DhaKa: November 25, 2021; agrahyan 10, 1428 BS; Rabius-Sani 19,1443 hijri

www.thebangladeshtoday.com; www.bangladeshtoday.net

Regd.No.Da~2065, Vol.19; N o. 204; 12 Pages~Tk.8.00


US to require vaccines

for all border

crossers in January

>Page 7


Ronaldo helps save

Man Utd yet again

>Page 9

art & culture

Kangana Ranaut booked

for calling minority

Sikhs 'terrorists'

>Page 10

Police cancel all

leaves to be


Shafiqul iSlam (Jami)

Rumors have already spread through social

media about the deteriorating condition

and death of BNP chairperson & former

Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia. The

police have been asked to be vigilant so that

no one can carry out sabotage based on this

rumor. The verbal message was given to

different units of the police through wireless

on Tuesday night. An official with the

rank of Additional Deputy Commissioner

of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP)

confirmed the matter. Various police units

have been verbally instructed by the

department to remain vigilant.

Also, the leave of those who are on leave

from constables to inspectors in different

units of the police has been canceled from

November 23. All of them have been

instructed to return to work by November

24. An office order from the DMP's wari

division said officers who have taken leave

for reasons other than maternity, pregnancy

and physical illness should return to

work by Wednesday. If anyone does not

return on Wednesday, legal action will be

taken against them.

It may be mentioned that Begum

Khaleda Zia has been undergoing treatment

at Evercare Hospital in the capital

since November 13 due to various physical

complications. Khaleda Zia, who is

undergoing treatment at CCU, lost her

hemoglobin on Tuesday (November 23)

evening. However, after the doctors gave

blood, her body returned to normal.

Rumors about the issue spread through

social media. Based on this rumor, the

police headquarters has instructed to be

on alert to avoid any untoward incident.

Former BNP

lawmaker gets death

for 1971 crimes

DHAKA : The International Crimes

Tribunal (ICT)-1 yesterday sentenced former

BNP lawmaker of Bogura-3 constituency

Abdul Momin Talukder Khoka

to death for his crimes against humanity

committed during the War of Liberation.

A three-judge ICT-1 panel headed by

Justice Md Shahinur Islam passed the order

as all the three charges framed against him

were proved beyond any reasonable doubt.

Abdul Momin Talukder, notoriously known

as Khoka Razakar in 1971, is yet to be arrested

and was tried in absentia. Momin, however,

was defended by a state-appointed

counsel during the trial.

The tribunal read out the summary of the

201-page judgement and sentenced the

Razakar leader to death at around 11.40am.

The tribunal on October 31 kept the

judgement on CAV, curia advisory vault (a

Latin legal term, meaning court awaits

judgement) as both the prosecution and

defence concluded their arguments in the

case on that day. On November 22, the tribunal

through a short order had set today

to pronounce the judgement.

Freedom Fighter Subid Ali from village

Kayetpara under Adamdighi upazila filed

the case against Momin in 2011.


05:00 AM

11:50 PM

03:35 PM

05:15 PM

06:35 PM

6:19 5:11

Students blocked the road in Gulistan demanding safe roads after a student Naeem hasan was

killed in a collision with a garbage truck of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) . as a result,

the roads in the area were closed.

Photo : Star mail

Political motivation behind

demand for sending Khaleda

abroad:Hasan Mahmud

DHAKA : Information Minister Hasan

Mahmud on Wednesday said the demand

for sending BNP chief Khaleda Zia abroad

was raised with a political reason, not

because of her health problems.

"Who've said Khaleda Zia is in a critical

condition? BNP central leaders, including

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Almgir and Rizvi

said. No physician has said yet that

Khaleda Zia is critically ill," said the minister

while talking to reporters at the secretariat.

Physicians and Evercare Hospital

authorities did not say anything about the

necessity of sending her abroad for treatment

and it is only BNP's demand, Hasan

Mahmud insisted.

"It's my question whether the BNP leaders

have become doctors! It's also a question

whether the government will take any

decision as per BNP leaders' prescription,"

he said.

"We saw it in the past when Khaleda

Zia fell sick; they always demanded the

government send her abroad whether

it is knee pain or high body temperature,

they always demanded the same.

It's a politically motivated demand,"

said the minister.

They want to send Khaleda to London

where Tarique Zia is staying so that she

could continue politics from there despite

being a convicted accused, the minister

DHAKA : The High Court (HC) on

Wednesday issued a rule, asking four

people, including Gazipur City

Corporation (GCC) Mayor Jahangir

Alam, to reply within one week as to why

the court shall not initiate a contempt of

court proceeding against them.

The other three accused in the case

are - Alfaz of Painshal village under

Joydebpur Police Station, Harunor

Rashid alias Thandu of Poschim Dogori

village under the same police station

and Fazlul Huq of BK Bari village under

the same police station.

A High Court division bench comprising

Justice Mamnoon Rahman and

Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman

passed the order holding a hearing on a

contempt petition filed in this regard.

According to the case documents, the


Khaleda, a 76-year-old former

prime minister, was readmitted to

Evercare Hospital on 13 November,

six days after she had returned home

from the hospital.

The BNP chief's physicians said she has

been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis,

diabetes, critical cardiac, kidney ophthalmological

and dental complications. The

hemoglobin level in her blood has also


On behalf of the family, Khaleda's

younger brother, Shamim Iskander, submitted

an application to the Home

Ministry on 11 November urging the government

to allow her to go abroad for better


Law Minister Anisul Huq, however,

recently said the BNP chairperson first has

to make a fresh application by going back

to jail to go abroad for treatment.

A delegation of pro-BNP lawyers on

Tuesday submitted a memorandum to

Law Minister Anisul Huq seeking the government's

permission to send ailing

Khaleda Zia abroad for treatment.

They argued that there is no legal

obstruction for the government in allowing

Khaleda to go abroad.

The minister said that they will examine

the memorandum.

HC issues contempt of court

rule against GCC Mayor

petitioner Ashraf Uddin Ahmed had

filed a writ with the High Court regarding

the possession of a land in Mirjapur

union under Gazipur Sadar upazila.

After hearing his plea, the court had

issued an injunction in his favour and

he was continuing farming on the land

like before.

"But at the start of this year, Mayor

Jahangir Alam and his men obstructed

Ashraf Uddin Ahmed from using his

land, saying they have power of attorney

for using the land.

After that the petitioner filed this

contempt plea and the court on

Wednesday issued the rule," petitioner's

lawyer Barrister Abul Kalam Azad

said. Deputy Attorney General Amit

Das Gupta stood for the state at the


Writ seeking

instruction on

half fare on public

transport for students

DHAKA : A writ petition has been filed

before the High Court seeking its directions

to allow students to travel by halffare

on bus, train and launch across the

country, reports UNB.

Supreme Court lawyer Md Yunus Ali

Akand filed the writ petition citing public

interest on Wednesday.

In the petition, Yunus said that the

income of the students' guardians has

decreased due to Covid pandemic. The

ongoing movement of students demanding

half-fare travel is logical as the parents

are struggling to pay education fees.

The writ said the government's inaction

half fare issue is a violation of fundamental

rights of the student as per the

Constitution. Instead of ensuring education,

the government is violating the constitution

by forcing students to protest on

the streets.

The secretaries of the home ministry,

shipping ministry, railways ministry and

ministry of road transport and bridges and

the Inspector General of Police have been

named as defendants in the petition.

Earlier on November 22, the lawyer

had given a legal notice to the authorities

concerned. Writ was filed after failing to

get any reply to the notice.

The HC may hold hearing on this petition

on Sunday, the petitioner said.

Govt targets 17% expenditure

of GDP for next two


DHAKA : The government has projected

its expenditure to remain at 17 per cent of

the GDP in the next two fiscal years defying

the adverse impact of coronavirus,

although the pandemic pulled down the

rate slightly.

In the current 2021-22 fiscal, the government

expenditure has been set at 17.3

per cent of the GDP while it was 17.4 per

cent of the GDP in the revised budget of

the 2020-21 fiscal, according to an official

obtained by UNB.

According to the official budgetary document,

government expenditure was 13.9

per cent of GDP in 2015-16 fiscal and

declined to 13.6 per cent in 2016-17 fiscal.

In the 2017-18 fiscal, the rate increased

to 14.3 per cent of the GDP whereas the

rate shot to 15.4 per cent in the 2018-19 fiscal.

But in the 2019-20 fiscal it slightly

went down to 14.9 per cent of the GDP.

As per the document, with successful

implementation of reforms in Public

Financial Management, government

expenditure has been increased since

2015-16 fiscal.

"In the medium term (2023-24), the

government intends to pursue a moderate

consolidation path to keep budget deficit

within a sustainable limit," the document

said. It mentioned that due to the outbreak

of coronavirus, the government has

changed its spending priority to expand

Another batch of Rohingya

moves to Bhasan char voluntarily

Safiul alam, Cox'S Bazar

healthcare and provide stimulus programmes

to achieve desired economic


On the other hand, as per the document,

the growth rate of nominal government

expenditure fluctuated between 6 and 21 per

cent over the 2015-16 fiscal to 2019-20 fiscal.

Average growth rate of nominal government

expenditure over 2015-16 fiscal to 2019-20

fiscal 14.8 per cent was achieved.

As per the revised budget of 2020-21 fiscal,

nominal growth of government expenditure

is 29.7 per cent, which is the highest

during the 2015-16 fiscal to 2020-21 fiscal

and beyond.

In 2015-16 fiscal it was 14.9 per cent, in

2016-17 fiscal it was 11.9 per cent, in 2017-

18 fiscal it was 19.8 per cent.

In 2018-19 fiscal the rate was 21.6 per

cent, but it dropped drastically to 6.1 per

cent in 2019-20 fiscal due to the COVID-

19 pandemic that forced the whole economic

activities to a standstill in the last

three months of that fiscal. But in the

revised budget the government pushed

forward the rate to a massive 29.7 percent.

In the budget of the current 2021-22 fiscal

the rate has been fixed at 11.9 per cent.

The document mentioned that the government

for the medium term (2023-24

fiscal) period has set the target to 12.5 per

cent while the rate has been fixed at 9.3 per

cent for the next 2022-23 fiscal.

Seven buses carrying 256 displaced

Myanmar nationals from 127 families

have left for Chattogram from Cox's

Bazar camp to Noakhali's Bhasanchar.

The buses left Ukhia Degree College ground

at 11:30 am on Wednesday, said Additional

Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner

Md. Shamsud Douza Nayan. However, he did

not confirm how many Rohingya would be

taken in the seventh phase. On December 4

last year, the relocation of Rohingyas from

the Cox's Bazar camps to Bhasanchar in

Noakhali began for the first time. So far, a

total of 18 thousand 334 Rohingyas in six

phases. So far, the government has relocated

a total of 18,334 Rohingyas in six phases.

After lengthy discussions, the United

Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

(UNHCR) signed a memorandum of understanding

(MoU) with the government on

October 9, agreeing to be involved in the

relief efforts for the Rohingya in Bhasanchar.

For the first time since the MoU was

signed, another group of 256 Rohingya

from 126 families has left for Chittagong to

relocate to Bhasanchar. Last year, the government

decided to relocate 1 lakh

Rohingyas from Cox's Bazar shelters to

Noakhali's Bhasanchar. With this, before

last December, the government completed

the construction and preparation of all the

infrastructural facilities including accommodation

for the Rohingyas in Bhasanchar.

Shamsud Douza said "a convoy of

buses carrying Rohingyas left for

Chittagong on Wednesday morning in

the first phase of the seventh phase from

Ukhia Degree College ground to be shifted

to Bhasanchar from various Ukhia-

Teknaf shelters.

Seven buses carrying 256 displaced myanmar nationals from 127 families have left for

Chattogram from Cox's Bazar camp to Noakhali's Bhasanchar.

Photo : TBT



EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whitley met State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar

Alam at his office room of the Ministry yesterday.

Photo : PID

3 held with LSD in Khulna

KHULNA : Anti-narcotics officials on Tuesday detained 3

persons in connection with selling the recreational drug

lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), aka its street name 'acid',

from Khuna's Boyra Puja Khola and Mujgunni area, reports


The detainees were- Asif Ahmed Shuvo, 31, son of late

Afsar Uddin Ahmed, a resident of Mujgunni residential area,

Arnob Kumar Sharma, 30, son of Ashok Kumar Sharma,

hailing from city's Boyra Puja Khola area, and Md. Mamunur

Rashid, 32, manager of Sundarban Courier Service Boyra


Acting on a tip-off, a special team from the Narcotics

Control Authority ran a drive and detained three people, said

Md. Mehedi Hasan, Assistant Director of Dhaka Metro

(North Office), Narcotics Control Department.

During the drive, the Narcotics Control officials detained

two persons and seized 100 pieces of LSD, he said.

They used to send LSD to several parts of the country

through courier services, the official added.

The world's fastest-growing Mobile

Financial Service Nagad has achieved

'Mastercard Excellence Award- 2021'

for its contribution towards achieving

financial inclusion in Bangladesh.

Nagad's efforts in the Merchant

category in MFS sector also brought the

honor, a press release said.

Recently the 'Mastercard Excellence

Award- 2021 Next and Beyond'

ceremony was held in the capital,

where the organization announces the

name of award recipients.

In this event, Planning Minister M A

Mannan was present as chief guest, Md

RMCH records

one more

fatality in

Covid-19 unit

RAJSHAHI: Rajshahi

Medical College Hospital

(RMCH) recorded one more

fatality in its Covid-19 unit

during the last 24 hours till

6am yesterday, reports BSS.

The death toll due to

Covid-19 and its symptoms

reached 31 so far this month

with the new death, RMCH

Director Brigadier General

Shamim Yazdani said.

The new male fatality was

the resident of Rajshahi and

he was suffering from

symptoms of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, 34 patients,

including nine tested

positive for Covid-19, are

undergoing treatment in the

designated unit of the

hospital at present.

Nagad Wins Mastercard

Excellence Award- 2021

Khurshid Alam, Executive Director of

Bangladesh Bank was the special guest,

Helen LaFave, charge d' affairs of the

US Embassy Dhaka attended as a guest

of honor and some other officials and

organizations were present.

Since the operation, Nagad, the wings

of the Bangladesh Postal Department

have gained popularity for its easy and

affordable services in this country. The

tends to use Nagad among mass people

is growing day by day because of its

cheapest cash out charge, utility bill

payment with no fees, send money

from person to person without any

charge, highest profit from saving and

many other facilities that have been

offered by the MFS service.

Nagad has already acquired many

national and international awards

such as; The Best Innovative Digital

Finance Service Award 2021 for its

initiatives on financial inclusion

through an extraordinary mobile

application e-KYC, the first of its kind

in Bangladesh,

AFM Hayatullah, Chairman (Additional Secretary) of BADC inaugurated

the ICT Lab of Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC)

on Tuesday. BADC Member Director (Micro Irrigation) Md. Ziaul Haque,

Member Director (Seeds and Horticulture) Md. Mostafizur Rahman,

BADC Secretary Md. Ashrafuzzaman, Head (Monitoring) and ICT

Coordinator Md. Sattar Gazi and Senior executives and CBA leaders were

present on the occasion. The ICT lab is set up on the 3rd floor of Krishi

Bhaban, the headquarters of BADC.

Photo : Courtesy

GD-1727/21 (11x4)

GD-1726/21 (12x4)



Guardian portal to

be built to create


Supply Chain'

DHAKA : State Minister for

Information and

Communication Technology

(ICT) Division Zunaid

Ahmed Palak yesterday said

a guardian portal would be

set up to create awareness

on cyber security and

'Entrepreneur Supply


"A guardian portal would

be set up to create awareness

on cyber security, creating a

future learning ecosystem

and an 'Entrepreneur

Supply Chain'," he said.

The state minister was

speaking virtually while

attending a virtual

programme organized by

UNDP as the chief guest, a

press release said.

In the programme, a

report on Entrepreneur

Ecosystem of Bangladesh

was presented, the release

added. The report was

jointly published by UNDP,

IDB, City Foundation,

Startup Bangladesh and

Light Castle Partners.

Palak hoped that the

report would be used as a

resource to build a

sustainable ecosystem with

young entrepreneurs in


He said many parents are

not yet aware of the

'Entrepreneur Supply Chain'

and they don't even know

that the top 10 richest people

in the world are technology


"So we will seek the

cooperation of UNDP to

make them aware in this

regard," he added.

UNDP Resident

Representative Sudipto

Mukerjee, CEO of Light

Castle Partners Bijan Islam,

Startup Bangladesh Ltd

Head of Portfolio

Investment Hasan A Arif,

City Foundation Officer

Rajesh Shekharan and

Islamic Development Bank

Group Regional Manager

Mahmud Solaiman also

joined the programme


The results of the admission test for the 1st year undergraduate (honors)

class of 'D' unit for the academic year 2020-2021 under the Faculty of

Social Sciences, Dhaka University have been published on Wednesday.

Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mohammad Akhtaruzzaman

officially unveiled the results in the Virtual Classroom of the

Administrative Building.

