved a grade A*-C, and one ten year old pupil from Culloden Primary School achieved an A in GCSE Bengali. The Right Honorable High Commissioner of Bangladesh, Dr M Saydeedur Rahman Khan, praised the efforts of everyone involved, commenting that the work is helping to ‘preserve the language and cultural diversities of different nations’. He was joined by Channel S children’s presenter Nadia Ali who presented children with certificates for designing posters and leaflets, and writing poetry and research articles.

Children from various schools and language clubs treated the audience to colourful performances in dance, song and poetry originating from China, Bangladesh, Lithuania and Somalia. Thanking Bethnal Green Technology College for hosting the event, Mary Durkin, Service Head for Youth and Community Learning, also gave special mention to parents. She said: “As well as thanking all the schools and community projects for their fantastic partnership work, I’d like to thank the parents who manage to juggle everything to get their children to supplementary schools every week. “Learning mother tongue really sets the foundation for other learning and is a great way for children to celebrate their history and culture.” Chair of the Council, Cllr Motin Uz-Zaman, presented the Chinese Independent School of Tower Hamlets and Stifford Community School with Gold Awards under The Quality Assurance Framework – a national accreditation that recognises excellent quality in supplementary schools. A number of other awards were also presented to staff, schools, language projects, community groups and voluntary organisations.

Child poverty levels in Tower Hamlets are among the highest in the UK, with thirteen thousand children affected, new figures have revealed The study, by Save the Children, found that twenty-seven per cent of children in Tower Hamlets live in severe poverty, slightly less than in the worst area, Manchester. London boroughs Hackney, Newham and Westminster were also in the top ten worst affected places. Sally Copley, Save the Children’s head of UK policy said: “Children up and down the country are going to sleep at night in homes with no heating, without eating a proper meal and without proper school uniforms to put on in the morning. No child should be born without a chance. It’s a national scandal that 1.6 million children are growing up in severe poverty.” Save the Children expressed their fear that with increasing unemployment and cuts in welfare benefits, even more children will be forced to live in severe poverty in the coming months. The charity has urged the Chancellor to commit to an emergency plan in the coming months to alleviate the difficulties Britain’s poorest people face. Copley continued: “At the moment, these children are

hidden from official view, and their plight unrecognised. If these children are to have a future, we must acknowledge their desperate need and urgently target government help towards them.” According to Save the Children, a lone-parent family with one child aged under 14 in severe poverty survives on an income of less than £7,000 and a couple with two children under 14 is on less than £12,500. A Tower Hamlets spokesperson said the authorities are committed to tackling child poverty and said that Tower Hamlets has made “significant progress in tackling poverty in recent years”. Mayor Lutfur Rahman said that the figures from Save the Children are a “timely reminder” of challenges Tower Hamlets face: “We know only too well the impact that poverty can have on the lives of children; blighting their education, health and potentially harming their prospects of finding employment. But we are also proud of the great strides we have taken to address the problem here in Tower Hamlets. Together with our partners, we have tackled it head on and have actually seen the biggest reduction in the country,”

ISLAMIC CALLIGRAPHY COURSE Supported by SOAS Islamic Society This course is perfect for those who have never studied calligraphy, and will provide the skill to start using a calligraphy pen and compose letters of Arabic in their different styles. Open to Brothers and Sisters! Islamic/Arabic calligraphy is a primary form of art for Islamic visual expression and creativity. Throughout the vast geography of the Islamic world, Arabic calligraphy is a symbol representing unity, beauty, and power. The aesthetic principles of Arabic calligraphy are a reflection of the cultural values of the Muslim world. A thorough investigation into the aesthetic differences between Arabic and nonArabic calligraphy might provide an approach for understanding the essential spirit of each culture. Calligraphy has arguably become the most venerated form of Islamic art because it provides a link between the languages of the Muslims with the religion of Islam. The Holy book of Islam, the Qur'an, has played an important role in the development and evolution of the Arabic Language, and by extension, calligraphy in the Arabic alphabet. Proverbs and complete passages from the Qur'an are still active sources for Islamic calligraphy. This unique course will be taught by a highly well learned calligrapher, who studied Calligraphy and Art at Oxford University and Cairo Cost: £25 (Includes course notes, calligraphy pen and ink) Date: Saturday 9th April 2011 Time: 10:00am- 19:00pm Venue: SOAS University (Details given upon Enrolment) Tube: Russel Square (Picadilly Line, 3 Mins walk away), Kingscross, Euston Buses: 25, 205, 7 Online Payment: www.alburujpress.com For more information, contact the team on: Email: alburujpress@gmail.com Phone: Brothers: 07983590489 Sisters: 07904956166


CONTINUATION

New School

as part of the Building Schools for the Future Programme. The new school will have its own theatre and art gallery as well as the very best sports and library facilities. SPWCS will also be the first Faraday Science School in London and this new science specialism, alongside existing visual arts specialism. Almost two years after the symbolic 'ground breaking' ceremony - where students, school staff and local dignitaries celebrated the beginning of building works on the new St. Paul's Way, a second event was held last March to mark the completion of the external construction work. This completion and official opening ceremony marks a newer and brighter future for the pupils, staff and parents of SPWCS. The new school will provide many opportunities for local children, their parents and the wider community, and be a central part of the local transformation project. The event was very successful and was attended by more than fifty people, including school staff, members of the school's Trust Board, representatives of partner organisations such as London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, Tower Hamlets Council, Queen Mary's, University of London. MPs, Jim Fitzpatrick and Rushanara Ali were also in attendance and delivered speeches. Head Boy Prince Ahmed and Head Girl Khudeja Kobir also delivered a welcome and speech. The St Pauls Way Trust School Choir in conjunction with the Mulberry Girls School Choir performed for the audience. Finally all guests were given a tour of the new school and later tea was served. St Paul’s Way has been completely turned around since it was on ‘special measures’ as a failed school just four years ago. It led to a controversial move to turn it into a ‘trust’ school in a partnership between Tower Hamlets and University of London and is now forging ahead on the league tables under head-teacher Graham Price.

Mayor Lutfur's

full council meeting on Wednesday 23 February, when the council effectively agreed to approve the original proposals but amended by the Labour group and incorporating elements of the Liberal Democrat amendments. 95% of the budget had been approved at the initial meeting; a second budget meeting is required to iron out the last £600,000 of savings. Amongst the mayor’s revised proposals to be debated in the council chamber on 8 March, are the following: Employment – accepting a Liberal Democrat proposal to spend just over £1m from reserve funding to support apprenticeships and graduate initiatives over three years Affordable housing – allocating £3.5m to increase affordable housing in the borough, using £600k from reserves and £2.9m from capital receipts. This is based on an amendment from the Liberal Democrats. Housing Link – agreeing to continue the service, albeit with a 25 per cent reduction in funding. A review of caseloads, costs and relationships with other services will inform this saving, and this move follows a proposal from the Labour group. Support to mayor and councillors – a Labour group proposal to reduce non-staffing budgets in this area by £82,000 and staffing budgets by £230,000 has been accepted by the mayor. Extended schools – agreeing to offer the Junior Youth Service for both working and non-working parents through at least nine schools, by providing an additional £60,000 worth of funding. This is an acceptance of a Liberal Democrat amendment, which delivers the same outcome as a similar Labour group proposal. East End Life – a Labour group proposal to save £200,000 from the East End Life budget has been accepted, but the proposal also included a move to

publish East End Life quarterly rather than weekly. The mayor has not accepted the latter part of the proposal, and instead proposes the existing review of East End Life continues and any decision on its frequency is made once that review is concluded in May. Community safety – a Labour amendment to replace the Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officers (THEOs) with a police officer per ward, an addition of 17 police officers has not been accepted by the mayor. The mayor believes the THEOs complement the work of the police very well, and offer great value to local residents. The mayor is also in advanced discussions with the borough commander to provide 21 additional police officers in Tower Hamlets – using money from the GLA’s new Community Safety Fund and drug action grant funding. The mayor is confident these discussions will result in the additional police offers being deployed in Tower Hamlets. Mayor Lutfur Rahman said: “As a direct result of cuts to our funding from central government, we have to make some very difficult decisions regarding our finances. However, I believe that as a council, we have a responsibility to make sure we protect services for our vulnerable residents, and that all members should work together to agree a budget that is fair and continues to ensure local people get the support they need.” "My first budget is aimed at safeguarding frontline services while maintaining vital support for key services across the borough. My priority is to protect vulnerable people and ensure that youth services, community safety, children centres, housing investment, schools and homecare in particular are protected.” He continued. The next full council meeting which is open to the public will take place in the council chamber at the Town Hall, from 7.30 pm on Tuesday the 8th of March. It is hoped this budget meeting would not have a fraught atmosphere as the last where disagreements led to resident being forcibly removed from the gallery.

Tower Hamlets Homes

Tower Hamlets Homes staff that this has been recognised.” The Audit Commission’s report highlights significant improvements in the quality of service being delivered, with repairs, customer access, tenancy management and the way we deal with anti-social behaviour identified as particular strengths. Gavin Cansfield, Tower Hamlets Homes, Chief Executive, commented: “I am delighted with the result. The rating confirms that we are doing a good job and delivering real improvements for residents. However, sitting back is not an option. We know there is still a lot to do, and we will use the recommendations from the Audit Commission to help us improve still further.” Additionally, Tower Hamlets Homes is set to receive £94.5m of funding from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to help bring tenanted homes we manage to the Decent Homes Standard over the next four years. The HCA makes recommendations for funding based on value for money, proportionate need, and capacity to deliver. The Audit Commisson’s report will be published early March. The Decent Homes backlog programme funding allocations were announced by the Government last week. Tower Hamlets, which has one of the highest percentages of homes not ‘decent’, has been awarded the second highest level of investment in the country. Decent Homes is a national standard which means that all Council and housing association tenants should expect to live in a home

that is reasonably modern, warm and water-tight. Chief Executive Gavin Cansfield said, “This is a good result for tenants of Tower Hamlets Homes. Although we haven’t received the full amount we applied for, the money we’ve been allocated means that £1 in every £16 of all Decent Homes money – over £1.5 billion - will be spent in Tower Hamlets. I’m looking forward to work on the first homes beginning in April.” In Tower Hamlets, currently 8,926 council-owned properties do not meet the Decent Homes Standard. The funding will allow Tower Hamlets Homes to bring nearly 80% of these up to modern standards. The remaining homes will hopefully be funded either through subsequent Government funding, or locally. Resident Board member, Shamsul Hoque, who lives in Bethnal Green, said about the announcement: “I think this is really good news for Tower Hamlets Homes residents. Over the next five years, most tenants will receive new kitchens and bathrooms and other works to their homes to make them nicer places to live in. I know my neighbours will be glad to have works done to their homes after so long.”

