10-09-2021

tbtbangla

friday

DhAkA: September 10, 2021; Bhadra 26, 1428 BS; Safar 2,1443 hijri

www.thebangladeshtoday.com; www.bangladeshtoday.net

Regd.No.DA~2065, Vol.19; N o. 135; 12 Pages~Tk.8.00

international

Afghans fear for jobs

and money after

Taliban takeover

>Page 7

SPortS

Germany star Jerome

Boateng to face assault

charges in Munich court

>Page 9

art & culture

Bubly starts

shooting for

'Talash'

>Page 10

Damaging Asrayan's houses

purposely 'unbelievable': PM

Journalist Probir

acquitted in

ICT act case

DHAKA : A special tribunal yesterday

acquitted journalist Probir Sikder in a

case lodged under the Information and

Communication Technology (ICT) act.

Judge Ash Sams Joglul Hossain of the

Dhaka Cyber Tribunal passed the judgement,

saying the prosecution failed to

prove the case against Probir.

Journalist Probir Sikder

The tribunal on March 22, 2021, had set

April 1 to pronounce the judgement in the

case as both the prosecution and defence

concluded their closing arguments on that

day. The tribunal deferred the date of

judgement twice for the nationwide lockdown

due to the coronavirus and finally

set Thursday for the verdict.

According to the case documents,

Probir was accused of posting a derogatory

status on Facebook on August 10,

2015, regarding then LGRD Minister

Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain.

Faridpur district puja udjapan committee

adviser Swalan Paul filed the case

with district's Kotwali Police Station the

next day and police arrested Probir on

that same night.

Zumma

04:28 AM

01:30 PM

04:23 PM

06:12 PM

07:30 PM

5:42 6:08

DHAKA : Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina yesterday said some people have

broken with hammer and shovel the

houses, given by her to homeless people

as the gift of Mujib Borsha under

Asrayan-2 project, and published pictures

of the broken homes in media.

"It's totally unbelievable that they

could crack the houses deliberately in

this way...Their names have been traced

out through investigation and I have the

whole report," she said while presiding

over an Awami League Central Working

Committee (ALCWC) meeting at her

official residence Ganabhaban here.

Terming the attitude of some

unscrupulous people as "disgusting",

Sheikh Hasina said, "The most unfortunate

thing is that when we decided to

give house to every person, I saw the

houses to collapse in a few places. I surveyed

different places after seeing such

pictures."

"Some people coming from different

areas have broken the houses and published

pictures of those in media. The

names of those have been unearthed

through investigation and I have the full

report," she said, mentioning that

around one and a half lakh houses have

been built in different areas.

"The houses were being constructed

for the poor people. It is understood easily

that the houses can be broken in this

way by looking at the pictures. The

media captured it and published it but

they did not dig out how it happened

(the houses were broken)," she added.

The premier said as many as 600

houses have been built in one place and

a few of those have developed crack due

to landslides caused by heavy rainfall.

"And we found nine places where there

were some allegations of corruption.

That is only in nine places but elsewhere

I have seen that everyone has worked

sincerely," she added.

The head of government said UNOs,

DCs and other government employees

had the responsibility of overseeing

those and many of them came forward

to help build the houses and many have

provided bricks at a very little cost.

"In this journey, everyone's cooperation

and sincerity is more prominent.

But there are some evil-intellect persons...

that is the most painful thing,"

she continued.

Sheikh Hasina said, "When it is the

house of the poor, then how can they put

hand on it. However, we've dealt with it

but our leaders and activists need to be

more vigilant."

Policy towards Afghan

depends on its attitudes:FM

DHAKA : Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul

Momen on Thursday said Bangladesh

will decide its policy towards

Afghanistan independently after observing

the situation, their attitudes and

policies but no terrorists will be patronized,

reports UNB.

"We've zero tolerance...we'll in no way

patronise any terrorists," he told

reporters referring to the involvement of

few Bangladeshis in Afghanistan in the

previous Taliban government.

Dr Momen said he was asked whether

Bangladesh will follow the policy of India

or Pakistan but he made it clear that the

decision of Bangladesh is not linked with

the decision of any other country. While

briefing journalists at the Ministry of

Foreign Affairs, he said Bangladesh has a

historic relationship with Afghanistan and

is observing the situation in Afghanistan

which is a member of Saarc.

"We believe in democracy. We should

ensure people's welfare and we're yet to

take any decision on the Afghanistan

issue," he said. The Taliban on Tuesday

announced an all-male interim government

for Afghanistan.

The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh

always believes in a people's government

that comes through a political and democratic

process and Bangladesh always

extends support to such a government

where people's desire is reflected.

On Wednesday, State Minister for

Foreign Affair M Shahriar Alam said

Bangladesh is still waiting for a permanent

government in place in Afghanistan without

hurriedly reaching a decision whether

it will welcome the interim government or

not. "We're still observing the situation

very closely. Our focus still remains on

peace and stability fully free from any war,"

he told reporters at his office.

Responding to a question on progress

over bringing back BNP acting chairman

Tarique Rahman and other criminals,

the Foreign Minister said he cannot tell

it exactly as the government is following

the issues as per the laws. "I don't have

any such progress report."

Removing BD from

UK's Covid red

list urged

DHAKA : Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul

Momen has once again urged the UK to

remove Bangladesh from the red-listed

countries with travel restrictions noting

that there has been an improvement in his

country's Covid-19 situation, reports UNB.

While briefing journalists at the

Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday,

Dr Momen said he raised the issue with

his British counterpart Dominic Raab.

Bangladesh highlighted its "robust vaccine

roll-out" and significant reductions in

Covid infection to 9.82% and sufferings of

more than 7000 British-Bangladeshis currently

stranded in Bangladesh.

Dr Momen said the strategic relations

between the two countries should be

strengthened with a positive change in

the concept of relations and the UK

should consider removing Bangladesh

from the Covid red-list countries.

A crowd of people came to get vaccinated on Thursday, the last day of taking second dose

of mass vaccination in the capital. The picture is taken from Sir Salimullah Medical

College and Mitford Hospital in the capital.

Photo : Star Mail

Revised guidelines

for educational

institutions

DHAKA : Secondary and Higher

Education Division (SHED) has issued

revised guidelines for country's schools

and colleges on how to prepare before

opening institutions aiming to ensure

health safety considering pandemic situations.

Preparatory activities have to be

done before September 11 following the

19-point guideline issued on Thursday

after bringing some amendments, said

a press release.

The guidelines include placing of

banners in front of each institution

with the instructions that must be

followed, giving a briefing to students

on the guidelines and directives

on the first day, ensuring regular

temperature measurement of all

teachers, students and staff, and

preparing a room as an isolation center

in each institution.

Educational institutions have also

been asked to form a coordination

committee consisting of teachers to

ensure that the respective institution

follows the guidelines and arrange a

meeting with guardians and managing

committee in this regard.

The guidelines also include maintaining

a three-foot distance between

students in the classroom, providing

hand washing facilities, keeping each

corner of the institution including the

washroom, corridor, rooftop, and campus

premises clean and tidy, and hosting

a warm welcome for students on

their first day.

Each institution has been asked to

ensure participation of 100 percent

students in the classroom and follow

the instructions, imposed by the government,

added the release.

Dhaka

North City

Corporation's

mega project

Dasherkandi

Water

Treatment

Plant is being

constructed in

Hatirjheel of

the capital.

Photo: PBA

Covid-19 in Bangladesh

Experts urge caution as

third wave looms

DHAKA : Although the Covid infection

rate continues to fall signalling the control

of the second wave in Bangladesh,

experts think there is no room for complacency

as they fear the third wave of

the virus may hit the country anytime,

reports UNB.

They said the ongoing cluster transmission

in different areas, lowering of

guard by the government, public apathy

to wear masks and health safety rules,

low pace in vaccination and the reopening

of educational institutions can be the

main reasons behind the possible third

wave of the coronavirus.

As India may also witness the third

wave of the pandemic in October, the

analysts say it may have an impact on

Bangladesh as a close neighbourning

country.

They, however, said Bangladesh can

avoid the Covid third wave by intensifying

virus control measures, especially in

the areas where the infection rate is still

high, encouraging people to maintain

health safety rules, and wear masks and

RAB arrested a

militant member

from capital

SHAfiqul iSlAM (SHAfiq)

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has

arrested a man named Emdad alias

Ujjal Master from a house in Basila of

the capital. Recently, four militants

were arrested from Mymensingh.

According to RAB, Ujjal Master, who

was arrested yesterday, is a member of

that group. A pistol, explosives and

three lakh TK were recovered from the

house, RAB said. The RAB raided the

four-storey house in Basila late on

Wednesday night. The house is near

RAB-2 office. It takes 5-7 minutes to

walk from the office to that house.

Law and media director of RAB

Khandaker Al Moin told reporters that

four militants were arrested from

Mymensingh recently. Ujjal Master is a

member of that team.

On September 2, he moved to this

house in Basila. He introduced himself

as a worker of the printing press. He

promised to bring his wife but did not

bring her. He did not submit national

identity card.

RAB further said that Ujjal Master had

two more associates in the two-storey

flat of the four-storey building. They left

yesterday. The four-storey building is

being guarded by RAB members. No

one is allowed inside the building.

strengthening the vaccination drive.

According to data provided by the

Directorate General of Health Services

(DGHS), the Covid infection rate came

down to 9.82 percent on September 8

from 29.97 percent on August 1, but it is

still over 15-20 percent in many districts,

including Faridpur, Gazipur,

Munshiganj, Jhenidah, Kushtia and

Khagrachari.

Though most health experts feel the

third wave is inevitable, they are divided

over the exact timing of its arrival. While

some experts think that the third wave

will arrive by October, other experts say

it may take more time if a Delta-like

variant does not emerge soon.

Dr Abu Jamil Faisel, a member of the

Bangladesh Como Modelling group,

said the current wave of the virus may

come almost under control by

September, but it is likely to increase

again next month.

"Our projection is that the third wave

of the virus may hit the country by

October," he said.

HC orders verification

of prisoners, accused

through biometric

systems

DHAKA : The High Court on Thursday

ordered the authorities concerned to

introduce biometric systems at all jails and

police stations across the country, aiming

to prevent the jailing of innocent people

and identify the real accused.

The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur

Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur

Rahman passed the order after disposing

of a rule. The HC also declared the arrest

warrant issued against Zahir Uddin in

2017 who was implicated in a sabotage

case wrongfully, as illegal.

The HC suggested the Home Ministry

collect fingerprints, handprints and eyeball

scans of the accused, take the photograph

of the accused and preserve it and

introduce biometric systems in all jails.

Advocate Mohammad Shishir Monir

stood for Zahir Uddin while deputy attorney

general Bipul Bagmar represented the state.

The Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI)

last week submitted a report saying

Mohammad Zahir Uddin of Basurhat in

Noakhali district, was not the actual

accused in the case filed with Khilgaon

Police Station under the Sabotage Act.

The real accused was identified as Modasser

Ansari alias Mohaddes, son of Ahsan Ullah of

Companiganj upazila of Noakhali district.


FRIDAY, SePTeMBeR 10, 2021

2

DU cancels

autumn, summer

vacations

DHAKA : The Dhaka

University administration

have postponed the autumn

and winter vacations for the

2021-2022 academic year.

The decision was taken to

avoid the imminent session

congestion caused by the

long-term closure imposed by

the Coronavirus pandemic,

said a press release.

However, the students will

get holidays from 12-15

October 2021 for Durga Puja

and 19 October for Lakshmi

Puja. Besides, holydays will

be observed on December 14,

December 16, and December

25 on the occasion of

Martyred Intellectuals Day,

Independence Day and

Christmas respectively.

Dhaka College, Titumir

College students can

pay fees through bKash

DHAKA : Students of Dhaka

College and Government

Titumir College now can pay

their admission and academic

fees through bKash, reports

UNB.

Around 60,000 students of

the country's two largest

colleges can pay fees through

bKash and the service will

ensure a smooth fee collection

management for the college

authorities.

Almost 20,000 students of

Dhaka College can pay their

fees through the bKash app.

To pay, students need to select

"Pay Bill" from the home

screen of the bKash app and

tap on the "Education" icon.

DNCC's cleaning campaign in

443 educational institutions

Rafiqul Islam Khan

After being closed for a long time the

country's secondary and higher secondary

level educational institutions are going to

reopen next Sunday. In order to provide a

safe environment for the students in this

situation, Dhaka North City Corporation

(DNCC) is conducting special cleaning

activities in 443 educational institutions

under the area of DNCC.

According to DNCC sources, the

'Healthy Environment for Education'

program started on Wednesday

(September 8) and will continue till

September 10. During these three days,

special cleaning programs are being

conducted in 443 educational institutions

under DNCC. Mosquito eradication

activities and yard cleaning are being

carried out in 54 wards of DNCC in this

program for three days simultaneously.

At the same time, mosquito workers are

spraying mosquito repellent larva side

Two minor

child drown

in Bhola

BHOLA : Two minor children

drowned in a pond of

Lalmohan union under

Lalmohan upazila of the

district yesterday, reports

BSS.

The deceased were Md.

