12-01-2021

tbtbangla

tuesday

DhAKA : January 12, 2021; Poush 28, 1427 BS; Jamadi-ul Awal 27, 1442 hijri

www.thebangladeshtoday.com; www.bangladeshtoday.net

Regd.No.DA~2065, Vol.17; N o.271; 12 Pages~Tk.8.00

InternatIonal

Over half a million under

lockdown as Beijing

outbreak spreads

>Page 7

sports

Leeds stunned by fourthtier

Crawley in FA Cup

as Spurs crush Marine

>Page 9

art & culture

Virat Kohli, Anushka

Sharma blessed

with a baby girl

>Page 10

HC wants info

regarding PhD

theses at DU

DHAKA : The High Court (HC) yesterday

directed Dhaka University (DU) authorities

for information about their ways to

preserve the PhD theses submitted by the

students and whether they use any modern

technologies including any particular

software in this regard.

A High Court division bench of Justice

JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul

Alam passed the order, asking the varsity

authorities to submit a report in this

regard by next two months.

The court on February 4, 2020, had

asked University Grants Commission

(UGC) for information on whether public

and private universities are conferring

PhD and equivalent degrees to the

students following rules and regulations

of the UGC.

The court at the same time had

directed DU vice chancellor to enquire

the allegation against one of its teachers

who reported earned his doctorate

degree by submitting a 98 percent plagiarized

dissertation.

The court had come up with that

order after holding hearing on a writ

filed by Supreme Court lawyer

Advocate Md Moniruzzaman Linkon.

"After that order, the UGC and DU

authorities have submitted reports in this

regard.

After going through the DU report, the

court passed the latest order," Deputy

Attorney General ABM Abdullah Al

Mahmud Bashar told newsmen.

Fire at Gazipur colony

leaves four dead

GAZIPUR : Four people were burned to

death in a fire at a colony in Palli Bidyut

area in Kaliakoir upazila of Gazipur district

early Monday, reports UNB.

Kabirul Alam, Station officer of

Kaliakoir Fire Service and Control

Room, said the fire broke out at the

colony around 5:45 am and spread

soon, leaving four people dead and an

identified number of people injured.

The identities of the deceased could

not be known yet.

The fire burnt down nearly 50 tinshed

houses. On information, a fire

fighting unit rushed to the spot and

extinguished the blaze.

The fire fighters also recovered four

charred bodies from the spot while putting

out the blaze.

However, it is still not clear what

caused the fire. Fires at slums in Dhaka,

home to many low-income people, are

quite common and leave thousands of

their residents homeless.

According to data compiled by

Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil

Defence, there were 174 fire incidents at

slums in Dhaka, Chattogram and

Rangpur last year.

Zohr

05:25 AM

12:10 PM

03:53 PM

05:33 PM

06:52 PM

6:43 5:30

Covid vaccination in

Bangladesh to start in first

week of Feb: DGHS

DHAKA : The much-sought Covid-19 vaccination

in Bangladesh will start in the first

week of February, said Director General of

the Health Services (DGHS) Prof Abul

Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam. He

came up with the announcement at a press

conference on the 'Covid vaccine implementation

plan' at the DGHS office in the

capital on Monday, reports UNB.

"Beximco Pharma has informed us that

the vaccine (from India) will arrive in

Bangladesh between January 21 and 25,

and then it'll be kept there in Beximco's

warehouse for two days," Dr Khurshid

said. Later, he said, the vaccine doses will

be sent to different districts of the country

as per the DGHS list.

"We'll start the vaccination one week

after its arrival in the country if everything

goes well. That means the vacation

will begin across the country in the

first week of February," the DG said.

He said they are taking all-out preparations

at the filed level to initiate the

vaccination programme.

Khurshid also said the online registration

for vaccination against the coronavirus

will start on January 26.

DGHS official M Shamsul Haque said

they will get the vaccine from Beximco

on January 27. "After receiving the vaccine,

it'll be provided to doctors and volunteers

of several medical college hospitals.

The vaccination at the field-level

will begin in the first week of February."

On November 5, Bangladesh signed a

deal with the Serum Institute of India

through Beximco to buy three crore

doses of coronavirus vaccine developed

by Oxford University and British drugmaker

AstraZeneca.

As per the deal, the country is supposed

to get 3 crore doses of vaccine in six

months as 50 lakh doses will come every

month. Every person will receive two

doses of the vaccine and the second

doses will be given eight weeks after

receiving the first one.

The DGHS DG said 7,344 teams have

been formed for carrying out the vaccination

activities across the country.

Replying to a question, he said the

vaccine will be distributed free of cost.

Dr Khurshid, however, said pregnant

women and those under 18 years will

not be vaccinated.

HSC results by January

28: Cabinet secretary

DHAKA : The Cabinet on Monday

approved the drafts of three amendment

bills aiming to publish the results

of the Higher Secondary Certificate

(HSC) and equivalent examinations by

January 28 next. The approval came

from a Cabinet meeting held at the

Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime

Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The Prime Minister joined the meeting

virtually from her official residence

Ganobhaban, reports UNB.

The cabinet gave the final approval to

the three bills on condition of vetting of

the Law Ministry, said Cabinet Secretary

Khandker Anwarul Islam while briefing

reporters after the meeting.

"Today it was decided to place the

three bills in Parliament in the very first

sitting of its upcoming session to pass it

within the next two or three days so that

the results can be published on January

24-25 or within maximum January

28," he said.

It was proposed to promulgate three

ordinances amending 'Intermediate and

Secondary Education Ordinance 1961',

'Bangladesh Technical Education Board

Act 2018' and 'Bangladesh Madrasah

Education Board Act 2020' to publish

the results of the candidates of HSC and

its equivalent examinations, he said.

"But the cabinet decided to enact

three amended laws in Parliament

instead of promulgation of ordinances

as the next session of Parliament is very

imminent," he said adding the parliament

will go in session within seven

days (January 18). As per the existing

laws, there is no provision to publish

the results of the HSC and its equivalent

examinations without holding examinations.

Since it is not possible to hold

examinations amid the Covid-19 pandemic,

the amendment bills were

placed, said the Cabinet Secretary.

The results will be published after

coordinating 75 percent of the SSC and

25 percent from the JSC-JDC results,

said Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni

recently. The Higher Secondary

Certificate (HSC) and equivalent examinations

were postponed this year due

to Covid-19 situation.

MV Bay One, a luxurious cruise ship is set to sail directly to Saint Martin's from Chattogram on Thursday,

January 14. The photo is taken from the city's Patenga Water Bus Terminal.

Photo: Star Mail

HC orders United

Hospital to pay Tk

30 lakh each to 4 fire

victims' families

DHAKA : The High Court on Monday

ordered the authorities of United

Hospital to pay within 15 days Tk 30

lakh each to the families of four out of

five victims killed in a fire at the hospital

on May 27. The HC bench of Justice

JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul

Alam passed the order after hearing a

writ petition, reports UNB.

It also issued a rule asking the government

to explain why directives should

not be given to the authorities concerned

to provide Tk 15 crore to the families

of the victims as compensation.

Barrister Anik R Haque and Advocate

Niaz Mohammad Mahbub stood for the

petitioner while Barrister Mostafizur

Rahman Khan represented United Hospital.

Earlier on July 14, last year, the HC

directed the hospital authorities to pay the

four victims Tk 30 lakh as compensation.

On July 21, 2020, the Chamber Judge

Justice Md Nuruzzaman stayed the

High Court order.

The Appellate Division on August 20,

last year, extended the stay order on a

High Court directive that had asked to pay

Tk 30 lakh to each of the families of four

out of five victims killed in a fire at United

Hospital in the capital on May 27.

A six-member bench, led by the Chief

Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, passed

the order after hearing an appeal filed by

the hospital authorities.

The academic institutions are shut down since March due to the Covid-19 situation. Street vendors who mainly relied

on selling products on these footpath are struggling as there are scarce customers on the roads.

Photo: PBA

AL's long stay in power

helped accelerate dev: PM

DHAKA : Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina on Monday said it has been possible

for the Awami League government

to make Bangladesh a role model of

development in the world since it is

there in state power for a long time,

reports UNB.

"The whole world respects today's

Bangladesh ...the government has been

to do that as a scope has been created

for it due to its long stay in power," she

said.

The Prime Minister was speaking at

the regular weekly cabinet meeting held

at Bangladesh Secretariat attending it

virtually from her official residence

Ganobhaban.

She said once Bangladesh used to be

known for natural calamities, cyclones,

flood and poverty. "But no-one talks

about that these days. Rather

Bangladesh has made an example in

the whole world how to achieve development,

reduce poverty, generate

employment, develop the lifestyle of

people and provide healthcare. This

trend has to be continued."

With the continuation of the government's

aims, including Perspective Plan

and 8th Five Year Plan, the Prime

Minister said, Bangladesh can achieve

further progress.

Terming 2021 a very important year

DHAKA : Bangladesh saw a daily infection

rate of 6.02% with 849 new cases

reported until early Monday.

The country recorded a daily infection

rate of 8.29% on January 10, 7.52%

on January 4, and 8.18% on January 1.

And Bangladesh has recorded cases

523,302 so far.

Also, the country's fatality number

rose to 7,803 and death rate to 1.49%,

with 22Covid-19deaths in the last 24

hours, since the first death was reported

on March 18. So far, 3,371,416 tests,

including 14,097new ones, have been

carried out. The overall infection rate

stood at 15.52%, the Directorate

General of Health Services said.

However, 467,718 patients - 89.38% -

have recovered so far.

The country's infection number

reached the 500,000-mark on

December 20. The first cases were

reported on March 8. The death toll

exceeded 7,000 on December 12. The

for the country due to the birth centenary

of the Father of the Nation and

Golden Jubilee of the Independence of

the country, Sheikh Hasina said Father

of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh

Mujibur Rahman wanted to build a

poverty- and hunger-free Bangladesh.

She expressed her gratitude to the

people of the country for giving her the

scope with their mandate in the last

three general elections.

"We'll build a Bangladesh where no

one will remain homeless.... every

home will be illuminated with electricity...we'll

fulfil the basic demands of people

from education to healthcare. We'll

create jobs and advance the country,"

Hasina added.

Talking about the Padma Bridge

issue, the Prime Minister said one

famous person had raised questions

about this bridge and that individual

committed the notorious job just for

simply holding the managing director's

post of a bank.

"It was very much unfortunate," she

said without mentioning anyone's

name.

Sheikh Hasina also mentioned that

the government took the matter as a

challenge and had decided to build the

bridge with its own resources and that

bridge is now a reality.

Bangladesh's daily Covid-19

infection rate drops below 7%

worldwideCovid-19caseload crossed 90

million on early Monday, according to

Johns Hopkins University.

The global case count reached

90,327,622 while the death toll climbed

to 1,936,133.

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

crossed the grim milestone of 20

million cases on New Year's Day.

The country'sinfectiontally reached

22,409,480 and fatalities stood at

374,341 on early Monday.

By mid-December, five in every 100

Americans - more than 16 million - had

been infected byCovid-19.

Those numbers testify to a historic

tragedy. But they do not fully capture

the multitude of ways, large and small,

that the virus has upended and reconfigured

everyday life in the US.

Meanwhile, India reported10,466,595

cases and 151,160deaths until early

Monday. Brazil recorded 203,100 deaths

and 8,105,790 infections.


tueSDAY, JANuARY 12, 2021

2

BPDB Superintendent

Engineer Golam Rasul

passes away

Mohammad Golam Rasul,

Manager (Conservation)

(Superintendent Engineer) of

400 MW Combined Bicycle

Power Plant at Bibiana (3) of

Bangladesh Power

Development Board, died of a

heart attack on the night of

January 10, a press release

said. He was 55 years old at the

time of his death.

Mohammad Golam Rasul

joined the Power

Development Board in 1994 as

an Assistant Engineer. His

burial was completed in

Khulna yesterday after Asr

prayer. He is survived by his

wife, a son and a daughter.

Rajshahi youth held with

Tk1.8 crore heroin

RAJSHAHI : Rapid Action

Battalion(RAB) on Sunday

arrested a suspected drug

trader with heroin of Tk1.8

crore from Rajshahi city's

Gopalpur, reports UNB.

The arrestee was 22-yearold

Mizanur Rahman of

Chapainawabganj.

Tipped off, RAB-5 men

conducted a drive in

Gopalpur of the city's

Damkura and arrested

Mizanur from a bus with 1.8

kilograms of heroin.

Tiger scare grips

Sharankhola villagers

Fear has gripped the residents

of a number of villages at

Dakkhin Razapur in

Shorankhola upazila of

Bagerhat district as the footprints

of a tiger was found in

their locality, reports UNB.

Locals said the presence of

tigers in the locality is rare but

sometimes they enter the villages

in search of food.

They spotted the footprints

over a three-kilometre area of

the upazila and brought it to

the notice of the local Village

Tiger Response Team.

However, the forest officials

have taken necessary cautionary

steps after the detection of

the footprints.

According to the forest officials,

the tiger entered the

locality after crossing the

Bhola River from the

Sundarbans and was seen

passing Bharani camp under

The Forest Department some

time on Saturday.

However, the tiger did not

harm the villagers and their

belongings, said the forest officials.

The villagers have been

asked to remain alert, they

said.

Locals said they have found

the footprints of the tiger

beside roads, fields and riverbanks

in different parts of the

area.

Mohamamd Joynal Abedin,

assistant conservator forest

(ACF) of Sharankhola range

under Sundarbans East zone,

said, "Several footprints of the

tiger were seen. After scrutinising

the marks, we can say

whether the tiger entered the

locality on Saturday and left it

later at night on the same

day."

He also asked the villagers

to inform the Forest

Department if they see the

tiger in the locality again and

refrain from making any

attack on it.

On October 8, 2020, villagers

spotted the footprints of

two tigers at West Razapur village

along the Sundarbans

and those returned to the forest

without causing any harm

to people and animals.

According to government

sources, the number of Royal

Bengal Tiger in Bangladesh

part of the Sundarbans has

increased to 114 from 106.

Bangladesh Forest

Department jointly with

Wildteam and the

Smithsonian Conservation

Institute, USA, conducted a

census and found that the

number of Royal Bengal Tiger

in Bangladesh part of the

Sundarbans has increased to

114 from 106.

The second phase census

began on December 1, 2016

under the USAID (Bengal

Tiger Conservation Activity

(BAGH) project through camera

trapping methods.

The survey was conducted

till the 24th April, 2018 in

1656-sqkm area of the

Sundarbans in four phases.

The total area was divided

into three blocks-Satkhira,

Khulna and Sharankhola

ranges.

Controller General Defense Finance Md Nurul Islam offering munajat at a program which was

organized on the occasion of Bangabandhu's Homecoming Day.

Photo : ISPR

GD- 57/21 (7x 4)

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GD- 56/21 (8x4)

GD- 58/21 (8x 4)


TUESDAY, JANUARY 12, 2021

3

Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Md. Akhtaruzzaman paid a courtesy call on President and

Chancellor of Dhaka University Md. Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban on Sunday evening. At this time,

the university's Pro-Vice Chancellor (administration) Professor of Dr. Muhammad Samad, Pro-Vice

Chancellor (Education) Prof. ASM Maksud Kamal and Treasurer Professor Mamtaz Uddin Ahmed

were present.

Photo : Courtesy

Students urged to

follow ideology of

Bangabandhu

NETRAKONA : Vice

Chancellor of Sheikh Hasina

University, Netrakona Dr

Rafiq Ullah Khan yesterday

urged the students to follow

the ideology and patriotism

of Father of the Nation

Bangabandhu Sheikh

Mujibur Rahman to build

them as 'worthy citizen' of

the country.

"Every student should

develop a mindset to get

involved in nation building

activities being imbued with

patriotism

of

Bangabandhu," he said.

The vice-chancellor was

addressing as chief guest at a

discussion held at

Netrakona press club here

last night.

DCAB shocked at

journo Mizanur

Rahman's death

DHAKA : Diplomatic

Correspondents Association,

Bangladesh (DCAB) on

Monday expressed deep

shock and sorrow at the

death of Joint Editor of the

Daily Prothom Alo and

DCAB founding member

Mizanur Rahman Khan,

reports UNB.

Journalist Mizanur

Rahman Khan passed away

in a city hospital on Monday

evening. He was 53.