Photo: DU Public Relations

Govt has no plan to

increase diesel subsidy

for farmers: Razzaque

DHAKA : The recent hike in fuel price will

"definitely" impact the agriculture sector, but

the government has no immediate plan to

increase the subsidies on diesel farmers use

to run irrigation pumps, said Agriculture

Minister Abdur Razzaque on Wednesday.

"The process to provide subsidy in diesel to

farmers for irrigation purpose is so complex.

So, the government has no plan to provide

any new subsidy in it," he said.

Razzzque said this at a press briefing at his

office after his recent visit to the Netherlands

and the UK.

Besides, the government has now no plan

to raise the price of fertilizer despite its fourfold

increase in international market, he


Replying to a question about the recent

hike in fuel and kerosene prices Razzaque

said "Definitely there will be impact on

agriculture sector and there is no question to

deny it."

He said the farmers have already been

going through many problems and in the

peak season this year they did not get desired

price for their crops.

He, however, said farmers will not be

immediately affected by diesel price hike as

40 per cent of the irrigation pumps are run

by electricity.

The minister further said that if the price of

diesel falls in the international market

Bangladesh government will also reduce it.

On the outcome of the visits he said the

Dutch government has assured to provide

necessary assistance to Bangladesh in

producing high yielding variety of onion.

"There is problem in the country to

preserve onion and due to lack of

preservation onions are rotting and that's

why the Netherlands will provide technical

assistance to us," he said.

The Netherlands will send a trade mission

in March next year to discuss support in

agriculture sector and expansion of trade

relation between the two countries.

The mission will provide support in

building silos for preserving potato,

production of climate-tolerate crops,

building green and glass houses, he added.

During the UK visit, Bangladesh signed

MoU with Food Standard Agency of UK for

setting up modern testing labs and

developing internationally accepted

Phytosanitary certification system in the

country, Razzak said.

This will help boost Bangladesh's agroproducts

to European countries, he said.

He said the government focusing on

setting up agro-processing industry aimed at

boosting agricultural exports. This will also

help raise farmers' income.

US showers praise on Bangladesh's

peacekeeping forces

DHAKA : US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has praised

Bangladesh Army's peacekeeping and humanitarian

operations, reports UNB.

He also said the US and Bangladesh shared similar views

on global norms regarding access to space, exploration, and

research. The US Air Force Secretary made the remarks at a

reception hosted by the Embassy of Bangladesh in

Washington DC recently celebrating the 50th Armed Forces

Day. Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Shaikh Abdul

Hannan, now on an official visit to the USA, was present as

the chief guest at the event.

Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA M Shahidul Islam

paid deep tribute to the architect of Bangladesh, Father of the

Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and recalled

the bravery and supreme sacrifice of the valiant freedom

fighters-both military and civilians. He highlighted the role

the Bangladesh Armed Forces has played in the

government's efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ambassador Islam noted with satisfaction the multifaceted

cooperation between the armed forces of Bangladesh and the

United States - in terms of UN peacekeeping operations,

sharing of knowledge and experiences, training,

procurement and exchange of visits.

Air Chief Marshal Shaikh Abdul Hannan underscored the

friendly and cooperative relationship between the US Armed

Forces and Bangladesh Armed Forces that is reflected on

their regular engagements in various bilateral and

multilateral fora. He expressed the hope that his visit would

further strengthen the long-lasting ties between the two


Defence Attaches from a number of countries, Diplomats,

senior officials from the Pentagon, Department of State, and

other US organizations, Bangladeshi diaspora and Embassy

officials attended the event. Defence Attache Brigadier

General Md Shahedul Islam welcomed the guests at the

reception and thanked the USA for the support.

Professor Dr. Md. Golam Rahman, Advisor of Daffodil International University's Department of

Journalism, Media and Communication and Editor of the Daily Ajker Patrika, Prof. A M M Hamidur

Rahman, Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, DIU, Junilana Abdul Wahab, Associate

Professor, School of Communication, University Science Malaysia, Professor Mofizur Rahman,

Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Dhaka University, Kazi M. Anisul Islam,

Acting Chairman, Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Comilla University and Dr.

Sheikh Mohammad Shafiul Islam, Head, Department of Journalism, Media and Communication,

Green University along with other distinguished guests at the inaugural ceremony of a two-day long

program titled 'JMC Media Buzz' organized by the Department of Journalism, Media and

Communication (JMC) of Daffodil International University.

Photo : Courtesy

Concerted efforts

to protect human

rights stressed

RAJSHAHI : Concerted

efforts of all government

and non-government

organizations concerned

can be the best ways of

protecting human rights

for ensuring dignified life

of the people.

People of all levels

should raise their voices

for establishing their equal

rights in the society

besides forging social

resistance against the

violators of human rights.

Social watchdogs and

development activists

came up with the

observation while

addressing a quarterly

district level meeting with

human rights defenders at

Hotel Warisan in Rajshahi

city yesterday.

Barendra Unnayan

Prochesta (BUP) organized

the meeting supported by

Manabadhikar Shongskriti

Foundation (msf) under its

'Defending through

Network Strengthening'


MSF Founder President

Advocate Sultana Kamal

addressed the meeting as

the focal person with BUP

Executive Director

Foyezullah Chowdhury in

the chair.

Chief Executive Officer of

DASCOH Foundation

Akramul Haque, former

Deputy Director of the

Department of Social

Services Mozammel Haque

and development activists

Afzal Hossain, Raj Kumar

Shaon and Sohel Rana also


Members of the civil

society, social watchdogs

and pressure group

members joined the

meeting and took part in

its open discussion putting

forward a set of

recommendations on how

to protect human rights.

DU's 'Gha' unit

results out, pass

rate 9.87%

DHAKA : Less than 10%

candidates have passed the

'Gha' unit admission test of

Dhaka University (DU).

The results of the test

conducted by the Social

Sciences Faculty for the

2020-21 academic session

was published on


Some 7,994 students

passed in the examination

of a little over 82,000

aspirants who sat against

570 seats.

Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman,

vice-chancellor of the

university, unveiled the

results at the Professor

Abdul Matin Chowdhury

Virtual Classroom next to

his office around noon.

The 'Gha unit' admission

test was held on October 23.

Notre Dame

College student

dies being hit by

DSCC truck

DHAKA : A 17-year-student

of Notre Dame College was

killed when a garbage truck

of Dhaka South City

Corporation (DSCC) hit him

at Golchattar in the city's

Gulistan area on


The deceased was

identified as Naim Hasan,

son of Shah Alam Dewan of

Laxmipur district and a 2nd

year student of the college,

reports UNB.

Quoting witnesses,

Inspector Bachchu Mia, incharge

of Dhaka Medical

College and Hospital

(DMCH) police outpost, said

the garbage truck hit Naim

while he was crossing a road

in the area around 11:30 am,

leaving him injured.

He was taken to DMCH

where doctors declared him

dead around 12:15 pm. On

information, police seized

the vehicle and arrested the

truck driver.

3-day PIB workshop on 'Foundation

Training in Journalism' begins at JU

SAVAR : A three-day workshop on

'Foundation Training in Journalism' for

working journalists began at the

Jahangirnagar University (JU) campus on


Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB)

organised the workshop from November 23

to 25 at the office of Jahangirnagar

University Journalists' Association.

JU proctor A S M Firoj Ul Hasan

inaugurated the programme at 10 am. A total

of 35 young journalists took part in the

training programme.

On the first day of the programme, PIB

trainer Jilhaz Nipun Bhuiyan imparted

training on basic journalism to the trainees.

Zulfikar Ali Manik, a striger at New York

Times and Associate Professor Minhaj

Uddin of Jagannath University's Mass

Communication and Journalism

department will conduct the next two day's


After completion of the training programme,

PIB Director General Zafar Wazed will

distribute certificates among the participants

at an event.

Charge-sheet accepted against

Nazmul Huda for filing fake case

DHAKA :A court yesterday accepted a

charge-sheet filed by the Anti-Corruption

Commission (ACC) in a case against

former Transport Minister Nazmul Huda

for lodging a fake case against former

Chief Justice Surendra Kumar (SK) Sinha.

Dhaka Senior Special Judge KM Imrul

Qayesh passed the order and transferred

the case to Dhaka Special Judge Court-9

for further proceedings. The court also set

December 13 for holding a hearing on the

charge framing.

Accused Nazmul Huda yesterday

surrendered before the court and pleaded

for bail. After holding a hearing on the

matter, the court allowed him bail till

December 13. ACC director Md Benjir

32nd Annual General Meeting of Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration &

Production Company Ltd. (BAPEX) was held on Wednesday at Hotel

Inter Continental. The Shareholders and members of Board of

Directors of the company attended the meeting presided over by Md.

Anisur Rahman, Chairman of BAPEX Board and Senior Secretary,

Energy & Mineral Resources Division, Govt. of the Peoples' Republic of

Bangladesh. The Audited Accounts for the fiscal year 2020-2021 of the

Company was approved by the Shareholders at 32nd AGM. During the

financial year total Income & Expenditure of the Company was Tk.

507.83 Crore and Tk. 482.42 Crore respectively. The net profit after the

payment of tax and dividend of the Company was Tk. 16.40 Crore. In

the Meeting the Shareholders and members of the Board of Directors

express satisfaction in multidimensional activities of the Company and

put valuable suggestions and steps with a view to strengthening


Photo : Courtesy

Khaleda's treatment abroad:

BNP announces 8-day programme

DHAKA : BNP and its associate bodies have

taken up an eight-day programme to force

the government for allowing its chairperson

Khaleda Zia to go abroad for advanced

medical treatment, reports UNB.

Party Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul

Islam Alamgir announced the programme

after a joint meeting of the party and its

associate bodies at BNP's Nayapaltan central


The programmes include demonstration,

rally, human chain, doa mahfil and silent


BNP, Jubo Dal, Swechchasebak Dal,

Muktijoddha Dal and Mohila Dal will

observe the programmes from November 25

to December 4.

Khaleda, a 76-year-old former prime

minister, was readmitted to Evercare

Hospital on 13 November, six days after she

had returned home from the hospital.

The BNP chief's physicians said she has

been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis,

diabetes, ophthalmological and dental


They said Khaleda needs advanced

treatment abroad immediately as she is also

suffering from critical cardiac, kidney and

liver problems, high blood sugar and low

hemoglobin level.

On behalf of the family, Khaleda's

younger brother, Shamim Iskander,

submitted an application to the Home

Ministry on November 11 urging the

government to allow her to go abroad for

better treatment.

However, Law Minister Anisul Huq said

the government will consider Khaleda Zia's

appeal if she submits a fresh petition after

returning to jail.


Bangladesh reports 3 more deaths

DHAKA : Bangladesh reported three more

Covid-linked deaths for the second consecutive

day along with 312 fresh cases in 24 hours till

Wednesday morning, reports UNB

With this, the daily case positivity rate rose to

1.49 per cent Wednesday from Tuesday's 1.45

per cent, said the Directorate General of Health

Services (DGHS). The positivity rate kept

rising for the last three days as it was 1.42 per

cent on Monday and 1.16 on Sunday. Among

the deceased, two were women and one was a

man. Each of the deceased was from

Chattogram, Rajshahi and Khulna divisions.

With the fresh numbers, the total fatalities rose

Ahammed filed the charge-sheet recently

before Dhaka Special Judge Court, ACC

general registration officer Zulfikar Ali

told BSS.

The anti-graft body approved the

charge-sheet on October 7.

Nazmul Huda filed the case against the

former Chief Justice SK Sinha with

Shahbagh Police Station on September 27,

2018, for demanding bribe from him and

changing the judgement of a graft case

which had already been disposed of.

The ACC after probing the case for one

and a half years, found the allegations

baseless and false and filed the case

against Nazmul Huda on February 20,


to 27,961 while the caseload mounted to

1,574,948. However, the mortality rate

remained static at 1.78 per cent. The fresh cases

were detected after testing 20,770 samples, the

DGHS added.

Besides, the recovery rate remained static at

97.73 per cent with the recovery of 338 more

patients during the 24-hour period.

On Saturday, Bangladesh logged zero Covidlinked

deaths with 178 cases. So far,

3,54,14,244 people have fully been vaccinated

in the country while 5,64,02,543 received the

first dose as of Tuesday, according to the


ThurSDAy, noveMBer 25, 2021


Acting Editor & Publisher : Jobaer Alam

e-mail: editor@thebangladeshtoday.com

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Moving up the

economic ladder

Bangladesh has made remarkable progress

in reducing poverty, supported by

sustained economic growth. Based on the

international poverty line of $1.90 (using 2011

Purchasing Power Parity exchange rate) a day, it

reduced poverty from 43.8 percent in 1991 to 20

percent by 2018.

Life expectancy, literacy rates and per capita

food production have increased significantly.

Progress has been underpinned by steady

growth in GDP.

Bangladesh reached the lower middle-income

country status in 2015. In 2018, Bangladesh

fulfilled all three eligibility criteria for graduation

from the UN's Least Developed Countries

(LDC) list for the first time and is on track

forfull fledged graduation in 2024.

Sustained economic growth has created an

increased demand for energy, transport and

urbanization. Insufficient planning and

investment have resulted in infrastructure

bottlenecks, congestion and pollution.

To become an upper-middle income economy,

continued sound macroeconomic management,

financial sector stability, structural reforms,

investment in human capital, higher female labor

force participation, and global integration will be

important. Improving infrastructure as well as

the business climate would allow new productive

sectors to develop and generate quality


Bangladesh is both an inspiration and a

challenge for policymakers and practitioners of

development. While the country recorded strong

performance in income growth and human

development, Bangladesh faces daunting

challenges with an increased level of vulnerability

with about 39 million people still living below the

national poverty line.

The COVID-19 pandemic will deepen the

challenges including a probable decline in

exports, lower private investment, and job

losses. Investment and exports are likely to

continue to suffer amid uncertainty about the

recovery of global demand.

The poor and vulnerable are more impacted

with income loss and poverty may rise.

The implementation of the government's

COVID-19 response program will remain a

paramount priority.

Creating more and better jobs for its youth

remains a critical priority for Bangladesh to turn

around and achieve its development vision.

To do so, Bangladesh will need to remove the

barriers to higher investment posed by low access

to reliable and affordable power, poor

transportation infrastructure, limited availability

of serviced land, uncertain and complex

business regulation, among others.

Challenges related to COVID-19, rapid

urbanization and climate change need to be

addressed through long-term planning.

With the right policies and timely action,

Bangladesh can accelerate its recovery from the

impact of corona virus and continue to progress

towards upper-middle income status.

It is very probable that the incumbents in

governance in Bangladesh while preparing the

present fiscal year's budget thought the best

they could do was to give maximum

encouragement to 'productive forces' through

the budgetary instruments.

It is only the productive forces of businesses,

industries, entrepreneurs and services that

produce more and more wealth or resources. In

the process, they also vitally create jobs and

income and pave the way for more investments

and cyclically more jobs and more income, plus

revenues for the government.

But there is no doubt the budgetary policy of

aiding productive forces should not be pushed

too hard or too far. Specially, it should be

monitored very closely whether the productive

forces on whom the government wants to bank

on so much rises to the occasion and plays their

part delivering what is expected from them.

Continued budgetary support to them needs to

be linked to their actual positive response to the

budgetary stimuluses.

At the same time it should be sincerely tried to

expand the coverage of the social safety

programmes in the budget and to correctly

identify pandemic hit families and entrepreneurs

and extend greater assistance to them.

How Bangladesh can stay on top in the fourth

At a press

conference held

after the Prime

Minister Sheikh

Hasina's return

from the official

visit to the United

States after

attending the 7th

session of the

United Nations, senior journalist

Naimul Islam Khan raised an issue of

advancementthe higher education

sector in Bangladesh. He asked the

Prime Minister whether any initiative

could be taken to enhance the quality of

Dhaka University to a world-class

university by undertaking a mega

project on the 100thbirth anniversary of

Bangabandhu, the father of the nation,

and Dhaka University through

increasing research allocation, bringing

in foreign teachers and researchers.T he

prime minister said that she has always

encouraged students, teachers, and

researchers in research and publication

in response to this question. She

pointed out that the government has

made special budgetary allocations for

research, including the Prime

Minister's Education Fund, the

Bangabandhu Trust Fund, and the

Special Grant Fund of the Ministry of

Science and Technology. She also stated

that Bangabandhu also laid great

emphasis on research activities and set

up numerous research institutions in

Bangladesh. There is a need for more

research on science, technology, and

the healthcare sector at present, and

she emphasizes the endeavors of her

government in promoting research and

scientific innovation in the country.