Saeed, 5, son of Md. Shaheen,

and Meem, 4, daughter of

Md. Zakir. Chairman of

Lalmohan Union Parishad

Md Shahjahan Mia said they

fell into the pond yesterday

afternoon while they were

playing on the bank of the

pond of their house.

and adulticide in classrooms, toilets,

roofs of buildings and courtyards.

Last Wednesday, DNCC inaugurated a

three-day special clean-up program at

Gulshan Model School and College in

Gulshan-2 area. The special event was

inaugurated by DNCC) Mayor Atiqul

Islam. At that time, he said, in order to

implement a healthy environment for

education, Dhaka North City Corporation

is conducting special 3-day clean-up

activities in government, private and

semi-government primary, secondary and

colleges on September 8, 9 and 10.

Special clean-up activities will be

conducted on September 11 in the

educational institutions where the mass

vaccination activities of Covid-19 are

being conducted. Special cleaning

activities are being conducted in the

educational institutions with the aim of

implementing a healthy environment for

education.

Syeda Zakia Noor Lipi MP distributed tree saplings at Kishoreganj Social Forestry and Nursery

Training Center on Thursday.

Photo : TBT

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2021

3

Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Benoit Prefontaine, Vice Chancellor of Daffodil

International University Prof. Dr. M Lutfar Rahman, Lamia Morshed, Executive Director of Yunus

Center and My ThiTanh Thai, Director of Social Business Creation HEC Montreal are seen at the

Regional Final of SBC of Canada hosted by Daffodil International University. Photo : Courtesy

Former JCD

president, 3

others sent

to jail

DHAKA : A court on

Thursday sent to jail four

people including former

president of BNP's student

body Jatiyatabadi Chhatra

Dal (JCD) Rajib Ahsan in a

case lodged for obstructing

police from performing

duties.

The other three accused

are: former JCD joint

secretary Abdur Rahman,

JCD leaders Rafikul Islam

and Ashraful Islam.

Dhaka

Metropolitan

Magistrate Nivana Khayer

Jessy passed the order as

police produced the accused

before the court and pleaded

to place them on three-day

remand in the case lodged

with Dhanmandi Police

Station. The court set

September 13 to hold a

hearing on the matter and

sent the four to jail.

Police detained the

accused from Dhanmandi

lake area last night as they

were strolling there

suspiciously and filed the

case as they tried to obstruct

the police from performing

their duties while detaining

them.

4 fake DB men held

in city's Gabtoli for

kidnapping

DHAKA : Detective Branch

(DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan

Police in a special drive has

arrested four people from

the city's Gabtoli area on the

charge of kidnapping a man

identifying themselves as

DB personnel.

The arrestees are Md

Mamun Mandal, Ali, Md

Sumon Sheikh alias Amir

Hossain and Ahmed.

Additional Commissioner

of DB AKM Hafeez Akter at

a press briefing held at DMP

Media Centre on Thursday

said acting on a tip-off, a

zonal team of DB Motijheel

division arrested them from

Gabtali area here yesterday.

The DB personnel also

recovered one private car,

one pistol, one round of

bullet, a toy pistol, one set of

DB jacket, one walkie-talkie

and Taka 15,000 in cash

from their possessions.

He said the gang

identifying themselves as

DB personnel picked up one

Md Mosharraf Hossain.

DIU hosts regional final of Canadian

SBC competition in Bangladesh

3rd Social Business Creation Competition

(SBC) of Canada was held on September 6,

2021 on a virtual platform at Daffodil

International University in Bangladesh.

Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh

Benoit Prefontaine as the Chief Guest while

the Vice Chancellor of Daffodil International

University Prof. Dr. M Lutfar Rahman, Lamia

Morshed, Executive Director of Yunus Center

and My ThiTanh Thai, Director of Social

Business Creation HEC Montreal were

present as the special guests. Prof. Dr.

Mohammad Masum Iqbal, Dean of the

Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship

and Professor Dr. Md. Fakhray Hossain,

Hasan Azizul Huq taken to

Rajshahi home after treatment

DHAKA : Prominent writer Hasan Azizul

Huq, who was undergoing treatment in

Dhaka due to several health complications,

has been taken to his Rajshahi residence

after improvement of his health condition,

reports UNB.

The eminent writer returned home in an

ambulance of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib

Medical University Hospital (BSMMU)

equipped with intensive care facilities, which

left Dhaka around 11:30 am.

According to his son and associate

professor of Biochemistry and Microbiology

Department at Rajshahi University Imtiaz

Hasan, Huq has not recovered completely,

however, there are no serious complications

at this moment and so doctors advised to

take him home.

Earlier, Hasan Azizul Huq was brought to

Dhaka via an air ambulance on August 21

after he fell sick with an imbalanced

electrolyte and heart disease. In addition to

these, he has age-related health issues, heart

problems and diabetes.

He was first admitted to National Heart

Foundation Hospital and Research Institute.

A 16-member medical board was formed for

his treatment.

Later he was shifted to BSMMU where

another medical board of five doctors was

formed. The board consistently monitored

his condition and provided treatment.

Born in Jabgraam in the Burdwan

district of West Bengal in 1939, Hasan

Azizul Huq completed his post-graduation

from Rajshahi University in 1960. He

served as a faculty in the Department of

Philosophy of the same University from

1973 till 2004.

Considered as one of the most prominent

writers and a legendary literateur in the

country, Huq received many prestigious

awards in his literary career including the

Bangla Academy Literary Award (1970),

Ekushey Padak (1999), Ananda Puroshkar

(2008), Independence Award (2019),

Lekhok Shibir Puroshkar and more, for his

contribution in Bengali literature.

AL government creates milestone

of development: Mannan

SYLHET : Planning Minister MA Mannan

yesterday said that the Awami League

government has created a milestone of

development in the country as Bangladesh

witnessed tremendous development

activities over the last 12 years.

Mannan said this while laying foundation

stones of two projects (8,191 meter road

repair and construction work) with Taka

8.01 crore at Pagla Bazar-Birgaon Road

under Shantiganj upazila in Sunamganj.

Speaking on the occasion as the chief

guest, he also said that the Awami

League government works taking

alongside the common people and it

does not unleash development causing

Director of International Affairs of Daffodil

International Universityalso spoke on the

occasion.

YoUnity team has become the champion in

this regional competition. The members of the

team were Sajib Sheikh, Nahid Arman,

SohagLatif,

NoboratriTadmiran,

TasniyaAkter and Regan Ahmed. They won

the champion by presenting the business idea

of creating employment for people of the

transgender. The first runner-up in the

competition was Obisesh. The members of

this group were Halima bintZahid and Lamim

Ahmed. They presented the idea of inventing

eco-friendly toilets.

harm to people.

Mentioning that massive development

works are going on across the country

under the dynamic leadership of Prime

Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Planning

Minister called upon the local people to

remain united against all kinds of

conspiracies to maintain peace and

continue the pace of development.

Sunamganj district council chairman and

district AL Vice President Nurul Huda

Mukut, deputy commissioner M Jahangir

Hossain, LGED executive engineer Mahbub

Alam, UNO M Anwar Uz Zaman, additional

police super M Hayatunnabi, among others,

spoke on the occasion.

Fazilatunnesa Indira, state minister for women and children's affairs handed over the checks for the

financial year 2020-21 among the voluntary women's associations in the conference room of

Bangladesh Shishu Academy on Thursday.

Photo: PBA

Govt appoints

Khondker Talha

as ambassador

to France

DHAKA : The government

has decided to appoint

Khondker M Talha,

currently serving as foreign

ministry's director general of

East Asia and Pacific wing,

as the next Bangladesh

ambassador to France.

Talha is a career foreign

service officer of the 15th

batch of Bangladesh Civil

Service (BCS) Foreign

Affairs Cadre, a press release

said.

In his overseas

assignments, he served at

Bangladesh Permanent

Missions to the UN in New

York and Geneva where he

was elected to the bureau of

a number of UN and

International Organisations.

He was also posted to

Bangladesh Missions in

Tehran and London in his

diplomatic career.

In his earlier stints at the

foreign ministry, he served

as the Chief of Protocol and

also worked at South Asia

and Multilateral Economic

Affairs Wings in various

capacities.

Parliamentary proceeding needs to

be dynamic for people's quality life

development: Speaker

DHAKA : Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin

Sharmin Chaudhury has said parliamentary

proceeding should be reinforced and

dynamic for the interest of people's quality

life development.

"Parliament is a symbol of people's hope

and aspirations ...parliament members and

people's representatives usually play

dependable role for the welfare of the

people," she said.

The Speaker made this comment while

delivering her address in a discussion titled

'Parliaments and Global Governance: the

unfinished agenda' at the 5th World

conference of Speakers of Parliament at

Vienna on Wednesday night.

The Speaker underscored the need for

reinforcing and dynamic of the

parliamentary proceedings for continuing

peoples development trend by ensuring

transparency and accountability of the

government and uphold rule of law,

transparency and good governance for the

development of peoples quality life.

With the initiative of Inter-Parliamentary

Union (IPU), the conference was held in

cooperation of the United Nations and the

Australian parliament.

The group of parliamentary

representatives of Bangladesh -Baddrudoza

Mohammad Farhad MP, Rumana Ali MP

and Gloria Jhorna Sarker MP, among others,

participated in the conference.

In her speech Dr Shirin said the global

challenges like climate change, inequality,

gender disparity, emission of green house

gas and food security should be dealt with

integrated way in the multilateral decision

making process comprising through the

parliament members of the different

countries.

To increase mutual cooperation among the

countries, the parliamentary diplomacy is

playing role and IPU and the United Nations

are working in this regard. "The existing

problems and challenges of different

countries could be tackled through

parliamentary diplomacy like discussion and

mutual of understanding," said the Speaker.

Armenian National Assembly Chairman

Alen Symonyan, Speaker of the Indian Lok

Shaba Om Birla, Senate Speaker of Burundi

Emmanuel Sinzohagera and Speaker of the

Parliament of Montenegro, Aleksa Becic,

among others, spoke on the occasion.

Speakers from different countries and

other elite personalities also were attended

the conference.

Gandharbpur water treatment plant contract was signed. On behalf of Dhaka WASA, Managing

Director Taqsem A Khan and Vice President of China Geo Engineering Co-operation Company Ojn

Yong signed in the agreement.

Photo : Courtesy

BGMEA, USGBC keen to promote

green growth in Bangladesh

DHAKA : U.S. Green Building Council

(USGBC) expressed interest to collaborate

with Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers

and Exporters Association (BGMEA) to

facilitate Bangladesh apparel industry's

strides towards environmental

sustainability, reports UNB.

BGMEA President Faruque Hassan and

Vice President Miran Ali have met Mahesh

Ramanujam, President and CEO of USGBC

in Washington, the USA and discussed

various issues of mutual interest.

They had discussions on the progress

made by Bangladesh RMG industry in the

area of sustainability and its future priorities

to continue the momentum.

USGBC President Mahesh Ramanujam

highly commended the BGMEA for their

exemplary leadership in developing

Bangladesh as the home of the highest

number of green garment factories in the

world. Currently Bangladesh has 145

factories certified as LEED (Leadership in

Energy and Environmental Design) by the

USGBC. Among them 42 are LEED

platinum-rated and 91 are LEED gold-rated

units while 500 more factories are in the

process of achieving LEED certification.

Bangladesh's RMG sector is also a frontrunner

in factory safety, responsible

manufacturing and workers' wellbeing, said

the BGMEA on Thursday.

BGMEA President Faruque Hassan

thanked to USGBC for honoring BGMEA

with "2021 USGBC Leadership Award" in

recognition of BGMEA's role and the RMG

sector's accomplishment in green

industrialization.

He stressed the importance of justified

prices and support of brands and retailers for

encouraging green initiatives in the apparel

industry.

He also sought support and cooperation of

the USGBC to portray the positive image of

Bangladesh as a sustainable apparelsourcing

destination in the world and

highlight the significance of green price issue

among brands and buyers.

BNP is black chapter in the

country's history: Murad

JAMALPUR : State Minister for Information

and Broadcasting Dr Murad Hassan on

Thursday said BNP is a black chapter in the

history of Bangladesh, terming the party a

dustbin of the history.

"If we want to take the country to the stage

of peace, development and democracy

freeing it from communalism and inequality,

this enemy must be destroyed," he told a

meeting of Pogaldigha Union Parishad

Awami League at Boyra Israel Ahmed High

School auditorium at Sarishabari upazila

here. Speaking as the chief guest, Murad

said: "We could not walk on the path of

democracy with the BNP, the dustbin of

history. The conspiracy of (BNP

chairperson) Khaleda Zia is still going on.

We will not allow any killer to be halal (to get

a place) in the politics of Bangladesh".

To continue the progress of the country,

everyone must remain united with the spirit

of patriotism, he said, adding "We should be

proud of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's

courage for financing in the Padma Bridge

Project".

