ART & CULTURE THUrsDAy, FeBrUAry 15, 2018 8 Valentine's Day brings sparkle to Belgian diamond hub Sparkling new diamond rings will grace many fingers around the world on Valentine's Day-and most of those gems will have passed through a drab district in the Belgian port city of Antwerp, reports AP. A diamond hub for nearly 600 years, Antwerp is holding its own as the global trade capital for the precious stones despite new rivals in the Middle East and Asia, traders there say. Not that it looks anything special. This district near the main railway station is the dingy opposite of the ostentatious stones it produces for one good reason-security. "It's a mini Fort Knox," Indian-born trader Shashin Choksi says after sending off a shipment of $300,000 of polished diamonds to Hong Kong. Huge riches lie in safes and vaults behind weather-worn facades on the three main streets that make up the Diamantkwartier, or Diamond Quarter, in the city in the Dutchspeaking northern part of Belgium. Around 2,000 security cameras watch people, cars and armoured trucks pass through, while drivers wave passes at electronic gates to reach trading, grading and other offices. Thieves stole an estimated $100 million in diamonds and other jewellery from the district's safes in 2003. A poster plastered inside diamond district buildings says police "are watching over you". Mehedi Utshob' held at JU A daylong Mehedi Utshob was held yesterday on the Jahangirnagar University (JU) campus, reports UNB. Shadakalo Community Based Organization, a group of transgender community, hosted the festival in front of JU Arts and Humanities Faculty marking the World Valentine's Day. Dean of JU Arts and Humanities Faculty Professor Mozammel Hauqe inaugurated the event as the chief guest at 10 am. Addressing the function, Professor Mozammel said, "Transgender communities are a part of our society. They are also human being like us. But, due to different physical appearance the society have kept them aloof. But, we think they should have the right to get basic needs." The professor thanked the transgender communities for hosting such event on the campus and said this type of programmes will raise awareness among the people and remove wrong perception about the transgender communities. Conducted by Assistant Professor of JU Anthropology department Rezwana Karim Snigdha, Professor Anu Muhammad, Professor A T M Atikur Rahman, Professor Firoza Hossain, Professor Shamima Sultana Laki, Professor Anwarullah Bhuyan, Associate Professor Anan Zaman, Syed Nizar Alam, Pinki Saha and Anisa Parvin Joli, among others, addressed the inaugural session. The transgender community offered Mehedi to the general students while the students of different departments spontaneously took part at the event. Irrfan Khan's quirky character running around in boxers will crack you up The teaser for Irrfan Khan starrer 'Blackmail', directed by Abhinav Deo is out and it is sure to pique your curiosity. The movie stars Irrfan, who is heard narrating the teaser, and explaining the reason he is running in boxers down the street, with a paper bag on his head. The title is a play of the words Blackmail (male) and hints at another freaky comedy by Deo. The teaser is also impressive as it tells the story even before revealing Irrfan's face, and seems to be about an ordinary man in a strange situation, as people chase him down the narrow lanes. Abhinav made the cult classic, 'Delhi Belly', and it seems that 'Blackmale', is going to be another irreverent and surreal comedy with another winning performance by the great Irrfan Khan. The film is set to release on February 22. Call for flourishing Bengali culture to build peaceful society Literary and cultural personalities at separate discussions have laid stress on nurturing and flourishing of the rich Bengali culture to build a peaceful society free from social erosion, militancy and terrorism. Different socio-cultural, literary and educational institutions organised the discussions on Tuesday afternoon marking the traditional Basanta Utsab- 1424 to welcome the first day of Falgun, the 11th month of Bengali Year, in the city, reports BSS The youths, especially young male in panjabees and female in redbordered yellow sarees, gathered at the central Shaheed Minar to welcome the Pahela Falgun by singing Tagore's song 'Aha Ajee Ae Basante, Kato Ful Fote....' or reciting "Ajee Basanto Jagrata Dware......" The District Shilpokola Academy, Rangpur Sahittya-Sangskritik Parishad (RSSP), Bikoshito Nari Network, Sound Touch, Sommilito Sangskritik Jyote and dozens of other organisations chalked out daylong programmes to welcome Basanta. The central Shaheed Minar and Public Library premises, 'Surovi Uddyan', Sahittya Mancha, 'Chikleer Beel', 'Proyas Entertainment Park' and other places wore festive look and featured by recitation of Basanta poems, singing of songs and rendering dances. The