09-10-2020

tbtbangla

frIday

DHaka : October 9, 2020; ashwin 24, 1427 BS; Safar 21, 1442 Hijri

www.thebangladeshtoday.com; www.bangladeshtoday.net

Regd.No.Da~2065, Vol.17; N o.188; 12 Pages~Tk.8.00

InternatIonal

Busy 2020 hurricane

season has Louisiana

bracing a 6th time

>Page 7

art & culture

Musharraf, Chanchal

reunites after 8 years

>Page 8

sports

BCB ask U19 WC

winners to correct

technical flaws in HP

>Page 9

Govt to recognize rape

as capital offense

District hospitals

to be ready to tackle

Covid's 2nd wave : PM

DHAKA : Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina on Thursday said the government

is getting all the district hospitals

ready with ICUs and oxygen supplies

to provide healthcare services to

people in the case of Covid-19 pandemic

in the upcoming winter,

reports UNB.

"The outbreak of Coronavirus

began last winter. It may resurge in

the upcoming winter. Keeping it in

mind, we're arranging all sorts of

medical services, including setting

up of ICUs and ensuring oxygen in

every district hospital," she said.

The Prime Minister said this

while formally opening the spectacular

Itna-Mithamoin-Austagram

all-weather road in Kishoreganj to

traffic using the digital platform.

legal notice served

to review decision

on HSC results

DHAKA : A legal notice has been

served to the authorities concerned

seeking reconsideration of the

Education Ministry's decision to

publish results of Higher Secondary

Certificate (HSC) based on the

results of JSC and SSC.

Barrister Shihab Uddin Khan sent

the notice on behalf of HSC candidate

Shatabdi Roy of Mofazzal-

Momena Chakladar Women's

College in Savar.

On Wednesday, the education

minister announced at a media

briefing that HSC exams would not

be held this year amid the coronavirus

pandemic. An alternative

evaluation system would be used,

she said.

The notice said many students

would be deprived of good results

because of such decision.

The petitioner has sought evaluation

based on the results of the test

examination of the respective colleges.

In the notice, secretaries of the ministry,

secondary and higher secondary

department, the Director General of

the Department of Secondary and

Higher Education and the chairmen

of nine education boards have been

made defendants.

If the demand is not met within

three days of receiving the notice, a

writ petition will be filed with the

High Court for realisation of the

fundamental rights of education,

the notice read.

Zumma

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TBT REPORT

Amid countrywide protest sparked, the

government is planning to introduce

capital punishment in the circumstance

of sexual violence against women.

According to the law minister,

AnisulHuq, a proposal for the legal

amendment will be placed at a cabinet

meeting on Oct 12. The minister

also said the government will pay

heed to popular demand and legal

treatment will be ensured to the

criminal regardless of their political

identity, and proceed to legal punishment

without any delay.

Recent incidents of sexual violence

against women saw backlash from all

quarters of the civil society.

Organizationsregardless of any political

involvement have been protesting in

Dhaka's Shahbagharea and other parts

of the country since Tuesday over the

assault of a woman in Noakhali and the

rape of another in Sylhet's MC College.

Rape incidents have been continued

to make headlines. Protesters were outspoken

and demanded death penalty

for the rapists pushing the government

to consider amending law to ensure the

death penalty for the rapists. They said

that lack of implementation of the law

was the major hindrance in protecting

women from being raped.

Ain o Salish Kendra's recent report

hints that some 975 women were

raped, including 208 subjected to

gang-rape, between January and

September this year.

Local and international human rights

groups have issued statements condemning

the incidents, and calling for

legal and social reforms.

"The recent case of the woman from

Noakhali that was circulated through

social media has yet again underlined

the state of social behavioral and structural

misogyny that exist," the UN's

Bangladesh office said in a statement

on Wednesday

State Minister for Women and

Children Affairs Fazilatunnesa Indira

have advocated for the provision of capital

punishment for rapists. However,

she also emphasized the role of family

to rid the society of the rapists.

Economy bouncing back quickly

from COVID-19 impact: Kaikaus

'Cyber Security

Help Desk' to

provide help

for hacked FB

account: Palak

DHAKA : State Minister for ICT Junaid

Ahmed Palak has said 'Cyber Security

Help Desk' is being set up to provide

technical and legal assistance for hacked

FBaccounts, reports UNB.

He came up with the information

while speaking as the chief guest at a

webinar titled 'Awareness of Girls in

Digital Security' on Thursday.

Meanwhile, he urged the students to

be very careful about giving passwords

on internet and Facebook and sharing

anything through social media.

He also urged students not to accept

friend requests without verification of

identity. About 70 percent of the victims

of cybercrimes in the country are

teenage girls, asid Palak adding"if you

are a victim of cybercrime, you can call

the National Emergency Service number

999 to get help from police."

He also urged theguardians to remain

carefulabout the children's activities in

digital platforms.

The state minister said that to keep

cyber-space safe, four preconditions

have to be ensured. First, create awareness

at personal level. Second, provide

family and institutional education.

Third, technical capability and fourth,

strict enforcement of law.

DHAKA : Prime Minister's Principal

Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus on Tuesday

said the country's economy is bouncing

back quickly from the coronavirus

(COVID-19) related impact, backed by

different time-befitting policy supports of

the government under the dynamic leadership

of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

"Life and livelihood together is the policy

of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Immediately after the outbreak of

COVID-19 in March, the government

rolled out a raft measures to help boost

the economy. The Prime Minister gave 31

instructions and announced 21 stimulus

packages and with the government's policy

support, we are returning quickly to

previous position," he said.

The principal secretary said this while presenting

the 'Perception Survey on

Livelihood-2020', carried out by the

Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), at the

Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in the city.

Referring to the survey, Kaikaus said that

the average income of the households came

down by 20.24 percent in August this year

due to the impact of COVID-19. The average

income of a household in March this year

was Taka 19,425 which came down to Taka

15,492 in August, he added.

The average monthly expenditure for

each household in August this year came

down by 6.14 percent compared to March

this year owing to the impact of COVID-

19, he said, adding that the average

monthly expenditure for per household in

March this year was Taka 15,403 which

came down to Taka 14,119 in August.

Trump and Bangladeshis are getting

the same treatment : Health Minister

RAFIqul A KHAn

In a statement, Health Minister Zahid

Maleque has said that the people of this

country have received the same treatment

as US President Donald Trump to

get rid of coronavirus. He corroborated

his claim by saying that President Trump

has been given an antiviral medication

called Remdesivir. The people of this

country have also received Remdesivir

for their treatment against COVID-

19.Mr. Malequealso praised the work of

doctors, nurses and other health workers

in the country.

The minister was giving his remarks as

the chief guest at a function titled 'Health

Minister's Award 2019' at a hotel in the

capital on Thursday. He said the people

of Bangladesh have seen the rogue waves

of Padma, Meghna, Jamuna and Bay of

Bengal. They do not afraid of any other

wave. People are not concernedif there is

any second wave of coronavirus.

Mr. Maleque has also briefed about

what the government has done in the

last seven months to deal with COVID-

19. According to hime committees had

been set up at the district level across

the country at the beginning of the epidemic,

tests were being conducted in

one to 109 laboratories, about four lakh

coronavirus affected people had taken

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday formally opened the amazing Itna-Mithamoin-Austagram

all-weather road in Kishoreganj to traffic.

Photo : Riya Choudhury

PM opens spectacular

Itna-Mithamoin-

Austagram road

DHAKA : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on

Thursday formally opened the amazing

Itna-Mithamoin-Austagram all-weather

road in Kishoreganj to traffic, reports UNB.

Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the 29.73-km

spectacular road through a video-conference

from her official residence

Ganobhaban. The road was constructed at

a cost of Tk 874.08 crore, which connects

three upazilas of Kishoreganj-Itna,

Mithamoin and Austagram.

The Itna-Mithamoin-Austagram

road goes straight through a vast haor

area in parallel with Dhanu and Baulai

rivers starting from Itna Upazila Sadar

to Austagram via Mithamoin Upazila.

The road has already been turned as

one of the most beautiful destinations

for travellers, holidaymakers and thrillseekers

before its formal inauguration.

A huge number of tourists flock regularly

to the road to enjoy its scenic beauty of

the road and its surrounding Haor areas.

Almost half of Kishoreganj district,

including four of its six upazilas-Itna,

Mithamoin, Austagram, and Nikli-is designated

as a completely haor area, unique

wetland ecosystems that during the monsoon

resemble vast inland seas.

>(Contd. on page-2)

Health Minister Zahid Maleque

telemedicine services, and about 40

lakh people had sought health advice

over the telephone.

The health minister assured there was

no shortage of money to get the coronavirus

vaccine. The vaccine that comes

first, the vaccine that is readily available

will be collected by Bangladesh.

Director General of the Health

Department AbulBasar Mohammad

KhurshidAlam presided over the function

whereupazila, district, medical college hospitals

and 50 specialized hospitals across

the country were recognized and commemorated

as the best institutions.

Two new PWs testify in

Abrar killing case

DHAKA : Two new prosecution witnesses

(PWs) on Thursday testified in

the case lodged over the murder of

Bangladesh University of Engineering

and Technology (BUET) student Abrar

Fahad. Police case recording officer

Inspector Sohrab Hossain and BUET

Sher-e-Bangla Hall canteen boy Jahid

Hossain Jony submitted their depositions

at Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal-1

as PW-3 and 4 and were cross-examined

by the defence afterwards.

Judge Abu Zafar Md Kamaruzzaman

of the tribunal after that adjourned the

hearing in the case till October 11. Four

PWs out of the total 60 have so far testified

in the case. The tribunal on Sept 15

framed charges against all 25 accused in

the case. The tribunal on September 9

had set September 15 to pass the indictment

order as both prosecution and

defence concluded their part of the hearing

on charge framing on that day.

Earlier on November 13, 2019, Dhaka

Metropolitan Sessions Judge Court took

into cognizance the charge sheet in the case

filed by DB of police against 25 accused.

The case was later transferred to the

speedy trial tribunal, allowing a plea of

Covid to reshape

Bangladesh's economic

policies in medium term

DHAKA : Covid-19 has had a major

impact on the global economy. And

Bangladesh is no exception. An official

document now suggests that thepandemic

is going to have a massive influence

on Dhaka's economic policies in

the medium term, as the country looks

forward tograduating out of the least

developed country status in 2024,

reports UNB.

Bangladesh, which is currently passing

through a transitional phase,got the

status of lower middle income country

status in 2015, as per the document. As

a result, the country has to take blended

loans from foreign sources. Blended

loan means mixture of concessional

interest rate and normal interest rate

loans from lenders.

This causes additional charges in

repaying the foreign loans compared to

the previous years.

The document mentioned that for

paying the interest of the loans that has

been taken from the external sources,

the government will pay Tk 55.3 billion

in the 2020-21 fiscal.

The amount will be Tk 68.1 billion in

2021-22 fiscal, while Tk 80.9 billion in

Abrar's father.

The 25 accused are - Mehedi Hasan

Russel, Anik Sarker, Ifti Mosharraf Sakal,

Md Mehedi Hasan Robin, Md Meftahul

Islam Jeon, Muntassir Alam Jemmy,

Khandaker Tabakkharul Islam Tanvir,

Md Muzahidur Rahman, Muhtasim

Fuad, Md Moniruzzaman Monir, Md

Akash Hossain, Hossain Mohammad

Toha, Md Mazedul Islam, Shamim Billah,

Moaj Abu Hurayra and ASM Nazmus

Sadat, Istiak Ahammed Munna, Amit

Saha, Md Mizanur Rahman alias Mizan,

Shamsul Arefin Rafat, SM Mahmud Setu,

Morsheduzzaman Jisan, Ehteshamul

Rabbi Tanim, Morshed Amatya Islam

and Mostaba Rafid.

According to the police, of the 25

accused, 11 took part in the gruesome

murder directly and the other played

role in the crime one way or another. Of

those arrested, eight have given confessional

statements before court.

BUET students and the varsity authorities

found the seemingly lifeless body of

Abrar, 22, on first-floor stairs of Sher-e-

Bangla Hall and rushed him to DMCH,

where doctors declared him dead at

around 6.30 am on October 7, 2019.

the next financial year.

The interest rates for loans taken

from external sources was 0.7 percent,

0.8 percent, 0.9 pc, 1.4 pc, 1.2 percent

and 1.4 percent for 2014-15, 2015-16,

2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20

fiscals, respectively. Butthe interest

rates for the same kind of loans will be

1.4 percent, 1.4 percent and 1.5 percent

for 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscals,

respectively,as per the document.

On the other hand, Bangladesh is

hoping to graduate out ofthe least

developed country list by 2024."In that

time, Bangladesh will losefacilities as

the least developed country, which it

was getting," the document reads.

Moreover, according to the official

document, the debt status of the country

from foreign sources will beTk

5882.6 billion in 2022-23 fiscal.

This amount is 38 percent of the total

debt status of the specific time.The total

amount will be Tk 15,480 billion. This

amount is 38.3 percent of the total

GDP.

The internal sources will contribute

Tk 9597.8 billion in the total amount,

which is 62 percent of the amount.


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2020

2

Jagannath University treasurer Professor Dr.Kamaluddin Ahmed was seen carrying out campaigning

for ruling Awami League's chairman candidate Major (retired) Mohammad Ali in

DaudkandiUpazilaParishad polls under Comilla district.

Photo : TBT

One stillbirth occurs every 16

seconds: Joint UN report

DHAKA : Almost 2 million babies are

stillborn every year or 1 every 16

seconds, according to a new joint

report, reports UNB.

A stillbirth is defined in the report as

a baby born with no signs of life at 28

weeks of pregnancy or more.

This is the first-ever joint stillbirth

estimates released by Unicef, the World

Health Organization (WHO), the

World Bank Group and the Population

Division of the United Nations

Department of Economic and Social

Affairs on Thursda from New York and

Geneva. The vast majority of stillbirths,

84 percent, occur in low- and lowermiddle-income

countries, according to

the new report, 'A Neglected Tragedy:

The Global Burden of Stillbirths'.

In 2019, 3 in 4 stillbirths occurred in

sub-Saharan Africa or Southern Asia.

"Losing a child at birth or during

pregnancy is a devastating tragedy for a

family, one that's often endured quietly,

yet all too frequently, around the

world," said Henrietta Fore, Unicef

Police sued in

N'ganj rape case

NARAYANGANJ : A case

was filed against a police

constable for violating a

young girl in Siddhirganj of

Narayanganj district on

Wednesday, reports UNB.

A beautician filed the case

with Siddhirganj Police

Station against Abdul

Kuddus Nayan, 35, a

constable at Rajarbagh

Police Lines, said Quamrul

Faruk, officer-in-charge of

Siddhirganj Police Station.

GD- 1312/20 (6 x 3)

Executive Director.

Every 16 seconds, she said, a mother

somewhere will suffer the unspeakable

tragedy of stillbirth.

"Beyond the loss of life, the

psychological and financial costs for

women, families and societies are

severe and long lasting. For many of

these mothers, it simply didn't have to

be this way. A majority of stillbirths

could have been prevented with high

quality monitoring, proper antenatal

care and a skilled birth attendant."

The report warns that the Covid-19

pandemic could worsen the global

number of stillbirths.

A 50 percent reduction in health

services due to the pandemic could

cause nearly 200,000 additional

stillbirths over a 12-month period in 117

low- and middle-income countries.

This corresponds to an increase in the

number of stillbirths by 11.1 percent.

According to modeling done for the

report by researchers from the Johns

Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public

Dhaka Ramakrishna Mission

High School exempts 3

months tuition fees

Due to the global financial crisis arising out

of the COVID-19 Pandemic, ones individual

and collective lives of have been exposed to

various adversities. Ramakrishna Mission,

Dhaka, a non-profitable, spiritual and

philanthropic organization is not out of it.

The humanitarian services it provides to the

Health, 13 countries could see a 20

percent increase or more in the number

of stillbirths over a 12-month period.

Most stillbirths are due to poor

quality of care during pregnancy and

birth. Lack of investments in antenatal

and intrapartum services and in

strengthening the nursing and

midwifery workforce are key

challenges, the report says.

Over 40 percent of stillbirths occur

during labour-a loss that could be

avoided with access to a trained health

worker at childbirth and timely

emergency obstetric care.

Around half of stillbirths in sub-

Saharan Africa and Central and

Southern Asia occur during labour,

compared to 6 percent in Europe,

Northern America, Australia and New

Zealand.

Even before the pandemic caused

critical disruptions in health services,

few women in low- and middle-income

countries received timely and highquality

care to prevent stillbirths.

people of Bangladesh irrespective of caste

and creed depend chiefly on the donations of

the devotees, funding of generous wellwishers

and organizations, a press release

said.

