NATIONAL MonDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2018 6 Barisal University vice-chancellor, Professor Dr. Imamul Haque inaugurating "Pitha Uthsob" arranged by Bangla Department yesterday on the university campus. Photo: TBT Programmes taken to observe Amar Ekushey in Rajshahi RAJSHAHI: Different government, non-government, volunteer and cultural organizations including the Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) and the district administration have chalked out elaborate programmes to observe the Amar Ekushey and International Mother Language Day in a befitting manner on February 21, reports BSS. The programmes include placing of wreaths at Shaheed Minar, hoisting of national flags at half-mast atop all public and private buildings, mourning procession and decoration of the city 3-day digital innovation fair begins tomorrow in Rajshahi RAJSHAHI: A three-day 'Digital Innovation-2018' fair will start from tomorrow in the city aims at encouraging people to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for building 'Digital Bangladesh', reports BSS. The fair organised by District Administration will be held at the playground of Rajshahi College. Latest ICT products, multi-media classroom, mobile banking and e-learning items will be display in around 70 stalls under five pavilions at the fair. The information was disclosed in a press briefing held at conference hall of Deputy Commissioner here today. Deputy Commissioner Helal Mahmud Sharif and Additional Deputy Commissioner (Education and ICT) Nasima Khatun addressed it as focal persons. Helal Mahmud Sharif said the fair is a step towards providing extensive services to the citizen. Through this fair, citizens from district levels will avail the scope of getting aware of the e-services at their doorsteps. Besides, they would get to experience some important and regular services in-venue to understand the mechanics and advantages of these electronically services. transformed streets with miniature national and coloured-flags inscribed with Bengali alphabets The programmes also include holding qurankhwani and discussion at the Islamic Foundation office, art and literary competitions for school and college students at the Shishu Academy and screening of documentary films on the Language Movement. Language veterans will be accorded a reception on the occasion. Besides, a discussion and cultural function will be organised at the auditorium of Shilpakala Academy, the officials concerned said. The RCC has taken up elaborate programmes to observe the day. RCC Mayor Mosaddique Hossain Bulbul is likely to open the day's programme by placing wreaths at Bhuban Mohan Park Shaheed Minar at zero hours, RCC officials told BSS here yesterday. Meanwhile, Rajshahi University, Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (RUET), Rajshahi Medical College and other educational institutions adopted various programmes to observe the day. BCL protests attack on Bangladesh mission in London RANGPUR: The district unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) staged a procession here on Sunday afternoon protesting the Wednesday's attack on the Bangladesh High Commission in London by the BNP-Jamaat men, reports BSS. Hundreds of the leaders and activists of the district unit of BCL brought out the protest procession that paraded the main city streets. After the procession, a protest rally was held on the Zahaj Company Mour premises in the city. In the procession, they also chanted slogans demanding imprisonment of acting chairman of BNP Tarique Rahman and BNP- Jamaat men for the attack during which the photograph of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was torn. Presided over by President of district BCL Mehedee Hassan Rony, its General Secretary Rakibul Hassan Kanon moderated the postprocession rally. Vice-presidents of district BCL Shariful Islam Sharif, Shahinul Islam Ghazi and Motaleb Hossain, its Joint Secretaries Mostafa Parvez Rion and Mohaiminul Hasib, Organising Secretaries Abu Hossain, Adnan Hossain, Belal Hossain Apel and Atikul Islam Atik, Publicity Secretary Moktar Elahi Murad, addressed, among others. Strongly condemning the attack on the Bangladesh High Commission in London, the BCL leaders said that they will go for a tougher movement if the perpetrators are not brought to justice. Rony said the students of Bangladesh will never tolerate humiliation of Bangabandhu's photograph and demanded for immediate identification of the attackers and confiscation of their passports to bring them to justice. Digital innovation fair begins in Panchagarh Panchagarh: A three day digital innovation fair began on the premises of Panchagarh government auditorium today. District administration is arranging the fair, reports BSS. Kabir-Bin Anowar, director general (administration) of Prime Minister Office' A2i project inaugurated the fair as the chief guest. A discussion addressed by Zila parishad chairman Amanulla