In a condolence message,

DCAB President Pantho

Rahaman and General

Secretary AKM Moinuddin

conveyed deep sympathy to

the bereaved family

members and sought eternal

peace of the departed soul.

Mizanur Rahman Khan

tested positive for COVID-19

on December 2, last year. He

was admitted.

Advocate Tasmiah new country

director of 'Global Peace Chain'

DHAKA : The United States-based advocacy

group 'Global Peace Chain' has appointed

young Bangladeshi lawyer Advocate

Tasmiah Nuhiya Ahmed as its Country

Director for Bangladesh.

The Global Peace Chain (GPC) is an

organisation committed to building

resilience by cultivating a culture of

tolerance, inclusivity, interfaith harmony,

coexistence, love and social peacebuilding

across the border, reports UNB.

In a statement, GPC said they have

recently made Tasmiah, an advocate of

Bangladesh Supreme Court, as their country

director for Bangladesh.

Tasmiah has completed Bachelor of Laws

(LLB) from the University of London, United

Kingdom in 2011 and enrolled in the District

Judge Court of Dhaka in 2013. She has

published research articles in journals both

at home and abroad and writes regularly for

a number of national dailies.

As the Country Director of the GPC,

Tasmiah has taken the pledge to organise

community-based and national-level

activities in Bangladesh that would reflect

Global Peace Chain's commitment to the

UN-sponsored Sustainable Development

Goals (SDGs).

Global Peace Chain is a worldwide

Peacebuilding organisation established in

2018 with its headquarters in the United

States and Regional Offices in Nepal,

Burundi, Pakistan and Mauritius for

reinforcing youth leadership and

development.

BYLC holds graduation

ceremony of 2020 batches

of 2 programmes

DHAKA : Bangladesh Youth Leadership

Center (BYLC) has hosted a virtual

graduation ceremony for the 2020 batches

of Building Bridges through Leadership

Training (BBLT) and Building Bridges

through Leadership Training Junior

(BBLTJ) programmes, reports UNB.

The programmes were supported by the

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

A total of 339 students from English and

Bengali medium schools and Madrassas

graduated from the BBLT and BBLTJ

programmes in 2020, said a press release.

Participants selected for the programmes

went through rigorous sessions of virtual

training on the theoretical and practical

concepts of leadership, critical thinking,

problem-solving, and communication.

In her speech as the chief guest at the

ceremony, Paula Schindeler, Charge

d'affaires, Embassy of the Kingdom of the

Netherlands in Dhaka, applauded BYLC for

establishing an innovative approach to

leadership by inculcating values of tolerance

and inclusion in youth.

"BBLT and BBLTJ programmes don't just

have an impact on the students' lives. There

is also a spillover effect on communities and

Bangladesh as a whole through the social

development projects that students design

and implement," she added.

"Seeing the graduates of our leadership

programs gives me hope that Bangladesh

has a bright future. Through their practice of

leadership, these young men and women will

surely take our nation forward," said Ejaj

Ahmad, President of BYLC.

Aside from leadership training, students

also worked in small groups to apply their

lessons in online social service projects.

They designed and implemented small but

realistic, measurable, and results-driven

projects to serve impoverished

communities.

Swadhinata Shikkhak Parishad organized a discussion meeting at National Press Club yesterday. Photo : TBT

Contribution of

SMEs to GDP

around 26pc: Tipu

DHAKA : Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi

yesterday said SMEs are the lifeline of

Bangladesh's economy contributing about 26

percent to the country's GDP.

"The global economic dimension has changed

a lot. In order to sustain in the international

market with an access to diversified export, we

need to conduct more institutional research,"

he said while meeting with Dhaka Chamber of

Commerce and Industry (DCCI) President

Rizwan Rahman at his secretariat office in the

city, said a press release.

To be more competitive in the export market,

he said, the government will support all

potential sectors.

He assured the DCCI president of all support

from the ministry for the greater interest of the

country's economy.

He further requested the DCCI president to

put forward necessary recommendations from

the business community to the ministry for

government's consideration.

Among others, DCCI Senior Vice President N

K A Mobin and Vice President Monowar

Hossain were also present at the meeting.

Rizwan Rahman requested to allow the same

fiscal and non-fiscal facilities to all export

oriented sectors like RMG sector keeping in

mind the LDC graduation of Bangladesh.

In the post Brexit era, he said, the

government can take initiative to sign FTA with

the UK.

Independence, sovereignty

stabilized through

Bangabandhu's return : Amu

DHAKA : Awami League Advisory Council member and spokesman

of the central 14-party alliance Amir Hossain Amu yesterday said if

Bangabandhu had not returned home, the country's independence

and sovereignty would have put in trouble.

"The country's independence and sovereignty were stabilized

through the return of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh

Mujibur Rahman," he told a virtual discussion arranged by the central

14-party alliance marking the Bangabandhu's Homecoming Day.

Amu said if Bangabandhu had not returned home, after

independence, it would have impossible for the freedom fighters to

surrender their arms and send the allied forces back to India.

As Bangabandhu returned, it made possible for the independent

state to get recognition of various countries and international

organisations, he said.

The 14-party spokesman said when the country is on the highway of

progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the

elder daughter of Bangabandhu, the anti-liberation forces are

thatching various intrigues against the country.

He said being united with the spirit of the liberation war, all should

remain alert against their conspiracies.

Awami League Advisory Council member Tofail Ahmed said the

country's independence without Bangabandhu was incomplete.

When Bangabandhu returned home, the aspirations of Bengalees got

fulfilled, he said. Tofail said overcoming all the hurdles, Prime

Minister Sheikh Hasina, the worthy daughter of Bangabandhu, is

taking Bangladesh forward on the path of development and progress

following the ideology of Bangabandhu.

Bangladesher Workers Party president Rashed Khan Menon, Jatiya

Samajtantrik Dal president Hasanul Haq Inu, Jatiya Party general

secretary Sheikh Shahidul Islam, Bangladesher Samyabadi Dal

general secretary Dilip Barua and chairman of Bangladesh Tarikat

Federation Najibul Bashar Maizbhandari also spoke at the meeting

moderated by AL liberation war affairs secretary Mrinal Kanti Das.

In protest against rape and murder of a Mastermind School student in Dhaka, a human chain on the

side of the main road in Kalabagan on Monday was held.

Photo : TBT

Journalist

Mizanur

Rahman Khan

passes away

DHAKA : Noted journalist

and Bangla daily

Prothom Alo's joint

editor Mizanur Rahman

Khan passed away while

undergoing treatment at

a private hospital in the

city yesterday evening.

He was 53.

He breathed his last at

6.05 pm at Universal

Medical College Hospital

at Mahakhali, family

sources said.

Earlier, Khan was

tested positive for

coronavirus on November

27 last.

Initially, he received

treatment at a private

facility in the capital. On

December 10, he was

shifted to Universal

Medical College Hospital

as his condition

deteriorated. He was kept

at intensive care unit

(ICU) of the hospital.

On Saturday, Khan was

kept on life support as

his condition further

deteriorated.

RAB-13 distributes education

assistance among disabled students

RANGPUR : Rapid Action

Battalion (RAB)-13

distributed education

assistance among five poor

disabled meritorious

students in a function held at

its battalion headquarters in

the city yesterday.

The elite force distributed

Taka 10,000, one school

bag and books among each

of the five students as part

of its ongoing RAB-13

Service Week marking the

birth centenary of Father of

the Nation Bangabandhu

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, a

release said.

MYMENSINGH : Noting that

there is no alternative to

education for building a

prosperous and developed

country, State Minister for

Housing and Public Works

Sharif Ahmed yesterday said

the government gained

significant achievement in all

sector especially education.

He was virtually addressing

as te chief guest a workshop

held at the conference room of

the deputy commissioner

here organized by Bureau of

Non-Formal Education

yesterday noon.

Commanding Officer

(CO) of RAB-13

Commander Reza

Ahmmed Ferdous

distributed the education

assistance among the

students in the function

arranged strictly abiding by

the health directives in the

wake of the coronavirus

(COVID-19) pandemic.

During the RAB-13

Service Week, the elite force

is donating blood,

distributing foods among

poor and distressed people

and orphans, conducting

tree plantation and public

Deputy Commissioner Md

Mizanur Rahman and

Superintendent of Police (SP)

Mohammad

Ahamaruzzaman addressed

as special guests

with Additional Deputy

Commissioner (Education

and ICT) Nasrin Sultana in

the chair.

Deputy Director of Local

Government Division Galib

Khan, District Primary

Education Officer Shafiqul

Haque and Super of Primary

Teachers Training Institute

(PTI) Rakibul Islam Talukder,

welfare services in different

areas under its jurisdictions

in Rangpur division.

On the occasion, the CO

said that RAB-13 feels

happy for becoming able to

remain beside the socially

backward disabled male

and female students.

The education assistance

recipient students from

different areas under

jurisdictions of RAB-13,

their guardians, media

workers and members of

RAB-13 attended the

function., the release

added.

No alternative to education for

building prosperous country : Sharif

among others, spoke.

Assistant Director of Bureau

of Non-Formal Education

Rasheda Islam delivered

welcome speech while AKM

Sujaur Islam presented the

keynote paper. The state

minister said the dropout in

primary level has come down

at a significance rate as the

government has taken various

effective initiatives in this

regard. He said the country

has been forwarding to a

developed nation under the

leadership of Prime Minister

Sheikh Hasina.


TuESDAY, jAnuArY 12, 2021

4

There’s no great rush for a JCPOA 2

Acting Editor & Publisher : Jobaer Alam

e-mail: editor@thebangladeshtoday.com

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Make easier the

owning of houses

Owning a house or a piece of land in Dhaka city is

probably the greatest aspirations of individual

families who form the city's current population of

over 15 million people. But some 65 per cent of these

families live in rented dwellings of various types. And the

costs of rented premises have been far outpacing the

growth in income of households.

House rent has only gone on rising sharply without a

pause in recent years. Similarly, land prices as well as of

apartments offered by developers in the city have

skyrocketed in contrast to couple of decades ago. Thus,

even for those in the middle class bracket --who earn on

average one lakh taka per month-- owning a house or a

piece of real property has become like chasing an

unrealistic ambition.

All of these hard facts of life were stated in a

publication sometime ago by Power and Participation

Centre (PPRC), a non governmental organization. The

gist of it were published in a report in a daily newspaper

although these are hardly new revelations to the non

privileged ones in the city who are compelled to pay a

lion's share of their earnings on rents only.

No easy solutions are in sight for the problem is

mainly tied up with inflation. The current rate of

officially estimated inflation in Bangladesh is some 6

per cent whereas the private but reliable estimates are

notably higher. Till inflation can be kept on a leash over

the long haul while economic growth, earnings and

savings of people are allowed to increase significantly

over time, this chasm between the demanded price of

real property and the ability to buy them by ones who are

not super rich, will not be bridged.

Meanwhile, government may opt for some stop gap

measures. It can increase the activities of the

government operated House Building Finance

Corporation (HBFC) to help the extension of its

activities among a larger number of clients. More

important would be HBFC scaling down its interest rate

charged on loans to a substantially lower amount.

As a government body with public welfare in mind, it

should not be so commercially operated but with the

spirit of functioning only a little above the break-even

point to maximize not profits but welfare. HBFC itself

can perhaps acquire long term loans at nominal interests

from the World Bank (WB) and other international

agencies for boosting its resources and lend the same to

people by passing on the benefits of the same to them

through charging lower interest. It should also provide

loans to buy lands.

Government should be also prepared to take some

fiscal measures like decreasing amply taxes to be paid

while transferring ownership of land in order to help

reduce land price. Government's policies should

similarly help the realtors to be enabled to develop less

costly housing units for selling of the same at relatively

lowered or affordable prices to their buyers.

Reportedly and according to the association of real

estate developers, REHAB, thousands of built flats

cannot be handed over to buyers because these

cannot be served with gas and power connections due

to shortages of both. Thus, the real estate developers

as well as buyers are facing difficulties as their

liabilities have sharply accumulated . It is imperative

that government should take very urgent measures to

supply gas and power to this sector on a highly

preferential basis .

There are also other things to be done. For example,

the registration fee for real estate is already considered

as very high. The inability to pay such high fees

frustrates many otherwise intending buyers from buying

real estate. REHAB and its customers say that it should

be maximum 5 per cent to really create a big enough

stimulus among the prospective buyers to press ahead

with their buying plans.

REHAB leaders are of the view that unless a section of

the income tax rules which in the past provided for not

questioning the source of wealth in relation to buying of

houses, if this rule is not reintroduced, then potential

clients will continue to shy away from buying flats or

houses. So, they are pleading for its abolition.

In the case of cement the import of which is subjected

to restrictions, REHAB has asked for a withdrawl of such

restrictions along with lower duties on the imported

cement so that the housing and construction sector can

benefit from adequate availability and reasonable price

of this basic building material.

Government provides cash incentives for some export

products to provide incentives to exporters to export

more and earn more foreign currency . REHAB leaders

are for similar giving of cash incentives to them as they

make sales of real property to Bangladeshis living

abroad.

The cash incentives will give a spur to selling real

estate among overseas buyers leading to growth in the

industry. The sales, on the other hand, will also add to

the country's foreign currency reserve. REHAB has also

demanded that government should explore the ways and

means of extending long term housing loans at nominal

interests to encourage greater housing and construction

activities.

In the Middle East, the first half of 2021

is promising to be busy for the Biden

administration. The new White House

must navigate the complex regional and

geopolitical mazes inherited from the

previous administration's patchwork

transactionalism and unilateralism that

intensified the crises now threatening to

further destabilize the region.

Conventional US wisdom that foreign

affairs take a back seat in favor of urgent

needs at home will simply not suffice.

Four years of inattention have weakened

the multilateral frameworks that the US

must rely on to broker desperately needed

resolutions in the Middle East and

elsewhere. Restoring faith and trust in

multilateralism will go a long way to

securing US foreign policy objectives -

particularly those focused on nuclear

diplomacy with Iran.

The Biden administration's plans for a

nuclear deal with Iran have divided

analysts and stakeholders alike. Three

schools of thought have emerged: A

return to the original 2015 Joint

Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),

an amended "JCPOA-plus," or an entirely

new agreement. Of the original P5+1

(China, France, Russia, the UK and the

US, plus Germany), the Europeans have

indicated support for a return to the 2015

deal as a starting point to resume

diplomatic engagement. Biden has

signaled he will seek amendments to the

2015 deal aimed at curbing Tehran's

ballistic missiles programs and regional

adventurism, echoing concerns from

Washington's Gulf Arab allies. The

International Atomic Energy Agency

(IAEA) is calling for an entirely new

agreement, specifically to prevent Iran

reaching sufficient capacity to produce

enough highly enriched uranium using its

gas centrifuges.

The landscape in 2015 was vastly

different, and the circumstances that led

to the original JCPOA no longer apply.

There were no Abraham Accords to

dissuade Israeli missile strikes against

Iranian targets; reprisals by Tehran would

hit nations that have normalized relations

with Israel. Russia and China were not as

close to Tehran as they are now, and

neither country has signaled its support

(or lack thereof) for the incoming

administration's plans to revitalize

nuclear talks. Moscow and Beijing are

now more likely to weigh their own

interests against those of a multilateral

coalition, given their deeper ties to Iran.

Meanwhile, Iran's nuclear program has

continued apace even under sanctions,

rendering them useless as leverage in any

renewed discussions. Even with a

moderate leadership, Iran is estimated to

have amassed more than 2.5 tons of

highly enriched uranium. In addition,

Washington walking away from the 2015

deal has emboldened denials and lack of

transparency regarding newly built

nuclear research facilities.

Iran's nuclear program has continued

apace even under sanctions, rendering

them useless as leverage in any renewed

discussions.

hAFED AL-GhWELL

Any new deal will seek greater access to

such facilities, halving the quantity of

uranium and limiting enrichment to 20

percent, but there is little chance a

government led by hardliners will agree to

such terms. A presidential election looms

in 2021 and should Iran's hardliners gain

more power and influence, Tehran will

push for harder bargains such as restoring

On the other hand, six months is a lifetime in geopolitics and not doing

anything could further entrench non-cooperative attitudes and embolden

hardliners seeking to capitalize on a lull to shorten the timeline until iran

develops its first nuclear warhead. So the White house must act quickly to

set the frameworks around an eventual deal, while also avoiding getting

locked into an over-ambitious timeline.

