27-04-2021

tbtbangla

tueSday

DhaKa : april 27 , 2021; Baishakh 14, 1428 BS; Ramadan 14,1442 hijri

www.thebangladeshtoday.com; www.bangladeshtoday.net

Regd.No.Da~2065, Vol.19; N o. 21 ; 12 Pages~Tk.8.00

InternatIonal

Russia launches new

batch of UK telecom

satellites into space

>Page 7

art & Culture

Salauddin, Tisha's

'Idur Biral' to

air soon

>Page 10

SportS

Comeback queen ash Barty

savours ‘phenomenal’

week in Stuttgart

>Page 9

Eid Jamaat at

mosques instead

of Eidgahs

TBT RepoRT

The government has asked the

authorities concerned to hold

Eid Jamaat (congregation) of

the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr at

nearby mosques instead of

Eidgahs or open space aiming

to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The Ministry of Religious

Affairs on Monday in a circular

also asked the Muslim devotees

not to hug each other and

shake hands after Eid-ul-Fitr

prayers. If necessary, the

authorities concerned are also

asked to arrange several Eid

Jamaats at a single mosque.

According to the circular,

carpets could not be rolled out

on mosque floors for Eid

prayers. The mosques must be

cleaned using disinfectant

water before prayers. The

devotees could bring their

respective prayer mats with

them.

Soap or hand sanitizers must

be put in places designated for

ablution and entrances of the

mosques, the circular said.

Every devotee must come to

the mosques after performing

ablution at their respective

homes. All the devotees are

urged to wash their hands for

at least 20 minutes during their

ablutions. The devotees must

use masks while offering Eid

prayers and they cannot use

caps and prayer mats

(Jainamaz) kept at the

mosques, the circular said.

Zohr

04:10 AM

12:00 PM

04:31 PM

06:27 PM

07:46 PM

5:27 6:26

RAMADAn

Ramadan Date Sehri Iftar

14 April 27 04:03 AM 06:29 PM

15 April 28 04:02 AM 06:29 PM

16 April 29 04:02 AM 06:30 PM

No passengers or transport entered in the country from india through Burimari landport

yesterday.

photo : Star mail

Virus 'swallowing' people in India

crematoriums overwhelmed

NEW DELHI : With life-saving oxygen in

short supply, families are left on their own to

ferry people sick with COVID-19 from hospital

to hospital in search of treatment as

India is engulfed in a devastating surge of

infections. Too often, their efforts end in

mourning.

On social media and in television footage,

desperate relatives plead for oxygen outside

hospitals or weep in the street for loved ones

who died waiting for treatment.

One woman mourned the death of her

younger brother, aged 50. He was turned

away by two hospitals and died waiting to be

seen at a third, gasping after his oxygen tank

ran out and no replacements were to be had.

She blamed Prime Minister Narendra

Modi's government for the crisis.

"He has lit funeral pyres in every house,"

she cried in a video shot by The Caravan

magazine. For the fourth straight day, India

on Sunday set a global daily record of new

coronavirus infections, spurred by an insidious

new variant that emerged here. The

surge has undermined the government's

premature claims of victory over the pandemic.

The 349,691 new infections brought

India's total to more than 16.9 million,

behind only the United States. The Health

Ministry reported another 2,767 deaths in

the past 24 hours, pushing India's fatalities

to 192,311.

The death toll could be a huge undercount,

as suspected cases are not included,

and many COVID-19 deaths are being

attributed to underlying conditions.

The unfolding crisis is most visceral in

India's overwhelmed graveyards and crematoriums,

and in heartbreaking images of

gasping patients dying on their way to hospitals

due to lack of oxygen.

Burial grounds in the capital New Delhi

are running out of space. Bright, glowing

funeral pyres light up the night sky in other

badly hit cities.

In the central city of Bhopal, some crematoriums

have increased their capacity from

dozens of pyres to more than 50. Yet there

are still hours-long waits.

At the city's Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat

crematorium, workers said they cremated

more than 110 people on Saturday, even as

government figures in the entire city of 1.8

million put the total number of virus deaths

at just 10. "The virus is swallowing our city's

people like a monster," said Mamtesh

Sharma, an official at the site.

The unprecedented rush of bodies has

forced the crematorium to skip individual

ceremonies and exhaustive rituals that

Hindus believe release the soul from the

cycle of rebirth.

"We are just burning bodies as they

arrive," said Sharma. "It is as if we are in the

middle of a war."

The head gravedigger at New Delhi's

largest Muslim cemetery, where 1,000 people

have been buried during the pandemic,

said more bodies are arriving now than last

year. "I fear we will run out of space very

soon," said Mohammad Shameem.

Bangladesh charts 9m new

social media users

DHAKA : A study has demonstrated the

exceptional growth of social media in

Bangladesh as more than 900,000 users

joined the platform between 2020 and

2021.

The total number of social media users in

the country is 45million, according to The

Digital Report, a report published in

February by We Are Social.

The no of social media users is equivalent

to 27.2 percent of the total population of

Bangladesh, the report reveals.

There were 47.61 million internet users in

Bangladesh in January 2021, increased by

7.7 million (+19%) between 2020 and 2021,

reveals the report.

Internet penetration in the country stood

at 28.8% in January 2021.

According to the report, there were 165.8

million mobile connections in Bangladesh

in January 2021, which increased by 1.7 million

(+1.1%) between January 2020 and

January 2021. The number of mobile connections

in Bangladesh in January2021 was

equivalent to 100.2% of the total population,

it said.

Internet penetration in the country stood

at 28.8% in January 2021.

The figures bring the total number of

users on social media worldwide to 4.33 billion,

or more than half of the world's total

population (7.85 billion).

Among other South Asian countries,

Pakistan also saw an increase of nine million

users during the time between 2020 and

2021.

In India, 47 million people started using

social networks between 2020 and 2021.

In Myanmar, the number of social media

users increased by seven million during the

time, the report states.

Being the most internet penetrated country,

in China alone, new users on social networks

have reached 85 million in the last

twelve months.

On average, more than 1.4 million users

per day joined social media in the past year,

according to the report.

Covid-19

Bangladesh sees

97 deaths

DHAKA : Bangladesh on Monday

reported 97 more coronavirus-related

deaths and 3,306 new cases as the

country grapples with a second and

deadlier wave of the virus.

The daily infection rate dropped to

12.82 percent from Monday's 13.33

percent but the mortality rate rose to

1.49 percent. So far 748,628 cases and

11,150 deaths have been confirmed, the

Directorate General of Health Services

said in a handout.

The number of recoveries now stands

at 661,693 including 4,241 new cases.

This means, 88.39 percent of the

patients have recovered.

Bangladesh has so far tested

5,371,287 samples, including 25,786 in

the last 24 hours.

Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus

cases on March 8 last year and

the first death on the 18th of that

month. In the last 26 days, Bangladesh

has seen 2,104 Coronavirus-related

deaths and 133,851 new cases, making

it the most fatal month since the outbreak

began last year.

The virus claimed 568 lives in

January this year, 281 in February and

638 in March. Dhaka division remains

the worst-hit region, registering most of

the deaths - 6,514 or 58.42 percent.

Sixty-three of the 97 deaths reported

today are from Dhaka division and 12

from Chattogram division.

Six each died in Khulna, Sylhet, four

in Rajshahi, three in Barishal, two in

Rangpur and one in Mymensingh divisions.

Lockdown extends

for another week

Shafiqul iSlam

The government has decided to extend

the current ban on coronavirus infection

for another seven days. According

to the new directive this restriction will

remain in force till May 5. In the last

announcement, the ban was supposed

to be active till April 28. However, even

though shops and shopping malls are

open during the ban, public transport

will remain closed. State Minister for

Public Administration Farhad

Hossain said this on Monday (April

26). He reflected that the decision to

extend the ongoing ban for another

week is to obviate the spread of Covid-

19. The notification may be issued on

Tuesday (April 27).

Although limited restrictions were

put in place from 5 to 11 April to combat

the second wave of coronavirus, it

was not very effective. Later, a oneweek

strict ban started from April 14.

To enforce this, the government's 13-

point restriction says that no one can

go out of the house without urgent

need (buying medicines and daily

necessities, medical services, burial or

funeral and going for vaccination with

vaccination card). Meanwhile, at a

meeting on April 18, the National

Technical Advisory Committee on

Covid-19 recommended extending the

ongoing ban by one more week. Later

which has been extends till April 28. Of

these, shops and shopping malls have

been open for a period of time since

last Sunday (April 25).

Chemical warehouses

Old Dhakaites still living

with ticking time bombs

DHAKA : In Old Dhaka, known for its

food, centuries-old buildings and narrow

alleys, people are living with

"bombs" in the form of hundreds of

chemical warehouses that pepper this

historic neighbourhood.

Fires at such godowns, which lack safety

measures, have killed scores over the

years. Eleven years after Prime Minister

Sheikh Hasina ordered the relocation of

the warehouses following the death of

about 100 people in Nimtoli fire, they are

yet to be shifted largely because of vehement

opposition by traders. Another 78

lives were lost in the infamous

Chawkbazar fire but the tragic deaths did

not bring about any change.

After the latest fire incident that started

at a chemical storehouse on April 23

at Armanitola killing four people, the

government is now saying that these

godowns will be relocated permanently

to Munshiganj within 2022.

Industries Secretary KM Ali Azam

told UNB that preparing a 308-acre

plot for relocation is going on in

Munshiganj. About 2,000 warehouses

can be set up there.

For now, 53 warehouses will be shifted

to Tongi temporarily - seven of them

have already been relocated. Another

54 will be moved to Shyampur - 19 have

already been shifted and the rest will be

relocated within three months, the secretary

said. Asked about such storehouses

in Dhaka, he said available

information put the number at around

2,000. "We can relocate them permanently

to Munshiganj within 2022,"

Secretary Azam said.

A committee, headed by the Cabinet,

secretary supervises the relocation of

chemical warehouses and all aspects of

this trade, he said. The committee has

representatives from Rajuk, Industries

Ministry, Home Ministry and other

related ministries.

This committee also oversees licences

for the traders. Dhaka South City

Corporation's Chief Executive Officer

and newly-appointed Rajuk Chairman

ABM Aminullah Noori told UNB that

the Industries Ministry had undertaken

two projects to relocate the chemical

warehouses from Old Dhaka. The projects

are in Munshiganj and Tongi.

The one in Tongi is expected to be

completed within this year. "Once

they're ready, all the chemical warehouses

will be moved out of Old

Dhaka," he said. He, however, did not

give a timeframe for completion of the

projects. "We're optimistic about relocating

them very soon," he said.

Aminullah said the unplanned

warehouses of Old Dhaka are a longtime

issue. "It can't be resolved without

the cooperation of local traders

and residents. Moving the warehouses

took time because of the local

traders' opposition," he said, adding

that the government is continuing its

efforts and is optimistic that godowns

will be relocated soon.

a person is sleeping in the shade of a tree to get relief from the heat. The picture is taken on monday from

Suhrawardy udyan in Dhaka.

photo : Star mail


tuesday, april 27, 2021

2

Chinese Defense Minister to

visit Dhanmondi-32 Tuesday

DHAKA : Chinese State Councilor and

Defense Minister Wei Fenghe is

scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on Tuesday

morning highlighting the "steady and

rapid progress" in Bangladesh-China

military cooperation in recent years.

The Chinese Defense Minister will

arrive at 10am and visit Bangabandhu

Memorial Museum in Dhanmondi-32 to

pay homage to Father of the Nation

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,

a senior official told UNB.

The Chinese Defense Minister will

meet President Abdul Hamid at

Bangabhaban at 3pm.

He will also have meeting with

Bangladesh Chief of Army Staff General

Aziz Ahmed who visited China in

November, 2019.

General Fenghe was appointed to head

China's Ministry of National Defense at

the 13th National People's Congress on

March 19, 2018. The visit is taking place

when Bangladesh and China are in

discussion on COVID-19 vaccine

cooperation.

Earlier, Chief of Army Staff of Indian

Army Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane

visited Bangladesh this month.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has

recently said he is willing to work with

Bangladesh to further connect their

development strategies, deepen practical

cooperation across the board, and strive

for new outcomes from the Bangladesh-

China Strategic Partnership of

Cooperation.

"China and Bangladesh are close

neighbors and traditional friends. In

recent years, China-Bangladesh relations

enjoy a sound momentum of

development, with strategic mutual trust

being strengthened and cooperation

under the Belt and Road Initiative

pressing ahead," he said in a message to

his Bangladesh counterpart Abdul

Hamid. China's Minister of Defence

Fenghe is likely to go to Colombo, Sri

Lanka from Dhaka on Tuesday before

heading towards Beijing.

Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Minister

Wang Yi will have a virtual meeting with

his counterparts in five South Asian

countries including Bangladesh on

Tuesday.

They will discuss issues related to

"Emergency COVID-19 Vaccine Storage

Facility" to help South Asian countries

during emergency situation.

Bangladesh, in principle, has agreed on

a Chinese proposal to set up an

"Emergency COVID-19 Vaccine Storage

Facility" to ensure quick supply of

COVID-19 vaccine among the South

Asian countries during any emergency

need.

Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and

Pakistan, which are not producing Covid

vaccines, have also received a similar

proposal from China and agreed on it.

"We said we don't have any objection.

We, in principle, like it (proposal).

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TUeSDAY, APRIL 27 2021

3

Severe heatwave sweeping

over Bangladesh

DHAKA : Severe heatwave is

sweeping over the regions of

Rajshahi, Jashore, Kushtia

and Khulna. Besides, mild

to moderate heat wave is

sweeping over Dhaka,

Mymensingh, Chattogram,

Rangpur, Sylhet and

Barishal divisions and

remaining part of Rajshahi

and Khulna divisions and it

may continue, said the Met

Office in a release issued

Monday morning.

The Met Office also

forecasted that day

temperature may rise

slightly and night

temperature may remain

nearly unchanged over the

DHAKA : All necessary initiatives have been

taken to install a dedicated medical oxygen

generation plant at Chandpur General

Hospital to meet the increasing demand for

life-saving gas amid Covid-19 surge across

the district.

The plant, funded by UNICEF, will have

the capacity to supply 20 lakh millilitre of

oxygen. The project will be implemented by

Spectra International, under the direct

supervision of the Health Ministry.

Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni is also

providing her assistance and guidance

country, reports UNB.

Weather may remain dry

with temporary partly

cloudy sky over the country,

it said.

"Rain/Thunder showers is

likely at the beginning

period and day temperature

may fall by (1-4) degrees

Celsius over the country," it

added.

Bangladesh on Sunday

recorded the highest

temperature in seven years

as it swelters under a severe

heatwave.

The country's maximum

temperature was recorded at

40.2 degrees Celsius at

Rajshahi, the highest in the

country since 2014, and the

minimum temperature was

recorded jointly at 22.2

degrees Celsius at

Netrokona and Sylhet.

Dhaka experienced the

hottest day in eight years,

with the highest

temperature recorded at

39.5 degrees Celsius. In

2014, Chuadanga recorded a

temperature of 42 degrees

Celsius. In the same year,

the maximum temperature

in Dhaka also climbed to 40

degrees Celsius.

In the last two decades, the

highest temperature in

Bangladesh was 42.2

degrees Celsius in Jashore.

Chandpur General Hospital

to get oxygen plant

implementing the project, hospital

Supervisor Dr Md Habib Ul Karim told

UNB.

"At present, we have to bring oxygen

cylinders from Cumilla as per the demand.

Access time and money is spent in the

process.

This plant will meet the current demand in

the district as well as will keep a reserve for

5/6 months," said the hospital super.

UNICEF in association with Spectra

International will install oxygen plants in 25

districts across the country, he added.

On Sunday, Iftar distributed among the students at Rayer Bazar Anandamichil UCLC in

Mohammadpur area under Ultra Poor Slum Dwellers Project run by Dhaka Ahsania Mission. The

Iftar distribution is held with the financial support of the members of the CMC Committee of UCLC

and the local people.

Photo : Courtesy

Radio programme claims

to reunite son with

parents after 30 years

CHANDPUR : Chandpur'sMasud, who went

missing while visiting Dhaka as a child, has

reunited with his parents recently in a radio

reality show, after 30years, reports UNB.

Radio jockey Kibria's programme "Apon

Thikana" helped reconnect the family.

Masud first appeared on the show to tell

the story of his life and his family members

happened to come across it. Next, his family

did all they could to contact Kibria and

Masud.

After a process of verification,Kibria

helped the family come together again after a

DHAKA : The government will provide

Taka 2 lakh to each deceased and Taka

50,000 to injured workers' families of

Bashkhali under-construction power

plant as financial assistance.