Bacchu as the chief guest was also held at the auditorium. Naimuzzaman Mukta, Prime Minister Office's A2i project officer, and additional police super ATM Sahin Ahamed were present there as special guests. Apart from this, government high officials, teachers and students took part in the rally as well as discussion. A total of 51 stalls were set up on the fair premises. Earlier, a rally led by additional deputy commissioner Golam Azom was brought out from DC office premises that paraded the thoroughfares of the district town. State Minister for Textile and Jute Mirza Azam handing over prize among winners of "Unfinished Memoir: Book Study Evolution" competition yesterday at Shaheed Minar Muktomancha arranged by Itihash Charcha Parisad at Melandah Upazila under Jamalpur district. Photo: Ruhul Amin JU teachers, senators for stopping of ragging JU CORRESPONDENT The teachers and senators ofJahangirnagar University (JU) called for an immediate abolition of 'ragging 'to the fresher students on the campus. JU Teachers' Association, at a press meet in Social Sciences Faculty building, called for the unity against the ongoing degenerate culture while 'Shikkhak Mancha, at a press conference in New Arts building, urged the authorities for the measures to end harassment on Sunday. In the meantime, they expressed their deep concern and called on all the stake-holders of the university for unity against ragging. To raise awareness against the issue, they visited different dormitories of the university and talked to the students. On the other hand,on Monday,JU senators formed a human chain in front of JU registrar building demanding an end to ragging. Earlier on Thursday, Mizanur Rahman, a 1st year student of CSE department, lost his mental balance after he was victimized of ragging by his senior fellows. He was now staying with his parents in Dhaka under doctor's supervision. Bangladesh advancing fast under leadership of Prime Minister: Anwar THAKURGAON: Bangladesh has become a digital country and has been advancing fast toward a middle income nation and subsequently, a developed country, under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, reports BSS. "With becoming a digital country, Bangladesh has achieved laudable success in every sector all over the country," said Director General (Admin) and Project Director of Access to Information (A2I) Programme of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Kabir Bin Anwar. He made the observations at a discussion after inaugurating a 3-day Digital Innovation Fair-2018 by releasing balloons on Thakurgaon Zila School ground here on Sunday afternoon as the chief guest. The district administration with assistance of the A2I Programme has been arranging the fair for bridging the people with ICT, rights to information and getting government services in digital methods to further speed up the ongoing digitisation activities. The district administrations, government departments, NGOs and private organisations, union digital centres, financial and educational institutions and entrepreneurs have set up 70 stalls on the fair ground displaying their various innovations. With Deputy Commissioner Abdul Awal in the chair, People's Perspective Expert of the A2I Programme at the PMO Naimuzzaman Mukta, Additional Police Super Dewan Lalon Ahmed, Zila parisahd Chairman Muhammad Sadek Koraeshi, Civil Surgeon Dr Abu Musa Md Khairul Kabir, addressed the occasion, among others. The speakers said the government launched the A2I Programme for reaching all services to the people at their doorsteps quickly in a hassle-free manner through the digitised Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) at the lowest costs. They said the union digital centres, e-service centres and web-portals set up at districts, upazilas, pourashavas and city corporations are providing e-services to the people while the directorates and ministries are also providing similar automated services. The chief guest hoped the fair would help make a bridge between the common people and ICT for building a middle income nation and subsequently, a developed Bangladesh equal for all citizens. Encroachers and political stalwarts grab canal, owned by Kuakata municipality and construct establishments. The photo was taken from Kuakata under Patuakhali district. RAJSHAHI: Flower farming has gradually been increasing commercially in the region including its vast Barind tract as the growers are getting good yield and price, reports BSS. In the current season, farmers cultivated different varieties of flower including gladiolus, ganda, rose, rojonigondha and gerbera in Godagari, Kakonhat, Mundumala, Tanore, Amnura, Nachole, Gomostapur, Sapahar, Porsha, Niamatpur and other adjoining areas. Officials of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) here said the farmers have been cultivating flower here as they are getting lucrative market price. Kayum Ali, a farmer of Gopalpur village under Godagari