On account of the present situation, the

authorities are deeply concerned about the

education of the students of

Ramakrishna Mission High

School who mostly hail from

the underprivileged section

of the society. It is obvious

that, many of the guardians

are in the financially

distressed condition by

losing their jobs or for not

having minimum salary for

their livelihood and also for

other reasons. The

alternative source of income

as a financial support is also

not available to their reach

because of the continued

'COVID-19' Pandemic over

the last few months.

Thus, paying the monthly

tuition fees of the school,

which is nominal in

comparison to the other

schools of the city, has been a

great burden to many of

them. Under the

circumstances, to provide

relief to their financial

hardship to an extent, the

authority of Dhaka

Ramakrishna Mission High

School, has decided to

exempt fully the tuition fees

of the students of the High

School for the next three

(03-) months from October

to December of 2020. This

has been possible at our

appeal to the 'Vivekananda

Study and Philanthropic

Centre', New York, USA; and

to some of our ex-students

and generous devotees in

United States of America.

Madrasa girl raped

inside school in

Gazipur, case filed

GAZIPUR : A case has been

filed against two men

atKashimpur Police Station

in Gazipur for allegedly

rapinga madrasa student

inside a school, reports

UNB.

Victim's mother filed the

case accusing Samrat

Hossain alias Shanto and

Shakil Ahmmed, staff of a

ceramic company in the

area, on Thursday morning,

said Md Rafiqul Islam,

inspector (investigation).

According to the case

statement, the girl lives in

the area with herparents. On

Wednesday noon, when her

parents were at their work,

the girl went outside the

house.

The two menforcibly

picked her up to a local

school and raped her.

Locals rescued the girl

hearing her screams. The

rape suspects are on the run.

The girl was taken to

Shaheed Tajuddin Medical

College Hospital.

Bangladesh has been

rocked by a series of rape

incidents in recent days,

triggering countrywide

protests.

Human

rights

organisation Ain-o-Salish

Kendra (ASK) said between

January and September this

year nearly 1,000 rape cases

were reported, including

208 gang rapes.

US Embassy

invites application

for CSP 2021-22

DHAKA : The US Embassy

in Dhaka has invited

applications for the 2021-

2022 Community Solutions

Program (CSP), reports

UNB.

The CSP is a year-long

professional development

programmefor community

leaders working on complex

economic, environmental,

political, and social

challenges in their

communities, said the

embassy on Thursday.

The programme includes a

four-month fellowship in the

United States with a US

community-based

organisation, government

office, or legislative body,

and customised in-person

and online learning and

coaching for each CSP fellow

before, during, and after the

US experience from the

Community Leadership

Institute. The deadline for

submissions is on Oct 28,

2020.

Through training provided

by the Community

Leadership Institute,

tailored, hands-on learning

experiences, and the

customised US-based

fellowship, CSP fellows gain

valuable experience in USbased

community work,

increase skills and

knowledge, strengthen their

capacity for leadership and

development in their home

countries.

They also serve as

ambassadors for mutual

understanding, bringing

years of experience to

community development in

the United States while

creating action plans for

community-based initiatives

in Bangladesh.

Tinni murder: Key

suspect held in

Magura

MAGURA : Police have

arrested the prime suspect

in a case filed over the killing

of Islamic University

student Ulfat Ara Tinni,

reports UNB.

Police arrested Jamirul,

son of Kunir Uddin of

Shailakupa upazila in

Jhenaidah and former

husband of Tinni's sister

Iffat Ara Minni, from

Bhainar intersection in

Magura district town early

Wednesday.

Defying elections rule,

JnU treasurer campaigns

for AL candidate

Nakibul Ahsan Nishad; JnU

Correspondent: Jagannath University

treasurer Professor Dr. Kamaluddin Ahmed

was seen carrying out campaigning for ruling

Awami League's chairman candidate Major

(retired) Mohammad Ali in Daudkandi

Upazila Parishad polls under Comilla

district.

Earlier on Wednesday, JnU treasurer

uploaded two pictures on Facebook

captioning "Campaigning for boat at

Daudkandi.Joy Bangla Joy Bangabandhu."

The Facebook post drew a huge criticism

where netizens questioned whether a

treasurer can participate in such political

campaign. In the Facebook post the treasurer

was seen delivering speech in a meeting with

the banner inscribed "Dialogue meeting of

AL leaders with AL candidate Mohammad

Ali" which is bluntly violation of the

university and upazilaparishad election rule.

According to sub-section 2 of section 22

(2016) of the UpazilaParishad Election Code

of Conducts, beneficiaries of the

government's activities, officials or

employees of the republic cannot participate

in any kind of campaign in polling areas

ahead of elections. Also, the rule says, any

competing candidate or anyone on his behalf

cannot use any government instrument,

vehicles or any other government facilities for

electioneering.

Contacted Daudkandiupazila election

officer KamrunNahar said that no one as a

treasurer of university couldn't participate in

such election campaign. It's contradictory to

existing law. "Necessary action will be taken

if any body files complaints to the returning

officer in this regard", she added.

JnU Treasurer Kamaluddin said that as a

university teacher I had campaigned in

national parliament election in 2008 too. As

None involved in crimes will

be spared: IGP Benazir

GOPALGANJ : Inspector General of

Police (IGP) Dr Benazir Ahmed yesterday

warned that none involved in crimes will

be spared, reports BSS

"We, on behalf of the government,

assure people that none involved in rimes

will be spared. We will bring everyone to

book for justice," he told journalists after

paying rich tributes to Father of Nation

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's

mausoleum by placing floral wreaths at

Tungipara yesterday morning.

Dr Benazir Ahmed joined prayers and

special munajat seeking eternal peace of

the departed souls of Bangabandhu and

most of his family members, who

embraced martyrdom on August 15,

1975.

The government, he said, is in a tough

position in every case happened earlier

and strict action has taken in every case.

"Those who are accused have been

GD- 1311/20 (7 x 3)

a teacher leader I can participate in election

campaigns but I didn't participate in

DaudkandiUpazialParishad elections

campaign. Rather I went there to make

dialogue with the candidate.

Global Covid-19

cases surpass

36 mln

DHAKA : Global Covid-19 cases have

exceeded 36,077,702 with 1,054,712 deaths

worldwide on Thursday, according to the

Center for Systems Science and Engineering

(CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) ,

reports UNB.

The US, the world's worst hit country, has

counted 7, 549,682 cases with 211,801

deaths as of Thursday morning, according to

the data.

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to

spread in Asia-Pacific countries as the tally in

India rose to 6,757,131 on Thursday. The

death toll in India reached 104,555 as of

Thursday. 78,524 new cases were detected

and 971 patients died during the past 24

hours, according to the latest data released

by the federal health ministry of India.

There are 902,425 active COVID-19 cases

in the country, while 5,827,704 people have

been cured and discharged from hospitals.

According to the figures released by the

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

on Thursday, a total of 83,465,975 COVID-

19 tests had been conducted across the

country out of which 1,194,321 tests were

conducted on Wednesday alone.

Besides, 31,553 COVID-19 cases were

reported over the past 24 hours in Brazil,

bringing the nationwide total to 5,000,694.

And 734 more patients died of the disease,

raising the national death toll to 148,228.

On February 26, Brazil reported its first

case and also the first in Latin America in the

city of Sao Paulo, South America's largest

city.

arrested. Charge sheets will be submitted

as soon as possible and we firmly believe

that they (criminals) will face trial."

The IGP said there have been many

such incidents in recent times which are

being discussed in media. "Our media is

very strong and people of our country are

very politically aware and they are very

aware of political rights," he said.

Dhaka Range DIG Habibur Rahman,

Barisal Range DIG Shafiqul Islam,

Khulna Range DIG Dr Kha Mohid Uddin,

DIG Mizanur Rahman, Khulna

Metropolitan Police Commissioner

Masudur Rahman, DIG M Khurshid

Hossain, Commanding Officer of RAB-8

Atika Islam along with senior police

officials, Gopalganj District Awami

League President Chowdhury Emdadul

Haque, General Secretary Mahabub Ali

Khan and Upazila Awami League leaders

were present.


FridAY, OctOber 9, 2020

3

dhaka University teachers Association formed a human chain at the foot Aparajeyo bangla

protesting countrywide rape.

Photo : tbt

NeScO launches its 5-lakh

smart prepayment meter

installation project

RAJSHAHI : Northern Electricity

Supply Company (NESCO) Limited

has launched its programme for

installation of five lakh smart

prepayment meters in its areas

yesterday, reports BSS.

The NESCO will install around five

lakh smart prepayment meters in

different parts of the country's

northwest region aimed at checking

misuses of power and getting actual

revenue against the consumption of

power.

Headquartered in Rajshahi, the

state-owned company will install the

smart meters under a project styled

"Installation of five lakh smart

prepayment meters in NESCO areas"

with an estimated cost of around Taka

414.83 crore.

State Minister for Power, Energy and

Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid

inaugurated the installation works

through a video conference from

Dhaka.

Mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation

AHM Khairuzzaman Liton and Fazley

Hossain Badsha, MP, joined the virtual

ceremony from their respective offices.

NESCO Managing Director Zakiul

Islam, Executive Directors Abdul Aziz

and Syed Golam Ahammad, Chief

Engineer Abdur Rashid and Director

of the project Mahbubul Alam

Chowdhary also joined the opening

programme from Rajshahi end.

Zakiul Islam said the three-year

project will be implemented in 16

power supply units under Rajshahi,

Natore, Chapainawabganj, Bogura,

Pabna, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon,

Panchagarh and Nilphamari districts.

Under the project, 4,67,200 single

phase smart prepayment meters,

32,800 three-phase smart prepayment

meters, 3000 data concentrator units,

17 utility vending stations, one central

data center, one master information

centre and one digester recovery centre

will be installed.

In addition to the advance revenue

collection the project will provide

improved client-services side by side

with bringing down the non-technical

loss to zero level.

The mega scheme will also ease the

demand side load management

system together with halting the

power wastage. Upon successful

implementation of the project by June,

2022, the clients could use power

upon its financial ability by using

smart prepayment meters.

"Smart prepayment meters will

bring down non-technical losses to

zero percent and allow you to use

electricity as per your budget and

customers will get one percent rebate

on net electricity bill. Monthly bill

payment system is very easy," Zakiul

Islam said.

"We declared 'Mujib Barsho' as a

service year. Our target is also to

ensure 100 percent electricity coverage

within this year," he added.

GD- 1309/20 (8 x 4)

GD- 1305/20 (9 x 4)

GD- 1307/20 (10 x 4)


FrIdAy, oCToBer 9, 2020

4

The cost of confrontation

Acting Editor & Publisher : Jobaer Alam

e-mail: editor@thebangladeshtoday.com

Friday, October 9, 2020

Bangladesh’s breakthrough in

producing Covid-19 vaccine

It should make every Bangladeshi's heart bulge

with pride on knowing that a company of

Bangladeshi origin is on the threshold of

successfully making and marketing a vaccine

against Covid - 19. Earlier this company was

reported for being among the top five or six most

formidable countries in the world in terms of all

round capabilities which were in the race to find a

corona virus vaccine. That a developing country

like Bangladesh could dare to be included in this

race was a surprise. But it also puts Bangladesh in

the limelight as a country with a very well

developed pharmaceutical industry to be able to

take on such a venture.

Already, another Bangladesh company is

exporting an important Corona virus treatment

medicine to USA and some other countries.

Companies from Bangladesh are also playing a role

in making and selling to other countries masks,

personal protective equipment (PPP) and even

ventilators. Now, the news of an effective Corona

vaccine from Bangladesh should make us all very

proud of our country in respect of finding solutions

to top most global problems.

Claiming that they have got very promising

results from pre-clinical trials on rabbits and mice

of the coronavirus vaccine styled 'BNCOVID'

developed by it, Bangladesh's Globe Biotech Ltd

recently disclosed they want to bring it to the

market by January next if they are allowed to

launch the first phase of human trials very soon.

Globe Biotech said they have completed all the

necessary preparations for making their vaccine

initiative a success, but they said everything now

depends on the government's cooperation in

helping to complete the required processes."We

hope the government will stand beside us and

assist us in every necessary area. If we all can make

collective efforts, we hope, we'll be able to start

giving our vaccine to people across Bangladesh by

January next,", Chairman of Globe Biotech, told a

press conference at a city hotel recently.

He said pre-clinical trials suggest that their

vaccine is as promising as the other leading corona

vaccine candidates in the world. "If we can now

make united efforts, we can export the vaccine to all

over the world alongside meeting the local

demand,"he said.

Needless to say, this is a huge opportunity for

Bangladesh. The entire population of the world

would need to be vaccinated. In this situation, if

Bangladesh can win a small part of the global

market for corona vaccine, this would yield a

magnificent amount for the country in foreign

currencies. Thus, it should be the patriotic duty of

all to help out to clear all stages in marketing the

Bangladesh produced vaccine. It must not be

allowed to be just another endeavor fizzled out by

bureaucratic procrastination and vested interests

of foreign and local groups.

Stating that the government has set aside Tk

10,000 crore for the corona vaccine, the Chairman

of Global Biotech said said they will be able to earn

many times over this amount if only the

government extends the necessary support to

them."Developing a vaccine is a daunting task. But

our team worked hard and made an impossible job

possible. We've built a cent percent foundation for

the vaccine as we're now at the stage of conducting

phase-1 and phase-2 clinical trials," he observed.

He urged the government and the regulatory

body, including DGDA, to allow them to conduct

the clinical trials of the vaccine as soon as possible.

"We believe our vaccine will turn out to be one of

the effective vaccines in the world and we'll be able

to save many lives. But we need government

patronage to make it possible." The Chairmanof

Globe Biotech also said: "Importing coronavirus

vaccines from abroad is surely going to be very

expensive, whenever that happens. We can't yet say

what the exact price of our solution will be. But it

would surely be much cheaper in a comparative

sense."

IS it possible to pursue economic

stability while at the same time

imparting massive volatility to the

theatre of politics? The simple answer is

yes, but at tremendous cost to the country

and especially the poor.

The present government now has to

tackle this double challenge. They are

engaged in talks with the IMF for

resumption of the programme, which is

already delayed since it was supposed to

have restarted by September. At the heart

of these talks are two critical plans the

government has to present. The first is a

revenue plan to convince the Fund that they

have a credible road map on how to curb

the fiscal deficit that for the second year in

a row has come in above eight per cent of

GDP, a manifestly unsustainable position.

The second plan is on the circular debt that

has crossed Rs2 trillion and is mounting

faster than it ever has before (though the

government argues that in recent months

the acceleration is due to disrupted

recoveries on account of Covid-19

lockdowns).

It is in this context that the government

has appointed Waqar Masud as special

assistant to the prime minister on revenue.

A Q-block veteran and an old associate of

Hafeez Shaikh (with whom he will be

working), the appointment is a clear

indication that the government is reaching

out for assistance on building its revenue

plan in the context of the IMF talks. On the

circular debt side we were told that

Shahzad Qasim, the former SAPM on

power, was in the advanced stages of

drawing up a plan until news arrived that

he had been replaced by Tabish Gauhar,

former chairman of K-Electric and senior

member of the Abraaj Capital team that

oversaw the management takeover of the

power utility back in 2009.

It is not clear what this handover of

charge means for the ongoing efforts to

draw up a circular debt curtailment plan,

but if Gauhar decides to turn the clock back

and chalk out his own road map rather than

continue with what Qasim was already

working with, it could prolong the talks. We

will have to wait to see.

At the same time as these talks, and the

efforts to draw up the plans necessary to

satisfy the Fund, are continuing, a massive

confrontation seems to be brewing between

the government and the opposition parties,

especially after the registration of sedition

cases against the leadership of the

opposition. The government would have us

believe that it has nothing to do with the

registration of these cases, that they have

been registered by a private individual in

his private capacity. Then it transpires that

the individual in question is supposedly a

worker of the ruling party and numerous

images start circulating of him shaking

hands and smiling broadly with various

party leaders, especially Chaudhry Sarwar,

the present governor Punjab. Then

surprisingly the name of one of the people

mentioned in the FIR - Prime Minister of

KHurrAm HusAIN

syed TAlAT HussAIN

Azad Jammu and Kashmir Raja

Muhammad Farooq - is struck off at the

behest of the Punjab government, but the

rest of the names are left in place.

Even as efforts are being made to draw up

the plans necessary to satisfy the IMF, a

massive political storm is brewing.

So the government had nothing to do

with filing these FIRs accusing two former

prime ministers of the country of 'sedition'

based on logic so specious that only a

handful of people in the country can claim

to understand it? And it is a sheer

coincidence, is it, that these FIRs are

registered two days after the prime minister

himself accuses Nawaz Sharif of "playing

India's game" and his own people are all

over the airwaves advancing the idea that

Sharif is a tool in the hands of the country's

enemies?

