01-08-2021

tbtbangla

Sunday

DhAkA: August 1, 2021; Srabon 17, 1428 BS; Zilhaj 21,1442 hijri

www.thebangladeshtoday.com; www.bangladeshtoday.net

Regd.No.DA~2065, Vol.19; N o. 101; 12 Pages~Tk.8.00

international

Israel blames Iran

over lethal attack on

oil tanker off Oman

>Page 7

SPortS

'Bitter' PSG face

nemesis Lille

in Tel Aviv

>Page 9

art & culture

Deepa's new drama

'Doshti Coffee and

Irfan er Golpo'

>Page 10

>(Contd. on page-11)

Zohr

After the government's announcement to open garments and factories, people from the southern part of the country were

flocking to the shimulia ferry terminal to reach Dhaka (left). on the other hand, people are returning to the capital from the

northern part of the country at the risk of their lives. The picture is taken from Bogura (right).

photo : TBT

Month of mourning

begins today

DHAKA : The month of mourning begins

today for the nation to recall once again

the brutal assassination of its founding

father and renew the pledge to safeguard

perpetually the country's independence

and sovereignty.

The killing of Father of the Nation

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

and most of his family members on the

fateful night of August 15, 1975 is the ugliest

chapter of the nation's history.

The self-confessed killers of August 15

did not assassinate Bangabandhu alone,

but also killed 16 other members of his

family, friends and relatives.

The martyrs of the August 15 carnage

included Bangabandhu's wife Bangamata

Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib, his sons

Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh

Russell, daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal

and Rosy Jamal, Bangabandhu's brother

Sheikh Naser, brother-in-law Abdur Rab

Serniabat, nephew and eminent journalist

Covid kills 218 more

in Bangladesh

TBT reporT

As health authorities scramble to prevent

the spread of the Delta variant,

Bangladesh added 218 fatalities to its

national tally on Saturday.

The country registered over 200 singleday

fatalities for the last six days as it is

fighting a horrific wave of the pandemic

that overwhelmed its healthcare systems.

The country recorded 9,369 new cases

on Saturday after testing 30,980 samples,

and reported the highest daily Covid-19

fatality number - 258 - on July 27 and

16,230 infections the next day, according

to the Directorate General of Health

Services (DGHS). There have been

1,249,484 positive cases and 20,685 coronavirus-related

deaths here since the pandemic

began, the DGHS said.

Meanwhile, the daily test positivity rate

took a negligible fall to 30.24% from

Friday's 30.77 %, while the World Health

Organization (WHO) recommends a 5%

or below rate. However, the recovery rate

rose to 86.29% from the previous day's

85.81 % and the case fatality rate to 1.66%

from last day's 1.65 % .

04:05 AM

12:10 PM

04:43 PM

06:48 PM

08:10 PM

5:26 6:44

Factories going to reopen today

Thousands returning

to Dhaka

COX'S BAZAR : Up to 2.5 lakh floodhit

people in Cox's Bazar district are

facing shortage of food and drinking

water even if the district administration

and public representatives are

reaching relief to the affected areas,

reports UNB.

The floods, caused by four days of

incessant rains, left 21 people dead

and caused extensive damage to crops

and roads across 51 unions in Ramu,

Cox's Bazr Sadar, Teknaf and Ukhiya

upazilas of the coastal district.

The administration said it will assess

the extent of the damages as flood

waters began receding on Saturday.

The affected people, meanwhile, have

reported scarcity of pure drinking

water and shortage of food.

According to the district administration,

Of the 71 unions and four municipalities

in the district 51 unions and

525 villages of a municipality got

flooded.

DHAKA : Although public transport

movement remained suspended,

thousands of people started returning

to Dhaka on the 9th day of 'strict' lockdown

on Saturday following the government's

announcement that mills

and factories will reopen on Sunday

(Aug 1), reports UNB.

At the entry points of Dhaka, those

who had left the capital for Eid-ul-

Azha and did not return due to the closure

of factories were seen entering

the city on foot amid the lockdown.

They were found walking into the

capital through Abdullahpur Tongi

Bridge, Ashulia Bridge, Aminbazar

Bridge, Gabtoli, Babubazar Bridge

and Postagola Bridge.

Shimulia ferry terminal in

Munshiganj also saw a huge crowd as

people from south western districts

are coming back to the capital to join

their work.

However, the streets in Dhaka saw a

lower number of private vehicles as

Saturday is a public holiday.

Visiting Gabtoli, Technical

Intersection, Kamalapur, Shyamoli,

Asadgate, New Market and Mirpur

areas and Uttara, Abdullahpur,

Banani, Mohakhali, Airport, Satrasta,

Kakrail, Matshya Bhaban, the UNB

correspondent found that the number

of private vehicles is thinner than

working days.

Traffic inspector (Mohakhali)

Asaduzzaman, said, "Today is a weekly

holiday and that's why the number

of private vehicles and people's movement

in the city are relatively fewer

than the working days. Law enforcement

agencies are on alert and mobile

court drives are operating."

However, the movement of threewheeler

rickshaws is also thin on

roads. Members of the police, Rab and

BGB were seen patrolling the city

streets and checking vehicles at check

posts in different parts of the capital.

Most shops on main roads remained

closed since morning but the small

ones in lanes and by-lanes were found

open and those will be shut soon after

the scheduled time.

As per the government instructions,

only ambulances and those providing

emergency services are allowed for

movement in the capital.

Reimposed at 8 am on July 23, the

second round of strict lockdown will

be in force till August 5, unless extended

further.

The ongoing stringent lockdown has

been recommended for extension

after August 5, said the Director

General of the Directorate General

(DG) of Health Services (DGHS) Prof

Dr ABM Khurshid Alam on Friday.

"We've recommended at the cabinet

meeting ten days ago that the restrictions

be increased, although no decision

has been made yet," he told

reporters.

The DG also said there is no doubt

that the situation will get worse if the

coronavirus infection rate keeps rising,

and that is why the recommendation

was made.

Flood-affected people in Cox's Bazar

cry for food and drinking water

Administrative authorities and local

representatives are trying their best to

help the flood affected people by providing,

drinking water, cooked and

dried food and other relief.

Deputy Commissioner of the district

Md Mamunur Rashid said 300 MT

rice and Tk 20 lakh has been allocated

by the government for the flood affected

people.

The allocation will be increased in

phases, he said.

Primary estimate of loss from the

flood is worth Tk 32 crore , said the

authorities.

Once the flood waters recede the

actual picture of damage will be

known and the damaged health services,

roads, agriculture, fisheries, salt

and protective dams will be restored,

said DC Mamunur Rashid.

Already 2,000 packets of dried food

and Tk 15 lakh have been distributed

among flood-affected people, he said.

BD receives around

8 lakh doses of

AstraZeneca

vaccine

AsrAful IslAm AsrAf

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen

and Health Minister Zahid Maleque on

Saturday received the second consignment

of AstraZeneca vaccine doses from

Japan under the COVAX facility.

The second consignment contains

7,81,320 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine.

A cargo flight of Cathay Pacific that carried

the vaccine doses from Japan landed

at Hazrat Shahjalal International

Airport at 3:15 pm.

Senior Secretary to the Health Service

Division Lokman Hossain Miah and

Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh Ito

Naoki were also present there.

"We're thankful to Japan. They've

proved that they're real friend of all

Bangladeshis," said Dr Momen after

receiving the vaccine consignment.

He said Japan, may be in the future,

would be providing more and more support

to deal with the situation.

Dr Momen said Covid-19 is a big global

problem and no country can resolve it

alone.

Referring to Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina, he said vaccine should be a public

good and ownership of its technology

should be shared by all the countries.

The third consignment that will contain

6,16,780 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine

is scheduled to arrive here on August

3. Foreign Minister Dr Momen received

the first consignment of 2,45,200 doses

of AstraZeneca vaccine from Japan on

July 24. Bangladesh Ambassador to

Japan Shahabuddin Ahmed saw off the

second consignment of Japan-manufactured

AstraZeneca vaccine at the Narita

Airport.

Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh

Naoki Ito said this is the manifestation of

friendship and partnership.

PM will decide to increase

lockdown:Farhad Hossain

shAfIqul IslAm (shAfIq)

State Minister for Public Administration

Farhad Hossain said he had in mind the

Department of Health's recommendation

to extend the ongoing ban for another

10 days after August 5 to prevent the

spread of the corona virus. However, he

said the Prime Minister would decide the

overall issue. The state minister for public

administration said these at noon on

Saturday (July 31). Last Friday, the

Director General of the Department of

Health, Prof. ABM Khurshid Alam has

recommended extending the ongoing

strict restrictions for another 10 days.

He said, the way the infection is growing,

how are we going to handle it? Where

to place patients? Is it possible to handle

the situation if the infection continues to

grow like this? There is no doubt that the

situation will be worse. With these considerations

in mind, we have recommended

increasing the restrictions.

Asked about these, the state minister

for public administration said, that (recommendation)

is definitely in our heads.

Cause we have to coordinate everything.

That's why we say take a moment. I will

clarify this issue on 3rd or 4th August. He

said the export-oriented factories will be

opened from today (August 1). Those who

are only in around Dhaka and the factory,

they will do the work until the 5th August.

Alarming Dengue surge

DHAKA : Health authorities reported

196new dengue cases in 24 hours till

Saturday morning amid a spike in the

Aedes mosquito-borne disease in the

country.

The outbreak of dengue fever --100

dengue patients reported daily for

more than a week-has sparked new

worries as the country's health services

are already overburdened with growing

Covid cases and fatalities.

Of the new dengue cases, 194 were

reported in Dhaka while only two were

from outside the capital, said the

Directorate General of Health Services

(DGHS).

According to the (DGHS), 777

patients are currently receiving treatment

at different hospitals across the

country.

A vast majority of the dengue

patients are from Dhaka as only 30 of

Then we will decide in it, what will happen

after the 5th?

Asked what will happen after the 5th,

he said it has not been decided yet. The

Prime Minister will announce the decision.

We will take action in that regard.

But the factory workers have started

returning to Dhaka without following the

hygiene rules. When the state minister's

attention was drawn to this issue, he said,

"We have cleared the matter in the meeting

on Friday." The owners promised in

the meeting that they will start this activity

only with those who are only in Dhaka

no one will lose their job. The labors will

return after the 5th august in phases, not

at all. In this case, however, there is no

risk of pruning.

BGMEA President Farooq Hasan also

said this in an interview. They made it

clear that no one needed to panic. No one

will be trimmed here. We will tell you how

they will gradually come after the 5th,

said the state minister for public administration.

Asked if there would be any restrictions

after the 5th august, he said, I will not be

able to say exactly what it will be. We

should not say that. Considering the situation,

there are various proposals in consultation

with everyone, considering how

we can control this infection, our main

goal. Running our activities, which are

absolutely essential?

196 more hospitalised

in 24 hrs

them were reported being treated in

hospitals outside the capital.

Some 2,658 patients have been

admitted to different hospitals with

dengue since January and 1,877 of

them have been released after they

recovered.

The DGHS reported 1,193 dengue

cases and three confirmed denguerelated

deaths in 2020.

According to official statistics,

101,354 dengue cases and 179 deaths

were recorded in Bangladesh in 2019.

Dengue fever was first reported in

Bangladesh in 2000, claiming 93 lives

that year. In the years that followed,

the country learned to deal with the

disease much better.

The fatalities had almost fallen to

zero at one stage, before surging again

in 2018, leading to the severe outbreak

the following year.

students of Ali Akbar Academy in Bhuigarh Kutubpur area of fatulla in Narayanganj took part in

exams in defiance of strict lockdown.

photo : star mail


SuNDAY, AuguST 1, 2021

2

Netrakona farmers busy

with transplanting

T-Aman rice seedlings

NETRAKONA : Farmers are now passing

busy times with rowing Transplanted Aman

(T-Aman) rice seedlings on their farm lands

in the district, reports BSS.

They are rendering their field-level service

on lands following health guidelines amid

the Covid-19 pandemic situation with a view

to meet their food demands as well as to

ensure food security of the country.

Officials of department of agricultural

extension (DAE) Netrakona said a target

has been designed here to produce over

3.50 lakhs metric tons of clean Aman rice

from 1,30,760 hectors of land in the

district during the current Aman season.

According to the production target,

13,742 metric tonnes of hybrid varieties of

the Aman rice will be produced from 3,560

hectors of land, 3,01,608 metric tonnes of

high yielding varieties (HYV) Aman rice

from 1,06,200 hectors of land and 33,390

metric tonnes of local varieties Aman rice

from 21,000 hectors of land.

Meanwhile, the farmers have prepared

the Aman rice seed beds on 7,222 hectors

of land against the target of preparing

seed beds on 6,852 hectors in the district,

the DAE officials said.

The Aman growers have already

completed transplantation of Aman

seedlings on over five thousands hectors

of land.

The transplantation of Aman rice

seedlings is progressing rapidly in the

district as the district is experiencing

adequate rainfall during the last fortnight,

the DAE officials added. Talking to the

BSS, deputy director of the DAE, SM

Mubarak Ali said at the directives of the

government, different state-run agencies

including BADC and BCIC has ensured

proper supply of adequate quantity of

improved quality Aman seeds, fertilizers

and different irrigation and agricultural

equipment among the Aman growers.

The state-run banks including

Bangladesh Krishi Banks have also

distributed crop loans to the farmers for

helping them run their Aman cultivation

network without financial problems.

Apart from these, the government has

already distributed 20.9 tonnes

improved quality Aman seeds , 6.1 tonnes

of DAP fertilizers and 4.9 metric of MOP

fertilizers as incentives among the 4,900

small and marginal farmers under its

agriculture incentive program, Ali said.

The government also supplied seven

tonnes of improved quality Aman seeds

to the 1400 small and marginal

cultivators of the district as incentive

under the government's agriculture

rehabilitation program, the deputy

director added.

A few days of rain caused the papaya plant a lot of damage. The picture was taken from

the field at Deuli village in Damurhuda upazila of Chuadanga on Saturday. Photo: PBA

Proper soil, fertilizer

management in tea

farming stressed

RANGPUR : Experts at a

virtual training workshop

have stressed ensuring proper

soil, fertilizer and agronomic

management in tea

cultivation on plain lands to

further boosting production of

quality tea.

Bangladesh Tea Research

Institute (BTRI) of

Bangladesh Tea Board (BTB)

organised the event on

"Fertilizer application in tea

plantation" at its Panchagarh

regional office in Panchagarh

district town on Thursday

afternoon, a press release said.

The event was arranged

under the 'Expansion of Small

Holding Tea Cultivation in

Northern Bangladesh Project'

of BTB to reach scientific

methods, management,

modern technologies and tea

related services to farmers and

other stakeholders concerned.

Experts of BRTI and BTB,

Managers and high officials of

the tea gardens and tea

processing factories, smallscale

tea growers of different

districts virtually participated

in the workshop.

The programme was

organised under the banner of

"Camellia Open Sky School"

with the slogan 'Improved

knowledge, improved tea.'

Senior Scientific Officer of

BTB at its Panchagarh

regional office and its Project

Director of Northern

Bangladesh Project

Agriculturalist Dr.

Mohammad Shameem Al

Mamun conducted the

training workshop.

Senior Scientific Officer of

the Soil Science Division of

BTRI at Srimangal Ashim

Kumar Saha spoke as the key

resource person.

Director of Lalmonirhat Tea

Project of BTB Agriculturist

Arif Khan, the CHT Project

Director of BTB at Bandarban

Suman Sikder, Development

Officer of BTB in Panchagarh

Md Amir Hossain and its

Assistant

Superintendent

Haque addressed.

Farm

Sayedul

DBH going strong amid

pandemic, registers 81%

profit growth

Delta Brac Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DBH), the

AAA rated financial institution for last sixteen years,

posted 81% net profit growth in first half of 2021

compared to same period last year.

Since inception in 1996, the company registered

commendable growth in creating home ownership in the

country. DBH primarily focused on financing different

types of home loans and fixed deposit products. The NBFI

posted net profit before tax of Tk. 84.44 crore and net

profit after tax of Tk. 49.69 crore for the January-June,

2021 period, registering 55% and 81% growth respectively

from corresponding period of previous year, a press

release said.

DBH has a solid Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 24%

and Return of Equity (ROE) stands at 15% as on 30th June

2021. Its earning per share (EPS) for the half year period

stands at BDT 2.80 which was BDT 1.54 in June 2020.

Among all local Banks and Financial Institutions

operating in Bangladesh, only DBH has been rated the

highest credit rating AAA for 16th consecutive year. The

Non Performing Loan (NPL) of DBH is lowest in the

industry as it never crossed 1% of its loan book. The level

of credit rating provides a very important indication of the

financial safety, security and strength of the Financial

Institution and is particularly relevant to its depositors

and other investors such as shareholders and lenders.

SBL provides assistance

during Covid-19

pandemic in Rangpur

RANGPUR : Sonali Bank

Limited (SBL) has provided

Taka five-lakh as special

financial assistance under its

corporate social responsibility

program to stand beside

common people affected by the

Covid-19 pandemic in Rangpur.

General Manager of Rangpur

Divisional General Managers'

Office of SBL Md Rashidul

Islam handed over a pay order

of Taka five Thursday

afternoon. Deputy General

Manager of SBL Nasimatul

Jannat and other officials of the

bank and district

administration were present in

a function arranged on the

occasion, abiding by the health

directives in the wake of the

Covid-19 pandemic.

The water of the canals and beels has been filled with the rains of the monsoon season. It matches

the native species of fish. Fishermen are fishing with dry nets to catch fish. The picture was taken

from Paril Raktadaha Beel in Raninagar upazila of Naogaon district.

Photo: PBA

Knowing your Covid symptoms can

help to make informed decisions

Dhaka, July 30 (UNB) - Although Covid-19 can cause a range of

symptoms for around two weeks, the type, order and

progression of these indications can vary from case to case and

person to person.

The type, severity, and progression of symptoms shape how

the virus affects a person's daily life. Some people may

experience no symptoms at all, while others will need to seek

immediate medical attention.

Symptoms usually begin 2 to 14 days after a person catches

the virus, most commonly after four to five days.

Most people will experience mild to moderate symptoms,

including flu or cold, during this period, according to the US

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, studies suggest the first Covid-19 symptom to

develop is likely to be fever, which is a temporary increase in

body temperature and different from influenza, where the first

symptom is typically a cough, according to a 2020 study in

Frontiers in Public Health.

GD-1156/21 (5x4)

GD-1153/21 (6x4)

Next, Covid-19 may cause a cough, sore throat, and body

aches or headaches.

The Frontiers in Public Health study suggests that Covid-19

could then cause nausea and vomiting, which would develop

sooner than it would in similar respiratory infections, such as

MERS or SARS.

In severe cases, Covid-19 can require hospitalisation. This

typically occurs after seven days from the onset of symptoms, a

2020 study in The Lancet suggested when the delta variant was

yet to emerge.

Some people will experience acute respiratory distress

syndrome after nine days. This is where the lungs fail to provide

the body with sufficient oxygen. Around 20% to 42% of people

hospitalised with Covid-19 experience this condition, according

to the CDC. In severe cases, doctors may admit people to an

intensive care unit (ICU) around 10 days after symptom onset.

Around 26% to 32% of people hospitalised with Covid-19 will

require treatment in an intensive care unit.

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SUNDAY, AUGUSt 1, 2021

3

Poet Nirmalendu Goon inaugurated the two-day International Poetry Festival organized by Bidrohi

Sahittya Parishad on Friday afternoon.

Photo : Shahid Joy

Helena sued under

Telecommunication Act

DHAKA : Another case was filed against Joyjatra IPTV'

chairman Helena Jahangir under the Telecommunication

Act on Friday night, reports BSS.

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-4) filed the

case with Pallabi Police Station, said ASP Imran Khan,

assistant director (media) at the Rab headquarters.