State Minister for Labour and

Employment Begum Monnujan Sufian

formally announced the financial

assistance, a statement said

"The incident which occurred in

separation of30 years. Both the son and

parents broke into tears after meeting each

other.

Chandpur'sMasud came to his uncle's

house in Dhaka with his family in 1991.A day

after coming to the capital, he had lost his

way while playing in the street with his

cousins and could not find his way home.

And it took30 years for his family to find

him as he could not be found despite

advertisement on all newspapers and radios,

and broadcasting of loudspeakers through

the streets of the city.

Bashkhali was very much tragic and

painful," said the state minister, adding

that there is a provision of providing

financial assistance to the helpless

workers from the Labour welfare fund.

Maximum financial assistance of Taka

2 lakh for any accidental death of any

workers and Taka 50,000 for the families

of any injured workers could be provided

as per the labour law, she said.

Quader calls for

standing by people

amid COVID-19

DHAKA : Awami League

General Secretary Obaidul

Quader yesterday urged all

to stand by people from their

respective positions amid

the ongoing coronavirus

crisis.

He came up with the call

while exchanging views with

officials of Cumilla Road

Zone of Bangladesh Road

Transport Corporation

(BRTC) and Bangladesh

Road Transport Authority

(BRTA)

through

videoconferencing from his

official residence here.

Quader, also the road

transport and bridges

minister, said the only

politics is now to stop this

horrific spread of

coronavirus and protect the

country's people from the

invisible enemy.

He said protecting lives is

more priority than

livelihood and that is why

everyone should follow

health guidelines to remain

safe from the virus.

The government is also

considering the livelihoods

of people and Prime

Minister Sheikh Hasina is

looking after the matter,

Quader said.

Mentioning that this is not

time for politics, he said but

BNP is deliberately making

falsehood against the

government, so the

government must respond

to the lying of the party.

Hefajat forms

five-member

new convenor

committee

DHAKA : A five-member

convenor committee of the

Hefajat-e-Islam has been

formed with Zunaid

Babunagri as its convenor.

Secretary General of the

convenor committee Allama

Nurul Islam announced the

name of the new committee

members in a video message

on Sunday night.

Allama Mohibullah

Babunagri has been made as

the chief advisor of the newly

formed convenor

committee.

Bashkhali power plant victims

get Govt financial assistance

Sufian also prayed for eternal peace of

the departed soul of the deceased workers

and early recovery of the injured workers.

At least five people died and dozen

others sustained injuries as a clash

ensued when law enforcers moved to

tranquilize a mob at an underconstruction

coal-power plant of S Alam

Group at Banshkhali upazila of

Chittagong on April 17.

Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat paid a courtesy call on Commander of Turkish Air Force

General Hasan Kucukakyuz while staying in Turkey.

Photo : ISPR

Fishing in

Kaptai Lake

prohibited

for 3 months

RANGAMATI : The local

administration has

imposed a three-month

ban on netting, marketing

and transportation of fish

from Kaptai Lake from

May 1, reports UNB.

The decision was taken

on Monday at the office of

Deputy Commissioner to

help breeding and

rejuvenate fish stocks in

the freshwater lake.

Rangamati Deputy

Commissioner Mizanur

Rahman presided over the

meeting while BFDC

Manager Touhidul Islam,

additional deputy

commissioner Shilpi Rani

Roy, District Fisheries

Officer Sribash Chandra,

among others, were

present at the meeting.

The ban was imposed to

ensure natural breeding of

carp fish, said Mizanur

Rahman.

Some 22,250 people who

depend on fishing in the

district will get food

assistance during the ban

period through a special

VGF Card.

Every year, the

government imposes a

three-month ban on

fishing, marketing and

transportation of fish from

Kaptai Lakh aiming to

ensure natural breeding of

fish.

River police will be

deployed to check illegal

fishing, marketing and

transportiion through

mobile court.

The

Deputy

Commissioner also urged

all to refrain from fishing as

legal action will be taken in

case of violation of the

order.

US Secretary Blinken

remembers Xulhaz

DHAKA : US Secretary of State Antony J.

Blinken has remembered the role of human

rights activist Xulhaz Mannan and his fellow

Advocate Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy for their

courageous work on behalf of marginalized

communities in Bangladesh, reports UNB.

"On the anniversary of his death, we stand

with Xulhaz's family and friends and honour

his commitment to creating a world in which

all can live with dignity," said the US

Secretary of State.

Xulhaz served for nine years as the

Protocol Specialist for the US Embassy in

Dhaka before joining USAID Bangladesh's

Office of Democracy and Governance.

The US Secretary of State said Xulhaz

COVID-19 cases rapidly

rise, cross 49,000 in Ctg

CHATTOGRAM : The

number of coronavirus

(COVID-19) cases crossed the

49,000 mark in the district

where the infection rate

continues rising hurriedly

again in recent weeks.

Health officials said the

number of COVID-19 cases

speedily raised to 49,095 as

208 more persons were

reported Covid-19 positive

after testing 1361 samples

with the daily infection rate of

15.28 percent on Sunday in

the district. "The infection rate

is showing a quickly rising

trend again and recovery rate

declining continuously in the

district in recent weeks," Dr

Sheikh Fazle Rabbi, civil

surgeon of Chattogram, told

BSS.

The health experts urged

city dwellers again and again

to strictly follow health rules

and use masks due to

continuous increasing corona

infections here.

Among the newly detected

patients, 159 are from

Chattogram city and 49 from

different upazilas of the

district, hospital sources said.

With the seven deaths on

Sunday, the number of

coronavirus (COVID-19)

deaths in Chattogram reached

504, Dr Sheikh Fazle Rabbi

said.

"Among the reported

fatalities, 375 were the

residents of the port city and

the rest 129 were from

different upazilas of the

district," he said,

Among the total 49,095

coronavirus infected people,

39,400 are the residents of the

port city and the rest 9,695 are

the inhabitants of different

upazilas of the district, he

continued.

"The number of cured

patients from the lethal virus

infection has reached 36,186

in the district with the

recovery of 107 more patients

on Sunday," the health official

said, adding that the

percentage of recovery rate

stands at 73.84.

helped lead programmes to promote human

rights.

He said Xulhaz's selfless dedication to

advancing the principles of diversity,

acceptance, and inclusion exemplified the

best of Bangladesh, as did his generosity of

spirit, devotion to family, and dedication to

the community.

"Today, we honour his fearless advocacy

on behalf of his fellow Bangladeshis and

recommit to upholding the dignity and

human rights of people around the world,"

said the US Secretary of State.

LGBT magazine editor was brutally hacked

to death at his Kalabagan home along with

his friend Tonoy on April 25, 2016.

Dr Ismail Khan

reappointed

CMU VC

CHATTOGRAM : Professor

Dr. Md. Ismail Khan has

been reappointed as vicechancellor

(VC) of

Chattogram Medical

University (CMU) for

another four years.

He was the first vicechancellor

of CMU.

Chancellor of the

university President Md

Abdul Hamid made the

appointment, a circular

signed by Abdul Quader,

deputy secretary of Health

and Family Welfare on

Monday (April 26th)

announced

his

reappointment.

According to the circular

Professor Dr. Md. Ismail

Khan would serve as VC for

another four years from the

time of his appointment.

The university will fulfill the

obligations of the previous

term as per the law and he

will get the same salary

allowance and other benefits

as before.

Due to transport crisis, working people reaching destination on Van. The picture was taken from

Motijheel area.

Photo : Star Mail


TuESdAY, AprIl 27, 2021

4

Dangers persist for Bangladesh's garment workers

Acting Editor & Publisher : Jobaer Alam

e-mail: editor@thebangladeshtoday.com

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Addressing the drug

addiction problem

The case of the heinous murders of a police officer

and his wife in 2013 with the alleged

involvement of their own drug addicted young

daughter, must have deeply shocked and pained all

normal well meaning people in the country. Helping

in the murdering of one's own parents has been

unthinkable in our society. But such an act also

symbolized to what extent degradation had

developed in our society specially from the increase

in the number of users of addictive drugs.

The drug addiction habit has been growing

gradually. It is not a sudden development under the

tenures of one or two governments. The media has

been reporting the record number of seizures of yaba

tablets in recent years. The present government was

seen battling the drug addiction challenge with some

dedication and as a result its spread could be

reasonably contained. But surely a great deal more

should be done to address it.

A media report-- sometime ago-- based on

information from the Department of Narcotics

Control (DNC), is concern raising. The gist of it was

that there are at least 50 lakh drug users in

Bangladesh who spend taka 50 crore on illegal

narcotics every day and 75 per cent of the users are

between 15 and 30 years of age.

The report is suggestive of the expansion in the

number of addicts. Similar statistics about a decade

ago showed the number of addicts and their spending

on their addiction to be notably less. That the number

of addicts and their spending have increased to such

proportions, signals that Bangladesh has every reason

to be very concerned by the rising number of drug

users and its consequences for the society as a whole.

The Chinese in the nineteenth century were known

to be weak and incapable of resisting foreign

aggressors. Among other reasons, it emerged from the

analysis of historians that their vitality was sapped

from a very large number of China's population falling

prey to smoking opium in that period. However,

opium was introduced there by foreigners. There is a

lesson for Bangladesh from this historical example.

Great quantities of the illegal drugs now used in

Bangladesh such as Yaba have a foreign origin. These

are smuggled from across the borders of Myanmar and

India. These also come through sea routes in the Bay of

Bengal. Bangladesh used to be mainly a conduit used

by international drug traffickers in the past. But now it

has become a lucrative market for 'users' as well.

The youth in Bangladeshare faced with ruination in

many cases from their growing drug addiction habits.

They are gradually getting crippled mentally and

physically. Many of them are already only shattered

forms of their former healthy selves and are complete

liabilities for their families and societies.

Not only this, they are found in most cases to rely

on crimes like snatching and stealing to get money to

maintain their habits. Others resort to more serious

crimes specially when parents and others refuse to

satisfy their demand for money to be spent on

addiction. Thus, it is high time to check the drug

menace from turning worst.

Law enforcement activities need to beparticularly

effective and extraordinary efforts will have to be made

to bring to a halt the pushing of addictive substances

inside Bangladesh as well as making them locally. Our

policymakers must recognize drug addiction as a too

serious national problem to be addressed immediately

and very effectively through stepped up and far greater

scrupulous and efficient operations of law enforcement

bodies. However, the most effective deterrence can be

no other than one forged through much greater

awareness building about the very negative

consequences of addiction, publicity campaigns, role

played by family elders and social leaders to that end.

Let us not forget that we are not uniquely a country

with a growing and menacing drug addiction problem.

Some of the most advanced as well as prosperous

countries such as USA, UK, Canada, France, Germany,

etc. they too have serious problems facing them from

growing addiction of a big part of their population to

drugs. These countries have not been lacking in

policing activities to whittle down the problem. But as

experience showed it is a societal problem involving so

many issues in dynamic societies not capable of quick

solution by the state or law enforcement only.

Growing tendency towards divorce stemming from

familiarity, empowerment of females leading to their

over independent mindedness, loosening of family

bonds and weakening of controls in families,

slackening morals, growing frustration of children and

young adults with the nihilistic attitude of their

parents, all these and many more factors, have been

adding to the alienation feeling among youth in

particular and also people in all ages, causing

expansion of the drug addiction problems.

Therefore, instead of trying in futile manner to solve

the drug problem through stronger policing actions

and using harsh physical force only, policymakers need

to search the roots of the problem and try societal

curative actions. Greater awarenessbuilding and

motivation campaigns, publicities and persuasion by

philanthropic bodies, can be a more effective way of

treating the problem at the source.

The 2013 Dhaka garment-factory

collapse, killing more than 1,100 workers

and injuring 2,600 more, is the clothing

industry's worst ever industrial incident.

It is not just the body count, though, that

made the collapse of the Rana Plaza, a

nine-story building in the Bangladeshi

industrial city of Savar (near Dhaka)

capture global attention (briefly) and spur

activism around the world to improve the

treatment of garment workers.

This was an accident waiting to happen.

Structural cracks in the building had been

discovered the day before. Businesses on

the lower floors (shops and a bank) were

closed immediately. The five garment

factories on the upper floors made their

workers keep working.

On the morning of April 24, 2013, there

was a power outage. Diesel generators at

the top of the building were turned on.

Then the building collapsed.

The official death toll is 1,132. But these

things are never clear-cut. That number

doesn't include, for example, Nowshad

Hasan Himu, a volunteer who spent 17

days in the rescue work that pulled more

than 1,000 survivors from the rubble.

Some could be only be freed by

amputating limbs. Himu rescued dozens

alive, and also moved the dead. On April

24, 2019, the sixth anniversary of the

disaster, he committed suicide. He could

not forget. We should not forget.

The Rana Plaza collapse briefly shone a

spotlight on the underbelly of the global

fashion business, a US$2.4 trillion

industry that employs about 40 million of

the world's poorest workers, often in

dangerous and degrading conditions.

About 4 million of them are in

ShAMS rAhMAN ANd ASWINI YAdlApAllI

Bangladesh, the second-biggest "readymade

garment" exporter in the world,

after China.

Activist groups such as Clean Clothes

Campaign lobbied for compensation for

the victims - many still suffer from their

injuries - and better conditions for

garment workers generally. For this was

no isolated incident. Garment workers

routinely died in factory fires and faced

other dangers. At least 29 global brands

were identified as doing business with

one or more of the five factories in the

Rana Plaza building.

Each was "a complicit participant in the

creation of an environment that

ultimately led to the deaths and maiming

of thousands," said Clean Clothes

Campaign.

Yet the problem was far wider than just

those brands. It was a systemic problem.

In a sense every shopper choosing clothes

on the basis of lowest price was complicit.

The industry vowed to do better. Within

a month 222 companies signed the

Accord on Fire and Building Safety in

Bangladesh, a legally binding agreement

meant to ensure garment workers had

safe workplaces. Things have improved.

But not enough. Eight years on, the

fundamental problems in global supply

chains - the disconnect among profits,

accountability and responsibility -

remains. This disconnect was glaring

when we interviewed Bangladesh

manufacturers and Australian retailers in

2018 as part of our research.

Retailers maintained they were living up

to their obligations by only sourcing

garments from manufacturers complying

with the Accord on Fire and Building

Safety in Bangladesh.

But manufacturers told us their

compliance was often a charade. One said:

"Changes brought in after Rana Plaza,

such as limiting the worker overtime

Between March and June last year, brands canceled clothing orders worth billions

of dollars to Bangladeshi makers. By September more than 357,000 of the

nation's 4 million garment workers had lost their jobs, and many more were

forced to accept lower pay. (Total textile exports for 2020 were down nearly 17%,

according to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

hours and availability of a nurse and a

childcare worker in the facility, are often

only done for the day of auditing."

The reason: to keep costs low. Another

manufacturer said: "Though we are

complying to the rules established by the

retailer to promote safe production

practices, price and quality still plays an

important role in getting the orders."

According to Clean Clothes Campaign

- an organization backed by 230 unions,

non-government organizations and

research bodies - just 0.6% of the retail

price of a T-shirt goes to the worker.

The factory owner takes 4% as profit.

The brand label takes 12%. But the

BArIA AlAMuddIN

retailer takes 59%.

These numbers are, of course, averages.

They don't claim to be the exact profit split

for every shirt. But they do give a fair

impression of how the system is weighted.

Next time you see a T-shirt for less than

$10, therefore, think about how much the

maker made.

Improving conditions for workers must

certainly involve internal reforms in

Bangladesh, both through more stringent

labor and health and safety laws as well as

regulation and enforcement. But easing

the incessant pressure placed by buyers

on suppliers to cut costs is also crucial.

Factory operators told us they wanted

buyers to insist on better conditions for

workers, and to pay enough to ensure that

could happen. They welcomed contracts

stipulating the spending of money on

safer building and higher pay.

But the pressure to cut costs has

intensified with the Covid-19 crisis.

Between March and June last year,

brands canceled clothing orders worth

billions of dollars to Bangladeshi makers.

By September more than 357,000 of the

nation's 4 million garment workers had

lost their jobs, and many more were

forced to accept lower pay. (Total textile

exports for 2020 were down nearly 17%,

according to the Bangladesh Garment

Manufacturers and Exporters

Association.) To solve the disconnect

among profits, accountability and

responsibility, retailers and brands must

be much more closely involved in

knowing and caring about what goes on in

the factories they source from.