District Shilpokola Academy organised a discussion at its auditorium followed by cultural function with District Cultural Affairs Officer Nujhat Tabassum Rimu in the chair. Rangpur unit of Bikoshito Nari Network (BNN) organised a discussion and cultural function on the Sahittya Mancha in the city with its president Samsi Ara Zaman in the chair. Freedom fighter Akbar Hossain, General Secretary of BNN Sathi Begum, cultural personalities Ira Haque, Rezina Safrin, Abu Nayeem, Mohsena Haque, among others, addressed. RSSP organised another discussion and cultural function at its office with its President Aftab Hossain in the chair. Principal of Rangpur Government College Professor Kanij Umme Nazma Nasrin attended the functions as the chief guest. Moderated by General Secretary of RSSP Sunil Kumar, cultural personalities Dr Mofizul Islam Mantu, Professor Atahar Ali Khan, Md Shah Alam and Anwarul Islam Raju addressed the events. Similarly, other organisations chalked out programmes including rallies, recitation of spring poems, musical soiree, dance competitions and cultural evening to welcome the first day of Falgun focusing on love and influence of Basanta on Bengali culture and life. Sneak peek: Akshay Kumar's personal clicks Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna certainly make for the most happening and gorgeous couple in B-town. Even after 17 years of being married, Akshay and Twinkle have a sprightly innocence in their relationship. On the occasion of Valentine's Day, Mrs. Funnybones who is known for her witty posts gave a sneak peek into her V-Day celebrations, reports Times of India. The mother of two shared a cute picture of her man standing with two bouquets of roses. Twinkle captioned the image as, "And my best friend flies in for a Valentine's day surprise with, 'Both are not for you, one is for my daughter! '#happyvalentinesday." H o r o s C o p e ArIes (March 21 - April 20): If others go out of their way to pick holes in your arguments today just ignore them. Having said that, it could be there is something you have overlooked and at least one kind person will try to warn you, so don't be too eager to be rude. TAUrUs (April 21 - May 21): Your main task today is to resist the temptation to look at the world as if everything that happens is a disaster or a tragedy. Focus only on good news today - there is still plenty of it if you care to look. It's about attitude, not events. GeMINI (May 22 - June 21): Check the small print carefully before putting pen to paper today because you could have been misled into thinking that you have got the best of a deal when, in fact, others will profit a lot more than you do. Details are always important. CANCer (June 22 - July 23): The more others want you to do something you don't think is in your best interests the more you must resist. Your arguments for giving it a miss may not sound convincing but what matters is that you stick to your guns. They can't force you. Leo (July 24 - Aug. 23): Cosmic activity in your fellow fire sign of Aries has filled your head with no end of big ideas but not all of them are practical, so don't get carried away. You are under no obligation to hurry, so bide your time and think things through. VIrGo (Aug. 24 - Sept. 23): Someone who usually has only nice things to say about you will go right the other way and say something hurtful today, but you must not let it get to you. Sometimes you can be too sensitive for your own good. Don't take yourself so seriously. LIBrA (Sept. 24 - Oct. 23): You have nothing to prove and lots to gain and everything to look forward to. That is the message of the stars today and even if you don't quite believe it what happens over the next few days will bring a smile to your face. It's about time! sCorpIo (Oct. 24 - Nov. 22): If someone you don't know very well tells you what a great guy you are it's a sure sign they are after something. That something is most likely to be your money, so act cool and don't give them a thing, no matter how nicely they ask. sAGITTArIUs (Nov. 23 - Dec. 21): Your current run of good fortune is sure to come to an end eventually but there is no reason to suppose it will be any time soon. The planets indicate there are plenty of good things still to look forward to, the first of which will arrive today. CAprICorN (Dec. 22 - Jan. 20): For some strange reason you can see enemies in every direction at the moment but most if not all of them exist only in your imagination, so get a grip on yourself and get things done. Your only real enemy is your lack of self-belief. AQUArIUs (Jan. 21 - Feb. 19): You tend to believe in yourself to such a degree that you think nothing is beyond you, and that's good, but even an Aquarius has limits and you may need to remind yourself what those limits are. A little bit of realism will go a long way. pIsCes (Feb. 20 - Mar. 20): Yes, you should let other people have the last word. Yes, you should let other people lead the way. You may not entirely approve of what they say, still less of what they do, but so long as you don't get the blame why should you worry?