Also, she documented that various

mega projects were implemented in the

past, and she promised to allocate

budgetary support more in the

education and research sector in the

near future.The Prime Minister's

profound interest in research work and

the initiatives taken to expand the

research are to be commended. She has

introduced the 'Bangabandhu

Fellowship on Science and Technology'

and the 'Prime Minister's Fellowship

Program' to provide higher education

opportunities for young Bangladeshi

industrial revolution


researchers in world-renowned

universities. But the concern is that

after higher education, in most cases,

there is a limited opportunity available

to them to develop that research back in

the country due to lack of research

infrastructure facilities and insufficient

budgetary options. Necessary

budgetary allocations, incentives, and

supports are to be provided for

universities to ensure scientific research

advancement. In this case, the

importance of research allocation is

evident from a review of the two leading

universities in Singapore. The National

University of Singapore (NUS) and

Nanyang Technological University

(NTU) are currently in the top 15

universities in the world rankings. In

2019, NUS's research allocation was

USD 781 million. The Massachusetts

Institute of Technology (MIT)'s joint

research with these two universities is

called the 'Singapore MIT Alliance

(SMA)' and allocated USD 5 million

annually for this initiative. My current

workplace at Kyushu University, Japan,

had a total research allocation of

aboutUSD 92 million in 2020. Of this,

about USD 22.7 million was allocated

for joint research of Kyushu University

and other universities. Also, about USD

57 million was allocated only for

promoting science and technology

research. My research laboratory is a

part of the International Institute for

Carbon-Neutral Energy Research

(I2CNER) at Kyushu University. This

I2CNER was established in 2010 and

allocated 15 million annually for

scientific research from 2010-2020.

About 20% of the budget is spent on

setting up and operating a satellite

research center at the University of

Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

There are currently 7 World Premier


International (WPI) projects in Japan.

In other words, the universities have

not only increased their funding for

single research but also have increased

their allocations to joint research so

that they can prepare for the Fourth

Industrial Revolution through updated

and modern scientific research.

The proposed research allocation of

Dhaka University for the fiscal year

2021-2022 is only USD 1.3 million. It is

not possible to do quality research or

combine research with this small

amount of research funding. What to do

then? We need to upsurge our research

allocation by targeting the Fourth

Industrial Revolution. Special attention

should be paid to emerging areas like

energy research, artificial intelligence,

machine learning, big data, material

science, etc. State of the art and

advanced research institutes in these

sectors are to be established,

investments need to be made, and

regular monitoring and supervision of

research work to be ensured. The

important and successful output of the

research needs to be patented. We have

to move forward with the pragmatic

research plan for the next ten years.

The first 3-4 years may not see any

significant change, but the expected

results will start to come from then on.

Recently, for the first time in the history

of Dhaka University, a complete master

plan was prepared and approved by the

syndicate with the views and

suggestions of the concerned experts.

This approved master plan will be

presented to the government soon. The

master plan focuses on technical and

physical infrastructure development,

construction of residential buildings,

setting up of world-class libraries,

greening, and beautification, solar

power plants, rainwater harvesting,

sewerage, construction of modern

gymnasiums, setting up of quality

medical centers. Essential issues like

setting up modern research centers,

construction of new laboratories and

increasing the funding allocation of

existing laboratories, development of

domestic research by bringing in

eminent foreign researchers have been

neglected in this plan.

At present mega projects like

Metrorail, Rooppur Nuclear Power

Plant, Subway are being managed and

implemented by bringing foreign

engineers and experts. But in this

master plan, if it is possible to execute

the research with long-term planning

by giving importance to it, then the

engineers themselves will be able to

manage everything in the future.

Research megaprojects with the

priorityof some universities of the

countryare implemented by the

government, bringing world-class

researchers and making arrangements

to do high-quality research in the

country. The situation in Japan was not

like that in the beginning, and they

started investing in 6 universities.

Recently, Honorable Prime Minister

H.E. Sheikh Hasina and JICA Chief Dr.

Shinichi Kitaoka attended an

"experience and exchange of views"

meeting in Tokyo. The Prime Minister

called upon JICA to set up a training

center in Bangladesh for the purpose of

training the young generation. Dr.

Shinichi Kitaoka expressed interest in

cooperation and said that brotherhood

and cooperation with Bangladesh are

many years old. If such a center is

established, the relationship will be

even stronger. In this context, the

government of Bangladesh can take a

long-term strategic plan for promoting

advanced and scientific research

through expanding research networks

with developed nations taking technical

and financial assistance.

The writer is a Professor and

Principal Investigatorat the

International Institute for Carbon-

Neutral Energy Research

(I2CNER) of Kyushu University in

Japan. He can be reached at


Understanding the local narrative on gender

violence and sensitivity

Many of us think

gender violence as a

form of 'torture' by

patriarchal society

towards women.

This was the

narratives in the

eighties, but later

on, the concept has

changed a lot. In the

development sector, 'gender' is a

necessary or special initiative for the

equality of men and women. While men

and women in our society are working

in equal measure for the cause of

national development, and above all

sharing responsibilities through mutual

respect and cooperation, the cause of

gender is also succeeding immediately.

For the shake of need, considering the

situation for strategic reasons and for

the overall development of women

towards men; On the other hand, the

initiative of women towards men to

create a conducive environment for

cooperation and empathy is basically

termed as 'gender' in the development


In the fiftieth anniversary of

Bangladesh's independence and as a

result of various government and nongovernment

initiatives, women are

advancing in almost all spheres today.

Although women have made exemplary

contributions to education, health,

economics, rights and freedom of

expression, violence against women is

still rampant. Worldwide campaigns,

protests, rallies, round table meetings,

human chain programs, etc. are

orchrestating to prevent violence

against women. Year after year, the

program continues to be observed

according to its own rules, but a special

powerful group continues to establish

their masculine behavior in a

sophisticated manner. Not only on

paper but in the people's mind, there is

a negative belief that 'Women are


etc!Whatever the reality, the image is

permanently stuck just because women

The Prime Minister's profound interest in research work and the initiatives

taken to expand the research are to be commended. She has introduced the

'Bangabandhu Fellowship on Science and Technology' and the 'Prime

Minister's Fellowship Program' to provide higher education opportunities

for young Bangladeshi researchers in world-renowned universities.

are not given full respect as 'human

being'. This obstacle to the development

of women is not only hampering their

mobility but also holding back a nation.

In the patriarchal society of

Bangladesh too, until a girl becomes a

'woman', guidelines are laid down for

her movements, expression of opinion

and even for all her desires and

reluctances. At least one-third of

women in almost every country in the

world are victims of violence, according

to UN agencies. According to the World

Health Organization (WHO), more than

80 percent of the healthcare workers in

Bangladesh, especially the maids, are

women. But their recognition does not

match, not at all! After talking about the

development of women, when a

negotiator becomes a catalyst of

physical and domestic violence against

his wife, the issue becomes very

provocative! According to various

newspapers, from March 2020 to

September 2021, there were more than

500 raped and more than 800 cases

were of domestic violence in the

country, despite the horrors of COVID-

19. Also, the number of unpublished

events can only be understood by

guessing. Surprisingly, most of the

rapes and other incidents of violence

against women are being perpetrated by

close relatives. In other words, women

are not safe anywhere at all. The evil

influence of this strict masculinity and

the separating floor of religious

discipline is crushing women at every

moment! However, in every religion

there is a clear call for respect for

women. Bangladesh, like the rest of the

world, has organized a variety of

programs from November 25 to

December 10 to prevent violence

against women and establish human

rights. In this context, the UN

Secretary-General said, "Unless women

are able to move freely and fearlessly, as

long as they are concerned about

women's safety and violence, the world

will not be proud of women's equality."

People from all occupations, regardless

of race, religion, or gender, are called

upon to speak out on behalf of women

who have been tortured, are being, or

have survived!

To protest the violence against

women is not an easy task! Since in a

patriarchal society, men have almost all

the power, it is very important to

change the attitude of men. Men must

In the fiftieth anniversary of Bangladesh's independence and

as a result of various government and non-government initiatives,

women are advancing in almost all spheres today.

Although women have made exemplary contributions to education,

health, economics, rights and freedom of expression.

come forward to establish women's

rights. They need to create a conducive

environment for families, schools,

workplaces, cities, ports, vehicles, and

even various service organizations.

Proper implementation and

enforcement of the law is very

important. We need to ensure that a

woman has access to the necessary legal

and medical assistance if they become a

victim by a perpetrator. Discrimination

against women will continue if the

society does not deeply realize this

humanity, which is the same entity. And

this work has to start from the very

beginning, from the family. So let's all

stand up against violence. We resist the

oppression of women by putting our

legs on their shoes. The above actions

are absolutely of human being! It is the

responsibility and duty of all of us,

especially of men, to respect

womenconsider them equal 'human

beings'. We resist the harassment of

women by shouting from their

respective places. There has been a lot

of discussion about gender violence!

Awareness has also increased among

people, but later on, more severe issues

like rape of women and children undo

the development! While many have

openly told the story of their rape on

condition of obscurity, most people do

not want to take it seriously. Many are

heard whispering or shouting in various

discussions, "It's time to shed light on

the issue of anti-rape talks." When most

of the cases of violence against women

in the court are covered up as lies,

fabrications! In this case, women spend

their days wrapped in a blanket of

helplessness and shame. Even though

they are victims of inhuman torture,

there is no environment to say about

their pain! So, they just tolerate the

torturevery silently in this patriarchal

society! On the day when the victims of

inhuman torture will protest together,

mass people will moke at the male


For the relevant cause and for the fear

of public embarrassment, the 'female'

are alone todayandthey do not feel

comfortable sharing an incident with

any close friend! There are various

alliances of women in the fight against

violence against women, there is a

storm of discussion on talk shows, but

at that time, the oppressed women are

hiding, weeping and crying! The

unanimous cooperation of all is

essential for the elimination of such

irregularities, injustices and

inequalities. So I am drawing

everyone's attention, 'Let everyone be

gender sensitive from their respective

positions to eradicate gender violence

irrespective of race-religion-gendercaste!!!'

The writer is a coordinator of

Advocacy and Social

Accountability at World Vision.

ThursdAY, novEmBEr 25, 2021


UK will press governments

to stick to climate pledges

FIonA hArvEY

The UK will continue to press

governments around the world to cut

greenhouse gas emissions urgently in

the next year to limit global heating to

1.5C, after the UN climate talks that

concluded last week, the president of

the summit has pledged.

Alok Sharma, the cabinet minister

who led the Cop26 talks, said the

world had shown in Glasgow that

countries could work together to

establish a framework for climate

action but the next year must focus on

keeping the promises made there.

"The 1.5C limit lives," he writes in

today's Guardian. "We brought it back

from the brink. But its pulse remains

weak. We must steer it to safety by

ensuring countries deliver on the

promises they have made."

Some argued the talks had failed

because the pledges on emissions cuts

made at Cop26 were insufficient to

meet the 1.5C goal.

Sharma acknowledged that

countries must increase their pledges

and turn them into action and

policies. Referring to youth activists

from around the world who urged

political leaders to act in Glasgow, he

said: "We owe it to all of them to

deliver what we agreed."

Two weeks of Cop26 talks ended in

dramatic fashion as Sharma feared

the carefully constructed deal among

nearly 200 countries was about to

collapse at the last moment, when

China and India objected to a

reference in the final agreement to the

"phase out" of coal-fired power.

In the end a compromise was

reached, with Sharma on the brink of

tears as he apologised to developing

countries for the change. The pledges

on emissions cuts made at the talks

would lead to heating of about 2.4C

above pre-industrial levels, far above

the 1.5C threshold, so the Glasgow

pact also requires countries to revise

their targets upwards in the next year.

Under the UN rules, the UK will

retain responsibility for climate

negotiations for the next year, until

the Egyptian government assumes

the presidency next November. In his

first public writing since the talks

concluded, Sharma sets out his aims.

"The UK's work as the Cop26

presidency is really only just

beginning," he writes. "Over the

course of the next year, we will work

with countries urging them to take

action and honour their promises.

"There is no formal policing process

in the UN Framework Convention on

Climate Change system, and so we

must keep up the constructive

pressure, and build on the trust and

goodwill generated through Cop26."

The lack of any policing process or

sanctions for countries that fail to

revise their national targets on

emissions, known as nationally

determined contributions (NDCs),

means that the main ways of holding

governments to account are through

public scrutiny and political pressure.

Australia's government has already

made clear that it does not intend to

increase its targets, which are widely

regarded as inadequate. The US and

the EU have also indicated they do not

intend to increase their ambition.

Key countries under the spotlight

are the world's biggest emitter, China,

whose promise to peak emissions by

the end of this decade disappointed

many analysts who argued it could go

further; and the third biggest emitter,

India, which announced new targets

in Glasgow but has yet to formally

detail them. Russia, Saudi Arabia and

Brazil are also under scrutiny.

Sharma argues that business and

finance will play a key role. "Markets

are falling into line, with the value of

shares in coal firms around the world

dropping since we sent a signal that

coal is no longer king," he writes.

Green campaigners have told the

Guardian that if the UK wants to show

leadership this year, ministers must

also look to their own actions.

Proposals for a new coalmine in

Cumbria, new oil and gas licences in

the North Sea, airport and road

expansion and dithering on green

policy have tarnished the UK's

reputation, while above all the

decision to slash overseas aid - even

while the Cop26 talks centred on

climate finance for poor countries -

caused deep alarm.

Sharma was widely regarded as

isolated within the cabinet at Cop26,

as insiders told the Guardian of a rift

between the chancellor, Rishi Sunak,

and prime minister, Boris Johnson,

over green measures.

Sunak visited the summit briefly but

made little impact on senior figures

from other countries present. The

foreign secretary, Liz Truss, also

played a little role in Glasgow.

Rachel Kyte, a former World Bank

top official on climate change, now

dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts

University in the US, told the

Guardian that getting other donor

Alok sharma says the 'uK's work as he Cop26 presidency is

really only just beginning.

Photo: Andy rain

countries to increase climate finance

"was made even more complicated by

UK Treasury's insistence on cutting

overseas aid. While this was then

confirmed as being temporary the

damage was done ... The UK lost

moral authority, and leverage as the

presidency which we saw them

struggling with. Alok was liked and

respected wherever he went but it was

not lost on people that he was a little

alone [in the cabinet as a champion of

climate action]. "

Rachel Kennerley, a climate

campaigner at Friends of the Earth,

said: "The fight to curb climate

breakdown didn't end with Mr

Sharma's gavel coming down on an

underwhelming deal. Just next week

the high court will hear about UKfinanced

gas drilling in Mozambique,

so this is the perfect time for the

government to withdraw support for

that damaging project, laden as it is

with climate hypocrisy.

"Given the UK's historical

contributions to emissions alongside

our role as Cop host, it's right that we

take a good look at the fact that we are

still supporting fossil fuel extraction,

here and overseas."

Adele’s 30 becomes biggest-selling

album of 2021

BEn BEAumonT-ThomAs

Adele's 30 is already the biggest-selling

album of the year in the US, just three

days after it went on sale. Using a

metric that combines sales of vinyl, CDs

and downloads alongside streaming,

30 has sold over 575,000 copies. Adele

has overtaken the previous highest

seller Taylor Swift, whose December

2020 album Evermore has sold

462,000 copies this year.

30, a typically lovelorn album that

addresses the musician's 2019 split

from her husband, is also performing

strongly in the UK. In the midweek

album chart reported yesterday, it

Copies of the Adele album 30.

outsold the rest of the Top 40

combined, with 167,000 chart sales

(again combined sales and streaming

figures). Adele looks certain to beat

Abba to the biggest first week of 2021,

after the Swedes sold 204,000 copies

of Voyage on its release last month.

The UK's biggest-selling album of the

year so far is Olivia Rodrigo's Sour,

with 320,000 chart sales as of the end

of the third quarter in October,

according to the Official Charts


Adele could also achieve the rare feat

of appearing at Nos 1, 2 and 3 in the

singles chart, where she currently sits

in the midweeks. Easy on Me is set to

spend its sixth week at No 1, with Oh

My God at No 2 and My Little Love at

No 3. Only one artist has achieved that

feat before: Justin Bieber, whose

singles Love Yourself, Sorry and What

Do You Mean occupied the top three in


Swift is currently No 1 in the US and

UK album charts with her re-recorded

and expanded version of 2012 album

Red, Red (Taylor's Version), making it

her 10th chart-topper in the US and

eighth in the UK. She is also top of the

US singles chart with All Too Well

(Taylor's Version), which at 10 minutes

and 13 seconds is the longest song to

ever reach No 1 there.

Photo: Tolga Akmen


Young people are often seen as having a

bleak worldview, plugged uncritically

into social media and anxious about the

climate crisis, among other pressing


But a global study commissioned by

the UN's children's agency, Unicef,

appears to turn that received wisdom on

its head. It paints a picture of children

believing that the world is improving

with each generation, even while they

report anxiety and impatience for change

on global heating.

The landmark intergenerational study,

conducted for Unicef by Gallup for World

Children's Day, surveyed two age groups

in 21 countries - aged 15-24 and 40-plus -

sampled from different socioeconomic

groups, to compare attitudes.

The results suggest the younger

generation are more positive and globally

minded than their elders, sceptical of

what they read on social media (only 17%

of young people said they trusted social

media platforms "a lot" for information)

and more invested in science and the

possibility of global cooperation and

international institutions.

The young people surveyed were also

more likely to believe childhood had

improved, voting healthcare, education

and physical safety as being better for

them than it had been for their parents'


"Born into a more digital,

interconnected and diverse reality, young

people see a world that is largely a better

place for children than the one their

parents grew up in - a safer and more

abundant world that offers children

better education, opportunities and hope

for the future," the report concludes.

"At the same time, young people are

not complacent. They report greater

struggles with mental health conditions.

Amid a sea of mis- and disinformation,

they report low levels of trust in the

information sources they use most."