Source : Asia Times

How Iran made itself a haven for Israeli spies

There's nothing new in Iran's paranoid

ayatollahs seeing spies, saboteurs and

enemies under every rock. But their

recent paranoia may be well founded, as the

Iranian parliament and media accuse their

leaders of allowing the nation to be turned

into a "haven for spies," while openly

wondering about the extent of infiltration of

the state's nuclear and intelligence

apparatuses. Iranian officials fear that a

substantive clandestine Israeli sabotage

network is operating with impunity

throughout the Islamic Republic, staging

assassinations and attacks against

strategically sensitive sites, and making

Iran's sprawling intelligence services look

ridiculous. This Mossad network apparently

has recruited significant numbers of

competent Iranians willing to attack state

installations - not a big surprise, given that

Iran's brightest graduates have little to look

forward to beyond unemployment, poverty

and theological repression.

A couple of weeks ago President Hassan

Rouhani appeared on Iranian TV, proudly

inaugurating a new cascade of centrifuges at

the Natanz nuclear plant. Just hours later, a

large explosion knocked out the site's power

system, causing centrifuges for uranium

enrichment to spin out of control. According

to a senior Iranian nuclear official, several

thousand centrifuges were damaged or

destroyed and "the main part of our

enrichment capacities" was eliminated. This

has echoes of an attack last July at the same

location which caused comparable damage.

According to The New York Times, the

earlier Natanz explosion occurred after

nuclear scientists bought themselves some

new furniture, and a package of explosives

had been concealed inside a desk which

exploded several months later, causing

catastrophic damage.

Numerous other attacks against military

and sensitive sites may just be the tip of the

iceberg, given that neither Iran nor Israel has

a stake in disclosing these incidents to the

media: Details of attacks against each other's

ships emerged only recently. Considering

that the world has grappled with the nuclear

threat for more than two decades, various

global intelligence agencies have had copious

opportunity to recruit promising Iranian

physics students destined to work in the

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps nuclear

program. The leadership is thus justified in

worrying who its scientists are really working

for. Sources suggest to me that this

pernicious corrosion of loyalty may extend

throughout intelligence, political and

military infrastructures.

Disconcerted IRGC sources speak of the

need for a "cleansing" of the intelligence

services, and one IRGC publication asked:

"Why does the security of the nuclear facility

act so irresponsibly that it gets hit twice from

the same hole?" When leaders have

squandered their nation's wealth and

betrayed their own citizens in this manner,

little wonder so many Iranians are willing to

sell out their nation to Israel.

At least six nuclear scientists have been

assassinated, the latest being Iran's chief

nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (an

IRGC brigadier general), shot dead in a

complex and audacious operation. In its

desperation to play down the extent to which

Israeli-sponsored operatives were acting

with impunity on Iranian soil, state media

accounts of the Fakhrizadeh assassination

alluded to machineguns mounted on selfdriving

cars and killer robots! Such are

Israel has drastically stepped up its strikes against Iranian positions in Syria,

notably against weapons production sites for precision-guided missiles. Israel

staged more than 500 missile strikes in 2020 alone, and deployed 4,239

weapons against 955 targets throughout Syria over three years. Israeli military

officials acknowledge that this has only slowed down Iranian encroachment.

domestic levels of paranoia that when

Iranian state media reported last week that

that Quds Force deputy commander

Mohammed Hosseinzadeh Hejazi had

unexpectedly died of heart disease, there was

rampant speculation that he too had been

assassinated by Mossad. Quds Force sources

muttered ominously that Hejazi's death

wasn't "cardiac related."

There is such a sense of national impotence

and failure in the face of these attacks that,

following assassinations of figures such as

Fakhrizadeh and Qassim Soleimani, state

media has resorted to reporting fake or

massively exaggerated retaliatory operations

India COVID-19 wave: Holding elections during a pandemic. Was it necessary?

India is passing through the second

wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Though the peak is yet to come, the

fury has already stunned the world. The

blame game has started over the callous

and pathetic unpreparedness of the

agencies in meeting the crisis while the

lack of oxygen is taking scores of lives.

Some blame the hubris of the

government, some others blame the

traditions of religious festivals like Holi

and Kumbha, and some the lack of human

capital among Indians. These discussions

and debates over fixing responsibilities

are less based on facts and figures, more

on ideology and emotions.

However, while India has become

the Covid capital of the world, the

country is at the same time busy in the

assembly elections in four of its states

and one union territory: Assam,

Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, and

West Bengal. Four of these provinces

have already cast their votes, but the

voting will continue till April 29 in

West Bengal, which has a population

of over 100 million.

Huge public meetings and long

roadshows have taken place in all these

states during the election campaign.

However, most of these super-spreader

political dramas continue to be enacted

in the politically crucial state, West

Bengal, which India's ruling party BJP

desperately wants to win.

Political leaders in their quest for power

have no regard for people's safety and

survival as the scientists have already

found the highly dangerous indigenous

triple mutation of coronavirus (B. 1.618)

in West Bengal, to which some have

started naming 'Bengal Strain.'

The ongoing election may bring BJP

to power in West Bengal, but it will most

likely make the pandemic more

devastating for the state and its people.

Though there is denial by leaders that

big rallies have not contributed to the

spread of the virus in the last month of

campaigning in the state, Covid cases

have doubled even though it is one of

the least tested states in India.

Thus, the question arises: Do

AShOk SWAIN

developing countries need to engage in

elections while struggling against an

unprecedented pandemic, which is deadly

and highly infectious?

In recent years, the world has also

experienced other pandemics like

HIV/AIDS. Though HIV/AIDS pandemic

is neither as contagious nor global as

Covid-19, there are some concrete

The political leaders were blatantly oblivious to the danger they

brought to the people and held large political gatherings.

Moreover, at least four candidates contesting the election in

West Bengal, one candidate in Tamil Nadu, and one candidate in

a by-election in Odisha have already perished due to Covid.

experiences one could have drawn from

the impacts of HIV/AIDS on the elections

and electoral politics of Southern Africa.

The HIV/AIDS pandemic had also led

to increased bogus voting in the elections

in Southern African countries. In India,

despite the fear of the coronavirus, the

official voter turnout in the ongoing

election has not been affected, unlike in

the local elections in countries like France.

Undoubtedly, the pandemic has made it

very likely for increased bogus voting in

avenging these deaths, along with dubious

exposés identifying those allegedly

associated with sabotage attacks.

Israeli and American intelligence agencies

have also succeeded in meddling with

nuclear equipment destined for export to

Iran. Overseas spare parts factories have

been penetrated to plant explosives or

defective equipment which is then exported

and installed in Iranian nuclear sites, often

causing subtle damage thatIranian scientists

discover only when it's too late. Cyberattacks

have likewise had a cataclysmic impact.

Iran's response to the latest Natanz attack

was to warn that they would replace the

damaged centrifuges with more advanced

versions, as well as notifying the

International Atomic Energy Agency that it

had commenced upgrading uranium to 60

percent purity - a considerable step toward

weapons-grade uranium. Such a provocative

path only makes matters worse for Iran: The

closer Tehran gets to breakout capacity, the

more international parties will feel

compelled toward decisive action.

Tehran's hapless failures to prevent Israeli

sabotage may appear comical and selfinflicted.

However, the risk is that, like a

wounded bear, Iran is provoked into rash,

escalatory responses. Just last week Iranaffiliated

elements in Syria launched a

surface-to-air missile which reportedly

targeted a plane, but landed perilously close

to Israel's Dimona nuclear plant - a reminder

of how easily a miscalculation in this shadow

conflict targeting atomic sites could take us

all to nuclear midnight.

Source : Arab News

India as many voters are afraid to come to

the polling station. The identity checks of

voters with masks have also become

problematic.Covid-19 has resulted in the

deaths of many elected politicians in

different parts of the world, including

India. India has already lost a former

President, four former Chief Ministers,

and several lawmakers to the Covid.

Holding elections at the time of the

Covid pandemic makes the politicians

more likely to be exposed to coronavirus.

Since February 2020, at least 78 countries

and territories worldwide have decided to

postpone their national and subnational

elections. But India has not.

In October 2020, it went on to hold the

elections in the state of Bihar. The

Election Commission refused to listen to

opposition parties' demand to postpone

the election. It took South Korea's

example, which had held its national

elections in April 2020.

True that South Korea had the national

election during the pandemic. In South

Korea, politicians did not hold large

election meetings, and voters, while

voting, wore masks, kept at least one

meter of distance, disinfected their

hands, and wore plastic gloves.

Source : Gulf News


TueSDAY, APril 27, 2021

5

JuliA roSen

The science of climate change is more

solid and widely agreed upon than you

might think. But the scope of the topic,

as well as rampant disinformation, can

make it hard to separate fact from

fiction. Here, we've done our best to

present you with not only the most

accurate scientific information, but

also an explanation of how we know it.

Climate change is often cast as a

prediction made by complicated

computer models. But the scientific

basis for climate change is much

broader, and models are actually only

one part of it (and, for what it's worth,

they're surprisingly accurate).

For more than a century, scientists

have understood the basic physics

behind why greenhouse gases like

carbon dioxide cause warming. These

gases make up just a small fraction of

the atmosphere but exert outsized

control on Earth's climate by trapping

some of the planet's heat before it

escapes into space. This greenhouse

effect is important: It's why a planet so

far from the sun has liquid water and

life!

However, during the Industrial

Revolution, people started burning

coal and other fossil fuels to power

factories, smelters and steam engines,

which added more greenhouse gases

to the atmosphere. Ever since, human

activities have been heating the planet.

We know this is true thanks to an

overwhelming body of evidence that

begins with temperature

measurements taken at weather

stations and on ships starting in the

mid-1800s. Later, scientists began

tracking surface temperatures with

satellites and looking for clues about

climate change in geologic records.

Together, these data all tell the same

story: Earth is getting hotter.

Average global temperatures have

increased by 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit,

or 1.2 degrees Celsius, since 1880, with

the greatest changes happening in the

late 20th century. Land areas have

warmed more than the sea surface and

the Arctic has warmed the most - by

more than 4 degrees Fahrenheit just

since the 1960s. Temperature

extremes have also shifted. In the

United States, daily record highs now

outnumber record lows two-to-one.

This warming is unprecedented in

recent geologic history. A famous

illustration, first published in 1998 and

often called the hockey-stick graph,

shows how temperatures remained

fairly flat for centuries (the shaft of the

stick) before turning sharply upward

How do we know climate change

is really happening?

(the blade). It's based on data from

tree rings, ice cores and other natural

indicators. And the basic picture,

which has withstood decades of

scrutiny from climate scientists and

contrarians alike, shows that Earth is

hotter today than it's been in at least

1,000 years, and probably much

longer.

In fact, surface temperatures

actually mask the true scale of climate

change, because the ocean has

absorbed 90 percent of the heat

trapped by greenhouse gases.

Measurements collected over the last

six decades by oceanographic

expeditions and networks of floating

instruments show that every layer of

the ocean is warming up. According to

one study, the ocean has absorbed as

much heat between 1997 and 2015 as it

did in the previous 130 years.

We also know that climate change is

happening because we see the effects

everywhere. Ice sheets and glaciers are

shrinking while sea levels are rising.

Arctic sea ice is disappearing. In the

spring, snow melts sooner and plants

flower earlier. Animals are moving to

higher elevations and latitudes to find

cooler conditions. And droughts,

floods and wildfires have all gotten

more extreme. Models predicted many

of these changes, but observations

show they are now coming to pass.

There's no denying that scientists

love a good, old-fashioned argument.

But when it comes to climate change,

there is virtually no debate: Numerous

studies have found that more than 90

percent of scientists who study Earth's

climate agree that the planet is

warming and that humans are the

primary cause. Most major scientific

bodies, from NASA to the World

Meteorological Organization, endorse

this view. That's an astounding level of

consensus given the contrarian,

competitive nature of the scientific

enterprise, where questions like what

killed the dinosaurs remain bitterly

contested. Scientific agreement about

climate change started to emerge in

the late 1980s, when the influence of

human-caused warming began to rise

above natural climate variability. By

1991, two-thirds of earth and

atmospheric scientists surveyed for an

We need to understand The Science of Climate Change.

Photo: Collected

early consensus study said that they

accepted the idea of anthropogenic

global warming. And by 1995, the

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate

Change, a famously conservative body

that periodically takes stock of the

state of scientific knowledge,

concluded that "the balance of

evidence suggests that there is a

discernible human influence on global

climate." Currently, more than 97

percent of publishing climate scientists

agree on the existence and cause of

climate change (as does nearly 60

percent of the general population of

the United States).

So where did we get the idea that

there's still debate about climate

change? A lot of it came from

coordinated messaging campaigns by

companies and politicians that

opposed climate action. Many pushed

the narrative that scientists still hadn't

made up their minds about climate

change, even though that was

misleading. Frank Luntz, a Republican

consultant, explained the rationale in

an infamous 2002 memo to

conservative lawmakers: "Should the

public come to believe that the

scientific issues are settled, their views

about global warming will change

accordingly," he wrote. Questioning

consensus remains a common talking

point today, and the 97 percent figure

has become something of a lightning

rod.

To bolster the falsehood of lingering

scientific doubt, some people have

pointed to things like the Global

Warming Petition Project, which

urged the United States government to

reject the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, an

early international climate agreement.

The petition proclaimed that climate

change wasn't happening, and even if

it were, it wouldn't be bad for

humanity. Since 1998, more than

30,000 people with science degrees

have signed it. However, nearly 90

percent of them studied something

other than Earth, atmospheric or

environmental science, and the

signatories included just 39

climatologists. Most were engineers,

doctors, and others whose training

had little to do with the physics of the

climate system.

A few well-known researchers

remain opposed to the scientific

consensus. Some, like Willie Soon, a

researcher affiliated with the Harvard-

Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics,

have ties to the fossil fuel industry.

Others do not, but their assertions

have not held up under the weight of

evidence. At least one prominent

skeptic, the physicist Richard Muller,

changed his mind after reassessing

historical temperature data as part of

the Berkeley Earth project. His team's

findings essentially confirmed the

results he had set out to investigate,

and he came away firmly convinced

that human activities were warming

the planet. "Call me a converted

skeptic," he wrote in an Op-Ed for the

Times in 2012.

Mr. Luntz, the Republican pollster,

has also reversed his position on

climate change and now advises

politicians on how to motivate climate

action. A final note on uncertainty:

Denialists often use it as evidence that

climate science isn't settled. However,

in science, uncertainty doesn't imply a

lack of knowledge. Rather, it's a

measure of how well something is

known. In the case of climate change,

scientists have found a range of

possible future changes in

temperature, precipitation and other

important variables - which will

depend largely on how quickly we

reduce emissions. But uncertainty

does not undermine their confidence

that climate change is real and that

people are causing it.

Earth's climate is inherently

variable. Some years are hot and

others are cold, some decades bring

more hurricanes than others, some

ancient droughts spanned the better

part of centuries. Glacial cycles operate

over many millenniums. So how can

scientists look at data collected over a

relatively short period of time and

conclude that humans are warming

the planet? The answer is that the

instrumental temperature data that we

have tells us a lot, but it's not all we

have to go on. Historical records

stretch back to the 1880s (and often

before), when people began to

regularly measure temperatures at

weather stations and on ships as they

traversed the world's oceans. These

data show a clear warming trend

during the 20th century.

Some have questioned whether

these records could be skewed, for

instance, by the fact that a

disproportionate number of weather

stations are near cities, which tend to

be hotter than surrounding areas as a

result of the so-called urban heat

island effect. However, researchers

regularly correct for these potential

biases when reconstructing global

temperatures. In addition, warming is

corroborated by independent data like

satellite observations, which cover the

whole planet, and other ways of

measuring temperature changes.

Much has also been made of the

small dips and pauses that punctuate

the rising temperature trend of the last

150 years. But these are just the result

of natural climate variability or other

human activities that temporarily

counteract greenhouse warming. For

instance, in the mid-1900s, internal

climate dynamics and light-blocking

pollution from coal-fired power plants

halted global warming for a few

decades. (Eventually, rising

greenhouse gases and pollutioncontrol

laws caused the planet to start

heating up again.) Likewise, the socalled

warming hiatus of the 2000s

was partly a result of natural climate

variability that allowed more heat to

enter the ocean rather than warm the

atmosphere. The years since have been

the hottest on record.

Still, could the entire 20th century

just be one big natural climate wiggle?

To address that question, we can look

at other kinds of data that give a longer

perspective. Researchers have used

geologic records like tree rings, ice

cores, corals and sediments that

preserve information about

prehistoric climates to extend the

climate record. The resulting picture of

global temperature change is basically

flat for centuries, then turns sharply

upward over the last 150 years. It has

been a target of climate denialists for

decades. However, study after study

has confirmed the results, which show

that the planet hasn't been this hot in

at least 1,000 years, and probably

longer.