SPORTS THURSDAy, FEBRUARy 15, 2018 9 Rohit Sharma raises his bat after getting to his century BCCI. Malaysian badminton pair probed for match-fixing KUALA LUMPUR: Two Malaysian badminton players are being investigated for suspected match-fixing by the sport's governing body and could be banned for life if found guilty, a sports official said Wednesday, reports BSS. The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is probing the pair over alleged fixing that happened about two years ago, said Norza Zakaria, president of the Badminton Association of Malaysia. He refused to disclose their identities but Malaysia's The Star newspaper reported one used to be a top junior player and the other had taken part in the Thomas Cup, a prestigious team event. "We have zero tolerance for this kind of heinous behaviour -- it will tarnish badminton's reputation," Norza told AFP. The BWF declined to comment. Under the BWF's rules, players found guilty of match-fixing can be banned for life. The Star reported that the players, who have been suspended, will attend a BWF hearing in Singapore this month. Ter Mors extends Dutch speed-skating Olympic dominance PYEONGCHANG, South Korea: Jorien ter Mors of the Netherlands won Olympic gold in the women's 1,000m speedskating event on Wednesday to maintain the Dutch stranglehold on the medals table, reports BSS. The 28-year-old, who won gold in the 1,500m and team pursuit in Sochi in 2014, clocked a best of 1min 13.56sec to finish 0.26sec ahead of Nao Kodaira, with a second Japanese skater, Miho Takagi, taking bronze (+0.42sec). Ter Mors' victory means the Netherlands have now won all five of the golds up for grabs in South Korea. Ben Stokes: England all-rounder to join squad in New Zealand. Photo: Internet. Dangerous winds postpone Olympic events, send visitors packing GANGNEUNG, South Korea: Dangerous winds played havoc with the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Wednesday, forcing the postponement of two medal events and closing a major area for spectators who were told to stay indoors, reports BSS. The women's slalom skiing and a women's biathlon race were both postponed until later in the week, while the Nordic combined competition was delayed and snowboarders complained of poor visibility as the halfpipe final went ahead in heavy snowfall. Four straight days of high winds have badly disrupted the skiing in particular. Only one ski race has been held so far: the men's combined, which was also delayed to allow winds to subside. Strong winds were also blamed for a nearfarcical women's slopestyle competition on Monday, when almost all competitors crashed in the heavy gusts. On Wednesday, conditions were also far from perfect at the men's halfpipe final where several riders fell, including Japan's Yuto Totsuka, 16, who was rushed to hospital after a horror wipe-out. Japanese Olympic officials told AFP the teenager had undergone a CT scan, which revealed no fracture or serious injury, before being released. Gold medallist Shaun White said he had been "struggling to see blue lines to land on". "The pipe itself was great but the light was pretty bad, which made it difficult to land jumps," said Japan's Ayumu Hirano, who took silver. Earlier in the day, the alpine skiing programme -- seen by many as the pinnacle of the Winter Games -- suffered a third postponement as the women's slalom fell victim to the blustery conditions. The men's downhill skiing was postponed on Sunday for the same reason, as was the women's giant slalom on Monday. Only the men's combined has been held so far. According to officials, winds of up to 25 metres (82 feet) per second have made it difficult even to stand in some mountain areas. However, organisers say they have no concerns about fitting in the 10 remaining gold medal races before the end of the Games on February 25. "If the wind continues to blow for the next 15 days then I guess it might be a problem," said International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams. - 'Stay indoors' - Separately, the wind caused chaos at Gangneung Olympic Park, where outside stands were damaged and staff struggled to hold down metal-detecting security scanners to stop them being ripped from their fittings. The area was closed to visitors, with spectators urged to stay indoors. Shops were shut and outdoor activities were cancelled in the area, where there are four ice sports arenas. "Due to high winds... all activities in the common domain of the Gangneung Olympic Park have been temporarily suspended," said a statement from Games organisers. Spectators with tickets were still able to attend sports events but Olympic volunteers with megaphones shouted instructions for other visitors to