Civic Awards

workers and students. The Civic Awards recipients were welcomed by the Chair of Council Motin Uz Zaman and formally congratulated by Deputy Lieutenant-Commander John Ludgate. A short presentation was given by each recipient’s nominator before the Chair and Commander presented the certificate. Presented for Outstanding Service to the Community were Mr Masud Ahmed, Faruk Ali, Ray Gipson and Arshdeep Rathour. Arshdeep is the youngest candidate to have received the award at aged only 7. She was awarded for calling the ambulance when her mother Sandeep had an epileptic fit, subsequently saving her life. Stepney resident Masud Ahmed has juggled his time between looking after his disabled father, being an active committee member of Stifford Community Centre and being a trustee of education charity the Gulapganj Education Trust. Bow resident Ray Gipson is attributed with turning a group of retired men into a force to be reckoned with. He works part-time for Age UK, and is the leader of older men's activity group, The Geezers. Described as big-hearted and caring, Faruk Ali helped a homeless person who had recently arrived in the UK as an undergraduate. The category for Brought Credit to the Borough through Sporting, Artistic or Cultural Activities had two winners who were Sean Pender and John Ridgley. When some children at Marion Richardson Primary School were struggling academically, John Ridgley set up an athletics breakfast club for the pupils. Anam Hoque a youth worker for twenty years is a fervent campaigner for young people's rights and development. The Improved the Quality of life for local people by providing services beyond those they are paid to do category award was given to Anam Hoque, Kate Smith and Arthur Hing. Arthur Hing is a complementary therapist working with elderly arthritic patients bringing much needed relief to their painful joints. Kate Smith is the first point of contact at the Bromley-by-Bow Centre. As a learning ambassador she signposts residents to community services and courses. The Civic Award initiative is an annual programme in recognition of residents’ hard work and commitment to the Borough and its residents; nominations are open from September. The four categories for nomination are give outstanding service to the community, have brought credit to

04 - 10 Mar 2011

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the borough through sporting, artistic or cultural achievements, have improved the quality of life for local people by providing services beyond what they are paid to do, have benefited the community through success in business and in community involvement.

South Asian Women

especially mothers, are core Elephant Atta flour consumers, the new integrated campaign plans to utilise their influence, alongside the brand’s own health credentials, to create a movement which affects not only individual households but also the wider community. An increasing number of South Asians in the UK are at high risk of developing health conditions such as heart disease, blood pressure and diabetes, which can be prevented by making simple lifestyle changes. Elephant Atta flour, which is consumed daily in over 50% of South Asian households in the UK, has taken the responsibility of spreading the message of a healthier lifestyle amongst its target audience with its new brand campaign. The campaign was launched at an exclusive event at London’s Chelsea Football Club on Wednesday 2 March 2011 and was attended by over 60 special guests including food retailers, chefs, media and loyal consumers of Elephant Atta flour. The launch event was an opportunity for the brand to preview its new advert, which focuses on the way homemakers can impact on their family’s health. Since healthy lifestyles start at home, Elephant Atta flour wants to mobilise everyday women and mothers who recognise the importance of nutritional eating, to lead the way in creating this health revolution amongst South Asians. Spreading the message of health is a natural next step for Elephant Atta flour as upholding family ties and traditions has always been at the core of the brand’s essence. In traditional South Asian households, women are responsible for the well being of their families and Elephant Atta wants to encourage them to take the lead in starting this revolution at home and in their communities. The campaign is an opportunity for the brand to actively encourage more South Asians to find out about the simple ways in which they can improve their health whether through reducing their salt and sugar intake or taking up more physical activity. Elephant Atta flour is naturally low in salt, sugar and saturated fat and is a great source of fibre which makes it the perfect choice of chapatti flour for South Asian households. Shila Shah, who has used Elephant Atta flour for over 2 decades and attended the launch said: ‘Mothers are at the heart of every South Asian household and it’s great that a community brand like Elephant Atta is trying to engage with people like me to make a difference. In many of our households, we are in the habit of thinking that healthier food is less tasty, which is not the case. The more we educate ourselves and our families about health the better it is for our generation and the generations to come.’ By focusing on becoming a healthier flour the brand is not compromising on quality or taste. Chapattis and flat breads made with Elephant Atta flour still have the same great taste, softness, fluffiness and aroma that loyal consumers have enjoyed for the last five decades. Independent research* carried out for the brand confirmed Elephant Atta’s position as number 1 in the UK atta flour market with 92% overall brand awareness, 77% of respondents saying that Elephant Atta chapattis are soft to eat and 71% of respondents saying Elephant Atta flour chapattis puffed up for the ideal taste and texture. The new campaign will go live in early March with a national TV and point of sale campaign leading into a wider integrated marketing campaign for the brand’s golden jubilee birthday in 2012. Elephant Atta flour has also refreshed its pack to include a heart shaped pink scarf around the iconic Mother and Daughter imagery, which is a reflection of the brand’s care and commitment to its consumers. The new pack will also highlight the key health benefits of the brand.


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WOMEN

International Women's Day Centenary

International Women's Day (IWD) was first declared in 1910 with the first IWD event held in 1911. 2011 sees 100 years of International Women's Day having been celebrated around the world. Widespread increased activity is anticipated globally on 8 March 2011 honouring 100 years of International Women's Day.

International Women's Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, IWD is a national holiday. Every year, there is a theme to the day this could be one global theme however, this is not always the case. It is completely up to each country and group as to what appropriate theme they select. Here are the themes for this year and a few others: - 2011: Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women - 2010: Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all - 2009: Women and men united to end violence against women and girls - 2008: Investing in Women and Girls - 2007: Ending Impunity for Violence against Women and Girls - 2006: Women in decision-making - 2005: Gender Equality Beyond 2005: Building a More Secure Future - 2004: Women and HIV/AIDS - 2003: Gender Equality and the

Millennium Development Goals - 2002: Afghan Women Today: Realities and Opportunities - 2001: Women and Peace: Women Managing Conflicts - 2000: Women Uniting for Peace - 1999: World Free of Violence against Women - 1998: Women and Human Rights - 1997: Women at the Peace Table - 1996: Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future - 1975: First IWD celebrated by the United Nations The United Nations has given its full support to International Women's Day and it fights for women's rights as a major global issue. In 1910, the first international women's conference was held in Copenhagen and countries around the world began celebrating the event annually beginning the following year.

The International Women's Day Centenary should make the women of past proud, the women of current inspired, and the women of the future envisioned. Women have made great strides in equality yet there is still a great deal to be achieved on many fronts and the 2011 IWD Centenary will provide a unique and global opportunity to reignite, inspire and channel women's equality for the future.

Quotes “Poignantly, International Women’s

Even here in the UK, we take small steps towards meaningful equality. There are still women battling to find a voice in difficult circumstances; and having found that voice, to use it to speak out against injustice and to overcome historical discrimination or, at the very least, condescension. Happy Women’s Day to the women of Poplar and Limehouse!” Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse

Day seems to be most closely-observed in some of the world’s poorest countries – places where women struggle to overcome the greatest of odds. There is a book, ‘The Triple Struggle’ (a compilation of the experiences of Latin American peasant women in their own words) which gives voice to women who experience hardship in three major ways: they are women in a society dominated by men; they are peasants, and as

such live in a state of aggregate poverty; and they are inhabitants of what has been called the third world, or the developing world. This book was published in 1982, and the themes remain; but it is of paramount importance to record and highlight the ways in which those at the sharp end, facing the worst oppression and subjugation, battle, and learn, and develop, and refuse to be victims.

"The centenary of International Women's Day is a great opportunity to celebrate women's economic and political achievements over the last hundred years. I am very pleased that in the UK we now have high-achieving BritishBengali women in the commercial, legal, media and charity sectors as well as our first MP of Bangladeshi origin in Rusharana Ali. In Bangladesh, although the status of women is in some ways better than in neighbouring countries, there is much left to do. Bengali women still too often fall victim to domestic violence, the trafficking of women into prostitution continues to be a problem, and female literacy needs to be greatly improved. Bangladesh pioneered micro-credit schemes but access to credit amongst women needs boosting so that they can fulfil the full potential of their obvious capabilities.” Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP

The Islamic Woman is Equal to Man

Islam was revealed at a time when a lot of people denied the humanity of the woman; some were sceptical about it; and still others admitted it, yet considered the woman a thing created for the humble service of the man. With the advent of Islam, circumstances improved for the woman. The woman's dignity and humanity were restored. Islam confirmed her capacity to carry out Allah's commands, her responsibilities and observation of the commands that lead to heaven. Islam considered the woman as a worthy human being, with a share in humanity equal to that of the man. Their single origin, their general human traits, their responsibility for the observation of religious duties with the consequent reward or punishment, and the unity of their destiny all bear witness to their equality from the Islamic point of view. This fact is established in the Noble Qur'an. " O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam) and from him (Adam) He created his wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 4, Verse 1 As is stated in another verse: " It is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam), and (then) He has created from him his wife (Eve), in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 7,Verse 189 The Qur'an, on its part, treats this issue of equality among men and women from more than one perspective. On the purely religious level "Verily, the Muslims (those who submit

to Allah in Islam) men and women,the believers men and women (who believe in Islamic Monotheism),the men and the women who are obedient (to Allah), the men and women who are truthful (in their speech and deeds), the men and the women who are patient (in performing all the duties which Allah has ordered and in abstaining from all that Allah has forbidden), the men and the women who are humble (before their Lord Allah),the men and the women who give Sadaqat, (i.e. Zakat, and alms, etc.),the men and the women who fast (the obligatory fasting during the month of Ramadan and the optional Nawafil fasting),the men and women who guard their chastity (from illegal sexual acts) and the men and women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues (while sitting, standing, lying, etc.) Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise)." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 33, Verse 35 On the basic social and religious responsibilities The Qur'an establishes equality by maintaining "The believers, men and women, are "Awliy," (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma`ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do);and forbid (people) from AlMunkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); they offer their prayers perfectly (lqamat-as-Salat), and give the Zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have mercy on them." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 9, Verse 71 In Adam's story, Divine Orders were made to him and his wife, both and equally: "O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in

the Paradise and eat both of you freely with pleasure and delight of things therein as wherever you will, but come not near this tree or you both will be of the Zalim'n (wrongdoers)." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 2, Verse 35 What is new, however, about this story as given by the Qur'an is that the temptation is blamed not on Eve but on Satan. "Then the Satan made them slip there from (the Paradise), and got them out from that in which they were." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 236 The reverse of The Old Testament versions. Thus Eve was neither the sole eater from the tree, nor the one who initiated the act. Rather, the mistake was theirs both, and both of them repented and asked for forgiveness: "They said, "Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall be losers." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 7, Verse 23 Further still, some verses ascribe the trespass to Adam: "And indeed We made a covenant with Adam before, but he forgot, and We found on his part no firm will-power". Then Satan whispered to him saying, "O Adam! Shall I lead you to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that will never waste away?" Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 20, Verse 115, 120 and 121 Equality of punishment and reward and eligibility for Paradise The Almighty says: "That was a nation who has passed away. They shall receive the reward of what they earned and you of what you earn. And you will not be asked of what they used to do." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 2, Verse 134 and 141. Concerning the equality of men and

women in receiving rewards and the entry of paradise, God says: "So their Lord accepted of them (their supplication and answered them), "Never will I allow to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 3, Verse 195 "And Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 16, Verse 97 Financial matters The rule of Islam abolished the conventions prevalent among many nations which deprived the woman of the right of ownership, inheritance, and those which created obstacles against her exercise of free and full control of her holdings. As a rule, Islam acknowledges the woman's rights to all kinds of ownership, spending and channeling of her money. It gives her the rights of inheritance, selling, buying, renting, donating, lending, allocating property for religious and charitable purposes, giving alms, legal transfer and mortgage, as well as many other forms of contracts and actions. Right to seek education The woman's right to seek education or learning is basic and is also guaranteed by Islamic teachings. Islam actually makes it incumbent on the woman to seek knowledge; the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) says, `seeking knowledge is incumbent on every Muslim," where "every Muslim" obviously involves men and women on an equal footing as a rule formalised by all authorities of jurisprudence.

Right to perform religious ordinances The woman is also required to perform religious ordinances and forms of worship the way the man is. Praying, fasting, Zakat (the alms sanctifying tax), pilgrimage and all the other fundamental practices in Islam are required of Muslims in their capacity, both men and women, as responsible humans. Again the woman's actions are recompensed by Allah the way the man's actions are. Social activity The woman is not excluded from the area of social activity; Allah says: "The believers, men and women, are "Awliy," (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma`ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do); and forbid (people) from AlMunkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden)." The Holy Quran, Chapter 9, Verse 71. For instance, she can give refuge for those who seek it. If she hosts a refugee, her action is to be respected and observed. This rule relates back to Um Hanibint Abi Talib's giving relief to a father in-law on the day of the Conquest of Mecca by Muslims. When her brother wanted to kill him because he was an infidel, she complained to Allah's Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) saying, "Allah's Messenger, my mother's son insists on killing my refugee, Ibn Hubayra. "The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) replied, "We confer asylum on him that you give refuge to, Um Hani". [Mutafaq aley (agreed upon) on the authority of Um Hani, The Pearl and the Coral (AlLu'lu' wal-Marjan) (193)] Excerpted from the article "The Status of Women in Islam" by Sh. Yusuf AlQaradawi


04 - 10 Mar 2011

TECHNOLOGY

10

Gulam Zilani

BlackBerry PlayBook may Google changes its support Android apps?? search formula Rumour of Blackberry may support Android applications are running fast and wild, as Blackberry do not have a big application market place. Currently Blackberry has limited number of useful applications. This is most due to the existing platform and that they donít really have much use of high selected applications as most Blackberry users really on their devices for Email, Contact and Calendar management. However, as the device has recently been given a new life and marketed towards more consumers and not just Corporate they need to re-evaluate their marketing strategies in order to keep hold of that large percentage of consumersí users. With the introduction of Blackberry Playbook and the QNX software itís more evident that they need to address the corporate world as well consumer demands. Having the Playbook with its new Operating System based on QNX will most certainly enable them to expand their market even more. Providing the right applications is available to the users. Naturally they won't be able to fill that void so quickly in the applications department; so it's rumoured that BlackBerry is looking at supporting Android applications on their devices via a third party overlaid software. That will certainly be good news to both companies as Google can increase their

popularity and revenue through this method, while Research in Motion can invest in dual platforms and applications. No doubt eventually once they have established a proper working marketplace and have obtained a large enough applications list they will be able to stand on their own two feet. So letís wait and see, exactly what do Research in Motion intend to do and if a working partnership between the two giants ever pan out.

Under pressure to improve the quality of its search results from smaller rivals, Google has changed its formula for recommending websites in a bid to penalise those pushing “low-quality” content. Google announced the switch late on Thursday, and in an interview on Friday one of the leaders of the company’s campaign said that 11.8 per cent of the queries it received would show changes in the “top few” results on the first page. “Quality of sites is a very hard thing to define,” Amit Singhal, a Google fellow, told the Financial Times. “We had a breakthrough about a few months back.” He dated the effort to late 2009, when a revamp of Google’s index brought “fresher” results that also favoured shallow content. Mr Singhal said that extremely popular search terms might not be noticeably affected but that topical matters and more obscure subjects would both see changes. Google rolled out the changes in the US and would soon expand it to the rest of the world, he said. The leading search engine said on its official blog that it was trying to reduce the rankings in “sites which are lowvalue add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful”. The company did not detail how it was making the calculations, and website owners reported various impacts. Google said it wanted to boost “sites

with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on”. Industry experts said the move was aimed squarely at “content farms”, or those whose business model depends on producing vast volumes of cheap material in order to draw viewers in from search engines and then advertise to that audience. The best-known company meeting that description is Demand Media, which went public on the New York Stock Exchange in January. Demand’s formula for generating content matches common search-engine queries that are likely to interest advertisers with freelancers paid by the piece. But Demand said “at this point in time, we haven’t seen a material net impact” on its content business. Shares in Demand rose during the day on Friday as analysts compared Google results in the US and other countries and saw no big drop-off in rankings for Demand properties including eHow, a large network of advice pages filled by freelancers.

Gmail Is this the start of the accounts second dotcom bubble? wiped

Some of Gmail users may have experienced issues in accessing your data stored on the Gmail service mid afternoon last Sunday. Following numerous complaints from users that their emails, chats, documents and photos stored via the service had disappeared Gmail launched an investigation in to this, only to discover a big within there system that had caused the downtime. While Google had recovered most of the data, some users may still be reeling after the effects of lost data. According to Google only 0.8% of the popular mail service users were affected. Considering that they have over 170 million users, that's still a large number. Some users were reporting that once the service was restored they were being greeted with the standard message from Google as if they had just opened there accounts. While others were reporting that documents that they had created via GDocs had been either deleted or simply refusing to open claiming that "HTML Source" was damaged. Google are still hard at work to recover data and are not expecting any permanent damage. Engineers have claimed they the bug may have been the caused by the additional 12 document format recently added to their support list.

Two years ago, anthropologist Sekai Farai was awarded a grant by Columbia University to study the technology startup community. Her timing couldn't have been better: a new goldrush is under way as twentysomethings from New York, London and San Francisco dream of making their fortunes from a new generation of internet companies. Sitting in the lobby of Manhattan's Ace Hotel, one of new-school tech's favourite hangouts, Farai predicts the boom has just begun. "People who not long ago started startups because they couldn't get a job are turning down jobs now," she says. "There's so much money about. The idea that your idea could be the next big idea is very real. There's a real air of excitement." Could it all end in tears? "It always does." Right now, though, who wouldn't be excited? Every week, one of the new generation of internet firms seems to attract a sky-high valuation. Zynga, the social-network games company that has tempted millions to grow virtual vegetables in its FarmVille game, has been valued at $9bn (£5.54bn). Profitless Twitter is said to be worth $10bn. Groupon, vendor of online discounts, rejected a $6bn offer from Google and is considering a flotation with a potential valuation of $15bn. Tech-watchers say this is just the start: the real boom will come when Facebook, the head boy of the new dotcom frenzy, goes public, probably next year. This month it emerged that Facebook staff are planning to sell $1bn of private shares at a price that values the private company at $60bn – that's $10bn more than January's valuation and close to 10 times the price Russian investor Digital Sky Technologies paid employees who sold shares in 2009.