Scientists have studied past climate

changes to understand the factors that

can cause the planet to warm or cool.

The big ones are changes in solar

energy, ocean circulation, volcanic

activity and the amount of greenhouse

gases in the atmosphere. And they

have each played a role at times.

For example, 300 years ago, a

combination of reduced solar output

and increased volcanic activity cooled

parts of the planet enough that

Londoners regularly ice skated on the

Thames. About 12,000 years ago,

major changes in Atlantic circulation

plunged the Northern Hemisphere

into a frigid state. And 56 million years

ago, a giant burst of greenhouse gases,

from volcanic activity or vast deposits

of methane (or both), abruptly

warmed the planet by at least 9

degrees Fahrenheit, scrambling the

climate, choking the oceans and

triggering mass extinctions.

Is it healthy to be breathing

in melted candle particles?

rAnDAll munroe

When candles burn, most of

their matter goes into the air.

The light and heat from a

candle comes from the wax

burning. When you light the

wick, the flame causes some

of the wax to melt, flow up the

wick and evaporate, and then

the wax vapor burns. The

wick, which is made of

cotton, also burns, although

it's the wax that contributes

most of the heat. The puddles

you sometimes see around

the base are from wax that

spilled and dripped down

without burning.

Wax is made of hydrogen

and carbon. When a candle

burns, the hydrogen and

carbon from the wax combine

with the oxygen in the air to

become carbon dioxide and

water vapor. Most of the

matter in the candle ends up

as these two gases.

Carbon dioxide and water

aren't exactly safe - too much

of either can be extremely

dangerous, as anyone who's

been on a submarine can tell

you - but at low levels they are

normal parts of the air. The

amount of each gas produced

by a candle is small -

comparable to the amount

that might be breathed out by

another person in the room.

If candles burned

completely, every molecule

from the wax would end up

combining with oxygen to

become CO? or water vapor,

but candles don't burn

perfectly. Around the edges of

Where does a candle go when it burns?

the flame, clumps of carbon

molecules - maybe 0.1

percent of the mass of the

candle - are flung away before

they finish burning, sort of

like bits of food sprayed out

by a kitchen mixer. These

particles contribute to smoke

and soot.

Aneta Wierzbicka, a

scientist at Lund University

in Sweden who studies

indoor air pollution, has

conducted a number of

experiments to measure

particle emissions from

candle flames. "Candles, in

homes without tobacco

smoking, are among the most

powerful indoor sources of

particles, followed by

cooking," she told me.

She said that constant

exposure to these tiny

particles can lead to

cardiovascular and

respiratory diseases. For

people who burn candles

occasionally, the fire hazards

are probably a bigger concern

than the air pollution. But she

said that if people burn a lot

of candles on a daily basis, it's

worth taking steps to

minimize exposure to

airborne particles. She

suggests making sure the

room is well-ventilated, and

using clean, white candles

Photo: Collected

without too many additives

or ingredients, since

everything in the candle ends

up in the air. (She also

mentions that electronic

candles have gotten quite

good recently - at first glance,

some of them can even fool a

candle expert!)

As a candle burns, the CO?

and water vapor it produces

will cool and mix into the air

in the room, becoming

indistinguishable from any

other molecule of CO? or

water. Over the next few

hours, as the air in your room

is exchanged with the air

outdoors, the molecules from

your candle will escape the

room and begin to disperse

into the atmosphere. After

about a year, atoms from

your candle will have spread

completely around the globe.

For the next few years,

every time someone takes a

breath of air, they'll be

breathing in a few carbon

atoms from the wax and a few

oxygen atoms from the air in

your room.

DAmon BereS

Years from now, what creature

will digest the new iPads and

AirTags that Apple announced

on Tuesday? What soil will

absorb their metals? The shiny

gadgets of today will be waste

tomorrow. As you eye that

upgraded tablet, consider that

Apple shipped so many new

iPads last year that if they were

all laid flat and stacked, they

would be about as tall as 862

Empire State Buildings. Then

think about whatever old iPad of

yours is languishing now in some

unknown place.

Manufacturers don't talk much

about this turnover when they

announce the big new thing that

will replace your mostly just as

good old thing. This is all by

design. There's a term for it:

planned obsolescence, or

designing a product with an

intentionally limited life span.

Ever try to get your TV repaired?

Apple, Samsung, Sony and

other manufacturers of high-tech

electronics release waves of new

hardware every year even as the

tide of screens and circuitry is

engulfing us in discarded

devices.

Now there is a movement afoot

to change that approach. This

year, the French government

began requiring tech

manufacturers to list an "indice

de réparabilité," a repairability

score, on product pages for items

like the iPhone and MacBook. If

a device can be repaired, then its

life can be extended, saving

consumers money and the planet

the burden of so many trashed

gadgets. None of Apple's iPhones

or MacBooks earned above a 7,

with 10 being the top score -

making the company a "C

student at best," the website

Grist noted. Other

manufacturers like Microsoft

and Samsung fared about the

same. Equipped with this

knowledge, consumers can make

better choices about which

products to buy. If unrepairable

gadgets don't sell, manufacturers

will change course.

Some 59 million tons of old

TVs, computer, screens,

smartphones, washers and other

electronics are discarded every

year. This waste is dangerous.

The smartphone should

be built to lastt

Batteries explode in recycling

facilities. Toxic substances like

mercury leach into soil and

groundwater and disperse in the

air. Manufacturing flat screens

adds greenhouse gases to the

atmosphere. We need tech

companies like Apple - so

progressive in so many ways - to

lead the charge to solve this

problem. If they won't,

governments must make them.

France is not alone in stepping

into this mess. The movement is

in the United States as well. More

than a dozen states are

considering so-called right-torepair

legislation, a rare

bipartisan concern centered on

the idea that manufacturers

should not restrict access to

information and parts that

would allow independent shops

to fix busted gadgets.

The New York State

Assemblymember Patricia Fahy

will hold a virtual town hall on

the topic May 5. Anyone can

attend. And the Federal Trade

Commission is expected to

release a long-delayed report

soon on repair restrictions in

consumer technology that could

set the stage for a bigger push

from the Biden administration.

Repairability is a surefire path

toward longevity. Items become

waste when they are no longer

useful. Some of this is the simple

march of progress. Other times,

it is much harder to see the

justification, such as when a

Sonos speaker is cut off from

software updates seemingly

overnight.

Although tech companies will

often speak of sustainability,

many lobby against repair

legislation, fearful it will loosen

their control and eat into their

profits. This can lead to a sort of

cognitive dissonance.

Apple's annual environmental

report, published this month,

asserts a commitment to device

longevity and sustainability. It

also speaks of the Apple Pencil

stylus as though it contains

secrets lost in some fragment of

the Rosetta Stone. The company

is "designing, developing and

testing additional disassembly

tools - including new methods

for recovering materials from

Apple Pencil," it says, as though

the methods could only be

reverse-engineered, rather than

integrated from the very first

stage of design.

There's the issue in a nutshell:

Sustainability matters, but

marketable design appears to

matter more to these companies.

Consumers are urged to upgrade

their devices annually. Well

north of 1 billion smartphones

were shipped in 2020 - and it

was a sluggish year because of

the Covid-19 pandemic.

Manufacturers must do better.

Their devices must be repairable

by all and kept compatible with

software updates for as long as

possible, not artificially

obsoleted. Consumers should

support right-to-repair

legislation. Buy what you please,

A movement is underway to slow the obsolescence of our

electronic gear.

Photo: Jun Cen

be it a fancy fridge or a

smartphone - no one is changing

the world by holding on to an

iPhone 7 for an extra year - but

know to ask three simple

questions when you're shopping:

"How long will this last?," "How

will I get it fixed when it breaks?"

and "How will I recycle this when

I need a new device?" Follow

through and get the thing fixed

or take it to a trustworthy

recycler when it's time. (Apple's

store employees can help with

this step, for instance.)

In this world, damage is a

certainty. But we cannot leave

things broken: A problem of our

creation is a problem that can be

fixed.


TueSDAY, APRIL 27, 2021

6

Members of Bangladesh Coast Guard Station Pagla in a drive seized about 35 mounds of Jatka

in Shoari Ghat area on Monday.

Photo: Courtesy

BCG seizes 1400 kg jatka from

fish market at Shoari Ghat

A special operation was

conducted by Bangladesh

Coast Guard Station Pagla on

Monday and about 35 mounds

of Jatka was seized. The

operation was carried out in

Shoari Ghat area under the

leadership of station

commander Pagla Lt.

Ashmadul Islam on the basis of

secret information, a press

release said.

During the operation, about

1400 kg (35 mounds) of jatka

were seized from the Shoari

Ghat fish wholesale market in

Old Dhaka. It was not possible

to arrest anyone as the real

owner of Jatkar was not found

in the operation. The seized

jatkas were later distributed

among the local orphanages

and the poor in the presence of

the Fisheries Officer. Regular

operations will be carried out in

the areas under the jurisdiction

of Bangladesh Coast Guard to

ensure law and order, curb

robberies and ensure public

safety as well as prevent illegal

fishing and jatka killing.

Jashore district police honors

smart officers

ShAhID JOy, JAShORe CORReSPOnDenT:

A welfare meeting and crime review meeting

of the district police was held at the Police

Lines Conference Room on Sunday under

the chairmanship of Jashore District

Superintendent of Police Pralay kumar

Joardar.

At the end of the day-long welfare

meeting, the prizes were handed over to the

three winning constables through a lottery

last month.

Discussions were held on law and order

situation, crime prevention, case review and

disposal review and progress of

investigation of important and sensational

cases.

At the beginning of the crime meeting, the

best officer in March's performance

appraisal and in recognition of good work

was honored.

Jashore navaran Circle Senior Assistant

Superintendent of Police Jewel Imran,

Jashore kotwala Model Police Station

Officer-in-Charge Mohammad Tajul Islam,

District Detective Branch DB SI Mufizul

Islam, Traffic Police Tactical Officer kotwali

Model Police Station SI kamal hossain, SI

Mofizur Rahman of Chanchra Police

Outpost, kotwali Model Police Station ASI

Miraj khan Model Police Station ASI

Shahinur Rahman, Investigation Center

Camp Outpost's Best SI Saiful Malek of

Suburban Police Camp were awarded at the

occasion.

Also present were Jessore CID

Superintendent of Police, Zakir hossain,

PBI, Jessore Superintendent of Police

Reshma Sharmin, Jessore Additional

Superintendent of Police Salauddin Sikder,

DSB Additional Superintendent of Police

Mohammad Touhidul Islam, Additional

Superintendent of Police Belal hossain,

Additional Superintendent of Police, Jamal

Al naser, Additional Superintendent of

Police, Apu Sarwar, and Senior Assistant

Superintendent of Police, highway, Ali

Ahmed hashmi were present.

Illegal sand mining goes on

unabated in Shariatpur

ShARIATPuR CORReSPOnDenT

Titu Akon, son of local Dhalu Akon, who was

extracting sand with a local illegal dredger in

Arjun Tapadar mouza of Akan kandi village

in Barakandi union of Jajira upazila of the

district, has no intention of stopping

extracting sand with a dredger machine. he

has already completed all the preparations

for sand extraction by putting dredgers in the

crop lands. This incident has caused anger

among the common people of the area.

On condition of anonymity, some locals

said, "Last year, Titu Akon's illegal dredger

machine was burnt down by the

administration. It has been shut down for

some time and re-installed." Although the

news of Titu Akon's illegal dredger business

has been published in various newspapers in

the past few days, the administration has not

taken any action yet. Titu is doing illegal

dredger business by maintain good

relationship with administration. Although

Titu Akon is a former convener of Jajira

upazila Jubo Dal, the question is how he

commits such crimes. '

Suruj Akon, a local conscious person,

lodged a complaint to the upazila nirbahi

Officer, on April 25 to take action against the

sand miner.

When contacted with accused Titu Akon

on his mobile phone, he did no answer the

call.

In this regard upazila Land Officer said

that he did not get any written complain

regarding the matter. he will take strict

action once he gets the complain

When contacted with Deputy

Commissioner and upazila nirbahi Officer,

they did not receive the phone.

All the preparations for illegal sand extraction have been taken by putting

dredgers in the crop lands at Barakandi union of Jajira upazila in

Shariatpur.

Photo: TBT

Guk gives iftar, sehri to

orphans in Gaibandha,

Dinajpur districts

GAIBAnDhA: Gana

unnayan kendra (Guk), a

local reputed nongovernment

organisation, has

taken up an initiative to feed

quality iftar and sehri to the

destitute and orphans of

Gaibandha and Dinajpur

districts for helping them to

observe the fasting during

'Ramadan', reports BSS.

From the first day of

Ramadan, Guk has given

foods to 16 orphanages of

Gaibandha Sadar, Shaghata,

Fulchhari and Sundarganj

upazilas of the district and

Fulbari and nababganj

upazilas of Dinajpur district,

said Aftab hossain,

coordinator of the

organisation.

Chief executive of Guk Md

Abdus Salam said Australiabased

Donor Organization

Muslim around the World is

providing the fund to

implement the initiative.

Md. Abdullah Al Mamun,

an inmate of kashemul ulum

nurani hefzak and

etimkhana located at

hholabari area under

kholahati union of Sadar

upazila, said they were having

iftar by taking various types of

fruits like apple, arabian date,

banana and lemon juice side

by side with eating muri, boot

bunda, piazu, beguni and

jilapi.

Besides this, they were also

eating rice with beef or

mutton during the time of

sehri to observe the fast

peacefully, he also said.

The authorities of the

orphanages expressed their

gratefulness to the Guk and

its officials for providing

quality iftar and sehri food

during the holy month.

Jashore district police distributed prizes to the three winning constables at the Police Lines

Conference Room on Sunday.

Photo: Shahid Joy

Bicycles have been distributed among 20 distressed and meritorious students in Kumarkhali,

Kushtia. The bicycles were distributed in the second phase of the Rural Infrastructure Development

Project (TR) in the fiscal year 2020-2021. Barrister Selim Altaf George, a local MP, distributed bicycles

in front of the local public library at on Sunday.

Photo: M R Nayan

Bicycles have been distributed among 20 distressed and meritorious students in Kumarkhali,

Kushtia. The bicycles were distributed in the second phase of the Rural Infrastructure Development

Project (TR) in the fiscal year 2020-2021. Barrister Selim Altaf George, a local MP, distributed bicycles

in front of the local public library at on Sunday.

Photo: M R Nayan

Aush rice cultivation gets momentum

in Rangpur region

RAnGPuR: Cultivation of Aush rice as

an additional crop during the off-season

between Boro rice harvest and Aman rice

seedling transplantation gets full

momentum now in Rangpur agriculture

region, reports BSS.

Officials of the Department of

Agricultural extension (DAe) said

cultivation of less irrigation water

consuming and short duration Aush rice

is expanding following various pragmatic

steps taken by the government during

the last eight years.

The steps include distribution of

intensives in terms of high yielding

varieties of Aush rice seeds and fertilisers

free of cost, conducting motivational

campaigns and providing technical

support to farmers.

"The government already distributed

seeds and fertilisers as incentives among

31,200 small and marginal farmers for

expanding Aush rice cultivation this

season," Additional Director of the DAe

for Rangpur region Agriculturist

khandker Abdul Wahed said.

under the programme, each

beneficiary farmer got five kilograms

(kgs) of high yielding varieties of Aush

rice seeds, 20-kg of di-ammonium

phosphate (DAP) and 10-kg of muriate of

potash (MoP) fertiliser for Aush rice

cultivation on one bigha of land.

The DAe has fixed a target of bringing

62,199 hectares of land under Aush rice

cultivation to produce over 1.75 lakh

tonnes of clean rice (2.63 lakh tonnes of

paddy) for all five districts of the region

for the current kharif-1 season.

Transplantation of Aush rice seedlings

began from early April and will continue

till June next to complete harvest of the

crop by mid-August and transplant

Aman rice seedlings on the same land.

"Meanwhile, farmers have

transplanted Aush rice seedlings on

26,177 hectares of land, 42.09 percent

against the fixed farming target of the

crop on 62,199 hectares of land in the

region by Sunday last," Wahed said.

Relief distributed

among helpless

families in Joypurhat

MASRAkuL ALOM, JOyPuRhAT CORReSPOnDenT

Relief given by the Prime Minister

has been distributed among the poor

and helpless families of the municipal

area at the initiative of Joypurhat

Municipality and District

Administration.