Earlier on Friday, a Dhaka court on placed Helena

Jahangir on a three-day remand in a case filed under the

Digital Security Act (DSA).

The court of Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Rajesh

Chowdhury passed the order after investigation officer

Sheikh Shahnur Rahman produced her before it, seeking

a 5-day remand for interrogating her.

Earlier, the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) filed the case

against her with Gulshan Police Station, ASP Imran Khan,

assistant director (media) at the Rab headquarters, told

UNB.

Besides, Imran said, Rab is getting ready to file more

cases against Helena who was removed from Awami

League sub-committee on women affairs recently.

Rab members held Helena from her Gulshan residence

on Thursday night, four days after she was removed from

the AL sub-committee.

The elite force members "seized foreign liquor, illegal

walkie-talkie sets, casino equipment and deer skins"

during a four-hour raid on her home on Thursday, Rab

Executive Magistrate Palash Kumar Basu said.

Rab also raided and sealed off Joyjatra IPTV.

Meanwhile, Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud

said action will be taken soon against unregulated and

unauthorized internet protocol televisions (IPTVs) across

the country.

Mahmud, also Awami League joint general secretary,

said this while replying to a question from reporters at his

official residence in Dhaka on Friday afternoon.

About Helena, he said Helena Jahangir is chairman of

Joyjatra IPTV. "This is not fair for such a person to enter

any sub-committee of the party (AL)," he added.

BEZA gets $20.13b

investment proposals from

153 investors for BSMSN

DHAKA : Bangladesh

Economic Zones Authority

(BEZA) has received

investment proposals

amounting to around

US$20.13 billion from 153

investors for the Bangabandhu

Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar

(BSMSN) in Chattogram for

setting up their factories.

The zones authority has

already allocated over 6,000

acres of land among the

investors.

In BSMSN, BEZA has

already allocated a total of 6,131

acres of land among the

investors, including

Bangladesh Export Processing

Zone Authority (BEPZA)

Economic Zone, Bangladesh

Garment Manufacturers and

Exporters Association

(BGMEA) Garments Village

and Public-Private Partnership

(PPP) Zone, as per an official of

BEZA.

The official informed that

China based Zhuzhou Jinyuan

Chemical Industry Company

Limited, Japan based world

renowned Nippon Steel and

Bangladeshi MacDonald Steel

Building Product Limited

(Joint Venture), Indian Asian

Paints BD Limited, Mango

Teleservices Limited and

Modern Syntex Limited are

setting up their factories in the

industrial park.

Talking to BSS, BEZA

Executive Chairman Shaikh

Yusuf Harun said

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib

Shilpa Nagar is one of the most

suitable sites for setting up

industrial establishments in the

country.

He said it is along the

strategic location of Dhaka-

Chattogram industrial corridor

as business and living cost are

significantly lower at Mirsarai

as well as in Chattogram

division than other developing

cities in the world.

"With a high quality business

friendly environment, it has

positive impacts and

contributions in shaping

Chattogram into a leading

regional business hub," he

added.

He expressed his optimism

that the BSMSN, the first

planned industrial city of the

country, would pave the way to

establish a truly world-class

business and industrial center.

BEZA is developing the

industrial city with a view to

encouraging rapid economic

development through increase

and diversification of industry,

employment, production and

export.

Closure of primary

schools, kindergartens

extended till August 31

DHAKA : The ongoing

hiatus of all public and

private primary schools and

kindergartens has been

extended till August 31 in an

attempt to protect the

students from novel corona

virus infections.

But, online education

programme will continue

during this time, said a

primary and mass education

ministry release.

"Students must have to

stay inside their residence

for protecting themselves

and others from the

infection of COVID-19

virus," it added.

Students must have to

comply with all the

instructions and rules issued

by Prime Minister's office,

cabinet division, public

administration ministry and

the health service division in

various times during this

period.

Guardians have been

asked to ensure the stay of

the students' home and the

local administration will

closely monitor this, the

release elaborated.

The headmasters of the

concerned educational

institutions will also ensure

student's own study being

stayed homes through their

respective guardians, it

continued.

EU delegation launches Climate

Adaptation Campaign

DHAKA : Following the

publication of the EU

Adaptation Strategy, the

European Union Delegation

to Bangladesh started the

Climate Adaptation

Campaign on Saturday on its

social media.

The campaign will continue

until the end of the current

month.

As part of the European

Green Deal, the European

Commission published a new

and ambitious adaptation

strategy on 24th February.

The strategy will make the

European Union not only a

climate-neutral, but also a

climate-resilient society by

2050, said a press release.

The strategy pursues four

interlinked objectives: to

make adaptation smarter,

more systemic and faster, and

to step up international

action.

"We need to act

immediately. Now is the time

to transform our societies and

economies both in Europe as

well as in Bangladesh. We

need to move from 'business

as usual' approaches to

integrated, longer-term

strategies for adaptation and

disaster risk management.

We must ensure that the

COVID-19 recovery agenda

increases local adaptive

capacity," said the release.

As pointed out by the Global

Commission on Adaptation,

investing USD 1.8 trillion

globally in just five key

adaptation areas from 2020

to 2030 could generate up to

USD 7.1 trillion in total net

benefits. Adaptation is a noregret

investment for any

country. The five areas

considered are early warning

systems, climate-resilient

infrastructure, improved

dryland agriculture,

mangrove protection, and

investments in making water

resources more resilient, it

added.

The EU has been already

working and innovating on

these areas in Bangladesh

since 2016 funding a project

called "Local Government

Initiative on Climate Change"

(LoGIC), contributing with 15

million EUR.

This is a joint initiative led

by the Local Government

Division of the Ministry of

Local Government Rural

Development together with

EU, Sweden and

implemented by UNDP and

UNCDF.

LoGIC has been designed to

support approximately

200,000 of the most

vulnerable households in 72

unions in seven districts in

Bangladesh, and following its

successful approach has been

scaled-up in 2021, and aims

doubling the number of

beneficiaries in the next year

and half.

The benefits are expected

to come out of climate

change adaptation actions at

various levels, scaled up

through local government

institutions incorporating

high-quality accountability

and participation of the

most vulnerable people, it

said.

"Bangladesh is one of the

most climate-vulnerable

countries globally. The EU is

aware that areas such as the

south-west and the

floodplains are particularly

vulnerable, both from an

economic and climate-change

perspective. It is fundamental

to raise people attention to

climate adaptation because

the effects of climate change

are already here, so we need to

do much more to adapt to the

consequences and mitigate to

the maximum possible extent.

The new EU Adaptation

Strategy launched in June

2021 will help us get there and

provide a framework for

further action in the years to

come,"said Maurizio CIAN,

Head of Unit - Head of

Cooperation.

On Saturday, virtual meeting was held with the local government representatives of Natore district,

under 'Drug Abuse Resistant and Understanding (Darao)' project organized by the Dhaka Ahsania

Mission.

Photo : Courtesy

British Council launches global competition

A global search is on for the next

influential global voice on climate action

who can inspire and connect with

audiences across the world to help build

trust in climate science.

Entries are now open for FameLab

Climate Change Communicators, a

special edition of the FameLab science

communication competition leading to

the online final event in September.

The competition is open to entries from

aspiring science communicators from

Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia

and?Herzegovina,?Botswana, Brazil,

China, Colombia, Ethiopia, India,

Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Mexico,

Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines,

Serbia, Turkey, Uganda, Vietnam.?

Entrants are challenged to film and

submit a video of themselves giving a

compelling three-minute talk in English

relating to the theme of 'Trust in Climate

Science'.

Ten talented finalists who impress the

judges with scientific storytelling will be

selected to progress to the next stage and

will receive a two-day online masterclass

with leading science communicators to

help hone their skills.

The finalists will then go head-to-head

on the virtual stage to battle it out for first

place in the FameLab Climate Challenge

Communicators Online Final to be

streamed on YouTube in September

2021. The winner's journey won't end

there - the top FameLab Climate Change

Communicator will progress through to

the ww.britishcouncil.org/education/hescience/famelab

in November 2021, one

of the world's leading science

communication competitions.

FameLab® is a competition owned

and created by Cheltenham Festivals.

2021 marks the 15th and final year of the

FameLab International competition

delivered globally in partnership with the

British Council. This year's event will

offer an exciting programme of

interactive online heats - and a

celebration of the partnership which has

led to a global science communication

phenomenon.

Bangladesh has been a part of

FameLab since 2017. Through FameLab

Bangladesh chapter, we had two national

winners - Alvee Islam (2017 - 2018) and

A.S.M. Afrin Bin Nur Adib (2018 -2019) -

both raising the flag of our country high

in the Cheltenham Science Festival, UK.

Among all the participating countries, in

both the years, our national winners had

made their way to the top ten best science

communicators of the competition. Since

then, they have been actively involved in

the field of science communication.

FameLab Climate Change

Bangladesh Youth Internet Governance Forum (YIGF) was stated on Friday through Virtual

Platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. Prominent experts in the tech industry and

from the Internet Governance community addressed issues.

Photo : Courtesy

No irregularity

to be tolerated

in building

houses as PM's

gift: Murad

JAMALPUR : State Minister

for Information and

Broadcasting Dr Murad

Hassan on Friday warned

that any irregularity and

negligence would not be

tolerated in constructing the

houses for landless people as

the prime minister's gift.

"The government is going

ahead with zero tolerance

policy against those who

want to thwart this great

initiative," he said this while

distributing foods and

planting saplings in

Sarishabari's Asrayan

project area here.

Murad said Prime

Minister Sheikh Hasina is

providing shelters to the

landless and homeless

families of the country

through the Asrayan project.

Mentioning that this kind

of initiative is

unprecedented in the world,

he asked the authorities

concerned to work with

honesty and sincerity to

make this initiative of the

premier a success.

The state minister said

everyone should plant fruit

bearing, wooden and

medicinal saplings to

maintain the balance of

nature.

Jamalpur Deputy

Commissioner Morsheda

Zaman, Sarishabari Upazila

Awami League President

Chanowar Hossain Badsha

and Upazila Nirbahi Officer

Shihab Uddin Ahmed were,

among others, present.

Citizens Dialogue

Corona epidemic has increased the

livelihood crisis in coastal areas

In the civic dialogue, representatives of various

organizations including members of

parliament said that the epidemic of corona

virus has increased the livelihood crisis in the

coastal areas. Many people on the disasterstricken

coast are being deprived of medical

care. Therefore, effective steps must be taken to

ensure the well-being of all people. Initiatives

should be taken to get the corona vaccine to

remote areas quickly.

Satkhira-2 MP Mir Mostaq Ahmed Robi

presided over the online dialogue organized by

the Sundarbans and Coastal Protection

Movement on Saturday. MP Nurunnabi

Chowdhury Shaon, SM Shahzada and Syeda

Rubina Akhter, Satkhira Awami League leader

Pranab Ghosh Bablu, Scan general secretary

Moniruzzaman Mukul, Md. Nur Alam, former

vice chairman of Mongla Upazila Parishad took

part in the discussion conducted by Nikhil

Chandra Bhadra, coordinator of Sundarbans

and Coastal Protection Movement. SKUS

Chairman Jasmine Prema, Leaders Executive

Director Mohan Kumar Mondol, Faith in

Action Executive Director Nripen Vaidya,

Khulna Citizen Leader SM Iqbal Hossain

Biplob also took part in the dialogue. Palash

Ahsan, Joint Chief News Editor of Ekattar TV,

delivered the keynote address, a press release

said.

In presidential speech, Mir Mostaq Ahmed

Rabi stressed on the importance of awareness

and adherence to hygiene rules for controlling

Corona. He said people in coastal areas are now

living under water. Floodwaters in people's

homes, crop failures, uncertainty over where to

re-sow crops, lockdowns and natural disasters

have created a lack of employment. In this

situation, the people of that region are broken.

We have to realize this critical situation and

take effective steps. For which first of all we

need a sustainable embankment.

Sundarbans and Coastal Protection Movement on Saturday organized a

citizen dialogue.

Photo : Courtesy


sundAy, AugusT 1, 2021

4

Acting Editor & Publisher : Jobaer Alam

e-mail: editor@thebangladeshtoday.com

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Noise pollution : Can't

it be kept within limit ?

Noise pollution has become a major nuisance for

the inhabitants of the burgeoning capital city

Dhaka and other cities and towns of the country

in recent times. Of course it may seem irrelevant to

discuss the issue of noise pollution in this situation of the

raging pandemic and the lockdown. But lockdown is not

for all times. Hopefully, the pandemic will turn a corner

and normal city life will resume. Then the curse of noise

pollution in urban life will reappear.

It is one of the many menaces that plague the lives of

the citizens. There was a time when residents ofDhaka

could move peacefully from one place to the other in the

city. They did not have to face that much hassle ; there

was no serious traffic snarl, no traffic congestion in those

days that create noise pollution as a fall-out from

incessant honking.

With the rapid urbanization, Dhaka saw high rise in

population. The city has become a bursting megacity

now with all its attendant evils, noise pollution being a

major ineof them. Honking of horns of vehicles, sound of

breaking bricks and stones by machines during

construction works, use of heavy and noisy equipment

and loudspeakers, sound caused by industrial units,

sound of grill making workshops, welding shops, sound

of generators, high volume of music from audio video

shops and residences of individuals during wedding

ceremonies and religious gatherings are the main sources

of noise pollution in the city in recent times. There are

also vendors who go on selling their merchandise on the

roads, lanes and by-lanes in vans with loudspeakers

describing the qualities of the merchandise.

According to environmentalists sound decibel in

Dhaka city is in danger level compared to any other cities

in the world. According to the World Health

Organisation (WHO), generally 60 decibel sound can

render a person deaf temporarily and 100 decibel can

cause complete deafness. The noise of any busy street in

Dhaka has been estimated at 60 to 80 decibels, with the

sound of hydraulic horns measuring 95 decibels. It is

unfortunate that the authorities could not implement the

Sound Pollution Control Act-2006.

It is gathered that the limit of sound that is one and a

half to two multiplies higher than the tolerable limit. Save

the Environment Movement, an organisation, has

recorded 84-100 decibel sound in the peaceful area at

daytime, 84-93 in the residential area, 88-102 in the

mixed area, 86-103 in the commercial area, which are

one and a half to two multiplies higher than the tolerable

limit. A survey conducted by the Department of

Environment (DoE) recently said the sound level was

beyond the permissible limit in summer. It was more

than double the limit in some areas. According to

Bangladesh PoribeshAndolon the Sound Pollution Law

does not allow installation and use of building

construction equipment within a 500-meter radius of a

residential area or dwelling houses. But the law is hardly

followed by the developers. Similarly, the Noise Pollution

(Control) Rules-2006 prohibits honking of horns within

a 100-metre radius of hospitals, educational institutions

and offices. The rules also make mandatory taking prior

permission for using loudspeakers. But who cares ?

Students, particularly examinees, patients in hospitals

and clinics bear the brunt of noise pollution. Ours is a

country with many people devoid of rationality and

common sense. There are people with macho habits and

temperaments. They care a fig to abide by the law of the

land. They are causing more harm than good to this city.

Unscrupulous drivers of vehicles keep on blaring horns

without rhyme or reason. Wayward youths keep on

playing music with high volumes near roadsides, much to

the annoyance of the pedestrians. Besides, rock musical

sessions are arranged on the rooftops of houses during

marriage ceremonies by the people who have no respect

for others conveniences. This kind of sound pollution

mars the sleep of people living in the areas. This kind of

nuisance is mostly created by the neo-rich people bereft

of human values. Peace-loving neighbours have to

endure this silently fearing reprisals. Mushroom growth

of workshops and welding shops have also contributed

to noise pollution in the city. Besides, some times high

sound of loudspeakers from religious gatherings on the

roads add to the sound pollution.

According to physicians, noise pollution may cause

physiological and psychological problems, hypertension,

high stress level, obsession, headache, sleeplessness,

neurological disorder and even heart disease. Noise

pollution also causes to decline learning ability of

children. The rate of dumbness among children will go

out of limit if the prevailing sound pollution cannot be

stopped, said a specialist physician. A WHO study

revealed that dumbness is rapidly increasing in the

world. About 15 per cent people, mostly children, are

suffering from hearing problem, while five per cent from

dumbness, which is affecting their daily activities

seriously.

The authorities concerned should create mass

awareness against noise pollution and rein in the

people and organizations responsible for causing

noise pollution in the interest of public health. The

sooner it is done, the better.

Russia-Japan tensions rise as Moscow eyes Kuril development

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail

Mishustin's visit to the Kuril

Islands last week was an important

message to Japan, but also to other

audiences. The island chain has been

claimed by Russia since the end of the

Second World War, but Tokyo does not

acknowledge Moscow's claim. The debate

is not new and the islands are a constant

thorn in Tokyo's side. Russia and Japan

have previously struggled over property

rights surrounding the archipelago.

The Kuril Islands, for the most part, fall

under Russian administration, but Japan

claims the four southernmost islands,

including two of the three largest islands,

Iturup and Kunashir, as Japanese

territory (known as the Northern

Territories). Russia's governance of the

Kuril archipelago drives its claims. Over

the years, Russo-Japanese talks on

resolving the dispute have been off and

on. The latest round is likely to lead to

tensions, with Tokyo possibly taking a

stronger position than usual. Mishustin's

visit occurred as the Tokyo Olympics were

underway, telegraphing a particular

message to Japanese Prime Minister

Yoshihide Suga. Suga's approval rating is

dropping and the timing of the Russian

prime minister's visit was a clear power

play over the islands and their use.

Mishustin is touring Russia's Far East

and Siberia, with the Kuril Islands his first

stop, specifically Iturup. During his visit,

the Russian PM sent a message to Japan

about Moscow's development plans for

dR. TheodoRe KARAsIK

the Kuril Islands, including the

establishment of a free trade zone (FTZ),

prompting a harsh rebuke from the

Japanese foreign minister. Mishustin is

acting on Russian President Vladimir

Putin's direct orders: Putin told him to pay

special attention to the Kuril Islands

during his trip to the Far East, noting that

Moscow is working with Japanese

partners to create the necessary

conditions for increasing economic

activity.

An FTZ on what is perceived to be

Japanese territory is a bold step by the

Kremlin as it seeks to stake its geostrategic

claims in terms of islands and seabeds.

The melting of the Arctic ice cap and the

opening of the Northern Sea Route are

part of the emerging geoeconomic red

lines that are popping up. Russia sees

Japan's participation in the Quadrilateral

Security Dialogue (Quad) in the Indo-

Pacific in terms of a new security arc

against both China and Russia. In a 2021

joint statement, "The Spirit of the Quad,"

the group described "a shared vision for a

free and open Indo-Pacific," while

emphasizing the rules-based international

order.

The timing of the Russian prime

minister's visit was a clear power play over

the islands and their use.

These strategic moves directly challenge

demarcation and maritime security.

Russia's merchant marine fleet plays an

important role and can be seen as an

ancillary to the Chinese fishing fleet

model.

Japan's Hokkaido is separated from

Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula by the Sea

of Okhotsk. Hypothetically, Russian

development of the archipelago would act

as both a barrier and point of projection

for shipping and maritime activity,

including for the increasingly assertive

Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy.

The FTZ's objective, according to

Mishustin, is to create a special regime on

Iturup that would allow for the

intensification of economic activity

throughout the island chain. The FTZ

would help to build business for Iturup's

BRAndon J WeICheRT

industries, which can be spread up to the

archipelago. The increased strategic value

of the archipelago under an overarching

FTZ may be attractive to logistical

operators, as well as industrial factories.

Mishustin's trip also occurred just a few

weeks before the 2021 Eastern Economic

Forum (EEF) is due to be held in

Vladivostok. This is scheduled to be a

large in-person event that will likely result

in specific strategic decisions and

investment strategies. Infrastructure

deals are to be emphasized and likely

signed by many investment firms from

around the world. Importantly, both

Putin and Suga are expected to attend. In

a recent Russian Security Council

meeting, Putin said Russia would present

Japan with new proposals for an

agreement on the Kuril Islands dispute.