DAViD SiMMOnS

access to some frozen overseas assets in

return for scaling down its nuclear

ambitions.

Unfortunately, allowing access to those

funds risks directing them toward missile

programs in Lebanon and Syria,

especially if Washington addresses

Tehran's regional adventurism. Iran will

definitely be pressured if the US offers

generous backing of the Iraqi government

and military conditional on weeding out

Iranian influence. Additionally, the

Abraham Accords offer an avenue for the

development of regional missile defense

infrastructure to counter Iranian missiles

launches from Yemen, Lebanon, Syria

and Iraq.

Overall, while the circumstances, stakes

and potential signatories have changed,

there is still room for the Biden

administration to engineer a new nuclear

deal that may or may not look like its 2015

predecessor. However, while the prospect

of an Iranian hardliner winning in June

2021 is concerning, the US still has some

room and leverage to maneuver, and

should therefore not rush into another

hasty deal. Instead, there could be a series

of interim, short-term agreements,

narrow in scope and less time-consuming

to negotiate, so as to allow for confidencebuilding,

set realistic expectations and

encourage consultations among allies.

Alternatively, the Biden administration

could choose to do nothing for six months,

to get the lay of the land after Iranians

choose a new president. That would afford

more room to ramp up responses to

domestic crises such as the pandemic,

economic stimulus and political

polarization. After June, the White House

would have had time to consult with other

signatories and regional allies to develop a

framework for incremental steps aimed at

preserving US leverage while

incentivizing Iran to agree rather than

reject terms.

On the other hand, six months is a

lifetime in geopolitics and not doing

anything could further entrench noncooperative

attitudes and embolden

hardliners seeking to capitalize on a lull to

shorten the timeline until Iran develops

its first nuclear warhead. So the White

House must act quickly to set the

frameworks around an eventual deal,

while also avoiding getting locked into an

over-ambitious timeline.

It will not be easy to navigate the evercomplex

maze of nuclear diplomacy but,

unlike with North Korea, there is

sufficient room and opportunity to arrive

at a mutually acceptable settlement.

Source: Arab news

The Capitol offense: one Canadian's view

Supporters of US President Donald

Trump enter the US Capitol's

Rotunda on January 6, 2021, in

Washington, DC. Demonstrators breached

security and entered the Capitol as

Congress debated the a 2020 presidential

election Electoral Vote Certification.

Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP

The cliché "love-hate relationship" was

not coined specifically for Canadians'

interaction with Americans or, to a much

lesser degree, vice versa, but that

relationship is certainly unique. One of the

most famous quotes of Canada's most

famous prime minister, Pierre Trudeau,

compared his country's proximity to the

US to a mouse "sleeping with an elephant."

To be sure, the Canadian identity has

often been defined as little more "not

Americans" (sometimes beginning with

the additional words "at least we're"), but

the more honest among us might admit

that in the main, we are Americans, albeit

distinguished by a decent health-care

system, an indecent climate ("10 months'

winter and two months' poor sledding"),

Tim Hortons, Coffee Crisp, and the letter

zed.

However, distance can sharpen one's

perspective, and it is in that sense, as a

Canadian who has lived outside his

homeland for 20 years, I will attempt to

explain why I found the images coming out

of Washington this week particularly

distressing.

I moved to Asia in 2000, just before the

startling Supreme Court-mandated

installation of George Bush Jr into the

White House and, not long afterward, the

MOVING into the new year, two

incidents have once again

highlighted the state's chronic

inability to protect its marginalised and

vulnerable people. The vandalisation of a

Hindu Samadhi in Karak on Dec 30

illustrates how the majority still fears and

treats the minorities. Similarly, the

reluctance of Prime Minister Imran Khan to

visit Quetta to condole with the families of

slain Shia Hazara miners adds to the

perception that the country's power elites

have little empathy for the people or a sense

of responsibility towards them.

However, the Supreme Court of Pakistan

has tried to heal the wounds of the country's

non-Muslim citizens by taking suo motu

notice of the Hindu temple's vandalisation.

Apparently the last hope for the religious

minorities, Pakistan's superior courts are

trying their best to protect the former's

constitutional rights. As majoritarian and

less tolerant thinking increasingly comes to

prevail in society, the power elites not only

share the same mindset but also tolerate and

even protect the collaborators of hatred and

"war on terror" and consequent invasions

of Afghanistan and Iraq that reshaped -

many would say distorted - Asian

geopolitics thereafter.

Like many young Canadians in the

1970s, I opposed the Vietnam War, but

was not sufficiently astute politically to

understand how deeply war-making

figured in the American psyche. And like

many peaceniks of that era, I dared to hope

that America's humiliation in that conflict

would force it to reinvent itself as a true

City on the Hill, the "beacon of democracy"

it had always claimed to be but, for much

of its history, it was not.

But the "war on terror," and especially

the deafening drumbeat and cacophony of

lies that culminated in the US attack on

Iraq in 2003, was revealing in many ways.

It put in focus the warlike nature of the

American national psyche, and put in

clearer contrast how that psyche differed

from its Canadian counterpart.

Now, that is not to give comfort to those

Canadians who refuse to see the hypocrisy

that has dominated their country's

national identity for most of its history. It

has always had, for example, a flourishing

weapons industry that has grown fat on

America's wars. Its peace advocacy and

diplomacy have nearly always been

somewhat weaker than claimed, and far

weaker than they could and should have

been.

Its malignant behavior toward its nonwhite

minorities, particularly its own

aboriginal First Nations and ethnic

Japanese during World War II, have

mirrored and sometimes outdone the

racism for which its southern neighbor is

Democracy was a worthy project, one that the Americans empowered

more than any other society, and it accomplished many great

things while it lasted. But it was always doomed; humans tell

themselves they want to be their own bosses and not be pushed

around, but they melt like Popsicles in the summer sun at the first

sign of crisis and yearn to be told what to do.

infamous.

However, I think it is fair to say that in

Canadian society, to a degree not seen in

the US for the most part, non-violence is

the default stance, which I would argue has

not only kept Canada out of most of

America's wars, has spilled over into

domestic policies such as socialized health

insurance, abolition of the death penalty,

relatively low rates of violent crime, and

rational gun laws. Canadians' reputation

as a people who relish peace at home and

abroad is therefore largely valid and, in

practice, deserved.

Why, then, would I be bothered by the

sight of what happened in DC this week?

Negotiating with the weak

MuhAMMAD AMir rAnA

violence.

The government and its institutions,

including the civilian law-enforcement

agencies, hesitate to proactively tackle cases

of religious hatred. They may have multiple

excuses for this, but their indifferent and

irresponsible attitude has been intensifying

the scourge of religious hatred in society.

A review of the academic work that has

been done to understand the power

dynamics in Pakistan from political and

socio-economic perspectives, suggests that

the 'mindset' that controls the levers of

power here has limited skills of negotiating

with the people at the margins. The security

institutions have effectively dealt with

religiously motivated terrorist groups and

severely damaged their strongholds inside

the country.

During the peak years of the war against

terrorism, state institutions had brokered

several deals with the terrorist groups.

However, none of the deals survived for long

and as a last resort the terrorists were

countered with full kinetic force. These deals

were different and part of the political

strategy to blunt the destructive edge of the

terrorist groups.

The 'mindset' of the power elite here has

limited skills of negotiating with people at

the margins.

However, state institutions are still

struggling to negotiate with the Pashtun

Tahaffuz Movement. The same can be said

for Balochistan where political dialogue has

not moved forward during decades of

conflict.

It is easy for state institutions to use a

coercive approach in negotiation. If the

other side is aggressive and supports

violence, it becomes much easier for the

state to deal with them. However, the Indian

subcontinent also has a tradition of nonviolent

movements, which continue to

reincarnate themselves in the form of

political movements and socio-religious

movements. But power also has an ego,

which prevents it from negotiating with the

weak, but it also fears that the process will

empower the weak and make them equal to

the stakeholder.

It is obvious that the weak party has no

Isn't it par for the course?

Yes and no. Yes, American democracy

has been in a perilous decline that began

long before Donald Trump got it into his

orange-hued head to move into the White

House. But the fact that the American

brand of politics exists at all is a

remarkable feat, and so is how that system

has been wielded across the globe to

reshape world governance.

Some of the changes forced on the world,

and the way it was done, are obviously

regrettable, but many of them are not. On

balance, the achievements of the American

people have outstripped those of everyone

else, in every field from technological

innovation to medical breakthroughs to,

yes, the furtherance of decent governance

and human rights.

Brits, Chinese, and of course Canadians

like to crow over the self-inflicted disasters

Americans have endured especially since

the mid-1940s when they imposed on the

rest of us the post-World War II "world

order" - low points such as the Red Scare,

the civil-rights clashes, Watergate, the

Vietnam and Iraq wars and, more recently,

the reign of the military-industrial

complex and consequent decay of the

social contract.

But now, we see those images. And we

recognize how they are the inevitable

culmination of the long decline of one of

the greatest societies, maybe the greatest,

in history. And we must ask, will they

emerge victorious yet again, or is this really

the end?

Source: Asia times

option except to remain submissive and

follow the dictates of the strong majority.

However, the awareness of rights and the

dream of an egalitarian state never dies in

communities, especially among more

educated and politically awakened ones like

the Hazaras in Quetta. The power elites feel

uncomfortable whenever the Hazaras

protest against the murder of members of

their community. The protests grab the

attention of local and international media,

and the state, which is trying hard to

improve its international image. The

government tries to pacify them, but it does

not heal their wounds.

The improving security statistics offer the

country an encouraging outlook as terrorist

incidents have been declining for the last

many years. However, though terrorist

violence in the year 2020 declined over 36

per cent from the year before, the militants

were successful in carrying out at least 146

terrorist attacks across Pakistan, including

three suicide blasts.

Source: Dawn


coViD-19 is challenging the way science communication is done.

Photo: markus Winkler

COVID-19 pushing the science in a crisis

giLBert nakWeYa

Since COVID-19 became a pandemic in

March, the world has been in a state of

emergency, with the role of science

communication during a crisis being

brought into sharp focus.In Africa, as

elsewhere in the world, the novel

coronavirus has led to the dominance

of science news and analysis in the

media.But what lessons is the

pandemic giving to science

communication in Africa? How will

this shape the future of science

messaging in the continent?

Panellists and others in attendance

from Sub-Saharan Africa agreed that

that the outbreak of COVID-19 is

challenging the way we communicate

science in Africa."It was not easy to

communicate COVID-19 as we were all

learning about a new virus," said Mercy

Korir, a medical doctor who is now

working as full-time health journalist

for Kenya's Standard Media Group.

According to Aisha Karim, a science

journalist with South Africa-based

Bhekisisa Centre for Health

Journalism, many journalists had little

knowledge on how to unravel and

communicate the science about the

virus in an effective manner.

"Journalists were grappling with

something complex with little training

on how to unpack information for the

general public," Karim said.She added

that the tendency to simplify

information on the pandemic led to the

risk of missing key health issues that

were important to the public and

policymakers. Convincing the public

that they faced a dynamic situation that

even scientists were still learning about

was a challenge in itself.

The panellists heaped praise on

scientists in Africa for taking to social

media as well as mainstream media,

especially radio and television stations,

to demystify issues to the public and

share knowledge on continuing

research.

According to the UN Secretary-

General's initiative on big data and

artificial intelligence, Global Pulse,

online Coronavirus information has

been shared and viewed 270 billion

times in the 47 WHO Africa region

countries between February and

November this year.

Benjamin Gyampoh, a lecturer at

Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah University

of Science and Technology, told

participants that social media has

played a key role as a science

communication channel but what is

shared is insufficient and not an

adequate representation of COVID-19

research across Africa. Kogie Naidoo,

head of treatment research in HIV and

TB at the Centre for the AIDS

Programme of Research in South

Africa, said that communicating

scientific research findings during a

crisis is important, especially for

policymakers and the general public.

But even more important is that

science journalists covering a pandemic

need to ensure responsible reporting

through a rigorous fact-finding

mission, she added.Despite concerted

efforts to communicate science during

the pandemic, the politicisation of

science, where politicians give updates

even on technical matters while

scientists play second fiddle, is

unsettling to me. This, in my view,

impedes effective science

communication during the pandemic.

Also, uncertainty in science has

been a challenge in communication

during the pandemic, particularly at

the initial stages. Earlier this year,

some scientists were divided on

whether the use of face masks by the

public was advisable as a measure to

curb the spread of the virus.

I could not agree more with

Gyampoh, the founding editor-in-chief

of the Scientific African journal of the

Next Einstein Forum, that a strong

relationship between the media,

scientists and government officials is

critical to effective science

communication during a crisis.

With the world now anticipating

mass COVID-19 vaccinations,

accurate information about vaccines

is crucial to boost acceptability and

uptake to help conquer the

virus.However,

science

communicating should be sustained

in Africa beyond the pandemic. This

is a wake-up call for increased

investment in science

communicators by institutions such

as higher education, governments

and media groups across the region.

tUeSDaY, janUarY 12, 2021

5

Decrease in Brazil's Atlantic forest

WaSHington caStiLHoS

The alarming rate of felling of the

world's tropical forests and resulting

biodiversity loss is well documented.

But much less is known about the forest

fragments left behind when

deforestation has occurred.

Now, a study of the Atlantic Forest,

an ecosystem rich with endemic species

of plants and animals and home to

about a third of the South American

population, seeks to shed light on the

state of these remaining forest areas.

More accessible to humans, these

fragments are vulnerable to wildfires,

logging, hunting and biological

invasions, says the study published in

Nature Communications.The

Atlantic Forest once covered the

entire length of Brazil's coastline as

well as parts of Argentina, Paraguay

and Uruguay. Today, it survives only

in bits.

Human impacts on these forest

remnants have already caused the loss

of up to 42 per cent of the variety of

species found in the forest as well as a

major loss of carbon stocks, essential

elements for the conservation of life

and climate regulation, the study

found.

The Atlantic Forest contains a huge

variety of tree types and unique

vegetation, including the pau brasil, the

national tree of Brazil, which gave the

country its name.Researchers analysed

1,819 surveys, which considered the

climate, soil, level of forest degradation

and size of the remaining forest. They

determined that, on average, the forest

fragments have a 25-32 per cent lower

biomass (roots, trunk, leaves and

branches); 23-31 per cent fewer

species, and 33 per cent fewer endemic

species.

This is equivalent to the loss of up to

70,000 square kilometres of forests or

as much as US$2.6 billion in carbon

credits, the study concluded.

Lead author Renato Lima, a

researcher at the Institute of

Biosciences of the University of São

Paulo, says these figures have direct

implications for climate change

mitigation, an important element of

which is fighting forest degradation.

But, the researchers say that

"quantifying the impacts of forest

degradation is hard and has therefore

received less attention than

deforestation in the climate change and

conservation agendas, such as the Paris

Agreement".

Degradation occurs when the

accumulation of disturbances inside

the forest - such as burning, logging

and proliferation of invasive species -

changes the entire ecosystem and the

functioning of the forest, affecting its

ability to store carbon and water, and

in this aerial view of the atlantic Forest deforestation is

visible,

Photo: Spot image/

harming biodiversity.

Scientists warn that the fate of

tropical forests depends not only on

promoting the reforestation of

deforested lands but also on mitigating

forest degradation in the remaining

forest fragments.Projections by the

Joint Research Center - the European

Commission's science and knowledge

service - suggest that if the current rates

of disturbances continue, pristine

tropical forests will be wiped out by

2050.

According to these projections, some

of Sub-Saharan Africa's untouched

forests will disappear between 2024

and 2090; 2034 may be the year of the

5

disappearance of those located in

Thailand or Vietnam; by 2040, they

will be gone from Madagascar and

India, and by 2129 from Brazil's

Amazon.

Looking ahead to the upcoming

COP15 - the UN Convention on

Biological Diversity meeting tentatively

planned for May 2021 in Kunming,

China - researchers from 12 countries

mapped 2.9 billion hectares of different

types of degraded ecosystems and

divided them on a scale from highest to

lowest priority.

