Comments 4:09 12 Almost all of the Chernobyl miniseries is this bleak. But given the subject matter — the worst nuclear disaster in history until 2011’s Fukushima — the tone is absolutely necessary. When potential additional catastrophes like the thermal explosion are averted, the show’s characters greet the successes with weary resignation rather than joyous celebration. Because Chernobyl is like a disaster Pez dispenser delivering a continuous stream of terrible news. Even after the tanks are drained, coal miners are drafted to stop the meltdown from contaminating the groundwater and eventually poisoning the Black Sea.Emily Watson is riveting as a nuclear physicist who aids the investigation and the responses. HBO The series is more than enough reason to keep your HBO subscription following the end of record-breaking hit Game of Thrones. The drab Soviet interiors reinforce a sense of gloom, and the gripping, accessible script by Craig Mazin doesn’t get bogged down in nuclear jargon. I like that the first episode opens with the explosion itself rather than the events leading up to it. A deeper dive into the cause comes only in the fifth and final episode. Chernobyl tells the story of an extraordinary event, but the series is also about something ordinary: people doing their jobs. Following the explosion, some do them well, and others do them poorly. Chernobyl is also grotesque. We see how acute radiation rots the bodies of plant workers and firefighters from the inside, we watch children play near the reactor as it burns and we witness the plant’s arrogant and abusive chief engineer refuse to believe the reactor has exploded at all. Then there’s a lumbering Soviet bureaucracy struggling to respond. In a scene from the first episode almost as disturbing as the one in the basement, a bumbling group of local Communist Party officials deflect responsibility and debate what to do. Rather than evacuating the area immediately, they decide misinformation will only distract residents from “the fruits of their own labor.” (Despite alarmingly high radiation levels, the now ghost town of Pripyat wasn’t evacuated until the day after the explosion.)Paul Ritter is Anatoly Dyatlov, the inept chief engineer at the time of the Chernobyl explosion and the main villain of the story. HBO Later in Moscow, as officials in Premier Mikhail Gorbachev’s inner circle brief him on the news. They say there’s nothing to worry about as the radiation released amounts to a “chest X-ray.” It takes Valery Legasov, a nuclear expert with the Science Academy of the USSR, to break through the stonewalling and explain to Gorbachev just how dire things are. Onlookers are shocked at Legasov’s gall, but Gorby sends him and Minister of Energy Boris Shcherbina to Chernobyl to evaluate the situation manage the government response. The two are an odd couple — a party loyalist and a skeptical truth-teller — but they begin to work together to control the fallout, all the while dodging KGB minders bent on stopping the spread of news that will embarrass the nation. No one says “fake news,” but the debates about what’s true and not, are uncomfortably familiar in 2019.Legasov and Shcherbina, real people who are now deceased, are brilliantly played by Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgård, respectively. Harris’ best moments happen when his simmering exasperation suddenly erupts as he contradicts a government or military official with cold, hard facts. He’s there not to downplay things. He’s there to tell like it is. Meanwhile, as Skarsgård’s confidence in the Communist system slowly erodes, he speaks with a barely decipherable mumble that belies his fatigue (thankfully, all actors speak in English in their natural voices).It was hard not to be a bit distracted by the birthmark on David Dencik’s Mikhail Gorbachev. HBO But the performance that stole the show was Emily Watson as Ulyana Khomyuk, a Belarusian nuclear physicist who detects the fallout 250 miles away and rushes to Chernobyl to find out what happened. Watson’s character is a composite of several scientists who investigated the disaster, but she comes across as totally convincing. She works tirelessly to contain the damage and find the cause of the explosion, in the process getting arrested by the KGB for talking too much about what happened. When she’s freed at the end of the third episode, Legasov tells her that despite the stupidity and lies surrounding them, she’ll continue her work. Because like those three workers who drained the tanks, she really has no choice.Chernobyl concluded Monday, June 3. You can catch all episodes on HBO.com and the channel’s other platforms. In the UK, you can watch it on Sky Atlantic, HBO’s production partner. Share your voice More on nuclear disasters TV and Movies Now playing: Watch this: Inside Fukushima: Standing 60 feet from a nuclear disaster There were a ton of gut-wrenching moments in Chernobyl, the five-part miniseries on HBO and Sky Atlantic that recently concluded on Monday. But the one that left me squirming in my seat, barely able to watch, comes at the end of the second episode. A few days after the April 26, 1986 explosion at the nuclear power plant in then-Soviet Ukraine, three workers volunteer for an insanely dangerous mission to drain water held in tanks beneath the damaged reactor core. The enormous stakes if they fail are made fervently clear: Burning nuclear fuel will melt through the reactor floor, hit the water and produce a radioactive thermal explosion that will kill the population of Kiev and render Ukraine and Belarus uninhabitable for a century. Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgård deliver excellent performances as a scientist and a Communist Party official coming to grips with the scale of the disaster. HBO I’m not spoiling anything here because what happened is history. Ukraine is not a radioactive wasteland today so we know the workers succeeded. But how they did it is told in horrifying, utterly compelling detail. (Reportedly, the workers did not die right away, but the real Chernobyl death toll remains a topic of heavy debate).We watch them enter a pitch black basement, stumbling through knee-deep water so radioactive the clicks on their Geiger counters merge into one continuous buzz. You feel their fear and claustrophobia and hear their labored breaths through their scuba equipment. Their flashlights dim, but they labor on. With millions of lives all over Europe at stake, it’s the only thing they can do. 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Mosharraf HossainHousing and public works minister Mosharraf Hossain on said on Monday that the duties on liquor in the country should be reduced to attract more foreigners to the country’s tourist sites, news agency UNB reports.”The foreigners do not like the rate of the liquor that they are paying in the bars,” he said in his speech on budget for the 2018-19 fiscal in the Parliament.The minister also urged the government to increase the licensed bars of the country.”Currently there are only 96 bars in the country that have government license,” he said.The minister also said that in Gulshan and Banani areas of the capital city, there are many restaurants which are serving liquor but they do not pay the regular taxes to the government exchequer.”Give them legal license those who are serving these,” he said.He also urged the government to take applicable taxes from these bars in the national exchequer.The minister also requested the government to reduce the proposed registration tax on flat for boosting up the real estate sector of the country.”Make it 7 per cent for flat registration,” he suggested.
Jatiya Oikya Front leaders while exchanging views with the editors of print media in a city hotel on Friday. Photo: UNBMain opposition, Jatiya Oikya Front, has urged the media to keep an eye on the polls-time government for holding a free and fair election. The leaders of Oikya Front made the call while exchanging views with the editors of print media in a city hotel on Friday.“The Front will keep trying so that the election truly becomes free and fair. We’ve identified many steps of the government (over holding the election). The Front expects the newspapers will keep a close watch on them,” said Front leader Kamal Hossain told newsmen after the meeting.“The editors think that we all have to work together to ensure that the people would be able to cast their votes without any fear,” he added.BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said that they sought cooperation from the editors of national newspapers in ensuring a free and fair election. Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman, New Age editor Nurul Kabir, Manabzamin editor Matiur Rahman Chowdhury, News Today editor Moslemuddin Ahmed, bdnews24 editor-in-chief Toufique Imrose Khalidi, Dhaka Tribune editor Zafar Sobhan, Holiday editor Kamaluddin Ahmed, weekly Saptahik editor Golam Mortaza, among others, were also present.Apart from Kamal and Fakhrul, BNP senior leaders Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, JSD president Abdur Rab, Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, among others, attended the programme.