So the groundwork for development on

the islands is already in play and an

assertive Russia is likely to get what it

wants out of the EEF conference. It wants

to start developing the archipelago as soon

as possible as part of the emerging

strategic challenges it faces as a result of

climate change. It will be important to

watch as Moscow makes this economic

move, which may be a challenge to the

legal regimes and norms emphasized by

its Indo-Pacific partners.

Dr. Theodore Karasik is a senior

adviser to Gulf State Analytics

in Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @tkarasik

4IR technology can help solve climate change challenge

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

(4IR), a concept developed by

Klaus Schwab of the World

Economic Forum (WEF) as a roadmap

for the 21st century, has applications

across all aspects of human life, from the

way we communicate with each other to

our relationship with the physical world.

The 4IR forum taking place in Riyadh

under the auspices of Saudi Arabia and

the WEF has highlighted some of the

ways 4IR principles can be applied in the

Kingdom and transform it "into an

economy based on technology,

information, capabilities, and skills," in

the words of Haytham Al-Ohali, vice

minister at the Saudi Ministry of

Communications and Informational

Technology.

But for an energy hub like the

Kingdom, one of the most important

ways in which 4IR principles can be

applied is in the field of energy. Especially

considering the big issue facing the world

over the coming decades - the need to

reduce harmful emissions in the

atmosphere and mitigate global

warming.

As Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul

Aziz bin Salman made clear in his

remarks at the forum, 4IR has direct

practical

The curious case of China's quest for 'invisibility cloak'

Quantum invisibility. When

someone hears this term, they

instantly think of science fiction.

But we are living in an era where

yesterday's science fiction is quickly

becoming science fact.

Quantum invisibility is derived from an

exotic metal known as a "metamaterial."

And whichever country (or company) can

develop this technology first will have

immense strategic advantages over the

rest of the world's countries.

According to Britannica, metamaterial

is an "artificially structured material that

exhibits extraordinary electromagnetic

properties not available or not easily

obtainable in nature."

Currently, the United States and China

are racing each other for dominance in the

vital metamaterial market. Even though

the US has invested in this technology

longer than China, the Chinese are

applying it in the real world.

In fact, there is ample evidence to

suggest that China may have leapfrogged

the Americans, thanks to a combination of

sly industrial espionage and copious

investments in state-funded research and

development of the technology.

As the next decade of the turbulent 21st

century unfolds, these futuristic-sounding

technologies are at the heart of the

ongoing, often deadly, shadowy

technology war raging across the world

between the United States and China.

Whichever side wins this tech race wins

the future.Into this unfolding saga enters

the Chinese entrepreneur Ruopeng Liu.

A man dubbed "China's Elon Musk," Liu

is one example of China's rapaciousness

when it comes to developing its

supremacy over the Americans in the

The FTZ's objective, according to Mishustin, is to create a special regime

on Iturup that would allow for the intensification of economic activity

throughout the island chain. The FTZ would help to build business for

Iturup's industries, which can be spread up to the archipelago. The

increased strategic value of the archipelago under an overarching FTZ

may be attractive to logistical operators, as well as industrial factories.

applications in energy. The Kingdom

has already made big advances, for

example in the installation of 10 million

"smart" meters to help with the drive to

greater efficiency in the use of electricity.

Automation and the Internet of Things

can facilitate efficient energy logistics,

while drones can monitor facilities that

would be inaccessible or even dangerous

for human inspectors, reducing the

possibility of damage and leaks that could

be environmentally damaging.

But the technologies of the 4IR can also

be used in a more strategic way, too. It

can speed the energy transition and help

the Kingdom, and indeed the world, meet

the targets of the Paris Agreement for the

reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon capture, utilization, and storage

are essential if greenhouse gasses are to

be gradually eliminated as a threat to the

creation of metamaterials.

Ruopeng Liu has a net worth of US$1.3

billion. He earned a PhD from Duke

University in Durham, North Carolina, in

2009. While there, he actively courted

Duke's pre-eminent metamaterials

scientist, David Smith.

Through his work with Smith, Liu

gained unprecedented access to Smith's

cutting-edge research in metamaterials -

specifically, Smith's purported "invisibility

cloak," which the Duke University

scientist was developing in conjunction

with the US Department of Defense.

The Pentagon was interested in Smith's

"invisibility cloak" because the

metamaterial in question is invisible to

microwave signals. If the US military

could create aircraft and other vehicles

from Smith's technology, it would help to

keep the Americans ahead of their rivals

in stealth technology. The Defense

Department had spent millions of dollars

helping Smith in his "basic research on

optical and electromagnetic material

design."

Upon the successful completion of his

PhD in 2007, Liu giddily returned to

China and founded a company KuangChi

Science Ltd, which has been valued at a

whopping $6 billion, with an optical and

FRAnK KAne

atmosphere and the environment.

Saudi Arabia has pioneered the

framework of the Circular Carbon

Economy (CCE) as a way of overcoming

the climate change challenge. This

approach was endorsed unanimously last

year at the G20 summit of world leaders

held under the Saudi G20 presidency.

But the technologies of the 4IR can also be used in a more strategic

way, too. It can speed the energy transition and help the Kingdom,

and indeed the world, meet the targets of the Paris Agreement for the

reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.Carbon capture, utilization,

and storage are essential if greenhouse gasses are to be gradually

eliminated as a threat to the atmosphere and the environment.

CCE advocates the reduction, recycling,

and reuse - the 3 Rs - of carbon emissions

across industrial processes, which are

goals that are now familiar and accepted

across the world as a way of mitigating

harmful emissions.

Carbon capture, utilization, and storage

are essential if greenhouse gasses are to

be gradually eliminated as a threat to the

atmosphere and the environment.

But the crucial fourth R - removal - is

the one where new technologies and

innovative approaches are the most

electromagnetic material design identical

to the one that the Pentagon was funding

for David Smith of Duke University.

Liu's project has garnered so much

interest from the Chinese government

and military that one of Xi Jinping's first

stops after becoming China's president in

2012 was to Liu's lab in Shenzhen, where

the "invisibility cloak" was being

developed.Liu denies any wrongdoing.

As the 2020s unravel, a period dubbed a "decade of concern"

by many experts, America's dominance in science

and technology - indeed, as a world power - is increasingly

in question. The case of the stolen "invisibility cloak" is

just another example of how unprepared the Americans

are for this new era of great-power competition.

Neither US intelligence nor David Smith

believes him. Interestingly, Liu's alma

mater, Duke University, has not

considered revoking the PhD he earned,

despite the accusations against him.

The question must be asked: If a leading

researcher at Duke, David Smith, and the

Department of Defense as well as

America's counterintelligence apparatus

are accusing Liu Ruopeng of industrial

espionage, at the very least one would

think Duke would launch an internal

investigation of its former PhD student.

Interestingly, Duke University is one of

America's countless higher educational

institutes that has accepted money from

Chinese entities, and it even partners with

a university in Shanghai (Duke Kunshan

University).

With all these connections between

Duke and China, perhaps the

important and most challenging. There

are already technologies available that

can actually remove CO2 emissions

directly from the air, but they are small in

scale and costly.

Making these technologies bigger scale

and economically viable will require

multibillion-dollar investment in

research and development, but the end

result will be well worth it.

Despite what the radical

environmentalists say, hydrocarbon fuel

is the most efficient and powerful energy

resource humanity has ever invented. It is

responsible for all the economic advances

and reduction in poverty we have enjoyed

over the past 150 years since the

beginning of the age of oil.

Life without hydrocarbons, which some

of the more extreme activists seem to be

suggesting, would be very uncomfortable

indeed - virtually a return to the stone

age.If the technology of the 4IR can help

alleviate the harmful side effects of

hydrocarbon fuels, while allowing us to

continue to enjoy its economic benefits,

that would be a huge step forward for the

whole of mankind.

Frank Kane is an award-winning

business journalist based in Dubai.

Twitter: @frankkanedubai ?

administration simply does not want to

rock the boat over Ruopeng Liu's

purported theft of intellectual property -

especially if he'd be willing to donate to his

alma mater at some point.

After all, there is ample evidence

suggesting that Ruopeng Liu was, in fact,

acting as a covert agent for the Chinese

government.For example, an e-mail

exchange between Liu and a friend

surfaced after Liu had returned to China

from Duke University. In that e-mail, Liu

confessed to his friend that he had been

sent to Duke by the Chinese government

for ulterior motives related to technology

theft, specifically to obtain David Smith's

research on the "invisibility cloak"

because of its obvious military

implications.In 2011, the State Key

Laboratory of Metamaterial

Electromagnetic Modulation Technology

at the Guangqi Advanced Institute of

Technology in Guangdong province was

mass-producing the metamaterials

related to the "invisibility cloak" for use in

China's fifth-generation warplane

program. Established in 2011, the lab

reportedly has an annual production of

capacity of more than 10,000 square

meters of metamaterial plates.

Since 2018, China has been

experimenting with using metamaterials

on its existing fleet of warplanes. As

always, the Americans were ahead of the

Chinese in thinking about this new, exotic

technology.

Brandon J Weichert is the author of

Winning Space: How America Remains

a Superpower. He is a geopolitical

analyst who manages The Weichert

Report: World News Done Right


SuNdAy, AuGuST 1, 2021

5

Female sprinters take the

spotlight at Tokyo Olympic

SCoTT CACCioLA

For years, the 100-meter dash was

synonymous with one stupendously fast

human: Usain Bolt, who won three

straight Olympic titles before he retired

in 2017. He has since occupied his time

with dabbling in professional soccer,

selling cars, traveling the world as a bon

vivant and becoming a new father.

There was a time, not so long ago,

when his void at the Tokyo Games was

expected to be filled by a bunch of other

stupendously fast humans - in the

women's 100 meters.They seemed

primed for the spotlight, for a bit of

attention from the public that Shelly-Ann

Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, one of the race's

top contenders, said was "long

overdue."But now, after another drugrelated

suspension, the final on Saturday

night is shaping up to be just as notable

for the athletes who are missing.

Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria, the

seventh-fastest woman in the world this

year, was provisionally suspended on

Saturday morning by the Athletics

Integrity Unit for testing positive for

human growth hormone, knocking her

out of the Games. Okagbare, the 2012

Olympic silver medalist in the long jump,

had won her opening round heat on

Friday.The news of Okagbare's exit -

between rounds and mid-competition -

was a stunning development. The field

was already absent Sha'Carri

Richardson, who is serving a monthlong

suspension for testing positive for

marijuana, a banned substance, after she

dominated the women's 100 meters at

the U.S. trials.

Richardson had been expected to be a

gold medal contender and cement

herself as one of the next great American

sprinters. She was replaced by Jenna

Prandini, the fourth-place finisher at the

trials.

On Friday, after successfully advancing

to the semifinals on Saturday, Prandini

said she was not feeling any additional

pressure."I'm just out here trying to do

my best," she said, "and that's all I can

do."

Prandini recalled being at practice

Sprinters competing in the women's 100-meter qualifying round on

Friday.

Photo: Alexandra Garcia

FRANK PASquALe

when she was informed that a spot had

opened up in the 100. She had already

secured a spot on the U.S. team in the

200 meters."To be honest, I had no idea

who I was replacing," she said. "I just got

a call, and they asked me if I'd run the

100, and I said yes, and that was it. I

didn't know the rest of the story. So, as

soon as you guys found out, that's when I

found out, as well."

After finishing with the third-fastest

qualifying time in Tokyo, Fraser-Pryce

did not discuss Richardson or her

suspension. She could be forgiven for

wanting the focus to remain on the

sprinters who are at the Olympics, even if

doing so was becoming a losing battle.

For much of Fraser-Pryce's career, she

- and most sprinters, male and female -

were overshadowed by Bolt.

Now, at 34, Fraser-Pryce is a two-time

Olympic champion, a six-time Olympic

medalist, a nine-time world champion

and the mother of a young son, Zyon. She

famously went into labor while watching

a broadcast of the women's 100-meter

final at the 2017 world championships.

She took about a year off after giving

birth, a sabbatical that "kind of

rejuvenated my motivation and what I

wanted to achieve," she said.

Fraser-Pryce returned to win another

world championship in 2019, then ran

the fastest time of her life in June: 10.63

at a meet in Jamaica. That performance

made her the second-fastest female

sprinter in history behind Florence

Griffith-Joyner, whose world record has

stood for 33 years.

On Friday, Fraser-Pryce did not

dismiss the idea that she could set

another personal best if the conditions

were right and the race lived up to its

potential.She was among the athletes

who described the Olympic Stadium

track as fast ("superfast" was her exact

word). In her heat on Friday alone, two

women - Ajla Del Ponte of Switzerland

and Gina Bass of Gambia - broke

national records.

"Honestly, I try not to put any pressure

on myself," Fraser-Pryce said. "I'm sure

coming into this championship, I may be

seen as a favorite. There are different

narratives that are out there. So I'm

trying not to focus on the expectations. I

just want to make sure I put myself in

position to do my best."

Easier said than done: Merely making

their way to the starting line proved too

much of a challenge for at least two of

Fraser-Pryce's rivals before the final on

Saturday. But it could still be one of the

premier showdowns of the Tokyo

Games.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, another

Jamaican, helped prevent Fraser-Pryce

from an Olympic three-peat by winning

gold in Rio de Janeiro. Marie-Josee Ta

Lou of the Ivory Coast had the fastest

time in qualifying. Dina Asher-Smith of

Britain edged Fraser-Pryce and Ta Lou at

a Diamond League meet in May.

The efficiency level of A.I.

Americans have good reason

to be skeptical of artificial

intelligence. Tesla crashes

have dented the dream of

self-driving cars. Mysterious

algorithms predict job

applicants' performance

based on little more than

video interviews. Similar

technologies may soon be

headed to the classroom, as

administrators use "learning

analytics platforms" to

scrutinize students' written

work and emotional states.

Financial technology

companies are using social

media and other sensitive

data to set interest rates and

repayment terms.

Even in areas where A.I.

seems to be an unqualified

good, like machine learning

to better spot melanoma,

researchers are worried that

current data sets do not

adequately represent all

patients' racial backgrounds.

U.S. authorities are

starting to respond.

Massachusetts passed a

nuanced law this spring

limiting the use of facial

recognition in criminal

investigations. Other

jurisdictions have taken a

stronger stance, prohibiting

the use of such technology

entirely or requiring consent

before biometric data is

collected. But the rise of A.I.

requires a more coordinated

nationwide response, guided

by first principles that clearly

identify the threats that

substandard or unproven

A.I. poses. The United States

can learn from the European

Union's proposed A.I.

regulation.

In April, the European

Union released a new

proposal for a systematic

regulation of artificial

intelligence. If enacted, it

will change the terms of the

debate by forbidding some

forms of A.I., regardless of

What if A.i. takes a wrong turn against

humanity?

Photo: Nicholas Konrad

their ostensible benefits.

Some forms of manipulative

advertising will be banned,

as will real-time

indiscriminate facial

recognition by public

authorities for law

enforcement purposes.

The list of prohibited A.I.

uses is not comprehensive

enough - for example, many

forms of nonconsensual

A.I.-driven emotion

recognition, mental health

diagnoses, ethnicity

attribution and lie detection

should also be banned. But

the broader principle - that

some uses of technology are

simply too harmful to be

permitted - should drive

global debates on A.I.

regulation.

The proposed regulation

also deems a wide variety of

A.I. high risk,

acknowledging that A.I.

presents two types of

problems. First, there is the

danger of malfunctioning

A.I. harming people or

things - a threat to physical

safety. Under the proposed

E.U.

regulation,

standardization bodies with

long experience in technical

fields are mandated to

synthesize best practices for

companies - which will then

need to comply with those

practices or justify why they

have chosen an alternative

approach.

Second, there is a risk of

discrimination or lack of fair

process in sensitive areas of

evaluation, including

education, employment,

social assistance and credit

scoring. This is a risk to

fundamental rights, amply

demonstrated in the United

States in works like Cathy

O'Neil's "Weapons of Math

Destruction" and Ruha

Benjamin's "Race After

Technology." Here, the E.U.

is insisting on formal

documentation from

companies to demonstrate

fair and nondiscriminatory

practices. National

supervisory authorities in

each member state can

impose hefty fines if

businesses fail to comply.

To be sure, Europe's

proposal is far from perfect,

and the E.U. is not alone in

considering the problems of

artificial intelligence. The

United States is starting to

grope toward basic

standards of A.I. regulation

as well. In April, the Federal

Trade Commission clarified

a 2020 guidance document

on A.I., stating that U.S. law

"prohibits the sale or use of

… racially biased

algorithms."

However, the problems

posed by unsafe or

discriminatory A.I. do not

appear to be a high-level

Biden administration

priority. As a remarkable

coalition of civil rights and

technology policy

organizations complained

this month: "Since assuming

office, this administration

has not pursued a public and

proactive agenda on the civil

rights implications of A.I. In

fact, the Trump

administration's executive

orders and regulatory

guidance on A.I. remain in

force, which constrains

agencies across the federal

government in setting policy

priorities."

Things are somewhat

better on the state level. A

more robust proposal is now

under discussion in

California to regulate public

contracts for the provision of

A.I.-based products and

services. Legislators in

Washington State are

discussing a similar

proposal. The proposed

California law has some

elements in common with

the European approach and

with the Canadian model of

"Algorithmic Impact

Assessment," designed to

mitigate bias and unfairness

in emerging A.I. for public

administration.

KARLA CoRNejo viLLAviCeNCio

This summer's controversy

over the underrepresentation

of dark-skinned Afro-Latinos

in "In the Heights," the

Hollywood adaptation of the

Broadway musical, laid bare

the cancer of colorism in

Latinx communities in the

United States. The reckoning

was long overdue, a pain

that goes back as long as our

community has existed. And

the mainstream media was

enraptured. It created what I

think of as the spectacle -

elespectáculo. I haven't seen

as high a demand for Latinx

voices since the Pulse

shooting.

"Latinidad" is the shared

language, childhood

references, music, food,

inside jokes and

idiosyncratic TV Spanglish

among the Latinx in this

country. It is the sameness

that unites us no matter

where we grow up, and no

matter where our parents

were from. But the idea of

sameness can devastate as

much as it can connect. An

open wound in this world of

Latinx has been the shame

around darkness, our own

and that of our family and

neighbors and compatriots.

According to media by us or

for us, dark-skinned Afro-

Latinos do not exist and if

they do, they aren't Latino.

Not really.

Some seem to derive

schadenfreude from our

colorism problem, while

others with a platform use it

to accrue social capital when

we call it out. It's the kind of

performative racial

conversation that allows

Americans to proclaim how

antiracist they are while they

continue to gentrify our

neighborhoods and hide the

fact that they get paid more

than their Black or Latina

co-worker.The main issue

we are asked to write about,

other than the border crisis,

is the issue of anti-Blackness

in our community. When

interviewers have asked me

what Latinidad means to

me, I fumble. For many

people, I am a representative

of undocumented, brown

Latinidad, but my Latinidad

is complicated, and it is

personal. That space of

always wondering - of

constantly creating a version

of myself that incorporates

my race, ethnicity,

nationality, migration to

America, education and all

the rest of my history - is my

Latinidad.

Latinidad isn't a race, and

you can be Latinx and be of

any ethnicity. And we are

still talking about and

around Mestizaje - a race

that doesn't exist in the

racial binary of white and

Black in the United States.

Lately I've caught myself

comparing the skin color of

Latinx artists in my movies

and on my dust jackets with

ugly feelings, looking at their

eyes and lips and

cheekbones and noses and

jaws, looking for tells of

ancestry, assuming

deception and theft.