On this scale, the Atlantic Forest is

among the areas of highest global

priority while, in a separate study, it

appears in the top ten per cent of

conservation "hotspots" needing

restoration.For Marcos Pedlowski, a

geographer at the State University of

North Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, who

did not take part in the study, believes

the study's focus on the Atlantic Forest

is important.

"Most recent efforts take into account

the deforestation of the Amazon,

disregarding all other biomes and the

problem of degradation. It should be

noted that the Atlantic Forest has an

endemic level equal to or greater than

that of the Amazon, but little is said

about its richness in biodiversity," he

said.

The geographer, whose recent study

draws attention to the rate of

degradation in the Amazon, adds that

the less disturbed the fragment, the

more environmental services it can

offer."In addition to being a diverse

ecosystem, the Atlantic Forest is

located around the largest urban

concentrations in Brazil, and water is

an important element for these urban

centres. We've been going through

serious water crises, while water

generation is one of the environmental

services that preserved forests can

offer," Pedlowski added.

According to the study, fighting

forest degradation in what remains of

the Atlantic Forest can attract billions

of dollars in investments related to

carbon credits.Lima adds that since

most fragments are located on

private property, creating attractive

alternatives for landowners is

essential.

"Forest restoration has its costs, but

it can bring profits in the carbon

credits market. Policymaking could

be the key to attracting funds to the

Atlantic Forest," he added.In Brazil,

funds to reduce carbon emissions

from deforestation and forest

degradation are mainly concentrated

on the Amazon, and currently only

the State of Rio de Janeiro has a fund

for the Atlantic Forest.

Himalayan aerosol factory influences

global warming

Sanjeet BagccHi

The vast Himalayan region acts as an 'aerosol

factory' contributing significantly to tropospheric

aerosols that affect the balance between sunlight

absorbed by the Earth and energy radiated back -

the basis for the greenhouse effect that causes

global warming, says a new study.

According to the study, published 7 December in

Nature Geoscience, up-valley winds bring vapours

emitted by vegetation in the Himalayan foothills

to higher altitudes. Along the way they turn into

volatile compounds which rapidly form new

Himalayan foothills.

aerosol particles that are transported into the

troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere

where all weather occurs.

Poor understanding of aerosol particles in the

atmosphere before industries were established

globally has led to substantial uncertainty in manmade

contribution to aerosol formation, the study

said. To address this issue researchers at the

Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System

Research (INAR), University of Helsinki, Finland,

assessed new aerosol formation in pre-industriallike

conditions found at the Nepal Climate

Observatory, Pyramid station, located 5,079

metres above sea level.

The Himalayan region pushes into the free

troposphere large quantities of aerosol particles

Photo: flowcomm

produced from organic or "biogenic" sources - but

not man-made or "anthropogenic" pollutants, the

researchers found. That makes aerosol production

in the Himalayan region close to pre-industrial

conditions where aerosols in the upper

troposphere were mainly biogenic rather than

anthropogenic.

"To understand climate, we need to understand

all the components of the atmosphere before and

after human industrialisation," Federico Bianchi,

associate professor, faculty of science, INAR, tells

Scidev.Net.

Josef Dommen, co-author of the study from

Switzerland's Paul Scherrer Institute, adds: "[The]

source of particle formation and transport, [as

unveiled in this study] can now be included in

climate models and improve the climate

simulation of pre-industrial times and, therefore,

climate change predictions."

Plants give off large quantities of gases such as

isoprene and terpene, which are oxidised in the

atmosphere, producing small quantities of very

sticky molecules that bind together and form tiny

aerosol particles, Dommen says, adding that

aerosol particles can grow larger by condensation

of other products of oxidation, and eventually turn

into cloud condensation nuclei (small particles on

which water vapour condenses).

"Such particles affect the climate directly by

increasing the reflectivity of the atmosphere or

they affect it indirectly by changing the

properties of clouds, because they serve as cloud

condensation nuclei," Dommen tells

SciDev.Net.

The study is important for understanding

atmospheric processes in the Himalayan region

better, says Madan Sigdel of Nepal's Tribhuvan

University. "If the aerosol particles increase in the

upper troposphere, it may reduce the warming

rate, [and suppress] the radiative forcing

(difference between sunlight absorbed by the

Earth and the energy radiated back to space),

changing the climate system. More cloud

condensation nuclei form clouds with smaller

droplets which may suppress the formation of

[cloud] precipitation."

Aerosol particles can affect the climate in

various ways - scatter and absorb solar radiation,

Logs loaded on a barge for transportation.

Photo: Yayanindriatmoko

Upsetting biodiversity trigger new pandemics

Fatima arkin

The emergence of COVID-19 and other

diseases of animal origin such as Ebola,

SARS and HIV indicates that disturbing

forests can trigger pandemics, say the

authors of a new study, highlighting

megatrends shaping the future of forests.

While the exact origins of COVID-19 are

yet to be determined, the virus has

demonstrated the devastating social and

economic significance of pandemics, and

also highlighted a "crucial aspect of the

linkages between human-forest relations

and global change", says the study published

30 November in Nature Plants.

FAO's State of the World's Forests Report

2020 says that the majority of new infectious

diseases are zoonotic and their emergence

may be linked to changes in forest areas, as

well as the expansion of human populations

into forest areas.

According to the study, the unprecedented

exodus of forest communities to urban areas

is shaping the future of forests. As examples,

the study cites how international migration

is helping reforestation in Nepal, changing

community forest management institutions

in Mexico and driving shifts from

subsistence to commodity crop

monocultures in the Philippines.

A megatrend affecting forests is the growth

in numbers of the middle class in low- and

middle-income countries, which by 2030

may reach five billion people. This large

population, around half of the projected

global populace, will spur local and global

consumption and increase pressure on land

and other resources. Growing consumption

and demand has already seen large-scale,

corporate-led land acquisitions for industrial

production of cattle, soy and palm oil in

South-East Asia, Latin America and Africa.

According to the study, during 2001-2015,

27 per cent of forest disturbance was

attributed to commodity-driven

deforestation.

While the growth in availability of digital

technologies, including land mapping tools

and real-time satellite data can benefit a wide

range of stakeholders, including Indigenous

Peoples interested in protecting their forests

and livelihoods, the new technologies can

also aid those involved.


TUeSDAY, JAnUARY 12, 2021

6

Seminar on food security

held in Matiranga

The 65th Annual General Meeting of Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Limited (BGFCL) was held on

Sunday.

Photo: Courtesy

aBuL haSheM, Matiranga CorreSpondent:

a seminar on food security was held

with the representatives of various food

traders and organizations in Matiranga

under the theme "Safe food for Life

and health".

the seminar was jointly organized by

Matiranga upazila administration and

Bangladesh Safe food authority.

Matiranga upazila nirbahi officer

trala dev presided over the seminar

held at Matiranga upazila auditorium

on Monday. Matiranga police subinspector

Mohammad Mozammel

haque and others.

Chairman of Matiranga upazila

parishad Md. rafiqul islam referring to

keeping all types of food items free

from adulteration and safe, said, "there

is no alternative to eating safe food to

live a healthy life. he requested all

kinds of traders present on the subject

of food security to serve adulterated

food items.

Matiranga upazila nirbahi officer

trla dev said the present prime

Minister Sheikh hasina's government

has undertaken a comprehensive

action plan on food security and food

production security for the

development of the people of the

country by 2041 to ensure safe food and

health protection in Bangladesh. She

also said that strict legal measures will

be taken to keep the food free from

adulteration.

among others, all the divisional

officers of Matiranga upazila, chairmen

of various union parishads of the

upazila, hotel owners, fruit traders, fish

traders, farmers, teachers, civil society

representatives, journalists and many

others were present on the occasion.

BGFCL holds 65th Annual General Meeting

the 65th annual general Meeting

of Bangladesh gas fields Company

Limited (BgfCL) was held on

Sunday, under the chairmanship of

Md. anisur rahman, Chairman of the

Board of directors of the company

and Senior Secretary of the

department of energy and Mineral

resources. the shareholders and

directors of the company and senior

executives participated in the virtual

meeting, a press release said.

BgfCL is the state-owned and

petrobangla's largest natural gas

producer. the company is responsible

for producing natural gas in the

country and supplying it to the

national grid. involved in the

founding of BgfCL is the memory of

a firm step taken by Bangabandhu

Sheikh Mujibur rahman, the father

of the nation. on 9 august 1975,

Bangabandhu bought five gas fields at

titas, habiganj, Bakhrabad,

rashidpur and Kailastila from the

then British company Shell oil and

made them state-owned. Later, on 12

September 1975, the name of the Shell

oil company was changed to

'Bangladesh gas fields Company

Limited'. out of the 5 gas fields

purchased by Bangabandhu, 3 gas

fields are under the management of

titas, habiganj and Bakhrabad

BgfCL.

out of 6 gas fields operated by

BgfCL, 5 fields except Kamata are in

production. in the fiscal year 2019-

2020, a total of 2,48,598.951 million

cubic feet of gas was supplied to

petrobangla's gas distribution

companies at a rate of 681 million

cubic feet per day from 44 wells of

BgfCL through the national

transmission pipeline. in addition,

1,72,283 barrels of condensate has

been produced from the company's

own wells.

in the financial year 2019-2020, the

total revenue of the company stood at

tk 1,267.59 crore. after deducting

total operating expenses of tk

1,063.61 crore (including Vat) from

that income, the company has earned

a pre-tax profit of tk 203.98 crore. in

the current financial year, the

company has deposited a total of tk

81.05 crore in the exchequer for Vat,

dividends and income tax.

under BgfCL's development

project, workover of 6 wells and

installation of wellhead compressors

at a, C and narsingdi fields at titas

field are under implementation.

under the workover project, work has

been successfully completed at 5 wells

habiganj-1, Bakhrabad-1, titas-6, 9

and narsingdi-1 and gas has been

produced from the wells.

Workover work on titas-7 well has

started on September 2020 and work

on titas-13 well will start thereafter.

More than 95% of the gas compressor

installation work at titas Location C

and narsingdi field has been

completed by hC contractors. an

agreement has been signed with the

hC contractor on 05-11-2020 to

install a wellhead compressor at titus

Location 'a'.

despite facing many other

challenges including the global

epidemic Covid-19, the success

achieved by BgfCL is the result of the

strong morale and determination of

the Board of directors and all the

staff.

Goalanda Upazila Parishad newly-elected chairman Md. Mostafa Munshi officially took charge of the

council on Monday.

Photo: Akhteruzzaman Mridha

Bangabandhu’s Homecoming

Day observed in Gaibandha

gaiBandha: the historic

48th homecoming day of

father of the nation

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur

rahman was observed in the

district in a befitting manner on

thursday, reports BSS.

Marking the day, Bangladesh

awami League, district unit

and its front organizations

chalked out elaborate

programmes.

the programmes included

hoisting of national and party

flags atop the party offices,

placing floral wreaths at the

portraits of Bangabandhu, and

holding milad and doa mahfil

seeking salvation of

Bangabandhu and his deceased

family members. a discussion

meeting on the importance of

the day was also held at the

district awami League office of

the town with vice president of

district awami league Shahidul

islam abu in the chair.

general secretary (gS) of

district awami League abu

Bakar Siddique, organizing

secretary pearul islam, office

secretary Saiful alam Saka,

deputy office secretary M

Masud rana and gS of Sadar

upazila awami League aminur

Zman rinku addressed the

meeting, among others.

the speakers, in their

speeches, said Bangabandhu

returned to the sacred soil of

independent Bangladesh on

this day in 1972 via London and

new delhi after 290 days of

captivity in a pakistan Jail.

Similar programmes were

also held at Shaghata upazila

headquarters where deputy

speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad

advocate fazle rabbi Miah

participated as the chief guest.

Speaking on the occasion

deputy speaker advocate fazle

rabbi Miah said Bangabandhu

was subjected to inhuman

torture in the jail where he had

been counting moments for the

execution of his death sentence

that was pronounced in a

farcical trial.

Bangabandhu inspired the

Bangalee nation and he was the

inspiration of the freedom

fighters, he also said.

under undaunted and

charismatic leadership of

Bangabandhu, the Bangalee

nation earned the ultimate

victory through the ninemonth

Liberation War in 1971,

the deputy speaker added.

newly elected chairman

of goalanda upazila

parishad takes charge

aKhteruZZaMan Mridha, goaLando CorreSpondent:

goalanda upazila parishad newly-elected chairman

Md. Mostafa Munshi officially took charge of the council

on Monday (January 11th). earlier, he laid a wreath at the

portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur rahman at the

upazila parishad premises.

Later at 11 o'clock on the occasion of handing over the

responsibility, a meeting was held under the

chairmanship of to the upazila nirbahi officer Md.

aminul islam. there, acting chairman asaduzzaman

Chowdhury (asad) formally handed over the

responsibility of the council to newly-elected chairman

Mostafa Munshi. at that time, heads of various

government and non-government departments, various

institutions and organizations greeted him with flowers.

at the occasion, goalanda upazila assistant

Commissioner (Land) Md. rafiqul islam, goalanda ghat

police officer-in-Charge abdullah al taybir, upazila

Mohila Vice Chairman nargis parveen, goalanda upazila

awami League acting president Shahidul islam Khan,

acting general Secretary Biplob ghosh and goalanda

Municipality panel Mayor Komal Saha were among

others present at the occasion.

upazila Chairman Md. Mostafa Munshi in his speech,

said, "the upazila parishad will be the shelter of the

people of this upazila. i will do my best to ensure all kinds

of services to the people." My door will always be open to

the public. i am deeply grateful to prime Minister Sheikh

hasina, my party leaders and workers and dear goalanda

upazila people for their trust in me.

A seminar on food security was held with the representatives of various food traders and organizations

in Matiranga on Monday.

Photo: Abul Hashem

Bangabandhu

Adventure

Festival 2021

inaugurated

Md. Shafiqur rahMan,

rangaMati CorreSpondent:

a five-day Bangabandhu

adventure festival

was inaugurated in

rangamati on Monday

by foreign Minister dr.

a. K. abdul Momen, Mp

as the chief guest. the

festival was inaugurated

at the rangamati Ching

hola Mong Mari

Stadium.

Chairman of the

Chattogram hill tracts

development Board

Chairman naba Bikram

Kishore tripura, ndc

chaired the occasion

while dipankar

talukdar Mp was

present as the chief

guest at the occasion.

the festival will be

organized by the

Chattogram hill tracts

development Board

(ChtdB) and the

Bangladesh adventure

foundation. the closing

ceremony will be held

on January 15 in

rangamati.

farmers busy in Boro rice

farming in rangpur region

rangpur: farmers are becoming busy in

Boro rice farming as transplantation of its

seedlings started getting momentum in

rangpur agriculture region during the current

rabi season, reports BSS.

officials of the department of agricultural

extension (dae) said the government is

extending assistance to farmers to make the

intensive Boro rice farming programme

successful and recoup the crop losses they

incurred during recent floods.

Meanwhile, farmers have already

transplanted Boro rice seedlings on over 5,000

hectares of land as the process will get full

momentum by this month- end in all five

districts of the region.

in the meantime, farmers have already

prepared Boro rice seedbeds on 26,492

hectares of land exceeding the fixed target of

preparing the same on 22,943 hectares of land

by 15.47 percent across the region till Sunday.

"a target of producing over 21.54 lakh

tonnes of clean Boro rice (32.31 lakh tonnes of

paddy) has been fixed from 4.96 lakh hectares

of land for the region this season," deputy

director of the dae at its regional office Md

Moniruzzaman told BSS today.

under the programme, farmers will produce

9.20 lakh tonnes of hybrid variety Boro rice

from 1.90 lakh hectares of land, 12.31 lakh

tonnes of high yielding variety rice from 3.04

lakh hectares and 3,045 tonnes of local variety

Boro rice from 1,500 hectares of land.

"the dae with other related organisations,

power development Board and rural

electrification Board are ensuring smooth

supply of seeds, fertilisers and electricity to

farmers to ensure smooth Boro rice cultivation

this season," Moniruzzaman said.

farmers are adopting conservation based

agriculture technologies like alternate drying

and Wetting irrigation method while farming

Boro rice to save irrigation water for increasing

rice output at reduced costs in the region.

talking to BSS, farmer ariful haque of

village najirdigar in rangpur said he is

continuing transplantation of Boro rice

seedlings on his 6.50 acres of land this season

to recoup the crop losses caused by recent

floods to his aman rice crop.

farmers abdur rahim, dulal Chandra,

abdus Salam, Babar ali, Sukumar roy and

Mokarram hossain of different villages in

rangpur said their Boro rice seedlings were

ready to complete the transplantation process

by the next two weeks.