As if this was not enough, the other big

party from the opposition - the PPP - has

had fresh 'corruption' references filed

against its leadership, including former

prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and the

former president Asif Zardari. The timing is

unlikely to be a coincidence, as these

developments come right after the

formation of the anti-government Pakistan

Democratic Movement alliance - the name

has close resonance to the Movement for

the Restoration of Democracy in the early

1980s.

So the order of battle is falling in place

between the government and the

opposition, with each side escalating

matters towards a confrontation.

Meanwhile, the government's own people

are preparing to sit across the table from

the IMF team and present credible plans

for how they intend to raise more revenues,

cut spending, raise recoveries in the power

sector, adjust fuel prices to reflect global

market realities, and arrest what looks like

accelerating inflation. At the same time, as

the confrontation with the opposition

(should it come to that) will be taking off,

the government may well be signing off

onto another adjustment programme,

though perhaps not as harsh as the one it

had to implement in its first year

considering foreign exchange reserves are

not in as dire a position today as they were

back in August 2018.

Some in the top echelons of the

leadership apparently understand this.

Reports in the media suggest that in the

cabinet meeting held on Tuesday, some

ministers raised concerns about the

brewing confrontation while at the same

time underlining rising inflation as a

critical problem. In the days to come they

will be adding rising tax burden, interest

rates, currency depreciation, fuel and

power price hikes to this list as well. We

will see how much of an appetite for

confrontation remains once the

economic realities begin to assert

themselves, one more time.

Source: Dawn

Pakistan cracks down on NGos

Three years; 12 districts, some of

them the poorest in Pakistan; and 3

million lives touched. That's what

an exotically-named Citizen Engagement

for Responsive and Accountable

Governance project claims to have done in

the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province that

borders Afghanistan.

The project, funded by the European

Union and executed by a local NGO (nongovernmental

organisation), isn't the only

one operating in some of the most

neglected sectors like food, health,

education, infrastructure, justice, family

planning, labour, mining, environment,

water, and rights awareness.

According to government officials nearly

8,000 NGOs (through thousands of

programmes) across the country deliver

services that the state is unable to provide

to the deprived and the most vulnerable

among the Pakistanis. A majority of them

are local; others draw on international

funds.

Lives have to be saved, services have to

be delivered, rights have to be promoted,

and the most vulnerable have to be

protected against the vagaries of life and

circumstances. If NGOs can be a partner in

this vital endeavour, losing their helping

hand and locking horns with them would

be senseless and wasteful

But much of this is about to change as

dozens of NGOs have filed near-identical

petitions in the country's high courts

contesting what they perceive as a

draconian new legislation to bring them

under official heel and to choke their

operations. Interestingly, the contested

legislation, like the petitions against it, has

been passed by different provincial

assemblies. It has almost-similar content

exemplified by the standard name it

carries: The Charities Registration Act.

Civil society leaders smell rat in this rare

compatibility of legislative approach by

politicians who otherwise are seen locked

in an endless and dispiriting display of

partisan politics on more urgent national

concerns. They believe the state of

Pakistan is gradually snuffing out peopleempowering

initiatives that at times foster

healthy dissent, encourage communities

to speak for themselves, get organised and

demand their rights.

In their defence government officials

cite global legal requirements created by

the to-do-list of the Financial Action Task

Force (FATF), which the country must

fulfil to keep off its head the hanging sword

of sweeping sanctions and ward off the

dreadful prospect of international

isolation. FATF already has had Pakistan

on its grey list for two years for noncompliance

of several key deliverables.

Another uncharitable review can send to

the black list. That's why in all versions of

the Registration Act you get to read about

"effective provisions" for

charities'registration, administration and

regulation, "fund raising and collection

and utilisation of charitable funds for

charities and other institutions and for any

other purposes."

The world has started to take terrorism

financing and money laundering as an

In their defence government officials cite global

legal requirements created by the to-do-list of the

Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which the

country must fulfil to keep off its head the hanging

sword of sweeping sanctions and ward off

the dreadful prospect of international isolation.

international emergency, and this

architecture is hard to dodge.

However, global guidelines and

mandatory action plans to audit money

flows make a clear distinction between

legitimate charitable and service delivery

work and that which bankrolls terror or is

used for money laundering.

FATF shows sensitivity to this

distinction in its published material like

the International Standards on Combating

Money Laundering and the Financing of

Terrorism & Proliferation: The FATF

Recommendations. The document

Kerry Boyd ANdersoN

appreciates among other things the efforts

of civil society organisations, "despite the

difficulties they face, in providing essential

services, often in high-risk areas and

conflict zones."

More to the point, the charities and

NGOs that have in the past landed

Pakistan in global trouble necessarily use

religious platforms to push their agendas.

The contested legislation throws the

blanket of strict administrative rules on

every single NGO in the country requiring

them to open up their accounts, share

detailed information about their activities,

report all their work besides prohibiting

them from moving their territorial

presence or changing their areas of

operations.

More significantly, an anti-NGO

crackdown of sorts is already underway in

the country.

Dozens of International NGOs have had

their no objection certificates cancelled

forcing them to pack, strap and leave.

Centre for International Private Enterprise

(CIPE) US, Internews Network, US

Pathfinder International, US Central Asia

Education Trust, US American Centre for

International Labor Solidarity (Solidarity

Centre), US World Vision, US Plan

International, UK Safeworld, UK Action

Aid, Netherland Rutgers, Danish Refugee

Council (DRC), Denmark, Foundation

Open Society Institute (FOSI),

Switzerland. The list is long.

Source: Gulf news

Natural disasters an increased threat during pandemic

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

pandemic and its economic impacts have

made life difficult for people around the

world. Unfortunately, natural disasters have

not stopped; in some cases, climate change is

intensifying or increasing the frequency of

such disasters. Government authorities, aid

organizations, and communities and

individuals are being forced to find ways to

cope with both disasters and the pandemic.

The US has one of the biggest COVID-19

outbreaks in the world and has experienced

multiple extreme weather events this year.

The western US, particularly California, is

experiencing some of the worst fires in the

region's history. Organizations such as the

Red Cross had time to prepare for the

combination of the pandemic and the fire

season and have taken steps to provide more

shelters that allow for social distancing, but

the pandemic still complicates people's

ability to find shelter. The fires are also

worsening air quality, creating a new

concern for people with pulmonary

It is not clear what this handover of charge

means for the ongoing efforts to draw up a

circular debt curtailment plan, but if Gauhar

decides to turn the clock back and chalk out his

own road map rather than continue with what

Qasim was already working with, it could

prolong the talks. We will have to wait to see.

conditions. And the smoke forces people to

spend more time inside, which limits

opportunities for safer outdoor forms of

exercise and socialization.

The Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to

be particularly extreme this year. Currently,

Tropical Storm Laura and Hurricane Marco

are threatening the US coast, particularly

Louisiana and Texas - two states that are

dealing with large COVID-19 outbreaks. If

both storms reach hurricane strength in the

Gulf of Mexico at the same time, it would be a

historic first. There are also concerns that

many people might not evacuate for fear of

catching the virus, while authorities are aware

that more people might lack the financial

resources to evacuate due to the economic

impacts of COVID-19, and so might need

assistance. The pandemic complicates

hurricane response in other ways, too, such as

reducing the number of disaster relief

volunteers, who often travel from other US

states. Two weeks ago, the Midwest was hit by

an unusual derecho with hurricane-force

winds. It caused widespread damage to

physical property and crops, particularly in

Iowa. The storm caused long-lasting power

outages and forced several COVID-19 testing

centers to temporarily close. The economic

impact, particularly to the agricultural sector,

comes on top of a tough year for farmers for

multiple reasons, plus the pandemic's effects.

Natural disasters continue to pose threats

in many other parts of the world, too.

Cyclone Amphan hit India and Bangladesh

in May as those countries were dealing with

a COVID-19 outbreak. While there were

some successful evacuations, the pandemic

complicated shelter provision, including

because some locations were reportedly

already in use as COVID-19 isolation centers.

Later, historically devastating monsoon

floods swamped parts of South Asia, putting

at least a quarter of Bangladesh under water.

In addition to the challenges of finding

shelter, many who lost their homes and

crops were already struggling from the

economic consequences of COVID-19,

including the loss of remittances from family

members in urban areas.

There are multiple other examples. The

Middle East experienced an unusually

strong cyclone in March while coping with

the early spread of the virus. Northern India

dealt with a severe heatwave in May, while

parts of Europe endured one this summer

that contributed to people crowding British

beaches in violation of social distancing

measures. Locust swarms in the spring and

summer in East Africa, the Middle East and

South Asia added to farmers' misery.

The pandemic complicates responses to

natural disasters; it makes it harder to move

supplies, to ensure safe shelter, and to find

volunteers to help, among other problems.

The pandemic also exacerbates the

economic effects of disasters and diminishes

the economic and psychological resources

that people have to cope with them. Natural

disasters undermine efforts to contain.

Source : Arab news


FridAY, OCtOber 9, 2020

5

How Suganomics differs from Abenomics

Anthony Fensom

"Abenomics minus Yasukuni."That

is how one analyst sees the economic

policy of Japan's new Prime Minister

Suga Yoshihide, suggesting continuity,

minus his predecessor's nationalistic

urges.

Can 71-year-old Suga get the world's

third-biggest economy back on track,

as the nation battles the coronavirus

pandemic, mounting debt and adverse

demographics? Abe's shock

resignation on August 28 on medical

grounds rattled financial markets,

with the benchmark Nikkei Stock

Average dropping by 2.5 percent and

the yen advancing against the U.S.

dollar. Just days earlier, the Liberal

Democratic Party (LDP) leader had set

a new record as Japan's longest

serving prime minister, with almost

eight years in office since his reelection

in December 2012.

The center-right politician had

pursued both economic and national

revitalization, famously urging

investors at the New York Stock

Exchange in 2013 to "buy my

Abenomics." Based on the so-called

"three arrows" of fiscal and monetary

stimulus together with structural

reform, Abe sought to kick-start

Japan's economy after two decades of

deflationary downturn following the

bursting Japan's economic bubble in

the 1990s.

Supported by a massive monetary

"bazooka" fired by the Bank of Japan,

Abenomics pushed Japanese stocks

higher along with corporate profits,

feeding through to higher wages and

record low unemployment of close to 2

percent, alongside faster economic

growth.

The Nikkei Stock Average surged

almost threefold, rising from around

8,000 to its highest level in 26 years of

around 24,000, on the back of the

longest streak of uninterrupted

economic growth in more than two

decades.

Abe also won favor from investors

for his market-friendly reforms, such

as the introduction of Japan's first

stewardship and governance codes,

which gave shareholders a greater

voice and forced higher dividend

payouts.

In trade policy, Abe succeeded in

driving through the Trans-Pacific

Partnership even without

Washington's involvement, while also

signing a number of free trade

agreements with the European Union,

the United States and other nations

such as Australia.

Significantly, gross domestic

product (GDP) growth under Abe was

"higher than in the Eurozone and

Britain, and roughly the same as in the

U.S.," once adjusted for the working

age population, according to Capital

Economics.

Morgan Stanley's Asia strategist

Jonathan Garner described Abe's

achievements as "similar in scale to

that of the transformational leaders of

the 1980s - Ronald Reagan and

Margaret Thatcher - and equally

unlikely to be reversed."

However, Abe failed to achieve his

desired constitutional reform - his

desire to amend the war-renouncing

Article 9 - and left office on the back of

the lowest poll ratings of his term amid

various scandals and intensifying

criticism of his handling of COVID-19.

Japan's economy was already in

recession even prior to the COVID-19

pandemic, due to the impact of an

increase of the country's consumption

tax in October 2019.

Abe's "Womenomics" policy also

failed to force significant change at the

highest levels of business and

government, while a long list of

structural reforms including labor

market changes, pro-competition

Japan's new Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's

official residence.

deregulation and privatization were

left on the backburner.

Asked about Abe's legacy,

WisdomTree Japan's Jesper Koll

pointed to a re-injection of national

confidence. "When Abe took over,

Japan was at rock bottom. There was

despair, there was disillusion, there

was deflation - the national spirit after

the Fukushima disaster [of 2011] was

at an all-time low," he said.

"And whatever you think of Abe, he

brought confidence back into the

system…that ability to pull the

government together, to get big

business, finance, media and the

technocrats working together, that was

a big cornerstone of what Abe was able

to do."

The son of strawberry farmers in

rural Akita Prefecture, the unassuming

Suga secured the nation's highest

office without the backing of a family

political dynasty such as Abe's.

However, his long stint in the spotlight

as Abe's chief spokesman earned him

public recognition, which increased

further still after he announced the

name of the new imperial era, Reiwa,

in April 2019.

After winning the internal LDP race

to replace Abe, Suga declared that

"regulatory reform is my agenda."

"During my seven years and eight

Photo: AP

months as chief cabinet secretary, I

noticed that when policies are slow to

move forward, it's usually because of

bureaucrats' sectionalism and a

penchant for sticking with

precedents," he said at a press

conference.

Suga pointed to digitalization as one

of his first major reforms, with a new

agency to be established to ensure that

the bureaucracy embraces digital

transformation. This followed

criticism over the slow distribution of

cash handouts provided in response to

COVID-19. Reports of health ministry

bureaucrats faxing COVID-19 data

rather than using email, and delays

caused by the use of "hanko" stamps

rather than electronic signatures, have

only added to the pressure on

Kasumigaseki to embrace change.

Suga entered office with an approval

rating of at 74 percent, one of the

highest for a new cabinet, and his

move to slash telecommunications

fees should further boost his

popularity. The new leader also

sparked a surge in regional bank

shares after commenting that Japan

"had too many regional banks,"

resulting in speculation of a wave of

mergers in the troubled sector.

However, Suga's immediate priority is

"responding to the coronavirus and

working hard to put the economy back

on track."

Talks have reportedly commenced

on a new economic stimulus package

to support the country's recovery,

expected in 2021, along with other key

legislation including a Japan-Britain

economic partnership agreement.

Suga's Cabinet lineup also points to a

continuation of Abenomics, with the

retention of key ministers including

Finance Minister Aso Taro.

One minister to have already made

his mark is former Defense Minister

Kono Taro, who was appointed

minister in charge of regulatory and

administrative reforms. The Englishspeaking

Kono has already signaled

some of his plans, declaring a war on

fax machines and tweeting that he had

"checked 800 most often used

government procedures with hanko…

and found few of them need to

continue."

Yet aside from such micro reforms,

can Suganomics deliver Japan a

much-needed productivity boost?

Among the optimists are John Vail,

chief global strategist of Nikko Asset

Management, who described Suga as

"likely the most pro-Third Arrow

reform PM [prime minister] in Japan's

history."

China's ping-pong diplomacy in the Levant

the Philippines has been the perfect target for Chinese political interference.

Photo: Philippine Presidential department

China's campaign in the Philippines

GREGORY WINGER

In U.S.-China relations, "coordinated

inauthentic behavior" is no longer just a

polite description for bilateral summits,

but the latest tactic in the ongoing

competition for power and influence in

the Indo-Pacific. On September 22,

Facebook announced that it had

dismantled a Chinese disinformation

campaign that used false accounts and

profiles to dupe unwitting individuals

into consuming Chinese disinformation.

Dubbed "Operation Naval Gazing" by the

social media analysis firm Graphika, the

network consisted of 155 accounts, 11

pages, nine groups and six Instagram

accounts and attracted an audience of at

least 130,000 followers. The network

particularly targeted the Philippines,

where it actively interfered in Philippine

politics and generated millions of digital

interactions by promoting politicians

favorable to China, including President

Rodrigo Duterte. This marks the second

time that Facebook has removed

disinformation networks emanating

from China and heralds a new age of

information warfare in the Indo-Pacific,

where the United States and allies like

the Philippines are uniquely vulnerable

to attack.

China's embrace of foreign influence

operations marks an important evolution

in its cyber statecraft. While Beijing has

long embraced cyber espionage in

particular as a central facet of its national

security, it has historically struggled with

information warfare. Yet a reassessment

appears to be under way in Beijing. After

witnessing Russia's successful use of

information operations, particularly in

election interference, China has made a

concerted effort to learn Russian

disinformation tactics and adapt them to

its own interests. During the 2020

Taiwan presidential election, China

conducted a dedicated but ultimately

unsuccessful campaign to use

disinformation to sway the election and

derail the reelection campaign of

President Tsai Ing-wen. China has

enjoyed greater success in using

information operations to rebuff

criticism of its handling of COVID-19.

One video titled "Once upon a virus….",

contrasting China's response to the

pandemic with that of the U.S.

memorably led Peter Singer to tweet:

"You know that scene in Jurassic Park,

the moment when the Velociraptor

learns to turn the doorknob? This is it for

China in online info-war."

Operation Naval Gazing reflects this

evolution in Chinese cyber operations.

