Jessore Road: Tree felling halted for 6 months

Jessore Road: Tree felling halted for 6 months

The High Court yesterday halted the felling of century-old trees along the Jessore-Benapole road following protests against a government decision to cut them down.

It directed the authorities concerned of the government to maintain a status quo on the tree felling for six months.

In response to a writ petition, the HC also issued a rule asking the respondents to explain in two weeks why their inaction to protect the trees should not be declared illegal.

a writ petition, the HC also issued a rule asking the respondents to explain in two weeks why their inaction to protect the trees should not be declared illegal.

The court asked them to show causes why they should not be ordered to protect the trees while turning the road into a four-lane one.

Secretaries to the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges, and the Ministry of Environment and Forest, director general of the Department of Environment, chief engineer of the Roads and Highway Department, deputy commissioner and superintendent of police in Jessore, upazila nirbahi officer of Benapole, and officer-in-charge of Benapole Police Station have been made the respondents to the rule.

The bench of Justice Zubayer Rahman Chowdhury and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir came up with the order and the rule after hearing the writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh challenging the inaction of the respondents to protect the trees.

Petitioner's counsel Manzill Murshid told The Daily Star that the government cannot cut the trees down now because of the HC order.

However, there is no legal bar for the government to continue the development work of the highway protecting the trees, he added.

During the hearing on the petition, Manzill told the court that the government was duty-bound to protect the environment and the trees as per the constitution and the environment protection law.

However, the government's decision to cut the trees goes against the very constitution and the law, he said.

Last July, the authorities decided to fell around 2,300 trees along the highway, many of which have been standing majestically on both sides of the road throughout well over a century.

The decision was made under a "development project" to widen a 30-kilometre portion of the highway.

However, since then, protests have been brewing all over social media, and many environmental groups have been demonstrating against what they called a “shocking decision”.

Jessore-Benapole highway is actually a 38-kilometre stretch of the 99-kilometre Jessore Road that connects Jessore with India's Dum Dum.


Apple to release software update for iPhone slowdown

Apple to release software update for iPhone slowdown

Apple will release a test version of its iOS software next month that shows users the health of their batteries and will let them turn off a phone-slowing feature meant to prevent sudden shutdowns in iPhones with older batteries, Cook said in an interview with ABC News on Wednesday.

Cook said the phone-slowing software, released last year, was intended to make sure that iPhone users did not get cut off in the middle of an important call or text message because of an old battery.

We will tell somebody we are reducing your performance by some amount in order to not have an unexpected restart, and if you don’t want it, you can turn it off,” Cook said. e don’t recommend it because we think that people’s iPhones are really important to them and you can never tell when something is so urgent. r actions were all in service of the user.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment beyond Cook’s remarks or say when the update would be available to consumers.

Apple confirmed on Dec. 20 that software in iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE models to deal with dangers from ageing batteries could slow down the phone’s performance. Within days, Apple faced lawsuits over the phone slowing.

The issue struck a nerve on social media, where many voiced a theory that Apple intentionally slows down older phones to encourage customers to buy new ones. No credible evidence has emerged that Apple has ever done so. On Dec. 28, Apple issued a public apology to customers over the battery issue and said it has never purposely shortened the life of its products.

Apple also lowered the price of battery replacements for affected models from $79 to $29. The lower price could prod many consumers to replace their battery instead of buying a new phone, which in turn could lead to lower iPhone sales for 2018, Barclays analysts said in a note earlier this month.


Blood test to detect 8 cancers early gives promising results

Blood test to detect 8 cancers early gives promising results

Scientists are reporting progress on a blood test to detect many types of cancer at an early stage, including some of the most deadly ones that lack screening tools now.

Many groups are working on liquid biopsy tests, which look for DNA and other things that tumors shed into blood, to try to find cancer before it spreads, when chances of cure are best.

In a study Thursday in the journal Science, Johns Hopkins University scientists looked to see how well their experimental test detected cancer in people already known to have the disease. The blood tests found about 70 percent of eight common types of cancer in the 1,005 patients. The rates varied depending on the type — lower for breast tumors but high for ovarian, liver and pancreatic ones.