Senior Coordinator (agriculture and

environment) of rdrS Bangladesh Mamunur

rashid said transplantation of Boro rice

seedlings continues in full swing in riverine

char areas of the region where farers incurred

huge crop losses during recent floods.

"following substantial assistance being

extended to farmers by the government, they

are expected to bring more land under Boro

rice cultivation than the fixed farming target to

recoup the crop losses they incurred during

recent floods in the region," he hoped.

agriculturist dr Md abdul Mazid, who

got the independent Medal 2018 (food

security), suggested farmers would get

maximum yield of Boro rice by completing

transplantation of Boro rice seedlings by

mid-february.

Foreign Minister Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen, MP as the chief guest inaugurated a five-day Bangabandhu

Adventure Festival in Rangamati on Monday.

Photo: Md. Shafiqur Rahman


TUESdAY, JANUARY 12, 2021

7

More than half a million people were placed under lockdown in Beijing on Monday as the

government imposed strict measures to stamp out a handful of Covid-19 cases. Photo : AP

Over half a million under lockdown

as Beijing outbreak spreads

BEIJING : More than half a million

people were placed under lockdown in

Beijing on Monday as the government

imposed strict measures to stamp out a

handful of Covid-19 cases.

China has largely brought the virus

under control, but is tackling a number

of local infections with lockdowns and

mass testing.

Authorities are keen to stem any outbreak

in the capital - home to over 20

million people - particularly ahead of a

week-long national holiday next

month. All rural villages in Shunyi district

on the outskirts of Beijing are

locked down until a fresh round of

mass testing has been completed, district

official Zhi Xianwei said at a press

briefing Monday. The move means

around 518,000 residents will not be

Massive tech

show will go

on, in virtual

format

SAN FRANCISCO : The big

tech show will go on, but

online only: the 2021

Consumer Electronics Show

kicks off Monday aiming to

create connections and

showcase the latest in

robotics, smart devices,

digital health and more.

Some 1,800 exhibitors will

be participating in the show,

forced to go online-only by

the coronavirus pandemic.

The new format will be a

challenge for one of the

world's largest trade events.

In previous years, the Las

Vegas extravaganza pulled

in more than 4,000

exhibitors from startups to

big multinationals, with

upwards of 175,000

attendees.

The event opens with a

media day - normally

packed with press

conferences in Las Vegas

ballrooms - replaced with

streamed

video

presentations from

companies, such as Hisense,

LG, Samsung and Sony.

The Consumer

Technology Association, the

trade group producing the

event, will also unveil its

forecast and trends for 2021.

Gary Shapiro, president

and chief executive of the

group, said the first alldigital

show would be

"showcasing the latest

trends and innovation in

artificial intelligence, 5G,

digital health, smart cities,

vehicle tech and beyond."

Digital CES is relying on

artificial intelligence to

match interests indicated in

attendee profiles with

exhibitors, hoping to put a

software spin on the

serendipity of stumbling

upon cool products on

show-floors.

Software will recommend

people or exhibitors to connect

with and provide tools for

online meetings or chats.

CES has more than 300

speakers lined up, and a

heightened focus on

sessions diving into issues

such as privacy and 5G

internet.

permitted to leave their villages until

they have undergone testing.

Officials also said locals would be

under "closed management", suggesting

they will be barred from leaving

their residential compounds.

The district, which has a total population

of 1.2 million, is home to many

rural migrant workers.

Zhi said officials would "knock on

doors… all migrants will be classified

and accounted for."

Experts have not yet identified the

source of the outbreak, but one asymptomatic

case confirmed on Sunday was

a driver for an online ride-hailing service,

and the government has suspended

all taxi-hailing services in the district.

Beijing reported one new case on

Monday and has recorded 32 local

transmissions of Covid-19 in total since

December 19, mostly in Shunyi.

Shunyi residents already completed a

round of mass testing in late December,

when six villages and an industrial park

were also locked down and delivery

couriers were banned from entering

residential estates.

Although the latest outbreak is

modest compared to Beijing's last

cluster in June, when more than 300

were infected, officials are anxious to

contain the spread of the virus before

the country's massive annual migration

for the Lunar New Year holiday

next month.

The Beijing government has cancelled

large-scale events and urged residents

not to leave the city over the holidays

to minimise the risk of infection.

Thirteen soldiers have died in an ambush by jihadist fighters from the

Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) group in volatile northeastern

Nigeria, two army sources told AFP on Monday.

Photo : AP

Jihadists kill 13 soldiers

in northeast Nigeria

KANO, Nigeria : Thirteen soldiers have died

in an ambush by jihadist fighters from the

Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP)

group in volatile northeastern Nigeria, two

army sources told AFP on Monday.

Heavy gunfire and rocket-propelled

grenades hit a military convoy in Gazagana

village, 30 kilometres (18 miles) from Yobe

state capital Damaturu on Saturday.

"We lost 13 soldiers in this ambush and

several were injured," an officer said.

The convoy was headed for a military base

at Buni Yadi, another 20 kilometres from

Damaturu, said the second army source, who

gave the same death toll. "It was a fierce battle

and the terrorists also suffered casualties," he

said, without giving a figure. The ISWAP

group carries out regular attacks in Buni Yadi

region on soldiers and travellers, with the

violence spilling over into Borno state. Since

2009, the jihadist campaign in northeast

Nigeria has focused on Borno where the Boko

Haram group is also active.

ISWAP split from Boko Haram in 2016 and

rose to become a dominant group.

The violence has spread into neighbouring

Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a

regional military coalition to fight the

militants. At least 36,000 people have been

killed in the conflict, which has displaced

about two million from their homes since

2009.

Arnold Schwarzenegger compares

US Capitol mob to Nazis

WASHINTON : Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger compared the mob that

stormed the U.S. Capitol to the Nazis and called President Donald Trump a failed leader who

"will go down in history as the worst president ever."

The Republican said in a video he released on social media on Sunday that "Wednesday was

the Night of Broken Glass right here in the United States." In 1938, Nazis in Germany and

Austria vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses during an attack that became

known as Kristallnacht or "the Night of Broken Glass."

"The broken glass was in the windows of the United States Capitol. But the mob did not just

shatter the windows of the Capitol, they shattered the ideas we took for granted," he said.

"They trampled the very principles on which our country was founded."

Schwarzenegger, who was born in Austria, compared the Proud Boys - a far-right American

extremist group - to the Nazis. Some Proud Boys leaders were arrested in the nation's capital,

before and after Wednesday's riots, reports UNB.

Capitol police

were overrun,

'left naked'

against rioters

WASHINGTON : Despite ample

warnings about pro-Trump

demonstrations in Washington,

U.S. Capitol Police did not bolster

staffing on Wednesday and made

no preparations for the possibility

that the planned protests could

escalate into massive violent riots,

according to several people

briefed on law enforcement's

response, reports UNB.

The revelations shed new

light on why Capitol Police were

so quickly overrun by rioters.

The department had the same

number of officers in place as

on a routine day. While some of

those officers were outfitted

with equipment for a protest,

they were not staffed or

equipped for a riot.

Once the mob began to move

on the Capitol, a police

lieutenant issued an order not to

use deadly force, which explains

why officers outside the building

did not draw their weapons as

the crowd closed in. Officers are

sometimes ordered against

escalating a situation by drawing

their weapons if superiors

believe doing so could lead to a

stampede or a shootout.

China

WHO experts arriving

Thursday for virus

origins probe

BEIJING : Experts from the

World Health Organization

are due to arrive in China this

week for a long-anticipated

investigation into the origins

of the coronavirus pandemic,

the government said Monday.

The experts will arrive on

Thursday and meet with

Chinese counterparts, the

National Health Commission

said in a one-sentence

statement that gave no other

details, reports UNB.

It wasn't immediately clear

whether the experts would be

traveling to the central Chinese

city of Wuhan, where the

coronavirus was first detected in

late 2019. Negotiations for the

visit have long been underway.

WHO Director-General

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

expressed disappointment last

week over delays, saying that

members of the int’l scientific

team departing from their home

countries had already started on

their trip as part of an

arrangement between the WHO

and the Chinese govt.

China's government has

strictly controlled all research

at home into the origins of the

virus,an Associated Press

investigation found, while

state-owned media have

played up fringe theories that

suggest the virus could have

originated elsewhere.

†kL nvwmbvi wb‡`©k

Rjevqy mwnòz evsjv‡`k

Russia says 1.5 million vaccinated

globally with Sputnik

MOSCOW : Russia announced Monday that

1.5 million people around the world had

received its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine as

part of an initiative Kremlin critics have

described as a geopolitical push.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund

(RDIF), which has financed the development

of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine,

confirmed the figure to AFP without offering

a breakdown of where the jab was

distributed.

"We cannot say how many of them are in

Russia and in the rest of the world," RDIF

spokesman Arseny Palagin said, adding that

individual nations could release data

separately.

Russia became the first country last August

to register a vaccine, months ahead of

Western competitors, and Moscow has

boasted of more than one billion orders for

the jab abroad.

Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said

this month that more than 800,000

Russians had received Sputnik and that 1.5

million doses had been distributed

throughout the country of around 147

million.

But there is scepticism surrounding

Moscow's virus statistics and health officials

in December conceded that the death toll

from the pandemic was nearly four times

higher than previously reported.

An adviser to Russia's health minister said

over the weekend that consultations with the

World Health Organisation for the use of

Sputnik in emergency situations would

begin January 20.

The designation would allow Sputnik V to

be distributed as part of the WHO's

emergency rollout to countries struggling to

source vaccines independently.

Russia has over recent months been

battered by a second wave of the coronavirus

but the Kremlin has held back on

introducing sweeping restrictive measures

like in the beginning of the pandemic.

Russian officials say however that new

daily cases have been decreasing in recent

days, dropping closer to 20,000.

On Monday, authorities reported a total of

3,425,269 infections and more than 62,000

deaths.

Russia announced Monday that 1.5 million people around the world had

received its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine as part of an initiative Kremlin

critics have described as a geopolitical push.

Photo : AP

we`ÿ r/Rb- 514(2)/11/01/21

GD–61/21 (3x3)


TUESDAY, JANUARY 12, 2021 8

Closing ceremony of a two-day Business Development Conference of Islami Bank Bangladesh

Limited was held at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, Dhaka recently. Professor Md. Nazmul Hassan,

Ph.D, Chairman of the bank addressed the concluding session as chief guest. Professor Dr. Md.

Salim Uddin, FCA, FCMA, Chairman, Executive Committee, Mohammad Solaiman, FCA, Chairman,

Audit Committee, Major General (Retd.) Engr. Abdul Matin, Chairman, Risk Management

Committee of the bank addressed the program as special guest. Presided over by Mohammed

Monirul Moula, Managing Director and CEO of the bank, the program was addressed by Md.

Mahbub ul Alam, former Managing Director and CEO of the bank, Professor Dr. Mohammad Gias

Uddin Taluker, Chairman of IBBL Shari`ah Supervisory Committee and Muhammad Qaisar Ali,

Additional Managing Director.

Photo: Courtesy

Brexit deal's ‘rules of origin’

spark trade confusion

LONDON: Many British businesses are

swiftly discovering that they must now pay

duties on exports bound for the European

Union, despite the breakthrough Brexit

free trade deal clinched over Christmas,

reports BSS.

The development, which has already helped

spark sliding freight traffic to Ireland, is part

of trade disruption that has become

increasingly evident this year after Britain's

Brexit divorce was finalised on December 31.

Trade has also been badly hampered by new

Covid-19 border restrictions, with the roll-out

of testing for lorry drivers as Britain races to

curb a rampant variant of the deadly virus.

At the heart of the Brexit deal, which came

into force on January 1, is the so-called "rules

of origin" condition applied to all goods

crossing the border.

The rules of origin, a key aspect of all major

trade deals, can rapidly turn into a costly

headache for businesses.

Under the Brexit provision, any good will be

subject to a customs levy if it arrives in Britain

from abroad and is then exported back into

the European Union. For example, if a British

clothing retailer imports Chinese-made

textiles, then it would then have to pay a

customs charge if it re-exports the items into

a member nation of the EU's single market

and customs union.

Put simply, the rules therefore determine

whether an export is considered British or

not. "It is clear that many UK businesses

exporting to the EU are going to be hit by

tariffs," said Michelle Dale, senior manager at

the Manchester office of chartered

accountants UHY Hacker Young.

"Businesses have also been completely

blindsided by the 'rule of origin' part of the

deal, which leaves them at a major

competitive disadvantage when selling in the

EU. "Unfortunately, not enough was done to

prepare them for this. It takes years to build

an effective supply chain - and using non-EU

suppliers is often the best option both in

terms of cost and quality."

The Brexit agreement, which was sealed

four and a half years after Britons voted to

leave the European Union, grants zero

customs duties if at least roughly 50 percent

of an exported product is made in the UK.

That applies to the majority of UK exports -

but certainly not all of them. And the

provision is all the more important because

the EU accounts for more than half of

Britain's trade.

The London-based Institute of Government

think tank argues however that the

complexity of supply chains means that proof

of origin can be difficult for businesses to

ascertain - and hard for authorities to assess.

A raft of British retailers are reportedly

rushing to assess the impact of critical

deliveries to EU nations, including London's

top-end department store Fortnum and

Mason.

Collapsed UK high-street department store

Debenhams has already shut its online

website in Ireland due to uncertainty over

post-Brexit trade rules.

"At least 50 of our members face potential

tariffs for re-exporting goods to the EU," said

William Bain, trade policy adviser at the British

Retail Consortium industry organisation.

"We are working with members on shortterm

options and are seeking dialogue with

the (UK) government and the EU on longerterm

solutions to mitigate the effects of new

tariffs," he added.

High-street retail giant Marks & Spencer

warned Friday that the trade deal would

"significantly impact" business in the Czech

Republic, Ireland and France.

The deal however removes tariffs for

Britain's largely foreign-owned carmaking

industry, which avoids customs duties for

cars manufactured with components made

abroad.

Nissan has welcomed the agreement but

has not yet indicated what will happen to the

Japanese carmaker's largest plant in Europe

which is based in Sunderland, northeast

England. It had previously warned that a nodeal

departure would threaten the factory's

future.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's

Conservative government has yet to comment

on the precise impact of the rules of origin on

the business community.

"We continue to work closely with

businesses to help them to adapt to any

new trading requirements," a government

spokesman told AFP.

JPMorgan halts

all political

donations after

US Capitol attack

NEW YORK : JPMorgan

Chase said it is suspending all

US political donations

following the attack on the

Capitol by a pro-Trump mob,

joining a growing list of

American corporations

holding back funding since

the violence, reports BSS.

The political action

committee at JPMorgan, the

country's largest bank by

assets, will stop making any

financial contributions to

Republican and Democratic

leaders for at least six months,

a spokesperson told AFP

Sunday.

"The focus of business

leaders, political leaders, civic

leaders right now should be

on governing and getting help

to those who desperately need

it most," said Peter Scher, the

bank's head of corporate

responsibility.

"There will be plenty of time

for campaigning later."

Other companies have

opted to specifically target the

Republican officials who on

January 6 voted against

certifying the results of the

presidential election.

That day's assault saw a

mob of angry Donald Trump

supporters storm the US

Capitol shortly after the

president reiterated baseless

election conspiracies to the

crowd. Five people died in the

ensuing riot, including one

police officer.

Billionaire investor Nelson

Peltz, Ben & Jerry's ice cream

company and the AFL-CIO -

the largest trade union

federation in the US - have

since called for Trump's

immediate departure from

office.

Recently the Yearly Business Conference-2021 of Bangladesh Commerce Bank Ltd was held through video

conferencing. All the branch managers and divisional heads of the head offices were participated in the conference.