The earliest accounts within the network

date to 2016; they focused on Taiwanese

politics and advanced pro-mainland

positions like espousing the benefits of

reunification. However, a shift occurred

in 2018 when the network broadened its

activities to include a more dedicated

focus on naval affairs and regional

politics. In particular, the network

created several Facebook portals focused

on the South China Sea that trumpeted

Chinese naval accomplishments and

derided American activities. The network

would eventually create pro-China

content targeting Indonesia and the U.S.,

but only managed to gain significant

traction in the Philippines.

The Philippines provided an ideal

target for China to exercise its

capabilities in foreign influence

operations and is uniquely susceptible to

manipulation through Facebook. Beyond

being an American ally and a strategic

pivot in the Indo-Pacific, the Philippines

is also the most social media addicted

country in the world. The Philippines

tops the world in daily usage of social

media, with Filipinos spending an

average of roughly 4 hours per day on

social media. Facebook dominates the

Philippine social media landscape with

75 million active users representing 71

percent of the Philippines' population.

This fervor for Facebook is not an

accident, but an acute reflection of the

informational and digital realities in the

Philippines. In a country plagued by poor

digital infrastructure, mobile devices

have become the primary means through

which Filipinos access the internet.

However, mobile data plans remain

expensive. To circumvent this obstacle to

entry, in 2013 Facebook partnered with

local carriers to offer "Free Facebook," a

plan that allowed mobile subscribers to

access Facebook without using data. The

result has been a meteoric rise in

Facebook usage throughout the country.

As Davey Alba at BuzzFeed News noted,

"for many in one of the most persistently

poor nations in the world, Facebook is

the only way to access the internet."

Facebook's dominance as an

information source has already made

disinformation a common feature of

Philippine politics. It was critical to

bolstering Rodrigo Duterte's presidential

campaign in 2016. Since the election,

disinformation has continued to be

employed to defend Duterte's violent war

on drugs, discredit critics and undermine

rival media outlets like Rappler and ABS-

CBN. It is this combination of social

media supremacy and undermining of

traditional media outlets that made the

Philippines such a welcoming target for

Chinese manipulation.

SOPHIE ZINSER

A new phase of ping-pong diplomacy

is quietly beginning over China's

strategic soft-power role in the Middle

East. Once flights become available,

11-year-old Syrian table tennis star

Hend Zaza will trade in her long-term

Olympic 2020 dream for a short-term

China one. A few months ago, Zaza

was set to be the youngest athlete at

the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She

made early March headlines across

Western media outlets after beating

Mariana Sahakian of Lebanon - 31

years her senior - at the Western Asia

Olympic Qualification Tournament

for Table Tennis in Amman, Jordan.

With the Olympic games postponed

until 2021, the Chinese Olympic

Organizing Committee has invited

Zaza to China to train with the nation's

top players to keep her game up for

Tokyo.

A CCTV video circulated on Weibo

gives Chinese viewers a backstory on

Zaza's rise to ping-pong fame. The

video features clips of the young

athlete dominating tables across the

Middle East. Since her victory in

Lebanon last February, Hend has

been training for the Olympics in her

hometown of Hama, Syria for three

hours a day, six days a week. When

asked about her move to China, Zaza

mentions looking forward to having

consistent electricity and playing on

new tables, saying "I am so looking

forward to my trip…I can't wait!" The

video ends with Zaza claiming that

world's top ping pong player - Chinese

female star Ding Ning - is her idol; a

statement which resonated with many

Chinese-language commenters.

Encouraging Zaza with hearts of

support and calls of "?? - jia you!" or

"add oil" (a common Chinese phrase

of encouragement), Weibo

commenters also praised Ding Ning

for touching fans around the world.

It comes as no surprise that Zaza

would have her heart set on China. It

is the world's hub for top table tennis

players. Over the last 60 years, the

Chinese table tennis team has won

over 230 gold medals and developed a

three-tiered government-funded

training system of local organizations,

province-wide table tennis schools,

and a national team boasting the

world's best coaches. Table tennis is

an important national sport

domestically in China and source of

prominent Chinese contemporary

culture icons like Ding. With China as

her training ground, Zaza becomes a

part of the world's most elite table

tennis circles.

At this pivotal moment in turbulent

U.S.-China relations, Zaza's pending

journey reminds readers of other

geopolitical relationships built on

table tennis. In April 1971, a friendly

exchange between American player

Glen Cowan and Chinese player

Zhuang Zedong paved the way for a

National Committee on U.S.-China

Relations-led invitation of American

diplomats to Beijing. The friendshipturned-political-action

culminated in

the arrival of Richard Nixon to Beijing

in 1972. Time Magazine hailed this

seismic political moment as the "ping

heard round the world."

It seems too soon to say whether

China similarly intends welcoming

Zaza as a symbol for diplomatic

outreach to the wider Middle East. But

the 11-year-old's China dream

epitomizes a geopolitical power shift

east; one where the United States'

historically dominant role is receding

in China's favor. Western China-

Middle East analysts often

homogenize China's political and

economic role in the Middle East's

diverse nations as exclusively focused

on fossil fuel investments or on

exporting clean energy tech. In those

contexts, the term "Middle East" is

often only used to reference a handful

of Middle Eastern countries receiving

large-scale energy investments from

China, including the Gulf countries,

Iran, and most recently, Egypt.

However, Zaza's journey sheds light

on the less clear long-term intentions

of China's role in the Levant, a region

comprised of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan,

Israel, Palestine. While Chinese and

Syrian diplomatic relations date back

to 1956, China recently stepped to the

fore in the Levant with Xi's 2018

pledge of $15 million to Palestine,

along with another $91 million to

Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.

Although these amounts seem

significant, they are miniscule

compared to China's billions of

investments in Gulf countries. This

makes Xi's 2018 pledge look more like

a development promise than a bold

strategic investment.

Young Syrian table tennis star Hend Zaza is China-bound, just as China's ambitions in the Levant intensify.

Photo: Unsplash


FriDAY, OCTOBEr 9, 2020 6

3 terrorists held with weapons

in Manikchhari

MD JAKIR HoSSAIn, MAnIKCHHARI

CoRRESponDEnT:

Members of army arrested three

UpDF (main) terrorists on the basis

of secret information in a remote area

of Batnatali in Manikchhari upazila of

Khagrachhari district on Tuesday

night. The detainees are identified as

Rocky Tripura (20), Sathoang

Marma (30) and Jewel Tripura (23).

They are all toll collectors of the

UpDF (main) party. The operation

was led by Army Camp Commander

Captain Wali. During the time, the

terrorist were detained with 1 pistol, 2

rounds of ammunition, 32,500 cash,

wallet, 3 fake documents, 6 mobile

phones, receipt of collection of dues,

basic education and policy books of

the party and various documents.

As the remote area is under

Ramgarh thana, the army has started

the process of handing them over to

Ramgarh police station. At around

12.30 pm, they were taken to

Ramgarh police station by an army

team.

Director General of Department of Agricultural Extension Md. Abdul Muyeed

cuts early variety of Aman in Kishoreganj recently. Photo: Mafe Mahiuddin

DG of Department of Agricultural

Extension cuts early variety of Aman

MAFE MAHIUDDIn, KISHoREGAnJ CoR-

RESponDEnT:

Director General of Department of

Agricultural Extension Md. Abdul

Muyeed cuts early variety of Aman. He

inaugurated the early variety of Aman

paddy sample harvesting program

organized by the Upazila Agriculture

Extension Department at Kishoreganj

in nilphamari on Sunday afternoon.

A sample crop harvesting ceremony

was held in the field of farmer

Dinobandhu Roy of putimari Union of

the upazila on Sunday afternoon. The

farmer said that the yield has been

bumper.

According to the Agriculture

Department, the Moyna (hybrid)

variety is in advance. Farmers cultivate

this variety for early potato cultivation.

The incidence of this disease is less, if

pesticides and fertilizers are applied

less. Earlier it was seen that at this time

the agricultural laborers in north

Bengal used to stay at home due to lack

of work as there was no crop in the field

but the Department of Agricultural

Extension encouraged the farmers to

cultivate early varieties of aman paddy.

As a result, farmers do not have to stay

at home due to lack of work at this time

as before. During the time, Mohammad

Ali, Director, ICT and planning Wing,

Department of Agricultural Extension,

Deputy Director of nilphamari

Agriculture Extension Department

obaidur Rahman Mandal, Upazila

Agriculture officer Md Habibur

Rahman, Upazila Agriculture

Extension officer Tushar Kanti Roy

and others were also present on the

occasion.

Members of army in a drive arrested three UPDF (main) terrorists remote area from a Batnatali

in Manikchhari upazila of Khagrachhari district on Tuesday night. Photo: Md Jakir Hossain

BCG detains two smugglers along

with huge quantity of yaba tablets

Members of Bangladesh

Coast Guard, Station Teknaf

arrested a drug peddler

named Kamal Hossain, 48,

along with 10,000 pieces of

yaba tablets on Wednesday

night. While conducting

regular patrol of Bangladesh

Coast Guard, the man was

Members of Bangladesh Coast Guard in a drive arrested a drug peddler

along with 10,000 pieces of yaba tablets from Teknaf on Wednesday

night.

Photo: Courtesy

arrested along with Yaba after

searching an area adjacent to

Badir Bridge of naf River

under Teknaf police Station, a

press release said.

The detainee and the seized

yaba tablets were later handed

over to Teknaf police station

for further legal action.

In another Coast Guard

operation, a man named

Yasin alias Kaiya (23) was

arrested along with 55 Yaba

tablets by BCG station

Himchhari on Tuesday

midnight. The detainee is the

son of Mohammad Alam of

Uttar Sonar para under Ukhia

police station in Cox's Bazar

district. The detainee was

later handed over to Ramu

police station for legal action.

The Coast Guard has

adopted a zero tolerance

policy to control law and

order, public safety as well as

kidnapping, robbery and drug

control in the areas covered by

the Bangladesh Coast Guard.

Regular operations are

continuing and will continue

in the future as well.

2020 Graduation Ceremony

held in Bochaganj

SUMAn CHAnDRA, BoCHAGAnJ CoRRE-

SponDEnT:

Good neighbors Bangladesh

Bochaganj CDp has organized a 2020

graduation ceremony with 145

sponsored children in Bochaganj,

Dinajpur. The 2020 Graduation

Ceremony with the sponsored children

was held at the office of Good

neighbors Bangladesh Bochaganj CDp

on Thursday.

CDp project Manager Ratan Bala

presided over the function while

Upazila Mahila Vice Chairman

putul Rani Roy was the chief guest.

Among others, Utpal Roy Bulu, Up

Chairman, Ishania Union no. 2 and

Md. Ahsan Habib, Upazila

Secondary Education officer were

present as special guests. CDp's

Assistant Major (program) Md.

Kamal Uddin also spoke on the

occasion.

Massive awareness

on sanitation stressed

in Gaibandha

GAIBAnDHA: Speakers at a meeting held

here yesterday underlined the need for

raising massive awareness about the use of

sanitary latrines, safe drinking water and

hygienic rules for a healthy and disease-free

society, reports BSS.

'The people of haor and chars are still

defecating in open places affecting total

sanitation coverage but they will have to be

brought under the sanitation coverage at any

cost', they said.

They made the observation while

participating in a preparatory meeting held

Wednesday noon in observance of the

upcoming Global Hand Washing Day-2020

and the national Sanitation Month.

Additional Deputy Commissioner

(General) Alamgir Kabir Saikat, Executive

Engineer of Department of public Health

Engineering (DpHE) Mohammad Rezwan

Hossain, Deputy Director of Women Affairs

Department nargis Jahan, District

Information officer Md. Haidar Ali,

representative of SKS Foundation Ashraful

Alam and Coordinator of GUK Aftab

Hossain among others spoke at the meeting,

The meeting adopted many decisions

and a number of programmes have been

chalked out to celebrate the national

Sanitation Month And Global Hand

Washing Day-2020 in the district in a

befitting manner.

Global Hand Washing Day would be

celebrated on october 15 in the district and

the students of primary and high schools

would be taught about proper hand washing

systems from 9.30 am to 11 am

simultaneously at respective academic

institutions to save them from different

diseases.

Executive Engineer of DpHE Mohammad

Rezwan Hossain said the district has so far

achieved 92.63 percent sanitation coverage

and it will be brought under 100 percent

coverage in order to achieve Sustainable

Development Goals by 2030.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Alamgir

Kabir Saikat urged all to turn the sanitation

campaign into a social movement to achieve

100 percent sanitation coverage as declared

by prime Minister Sheikh Hasina through

stopping open defecation.

A good number of government officials,

nGo representatives, and socials workers

and the journalists of print and electronic

media took part in the meeting.

RAKUB disburses

Tk 87.46-cr SME

loan in Rajshahi

RAJSHAHI: SME

Financing Company Limited,

a subsidiary company of

Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan

Bank (RAKUB), has

disbursed Small and Medium

Enterprise (SME) loan worth

Taka 87.46 crore among

8,493 SME entrepreneurs

aims at promoting the sector

in different potential areas of

Rajshahi region till

September last, reports BSS.

The company has disbursed

Taka 14.44 crore among 1,324

entrepreneurs and recovered

loan of Taka 14.84 crore from

1,154 entrepreneurs during

the past three months of the

current 2020-21 fiscal year.

It was revealed in the 30th

virtual meeting of the

governing council of the

company held at the Board

room of RAKUB

Headquarters here yesterday.

Roisul Alam asked the

company officials to expedite

the SME credit program

through intensifying

motivational, awareness

building and monitoring

activities so that the target

group of people can derive its

total benefits.

Good Neighbors Bangladesh Bochaganj CDP has organized a 2020 graduation ceremony with 145

sponsored children in Bochaganj on Thursday.

Photo: Suman Chandra

387 die, 22,160 infected, 20,374

recover in Khulna Covid-19

KHULnA: With detection of 50 more

positive cases in all ten districts of the

division, the total number of CoVID-19

infected patients now hit 22,160 till last

noon, reports BSS.

A total of 20,374 have been cured from

the lethal virus infection and recovery

rate of the lethal virus now stands at 91.94

percent," Assistant Director (Health) for

Khulna division Dr. Ferdousi Akhter told

BSS.

The total number of CoVID-19 patients

rose to 22,160 with 50 new positive cases

were reported after testing 136 samples at

the Khulna Medical College Laboratory

and two others CoVID-19 laboratories in

Khulna division in the last 24 hours till

this noon.

of the total new positive cases, the

highest 12 were detected in Jashore

followed by 11 in Khulna, 10 in Kushtia,

five in Chuadanga, four in Jhenidah,

three each in Bagerhat and Magura and

two in narail in the division.

With the new detected cases, the

district-wise break-up of the patients are

6,454 in Khulna, 3,964 in Jashore, 3,321

in Kushtia, 1,957 in Jhenaidah, 1,453 in

Chuadanga, 1,361 in narail, 1,103 in

Satkhira, 999 in Bagerhat, 1,003 in

Magura and 626 in Meherpur, she added.

"Among the total 22,160 coronavirus

infected persons, 2,407 are undergoing

treatment at isolation units of different

hospitals as 20,374 have been recovered

and 387 died while the rest are

undergoing treatment in isolation at their

respective homes in the division", Dr.

Ferdousi said.

Talking to BSS yesterday, Divisional

Director (Health) Dr. Rasheda Sultana

said the number of total fatalities now

stands at 387 in the division with no more

death was reported in the division on

Wednesday.

The district-wise break-up of the death

tolls are 96 in Khulna, 73 in Kushtia, 47 in

Jashore, 35 in Jhenaidah, 34 in

Chuadanga, , 30 in Satkhira, 24 in

Bagerhat, 20 in narail,15 in Meherpur

and 13 in Magura in the division.

"The average casualty rate among all

22,160 CoVID-19 positive cases now

stands at 1.75 per cent in the division,"

she mentioned.

on the other hand, a total of 51 more

people have been sent to home and

institutional quarantine afresh while 79

others were released in all ten districts of

the division over the last 24 hours till 12

last noon.

A total of 60,555 people had, so far,

been kept under quarantine since March

10 to prevent community transmission of

the coronavirus (CoVID-19).

of them, 59,090 have, by now, been

released as they were given clearance

certificates after completing their

respective 14-day quarantine period

and 2,407 are currently remaining in

home or institutional quarantine in the

division.


FrIDAY, OCTOBer 9, 2020

7

For the sixth time in the Atlantic hurricane season, people in Louisiana are once more fleeing

the state's barrier islands and sailing boats to safe harbor while emergency officials ramp up

command centers and consider ordering evacuations.

Photo : AP

Busy 2020 hurricane season has

Louisiana bracing a 6th time

MORGAN CITY : For the sixth time in

the Atlantic hurricane season, people in

Louisiana are once more fleeing the

state's barrier islands and sailing boats

to safe harbor while emergency officials

ramp up command centers and

consider ordering evacuations.

The storm being watched Wednesday

was Hurricane Delta, the 25th named

storm of the Atlantic's unprecedented

hurricane season. Forecasts placed

most of Louisiana within Delta's path,

with the latest National Hurricane

Center estimating landfall in the state

on Friday.