There are the reckonings

we have among ourselves,

and they are messy, loud and

deeply specific; they are

conversations that are

nuanced, containing not

only facts, but embodied,

familial and community

knowledge. They are

probably not conversations

we are having for the first

time, and probably not the

first time they have brought

many of us to tears. Anti-

Blackness in the Latinx

world causes those of us with

skin in the game deep pain.

As a brown artist I am only

consumable by American

audiences when I write

about extreme suffering. I

suggest that we interrogate

within ourselves what our

personal and professional

stakes are in this

conversation.

I think of the casta

paintings, colonial-era

paintings depicting the

interethnic mixing among

Europeans, Indigenous

peoples, Africans and the

existing mixed-race

population in the New

World. The paintings

typically depict a man,

woman and child, arranged

according to a hierarchy of

race and status, and denote

the racial mixing that has

occurred. A taxonomic

atrocity where the child of a

Spaniard father and albino

mother is labeled tornaatrás,

or "return backward," while

an Indigenous couple and

their child are considered

Indiosmecosbárbaros, or

barbarian Indians. The race

of mestizos, a mix of white

and Indigenous, is

something that allows

people to talk about

citizenship without naming

it. Our ancestral caste

system is created by a

recognition of race that is so

obsessed with blood

quantum and phenotype

that it becomes eugenicist.

It's true that some people

hear Latino and think of

Ricky Martin, but others

think of job-stealing

Mexicans - a different binary

altogether, of citizen and

alien. Campesino means

peasant in Latin American

Spanish, but it is a word that

signals race as much as it

does class. You can call

someone a campesino as a

slur to mean they look

Indigenous, but not

Indigenous enough to be

romanticized as a noble

savage, just Indigenous

enough to be barred access

to cultural and economic

capital. These categories

unify even as they divide: A

Latino is a Mexican is a

campesino is an indio is an

illegal.

I cherish being a mixedrace

person. Some of my

mestizo family's most

ingrained traditions come

from the Black Caribbean,

like the salsa from Joe

Arroyo, whose songs kept

my head held high when I

felt shame as an

undocumented student at

Harvard. We sometimes

speak Quechua at home,

especially to describe good

or bad feelings in the body

that don't have words in

English or Spanish. But I am

not Black and I am not

native. I have had to decide

for myself what is a

respectful enactment of my

culture and what might be

romanticization of ancestors

I don't know. What is an

authentic expression of my

culture and what is

appropriation? It takes deep

personal reflection. It takes

education.

What was once Latin

culture in New York, what

was once Spanish culture in

New York, has meant

growing up mixed-race

alongside mixed races.

People on the ground - from

organizers of racial justice

movements and day laborer

centers to gangs in New York

and Los Angeles .

The beauty of being bilingual

NATALiA SyLveSTeR

My parents refused to let my sister and

me forget how to speak Spanish by

pretending they didn't understand

when we spoke English. Spanish was

the only language we were allowed to

speak in our one-bedroom apartment

in Miami in the late 1980s. We both

graduated from English as a second

language lessons in record time as

kindergartners and first graders, and

we longed to play and talk and live in

English as if it were a shiny new toy.

"No teentiendo," my mother would

say, shaking her head and shrugging in

feigned confusion anytime we slipped

into English. My sister and I would let

out exasperated sighs at having to

repeat ourselves in Spanish, only to be

interrupted by a correction of our

grammar and vocabulary after every

other word. One day you'll thank me,

my mother retorted.

That day has come to pass 30 years

later in ordinary places like Goodwill, a

Walmart parking lot, a Costco Tire

Center.I'm most thankful that I can

speak Spanish because it has allowed

me to help others. There was the young

mother who wanted to know whether

she could leave a cumbersome diaper

bin aside at the register at Goodwill

while she shopped. The cashier shook

her head dismissively and said she

didn't understand. It wasn't difficult to

read the woman's gestures - she was

struggling to push her baby's carriage

while lugging the large box around the

store. Even after I told the cashier what

the woman was saying, her irritation

was palpable.

The air of judgment is one I've come

to recognize: How dare this woman not

speak English, how dare this other

woman speak both English and

Spanish. It was a small moment, but it

speaks to how easy it would have been

for the cashier to ignore a young Latina

mother struggling to care for her child

had there not been someone around to

interpret. "I don't understand," she

kept saying, though the mother's

gestures transcended language. I

choose not to understand is what she

really meant.

Those of us who grew up bilingual

The celebration incolor diversity

The issue of anti-Blackness in North American

community is pervasive. Photo: Collected

understand the complexities of holding

onto and embracing either language.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-

Cortez recently said on Twitter,

"Growing up, Spanish was my first

language - but like many 1st generation

Latinx Americans, I have to

continuously work at it & improve. It's

not perfect."

In the Spanish spoken by the

children of immigrants, you'll hear the

echoes of cousins laughing at our

accents when we visited them in Latin

America. If you go back one

generation, you'll hear stories of people

like my in-laws, whose teachers in

Florida beat them for speaking in

school the language they spoke at

home. Go back yet another generation

and you'll hear of the state-sanctioned

racial terror inflicted on residents of

Mexican descent in Texas in the late

1800s and early 1900s.

On videos circulating on social media

you'll hear Americans harassing

Spanish-speakers at supermarkets and

restaurants. This language of

xenophobia and white supremacy is

spoken fluently by our own president,

and is at the root of why generations of

Latinx Americans' relationship with

Spanish is laced with pain.

Those whose parents tried to shield

them from discrimination by not

passing it on are often expected to be

fluent in a language they never had the

chance to forget. Those of us who

managed to hold on to it, despite the

pressures to assimilate, know that our

imperfect Spanish is a privilege we are

often shamed for both inside and

outside of our communities. And those

of us who speak only Spanish are too

often dismissed and worse, targeted -

by women pushing shopping carts, by

ICE raids, by gunmen with antiimmigrant

manifestoes. Their terror

makes victims of us all.A few weeks

before the election in 2016, a woman at

a Walmart parking lot in Manor, Tex.,

ran to the tent where I was helping to

register voters; she was in tears

because her car had been stolen. In a

town that's nearly 50 percent Latinx,

none of the police officers on site could

understand her. As she filed her police

report, with me as an interpreter, I

noticed how they made almost no eye

contact with her. I was the one they

could understand, so they saw only me.

She confided that her immigration

papers were in the car.

The bittersweet discovery that language, and the stories it carries,

is not a straight path. Photo:

Rachel Levit Ruiz


SUNDAY, AUGUST 1, 2021

6

Strict lockdown is being implemented at Belabo in Narsingdi to prevent coronavirus pandemic.

Photo: Pradeep Kumar Debnath

233 hotel workers get humanitarian

aid in Rajshahi

RAJSHAHI: Some 233

hotel workers hardest-hit

by the Covid-19 pandemic

situation were given

humanitarian assistance to

mitigate their hardship and

starvation, reports BSS.

Each of the affected

workers was given a foodpackage

containing eight

kilograms of rice, two

kilograms of potato, 500

grams of lentil and 500

milliliters of edible oil.

Rajshahi City Residential

Hotel Owners Association

(RCRHOA) distributed the

food support at the

conference hall of Rajshahi

City Corporation (RCC) on

HABIBUL BARI HABIB, SHIBGANJ CORRESPONDENT:

Officer-in-charge (OC) of

Shibganj Police Station Md

Chapainawabganj Md Farid

Hossain has eradicated the

of ideas of police being fear

and danger among common

people. This OC of Shibganj

Police Station, the son of

Natore district, who is

uncompromising with

justice and injustice, has

taken the place of fear in the

hearts of the people of

Shibganj Upazila.

He has been assisting the

people in various problems

and endangered areas in

various ways including legal

advice.Meanwhile, as a

result of his relentless efforts

and proper leadership, the

Friday afternoon

maintaining health rules to

limit the Covid-19 spread.

City Mayor AHM

Khairuzzaman Liton

distributed the support as

chief guest expressing his

gratitude to the hotel

owners for standing beside

their affected workers.

RCRHOA President SM

Ehsan, General Secretary

Khandaker Hassan Kabir

and Vice-president Abul

Bashar Shahidullah were

present on the occasion.

Mayor Liton said the

present government under

the dynamic leadership of

Prime Minister Sheikh

law and order situation in

Shibganj is quite normal.

People are being freed from

the complexity of

unnecessary and harassing

cases. It goes without saying

that there is no violence of

the brokers who have been

running around the police

station for a long time.

Apart from providing direct

service through direct visits

Hasina has been working

relentlessly to ensure food

security for the jobless

people amidst the present

troubled time.

Mayor Liton said there is

no crisis of food as the

government has sufficient

stock and urged the

recipients not to be

panicked in this regard.

The city corporation has

been distributing relief

materials among the

affected families to tackle

the present troubled

situation and the

assistance will continue

until the situation ends.

Shibganj Police Station OC Farid Hossain

taken place in the hearts of people

from Shibganj Thana office,

he is also going through

various awareness posts on

Facebook with public

welfare oriented advice.

At present, the name "OC

Farid Hossain" is being

heard in the mouths of

common people including

people of different classes

and professions in almost

every area of Shibganj

Upazila.Weak and helpless

people living in different

parts of the upazila are also

able to come to the police

station and get their due

service.

The common man is

gaining confidence in the

police by overcoming the

fear in his mind about the

police.

RMP distributes relief to

350 more jobless people

RAJSHAHI : Rajshahi Metropolitan

Police (RMP) has provided

humanitarian assistance to 350 more

jobless and other poor people aimed at

ensuring their food security amid the

nationwide lockdown caused by Covid-

19 pandemic, reports BSS.

With the direction of Prime Minister

Sheikh Hasina, each of the

underprivileged people was given a

24.5-kilogram food package containing

rice, flour, potato, salt and edible oil so

that they can meet their food demand.

As part of its continuous

humanitarian aid, the RMP authorities

distributed the food items at Police

lines playground in the city on

Thursday afternoon through

maintaining health rules to contain

Covid-19 spread.

RMP Commissioner Abu Kalam

Siddique accompanied by Additional

Commissioners Suzayet Islam and

Mazid Ali and Deputy Commissioner

Sazid Hossain distributed the food

supports.

Speaking on the occasion, Abu Kalam

Siddique urged other government, nongovernment

and volunteer

organizations to remain by the worstaffected

people amid the pandemic.

He said the present government

under the dynamic and visionary

leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina has been working relentlessly to

support the hand-to-mouth people

during the global pandemic.

Siddique said all the worst-affected

people are being brought under

humanitarian support so that they can

lead their life through mitigating their

financial constraint caused by the

pandemic.

He, however, urged the people to

follow health rules strictly to contain

the spread of the deadly virus.

2 held with

pipe gun in

Habiganj

HABIGANJ : Rapid Action

Battalion in a drive held

two arms traders with a

pipe gun in Chunarughat

upazila on Friday.

AKM Kamruzzaman

from RAB-9 said they

conducted a raid in

Vulerjang area in the

upazila on Friday

afternoon and held one

Sumon Mia, 24, with the

firearm.

On his confessional

statement, RAB personnel

conducted another drive in

the area and caught Jasim

Uddin, 19. RAB men also

seized a motorcycle from

his possession,

Sumon and Jasim were

sent to jail.

Administration holds

campaign to implement

strict lockdown in Belabo

Pradeep Kumar Debnath,

Belabo (Narsingdi)

Strict lockdown is being

implemented at Belabo in

Narsingdi to prevent

epidemic Corona.

Mobile courts are being

run, joint forces are

conducting operations to

avoid public gatherings and

meetings are being held in

every union under the

leadership of upazila

administration for

awareness. A mobile court

headed by Upazila Nirbahi

Officer Md Akhter Hossain

Shahin and Upazila Assistant

Commissioner (Land) Belal

Hossain was set up on

Wednesday and Thursday in

Belabo and Poradia markets

of the upazila. A fine of Tk

34,200 was imposed in 18

cases for non-compliance

with the lockdown. They also

called on the public to abide

by the ban on epidemics.

They urged them to follow the

mask and hygiene rules.

It is to be noted that during

the epidemic, regular raids

are being carried out in the

markets and corners due to

the unruly people not

following the rules and

regulations. In this regard,

Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md.

Akhter Hossain Shahin said,

besides regular patrols,

committees have been

formed in every union to

prevent corona virus. I am

holding awareness meetings

with the members of the

committee, civil society,

freedom fighters, teachers,

media workers, health

workers and conscious

people. Meetings have

already been held in Sadao

Union and Bajnab Union.

Pradeep Kumar Debnath,

Belabo (Narsingdi).

Bangladeshi expatriates

donate oxygen concentrators

in Panchagarh

RANGPUR: Bangladeshi

expatriates in the USA

donated five oxygen

concentrators to the health

department of Panchagarh

in a function held at the

conference room of the

Deputy Commissioner of

Panchagarh on Friday

afternoon.

Panchagarh Welfare

Association of Bangladeshi

Expatriates in the USA

donated the modern oxygen

concentrators for providing

treatments to the Covid-19

patients in all five upazilas of

the sub-Himalayan district.

Deputy Commissioner of

Panchagarh Md Jahurul

Islam received the oxygen

concentrators from an

expatriate Bangladeshi living

in the USA Fazle Rabbi in the

function arranged abiding by

the health directives. The

Deputy Commissioner

handed over the oxygen

concentrators to the civil

surgeon of Panchagarh Dr

Fazlur

Rahman.

Superintendent of Police of

Panchagarh Mohammad

Yusuf Ali, District Council,

Chairman Anwar Sadat

Sarat, Additional Deputy

Commissioner (General)

Azad Jahan, Panchagarh

Press Club President

Shafiqul Alam and Fazle

Rabbi spoke on the occasion.

Proper soil, fertilizer

management in tea

farming stressed

RANGPUR : Experts at a virtual training

workshop have stressed ensuring proper

soil, fertilizer and agronomic

management in tea cultivation on plain

lands to further boosting production of

quality tea.

Bangladesh Tea Research Institute

(BTRI) of Bangladesh Tea Board (BTB)

organised the event on "Fertilizer

application in tea plantation" at its

Panchagarh regional office in

Panchagarh district town on Thursday

afternoon, a press release said.

The event was arranged under the

'Expansion of Small Holding Tea

Cultivation in Northern Bangladesh

Project' of BTB to reach scientific

methods, management, modern

technologies and tea related services to

farmers and other stakeholders

concerned.

Experts of BRTI and BTB, Managers

and high officials of the tea gardens and

tea processing factories, small-scale tea

growers of different districts virtually

participated in the workshop.

The programme was organised under

the banner of "Camellia Open Sky

School" with the slogan 'Improved

knowledge, improved tea.'

Senior Scientific Officer of BTB at its

Panchagarh regional office and its

Project Director of Northern Bangladesh

Project Agriculturalist Dr. Mohammad

Shameem Al Mamun conducted the

training workshop.

Senior Scientific Officer of the Soil

Science Division of BTRI at Srimangal

Ashim Kumar Saha spoke as the key

resource person.

Director of Lalmonirhat Tea Project of

BTB Agriculturist Arif Khan, the CHT

Project Director of BTB at Bandarban

Suman Sikder, Development Officer of

BTB in Panchagarh Md Amir Hossain

and its Assistant Farm Superintendent

Sayedul Haque addressed.

The experts discussed various issues

related to soil management in tea

gardens and application of fertilizers in

immature and mature tea gardens in the

northern region as well as other regions

for improving the quality of tea.

They stressed adopting scientific

methods and technologies for increasing

tea production, selection methods of tea

varieties, planting of saplings, plucking,

tipping, pruning, application of

fertilizers, control of pests and diseases.

Dr Mamun especially called upon the

participants, including farmers, to use

the digitised mobile app 'Two Leaves One

Bud' to easily get tea cultivation related

services at their doorsteps.

"Farmers can earn more profits

through expanding tea farming on plain

lands of five northern districts adopting

scientific methods and technologies

to enhance production of quality tea

to further accelerate economic

development of the region," he

added.

Brigadier General (Sylhet Cantonment) of 18th Infantry Division Md. Mesbah Uddin Ahmed inspected

the situation in Corona of Jamalganj Upazila. He visited various points including Jamalganj Bazar

on Friday.

Photo: Touhid Chowdhury

Netrakona farmers busy with transplanting

T-Aman rice seedlings

NETRAKONA : Farmers are now passing

busy times with rowing Transplanted Aman

(T-Aman) rice seedlings on their farm lands

in the district.

They are rendering their field-level service

on lands following health guidelines amid

the Covid-19 pandemic situation with a view

to meet their food demands as well as to

ensure food security of the country.

Officials of department of agricultural

extension (DAE) Netrakona said a target has

been designed here to produce over 3.50

lakhs metric tons of clean Aman rice from

1,30,760 hectors of land in the district during

the current Aman season.

According to the production target,

13,742 metric tonnes of hybrid varieties of

the Aman rice will be produced from

3,560 hectors of land, 3,01,608 metric

tonnes of high yielding varieties (HYV)

Aman rice from 1,06,200 hectors of land

and 33,390 metric tonnes of local

varieties Aman rice from 21,000 hectors

of land.

Meanwhile, the farmers have prepared

the Aman rice seed beds on 7,222 hectors

of land against the target of preparing

seed beds on 6,852 hectors in the district,

the DAE officials said.

The Aman growers have already

completed transplantation of Aman

seedlings on over five thousands hectors

of land.

The transplantation of Aman rice

seedlings is progressing rapidly in the

district as the district is experiencing

adequate rainfall during the last

fortnight, the DAE officials added.

Talking to the BSS, deputy director of

the DAE, SM Mubarak Ali said at the

directives of the government, different

state-run agencies including BADC and

BCIC has ensured proper supply of

adequate quantity of improved quality

Aman seeds, fertilizers and different

irrigation and agricultural equipment

among the Aman growers.

The state-run banks including

Bangladesh Krishi Banks have also

distributed crop loans to the farmers for

helping them run their Aman cultivation

network without financial problems.

Apart from these, the government has

already distributed 20.9 tonnes

improved quality Aman seeds , 6.1 tonnes

of DAP fertilizers and 4.9 metric of MOP

fertilizers as incentives among the 4,900

small and marginal farmers under its

agriculture incentive program, Ali said.

KM Khalid donates 1,592

oxygen cylinders to

MMCH

DHAKA :

State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM

Khalid, MP, has so far donated 1,592 oxygen

cylinders at Mymensingh Medical College

Hospital (MMCH) on his personal initiative

to facilitate emergency medical services for

Coronavirus patients.

Besides, 237 more cylinders will be

provided today on behalf of the state

minister to supply oxygen to the MMCH, a

press release said.

The release also said that the

humanitarian assistance programme of the

state minister for the Corona patients will

continue till end of the pandemic.

Spraying of insecticide

begins to destroy mosquito

larvae in Rangpur

RANGPUR : Rangpur City

Corporation (RpCC) has

launched a insecticide

spraying campaign in the

Shyamasundari and KD

Canals to destroy mosquito

larvae for preventing

mosquito-borne diseases

including dengue in the city.

Mayor of Rangpur

Mostafizur Rahman Mostafa

launched the campaign at an

informal function through

spraying insecticide in the

Shyamasundari Canal in the

city's Check Post area on

Thursday afternoon as the

chief guest with Chief

Executive Officer of RpCC Md

Ruhul Amin Miah in the chair.

RpCC Waste Management

Standing Committee

Chairman and City Councilors,

Waste Management Officer

(Zone-1) Mizanur Rahmna

Miju and Supervisor Ekramul

Haque attended the function.

Ruhul Amin Miah briefed

on the utter essence of

maintaining cleanliness at

drainage and sewerage

systems, office premises,

institutions and homesteads to

prevent breeding of

mosquitoes and keep the

environment clean. "All of the

canals, drainage and sewerage

systems and other places will

be cleaned up and insecticides

be sprayed to destroy

mosquitoes in a shorter period

in the city," he added.