Deputy Commissioner Shariful

Islam distributed relief as the chief

guest at the Circuit house ground on

Monday afternoon. Joypurhat

Municipal Mayor Mostafizur

Rahman Mostaq presided over the

meeting while among others, District

Council Chairman and District

Awami League President Arifur

Rahman Rocket, Additional Deputy

Commissioner Moniruzaman,

District Awami League General

Secretary Zakir hossain, Sadar

upazila Parishad Chairman SM

Solaiman Ali, upazila nirbahi Officer

Arafat hossain and others.

On the occasion, 500 families were

given 10 kg of rice and 3 kg of

potatoes.


A Soyuz rocket blasted off from the Vostochny cosmodrome in russia's Far east on Monday carrying 36

uK telecommunications and internet satellites, the roscosmos space agency said.

Photo : AP

Russia launches new batch of

UK telecom satellites into space

MOSCOW : A Soyuz rocket blasted off

from the Vostochny cosmodrome in

Russia's Far East on Monday carrying

36 UK telecommunications and

internet satellites, the Roscosmos space

agency said.

OneWeb, a London-headquartered

company, is working to complete the

construction of a constellation of low

earth orbit satellites providing

enhanced broadband and other

services to countries around the world.

The company is competing against

billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos

in the race to provide fast internet via

satellites for the world's remote areas.

Images released by Russia's space

agency Roscosmos showed the Soyuz

rocket taking off against hazy skies

Monday morning at 7:14 am local time

(2214 GMT).

"All satellites have been successfully

placed in target orbits and have been

taken under customer control,"

Roscosmos said in a statement.

"Mission success!" OneWeb wrote on

Twitter.

The UK company plans for its global

commercial internet service to be

operational by next year, supported by

some 650 satellites.

Monday's launch was the third batch

of its satellites placed into orbit from

Russia, with earlier launches from the

Vostochny cosmodrome of 36 satellites

each taking place last month and in

December.

OneWeb's first six satellites were also

launched by a Russian-made Soyuz

rocket, taking off from the space centre

in Kourou in French Guiana in

February 2019.

The company launched 68 more

from the Baikanour launch site in

Kazakhstan last year.

The Vostochny launch site is one of

Russia's most important space projects,

designed to reduce reliance on the

Baikonur space centre Moscow

currently rents from Kazakhstan.

The project has been consistently

behind schedule, with its construction

marred for years by multiple

controversies including corruption.

Global Covid-19

cases approaching

147 million

DHAKA : With the worsening

Covid-19 situation, the global

cases is nearing 147 million

with more than 3.10 million

fatalities.

According to the data

compiled by Johns Hopkins

University (JHU), the total

case count reached

146,830,782 while the death

toll from the virus mounted

to 3,106,384.

The US has registered

32,077, 076 cases with

572,200 fatalities.

India has been

experiencing a devastating

Covid-19 situation with a

recording of more than

300,000 cases every day.

India's total tally reached

16,960,172 while the death

toll from the virus climbed to

192,311. The unfolding crisis

is most visceral in India's

overwhelmed graveyards

and crematoriums, and in

heartbreaking images of

gasping patients dying on

their way to hospitals due to

lack of oxygen, reports AP.

Burial grounds in the

capital New Delhi are

running out of space. Bright,

glowing funeral pyres light

up the night sky in other

badly hit cities.

TueSDAY, APrIl 27, 2021

7

Australia's Perth ends snap

lockdown as quarantine

debate heats up

SYDNEY : Australian authorities on Monday

lifted a snap three-day lockdown of Perth,

but faced pointed questions about how the

coronavirus leaked from a quarantine hotel

for returning travellers.

Stay-at-home orders for Perth and

surrounding areas will expire at midnight

Monday, after just two people contracted

Covid-19 out of thousands tested in the

region.

"It was a circuit breaker we needed to limit

community spread and keep our community

healthy," Western Australia state premier

Mark McGowan said.

The virus reportedly spread from a man

who recently returned from his wedding in

India to other travellers at a quarantine

hotel, including one who then unknowingly

infected people in the community after being

released from isolation.

The cases have prompted a fresh debate

over the effectiveness and fairness of

Australia's hotel quarantine system, which is

now being copied in several countries

around the world.

Australia closed its international borders

to most non-citizens in March 2020, with

those allowed to travel subject to 14 days in

quarantine, a policy that effectively curbed

the spread of Covid-19.

But quarantine hotels have been the source

of each outbreak in Australia since early in

the pandemic, leading to a series of snap

lockdowns across the country and evertightening

travel rules.

Canberra last week reduced the number of

flights from virus-hit India, while some are

pushing to ramp up already strict limits on

international travel for Australian citizens.

McGowan has slammed the quarantine

system, saying hotels were "not fit for

purpose" and calling on the conservative

federal government to find alternative sites

away from populated cities.

His demand was backed by the Australian

Medical Association's Western Australia

branch president Andrew Miller, who

described the system as a "human rights

catastrophe".

But the federal government has so far

resisted calls to take over quarantine -

despite having responsibility for border

control - with Health Minister Greg Hunt

saying the system was among "the best in the

world".

And other leaders, such as New South

Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian, said "we

have to accept" there would be inevitable

failures with the system "from time to time".

Australia has recorded less than 30,000

cases and 910 deaths since the pandemic

began, with no major outbreaks since last

year and most regions enjoying few

restrictions.

ITBP's COVID centre with

500 oxygen-supported

beds starts in Delhi's

Radha Soami Beas campus

NEWDELHI : A COVID care

centre with 500 oxygensupported

beds run by the

Indo-Tibetan Border Police

(ITBP) began functioning

from Monday with the

admission of at least 25

patients, officials said.

The facility, named Sardar

Vallabh Bhai Patel COVID

Care Centre (SPCCC), has

been opened in view of Delhi

registering a sharp rise in

coronavirus cases and its

healthcare system creaking

under the pressure. It is

located at the Radha Soami

Beas campus in Chhattarpur

area of south Delhi.

The border guarding force,

ITBP, designated by the

Union home ministry as the

nodal agency to run the

facility, has said there would

be no walk-in admissions to

the centre. Admission at this

centre will be made after

approval by district

surveillance officers in Delhi.

ITBP has said that

treatment at this centre will

be free of cost.

Hong Kong and

Singapore aim to start

travel bubble in May

HONG KONG : Hong Kong and Singapore

on Monday announced plans to resurrect

their scrapped coronavirus travel bubble

with dedicated flights between the two

cities starting on May 26.

The two business hubs had to abandon a

highly anticipated quarantine-free travel

corridor late last year after Hong Kong was

hit with a fourth wave of infections.

From May 26, one flight per day carrying

up to 200 passengers will shuttle between

the two cities. Cathay Pacific and

Singapore Airlines will share the route

with two daily flights planned from June

10 onwards.

Hong Kongers heading to Singapore will

have to have received two doses of either

the Pfizer-BioNTech or Sinovac vaccines -

an attempt to encourage inoculation in a

city where take-up so far has remained a

tepid 11 percent despite ample supplies.

Travellers from Singapore - where the

vaccination rate is around 20 percent - will

not be required to have been inoculated

but must test negative before departure

and on arrival.

Both Hong Kong and Singapore maintain

strict quarantine rules for all arrivals, a

measure that has kept infections

comparatively low. But the restrictions

have battered tourism and the wider

economy.

While countries are desperate to restart

global travel, quarantine-free bubbles have

had limited successes. Taiwan and Palau

set up a dedicated travel bubble last month

followed by Australia and New Zealand.

On Friday, New Zealand paused arrivals

from Western Australia after an outbreak

there.

The European Union is keen to allow

American tourists who are vaccinated to

be able to visit without restriction come the

summer.

But with global infections still rising and

only a tiny minority of the world's

population vaccinated, widespread travel

corridors remain a distant hope.

Hong Kong and Singapore's bubble is

dependent on both sides remaining

relatively coronavirus-free in the coming

months.

Both sides have agreed that the bubble will

be suspended for two weeks if the daily

average of untraceable infections in one

week reaches more than five in either city.

Hong Kong and Singapore on Monday announced plans to resurrect their scrapped coronavirus

travel bubble with dedicated flights between the two cities starting on May 26.

Photo : AP

Australian authorities on Monday lifted a snap three-day lockdown of Perth, but faced

pointed questions about how the coronavirus leaked from a quarantine hotel for returning

travellers.

Photo : Internet

New Covid

restrictions

in Thailand

as cases rise

BANGKOK : New Covid

restrictions came into force

in Thailand on Monday to

try to halt a spiralling

outbreak that saw deaths hit

a record single-day high over

the weekend, reports BSS.

In Bangkok - where the

latest outbreak has been

traced back to a nightlife

district - as well as 46 other

provinces, wearing masks is

now compulsory in public

spaces, backed up by the

threat of a 20,000 baht

($640) fine.

Authorities in the capital

have also closed a raft of

venues including cinemas,

parks, gyms, swimming

pools, spas and nurseries.

The new restrictions come

a week after authorities

ordered bars and nightclubs

to close and banned

restaurants from serving

alcohol.

The tightening comes

amid a spike in cases - total

infections reached 57,500

on Monday, up from just

29,000 in early April.

Some 2,048 new cases

were announced on

Monday, while Sunday saw

Thailand record its highest

single-day death toll of the

pandemic, with 11 fatalities.

Until the latest outbreak

Thailand had managed to

keep infections down,

thanks to draconian travel

restrictions and swift action

to isolate confirmed cases.

But there have been

complaints about the slow

rollout of vaccinations,

with Thailand lagging

behind other countries in

the region.

Death toll in fire at Iraqi COVID-19

hospital surpasses 80

BAGHDAD : The death toll from a massive

fire at a Baghdad hospital for coronavirus

patients rose to at least 82 Sunday as

anxious families searched for missing

relatives and the government suspended

key health officials for alleged negligence.

The flames, described by one witness as

"volcanoes of fire," swept through the

intensive care unit of the Ibn al-Khatib

Hospital, which tends exclusively to

COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms.

Officials said the blaze, which also injured

110 people, was set off by an exploding

oxygen cylinder. Nurse Maher Ahmed was

called to the scene late Saturday to help

evacuate patients.

"I could not have imagined it would be a

massive blaze like that," he said. The flames

overwhelmed the hospital's second floor

isolation hall within three to four minutes

GD-733/21 (4x3)

of the oxygen cylinder exploding, he said.

"Volcanoes of fire."

Most of those killed suffered severe

burns, he said. Others were overcome by

smoke, unwilling to leave behind

relatives hooked up to ventilators.

Ahmed said the patients could not be

moved. "They would have minutes to

live without oxygen."

He said he and others watched

helplessly as one patient struggled to

breathe amid the smoke.

Widespread negligence on the part of

health officials is to blame for the fire, Iraq's

prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, said

Sunday. Following a special cabinet

meeting to discuss the blaze, the

government suspended key officials,

including the health minister and the

governor of Baghdad province.


TUeSDAY, APRIL 27, 2021

8

Prof. Dr. M. Lutfar Rahman, Vice Chancellor, Daffodil International University (DIU), Prof. Dr. Shamsad

Mortuja, Pro- Vice Chancellor, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB), Fakrul Ahsan, Chief

Technical Advisor, Strengthening Institutional Capacity for SDGs Achievement in Bangladesh

(SC4SDG,UNDP), Bangladesh, Mir Mohammad Jashim, Journalist, The Business Standard and Syed

Mizanur Rahman, Director of Student Affairs of Daffodil International University at the online discussion

titled 'Our University for Sustainable Development'.

Photo : Courtesy

Discussion on 'Our University for

Sustainable Development' held

Daffodil International University's

Office of the Student Affairs hosted an

online discussion titled 'Our University

for Sustainable Development' on

Sunday as part of the celebration of

Daffodil International University's top

ranking in Bangladesh in the Times

Higher Education Impact Rankings.

Prof. Dr. M. Lutfar Rahman,

Honorable Vice Chancellor, Daffodil

International University (DIU), Prof.

Shamsad Mortuja, PhD, Pro- Vice

Chancellor, University Liberal Arts

Bangladesh (ULAB), Fakrul Ahsan,

Chief Technical Advisor, Strengthening

Institutional Capacity for SDGs

Achievement in Bangladesh (SC4SDG),

United Nations Development

Programme (UNDP), Bangladesh, Mr.

Mir Mohammad Jashim, Journalist,

The Business Standard were present at

the program as the panelists. The

program was conducted by Syed

Mizanur Rahman, Director of Student

Affairs, Daffodil International

University.

ProfessorDr. M. Lutfar Rahman said,

there is no alternative to quality

Saudi jeweler L'azurde returns

to profit as Egypt sales surge

Saudi jeweler L'azurde

has returned to

profitability as it cut

costs and benefited from

a rebound in sales,

especially in Egypt,

reports Arab New

It reported a profit of

education. We must ensure quality

education at first. But quality education

is not the last word. A student needs a

lot more than education to survive in

this world. Such as human values,

technical skills, knowledge of

technology, etc. We also provide these

lessons to our students. As a result, our

university has been able to achieve the

goals of the SDGs, a press release said

He added that there are many types

of people in the society. There are

people from different sectors like

farmers, workers, rickshaw pullers etc.

We have to build our young generation

in education so that we can build a

balanced society with all of them.

Professor Shamsad Mortuja, PhD,

said the university has a responsibility

to the country and the world. We have

to think about how we are leaving the

country for future generations. We

have to think about the world too.

There is no way to build a sustainable,

livable world without achieving the

goals of the SDGs and MDGs.

Hopefully, several universities in our

country is conducting educational

SR10.2 million ($2.7

million) in the first

quarter of 2021

compared to a loss of

SR1.6 million. Group

operating revenues for

the first quarter of 2021

gained about 21.4

percent from a year

earlier to SR138.9

million,.

Saudi retail revenues

increased by 2.4 percent

compared to the same

quarter of last year due

to the easing of COVID-

Group finance costs in the first quarter of 2021 fell about 22 percent to

SR9.5 million from a year earlier.

Photo : Internet

activities with these goals in mind. As a

result, it has got a place in the

prestigious rankings like Time

Ranking. Professor Shamsad Mortuja,

PhD, added that teaching in the

classroom is not enough. There are

many teaching materials spread

outside the classroom. Students need to

be introduced to all of them.

In his discussion, Fakhrul Ahsan said

that SDG has 16 goals. There is a need

to involve the youth community with

every goal. Universities need to engage

their young students with these goals.

The main goal of the SDGs is that no

part of the society should be left behind.

Development must be done with

everyone. All universities in

Bangladesh should work towards SDG

goals.

Journalist Mir Mohammad Jashim

said that all the universities in

Bangladesh have at least 4 million

students. If the universities can build

this huge number of young students

into quality education, it will be

possible to achieve the SDG target by

2025.

19-related precautionary

measures, it said.

That helped to partially

offset the decline in sales

in airports. In Saudi

Arabia, wholesale

revenues were 8.6

percent higher than a

year earlier.

However it was Egypt

that was the stand out

performer for the group

over the quarter.

"In Egypt, retail

revenues impressively

increased by 62.1

percent mainly

attributable to the

growth of revenues in

same shops, the

successful launch of

Miss L', the new fast

growing Lazurde e-

commerce platforms

and the opening of six

new outlets in the last

twelve months," the

company said in a stock

exchange filing.

It said that a number of

strategic initiatives

undertaken by the

company, including the

optimization of its gold

working capital, had

started to yield results.

Group finance costs in

the first quarter of 2021

fell about 22 percent to

SR9.5 million from a

year earlier.

Samsung enhances the affordability of UHD

and QLED TVs with lucrative offers

The No. 1 Brand for

television for 15 years

globally, Samsung has

brought an attractive offer

for the people of

Bangladesh. Through this

offer, customers purchasing

any UHD or QLED

televisions of T Series will

benefit from 36 months of

EMI with 0% interest.

This exciting offer will be

available for Standard

Chartered Bank, The City

Bank, and Eastern Bank

Limited Credit cardholders,

a press release said.

The company is known to

bring one of the best

technologies with stunning

designs for their televisions.

The TVs' innovative

technology turns the

ordinary into the

extraordinary with

immersive sound, endless

detail, and minimalist

design. And now customers

can get a UHD or QLED TV

for as low as BDT 1,914 per

month

On top of this offer,

customers can also get Buy 1

DHAKA : Post and

Telecommunications

Minister Mustafa Jabbar has

urged the country's citizens

to stay at home and avail of

all necessary services

through mobile financial

service Nagad to prevent the

spread of COVID-19.