The center's forecasters warned of

winds that could gust well above 100

mph (160 kph) and up to 11 feet (3.4

meters) of ocean water potentially

rushing onshore when the storm's

center hits land.

"This season has been relentless,"

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said,

dusting off his now common refrain of

2020 - "Prepare for the worst. Pray for

the best."

Delta strengthened back into a

Category 2 hurricane early Thursday

after a hurricane warning was issued

In about-face,

Trump seeks to

salvage parts of

virus aid

WASHINGTON : President

Donald Trump on

Wednesday tried to salvage

a few priority items lost in

the rubble of COVID-19

relief talks that he himself

blew up, pressing for $1,200

stimulus checks and new aid

for airlines and other

businesses hard hit by the

pandemic. But it's not clear

whether he can undo the

self-inflicted political

damage so close to the

election.

In a barrage of tweets,

Trump pressed for passage

of these chunks of

assistance, an about-face

from his abrupt and

puzzling move on Tuesday

afternoon to abandon talks

with a longtime rival, House

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The

California Democrat has

rejected such piecemeal

entreaties all along.

Trump's tweets amounted

to him demanding his way in

negotiations that he himself

had ended. Trump, who

absorbed much political

heat for abandoning the

talks, is the steward of an

economy whose continued

recovery may hinge on

significant new steps such as

pandemic unemployment

benefits. His tweets seemed

to move the financial

markets into positive

territory, though it was far

from certain whether they

would impress voters

demanding more relief.

He called on Congress to

send him a "Stand Alone Bill

for Stimulus Checks

($1,200)" - a reference to a

preelection batch of direct

payments to most

Americans that had been a

central piece of negotiations

between Pelosi and the

White House.

for a stretch of the northern U.S. Gulf

Coast. Some weakening is forecast once

Delta approaches the northern Gulf

Coast on Friday, when the National

Hurricane Center predicted hurricane

conditions would begin in parts of the

area. The center said Delta is expected

to become a major hurricane again, like

it was days earlier before hitting the

Mexican Yucatan Peninsula on

Wednesday.

So far, Louisiana has seen both major

strikes and near misses. The southwest

area of the state around Lake Charles,

which forecasts show is on Delta's

current trajectory, is still recovering

from an Aug. 27 landfall by Category 4

Hurricane Laura.

Nearly six weeks later, some 5,600

people remain in New Orleans hotels

because their homes are too damaged

to occupy. Trees, roofs and other debris

left in Laura's wake still sit by roadsides

in the Lake Charles area waiting for

pickup even as forecasters warned that

Delta could be a larger than average

storm.

New Orleans spent a few days last

month bracing for Hurricane Sally

before it skirted to the east, making

landfall in Alabama on Sept. 16.

Edwards said President Donald

Trump has agreed to sign a federal

emergency declaration in advance for

the state. The Democratic governor

said he doesn't expect widespread

mandatory evacuations.

But Edwards said Wednesday that

Delta is moving fast, so hurricane force

winds could reach well inland, and

expected heavy rains could cause

flooding.

Plywood, batteries and rope already

were flying off the shelves at the Tiger

Island hardware store in Morgan City,

Louisiana, which would be close to the

center of the storm's path.

"The other ones didn't bother me, but

this one seems like we're the target,"

customer Terry Guarisco said as a store

employee helped him load his truck

with plywood needed to board up his

home.

In Sulphur, across the Calcasieu

River from Lake Charles, Ben Reynolds

was deciding whether to leave or stay.

He had to use a generator for power for

a week after Hurricane Laura.

Trump administration turns to

immigration as vote nears

WASHINGTON : It had the ingredients of a

President Donald Trump campaign speech:

dangerous immigrants, attacks on Democratrun

cities, even a mention of "America First."

But it was Chad Wolf, acting secretary of

the Department of Homeland Security,

announcing a routine, and relatively minor,

enforcement operation Wednesday at a

Washington news conference.

"It's not about Republicans, it's not about

Democrats, it's not about elections," Wolf

insisted, twice, to reporters, reports UNB.

Yet it was the third time in a week the

administration rolled out actions to appear

tough on immigration, reviving an issue that

was at the heart of Trump's successful 2016

campaign, but largely on the back burner in

the current one. And it added to charges from

Trump critics that DHS and other agencies

have become overtly politicized under this

president. DHS, which was created to

improve America's resistance to external

threats following the Sept. 11 attacks, has

been a tool of key Trump administration

policies from the start - enforcing stricter

immigration policies, building the border

wall and, most notoriously, separating

families apprehended trying to enter the

United States. Its political role has increased

in recent months, with the decision to deploy

DHS tactical agents to Portland, Oregon, to

confront protesters outside the federal

courthouse without the consent of local

authorities as part of Trump's "law and order"

campaign theme.

"His modus operandi for the vast majority

of the administration has been to use DHS to

benefit him politically," said Miles Taylor,

who served as the agency's chief of staff from

2017-19. "Now, he's trying to use the

department to benefit himself electorally."

Few issues are as important to Trump's

political base as immigration. His get-tough

approach and promise to build a border wall

were cornerstones of his 2016 campaign. But

attention to the issue has ebbed in the 2020

race, as Trump has focused more on unrest in

Democratic cities, leftist activists and other

matters. But the effort to rekindle the antiimmigration

fervor has gained steam.

In recent weeks, the administration has

announced time limits for students to

complete their studies, requirements for

additional biometrics and even DNA in some

cases to get immigration benefits and a new

rule for immigrant sponsors to submit years

of credit reports, bank statements and other

financial information.

It had the ingredients of a President Donald Trump campaign speech:

dangerous immigrants, attacks on Democrat-run cities, even a mention of

"America First."

Photo : AP

Sri Lanka closes

key state offices

as virus outbreak

surges

COLOMBO : Authorities in Sri Lanka closed

key government offices and further

expanded a curfew Thursday to contain a

surging coronavirus outbreak.

The foreign ministry closed the consular

affairs office for the week and suspended all

services to prevent the public from

congregating. The ministry said it would

only accept queries and documentation

assistance related to deaths of Sri Lankans

overseas, strictly by appointment.

Other departments providing services

related to revenue, immigration, pensions,

vehicle license and registrations also closed

for the week, and a state-sponsored

exhibition was canceled.

The outbreak that surfaced this week has

grown to 1,034 cases with more than 2,000

others asked to quarantine at home.

It is centered around a garment factory in

the Colombo suburbs where the first patient

and many others worked. Police have

widened the curfew in the suburbs where

many of the patients live. Schools have

closed, public gatherings were ordered

halted and restrictions were imposed on

public transport.

The cluster comes after the Indian Ocean

island nation reported going two months

without any community infections, and

health officials say it poses a high risk of

spreading the virus because employees at

the factory worked close together and also

went home every day and mingled with

others in society. The country has reported

4,252 cases, including 13 deaths. Of the total

patients, 3,274 have recovered.

Before attack, a Pakistani teen

sought better life in France

KOTLI QAZI : Ali Hassan was only

15 when he left Pakistan to be

smuggled to Europe, following the

path of his older brother and many

other young men from his home

country dreaming of a better life.

Nearly three years later, Hassan is

today in a Paris jail after allegedly

attacking and seriously wounding

two people with a meat cleaver.

Before the Sept. 25 attack, he

proclaimed in a video he was

seeking vengeance after the French

satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo

published caricatures of Islam's

Prophet Muhammad.

Little is known about Hassan's

time in France. There has been

confusion over his age, but The

Associated Press obtained his

official identification documents in

Pakistan that confirmed he is

currently 18. French authorities are

investigating the Sept. 25 stabbings

as an Islamic extremist attack. The

stabbings echoed a January 2015

attack on the newspaper that killed

12 of its staffers by militants who

claimed they were acting in the

name of al-Qaida.

So far, there has been no

indication Hassan was connected to

any terrorist group. Instead, the

wrath of the teenager - far from

home in a world vastly different

from any he knew - may have roots

in Pakistan's draconian blasphemy

laws. Hassan's journey began in his

home village of Kotli Qazi, deep in a

rural area of Punjab province. The

tiny village lies down a narrow,

rutted dirt road weaving through

vast agricultural fields.

The small cement houses are

crowded together, their walls

packed with dung patties baking in

the blistering noon day sun. By

sunset they'll be peeled off the

walls and used to fuel the evening

fires.

Many of the young men, including

childhood friends of Hassan, said

they dreamed of reaching Europe to

find prosperity - at least 18 youths

from the village have emigrated

abroad in recent years. At the same

time, they held up Hassan as a hero

for carrying out the attack.

In the district where Kotli Qazi is

located, a hard-line political party,

Tehreek-e Labbaik, holds powerful

influence - almost its sole agenda to

uphold the blasphemy laws, which

call for the death penalty against

those who offend Islam. Only a few

months after Hassan arrived in

France, Labbaik Party-backed

protesters rallied and blocked roads

in the district and other parts of

Pakistan in November 2018, furious

that a young Christian woman, Asia

Bibi, was freed from death row

where she'd faced execution on

blasphemy charges.

Authorities in Sri Lanka closed key government offices and further expanded a curfew Thursday to contain

a surging coronavirus outbreak.

Photo : AP

Morocco reports

highest daily

2,776 COVID-19

cases, 140,024

in total

RABAT : Morocco on

Wednesday reported 2,776

new COVID-19 cases, the

biggest single-day increase

so far, taking the number of

infections in the country

since March 2 to 140,024.

The total number of

recoveries from COVID-19

in Morocco increased to

118,142 after 2,788 new ones

were added, the ministry of

health said in a statement.

The death toll rose to

2,439 with 29 new fatalities,

while 424 people are in

intensive care units.

China has helped Morocco

in its fight against the

COVID-19 pandemic.

A batch of medical

supplies donated by the

government of northwest

China's Ningxia Hui

Autonomous Region was

transported on June 8 to

Casablanca-Settat in

Morocco.

On May 14, China

Development Bank sent a

batch of donation, including

respirators and medical

protective masks, to help

Morocco fight the COVID-19

pandemic.

China's Guizhou Province

also donated 15,000 surgical

gloves, 20,000 medical

masks and 2,000 protective

suits to help protect

Moroccan medical workers

fighting the pandemic.

‘Catastrophically short of doctors’:

Virus wallops Ukraine

STEBNYK : Coronavirus infections in

Ukraine began surging in late summer, and

the ripples are now hitting towns like

Stebnyk in the western part of the country,

where Dr. Natalia Stetsik is watching the

rising number of patients with alarm and

anguish.

"It's incredibly difficult. We are

catastrophically short of doctors," says

Stetsik, the chief doctor at the only hospital

in the town of 20,000 people. "It's very hard

for a doctor to even see all the patients."

The hospital is supposed to accommodate

100 patients, but it's already stretched to the

limit, treating 106 patients with COVID-19.

Early in the pandemic, Ukraine's ailing

health care system struggled with the

outbreak, and authorities introduced a tight

lockdown in March to prevent hospitals from

getting overwhelmed.

The number of cases slowed during the

summer but began to rise again quickly,

prompting the government at the end of

August to close Ukraine's borders for a

month. Despite that, the number of positive

tests in the country reached a new peak of

4,661 a day in the first weekend of October.

Overall, confirmed COVID-19 infections in

the country have nearly doubled in the past

month, topping 234,000, and experts say all

reported numbers in all countries understate

the true toll of the virus.

"The number of patients is rising, and an

increasing share of them are in grave

condition," Stetsik told The Associated Press

of the situation in Stebnyk, a quiet town in

the Lviv region. "The virus is becoming more

aggressive and more difficult to deal with."

She said many of those doing poorly are in

their 30s, adding that an increasing number

of them need expensive medication.

"There is a similar situation across entire

Ukraine," she said, adding that hospitals

have run out of funds to provide drugs,

forcing patients in some areas to buy their

own.

The World Health Organization warns that

the number of infections in Ukraine could

continue to grow and reach 7,000-9,000 a

day.

The government wants to avoid imposing a

new lockdown, but officials acknowledge

that the rising number of infections could

make it necessary. It has sought to introduce

a more flexible approach to minimize the

economic damage, dividing the country into

various zones, depending on the pace of

infections.

At a meeting Monday with officials in Kyiv,

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy chastised

them for failing to do enough to slow the

spread and taking too long to provide

necessary supplies.

"We spend weeks on doing things that

must be done within days," he said.

Zelenskiy specifically urged them to move

faster on ensuring that hospitals have

enough supplementary oxygen, noting that

only about 40% of beds for COVID-19

patients have access to it.

Ukraine's corruption-ridden economy has

been drained by a six-year conflict with

Russia-backed separatists in the eastern part

of the country, and Zelenskiy's

administration inherited health care reforms

from his predecessor that slashed

government subsidies, leaving hospital

workers underpaid and poorly equipped.

Last month, Zelenskiy ordered the

government to increase wages for medical

workers. Official statistics show that 132

medical workers have died from the

coronavirus, although the figure doesn't

include those who tested negative but had

symptoms typical for COVID-19.

One of them was Ivan Venzhynovych, a 51-

year-old therapist from the western town of

Pochaiv, who described the challenges of

dealing with the outbreak in an interview

with the AP in May.


FRIDAY, oCToBeR 9, 2020

8

Jaya Ahasan

demands

capital

punishment

against rape

Musharraf, Chanchal reunites

after 8 years

TBT RePoRT

Popular actor Mosharraf Karim

and Chanchal Chowdhury

reunited together again with the

renowned director-producer

Mostafa Sarwar Farooki in an

untitled production by Akash

DTH service provider.

After eight long years, Farooqi

again worked with the

Musharraf-Chanchal duo. They

are accompanied by TV actress

Tasnia Farin.

It's a new love-triangle story.

Shooting of this production has

already ended, and will soon be in

the editing room. The trio was

last seen in the flim 'Television' in

2012. It's been eight years since

the trio has not worked together.

Asked about the

production,Farooki said, I did

not want to say what I am doing

with them now. Just said, a new

work is being done in the

dedication of Direct-to-Home

(DTH) service provider brand

Akash DTH.

Mosharraf Karim and

Chanchal Chowdhury did not

disclose the matter either. For

now, they want to keep the

matter as a surprise. Everything

will be informed from the

director soon. "However," he

continued, "in this new work, the

audience will get a different

taste.They will get a story of two

friends."

Meanwhile, it is good news for

the viewers that they do not have

to wait for long. According to the

production house Chabial

Productions, the audience will be

able to enjoy the production in

this October. Chabial has already

posted some of the images

grabbed from the shooting on

Facebook page with caption "The

Boys Are Back in Their Business".

Speaking about working

together after a long time,

Chanchal said, "After a long

time, I shared screen with

Mosharraf. It's a story of two

friends. We worked together

for the last time in 'Television'

directed by Farooki. It feels

good to work together after a

long time. I think such quality

work should be done regularly,

audience will also enjoy

this."He also said, "Our

relationship with Farooki is

nothing new. Mosharraf and I

had exposure in the media

since the first time we worked

with him."

Patty Jenkins fears movie

going could become extinct

TBT RePoRT

Patty Jenkins' new Marvel Lady film

has been delayed 3 times in the

course of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, the director is sounding the

alarm that movie-going itself is

below actual menace. Jenkins is

amongst dozens of prime

Hollywood administrators

interesting to the US authorities to

supply a monetary lifeline to

cinemas. With out it, she warned, the

century-old custom of going to the

flicks may disappear from American

tradition. "If we shut this down, this

will not be a reversible process," she

mentioned in an interview from her

house in Los Angeles. "We could lose

movie theater-going forever."

Whereas theater attendance has

rebounded in some international

locations following a world

shutdown in March, the U.S. market

is struggling. Cineworld Group Plc is

briefly closing Regal places that

reopened in August. The

Nationwide Affiliation of Theatre

House owners mentioned 69% of

small and mid-sized cinema firms

could possibly be compelled to file

for chapter or shutter completely.

Jenkins mentioned widespread

closures would lead Hollywood

studios to cease investing in movies

for theaters, and switch to streaming

as a substitute.

"It could be the kind of thing that

happened to the music industry,"

she mentioned, "where you could

crumble the entire industry by

making it something that can't be

profitable." Costly motion films like

Marvel Lady can be a lot much less

widespread on streaming, she

mentioned, and audiences would

miss out on the expertise of watching

on a giant display screen in a big

group.

Source: hindiannews.com

TBT RePoRT

Jaya Ahsan, popular actress opened her

mouth to protest against rape. She posted a

status on her Facebook page on Thursday,

"Shh! How can I see this scene! Do I also

have to believe those cruel videos that went

viral through social media in my country?"

How they can be so cruel to women? Capital

punishment should be to the culprits.