Unicef's executive director, Henrietta

Fore, said: "There is no shortage of

reasons for pessimism in the world

today: climate change, the pandemic,

poverty and inequality, rising distrust


Reports of the longnose harlequin frog's

death appear to have been greatly

exaggerated - or, at least, premature. The

Mark Twain of the frog world is listed by

the International Union for

Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as

extinct, which may come as a surprise to

those alive and well in the cloud forests

of Ecuador's tropical Andes.

Known for its pointed snout, the

longnose harlequin frog (Atelopus

longirostris) is about to play a central

role in a legal battle to stop a mining

project in the Intag valley in Imbabura

province, which campaigners say would

be a disaster for the highly biodiverse

cloud forests.

"Ecuador is wildly diverse with

amphibians," says Carlos Zorrilla,

executive director of environmental

organisation Decoin (Defensa y

Conservación Ecológica de Intag). In

2016, four longnose harlequin frogs - last

seen in 1989 - were found in the area.

"Elicio Tapia and Gustavo Pazmiño, the

biologists from Jambatu Centre for

Research and Conservation of

Amphibians, who found them, also

believe there'll be dozens more

amphibians endangered by this mining

project," says Zorrilla. "Mining would

violate the 'rights of nature', which are

enshrined in Ecuador's constitution.

This is a good argument to halt mining at

this site."

In 2008, Ecuador became the first

country in the world to recognise the

rights of nature in its constitution,

acknowledging that all nature has the

right to exist and to receive state

protection. Article 73 says: "The state

shall apply preventive and restrictive

measures on activities that might lead to

the extinction of species, the destruction

of ecosystems and the permanent

alteration of natural cycles."

The concession area for the planned

Llurimagua copper opencast mine - a

joint project between the state-owned

Chilean mining company Codelco, the

world's largest copper producer, and

Ecuador's state-owned Enami - is

primary cloud forest, a fragile ecosystem

found in high mountainous tropical

regions, usually between 1,000-3,000

metres above sea level, with heavy

rainfall and persistent cloud and mist at

the canopy level, meaning humid, moist

environments where wildlife thrives.

Less than 2.5% of the world's tropical

forests are estimated to be cloud forests

but they contain a disproportionately

large number of the world's species.

Researchers at the Jambatu Centre

believe Intag could be functioning as a

"frog ark", where the fatal fungal disease

chytrid has not yet wiped out amphibian

populations. The critically endangered

Lynch glass frog has been reported here,

Young people more optimistic about

the world than older generations

Young ugandans march through Wakiso in a climate protest.

Photo: Isaac Kasamani

and growing nationalism. But here is a

reason for optimism: children and young

people refuse to see the world through

the bleak lens of adults."

Compared with older generations, she

said: "The world's young people remain

hopeful, much more globally minded,

and determined to make the world a

better place. Today's young people have

concerns for the future but see

themselves as part of the solution."

Overall, the data suggests young people

are products of globalisation - 39%

identified most with being part of the

world, rather than their own nation or

region, compared with 22% of the 40-

plus group. With each additional year of

age, people were on average about 1%

less likely to identify as a global citizen.

The survey - conducted during the

pandemic - also found young people

were generally more trusting of national

governments, scientists and

international news media as sources of

as has a frog originally thought to be the

Confusing rocket frog, but now believed

to be a species that is new to science.

Frogs are just part of the picture.

"We're within the most biodiverse of the

world's biodiversity hotspots: the

tropical Andes," says Zorrilla, who has

lived on his farm in Intag for 43 years,

though he is originally from Cuba. "This

is one of the biological jewels of the

world," he says, adding that the number

of endemic species in that part of

Ecuador is higher than even the lowland


Among the animals that live in the

area are the brown-faced spider

monkey; the Andean, or spectacled,

bear; the black-and-chestnut eagle; the

puma; the white-faced, or Panamanian,

capuchin monkey; the Choco toucan,

and Andean catfish.

"There are also two endangered tree

species, and the region is one of the most

biodiverse for orchids," Zorrilla adds.

"There are 43 sources of rivers and

streams within this one single mining

concession, which is less than 5,000

hectares [20 sq miles].

"It's extremely steep and

mountainous, with heavy rainfall - a

nightmare scenario for mining," he says.

"Communities would have to be

relocated. It's going to devastate a

biological jewel, displace people and

we'll be left with all the environmental


Zorrilla is leading a team of lawyers

and members of the local community to

present their legal case to block the

Llurimagua concession within the next

few weeks. While the project has stalled,

due to a disagreement between Codelco

and Enami, the campaign to block the

proposed mine permanently is


There are four plaintiffs, including two

farmers, a community leader from the

accurate information. Yet they were

aware of the problems the world faced.

Joe Daly, senior partner at Gallup, said:

"We cannot know what is on the minds of

young people if we do not ask them.

Unicef's survey reinforces the

importance of hearing from the next

generation and understanding their


The survey found some areas of multigenerational

alignment - notably around

climate, the importance of education,

global collaboration and children's

agency. By contrast, optimism, global

mindedness and recognition of historical

progress reflected some of the deepest


Fore said: "While this research paints a

nuanced view of the generational divide,

a clear picture emerges: children and

young people embody the spirit of the

21st century far more readily than their


Frog helps fight plans for

mine in Ecuador

Intag valley town of Chalguayaco Alto,

and Javier Ramírez, a community leader

who was previously jailed for an antimining

protest in Intag.

Zorrilla says: "We'll present the case at

the lower court for Cotacachi county

government, then provincial courts. And

if we lose there, which I don't think we

will, it will go to the constitutional court

in Quito, the highest court in the land. I

think we'll win."

Since coming to power in May,

Ecuador's president, Guillermo Lasso, a

former banker, has signed two

Ecuador's cloud forest, which has more endemic species than even the

lowland Amazon.

Photo: Alamy

presidential decrees, including Decree

151, which supports the development of

mining in the country and was widely

welcomed by the mining sector.

In October, indigenous communities

were among those that took to the

streets of the capital, Quito, to protest

rising fuel prices and other economic

issues. "These decrees are one of the

reasons why there's a major national

strike in Ecuador," argues Zorrilla.

"Indigenous people and campesino

groups oppose these decrees because of

the expansion of petroleum and mining

activity in indigenous land, campesino

land and protected areas."

Ecuadorian politician, indigenous

leader and environmental lawyer Yaku

Pérez, who ran for president this year,

says: "The mining decree is a

declaration of war on the defenders of

water and nature. It's harmful to the

rights of indigenous and nonindigenous

peoples alike.

"Mining leaves indelible traces

wherever it goes: environmental

pollution, poisoned water, violence,

dispossession. And in order to open

mines, they must deforest forests and

ecosystems, which generates more

greenhouse gases and global warming.

That's why the cry of the Earth is the cry

of the poor who resist in order to live."


BCg seizes 1 kg crystal meth,

30,000 yaba tablets in teknaf

on the basis of secret information, a special

operation was conducted in the naf river

near Shahpuri Island under teknaf Police

Station under the command of BCg Station

teknaf Station Commander Lt. Com. M

naeem ul haq, a press release said.

this information was given by Lt.

Khandaker Munif taki, Media officer,

Bangladesh Coast guard headquarters on

Wednesday. he said Coast guard members

signaled to stop the two boats when the

movement of the two boats seemed

suspicious at around on early Wednesday.

When the two boats sensed the presence of

the Coast guard, they quickly changed

direction and started fleeing. the Coast

guard members chased the two boats. at

that time, the smugglers threw 1 plastic bag

from the boat into the sea and fled towards

the Myanmar border.

he added that the Coast guard members

later searched the bag and seized 30,000

(thirty thousand) pieces of yaba tablets,

including 1 kg of crystal meth (ice) worth tk

3,00,000,000 (three crore taka). the seized

crystal meth (ice) and yaba have been

handed over to teknaf Model Police Station

for further legal action.

Members of Bangladesh Coast Guard in a drive seized at 1 kg crystal meth

and 30,000 yaba tablets in Teknaf on early Wednesday. Photo: Courtesy

dakshin aicha Police Station oC Sakhawat

hossain working tirelessly to curb crimes

taIaBur rahMan Char

FaSSon CorreSPondent

the success story of oC

Sakhawat hossain, a symbol

of people's trust, is of a slightly

different nature. oC Sakhawat

hossain joined in october

2021 as officer-in-Charge of

dakshin aicha Police Station,

Char Fasson upazila, Bhola

district, which has been

completed for only one and a

half months. and in this long

month and a half, he has

eroded the trust and love of

the people.

In the history of the creation

of dakshin aicha thana, oC

Sakhawat hossain has

created a stable environment

by settling disputes between

the two sides in more than a

hundred cases within a month

and a half of joining.

his war against drugs and

terrorism has been going on

since the beginning. the law

and order situation in South

aicha Police Station is much

calmer now than at any time

in the past and drugs are

under control. In a very short

time, the role of oC Sakhawat

hossain in suppressing drugs

and crime has been discussed

in all quarters. he has often

visited various educational

institutions in the police

station area to hold

awareness-raising discussions

with students on eve-teasing,

militancy, child marriage,

drugs and information

technology. and for this

reason, he has taken place in

the minds of common people,

including students and

teachers, as a symbol of

people's confidence and an

exceptional religious oC.

In this regard, Chairman of

Charmanika union Parishad

Shafiullah hawlader said that

oC Sakhawat hossain will

always be remembered by the

people of South aicha for his

life due to Zero tolerance

Policy against drugs,

militancy and child marriage.

We should highlight the

success of this man who is

averse to promoting his own


In this regard oC Sakhawat

hossain said, "It is my duty to

provide security of life and

property to the people and the

general electorate in the



government union council

general elections on

november 26 and to maintain

law and order."

A PSM meeting organized by Good Neighbors Bangladesh was held in

Bochaganj of Dinajpur on Tuesday.

Photo: Sumon Chandra

SuMon Chandra, BoChaganj


PSM meeting has been

organized in Bochaganj of

dinajpur. a school

monitoring (PSM) meeting

was organized by good

neighbors Bangladesh

Bochaganj CdP on

Wednesday at the office

office of good neighbors

Bangladesh Bochaganj CdP

in Ishania union no. 2 with

the participation of

headmasters and SMC

PSM meeting held

in Bochaganj

presidents of 21 primary

schools and 7 secondary


Bochaganj CdP Project

Manager Bipul rema

presided over the function

and Senior officer

(Program) jony Bairagir

moderated the PSM

meeting. upazila Secondary

education officer Md.

golam Sadeq spoke as the

chief guest while among

others assistant upazila

education officers delwar

hossain and Kamrul hasan,

headmaster of Setabganj

government Pilot Model

high School, Bishnath roy,

headmaster of Setabganj

Pilot girls high School Md.

Bochaganj CdP Internship

(Program) ashikur

rahman, Bochaganj upazila

Press Club joint general

Secretary Sumon Chandra

were also present at the


Ctg records

0.41pc Covid-19

positivity rate


Chattogram district

recorded 0.41 percent

Covid-19 positivity rate

while only six fresh cases

were reported after testing

1,463 samples during the

last 24 hours till Wednesday

morning, reports BSS.

"the number of cured

patients from the lethal virus

stood at 91,071 in the district

with the recovery of 136

more patients in the last 24

hours," said civil surgeon dr

Ilias Chowdhury, adding

that the percentage of

recovery rate is 88.97.

With the newly infected

cases, the number of

coronavirus (CoVId-19)

patients stands at 102,368 in

the district.

With one new death

recorded in the last 24

hours, the death toll reached

1,331 in the district.

a total of 675 infected

patients are now undergoing

treatment at designated

hospitals here, the sources


average Covid-19

positivity 18.57pc

in rangpur

rangPur: the average

Covid-19 positivity rate

currently stands at 18.57

percent in rangpur division

where 55,528 patients were

diagnosed after testing

2,98,990 samples since the

beginning of the pandemic,

reports BSS.

"the number of Covid-19

cases rose to 55,528 with

diagnosis of seven new

patients after testing 176

samples at the positivity rate

of 3.987 percent on

tuesday," acting rangpur

divisional director (health)

dr abu Md Zakirul Islam


the pandemic situation

continues improving

consistently during the last

three months in the division

amid declining passivity and

casualty rates and rising

recovery rate.

earlier, the daily Covid-19

positivity rates were 7.07

percent on Monday, 2.17

percent on Sunday, 1.33

percent on Saturday, 3.57

percent on Friday, 1.89

percent on thursday and

3.77 percent on Wednesday

last in the division.

"the district-wise break

up of total 55,528 patients

include 12,505 of rangpur,

3,822 Panchagarh, 4,458

of nilphamari, 2,745 of

Lalmonirhat, 4,646 of

Kurigram, 7,660 of

thakurgaon, 14,824 of

dinajpur and 4,868 of

gaibandha in the division,"

he said.

Meanwhile, no Covid-19

patient died during the last

24 hours ending at 8 am

yesterday in the division

where the total number of

casualties remained steady

at 1,244.

the average casualty rate

currently stands at 2.24

percent in the division.

7 best tax payers

accorded reception

in Magura

roKIBuL hoque dIPu,

Magura CorreSPondent

7 best tax payers were

accorded to reception in

Magura. the tax payers were

selected under 4 categories.

among the 7 tax payers 3

were selected as the highest

tax payers while 2 as long

term tax payers , one as

young tax payer and one as

female tax payer .

Magura income tax office

arranged the reception

ceremony at their

conference room. deputy

Commissioner, Magura

income tax office SM

abraham Linkan presided

over the reception

ceremony. among others

income tax advisers and

journalists were present in

the ceremony.

Dhaka Ahsania Mission distributed rice seed and cash among 100 farmers at Jashore Sadar

Branch Office, DFED, Jashore Sadar recently.

Photo: Courtesy

daM distributes zinc rich and aromatic

rice seeds among 100 farmers

dhaka ahsania Mission is implementing the

project ''Improving Livelihoods for covid

affected households'' with the financial

support of read Foundation from june 1,

2021 in 7 unions of Sadarupazila of jashore

district with the aim of compensating the

affected households of covid-19, a press

release said.

to provide input / cash assistance to a total

of 500 beneficiaries involved in 150

vegetable farmers, 100 paddy farmers, 150

goat farmers, 50 poultry farmers and 50

small businesses through this project. In

continuation of this, a rice seed and cash

distribution program was organized in the

jashore Sadar Branch office, dFed, jashore

Sadar, jashore to distribute Zinc and

aromatic rice seeds in Boro season and cash

among the beneficiaries under this project.

tima Paul, deputy director (Seed

Production), Bangladesh agriculture

development Corporation (BadC),jashore

was present as the Chief guest of the

distribution Ceremony. agriculturist Md.

A farewell reception was accorded to Abdul Haq Chowdhury Degree College

outgojng principal in Chhagalnaiya on Tuesday. Photo: Kafil Uddin Majumder

Covid-19 cases reach 99,279 with 24 afresh in rajshahi

rajShahI: twenty-four more people

have tested positive for Covid-19 in all eight

districts of the division on tuesday, taking

the caseload to 99,279 since the pandemic

began in March last year, reports BSS.

however, the new positive cases show a

triggering trend compared to the previous

day's figure, said dr habibul ahsan

talukder, divisional director of health,

adding that a total of fifteen people were

infected on Monday.

Meanwhile, the recovery count rose to

niamul Kabir, Coordinator (agriculture)

and area Manager of jashore area of dFed

was also present as Special guest. Branch

Manager, jashore Sadar Branch, dFed,

Project Coordinator, Project Field Staff and

Beneficiaries were also present.

the chief guest in her speech said that this

rice seed of dhaka ahsania Mission will help

increase the production of paddy farmers to

overcome the loss of covid. She added that

the zinc-rich project would play a helpful role

in filling the iron deficiency of the

beneficiaries in the area. She thanked the

read Foundation through the daM. She

hopes daM will receive more of this in the


through the project, out of 100

beneficiaries, each was given 10 kg of Zinc

rice seeds (BrrI dhan74and BrrI dhan84)

and 5 kg aromatic rice (BrrI dhan 50-

Banglamoti) in boro season. today, out of 63

rice farmers, 15 kg this rice seeds were

distributed to each of them. the rice seeds

have already been provided to 37 people.

95,677 in the division after 15 patients were

discharged from the hospitals on the same


the death toll reached 1,680, including

685 in Bogura, 323 in rajshahi with 205 in

its city and 175 in natore as one new fatality

was reported during the last 24 hours span,

dr talukder added.

Besides, all the positive cases of Covid-19

have, so far, been brought under treatment

while 23,079 were kept in isolation units of

different dedicated hospitals for

Farewell reception

accorded to abdul

haq Chowdhury

degree College


KaFIL uddIn MajuMder,

ChhagaLnaIya CorreSPondent

abul Khair, Principal of

alhaj abdul haq

Chowdhury degree

College, located at

Manurhat, Chhagalnaiya

upazila, Feni, was

accorded a posthumous

farewell reception on


abdul haq Chowdhury

degree College teachers'

Council organized a daylong

farewell reception for

him. Chairman of

Chagalnaiya upazila

Parishad and general

Secretary of upazila

awami League Mejbaul

haider Chowdhury Sohel

was the chief guest at the

farewell reception

presided over by humaira

Islam, President of

governing Body of abdul

haq Chowdhury degree

College and Chagalnaiya

upazila nirbahi officer


during the time,

Shakhawat hossain

Majumder didar,

member of the governing

body of the college, garib

Shah hossain Badsha

Chowdhury, chairman of

Mahamaya union

Parishad, Master abul

Kalam and others were

present as special guests

at the farewell reception.

institutional quarantine. of them, 19,713

have been released.