Upazila, has changed his fate after cultivating gladiolus flower. In 2012, he made profit through cultivating flower on ten decimals of land first taking suggestion and cooperation of Sub-Assistant Agriculture Officer Ashraful Islam. "I have brought one and half bighas of land under the flower farming with expenditure of around Taka 25,000 this year," Kayum said, adding that he sold flower worth Taka 1.80 lakh. "I am hopeful over making profit of around Taka 1.85 lakh in a season and increasing the acreage in the years to come," he said with smiling face. Upazila Agriculture Officer Shafiqul Islam said soil and environment of Barind area is suitable for flower farming. There is enormous scope of boosting flower yield if timely irrigation and fertilization was ensured, he added. He told BSS today that the DAE has adopted necessary measures for imparting trainings to farmers for expansion of flower farming in the region. Deb Dulal Dhali, Deputy Director of DAE, said there is a big market for flowers in Rajshahi, Chapainawabgonj and other neighbouring districts. Gladiolus sticks of different colours like white, red, yellow, scarlet, pink, violet, rosy, lipstick and blue are grown in the same plot, flower growers said. The flower is harvested within 70 days and grows all over the year, they added. Business leaders and Agriculturists have suggested boosting cultivation of indigenous flowers to reduce dependence on import as the demand of flowers has recently been increased sharply in the region. "Due to quality of soil, the region has a diversity of ornamental plants which needs to be scientifically cultivated for promoting Four presumed drug traders held in Palashbari GAIBANDHA: Detective police arrested four alleged drug traders including a female with 320 pieces of yaba tablets conducting a drive in Muraripur area under Betkapa union of Palashbari upazila of the district yesterday, reports BSS. The arrestees were identified as Javed Ali, Rashidul Islam alias Lal Miah, Baten Miah, and Jabenur Begum. Acting on a tip-off, a team of Detective Branch of police conducted the raid in the area and arrested four suspected drug traders with yaba tablets, police officials familiar with the drive said. A case was filed with Palasbari Police Station in this connection. Later, the arrested were sent to jail by a local court as they were produced before it. Flower farming gains popularity in Rajshahi RANGPUR: Experts and academicians at a seminar called upon the agriculture scientists and researchers to enhance research on cotton cultivation and inspire the farmers in increasing farming of the highly profitable crop, reports BSS. They came up with the call at the seminar on 'Prospects of Cotton Production in the Northern Region of Bangladesh' organised by Cotton Development Board (CDB) on Sunday at Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University (HSTU) auditorium in Dinajpur district town. Presided over by Executive Director of CDB at Khamarbari Dr Md Farid Uddin, cotton farmers of Rangpur region, academicians, researchers, scientists, officials, teachers and students of HSTU participated in the seminar. Vice-chancellor of HSTU Professor Dr M Abul Kashem attended the seminar, arranged for promoting cotton farming in the northern region, as the chief guest. Rangpur Regional Deputy Director of CDB Md Elias Mian, its Additional Director at export," said Md Muniruzzaman, President of Rajshahi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He said various species of flowers are grown in the region and measures should be taken to cultivate more so that flower can be turned into an export-oriented industry. Dr Md Khalequzzaman, a professor of Rajshahi University, said flowers are the most beautiful gifts of nature and people of all age loves flower so farmers should be encouraged to promote flower farming in the region. Experts for enhancing research on cotton cultivation Khamarbari Md Akhteruzzaman and Professor of the Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding at HSTU Professor Dr Bhabendra Kumar took part as main discussants. Agriculturist Fahinur Rahman Shatil and Sabiha Roksana of CDB moderated different sessions in the seminar. Chief guest Professor Kashem said Bangladesh has achieved outstanding success in developing rice and wheat cultivation through research works to increase production of these major cereal crops for attaining food security. "So why, we have to enhance research on cotton farming and inform the farmers about benefits of its cultivation so that they come forward spontaneously to promote cotton farming to reap more profits," he added. Dr Farid said the farmers can cultivate two more crops on the same land after cultivating cotton annually in Rangpur region where a tendency of tobacco farming is still prevailing despite government efforts of discouraging tobacco cultivation.
