Dhaka, Sept 13 (UNB) - Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury has been named President of the COSMOS Foundation, the philanthropic arm of COSMOS Group.
He will assume the position, which is an honorary one, with immediate effect.
Dr Chowdhury, who resides in Singapore, is the Principal Research Fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) at the National University of Singapore.
He has been associated with that prestigious think-tank since April 2009.
At ISAS, he leads research on Multilateral Institutions and International Linkages.
An internationally reputed analyst, he has published numerous articles and a number of books on subjects such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He has also taught diplomacy at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore and lectured at universities and think-tanks in the US, the UK, France, Australia, the Gulf States and South East Asia. He holds MA and PhD degrees in International Relations from the Australian National University.
Dr Chowdhury had been Foreign Advisor to a Bangladesh Caretaker Government. He had also served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN and WTO, and has also been Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
He had been elected Chair of a number of significant UN committees, and has been a recipient of international awards and distinctions.
He and his late wife, Nicole Sherin Chowdhury, have one daughter, Naureen Chowdhury Fink, who is a Senior Advisor at the UK Mission to the UN in New York.
Harrisonville, Sep 13 (AP/UNB) — A 10-year-old Missouri boy is recovering after he was attacked by insects and tumbled from a tree, landing on a meat skewer that penetrated his skull from his face to the back of his head.
But miraculously, that's where Xavier Cunningham's bad luck ended. The skewer had completely missed Xavier's eye, brain, spinal cord and major blood vessels, The Kansas City Star reports .
Xavier's harrowing experience began Saturday afternoon when yellow jackets attacked him in a tree house at his home in Harrisonville, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of Kansas City. He fell to the ground and started to scream. His mother, Gabrielle Miller, ran to help him. His skull was pierced from front-to-back with half a foot of skewer still sticking out of his face.
Miller tried to reassure her son, who told her "I'm dying, Mom" as they rushed to the hospital. He eventually was transferred to the University of Kansas Hospital, where endovascular neurosurgery director Koji Ebersole evaluated the wound.
"You couldn't draw it up any better," Ebersole said. "It was one in a million for it to pass 5 or 6 inches through the front of the face to the back and not have hit these things."
There was no active bleeding, allowing the hospital time to get personnel in place for a removal surgery on Sunday morning that was complicated by the fact that the skewer wasn't round. Because it was square, with sharp edges, it would have to come out perfectly straight. Twisting it could cause additional severe injury.
"Miraculous" would be an appropriate word to describe what happened, Ebersole said.
Doctors think Xavier could recover completely.
"I have not seen anything passed to that depth in a situation that was survivable, let alone one where we think the recovery will be near complete if not complete," he said.
Vladivostok, Sep 12 (AP/UNB) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has treated Chinese President Xi Jinping to Russian pancakes in a show of warm personal ties between the two leaders.
The two leaders ate pancakes with caviar and had shots of vodka at an exhibition at the sidelines of an economic forum in the far eastern port of Vladivostok.
Beijing and Moscow have developed a "strategic partnership" reflecting their shared opposition to the "unipolar" world, the term they use to describe perceived U.S. global domination.
The rapprochement has been driven by a strong personal relationship between Putin and Xi, seen as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. The two have met nearly 30 times, and Putin said that the Chinese president is the only world leader whom he once invited to celebrate his birthday.
Lima, Sep 11 (AP/UNB) — Peru is celebrating the return of an ancient funeral mask made of gold following a two-decade legal battle to repatriate the smuggled antiquity from Germany.
President Martin Vizcarra on Monday attended a ceremony at the presidential palace where the so-called Sican mask was shown publicly for the first time since its return to the South American nation.
The 8th century mask depicting a pre-Incan deity was seized in 1999 in Germany from a Turkish art dealer arrested for selling looted objects. It was handed over last week to Peru's embassy in Berlin.
The mask made of hammered gold alloy with silver eyes is one of the most emblematic of 9,000 art objects Peru has repatriated the last decade.
Authorities believe the mask was taken from Peru in the late 1990s.
New York, Sep 11 (AP/UNB) — After two seasons in Paris, Proenza Schouler designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough are back at New York Fashion Week— and emphatically so.
With their new collection they've gone all-American in spirit: denim, denim and more denim, with almost no embellishment — no embroidery, feathers or sequins. And though the fabric came from Japan, the collection was entirely made in the United States.
"In Paris you kind of get into all the embroideries and the feather work, and you're relying on all that technique," Hernandez said. "And going back to New York (we thought), 'Why don't we do the whole collection in one fabric, and what if that fabric was denim? What could we do with that? So we really limited the scope of material in a major way."
The collection featured voluminous denim dresses, jackets and skirts, with the latter often covering thigh-high boots. In the place of embellishment techniques, there was tie-dying and acid washing. As for accessories, there were Western-style, bandanna-like scarves across the neck, and tote bags so large it seemed one could fit another human inside them.
This season, the duo also collaborated with Berlin-based sculptor Isa Genzken — "one of our idols," Hernandez said — for inspiration for their designs. When guests entered Monday's show in downtown Manhattan, they were confronted with a large installation by the German artist of mannequins dressed in bits of Proenza garments.
"We sent her some pieces, she ended up making an installation, with the clothes, and we started riffing off the installation and putting it into the collection," McCollough said. "So it was two separate bodies of work, riffing off of each other, in a way."
While the duo was happy to be back in New York, the designers weren't ruling out showing again in Paris one day — or somewhere else.
"I think the beauty of the world we live in today is that things are just more fluid," McCollough said. "Especially a company like ours. We're an independent company. We don't have to be told what calendar to follow, we can bounce around, try things out. We learned a lot in Paris both good and bad, and you kind of build off that and evolve it, you leave the stuff that didn't work behind and keep the new stuff."
"I think what's cool is bouncing around, trying different things out and seeing where it lands."
An advantage of the new pared-down style is that some items are now more affordable than some of Proenza Schouler's more elaborately embellished garments.
McCollough noted that one of the biggest sellers of a recent Paris collection was a long-sleeved, tie-dyed dress priced lower than many bigger-ticket items — which also turned out to be the most attention-getting and most photographed look.
"It got us thinking about clothes in a different way," he said. "Maybe everything doesn't need to be so embellished. Maybe everything doesn't need to be $12,000.