Meanwhile, 32 more people have been

sent to home and institutional quarantine

afresh while 19 others were released from

isolation during the same time.

of the 24 new cases, six were detected in

Pabna, followed by five in

Chapainawabganj, four in joypurhat, three

in natore, two each in rajshahi city and

naogaon and one each in Bogura and

Sirajganj districts.

Reception ceremony of best tax payers was held at in Magura income tax office recently.

Photo: Rokibul Hoque Dipu

President Joe Biden will require essential, nonresident travelers crossing U.S. land borders, such as

truck drivers, government and emergency response officials, to be fully vaccinated beginning on

Jan. 22, the administration planned to announce Tuesday.

Photo : AP

South Korea sets

pandemic high with

4,000 new virus cases

SEOUL : New coronavirus

infections in South Korea

exceeded 4,000 in a day for

the first time since the start of

the pandemic as a deltadriven

spread continues to

rattle the country after it

eased social distancing in

recent weeks to improve its

economy, reports UNB.

The Korea Disease Control

and Prevention Agency said

most of the new 4,116 cases

reported Wednesday came

from the capital Seoul and its

surrounding metropolitan

region, where an increase in

hospitalizations has created

fears about possible shortages

in intensive care units.

The country's death toll

is now 3,363 after 35 virus

patients died in the past 24


The 586 patients who are in

serious or critical conditions

also marked a new high.

South Korea is the latest

country to see infections and

hospitalizations rise after

loosening social distancing

measures amid high

vaccination rates. Cases are

also climbing in the United

States ahead of the

Thanksgiving holiday

weekend, while Austria

entered a major lockdown on

Monday as a virus wave

spreads across Europe.

GD-1728/21 (8 x 3)

US to require vaccines

for all border

crossers in January

WASHINGTON : President Joe Biden will

require essential, nonresident travelers

crossing U.S. land borders, such as truck

drivers, government and emergency

response officials, to be fully vaccinated

beginning on Jan. 22, the administration

planned to announce Tuesday, reports


A senior administration official said the

requirement, which the White House

previewed in October, brings the rules for

essential travelers in line with those that

took effect earlier this month for leisure

travelers, when the U.S. reopened its

borders to fully vaccinated individuals.

Essential travelers entering by ferry will

also be required to be fully vaccinated by the

same date, the official said. The official

spoke to The Associated Press on the

condition of anonymity to preview the


The rules pertain to non-U.S. nationals.

American citizens and permanent residents

may still enter the U.S. regardless of their

vaccination status, but face additional

testing hurdles because officials believe they

more easily contract and spread COVID-19

and in order to encourage them to get a


The Biden administration pushed back

the requirement for essential travelers by

more than two months from when it went

into effect on Nov. 8 for non-essential

`icÎ weÁwß

visitors to prevent disruptions, particularly

among truck drivers who are vital to North

American trade. While most cross-border

traffic was shut down in the earliest days of

the pandemic, essential travelers have been

able to transit unimpeded.

Even with the delay, though, Norita

Taylor, spokeswoman for the trucking

group Owner-Operator Independent

Drivers Association, criticized the

vaccination requirement, calling it an

example of "how unnecessary government

mandates can force experienced owneroperators

and independent truckers out of

business." "These requirements are another

example of how impractical regulations will

send safe drivers off the road," she said.

The latest deadline is beyond the point by

which the Biden administration hopes to

have large businesses require their

employees to be vaccinated or tested weekly

under an emergency regulation issued by

the Occupational Health and Safety


That rule is now delayed by litigation, but

the White House has encouraged

businesses to implement their own

mandates regardless of the federal

requirement with the aim of boosting

vaccination. About 47 million adults in the

U.S. remain unvaccinated, according to

figures from the Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention.

Myanmar to resume

international tourism

early next year

YANGON : Myanmar has

rolled out plans to resume

international tourism early

next year, according to the

Ministry of Hotels and

Tourism on Wednesday.

In the first phase of

reopening tourism, the

ministry expects to welcome

visitors from regional

countries. In this

connection, the ministry

needs to make alignment

with their reopening plans,

travel bubbles or travel

corridor schemes, the

ministry's Public Relations

and Information

Department told Xinhua.

"We are making necessary

consultation with

government agencies and

private associations to

systematically receive

international visitors when

airports and borders

reopen," an official of the

department said, reports


The country suspended

operations of international

commercial passenger

flights excluding relief

flights, medical evacuation

and special flights, and the

issuance of all types of visas

for foreign nationals from all

countries were also

suspended, following the

report of first two COVID-19

positive cases on March 23

last year.

According to a recent

release of Information

Ministry, land border

crossings with Thailand will

reopen next month ahead of

a resumption of

international air travel by

the end of first quarter of


Nicaragua drops

visa requirements

for Cubans


Nicaraguan government has

dropped visa requirements

for Cuban citizens, a move

that may spark an increase in

Cubans travelling there in a

bid to reach the United States,

reports UNB.

Nicaragua's Interior

Ministry posted a statement

on its web page Monday

saying the decision was taken

"with the purpose of

promoting commerce,

tourism and humanitarian

family relations."

The ministry said it had

received a lot of visa requests

from Cubans with relatives in


Many Cubans travel as far

as South America to find an

overland route to the U.S.

border. Flying to Nicaragua

would shave a considerable

amount of time and distance

off such trips.

The move comes after the

United States condemned the

Nov. 7 re-election of

President Daniel Ortega.

Ortega has long been an ally

of Cuba.

Ortega won more than 75%

of the votes in Sunday's

election, but the outcome was

never in doubt after his

government jailed seven of

the leading potential

opposition candidates.

U.S. President Joe Biden

has called the Nicaraguan

elections "rigged" and says

the U.S. will use the tools at its

disposal to hold the




WASHINGTON : President Joe Biden

on Tuesday ordered a record 50

million barrels of oil released from

America's strategic reserve, aiming to

bring down gasoline and other costs,

in coordination with other major

energy consuming nations including

India, the United Kingdom and China.

The U.S. action is focused on

helping Americans coping with higher

fuel and other prices ahead of

Thanksgiving and winter holiday

travel. Gasoline prices are at about

$3.40 a gallon, more than 50% higher

than a year ago, according to the

American Automobile Association.

"While our combined actions will

not solve the problems of high gas

prices overnight, it will make a

difference," Biden promised in

remarks at the White House. "It will

take time, but before long you should

see the price of gas drop where you fill

up your tank."

The government will begin to move

barrels into the market in mid- to late-

WHO Europe warns

of possible surge in

COVID deaths ahead

GENEVA : The World Health

Organization's Europe office

says projections show its 53-

country region could face

another 700,000 deaths in

the coronavirus pandemic by

next spring, topping 2 million

in total, reports UNB.

WHO Europe, which is

based in Copenhagen,

Denmark, also cited growing

evidence of a decline in

protection against infection

and mild disease through

vaccines, and said a "booster

dose" should be given as a

priority to the most

vulnerable populations -

including people with

weakened immune systems -

as well as people over age 60

and health care workers.

The U.N. health agency's

international headquarters in

Geneva, however, has

repeatedly called for a

moratorium on the use of

boosters through year-end so

that doses can be made

available for many developing

countries that have faced a

severe lack of the COVID-19

vaccines compared to the rich


WHO Europe called on

people to get vaccinated

and respect proper

hygiene and practice social

distancing to help stop the

spread of the virus.

ThUrSDAY, NovemBer 25, 2021


New Zealand to start reopening

borders to world from January

WELLINGTON : New Zealand will reopen its

borders to the world over the coming months,

the government announced Wednesday,

allowing for the return of displaced residents

from January and tourists from April, reports


The South Pacific nation imposed harsh

border restrictions when the pandemic began,

effectively banning tourists and requiring

returning residents to spend two weeks in a

quarantine hotel run by the military. At times,

demand for quarantine beds has far

outstripped supply, causing some displaced

residents to wait months for available slots.

For the first 18 months of the pandemic, the

border measures were considered vital in

keeping New Zealand free from the virus.

But an August outbreak proved impossible to

stamp out, prompting New Zealand to

abandon its elimination strategy in October.

Vaccination rates have also been rising, making

the border measures increasingly hard to


COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins

said the government had made difficult tradeoffs

to keep New Zealanders as safe as possible

throughout the pandemic.

"We acknowledge that it has been very tough.

Families have been separated. People have

found themselves having to shelter in places

they did not expect to stay for prolonged

periods of time," Hipkins said. "We are acutely

aware of the impact that these restrictions have

had on individuals' lives and their livelihoods."

Under the government's plan, all incoming

travelers will still be required to isolate

themselves for seven days, at least for now.

Hipkins said it wanted to mitigate the virus

risk posed by incoming travelers by reopening

the border in stages.

The Nicaraguan government has dropped visa requirements for Cuban citizens,

a move that may spark an increase in Cubans travelling there in a bid to

reach the United States.

Photo : AP

Fighting gas prices, US to release

50 million barrels of oil

December. Gasoline usually responds

at a lag to changes in oil prices, and

administration officials suggested this

is one of several steps toward

ultimately bringing down costs.

Oil prices had dropped in the days

ahead of the announced withdrawals,

a sign that investors were anticipating

the moves that could bring a

combined 70 million to 80 million

barrels of oil onto global markets. But

in trading after the announcement,

prices shot up roughly 2% instead of

falling. The market was expecting the

news, and traders may have been

underwhelmed when they saw the

details, said Claudio Galimberti,

senior vice president for oil markets at

Rystad Energy.

"The problem is that everybody

knows that this measure is

temporary," Galimberti said. "So

once it is stopped, then if demand

continues to be above supply like it

is right now, then you're back to

square one."

Shortly after the U.S.

announcement, India said it would

release 5 million barrels from its

strategic reserves. The British

government confirmed it will release

up to 1.5 million barrels from its

stockpile. Japan and South Korea are

also participating, and U.S. officials

said it's the biggest coordinated

release from global strategic reserves.

British Prime Minister Boris

Johnson's spokesman, Max Blain,

said it was "a sensible and measured

step to support global markets" during

the pandemic recovery. Blain added

that the country's companies will be

authorized but not compelled to

participate in the release.

Despite all the optimistic

statements, the actions by the U.S.

and others risk counter moves by Gulf

nations, especially Saudi Arabia, and

by Russia. Saudi Arabia and other

Gulf countries have made clear they

intend to control supply to keep prices

high for the time being.



Minister group starts regional

conference with dealers

Recently ONE Bank Limited signed an Agreement with Este Medical Bangladesh Ltd.

Mohammed Faisal, Managing Director of Este Medical Bangladesh Limited and Syed Maruf

Ali, Head of Cards of ONE Bank Limited, signed the Agreement on behalf of their respective

organizations. Under this Agreement, OBL Debit, Credit & Prepaid card holders will enjoy 10%

discount on the treatments. Beside this, ONE Bank's Credit Card holders can avail "0%" Smart

EMI facilities up to 12 month's tenure round the year. High officials of both the organizations

were also present in this occasion.

Photo: Courtesy

PRAN Dairy receives top taxpayer award

PRAN Dairy Ltd, a sister

concern of PRAN Group,

received the top taxpayer

award for FY 2021-21.

National Board of Revenue

(NBR) honored the PRAN

Dairy in the food and allied

category, a press release


Uzma Chowdhury,

Director (Finance) at

PRAN-RFL Group received

the award on behalf of

PRAN Dairy from Abu

Hena Md Rahmatul

Muneem, Chairman at the

National Board of Revenue

through a program held at

Officers' Club at the capital

on Wednesday. The

Finance Minister AHM

Mustafa Kamal was present

at the program as a chief

guest while Md Jashim

Uddin, President at the

Federation of Bangladesh

Chambers of Commerce

and Industry (FBCCI) was

also present as a special


Uzma Chowdhury said,

"PRAN-RFL group's every

entities are playing

important role in the

development of the country

through paying vat and tax

regularly. We are getting

recognition from the

government every year for

paying vat and tax that give

us inspiration."

The National Board of

Revenue honored 141 top

taxpayers, including 75

individuals, 50 companies,

for the payment of the

highest amount of taxes to

the state coffer for the year

of 2021-21

The top brand in the

domestic electronics world

Minister Group has started

the regional conference

'Dealer Submit-2021' with

their electronics dealers.

Recently, a fair was held at

'Momo Inn Hotel and

Resort' in Bogra with the

participation of dealers

from Rajshahi and

Rangpur divisions. The

conference of Minister

Group will be held in every

department of the country,

a press release said.

Chairman of the Minister

Group and Vice President

of FBCCI MA Razzak Khan

Raj had a very cordial

discussion with the dealers

on the occasion of 'Dealer

Submit-2021'. At the time,

he said, "I am very happy to

be back with my business

friends after a long time.

We would like to work with

these partners to formulate



management plans. As a

result, we hope to be able to

do prosperous business in

the days to come. "

Officials exchanged views

on what needs to be done to

offset the losses of traders

in the after period of the

Corona, and create a

dynamic business plan for

next year. Salesmen from

all area also attended the


Deputy Executive

Director of the Minister

Group Shah Alam,

Assistant Director

(Corporate Sales - NGO)

Md. Ariful Islam, AGM

Brand & Communication

KMG Kibria and Chairman

Secretary AKM Sayem

Hossain also present at the


WTO members on track to conclude

trade in services talks

GENEVA:World Trade Organization

talks on facilitating trade in services are

on course to reach a successful

conclusion at the WTO ministerial

conference starting later this month,

reporters were told Thursday, reports


The negotiations, launched at the end

of 2017, aim to facilitate trade in

services by simplifying administrative

regulations and technical standards.

"Participating members are on the

right track to adopt a ministerial

declaration that will announce the

successful conclusion of the

negotiations," said Jaime Coghi, chair

of the talks on services domestic


The WTO's 12th ministerial

conference takes place at the global

trade body's headquarters in Geneva

from November 30 to December 3.

The 66 WTO members negotiating

on services domestic regulation are still

finalising their schedules of

commitments ahead of the conference.

"Implementation among the G20

economies can potentially reduce trade

costs of up to six percent over three to

five years," said Costa Rican diplomat


"The effects would be greater in

highly-regulated sectors... such as



telecommunications and insurance, as

well as computer and professional


"The savings could amount to more

than $140 billion in the medium term."

Trade in services has grown

significantly over the past decade and

the WTO now estimates that it

accounts for around half of world trade.

However, trade in services costs are

about twice that of trade in goods.

A significant portion of the costs is

attributable to regulatory differences as

well as opaque regulations and

burdensome procedures.

WTO members are free to regulate

their service sectors. However, a group

of WTO members -- 66 since the

Philippines joined the plurilateral

negotiations in this week-have pledged

to develop good regulatory practices so

as not to restrict trade unnecessarily.

This group of countries, which the

United States joined in July, accounts

for around 90 percent of trade in


The proposed commitments aim to

increase transparency, predictability

and legal certainty.

The final text should contain a

provision on non-discrimination

between men and women, to stimulate

the participation of the latter in trade in

services-a first for a text negotiated at

the WTO.

Domino's Pizza onboards beloved Cricketer

Taskin Ahmed as brand ambassador

On Wednesday, Tata Motors introduced its new GOLD standard in the 16-tonne medium commercial

vehicles category, in association with its distributor Nitol Motors Limited. The Tata LPT 1615 GOLD

is available in two wheelbase options: 4800mm and 5200mm, and with its strong vehicle attributes,

it is engineered to perfectly suit the needs of all the fleet owners by carrying heavy loads as well as

high voluminous goods. The Tata LPT 1615 GOLD provides power-packed performance and

increased productivity, along with a safe and comfortable driving experience. Itwill be supported by

the widest countrywide network for sales, service and spare parts. Locally assembled at NITA planta

joint venture between Tata Motors and Nitol Niloy Group, the LPT 1615 GOLD range, will help drive

further the growing economy of Bangladesh. Its key attributes like Cummins 6BT engine offering

145hp of power and 500Nm of torque, along with rugged ladder-type chassis with two options of

wheelbase, make it the perfect vehicle for the varied load requirements of the business today. With

a proved Cummins 6BT engine, coupled with reliable GBS 600gearbox, the Tata LPT 1615 GOLD will

help increase the owners' profit potential and offer low total cost of operations. It features factoryfitted

radial tyres along with stronger suspension and rear axle (RA110),ideally suited for the

Bangladesh driving conditions.

Photo : Courtesy

Mexico president scraps choice

for central bank chief

MEXICO CITY : Mexican President

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has

withdrawn his nomination of former finance

minister Arturo Herrera to head the central

bank, Herrera announced Tuesday, reports


Lopez Obrador had proposed his then

finance minister in June to be governor of

the Bank of Mexico, subject to approval by

the Senate.

"The president informed me a week ago

that he had decided to reconsider my

appointment as head of the Bank of Mexico,"

Herrera tweeted without elaborating.