INTERNATIONAL TuEsdAY, fEbRuARY 13, 2018 7 Emergency services arrived at the crash site on foot. A passenger plane carrying 71 people crashed minutes after take-off from Moscow's Domodedovo airport killing everyone on board, reports Al Jazeera. Saratov Airlines Flight 703 went down on Sunday near Ramenskoye town, about 40km from Moscow's second-largest airport. Maxim Sololov, Russia's transportation minister, confirmed there were no survivors. The Antonov An-148 aircraft had 65 passengers and six crew members on board when it went down. The plane was heading from the Russian capital to Orsk city, about 1,500km away, near the border with Kazakhstan. It was not immediately clear what caused the crash. "Witnesses Photo: Internet Russian minister: 71 die in plane crash near Moscow Pacific nation of Tonga braces for Cyclone Gita Some people in Tonga are nailing pieces of wood over their windows while others are evacuating as they brace for a cyclone that is due to hit Monday night, reports BBC. The Pacific island nation has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of Cyclone Gita. Weather experts say Gita is packing sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour (121 miles per hour) and is expected to intensify before making landfall. The storm has strengthened since hitting Samoa and American Samoa last week, where it caused damage to buildings, widespread power outages and flooding. President Donald Trump on Sunday declared an emergency in American Samoa, a U.S. territory. The declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide equipment and resources. Tonga is home to about 105,000 people. said they saw a burning plane falling out of the sky," said Al Jazeera's Rory Challands, reporting from Moscow. Russian investigators said "no reports about technical malfunctions were received from the plane's crew" ahead of the crash. The Russian transport ministry was investigating possible causes including weather conditions and pilot error, Interfax news agency said. Russian President Vladimir Putin extended his condolences to those who lost relatives in the crash. "The president has instructed the government to set up a special commission over the plane crash in the Moscow region," Tass news agency quoted Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov as saying. A source from the emergency services told Interfax the airplane had been manufactured less than eight years ago. Saratov Airlines is one of a number of small regional airlines operating in Russia. In December 2016, a military plane carrying Russia's Red Army Choir went down after taking off from the Black Sea resort of Sochi, killing all 92 people on board. Pilot error was blamed for that crash. A plane carrying the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice hockey team skidded off the runway during take-off and slammed into a tower in Septemer 2011, killing 44 players and staff in the city of Yaroslavl. One crew member survived. Pakistani leading rights activist, Asma Jehangir, dead at 66 Asma Jehangir, one of Pakistan's most prominent right activists and lawyers, died on Sunday of a heart attack in the eastern city of Lahore at the age of 66, her daughter said, reports Dawn. News of Jehangir's sudden death shook political, social and media circles in Pakistan, as well as government ranks. President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and others offered condolences. Jehangir suffered a heart attack late on Saturday night and was rushed to hospital where she died early on Sunday, her daughter Munizae said. Born on Jan. 27 in 1952, Jehangir had a prominent career both as a lawyer and rights activist. She has served as chairwoman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and was widely respected for her outspoken criticism of the country's militant and extreme Islamist groups and unparalleled record as rights activist. Jehangir also served as president of the Supreme Court's Bar Association and was a U.N. rapporteur on human right and extrajudicial killings. She was on Time magazine's list of 100 most influential women. "We have lost a human rights giant. She was a tireless advocate for inalienable rights of all people and for equality - whether in her capacity as a Pakistani lawyer in the domestic justice system, as a global civil society activist, or as a Special Rapporteur," the U.N. Secretary- General Antonio Guterres in a statement. "Asma was brilliant, deeply principled, courageous and kind," he said. "Asma will not be forgotten." A fierce defender of democracy, she often criticized Pakistan's military and intelligence. She defended minority Christians charged with blasphemy, an offense that under Pakistan's controversial law carries the death penalty. She was repeatedly threatened by the country's militant religious right whom she criticized loudly and often. A champion of human rights, Jehangir was unafraid to speak loudly against those attacking minority religions and women. She won scores of international awards. Several years ago, she briefly