leave the area, directing them to bus and train transportation. Temporary structures housing media were also closed, with journalists sent to work in the stadium tribunes instead. Events at the Olympic Park Wednesday include the women's ice-hockey match between the unified Korean team and Japan as well as men's ice hockey, curling and speed skating. Kenyan athletes Rudisha, Kiprop opt out of Commonwealth Games NAIROBI: Kenya's 800 metres Olympic champion and world record holder David Rudisha and two-time Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop will not seek selection for this year's Commonwealth Games, team officials said Tuesday, reports BSS. A total of 170 athletes have been invited for the one-day Kenyan trials in Nairobi on Saturday, during which the first three runners across the line will earn automatic qualification for the April 4-15 championships on Australia's Gold Coast. But with the Commonwealth Games coming at an unusual time in the track season, before the summer, athletes have been forced to chose between the event or continuing their preparations for the outdoor track season. Kenyan team officials said both Rudisha and Kiprop have opted to focus on the season of lucrative Diamond League meetings which starts in Doha in May. Others notable absentees include the world 10,000m silver medallist Geoffrey Kamworor, who is preparing to defend his world half marathon title in Valencia on March 24, while the women's Olympic and world 1500m champion Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon is expecting her first baby. The women's world half marathon defending champion, Peres Jepchirchir is also on maternity leave, but former women's 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei will make her return after the birth of her first child. Photo: BBC. Bangladesh take on Sri Lanka in 1st T20I today DHAKA: Bangladesh will take on visiting Sri Lanka in the first T20I of the two-match series scheduled to be held tomorrow (Thursday) at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium at Mirpur, reports BSS. The match kicks off at 5 pm. The Tigers are hoping that they can win the first T20I to at least have a chance of registering victory in one of the formats. But with the current form of the visitors, they are likely to have a difficult task ahead of them. The big blow for Bangladesh team as the home side is that they have a number of significant absentees in their squad, including their regular skipper Shakib Al-Hasan, who was ruled out from the first match after sustaining a finger injury during the tri-nation final. Ahead of the T20 series, Bangladesh picked up five new faces in their squad and there are speculations that the Tigers were experimenting too much with these new inclusions, however, captain Mahmudullah Riyad speaking at a press conference today prior to their first match against Sri Lanka suggested that it is better to play T20I cricket without fear of failure. In every series, Tigers look to include one or two new players and give them an opportunity to get acquainted with international cricket, but this time around, one-third of the 15-member squad is composed of new players, who have never featured for the team. The Tigers' skipper Mahmudullah however suggested that T20 is a different ball game and they are less bothered about what happened in the ODIs and the Tests. Mahmudullah said they have kept confidence on the new comers as they are well deserved in the team and hoped that they are able to put in their best performance to win the T20 series against Sri Lanka. The Tigers' skipper always said that T20 cricket is fearless cricket but if you think about fearless cricket from a position of failure then your success rate will decrease in T20 cricket. On the other hand, Sri Lanka, after a glorious comeback in the ODI tri-series against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, skipper Dinesh Chandimal have also raised the victory flag in Test cricket against the Tigers. The Sri Lankan skipper hoped he can once again start off things in winning ways. Sri Lanka has a full squad, except injured Angelo Juventus 2-2 Tottenham: Just how impressive was Spurs' comeback? Women’s slalom delayed because of high winds PYEONGCHANG, South Korea: The women's Olympic slalom was delayed Wednesday because of strong winds, organisers announced, reports BSS. "Due to very strong wind gusts, the programme is delayed," the International Ski Federation said. Initially slated for a 10:15 am (0115 GMT) start, FIS said the first run of the slalom was now scheduled to start at 1145 am at the earliest. Skiers on the technical events on the Rainbow course at the Yongpyong resort are reliant on a 3.7km-long gondola to go up the mountain. In very windy conditions, the gondola closes down. Gusts also make the course unsafe for both skiers and the raft of officials needed to look over it. Commonwealth