The state minister said Ziaur Rahman, the

military ruler and the killer of Father of the

Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur

Rahman, had introduced the politics of

forced disappearance and killing in the

country. Sarishabari upazila AL president

Alhaj Chanwar Hossain Badsha, its general

secretary Harun Ur Rashid, organising

secretary Rafiqul Islam, Pogaldigha Union

Parishad chairman Sams Uddin Sams,

municipality AL president Mizanur

Rahman, district AL deputy office secretary

Zahurul Islam Manik , water affairs secretary

of the central Awami Swechchhasebak

League Mahbubur Rahman and

municipality mayor Monir Uddin, among

others, present at the meeting.

46 held for selling,

consuming drugs

in city

DHAKA : Members of

intelligence agencies of

Dhaka Metropolitan Police

(DMP) arrested 46 people

for selling and consuming

drugs in the city.

According to a DMP

statement issued on

Thursday, police arrested

drug peddlers, abusers and

seized banned and illegal

drugs from their possession

conducting drives at

different parts of the city.

Police seized 10,875 pieces

of yaba, 152 grams and 151

puria (Small packet) of

heroin, 1.192 kilograms of

cannabis (ganja) and one

litre of local liquor during

the drives, according to the

statement.

Police filed 35 cases

against them under the

Narcotics Control Act.

Govt fixes sugar price

at Tk 74-75 per kg

Dhaka, Sept 9 (UNB)- The

government has fixed the

price of unpacked sugar at

Tk 74 per kg, while the

packed product will be sold

for Tk75 a kg.

Bangladesh Trade and

Tariff Commission

determined the price at a

meeting with traders on

Thursday.

Additional Commerce

Secretary

AHM

Shafiquzzaman said sugar

prices shot up to Tk 80 per

kg. "We have fixed the price

at Tk 75 for the packed ones

and Tk 74 for the unpacked

ones." The importers will fix

the price at the mill gate and

wholesale level in a

proportional manner, he

added. The Directorate of

National Consumer Rights

Protection will supervise the

implementation of the price

from Friday.


FRIDAY, SEpTEMBER 10, 2021

4

Acting Editor & Publisher : Jobaer Alam

e-mail: editor@thebangladeshtoday.com

Friday, September 10, 2021

Bangabandhu's historic

7th March speech a

must read in text books

The High Court has ruled that Bangabandhu's

historic 7th March speech from now on must

be incorporated as a must read in text books

of different curricula. This decision has sent a

fluttering of joy in the hearts and minds of millions

and millions of Bangladeshis who have been eagerly

awaiting this decision for so long.

Needless to say, the High Court did not delay

things on its own. It was hazarded formidably by

hostile opposition to establishing the true place of

Bangabandhu in the history of our Bengali nation. It

was handicapped by formidable legal opposition

and road blocks to establishing the Bangabandhu in

his rightful position in the history of Bangladesh.

But the same have been successfully overcome at

long last. Surely, the daughter of Bangabandhu PM

Sheikh Hasina has a role in this. As the adage goes,

it is better to be late than never. Bangladeshis as a

whole will be truly happy with this very meritorious

decision of the High Court to establish

Bangabandhu in his full glory. It was indeed

overdue and comes 50 years late. Yet, it has

redeemed the honour of Bangabandhu and finally

done justice to him.

The remembrance of generations of Bangladeshis

the historic 7th March 1971 speech of Bangabandhu

was too great to be forgotten and neglected. The

killers and plotters of Bangabandhu's assassination

never gave up their machinations to belittle him or

his achievements. Now, they will stand defeated as

youth in Bangladesh will know and appreciate

Bangabandhu in his true light as the father of the

nation, the maker of our nation and his very great

personal sacrifices to this end.

The speech that our Father of the Nation

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivered

50years ago at Ramna Race Course before a crowd

of well over two million people was an amazing

event in the context of theoretical application of

communication science. An incredible

manifestation of modern communication concepts

could be observed in this historic speech by the

greatest Bangali of all times - Bangabandhu Sheikh

Mujibur Rahman. Bangabandhu completed this

timeless speech in 19 minutes by uttering between

58 and 60 words per minute.

If the contents of the speech are analysed, it is seen

that it was basically a message about the emergence

of a new state on the global map and a notification

cum narrative on the winding up of the eastern

region of the then Pakistani state as a natural

progression. The 7th March speech was the main

mantra and theory for an independent Bangladesh.

This address was like a war-cry during the nine

months of our liberation war. Whether children or

juvenile, young or old, everybody became excited

after listening to this speech. This speech not only

united the 7 crore Bangalis then - it taught them the

mantra of joining the liberation war.

It was a dialogue between the people of

Bangladesh and their undisputed leader on the eve

of Bangladesh's birth. This 7 March address of 1971

was not only the greatest speech in Bengali

language, it is one of the best of its type in the entire

world. This is because, this speech was

simultaneously the declaration of our independence

and the inspiration of our liberation war. This

speech will alwayscontinue to rekindle the Bangali

nation with a spark of fire showing the path of

realizing their goals with indomitable spirit. The

fiery and ground-breaking address of Father of the

Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 7

March 1971 is the best example of this genre. A

speech that could inspire an entire nation to join the

liberation war was a rare event in history. Analysis

of the importance, significance and timeliness of

this speech, which contained the directives and

declaration of the liberation war in Bangabandhu's

own voice, has remained a gold-mine for

researchers.

The manner in which this address had invigorated

and indoctrinated the Bangalis with the mantra of

liberty added a new chapter in the annals of

speeches.

This historic address is considered to be a

compulsory text at home and abroad by the experts

of public speeches, researchers and communication

theorists. That is why, the international periodical

'Newsweek' termed Bangabandhu as a 'Poet of

Politics' in the cover story of its 5 April 1971 issue.

The speech has been recognized as one of the

world's most famous speeches of its type for rousing

people in the book "We Shall Fight on the Beaches:

The Speeches That Inspired History", by Jacob F.

Field.

THE events of mid-August stunned the

world; even the Afghan Taliban were

surprised at the ease and speed with

which they overwhelmed the entire country.

Salute to their faith, their valour and their grit.

This is their moment. The United States has

suffered a setback. But superpowers do not

fade away; they are systems that shape world

affairs. Russia suffered a setback, and today

along with China it is managing the heartland

of Asia. The Afghan Taliban leadership faces

huge challenges, internal and external

adversaries, internal dissensions and

divisions, riled-up human rights and liberal

groups, powerful hostile lobbies and media -

especially in the West - and the need for

international recognition. But first and

foremost, they have to put together an effective

government with a semblance of the promised

inclusiveness and reconciliation. Even when

they succeed, they will need space to settle

down. Outsiders must show patience. The

Afghan leadership, in particular the Taliban

leaders, have the primary responsibility of

averting a civil war. Their neighbours and the

world community must do everything they

can to help achieve that objective. The world

community must be generous with

humanitarian assistance to prevent further

aggravation of the suffering of the Afghan

people. Pakistan should also brace itself for a

possible influx of refugees.

If the situation moves towards stability, how

should we look at the future Afghanistan, the

region and the world? This may sound naïve in

a pitiless, tension-ridden international

environment, but the speculation is still well

worth it if we claim that the development in

Afghanistan bears lessons. There is room for

optimism in the current maelstrom of the

worldwide discussion on Afghanistan.

Arguably, a stable Afghanistan will remove a

Return of the Taliban

RIAz MOhAMMAD KhAN

blockage and open up the entire surrounding

region for economic activity. Much has already

been said about opportunities,

communications, trade and energy links and

economic activity. Regional countries have a

role and capacity, but all this will boil down to

idle talk if there is an absence of purposeful

engagement, or regional rivalries are

reasserted for political influence or resources,

and conflict returns to Afghanistan. Among

the neighbours, in a range of unique but

familiar factors, Pakistan has an important

role to play. It will require both circumspection

and prudence to enable itself and Afghanistan

to be sovereign co-partners for the benefit of

the region. Past experience validates concerns

regarding spoilers, but the new environment

may well help mitigate the potential for

mischief. Meanwhile, Pakistani policymakers

need to be cautious about pushing the new

Afghan government over bilateral issues.

Addressing the TTP has to be in tandem with

their capacities and sensitivities. Here similar

international concerns especially those of

China and Russia work to Pakistan's

advantage and can help counterterrorism

coordination at the bilateral and regional

levels. Given the historical background,

Pakistani policymakers should learn to treat

the border as a non-issue. The Durand Line is

DAISY NGUYEN

the de facto border (for Pakistan also de jure),

reinforced by the two superpower

interventions. It needs to be managed. We

would do better to avoid delusional strategic

clichés to articulate our relations with

Afghanistan. They only offend sensitive and

proud Afghans. Given the historical distrust,

Pakistan will be uneasy and suspicious of the

Indian outreach in Afghanistan. Yet India's

role as a regional player cannot be wished

away. Kabul will have an interest in

accommodating any Indian push to rebuild

relations. Of course, Pakistan cannot

countenance the use of Afghan territory for

subversion. On the other hand, there can be no

exception to salutary Indo-Afghan

cooperation based on the accepted norms of

interstate relations. As for Pakistan, the

unique assets of population overlap,

contiguity, common geography and culture

should enable it to proceed with a certain

confidence in its relations with Afghanistan.

A deeper question is whether the

momentous developments in Afghanistan

could become a point of inflection for relations

in South Asia. There are already rumblings in

policy circles in Islamabad for an emphasis on

geoeconomics. Economic opportunities will

demand a hard rethink on geopolitical

approaches and will require tough decisions. It

is still too much to expect that the two

principal protagonists in South Asia can

change and focus on the huge challenges -

ranging from poverty alleviation to climate

change - staring them in the face.

Can the events of August induce an

introspection among those driven by

American exceptionalism and the primacy of

Western civilisation? In the last two decades,

the same thinking propelled American

military engagement in the larger Middle East

causing so much death and destruction. The

same thinking is now poised to push for a

global confrontation to contain a perceived

rising rival power, China. The charge is: China

is using its economic prowess to supplant

Western values and displace the Western

model of development and democratic polity.

Across the globe there is not a shred of

evidence of China peddling its system despite

its deep economic engagement in every

continent. The evidence is to the contrary.

Even in its most benign phase the West nursed

a desire to change China through trade. Old

cultures are tenacious. But China does not

regard Western civilisation as antagonistic

and has never displayed a desire to influence

it. If the West espouses individual freedoms,

the Chinese have for centuries placed a

premium on discipline for the equanimity of

their social and political system. Beyond

cultural and civilisational arguments, can

global confrontation and games of

containment be justified in this fraught global

environment, and when global cooperation is

imperative to face and overcome so many

existential challenges that threaten humanity?

If the events of August inject sobriety and

prompt new awareness, it will be a gift from

the most unlikely of sources imaginable.

Source: Dawn

US resolve widely questioned due to Afghanistan chaos

The way the US left Afghanistan is a

stain on the country's honor and

prestige. Hundreds of Americans

who wanted to leave Afghanistan remain

stranded. Tens of thousands of Afghans

who helped the US military over the

course of two decades also remain in the

country fearing for their lives. Shockingly,

the world's lone superpower found itself

dependent on the Taliban to provide

security in Kabul. The cost of this was a

brutal attack by Daesh that left more than

180 Afghans dead, along with 13 US

troops.

Usually, the countries of the G7 -

arguably some of the most powerful and

influential nations in the world - meet to

discuss major global matters. Instead, last

week they met to discuss the feasibility of

keeping a single airport open. Simply put,

the US and the international

community looked weak and feeble

dealing with the Taliban.

In the meantime, senior US officials

have been boasting about "a new chapter

of US-Afghan relations" under the

Taliban. When National Security Adviser

Jake Sullivan was asked if the Taliban was

an enemy of the US, he meekly responded

with "it is hard to put a label on it."

When Joe Biden entered office, the US

had only 2,500 troops in Afghanistan. It

also provided air support to the Afghan

army. While this was never enough for the

Afghan government to win outright, it was

enough to keep the Taliban out of power.

Now, due to decisions taken by President

Biden, the Taliban will control more

territory on Sept. 11, 2021, than it did on

Sept. 11, 2001. The consequences of

Huge wildfire near Lake Tahoe slows as weather improves

The Caldor Fire remained only a few

miles from the city of South Lake

Tahoe, which was emptied of 22,000

residents days ago, along with casinos and

shops across the state line in Nevada, but no

significant fire activity occurred since

Thursday , officials said.

Tim Ernst, an operations section chief,

said fire officials were cautiously optimistic

thanks to "a lot of hard work" by firefighters

over the past two weeks.

The nearly 333-square-mile (862-squarekilometer)

fire was not making any

significant advances and was not

challenging containment lines in long

sections of its perimeter, but Ernst said "the

risk is still out there" with some areas that

remained hot. Residents on western and

northern sides of the fires were allowed back

home by Friday afternoon, but fire officials

said they don't have a specific timeline for

repopulating South Lake Tahoe. Utility

companies have to make sure power is

restored, fire crews will have to remove

hazardous trees and other threats to power

lines, and roadways have to be cleared of

debris.

Jake Cagle, another operations section

chief, said fire and law enforcement officials

are evaluating the issue in meetings several

times a day to determine when to lift

evacuation orders.