SUnDAY, AUgUST 1, 2021

7

Joe Biden wagered his campaign and now his presidency on the premise that government itself

could still work, even at a time of fractious political division.

Photo : AP

Biden lands win, but virus surge

threatens to derail agenda

NEW YORK : Joe Biden wagered his

campaign and now his presidency on

the premise that government itself

could still work, even at a time of

fractious political division.

When the Senate voted this week,

with bipartisan support, to begin work

on an infrastructure bill that Biden

supported, he seemed to have proof of

the concept.

But the triumph was overshadowed

by the surging delta variant of the

coronavirus that has forced the

restoration of mask guidelines,

imperiled the nation's economic

recovery and threatened Biden's

central promise that he would lead the

United States out of the pandemic.

"Democrats have to put wins on the

board going into 2022, and COVID

clouds on the horizon make getting

infrastructure and reconciliation done

all that much more important," said

Robert Gibbs, former press secretary to

President Barack Obama. He added

that it's "imperative for the Biden

administration to communicate on this

regularly and prepare for us for the ups

and downs of this pandemic."

The president's first six months in

office, for which he has received strong

marks in most public polls, featured the

full vaccination of more than 60% of

Americans, the creation of more than 3

million new jobs and the passage of a

sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill.

And in recent days, he has made

progress along the massive, twopronged

infrastructure track that could

pour $4.5 trillion into the United

States' economy while he also eyed

future moves on voting rights and

immigration.

But the virulence of the delta strain

coupled with stubborn vaccine

hesitancy among a significant portion

of the American population have raised

alarms about another punishing wave

of the pandemic, a prospect that has

rattled financial markets already

nervously eyeing the possibility of longterm

inflation.

And now Biden has entered a more

challenging phase of his presidency as

the virus has once more proven to be an

intractable foe that now endangers the

nation's fragile return to normalcy.

"I know this is hard to hear. I know

it's frustrating. I know it's exhausting to

think we're still in this fight," Biden said

to reporters at the White House on

Thursday. "And I know we hoped this

would be a simple, straightforward line,

without problems or new challenges.

But that isn't real life."

At the same time, the administration

response has hardly been seamless.

The administration has been criticized

about its messaging on the virus,

including confusing guidance this week

as to when and why even vaccinated

people would need to resume wearing

masks indoors.

Biden himself had decreed July 4th to

be the day that American declared its

"independence" from the virus in front

of 1,000 mask-free people at the White

House. But just weeks later, staffers

and journalists working at the White

House were required to don face

coverings again, regardless of their

vaccination status.

And across the country, Americans

who reveled in a return to normalcy are

now being asked to wear masks again,

stirring resentment in some of those

who have followed health guidelines

throughout the pandemic, including

getting the shot. And the rollback calls

into question whether the Biden

administration had been too quick to

relax guidelines and now risked losing

some of the public's confidence.

"They broke their word. They broke

their own rules," said Republican

House Minority Leader Kevin

McCarthy. "And now they've broken

the trust of the American people."

To be sure, though, the vaccine

hesitancy has been most pronounced in

areas strongly associated with support

for former President Donald Trump,

and some conservative media outlets

have amplified the wariness.

Myanmar leaders use pandemic

as political weapon

BANGKOK : With coronavirus deaths

rising in Myanmar, allegations are

growing from residents and human

rights activists that the military

government, which seized control in

February, is using the pandemic to

consolidate power and crush

opposition, reports UNB.

In the last week, the per capita death

rate in Myanmar surpassed those of

Indonesia and Malaysia to become the

worst in Southeast Asia. The country's

crippled health care system has rapidly

become overwhelmed with new

patients sick with COVID-19.

Supplies of medical oxygen are

running low, and the government has

restricted its private sale in many

places, saying it is trying to prevent

hoarding. But that has led to

widespread allegations that the stocks

are being directed to government

supporters and military-run hospitals.

At the same time, medical workers

have been targeted after spearheading

a civil disobedience movement that

urged professionals and civil servants

not to cooperate with the government,

known as the State Administrative

Council.

"They have stopped distributing

personal protection equipment and

masks, and they will not let civilians

who they suspect are supporting the

democracy movement be treated in

hospitals, and they're arresting doctors

who support the civil disobedience

movement," said Yanghee Lee, the

U.N.'s former Myanmar human rights

expert and a founding member of the

Special Advisory Council for Myanmar.

"With the oxygen, they have banned

sales to civilians or people who are not

supported by the SAC, so they're using

something that can save the people

against the people," she said. "The

military is weaponizing COVID."

Myanmar's Deputy Information

Minister Zaw Min Tun did not respond

to questions about the allegations, but

with growing internal and external

pressure to get the pandemic under

control, the leadership has been on a

public relations offensive.

In the state-run Global New Light of

Myanmar newspaper this week, several

articles highlighted the government's

efforts, including what it called a push

to resume vaccinations and increase

oxygen supplies.

Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the

military commander who heads the

SAC, was cited as saying that efforts

were also being made to seek support

from the Association of Southeast

Asian Nations and unspecified

"friendly countries."

"Efforts must be made for ensuring

better health of the State and the

people," he was quoted as saying.

Myanmar reported another 342

deaths Thursday, and 5,234 new

infections. Its 7-day rolling average of

deaths per 1 million people rose to 6.29

- more than double the rate of 3.04 in

India at the peak of its crisis in May.

The figures in Myanmar are thought to

be a drastic undercount due to lack of

testing and reporting.

"There is a big difference between the

actual death toll from COVID-19 of the

Military Council and reality," a

physician from the Mawlamyine

General Hospital in Myanmar's fourthlargest

city told The Associated Press,

speaking on condition of anonymity for

fear of government reprisal. "There are

a lot of people in the community who

have died of the disease and cannot be

counted."

Videos proliferate on social media

showing apparent virus victims dead in

their homes for lack of treatment and

long lines of people waiting for what

oxygen supplies are still available. The

government denies reports that

cemeteries in Yangon have been

overwhelmed but announced

Tuesday they were building new

facilities that could cremate up to

3,000 bodies per day.

With coronavirus deaths rising in Myanmar, allegations are growing

from residents and human rights activists that the military

government, which seized control in February, is using the pandemic

to consolidate power and crush opposition. Photo : AP

Seven Kurdish family

members killed in

Turkey attack

ANKARA : Seven members

of a Kurdish family were

killed Friday in central

Turkey by armed assailants

who tried to burn their

house in what rights

activists said was a racist

attack.

The Dedeoglu family had

been seriously injured in

another attack in the middle

of May by neighbours who

warned them that they "will

not let Kurds live here" in

the region of Konya.

One of the dead members

had complained in mid-July

that the police and judges

had been partial towards the

May attackers who had been

freed, and said the family

feared for their lives.

Abdurrahman Karabulut,

their lawyer, said the

liberation of the

perpetrators of the first

attack signalled impunity.

"This was an entirely racist

attack ... the judiciary and

the authorities are

responsible for what has

happened," Karabulut told

Arti TV.

"This was a case we were

following. The youngest

family member told me 'We

are very scared'," tweeted

Eren Keskin, the vice

president of the Human

Rights Association.

According to Interior

Minister Suleyman Soylu, a

years-long feud between two

families was behind the

tragedy.

He said describing the

attack as a racist crime was

"a provocation."

Uganda eases

Covid curbs as

admissions fall

KAMPALA : Ugandan

President Yoweri Museveni on

Friday ordered an easing of a

six-week Covid lockdown

following a dramatic reduction

in serious cases of the disease.

Infections had soared

during a second wave driven

by the highly transmissable

Delta variant but since the

lockdown, the authorities say

daily admissions of severe and

critical patients dropped from

a daily peak of 204 to 50

currently.

Under the new measures,

most public and private

transport is set to resume from

Monday, although bus

operators were ordered to

limit passengers to 50 per cent

of vehicle capacity.

Schools and places of

worship are to stay closed and

a dusk-to-dawn curfew

remains in force but the

number of employees allowed

to go to their offices will

increase from 10 to 20 per cent

of the workforce.

"If these measures are

taken, we shall prevent the

third wave," Museveni said in

a televised address to the

nation.

WASHINGTON : A nationwide

eviction moratorium expired Saturday

after President Joe Biden and

Democrats in Congress worked

furiously but ultimately failed to align

on a long-shot strategy to prevent

millions of Americans from being

forced from their homes during a

COVID-19 surge.

More than 3.6 million Americans are

at risk of eviction, some in a matter of

days, as nearly $47 billion in federal

housing aid to the states during the

pandemic has been slow to make it into

the hands of renters and landlords

owed payments, reports UNB.

Tensions mounted late Friday as it

became clear there would be no

resolution in sight. Hours before the

ban was set to expire, Biden called on

local governments to "take all possible

steps" to immediately disburse the

funds. Evictions could begin as soon as

Monday. "There can be no excuse for

any state or locality not accelerating

funds to landlords and tenants that

have been hurt during this pandemic,"

Biden said in a statement.

"Every state and local government

must get these funds out to ensure we

prevent every eviction we can," he said.

Israel blames Iran over lethal

attack on oil tanker off Oman

JERUSALEM : Two crew members of an oil

tanker managed by a prominent Israeli

businessman's company were killed off

Oman in what appears to be a drone attack,

the vessel's London-based operator and the

US military said Friday, with Israel blaming

Iran.Tehran is "sowing violence and

destruction," an Israeli official said.

The Islamic Republic "is not only Israel's

problem, but it is the world's problem. Its

behaviour threatens the freedom of

navigation and global commerce", the

official added.

US Navy forces came to the aid of the crew

in response to an emergency distress call and

saw evidence of the attack, said an American

military statement.

It added that initial indications "clearly

point" to a drone-style attack, and that US

Navy ships were now escorting the vessel

with US personnel aboard to help.

Analysts said the attack bore all the

hallmarks of tit-for-tat exchanges in the

"shadow war" between Israel and Iran, in

which vessels linked to each nation have

been targeted in waters around the Gulf.

The Israeli official warned that "our

campaign against them (Iran) will continue".

Zodiac Maritime, owned by Israeli

billionaire Eyal Ofer, said the incident on

board the MT Mercer Street on Thursday

killed one Romanian and a UK national, who

was a guard for British maritime security

firm Ambrey.

The vessel was in the northern Indian

Ocean, travelling from Dar es Salaam to

Fujairah with no cargo onboard when the

attack occurred, it said.

"We are not aware of harm to any other

personnel," it said in a statement, adding

that the Japanese-owned tanker was back

under the control of its crew and was

steaming to an undisclosed "safe location"

under US naval escort.

Oman's state news agency said the

country's navy dispatched a ship and

confirmed the attack took place outside the

sultanate's territorial waters.

The United States, a key ally of Israel and

arch-rival of Iran, expressed concern and

said it was working to "establish the facts".

Meir Javedanfar, an expert on Iranian

diplomacy and security at Israel's IDC

Herzliya university, told AFP the attack was

"most probably Iran".

Iran's state TV channel in Arabic Al-Alam,

citing "informed regional sources", said the

attack was a "response to a recent Israeli

attack" targeting an airport in central Syria.

It did not provide further details.

Two crew members of an oil tanker managed by a prominent Israeli businessman's

company were killed off Oman in what appears to be a drone

attack, the vessel's London-based operator and the US military said

Friday, with Israel blaming Iran.

Photo : AP

Pentagon grappling with new

vaccine orders; timing uncertain

WASHINGTON : Defense Secretary Lloyd

Austin is vowing he "won't let grass grow

under our feet" as the department begins to

implement the new vaccine and testing

directives. But Pentagon officials on Friday

were scrambling to figure out how to enact

and enforce the changes across the vast

military population and determine which

National Guard and Reserve troops would be

affected by the orders.

The Pentagon now has two separate

missions involving President Joe Biden's

announcement Thursday aimed at

increasing COVID-19 vaccines in the federal

workforce. The Defense Department must

develop plans to make the vaccine

mandatory for the military, and set up new

requirements for federal workers who will

have to either attest to a COVID-19

Evictions loom after Biden, Congress

fail to extend ban

The stunning outcome, as the White

House and Congress each expected the

other to act, exposed a rare divide

between the president and his allies on

Capitol Hill, and one that could have

lasting impact as the nation's renters

face widespread evictions.

Biden set off the scramble by

announcing he would allow the eviction

ban to expire, rather than challenge a

recent Supreme Court ruling signaling

this would be the last deadline. He

called on Congress on Thursday to

swiftly pass legislation to extend the

date. Racing to respond, Democrats

strained to rally the votes early Friday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi implored

colleagues to pass legislation extending

the deadline, calling it a "moral

imperative," to protect renters and also

the landlords who are owed

compensation.

Congress must "meet the needs of the

American people: both the families

unable to make rent and those to whom

the rent is to be paid," she said in an

overnight letter late Thursday.

But after hours of behind-the-scenes

wrangling throughout the day,

Democratic lawmakers had questions

and could not muster support to extend

vaccination or face frequent testing and

travel restrictions.

Austin said the department will move

expeditiously, but added that he can't predict

how long it will take. He said he plans to

consult with medical professionals as well as

the military service leaders.

Any plan to make the vaccine mandatory

will require a waiver signed by Biden,

because the Food and Drug Administration

has not yet given the vaccine final, formal

approval. According to federal law, the

requirement to offer individuals a choice of

accepting or rejecting use of an emergency

use vaccine may only be waived by the

president, "only if the president determines

in writing that complying with such

requirement is not in the interests of national

security."

the ban even a few months. An attempt

to simply approve an extension by

consent, without a formal vote, was

objected to by House Republicans. The

Senate may try again Saturday.

Lawmakers were livid at prospect of

evictions in the middle of a surging

pandemic.

"Housing is a primary social indicator

of health, in and of itself, even absent

COVID," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-

Cortez, D-N.Y. "A mass eviction in the

United States does represent a public

health crisis unto itself." Rep. Maxine

Waters, D-Calif., the Financial Services

Committee chair who wrote the

emergency bill, said House leaders

should have held the vote, even if it

failed, to show Americans they were

trying to solve the problem.

"Is it emergency enough that you're

going to stop families from being put on

the street?" Waters testified at an

hastily called hearing early Friday

morning urging her colleagues to act.

"What the hell is going to happen to

these children?"

But Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of

Washington, the top Republican on

another panel handling the issue, said

the Democrats' bill was rushed.


SunDAY, AuguSt 1, 2021

8

OnE Bank Limited recently distributed relief materials as a part of its special Corporate Social Responsibility

(CSR) program for the Corona pandemic affected underprivileged families in Khulna Zone by maintaining health

rules and social distancing. A total of 2,156 underprivileged families were given the humanitarian aid. In the total

coordination of Bank's Khulna Zone Head Mr. Abu Sayed Md. Abdul Mannaf in association with Jagorani Chakra

Foundation and SEtu ngO participated the program; in Jashore (370 families), in Khulna (308 families), in

Kushtia (308 families), in Satkhira (308 families), in Poradaha (308 families), in Chowgacha (308 families) and in

Benapole (246 families) received the support. Each of them were given 15 kilograms of rice, 2 kilograms of flour,

5 kilograms of potato, 1 kg lentil, salt, edible oil, onions , 100 grams of chili powder and 1 soap. Photo : Courtesy

US oil giants to keep a lid on spending

even as profits surge

NEW YORK : US oil giants ExxonMobil

and Chevron reported strong profits

Friday riding a wave of higher prices

amid recovering demand, but pledged to

keep a lid on spending.

The results marked a 180-degree

reversal from this time last year when the

companies suffered hefty losses amid

heavy pandemic restrictions that

crimped economic activity and halted

travel.

"Positive momentum continued

during the second quarter across all of

our businesses as the global economic

recovery increased demand for our

product," said Exxon Chief Executive

Darren Woods.

But neither company indicated plans

to pivot away from the focus on spending

discipline or open the spigots on more

Nagad to issue BDT 5 billion

zero-coupon bond

Nagad, the mobile financial

services arm of Bangladesh

Postal Department, is set to

issue a zero-coupon bond of

BDT 5 billion with a face value

BDT 7.5 billion at the end of its

five-year maturity, in a first for

a mobile financial services

provider in Bangladesh.

Strong interest from many

foreign investors has already

been sighted since the

announcement of the bond for

the DFS disruptor in

Bangladesh. Reportedly, Kiu

Global, a US-based digital

services company, has already

expressed interest to subscribe

a BDT amount equivalent to

USD 30 million of the

mentioned bond.

The announcement of the

landmark issue was made on

Monday in New York in the US

during an investor show styled

"The Rise of Bengal Tiger:

Potentials of Trade &

Investment in Bangladesh"

organized by the Bangladesh

Securities and Exchange

Commission (BSEC). Nagad,

which is one of the key partners

of the event, has received initial

investment in additional projects,

reflecting pressure from investors,

including those who oppose more

spending on fossil fuels.

ExxonMobil said it would keep its 2021

capital spending budget at the low end of

projections, while Chevron highlighted

its lower spending in the second quarter.

Chevron also announced plans to

resume share repurchases in the third

quarter.

ExxonMobil reported profits of $4.7

billion in the second quarter, compared

with a loss of $1.1 billion in the same

three months of last year when pandemic

restrictions devastated energy demand.

Revenues more than doubled to $67.7

billion.

ExxonMobil scored higher profits

across its exploration and production

approval from the BSEC for the

bond issue.

Riverstone Capital is acting

as the arranger of the bond

wherein Green Delta Capital

will be the trustee.

Nagad, the fastest growing

mobile money company in the

world, will use the proceeds

from the bond subscription for

future readiness of the

company's

digital

infrastructure; development of

network, hardware and the

digital financial service

platform; purchase IT

equipment; marketing and

promotional activities; and

working capital financing. All

these are aimed at accelerating

the Digital Bangladesh

initiative of Honorable Prime

Minister Sheikh Hasina and

will be an integral part of that.

Tanvir A Mishuk, managing

director and co-founder of

Nagad, said, "With the

development of the capital

market in Bangladesh, the

bond market has also become

vibrant in recent past. We

consider this as a better source

to raise investment. Moreover,

Nagad has always been

innovative and that is why we

chose bond market over

traditional financing."

Mishuk added, "Nagad is a

fast-growing company that

achieved 53 million customers

within just two years and a

quarter. To keep the growth

momentum, it's essential to

build a new digital ecosystem

and infrastructure. As a stateowned

entity, we have to put

our efforts to reach the vision of

Digital Bangladesh. With this

investment, we will enhance

the digital ecosystem that will

help us to cater to more people

with innovative services and

eventually that will be helpful to

achieve Digital Bangladesh

goal."

Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-

Islam, Chairman of BSEC, said,

"The BSEC, in collaboration

with our ecosystem of

regulators and stakeholders, is

working towards the

development of Bangladesh's

capital markets, particularly

debt market, which will be vital

for financing long-term needs

of our industries and

business, with significantly higher oil

prices more than offsetting lower

production. Chemical profits also surged

during the quarter on strong demand

and pricing.

But the company pointed to "ongoing

impacts from market oversupply" as a

drag on its downstream business, which

lost money during the quarter.

ExxonMobil said it expects higher

planned spending in the second half of

the year on key projects, but full-year

spending will be on the "lower end" of its

projected $16 billion to $19 billion for all

of 2021.

Chevron, meanwhile, brought in

earnings of $3.1 billion, compared with a

loss of $8.3 billion a year earlier, as

revenues more than doubled to $37.6

billion.

infrastructure.

Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam

said, "We hope Nagad's issue

will encourage greater

participation of our leading

corporates, state-owned

enterprises, municipalities in

the debt capital, devising

optimal financing strategies

that will help them grow and

prosper sustainably. Nagad's

initiative of issuing its first

corporate bond is

commendable and will

contribute towards setting the

right direction for the capital

market."