"One of my sisters is being sent to the

abyss of hell in humiliation by a boy next

door to me, do I also have to see this in the

TBT RePoRT

Shakib Khan said I am doing my

work against rape, a heinous

crime from the place of my

responsibility as a conscious

human being, and will continue

to do so in the future. I have even

red-green country soaked in my brother's

blood?"

"Innocent children, simple aborigines,

happy wives going for walks, housewives are

all becoming the symbol of embers of hell.

Where is this catastrophic wave floating one

after another? So do we have to accept, rape

is our destination?"

Jaya further wrote in the resentment tone,

"No. We will never accept this consequence.

If this is masculinity, I call him, 'Shh'.

Everyone shouted in unison, 'Shh'. And,

come forward my sad sister."

chosen the heinous thing like

rape as a plot in my current film

'Nawab LLB'. '

Shakib Khan on August 8,

posted a status on Facebook,

going beyond party, opinion and

power he demanded a speedy

trial of the rapists. At the same

Yash starts

shooting for

KGF 2

Actor Yash on Thursday

announced that he has

resumed shooting for KGF 2.

"Waves can't be stopped but

you can learn to sail..After a

long break.. Rocky sets sail

from today," wrote the actor

while sharing a photo on

Instagram.

The production of KGF 2

came to a standstill along with

the world due to the COVID-19

pandemic. Director Prasanth

Neel resumed the shoot soon

after the government eased the

restrictions around film

shooting.

In the last week of August,

the filmmakers began the final

stretch of the shoot with actors

Prakash Raj and Malavika. Raj

is the new addition to the cast

as he was not there in the first

part of the mob drama.

Speculations were rife that

Prakash Raj has been roped in

to replace Anant Nag, who

played the role of the narrator

in the first part. However, the

filmmakers had denied the

time, he also spoke about the

exemplary punishment of

rapists.

Shakib said, first of all, the

identity of a woman is a human.

Society still does not want to

consider women as human

beings in many cases! Then a

woman is someone's mother,

someone's sister. Mother, sister

are all human beings, woman

should be respected by the

people as a human being - this is

the most important thing.

A woman is a mother, nothing

in the world is comparable to a

mother. Those who look at

mothers and sisters with

rumours. It is said that

Prasanth has planned to wrap

up the shoot in less than a

month and start working on its

post-production. The climax

part, however, depends on the

availability of Bollywood star

The people from all walks of life are

protesting against rape and violence against

women. The recent incidents of rape and

violence against women in different parts of

the country have agitated all, as a result,

protests and movements are going on in the

streets.

It is worth to be mentioned that, a few

days ago, Jaya Ahsan joined an

international organization to protest against

the abuse of women. Besides, the actress

was also vocal against the brutal killing of

dogs from Dhaka City.

Working against rape

from own responsibility:

Shakib Khan

different eyes cherish the

mentality of rape in their minds

- they have no identity. Whether

he is a man or not, he is never

considered as human. His only

identity is that he is a rapist.

The level of rape and

oppression is increasing in the

country. There are protests

against this all over the country

including the capital. Besides,

everyone has become vocal

through social media. Protesting

against this, Shakib Khan

further said that the most

heinous crime like rape has

spread in the country more than

the epidemic.

Sanjay Dutt, who seems to be

going through a health crisis.

The seasoned Bollywood star

was roped in to play the main

antagonist Adheera in KGF 2.

Source : indianexpress.com

H o R o S C o P e

ARIeS

(March 21 - April 20) : You may feel like

you desperately need something, Aries,

yet you're unsure as to what it is exactly.

Someone close to you may be trying to fit

the missing puzzle piece into place, but this may be

next to impossible if it's unclear which piece is actually

missing. This difficult situation may lead to frustration

if you aren't careful. Feel free to admit that you feel

powerless. Don't be ashamed to say so.

TAURUS

(April 21 - May 21): You may want to

remedy every situation by talking things out

or taking some sort of action, Taurus. Be

careful of making any sudden moves before

you really understand what you're feeling. One minute you

may be full of exuberance and ready to launch into a new

project, but once you start moving forward, you're suddenly

feeling insecure. Take this resistance as a sign that maybe

this isn't the best time to move forward.

GeMINI

(May 22 - June 21): Compliments are apt to

feel like gold to you, Gemini. There's nothing

you need more than love and affection on a

day like this. Beware that you may end up as

putty in the hands of whoever showers you with flattery.

You may also resent this need for attention and not be

willing to receive it graciously. This isn't the right attitude.

Receive accolades with open arms and offer an equal

amount of affection in return.

CANCeR

(June 22 - July 23): If you find that

there's tension in a close relationship,

you may get the feeling that this isn't

the right partner for you, Cancer. Don't

automatically assume that the problem lies in your

partner. Difficult situations involving the need for

love and affection are likely to emerge regardless of

the situation or the company. Instead of running to

the next person, take the time to work things out.

Leo

(July 24 - Aug. 23): When tension

builds, your sense of security is likely to

falter, Leo. You may have a hard time

dealing with other people. You could be

tempted to turn to food or alcohol for inner nourishment.

Curing emotional needs by indulging this way may

temper your ailment for a while, but it isn't the solution to

the overall problem. Work out the bugs with the people

involved, and don't try to do it on an empty stomach.

VIRGo

(Aug. 24 - Sept. 23): You might have

difficulty expressing your needs, Virgo.

The bottom line is that there's no right

or wrong way, although it may be

difficult to see this on a day like today. Deep-seated

insecurity may make expressing yourself difficult. At

a time when you feel like you should politely take

things in, you really may be feeling like you want to

run from the people around you.

LIBRA

(Sept. 24 - Oct. 23): Although you may

find it hard to express yourself in some

ways, Libra, the one avenue that's

completely wide open today is art.

Difficult tension is laced with emotional insecurity,

making it hard for you to express your feelings. If you

feel that this is the case, find some other means of

expressing these emotions. A large canvas and some

paints will work quite nicely.

SCoRPIo

(Oct. 24 - Nov. 22): You might be feeling

rather insecure when it comes to your

peace of mind, Scorpio. Because of the

insecurity, it may seem like your

relationships are on the rocks. At the same time, having

problems in your relationships is making you less likely to

trust these close partners with your insecure feelings.

Talking about your emotions in an honest manner will

help you break out of this difficult situation.

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 23 - Dec. 21): You may feel more

reserved than usual, Sagittarius, especially

when it comes to romantic relationships. You

may be feeling apprehensive about expressing

yourself fully, even in the most intimate situations. Be careful

about sending messages that suggest that you don't want to be

around others. People are apt to think they're to blame for your

reluctance. It's fine to be a recluse, but don't completely

alienate yourself in the process.

CAPRICoRN

(Dec. 22 - Jan. 20): Be careful about being

too boisterous and chipper around

people who don't exactly feel the same

way, Capricorn. Be sensitive to other

people's feelings, and don't make jokes that are too

harsh for the occasion. No one appreciates a wise guy.

There's a somber mood to the day that's likely to form

a dark cloud by late afternoon. Do your best to be the

ray of sunshine and not the bolt of lightning.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 21 - Feb. 19): Your mood should be

quite good for the most part, Aquarius,

but there's apt to be some tension in

your relationships. Romantic

endeavors aren't exactly in your favor now, so don't

force an issue that seems too difficult to resolve.

Find comfort in your internal warmth. By taking the

time to nurture yourself, you will inevitably have

more love to give to the people around you.

PISCeS

(Feb. 20 - Mar. 20) : There's a deep longing

to be comforted and reassured, Pisces. You

may want nothing more than for someone

fix you some warm, homemade soup. If

this is the case, feel free to call and ask a good friend to

come over, if possible. Don't continue to play the part of

the strong, independent one if this isn't the way you feel.

If you aren't honest about your needs, it will be impossible

for anyone to know how to fulfill them.


FRiDAY, OCTOBeR 9, 2020

9

Bangladesh won the Under-19 world Cup earlier this year.

Photo: BCB

BCB ask U19 WC winners to correct

technical flaws in HP program

SporTS DeSk:

Bangladesh High performance Unit

chairman Naimur rahman urged the

Under-19 World Cup-winning squad

members to remove their technical

shortcomings in the Hp program so

that they can be better equipped to

handle the pressure in the national

team, reports Cricbuzz.

Akbar and co began their new

journey after being in the wilderness

since returning as champions in the

2020 Under-19 World Cup.

BCB, after welcoming the U-19 WC

winners on February 12, announced

that they will create an Under-21 unit in

order to groom the youngsters.

BCB chalked out several plans for the

newly introduced Under-21 squad

members, who were supposed to have

special training for two years where

they will work on their skills while also

getting Tk 100,000 from the board.

After two years, BCB will evaluate

their performance and if they are good

enough, their contracts will be

renewed, and those who fail to meet the

expectations will be removed from the

contract. The initiative of introducing

the Under-21 setup was taken by BCB

as there was no platform for the Under-

19 members to graduate earlier.

keeping in mind that a long term

plan can bring success, BCB planned to

conduct a camp for the Under-21 squad

from June till october where they

would have intense training under

foreign coaches while the board were

also thinking of giving exposure to the

players in foreign conditions by taking

them to england for a three and half

month-long tour from June to october.

All the plans proposed by the BCB

game development went in vain due to

the CoVID-19 pandemic, and as a

result, the 12 members of the world

cup-winning squad were included in

the Hp squad.

Naimur rahman had a meeting with

the newly-appointed Hp unit members

at the BCB academy premises before

they started their skill-development

activities and urged them to make sure

that they do all that is required to have

a solid technique in place.

Naimur said that removing technical

flaws in the national nets is quite

difficult so it's better if they enter there

with a solid technique. "In the past, we

have labelled some youngster as

talented but he faded away due to

technical lacking. So I asked them to

concentrate on removing their

technical flaws here [in the Hp

program] so that they can do better in

the national team."

Naimur added they are thinking of

introducing a separate selector for the

Hp unit as that will be helpful for them

to assess the development of the

cricketers who are part of the program.

Though nothing is finalized yet, former

national selector Sazzad Ahmad, who is

currently heading the age-level

selection panel, is the front runner for

the post.

"Since we have different selectors for

age group, different for national team

there can be a different selector for Hp

unit and we have spoken about it as we

felt the need for it and discussion is

going on about it.

"We will think about a separate Hp

selector in the coming days and even if

there is a High-performance selector he

should be in sync with the national

team selection panel. Hp unit is the

breeding ground for the national team

and we must make it as effective as

possible," he said.

The 25-member Hp squad will have

fitness and skills training up to october

9 before players who have been

selected in teams for the forthcoming

50-over competition join their

respective sides and the practice will recommence

after the one-day

competition.

French open: petra kvitova returns

to semi-final after eight years

SporTS DeSk:

petra kvitova returned to the French

open semi-finals for the first time in

eight years on Wednesday after

defeating Germany's Laura Siegemund

6-3, 6-3, describing roland Garros as

her "lucky place", reports Ap.

Czech seventh seed kvitova, a twotime

Wimbledon champion, will now

face Australian open winner Sofia

kenin who knocked out fellow

American Danielle Collins 6-4, 4-6, 6-0

for a place in Saturday's final.

"It means a lot to be back in the semifinals,"

said 30-year-old kvitova who

was beaten by eventual champion

Maria Sharapova when she made the

same stage in 2012.

"After my last match, I was very

emotional to be in the quarter-finals.

Now I am in the semis. I never

imagined this would happen after

everything that has happened.

"This is my lucky place."

It was paris where kvitova made her

comeback in 2017 after spending six

months recovering from a terrifying

knife attack at her home in December

2016.

The frenzied assault required a fourhour

operation and left her with

damaged ligaments in her playing

hand. Doctors warned her that her

career may be finished.

on Wednesday, kvitova fired 22

winners and six aces past 32-year-old

Siegemund, the world number 66 who

was playing in the quarter-finals of a

Slam for the first time.

one break of serve in the opener was

enough for kvitova while five more

breaks followed in the second set.

kvitova, who has yet to drop a set at

the tournament, claimed victory when

Siegemund served up a third double

fault of the tie.

"I am happy to be here and to be able

to compete with the best especially in

these conditions - roof open, roof

closed, sunshine, windy."

Siegemund leaves behind a

tournament to remember having been

accused of hitting the ball on a double

bounce in her first round win over

kristina Mladenovic.

She then munched on a plate of food

courtside during her fourth round

victory against paula Badosa.

on Wednesday, she signed off with a

time violation for taking too long

between points.

"I was on the line, I was bouncing, I

was starting my movement, and it was

about once, and literally she (the

umpire) was saying that it was one

second too slow. I mean, that's a joke,"

said Siegemund.

Petra Kvitova returned to the Roland Garros semi-finals for the first time in eight years on

Wednesday after defeating Germany's Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-3.

Photo: AP

France pick five

uncapped

players in squad

for Wales Test

SporTS DeSk:

France coach Fabien

Galthie on Wednesday named

five uncapped players in his

31-man squad to face Wales

later this month, reports BSS.

Galthie's men host Wayne

pivac's side on october 24 as a

warm-up match ahead of the

postponed Six Nations fixture

against Ireland and the newlycreated

Autumn Nations Cup,

which has replaced the

scheduled November Tests

cancelled due to the

coronavirus pandemic.

prop Georges-Henri

Colombe reazel and centre

olivier klemenczak have been

rewarded for their

performances as racing 92

reached the european

Champions Cup final.

Tight-head Colombe

reazel, 22, started both the

quarter and semi-final

european wins for Laurent

Travers' side.

"He's a young player who is

discovering

our

environment," Galthie said.

"He's totally the type of

player we want, he has proved

his worth since the start of the

season. If Travers trusts him

it's everything but by chance."

klemenczak, 24, has

benefitted from the injury to

Henry Chavancy and the

suspension of kurtley Beale

by wearing the number 12

shirt in three of his club's four

matches this term.

Cavani won't make

Man Utd debut

against Newcastle

SporTS DeSk:

edinson Cavani will not

be available for Manchester

United's next game against

Newcastle as the striker has

been forced to self-isolate,

reports Ap.

United completed the

signing of the 33-year-old

former paris Saint-

Germain striker on

deadline day and it looked

like a timely acquisition,

given the absence of the

suspended Anthony

Martial following his red

card against Tottenham.

However, Cavani will not

be available for the fixture

on october 17 as he is

forced to self-isolate for 14

days in line with the

government's Covid-19

quarantine rules.

The Uruguayan forward

flew in from France on

Sunday, a country that is

not on the Uk's travel

corridor list and thus

requires those that arrive in

england to self-isolate.

There is an exemption in

place for elite athletes but

that rule only applies if the

player enters the Uk from a

secure bubble where they

are regularly tested.

Indeed, any players

returning

from

international duty will be

fine to return to training

and will not have to

quarantine.

It is understood that

United sought clarification

from the government over

the rules and, given Cavani

has not been in any type of

bubble, he is required to

follow the isolation

programme.

His 14-day isolation

period will end on october

18, the day after United face

Newcastle in the premier

League, and he should

therefore be available to

face former club pSG in the

Champions League.

Another deadline-day

signing Alex Telles is

currently away with the

Brazil national team and

will not face the same

restrictions as Cavani as he

is in an elite bubble.

Cavani has been given the

famed No.7 shirt following

his arrival at old Trafford

and is looking forward to

playing in front of the club's

fans.

"I have played in front of

some of the most

passionate supporters in

football during my career

and I know that it will be

the same in Manchester,"

he said.

"I cannot wait to

experience the old Trafford

atmosphere, when it is safe

for the fans to return. My

conversation with the

manager has increased my

desire to wear this beautiful

shirt."

United will be looking to

bounce back from their

humiliating 6-1 defeat to

Tottenham when they face

Steve Bruce's side, with

either Marcus rashford or

odion Ighalo set to lead the

line at St James' park.

The former PSG striker will have to wait a bit longer for his Red Devils bow as he is forced to follow

government guidance amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Photo: AP

Italy U21 football team

isolating after two

coronavirus cases

SporTS DeSk:

Two Italy Under-21 players

have tested positive for

coronavirus sending the team

into isolation before their

european Championship

qualifier against Iceland this

week, the Italian football

federation (FIGC) announced

on Wednesday, reports BSS.

The two "totally

asymptomatic" players had

tested negative on Sunday

when they joined the squad,

but a second test on Tuesday

came back positive.

"The training scheduled for

today has been cancelled and

the team has been in isolation

since last night, awaiting the

decisions of the health

authorities," the FIGC added.

The players were not named

but Gazzetta Dello Sport

reported that they were Inter

Milan defender Alessandro

Bastoni and Atalanta

substitute goalkeeper Marco

Carnesecchi.

The team are due to play

their Group A qualifier in

Iceland on Friday.

Italian football has been hit

by multiple coronavirus cases

in the past week after a cluster

of 22 in Genoa, whose Serie A

match against Torino was

postponed. Napoli failed to

turn up for their match

against Juventus on Sunday

night on the instructions of

local health authorities after

two positive cases, and could

forfeit the game 3-0.