The leaps in valuation are dizzying. At its current on-paper price, Facebook's value is somewhere between that of Ford ($55bn) and Visa ($63bn). But that's still less than a third of Google's value, Facebook's arch-rival in the battle for domination on the internet. Alan Patrick, co-founder of technology consultancy Broadsight, says we are at the beginning of another bubble and that the first breaths have been blown: "A bubble is defined by too much money chasing assets, greater production of those assets, then the need to find a greater fool to buy them." So far, money is chasing a small group of companies – Facebook, Groupon et al – that could prove to be good investments, says Patrick, who also writes the Broadstuff blog. That was true of other bubbles too: at the start of the US property boom, for example, it was the best houses in the best locations that took off first. Only later did people start speculating on grotty flats in Florida. According to Patrick, there are 10 tell-tale signs that a bubble is being blown: w 1. The arrival of a "New Thing" that cannot be valued in the old way. Dumb-money companies start paying over the odds for New Thing acquisitions. w 2. Smart people identify the start of a bubble; New Thing apostles make ever more glowing claims. w 3. Startups with founders deemed to have "pedigree" (for example, former employees of New Thing companies) get funded at eyewatering valuations for next to no reason. w 4. There is a flurry of new investment funds catering for startups. w 5. Companies start getting funded "off the slide deck" (that is, purely on the basis of their PowerPoint presentations) without

actually having a product. w 6. MBAs leave banks to start up firms. w 7. The "big flotation" happens. w 8. Banks make a market in the New Thing, investing pension money. w 9. Taxi drivers start giving you advice on what stock to buy. w 10. A New Thing darling buys an oldworld company for stupid money. The end is nigh. This time social media is the New Thing. Its most earnest acolytes claim that the likes of Twitter and Facebook are a revolution in human communications unseen since Gutenberg started printing the Bible. They aren't making money, but they are worth a fortune. Two smart cookies – Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, and Michael Arrington, creator of the influential technology blog TechCrunch – have sold their publications to AOL, a company not noted for the astuteness of its recent decisions. Tick off stage 1. The second stage looks tickable, too. Fred Wilson, investor at Union Square Ventures and a veteran of the 1999/2000 dotcom bubble, has been sounding the alarm for some time. In a recent interview with TechCrunch, Wilson said he was worried that a two- or three-person startup could get a $50m-$100m valuation. "To me that's not in the realm of reasonable," Wilson said. He even went as far as to name names – in particular Quora, a questions-and-answers site set up by Facebook alumni Adam D'Angelo and Charlie Cheever that raised $11m in funding last year at a price that valued the company at $86m. Now it is reportedly fending off offers for $330m. See stage 3 above.


04 - 10 Mar 2011

11

ENTERTAINMENT

Oscars 2010:

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly On this year's edition of the Oscars, there were many highs, a few lows and more than one missed opportunity. While the reviews of the 83rd annual Academy Awards have been merciless for the most part, there was much to praise (and a little to pillory). THE GOOD • Anne Hathaway and James Franco may not have had the sexual chemistry that some reviewers lusted for, but their playful kidding put me in mind of siblings who actually get along. And with her mother but not his featured in the opening moments, could they be? • The acceptance speeches from winners who acted truly grateful: Natalie Portman tearing up as she thanked her parents, Colin Firth making merry about his ticky tummy and Christian Bale referencing his own profane tirade as a gallant way of shifting the spotlight from Melissa Leo. • Other lesser-known winners were stars for one brief moment: Best Live Action Short director Luke Metheny ("God of Love") admitting he should have gotten a haircut; Art Direction champ Robert Stromberg ruing he had not lose 20 pounds; Best Cinematographer Wally Pfister ("Inception") hushing the applause as it was taking up his time; and Best Song winner Randy Newman ("We Belong Together" from "Toy Story 3") chiding the music branch for the arcane rules that limited the number of nominees to four. • The scenic transitions that gave viewers a sense of movie magic. And the inclusion of noteworthy moments in Oscars history, beginning with Tom Hanks telling us that 1939's "Gone With the Wind" was the first Best Picture champ to also claim both Art Direction and Cinematography. • The appearance by Billy Crystal to salute the all-time Oscar host Bob Hope. Instead of delivering a monologue, he reminisced about an Oscars moment with the comedian as the stage transformed into the Pantages Theater circa 1953. • The classy presentation of the "In Memoriam" segment with Celine Dion singing "Smile," a tune composed by movie icon Charlie Chaplin for "Modern Times" in 1936 to which lyrics were added in 1954 by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons. • The pairing of presenters who are clearly pals like "Australia" co-stars Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman and "Sherlock Holmes" leading men Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law. • Convincing a clearly-nervous Kathryn Bigelow to co-present the Best Director award that she won last year came as a stark reminder that the glass ceiling may only have been cracked. THE BAD • Several notable film personalities were missing from the "In Memoriam" photo montage: Betty Garrett from the golden age of MGM, leading manPeter Graves and 1980s child star Corey Haim. • There was no production number to showcase the talents of Anne Hathaway. Sure she belted out a comic riff of "On My Own" directed at 2008 Oscars host Hugh Jackman, but why did he not jump on stage to join her in a lavish singing, dancing extravaganza. • The winners who are usually behind the camera were so worried about making the most of their all-too-short of a time at the podium that they lacked spontaneity. Blame that on the show's producers Don Mischer and Bruce Cohen who ran too tight a ship. • The ill-advised idea to have Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson sound ridiculous while presenting the two tech awards. • When Hathaway sang her song, she was clad in a stylized tuxedo. Since she wants to play Judy Garland on stage and film, she should have just worn a tux jacket, as Judy did in "Summer Stock," and kicked up her gams.

BBC Asian Network and The Official Charts Company support first sales- based Asian Music Award BBC Asian Network’s Bobby Friction and The Official Charts Company’s Phil Matcham will present the inaugural accolade for ‘Best-Selling British Single’ at the forthcoming Lebara Mobile UK Asian Music Awards, taking place at Roundhouse, London on 10th March and presented by BBC Asian Network & Radio 1 DJ Nihal. This first-ever UK AMA to be based completely on sales data will be presented to the top selling track from an Independent label or unsigned artist counted over a 12 month period from February 2010-2011. BBC Asian Network and the OCC launched the world’s firstever Official Asian Download Chart in March 2010, which is compiled by the OCC from a panel of more than 25 online music retailers, with Jay Sean ‘Hit The Lights’ currently holding the coveted Number 1 spot. Bobby Friction counts down the Top 40 from 3pm every Saturday. Mark Strippel, Head of Music & Events: “This is the first Award to celebrate real commercial success by artists of Asian origin and helps raise the profile of some of the future crossover stars of UK Music. Major labels are beginning to recognise the

emerging potential of BritishAsian music talent and this market” Phil Matcham from the Official Charts Company: "We are delighted to link with the BBC Asian Network for this milestone. The Official Asian Download Chart has proven to be a great success and this is the next natural step - an award that recognises the top British music that people are buying" Likely contenders for the ‘BestSelling British Single’ include Panjabi MC, Foji, JK, Panjabi By Nature and Sukshinder Shinda. BBC Asian Network is an official broadcast partner for the Lebara Mobile UK Asian Music Awards with coverage including a special Friction highlights show (including backstage interviews and Award winners live in the studio) on 10th March from 10pm and a special Red Button TV Interactive programme from 14th-21st March, hoping to build on 2010’s audience of 780,000.

FILM REVIEW

West Is West

1hr 43min - Rated 15 - Comedy/Drama - English Director: Andy DeEmmony Cast: Jimi Mistry, Om Puri, Linda Bassett, Vanessa Hehir, Emil Marwa, Vijay Raaz, Ila Arun, Lesley Nicol, Zita Sattar, Aqib Khan THE UGLY • For Franco to come out dressed as Marilyn Monroe and interrupt Hathaway but then have no song to croak or comedy to play was a wasted moment. • Annette Bening, in full grande dame mode as an academy governor, introducing the montage of moments from last fall's Governors Awards. • Kirk Douglas went on too long and appeared to ramble at more than one point and Melissa Leo made matters worse with her crass words of thanks. • Setting a recap of the 10 Best Picture nominees to the stirring final moments from frontrunner "The King's Speech" was in bad taste. Why rob the other contenders of their singular moments in the spotlight? • Having Steven Spielberg present Best

Picture for the third time in eight years. While much was made of last year's Best Director win by a woman, the fairer sex has been noticeably absent as of late from this final presentation of the evening. In 2006, "Reds" and "Somethings Gotta Give" co-stars Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson reunited to announce the winner. And In 2004, Barbra Streisand joined her "Meet the Focker" mate Dustin Hoffman at the podium. Before that the last woman to grace the stage for the final award was two-time Oscar champ Elizabeth Taylor who was there in 1991 with "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" co-star Paul Newman. The year before Streisand did the duty on her own. In the decades preceding, many women were entrusted with this singular honor, but none since. Two-time Best Actress champ and frequent Oscar cast host Jane Fonda would have been a great choice.

Manchester, North of England, 1975. The now much diminished, but still claustrophobic and dysfunctional, Khan family continues to struggle for survival. Sajid, the youngest Khan, the runt of the litter, is deep in pubescent crisis under heavy assault both from his father's tyrannical insistence on Pakistani tradition, and from the fierce bullies in the schoolyard. So, in a last, desperate attempt to 'sort him out', his father decides to pack him off to Mrs. Khan No. 1 - the wife and daughters he had abandoned 35 years earlier and their family in the Punjab. It is not long before Ella Khan (Mrs. Khan No. 2), with a small entourage from Salford, England, swiftly follows to sort out the mess, past and present. West is West is showing at Dagenham Vue, Cook Road, Dagenham, RM9 6UQ


PICK & MIX

Mystical powers, magical adventures and extra terrestrial love The Zamans are alerted to a meteor which has crashed into an industrial complex outside Dhaka....Something else arrived with the meteor and it has tricked them inside, it is lurking in the darkness, an extra terrestrial with extraordinary powers... You may be forgiven for thinking this is the next series of Dr Who or the X files, it is in fact Bishaash, South Asia’s first ever supernatural detective series. Set to launch on 6th March on Zee Café in the UK. Enter the world of supernatural detectives with a new drama series made by the BBC World Service Trust, which is set in the UK and Bangladesh. With dialogue in Bangla and English, this supernatural drama does more than entertain. Head-strong and inquisitive, our heroine Zara, a young British woman of Bangladeshi origin, sets-out on a magical adventure after the death of her grandfather, on discovering she has inherited a family stake in a mysterious detective agency based in Dhaka. Determined to find out more, Zara packs up her life in London and travels to Bangladesh where she meets tough young supernatural investigator Abir and is thrown headfirst into his world of mystery, magic and adventure. In 24 action-packed episodes, watch her adventure spiral into a captivating story, a roller-coaster of family tradition, love and glimpse of the dark side, only on Zee Café. Be prepared for anything - from treasure hunts in Old Dhaka to an alien looking for a wife and romance on the streets of London. Govind Shahi, from Zee Network: “Zee is an innovator in South Asian entertainment and our partnership with the BBC World Service Trust is a significant milestone, indicative of how Zee remains the most popular choice for all South Asians in the UK. We are proud to showcase Bishaash on Zee Café. It is an excellent production offering a storyline that breaks from the traditional formula of many South Asian