"It's all based on fire behavior. For now,

A deeper question is whether the momentous developments

in Afghanistan could become a point of inflection

for relations in South Asia. There are already rumblings in

policy circles in Islamabad for an emphasis on geoeconomics.

Economic opportunities will demand a hard rethink on

geopolitical approaches and will require tough decisions.

America's withdrawal from Afghanistan,

and the Taliban's takeover of the country,

remain to be seen, but it is likely these

consequences will be felt for years to

come. The consequences of the Taliban

takeover of Afghanistan will also be felt

beyond the Hindu Kush. As a global

power, what America does in one region

can easily impact another - and it often

does. The chaotic and incompetent

manner of America's withdrawal from

Afghanistan will invite provocation in

other places. Russia, Iran, China and

North Korea will be even more willing to

push the envelope to see what they can get

away with. This week, North Korea

restarted a nuclear reactor that is key to its

weapons program. This is a test to see how

Washington will respond.As for nonstate

actors, especially terrorist organizations, a

major recruitment drive will now be

underway. Nothing attracts new

followers like success. Groups like the

Taliban and Al-Qaeda will have people

joining in droves.

The chaotic and incompetent manner of

America's withdrawal from Afghanistan

will invite provocation in other places.

Under the Taliban, terrorists are

things are looking good. On that contingent,

we're getting close," he said.

The fire had been driven northeast on a

course leading to South Lake Tahoe for days

by southwestern winds, but that pattern

ended this week. Calmer winds and

increased humidity Thursday and Friday

helped crews increase containment of the

blaze to 29%. "Very positive trends with

regards to weather," said Dean Gould, a U.S.

Forest Service administrator. "That's huge

for us. Let's take full advantage of it while we

have this window." With the fire growing at

the smallest rate in two weeks, he said,

"Things are clearly heading in the right

direction for us." Amid the positive outlook,

incident meteorologist Jim Dudley warned

that the air mass in the Sierra Nevada drains

downslope every night and then sloshes

upslope during the day and that the region's

terrain of ridges and deep canyons can

LUKE COFFEY

welcome in Afghanistan. It is likely that

many terrorist groups will be flocking to

the new relative safety of Afghanistan.

Just a few days ago, Osama Bin Laden's

former head of security, Amin Al-Haq,

returned to his home in Nangarhar

province after being out of Afghanistan for

20 years. Sirajuddin Haqqani, a deputy

leader of the Taliban and leader of the

Haqqani network - a group considered to

be a terrorist organization by many

In addition to empowering America's adversaries, the

actions of the Biden administration in Afghanistan will

also impact America's relations with its allies and partners

around the world. Regardless of how administration

officials try to spin it, many long-standing partners

are now questioning America's resolve and commitment.

around the world - not only roams freely

around Afghanistan but is now in charge

of Kabul's security. The FBI is offering a

reward of $5 million for his capture.

In addition to empowering America's

adversaries, the actions of the Biden

administration in Afghanistan will also

impact America's relations with its allies

and partners around the world.

Regardless of how administration officials

try to spin it, many long-standing partners

are now questioning America's resolve

and commitment.

Two weeks ago, the UK's House of

Commons all but formally censured the

US president during a debate on

Afghanistan. Never in living memory has

any American president received such

create winds that go in "squirrely

directions." "Just because we don't have red

flag wind conditions across the fire, the wind

threat is still there and it's all localized," he

warned. The fire - which began Aug. 14, was

named after the road where it started and

raged through densely forested, craggy

areas - was still considered a threat to more

than 30,000 homes, businesses and other

buildings ranging from cabins to ski resorts.

The wildfire dealt a major blow to an economy that heavily

depends on tourism and was starting to rebound this

summer from pandemic shutdowns. "It's a big hit for our

local businesses and the workers who rely on a steady

income to pay rent and put food on their table," said

Devin Middlebrook, mayor pro-tem of South Lake Tahoe.

Residents who were forced to flee South

Lake Tahoe earlier this week remained

evacuated along with people across the state

line in Douglas County, Nevada. The resort

area can easily accommodate 100,000

people on a busy weekend but was eerily

empty just before the Labor Day weekend.

The wildfire dealt a major blow to an

economy that heavily depends on tourism

and was starting to rebound this summer

from pandemic shutdowns.

criticism and condemnation by the

parliament of the country's closest ally.

Publicly, many senior officials across

Europe are now talking about the need for

"strategic autonomy" from the US due to

the American administration's aloofness

toward global affairs. In Washington, I

have recently spoken to more than a

dozen diplomats from various countries.

Privately, they are all questioning

American leadership.

During Britain's disastrous retreat from

Kabul in 1842, Afghan tribesmen killed

thousands of British and Indian soldiers

and civilians. Hundreds more were held

hostage. Soon after, Governor-General of

India Lord Ellenborough wrote to his top

military commander expressing the need

to "re-establish our military character

beyond the Indus."

After America's Afghan debacle, Biden

needs to re-establish American character

in the eyes of its partners and adversaries.

It is not as if the US lacks the power or the

resources. It remains the world's sole

superpower, with a conventional military

and a nuclear arsenal that are unmatched.

The US has the world's largest economy

and is a global center for innovation and

technology.

What is missing is statecraft, leadership

and political will. America is not a weak

nation - but right now it is an unserious

nation. Many had high hopes with Biden

entering the White House after four

tumultuous years with President Donald

Trump. After more than 200 days in

office, Biden is not meeting expectations.

Source: Arab news

"It's a big hit for our local businesses and

the workers who rely on a steady income to

pay rent and put food on their table," said

Devin Middlebrook, mayor pro-tem of

South Lake Tahoe.

He said the shutdown will also hurt the

city, as it gets most of its revenue to pay for

police and fire services, as well as road

maintenance, from hotel taxes and sales

taxes. Friday's forecast called for lighter

winds but also extremely dry daytime

weather, with a warming trend through the

weekend as high pressure builds over the

West, fire officials said.

More than 15,000 firefighters were

battling dozens of California blazes that

have destroyed at least 1,500 homes. One

blaze, the Dixie Fire, was about 65 miles

(105 kilometers) north of the Caldor Fire. It

is the second-largest wildfire in state history

at about 1,350 square miles (3,496 square

kilometers) and is 55% contained.

California has experienced increasingly

larger and deadlier wildfires in recent years

as climate change has made the West much

warmer and drier over the past 30 years.

Scientists have said weather will continue to

be more extreme and wildfires more

frequent, destructive and unpredictable. No

deaths have been reported so far this fire

season.

Source: ABC News


FRIDAY, AUGUSt 10, 2021

5

India's naval pushback against China

SREERAM ChAULIA

Even though India's ongoing border

conflict with China is land-based, the

competition between Asia's two

incompatible giants is playing out with

increasing intensity in the oceans. Sino-

Indian rivalry has multiple turfs and

terrains, but it is the maritime jostling

that is the most consequential, not only

for the balance of power in Asia but for

the entire world.

Maritime competition between China

and India has shades of inevitability and

destiny because of the fundamentally

unique nature of the high seas, which

make up two-thirds of the planet's

oceans and are not part of the territorial

waters of any single state. Unlike on land,

where nation-states have carved up every

little inch of space as sovereign territory

and forcibly redrawing borders is taboo,

the high seas are neutral and their

command and control depend on the

assertion and deployment of naval

might. For any aspiring power to climb

up the ladder, its main opportunity to

expand lies in the high seas rather than

on land-based conquest of territory that

belongs to or is claimed by another state.

The relative openness of the high seas

means that any power or coalition of

powers can congregate there and try to

psych out or drive away opponents

through a show of force. China, which

has made rapid strides in naval power

projection in the past two decades,

understands that its path to sustained

great power status lies in dominating the

vast maritime spaces of the Indian and

Pacific oceans. Beijing's "two ocean

strategy" calls for "redistributing the

balance of power in the Indo-Pacific

region in its favor by expanding its naval

operations from the South China Sea and

Western Pacific into the Indian Ocean."

That runs headlong into India's goal of

sustaining and stretching its

preeminence in the Indian Ocean and

maintaining sea control over "a defined

sea area, for a defined period of time, for

one's own purposes, and at the same

time deny[ing] its use to the adversary."

The naked ambitions of the two

countries to be preeminent in roughly

the same waters are a recipe for

sustained antagonism.

Another reason why the maritime

tussle between China and India is

unavoidable is due to the latter's de facto

alliance system in the Indo-Pacific via the

"Quad" group of nations - Australia,

India, Japan, and the United States - all

of whom perceive Chinese naval

expansion and a possible Sino-centric

world order with alarm. Unlike on the

land border at the Line of Actual Control,

where Indian public opinion and foreign

policy sensitivities about sovereignty do

not allow a boots-on-the-ground

presence by foreign armies of partner

nations alongside the Indian Army, the

high seas are seen as legitimate areas for

the Indian Navy to be interoperable and

integrated with navies of foreign partners

to roll back the Chinese People's

Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

The force multiplier effects of strategic

partnerships to check China can

manifest unhindered in the maritime

domain, notwithstanding occasional

concerns raised by some observers in

India that "an excessive U.S. military

presence in the eastern Indian Ocean

Region (IOR) could needlessly provoke

China" or "result in the shrinking of

Indian influence." Ever since the armies

of China and India clashed in June 2020

on land in the Himalayan heights of the

Galwan Valley, a realization has dawned

in New Delhi that an era of strategic

ambiguity and hedging cooperation with

competition toward Beijing has come to

an end. With the Chinese dragon baring

its teeth and seeking to impose its will on

its militarily and economically weaker

southern neighbor, the Indian elephant

has had to step up its deterrence game or

risk being bullied and trampled. Inching

closer to the United States and dropping

hesitations about ceding ground to

foreign navies in the IOR are all the

the U.S. flag waves in the wind off of USS O'Kane (DDG 77) ahead of the joint

naval Malabar 2021 exercise.

Photo: valerie Maigue

outcomes of obtrusive Chinese actions.

It is not a coincidence that, after the

Galwan clash, India shifted gears with a

renewed sense of purpose by devoting

additional military assets to the maritime

sphere and deepening robust

relationships with strategic partners to

meet the Chinese challenge - not just in

the Indian Ocean but further away in the

South China Sea and the Western Pacific.

The 25th edition of the Malabar joint

military exercises among navies of the

Quad off the U.S. territory of Guam from

August 26 to 29, was one manifestation

of the intensifying Indian agenda of

halting China in the Indo-Pacific and

placing counterbalancing limits on

Chinese expansionism.

The 2021 Malabar exercises were

qualitatively and quantitatively many

notches superior to when they began in

1992 as a bilateral affair between India

and the U.S. during the early post-Cold

War rapprochement period between two

hitherto "estranged democracies." The

credit for the upgrade goes to the

government of Indian Prime Minister

Narendra Modi, which overcame past

hesitations about angering China and

expanded Malabar into a quadrilateral

format by making Japan a permanent

participant in 2015 and inviting Australia

on board in 2020. Paralleling the revival

in 2017 of the Quad as a diplomatic

forum, the four member countries, which

share serious security concerns about

Chinese behavior, have also regularized

the military dimension of

interoperability and preparedness for

naval combat through Malabar.

According to the Indian Navy, the

Malabar war games of 2021 involved

"high-tempo exercises conducted

between Destroyers, Frigates, Corvettes,

Submarines, Helicopters, and Long

Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft of the

participating navies." On the menu was

finessing "complex surface, sub-surface,

and air operations including Live

Weapon Firing Drills, Anti-Surface, Anti-

Air and Anti-Submarine Warfare Drills,

Joint Manoeuvres and Tactical

exercises." Such joint maneuvers

involving the combined might of one

great power - the United States - and

three middle powers - Australia, India,

and Japan - unambiguously convey a

warning to China that there will be

formidable barriers to the PLAN's push

to break free of all limits and pursue

regional maritime aggrandizement

against smaller littoral countries.

New Delhi's stated motto of the

Malabar exercises, whose locales

alternate yearly between the Indian

Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, is to

"enhance synergy and coordination

between the Indian Navy and friendly

countries, based on common maritime

interests and commitment towards

freedom of navigation at sea." Such

language leaves little doubt that the

intent is to remind Beijing that it cannot

take supremacy over the entire South

China Sea for granted or convert the

Indian Ocean into a Chinese lake

through relentless PLAN deployments

and forays west of the Malacca Strait.

In fact, the naval assets India sent to be

part of the Malabar games this year are

part of a task force dispatched on a twomonth

assignment across the South

China Sea, which has been described as

"India's most visible 'show of flag' naval

presence east of the Malacca Strait." If

China is penetrating the Indian Ocean

with frigates and submarines, India is

signaling it can do a tit-for-tat in China's

maritime backyard, not singly but in

concert with the Quad and other

partners.

On most parameters of naval power

such as the number of submarines,

destroyers, frigates, naval aviation, and

aircraft carriers, China holds an upper

hand over India. Hence, it is a rational

strategy for India to make up for this

asymmetry via a multilayered response

that includes bilateral, trilateral, and

multilateral maritime diplomacy,

wherein assets of partner nations are

pooled to blunt China's edge and exploit

China's vulnerabilities vis-à-vis control

over the sea lanes of communication

(SLOC). India's Chief of Defense Staff,

Gen. Bipin Rawat, has called the PLAN

"the largest expanding navy in the world"

and said that India is willing to upgrade

military interoperability with "anybody

who is willing to come to this region with

the common cause, which is FONOPS

(freedom of navigation operations)."