sent her family out of the country following threats from militant groups. Friends, relatives, activists and journalists thronged to her residence in Lahore to express their grief. Local TV stations broadcast footage showing public figures and Jehangir's friends sobbing and consoling each other outside her residence as her body was brought home from hospital. Zohra Yousuf, a former chairwoman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, said she lost a "great friend and great warrior of human rights." "No one can replace Asma, ... She was unmatched and unparalleled, we suffered a great loss today," Yousuf said. Activist Marvi Sarmad tweeted: "Today it's not only Pakistan who will cry. The entire South Asia shall mourn Asma Jehangir." "'Speaking truth to power,' a phrase we often use, Asma Jehangir lived, practiced till her last breath," said another activist, Raza Ahmed Rumi. Dems taking another run at blocked memo on Russia probe Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are prepared to black out parts of their memo about the FBI's Russia investigation to ensure there's no harmful spilling of secrets, then try again to get President Donald Trump to let it come out. A White House aide said Sunday he's confident it will be released once Democrats "clean it up, reports Dawn. That possible nudge toward progress came as both sides traded steamy recriminations over the matter. Rep. Adam Schiff of California, senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Trump is putting his personal interest above the country's in blocking a memo that "completely undermines his claim of vindication" in special counsel Robert Mueller's continuing investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign's relationship with Russian interests and Russia's meddling in the election. "The president doesn't want the public to see the underlying facts," Schiff said on CBS's "Face the Nation." The White House legislative director, Marc Short, countered that Democrats padded their memo with sensitive information, knowing Trump would stop its release, in an effort to make him look obstructionist. "We're not afraid of transparency," Short said on NBC's "Meet the Press." ''I think you're going to see us release the memo." Trump overrode strong Justice Department objections when he declassified a Republican memo alleging an abuse of surveillance powers in the FBI's Russia investigation. The FBI expressed "grave concerns" about the memo's accuracy and the Justice Department said in advance that its release, without proper review, would be "extraordinarily reckless." But Trump has blocked the Democratic document, which tries to counter the Republican allegations of surveillance excesses. The president has the authority to keep such information under wraps, and exercised it only against the Democrats. "Their goal here is to put the FBI on trial, to put Bob Mueller's investigation on trial, and the president is only too happy to accommodate," Schiff said. Prince Harry, Meghan Markle offer details on the big day Prince Harry and fiancee American actress Meghan Markle have released more details about their May 19 wedding, revealing that the event will include a carriage ride through Windsor so they can share the big day with the public, reports CNN. The couple will marry at noon in St. George's Chapel, the 15th century church on the grounds of Windsor Castle that has long been the backdrop of choice for royal occasions. Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, gave permission for use of the venue and will attend the wedding. Kensington Palace said in a statement that the couple is "hugely grateful" for the many good wishes they have received and they hope the carriage ride will give the general public a chance to take part. "They hope this short journey will provide an opportunity for more people to come together around Windsor and to enjoy the atmosphere of this special day," the palace said. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is to marry the couple. A reception for the couple and guests from the congregation will be held in St. George's Hall after the carriage ride. Prince Charles, the father of the groom, will give a private evening reception for the couple, close friends and family at an undisclosed location. Tens of thousands of Greeks protest Macedonia's name Leaders of South Africa's governing ANC party are due to meet to decide the future of President Jacob Zuma, reports BBC. The National Executive Committee (NEC) is likely to ask him to step down, says BBC Africa Correspondent Andrew Harding. ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged on Sunday that the issue was causing "disunity and discord". Mr Zuma, 75, faces a number of corruption charges after nine years in power. "We know you want closure", Mr Ramaphosa told a crowd marking 100 years since the birth of the country's first black president, Nelson Mandela. An NEC meeting was called off last week following direct talks between Mr Zuma and Mr Ramaphosa, who is the deputy Harvey Weinstein New York state sues Weinstein Company New York prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against the Weinstein Company, alleging that the studio failed to protect staff from Harvey Weinstein, reports BBC. The film producer is facing dozens of allegations of sexual abuse, including rape, but denies non-consensual sex. The lawsuit alleges Mr Weinstein abused female employees and made verbal threats to kill staff members. A lawyer for Mr Weinstein said a "fair investigation" would show that many of the allegations were without merit. The Weinstein Company is yet to comment. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Sunday that he had filed the suit against the Weinstein Company, as well as Mr Weinstein and his brother Robert, who co-founded the studio. He is seeking an unspecified sum to cover damages, plus penalties, for victims of alleged abuse by Harvey Weinstein, 65. The document alleges that Mr Weinstein sexually harassed and abused women employed by the studio for years. It accuses senior executives at the company, including Robert Weinstein, of failing to prevent the mistreatment of staff despite being presented with evidence. The lawsuit follows a fourmonth investigation and cites multiple examples of alleged misconduct by Mr Weinstein, including: Requiring his drivers to "keep condoms and erectile dysfunction injections in the car at all times" The requirement for his assistants to schedule "personals for sexual activity" both during office hours and after work. The film producer's contract allegedly contained the proviso that mistreatment claims would result in a financial penalty, rather than be prohibited, which "effectively monetised" sexual harassment. In response, Mr Weinstein's lawyer Ben Brafman said while his client's behaviour "was not without fault", there was "no criminality". "At the end of the inquiry it will be clear that Harvey Weinstein promoted more women to key executive positions than any other industry leader and there was zero discrimination at either Miramax or [the Weinstein Company]." he said. The suit casts doubt over the sale of the Weinstein Company, which has been battling bankruptcy and is in talks with investors. Mr Schneiderman said his investigation was continuing, but he had brought the suit out of concern that a possible sale would leave alleged victims without adequate compensation, and could benefit "perpetrators or enablers". It is reported that businesswoman Maria president as well as the new leader of the party. Mr Zuma has resisted increasing pressure to quit since December, when Mr Ramaphosa replaced him as leader of the ANC (African National Congress). Correspondents say that if the NEC agrees to recall Mr Zuma, it would be very difficult for him to resist. "As you have all heard, the National Executive Committee of the ANC will be meeting tomorrow... and because our people want this matter to be finalised, the NEC will be doing precisely that," Mr Ramaphosa told the rally in Cape Town. He acknowledged the ANC was suffering "a period of difficulty, disunity and discord" and said he wanted to replace it with "a new beginning". The issue of Jacob Zuma threatens to split the ANC ahead of elections in 2019. Contreras-Sweet has led talks to buy the studio for $500m (£362m). But after news of the suit emerged, negotiations are now said to be on hold. Investors baulked at the prospect of the lawsuit adding conditions to the sale, Variety reported. In October last year, The New York Times published a Harvey Weinstein is facing dozens of accusations of abuse. Photo: Internet story detailing decades of allegations of sexual harassment against Mr Weinstein. Since then more than 50 women, among them some of the biggest names in Hollywood, have accused the film producer of sexual assault, harassment, abuse and rape. In the wake of the allegations, Mr Weinstein was sacked by the board of his company. He is under investigation by UK and US police but no charges have been brought. Mr Weinstein, who was once among the most powerful men in Hollywood, has admitted that his behaviour has "caused a lot of pain" but has described many of the allegations against him as "patently false". He pledged to tackle the corruption that has marred Mr Zuma's time in office. Mr Ramaphosa urged South Africans to restore the values that Mr Mandela - also known as Madiba - stood for, and said those who had stolen state assets would be brought to justice. "We must work together as Madiba taught us to push back the frontiers of poverty, unemployment and inequality," he said. Mr Zuma's presidency has been overshadowed by allegations of corruption. In recent years his links to the wealthy India-born Gupta family, who are alleged to have influenced the government, have caused his popularity to plummet. Both Mr Zuma and the Guptas deny the allegations. Photo: Internet