Herrera has already been replaced as

finance minister by Rogelio Ramirez de la O,

an economic consultant and ally of Lopez


The surprise withdrawal of Herrera's

nomination "creates uncertainty," tweeted

Gabriela Siller, head of analysis for the

financial group BASE.

"International investors are asking who

will be the next governor of the Bank of

Mexico and why Herrera was not ratified,"

she added.

The news comes at a time when Mexico is

facing rising inflation that has prompted the

central bank to raise interest rates for fourth

consecutive meetings.

Japan plans record

$490 bn stimulus

to boost pandemic


TOKYO: Japanese Prime

Minister Fumio Kishida

announced a record 56

trillion yen ($490 billion)

stimulus for the world's

third-largest economy

Friday as he looks to shore

up its patchy pandemic

recovery, reports BSS.

The fresh stimulus,

expected to be approved by

the cabinet later in the day,

"is enough to deliver a sense

of safety and hope to the

Japanese people", Kishida

said in televised comments.

Domino's Pizza has today

announced their new brand

ambassador. In a ceremony

hosted recently, beloved

Bangladeshi cricketer

Taskin Ahmed was signed

on to represent the

renowned pizza chain, a

press release said.

As the fastest bowler on

the Bangladesh national

cricket team, Taskin Ahmed

is the perfect fit to represent

Domino's guaranteed 30-

minute delivery service,

which is the fastest in

Bangladesh. This

partnership between the

cricketer and the pizza

chain is expected to bring

awareness of Domino's

swift delivery services and

delicious pizza to a wider

audience throughout the


Speaking about the

signing, cricketer Taskin

Ahmed said, "It is a

privilege to be representing

one of my favorite

restaurants on a national

ISTANBUL: The Turkish lira sank further

on Thursday as the central bank slashed

interest rates for the third consecutive

month following pressure to do so from

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reports


The bank cut its policy rate from 16 to

15 percent despite rising inflation and a

fast-depreciating currency.

The lira, the worst performing

emerging market currency in 2021, sank

to an all-time low of 10.98 against the

dollar ahead of the announcement.

It was later trading at 10.84 lira against

the dollar.

The bank decision was delayed five

minutes for an unspecified reason.

"Just a pretty ludicrous move," BlueBay

Asset Management economist Timothy

Ash said in an email to clients.

level. I'm looking forward to

growing this partnership

through lots of fun

campaigns." He added,

"People of Bangladesh need

to be aware of the fastest

pizza delivery provided by


Satender Singh Saini,

Managing Director,

Domino's Pizza Bangladesh,

said, "We have established

Domino's in Bangladesh as

a 30 minutes delivery

expert. With this brand

collaboration, Domino's

Pizza Bangladesh is

committed to follow

"Really dangerous for lira and for

Turkey," he commented.

Erdogan, an outspoken opponent of

high interest rates in order to promote

investment and economic growth, on

Wednesday pressed for rate cut.

"As long as I am in this position, I will

continue to fight against (high) interest

rates, I will continue to fight against

inflation," he said.

"We will remove this interest rate

trouble from the shoulders of the people.

We will never let our people be oppressed

by interest (rates)," he said.

In an address to his ruling AKP party

members in the parliament, Erdogan also

justified his decision with a verse from the

Koran which strictly forbids interest. "I

cannot stand by those who defend

interest," he said.

through on the promise to

deliver value through

driving innovation in

products matching the

international standard and

fulfill the promise to

provide oven baked

goodness delivered in 30


Turkish lira sinks as central bank cuts interest rate

Erdogan, who has in the past fired a

number of central bank governors, is

notorious for his unorthodox belief that

high interest rates cause inflation instead

of helping tamp it down.

Conventional economic theory states

the exact opposite is true. Erdogan once

called interest rates the "mother and

father of all evil."

The lira has lost 31 percent of its value

against the dollar since the start of the

year and the annual inflation rate has

reached nearly 20 percent-quadruple the

government target. The central bank has

lowered its policy rate by 400 basis points

to 15 percent since August.

This means Turkey has a negative real

interest rate-a policy that devalues lira

assets and gives additional incentive for

people to buy foreign currencies and gold.

thUrSDAY, NoveMber 25, 2021


ronaldo set a new benchmark for english clubs in the Champions League as the veteran striker once

more came to Manchester United's rescue in the competition on tuesday.

photo: Ap

IPL 2022 likely to

kick off on April 2

in Chennai

SportS DeSk

The Board of Control for

Cricket in India (BCCI) is

planning to start the next

edition of the Indian

Premier League (IPL) on

April 2, 2022. The fixtures

have not been finalised but

the BCCI has internally

conveyed to the key

stakeholders that April 2, in

all probability, is the date

and Chennai, in all certainty,

will be the venue, reports


As against 60 games and

eight teams hitherto, the

league, in its 15th edition,

will have 10 teams and 74

games in all and the BCCI

has discussed internally that

the length of the season will

be for over 60 days.

The final, thus, could be in

the first weekend of June,

that is either on June 4 or 5.

Each team will have 14

league games with the

current format of seven

home and away games each


Victoria salvage

draw, WA pick up

lead over Tasmania

SportS DeSk

Kurtis Patterson's 112, Jason

Sangha's 78 and James

Pattinson's five-wicket haul

highlighted the final day's

play at the SCG as the match

between New South Wales

and Victoria ended in a draw,

reports AP.

Starting the day at 76/2,

ahead by 38 runs, New South

Wales lost Moises Henriques

early in the day. But a 151-run

fourth-wicket stand involving

Patterson and Sangha, which

came in only 27 overs, helped

their side push on and post

287/7 decl. Pattinson

returned 5-71 while Victoria

were left with a target of 248.

They were 54/3 at one stage

but Peter Handscomb's 39

helped Victoria salvage a


Brief scores: New South

Wales233 (Daniel Hughes 70,

Hayden Kerr 62*; Jonathan

Merlo 2-14, Matthew Short 2-

25) & 285/7 decl. (Kurtis

Patterson 112, Jason Sangha

78; James Pattinson 5-71)

drew with Victoria271 (Travis

Dean 144*, Jonathan Merlo

64; Chris Tremain 4-52,

Tanveer Sangha 3-60) & 91/4

(Peter Handscomb 39; Jack

Edwards 1-1).

Jhye Richardson and

Cameron Gannon ended up

with seven wickets between

them to limit Tasmania to 315

after they started the day at

210/2. Jordan Silk scored a

fine 71 but lack of support

from the other end meant

that Tasmania lost eight

wickets inside 37 overs to

concede a 90-run firstinnings

lead to Western

Australia. Cameron Green

then scored an unbeaten 52

while Cameron Bancroft (41)

and Hilton Cartwright (33)

came up with useful knocks to

help Western Australia end

Day 3 at 170/4, leading by


Ronaldo helps save Man

Utd yet again

SportS DeSk

Cristiano Ronaldo set a new benchmark for

English clubs in the Champions League as

the veteran striker once more came to

Manchester United's rescue in the

competition on Tuesday, reports AP.

Ronaldo was on hand to net an opportune

lofted strike over the head of Geronimo

Rulli after a glaring error from the Villarreal


It broke the deadlock at 1-0 and leaves the

Reds safely qualified for the knock-out

phase with Jadon Sancho joining Ronaldo

on the scoresheet.

United went into Tuesday's game

knowing that, despite their woes

domestically, a draw would be good enough

to seal passage to the Champions League

last 16.

That is largely down to Ronaldo, who

netted in all four of their opening games,

including late winners against both

Villarreal and Atalanta at Old Trafford.

With just over 10 minutes to go the ex-

Real Madrid and Juventus star struck again,

after Rulli's sloppy pass out from the back

was intercepted and fell his way.

Ronaldo sent the ball back over the

Argentine keeper and into the net, finally

getting United on the scoresheet after a

tense evening in Spain.

It was his sixth goal in this year's

tournament and the fifth consecutive match

in which he has found the net, marking a

first for a player from an English club.

Cristiano's strike put United firmly on top,

and they doubled their advantage just

before the end through Sancho.

The Red Devils sit first in Group F, three

points clear of Villarreal and five ahead of

Atalanta, who play later on Tuesday against

Young Boys.

United's European exploits have proved a

welcome distraction from the toils of the

Premier League, which forced Ole Gunnar

Solskjaer out of his job at the weekend after

the club fell to Watford 4-1.

Ronaldo has also struggled to repeat his

Champions League form domestically,

scoring four times in nine games since

returning to Old Trafford and just once in

his last seven outings, a run in which United

have fallen to five defeats and won just once.

Australia opener Harris says

Paine should play in Ashes

SportS DeSk

Tim Paine has the full support of the

Australian team and deserves to keep his

place for the first Ashes Test against

England, opener Marcus Harris said

Wednesday, reports BSS.

Paine suddenly quit as Test captain last

week over a series of lewd text messages with

a female colleague in 2017 that were about to

be made public.

Harris said the news came as a shock to the

playing group who only learned about it 30

minutes before the official announcement.

But he backed Paine to come through the

scandal and said he deserved to play in the

opening Test at Brisbane on December 8 on

his wicketkeeping abilities alone.

"Yes, absolutely," Harris, who is expected

to open the innings with David Warner, said

when asked if he should be in the starting

eleven. "He's done a really good job in the

last few years under tough circumstances,

and I think you can still probably argue that

he's the best gloveman in the country.

"I know he's got the support of all the

players," he added, with most of them

personally contacting Paine in the wake of

the scandal. "Obviously Painey is a very

popular member of the group, and he was as

skipper as well. So we're looking forward to

him getting up here in the next week or so

and getting on with cricket."

Te 36-year-old Paine has made it clear he

still wants to play for Australia with selectors

needing to decide whether to cut him loose

and start afresh or show loyalty.

Working against him is a lack of match

practice after surgery in September for neck


He made his return for Tasmania's second

XI on Monday, grabbing six catches, but was

then out for a second ball duck. If he is

overlooked, Alex Carey is expected to get the


Harris wouldn't be drawn on who should

be the next captain, with Pat Cummins and

Steve Smith seen as the frontrunners.

A five-person panel will make the decision,

but it reportedly won't include coach Justin

Langer who has been told to focus on

preparing the team.

Instead the job will fall to selectors George

Bailey and Tony Dodemaide, Cricket

Australia board member Mel Jones, chief

executive Nick Hockley and chairman

Richard Freudenstein.

The diminutive Harris -- currently in

quarantine on Australia's Gold Coast -- is in

the squad after another concussion injury to

Will Pucovski and is determined to grab the

opportunity after a poor 2019 Ashes

campaign. He averaged just 9.66 from his

three Tests in England, but he has revamped

his technique, leading to a productive season

with Leicestershire.

tim paine has the full support of the Australian team and deserves to keep

his place for the first Ashes test against england.

photo: Ap

Dutch dismayed

at scrapping of

ODI Super League

SportS DeSk

The news of the ICC's quiet

discontinuation of the

Cricket World Cup Super

League, which is set to be

scrapped after its inaugural

edition, has been met with

dismay in the Netherlands,

who find themselves

effectively relegated by fiat

from the top tier of ODI

competition after just three

matches in the League,

reports AP.

Despite a winning start to

their Super League

campaign, beating Ireland

2-1 in the only series they

have played thus far, the

Dutch now seem certain to

be ejected from the top

echelon of ODI competition

after this edition is

completed regardless of onfield


The end of the ODI

League, which serves as a

qualification pathway for the

2023 World Cup and is the

first long-term structured

international ODI

competition to include all

the ICC's Full Members,

comes as a blow both to the

Netherlands, who qualified

as the 13th participant by

winning the final edition of

the World Cricket League

Championship in 2017, as

well as their Associate rivals

currently competing in CWC

League 2, the winner of

which was to have been

afforded the chance to

replace or join the Dutch in

the next now-aborted

second edition of the


Football industry embraces

crypto as Messi helps 'fan

tokens' take off

SportS DeSk

When Paris Saint-Germain signed Lionel

Messi, the salary package included

something previously unheard of for a player

-- a one-off payment, understood to be worth

around one million euros ($1.15m), made in

PSG 'fan tokens', reports BSS.

It was the result of a partnership signed by

the French giants in 2018 with Socios.com

which sees fans use a cryptocurrency called

'chiliz' to buy tokens allowing them to vote on

issues related to the club.

These issues have tended to be rather

mundane, for example, Juventus asking

what music they should play in their

stadium, but the concept has caught on. The

company has grown quickly since signing its

first partnerships with PSG and Juventus to

being involved with 56 football clubs and

around 100 sports teams worldwide, says

CEO Alexandre Dreyfus.

Messi has brought more publicity, and

Dreyfus believes the Argentinian will "set a

trend"."This is more a top-up that is never

going to replace any compensation. It is

more like a bonus, but it is a bonus that at

some point players will start to ask for,"

Dreyfus tells AFP from his office in Malta.

"We hope that in two years, during the

'mercato' (transfer window), a player will

say: 'Yes I am going to that team but they had

better give me a million dollars of fan

tokens'." Dreyfus admits the pandemic and

resulting economic crisis has benefited his

company, allowing them to multiply their


"The fact is that clubs suddenly lost 50 or

70 or 80 percent of their revenue, and they

realised: 'Hey, we have fans all over the

world, what can we sell them?'"

They now have shirt sponsorship deals

with Inter Milan and Valencia, promoting

their fan tokens.

New analysis by KPMG Football

Benchmark shows that over 40 shirt

sponsorship deals have been signed in

Europe's five biggest leagues since the

pandemic's onset.

It says Inter doubled income by switching

from Pirelli to Socios.com and a deal worth

$23.57 million. There is a mini-revolution

happening as businesses related to

cryptocurrency have started appearing on


In July, Roma announced a three-year deal

worth $14 million annually that sees their

shirts carry the name of DigitalBits, "an easyto-use

open-source blockchain used to

power consumer digital assets".

"Not only can fans witness history, but they

can now own part of it,"boasted Roma. "Get

ready to trade and collect. Join us as we step

into the future of football."

The emergence of crypto-related

businesses in football comes as countries are

introducing regulation to clamp down on

gambling sponsorship -- a ban is in place in

Spain, for example, while the UK

government is considering one.

"The door is ajar for new companies to

stick their foot in," say KPMG.

"Something has to fill the void and fan

tokens, or something which is not defined as

gambling but is gambling, are likely to be the

big ticket in town," Kieran Maguire, a

lecturer in football finance at Liverpool

University, tells AFP.

When paris Saint-Germain signed Lionel Messi, the salary package included something previously

unheard of for a player -- a one-off payment.

photo: Ap

Refreshed Pujara ready

for the grind again

SportS DeSk

After an unforgiving schedule throughout

2021, India's deputy skipper for the first Test

against New Zealand - Cheteshwar Pujara -

reckoned the break and family time he got

during the T20

WC has allowed him to rest, recharge and

jump back into the grind, reports AP.

Like most other Indian players, Pujara has

gone from bubble to bubble, playing

gruelling Tests - against England at home,

the WTC final, against England away - before

joining up with the Chennai Super Kings in

the IPL. Post that season, Pujara got his time

away from the game while his multi-format

colleagues stayed back in UAE for the World


"It's important to spend time with family

also. The break that I got now I did that,"

Pujara said two days ahead of the first Test

against New Zealand on Tuesday (November


"Then when you come back, you come

back fresh and you look forward to the

season because when you get your break, you

get to work on your fitness, you get to work

on your batting. When you come back, you're

fresh and looking forward to it. There's no

fatigue. Mentally you're fresh. And you feel

you want to play as many games as possible

so sometimes the break is really good."

Essentially, Pujara hasn't had any game

time - across formats - since the Oval Test

against England which finished on

September 6 as he remained an unused

squad member for CSK.

But India's Test No. 3 admitted it wasn't

like he was completely out of touch during

these two-odd months, as training sessions

during the IPL season kept him in shape.

India's Test specialists also hit it out in a fiveday

training camp in Mumbai last week.

"Good thing is I was part of the IPL. Yes, I

am playing after three months but I was still

part of an IPL team where I could practice, I

could train. So I am still in touch with the

game. It's not that preparation hasn't been

there. We also had a five-day camp in

Mumbai, that preparation will also help,"

Pujara admitted.

Pujara began 2021 with twin half-centuries

in Sydney and enjoyed a good tour Down

Under, including a second-innings halfcentury

in the series-clinching win at

Brisbane. He began the home series against

England in February with a 73 in Chennai

but endured an underwhelming campaign

after that, scoring just 133 runs in six

innings. His form didn't pick up in the WTC

final and the first couple of Tests in England

either, but there seemed to be a change in

approach in the next two fixtures. The

otherwise risk-averse Pujara took a handful

of them on the way to a 91, laced with 15

fours in it.

"When it comes to performing, I feel that

the mindset was a little different but when it

comes to technique, there wasn't a major

change. It was just the approach and I was a

little fearless, which helps. You don't need to

put too much pressure on yourself, and just

try and go there and enjoy the game rather

than worrying too much about what's going

around. That was my mindset during the

England series," he said, admitting that the

drying up of the 100s column doesn't have

him worried yet. Pujara's last three-figure

score in Tests was the 193 he scored against

Australia in Sydney in January 2019.