Apart from Malabar, which Beijing has

criticized as a manifestation of "India's

calculation to gang up against China,"

New Delhi is also pursuing a flurry of

other innovative naval permutations and

operations as part of a stepped up

strategy of deterrence against Chinese

expansionism.

In April 2021, India and its Quad

partners tag-teamed with France in a

five-nation La Perouse naval exercise in

the Bay of Bengal. Rattled by the

prospect of losing control over its farflung

oceanic territories in Asia to the

fast-approaching Chinese juggernaut,

Paris has engaged in defense diplomacy

with New Delhi and Canberra, in

particular, with a clear cut "Indo-Pacific

outlook." In June 2021, the Indian Navy

joined a trilateral naval exercise of

France, Italy, and Spain in the Gulf of

Aden with the aim of upholding "shared

values as partner navies in ensuring

freedom of seas and commitment to an

open, inclusive and a rules-based

international order."

The announcement of a formal France-

Australia-India trilateral format, with

defense cooperation on the cards, is a

promising trend that overlaps with the

Quad but also makes the "Quad plus" a

practical reality. Canberra also wants

New Delhi to join its biennial Talisman

Sabre naval exercises, which would bring

together more non-Quad members like

Canada, New Zealand, South Korea, and

the United Kingdom to demonstrate

naval cooperation in the maritime spaces

coveted by China.

Given the vulnerability of Southeast

Asian countries to Chinese economic and

military coercion, they have been

reluctant to formally enter the Quad or

associate with its combined navies.

Great Gameredux in Afghanistan?

DAnIL BOChKOv

The U.S. campaign in Afghanistan

"was a failed enterprise from the

start even though Russia supported

it during the first stages," said former

Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev,

commenting on the U.S. withdrawal

after a 20-year war. Even American

leading political scientists described

the U.S. mission as "fatally flawed

from the outset" because of

impossibility of transforming

Afghanistan into a unitary state.

Gorbachev has a unique

perspective: In 1989 he oversaw the

withdrawal of Soviet troops from

Afghanistan, called by some the

"graveyard of empires" due to

failures to conquer it throughout the

19th and 20th centuries when Russia

and England played the "Great

Game" seeking control of the

territory. The Soviet Union, in an

attempt to maintain the loyalty of

Afghanistan's political leadership,

initiated a military operation in 1979

that lasted 10 years, with around

15,000 Soviet troops killed. Now the

United States has contributed to the

list of failed missions, adding the

lives of almost 2,500

servicemembers to Afghanistan's

sorrowful track record.

Today most global media predict

that Russia and China would fill the

U.S.-left void. However, Russia is

cautious, since it has not completely

recovered from the "Afghan

syndrome," referring to traumatic

memories of the conflict nationwide.

President Vladimir Putin stressed

that Russia knows Afghanistan well

and is aware of "how

counterproductive it is to try to force

unnatural forms of governance." The

Taliban remain banned in Russia,

which limits prospects for a swift

recognition of the Taliban

government by Moscow. The

primary threat for Russia is that

Afghan militants could infiltrate

nearby countries, spreading

terrorism.

Meanwhile, the recent spike in

regional terrorist attacks targeting

Chinese interests - most notably, the

July-August suicide bomb attacks on

Chinese nationals in Pakistan - has

China concerned that the Taliban

could turn a blind eye to the East

Turkestan Islamic Movement, which

has used Afghanistan as a training

ground. The group reportedly has

500 fighters stationed in the

northern Afghanistan province that

neighbors China's Xinjiang via a

narrow strip of mountainous land

known as the Wakhan Corridor.

Even before the Taliban takeover,

China had heavily securitized the

area, which Beijing views as the most

important stretch of border to guard

against infiltration by ETIM

terrorists.

China famously welcomed a

Taliban delegation to Tianjin in late

July. The group clearly seeks

expanding engagement with Beijing,

calling China a "friend" and

welcoming investments for

reconstruction. China, in turn, opted

for pragmatism, being one of the

first global powers to recognize the

Taliban "an important military and

political force" while holding the

bilateral summit on July 28. that

followed the Taliban's reassurance to

Beijing that they will not "interfere in

China's internal affairs."

All that happened before the

Taliban had claimed its first

provincial capital - Nimroz on

August 6 - and before it took total

control of Afghanistan. U.S.

President Joe Biden had claimed

that the Taliban takeover was "not

inevitable." China's early embrace of

the Taliban, then, might signify

better intelligence demonstrated by

Chinese authorities compared to the

U.S. agencies, which failed to predict

the Afghan government's breakup

and expected it to last from three to

six months.

China welcomed the Taliban's

overtures, saying that it is ready for

"friendly and cooperative" relations.

Beijing has not recognized the

legitimacy of the Taliban's

government yet, although there is

growing speculation that it may

happen soon. China recently claimed

that the Taliban had become more

rational, saying that recognition can

follow when Afghanistan forms a

"broadly

representative

government."

However, Beijing is cautious about

fully embracing the Taliban. It

warned its citizens to leave

Afghanistan and remains skeptical

about whether the Taliban will keep

its promises. The Taliban issue may

add more tensions to the China-U.S.

rivalry, with Foreign Minister Wang

Yi criticizing Washington in his

recent conversation with Secretary

of State Antony Blinken for offering

"opportunities for a resurgence" of

terrorism through its swift

withdrawal of forces. China's foreign

minister also called on the United

States to assist Afghanistan in its

economic and political

reconstruction and "positively

guide" the new Taliban leadership,

eschewing "double standards" and a

selective fight against terrorism.

Russia, similarly to China, is

tentatively exploring channels to

establish some working contacts

As China and Russia align their positions in Afghanistan, the

West looks on suspiciously.

Photo: RPIC

with the Taliban as it sees "no

alternative" to the hardline group. In

a stark contrast to the Western

politicians' comments, Moscow even

praised the Taliban's conduct

following its takeover. Moscow

hosted a Taliban delegation for the

talks on July 9 in order to exchange

recent information. It was the

second get-together between the two

sides in 2021, following a meeting in

January. Unlike the China-Taliban

meeting, however, which had a

more bilateral agenda, the two

summits in Russia were conducted

within the framework the Doha

Agreement, with the participation of

other powers. Both China and

Russia have kept their embassies in

Afghanistan open so far.

Beijing has already promised to

contribute to the peaceful

reconstruction of Afghanistan and

also called for the United States to

join in. China is set to capitalize on

the power reshuffle by promoting its

multibillion-dollar infrastructure

projects within the Belt and Road

Initiative (BRI), which are meant to

boost China's trade with the region

and activate natural resource

extraction. Afghanistan is home to

up to $2 trillion worth of extractable

rare earth metals, with a great chunk

of lithium - an irreplaceable material

for the high-tech production

prioritized by China's leadership.

Russia, by contrast, is focused

more on security than economic

prospects. When the Taliban retook

power, Putin immediately contacted

his Uzbek counterpart, Shavkat

Mirziyoyev, to discuss the escalation.

Earlier, both states had held joint

military drills on August 2. On

August 5, Moscow conducted

trilateral military exercises on the

Afghan border with Tajikistan and

Uzbekistan, with former being a

member of the Russia-led Collective

Security Treaty Organization

(CSTO) and a host to Russia regional

military outpost.

The CSTO held a high-level

meeting on August 23 to "compare

notes" on unfolding developments in

Afghanistan, with Putin forging

closer coordination with leaders of

Central Asian countries in order to

avoid a spillover of "radical Islam"

into the region. The CSTO is making

its way to the central stage of the

regional security system. Russia's

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has

recently prioritized the security

alliance, vowing to strengthen

interactions within the bloc. Russia

has also placed citizens of CSTO

member-states on par with Russians

when it comes to Russia-led

evacuation flights out of

Afghanistan.

The CSTO, combined with regular

China-Tajik anti-terrorism

collaborations, may form a regional

buttress for stability. The Shanghai

Cooperation Organization (SCO)

may also play a more invigorated

role as regional security guarantor,

since all member-states are

interested in regional stability and

curbing terrorism. As a sign of this,

September 11 marks the

commencement of the SCO's twoweek

long annual anti-terror drills,

known as "Peace Mission 2021."

One more pillar of regional

security are intensified China-Russia

military exchanges. In the most

recent China-hosted military

exercises, Russian servicemembers

used Chinese weaponry, while

China's most advanced military

hardware, such as J-20 fighters,

participated in the drills. These

developments signify trust and

deepening collaboration. Continuing

the trend, Beijing sent its top-notch

military aircraft to make their debut

at the International Army Games in

Leaders of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

(SOC).Photo:

Dake Kang.

Why is Iran so keen on

joining the SCO?

FARDIn EFtEKhARI

Recent remarks by Russian and Iranian

officials suggest that Iran is on the verge of

gaining full membership in the Shanghai

Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional

forum launched in 2001 by China, Russia,

and the Central Asian republics (minus

Turkmenistan) to combat the so-called

"three evils" namely "terrorism, separatism,

and extremism." Iran has awaited this

moment since becoming an observer

member of the SCO in 2005. After signing a

multidimensional 25-year strategic treaty

with China and preparing to make a similar

deal with Russia in the near term, Iran's

accession to the SCO could be seen as the

third decisive move in Tehran's deep

inclination toward the East.

Iran's new president, Ebrahim Raisi, has

not been a leading figure in Iran's foreign

policy decision-making. That's why, unlike

his predecessor, he has not yet outlined the

dimensions of his foreign policy strategy or

specified what goals he wants to achieve

abroad. Nevertheless, he is surrounded by

individuals who were critics of the Joint

Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

These same voices criticized the Rouhani

administration for not paying enough

attention to relations with Russia and China

and not using the presumably expanded ties

with Moscow and Beijing as leverage in the

negotiations with the United States and

Europe. Though this camp has never made

explicit how, exactly, the West will be

impressed into lifting sanctions or accepting

Iran's other demands by Iran's assumed

close ties with Russia and China, they have

gotten new credentials from the country's

top decision-maker.

In a last short meeting with Rouhani and

his cabinet, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali

Khamenei once again slammed Rouhani for

"trusting" the West, foreshadowing a

continued deadlock in the Vienna

negotiations on reviving the JCPOA.

Tellingly, the Supreme Leader's office then

released a short video file in which Ayatollah

Khamenei, during a private meeting in 2012

with the then-head of the Expediency

Council, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, is

seen decrying Rafsanjani's insistence on

forging a relationship with the U.S.

The Supreme Leader laid out the central

contour of the next phase of the Islamic

Republic's foreign policy, and the direction

that Raisi should pursue: displacing the

JCPOA as the focal point of Iranian foreign

policy. The mandate for Raisi and his team is

to reinforce relations with non-Western

countries, including China and Russia. On

the sidelines of the endorsement ceremony

of Raisi's presidency by Ayatollah Khamenei,

Ali Akbar Velayati, the Supreme Leader's

consultant in international affairs, also

asserted that the priority of Raisi

government must be "looking to the East"

and "cooperation and strategic relations with

China, India and Russia," which could "help

our economy to make progress."

The SCO is not a regional functional

community in trade and economics,

however. It is primarily a platform for Russia

and China to manage their periphery

security environment and to neutralize

common threats to their national security

and territorial integrity emanating from the

"three evils." Since Pakistan and India joined

the SCO in 2017, the organization now

includes four nuclear powers with different

security agendas and goals.

Basically, Iran doesn't share the primary

concerns of these four powers. Being a full

member of the SCO will be different from

holding observer status.


FRIDAY, SePTeMBeR 10, 2021

6

Members of BCG station Teknaf in a drive seized 3.5 lakh pieces of yaba tablets from an area adjacent

to Paschimpara Ghat in Shahpari Island of Tekknaf on early Thursday. Photo: Courtesy

BCG seizes 3.5 lakh

yaba pills in Teknaf

BCG station Teknaf conducted a special

operation in the area adjacent to

Paschimpara Ghat in Shahpari Island of

Tekknaf on early Thursday and seized 3.5

lakh pieces of yaba tablets, a press release

said.

Lt. Commander Amirul Haque, media

officer at the Bangladesh Coast Guard

headquarters, said confirmed this on

Thursday noon.He said that based on secret

information, it was known that Yaba tablets

would be smuggled in the area adjacent to

Shahpari Island in Teknaf. Based on the

information received, a special operation

was conducted in the area under the

command of Station Commander Teknaf, Lt.

Locals staged a human chain protesting against the propaganda for establishment

of the 3rd Bangabandhu Safari Park in Lathitila of Juri Upazila

recently.

Photo: S I Sumon

S I SUMON, JURI CORRESPONDENT

Locals staged a human chain protesting

against the propaganda for establishment of

the 3rd Bangabandhu Safari Park in Lathitila

of Juri Upazila. Thr human chain was held

at Kaminiganj and Bhabaniganj Bazar on

Wednesday under the banner of the people

of all walks of life in Juri Upazila. About

4,000 people from 65 organizations of the

upazila participated in the human chain.