12

Drugs raid on Collingwood Estate Metropolitan Police officers from Tower Hamlets and the Mets Dogs Support Unit raided an address on the Collingwood Estate, Collingwood Street E1 last Friday. Tower Hamlets officers from Bethnal Green South Safer Neighbourhoods Team, Borough Support Unit and Special Constables worked alongside the Mets Dogs Support Unit and seized between 50-70 wraps, suspected to be both crack cocaine and heroin. Three men aged in their late teens and early twenties were arrested for

possession of controlled drug with intent to supply. They have all been released on police bail. PS Caroline Hayden, Bethnal Green South SNT said: "Drug related antisocial behaviour is a problem highlighted by local residents. We would urge residents to call us on 020 8721 2849 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 with any information." This warrant was funded by the Council This warrant was conducted under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Resident complains of Councillors conduct dramas, but remains true to the key elements that keep our viewers engrossed; family, tradition and love. With dialogue in Bangla and English Bishaash does more than entertain. It has a a partner programme BBC Janala Mojay Mojay Shekha, which is an educational game show and comedy that builds on the English used in the drama, providing a fun and free way for people to learn English. Caroline Howie, Asia Director for the BBC World Service Trust: “For many Bangladeshis in the UK the desire and need to learn English is still strong. This partnership will provide people who want to improve their English skills with an opportunity to share in the unique learning experience provided by the shows.” Govind Shahi adds: “At its heart Zee’s ethos is to entertain all South Asian communities but Bishaash goes beyond this; with the functional English learning aspect it is entertainment with a social conscience. Since its launch last year, Zee Café has become firmly embedded in the viewing habits of Bangla speaking audiences; we believe that Bishaash will actually extend the appeal of the channel to a much wider South Asian audience.” Whilst the supernatural drama set in Asia

may be new, the cast will defiantly offer some familiar faces bringing together a talented cast and crew from Bangladesh and Britain – featuring household names likeA.T.M. Shamsuzamman, Humayan Faridee and Giasuddin Selim as well as rising UK stars such as Md Shaidul Islam Molla (Babu), Shama Rahman, and Waris Islam. Mojay Mojay Shekha is hosted by celebrity Rumana Malik Munmun, with the help of slap-stick comedian Kamal Bayazid and English teacher Alexandra Tyers. Together they set challenges for competitors in and out of the studio, to develop their English skills. Follow this adventure from Dhaka to London only on Zee Café, starting with a two-hour special on Sunday 6th March at 8pm. Thereafter, Bishaash will have a regular slot every week on Sundays at 8pm and repeated on Mondays at 4.30pm and Sundays at 12:30am. Each episode is followed by the game show BBC Janala Mojay Mojay Shekha. Zee Café is available for free with the Zee pack on Sky channel 846. Tune in to watch this exciting new series. Find out more about the characters and behind the scenes happenings on the Bishaash website www.zeetv.co.uk

Bike Thieves Targeted Officers from Tower Hamlets and the Metropolitan Police (MPS) Cycle Task Force unit successfully returned 12 stolen bicycles to their owners, made 12 arrests and gathered valuable intelligence on bike thieves, as part of an operation that targeted cycle thefts and the sale of stolen bikes. Operation Helium was a joint operation between the MPS Safer Transport Command (STC) funded by Transport for London (TfL), Tower Hamlets local police and Tower Hamlets Market Services, and was set up to tackle cycle theft and the sale of stolen bikes in Brick Lane Market. It began in late September 2010, and involved officers conducting intelligencelead patrols after Brick Lane was identified as a hotspot for cycle-related offences. Londoners have said that fear of theft can stop them from cycling all together. As part of the Mayor's Cycling Revolution, which is taking place across the capital, the Mayor and Transport for London have worked closely with the police to drive down theft and make cycling safer and more secure. The Mayor also launched the MPS Cycle Task Force in June this year with 30 officers who specialise in cycle-related crime. Every Sunday for the past four months

04 - 10 Mar 2011

officers gathered intelligence on suspected cycle theft-related cases, conducted high-visibility patrols and advised cyclists on issues such as security, safety and how to protectively mark their bikes. Officers returned 12 bikes to their owners as they had been reported stolen to the police, with a total of 12 arrests made as a direct result of the operation. The Cycle Task Force worked with officers from the Whitechapel Town Centre team, who have also been working with Tower Hamlets Market Inspectors to tackle illegal street trading. The Cycle Task Force officers were supported by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets CCTV Control Centre throughout the operation that enabled them to track suspects through the busy market area and lead officers to any suspected thefts of cycles. During one of the Sunday operations, officers arrested 41 year old Leroy Spencer, who stole the wheels from a bike parked and locked to a rack on Bethnal Green Road. The owner returned to the bike to find them missing and approached officers, who were patrolling in Sclater Street as part of Operation Helium. Details of the incident were circulated via the police radio and an officer who was working in the Tower Hamlets CCTV

Control Centre spotted Spencer holding bicycle wheels in Brick Lane market. Officers located Spencer and the victim’s wheels nearby and arrested him. He appeared at court charged with theft and was jailed for two weeks after pleading guilty. Since its launch in June this year, the MPS Cycle Task Force has already cycle security marked over 10,000 bikes and made over 100 arrests. Sgt Steve Martin from the Tower Hamlets Town Centre Team said, "Traditionally Brick Lane has been a place to sell stolen bikes, by working with the council and officers from the Safer Transport Command, we have, together, turned this around and made it a respectable market one again".

Major Gas Leak Officers were called to reports of a major gas leak in Portree Street, E14 late Friday night. Several LFB crews attended and residents of two blocks were evacuated. The Aberfeldy Centre was opened to accommodate those evacuated. The gas was turned off and vented and residents were allowed back into their homes.

Mr Mahbub Mamun who was attending the Council’s Budget Meeting has written to Isabella Freeman, Chief Legal Officer, Tower Hamlets Council, Mayor Lutfur and Chief Executive Kevan Collins to express his disappointment at the behaviour of some Councillors at the meeting. Here is a transcript of the letter: “Dear Ms Freeman, I am writing to register a complaint against Councillor Anna Lynch regarding her behaviour at yesterday’s Council Budget Meeting. Councillor Lynch falsely accused a group of us in the public gallery of calling out ‘poofter’, whilst Councillor Peter Golds was addressing the chamber. I believe that her accusation was based purely on prejudice, as she haphazardly selected a Muslim group to blame. It was deeply insulting and shameful to be accused of such heinous behaviour. It was subsequently confirmed by other members of the public and council officers that they didn’t hear such a remark being made. We thought the issue had been resolved at that point. However, during the recess she approached some police officers at the corridor and told them that she was being threatened by members of the public; the police took no notice of her allegations, as it lacked any substance. Subsequently, she entered the public gallery and provoked a young man and he called her ‘a liar’. I believe she did this to substantiate her false allegation of being threatened. She then proceeded to inform the Chair of the Council that she had been threatened. The Chair of the Council then asked Shiraz Haque, a respected businessman and community leader, to leave the public gallery, as he believed he had threatened Councillor

Lynch. After an uproar from the public gallery, the Chair realised that Mr Haque wasn’t culpable of the accusation and he decided to ask another member of the public to leave. The Chair had no control of the meeting and indiscriminately chose members of the public to evict. During my time as a community activist, I have led many deputations and petitions to the council. I have attended many council meetings and have never witnessed such mischievous behaviour from a councillor. The meeting descended into a travesty due to the actions of Councillor Lynch. Members of the public took valuable time out of their schedule to participate in local democracy. For many members it was the first council meeting they had attended. What they witnessed was an utter disgrace. I am demanding a written apology from Councillor Lynch for her false allegations and role in descending the meeting into chaos. I trust you will forward my complaint on to the standards committee.

Yours Faithfully, Mahbub Alam (Mamun)” Mr Alam is a well respected community activist, a member of Repect and resident of Tower Hamlets.

Take Away Couriers Robbed There has been a spate of crimes over the past month where take-away couriers have been robbed. This has been mostly around the Blackwall and Isle of Dogs area. The usual target is a pizza delivery on a motorcycle or moped and the thefts have been of the pizza, the fizzy drink, the money or, in one case, the motorcycle. The method is usually the same; a take-away is ordered by a mobile phone with a "blocked" number and a false mobile number given when asked. When the delivery person turns up - they get robbed. The suspects are generally aged

between 15 and 21 years. Officers from the Tower Hamlets Police Robbery Unit are following up a number of leads. The crime prevention advice to all people engaged in the Take-Away Business is to call the customer back on the telephone number given and check the call is genuine. The price of a return call could be a lot less than the cost of being a victim. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Constable Otto Blom or Ash Rossiter at Bethnal Green Police Station on 0300 123 1212, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


04 - 10 Mar 2011

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YOUTH ZONE Amani foundation writing programme Mr Willy Wonka's factory By Anas Ahmed

Today I'm going to willy wonka's factory,I'm so exited. I've been looking forward to this trip since I spent my last 50p on his most scrumptious chocolate ever. Once I opened the door I saw rivers of chocolate pouring down from the ceiling and grass made out of mint. I wanted to eat everything there. Then Mr Willy took us on a tour around the factory, and he gave us all chocolates. He then showed us his most prized possession, the glass elevator. We all went inside it and we crashed through the roof. He was acting like a professional until he crashed into my house. I saw my family and asked them to come in and they did. Mr Willy invited me to take over his company and I was shocked but I said yes and from that day on I never got hungry again.