Dr. Engr. Rashid Ahmed Chowdhury the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank was present

as a chief Guest on the occasion. The Chief Guest gives the special thanks to all concerned officials of the

bank to provide the best service to the customers by maintaining govt. Hygiene rules & regulation during

this corona pandemic period. The event was conducted by Managing Director & CEO of the Bank Omar

Farooque. The Managing Director reviewed the achievements and overall performance of the bank last

year, as well as provided the necessary strategies and guidance to achieve the desired goals of 2021. The special

Guest & Additional Managing Director of the Bank Zafar Alam said that the services of BCBL will be

spread out in all areas of the country as well as he emphasized on customer service and informed all present

in the meeting about various activities of the Bank in all areas of business sector. Among others Kazi

Md. Rezaul Karim, Deputy Managing Director of the Bank was also present at the event. Photo : Courtesy

Most Asia markets, dollar rise as

Biden's pledges huge stimulus

HONG KONG: Asian markets

mostly rose with the dollar Monday

following another record performance

on Wall Street as investors cheered the

prospect of a further massive stimulus

for the US economy, with Presidentelect

Joe Biden calling for a spending

spree in the trillions of dollars, reports

BSS.

With vaccines being rolled out

around the world and key risk events

including the US election, Georgia

senate runoffs and Brexit now out of

the way, observers said focus is now on

the expected global recovery from last

year's economic catastrophe.

The need for more financial help for

the world's top economy was laid out

Friday with data showing 140,000

people lost their jobs in December - the

first fall since April - as virus infections

and deaths surged across the country.

Biden, who will be sworn in as

president on January 20, said he would

press for a new rescue package that

includes $2,000 direct payments to

taxpayers and help for small

businesses. "The price tag will be high,"

he warned as he promised to lay out his

proposals Thursday. "It will be in the

trillions of dollars."

He added: "If we don't act now,

things are going to get much worse and

harder to get out of a hole later."

Investors welcomed the prospect of

another spending splurge that will

provide a huge boost to the economy,

coupled with Federal Reserve financial

support and record low rates for the

foreseeable future.

The dollar extended gains across the

board, and was sitting at a three-week

peak against the yen. Wall Street's three

main indexes all finished last week at

all-time highs, and the positive energy

flowed through to Asia.

Hong Kong, Shanghai, Manila and

Jakarta were all well up, with Seoul

driven by a surge in market

heavyweight Samsung fuelled by

reports it is in talks with US giant Intel

over making some of its best chips.

However, while the broad consensus

is for a strong run in equities this year,

there is a feeling that the latest rally

may be petering out.

"After being bullish for several

months, we are definitely becoming

more cautious on the stock market up

at these levels," Matt Maley, at Miller

Tabak + Co, said, adding that most of

the surge in the S&P 500 from March

its March trough is "behind us".

And Axi strategist Stephen Innes

added that fears about the virus, which

continues to wreak havoc around the

world and force governments to

impose new lockdowns, remained the

main stumbling block.

"Covid concerns continue to hang like

a nasty cloud over the market, and

given a great deal of optimism in stocks

and oil is linked to the rollout of

vaccines, investors are sitting with

fingers and legs crossed that there

won't be any negative news flows on

this front (which) would prompt a

sharp negative market reaction," he

said in a commentary.

He also pointed to ongoing China-US

tensions after the White House said it

would end self-imposed restrictions on

official contacts with Taiwan, a move

likely to irk Beijing.

The move will add to complications

for Biden as he assumes the presidency,

with any move to reverse the decision

opening him up to accusations of being

soft on China.

Oil prices dipped slightly but remain

at 10-month highs, supported by hopes

for more stimulus and following Saudi

Arabia's announcement last week that

it plans to slash output by a million

barrels a month in February and

March.

NOVOAIR celebrates its 8th Anniversary

Country's leading and

reputed airline NOVOAIR

is celebrating its 8th

anniversary through

various programs. The

inaugural flight was on 9th

January, 2013 from Dhaka

to Chattogram, a press

release said.

Managing Director of

NOVOAIR Mofizur

Rahman have greeted all

that NOVOAIR has always

given priority to its

customers' safety, security,

comfort, and on-time

performance, we have

earned passengers trust

for safe air travel.

NOVOAIR is always

concerned in enhancing the

quality of passenger service

and maintaining on-time

departure.

As part of this plan,

NOVOAIR has acquired 7

ATR 72-500 model aircraft.

In this special occasion, our

commitment will be

ensuring of passenger

safety with the addition of

more aircrafts, expanding

domestic and international

destinations, consistent

with our valuable passengers'

needs.

NOVOAIR network covers

between Dhaka and

Chattogram, Cox's Bazar,

Jashore, Sylhet, Saidpur,

Rajshahi, Barishal for

domestic and Kolkata for

international destination.

Jamuna Bank Ltd inaugurated 149th Branch at College Road, Kandirpar in Cumilla. LGRD minister

Md. Tajul Islam inaugurated the branch as the chief guest. Chairman of Jamuna Bank Foundation

Nur Mohammed presided over the program. Freedom Fighter A.K.M. Bahauddin Bahar, MP,

Cumilla-6, Munirul Sakku, Mayor, Cumilla City Corporation, Md. Abul Fazal Mir DC of

Cumilla,Farooque Ahmed PPM (Bar),superintendent of Police, Cumilla, Mirza Elias Uddin Ahmed,

Managing Director and CEO of Jamuna Bank Ltd were present as special guest. Senior officials of the

bank, heads of branches of that locality, dignitaries and a huge number of customers were present in

the inaugural ceremony.

Photo: Courtesy

China consumer prices rise in December

ahead of Lunar New Year

BEIJING : China's consumer prices

rebounded in December, official data

showed Monday, as food prices picked up

due to weather difficulties and rising

demand ahead of the Lunar New Year

festival, reports BSS.

In December, the consumer price index

(CPI) rose more than expected at 0.2

percent on-year, said the National

Bureau of Statistics, with prices

increasing for fresh produce and meats

such as pork, beef and mutton ahead of

next month's nationwide holiday.

"Due to continued low temperatures,

the production, storage and

transportation costs of fresh vegetables

and fruit increased," said NBS senior

statistician Dong Lijuan.

The index is a key gauge of retail

inflation, and the rebound follows the

first negative reading in over a decade last

month as food costs fell. On Monday,

Dong said that consumer demand was

picking up due to New Year's Day and the

upcoming Lunar New Year, bumping up

prices of other food items.

But pork prices, which rocketed

previously after an African swine fever

outbreak ravaged pig stocks, continued to

drop by 1.3 percent on-year last month as

supplies of the staple meat recovered.

For the full year of 2020, consumer

prices rose 2.5 percent on-year.

"The pork price cycle continues to

weigh on the inflation outlook," said

Zhaopeng Xing, senior China strategist at

ANZ Research in a recent report, saying

there had been a faster-than-expected

recovery of hog stocks.

Meanwhile, the producer price index

(PPI) which measures the cost of goods at

the factory gate, fell 0.4 percent on-year

last month - better than November's 1.5

percent drop.

"Domestic demand recovered steadily,

coupled with the continued rise in prices

of some international commodities," said

Dong.


TueSDAY, JAnuARY 12, 2021

9

Defiant India shut Australia

out to stay level

SporTS DeSk :

Tim paine had hinted before the start of

the Sydney Test that the rather

"unusually tame" series would spring to

life in Sydney. His prediction for more

than one reason turned out right as grit,

determination and a lot of character were

on display at the Sydney Cricket Ground

as r Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari battled

through the entire final session with

India eking out a hard-fought draw. The

fortunes of the third Test yo-yo'd

between India and Australia with both

teams in with chances to pull off

respective wins in the first two sessions.

Both sides had their chances to push for a

win, a draw looking highly improbable at

one stage. However, Ashwin and Vihari,

against all odds pulled off a stunner in

Sydney - a result that hopefully

overshadows the other incidents that

threatened to take the spotlight away

from the cricket played, reports Ap.

Vihari was carrying a hamstring injury

throughout his innings, but battled on

bravely, just seeing through Australia's

overs one after another. Ashwin handled

Nathan Lyon's spin that he seemed quite

comfortable against, while Vihari saw out

the Australian pacers in their unbeaten

fifty-run stand that came in 44-plus

overs. At the start of the final session,

Ashwin copped a few body blows; he was

tested by some stinging short-ball

bowling from pat Cummins with top

edges and miscues falling safe, but didn't

give up. Fortune favoured the brave pair

as their defiance was the longest that

India ended up batting in the fourth

innings in 41 years. Ashwin was dropped

by Seam Abbott at square leg, but

thereafter the pair batted on for almost

over three hours to save the Test match in

one of the finest rearguard actions in

Indian cricket.

The Test, however, would in retrospect

feel like one of missed chances. Australia

were firm favourites to go 2-1 up in the

series after setting India a total in excess

of 400. India started well in the chase,

and complemented by rishabh pant's

enterprising 97, India were in with a

chance to chase it down with less than

150 to get. However, pant and

Cheteshwar pujara departing in quick

succession, brought Australia back into

the game with just five wickets to get.

Australia dropped a few catches in the

innings on the final day, which didn't

help their cause, with Ashwin and Vihari

marching on as the hosts' bowlers tired.

Ajinkya Rahane and Tim Paine at the end of the SCG Test.

ICC probes racist

abuse after fans

ejected from

Sydney Test

SporTS DeSk:

Cricket chiefs have launched

an investigation into

allegations of racist abuse of

the India team from sections

of the crowd in the third

Test, after six people were

ejected and play halted for

nearly 10 minutes Sunday,

reports BSS.

The International Cricket

Council (ICC) probe followed

Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit

Bumrah apparently being

targeted while they fielded by

the boundary ropes of the

Sydney Cricket Ground late

Saturday.

In a second incident, play

was halted just before the tea

break on Sunday when Siraj

ran from the fine leg

boundary towards the

umpires, pointing into the

crowd.

It was not immediately

clear what had been said,

but six men were seen being

removed from their seats

and Cricket Australia (CA)

said a number of spectators

had been interviewed by

police before they were

thrown out.

"While we await the

outcome of the investigation

by NSW police, CA has

launched its own inquiry

into the matter," said CA's

head of integrity and

security Sean Carroll, calling

the episode "regrettable".

The ICC in a statement

"strongly condemned" the

reported abuse.

"There is no place for

discrimination in our sport

and we are incredibly

disappointed that a small

minority of fans may think

that this abhorrent

behaviour is acceptable,"

wrote ICC Chief executive

Manu

pant was just three runs away from a

spectacular century, which would have

been his second in Australia. Without

being bogged down by the nervous 90s,

back to back boundaries off Nathan Lyon

took him to 97. It was a shot one too

many against Lyon at a crucial stage of

the match when a mishit was taken

sharply by pat Cummins at backward

point, hampering India's hopes of pulling

off a miraculous win.

At the beginning of the session, India

were in firm control of proceedings, by

the end, with the two big wickets of pant

and pujara, Australia bounced back for

some parity with India going to Tea at

280 for 5.

Given that pant, who was promoted

over Vihari to No.5, was dropped twice

off Lyon once on 3 and the other on 56

by paine, it was redemption for Lyon,

especially after how the 'keeper-bat went

after him, taking him to the cleaners.

What the wicket did was not just end the

match-altering 148-run stand between

pant and pujara, but took victory slightly

further away. It wasn't a typical pant

innings, who started slowly to find his

feet, scoring 7 off 36 balls at the start

before switching gears to then get to 50

off just 64 balls.

Photo: AP

Leeds stunned by fourth-tier Crawley

in FA Cup as Spurs crush Marine

SporTS DeSk:

Leeds suffered a humiliating FA Cup exit

against Crawley as the League Two side swept

to a stunning 3-0 win, while eighth-tier

Marine's hopes of causing the competition's

greatest shock were crushed in a 5-0 defeat

against Tottenham, reports BSS.

After the spiking coronavirus pandemic

wreaked havoc with matches across the third

round on Friday and Saturday, the FA Cup was

back on more familiar ground on Sunday as

Leeds became the competition's latest big name

to be knocked out by a feisty underdog.

While Marine's romantic adventure was cut short

by Carlos Vinicius's hat-trick and Chelsea and

Manchester City progressed to the fourth round

with ease, Crawley's unexpected success

encapsulated the FA Cup's unique charm at a time

when football is badly in need of some positive news.

Numerous clubs have been hit by Covid-19

problems as the new variant sweeps across

Britain, forcing Aston Villa and Derby to field

teams of youth players for third round defeats

against Liverpool and non-league Chorley

respectively. Despite calls for the english

season to be halted, the FA Cup goes on for

now and Crawley relished their chance to steal

the spotlight.

Leeds sit 12th in the premier League after a

fine first season back in the top-flight, but boss

Marcelo Bielsa paid the price for making seven

changes at The people's pension Stadium.

on a fairytale day for Crawley, it was fitting

that Nick Tsaroulla should open the scoring

with his first career goal in the 51st minute.

Ashley Nadesan's low shot crept under kiko

Casilla to double Crawley's lead two minutes

later and Jordan Tunnicliffe wrapped up the

victory after 70 minutes.

"These players have got a lot to prove to the

clubs who have released them and we've

showed what we can do against a really good

side," Crawley boss John Yems said.

rubbing salt into Leeds' wounds, Crawley

handed a debut to former reality television star

Mark Wright as a late substitute.

How much Bielsa knew about Wright is in

doubt, but he insisted he wasn't surprised by

Crawley's display.

"It's not a question of surprise. We knew the

characteristics of their players. We had the ball

for a long period of time but we couldn't do much

with it," Bielsa said. Marine, of the Northern

premier League Division one North West, were

trying to bridge the biggest gap - 161 places -

between opponents in FA Cup history.

Marine's squad is comprised of teachers,

NHS staff, bin men and factory workers, with

their tiny stadium in the Merseyside town of

Crosby providing a surreal setting for the visit

of Jose Mourinho's stars.

Leeds suffered a humiliating FA Cup exit against Crawley as the League Two

side swept to a stunning 3-0 win.

Photo: AP

Support for

olympics hits

new low in

Japan: poll

SporTS DeSk:

Tokyo olympics this

summer has hit a new low in

Japan, a poll found Sunday

as the country battles a third

wave of infections, reports

BSS.

Just over 80 percent of

those asked by kyodo news

agency said the huge global

event should be cancelled or

postponed again - a jump

from around 60 percent in a

December 6 survey by the

same outlet.

kyodo said the survey

asked 1,041 participants

nationwide, who were

selected by random dialling.

Tokyo 2020 organisers

have said another delay is

out of the question and are

insisting the Games will go

ahead despite a state of

emergency declared in the

greater Tokyo area this week

over a surge in Covid-19

cases.

In Sunday's national

telephone poll, around 35

percent of people told kyodo

they favoured outright

cancellation, while some 45

percent said the event

should be postponed a

second time.

The month-long emergency

in the capital and

surrounding regions is less

strict than harsh lockdowns

seen elsewhere in the world

and primarily targets

restaurants and bars, which

have been asked to close

early.

prime Minister Yoshihide

Suga said this week that

Japan is committed to

holding a "safe and secure"

olympics.

He said he believed the

public mood will change

when the country begins

vaccinations, currently

scheduled for late February.

But senior International

olympic Committee

official Dick pound told the

BBC he could not "be

certain" the Games will go

ahead, because "the

ongoing elephant in the

room would be the surges

in the virus".

Bubble badminton

Tour returns

behind closed

doors in Bangkok

SporTS DeSk:

A wretched spell for

badminton ends at this week's

Thailand open, where players

will emerge from hotel

quarantine to restart the

world tour in bubble

conditions in Bangkok,

reports BSS.

The world's top players -

minus China and Japan, who

were forced to pull out - have

been bursting for a return to

action after a build-up that

has included long, lonely

hours in their hotel rooms.

olympic champion

Carolina Marin posted a video

of herself working out with a

hotel towel, world number

one Tai Tzu-ying used water

bottles as weights and

Denmark's Anders Antonsen

practised serving shuttlecocks

into his sneakers.

The Thailand open is the

first of three consecutive

tournaments played in strict

bio-secure conditions and

behind closed doors in

Bangkok, culminating in the

World Tour Finals from

January 27.

Badminton has been all but

sidelined since the All

england Championships in

March, but players and

organisers alike will be hoping

for a less disrupted year as

they gear up for the Tokyo

olympics starting in July.

However, a resurgence in

Covid-19 cases prompted a

partial lockdown in Bangkok

earlier this month.