Juri Upazila Awami League President

valiant Freedom Fighter Md. Badramnal

Hasan presided over the occassion. During

the occasion, Juri Upazila Chairman valiant

RAJSHAHI: A total of 162 volunteer

women samity consisting around

5,670 women were given grants worth

Taka 49.50 lakh aimed at improving

their living and livelihood condition in

Rajshahi.

The samities registered to the

Department of Women Affairs were

given the bank cheques at a function

held at the conference hall of Deputy

Commissioner (DC) yesterday, reports

Commander M Naeem ul Haq. During the

operation, Coast Guard members spotted

three persons with sacks in the area adjacent

to Paschim Para Ghat on Shahpari Island.

When the movement seems suspicious, they

are signaled them to stop.

The traffickers, sensing the presence of

Coast Guard members, dropped the three

sacks and fled through the dark narrow

streets of the village, making it impossible for

anyone to be apprehended.

Subsequently, three abandoned sacks

were searched and 3.5 lakh pieces of yaba

tablets were seized. The seized yaba has

been handed over to Teknaf Model Police

Station, he said.

Human chain protesting against

propaganda establishing

Bangabandhu Safari Park held

Freedom Fighter MA Mayed Faruk, Upazila

Awami League General Secretary and UP

Chairman Masuk Ahmed, Upazila Vice

Chairman Rinku Ranjan Das were among

others also present at the occasion.

At the occasion, the speakers said that

Ministry of Forests is planning to establish

the 3rd Bangabandhu Safari Park to protect

the wildlife in Lathitila.

The park will be set up at Lathitila forest at

a cost of Tk 980 crore. Speakers protested

against the recent anti-establishment and

anti-propaganda of the establishment of a

safari park in some anti-development

quarters.

162 volunteer women samity get

Tk 49.50 lakh grants in Rajshahi

BSS. The Department of Women

Affairs and District Administration

jointly organized the programme. DC

Abdul Jalil accompanied by Deputy

Director of the Department of Women

Affairs Shirin Shobnom distributed

the bank cheques among the

beneficiaries.

State Minister for Women and

Children Affairs Fazilatunnesa Indira,

MP, joined the programme virtually as

Covid-19 recovery

rate crosses 92pc

in Rangpur

RANGPUR: The recovery

rate of Covid-19 patients has

crossed the 92 percent mark

in Rangpur division where

the healing rate continues

rising amid declining

positivity rate during the last

one month, reports BSS.

Health officials said 142

more Covid-19 patients

healed on Wednesday

raising the total number of

recovered patients to 49,653

at the average healing rate to

92.01 percent so far in the

division.

The 49,653 recovered

patients include 10,148 of

Rangpur, 3,256 of

Panchagarh, 4,204 of

Nilphamari, 2,529 of

Lalmonirhat, 4,311 of

Kurigram, 6,583 of

Thakurgaon, 13,955 of

Dinajpur and 4,667 of

Gaibandha districts in the

division.

Meanwhile, the number of

Covid-19 cases reached

53,964 with the diagnosis of

59 fresh cases after testing

835 new samples at the

positivity rate of 7.07

percent on Wednesday in

the division.

"Earlier, the positivity

rates were 8.46 percent on

Tuesday, 11.17 percent on

Monday, 9.79 percent on

Sunday, 9.80 percent on

Saturday, 6.88 on Friday

last," Focal Person of the

Covid-19 and Assistant

Director (Health) for

Rangpur division Dr ZA

Siddiqui said.

19 more test positive

for COVID-19 in Bhola

BHOLA: A total of 19 more

people were diagnosedwith

COVID-19 positive after testing

122 samples at Bhola 250-bed

GeneralHospital COVID-19

laboratory during the last 24

hours till last morning inthe

district, reports BSS. Among

the new positive cases, 11 are in

Sadar upazila, two in

Lalmohanupazila, three in

Daulatkhan upazila and three

in Charfashion upazila of the

district, civil surgeon of the

district Dr. K M Shafiquzzaman

said. With the new infection,

the total detected people stood

at 6,677 in the

district.Meanwhile, a total of

seven patients recovered from

COVID-19 in the span of 24

hours here, climbing the healed

persons to 6,136, the civil

surgeon said.

chief guest saying the present

government under the dynamic and

visionary leadership of Prime Minister

Sheikh Hasina has been working

relentlessly for the development and

empowerment of women.

She also said the government has

also attained success in the field of

establishing equal rights for women

side by side with generating

employment opportunities for them.

Adolescents urge addressing

children issues during

pandemic

RANGPUR: Adolescents at a dialogue have

called for paying due attention to

unprivileged children and resolving their

problems like access to health services,

quality education, justice and protection

amid the Covid-19 pandemic situation,

reports BSS.

They raised the issues at a dialogue

organised by 'Sobujer Sopnojoy' (Chasing

Dreams by the Evergreens) with assistance

of UNICEF and Rangpur City Corporation at

the City Bhaban here on Wednesday.

'Sobujer Sopnojoy', a Rangpur-based

social media platform, where adolescents

from different districts started gathering

online to raise voices on children issues and

child protection risks amid the Covid-19

pandemic.

Mayor of Rangpur Mostafizar Rahman

Mostafa attended the event as the chief guest

while UNICEF Rangpur field office Chief

Najibullah Hameem was present as the

special guest.

Chief Executive Officer of Rangpur City

Corporation Ruhul Amin Miah presided

over the dialogue participated by 25

adolescents of the platform from different

districts of Rangpur division.

Recently, a group of adolescents of the

platform visited different slums in Rangpur

city, talked to children living there on issues

like their livelihoods, access to health

services, quality education, justice and

protection during the pandemic.

"Many children living at their tiny huts in

slums are already at the risk of dropout from

schools and number of child marriage is on

the rise due to the pandemic situation," said

adolescent Hrithik.

"When we saw a seven year-old girl Shapla

breaking bricks in the sweltering heat at a

neighboring construction site in Rangpur, it

just broke our hearts," said adolescent

Munim.

"Erosion of the river Teesta in Rangpur is

making hundreds of families homeless and

bringing more parents and their children

into a vicious cycle of poverty every year,

shattering the dreams and future of

children," said adolescent Alamin.

"We need to bring rural people under

Covid-19 vaccination and awareness

programmes must reach rural

communities," said adolescent Jidnee.

"Children and adolescents living in slums

and hard-to-reach areas should be given

priority in Covid-19 response and

development issues that affect their lives,"

said Sohel Rana.

In a slum, the adolescents observed the

daily struggle of a young girl, Rakiba who lost

mother at the early stage of her life.

8 tourists who got stuck at water hyacinth's in Kaptai lake in Rangamati have been rescued after calling

999 recently.

Photo: Md Shafiqur Rahman

1.13 lakh get 2nd dose of

Covid-19 vaccine in last

two days in Mymensingh

MYMENSINGH: Over 1.13 lakh citizens were

inoculated with the second dose of the Covid-

19 vaccine in the last two days in the district,

reports BSS.

The Covid-19 mass vaccination campaign

continues in all booths amid enthusiasm in

the district including Mymensingh City

Corporation.

Hundreds of people who took the 1st dose

vaccine are seen standing in the long row for

taking the 2nd dose vaccine in all booths of the

district from the morning.

District Civil Surgeon Dr. Nazrul Islam told

BSS that mass vaccination campaign is going

on peacefully.

He said a total of 1,13,041 citizens were

inoculated with the second dose of the Covid-

19 vaccine in the last two days in all 13 upazilas

including Mymensingh City Corporation and

10 pourashavas of the district.

Grant cheque have been distributed among the Swecchashebi Mohila

Samiti of Joypurhat on Thursday. State Minister for Women and

Children's Affairs Fazilatun Nessa Indira addressed the function as the

chief guest while the program was organized by the Department of

Women's Affairs and the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs at the

Circuit House Conference room in the district. During the time, Ishrat

Farzana, Deputy Director, Local Government, Joypurhat, Mohiuddin

Jahangir, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Sabina Sultana, Deputy

Director, Department of Water and Women's Affairs were among others

also present at the occasion.

Photo: Masrakul Alom

8 tourists rescued

in Rangamati

MD. SHAFIqUR RAHMAN, RANGAMATI CORRESPONDENT

8 tourists stuck at water

hyacinth in Kaptai lake in

Rangamati have been

rescued. Rangamati Katiali

Police Officer-in-Charge

(OC) Kabir Hasan

confirmed the incident on

Wednesday.

Members of the Jaralchhari

police camp rescued a

tourist after cleaning the

water hyacinth on Tuesday

night. According to the

police and tourists, 8

tourists from Sitakunda of

Chattogram came to enjoy

the natural beauty of

Rangamati. These tourists

later rented a boat to visit

Shuvlong waterfall.

On the way back, the boat

got stuck in a swarm of huge

water hyacinth's. After

failing to get out they called

999. Jaralchhari police

camp members were able to

clean up the water hyacinth

and rescue tourists.

The tourists rescued by

calling 999 are SM Riyad

Jilani, Emran Hasan, Ashraf

Shovon, Rahan Uddin,

Shakib Nabil, Shakh Farid,

Sanwar Shakil and Ripon

Mahmud. They are all

residents of Sitakunda

upazila of Chattogram.

RMCH counts six

more fatalities in

Covid-19 unit

RAJSHAHI: Rajshahi

Medical College Hospital

(RMCH) recorded six more

fatalities at the Covid-19 unit

in the last 24 hours till 6am

yesterday, taking the death

toll to 60 so far this month,

reports BSS. However, the

previous day's death figure

was just two, which was the

ever- lowest since the second

coronavirus wave hit the

region around five months

back.

Earlier, the number of

casualties was 340 in

August, 566 in July and 405

in June, health officials said.

RMCH Director Brigadier

General Dr Shamim Yazdani

told newsmen that four of

the deceased were the

residents of Rajshahi, while

one from Chapainawabganj

and one from Natore.

"Of the fresh fatalities, two

tested positive for Covid-19

and four had its symptoms,"

he said. Twenty-four more

patients were admitted to

the designated Covid-19

wards of the hospital in the

last 24 hours, raising the

total number of admitted

patients to 153, including 55

positive cases. Sixteen

patients returned home

from the Covid-19 unit after

being cured during the time.

Yazdani said the infection

rate has increased by 0.42

percent in Rajshahi

compared to the previous

day. A total of 38 people

were diagnosed with Covid-

19 after testing 359 samples

in Rajshahi's two

laboratories on Wednesday.


friDAY, SEPTEMBEr 10, 2021

7

As a nurse at one of Kabul's main hospitals, Latifa Alizada was the breadwinner for her family, providing

for her three young boys and unemployed husband.

Photo : AP

Afghans fear for jobs

and money after

Taliban takeover

KABUL : As a nurse at one of Kabul's

main hospitals, Latifa Alizada was the

breadwinner for her family, providing for

her three young boys and unemployed

husband.

Now-since the Taliban rolled into

Afghanistan's capital-she too is jobless,

and worried about the future.

The 27-year-old left her role at

Jamhuriat Hospital because the hardline

Islamist group said salaries would not be

paid, and imposed rules that would force

her to wear a face veil and be segregated

from male colleagues.

"I have left my job because there is no

salary. There is no salary at all," she said,

holding the hands of two of her boys who

chewed on sweetcorn cobs.

"If I go there, they say 'do not work with

this style of dress. Do not work with men.

Work with women'. This is impossible,"

she told AFP at a street market in Kabul.

"For us, there is no difference between

men and women, because we are medical

workers."

Afghans like Alizada worry about what

lies ahead under the Taliban.

Food prices have gone up at markets,

the cost of fuel has risen and there are

fewer opportunities to make money.

The United Nations this week warned

prices for essential goods were soaring in

Afghanistan, adding: "There are fears of

food shortages, higher inflation, and a

slump in the currency all resulting in an

intensification of the humanitarian

emergency across the country."

Many government services are no

longer functioning, while the

international community-which has long

propped up the aid-dependent economy -

- hesitates over funding Afghanistan.

Nerve disorder listed as 'very rare'

side effect of AstraZeneca jab

THE HAGUE : The European Medicines

Agency has listed the neurological disorder

Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can cause

temporary paralysis, as a "very rare" side

effect of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

A causal relationship was "considered at

least a reasonable possibility", the EMA said

in an update Wednesday after a total of 833

cases of the syndrome had been reported

worldwide by July 31, from about 592

million doses of the AstraZeneca "Vaxzevria"

shot administered. "GBS should therefore be

added to the product information as a side

effect of Vaxzevria," the Amsterdam-based

agency said.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome was a "very rare"

side effect, occurring in under one in 10,000

people, it added.The disorder is a nerve

inflammation that may cause temporary

paralysis and difficulty breathing.

Ida deaths rise by 11

in New Orleans;

Louisiana toll now 26

HOUMA : The death toll in

Louisiana from Hurricane Ida rose

to 26 Wednesday, after health

officials reported 11 additional

deaths in New Orleans, mostly older

people who perished from the heat.