The forest trip By Ihsan Islam, Yusuf and Hakeem I am on a forest trip with my school and watching out for venomous snakes because I’m scared of snakes. My friends were scared of me. In the distance I could hear birds, chirping like mad. The smell of oak stench, and the air had unmoveable odour. Right in front of me was an old log covered in bogey green moss, and behind was a wild creature. The creature was a Grizzly Bear it showed his claw’s and roared an almighty roar!!! I pretended I didn’t see anything and carried on walking. I spotted a tiny bit of a venomous snake. I kicked it on the butt and ran away! My friends call me Snake Hunter. So from know on I’m not scared of snakes. I’m only scared of bears only when they are angry. But I really like them when they are far away from me and the reason for this is they give me a rash if they get too close. There appears an array of spots and rashes on my face. The cure for this is just simple, but now I can see more of the wilderness. There are orb spiders hanging down from their webs. Now I had finished my trip and we went to our cottage and had some tea and cake, but the bear had followed us. I got so freaked out I ran home by myself and jumped into a recycle bin near my house. Then when I thought the path was clear, I quickly went home and CHILLAXED!

Quotes by Kids “There are no shortcuts to life's greatest achievements." - Unknown (submitted by Shilla ) "There's never a wrong time to do what's right." (submitted by Lily) "The grass is much greener on the other side." (submitted by Muna) "Believe and you will achieve." (submitted by Jasmine) "All you need in life is confidence and a phone call." (submitted by Mamun) "If you take yourself out of the game you will never succeed." (submitted by Koysor) "You can't learn if you don't make a mistake." (submitted by Mariam) "Everyone is different but the same too." (submitted by Tayyibah) "It takes courage to stand up for what you believe in." (submitted by Fahmida) "Childhood is a journey, not a race." - Unknown (submitted by Muzakkir) "Never let anyone tell you that you can't do something, not even yourself." (Submitted by Sabrina)

Today in History March 4

Historical events and fun news items: 1801 Thomas Jefferson becomes the first US president inaugurated in Washington, DC. 1877 The microphone is invented by Emile Berliner 1902 American Automobile Association (AAA) is established 1954 The first successful kidney transplant Famous Birthdays: 1958 Patricia Heaton (Actress) 1969 Chastity Bono (Singer) 1982 Landon Donovan (Soccer Player) 1986 Margo Harshman (Actress)

World's Tiniest Computer Is Smaller Than A Penny! If you think the Macbook Air is small, try this one for size Measuring just one cubic millimeter, this unnamed computer created by scientists from the University of Michigan, is smaller than the 'n' on the penny and, tiny enough to fit inside a human eye. What's amazing, is this tiny machine encompasses an ultralow power processer, a pressure sensor, a thin-film battery, a solar cell and even a wireless radio with an antenna that can transmit the data to an external reader device. The brainchild of Professors Dennis Sylvester, David Wentzloff and David Blaauw, the computer was created to measure the eye pressure for people suffering from glaucoma. Thanks to the state-of-art Phoenix processer, developed with a power gating technology, its power consumption is super-low. To further conserve energy, the computer stays in sleep mode and awakens every 15 minutes when it is time to take pressure measurements. It

therefore uses an average of just 5.3nanowatts of power, every 15 minutes. Recharging the solar computer takes only 1.5 hours if exposed to sunlight or about 10 hours if indoors.

While the device has been built for medical use, the professors believe that it can be used in a host of other applications like monitoring our environment and buildings. In fact, they believe

that this is the computer of the future! Plz add all the pics of the cars http://www.dogonews.com/2011 /2/28/cars-that-you-can-trulysink-your-teeth-into

Cars That You Can Truly Sink Your Teeth Into Over the years, many advertisers and car manufacturers have commissioned bakers and candy makers to concoct edible models of their vehicles. Below, are some of the most incredible, not to mention delectable, lifesized creations. However, before you go any further, be sure to have a treat close by - You are definitely going to need it! Chococar Believe it or not, this Formula One car that measured 4.7 meters long and 2 meters wide, was made entirely from chocolate! The 90kg vehicle, which took 44 days to complete, was constructed using a mix of white, dark and milk chocolates. On display in the lobby of Singapore's Royal Plaza hotel from August 7th to September 30th, 2008, it was created to commemorate the country's first racing event and ended up, being one of the star attractions. GumBall Hummer German-born artist, Heidi Heiss created this unique model of the Hummer H1 in 2006, as a tribute to American soldiers who gave candy to children during the war. Aptly named 'Sugar Coated', the life-sized model was made using thousands of colourful gumballs that

were bound together with steel and wire mesh. Gingerbread Woody The 1948 Ford Woody has always looked good but this replica made by the chefs at Ritz Carlton's Laguna Niguel Hotel made it even look delicious. Using 150lbs of gingerbread, 300lbs of royal icing and thousands of M&M's, it took the chefs 800 hours to make the 8ft. long, 6ft. wide and 5.5ft. tall replica. The best part is, that unlike the other models, this yummy car was broken into pieces and handed out to guests as a special treat right after the 2010-2011 New Year's Eve celebrations! Chocolate Porsche This one might look yummy, but it's the least edible and also the easiest to make. A Porsche dealer in the Netherlands, was trying to find a good way to celebrate Saint Nicholas day and, draw attention to the store. Someone had the idea of covering a new Porsche 911 with 175 kilograms of Swiss Chocolate and that's what they did. However, they did not completely ruin the £130,000 car, since prior to smothering it with chocolate, they protected it with cling wrap. They then covered the headlights

Tree Jokes Q: What did the tree wear to the pool party? A: Swimming trunks! Q: What did the beaver say to the tree? A: It's been nice gnawing you!

and fog lights with some white chocolate and voila, the chocolate Porsche was ready to go! Bread Torque A year after impressing the nation with the chocolate Formula One car, the chef's at the Royal Plaza hotel in Singapore, were at it again - 6 chefs, 2 artists, 2 technicians and 5 volunteers, baked up some delicious loaves using 51 kg of yeast, 14 litres of water, 2 kg of salt and 10,800 ml. of food varnish. Even more impressive, is that the 1,000 loaves were a mix of 22 varieties of breads, which ranged from exotic curry rolls to country bread and even dark rye sour bread. While it cost £8,000 and 549 hours to complete, the result was definitely was worth it. Baked Skoda Fabia This delicious model of the super mini was commissioned by its manufacturer, Skoda Auto, as part of a marketing campaign for the car. Made from 100kg of flour, 100kg of caster sugar, 30kg of almonds, 65kg of dried fruit and lots of chocolate sauce, as well as, additional yummy stuff for the edible engine and accessories, the model cost a whopping £600,000 - But it was well worth it, since it gave a nice boost to the sales of the real car.

London Bangla invites our younger readers to submit your poems, jokes, and young-people related issues and stories to us for publication.

Q: Why did the leaf go to the doctor? A: It was feeling green! Q: What is a tree's least favorite month? A: Sep-timber! Q: What kind of tree can fit into your hand? A: A palm tree! Q: How do trees get on the internet? A: "They ""log"" in."

Have something to say ? share it with us.

Send your ideas to admin@londonbangla.com


04 - 10 Mar 2011

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Helen Keller, a Biography Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama on 27th June, 1880. Her father, Arthur H. Keller, was the editor for the North Alabamian, and had fought in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. At 19 months she suffered "an acute congestion of the stomach and brain (probably scarlet fever) which left her deaf and blind. She later wrote in The Story of My Life: "In the dreary month of February, came the illness which closed my eyes and ears and plunged me into the unconsciousness of a new born baby. They called it acute congestion of the stomach and brain. The doctor thought I could not live. Early one morning, however, the fever left me as suddenly and mysteriously as it had come. There was great rejoicing in the family that morning, but no one not even the doctor, knew that I should never see or hear again." As a child she was taken to see Alexander G. Bell. He suggested that the family should contact the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston. In 1886 the Perkins Institute provided Keller with the teacher Anne Sullivan. She later recalled: "We walked down the path to the well-house, attracted by the fragrance of the honeysuckle with which it was covered. Some one was drawing water and my teacher placed my hand under the spout. As the cool stream gushed over one hand she spelled into the other the word water, first slowly, then rapidly. I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of her fingers. Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten - a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that "w-at-e-r" meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free! There were barriers still, it is true, but barriers that could in time be swept away." The 21 year old Sullivan worked out an alphabet by which she spelled out words on Helen's hand. Gradually Keller was able to connect words with objects.

unaffected joy in living that shone out of her grayblue eyes. Her face was round; she was a roundlimbed girl, perpetually young in her bearing, as though her limitations had made it easy instead of hard to grow older." Keller's political views were influenced by conversations she had with John Macy (Anne Sullivan's husband) and reading New Worlds for Old by H. G. Wells. In 1909 Keller became a socialist and was active in various campaigns including those in favour of birth control, trade unionism and against child labour and capital punishment. Keller was a supporter of Emmeline Pankhurst and the militant Women's Social and Political Union in Britain. She told the New York Times: "I believe the women of England are doing right. Mts Pankhurst is a great leader. The women of America should follow her example. They would get the ballot much faster if they did. They cannot hope to get anything unless they are willing to fight and suffer for it." Keller joined the Socialist Party of America and campaigned for Eugene Debs and his running-mate, Emil Seidel, in the 1912 Presidential Election. During the campaign Debs explained why people should vote for him: "You must either vote for or against your own material interests as a wealth producer; there is no political purgatory in this nation of ours, despite the desperate efforts of socalled Progressive capitalists politicians to establish one. Socialism alone represents the material heaven of plenty for those who toil and the Socialist Party alone offers the political means for attaining that heaven of economic plenty which the toil of the workers of the world provides in unceasing and measureless flow. Capitalism represents the material hell of want and pinching poverty of degradation and prostitution for those who toil and in which you now exist, and each and every political party, other than the Socialist Party, stands for the perpetuation of the economic hell of capitalism." Debs and Seidel won 901,551 votes (6.0%). This was the most impressive

Sullivan's teaching skills and Keller's abilities, enabled her at the age of 16 to pass the admissions examinations for Radcliffe College. While at college she wrote the first volume of her autobiography, The Story of My Life. It was published serially in the Ladies' Home Journal and, in 1902, as a book. By the time she had graduated in 1904 she had mastered five languages. While at college she developed a strong interest in women's rights and became a militant campaigner in favour of universal suffrage. She also became friends with several notable public figures including John Greenleaf Whittier, Oliver Wendell Holmes and William Dean Howells. The journalist, Max Eastman, became a friend during this period. He later recalled: "The gleam of true, courageous and

showing of any socialist candidate in the history of the United States. A book on Keller's socialist views, Out of the Dark, was published in 1913. She later wrote "I had once believed that we are all masters of our fate - that we could mould our lives into any form we pleased. I had overcome deafness and blindness sufficiently to be happy, and I supposed that anyone could come out victorious if he threw himself valiantly into life's struggle. But as I went more and more about the country I learned that I had spoken with assurance on a subject I knew little about. I forgot that I owed my success partly to the advantages of my birth and environment. Now, however, I learned that the power to rise in the world is not within the reach of everyone." Hattie Schlossberg wrote in the New