In many cases, the test narrowed the possible origin of the cancer to one or two places, such as colon or lung, important for limiting how much follow-up testing a patient might need. It gave only seven false alarms when tried on 812 others without cancer.

The test is nowhere near ready for use yet; it needs to be validated in a larger study already underway in a general population, rather than cancer patients, to see if it truly works and helps save lives — the best measure of a screening test’s value.

We’re very, very excited and see this as a first step,” said Nickolas Papadopoulos, one of the Hopkins study leaders. ut we don’t want people calling up” and asking for the test now, because it’s not available, he said.

Some independent experts saw great promise.

It’s such a good first set of results” that it gives hope this approach will pan out, said Dr. ter Bach, a health policy expert at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center who consults for a gene testing company. Anything close to 50 percent or 40 percent detection is pretty exciting stuff,” and this one did better than that, he said.

Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, was encouraged that the test did well on cancers that lack screening tests now. If a blood test could find 98 percent of ovarian cancers at an early stage, as these early results suggest, “that would be a significant advance,” he said.

But he cautioned: “We have a long way to go to demonstrate its effectiveness as a screening test.

The test detects mutations in 16 genes tied to cancer and measures eight proteins that often are elevated when cancer is present.

It covers breast, colon and lung and five kinds that don’t have screening tests for people at average risk: ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic and esophageal. Prostate cancer is not included. A blood test already is widely used — the PSA test — but its value for screening is controversial.

Researchers tried the new test on people whose cancers were still confined to where it started or had spread a little but not widely throughout the body. It detected 33 percent of breast cancers, about 60 percent of colon or lung cancers and nearly all of the ovarian and liver ones. It did better when tumors were larger or had spread. It did less well at the very earliest stage.

The test probably will not work as well when tested in a general population rather than those already known to have cancer, researchers say. Hopkins and Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania have started a study of it in 10,000 Geisinger patients who will be tracked for at least five years.

The work was financed by many foundations, the Mayo Clinic, the National Institutes of Health and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which provides The Associated Press with funding for health and science coverage. Many study leaders have financial ties to gene testing companies, and some get royalties for patents on cancer detection methods.

Researchers say the test could cost around $500 based on current materials and methods, but the ultimate goal is to commercialize it, so what a company would charge is unknown.

Also this week, Taiwan-based CellMax Life gave results on its liquid biopsy test, which looks for whole tumor cells shed into blood, at an American Society of Clinical Oncology conference.

Researchers tested 620 people getting colonoscopies or with confirmed colon cancer at a hospital in Taiwan. The company said its test had an overall accuracy of 84 to 88 percent for detecting cancer or precancerous growths and a false alarm rate around 3 percent.

The company’s chief executive, Atul Sharan, said U. studies should start this year. The test is sold now in Taiwan for $500, but should cost around $150 in the U. S. he said.

Dr. Richard Schilsky, chief medical officer of the oncology society, said results are encouraging, but the test needs more study, especially to see if it gives too many false alarms.

The last thing you’d want is a test that tells you you might have cancer if you don’t,” he said.


Bottlenecks In India’s Defence

Bottlenecks In India’s Defence

Defence Disappointingly though, the bureaucratic grip on the MoD remains strong , AFP

India must be ready to face a two-and-a-half front war, warned chief of army staff (COAS) General Bipin Rawat not long ago. He meant Pakistan, China and internal insurgencies. More recently, General Rawat said India would not be deterred from “crossing the b


Kannada actor Kashinath dies

Authors: Ecroaker. com Boosters.

Kashinath is survived by his son Abhimanyu and daughter Amruthavarshini. Kannada actor-filmmaker Kashinath passed away on Thursday morning at Sri Shankara Hospital in Bengaluru. He suffered a cardiac arrest. Kashinath had been under medical care for the last two days.

The doctors at the hospital confirmed that Kashinath was suffering from Hodgkin's lymphoma, a news that seems to have come as a surprise to many of his colleagues in Kannada cinema. A few days back, his health deteriorated and he breathed his last at 7:45 am while he was still under medical care. He is survived by his son Abhimanyu and daughter Amruthavarshini.

Kashinath was a trend-setting director in the 1980s. He made his debut as a director with Aparoopada Athitigalu (1975) and his second film Aparichita (1978) became a big hit both commercially and critically, which he also remade in Hindi as Be-Shaque with Mithun Chakraborty.