Nagad, a change-maker in

the government's safety-net

disbursement dynamics of

Bangladesh, has launched its

commercial operation on

March 26, 2019 by Prime

Minister Sheikh Hasina with a

vision to financially inclusion

all walks of life and upgraded

them on a digital platform.

Salman Fazlur Rahman MP,

Private Industry and

Investment Adviser to the

Hon'ble Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina; Abdur Rouf Talukder,

Senior Secretary of the Finance

Division under Ministry of

Finance; Professor Shibli

Rubayat-Ul-Islam, Chairman

of BSEC; Tapan Kanti Ghosh,

Secretary of Ministry of

Commerce; Md. Sirazul Islam,

Executive Chairman of

Bangladesh Investment

Development Authority

(BIDA); Major General Md

Nazrul Islam, Executive

Chairman of Bangladesh

Export Processing Zones

Authority (BEPZA); Steven

Landman, Chief Executive

Officer of Kiu Global, were also

present at the declaration event

in New York along with other

high-level delegates from

Bangladesh.

China factory activity slows in

July, hit by extreme weather

BEIJING : Chinese factory

activity weakened in July to its

lowest level since the start of

the pandemic, data showed

Saturday, as manufacturing

was impacted by slowing

demand, weak exports and

extreme weather, reports BSS.

The Purchasing Managers'

Index (PMI), a key gauge of

manufacturing activity in the

world's second-largest

economy, dropped to 50.4 in

July from June's 50.9, the

National Bureau of Statistics

said.

A PMI reading of over 50

indicates expansion, while

below that figure suggests

contraction.

The reading appeared to be

levelling out between April

and June, and July shows the

first marked decline, making

it the lowest PMI figure since

February 2020, analysts said.

While the figure was worse

than many forecasts, it was

still above the 50-point mark

that separates growth from

contraction.

China's fragile economic

recovery is threatened by a

recent resurgence of the Delta

variant of the coronavirus that

is threatening to dampen

holiday consumption over the

summer. "On the whole,

China's economy continues to

maintain expansion

momentum, but the pace has

slowed down," said NBS

senior statistician Zhao

Qinghe.

"In July, some companies

entered the equipment

maintenance period, which in

addition to the impact of

extreme weather such as

localised high temperatures,

floods and natural disasters,

(caused) relatively weakened

manufacturing growth

compared to last month."

Although Zhao did not refer

to specific extreme weather

events, deadly flooding in

central Henan province

caused over 70 deaths and

billions of yuan worth of

damage this month. Henan is

home to key Foxconn plants

that manufacture Apple

iPhones.

Overall, export and import

indices dropped this month,

after a major port closure in

the first three weeks of June

stifled international trade at a

key point in the global

shipping network.

"The most alarming signal

is the new export order index,

which (at 47.7 per cent) is at

the lowest level since July last

year," said Zhiwei Zhang,

chief economist at Pinpoint

Asset Management in a note.

"Exports have been a main

growth driver this year. This

PMI data release makes me

even more cautious about

growth outlook in H2."

China's non-manufacturing

PMI also slightly slowed by

0.2 percentage points to 53.2

this month, although it was

still showing growth.

In particular, the

construction industry was

badly affected by

"unfavourable weather

factors such as high

temperatures and rain, floods

and disasters", said Zhao.

However, the service

industry recovered slightly,

with expanded sectors

including aviation, catering

and accommodation.

PRAN-RFL Group distributes food

among 11 thousand families

PRAN-RFL Group, one of

the leading business

conglomerates of the

country, distributed food

items to the helpless and

poor people, who have

become affected by the

lockdown enforced to curb

the spread of coronavirus.

The group has provided

food items to the poor

people in various parts of

the country including the

capital.

Food items were

distributed among 11

thousand families in

various parts of Dhaka city

and Gazipur, Narsingdi,

Rajshahi, Natore and

Jhenaidah districts from

July 23 to 30. Local

people's representatives

and administration helped

the group to distribute the

products. The food items

include rice, dal, semai, oil,

noodles and UHT milk.

Kamruzzaman Kamal,

Marketing Director at

PRAN-RFL Group, "People

are actually confined at

home during lockdown.

Many families are living

helpless life as most of the

common people do not

have a daily income at this

time.For the reason, we are

helping the low-income

working people of various

professions as part of

corporate social

responsibility."

He also added that

PRAN-RFL Group has

been playing a leading role

to serve the humanity apart

from

creating

employment.The group

extends its helping hand

9th Death Anniversary of

Advocate Al-Haj

Kamaluddin Ahmed Khan

Today is the 9th death anniversary of Advocate Al-Haj

Kamaluddin Ahmed Khan, known as Kamal Khan, a former

member of the Bangladesh Supreme Court Bar Association

and father of Anis A. Khan, former Managing Director &

CEO of Mutual Trust Bank

Ltd. (MTB), a press release

said.

Kamal Khan was born in

Chittagong city on February

19, 1927. He passed his BA

from Chittagong College in

1947 and obtained the LL.B.

Degree in 1962 from

Chittagong Law College. A

philanthropist by heart, Mr.

Khan was elected as the

Secretary-General of Chittagong Central Eid Jamat and

Graveyard Committee for organizing Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-

Azha congregational prayers in the city, and for setting up a

graveyard in the port city, a position he served in for over fifty

years. He was awarded "The Governor of Bengal Medal" in

1942 for his service in Assam during the Second World War.

He also served as Port Commissioner of Chittagong Port and

as Honorary Chief Warden of Civil Defence, Chittagong. He

founded the Patharghata Girl's High School, the first such

school in the area.

On the occasion of the 9th death anniversary of Kamal

Khan, relatives, friends and well-wishers are requested to

pray for the salvation of his departed soul.

especially to the helpless

people during various

disasters.

PRAN-RFL group started

providing food items to the

poor people under

"PasheAsi Bangladesh"

program when the corona

virus started spreading in

the country in March last

year.The group has

distributed food and safety

items to more than 80,000

families so far under the

program who have become

workless due to

coronavirus outbreak.

Moreover, the group

donated corona sample

collection booth, surgical

masks, PPE, hand gloves

and hand sanitizers to

Director General of Health

Services (DGHS) and 19

hospitals in Dhaka,

Chattogram and Bhola.

the "Half Yearly Business Meet 2021" of Bank Asia Ltd. was held through Digital Platform on

Saturday. A Rouf Chowdhury, Chairman of the bank was the Chief guest of the program. Mohd.

Safwan Choudhury, Vice Chairman, Dilwar H Choudhury, Chairman of Board Audit Committee,

Enam Chowdhury, Ashraful Haq Chowdhury, Md. Abul Quasem, Helal Ahmed Chowdhury, directors

of the Bank, Md. Arfan Ali, President & Managing Director, Deputy Managing Directors along with

Departmental Heads and Branch Heads totally around 1,000 people attended the program. Bank's

business review, opportunity, challenges and suggestions for further improvement were discussed

on the meeting.

Photo : Courtesy


SunDAY, AuGuST 1, 2021

9

Paris Saint-Germain warmed up with a draw with Sevilla in midweek.

Photo: AP

'Bitter' PSG face nemesis Lille

in Tel Aviv

SPORTS DESK

French Cup winners Paris Saint-

Germaincan exact revenge on league

champions Lille in the Tel Avivhosted

FrenchChampions Trophy on

Sunday as Mauricio Pochettino

embarks on his first fullseason at the

helm of the club, reports BSS.

The Argentine has warned

whoever lines up in any match for

the Parisiansthis season must play to

win, and rather than gain revenge on

anyone the clubhad to buck its own

ideas up.

PSG take on the modest team that

pipped them to the title last

seasonwithout many of their top

stars, nor even their new signings

Spanish defenderSergio Ramos or

Italian 'keeper Gianluigi

Donnarumma.

Neymar is still in Brazil but French

striker

KylianMbappe,

Italianmidfielder Marco Verratti and

Argentine winger Angel Di Maria are

all back atthe club.

Ledecky targets

2028 Olympics

after winning

seventh gold

SPORTS DESK

Katie Ledecky warned her

rivals she could still be racing

in 2028 after the American

stormed to her third straight

Olympic 800m freestyle gold

on Saturday and banked her

fourth Tokyo medal, reports

UNB.

The 24-year-old touched in

8min 12.57sec to outpace

Australian arch-rival

AriarneTitmus, who clocked a

personal best 8:13.83 to earn

silver ahead of Italy's Simona

Quadarella (8:18.35).

Ledecky now has 10

Olympic medals -- seven

golds and three silvers. She

was incredulous when asked

if it might have been her last

race."That was not my last

swim," Ledecky said. "I'm at

least going to 2024, maybe

2028, we'll see. I knew it

would be my last swim here.

You never take anything for

granted, you just try to take it

all in."

BCB head curator

Gamini not part

of Australia series

SPORTS DESK

Bangladesh chief curator

Gamini de Silva won't be

available in the field during

the upcoming home series

against Australia as he is not

part of their bio-bubble,

confirmed a Bangladesh

Cricket Board official on

Wednesday, reports UNB.

The Sri Lankan arrived in

Bangladesh on Wednesday

and went straight to the

Sher-e Bangla National

Stadium, raising quite a few

eyebrows considering a

strict bio-bubble is

maintained since July 21

that saw 140 people

related with the series

being part of it.

Dutch midfielder Xavi Simmons

has been earning rave reviews in the

warm-upsand Pochettino says he

won't shy away from change.

"We'll have a look Saturday to

decide who travels and who doesn't,"

saidPochettino.

"It's not so much a revenge match

against Lille as a revenge match

againstourselves," said the coach.

"Losing the title, losing in the

Champions League semis left us with

abitter taste in our

mouths,"Pochettino said at the Parc

des Princes beforethe team embark

for Israel."We want to win all the

competitions," he insisted.

"We don't have our best team, but

we are allowed no excuses, he said.

"As coach of this team I don't want

to see any other side line out

asfavourites."

Lille won Ligue 1 by a single point

to end a three-year run from

theParisians, who lost eight league

games and took only one point from

their twomatches with Lille.

After celebrations that caused

police to block off the city centre,

theclub lost their coach Christophe

Galtier to Nice while French

internationalgoalkeeper Mike

Maignan left them to join AC Milan.

"We'll remember winning the title

forever, but now we have to

lookforwards," club captain Jose

Fonte said.

Lille, who now have former

Bordeaux and Guingamp coach

Jocelyn Gourvennecat the helm, are

promising to fight for the 'Trophy'

with Fonte pointing to arelatively

bare cabinet as ample motivation.

"It's a real title, and Lille doesn't

have too many of those," he said.

"It'll be a nice one to put in the

shop window," he said.

Unlike others Fonte said he had

never considered leaving Lille.

"It was important for me to stay

here at Lille and try and write a

newchapter in the history of the

club," the 37-year-old Portuguese

said.

Sangakkarasympathises with

Stokes over mental health break

SPORTS DESK

Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara

saidplayers could "only deal with so much"

after it was announced England all-rounder

Ben Stokes was taking an indefinite break

from all forms of cricketto "prioritise his

mental well-being", reports BSS.

Stokes, the latest high-profile sports star to

step away from the pressureof international

competition, has now withdrawn from

England's squad ahead ofa five-match series

against India starting at Trent Bridge next

week.The England and Wales Cricket Board

added Friday the 30-year-old World

Cupwinner was also stepping aside to rest his

left index finger.

He had rushed back from injury to lead

England in a one-day internationalseries

against Pakistan earlier this month after all

those originallyselected were ruled out by a

coronavirus outbreak within the hosts'

camp.

Stokes' decision came just days after

American superstar gymnast SimoneBiles

pulled out of two events at the Tokyo

Olympics to also protect hermental health.

The 24-year-old's struggles followed those

of Japanese tennis star NaomiOsaka,

another face of the Games who lost in the

third round on her returnfrom a mental

health break, having withdrawn from the

French Open and skippedWimbledon saying

she had been battling depression and

anxiety. 'Very tough time' -England team

managing director Ashley Giles, offering his

support toStokes, said the prolonged impact

of playing international cricket inbiosecure

bubbles during the coronavirus pandemic

had been "extremelychallenging".

Meanwhile, Sangakkara told Sky Sports:

"It must be a very, very tough timefor Ben

and his family. It won't be a decision made

easily but (it) bringsinto focus the level elite

players play at-your coping mechanism can

onlydeal with so much.

"A lot of time away from home, in bubbles,

restrictions in terms offreedom of

movement, then the added pressures of

performing at such a highlevel in the public

eye.

He added: "We've had a host of elite

athletes who've spoken about

mentalwellbeing and the effects of Covid and

the pressure around it, and of

coursepressure in the limelight, that have led

to them making some very toughdecisions."

Stokes, who in normal circumstances

would be vice-captain to Test skipperJoe

Root, is a key figure for England.

In 71 Tests, he has scored 4,631 runs at

37.04 as a dynamic left-handedbatsman,

including 10 hundreds, and taken 163

wickets at 31.38.

More than raw figures, however, it is his

ability to balance the side andabove all, turn

a game with either bat or ball that makes

Stokes such avaluable player.

'Mental health': England's Ben Stokes will take break from cricket. Photo: AP

Zverev hails beaten

Djokovic as

'greatest of all time'

SPORTS DESK

Alexander Zverev said he felt

sorry forending Novak

Djokovic's tilt at a Golden

Grand Slam at the Olympics

onFriday, hailing the beaten

world number one as "the

greatest of all time", reports

BSS.

Djokovic needed a maiden

Olympic singles gold medal

and the US Open tocomplete

a calendar Golden Slam after

winning the first three majors

of theyear.

His victory at Wimbledon

earlier this month also drew

him level with long-time

rivals Roger Federer and

Rafael Nadal on 20 Slam

titles.

But the world number one

blew a one-set lead to lose 1-6,

6-3, 6-1 to aninspired Zverev

in the semi-finals at Ariake

Tennis Park.

"I feel sorry for Novak, but

he's won 20 Grand Slams,

550 (36) Mastersseries or

whatever, you can't have

everything," said fourth seed

Zverev, whoconsoled

Djokovic at the net after the

match.

"He's the greatest player of

all time, he will win the most

Grand Slamsout of anybody

on tour, but I'm also happy

that I'm in the final."

Best effort not

enough for

Ariful, Junaina

SPORTS DESK

Bangladesh swimmers Ariful

Islam and Junaina Ahmed

created personal records but

they weren't enough to reach

the next round as both

suffered elimination from

their respective qualifying

event of the Tokyo Olympics

on Friday, reports UNB.

Ariful finished his 50m

freestyle race in 24.81

seconds, surpassing his

previous best record of 24.92

seconds to finish third among

eight swimmers in the men's

50m freestyle - Heat 4 at

Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

However, the 22-year old

failed to qualify in the semis

(top 16) as he finished 51st

among 73 swimmers in the

event.Ariful's previous best

record was made during the

FINA World Aquatics

Championships in 2019 in

South Korea.

Meanwhile, the 18-year old

Junaina finished fifth in the

women's 50m freestyle - Heat

3 after managing to end the

race in 29.78 seconds.

Overall, Junaina finished

68th among 81 swimmers in

her event. Junaina's previous

best record was 30.96

seconds which she made in

FINA World Aquatics

Championships in 2019.

Guatemalan Cordon continues

Olympic badminton fairytale

SPORTS DESK

Guatemalan Kevin Cordon's parents

havenever seen him play badminton beforethey

might have to tune in on TV nowthat the

world number 59 is in the Olympic semifinals,

reports BSS.

Cordon continued his fairytale run at the

Tokyo Games on Saturday, beatingSouth

Korea's Heo Kwang-hee 21-13, 21-18 to move

one win away from hiscountry's second-ever

Olympic medal.

"I'm still a kid, playing like a kid, having

fun, trying to do my best," said the 34-yearold,

who left home at 12 to pursue his

Olympic dream.

"Can you believe that I'm in a semi-final

right now?

This feeling is justamazing."Unseeded Heo

stunned world number one KentoMomota

to reach the quarter-finals, but Cordon went

straight on the attack and wrapped up the

first gamein 17 minutes.

He crumpled to the ground in disbelief

after hitting the match-winningpoint, then

lay sobbing on the court until the result had

sunk in."If you compare Guatemala with any

country in Europe or Asia, it won't bethe

same-this is our reality," he said.

"But we have one thing in common-we are

equal when you play with yourheart."

Guatemala has only ever won one Olympic

medal, when Erick Barrondo claimedsilver

in the 20 kilometre race walk at the 2012

London Games.

Cordon said people in the Central

American nation are glued to his

matchesdespite being 15 hours behind

Tokyo, but his parents have yet to tune in.

"I'm 100 percent sure that they didn't

watch the match," he said.

"They are quite old people. They have

never seen me play in all my career.It's not

because they don't love me-they get nervous.

When I play, mybrother watches and he tells

them 'Kevin won or Kevin lost.'"

Cordon, whose father named him after

English football great Kevin Keegan,will play

Denmark's world number two Viktor

Axelsen or China's Shi Yuqi inthe semifinals.

"It's very difficult to play with all these top

players that you onlywatch on TV or the

internet," said Cordon."When you train with

your heart, when you train with patience, all

thesegood things will come into your life."

reacts after scoring a point against South Korea's Heo Kwang-hee.

Photo: AP

US hurdlers sparkle at Olympics,

Nigerian sprinter cast out for doping

SPORTS DESK

The good and the ugly side of Olympic

athletics were on show on Saturday as

Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah

Muhammad sparkled on the track

while Nigerian sprinter Blessing

Okagbare was thrown out of the Games

after failing a doping test, reports UNB.

McLaughlin and Muhammad, her

predecessor as women's 400 metres

hurdles world record holder, should

put up as eye-catching a duel as the

potential clash between

KarstenWarholm and Rai Benjamin in

the men's race.Okagbare by contrast

will not be lining up in the women's 100

metres semi-finals later on Saturday

after it was announced she had tested

positive for human growth hormone.

Both McLaughlin and defending

champion Muhammad eased through

their heats.

McLaughlin said her world record of

51.90sec could be under threat due to a

fast track at the Tokyo Olympic

Stadium and the overall quality of the

field."It feels pretty fast, I must say,"

said the 21-year-old American.

"You can feel the bounce. Some

tracks just absorb your bounce and

your motion, this one regenerates it

New badminton partner gives

Indonesia's Polii new lease of life

SPORTS DESK

Indonesia's GreysiaPolii wanted to

quitbadminton five years ago, but a freshfaced

partner has given her a new leaseof life

and taken them to an Olympic final, reports

BSS.Polii, 33, and ApryaniRahayu, 10 years

her junior, beat South Korea's LeeSo-hee

and Shin Seung-chan 21-19, 21-17 on

Saturday to move within one win ofan

unlikely women's doubles gold medal.

Polii was ready to quit the sport in 2016

after her partner NityaKrishindaMaheswari

needed knee surgery following the pair's

quarter-final defeat atthe Rio Games. But

her coach persuaded her to stay on and team

up with risingstar Rahayu, and the decision

has paid off in spades.

"She was still very young, just into the national

team, and I was like 'ohmy god, I need to run

again for another four years',"Polii said of

herjunior partner.

"I was just like, keep it going, day by day, time

by time. She really wantsto be a champion."

and gives it back to you.

"I think anything is possible. It is a

really great group of girls, so I wouldn't

put it past anybody to go out and do it

(break the world record)."

Muhammad has not had the

smoothest of preparations but her

ability to rise to the occasion of a major

championships could give her an edge.

"I am feeling good now, Covid is

thankfully behind me and the injuries

that followed," she said.

"So, I am feeling good and ready to

run."Whilst McLaughlin's dreams of

gold remain firmly on course, British

hurdler Jessie Knight's campaign did

not get past the first hurdle.

The 27-year-old lost her balance

before the hurdle and crashed into itonce

back on her feet she put her hands

to her face and trudged off in tears.