In the last few days, an

official SMS has been sent to

all the active mobile

connections in the country

in the name of the Post and

Telecommunications

Division to aware people of

the second wave of this

deadly virus, said a press

release.

As of February, there were

173.4 million active mobile

connections in the country,

according to the Bangladesh

Telecommunication

Regulatory Commission.

In the SMS, the Post and

Telecommunications

Division said, "The

government has enforced

lockdown to prevent the

spread of COVID-19. At this

time, please use Nagad to

pay the bill of all utility

services, including gas,

electricity, water, internet

and recharge mobile for free

of charge sitting at home."

Considering the current

situation, Nagad has put in

place all arrangements for its

users so that they can get the

services sitting at home. In

order to stay connected with

the digital world, exciting

offers have been given,

including cashback on

mobile recharge through

Nagad.

Get 1 offer for selected

models of TV. Additionally,

customers are eligible for

50% cashback on Soundbar

if purchased in bundle with

TV. A 24/7 call center is

dedicated for customers'

query regarding the offers &

after sales service.

The T Series was designed to

fit any space and budget.

Regarding it, Shahriar Bin

Lutfor, Head, Consumer

Electronics, Samsung

Moreover, there is an

opportunity to pay for all the

utility bills including gas,

electricity, water and

internet, free of cost, while

others are charging Tk 5 to

Tk 30 extra for each of these

bills. In order to stand by the

people during the pandemic,

Nagad is working under the

slogan, "If people survive,

the country will survive".

Nagad has introduced

mobile payments for

COVID-19 test fees instead

of cash payments to reduce

the risk of spreading

infections through paper

money. And already gained

massive popularity for the

free send money facility and

the lowest cost cash-out

charge. Currently, there are

12,000 merchants and 500

Bangladesh, said, "Our

televisions are curated to fit

and complement your

interior conveniently.

Samsung being the Global

No. 1 selling TV brand for 15

years proves the highest

quality and most innovative

technology that gets used in

making each of our

televisions. T Series comes

in various ranges, letting you

choose a TV according to

your budget and lifestyle.

e-commerce connected with

Nagad, so all daily needs,

including shopping, can be

met from one's home.

Jabbar said, "People are

becoming more and more

interested in digital

transactions as Nagad has

set an excellent example of

ensuring the freedom of

financial transactions by

offering some services with

no charge or some services

with a minimum charge,"

The Minister said Nagad is

now the number one MFS

carrier in the country in

terms of providing the best

service using technology,

ensuring the opportunity to

transact at the lowest cost,

and so many parameters. "I

believe that in a short time, it

will be the top MFS operator

We want the people of

Bangladesh to enjoy the

innovative technology that

we are bringing to the

market. Thus, we are

extremely pleased to

introduce 36 months of EMI

with 0% interest with the top

banks in Bangladesh. We

hope it will be well receptive

by the customers and our

innovative technology will

enhance their TV experience

along with lifestyles."

Telecom Minister urges people to

avail Nagad services from home

COVID-19 vaccination

key to economic recovery:

HKSAR gov't officials

HONG KONG : Senior

officials of the Hong Kong

Special Administrative

Region (HKSAR)

government on Sunday

urged the public to get

vaccinated against COVID-

19 in a bid to save the

economy from a prolonged

recession, reports BSS.

Matthew Cheung, chief

secretary for administration

of the HKSAR government,

said in an online article that

epidemic control is crucial to

the recovery of the local

economy and called on

residents to take vaccine jabs

and cooperate with antiepidemic

measures.

The government will offer

favorable arrangements to

those who have taken the

vaccine, including easier

visits to hospitals, family

dinners at restaurants and

travel bubble, he said.

in the country in terms of

business perspective as

well."

Nagad, the world's fastestgrowing

mobile financial

service, has recently

surpassed two landmarks:

40 million subscribers and

Tk 4 billion transactions per

day.

Inaugurated by Prime

Minister Sheikh Hasina on

March 26, 2019, Nagad has

achieved huge success in

government service in just

two years and has created a

buzz in the industry.

During the pandemic, the

release said Nagad has

introduced the digital

distribution of various

government allowances,

stipends and financial

assistance, making it easier

for the beneficiaries to get

the assistance. It has

ensured transparency and

saved public money.

Recently, nearly 15 million

primary-level students have

been given stipends in their

mothers' Nagad wallets, a

development that has

restored order in the

distribution of stipends.

Anyone can open an

account of Nagad just by

dialing *167# from their

mobile phones and setting a

four-digit PIN. This

innovation has also drawn

people to Nagad and digital

transactions. If anybody

uses Nagad, the users will

not require to come out of

their home to avail of any

common services.

Italian govt unveils post-Covid

recovery plan

ROME : Italy's government unveiled a 222-

billion-euro ($270-billion) post-Covid

recovery plan Sunday - most of which would

be financed by a special EU fund - a day

before presenting it to parliament.

The EU coronavirus recovery fund will

cover 191.5 billion euros of the total budget.

Italy, the EU state hit hardest by the

coronavirus, is the biggest recipient of the

bloc's 750-billion-euro post-pandemic

recovery fund.

In its presentation, the government said

the plan represented a significant

investment in both young people and

women, particularly hard hit by

unemployment. Businesses will have

financial incentives to recruit people from

both categories.

The five-year plan, approved after talks

between Prime Minister Mario Draghi and

EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen,

has six main elements, said a government

spokesman.

Nearly 50 billion euros will go towards a

push to get Italy's internet network up to

speed. Italy ranked fourth from the bottom

in the European Commission's latest index

of digital competitiveness (DESI).

Nearly 68 billion euros will go towards a

"green revolution and ecological transition".

Projects include plans to increase recycling

and to relaunch local public road and rail

transport using less polluting vehicles. The

government also wants to invest in

renewable energy and explore hydrogen

power, said the government spokesman.

Italy will put 31.4 billion euros towards

modernising the country's transport

infrastructure, prioritising regional rail

services and high-speed trains.

It will spend 31.9 billion euros on

education on research, and more places for

young children in creches and nursery

schools.

And as part of its social inclusion initiative

it will invest 22.4 billion euros in helping

people get into the workplace, investing in

women's businesses for example.

There will be 18.5 billion euros set aside for

work to reinforce preventive health work and

the computerisation of the health care

system.


TuESDAY, APRiL 27, 2021

9

Manchester City players celebrate after beating Tottenham Hotspur in the 2020/21 League

Cup final.

Photo: AP

Manchester City lift record-equalling fourth

straight League Cup in front of fans

SPORTS DESK

Manchester City claimed a recordequalling

fourth successive League Cup

triumph as Aymeric Laporte's late

header sealed a deserved 1-0 victory

over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday,

reports UNB.

Spurs had soaked up intense City

pressure for most of the game to

somehow stay in contention at

Wembley Stadium. But City finally

made the breakthrough in the 82nd

minute from an unlikely source as

defender Laporte met Kevin de

Bruyne's free kick and headed past

goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

A combination of Lloris, last-ditch

defending and some poor City finishing

had kept the 8,000 crowd on

tenterhooks but in the end Pep

Guardiola's side got their reward. They

have now matched Liverpool's feat of

winning the competition for four

seasons in a row, and also join

Liverpool with the most League Cup

wins on eight.

Tottenham, who had rookie manager

Ryan Mason on the touchline after Jose

Mourinho's sacking last week,

produced a disappointing performance

and their wait for a first trophy since

winning the 2008 League Cup

continues.After City's FA Cup semifinal

loss to Chelsea last weekend, they

chalked off the first part of what they

hope will be a treble, with the Premier

League title almost in the bag and a

Champions League semi-final to come

against Paris St Germain.

GUARDIOLA'S JOY While the

League Cup is lower down Guardiola's

priorities there was no disguising his

joy as he became the first manager to

win the League Cup in four successive

seasons. It had added significance as

the final was played in front of the

biggest crowd since Britain went into a

first COVID-19 lockdown last March -

one of the government's test events to

get fans safely back into venues as

restrictions ease. "It's not full, but it was

a great noise," said Guardiola, who now

has won 30 trophies as a manager since

taking over at Barcelona in 2008.

"Today we are incredibly happy that

we have four in a row in this

competition. We tried to win the game,

created a lot of chances. They had some

chances on the counter but in general

we had a good game."City's permitted

2,000 fans serenaded their team at the

end with the club's Blue Moon anthem

although they would have had a more

relaxing afternoon in the sunshine had

their team turned their overwhelming

first-half dominance into goals.

How the final reached halftime still at

0-0 was mystifying with Phil Foden

shooting wide from close range and

then seeing another effort deflected

onto the post.

First Arab woman basketball

referee to stand tall at Olympics

SPORTS DESK

When 3-on-3 basketball makes its

debut at the Tokyo Olympics, referee

Sarah Gamal will also be making a

breakthrough, as an Arab and African

woman officiating at the Games,

reports UNB.

Wearing a black veil emblazoned

with a sports company's logo, Gamal

stands tall among the high-flying male

players at Alexandria United Club, a

powerhouse of Egyptian basketball

with a rowdy fanbase.

"From the start of my journey as a

referee, I haven't heard one negative

comment or faced any obstacles to

me being a veiled woman. The veil

for me is normal and doesn't cause

any problems," the 32-year-old told

AP.The International Basketball

Federation (FIBA) changed its rules in

2017 to allow players to wear the hijab

(veil) under certain conditions.

To attract a younger international

fanbase, FIBA adopted the 3 on 3

competition popular on public courts

around the world before the format was

added to the Tokyo Olympic

programme in 2017.

Games are played on a half court with

one basket, as opposed to the

traditional end-to-end full-court play in

the five against five game. To win, a

team must reach 21 points first or

outscore their opponents over two 10-

minute halves. No fear of men -

Gamal has had plenty of experience

blazing a trail for aspiring women

referees and players including at the

FIBA World Youth Cup in 2018 in

Belarus and at the African Women's

Championship in 2017.

"The veil hasn't affected my

refereeing in any tournament so far and

to prove it I'm ready to take on the

Tokyo Olympics," she said. "My

thinking is focused on training and

proper preparation to perform at this

important event." Working in a maledominated

industry as a civil engineer

in Alexandria, she is not afraid of

officiating male athletes on hardwood

courts. "I have refereed men's games in

the past and I have had a lot of success

running them which garnered the

confidence of Egypt's refereeing

committee... It's the usual for me."

Gamal fell in love with the game at

five years old learning from her older

sister.

"I was five when I started hooping.

That helped me to organise my time

between studying and training. It's all

thanks to my mother, who ran a tight

ship, until I reached university and

studied civil engineering," she told to

AP. "It was difficult, especially since it's

a field that requires studying hard and

exerting a lot of effort mentally," she

said.

She is eager to show off her skills and

experience at the Olympics.

"My family is still beaming with the

news of my selection. It's a great reward

for all the sweat and tears I've had to go

through in recent years," said Gamal

She started as a player and switched

to refereeing at 16 "because I had a

great passion for a deeper

understanding of the rules".

When 3-on-3 basketball makes its debut at the Tokyo Olympics, Sarah Gamal will also be making a

breakthrough, as an Arab and African woman officiating at the Games.

Photo: AP

Cricketers looking

to quit IPL amid

Covid-19 panic

SPORTS DESK

Several Australian cricketers

are looking to leave the

Indian Premier League

(IPL) due to fears that they

will be locked of their

country following rising

Covid-19 cases in India,

reports UNB.

Australia pace bowler

Andrew Tye left his

franchise Rajasthan Royals

(RR) for 'personal reasons',

it came to light on Sunday

(April 25), after fellow RR

player England's Liam

Livingstone had left a few

days back citing 'bubble

fatigue'. The Sydney

Morning Herald (SMH) on

Monday reported that many

Australian players are

'nervous about securing safe

passage back home after the

[Scott] Morrison government

(Australian government) reduced

the number of incoming

passengers allowed from India'.

India is enduring a tough

phase in the pandemic, with

around 3.5 lakh daily Covid-

19 cases and inadequate

medical facilities. Sunday

saw 3.54 lakh new cases with

over 2800 deaths. "Several

sources close to the situation

said on Sunday that multiple

Australian players in India

were seeking to leave the

tournament early amid

India's skyrocketing

coronavirus cases and recent

travel restrictions imposed

on people returning to

Australia from India," said

the report in SMH.

The report quoted Kolkata

Knight Riders mentor David

Hussey, a former Aussie

batsman, as saying,

"Everyone's sort of a bit

nervous about whether they

can get back into Australia. I

dare say there'll be a few

other Australians (besides

Tye) a bit nervous about

getting back into Australia.

"Everyone's pretty

nervous about what's going

on over here, but they're also

pragmatic," Hussey added.

"A couple of [Indian]

players, their fathers have

passed away. One person in

particular, he's one of the

staff members with us and

his father passed away last

year from Covid, and he was

really pragmatic by saying it

was his time to go," he said.

The 45-year-old Hussey,

however, praised the biobubble

in the IPL saying it is

quite like what they

experienced in Australia

during the summer. "We're

stuck in bubbles. It's

probably not too dissimilar

to what all Victorians

experienced last year in

lockdown really," Hussey

told SMH.

Comeback queen Ash Barty

savours 'phenomenal' week

in Stuttgart

SPORTS DESK

World number one Ash Barty said her tennis

had reached a new level during a

"phenomenal" week in Stuttgart where she

pulled off three successive comeback wins to

claim her second title on clay, reports UNB.

The Australian, who turned 25 on

Saturday, defeated fifth seed Aryna

Sabalenka 3-6 6-0 6-3 in the final to hoist her

third WTA trophy this season and cement

her place at the top of the rankings.

The Sabalenka win followed victories over

fourth seed Elina Svitolina and sixth seed

Karolina Pliskova after conceding the first set

in each."This week has been phenomenal for

me," Barty said in her post-match media

conference.We've played a lot of tennis, a lot

of matches.

"And I've certainly felt like I'm taking my

tennis to kind of a new level, in a sense of

being able to be calm and play with freedom

and play without consequence in a way, just

going out there and try to bring my best

every single point."

Barty's decision to stay home during the

pandemic-blighted 2020 season rather than

rejoin the Tour appears to have paid off, with

the Australian returning to the kind of form

that led to the 2019 French Open title and

world number one ranking.

Although suffering a surprise defeat to

25th seed Karolina Muchova in the

Australian Open quarter-finals and a firstround

exit at the Adelaide International in

February, Barty caught fire after departing

home shores, defending her Miami Open

title three weeks ago.

Sabalenka was her 10th successive win

over top-10 opponents dating back to her

2019 WTA Finals title in Shenzhen.

Barty capped a stellar week at the WTA

500 event in Stuttgart by teaming up with

American Brady to win the doubles, beating

top seeds Desirae Krawczyk and Bethanie

Mattek-Sands.

"Tennis is a strange sport at times," Barty

said. "Even though you can be a set down, I

didn't feel I was very far off.

"I think it's important to just continue to

work in the right direction, try to do right

things … And if you don't (get the result), you

just keep going for the next time.

"I think that's a massively important

attitude to have."The WTA Tour continues at

the Madrid Open this week.

Australia's Ashleigh Barty celebrates with the trophy after winning the

Final against Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka.

Photo: . Reuters

Alan Shearer and Thierry

Henry the first inductees into

Premier League Hall of Fame

SPORTS DESK

Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry have

become the first players to be inducted

into the Premier League Hall of Fame,

reports Sky Sports.

The Hall of Fame is the highest

individual honour awarded to players

by the League and celebrates the talent

and achievements of standout

professionals who have featured in the

division since its creation in 1992. To be

eligible, players must have been retired

as of August 1, 2020.

Former Blackburn Rovers and

Newcastle United striker Shearer still

holds the record as the Premier

League's highest scorer with 260 goals

in 441 appearances across 14 seasons.

He won the title with Blackburn

under Kenny Dalglish in the 1994/95

campaign and went on to score 148

times in the top flight during 10 years at

his boyhood club Newcastle from 1996

to 2006.

The former England forward is a

three-time Golden Boot winner and

remains the only player to have reached

100 Premier League goals for two

different clubs.Shearer said: "When you

look at some of the unbelievable players

to have graced the Premier League -

Shakib, Tamim named in PSL

replacement draft

SPORTS DESK

The Pakistan Super League (PSL) sixth

edition was called off in the middle due to

coronavirus outbreak. However, the

organizers have finalized the new dates to

resume the tournament, also the

replacement draft for the remaining (PSL)

season 6's matches was announced to be

held on April 27, reports UNB.