York Call: "Helen Keller is our comrade, and her socialism is a living vital thing for her. All her speeches are permeated with the spirit of socialism." In 1912 Keller joined the the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a socialist trade union group that opposed the policies of American Federation of Labour. Keller wrote later: "Surely the demands of the IWW are just. It is right that the creators of wealth should own what they create. When shall we learn that we are related one to the other; that we are members of one body; that injury to one is injury to all? Until the spirit of love for our fellow-workers, regardless of race, colour, creed or sex, shall fill the world, until the great mass of the people shall be filled with a sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice cannot be attained, and there can never be lasting peace upon earth." Keller also wrote articles for the socialist journal, The Masses. Keller, a pacifist, believed that the First World War had been caused by the imperialist competitive system and that the USA should remain neutral. After the USA declared war on the Central Powers in 1917, the journal came under government pressure to change its policy. When it refused to do this, the journal lost its mailing privileges. In July, 1917, it was claimed by the authorities that cartoons by Art Young, Boardman Robinson and Henry J. Glintenkamp and articles by Max Eastman and Floyd Dell had violated the Espionage Act. Under this act it was an offence to publish material that undermined the war effort. One of the journals main writers, Randolph Bourne, commented: "I feel very much secluded from the world, very much out of touch with my times. The magazines I write for die violent deaths, and all my thoughts are unprintable." The Industrial Workers of the World also came under pressure for its opposition to the First World War. In 1914, one of the leaders of the IWW, Joe Haaglund Hill was accused of the murder of a Salt Lake City businessman. Convicted on circumstantial evidence and despite of mass protests, Hill was shot by a firing squad on 19th November, 1915. Whereas another IWW leader, Frank Little, was lynched in Butte, Montana. Another leader of the IWW, William Haywood, was arrested under the Espionage Act. In an article published in The Liberator, Keller argued: "During the last few months, in Washington State, at Pasco and throughout the Yakima Valley, many IWW members have been arrested without warrants, thrown into bull-pens without access to attorney, denied bail and trial by jury, and some of them shot. Did any of the leading newspapers denounce these acts as unlawful, cruel or undemocratic? No. On the contrary, most of them indirectly praised the perpetrators of these crimes for their patriotic service! On August 1st, of 1917, in Butte, Montana, a cripple, Frank Little, a member of the Executive Board of the IWW, was forced out of bed at three o’clock in the morning by masked

citizens, dragged behind an automobile and hanged on a railroad trestle. Were the offenders punished? No. A high government official has publicly condoned this murder, thereby upholding lynch-law and mob rule." Newspapers that had previously praised Keller's courage and intelligence now drew attentions to her disabilities. The editor of the Brooklyn Eagle wrote that her "mistakes sprung out of the manifest limitations of her development." Keller was furious and wrote a letter of complaint to the newspaper. "At that time the compliments he paid me were so generous that I blush to remember them. But now that I have come out for socialism he reminds me and the public that I am blind and deaf and especially liable to error.... Socially blind and deaf, it defends an intolerable system, a system that is the cause of much of the physical blindness and deafness which we are trying to prevent." In 1919 Keller appeared in an autobiographical film, Deliverance, in an attempt to spread "a message of courage, a message of a brighter, happier future for all men". Keller as a young girl was played by Etna Ross and as a young woman by Ann Mason. According to one critic: "In the final and most inspirational sequence, we see the real Helen Keller working tirelessly as a public figure to improve conditions for other blind people, and helping them to learn useful trades." When Helen Keller decided after 1921 that her main work was to be devoted to raising funds for the American Foundation of the Blind, her activities for the socialist movement diminished but did not cease. Philip S. Foner has argued: "No matter what social cause she espoused, Keller was always on the radical side of the movement." As a left-wing socialist she disliked "parlour socialists" who quickly abandoned the struggle when the situation became difficult and later became "hopelessly reactionary." In 1929 she published her book Mainstream. It included the following: "I had once believed that we are all masters of our fate - that we could mould our lives into any form we pleased ... I had overcome deafness and blindness sufficiently to be happy, and I supposed that anyone could come out victorious if he threw himself valiantly into life's struggle. But as I went more and more about the country I learned that I had spoken with assurance on a subject I knew little about. I forgot that I owed my success partly to the advantages of my birth and environment ... Now, however, I learned that the power to rise in the world is not within the reach of everyone." Keller's childhood education was depicted in The Miracle Worker, a play by William Gibson, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1960. An Oscar-winning feature film in 1962, starring Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke, appeared two years later. Helen Keller died in Westport, Connecticut, on 1st June, 1968.


04 - 10 Mar 2011

COMMENT

15

Emdad Rahman

DARINA KARPOV, LAURA OLDFIELD FORD, EMMA TALBOT

Hales Gallery is pleased to present TOLD, a group exhibition that presents three artists who reconsider the role of narrative in contemporary painting. Each artist contemplates the nature of narrative and how it could be used and reinvented for a new era. Much of the work alludes to past structures of this genre but resists the smooth passage of the content. In its place, each artist has created their own form of anti-narrative through the use of biographical, subjective and personalised imagery. Disrupting and fragmenting the notion of a singular reading, the artists encourage the viewer to imagine.

her melancholic, weird and touching dioramas. There is a nostalgic air about them that suggests a childhood in the 1950's/ 60's or 70's and a suffocating sentimentality of an old fashioned girls comic book. Talbot uses this aesthetic to great emotional effect in her shorthand paintings created with light and accurate brushstrokes taken from her limited colour palette. Whilst the pieces initially give the impression of the conventional logic of a strip cartoon, Talbot often deviates from the most obvious and direct route and crams the works with fragmented text, pattern and an attention to period detail.

Darina Karpov employs the languages of Russian folk tales, Czech and Russian animation and the drama of ballet and theatre design in her richly worked oil paintings, drawings and watercolours. Karpov talks of her work as "a kind of errant or fugitive storytelling rooted in digression." The paintings revel in decorative elements which contrast with suggestions of violence and unrest. As well as these direct influences, Karpov is an inveterate collector of photographs and magazine clippings which she keeps in a variety of boxes in her studio. Karpov draws inspiration from this fusion of diverse materials.

Darina Karpov studied on the MFA programme at Yale. Karpov has recently been awarded The MacDowell Colony Residency (2011), the Virginia Center for Creative Arts Residency (2011) and received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2009/10. Her work is included in the West Collection, Zabludowicz Collection and the Vilardell Collection. Karpov lives and works in Brooklyn, USA.

Laura Oldfield Ford is concerned with the multiple narratives of the city and the repressed desires of its inhabitants. Her drawings open up plural spaces in the urban landscape channeling the counter-narratives of riots, sex and substance abuse. The drawings are a reworking of the 'derive' or drift, a subjective process of mapping the city. Through Oldfield Ford's work we are able to track her movements through the brutalist architecture of the city and plot the lines of social antagonism. Emma Talbot deals with a seemingly half remembered and reinvented family life of the suburbs in

Laura Oldfield Ford studied at the RCA, London. Oldfield Ford work can currently be seen as part of an Arnofini billboard project around Bristol. Oldfield Ford collected Savage Messiah zine texts will be published later this year by Verso and her works are included in the V&A museum collection, London. Oldfield Ford lives and works in London, UK. Emma Talbot studied at the RCA, London. Her work can currently be seen in The Life of the Mind, The New Art Gallery Walsall and will be included in the forthcoming The Power of Paper exhibition at The Saatchi Gallery, London. Her works are included in the Roberts Collection and The Saatchi Collection. Talbot lives and works in London, UK.

Edwyn Collins: Nature Punk

Delicate, fragile and from simple to intricate these lovingly observed studies of birds by Edywn Collins demonstrate the retrieval of Illustration skills by one of Britain’s best loved artistic talents. Idea Generation will host the largest exhibition to date of Edwyn’s works bringing together a huge body of work demonstrating his love of drawing, nature and his Scottish homeland. Edwyn Collins is regarded as one of Britain’s great music talents. He has been honoured with an Ivor Novello Award and is cited as an influence by many of today’s most successful bands with whom he collaborates. However, Collins considers himself first and foremost to be an illustrator. Collins’ studies of native Scottish bird life and other creatures are also a great testament to the patience and perseverance of a person living through a recovery process. His well documented double brain haemorrhage in 2005 robbed Collins of the most basic of motor skills but through six years of rehabilitation, largely through art and drawing itself, Collins has regained some, if not all, of these skills. Following on from an exhibition in 2008 of similar works this new collection displays Collins’ returning artistic talent as the eclipse of his illness diminishes. The exhibition will show an exclusive look at the full body of work from the early simple line drawings to his most recent pieces, brimming with colour and the majesty of the birds themselves. Collins’ drawings are almost all dated and show a humbling progression. Still without the use of his right arm following his illness Collins has used the quiet contemplation of drawing to slowly retrain his body and

MID-CENTURY FURNITURE & ART SALE continues until 26 March 2011 with new stock added weekly FURNITURE from Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Britain and USA by Hans Wegner, Friso Kramer, Arne Jacobsen, Poul Kjærholm, Jens Risom, Børge Mogensen, Kurt Østervig, Robin Day, Wim Rietveld, Gordon Russell, Charles Eames, Harry Bertoia, Pierre Gauriche & many others: numerous sale items plus newly imported stock of tables, chairs, desks, sideboards, sofas and benches MID-CENTURY OBJECTS including original Krenit bowls from the 1950s PAINTINGS & SCREENPRINTS by American, Danish & European artists from £100 Open Tuesday to Friday 10-6 and Saturday 12-6 plus open late till 9 on Thursday 3 March and this Sunday 6 March 12-6 cash, credit card or cheque / cash & carry or delivery

ROCKET retrieve the abilities he previously possessed. This exhibition will include many of Collins’ most intricate and technically proficient works of the last six years, many of which

have not yet been seen by the public. Furthermore Collins will be creating several large scale versions of his studies especially for the Idea Generation Gallery show.