He directed many films from different genres in Hindi and Telugu besides Kannada. He was popular for his adult comedy entertainers. And it won't be wrong to say he was a pioneer in exploring comedy using double entendre in films. He also made a mark as an actor with as many as 40 movies. He was last seen in Chowka, which came out last year. He played a pivotal role in the multi-starrer film and garnered appreciation for his performance as a bereaved father filled with rage to avenge his dead daughter.

Kashinath also launched the career of many successful actors, including Upendra.

Kannada celebrities have been expressing their shock while condoling the death of the veteran filmmaker. Shocking to Know Kashinath Sir is no More. Deepest Condolences, ಅವರ ಆತ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ಶಾಂತಿ ಸಿಗಲಿ. posted Puneeth Rajkumar on his Facebook page.

I am so saddened to know about the demise of Kashinath sir. He was a kind & a learned man. RIP," tweeted Ganesh.

This was the final selfie with RIP Kashinath," filmmaker Ramesh Aravind posted sharing a picture on his Twitter page.


Dulquer as Gemini Ganesan!

Authors: Ecroaker. com Boosters.

Actor Dulquer Salmaan on Wednesday completed shooting his portions for upcoming biopic film Mahanati. The filmmakers have released a still from the sets, giving a sneak peek into Dulquer's vintage look.

Last day on the set and having butterflies letting him go! adios to our Gemini, what a pleasure to work with. DQthebest #mahanati #nadigaiyarthilagam @dulQuerlegendary (sic)," read the tweet posted by Vyjayanthi Movies.

Dulquer plays the iconic role of actor Gemini Ganesan, husband of legendary actor Savitri, whose role is essayed by Keerthy Suresh in the film.

Mahanati is also being shot in Tamil as Nadigaiyar Thilagam. The biopic is an ambitious directorial venture of Nag Ashwin, who made an impressive debut with Yevade Subramanyam.

The director has assembled a team of top actors for his second film outing, including Dulquer, Keerthy, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Vijay Devarakonda and Shalini Pandey of Arjun Reddy fame.

Samantha and Vijay play journalists who piece together the journey of Savitri, who was the first woman superstar in the South Indian film industry.

Dulquer is currently part of many interesting projects in Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi. He has already completed shooting Bollywood film Karwaan, and he has also signed Anurag Kashyap's Manmarziyan, a love triangle, which also stars Taapsee Pannu and Vicky Kaushal.

His upcoming Tamil film Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadaithaal is also on the floors. The romantic flick is directed by Desingh Periyasamy and has Ritu Varma as its female lead. Dulquer was last seen in Bejoy Nambiar's bilingual film Solo. The anthology film did not do well at the box office.


'Five of us will use you': This actress was told by her producer

Authors: Ecroaker. com Boosters.

Casting couch is a grim reality in film industries all over the world. In India, shockingly, many celebrities pretend to deny its existence.

However, over the years, many Indian actresses have come forward and shared their horror stories.

On Day 1 of the India Today Conclave South 2018, in Hyderabad, Kannada actress Sruthi Hariharan spoke about her run-ins with the casting couch, and shared her terrifying experiences.

Sruthi was speaking during a session titled Sexism In Cinema: Time's Up.

The meeting for my first Kannada film left me so scared and petrified. I was only 18 back then," she said, adding that she did not do the film in the end.

However, Sruthi grew wiser and tougher over the years, and learned how to battle such situations.

She related another incident that happened after a few years, "Three or four years later, a well-established Kannada producer told me on a phone call, 'We're five producers, and we will use you and exchange you however we want. I remember this, and I immediately told him, I carry a slipper in my hand and you come to me and I will hit you.

Sruthi said that the word spread, and people began to believe that she was a "weird" and a "difficult person".

However, this ironically, just boosted her career. Sruthi said proudly, "But since then, I've received only good film offers.

In the Tamil film industry, however, her phone call with the producer did not go down very well. She stopped getting good offers for Tamil films.

Her advice to women in showbiz is, "More women need to stand up, to say no to this. You need two hands to clap. Don't just blame the men. Stand up against the casting couch.

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