Games chiefs red-faced after ticket gaffe SYDNEY: Tickets for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games opening ceremony have been sent out with the wrong day on them, an error that red-faced Australian organisers admit is embarrassing, reports BSS. Some 14,000 tickets for the showpiece event were printed with Thursday, April 4, when April 4 -- the day for the ceremony -- is a Wednesday. "I was disappointed when Ticketek (the ticketing provider) informed us they had picked up the error," Games chief Mark Peters told reporters late Tuesday. Mathews. Sri Lankan opener Upal Tharanga said they were able to put up a brilliant display in both ODI and Test series and they want to show their best performance in the T20I format as well. He said they have got some new faces for the T20 series and they are in a good momentum now and all are looking forward ahead to have a good result. The second and final T20I between the two sides will be played on Saturday (February 18) in Sylhet. Squads: Bangladesh (From): Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah (captain), Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Abu Hider Rony, Abu Jayed, Ariful Haque, Mehdi Hasan, Zakir Hasan, Afif Hossain, Nazmul Islam. Sri Lanka (From): Dinesh Chandimal(captain), Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Thisara Perera, Asela Gunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Shehan Madushanka, Jeffrey Vandersay, Akila Dananjaya, Amila Aponso, Jeevan Mendis, Asitha Fernando, Kusal Mendis. Photo: BBC. Mirza confident of winning Asian Games medal, despite injury NEW DELHI: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza is confident of continuing her Asian Games record with another medal in this year's event -- if she recovers from injury in time, reports BSS. Mirza, regarded as India's best ever women's tennis player, has achieved at least one medal at every Asiad meet since 2006 and hopes this year's games in Indonesia will be no different. But the 31-year-old has been sidelined since October with a knee injury, and her former number one doubles ranking -- the first ever for an Indian in the women's event -- has slipped to 14. Mirza said she has every intention of competing in the Games starting August, if her knee had recovered. "I am hoping to be back within a couple of months," she told AFP in an interview in New Delhi on Tuesday. "I have always come back with a medal so if I go, then hopefully I will come back with one again." Her last Asiad appearance in South Korea in 2014 resulted in a gold in the mixed doubles and bronze in the doubles event. Mirza made waves in 2005 as the first Indian to win a WTA singles title. She reached the fourth round of the US Open in the same year, and by 2007 was among the best 30 women's players in the world. But a wrist injury ended her singles dream and focused her energies into doubles tennis, where a partnership with Swiss great Martina Hingis earned them three Grand Slam titles. They later split in 2016. The Indian star rated Serena Williams the "greatest player" of the open era, and predicted she would return top of her game after giving birth to a girl in September last year. There was "unbelievable depth" in the women's game, she added. "A person who is five in the world may win a slam, or a person you have never heard of may win," Mirza said. Gundogan puts ‘perfect’ City on verge of quarter-finals BASEL, Switzerland: Ilkay Gundogan says there is still more to come from Manchester City after their "perfect" 4-0 rout of Basel left them on the verge of the Champions League quarterfinals, reports BSS. The runaway Premier League leaders destroyed Basel's morale with a three-goal burst after just 23 minutes of the first leg last-16 mismatch. City's first three goals came in a devastating nine-minute spell thanks to a header from Gundogan, a Bernardo Silva volley and a longrange Sergio Aguero strike. It was Aguero's 14th goal in 11 games in 2018. Gundogan added a fourth after the break and was only denied a hat-trick by the dogged determination of Basel goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik. The tie looks all but settled ahead of the return leg at the Etihad on March 7. Gundogan says City can do better and he threw down the gauntlet to their Champions League rivals. "The result was maybe perfect, but there are still plenty of things to improve," said Gundogan The 27-year-old German singled out City's playmaker Kevin de Bruyne for his part in his opening goal. "I had the opponent on my back so it was not really easy to head it, but the timing was perfect and the ball was perfect from Kevin," said Gundogan. Pep Guardiola's City starved Basel of the ball, enjoying 69-percent possession. "To win 4-0 away in the last 16 is an amazing result, we are almost in the quarter-finals, but I am not saying we are already there, out of respect for Basel," said Guardiola.