Tea Building | 56 Shoreditch High Street | London E1 6JJ | United Kingdom T 020 7729 7594 | rocketgallery.com


04 - 10 Mar 2011

16

SPORTS

O'Brien blazes Afridi's five seals Ireland to glory Pakistan victory

Kevin O'Brien stunned England with the fastest hundred in World Cup history as Ireland secured their greatest victory with a monumental threewicket triumph in Bangalore. O'Brien clubbed a magnificent 113 off 63 deliveries as Ireland earned the highest World Cup run-chase with four balls to spare. After he'd added a matchchanging 162 with Alex Cusack, John Mooney joined him to play the innings of his life and help write another famous chapter in Irish sport. When the partnership was broken with 55 still needed Ireland could have lost their way, especially when O'Brien couldn't get the strike back. However, after struggling to get the ball away Mooney suddenly started locating the boundary, firstly off the outside edge but then with two nerveless drives through the covers, each coming after England had strung together a few dot balls to build pressure. He was the dominant partner in the seven-wicket stand. Still, though, there was a final twist when O'Brien was run out in the penultimate over. Trent Johnston, however, drove his first ball, a full toss from Stuart Broad, for four as the equation came down to below a run-a-ball for the first time in the entire chase. The final over started with just three needed and off the second ball Mooney clipped Anderson through midwicket to set off epic celebrations that will take over any available Bangalore bar tonight. O'Brien's innings was breathtaking. He entered when Ed Joyce, seemingly Ireland's last chance of making the chase a contest, was stumped off Graeme Swann to leave their run-chase floundering at 106 for 4, which soon became 111 for 5 when Gary Wilson fell lbw. But O'Brien proceeded to tear the England attack apart. He showed power reminiscent of Kieron Pollard but with a calmer head and better technique, bringing up his hundred off 50 balls with a tuck for two into the leg side to beat Matthew Hayden's World Cup record of 66 deliveries. It led to a reveal of his the purple headdo as part of Ireland's charity fundraising campaign. He showed his intent early when he thumped Swann through the covers second-ball and the tucked into the offspinner's ninth over with two sixes over midwicket which injected life into Ireland's innings. O'Brien was on 35 off 22 balls when Ireland took the batting Powerplay and it was during those five overs that the chance of the impossible became possible as 62 runs surged onto the total. As happened against Ryan ten Doeschate's onslaught in their opening match against the Netherlands, England's bowlers started to lose the plot during another wayward, undisciplined display. Michael Yardy went for 16 as did James Anderson whom O'Brien pulled for a huge six to take him to a 30-ball fifty. Anderson's next over went for 17 including another leg-side pull and in between whiles, even the normally reliable Tim Bresnan was dispatched, including the finest shot of O'Brien's innings when he drove a six clean over cover. Really, though, fielding restrictions meant nothing to O'Brien and he continued on his merry way with another huge blow over midwicket to take him into the 90s. Then the whole of Ireland held their breath

as O'Brien's next attempt to clear the rope sent the ball high into the night sky where Andrew Strauss made a lot of ground but then couldn't hold on. O'Brien needed support to play his incredible innings and Cusack's role can't be understated in the amazing scenes which unfolded. He was almost lost in O'Brien's slipstream but sensibly rotated the strike until, off his 49th ball, he joined the boundary hitting by launching Collingwood over midwicket then thumped Yardy straight down the ground. Even his dismissal, run-out from backward point, was for the team cause as he ensured O'Brien stayed at the crease. Although he wasn't quite there at the end he had written himself a permanent place in Irish folklore. Even more incredibly this wasn't a run chase built on solid foundations. William Porterfield dragged the first ball of the innings into his stumps and although Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce and Niall O'Brien all played neatly their contributions were seemingly too insignificant in such a huge pursuit. In the final outcome, however, the intent shown by Stirling, in particular, showed Ireland wouldn't take a backward step. Tellingly, too, Stirling was given a life when Matt Prior shelled a simple chance which set the tone for another shoddy fielding display. However, it looked like England would comfortably emerge unscathed when Swann removed three middleorder scalps with a teasing spell of drift, flight and turn to leave Ireland 111 for 5. Already, though, O'Brien was at the non-striker's end and about embark on one of the great match-winning displays. There are so many areas England will rue, chiefly another below-par display in the field but they will also look back on the closing stages of their seemingly impressive 327. The final five overs only brought 33 runs as Mooney preceded his crucial batting effort with some smart death bowling and a career-best 4 for 63. It meant, like for India three days ago, the 350-plus that was on the cards when Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell were adding 167 for the third wicket didn't materialise. This tournament is proving that big first-innings scores are no certainty of victory. It will be largely forgotten because of what followed, but Trott wrote his own place in the record books when he reached 1000 runs in his 21st innings to equal the mark set by Viv Richards and Kevin Pietersen. The latter had set up the innings with a sparkling 59 before throwing away his chance of a hundred with a top-edged reverse sweep. It wasn't England's only piece of lazy cricket. Bell's was a lovely, easy, innings as he moved along with smart placement and deft touches to tick off his fifty from 61 balls. After their problems against India, England actually used the batting Powerplay reasonably well to collect 45 runs and even though the middle order failed to fire once again it appeared fairly insignificant when Ireland's top order was whittled away. One man, though, stood in their way and the rest, as they say, is history.

Where Ireland went, Canada could not follow as their dreams of a World Cup fairytale were blown away by Shahid Afridi. For three-quarters of the game Canada had hustled Pakistan into a corner, only for Afridi to lash out with five wickets to seal Pakistan's qualification to the quarter finals. While Afridi's speculative batting may long since have gone bust, his bowling has grown into a model of menacing consistency which has placed him well in front as the tournament's leading wicket-taker with 14 scalps from three games. Chasing a modest 184 after a

DRS proved the bowler right. It was one of a number of decisions that Harper had to reverse as, in a single innings, the merits of umpire technology were given a perfect advertisement. Surkari's dismissal brought the destructive Rizwan Cheema to the crease and with the target still in sight it seemed scripted that Cheema would bash his adopted country to glory against the land of his birth, but after starting with a bang over midwicket he ended with a whimper - missing an Afridi googly to lose his off bail. Afridi's next over all but sealed the match with a slider rushing through Jimmy Hansra's

meant Pakistan finished a game with all the zest that was missing from a forgettable batting display. Were it not for a stodgy 73-run stand between Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal, Pakistan may well have joined England on the receiving end of a World Cup shock. Before they came together Pakistan were rocking at 67 for 4 and lost five wickets for 44 after their stand was broken. Misbah was as calm as ever and nursed his more volatile partner through an organised, pragmatic and thoroughly un-Pakistani partnership. Either side of that pair it was a overconfident display as the

lethargic Pakistan batting effort, Canada had scrapped hard to reach 104 for 3 with 17 overs remaining. Even in conditions that had been refreshingly inviting for bowlers, it was an equation within Canada's reach, but Pakistan's jack-in-the-box captain sprung to life to wipe out the lower and middle order. It was Saeed Ajmal, back in the side in place of Abdur Rehman, who started the collapse when he dismissed the obdurate Zubin Surkari lbw. The appeal was initially denied by umpire Daryl Harper, but the much-maligned

defences. Hansra had played with the sort of calculated daring that underpinned Ireland's success in Bangalore but could not last long enough. Afridi was aloft in celebration a ball later when he bowled Harvir Baidwan to set up a hat-trick delivery. Though he didn't get it, he sealed his fivewicket haul when Wahab Riaz held a Tyson Gordon skier. As if to emphasise his hold on the occasion Afridi even managed to conjure another scalp after finishing his bowling stint, hitting direct from mid-on to catch the wheezing Balaji Rao short. It

batsmen lacked the intensity to buckle down and keep the scoreboard moving in the face of an energetic Canada effort. Using the heavy atmosphere and sporting pitch, all the Canadian bowlers caused trouble but it was the contrasting aggression of seamer Baidwan and rotund legspinner Rao who starred, constantly prodding and probing the Pakistan batsmen who were unable to raise their games. It left Canada dreaming at the half-way stage, but Afridi intervened when his team needed him most.

Bowling good comes first for Razzaq The slow, low and turning pitches of the subcontinent hyped this World Cup as one to be dominated by the spinners. Especially the subcontinent sides' favouritism for spin and the seeming discomfort of non-Asian sides made it all the more plausible to bet on the spinners. However, the reality has turned out to be very different. So far the bowling has been dominated by the fast bowlers, so much so that only one spinner (Shahid Afridi) features amongst the top ten wicket takers till date. Abdur Razzak, himself a left-arm spinner and the highest wicket-taker for Bangladesh in one-day cricket, was surprised to see the outcome. "Well, I thought the wickets would be conducive to spin. But they turned out to be sporting wickets favouring the batsmen instead. Maybe it has got something to do with the weather," sighed the 28year-old spinner as he faced media before a practice session of Bangladesh. "But that is a challenge and it means you can't take anything for granted. You have to adapt to different conditions to thrive."

One doesn't have to look any farther than the Tigers' own performance to see the level of struggle the spinners have had to do so far. The two frontline spinners have managed only four wickets in the first two matches. Razzak, who claimed 13 wickets in the last World Cup, went wicketless for 74 runs against India and claimed just a single wicket in the next match against Ireland. But the veteran of 113 matches believes that he bowled reasonably well in the first two matches. "I think I did not bowl all that bad in the first match as the figures would suggest, but did a good job in the second." To be fair, Razzak has a point here. He was called upon to bowl in the fifth over against India, and amidst the Sehwag-Sachin onslaught, operated reasonably well conceding 20 runs in his first spell of 4 overs. It was the later spells that made him look flat in the end. In the next match he opened the bowling and chipped in with a wicket in his first four overs conceding 15 runs.


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