The Bangkok tournaments

have also been severely

weakened by the withdrawal

of China, who were grounded

by travel restrictions, and

Japan, who pulled out when

men's world number one

kento Momota tested

positive.

‘painful’ as Juve beat

10-man Sassuolo to

move fourth in Serie A

SporTS DeSk:

Champions Juventus battled to a 3-1 victory

over 10-man Sassuolo to close the gap on the

top three in Serie A on Sunday, reports BSS.

Andrea pirlo's side won their third straight

league match for the first time this season to

move fourth, seven points behind leaders AC

Milan with a game in hand.

"It was important to give continuity and win

tonight, because otherwise the match played

on Wednesday at San Siro was useless," said

Juventus coach Andrea pirlo whose side

ended Milan's 27-match unbeaten run

midweek.

Sassuolo played the entire second half a man

down after pedro obiang saw red for a

dangerous challenge on Federico Chiesa.

Defender Danilo put Juventus ahead in the

50th minute when he fired home his first goal

of the season.

But seven minutes later Sassuolo pulled

level with Gregoire Defrel brilliantly finishing

off a Hamed Junior Traore through ball.

Substitute Aaron ramsey gave Juventus the

advantage again eight minutes from time

when he tapped in a Gianluca Frabotta cross

to claim his first goal of the campaign.

Cristiano ronaldo completed the scoring

deep into injury time, rifling in his 15th league

goal this term.

"It was a painful match, badly managed after

our advantage, but the important thing was

winning even if we were a little disorganised,"

GD–62/21 (5x3)

added pirlo.

It was a bruising clash for the reigning

champions, who are chasing their 10th title in

a row, as they lost forward paulo Dybala and

Weston Mckennie to injury in the first half.

Midfielder Mckennie pulled up after 18

minutes with a muscle problem and was

replaced by Welsh international ramsey.

Dybala was substituted three minutes before

the break after receiving treatment for a knock

to his left knee, with Swede Dejan kulusevski

coming on in his place.

Juve are already without Alex Sandro, Juan

Cuadrado and Matthijs de Ligt who tested

positive for coronavirus.

There was also a scare for forward Chiesa,

who was left screaming in pain and clutching

his left ankle following obiang's tackle.

But Alvaro Morata returned from injury,

coming on for the final minutes of the game

for his first outing in 2021.

"Mckennie had a slight muscular problem

yesterday and he felt it again when he lifted his

leg for a back-heel kick, but hopefully nothing

serious," said pirlo.

"Dybala has a collateral ligament problem

that we will evaluate better in the next few

days."

Sassuolo drop to seventh after their third

loss in five games.

Juventus play second-placed Inter Milan in

the San Siro next weekend in what could be

one of the defining clashes of the season.


TUeSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2021

10

Miss Universe Bangladesh was officially launched on Monday at a media conference held

at Hotel Pan Pacific Shonargaon Dhaka.

Photo: Courtesy

Miss Universe Bangladesh-2020

registration starts on 13th January

TBT RePoRT

After successfully organizing Miss

Universe Bangladesh 2019,

Bangladesh is again ready to face the

69th edition of the Miss Universe

Beauty Pageant for the second time

in the USA in May 2021.

Due to the global epidemic, the

time of the main event of 2020 has

been changed to 2021.

The Miss Universe Bangladesh

grand finale will be held this March

in Dhaka and the winner will

participate in Miss Universe

Pageant, according to a press

release.

Miss Universe Bangladesh was

officially launched on Monday at a

media conference held at Hotel Pan

Pacific Shonargaon Dhaka. Flora

Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma

and cricketer Virat Kohli have been

blessed with a baby girl. Virat took to

social media to share that the couple

welcomed their first child on Monday

afternoon. He added that "Anushka

and the baby are both healthy." Virat's

statement read, "We are thrilled to

share with you that we have been

blessed with a baby girl this

afternoon. We thank you all for your

love, prayers and good wishes.

Anushka and the baby are both

healthy and we are feeling beyond

Bank, the main sponsor of last time,

has become the main sponsor of

Miss Universe Bangladesh 2020.

'Confidently Beautiful' is the motto

of Miss Universe Bangladesh.

Miss Universe Bangladesh is the

annual national beauty pageant of

Bangladesh that selects the

gorgeous Bangladeshi divas to

compete in the national pageant

and selects the winner to represent

Bangladesh in Miss Universe

pageant.

Miss Universe Bangladesh website

will be open for applicants till 25th

January, 2021. Registration will

start from 13th January and will

continue till 25th January 2021. The

application fee for participants is

BDT 1000. Registration process

and competition details are

blessed to start this new chapter of

our lives. We hope that you can

respect our privacy at this time. Love,

Virat."

Virushka, as their fans address them

fondly, announced in August 2020

that they are adding another member

to the family. In identical tweets, they

had written, "And then, we were

three! Arriving Jan 2021 .

In an interview with Vogue,

Anushka said how she only ate toast

and crackers during her first

trimester. "I was eating only toast and

available at the official Miss

Universe Bangladesh Website www.

missuniverse.com.bd and Facebook

page www. facebook.

com/MUBangladesh.

The selection rounds and

grooming sessions will be carried

out throughout the whole Miss

Universe Bangladesh period. The

grand finale of Miss Universe

Bangladesh will be held next

March after selection and

grooming through phased

auditions.

The winner of the Bangladesh

episode will take part in the main

event in the United States next May.

Any Bangladeshi Unmarried

women between the ages of 17 to 28

will be able to participate in the

competition.

Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma

blessed with a baby girl

crackers for the first three months. So,

when it ended, I wanted to eat vada

pao and bhel puri, but that didn't last

long either. So, no real cravings," she

shared.

Further, the actor mentioned how

she and her husband Virat do not

want to "raise a child in the public

eye". She said, "We don't plan on

engaging our child in social media. I

think it's a decision your child

should be able to take. No kid

should be made to be more special

than the other. It's hard enough for

adults to deal with it. It's going to be

difficult, but we intend to follow

through."

Virat Kohli, who was on tour with the

national team in Australia, returned to

India after the first Test, as BCCI

granted him paternity leave upon

request. He has been by the side of his

wife Anushka Sharma since then.

Ever since the announcement,

Anushka Sharma has been sharing

her thoughts about this new journey

in life. She had shared a photo

flaunting her baby bump and wrote,

"Nothing is more real & humbling

than experiencing creation of life in

you. When this is not in your control

then really what is?"

Source: Indian Express

Biopic team of

Bangabandhu

meets PM

TBT RePoRT

A 20-member cast delegation

team involved in making the

biopic on Father of the Nation

Bangabandhu Sheikh

Mujibur Rahman met his two

sisters-Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina and Sheikh Rehana on

Saturday.

The meeting took place at

the Prime Minister's residence

from 3:30 pm to around 6 pm,

the two sisters wished the

crew of the biopic titled

'Bangabandhu' a great

success. The biopic will cast

several hundred artistes,

including Arifin Shuvoo,

Nusrat Imroz Tisha, Nusrat

Faria, Dighi and many more.

Shuvoo will play

Bangabandhu Sheikh

Mujibur Rahman in the

movie, being produced by

renowned Bollywood director

Richi busy with acting after returning home

TBT RePoRT

Richi Solaiman, a Bangladeshi film & television actress and

model. She has acted in more than 100 television dramas.

Once a popular actress, married and now living in New York,

USA with her husband. After seven long years, the actress has

returned to the country and is busy with acting.

Richi has acted in a solo drama called 'Mon Kemoner Din'.

Her co-stars are Anisur Rahman Milon and Sarika Saba.

Chayanika Chowdhury has directed the drama written by

'Sex and the City' stars,

minus one, to appear

in new show

Three of the four stars of the

popular HBO series "Sex and

the City" will reunite for a new

show that picks up with the

same characters roughly two

decades older, the network said

on Sunday.

The new ten episode, halfhour

series, will air on HBO

Max and star Sarah Jessica

Parker, Cynthia Nixon and

Kristin Davis in the roles they

Shyam Benegal. The filming

of the biopic on Father of the

Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh

Mujibur Rahman, which was

previously postponed due to

the ongoing Covid-19

pandemic will start shooting

on January 25 in Mumbai,

India and will continue until

April 10 before a break for a

few days. After the break, the

shooting will resume and then

the team will move to

Bangladesh for shooting here.

The first cast team will

arrive in Mumbai on 19

January while another team

will arrive in February for the

shooting of the movie.

After the meeting with the

prime minister, Arifin Shuvoo

told the media that it was

more like an informal

workshop; rather than a

meeting. "I met the prime

minister earlier, but this

made famous during the late

1990s and early 2000s,

according to the network.

The show will be titled "And

Just Like That" and begin

production in late spring, HBO

said. "I grew up with these

characters, and I can't wait to

see how their story has evolved

in this new chapter, with the

honesty, poignancy, humor and

the beloved city that has always

A 20-member cast delegation met the Prime

Minister on Saturday.

Photo: Collected

session was more special than

the others as there was no

political atmosphere

whatsoever," he said.

"Sheikh Rehana mam and

the Prime Minister gave me

information about various

characters. I have researched

extensively on Bangabandhu

and his family through various

resources, but the words from

the Prime Minister and

Sheikh Rehana mam inspired

me more than anything," he

added.

The first phase of the

shooting of film was

scheduled in Bangladesh.

However, all plans were

thwarted due to coronavirus

pandemic. Nusrat Faria will

play young Sheikh Hasina and

Faria Hossain. Richi, after a long time stood in front of the

camera and shared her experience. Richie Solomon said, "I

have been acting regularly for a long time." But now it is not

possible due to being out of the country. When I come to

Dhaka, I do some work. The acting is in my blood. So standing

in front of the camera is not a problem. Rather, it feels good to

work after a long time.

On January 20 and 21, Richi will act in another drama by the

same director called 'Sankhini'. Zahid Hasan will act opposite

her in this play. Richi will return to the United States in early

February.

Richi started her career as an actress through the serial "Bela

O Bela"(1998) cast opposite Tony Diaz produced by Farhuq

Bhuiyan aired on BTV. She established herself as one of

Bangladeshi media's leading actresses and accomplished

dancer. Till 2015, Solaiman worked in many famous Telefilms,

Dramas, Serials, TV commercials. She made her acting debut

in big screen in the film Nirab Prem directed by Shahnewaz

Kakoli.

Solaiman was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her father M.

M. Solaiman was a businessman. She took her early

education from Saint Judes tutorial School, Dhaka. After

completing her school education she pursued a bachelor's

degree in Business administration from Asia Pacific

University in Dhaka.

defined them," Sarah Aubrey,

head of original content at HBO

Max, said in a statement

announcing the new series.

The network did not say why

Jannatul Sumaiya elder Sheikh

Hasina. Nusrat Imroz Tisha will

play the role of Bangabandhu's

wife Fazilatunnesa Mujib and

Ferdous Ahmed the role of

Tajuddin Ahmed.

Other important characters

include Khairul Alam Sabuj

(Lutfar Rahman), Dilara

Zaman (Sahera Khatun),

Sayem Samad (Syed Nazrul

Islam), Shahidul Alam Sachchu

(AK Fazlul Haque), Prarthana

Dighi (young Renu), Raisul

Islam Asad (Abdul Hamid

Khan Bhasani), Gazi Rakayet

(Abdul Hamid), Taukir Ahmed

(Suhrawardy), Siam Ahmed

(Shawkat Mia) and Misha

Saudagar (General Ayub Khan).

The producers plan to release

the film in 2021.

Kim Cattrall, who played

Samantha Jones on "Sex and

the City," was not cast in the

new production.

Source: Reuters

H o R o S C o P e

ARIeS

(March 21 - April 20) : A prominent

male author whose work you enjoy

might publish a new book. You may

consider doing some writing of your

own, particularly if you have a story to tell. On a

more mundane level, your day could require that

you spend a lot of time in the car or on the phone

when you'd rather be reading. Be sure to schedule

time to relax in the evening.

TAURUS

(April 21 - May 21) : Good news

regarding writing, speaking, or

publishing could come your way today.

You might feel terribly bored with life

and suddenly have the urge to get away for a while.

This isn't a bad idea, Taurus. Make a few phone

calls. Invite a friend over and discuss it with him or

her. You've been working hard and a little break is

probably in order.

GeMINI

(May 22 - June 21) : Paperwork regarding a

bonus, settlement, or dividend of some kind

might need to be executed today. It will

probably be boring. You will get it done.

Sudden insights, revelations, or flights of fancy might provide

fodder for creative activities, particularly writing or speaking.

Write these ideas down. You have a good memory, Gemini, but

you will want to recall every detail.

CANCeR

(June 22 - July 23) : Strained nerves

and trepidation about unpleasant tasks

could have you on edge and likely to

take your stress out on those closest to

you. Try to avoid this, Cancer. Go for a walk. Release

your stress through exercise or writing.

Communicate your feelings to friends and assure

them you aren't upset with them. In this way, you

will get through the day with little damage.

Leo

(July 24 - Aug. 23): You might feel

overworked today. Your energy could

be flagging, and you may even feel

feverish. This is probably nothing

more than stress, Leo. Most likely you should take

time out from your busy life and relax. Spend the

afternoon at the movies. Treat yourself to dinner

out. Buy yourself a present. Tomorrow you should

feel better again.

VIRGo

(Aug. 24 - Sept. 23): Today you're apt

to feel especially romantic. Novels, movies,

and poetry about love will be appealing. If

you're currently romantically involved,

consider planning a special evening with your partner. If

you aren't involved, you might want to attend a sporting

event. Plan an enjoyable evening, Virgo. Who knows? You

could meet someone new and exciting!

LIBRA

(Sept. 24 - Oct. 23) : A rush of activity at

home is probably going to involve

preparations for a journey or event.

More than one visitor could arrive

during the course of the day. Your mind may be

going in several different directions, and this could

prove a bit disconcerting. Try to take breaks and

remain centered, Libra. You won't accomplish

anything if you work yourself into a panic.

SCoRPIo

(Oct. 24 - Nov. 22): You may experience

increased physical and mental activity

today. Perhaps you will have to do a lot

of reading or writing very quickly,

make a number of phone calls, or run more errands

than you have time for. This can prove frustrating

and overwhelming, but if you plan carefully,

Scorpio, you should be able to get it all done on

schedule. Get busy and go to it.

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 23 - Dec. 21): You might discover a

hidden talent for writing, or if you already

know this, you may find that your skill is

greater than you suspected. You might have to

execute some paperwork regarding money, Sagittarius, but

you will get this done quickly and efficiently. At some point

during the day you're likely to get a little frazzled, but this will

pass. Get your work done and then relax.

CAPRICoRN

(Dec. 22 - Jan. 20): You might feel on

edge today but not know why. You

may jump at unexpected noises or

think you see or hear things that

aren't there. You aren't going crazy. This is caused

by the current planetary configuration. The best

way to relieve the jumpiness is to get some

exercise - at least take a walk. In the evening, read

an engrossing book.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 21 - Feb. 19) : You may wonder if

you're losing your memory today. You

might have the strange feeling that there

was something you had to do but can't

quite remember what. Don't worry about it, Aquarius.

If you push yourself too hard, you will drive yourself

crazy. Your imagination could come up with ideas for

stories and poems. Write them down. You will want to

remember them.

PISCeS

(Feb. 20 - Mar. 20) : Today you might have to

do a lot of communicating with friends.

Perhaps you need to make phone calls or

catch up on correspondence. You may be on

the verge of attaining a goal. Consider giving it that last

little spurt of energy to complete. This could involve a lot of

time in the car or on the phone, Pisces, but stick with it.

You will be glad you did.


TueSdAY, JANuARY 12, 2021

11

New Zealand reports

4 cases of COVID-19

in managed isolation

WELLINGTON : New

Zealand reported four cases

of COVID-19 in managed

isolation since the last media

statement on Sunday. There

are no new cases in the community.

The new border cases

arrived from Russia and

Britain, and have been staying

in quarantine facilities in

Christchurch and Auckland,

according to the Ministry of

Health on Monday.

The total number of active

cases in New Zealand is now

77, and the total number of

confirmed cases is 1,866,

said a ministry statement.

Thousands gather for

Japan coming-of-age

day despite virus surge

TOKYO : Young adults

dressed to the nines in

kimonos gathered at venues in

Japan on Monday to celebrate

reaching the age of majority,

although many of the usually

jubilant events were cancelled

over coronavirus fears.