Benzema faces verdict

in French 'sex tape' trial

SportS DeSk

A French court Wednesday

issues its verdict on whether

Real Madrid striker Karim

Benzema conspired to

blackmail his former France

team-mate Mathieu

Valbuena with a sex tape, in a

case that tarnished both their

careers, reports BSS.

The allegations against

Benzema, which date to 2015,

led to him being cast out of

the French squad for five

years before being brought

back into the fold in May in

time to play in Euro 2020.

But even a guilty verdict

would not likely lead to a

further banishment, with

French football federation

president Noel Le Graet

saying Benzema could keep

his place in the national team

even if convicted.

Prosecutors are calling for

him to be given a 10-month

suspended sentence.

A conviction would

nonetheless cast a pall over a

stunning comeback to the

national team by the 33-yearold.

Benzema has scored nine

times since being called back

by France manager Didier

Deschamps for the European

Championship, making him

the fifth-highest scorer in the

history of Les Bleus.

At club level, Benzema is

also having a sensational

season, putting him in the

running for the Ballon d'Or, to

be announced on November

29th, which selects the

world's best player.

THURsDAY, NoVeMBeR 25, 2021


Hoichoi releases new

Trailer for 'Boli'


The latest Hoichoi series "Boli," starring popular

Bangladeshi actor Chanchal Chowdhury, released the

trailer on Tuesday, November 23.

The series will premiere on December 3, 2021, on the

streaming platform.

Directed by Shankha Dasgupta and based on a script

by Naseef Faruque Amin and Jaheen Faruque Amin,

the series takes place in a remote lawless island where

two families are pitted against one another in a brutal

power struggle over the resources and economic

opportunities of the island.

National Film Award winning-actor Chanchal

Chowdhury is playing the lead role, supported by a cast


Actress Bidya Sinha Mim

has been signed in for

director Abu Raihan

Jewel's upcoming

romantic film 'Pathe

Holo Dekha'. Who will

pair up with her in the

movie is yet to be


Mim signed her

contract for the film on

November 20, she

confirmed on Tuesday.

In the love story, she

will be seen playing the

character Prarthana who

is a wealthy family girl

and raised by her

guardians amidst a

restricted lifestyle and

mostly tying indoors.

One fine day, the girl

leaves her home to get

the taste of freedom.

Thus progresses the


Mim told that 'Pathe

Holo Dekha', with a pure

of "Taqdeer" famed Shohel Mondol, veteran actors

Salahuddin Lavlu and Lutfor Rahman George, Sohana

Saba, Iresh Zaker and Kazi Roksana Ruma, young

sensations Safa Kabir and Ziaul Hoque Polash and


Launched by SVF Entertainment, Hoichoi completed

its five-year journey in Bangladesh this year and

unveiled a fresh slate of five latest original series,

including "Boli," to mark the special milestone.

Elated to start the 5th Year, Vishnu Mohta, the cofounder

of hoichoi, said, "Over the course of last 4 years

we have received great responses for our content

library. As we look forward, I am really excited about

the shows and films we have planned which I hope our

audiences find equally thrilling and enticing."

Bidya Sinha

Mim signs

contract of a

new movie

romantic storyline, is

going to be the first such

project in her film career.

With the story and

script authored by

Jakaria Showkhin,

'Pathe Holo Dekha' will

be produced by Master

Communication. It is

expected to go on floors

by the endof February in

various locations of

Dhaka, Bandarban,

Sylhet, Panchagarh and


Director Abu Raihan

Jewel said that the male

lead of the film will be

announced soon.

Jewel is currently

awaiting the release of

his much-anticipated

directorial 'Adventure of

Sundarban' featuring

Pori Moni and Siam

Ahmed in the major role,

which faced delay by the


'Adventure of

Sundarban' is an

adaptation of celebrated

writer Muhammad Jafor

Iqbal's teen novel 'Ratuler

Raat Ratul-er Din'

that won the government

grants for the fiscal year


Bidya Sinha Mim

recently grabbed

headlines after securing

her spot in the list of top

taxpaying individuals for

the second consecutive

time, along with Tahsan

Khan and four other


The former Lux

Channel i Superstar got

engaged with banker

Soni Podder in

November after being in

love with him for around

six years.

On the career front,

Mim is gearing up to

complete her part of

shooting in Dipankar

Dipan's upcoming cyberthriller

'Antarjal' where

she will be playing the

role of an IT specialist.

She has 'Damal' and

'Poran' lined up for


Robi engages people with 'Purbo

Digonte Shurjo Utheche'


Robi has launched the "Bijoyer Shurey Notun Experience"

campaign for the second consecutive year.

This time, people are going to get an

opportunity to work with the legends and the

latest sensations of the music industry to

recreate the iconic song- "Purbo Digonte

Shurjo Utheche" to celebrate the Victory

Day 2021, the company said in a

statement on Sunday.

As part of the initiative, this iconic

song was selected based on the

number of votes it received from the

people through a social media polling

that took place on Robi's Facebook


Written by lyricist Gobinda Halder

and originally composed by Shomor

Das, the new edition song will be

performed by the selected participants

alongside renowned artists like Dalia Nausheen

from Shadhin Bangla Betar Kendra, Hasan from band

Ark, Zohad from Nemesis, Tanzir Tuhin from

Shironamheen, Sharmin Sultana Shumi from Chirkutt


Actress Mahiya Mahi flies to

Saudi Arabia to perform the

sacred Umrah with her

husband Kamruzzaman

Sarker on Wednesday. Mahi

said she went to Saudi Arabia

to perform Umrah. For this

she has taken 15 days off from

work. Mahi said the date has

not yet been set. I'm not on

any schedule at the moment.

She had never been to the

The Bollywood actor who is

in the news perpetually for

all the wrong reasons,

Kangana Ranaut has landed

in a soup over her

derogatory comments

against the country's

minority Sikh community.

Police in the western city

of Mumbai have filed an

FIR-the beginning of a

criminal probe-against the

actress for calling the Sikhs,

who're at the forefront of the

farmers' protests in India,

"Khalistani terrorists" on a

complaint from the

community members.

"Khalistani terrorists may

be arm twisting the

government today... But

let's not forget one woman...

The only woman prime minister who crushed them under

her shoes. No matter how much suffering she caused to this

nation... she crushed them like mosquitoes at the cost of her

own life...," she wrote on Instagram recently.

Officials said the 34-year-old actor has been booked under

Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to

outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its

religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code. "A

and Sabrina Porshi. Chirkut's drummer and music

composer Pavel Areen has been roped in again for the

new composition of the song.

Robi Chief Commercial Officer Shihab Ahmad

said, "With our countrywide 4.5G network

coverage, we always look for opportunities

to enable people to participate in and

enjoy new experiences.

Seeing the phenomenal success of

last year, we have decided to recreate

another iconic song of victory. Our

objective is to present these iconic

songs to our new generation for them

to cherish, appreciate the essence of

our victory for years to come."

Just like last year, the campaign is

now inviting people to drop their song

or dance cover or instrumental cover of

the song to Robi's Facebook Page:


They can also publicly share their creation on

their own social

media accounts using the hashtag, #NotunShureBijoyer50.

The last date of the submission of cover and instrumentals is

November 30, it added.

Actress Mahiya Mahi

flies to perform Umrah

holy city of Mecca before.

Going for the first time, the

feeling is really different.

Mahi said this on her

Facebook on Wednesday that

she was going to Saudi

Arabia. And in all the pictures

that she used while making

this announcement, the

heroine has covered herself

with a burqa and niqab her

husband Rakib with a hat.

After she executes Umrah,

she will go back to shooting.

Mahi is currently shooting

for a film directed by Iftekhar

Chowdhury. Mosharraf

Karim plays the role of the

driver and Mahi will be seen

as a passenger, also played by

Abdun Noor Sajal.

Mahi recently tied the knot

with a Gazipur-based

businessman and politician

Kamruzzaman Sarker

Rakib.The wedding ceremony

took place on Monday,

September 13.

Kangana Ranaut booked for calling

minority Sikhs 'terrorists'

probe is on," an officer said.

The FIR was filed against

Kangana days after Indian

Prime Minister Narendra

Modi announced the

scrapping of three

contentious agricultural

laws, apparently buckling

under year-long farmer


Tens of thousands of

farmers, mostly from the

Sikh community, have been

camping on the outskirts of

Delhi in protest against three

controversial agricultural

laws that they fear could hurt

their livelihoods.

Known for her versatility

and portrayal of strong

women in female-centric

films, Kangana is one of

India's highest-paid actresses. She is the recipient of four

National Film Awards.

She made her Bollywood debut in the 2006 thriller

Gangster. She also received praise for her roles in Who

Lamhe (2006), Life in a... Metro (2007) and Fashion

(2008). Queen and Tanu weds Manu are some of her other


Source: UNB

H o R o s c o p e


(March 21 - April 20) : You've decided

to let yourself go. You're tired of being

a perfectly controlled person. You

don't want to restrain your urges anymore!

Something in the air is different. You can express

your needs freely. Talk to your partner about your

desires. Your relationship can only benefit from

your current frame of mind.


(April 21 - May 21) : The present

planetary aspects could change your

approach to life. Almost compulsively,

you'll need to deepen your relationships

with the people you've recently met. You'll probably be

attracted to one of them, but be careful, as this person

might not feel the same way about you. Look on the

bright side. Why would you want to waste your energy

on someone who doesn't care about you?


(May 22 - June 21) : There might

be one aspect of your nature that

you ignore. You always need to be

the one in charge in a relationship.

It would be wise to change this. The planetary

configuration can help you do that now.

People will be much more receptive to your

natural charms if you can change your

controlling attitude!


(June 22 - July 23) : Don't let your

emotions get the better of you today.

If you can harness them, you'll have

the vital force of ten people. You can be invincible.

You can do whatever you feel like doing and no

one can stop you. If you share this energy with

others, they might end up feeling like you do - the

best in your whole life.


(July 24 - Aug. 23): Finally, today,

you'll know what it feels like to be in

charge of things. You'll even feel

that you were born to do it. In any

case, you'll beautifully coordinate the day.

You're the maestro conducting a full orchestra.

You'll tell those around you what to do all day

long. Isn't it fun to feel such personal power?


(Aug. 24 - Sept. 23): Unlike other

occasions, today you'll display your

true feelings. Even when you hide

them they're still there, deep inside

you. You may think that showing your feelings is

a sign of weakness, but today you'll show the

world that your heart isn't made of stone, and

you'll let yourself go.


(Sept. 24 - Oct. 23): Your behavior is

about to improve your love life.

You're no longer hung up about

your body. You're no longer

distracted by it during passionate moments.

You'll focus on and enjoy the here and now, and

you won't be lost in your thoughts like usual.

You're a new person about to experience the

pleasures of life.


(Oct. 24 - Nov. 22) : You'll have a lot of

stamina in the weeks to come. Your

energy will increase, thanks to the

prevailing planetary transits. You

thrive on your romantic desires and your

creativity. You should try to stay in control of

situations. Don't let your or anyone else's

emotions take over your life.


(Nov. 23 - Dec. 21): You're a sensual

person. You have a strong emotional

force. Today that energy will increase

and express itself vigorously. The

people you encounter will be astonished by your

power. You could easily seduce the entire world.

Try to keep this energy under control. You could be

thrown off balance and into a situation you might



(Dec. 22 - Jan. 20): You love to meet

new people and talk to them, but you

rarely get personally involved. You keep

a certain distance between you and the

person you're talking to. Today you'll wonder if

you're missing out on interesting experiences by

controlling your emotions so tightly, or if your

defenses are high for a good reason.


(Jan. 21 - Feb. 19) : You'll probably

feel a little lost today. You'll have to

come to a decision in the near future,

and your life will be greatly affected by

it. Should you listen to your desires? Should they be

in charge of your life? Or should you try to rein in

your feelings and take the more practical route? It's

something to think about.


(Feb. 20 - Mar. 20) : Today you'll

change your approach to

relationships. In the past, they

were based on feelings, but now

you'll decide that they should be more

rational. You might feel that this sudden

change of attitude could detract from your

happiness, but it could also lead to stronger,

more stable relationships.

THuRSDAY, NovEMBER 25, 2021


Training of primary government school teachers has been held at Pirganj in Thakurgaon. The training

was organized by Good Neighbors Bangladesh on Wednesday afternoon at the Pirganj CDP office

hall room. During the time, Peter Tuhin Bairagi, Senior Manager, Pirganj CDP, Zakirul Islam Mim

and Harunur Rashid were among others present at the occasion.

Photo: Bishnupada Roy

Maldives VP seeks support in

regularising all Bangladeshi workers

DHAKA : Noting that

unregularised workers may

be more easily exploited,

Vice President of the

Maldives Faisal Naseem has

sought support from the

relevant ministry in

regularising all Bangladeshi

workers in the Maldives,

reports UNB.

At a meeting with

Expatriates' Welfare and

Overseas Employment

Minister Imran Ahmad on

Tuesday, the Vice President

detailed the Maldives goal to

regularise all themes

expatriate workers in the

Maldives at the earliest.

They also discussed

partnerships for technical

training and skills

development programmes

as well as exchange

programmes to help

employees build critical


The Vice President first

met Salman F Rahman,

Advisor to the Prime

Minister, and discussed the

current situation in the

Maldives and Bangladesh

following the effects of the

Covid-19 pandemic on both

countries. The Vice

President highlighted the

GD-1730/21 (6x3)

Maldives' priority to

improve decentralised

healthcare, and the ensure

the need for further

technical and vocational

training as well as higher

education opportunities to

specialise in different areas

of the healthcare systems.

They also discussed

opportunities to collaborate

in the provision of

pharmaceutical products to

the Maldives.

Faisal Naseem then met

State Minister for Youth and

Sports Zahid Ahsan Russel.

They discussed plans to

initiate talks to exchange

further agreements for



development, athlete

exchanges, special training

camps for athletes and

agreements to provide

expert assistance in various

areas of the sports sector.

The State Minister praised

the performance by Dheena,

the 14-year-old Maldivian

girl who won the gold medal

for the Maldives during the

2019 Indian Ocean Island

Games (IOIG), noting the

potential of youth athletes in

the Maldives.

The Vice President

discussed the reinvigoration

of cricket in the Maldives,

stating that an all-star

Bangladeshi cricket team

coming to play in the

Maldives would draw the

attention of sports-oriented

youths and individuals

towards cricket.

He also met Education

Minister Dr Dipu Moni. The

Vice President noted during

the meeting that the

Maldives required

assistance from the

Bangladeshi government to

further improve education

opportunities to specialise in

fields such as healthcare and

engineering, and in building

technical expertise for

creating standard practices

at educational regulatory


Additionally, they

discussed scholarship

opportunities for Maldivian

students from Bangladeshi


Following the meetings

with the Advisor to the

Prime Minister and cabinet

members, the Vice President

met Salahuddin Kasem

Khan, Chairman of the

South East Asian

Foundation (SEACO),

where he accepted the letter

offering a scholarship

opportunity for two

underprivileged Maldivian

students at Chittagong


He also met Prof. Dr Md.

Sultan Mahmud, Acting

Vice-Chancellor of the

University of Asia Pacific,

and accepted the offer of a

fully- sponsored scholarship

for one Maldivian student

and a partial fee waiver for

one more Maldivian


Following this, the Vice

President met Rajiv Prasad

Shaha, the Managing

Director of Kumudini

Welfare Trust, and accepted

the Offer of Special

Scholarship for five

Maldivian students for

Bachelors of Dentistry

(BDS) and two Maldivian

students for Master of

Science (MSc) in Nursing.

The Vice President is

accompanied on his current

official visit to Bangladesh

by a delegation of cabinet

ministers and high-level

officials from the President's

Office and the government.

4.03 lakh tonnes wheat yield

expected in Rajshahi division

RAJSHAHI: More than 4.03

lakh tonnes of wheat are

expected to be produced from

around 1.33 lakh hectares of

land during the current

season in all eight districts of

the division, reports BSS.

Department of Agricultural

Extension (DAE) has set the

target of producing 3.56 lakh

tonnes of wheat from 95,210

hectares of land in four

districts of Rajshahi

Agricultural Zone, while

47,735 tonnes from 37,570

hectares in four districts of

Bogura Agricultural Zone.

The DAE has been

disbursing seeds and

fertilizers free of cost among

67,000 small and marginal

farmers for wheat farming

under the government's

agricultural incentive

programme in the division so

that they can boost wheat


Rafiqul Islam, a

marginalized farmer of

Fulbari village under

Godagari Upazila, said he is

very happy after getting the

incentives in proper time.

"I have sown wheat seed on

one bigha of land timely after

getting the seed and fertilizer

incentives," Islam said,

adding that the time prior to

5th December is considered as

appropriate period for sowing

wheat seed.

Various other government

and non-government entities

have adopted diversified steps

to make farming a total

success in the region as it's

suitable for the crop for its

water-saving and drought

tolerant features.

Barind Multipurpose

Development Authority

(BMDA), an ever-largest

irrigation providing state-run

organization in the country's

northwest region, has full

preparation to promote the

water-saving crop in the

region to mitigate its waterstressed


Why the dates

of Jashore are

in danger

JASHORE : In Jashore's

Khajura area, dozens of date

palm trees sway gently in the

winter wind.