The announcement was grim news

amid signs the city was returning to

normal with almot fully restored

power and a lifted nighttime curfew.

While New Orleans was generally

rebounding from the storm,

hundreds of thousands of people

outside the city remained without

electricity and some of the hardesthit

areas still had no water. Across

southeastern Louisiana, 250,000

students were unable to return to

classrooms 10 days after Ida roared

ashore with 150 mph (240 kph)

winds.

The latest deaths attributed to Ida

happened between Aug. 30 and

Monday, but were just confirmed as

storm-related by the Orleans Parish

coroner, the Louisiana Department

of Health said in a statement. Nine

of the New Orleans deaths - of

people ages 64 to 79 - came from

"excessive heat during an extended

power outage," while the two others

were from carbon monoxide

poisoning, the department said.

More than a million people were

left without power, including the

entire city of New Orleans, when Ida

struck on Aug. 29. The state's

largest power company, Entergy,

In the United States, the very rare

syndrome affects an estimated 3,000 to

6,000 people each year and most go on to

recover. The EMA recommended that a

warning be added to information on the

vaccine that tells people to seek medical

attention if they develop weakness and

paralysis in the extremities that can progress

to the chest and face.

The European drug regulator had in July

listed Guillain-Barre syndrome as a "very

rare" side effect of the Johnson & Johnson

vaccine, which uses the same adenovirus

technology as the AstraZeneca jab.

The US Food and Drug Administration

also warned in July of an "increased risk" of

developing the neurological syndrome with

Johnson & Johnson's dose.

Both regulators stressed that the vaccine's

benefits outweighed the potential risks.

The European Medicines Agency has listed the neurological disorder

Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can cause temporary paralysis, as a "very

rare" side effect of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

Photo : AP

said it expected to have electricity in

the city restored to 90% by

Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, the New Orleans

Police Department and Mayor

LaToya Cantrell lifted an 8 p.m. to 6

a.m. curfew they had imposed two

days after the hurricane hit.

Across New Orleans and

southeastern Louisiana, families are

still waiting to hear when their

children can return to school, as

districts assessed hurricane

damage. Prior to Ida, schools

around Louisiana had been open

despite widespread cases of

COVID-19, although under a

statewide mask mandate for all

indoor locations.

"We need to get those kids back

with us as soon as we possibly can,"

said Superintendent of Education

Cade Brumley.

In New Orleans, School

Superintendent Henderson Lewis

Jr. said damage to schools appeared

to be mostly minimal, but power

needs to be restored to all buildings,

and teachers, staff and families need

to return to the city to get schools up

and running.

"Now more than ever, our

children stand to benefit from the

comfort that structured and routine

daily schooling can bring," Lewis

said in a statement Wednesday. "So,

let's all come together to reopen our

schools quickly and safely."

Astronauts smell

smoke, burning on

Russia's ISS module

MOSCOW : A smoke alarm

sounded Thursday in

Russia's segment of the

International Space Station

(ISS) and astronauts

smelled "burning" on board,

Russia's space agency and

NASA said.

The incident, which the

Russian space agency

Roscosmos said happened

at 01:55 GMT ahead of a

scheduled spacewalk, is the

latest in a string of problems

to spur safety concerns over

conditions on the Russian

segment.

"A smoke detector was

triggered in the Zvezda

service module of the

Russian segment of the

International Space Station

during automatic battery

charging, and an alarm went

off," Roscosmos said in a

statement.

French astronaut Thomas

Pesquet said "the smell of

burning plastic or electronic

equipment" wafted to the

US segment of the station,

Russian state news agency

RIA Novosti reported, citing

a NASA broadcast.

The Russian crew turned

on a filter and after the air

was cleaned up the

astronauts went back to

sleep, Roscosmos said.

The space agency said that

a planned spacewalk would

go ahead as scheduled.

Russia's Oleg Novitsky

and Pyotr Dubrov are

scheduled to leave the

station to continue work on

the Nauka science module

that docked in July.

Australia vows to keep

mining coal despite

climate warning

SYDNEY : Australia vowed

Thursday to keep mining coal

for export and said global

demand was rising, rejecting

a study that warned nearly all

its reserves must stay in the

ground to address the climate

crisis. Researchers warned in

a study published in the

journal Nature this week that

89 percent of global coal

reserves-and 95 percent of

Australia's share-must be left

untouched.

Such restraint, they said,

would still only offer a 50

percent chance of limiting

warming to 1.5 degrees

Celsius above pre-industrial

levels-the current global goal.

But Prime Minister Scott

Morrison said Thursday

Australia's energy exports

were needed to power

developing countries, and

predicted technology would

enable them to be burned "in

a much more climatefriendly

way" in the future.

"We will keep mining the

resources that we're able to

sell on the world market,"

Morrison told a news

conference when asked if he

would put an "expiration

date" on the coal mining

industry. "We obviously

anticipate that over time

world demand for these

things may change."

Under

existing

agreements, developing

countries are able to use

Australian resources "well

into the future", Morrison

said.

Negotiators from 196

countries will join the 26th

edition of the UN Climate

Change Conference of the

Parties-COP26 -- in the

Scottish city of Glasgow in

November.

Tropical Storm Mindy

makes landfall on

Florida Panhandle

MIAMI : A swath of the

Florida Panhandle was under

a tropical storm warning after

Tropical Storm Mindy made

landfall Wednesday night,

reports UNB.

The storm touched down

over St. Vincent Island, about

10 miles (15 km) west

southwest of Apalachicola,

according to the National

Hurricane Center.

Mindy could cause as much

as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of

rainfall across the Florida

Panhandle and portions of

southern Georgia and South

Carolina through Thursday

morning, the National

Hurricane Center said.

Scattered flash, urban, and

small-stream floods are

possible. Mindy's arrival

occurred only a few hours

after it had strengthened into

a tropical storm Wednesday

evening. The storm had

maximum sustained winds of

45 mph (75 km/h) and was

moving northeast at 21 mph

(33 km/), forecasters said.

The tropical storm warning

is in effect from Mexico

Beach, Florida, to the

Steinhatchee River to the east.

That area is about 300 miles

(500 kilometers) east of

southern Louisiana, where

Hurricane Ida made landfall

late last month. The region is

still recovering from the

deadly and destructive

Category 4 storm.

RABAT : Morocco's long-ruling

Islamists have suffered a crushing

defeat in parliamentary elections to

liberal parties seen as close to the

palace, according to provisional results

announced early Thursday.

The Justice and Development Party

(PJD), which headed the ruling

coalition for a decade, saw its support

collapse from 125 seats in the outgoing

assembly to just 12, Interior Minister

Abdelouafi Laftit said during a press

briefing following Wednesday's polls.

It was far behind its main liberal

rivals, the National Rally of

Independents (RNI) and the

Authenticity and Modernity Party

(PAM), with 97 and 82, respectively,

and the centre-right Istiqlal Party with

78 seats in the 395-seat assembly.

Sydney floats pub promise

to boost jab rate

SYDNEY : Locked-down Sydney residents

could enjoy a beer at the pub as soon as next

month if the double-dose vaccination rate

hits 70 percent, under an official "roadmap

to freedom" released on Thursday.

Officials in the eastern state of New South

Wales, which includes Sydney, said stay-athome

orders would be lifted for fully

vaccinated people once it hits the interim

Covid-19 vaccine target for adults.

The roadmap gave no date but current

vaccination rates indicate the 70-percent

target may be reached in October.

"A meal with loved ones or a drink with

friends is just around the corner," deputy

premier John Barilaro pledged.

After 10 weeks of lockdown, the

announcement offers more than five million

people across Sydney a measure of hope-and

an incentive for vaccine laggards to get the

jab.

Hair salons, gyms, restaurants and

cinemas could also reopen, and students

would return to school from October 25.

If the target is reached in October, Sydney

residents would have spent up to four

months under stay-at-home orders.

The planned easing of restrictions comes

despite New South Wales recording 1,405

new cases on Thursday and warnings from

doctors' groups of growing pressure on

hospitals.

"When you reopen, you expect an increase

in case numbers. But if it's in the vaccinated

population, our health system won't be

troubled by that," state premier Gladys

Berejiklian said.

Almost 39,000 cases have been linked to

the outbreak that began in Sydney in mid-

June.

Further freedoms are promised once 80

percent of people are vaccinated- with

Berejiklian suggesting international travel

could resume for the first time since

Australia closed its borders in March 2020.

That came after Prime Minister Scott

Morrison acknowledged the "sacrifice" and

"heartbreak" endured by tens of thousands

of overseas Australians shut out of their

home country by tough border rules.

Australia's government has also mooted

the creation of a vaccine passport, which is

set to be rolled out ahead of cautious plans to

restart international travel later this year.

But unfettered domestic travel could take

longer, with some states still pursuing "Covid

zero" policies and reluctant to allow free

movement.

Locked-down Sydney residents could enjoy a beer at the pub as soon as next

month if the double-dose vaccination rate hits 70 percent, under an official

"roadmap to freedom" released on Thursday.

Photo : AP

From election to COVID, 9/11

conspiracies cast a long shadow

NEW YORK : Korey Rowe served tours in

Iraq and Afghanistan and returned home to

the U.S. in 2004 traumatized and

disillusioned. His experiences overseas and

nagging questions about Sept. 11, 2001

convinced him America's leaders were lying

about what happened that day and the wars

that followed. The result was "Loose

Change," a 2005 documentary produced by

Rowe and his childhood friend, Dylan Avery,

that popularized the theory that the U.S.

government was behind 9/11. One of the first

viral hits of the still-young internet, it

encouraged millions to question what they

were told. While the attacks united many

Americans in grief and anger, "Loose

Change" spoke to the disaffected.

"It was the lightning rod that caught the

lightning," Rowe recalls. He had hoped the

film would prompt a sober reassessment of

the attacks. Rowe doesn't regret the film, and

still questions the events of 9/11, but says

he's deeply troubled by what 9/11 conspiracy

theories revealed about the corrosive nature

of misinformation on the internet.

Twenty years on, the skepticism and

suspicion first revealed by 9/11 conspiracy

theories has metastasized, spread by the

internet and nurtured by pundits and

politicians like Donald Trump. One hoax

after another has emerged, each more

bizarre than the last: birtherism. Pizzagate.

QAnon. "Look at where it's gone: You have

Islamists suffer crushing defeat by

liberal parties in Morocco vote

The RNI, which was a junior member

of the governing coalition, is headed by

billionaire businessman Aziz

Akhannouch, described as close to the

palace. And the main opposition PAM

was founded by the current royal

adviser, Fouad Ali El Himma, in 2008.

The Istiqlal (Independence) party,

the oldest in Morocco, made a

remarkable comeback, adding 32 seats.

The magnitude of the Islamists'

defeat was unexpected as, despite the

absence of opinion polls that are

banned near election time, the media

and analysts had believed the PJD

would still take first place.

Swept to power in the wake of the

2011 uprisings around the Middle East

and North Africa, the PJD had hoped to

secure a third term leading a ruling

people storming the Capitol because they

believe the election was a fraud. You have

people who won't get vaccinated and they're

dying in hospitals," Rowe says. "We've gotten

to the point where information is actually

killing people."

There were, of course, conspiracy theories

before 9/11 happened - John F. Kennedy's

assassination, the moon landing, a supposed

1947 UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico.

And the country's interest in fringe theories

was on the rise before 9/11, exemplified by

the 1990s show "The X-Files," with its

taglines of "The truth is out there" and "trust

no one." But it was 9/11 that heralded our

current era of suspicion and disbelief and

revealed the internet's ability to catalyze

conspiracy theories. "Conspiracy theories

have always been with us, and it's just the

means of sharing them that has changed,"

says Karen Douglas, a psychology professor

at the University of Kent in England who

studies why people believe such stories. "The

internet had made conspiracy theories more

visible and easy to share than ever before.

People can also very quickly find likeminded

others, join groups, and share their

opinions." Conspiracy theories about the

attack and its aftermath also gave early

exposure to some of the same people

pushing hoaxes and unfounded claims about

COVID-19, vaccines and the 2020 election,

including Alex Jones.

coalition.

King Mohammed VI will name a

prime minister from the party that won

the poll to govern the nation of 36

million for the next five years,

succeeding Saad-Eddine El Othmani.

The final results should be known on

Thursday.

Turnout was 50.35 percent,

according to the interior minister,

higher than the 43 percent at the

previous legislative polls in 2016, but

lower than the 53 percent during the

2015 local elections.

But changes to the voting system

meant that it was the first time

Morocco's 18 million voters cast ballots

in both parliamentary and local

elections on the same day, in an effort

to boost turnout.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2021

8

The Executive Chairman of BEPZA Major General Md Nazrul Islam, SPP, ndu, afwc, psc, G, inaugurated

a Pathology Laboratory at Ishwardi EPZ Medical Centre to ensure improved healthcare facility

to the workers at low cost recently. Workers are enjoying free medicine facilities including other

medical services from this medical centre. Now, the workers will also get diagnosis facilities easily

through the inauguration of the Pathology Lab. An enterprise of the EPZ provided financial assistance

to set up the Lab as a part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Mentionable, BEPZA has

set up medical centers and hospitals in 8 EPZs including Ishwardi EPZ from where workers get better

medical facilities. Among others, General Manager (IEPZ) Abdullah Al Mahbub and high officials

of the Zone were present during the inauguration.