More than a million people

in Japan turn 20 this year, the

age at which they can legally

drink alcohol, smoke and get

married without parental

approval.

They are traditionally feted

each January on "coming-ofage

day" with a formal ceremony,

originally a rite of

ancient samurai families - and

now often followed by raucous

drinking sprees.

But a record surge in Covid-

19 cases and a month-long

virus state of emergency

declared in and around Tokyo

has led many local authorities

to scrap or postpone the 2021

festivities.

At Yokohama Arena - within

the area under the state of

emergency, which is less strict

than the harsh lockdowns

seen in other countries -

women in ornate kimonos,

fluffy white stoles and masks

sat in socially distanced seating

for the ceremony, with the

men dressed mainly in suits.

"I was worried… but decided

to come because this will be

the only chance in my life to

wear a kimono (for this ceremony),"

one woman at the

event told broadcaster TBS.

Foundation training of first batch of Rampal

Power Project starts at NTPC-PMI

Titas Chakraborty, Khulna Correspondent :

Bangladesh-India Friendship Power

Company (Pvt.) Limited (BIFPCL) as part of

its contribution towards development of

power sector in Bangladesh has recruited first

batch of engineer trainees for its 2X660 MW

Maitree Super Thermal Power Project,

Rampal, Bagerhat.

Starting on11th January, 2021, these 43

engineering trainees would undergo a three

month long foundation training program at

the Power Management Institute (PMI) of

NTPC Ltd. in Noida, UP of India. During this

training, they will receive firsthand knowledge

and skills at various coal based power plants of

NTPC Ltd. in India which will equip them to

work efficiently at their workplace at Rampal

Power Project. These newly recruited engineers

would also have the opportunity to get

exposed in various manufacturing units of

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) to

enhance their knowledge further.

Muhammad Imran, High Commissioner of

Bangladesh to New Delhi, India has formally

inaugurated the training program as Chief

Guest while Chairman and Managing

Director, NTPC Ltd. Gurdeep Singh presided

over the function. The program was also

attended by Chandan Kumar Mondal,

Director (Commercial and Director, BIFPCL

Board), Col. V.K.S Tomar, OSD, Bangladesh,

Ministry of External Affairs. Govt. of India, DS

Rao, ED, PMI, NTPC and senior officials of

High Commission of Bangladesh to India,

NTPC Ltd. and PMI. Managing Director, BIF-

PCL delivered welcome speech while DS Rao,

ED, PMI extended vote of thanks.

While giving his keynote address at this

function, Muhammad Imran, High

Commissioner of Bangladesh to India

recalled the historical background of these

two friendly nations, Bangladesh and India.

He said through the implementing of

Maitree Super Thermal Power Project in

Rampal by BIFPCL, the bilateral relationships

between these great neighbors would

be further strengthened and enriched. He

urged the newly recruited engineers to

acquire knowledge and skills from this training

so that they would be able to replicate the

same in Rampal Power Project and groom as

power ambassadors in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company (Pvt.) Limited (BIFPCL) has recruited first

batch of engineer trainees for its 2X660 MW Maitree Super Thermal Power Project, Rampal,

Bagerhat.

Photo: TitashChakraborthey

GD- 55/21 (6x 4)

.109 .10.01.2021

S(21) (08)

GD- 60/21 (8x4)

GD- 59/21 (8x 4)


Tuesday, Dhaka, January 12, 2021, Poush 28, 1427 Bs, Jamadi-ul Awal 27 , 1442 hijri

The sufferings of the villagers of Komurpur union of Gaibandha knows no bound as there is no

connecting road for smooth communication over a bridge. Proper road connectivity may cause

accident at any moment.

Photo: star mail

Criminals to be

dealt with iron

hands : Kamal

DHAKA : Home Minister

Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal yesterday

categorically said that criminals, wrongdoers,

troublemakers and religious

fanatics who are involved in creating

panic and anarchy in the country, would

be dealt with iron hand.

"Following 'zero tolerance policy'

against militancy and terrorism, the law

enforcing agencies are on utmost alert and

vigilant to deal with the extremists, militants

and other criminals, he told BSS.

Kamal said stern actions will be taken

against those who are found involved in

creating anarchy and other offences in

the country.

"Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is

committed to build Bangladesh as a safe

haven for all people though stamping

out terrorism, militancy and their sinister

forces ," he said.

The minister alleged that a vested

quarter is trying to trapdoor conspiracy

in the name of Islamic Militant State to

destabilize the country adding but present

government has been striving hard

to deal with terrorism, militancy and all

sorts of crimes with strong hand in

order to ensure peace and harmony in

the country." He said people of all religions

are living in Bangladesh peacefully,

as the country under the bold and

dynamic leadership of Prime Minister

Sheikh Hasina is marching forward in

the high way of development with the

vision to turn the country into middle

income state by 2021.

Talking to BSS, Additional

Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan

Police (DMP) and Head of Counter

Terrorism and Transnational Unit

(CTTC) Md Monirul Islam said law

enforcement agencies destroyed the

militants' dens and their networks

across the country.

Mobile phone users

reach 17.01cr

DHAKA : The mobile phone subscribers

in Bangladesh reached 17.01 crore at the

end of December 2020 which was

around 45 lakh higher than in January

in the same year.

At the end of January 2020, mobile

phone subscribers was 16.56 crore,

according to the latest data of

Bangladesh Telecommunication

Regulatory Commission (BTRC).

Market leader Grameen Phone

topped the tally with 7.90 crore subscribers

while Robi bagged 5.09 crore,

Banglalink 3.52 crore and lone stateown

operator Teletalk able to acquire 49

lakh subscribers.

Besides, the number of internet users

in the country has increased to 11.18

crore at the end of December 2020.

The BTRC data showed that about

10.23 crore users use the internet

through mobile operators while 95.22

lakh users use the internet through ISP

(internet service providers) and PSTN

(public switched telephone network)

operators.

NBR sets its sight on cranking

up tax-GDP ratio

DHAKA : The National Board of

Revenue (NBR) has decided to intensify

its activities, including tax survey,

inspection, monitoring and realisation,

to increase the country's Tax-GDP ratio,

which is currently the lowest in the

region despite a 9% growth in individual

income tax, reports UNB.

"The Board has already directed all

the field offices to intensify and

strengthen their respective tax survey to

have a justified growth in the coming

days," a senior official of the NBR told

UNB.

He said that the Board has also directed

the field offices to give extra efforts for

collecting advance income tax, which is

a good source of income tax collection,

where applicable.

The revenue target for the 2020-21 fiscal

has been fixed targeting 8.6 percent

growth over the revised target for the

2019-20 fiscal.

The initial revenue target for the 2019-

20 fiscal was Tk 3778.1 billion, which

was later revised to Tk 3480.7 billion.

The total revenue collection target

for 2020-21 fiscal, as set out in the

budget, is Tk 3780 billion of which the

NBR is expected to contribute Tk

3300 billion. The revenue from non-

NBR sources was estimated at Tk 150

billion while non-tax revenue at Tk.

330 billion.

Of the grand amount for the NBR, Tk

1039.45 billion will come from income,

profit and capital tax; the biggest chunk

of Tk 1251.62 billion will come from

VAT; while supplementary tax will provide

Tk 578.15 billion, import duty Tk

378.07 billion, and miscellaneous items

to fill in the rest.

The NBR official mentioned that the

time for paying tax installment for the

second half is after December. "So the

collection for the Income Tax Wing will

be in a good position from this month,'

he said.

As part of intensifying the tax survey,

information on the owners of property

in various areas like Gulshan, Banani,

Uttara, Dhanmondi and other posh

areas of the capital city will be gathered.

The eligible but not enlisted persons

will be given electronic tax identification

number (e-TIN) instantly. "Proper

directives have been given to the field

level officials," the NBR official said.

Punitive measures will be taken

against the e-TIN holders who do not

submit their income tax return or apply

for time extension.

The NBR teams will visit houses,

shops and other commercial establishments

in the city's various areas to find

out the potential taxpayers. The officials

will take support from service agencies

to scrutinise information related to

income, wealth and property of the

potentially eligible taxpayers.

The survey teams are collecting information

related to national identity

cards, trade licences and other business

documents from people having income

from house or business properties and

from service or other professions.

DoE to demolish 700

illegal brickfields to

check air pollution

DHAKA : The Department of

Environment (DoE) will demolish about

700 illegal brick kilns, one of the major

sources of air pollution in the country.

"As air pollution has worsened during

this dry season, we decided to strengthen

our drive across the country to check

air pollution," DoE director Md Ziaul

Haque told BSS.

He said 30 illegal brick kilns located

around Dhaka city were demolished last

week as the DoE has targeted to remove

400 illegal brickfields surrounding the

city. "We will continue mobile courts in

the next two or three months to demolish

the illegal brick kilns across the country

and about 700 brickfields are expected

to be removed during the ongoing

drive," Ziaul Haque said.

According to the DoE, there are about

7,500 brick kilns across the country and

many of those have been running illegally,

polluting air and environment.

About 500 illegal brickfields were

demolished last year and the DoE has so

far removed nearly 200 illegal brick kilns

this year, said a deputy director of DoE's

Air Quality Monitoring (AQM) Unit.

He said two to three mobile courts of

the DoE are conducting drive against

illegal brickfields aiming to check air pollution

in the country.

Air quality was significantly improved

in the country during the lockdown

imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But, at the onset of dry season, air

of the country's major cities started

worsening again.

According to the data obtained from

different Continuous Air Monitoring

Stations (CAMS) installed in the country's

eight major cities, air is extremely

unhealthy in these cities during the dry

season. On January 7, the 24-hour average

for PM2.5 concentration was found

338 µg/m3 in Rajshahi, while 376

µg/m3 in Dhaka, 353 µg/m3 in Gazipur,

380 µg/m3 in Narayanganj, 189 µg/m3

in Sylhet, 173 µg/m3 in Chattogram, 317

µg/m3 in Barishal, 326 µg/m3 in

Khulna, 324 µg/m3 in Mymensingh and

375 µg/m3 in Rangpur.

ACC summons four

DIP officials for

issuing passports to

Indians

AshrAful IslAm AshrAf

The Anti-Corruption Commission

(ACC) has summoned four officials of

the Department of Immigration and

Passports (DIP) for issuing passports to

an Indian national. The four officials collaborated

in conspiracy to give the

Indian a Bangladeshi passport.

The four officials of the Immigration

Department have been summoned after

the initial veracity of the allegations was

revealed, said Pranab Kumar

Bhattacharya, Director (Public

Relations) of the commission.

The four officials were summoned in a

letter sent on Monday signed by ACC

deputy director Mohammad Abubakar

Siddique. They are: Saifur Rahman,

Director (Passport and Visa),

Department of Immigration and

Passports, AKM Mazharul Islam,

Director (Project), Tariq Salman,

Deputy Director and Halima Khatun

Shampa, an Officer.

According to the notice, there are allegations

against the concerned officials of

the passport office for accepting bribe

and giving passport to Indian citizen

Hafiz Ahmed and acquiring illegal

assets. In the interest of proper investigation,

it is necessary to hear their views

on the allegations.

Of the four officers, Saifur Rahman

and KM Mazharul Islam will have to

appear for questioning on January 17

and Tariq Salman and Halima Khatun

Shampa on January 19 at the commission

office.

The notice asked them to appear at

the head office of the commission in

Segunbagicha with national identity

card, copy of passport and income tax

certificate on the same day.

Victoria's arts building

weathering with age

CUMILLA : With a history stretching

back well over a hundred years, Cumilla

Victoria Govt. College is an iconic institution

located at the heart of Cumilla

city.

The Victoria College Arts Building

itself is over 60 years old, and understandably

looks worn with age. Almost

6,000 students attend classes across 7

departments housed in the Arts

Building.

Unfortunately there are just 3 toilets

for these6000 students, and that

inevitably leads to crises. Not to mention,

even the three toilets that are there

happen to be in horrible condition.

One of the toilets has the door's cleats

missing, which means you can't really

close the door. And so even when

answering nature's call, you can never

really do so in peace.

Having said that, it is still better than

the one with no door at all. Which, as

you can imagine, is pretty useless for a

toilet. While broken taps are a common

trait shared by all three.

So when authorities one day

announced the college would be looking

to demolish the old structures and build

a modern school/college building with

all the amenities, the students could not

have been more welcoming.

Mahiuddin Akash, a student of Arabic

and Islamic studies department said:

"Students of the Arts Building are facing

many problems like classroom crisis,

toilet shortage and there is no drinkable

water. Most of the walls are rotten and

notice boards are occupied with outside

advertisements." On a recent visit, apart

from 7 classrooms, office space for cultural

and voluntary organizations and

journalist associations were found on

the ground floor of the Arts Building.

One of the two male toilets has already

been turned into a storeroom; the other

one was unusable. Second and third

floors are for department offices, seminar

rooms and classrooms. Another

male toilet on the third floor is also in

critical condition. A washroom for the

girls is available in the common room

located on the second floor.

Jobaida Yasmin Mumu,president of

Badhon, a voluntary blood donors'

organization,said: "Three organizations

have offices located on the ground floor,

where there is no serviceable toilet.

Many prominent persons come here as

guests. We feel ashamed when they are

made to suffer due to these issues.

Speedy repair of the toilets is our

demand."

Professor Md Ruhul Amin Bhuiyan,

principal of Cumilla Victoria Govt.

College, told UNB: 'The brick-sand

building is 60 years old and about to

expire. Budget requisition for a ten storied

new building has been sent to the

ministry. As the project may take years

to complete, supplementary discussions

are being held and we are pleading with

the Public Welfare Department to prioritise

repairing our toilets first."

According to college sources after

establishment in 1899, higher secondary

and degree sections were separated

in 1960. The degree section was

founded 3 kilometers away from the

main building in Dharmapur area of

the suburb. Both the arts building and

Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam hall of the

degree section were built in 1960. At

present 6,000 students are studying

in graduate and postgraduate classes

under 7 departments.

Testimony in Sagira Morshed

murder trial starts

DHAKA : A Dhaka court yesterday

recorded testimony in part of first prosecution

witness (PW) in a case lodged

over sensational murder of housewife

Sagira Morshed in capital's Bailey Road

area in 1989.

Abdus Salam Chowdhury, plaintiff in

the case and also the husband of the victim,

started submitting his testimony as

the PW-1 at the court of Dhaka

Metropolitan Sessions Judge KM Imrul

Qayesh, but failed to complete his deposition

by the end of Monday's proceedings.

The court after that adjourned the

hearing of the case till January 20.

Earlier on December 2, 2020, the

court framed charges against four persons

including the elder brother of

Sagira Morshed's husband. The court

indicted Sagira's brother-in-law Dr

Hasan Ali Chowdhury, his wife

Sayedatul Mahmuda, Mahmuda's

brother Anas Mahmud alias Rezwan

and contract killer Maruf Reza.

Earlier on March 9, 2020, the court

accepted charge sheet against four

accused, filed by investigation officer

and Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI)

inspector Rafikul Islam on January 16.

The IO filed 1,309 page charge-sheet,

accusing the four for the murder.

Sagira Morshed, 34, was gunned

down by unidentified muggers in front

of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College

in the capital's Bailey Road on July 25,

1989.

Sagira's husband Abdus Salam

Chowdhury filed the case on that day

with Ramna Police Station against

unidentified miscreants. A rickshaw

puller present at the crime scene identified

two of the killers, but police had filed

the initial charge sheet against one

Montu. Dhaka First Additional Sessions

Judge Abu Bakar Siddique on January

17, 1991, framed charges against Montu

and testimonies of seven witnesses were

also recorded.

But during the hearing, the prosecution

alleged the name of Maruf Reza,

close relative of then home minister

Mahmudul Hasan, came up during the

investigation and was also arrested. But

his name was dropped from the charge

sheet.

Following a plea of the prosecution,

the court on May 23, 1991, ordered for

further investigation. But the proceeding

of the case was stayed by the High Court

as Maruf Reza filed a petition, challenging

the further investigation order.

But the High Court on June 26, 2019,

cleared way for continuing the murder

case as it dismissed the rule that had

stayed the trial proceedings.

Guardians and parents lined up to witness the result of initially selected candidates by

Banasree Ideal school of the capital on monday, January 11.

Photo: PBA

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.

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