A fearless Faisal prepares to

scale few such trees with

extension buckets to bring

down the fruit of his labourdate

sap that's taken fresh or

processed into jaggery, a

winter delicacy in Bangladesh,

reports UNB.

But this date palm climber,

who does his job with

deceptive ease using only a

rope-like harness looped

around his feet, does not want

his children to learn his rare


"Already many date farmers

have sold their trees due to

scarcity of climbers. We want

our children to study and bag

a decent job," says Faisal. "Of

course, some did sell their

trees to fight poverty."

Also, with the number of

trees declining in the district,

another climber Sadiq

Hossain says the dictum-

Jashorer josh, khejurer rosh"

(Jashore's pride is its date

syrup) -- may soon become a

proverb of the past.

"Two decades ago, this area

was dotted with date trees.

Over these 20 years, the

situation has changed. Date

palm syrup is increasingly

becoming scarce," he claims.

The tree secretes the sap

only during the winter

months, November to


DHAKA : Bangladesh's gross domestic

product (GDP) growth rate, aka

economic growth, stood at 5.4 percent

in a provisional estimate for the 2020-

21, using a new or rather updated

calculation of GDP with a newer, more

relevant base year, reports UNB.

The government recently finalized

2015-16 as the new base year to

calculate (GDP), and the principal

statistical agency, the Bangladesh

Bureau of Statistics (BBS) has been

working to implement it. All national

accounts will from now on be based on

this new base year. Previously the

government was using a base year of

2005-6. In Bangladesh, the usual

practice was to revise GDP base year

GD-1729/21 (8x4)

Zinc rich rice production

needs to be trengthened:

Md. Yusuf Rana

Md. Yusuf Rana Mandal,

Additional Director,

Department of Agricultural

Extension, Bogura said that

production and marketing

of zinc rich rice should be

strengthened to meet the

nutritional needs. The

Department of Agriculture

is working to motivate

stakeholders in the

production and marketing

of zinc-rich rice, a press

release said.

He added that it will be

possible to meet the

nutritional needs through

this rice production. He

added that zinc-rich rice

production in the region had

started several years ago.

Farmers have responded to

this paddy production.

There is no substitute for

producing zinc-rich rice to

meet nutritional needs.

Md. Yusuf Rana Mandal

said this while addressing a

workshop on "Biofortified

Zinc Paddy Production and

Increase Consumption"

organized by Harvest Plus

Bangladesh at the

convention hall of Hotel

Mom Inn in Bogura on


Harvest Plus Bangladesh

Country Manager Dr.

Khairul Bashar chaired the

occasion while among

others, Md. Delwar

Hossain, Joint-Director of

Bangladesh Agriculture

Development Corporation

(BADC) Rangpur and

Rajshahi Region, Deputy-

Country Manager of

Harvest Plus Bangladesh

Dr. MA Salek, Bogura

District Food Control

Officer Mohammad

Ashrafuzzaman, TMSS

Board Advisor Ayesha

Begum were also present at

the occasion.

It was informed at the

workshop that cultivation of

two varieties of zinc rich rice

has started in the country.

Another variety of paddy

will soon reach the farmer

stage. Among the farmers in

North Bengal, interest in

cultivating zinc-rich Bri-64

and Bri-64 varieties of

paddy has increased.

Md. Yusuf Rana Mandal, Additional Director, Department of Agricultural

Extension, Bogura as the chief guest addressed a workshop on

"Biofortified Zinc Paddy Production and Increase Consumption" in the

district on Wednesday.

Photo: Courtesy

Rebased GDP now official in national accounting

every 10 years. The last time it was done

was in 2013, when the base year was

changed from 1995-96 to 2005-06.

Rebasing is important in emerging

economies with large informal

sectors such as Bangladesh to capture

more and more sections of the

informal economy under formal

reporting of national income, besides

new or budding sectors that are

growing fast. The new estimate of

GDP comprises 21 broad sectors

instead of the previous 15.

A revised report of BBS shows the

GDP of FY 2020-21 where over 20

crops of agriculture, emerging services

like Uber, Pathao, household waste

collection, real estate and construction

sector have been added as new.

The GDP growth in the fiscal year

2019-20 was 3.45 percent. At that time

the total GDP was Tk26, 501 billion,

BBS data found.

The BBS has found this picture of

growth in determining the growth of

the last financial year from the base

year 2015-16.

The information was presented to the

Prime Minister at the ECNEC meeting

on Tuesday.

The planning minister said the net

of various products as GDP has

expanded under the new base year.

As a result, per capita income has

increased. At the same time, GDP

growth has increased.

Thursday, Dhaka: November 25, 2021; Agrahyan 10, 1428 BS; Rabius-Sani 19, 1443 Hijri

Bangladesh's Golden Jubilee of Independence

PM seeks general discussion

in Parliament

DHAKA : Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina on Wednesday placed a proposal

for holding a general discussion

in Parliament on the occasion of the

Golden Jubilee of the Independence,

reports UNB.

She placed the proposal under rule 147

of the Rules of Procedure where MPs

from the treasury and opposition benches

will take part in the discussion before

passing the proposal on Thursday.

In her proposal, the Leader of the

House said the celebration of the

Golden Jubilee of Independence is a

glorious chapter in Bangalee's national

life as Bangladesh is marching forward

at an irresistible speed. "Bangladesh is

now a 'development surprise' in the


She mentioned that Bangladesh's

independence came through the path

of Language Movement from 1948 to

1952, 1966 Six Points movement, 1969

Mass Upsurge under the leadership of

Father of the Nation Bangabandhu

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, his historic

speech of March 7, March 25 genocide,

declaration of independence by

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur

Rahman in the early morning of March

26, the formation of the Mujibnagar

government on April 17 and the sacrifice

of 3 million great martyrs and

200,000 mothers and sisters.

The final victory came on December

16, 1971 with the surrender of the

Pakistani army, the Leader of the

House said.

During the adoption and implementation

of various plans aimed at

rebuilding the war-torn country, on

August 15, 1975 era, a darkness

descended on the national life, the

Prime Minister told the House.

The President of Bangladesh, Father

of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh

Mujibur Rahman and his family were

brutally murdered. Inside the prison,

four national leaders were assassinated,

power was seized illegally, and the

constitution was shattered through

military decrees while democracy and

the rule of law were demolished.

After the formation of the government

in 1996, Hasina said, the trial of

Bangabandhu's assassination was

Rumour mill goes into

overdrive over Khaleda's


DHAKA : BNP Secretary General

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on

Wednesday alleged that a quarter is

spreading rumours over Khaleda Zia's

health condition with an evil intention,

reports UNB.

"These are absolutely rumours and

baseless. I'll let you know about Madam's

(Khaleda's) condition if you directly phone

me," he said as journalists drew his attention

to various speculations on Khaleda's

latest health condition.

Speaking at a press conference at BNP's

Nayapaltan central office, he also said

some rumours are still there even after he

briefed journalists about their party chief's

latest condition on Tuesday night. "I think

any quarter is spreading these with malicious


The rumour mill went into overdrive on

social media since Tuesday night that

Khaleda's conditions deteriorated seriously,

creating confusion among many BNP

leaders and activists and common people.

Fakhrul, however, said Khaleda is still in

a very critical stage. "Doctors are monitoring

her condition properly and treating

her accordingly. They're doing their best."

Asked about another speculation over

countrywide 'red alert' over the bad news

on Khaleda's condition, the BNP leader

said he did not find its basis as the government

has so far issued no notification in

this regard.

The BNP leader alleged that the government

pushed their party chief towards

death by not providing her any treatment

after sending her to jail in "false" cases.

Recalling Khaleda's many contributions

to the country and its people, he said the

government is depriving such a leader of

availing of the scope to go abroad for

advanced treatment.

"She is in dire need of medical treatment

abroad...there's no legal barrier for the

government to allow our leader to go

abroad," Fakhrul said.

He said the government has the authority

to send Khaleda abroad anytime considering

her current condition. "The country's people

now believe that the government does not

want Khaleda Zia to remain alive. That's why

they're not taking any step for her treatment

outside the country."

Khaleda, a 76-year-old former prime

minister, was readmitted to Evercare

Hospital on 13 November, six days after

she had returned home from the hospital.

The BNP chief's physicians said she has

been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis,

diabetes, critical cardiac, kidney ophthalmological

and dental complications. The

hemoglobin level in her blood has also


On behalf of the family, Khaleda's

younger brother, Shamim Iskander, submitted

an application to the Home

Ministry on 11 November urging the government

to allow her to go abroad for better


Law Minister Anisul Huq, however,

recently said the BNP chairperson first has

to make a fresh application by going back

to jail to go abroad for treatment.

held, while the trial of the war criminals


Through the implementation of the

vision 2021, Bangladesh has gained

recognition as a developing country

coming out of the least developed

country status.

The proposal stated that Digital

Bangladesh is a reality today. There

has been successes in every field of

human resource development, including

poverty reduction, attainment of

food self-sufficiency, 100 percent electrification

across the country, construction

of houses for nine lakh

homeless people, social security activities,

women's education and empowerment,

development in disaster management,

student stipends, prevention

of maternal and child mortality rates.

There has been marked progress in

economic growth, remittances and

reserves as Bangladesh today ranks

41st in the world economy, the Prime

Minister said.

The Delta Plan 2100 has been formulated

to deal with the adverse

effects of climate change, she said.

Bangladesh receives

1.8 mn Pfizer vaccine

jabs from US

DHAKA : Bangladesh has received 1.8

million more Pfizer vaccine jabs donated

by the United States as part of its broader

commitment to lead the global Covid-

19 response.

The new doses will help the government

of Bangladesh continue expanding

the Covid-19 vaccinations for young people

ages 12 and up and reach its goal of

vaccinating 40 percent of the eligible

population by the end of 2021, said the

US Embassy in Dhaka on Wednesday.

The donation of Pfizer jabs is part of

the broader commitment by the United

States to lead the global Covid-19

response by providing one billion doses

of Pfizer vaccine doses around the worldfree

of charge-through 2022, it said.

The United States is also working closely

with Bangladesh to support the national

Covid-19 vaccination campaign and

strengthen the government's response to

the pandemic.

The US has provided training to over

6,800 healthcare professionals to help

them safely administer vaccines and

donated 18 cold-chain freezer trucks and

support for health facilities to properly

store and transport Covid-19 vaccines

across the country.

In addition to vaccine donations and

support, the US government has contributed

over $121 million in Covid-related

assistance. This assistance has saved

lives and treated individuals infected

with Covid-19, strengthened testing

capacity and monitoring, enhanced case

management and infection prevention

and control practices, and improved the

supply chain and logistics management

systems, said the Embassy.

Workers of various garment factories set fire to a road in Mirpur's Gol Chattar on Wednesday

morning demanding salary hike.

Photo : Star Mail

Bury differences for nat’l unity

to build Bangabandhu's Sonar

Bangla : President Hamid

DHAKA : President Abdul Hamid has

called for a strong national unity against

communalism and undemocratic practice

in order to realize Bangabandhu's

dream of transforming Bangladesh into

'Sonar Bangla' or Golden Bengal, reports


The President was speaking at the

inaugural of the two-day special session

of Parliament to mark the Golden Jubilee

of the independence of Bangladesh.

He urged the political parties regardless

of their ideologies to follow the ideals

of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur

Rahman, the Father of the Nation, in

building a culture of tolerance and mutual

respect and take the country ahead.

He also called upon all to accelerate the

democratic journey of the nation and

socio-economic development of the

country irrespective of caste, creed and

religion burying the differences on the

glorious occasion of the Golden Jubilee

of independence.

The President said every effort is being

made to establish good governance in the

country. The Anti-Corruption Commission,

the National Human Rights Commission

and the Information Commission are

actively discharging their responsibilities.

The rule of law has been established by

speedily disposing of verdicts in

Bangabandhu murder case, war crimes

and other sensational cases including

trial of crimes against humanity, he said.

He added that the government's 'Zero

Tolerance' policy aimed at curbing corruption,

drug addiction, militancy, terrorism

and communalism has brought

relief to the country, which is being lauded


Annual performance agreements,

grievance redressal management, citizens'

charter and integrity strategy are

being implemented to bring every government

institution under transparency

and accountability for ensuring good

governance, he also added.

Hamid also asked political leaders, civil

society and stakeholders, irrespective of

party affiliation, to work together to

establish good governance.

He said, "We need to ensure nutrition

and food security, massive industrialization,

economic integration, developing

infrastructure and building a merit-based

society to tackle climate change effects."

To this end, everyone must work

relentlessly, he added.

He said, "Bangladesh needs to continue

the ongoing development trend by utilizing

the Fourth Industrial Revolution to

meet the challenge of transition to a

developing country."

Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin

Sharmin Chaudhury presided over the

special session where Leader of the

House and Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina was also present.

Locally-made TV dominating

country's market: Survey

DHAKA : Locally-manufactured products

are dominating country's television-market,

holding 52 per cent of its total market

share whereas, just a decade ago,

Bangladesh was almost fully dependent on

imported television to meet its demand.

Of the 52 per cent, Walton holds a lion's

share of 25-27 per cent while Singer (9%)

Minister (4%,), Vision (3%), Jamuna

(2%), Nova (2%) and other local manufacturers

occupy the rest percentage, according

to a survey, conducted by Marketing

Watch Bangladesh (MWB), A Dhaka

University based non-profit organisation.

The findings of the research were

unveiled yesterday at a press briefing held

at the conference room of Dhaka

University Marketing department.

The research team was consisted of

Marketing department chairman and also

co-founder of the MWB Prof Mizanur

Rahman and another MWB co-founder

Associate Prof Md Nazmul Hossain.

The study said the size of Bangladesh

television in 2020 reached $636 million

and is expected to grow to $687 million

in 2021. Home-made products will be

able to occupy 70-80 per cent of total

market share very soon, if the grey market

can be brought under control

through taking proper action and formulating

rules and regulations as it has been

reaming as a concerning issue for whole

industry, said the study.

The grey market products-holding estimated

market share of 20 per cent- consist

of counterfeit (sticker-based) Chinese

products and brands coming through

unauthorized channels by false declaration

which make the active players in the

industry very much uncomfortable and a

bit scared.

The study said local brands are now getting

popularity in the country's television

market as a result of increased investment

of some home-grown companies, especially

the giant Walton.

Currently, Walton TV is the market

leader in the industry, holding more than

25-26% market share while the market is

highly fragmented, competitive, and saturated

as a wide range of international

brands have also penetrated the market

and made the market intensely competitive

along with some counterfeit (stickerbased)

Chinese brands.

Among all the international and local

players, Samsung is highly likely to emerge

as a potential competitor in the upcoming

years because of its special focus on R and

D and competitive advantage of TV production

in the domestic plant.


Vice President

Faisal Naseem

called on

Prime Minister

Sheikh Hasina

at Ganobhaban

on Wednesday.

Photo: PBA

BNP has no way

to seek vote to

people : Quader

DHAKA : Road Transport and Bridges

Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday said

as a political party, BNP has no right to

seek votes from people.

"BNP could not create any image as an

organised political party and that is why

it has no right to seek people's

votes…they are trying to create fresh

issues after its failure in waging movement

and elections as well," he said.

Quader, also the general secretary of

the ruling Awami League, made the comments

after virtually joining the triennial

conference of the AL unit of Baraigram

upazila in Natore from his official residence


Calling all the ruling party leaders and

activists to be careful about evil forces,

the ruling party leader said "BNP is trying

to create anarchy in league with evil

forces being envious of development

activities of the country. "So, we all have

to remain alert against these evil forces ",

he added.

Mentioning that BNP's politics is based

on media, the minister said BNP's convicted

fugitive leader Tarique Rahman is

continuously instigating evil forces for

creating anarchy in the country as he

stays in London.

Helena Jahangir gets

bail in DSA case, may

walk of jail soon

DHAKA : A Dhaka Court on Wednesday

granted bail to Helena Jahangir, a businessperson-turned

politician, in a case

filed under Digital Security Act clearing

the last obstacle against her release from

jail. Dhaka's Addl Chief Metropolitan

Magistrate Abu Bakar Siddiq passed the

order after hearing her bail petition,

reports UNB.

Since she got bail in all other cases

filed against her since her arrest on July

29 last year, Helena will be freed once

the bail orders reach the jail authorities,

court sources said.

Helena earlier got bail in cases relating

to fraud, illegal possession of narcotics

and violation of telecommunication law.

On the night of July 29, members of

Rapid Action Battalion-1 (Rab) arresed

Helena from her Gulshan residence,

four days after she was removed from

her post of a women affairs sub-committee

of the ruling Awami League.

9th anniversary of

Tazreen Fashion

tragedy observed

SAVAR : The 9th anniversary of Tazreen

Fashion tragedy in which at least 114

workers died on November 24, 2012,

was observed yesterday at the factory

premises in Narshinghapur of Ashulia.

Marking the day, different local labour

organizations thronged in front of the

factory with bunch of flowers showing

tribute to the deceased apparel workers

recalling the tragic day.

The fire incident at Tazreen Fashion

Factory under Toba Group in Ashulia

Industrial zone killed 114 workers and

injured at least 300 people.

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