'A mimic ' If there is to be a challenge

to the American duo it is likely to come

from Femke Bol.

The 21-year-old Dutch athlete put in

an assured performance in her heat,

cantering home well clear of her rivals.

"I love the track and these conditions.

I am feeling well, sleeping well and am

in great shape," said Bol.

"It is great to be in this shape coming

into this tournament."

Rahayu describes Polii as "my role model",

and said the veteran did notneed much

persuading to go back on her retirement

plans."I just kept telling her 'don't quit-just

play with me'," said Rahayu.

"But Greysia herself felt convinced through

her hard work, her motivation,her grit and

her desire to be a champion."

The unseeded Polii and Rahayu will play

China's Chen Qingchen and JiaYifanin the

final, after the number two seeds beat South

Korea's Kim So-yeong andKong Hee-yong

21-15, 21-11.Polii and former partner

MeilianaJauhari were thrown out of the

2012London Games for deliberately losing a

group match to secure a morefavourable

draw in the knock-out round.

Now Polii is looking for redemption at the

Tokyo Games with a gold medalfor

badminton-mad Indonesia."So many

people, not only me, have been through

adversity and unforgettablemoments," she

said."I guess the London Olympics has

taught me to never give up on yourdreams.

The USA also hold a strong hand in

the 100m hurdles with world record

holder Kendra Harrison praying that

this time she ends her major

championship jinx.

The 28-year-old failed to qualify for

the Rio Games, was fourth in the 2017

world final and had to settle for silver

behind compatriot Nia Ali at the 2019

world championships.

"I'm just trying not to emphasise the

word 'Olympics' and just trying to take

it like I do every meet, and not to put

pressure on myself," said Harrison.

"I'm going to give it everything I've

got. It's semis, a mimic of the final."

Injuries have robbed Kenyan great

David Rudisha of a shot at a 'threepeat'

in the 800 metres.

Nijel Amos, the man who took silver

behind Rudisha when he broke the

world record in the 2012 final, has

battled with injuries but he looked

mighty smooth in his heat.

American champion and 2016

Olympic bronze medalist Clayton

Murphy is another who believes he is in

a better place than a couple of years ago

when he finished stone last in the world

final. The rough and tumble of the

800m played out badly for refugee

team runner James Chiengjiek.


sUNDAY, AUGUsT 1, 2021

10

Deepa Khandaker 's new drama

'Doshti Coffee and

Irfan er Golpo'

Habib releases new duet

with Nancy

Popular singer-musician Habib Wahid released a

brand new song titled "Brishti Jodi Na Thame Aj" on

Friday, by initiating a unique lyric-hunting venture on

social media platform Facebook, reports UNB.

Composed by Habib Wahid, the lyrics of the duet

track which also features popular singer

NazmunMunira Nancy as Habib's co-vocal, are

written by 6 of Habib Wahid's fans who were selected

by the singer-composer himself from his official

Facebook page. Uploaded on Habib Wahid's official

YouTube channel on Friday, the song has already

garnered over 66 thousand views, just within a few

hours of its release.

Initially, the project was focused on being a single

track, later it was turned into a duet based on the

demand of its lyrics, also revealing Nancy as a surprise

in this exceptional song project. The announcement

happened on Wednesday night during the recording

of the song titled "Brishti Jodi Na ThameAj".

After recording the song, Habib and Nancy

appeared with a video message from Habib Wahid's

official Facebook page, sharing the details of the song

project. In the video, Habib said, 'Today I am very

excited because I am going to announce a brand new

track, that has been a totally new process of

composing a song. It was a different experience for

me. The biggest thing is that my fans have written the

lyrics, picked from their submitted lines in my post on

July 5 - and I was really surprised."

"I have never imagined that I would get such good

lines from my audience, for the overall lyrics. I would

have selected everyone's submitted songlinesIf I could

fit them all, but I had to take the writings of a few. The

song is going to be an amazing one, now being a duel

featuring Nancy."

Praising this unique collaboration, Nancy said, "I

think it was a very unique idea. The usual process that

we always observe is that a song is written by one or

two people, but I have never seen a song that has been

written by 6 people - and that too from a social media

platform like Facebook."

"This is a testament that how much Habib Wahid

loves his fans and audiences. It is a great honour for

me to be a part of such a project," she added.

On July 26, Habib announced the names of the

selected commenters who have contributed the lines

for the song titled "Brishti Jodi Na ThameAj". These

lyricists are Mukul Chandra Roy, Sufian Khan,

MdShahadt Hossain, MdJahid Hasan, MdEbriad

Hasan Polock and Catherine Alo Mardi.

Earlier, Habib wrote a status on his Facebook page

on July 5 stating "Brishti Jodi ar Na ThameAj". He

then offered his fans to complete the song by writing

the rest of the lyrics.

TBT REPORT

Deepa Khandaker is a

popular small screen

actress of the country. The

artiste has presented many

audience-acclaimed dramas

in her long career. Deepa

Khandaker now will be seen

acting in a new drama titled

'Doshti Coffee and Irfan er Golpo'.

Written by Iqbal Khondokar,

Bangladesh Television will

produce the drama.

The play will be aired on

BTV on August 15 on the

occasion of National Mourning Day.

Talking about the drama, Deepa Khandaker said, "The

script of the drama is amazing. I will play an important

role in it. The shooting of the drama will begin at BTV's

studio on August 7. The special drama will be aired on

August 15."

Deepa Khandokar is a popular television actress of

the country. Deepa Khandokar mainly acts in

television dramas. She has modeled in

commercials and starred in notable films. Among

her notable films is BhaijanElore (India).

Before starting her acting career, she served

as a flight attendant. She debuted in acting in

the television play Kaktarua.

Her popular tel-dramas include 'Meghe

Dhaka Manus', 'Ebong Ami',

'AndhakarePhul', 'GharSangsar',

'Mohua', 'Swapnabhog', 'Society',

'SakkhiKutum', among many

others. She has also received

immense praise for her role as a

presenter in TV show titled

'House Wife'. The programme

was aired on Channel 24.

Deepa Khandakar also appeared

in a Canadian feature film 'A

Father's Diary' directed by Golam

Mustofa, produced by Banzai

Multimedia, acting as mother in

a supporting role where she

turned her sweet live vocal to

the EkusherGaan - 'The Song

of Twentyfirst' that has been

praised of!

Khandakar has done

television commercials for

companies including Swan

Foam, Aarong, Lipton Tazaa

Tea, Starship, Cute Powder,

Tibet, and Tibet Coconut Oil.

Aamir Khan wraps up Kargil

shoot for 'Laal Singh Chaddha'

Bollywood superstar, director and

producer Aamir Khan on Tuesday

wrapped up shooting for his upcoming

film 'Laal Singh Chaddha', which was

underway at mountainous Kargil

district of Ladakh for the last one

Farooki tests

positive for

Covid-19

TBT REPORT

Prominent director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki has tested positive

for Covid-19. The director announced the news on Saturday

through a status from his Facebook account.

The post reads, "Positive! Even after following all safety

measures strictly! So everyone please take care and keep your

spirit high!" Although Farooki tested positive, his wife actor Nusrat

Imrose Tisha tested negative for the virus.

The "Television" director took his first shot of Covid vaccine on

26 July and posted the news on his social media account.

He wrote, "It is true that I am going to take the vaccine but I also

want to say that being inoculated doesn't mean one is protected

against the deadly virus. I have seen people getting infected even after

receiving double doses of the coronavirus vaccine. Please abide by the

Covid-19 health guidelines and stay put at home."

Mostofa Sarwar Farooki recently released his debut web series

"Ladies and Gentleman" starring Tasnia Farin and Maria Nur in

pivotal roles. The web series has received critical appreciation for

addressing social issues including gender inequality, sexual

harassment, and patriarchy.

month.

Aamir Khan arrived in Kargil early

this month to shoot the last leg of his

much-awaited movie in the cold

desert.

Referred to as "Mr Perfectionist" in

the Indian film industry, Aamir was all

praise for the beauty and the

hospitality of Kargil.

"We got strong support from the

Kargil administration as well as people

here during our shooting," Aamir said.

"Kargil is a beautiful place and there

are good locations for shooting and

hopefully more films that require such

a locale will be shot here," he added.

'Laal Singh Chaddha' is touted to be

one of the most anticipated films in the

last two years. Interestingly, it brings

the much-loved pairing of Aamir-

Kareena back to the big screen after

their blockbuster titled, '3 Idiots'.

It's also the official adaptation of one

of the most popular Hollywood films

and Oscar-award winning 'Forrest

Gump'.

Ladakh Autonomous Hill

Development Council (LAHDC),

Kargil hosted a dinner as a token of

love and gratitude for the 'Lal Singh

Chaddha' team at the residence of

Deputy Commissioner Kargil.

'Laal Singh Chaddha' is expected to

be released in December this year.

Source : Indian Express

H O ROscOPE

ARIEs

(March 21 - April 20) : This is no

time to be a stick in the mud, Aries.

Don't be the weak link in the chain.

The energy of the day is "get up and go." So either

lead, follow, or get out of the way. There are no

excuses for backing down. When opportunity

knocks, you need to be ready with your bags

packed. Your emotions could lead you down new

and unexpected paths.

TAURUs

(April 21 - May 21) : Set aside

some time today explicitly for you,

Taurus. Unexpected events are

likely to pop up and cause a stir in your emotions.

Giving yourself personal space to digest and deal

with these events will help keep you from

suppressing your reaction to them. Make sure you

have your internal maelstrom of thoughts settled

before you get tangled up in others' affairs.

GEMINI

(May 22 - June 21) : Try not to

be so serious and intense today,

Gemini. Walk with a lighter step

and don't feel like you always need to be in

control of every single thing you contact. Take on

an attitude of going with the flow and you will be

right in the place you need to be. Extreme actions

will lead to extreme consequences. There's no

need for that sort of behavior on a day like this.

cANcER

(June 22 - July 23) : Don't

miss any opportunities today,

Cancer. No matter how tired you

may be, this isn't the time to rest.

This is one of those days in which it's simply

easier to be you. There's no need to shy away or

hide your true desires. Say what you want and

you'll get it. There's no reason to beat around

the bush. Keep in mind that unexpected

energies will get thrown into the mix.

LEO

(July 24 - Aug. 23): Your plans

may be upended today, Leo, but this

doesn't mean that you should give up

hope in any way. Sometimes it's necessary to let go of

control and simply let things happen as they will.

Adopt a spirit of adventure and take risks that you

normally may not want to take. There is a distinct

advantage in spontaneity and working harmoniously

with the unexpected events that are bound to occur.

VIRGO

(Aug. 24 - Sept. 23): Today is one of

those days in which you have a

terrific opportunity to break free of

normal, everyday life, Virgo. Don't

feel badly if you don't know exactly which way to go.

Follow your gut feeling. Whichever way you decide

to go will probably be right. Your forceful, erratic

approach may actually be the perfect method to use

in order to get exactly where you need to be.

LIBRA

(Sept. 24 - Oct. 23): Sometimes

your daydreaming leads you way out

of your body and into a place well

beyond time and space, Libra. Your romantic nature

wants to escape and never touch back down to the

real world. Take a giant step toward that which

tickles your fancy. Take the loftier approach and

encourage others to share your dreams instead of

letting them weigh you down.

scORPIO

(Oct. 24 - Nov. 22): Generally

speaking, today should be a good

day for you, Scorpio. You should

have no problem setting a fast-paced tone for the

day and sticking to it. There are opportunities in the

strange and bizarre. Don't limit yourself by thinking

narrowly. Let the electricity of the day lighten the

atmosphere and give your attitude the jolt it needs

to get back on track. Be open to new ideas.

sAGITTARIUs

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

be moving a bit too quickly for

your liking today, Sagittarius.

Make sure you continue at your

own pace so you don't get pushed into

something you don't want to do. Eliminate all

fear from your being. The more receptive and

accepting you are, the more opportunities will

come your way.

cAPRIcORN

(Dec. 22 - Jan. 20): There are

several opportunities open now

that weren't there before. The key

is to take advantage of them. Find

freedom in the strange and new. Be a pioneer

today and venture into the unknown. This is a

day to expand and reach new heights by having

more confidence in your abilities. Things will

get stale and boring if you keep doing the same

things over and over.

AQUARIUs

(Jan. 21 - Feb. 19) : Be brazen and

bold in your actions today,

Aquarius. This may be a hard

direction for you at first, but it's the most effective

way to get where you need to go. Unexpected

ripples of emotion may cause you to go in an

unconventional direction. Let yourself flow

freely. This is an important time to get up and

moving in response to these powerful emotions.

PIscEs

(Feb. 20 - Mar. 20) : The name of the

game for you today is emotional

freedom, Pisces. Your senses are

heightened and the smallest things

capture your eye. Don't delay your response to

these events, whether they're big or small. Even

the smallest event may blossom into a new world

of people and situations. Let your creativity

explode into every part of your being.


SuNDAY, AuguSt 1, 2021

11

Anwar Hossain, a college student and his friend Mamun are relentlessly working as gatekeepers day

and night by constructing a railway gate at their own expense to save everyone from an accident at a

railway crossing in Atrai, Naogaon.

Photo: PBA

China outbreak

spreads as WHO

sounds alarm on Delta

BEIJING : Mushrooming

outbreaks of the highly

contagious Delta variant

prompted China and

Australia to impose stricter

Covid-19 restrictions on

Saturday as the WHO urged

the world to quickly contain

the mutation before it turns

into something deadlier and

draws out the pandemic.

China's most serious surge

of coronavirus infections in

months spread to two more

areas Saturday-Fujian

province and the sprawling

megacity of Chongqing.

More than 200 cases have

been linked to a Delta cluster

in Nanjing city where nine

cleaners at an international

airport tested positive, with

the outbreak spanning

Beijing, Chongqing and five

provinces as of Saturday.

The nation where the

disease first emerged has

rushed to prevent the highly

transmissible strain from

taking root by putting more

than one million people

under lockdown and

reinstituting mass testing

campaigns.

Worldwide, coronavirus

infections are once again on

the upswing, with the World

Health Organization

announcing an 80 percent

average increase over the

past four weeks in five of the

health agency's six regions, a

jump largely fuelled by the

Delta variant.

First detected in India, it

has now reached 132

countries and territories.

a call to action that we need

to move now before more

dangerous variants emerge,"

the WHO's emergencies

director Michael Ryan told a

press conference.

Obituary

TBT Report

Md. Ibnul Hossain, the

chief engineer of 225 MW

power plat of Bangladesh

Power Development

Board died of a heart

attack in Sylhet on July

30 at noon (InnalillahiWa

Inna IlahiRajiun). He was

53 years old.

Md. Ibnul Hossain

started his career in 1994

as an Assistant Engineer

in the Power

Development Board. He is

survived by his wife and

two sons. His burial was

completed on Saturday

morning at the City

Corporation Cemetery in

Uttara.

BPDB Chairman Belayet

Hossain expressed deep

grief and condolences to

the bereaved family of

Md. Ibnul Hossain.

Helal Akbar Chowdhury envisions

(From page-12)

booths not in my own name but in the name

of those responsible leaders and individuals

so that people get services.

There is no substitute for using masks and

hand sanitizers to control the rising coronavirus

cases across the country. And these

masks and hand sanitizers will be available

for free at the Corona Resistance Booths.

Therefore, the importance of this corona prevention

booth to prevent the pandemic is

immense, said Helal Akbar Chowdhury.

Regarding future plans, Babar said, "I am a

follower of the late leader ABM Mohiuddin

Chowdhury and inspired by his ideals. I want

to serve the party and the country without any

compromise. My only goal is to be a partner in

building a developing Bangladesh for my

leader Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of the

people's leader Bangabandhu.

"My goal is to set up at least five corona

resistant booths per 300 parliamentary constituencies,

so that the rest of the people can

copy the idea and take the booths to the village

level" Babar said. And my party has received

the support of the MP's and district leaders of

Bangladesh Awami League in conducting this

huge activity and will continue to do so in the

future.Asked how the initiative is being funded,

he said, "Most of my personal donations and I

have some well-wishers who motivate me to do

all humanitarian work. I am also providing this

service to humanity with sincere support and

financial support. Finally, in the context of the

construction of a hospital in Chattogram's

famous Central Railway Building (also shortly

known as CRB) premises, Babar said, "CRB

premise is a geographical ornament of Chattogram

and our country. Such a hospital is definitely

needed but it is not in CRB."

Month of mourning begins today

(From page-1)

Sheikh Fazlul Huq Moni, Moni's pregnant wife

Arzoo Moni and Bangabandhu's military secretary

Colonel Jamil.

Bangabandhu's two daughters - incumbent Prime

Minister Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana -

escaped the planned assassination as they were visiting

Germany at that time.

With the killing of Bangabandhu, the greatest son

of the soil in thousand years, a pall of gloom descended

and a sense of deep sadness spread among the

people in the country and across the globe.

The world protested and condemned the killing,

saying it is an irreparable loss to millions of people of

Bangladesh. The month of August is also black

marked with another conspiracy of assassination.

The nation cannot ever forget the heinous attempt of

killing Sheikh Hasina through grenade attacks in

2004.

The vested quarter, who assassinated Bangabandhu

in 1975, also tried to destroy Awami League (AL)

by killing its president Sheikh Hasina with grenades

on an anti-terrorism rally at Bangabandhu Avenue

here on August 21 in 2004.

Sheikh Hasina narrowly escaped the attack suffering

splinter injuries when 24 of her party men,

including Awami League's women affairs secretary

Ivy Rahman, were killed and 500 others injured.

Like in the previous years, different political and

socio-cultural organisations, including ruling Awami

League (AL) and its associate bodies have chalked

out month-long programmes to observe the month

of mourning beginning today.

In view of the current coronavirus pandemic, the

ruling Awami League, however, has decided to

observe the month-long programmes commemorating

the 46th martyrdom anniversary of Father of

the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

and the National Mourning Day on August 15 on a

limited scale maintaining health guidelines.

On July 24, AL General Secretary and Road

Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader

announced the programmes at a press conference at

his official residence in the city. Usually elaborate programmes

are observed from the central to grassroots

levels in August every year marking the month of

mourning, he said, adding that this time at the directives

of Prime Minister and party President Sheikh

Hasina, a decision has been taken to observe the programmes

on a limited scale, strictly following the

health protocols considering the current coronavirus

situation.As per the programmes drawn up to

observe the month of mourning, on August 5, marking

the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Shaheed

Sheikh Kamal, floral wreaths will be placed at his

portrait on the premises of Abahani Club at Dhanmondi

at 8:30am. Later, wreaths will be laid at his

grave at Banani Graveyard at 9:15am.

To observe the birth anniversary of Bangamata

Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, wreaths will be placed

at her grave at Banani Graveyard at 9:00am on

August 8.

On August 15, marking the martyrdom anniversary

of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh

Mujibur Rahman and the National Mourning Day,

homage will be paid to Bangabandhu by placing

wreaths at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu

Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi Road No. 32 at

8:30 am.Homage will also be paid to other August 15

martyrs by laying wreaths at their graves at Banani

Graveyard at 9:15am on that day.

An AL delegation will pay tributes to Father of the

Nation by placing wreaths at his mausoleum at

Tungipara in Gopalganj at 11:00am on the day.

Special doa and prayers will be arranged at all

mosques, temples, churches, pagodas and other

places of worships across the country to observe the

National Mourning Day.

Besides, a discussion will be arranged marking the

National Mourning Day at 3:30pm on August 16.

On August 17, Dhaka city north and south units of

AL will organise a discussion commemorating the

countrywide series bomb attacks that took place on

the day in 2005. On August 21, tributes will be paid

to the martyrs of the August 21, 2004 gruesome

grenade attacks by placing wreaths in front AL central

office at 23 Bangabandhu Avenue in the city at

9am. An indoor discussion will be arranged at

3.30pm on that day.On August 27, marking the

death anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul

Islam, homage will be paid to him by placing

wreaths at his grave on the premises of Dhaka University

Central Mosque at 9am.