Tripathi, bowling innovations carry kolkata

knight riders to ten-run win

SporTS DeSk:

An intensely tactical battle

between the kolkata knight

riders and the Chennai Super

kings ended with the knight

riders triumphant by ten runs,

with both teams having

dominated the first half of their

batting innings, only for the

opposition to come roaring

back. eventually, the knight

riders' comeback trumped that

of the Super kings, reports

Cricinfo.

That was down in no small

measure to rahul Tripathi's

excellent 81 off 51 at the top of

the knight riders order. Back

in his favoured opening spot,

Tripathi was brisk in the

powerplay, and then carried the

innings on his bat when the

expected fireworks from the

star-studded middle order

didn't materialise. Shane

Watson got a fifty of his own in

the Super kings chase, but only

one other batsman crossed 25.

That's not because this was a

bowlers' pitch - though it

certainly wasn't a batting

beauty - but because bowlers

from both sides executed their

plans with precision.

The knight riders were 93

for 2 after ten overs after opting

to bat first, but the Super kings

kept them to 167 when they

looked like getting in excess of

190. The Super kings in turn

were 99 for 1 in 12 overs and in

cruise control mode, but

Dinesh karthik had held Sunil

Narine back entirely for the

death, and the Super kings

stumbled against a bowler who

hasn't just been among the T20

greats, but been particularly

thorny for a majority of the

Super kings batsmen. Narine

bowled overs 12, 14, 16 and 19

while Andre russell was also

kept exclusively for the death,

bowling overs 18 and 20, as the

knight riders choked off the

batsmen's run supply. An

asking rate that was

comfortable began to mount,

and the combined pressure

from the bowlers and the

scoreboard eventually proved

too much for the Super kings

middle order.

Narine's failures at the top of

the order had come against

quick bowlers who could dig

the ball in and get it to rear up

uncomfortably. The Super

kings didn't have that kind of

bowler, but the knight riders

decided to move Narine down

the order anyway, pushing

Tripathi up. Tripathi's best

performances in the IpL have

also come as an opener, and he

showed that the promotion was

a sensible one. He didn't try to

knock the ball around at the

start, swatting across the line

more often than not and getting

good returns. At the end of the

powerplay, he had 31 off 18,

having kept the knight riders'

run rate healthy despite

Shubman Gill and Nitish rana

both scoring at less than a run a

ball.

Tripathi was particularly

severe when the bowlers

pitched too short or too full,

which they did often enough.

Narine himself came in at No.

4, being used tactically as a

floater. The move worked, with

the left-hander making 17 off

nine balls, which injected

momentum when the match

was poised, and left enough

time for eoin Morgan and

Andre russell to capitalise at

the death - that, however, didn't

come.

karn Sharma, in the XI

ahead of piyush Chawla,

bowled his full quota in one

spell after coming on when the

powerplay ended, and did a

significant job in reining the

knight riders in. He picked up

2 for 25 despite going for 12

runs in his first over, and

dismissed both rana and

Narine. The latter fell to a

superb one-two act on the longon

boundary, ravindra Jadeja

running to his right from

midwicket and getting hold of

the ball while diving full length

but flicking it up to Faf du

plessis before he grounded it.


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2020

10

Samsung flags near-60pc operating

profit jump after Huawei boost

Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd inaugurated its Dotterhat Sub-Branch under Maijdee Court

Branch, Noakhali recently. Mohammad Khorshed Alam Khan, Deputy Commissioner of

Noakhali addressed the program as chief guest. Mahmudur Rahman, Senior Executive Vice

President and Head of Noakhali Zone of the Bank presided over the program. Zahidur Rahman

Shamim, Councilor of Noakhali Municipality and Saifuddin Sohan, President of Municipal

Bonik Samity addressed the program as special guest. Shahidul Alam, Head of Maijdee Court

Branch addressed welcome speech while Mohammad Zahid Hossain, In-charge of the Sub-

Branch thanked the audience. Businesspersons, Professionals and Social elites were present on

the occasion.

Photo: Courtesy

Billionaires' riches

reach record highs

during pandemic

The wealth of the world's

billionaires reached record

heights this year despite the

global coronavirus crisis,

led by tech, health and

industry "innovators and

disruptors" like Elon Musk,

said a report published

Wednesday, reports BSS.

By the end of July, the

cumulative wealth of

billionaires stood at around

$10.2 trillion, according to a

study by Swiss bank UBS

and accounting giant

PricewaterhouseCoopers.

That exceeded the

previous peak of $8.9

trillion recorded in 2017.

The annual inventory of

the super-rich's fortunes

identified 2,189 dollar

billionaires at the end of

July - 31 more than in 2017.

The report noted that the

coronavirus crisis

accelerated a trend in this

select club that is seeing

"innovators and disruptors"

in the technology,

healthcare and industry

sectors edge out those in

more traditional areas like

entertainment or real

estate. But it gave rise to

some sharp criticism at a

time of pandemic-led

economic hardship.

"Billionaires doing very

nicely out of the #Covid_19

pandemic, ordinary people

left with debt, businesses

collapsing, unemployment

rocketing, people suffering

and making huge sacrifices

whilst the worlds richest

laugh all the way to the

bank!," tweeted Angela

Rayner, deputy leader of

Britain's Labour Party.

The report nevertheless

said billionaires had "given

more than ever before in a

space of a few months."

According to the report,

the pandemic initially had

an impact on the world's

billionaires.

Their wealth fell 6.6

percent in February and

March as the world feared

for economic growth.

A stock market crash in

March saw some tumble out

of the billionaires' club,

before a sharp rebound in

technology and health

stocks began.

Soon, their wealth had

bounced back by 27.5

percent between April and

the end of July.

"Fortunes are polarising

as business innovators and

disruptors deploy

technology to be among the

leaders of today's economic

revolution," the report said.

"The Covid-19 crisis just

accentuated this

divergence" with other

billionaires who are "on the

wrong side of economic,

technological, societal and

environmental trends" and

are becoming less wealthy.

The report pointed for

instance to South Africanborn

innovator Elon Musk,

whose companies Tesla and

SpaceX "are respectively

pioneering the massmarket

electric car and

private space travel."

According to Forbes,

Musk briefly joined the very

select group of $100-billion

men in August - coming in

fifth - as share prices in

Tesla soared.

It also singled out China's

Zhong Huijuan, a former

chemistry professor who is

worth $20.4 billion

according to Forbes after

her drug company Hansoh

Pharmaceutical listed last

year.

Across 2018, 2019 and the

first seven months of 2020,

the fortunes of four

billionaires in the tech

sector increased by 42.5

percent, putting their

cumulative fortune at an

estimated $1.8 trillion.

Health sector billionaires

recorded an increase of 50.3

percent, with a cumulative

fortune estimated at $658.6

billion. These were "boosted

by a new age of drug

discovery and innovations

in diagnostics and medical

technology, as well as

latterly Covid-19 treatments

and equipment," the report

said.

By comparison, the net

worth of billionaires in

industries such as

entertainment, real estate

and financial services

increased by no more than

10 percent.

Pandemic downturn

offers path to

address climate

change: IMF

The global downturn

caused by the coronavirus

pandemic offers an

opportunity

for

governments to implement

new policies that could

simultaneously address

climate change and boost

the economy, the IMF said

Wednesday, reports BSS.

The right mix of carbon

taxes to dampen

consumption, and subsidies

to help consumers and boost

green technology research

could create jobs and soften

the blow as countries

transition to greener energy

sources, the IMF said in its

World Economic Outlook.

"Fiscal stimulus - which

will likely be needed in the

aftermath of the pandemic -

can be an opportunity to

boost green and resilient

public infrastructure," the

report said.

IMF research showed

there is still time to achieve

net zero emissions by 2050

but the window "is closing

rapidly," and advanced

economies alone cannot

reach the goal.

"Joint action by the largest

economies is critical to avoid

the worst outcomes of

climate change," the fund

said, singling out fastgrowing

countries like India.

"An initial green

investment push combined

with initially moderate and

gradually rising carbon

prices would deliver the

needed emission

reductions" while rebates or

subsidies to low income

households would soften the

blow from higher energy

The Kolghar Bazar Sub-branch of First Security Islami Bank Ltd. recently started its operation

recently at Tamim Market, Kolghar Bazar, Ramu, Cox's Bazar with a view to providing shariah

based modern banking services to its clients. Syed Waseque Md Ali, Managing Director of First

Security Islami Bank inaugurated the sub-branch through Video Conference. Among others,

Abdul Aziz and Md. Mustafa Khair, Additional Managing Director(s), Md. Zahurul Haque,

Deputy Managing Director along with other officials were present at the occasion. A Doa Mahfil

was organized in this regard.

Photo: Courtesy

Samsung Electronics flagged a leap of

nearly 60 percent in third-quarter

operating profits Thursday, as its mobile

and chip business were boosted by US

sanctions against its Chinese rival

Huawei, reports BSS.

The South Korean tech giant said in an

earnings estimate that it expected

operating profit to reach 12.3 trillion won

($10.6 billion) for July to September, up

from 7.8 trillion won in the same period

last year.

The prediction would represent the

firm's biggest operating profit of any

quarter for two years and was also ahead

of analyst forecasts.

Samsung Electronics is crucial to South

Korea's economic health. It is the flagship

subsidiary of the giant Samsung group,

by far the largest of the family-controlled

conglomerates known as chaebols that

dominate business in the world's 12thlargest

economy.

Its overall turnover is equivalent to a

fifth of the country's gross domestic

product.

James Kang, senior analyst at

Euromonitor International Korea, said

Samsung's rollout of its latest premium

handset devices - the Galaxy Note 20 and

the Galaxy Z Fold 2 - in August, coupled

with strong sales of mid-range phones,

Bizli Cables has opened two new

outlets recently. ASM Hasan Nasir,

Executive Director of Bizli Cables,

inaugurated the outlets in Iswarganj of

Mymensingh and Madhabpur of

Habiganj, a press release said.

ASM Hasan Nasir said, "Bizli Cables

has got popularity within short time

led the firm's third-quarter performance.

A Washington ban on foreign

companies providing Huawei with USorigin

technology, that came into effect

on September 15 - cutting off essential

supplies of semiconductors and software

needed for making smartphones and 5G

equipment - also provided a boost.

Kang Min-soo, an analyst at

Counterpoint Research, said US

sanctions against Huawei were becoming

"a big factor" affecting the global

smartphone market.

"For Samsung, it will be a good

opportunity to increase market share in

Europe, where it has been competing

with Huawei in various price bands," he

added.

The firm's memory business also

benefited from the feud after Huawei

rushed to stock up on Samsung-made

semiconductors before the US

restrictions kicked in.

"Huawei has stocked about six months'

worth of extra inventory before the US

ban took effect on September 15," MS

Hwang, an analyst at Samsung Securities,

told Bloomberg News.

"Huawei's purchases are offsetting

weakness in server-use demand and are

devouring market inventory, which

should affect prices down the road."

for manufacturing quality products

using best raw materials and modern

technology. At present, we are

developing showroom-base sales

system with a view to deliver product

quickly and further develop the service

to the customers."

Mahabubul Wahid, General

2021 Davos summit shifted

to Lucerne in May

The World Economic

Forum announced

Wednesday that its

postponed 2021 Davos

summit, themed as "The

Great Reset" in the

coronavirus crisis, will take

place in Lucerne, Switzerland

from May 18 to 21, reports

BSS.

The annual gathering of

the world's political,

economic and business elite

traditionally takes place in

January against the idyllic

snowy backdrop of the Swiss

Alpine village of Davos.

But it was postponed due

to the Covid-19 pandemic

and, charged with

remodelling the world

economy in the wake of the

crisis, will now be held 125

kilometres (75 miles) away in

the plush Burgenstock resort

overlooking Lake Lucerne.

"The meeting will take

place as long as all conditions

are in place to guarantee the

health and safety of

participants and the host

community," WEF

spokesman Adrian Monck

said in a statement.

"The meeting will focus on

the solutions required to

address the world's most

pressing challenges.

"Global leaders will come

together to design a common

recovery path, to shape 'The

Great Reset' in the post-

Covid-19 era and rebuild a

more cohesive and

sustainable society."

The WEF announced in

June that the 51st edition of

its annual meeting would

take place in a hybrid format,

then in August said it was

being delayed for several

months to reduce any risks to

participants from the

coronavirus pandemic.

The Lucerne summit will

combine both in-person and

virtual elements, with

participants linked to a

network of around 400 hubs

worldwide to incorporate

dialogue with the WEF's

"young global shapers, to

ensure openness and

inclusion", said Monck.

The summit will be

preceded during the week of

January 25 by digitallyconvened

high-level "Davos

Dialogues", when global

leaders will share their views

on the state of the world in

2021.

The novel coronavirus has

killed more than 1.04 million

people while at least 35.5

million infections have been

recorded since the outbreak

emerged in China late last

year, according to a tally

from official sources

compiled by AFP.

The pandemic has also

triggered a global economic

downturn, though the

International Monetary

Fund said Tuesday that while

it is far from over, it will not

be as bad as originally feared

thanks to a flood of

government spending.

The World Trade

Organization said likewise,

But looking forward, analysts said

falling chip prices could put a damper on

Samsung's performance in the final

quarter of the year.

Samsung is the world's biggest

manufacturer of memory chips and led

the DRAM market with 43.5-percent

share in the April-to-June period,

according to market researcher

TrendForce.

Server DRAM chips enjoyed a boost as

the pandemic prompted working from

home and online classes - but were now

experiencing "significant oversupply", it

said in a report.

"Therefore, contract prices of server

DRAM products continue to descend to

new lows," it went on, forecasting a 13- to

18-percent drop in the fourth quarter.

Adding to Samsung's challenges, vicechairman

and de facto leader Lee Jaeyong

is being retried over a sprawling

corruption scandal that could see him

return to prison.

He is not being held in custody during

the proceedings, but a guilty verdict could

deprive the firm of its top decisionmaker.

Despite the optimistic forecast,

Samsung Electronics shares were

down 0.5 percent in morning trade

Thursday.

Bizli Cables opens two outlets

UK, Ukraine to

sign post-Brexit

'partnership

agreement'

Britain and Ukraine will on

Thursday sign a "strategic

partnership agreement" to

support Kiev's sovereignty "in

the face of Russia's

destabilising behaviour",

Prime Minister Boris

Johnson's office said, reports

BSS.

The deal to intensify the two

countries' political, trade and

strategic cooperation will be

signed in Downing Street as

Ukrainian President

Volodymyr Zelensky makes a

two-day visit to the UK.

It will replace key elements

of an existing partnership

agreement between Ukraine

and the European Union, as

London looks to its post-

Brexit future in 2021.

Britain formally left the bloc

in January but has remained

bound by most of its rules

until the end of the year under

the terms of its divorce.

"The UK is Ukraine's most

fervent supporter," Johnson

said in a statement ahead of

the signing.

"We are utterly committed

to upholding the sovereignty

and territorial integrity of

Ukraine," he added, calling

the new agreement "the next

chapter" in the countries'

relationship.

The new deal with Kiev

includes a comprehensive

preferential free trade

agreement covering goods,

services, and tariffs and

quotas, his office said.

Manager (Marketing) of Bizli Cables,

Mustafizur Rahman, General

Manager (Sales) Atikur Rahman,

Assistant General Manager ((Sales),

among others, were present at the

inauguration programs. Currently,

Bizli Cables has 114 showrooms across

the country.

forecasting a global trade

contraction of 9.2 percent

this year, rather than its

previous "optimistic

scenario" prediction of 12.9

percent.

But global trade will then

grow by only 7.2 percent next

year, rather than the

previous 21.3-percent

estimate issued in April, the

WTO added.

The WEF announcement

comes as Switzerland

announced Wednesday that

daily coronavirus cases had

jumped over the 1,000-mark

for the first time since April 1,

when the peak of the

pandemic's initial wave

began to recede.

Swiss Health Minister

Alain Berset has urged the

country to "get a grip" and be

more rigorous in applying

the basic measures to control

the spread of the virus.

The 2020 edition of the

WEF summit, hosted in

January just as the world was

beginning to become aware

of the new coronavirus

spreading in China, drew

more than 50 heads of state

and government to Davos.

It focused on themes of

sustainability and finding a

more inclusive model for

capitalism.

US President Donald

Trump and Swedish teenage

eco-warrior Greta Thunberg

were among its top speakers.

The WEF said it aims to be

back in Davos for 2022.


ThursdAY, OcTOber 8, 2020

11

Md. Nazrul Islam, Additional chief engineer, LGed sylhet division as the chief guest addressed a

day-long workshop held at LGed habiganj office on Thursday.