About 130 foreign players will be available

in the draft. Players from Australia, New

Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka,

Bangladesh Afghanistan, and West Indies

are available in the replacement

draft.According to sources, there are 5

Bangladesh players including ace allrounder

Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal

week in, week out, year in, year out - I

feel very honoured to join the Hall of

Fame. I have to thank all of my teammates,

as well as the managers and

coaches that I've worked with.

"All I ever wanted to be was a

professional footballer. It was my

dream to do that, my dream to win

trophies and my dream to score at St

James' Park, to wear the number nine

black-and-white shirt and it was

fantastic. I enjoyed every minute of it."

Following his move to Arsenal from

Juventus in 1999, Henry won the

Premier League title twice and was a

key member of the 'Invincibles' team

which went unbeaten during the

2003/04 title-winning season. The

Frenchman won the Golden Boot

award a record four times and scored a

club-record 175 Premier League goals in

258 appearances for the Gunners. He

scored over 20 Premier League goals in

five campaigns in a row between 2001

and 2006. Henry also surpassed Ian

Wright's total of 185 goals in all

competitions to become Arsenal's alltime

record scorer (with 228) during his

time in north London.

Henry said: "To be inducted

alongside Alan Shearer as the two first

inductees into the Premier League Hall

in the platinum category.Apart from them,

Taskin Ahmed, Sabbir Rahman and Liton

Das are in the silver category.

In the platinum category, Shakib is

accompanied by Evin Lewis, Andre Russell

and Martin Guptill. Whereas, Usman

Khwaja, James Faulkner, Adam Milne and

Morne Morkel have been placed in the

Diamond category.

Jack Weatherlard, Jonathan Wells,

Hazratullah Zazai, George Worker, Wesley

Madhaver, Shaun Williams, Taskin Ahmed,

Liton Das, Sabbir Rahman, Nuan Pradeep,

Sekuge Prasanna, Johnson Charles, Kesrick

Willis are placed in the silver category.

PSL 6 will be played between June 1 to 20.

Karachi will host the event with a quarantine

period starting from May 22 at a local hotel.

of Fame is more than special.

"When I was young, I was just trying

to make sure I could get a pair of boots

and now we're talking about the Hall of

Fame. During my career I wanted to

play hard and make sure I was fighting

for the cause, because that's all the fans

want to see."If you asked me at the start

of my career about entering the Hall of

Fame, I wouldn't have believed you. It's

an amazing honour."

Premier League chief executive

Richard Masters said: "Alan Shearer

and Thierry Henry are two world-class

players who lit up the Premier League

throughout their time in the

competition. Both players were capable

of scoring every kind of goal, including

some of the best we have ever seen.

"Shearer's record 260 Premier League

goals puts him at the top of a long list of

exceptional goalscorers. The fact that

record remains unchallenged today, 15

years since his retirement, goes to show

what an achievement it was.

"Henry broke individual and team

records during eight seasons with

Arsenal when he became a footballing

icon. He was a talisman in the

'Invincibles' team and his four Premier

League Golden Boots during a five-year

period reflect the impact he had."


TUesDAY, ApRIL 27, 2021

10

Sanjay Dutt's daughter Trishala

Dutt, a psychotherapist, often

engages with social media

followers over matters of mind

and heart. In one such

interaction on Saturday,

Trishala - through a series of

Instagram stories - tried

educating people about

infidelity and also answered

questions about her own

relationship history.

When one asked her if she had

been cheated in a relationship,

the youngster replied in

affirmative. She was asked by

another follower about her

longest relationship and the

reason it ended. While not going

into the details of her break-up,

Trishala revealed, "7 Years. I

won't go into the major details

on why it ended. Let's just say

we mutually parted ways. He

was ready for a life that I wasn't

and we had many, many

differences that accumulated

over the years."

Trishala further said that she

was happy for her former

partner as he has happily moved

on in his life. "In a nutshell, we

both grew apart. It happens.

Today, he's married with

children and I wish him all the

best." Trishala Dutt has been

quite open about her personal

life, including her relationship

with Sanjay Dutt and the passing

away of her lover.

Recently, during an Ask Me

Anything session, a follower

asked her why she never

"disclosed" how her boyfriend

passed away. Trishala, first,

wrote, "I apologise in advance if

my response comes off as cold. I

am not mad nor offended by

your question but want to

educate people about basic

social 101 skills."

Then, in a long note, she

wrote, "It's natural to want to

know how someone passed

Teaser of

'Shoto

Shoto Raat'

released

TBT RepoRT

Teaser of promising singer Kaniz

Khadiza Tinni's new song titled

Shoto Shoto Raat has been

released recently. It was released

recently on YouTube channel of

Ovinondon and Y Beats. Tinni is

getting huge response for the

teaser. Ovi Moinuddin wrote and

composed the song, while Yousuf

Ahmed Khan gave

direction of the music of the

song. While taking about the

song, Tinni said, "The lyrics of

the song are nice. Ovi Bhai has

written the song cordially. The

recording of the song has been

done on March 25 and we

launched the teaser on YouTube

last Friday. I am getting huge

response for the song. I hope the

listeners will also enjoy the song

very much. Ovi Bhai has also

made the music video of the

song, while Asif Khan Raj will be

seen as model in the music video.

Sanjay Dutt's daughter

Trishala opens up about her

longest relationship

away, even if it's 'none of your

business', right? However, if you

are curious about how someone

passed away, but you're not

close enough to already know,

then asking is prying. The most

inappropriate reaction is

inquiring about the cause of

death. I want you to ask yourself

this question - What is the

purpose of me doing/asking

this? Will knowing the answer

allow me to help this person? or

is it just morbid curiosity?"

Source: AP

Salauddin, Tisha's

'Idur Biral' to air

soon

TBT RepoRT

Salauddin Lavlu is a popular

small screen actor and director

of the country while Nusrat

Imrose Tisha is a versatile

actress. They have won the

hearts of millions by their

fabulous performance. Now, the

duo will be seen acting in a

drama titled 'Idur Biral' on the

occasion of upcoming Eid-ul-

Fitr. Sajin Ahmed Babu has

written and directed the drama.

The shooting of the drama has

already been completed at a

Final winners at the 93rd

Academy Awards:

Best picture: " Nomadland "

Best actress: Frances

McDormand, "Nomadland"

Best actor: Anthony Hopkins,

"The Father"

shooting house in the capital's

Uttara area. Lavlu is playing the

role of a Kidnapper in this play.

About the drama, Salauddin

Lavlu said, Sajin Ahmed Babu is

a very good writer. He always

tries to make good story-based

dramas. The story of the drama

'Idur Biral' is also amazing. I

hope the audience will enjoy the

play."

Actress Tisha has been seen by

in different roles at different

times. This actress always likes

to work in challenging roles. For

the first time in her career, she is

Original screenplay: "

Promising Young Woman,"

Emerald Fennell

Adapted screenplay: Florian

Zeller and Christopher

Hampton, " The Father "

International film: " Another

appearing in a completely new

character. Tisha will play as a

third gender in 'Idur Biral'.

Tisha said, "In Idur Biral, I

have played the role of a person

of the third gender. I've never

been in such a role before. The

Round," Denmark

Best supporting actor: Daniel

Kaluuya, "Judas and the Black

Messiah" Best supporting

actress: Yuh-Jung Youn,

"Minari."

Best director: Chloé Zhao,

"Nomadland"

Sound: " Sound of Metal "

Makeup and hairstyling: " Ma

Rainey's Black Bottom "

Costume design: Ann Roth,

"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"

Live action short film: "Two

Distant Strangers"

Animated short film: "If

Anything Happens I Love You"

Animated feature: " Soul "

The story of a magician: Hrazu

Magician Razu is a Bangladeshi

Magician, illusionist and

endurance artist. His full name

Sajedur Rahman Razeeb known

as Hrazu. He was born in

Faridpur district in the Dhaka

division.

Magician Hrazu, nowadays,

the name that comes to mind

when we hear about magic. An

ordinary man but full of talent.

Magician Razu is basically

known among the people mainly

through the magic. He says a lot

more about magic and sorcerers

always. His most interesting

thing is that he shows magic

among the common people on

the streets According to him,

magic is for every one of all ages.

From the very beginning of

civilization, people have a keen

interest in magic and sorcery.

Most of all know or think, magic

means to be or do something

supernatural. Magic is a

supernatural force or power that

can do the impossible, such as

making people invisible or

controlling natural phenomena.

However, Hrazu, the renowned

magician of Bangladesh who

believes magic is an art that can

make people laugh, give joy, and

relieve frustration. In other

words, magic is capable of

entertaining people. According to

him, a magician means a kind of

story is very nice. There has

been a new experience working

on such a character. I hope

everyone will like the play."

The drama will be aired on

RTV on the occasion of

upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr.

A complete list of

all the winners at

the 2021 Oscars

actor who is playing the role of a

magician. Only when a magician

is successful can his amazing

magic put a smile on someone's

face. Not only this, with the help

of magic you can do wonders.

Magic is for every one of all ages.

Documentary short subject:

"Colette"

Documentary feature: "My

Octopus Teacher"

Visual effects: "Tenet"

Production design: " Mank "

Cinematography: "Mank"

Film editing: "Sound of Metal"

Original score: "Soul,? Trent

Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon

Batiste

Original song: "Fight for You"

from "Judas and the Black

Messiah" (Music by H.E.R. and

Dernst Emile II; Lyric by H.E.R.

and Tiara Thomas)

Source: Indian Express

Hrazu is one of the well-known

magicians of today. He is a very

ordinary man. But there is no

end to his qualities. Besides his

amazing magic, his hobbies are

painting, playing the flute and

cooking. However, he is a

microbiologist but completed

MBA and LLM too. He was a

painter from his childhood. He

has been awarded several times

for his paintings.Hrazu was in a

search for the art form that can

really connect with people

always. And then he found the

beauty of magic.He realises Only

magic gives someone the vast

opportunity to connect with

people. According to him, If

anyone sees he is making selflevitation,

that time every type of

people are interested to know

how he doing it. This matter

inspired him and after watching

David Blaine's TV show at his

early age, he really got inspired.

That time he thought to be a

magician.

He was asked that how would

he describe magician life? He

said, you have to very much be

dedicated to your magician life.

You have to work hard. Being

magician my life is not too much

simple.

H o R o s c o p e

ARIes

(March 21 - April 20) : There's an

emotional intensity inside you today that's

squirming to find a way out, Aries. Sudden

outbursts are likely, so take care to hold

your temper in check. Surround yourself with good

friends who can support your erratic feelings. Don't be

clingy. Seek friends who are thoughtful listeners, not

permanent crutches. They may be feeling the same strong

tension and don't need an extra burden.

TAURUs

(April 21 - May 21) : Today may have

some crazy emotional ups and downs,

Taurus. There seems to be an intense

cloud seeping into every part of your day.

Don't try to fool people. They will see right through

you. Bursts of positive energy will pop out of nowhere

to remind you of your more important purpose. Try

not to get so bogged down in the heaviness of the day

that you fail to spot opportunities that arise.

GeMINI

(May 22 - June 21) : This day will be filled

with many exciting surprises for you, Gemini.

Approach it with gratitude and you will be

amazed at the number of things that just

naturally seem to flow your way. Your generous heart will be

rewarded in unexpected ways. Old friends are likely to show

up. Open yourself up to conversations. Act spontaneously

and with a great deal of passion.

cANceR

(June 22 - July 23) : There's a larger

trend operating in your life, Cancer. It's

asking you to break the rules and enter a

new realm - a new mindset or way of

living. Today that trend comes into focus, as emotional

outbursts call attention to the changes. Your heart may

want to go one way while your brain wants to go

another. Take deep breaths and infuse a wave of calm

into the situation before you proceed.

Leo

(July 24 - Aug. 23): Pour yourself a

comforting cup of tea today, Leo. Take

a hot shower or a long bath. In short,

pamper yourself. You may be picking

up on the extra tension of the people around you.

Be conscious of this and make a mental note to

strip away the garbage that others dump on you.

You're a sensitive individual. Pat yourself on the

back and look out for sudden moves from others.

VIRGo

(Aug. 24 - Sept. 23): It may be that people

are a bit upset by some of your recent actions or

words, Virgo. The offhand remark you made a

couple weeks ago is catching up to you. What

you may consider friendly, lighthearted sparring may actual do

a bit of damage to someone's sensitive emotions, especially

today. Think before you speak. Others might not have as tough

a skin as they seem to have.

LIBRA

(Sept. 24 - Oct. 23): This is an exciting

day for you, Libra. You can accomplish

quite a bit. Your intuition is especially

acute and your sensitivity is strong.

Computers might irritate you today. It's possible to

get all worked up if your laptop crashes. Save your

work often. Keep in mind that it's just a machine.

Don't let it get the better of you.

scoRpIo

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

jittery, even without caffeine,

Scorpio. Sudden actions may cause

people to freak out, since people will

be on edge in general today anyway. Save the

surprises for another time. If you need to tell your

boss that you're going on vacation for a little

while, now isn't the time. There's a rough edge to

the astral energy. Relax to soothe your soul.

sAGITTARIUs

(Nov. 23 - Dec. 21): Things may be

coming at you from all angles today,

Sagittarius. Sooner or later you will be

forced to take action. It may seem like

the walls of the room are slowly caving in. The

pressure is building and the air is getting stagnant.

Go out for a run. Exercise will help you release some

of that pressure you feel.

cApRIcoRN

(Dec. 22 - Jan. 20): You may be excited

about an idea today, Capricorn, but

unfortunately no one else may be. You

spring up with enthusiasm only to

smack into a brick wall. One side of you may be

communicative and witty while the other is

confused. The two sides aren't really connecting well,

so perhaps you should just lay low. Hold on to your

ideas, and save their presentation for a later day.

AQUARIUs

(Jan. 21 - Feb. 19) : Much of today will

be a continuation of yesterday, but

with perhaps a bit more intensity for

you, Aquarius. There's an added buzz

in the air, like static on a radio. This background

noise may not provide the best environment to

work in, but you should be able to navigate with no

problem. Tune out the chatter and move on.

pIsces

(Feb. 20 - Mar. 20) : Today is one of those

days when you might feel like four people

have a hold of each of your limbs, Pisces. The

people are tugging and you're getting

stretched in every direction. Someone wants you to go there,

someone wants you to come here. Take some time out for

yourself and clearly state your needs to others. Make it known

what the best situation for you would be.


Man killed in Gazipur

lynch-mob attack

GAZIPUR : A man was killed

and five others were injured

in a lynch-mob attack for their

suspected involvement in cattle

lifting in Kaliganj of

Gazipur on Monday.

The identity of the deceased

could not be known yet.

The injured were Delwar

Hossain, Nahid Mia, Hasan

Ali, Gazi Hossain and Alamgir

Hossain. Among the injured,

condition of three was stated

to be critical.

GD-734/21 (5x3)

DIU ranks top among Bangladeshi Universities

As per Times Higher Education

(THE) Impact Ranking results 2021

released on 21 April, Daffodil

International University (DIU) has

ranked top among Bangladeshi universities

and obtained a prestigious

position in the range of 301 to 400

among 1115 universities worldwide.

It is worth mentioning that DIU is

placed first among seven universities

ranked from Bangladesh. THE

Impact ranking measured the

achievement of the United Nations

Sustainable Development Goals

attained by the participated universities

and ranked accordingly, a

press release said.

It is really an outstanding

achievement that Daffodil

International University has been

ranked within top 50 among 966

universities ranked globally in

Quality Education (SDG-4).It is a

recognition of the university's continuous

effort for development of

teaching and learning as well as

knowledge acquisition culture

based on collaborative philosophy

and importantly supported by the

communication technologies. Brac

University exists in the 2nd position

among the Bangladeshi universities.

Obtaining 81 percent score in

Partnership for the Goals (SDG 17)

is another milestone of DIU in this

year's THE Impact Ranking. It signifies

strong collaboration and relationships

with the national and

international organizations and the

Government of Bangladesh to carry

out academic and research activities,

and address social, environmental

and economic issues

through partnerships.

Kazakhstan rolls out

national coronavirus

vaccine

NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan on Monday rolled

out its homegrown coronavirus vaccine, with the Central

Asian country's health minister receiving the jab on live television,

reports BSS.

QazCovid-in, also known as QazVac, is a two-shot vaccine

that is currently in third stage trials.

The state broadcaster Khabar said that 50,000 doses of the

vaccine developed by the state-backed Research Institute for

Biological Safety Problems have been distributed across the

vast oil-rich country.