Akshay Kumar's

'Bellbottom' to release

theatrically on August 19

MUMBAI : Superstar

Akshay Kumar on Friday

announced that his muchanticipated

movie

"Bellbottom" will arrive in

cinemas on August 19.

The espionage thriller was

originally scheduled to

release in April this year, but

was postponed to July 27

due to the second wave of

the coronavirus pandemic in

India.

As the theatres open

across the world and various

parts of the country, the

producers have locked a new

release date for the movie.

"Mission: To Entertain

you on the BIG SCREEN.

Date: August 19, 2021.

Announcing the arrival of

# B e l l B o t t o m !

llBottomInCinemasAug19,"

Kumar posted on Twitter.

Vashu Bhagnani is

backing the film along with

Jackky Bhagnani,

Deepshikha Deshmukh,

Monisha Advani, Madhu

Bhojwani and Nikkhil

Advani.

Directed by Ranjit M

Tewari, "Bellbottom" is set

in the 1980s and revolves

around one of India's

forgotten heroes.

Written by Aseem Arrora

and Parveez Shaikh, the film

also features actors Lara

Dutta, Huma Qureshi and

Vaani Kapoor.

Wildfires highlight

need for climate

action, Biden says

WASHINGTON : President

Joe Biden spoke Friday with

governors of several western

US states where severe

wildfires are devastating

communities, telling them the

crisis highlights the urgent

need for action to stem

climate change.

In a teleconference from the

White House, the president

saluted the "heroes" fighting

the 66 wildfires now burning

across parts of the scorched

western landscape, and said

more resources must be used

in fighting the blazes.

"They need more help,"

Biden said.

"We can't ignore how the

overlapping and intertwined

factors of extreme heat,

prolonged drought and

supercharged wildfire

conditions are affecting the

country," Biden told the

governors of seven western

states, including California,

Oregon and Montana.

"Overlaying all of this is the

necessity to successfully

confront climate change."

Biden noted that since the

last time he convened a

meeting on wildfires one

month ago, the burned

acreage has doubled, to 3.4

million.

Several thousand

firefighters are battling the

blazes, often in dangerous

conditions. At least two have

died.

Some fires, including the

Dixie blaze in northern

California, have grown large

enough that they are

generating their own weather

systems-and authorities are

warning the conditions could

deteriorate.

By coping with the adverse natural calamities, the country's scientists being attached to the importance of climate tolerant

agriculture have developed various climate tolerant farming methods. Among those, tower garden, vegetable cultivation in

sacks, floating vegetable cultivation, Surgeon method and hanging garden.

Photo: PBA

Benin's rare swamp forest

'at risk of disappearing'

HLANZOUN FOREST : In the freshwater

swamp forest of Hlanzoun in southern Benin,

majestic trees hum with chirping birds and

playful monkeys.

Home to once bustling flora and fauna,

experts now warn that the fragile environment,

one of the last of its kind in the West African

country and accessible only by canoe, is at risk

of disappearing.

The 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) of forest,

which takes its name from the river Hlan, is

home to 241 plant and 160 animal species

including the rare red-bellied monkey, the

marsh mongoose and the sitatunga, a swampdwelling

antelope.

Perched at the top of a gigantic tree squawks

a hornbill-a big bird known for its long, downcurved

and colourful bill, similar to toucans.

"Hornbills feed on insects and fruits. They

like to follow monkeys around because they

force insects to come out when they move

around, making it easier for hornbills to catch,"

explained Vincent Romera, a French

ornithologist and photographer.

With his binoculars, Romera admires a

family of monkeys jumping from tree to tree,

while keeping a clear distance.

"The animals here have become fearful," he

says. He's considering using camera traps to try

to photograph them, but also to count the

forest's animal population.

"The numbers are in free-fall," he says.

Sometimes, the forest's noisy concert is

interrupted by gun shots, he says, probably

from poachers.

Communities living around the forest "need

money, so those who can shoot go and kill

animals," explained Roger Hounkanrin, a local

tourist guide.

GD-1154/21 (5x3)

GD-1155/21 (7x3)

Despite steady economic growth in recent

years, poverty is widespread in Benin, especially

in rural areas, and 40 percent of the population

lives below the poverty line according to World

Bank data.

On the side of the road that lines Hlanzoun

forest, lizards, crocodiles and snakes killed by

hunters are sold and bought. Monkeys, too, are

sometimes sold for meat.

But even more than poaching, excessive

logging threatens the forest.

Between 2005 and 2015, Benin's forest cover

was slashed by more than 20 percent according

to the World Bank, and the deforestation rate

continues to be high at 2.2 percent annually.

Trees are cut down for firewood, and the

fermented sap of palm trees is used to make a

local alcohol, sodabi.

The damaging practice of slash-and burn

agriculture has also become more prevalent,

warned Josea Dossou Bodjrenou, director of

Nature Tropicale, a non-governmental

organisation (NGO) that works on

environmental issues in Benin.

The destruction of the forest habitat reduces

areas where animals can thrive, forcing them

towards farms to find food and exposing them

to poachers.

"This is a location that is at risk of

disappearing," said local agricultural economist

Judicael Alladatin.

"It's a poor area and we can't blame people for

wanting to feed themselves," Alladatin said,

urging authorities "to create conditions for

alternative sources of income."

The government does not officially recognise

Hlanzoun forest despite lobbying efforts of

several NGOs and scientific papers on the forest

since 2000.

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Mªvg kn‡ii DbœZx


Sunday, Dhaka : August 1 , 2021; Srabon 17, 1428 BS; Zilhaj 21, 1442 hijri

Some int'l media publish wrong,

untrue news intentionally

against govt: Hasan

Cultural revolution needed

to establish Bangabandhu's

'Sonar Bangla' : Palak

DHAKA : On the occasion of the 50th

anniversary of 'Concert for Bangladesh',

State Minister for Information and

Communication Technology Junaid

Ahmed Palak on Saturday called on all to

participate in the cultural revolution in

building the 'Sonar Bangla' as dreamt by

Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh

Mujibur Rahman.

"The goal of the long struggle at the call

of Bangabandhu was to achieve economic,

social and political independence...A noncommunal

liberal democratic Bangladesh

as per Bangabandhu's dream can be built

only through a cultural revolution," Palak

said while addressing as chief guest at the

virtual launching ceremony of coffee table

book 'The Country That Lived- Fifty Years

of Freedom and the Concert for

Bangladesh', said a release here.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary

of historic 'Concert for Bangladesh', the

launching ceremony of the book was

organized by the Idea Project of the

Information and Communication

Technology Department.

"Bangababdhu was implementing various

initiatives to build a science and technology-

based Bangladesh and was planning

various activities to achieve economic

independence. As Bangabandhu was

assassinated on 15 August, 1975, the path

of science and technology in Bangladesh

stopped for 21 long years," Palak said.

"His worthy successor, Prime Minister

DHAKA : Information and Broadcasting

Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud yesterday

said some international mass media are

publishing wrong and untrue news intentionally

against the government and the

state as well, which is not desirable.

"There are some foreign online news

portals which carry out rumours and

spread propaganda constantly against

the country (Bangladesh). We also see

that some international popular mass

media are publishing wrong and false

news against the government and the

country deliberately," he said.

The minister told the reporters replying

to a query after addressing the

cheque distribution function among the

affected journalists of Rangpur due to

ongoing pandemic through online from

his official residence on Mintu Road in

the capital.

Mentioning some programmes specially

'phone in' programme of foreign

media, Hasan said they bring those persons

in phone call through planning,

who talk against the government. "They

took interview of those people who are

against the government and some of us

were interviewed to make that report

credible," he added.

But, the minister said, their main

motive is to publish a report against the

government and criticise it (government).

It is not a job of a popular mass

media, said Hasan, also Awami League

joint general secretary.

Replying to another query over a comment

of BNP secretary general Mirza

Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the minister said

the country became champions for five

times in grafts when BNP was in power

under the leadership of Begum Khaleda

Zia. So, the BNP secretary general's

remark on corruption is applicable for

them, he added.

He said the BNP leader (Mirza

Fakhrul) is an educated person and was

a teacher of Dhaka College. "The statement

of Mirza Fakhrul and the president

of Chhatra Dal should not be the same.

He should carry out more study before

speaking," said Hasan.

He said the per capita income of the

country is now 2227 dollar which is

more from India. The per capita income

has been increased four and a half times

during the last 12 and a half years while

the purchasing power has been

increased two and a half times, he added.

But, he said, it is regrettable that the

BNP leaders including Mirza Fakhrul

could not see the progress.

Earlier in the function, the minister

said the journalists are working fearlessly

during ongoing COVID19 epidemic.

Hasan urged the countrymen to maintain

the health code.

Journalists Welfare Trust Managing

Director Zafar Wazed, Rangpur Deputy

Commissioner Asif Ahsan, Rangpur

Press Club President Mahabubur

Rahman and Awami League district unit

President Mamtaj Uddin Ahmed,

among others, addressed the function.

Sheikh Hasina after coming to power has

implemented the unfinished work of

Bangabandhu. After 43 years, she has fulfilled

Bangabandhu's unfinished dream of

having our own satellite," he added.

The state minister said "The year 2021

is very important and significant for

Bangladesh as it is the 50th anniversary of

Bangladesh's independence and the birth

centenary of Father of the Nation

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman."

Also, 2021 marks the 50th anniversary

of the 'Concert for Bangladesh' organized

by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar,

which was instrumental in raising international

public opinion in favor of

Bangladesh's war of independence and

raising funds for wartime refugees, Palak

added. Later, the state minister inaugurated

the digital book.

To celebrate this historic moment,

Anushka Shankar, daughter of Pandit Sri

Ravi Shankar, was invited by the Idea

Project Initiative 'Bangabandhu

Innovation Grant 2021' under the

Bangladesh Computer Council,

Department of Information and

Communication Technology, to perform

at the famous Abby Road Studio in

London.

Sami Ahmed, LICT Policy Advisor, conducted

the function. Idea Project Director

Abdur Rakib, Apex DMIT CEO and

Country Director Zara Mahbub spoke on

the occasion.

Experts seek

master plan for

sustainable river

dredging

DHAKA : Experts at a webinar on

Saturday urged the government to prepare

a master plan for ensuring sustainable

river and canal dredging and their

management in a bid to accelerate further

economic advancement of the riverine

country, reports UNB.

They also said the number of rivers in

Bangladesh is declining due to siltation

and fall in stream flow affecting waterways

that are the cheapest means of transportation.

Under the circumstances, the experts

called upon the government to make an

adequate allocation for river dreading and

proper river training.

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and

Industry (DCCI) arranged the webinar

titled 'Sustainable River Dredging:

Challenges and Way Forward'.

Water expert and Brac University

Professor Emeritus Ainun Nishat presented

the keynote paper at the programme

while State Minister for Shipping Khalid

Mahmud Chowdhury joined it as the chief

guest.

Dr Nishat said there are two types of

dredging like maintenance dredging and

capital dredging. "A master plan should be

prepared for river and canal dredging in

Bangladesh."

He said dredging should be done in a

sustainable manner so that the economy

can be benefited as rivers not only carry

water but also carry lives. "For an efficient

river management, special emphasis must

be put on maintenance dredging."

Stating that the private sector can play a

major role in dredging operation, the water

expert said also underscored the importance

of investments in dredging and de-siltation

works. "Private dredging operators

must be trained on sustainability issues.

PPP can be a useful model for river dredging,

sand extraction, land recovery, land

accretion and land reclamation."

Govt give subsidies in

agri-sector for farmers'

benefits: Razzaque

DHAKA : Agriculture Minister Dr Md

Abdur Razzaque on Saturday said that

Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina has

been continuously giving huge amount of

money as subsidy and incentive in the

agriculture sector in order to benefit the

farmers of the country, reports BSS.

"The government led by Prime Minister

Sheikh Hasina has been giving huge

amount of money as subsidy and incentive

continuously in the agriculture sector in

order to benefit the farmers of the countryby

reducing the cost of production," he said.

The minister was speaking at a virtual seminar

titled 'Paribarik Krish O Krishok:

Sarkar O Nagorik Somaj er Koronio' from

his official residence here as the chief guest.

Highlighting that the government is

continuously adopting and implementing

agri-friendly policies to make agriculture

profitable, the minister said the present

government is doing so for the farmers as

most of the farmers in the country are

small, marginal and sharecroppers.

Fertilizer prices have already been

reduced four times to reduce production

costs, he said, adding that fertilizer prices

in Bangladesh are now much lower than

in neighboring countries.

The government has also made irrigation,

seeds and other agricultural materials

available in the country to ease the difficulties

of the farmers, he added.

Dengue is raising

fears in the

capital amid

the Corona

epidemic. Aedes

mosquito-borne

disease dengue

is also on the

rise. More 196

dengue patients

were admitted to

the hospital in

the previous 24

hours till 8 am

on Saturday. the

picture is taken

from Dhaka

Shishu hospital.

Photo : Star Mail

rahul Sheikh adorned his easybike with some plastic tubs where several types of plants remain.

rahul said that seeing the beauty of the tree, the passengers become eager to get in his bike. the

photo is taken on Saturday from khulna Medical College residential area. Photo : Star Mail

BNP turns into 'propagandist

party' : Quader

DHAKA : Awami League General

Secretary and Road Transport and

Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on

Saturday said when completely corrupted

political party BNP talks about corruption,

it makes people laugh.

"BNP has turned into a propagandist

party. They took spreading incessant

hatred and propaganda against the government

as their weapon to hide their

inability to stand beside distressed people

during the crisis," he said.

Quader was addressing a Covid-19 protective

equipment distribution and ambulance

handing over ceremony arranged by

AL relief and social welfare sub-committee

at the party's Bangabandhu Avenue central

office joining it virtually.

On the occasion, ambulance was handed

over to 'Gausia Committee' of

Chattogram for carrying Covid-19 patients

and bodies in Chattogram.

He said people now laugh at the ridiculous

talks of the self-confessed corrupt

party BNP.

"Could you show your bravery to take

any actions against any of identified corrupt

leader, MP or minister during your

(BNP's) government's tenure?" he questioned

to BNP leaders.

On the other hand, Prime Minister

Sheikh Hasina's government has the honest

courage to take actions against corrupt

persons whoever they are and it has

proved that, he said.

Noting that the government has very

tough stance against corruption and irregularities,

the minister said Sheikh Hasina's

government didn't show any mercy to

anyone who has been found involved with

irregularities and wrongdoings.

But during the BNP tenure, corruption

and wrongdoings of the then government

had spread at the international arena

crossing the boundary of the country, he

said. He said BNP had the policy to

patronize corruption as during that period

corruption was patronized organizationally.

Corruption and BNP's tenure had

become synonymous, he added.

He said it is natural that those who didn't

have courage and capability to implement

mega projects would feel increasingly

jealous witnessing the implementation

of mega projects.

"To undertake mega projects, a government

should have courage, competence as

well as dreams and visions," he said.

Helal Akbar Chowdhury envisions

building a secure Bangladesh

S M AkASh, ChAttogrAM

As the days passed by, the rapid spread of

deadly coronavirus rapidly from cities to

villages raising eyebrows of all the concerned

people. The government

is taking the

most effective steps possible

to deal with this pandemic

to ensure the confidence

and security of the

people, as well as the

administration has a

commendable role to

play.

At the same time, the

leaders and workers of

the Awami League and its

affiliates are working tirelessly

in the field against

the people's representatives

of the ruling party. From the responsibility

of the party, the country, society

and humanity to the relentless heartfelt

warriors across the country, Helal Akbar

Chowdhury has established himself as a

peddler of humanity by inventing innovative

strategies and modern ideas to overcome

the pandemic from Chattogram to

the rest of the country.He isa beloved son

of Chattogram and former Central Deputy

Finance Secretary of Bangladesh Awami

Juba League.He has innovative and startling

ideas is helping to cope with the devastation

caused by the pandemic.

The former student leader developed his

talent and discovered the "Corona

Resistant Booth (CRB)" which looks

exactly like the bank's ATM

booth.Whenever booths are set up in hospitals,

markets, and on the road, there is a

positive feeling of relief in the minds of the

people.

In an exclusive interview with "The

Bangladesh Today" Helal Akbar

Chowdhury Babar, the founder and entrepreneur

of CRB said, "The

pandemic has spread to

our country for a while.

Last year, my father,

Jahangir Alam

Chowdhury, passed

away. None of my relatives

came forward to

bury my father's dead

body and my family performed

Janazah and burial

in a very helpless situation.This

death of my

father hurts me so much

Helal Akbar Chowdhury Babar that I have decided in my

heart not to neglect the

death of anyone else like my father.

Helal Akbar Chowdhury Babar further

said that masks and hand sanitizers will be

available in CRBs built in the style of ATM

booth. We started this movement of free

masks from Chattogram and the program

of setting up booths. First, in Chattogram

metropolitan area, the process of setting

up CRBs has been completed in 45 districts

of the country in theupazilas and districts

level. Asked about the cost of the

booth and its subsequent management,

Babar said it would cost BDT 740/- per

day to provide daily services to 500 people

in each neighborhood through this booth,

and a self-reliant self-sacrificing person

who can provide this cost can really build

a secure Bangladesh. So, I am building the

>(Contd. on page-11)

4th industrial

revolution to be

built on 5G: Jabbar

DHAKA : Posts and Telecommunications

Minister Mustafa Jabbar has said the 5G

connection is the digital highway for

achieving fourth industrial revolution.

"The 4th industrial revolution will be

built on 5G technology," he told a webinar

titled 'Preparing Bangladesh for the

Fourth Industrial Revolution: Digital

Transformation in Innovation and

Research' organized by World University

on Friday, said a press release.

The Vice Chancellor of World

University, Prof Dr Barrister Syed Saidul

Haque Sumon, Legal Secretary of

Bangladesh Awami Juba League, among

others, spoke at the webinar with Abdul

Mannan Chowdhury in the chair.

"Preparations have been completed to

build a digital highway of technology

based on 5G... I hope that the journey of

5G technology would start by 2021," he

said.

"Considering the essential demand of

foreign investment in the economic zones

of the country, work has already started to

provide 5G connection in five economic

zones," he added.

Stressing the need for innovation to

ensure sustainable development, the minister

said through innovation, China has

emerged as a major economic power in

the world.

"We also need to focus on innovation to

meet the challenges of tomorrow and to

this end, the work of creating human

resources should be started from primary

school level," he said.

"To continue the digital transformation

at primary and secondary school level, the

higher education level needs to pay more

attention to innovation and research," he

further said.

Lockdown Breaches

481 arrested in

Dhaka on 9th day

DHAKA : Police arrested 481 people in

Dhaka for violating lockdown restrictions

on the 9th day of the 14-day countrywide

strict lockdown on Saturday

The arrestees failed to show any valid

reason for coming out on the streets, said

DMP Additional Deputy Commissioner

(media) Iftekharul Islam.

Meanwhile, mobile courts collected Tk

2,06,710 as fines from 202 people.

Besides, the Traffic Division collected Tk

10,45,000 as penalties from 440 vehicles

for failing to comply with coronavirus

lockdown restrictions.

Although public transport movement

remained suspended, thousands of people

started returning to Dhaka, following the

government's announcement that mills and

factories will reopen on Sunday (Aug 1).

Those who had left the capital for Eidul-Azha

and did not return due to the closure

of factories were seen entering the

city on foot amid the lockdown.

They were found walking into the capital

through Abdullahpur Tongi Bridge,

Ashulia Bridge, Aminbazar Bridge,

Gabtoli, Babubazar Bridge and Postogola

Bridge.

Shimulia ferry terminal in Munshiganj

also saw a huge crowd as people from

south western districts were coming back

to the capital to join their work.

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