Md Mamun chowdhury

GD- 1308/20 (6 x 4)

LGed holds

workshop

at habiganj

office

Md Mamun

chowdhury, habiganj

correspondent: A daylong

workshop was held

in Habiganj to discuss the

progress of Haor Flood

Management and

Livelihood Improvement

Project for 2019-20 and

the annual plan for the

financial year 2020-21.

The workshop was held

at LGED Habiganj office

on Thursday.

Md. Abdul Bashir,

Executive Engineer,

LGED Habiganj presided

over the function while

Md. Nazrul Islam,

Additional Chief

Engineer, LGED Sylhet

Division inaugurated the

workshop as the chief

guest. Deputy Project

Director (HIMLIP -

LGED) Raihan Siddiqui,

Senior Assistant

Engineer of LGED

Habiganj Md. Shafiqul

Islam, District Fisheries

Officer Shahzada Khasru,

Monitoring and

Evaluation Specialist

(HIMLIP-Dhaka) Abdul

Hai were present as

special guests at the event

organized by HIMLIP-

LGED Habiganj.

Among others,

Baniachang Upazila

Engineer Md. Minarul

Islam, Ajmiriganj Upazila

Engineer Ahmed Tanjib

Ullah Siddiqui Jummon,

Habiganj Sadar Upazila

Engineer Faruk Ahmed,

Bahubal Upazila

Engineer Afshar Hossain

Khandaker participated

in the workshop

conducted by DPC

(HIMLIP) Habiganj Md.

Mujibur Rahman.

Speaking as the chief

guest on the occasion,

Additional Chief

Engineer of LGED Sylhet

Division Md. Nazrul

Islam said the present

government has

launched this project to

uplift the living standards

of the people of Haor

area. We are working to

implement this project

successfully. No

negligence will be

accepted in this regard.

So the responsibility of

efficiency must be

fulfilled.

He further said that

with the launch of this

project, the lifestyle of

people of Haor area hwill

be changed Changes are

coming in all fields

starting from the

medium

of

communication.

Nobody will remain homeless during

sheikh hasina's government: shahab

DHAKA : Environment, Forests and Climate

Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin

yesterday said the present government led

by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is sincerely

working to build houses for the homeless,

helpless and destitute people.

"To this end, projects are being

implemented through various ministries

including the Prime Minister's Office. Once

all the projects will be completed and no one

in the country will remain homeless," he said

while handing over keys of houses in

Baralekha upazila of Moulavibazar district at

a function as the chief guest, said a press

release here.

A total of 262 keys of the houses built by

wZZvm M¨vm/Rbms‡hvM: 41/2020-21

GD- 1310/20 (9 x 3)

Baralekha upazila administration through

four projects of various government agencies

for the homeless and destitute people at a

cost of Taka over 3.36 crore were handed

over at the program.

The minister handed over keys of the 223

houses constructed at a cost of Taka 2.23

crore under 'Asrayan-2' project of the Prime

Minister's Office.

Among them, 24 houses were constructed

for the homeless by the Ministry of Disaster

Management and Relief at a cost of Taka

71,96,000, 10 paved houses were

constructed at a cost of Taka 22,00,000 for

the Rabidas community to improve the

living standards of the small ethnic group.

eÜ n‡j `ybx©wZ

Dbœq‡b Avm‡e MwZ

GD- 1313/20 (7 x 4)

GD- 1306/20 (6 x 4)


Friday, Dhaka, October 9, 2020, Ashwin 24, 1427 BS, Safar 21, 1442 Hijri

WB projects 1.6 pc GDP growth

for Bangladesh in 2020-21

AM Amin Uddin

made new

attorney general

DHAKA : AM Amin Uddin, a senior

lawyer of the Supreme Court

and President of Bangladesh

Supreme Court Bar Association,

has been appointed as the new

attorney general, reports UNB.

Preisdent Abdul Hamid appointed

him on Thursday, said Dr Md

Rezaul Karim, public relations officer

of the Law Ministry. Mahbubey

Alam, Bangladesh's longest-serving

attorney general, died from coronavirus

on Sept 27.

Covid-19 in Bangladesh

20 more die,

1,441 new cases

detected

DHAKA : Bangladesh on Thursday

reported the death of 20 more people

from Covid-19 in 24 hours spiking the

total fatalities to 5,460, reports UNB.

Health authoritiesalso reported 1,441

new cases of Covid-19 after testing 12,605

samples. The fatality rate in Bangladesh is

1.46 percent while the daily infection rate

stands at 11.43 percent.

So far, 3,74,592 patients have been detected

in the country after testing 20,39,413

samples and 18.37 percent of them have

turned out to be Covid-19 positive.

The country saw the recovery of 1,685

former Covid-19 patients in the last 24

hours till Thursday 8 am which pushed

up the number of total recoveries across

the country to 2,88,316.

A handoutsent by the Directorate

General of Health Services (DGHS) provided

the latest information confirming

that the recovery rate has climbed to

76.97 percent in Bangladesh.

Currently, there are 80,816 active

cases in the country. Bangladesh is seeing

2,199.52 infections, 1,692.92 recoveries

per million while 32.06 are dying

against the same number.

Of the total victims, 4,213 are men and

1,247 are women. Among the latest victims,

30 are above 50 years old.

So far, 2,759 people have died in Dhaka

division, 1,106 in Chattogram, 359 in

Rajshahi, 445 in Khulna, 193 in Barishal,

235 in Sylhet, 249 in Rangpur and 114 in

Mymensingh division.

DHAKA : Bangladesh's GDP growth will

be 1.6 percent in the running 2020-21

fiscal,World Bank on Thursday forecast

inits twice-a-year-regional update,

reports UNB.

It also said thatBangladesh's GDP

growth is estimated to be two percent in

the 2019-20 fiscal. Released on

Thursday, the latest South Asia Economic

Focus forecasts 3.4 percent GDP growth

in the next 2021-22 fiscal. South Asia is

set to plunge into its worst-ever recession

as the devastating impacts of

COVID-19 on the region's economies

linger on, taking a disproportionate toll

on informal workers and pushing millions

of South Asians into extreme

poverty, it said.

The latest South Asia Economic Focus

forecasts a sharper than expected economic

slump across the region, with

regional growth expected to contract by

7.7 percent in 2020, after topping 6 percent

annually in the past five years.

In previous recessions, falling investment

and exports led the downturn. This

time is different as private consumption,

traditionally the backbone of demand in

South Asia and a core indicator of economic

welfare, will decline by more than

10 percent, further spiking poverty rates.

A decline in remittances is also expected

to accelerate loss of livelihoods for the

poorest in some countries.

Hartwig Schafer, World Bank Vice

President for the South Asia Region, said

thecollapse of South Asian economies during

COVID-19 has been more brutal than

anticipated, worst of all for small businesses

and informal workers who suffer sudden

job losses and vanishing wages.

"Immediate relief has dulled the

impacts of the pandemic, but governments

need to address the deep-seated

vulnerabilities of their informal sectors

through smart policies and allocate their

scarce resources wisely."

Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country

Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan,

said theglobal economic downturn will

KHULNA : "The pain that riverbank

erosion has caused over the past decade

is immense. I have lost everything to the

natural calamity - my home, my livelihood,"

says

Rabiul Islam, a resident of Koira

upazila who has now relocated to Dhaka

in search of work.

Like Rabiul, there are a large number

of people who have suffered displacement

and hardship in the coastal upazila

due to continuous riverbank erosion

and cyclones. In fact, natural calamities

have rendered over 16,000 people

homeless in Koira in the past 11 years,

UNB has learnt.

Locals say that Kobotak and

Shakbaria rivers cause riverbank erosion

in the area. Over the past decade,

the majority of farm lands and homes

in the upazila have been washed away

by the rivers. The number of people

who are losing their lands to the rivers

is also increasing with each passing

day. The ordeal, in fact, started in

2009 when Cyclone Ayla had hit the

coastal area, flattening the majority of

houses and prompting locals to flee.

This year, Cyclone Ampan also caused

huge destruction to the coastal upazila,

damaging embankments at 21

places.

Of the 16,000 families in the upazila

who had abandoned their homes due to

the natural calamities since Cyclone

Ayla made landfall, some 10 per cent

have gone to local shelters, 60 per cent

to various other places across the country

and the remaining 30 percent to

neighboring India, say local officials.

impact Bangladesh's economy.

However, the policies that the government

has undertaken to mitigate the

impacts are in the right direction.

"For a resilient recovery, the government

needs to continue to safeguard its

fiscal and debt positions, build financial

sector health, protect the poor and vulnerable

and create a conducive environment

for private sector development

and job creation."

Three-quarters of all workers in South

Asia depend on informal employment,

especially in hospitality, retail trade, and

transport-sectors most affected by containment

measures.

The report warns that informal workers

and firms have little room to cope with

unexpected shocks of the magnitude of

COVID-19. While the poor have faced rising

food prices and suffered severely, the

COVID-19 crisis has dealt a further blow

to many informal workers in the middle of

the income distribution who experienced

sharp drops in earnings.

6k families homeless in Koira

as rivers swallow land

According to them, many residents of

Koira are now settled in the neighboring

districts of Satkhira, Jashore,

Jhenaidah, Gopalganj, Bagerhat. The

number of displaced people is increasing

due to repeated riverbank erosion.

Also increasing salinity in water

poses health risks to locals, forcing

many to leave Koira. "The salinity

problem started after Cyclone Ayla.

The problem has only gotten worse

since then. Due to salt water consumption,

we are getting various skin

ailments. This is another reason

behind people leaving the area," says

Altaf Hossain.

The situation is similar in Koira Sadar

and Maharajpur union, Katmarchar,

Hajatkhali, Kashirhat Khola, Gazipara

of North Bedkashi union, Harinkhola of

Koyra sadar union, Koyra 2 union, and

Gobra, Ghatakhali and Dashahalia

areas of Maharajpur union.

Experts attribute the frequent riverbank

erosion to the fragile soil along the

banks and suggest construction of tidal

dams to prevent it. Prof Dilip Kumar

Dutt of the Department of

Environmental Sciences at Khulna

University, says, "The capacity and

depth of the rivers is decreasing day by

day. As a result, water is overflowing

even when it rains a little. The riverbanks

are breaking."

"Moreover, the rivers are changing

directions now. The soil along the rivers

is very fragile and breaks down easily.

The river must be freed to deal with the

situation. Tidal dams (TRMs) have to be

set up on the river," he adds.

Students of Rangpur schools and colleges staged a day-long sit-in protest against rape and violence against women

across the country. The picture was taken in front of Bangabandhu Mural chattar at DC turn of Rangpur city on

Thursday.

Photo: PBA

Burning in the sun, after many battles, they got tokens in their hands, but even though they got those

tokens, many of them did not get Saudi Airlines tickets. They have been wandering outside the Saudi

Airlines office for 18 days with tokens.

Photo : PBA

HC for disposing of

Sheikh Hasina's

convoy attack case

within 3 months

DHAKA : The High Court (HC) ordered

lower court concerned to dispose of within

three months a case lodged over the

2002 attack on the motorcade of then

leader of the opposition and incumbent

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Satkhira.

A High Court division virtual bench Justice

Mustafa Zaman Islam and Justice Md

Kamrul Hossain Mollah passed the order,

discharging a rule issued in this regard.

"The court has discharged a rule and

asked this old case to be disposed of

within three months," Additional

Attorney General SM Munir said.

Apart from the Additional Attorney

General SM Munir, Assistant Attorney

General Md Mizanur Rahman argued for

the state, while Barrister AM Mahbub

Uddin Khokon stood for the defence.

4.68km Bhola Bridge

to be built under PPP

DHAKA : The 4.68km Bhola Bridge on

Tentulia-Kalobador River will be built by

private sponsor under the public-private

partnership (PPP) scheme at a cost of Tk

12,916 crore, reports UNB.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic

Affairs has approved a proposal in principle in

this regard. Agriculture Minister Abdur

Razzaque presided over the meeting in

absence of Finance Minister AHM Mustafa

Kamal, the convenor of the cabinet committee.

According to the proposal placed by the Bridges

Division of the Ministry of Road Transport and

Bridges, the bridge will be constructed on the

Barishal-Bhola Highway to facilitate smooth commute.

The Bridges Division noted in its proposal

that the proposed bridge will play a major

role to directly connect island-district Bhola

with Dhaka via Padma Bridge, which is scheduled

to be completed by 2021.

UK lauds PM Hasina's leadership

in tackling climate change

DHAKA : The United Kingdom (UK)

has appreciatedPrime Minister Sheikh

Hasina's enduring leadership in tackling

climate change, both domestically

and on the international stage, reports

UNB.

"Bangladesh's leadership on

resilience was clearly demonstrated in

the early warning and evacuation of

millions of people from the path of

super Cyclone Amphan (um-pan) in

May," saidBritish Minister of State

forForeign, Commonwealth and

Development AffairsLord Ahmad of

Wimbledon.

Whileaddressing at the virtual

Climate Vulnerable Forum Leaders'

event on Wednesday evening Chaired

by Sheikh Hasina, Lord Ahmad said

theevent is testimony to Prime Minister

Hasina's enduring leadership in tackling

climate change, both domestically

and on the international stage.

On behalf of the United Kingdom, he

thanked Bangladesh and the CVF for

their leadership on this journey.

The opening of the regional office of

the Global Centre on Adaptation in

Dhaka further cements the role

Bangladesh can play in sharing expertise

across the region and accelerating

progress, he said.

The British Minister said climate

DHAKA : People from different walks

of life, including students, staged

demonstrations across the country for

the 4th consecutive day on Thursday as

anger mounted over the growing incidents

of rape and sexual harassment of

women, reports UNB.

According to reports reaching the

UNB news, people in different parts of

the country took to the streets and

raised their voices demanding that

rapists be given stringent punishment.

The public fury mounted in recent

days after the recent gang-rape incident

at Sylhet MC College and housewife's

molestation in Begumganj of Noakhali

district. In Dhaka, the students of

Viqarunnisa Noon School and College

took positions in front of its campus on

Thursday and staged demonstrations

demanding toughest punishment of the

rapists.

Several hundred students thronged

in front of the campus with placards

and chanted slogans demanding steps

to bring the rapists under the ambit of

law. They also formed a human chain

and left the place after one and half and

hours, said Monirul Islam, officer-incharge

of Ramna Police Station.

Besides, several hundred activists of

different organisations, including

Chhatra Union, Ahsanullah

change affects all, but vulnerable countries

are hit hardest.

"Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina and I believe that everyone,

everywhere, needs to increase their

COP26 Ambition to help countries

adapt and build resilience, as we discussed

at the Climate Vulnerable

Forum(CVF) summit," said Lord

Ahmad.

"Together we can agree an ambitious,

shared plan of action at COP26. The

whole world is literally depending on us

to make significant and faster progress,"

said the British Minister of State.

He expressed satisfaction to see the

work the Climate Vulnerable Forum is

doing, amplifying the voices of those

most affected by climate change, and

this call for countries to be more ambitious

on mitigation, adaptation, and climate

finance.

Climate change and nature have

taken centre stage at the UN General

Assembly this year.

This builds on last year's UN Climate

Action Summit, where the UK,

Bangladesh, and others, launched the

Call to Action on Adaptation and

Resilience, strengthening support for

vulnerable communities whilst building

a resilient future for all people, environments,

and economies.

Protests against rape

continue across Bangladesh

University of Science and Technology

and Bangladesh skateboarding community

took positions at Shahbagh

intersection demanding exemplary

punishment and speedy trial for all

the convicted rapists.

The protesters shouted slogans

'Hang the rapists', 'Break the hands

of rapists'. They were carrying placards

with different messages - "No

mercy to rapists" and "Please tell

me, am I next?" On Thursday, some

students of left-leaning student bodies

started protests in front of the

National Museum at Shahbagh

around 11.30am.

The protesters also demanded the

resignation of Home Minister

Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal for his failure

to stop rape across the country.

They announced that a mass rally will

be held on Friday afternoon at

Shahbagh to press home their

demands.

In Gazipur, Gazipur District Mohila

Awami League, BNP and different

organisations staged protests and

brought out processions protesting the

recent rape incidents and torture on

women. Besides, a group of students,

under the banner of 'General students'

brought out a protest procession and

formed a human chain in Rajbari area.

Acting Editor & Publisher : Jobaer Alam, Executive Editor : Sheikh Efaz Ahmed, Managing, Editor: Tapash Ray Sarker, News Editor : Saiful Islam, printed at Sonali Printing Press, 2/1/A, Arambagh 167, Inner Circular Road, Eden Complex, Motijheel, Dhaka.

Editorial and News Office: Bangladesh Timber Building (3rd Floor) 270/B, Tejgaon I/A Dhaka-1208. Tel : +8802-8878026, Cell : 01736786915; Fax: + 880244611604, Email: Editor : editor@thebangladeshtoday.com, Advertisement: ads@thebangladeshtoday.com, News: newsbangla@thebangladeshtoday.com, contact@thebangladeshtoday.com, website: www.thebangladeshtoday.com

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