Health Minister Alexei Tsoi told Khabar that he felt "well"

after receiving his shot and said the government was negotiating

with partners in Turkey to produce future batches of

the vaccine. In a tweet on Friday, Kazakhstan's President

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev hailed the former Soviet republic's

achievement in becoming "one of the few states" to develop

and produce a national vaccine.

Kazakhstan became the first foreign country to produce

Russia's Sputnik V vaccine earlier this year, and the Russian

jab has dominated the mass inoculation drive in the nation of

nearly 19 million people.

Health Minister Tsoi told Khabar that "one in 20" Kazakh

citizens have been vaccinated against the coronavirus since

the campaign began in February.

As of Monday, Kazakhstan had registered 309,116 coronavirus

cases and 3,570 deaths.

Philippine coast guard holds drills

in disputed South China Sea

MANILA : The Philippine coast guard is conducting drills in the

South China Sea which an official said Sunday were part of

efforts to secure "our maritime jurisdiction" over the disputed

waters.

The exercises near the Philippine-occupied Thitu Island and

China-controlled Scarborough Shoal come amid heightened

tensions over the resource-rich sea.

The latest diplomatic wrangle between the two countries was

triggered by the detection last month of hundreds of Chinese

vessels in the Spratly Islands.

Most of the boats have since dispersed around the contested

archipelago.

China - which claims almost the entirety of the sea - has refused

repeated demands by the Philippines to call back the ships,

which Manila says are maritime militia vessels and Beijing says

are fishing boats.

In response, the Philippines has deployed more patrol vessels,

including coast guard and navy ships, to intensify surveillance

and prevent illegal fishing.

The coast guard drills began last week.

"We are supporting the whole-of-nation approach in securing

our maritime jurisdiction," coast guard spokesman Commodore

Armando Balilo said.

The exercises involve training in navigation, small boat

operations, maintenance and logistical operations.

They are being held near Thitu Island and Scarborough Shoal,

as well as the Batanes islands in the north, and the southern and

eastern parts of the country.

Scarborough - one of the region's richest fishing grounds - has

long been a flashpoint between Manila and Beijing.

China seized it from the Philippines in 2012 following a tense

standoff. The drills began as Philippine armed forces held joint

exercises with US soldiers that ended Friday.

Beijing has ignored a 2016 international tribunal decision that

declared its historical claim over most of the South China Sea to

be without basis. But once-frosty relations between Manila and

Beijing have warmed under President Rodrigo Duterte, who set

aside the ruling in exchange for promises of trade and

investment. The Philippine foreign and defence secretaries,

however, have been engaged in a war of words with Beijing.

The foreign affairs department has been filing daily protests

over the Chinese vessels and, in a rare move, recently summoned

Beijing's envoy to express its "utmost displeasure" over the issue.

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tueSdAy, APRil 27, 2021

11

Member of Parliament Bogura-1 Shahadara Mannan inaugurated the

development work by RCC at a cost of 20 lakh for a girls school road in

Sariakandi municipal area on Monday.

Photo: Azhar Ali

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Office of the

Executive Engineer

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BWDB, Saidpur, Nilphamari

Email:xen.bwdbsaidpur@yahoo.com

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Tuesday, dhaka, april 27, 2021, Baishakh 14, 1428 BS, Ramadan 14, 1442 hijri

Prime minister Sheikh hasina on monday delivered at the 77th annual Session of the united Nations Economic

and Social Commission for asia and the Pacific (uN-ESCaP).

Photo : Star mail

Brahmanbaria mayhem

Hefazat leader among

10 arrested

BRAHMANBARIA : Police in a drive

arrested ten people including a local

leader of Hefazat e-Islam from different

parts of the district in the past 24

hours till Monday morning.

The arrests were made in connection

with the last month's mayhem carried

out Hefazat-e-Islam supporters in the

district. The arrests were made after

identifying the accused from video

footage and images taken during the

violence, according to the special

branch of district police.

Mufti Zakaria Khan, 43, assistant

publicity secretary of district unit

Hefazat-e-Islam and also the teacher

of Brahmanbaria Jamia Yunisia

Madrasha was among the arrestee,

said police.

During interrogation, Zakaria said

he took part in the violence and arson

attack directly following the directives

of top Hefazat men of the madrasha.

So far, 55 cases have been filed and

369 people arrested in connection the

rampage, the police said.

On March 27, at least five people

were killed and around 50 others,

including 25 cops, injured in clashes

between members of law enforcement

agencies and locals during Hefazat's

demonstrations at Nandanpur in

Sadar upazila. They had staged the

protests against Indian Prime Minister

Narendra Modi's visit to Bangladesh.

The next day, during Hefazat's countrywide

dawn-to-dusk hartal protesting

police action on their anti-Modi

processions in Dhaka, Chattogram and

other districts, activists set fire to three

buildings, including the land office in

Brahmanbaria Sadar upazila.

Swiss contact, BKMEA

team up to support

Covid-hit RMG workers

DHAKA : Swisscontact and

Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers

and Exporters Association (BKMEA)

has signed an agreement for the economic

rehabilitation of readymade

garments (RMG) workers amid the

pandemic.

Sarathi-Progress through Financial

Inclusion, a development project of

Swisscontact Bangladesh, on

Monday signed the agreement with

BKMEA to support apparel workers

and factories that are still reeling from

the disruptions brought about by the

pandemic.

Through this collaboration, 400

RMG workers will receive a portion

ofthe wage subsidy.

Many factories will be forced to partially

or entirely stop operation in the

coming months if they do not receive

more production orders from the

international brands. This will result

in more layoffs in the apparel sector.

So, Sarathi will collaborate with

BKMEA to identify small and medium

RMG factories, who are struggling

to receive production orders

amid the pandemic.

And BKMEA will help Sarathi identify

the struggling factories based on

specific selection criteria and grant

them partial wage subsidy, enabling

them to retain their entire workforce.

Global Covid crisis

Hasina recommends measures for

ESCAP to attain quick recovery

DHAKA : Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina on Monday recommended the

UN-ESCAP to take four measures,

including onethat will helpthe developed

world, development partners and

international financial institutions

(IFIs) come forward to ensure quick

recovery from the Covid-19 crisis,

reports UNB.

Sheikh Hasina made the recommendations

in her recorded speech delivered

at the 77th Annual Session of the

United Nations Economic and Social

Commission for Asia and the Pacific

(UN-ESCAP).

ESCAP's four-day (Monday-

Thursday) virtual session is being held

under the theme "Building back better

from crises through regional cooperation

in Asia and the Pacific". The four

measures that the Bangladesh Prime

Minister recommended for ESCAP

include: The developed world, development

partners and IFIs should come

forward in attaining quick recovery

from the COVID pandemic; to 'build

back better' from any crisis and the

development approach should be more

inclusive, resilient and environment

friendly one.

The measures also include the Asia-

Pacific region should take efficient policies

and strategies for a strengthened

and universal public health system; and

Establishing seamless connectivity in

the areas of trade, transport, energy and

ICT, science and technology.

Talking about the Rohingya issue,

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is hosting

1.1 million forcefully displaced

Rohingyas from Myanmar.

"We urge the international community

to remain focused on this issue for a

viable solution through sustainable

repatriation," she said.

The Prime Minister said the Covid-19

pandemic has devastated the health systems

and economies across the globe.

Nearly 2.95 million people have died

and hundreds more are dying every day

of the deadly disease, she said.

The pandemic has made many people

poorer while many others are sliding

back to poverty, Hasina added.

"In Bangladesh, we've announced

stimulus packages worth about USD

14.6 billion, around 4.44% of our GDP,

for widening social protection, retaining

jobs and bolstering the economy,"

Hasina said.

She said the latest Five-Year Plan

included strategies for recovery from

Covid-19 and preparing Bangladesh for

smooth and sustainable LDC graduation,

achieving SDGs, and setting a trajectory

towards a prosperous country by 2041.

Noting that Bangladesh has continued

to move forward with environmental

management, the PM said adaptation

efforts to climate change have been

supported by programmes funded

through the Bangladesh Climate

Change Trust Fund. "We see regional

cooperation as the most viable option

for shared prosperity," she said adding

that Bangladesh is engaged in SAARC,

BIMSTEC, BBIN, BCIM-EC and

Trilateral Highway initiatives. The

'South-South Network for Public

Service Innovation' helps Bangladesh

through partnership with other countries,

the Prime Minister said. Sheikh

Hasina said Bangladesh is an ardent

supporter of increased connectivity and

ESCAP's initiative of the Asian

Highway and Trans-Asian Railway.

Hundreds throng Paturia

Ghat to return to Dhaka

MANIKGANJ : Hundreds of commuters

gathered at the Paturia ghat

on Monday as people started

returning to Dhaka after the government

has eased lockdown with

reopening of shopping malls.

Passengers from 21 districts of the

south-western region were seen

rushing to the ghat in private cars,

microbuses and CNG-run autorickshaws

in an attempt to return to

their work places.

Ordinary passengers are the worst

sufferers as they are being compelled

to pay extra money for hiring

microbuses or auto- rickshaws due

to the closure of long-distance

buses and public transports.

Besides, there is no scope of maintaining

social distance in those

overcrowded vehicles.

Passengers alleged that the owners

of different are exploiting the

situation by charging more fare

than normal. A private car or a

motorcycle is taking Tk 300 per

person from Paturia to Nabinagar

and Tk 400-500 from Paturia to

Gabtoli, they alleged.

Akbar Hossain, a Dhaka-bound

passenger from Faridpur, said, "I

am coming back to Dhaka after

the opening of shops and markets.

Generally, it only takes Tk 400 to

return to Dhaka, but today it costs

me around Tk 800."

Zillur Rahman, general manager

of BIWTC's Aricha office, said

ferry services on Paturia-

Daulatdia waterway have been

suspended following strict restrictions

imposed by the government

to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

However, six small ferries are

plying on the waterway for carrying

vehicles providing emergency

services.

Halting vaccination program

Govt should take

responsibility: Fakhrul

Shafiqul iSlam

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul

Islam Alamgir has alleged that the people

are being deprived of vaccinations due to

the lack of visionary decision of the government.

He made this remark at a virtual

press conference on Monday afternoon.

He said that the government's move to

source the Covid-19 vaccine from a single

supplier has put the entire vaccination

program at great risk.

Earlier, Bangladesh started its mass vaccination

program in February this year

with a high hope of getting millions of vaccine

doses from the Serum Institute, one

of the largest vaccine producers in the

world. But India's current spike in coronavirus

cases and lack of raw materials that

is to be shipped from the US has put the

company in a position where it can no

longer keep its promises of exporting vaccine

to countries other than India.

He raised a question that though the

government has started communicating

with China and Russia to tackle the situation

it will take 4 to 6 months to get the

shipment in hand. As the administering of

first jabs to new people is to be closed from

Monday it translates that so far, 6 million

people have been vaccinated with the

required double doses of Oxford-

AstraZeneca vaccine.

Mirza Fakhrul also called on the government

for sending financial incentives to

the needy people who struggle to make

their ends meal.

Shahid Joy

West Bengal Election

10 India returnee Covid-19

patients flee from Jashore

hospital

10 Covid-19 patients returning from

India fled from Jashore General

Hospital. They fled between last

Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon.

Allegedly, they were able to escape

due to the negligence of the nurses and

staff of the hospital. Jashore Civil

Surgeon admitted that the patient had

escaped and said that if the names and

addresses given in the hospital were correct,

it would be possible to find them.

Brother Tarak Chandra Biswas of the

Emergency Department of Jessore

General Hospital said some patients

who returned from India were admitted

at 10:57 am last Saturday (April 23).

Then the patient comes on Sunday too.

In all, ten Covid-19 patients were admitted

to the hospital in two days. All of

them were sent to the corona ward on

the third floor of the hospital.

According to the hospital's admission

register, the admitted patients are

Fatema Begum, 58, wife of Abul Qasim

at Biman Office Junction in Jessore,

Mala Dutta, 50, wife of Bishwanath of

Khaldhar Road, Fatema Begum, 19, wife

of Rabiul Islam of Panchbaria village in

Sadar upazila and Ekram's wife. Roma

(30), Momin, son of Jalal Uddin of

Pratapkathi village, Nasima Begum

(50), wife of Golam Rabbani of

Ramkantpur village, Shahidul Islam

67.27% Voter Turnout Till

3 pm In Phase 7 Of Pills

Stray incidents of violence were

reported from some areas where

voting is underway for the seventh

phase of the West Bengal assembly

elections, though the overall

polling process has been peaceful

in the state. 67.27 per cent of the

81 lakh electors have voted till 3

pm. Trinamool MPs Abhishek

Banerjee and Nusrat Ruhi were

among the early high-profile voters.

Thirty-four assembly constituencies

spread across five districts

are voting today in the seventh

phase of the eight-phased

election. Among these, six are in

Dakshin Dinajpur, six in Malda,

nine in Murshidabad, nine in

Paschim Bardhaman and four in

Kolkata.

In Bhowanipore, the home turf

of Chief Minister Mamata

Banerjee, Trinamool has fielded

party heavyweight Sobhandeb

Chattopadhyay. Ms Banerjee has

chosen Nandigram in this election

in place of Bhowanipore.

Over 81.88 lakh electorates,

including 39.87 lakh women, will

decide the fate of 268 candidates.

Key candidates to watch out in

this phase are actor Rudranil

Ghosh (who is standing from

Bhowanipore on BJP ticket) and

state minister Firhad Hakim, who

is contesting from the Kolkata

Port constituency.

Shortly after polling began,

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

urged voters to follow all Covid

protocols. "The seventh phase of

the West Bengal elections takes

place today. Urging people to

exercise their franchise and follow

all COVID-19 related protocols,"

PM Modi tweeted.

Ruling Trinamool Congress and

BJP are contesting on all 34 seats.

Congress, the Left parties and

the Indian Secular Front (ISF)

have made a coalition and are

contesting under the banner of

Sanyukta Morcha. Out of the 34

seats in this round, Congress has

got 18 in its share, CPI(M) got 12,

RSP three, AIFB got one and ISF

has got four seats.

Bahujan Samaj Party is also trying

its luck and has fielded 25 candidates.

(45), son of Fazr Ali of Raipur village of

Bagharpara upazila, Shefali Rani, wife of

Manotosh of Kaliganj of Jhenaidah district

Amirul Sana, son of Ahmed Sana of

the village and Sohail, 18, son of Sher Ali

of Rupsha area of the same district.

Laboni Biswas, a senior nurse in

charge of the corona ward, said ten coronavirus-infected

people from India were

admitted to the ward. But they have not

been found since this morning.

Several doctors at Jessore General

Hospital said the Indian variant of the

Covid-19 had created concern. As a

result, if 'runaway' patients carriers the

Indian variant, there is a risk of it

spreading.

When asked, the hospital's caretaker

doctor Dilip Kumar Roy said, "As far as

I know, two patients have escaped from

the hospital."

When contacted, Jessore Civil

Surgeon Dr. Sheikh Abu Shaheen said,

"I went to Jashore General Hospital this

morning after hearing about the

patient's escape." The ten patients who

escaped can be traced if their names and

addresses are correct. The matter is

being taken seriously.

Jessore Kotwali police chief Md Tajul

Islam said, 'The hospital authorities did

not inform us about the escape of the

corona patient. If any complaint is

received, the matter will be investigated.

Ahlea Sunnah

demands permanent

ban on Hefazat

DHAKA : Ahlea Sunnah Wal Jama'at

Bangladesh on Monday demanded

imposing ban on Hefazat-e-Islam permanently

for carrying out militancy and

anti-religious activities in the country.

Ahlea Sunnah secretary general ANM

Masoud Hussein Al-Qadiri made the

demand at a press conference at Dhaka

Reporters Unity (DRU) here.

He said the top scholars of Ahlea

Sunnat Wal Jama'at Bangladesh have

been presenting the erroneous

aqeedahs of Qaumi Hefazat through

meetings, seminars, symposiums,

writings and speeches for a long and

asking them to sit in a debate on their

erroneous aqeedahs.

But, Al-Qadiri said, the Hefazat

leaders do not show interest in joining

the debate and now their religious

misguided policies and militancy are

proved before the people.

He said Hefazat-e-Islam carried out

mayhem at Shapla Chattar in the city

in 2013, set arson on busses, cut down

trees of city roads and created an anarchic

situation here, which had no relation

to Islam. The Ahlea Sunnah

leader said Islam does not allow any

destruction but Hefazat established a

reign of terror in Dhaka, Narayanganj,

Brahmanbaria and Chattogram on

March 26 and later on.

Voters stand in line during polling for the seventh phase of the West Bengal assembly elections

in Kolkata.

PTi: Photo

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

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