Photo: Courtesy

European stocks

slide at open,

before ECB

LONDON : European stock

markets slid further at the

open Thursday following

losses overnight in Asia and

on Wall Street, as traders

awaited the outcome of the

ECB's latest policy meeting,

reports BSS.

London's benchmark

FTSE 100 index shed 1.0

percent to 7,023.34 points.

In the eurozone,

Frankfurt's DAX 30 index

lost 0.8 percent to 15,486.22

points and the Paris CAC 40

gave up 0.8 percent to

6,614.88.

European Central Bank

governors meet Thursday

under pressure to clarify

their stimulus exit plans,

as the eurozone economy

rebounds from the

pandemic and inflation

surges.

Asian markets

mixed as Delta,

profit-taking offset

recovery hope

HONG KONG : Asian

markets were mixed

Wednesday as a tepid lead

from Wall Street and

worries about the impact of

the Delta variant on the

global recovery tempered

investor appetite, though

hopes for more stimulus

helped Tokyo extend its

recent rally, reports BSS.

Profit-taking added to the

cautious start to the day

with some of the wind

appearing to have come out

of buyers' sails, having

pushed valuations up for

more than a week.

While the Nasdaq

clocked up yet another

record with a small gain,

the S&P 500 and Dow

ended with a whimper as

they reopened after a long

weekend, with analysts

suggesting profit-taking,

concerns about the end of

government handouts and

ever-present concerns

about Covid as reasons.

Traders are keeping a

close eye on the fastspreading

Delta, which is

sending infection rates

spiking around the world

and forcing some

governments to reimpose

containment measures or

lockdowns, raising

concerns about the

economic recovery. Still,

observers say the general

mood is positive for the

future.

"Localised setbacks in

combating the virus have

the potential to contribute

to market volatility and

slow the economic rebound

in selected countries,"

Mark Haefele, at UBS

Group AG, wrote in a note.

"But we continue to see

broad progress in curbing

the pandemic and

returning to economic

normality."

JAL to raise $2.7 billion to boost

finances amid pandemic

TOKYO : Japan Airlines said Thursday it

plans to raise some 300 billion yen ($2.7

billion) in funds as its works to weather the

continuing impact of the pandemic on its

finances, reports BSS.

The funds will be raised through financing

measures, including subordinated loans and

bonds, the company said in a statement,

adding more details would be announced on

Friday.

"It's not an urgent or imminent measure,"

a company spokesman said.

"It's a pre-emptive measure to solidify our

financial base," he told AFP.

The move comes after the airline company

raised some 180 billion yen in a new share

sale late last year. Japan Airlines logged a net

loss of 286.7 billion yen for the year through

March-its first full-year result in the red since

it relisted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in

2012. But JAL trimmed losses by nearly half

in the April-June period thanks to costcutting

efforts.

JAL has concluded that it needs an

additional cash buffer as the pandemic has

lasted longer than expected, the Nikkei daily

said.

Airline industries have been among the

sectors hit hardest by the pandemic with

demand stagnant at home and overseas.

Japan's borders are currently closed to

tourists and domestic travel has been stifled

by successive waves of infections and

resulting virus states of emergency.

Later Thursday, the government is set to

extend the virus state of emergency for

Tokyo and other areas until September 30.

JAL shares closed down 1.61 percent to

2,432 yen following the company's

statement.

European stocks slide

as Delta fears offsets

growth hopes

LONDON: European stock markets

extended losses Wednesday as worries about

the impact of the Delta coronavirus variant

on the global economic recovery tempered

investor appetite, reports BSS.

In Asia, hopes for more Japanese stimulus

helped Tokyo extend a recent rally.

While Tuesday saw Wall Street's Nasdaq

clock yet another record with a small gain,

the S&P 500 and Dow indices ended with a

whimper as they reopened after a long

weekend.

"Fears of slowing growth trimmed recent

gains on... major indices, with expectations

being revised to incorporate the effect that

the Delta variant may be having on the

performance of corporates in the current

third quarter," noted Richard Hunter, head

of markets at Interactive Investor.

Bitcoin recovered, sitting at around

$46,000 after seeing wild fluctuations on

Tuesday as El Salvador became the first

country to use it as legal tender.

The unit had plunged by almost a fifth to as

low as $43,000 after a technical issue hit the

official digital wallet on vast consumer

demand, though that was later resolved.

Traders are keeping a close eye on the fastspreading

Delta strain, which is sending

infection rates spiking around the world and

forcing some governments to reimpose

containment measures or lockdowns, raising

concerns about the economic recovery.

Still, observers say the general mood is

positive for the future, with hopes that the

US Federal Reserve will delay tapering its

monetary policy until the end of the year

lending support.

"Localised setbacks in combating the virus

have the potential to contribute to market

volatility and slow the economic rebound in

selected countries," noted Mark Haefele at

UBS Group AG.

"But we continue to see broad progress in

curbing the pandemic and returning to

economic normality."

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 ended above 30,000

points for the first time since April after

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga last

week said he would stand down, raising

hopes his successor will introduce fresh

economic stimulus.

On Wednesday, one of the front-runners,

Fumio Kishida, pledged to push for trillions

of yen in investment if he takes the post.

Data showing growth in the second quarter

was better than first thought added to the

positive vibes in Japan.

The 33rd meeting of the Shari'ah Supervisory Committee of Union

Bank Limited was held at Head Office, Gulshan-1, Dhaka recently.

Professor Mohammad Mozahidul Islam Chowdhury, Chairman of the

Shari'ah Supervisory Committee presided over the meeting. Md.

Habibur Rahman, Additional Managing Director of Union Bank,

Member-Secretary of the Shari'ah Supervisory Committee Mufti

Mohammd Muhibbullahil Baqee along with other members of the committee

attended the meeting. The committee discussed different

Shari'ah operational aspects of the bank.

Photo: Courtesy

Hyundai to speed

up hydrogen auto

roll-out

MUNICH : Hyundai is

stepping up the pace of

developing hydrogen

technology and plans to

offer engines powered by the

fuel on all its commercial

vehicles from 2028, the

manufacturer said on

Tuesday, reports BSS.

The South Korean

conglomerate, which has

pioneered hydrogen with its

Nexo SUV and the first

heavy goods vehicles on

European roads, is

promising fuel cell autos at

electric-vehicle prices from

2030. From 2023,

Hyundai's third generation

of fuel cells will be half the

price, much smaller and

more powerful than their

predecessors, the world's

third-biggest automaker by

output said in an online

press conference.

"The goal is to make

hydrogen readily used for

everyone, everything, and

everywhere," said Hyundai

President Euisun Chung.

"We aim to help foster a

worldwide hydrogen society

by 2040." The group also

unveiled a sports car

concept. The Vision FK,

equipped with a fuel cell and

an electric battery, promises

an acceleration of 0-100

kilometres per hour (62

miles per hour) in less than

four seconds and a range of

600 kilometres.

NRBC Bank launches ‘Partnership

Banking’ services at 22 locations

NRBC Bank Ltd launched its microfinancebased

Partnership Banking services with

SKS Foundation to provide banking services

to the marginalized people of 22 locations of

the Northern Region of the country, a press

release said.

On Thursday, 9 September 2021 S M

Parvez Tamal Chairman of the Bank

inaugurated those 22 sub-branches as Chief

Guest through video conference from Head

Office. Golam Awlia, Managing Director &

CEO of NRBC Bank, Rasel Ahmed Liton,

Executive Director of SKS Foundation,

Harunur Rashid, Deputy Managing Director

and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Kazi Md

Safaet Kabir Kanon, Head of FI & BD

Division, Major (Retd.) Parvez Hossain,

Head of Support Service and Branches

Division joined the ceremony through video

conference. 22 Sub-branches are Amin

Morh (Kurigram), Bhatgram, komorpur,

Chakgobinda (Gaibandha), Laherepara,

Dupchanchia, Adamdighi, Subgram,

Baghbari, Pallimangal, Santahar ( Bogra),

Bonpara (Natore), Birampur ( Dinajpur),

Kashinathpur, Bongram, Ataikula, College

Road, Ishurdi (Pabna), Kharkhari

(Rajshahi), Chatrahat, Mahiganj, Hasanpur

(Rangpur), Hatikumrul ( Sirajganj).

S M Parvez Tamal said, NRBC Bank has

started Partnership Banking in order to

provide services to the people devoid of

banking facilities. This initiative shall be

instrumental in creating new employments

and promoting entrepreneurs.

High officials of the bank and local

elites, distinguished clients, businessmen

were present on the occasion. During the

ceremony, a munajat was held seeking

divine blessings of the Almighty for the

welfare, progress and prosperity of the

bank.

Markets await ECB stimulus clues

as eurozone bounces back

FRANKFURT : European Central Bank

governors meet Thursday under

pressure to clarify their stimulus exit

plans, as the eurozone economy

rebounds from the pandemic and

inflation surges higher, reports BSS.

Revised figures this week showed the

economy in the 19-nation club grew by

a better-than-expected 2.2 percent

between April and June after countries

relaxed their virus restrictions.

The ECB now faces the tricky act of

deciding when and how to scale back its

massive pandemic support, and

communicating it without jeopardising

the recovery or spooking markets.

In the United States, where the

recovery is seen as further along, the

Federal Reserve has already signalled it

could start withdrawing stimulus

measures by the end of the year.

The meeting Thursday of the ECB's

25-member governing council will be

only the second since the Frankfurt

institution slightly raised its inflation

target, the first such change since 2003.

The bank is now aiming for inflation

of two percent-instead of below that

figure-and will tolerate a temporary

over- or undershooting of the goal.

Eurozone inflation soared to three

percent in August, the highest level in a

decade, fuelled by one-off effects linked

to the pandemic and global shortages of

materials like semiconductors, plastics

and steel.

ECB president Christine Lagarde has

previously promised to "look through"

what the bank believes to be a

temporary inflation surge, and

policymakers expect consumer prices

to rise further in coming months before

falling back.

"We are more worried about the

inflation rate being too low in the

medium term rather than too high,"

Isabel Schnabel, a member of the ECB's

executive board, said last month.

As a result, observers do not expect

any changes to the ECB's historically

low interest rates or major tweaks to its

colossal bond-purchasing programme,

despite some more hawkish ECB

members signalling a readiness to scale

back stimulus.

But economist Marcel Fratzscher of

the Berlin-based DIW think-tank said

the ECB would not want to tighten its

ultra-loose monetary policy too soon,

given the "uncertainties about the

pandemic and the supply chain

disruptions".

Lagarde is expected to use her 1230

GMT press conference to stress the

ECB's cautious and flexible approach

to supporting the recovery, at a time

when the more contagious Delta

variant is pushing up infection

numbers across Europe.

Some observers say the ECB could

however acknowledge the economic

rebound by slowing the pace of the

bank's monthly emergency bond

purchases-without framing it as a

"tapering" or winding down of the

scheme.

PayPal to buy up Paidy,

Japanse 'buy now pay

later' firm for $2.7bn

NEW YORK : US online payment giant PayPal is set to buy the

online Japanese credit specialist Paidy for $2.7 billion, the US

company said in a statement Tuesday, a new sign of the

development of the "buy now pay later" sector, reports BSS.

Created in 2008 in Tokyo, Paidy allows online merchants to offer

payment on credit and in installments to their customers.

The company, which now boasts six million clients, had already

raised around $400 million from investors, including Goldman

Sachs and PayPal Ventures, the private equity arm of PayPal.

For the buyout, the latter put 300 billion yen ($2.7 billion) on the

table, "mainly in cash," according to a statement released Tuesday.

The two groups expect the transaction to be finalized in the fourth

quarter of 2021, subject to the necessary regulatory approvals.

Following the takeover, Paidy will retain its brand and continue to

operate under its name.

In April, the two companies had already entered into a

partnership that allowed Paidy users in Japan to make purchases

on credit from all e-merchants that used PayPal as a payment

service around the world. The deal announced on Tuesday confirms

the growing development of "buy now pay later" companies.

At the end of August, Amazon announced a partnership with the

company Affirm Holdings, which allows clients to spread out

payments on purchases greater than $50 dollars.

PayPal says it has more than 4.3 million active accounts in Japan,

where it has been operating since 2010.

The 1.85-trillion-euro ($2.2-trillion)

pandemic emergency bond-buying

programme (PEPP) is the ECB's main

crisis-fighting tool, aimed at keeping

borrowing costs low to stoke economic

growth.

The scheme, set to run until March

2022, comes on top of the ECB's prepandemic

asset-buying programme,

currently running at a pace of 20 billion

euros a month.

The ECB could start by "signalling a

'modest' slowdown" in the pace of the

PEPP purchases, from 80 billion euros

per month to 60-70 billion euros, said

Frederik Ducrozet, a strategist at Pictet

Wealth Management.

The ECB will also unveil on Thursday

the latest quarterly growth and

inflation forecasts, with some slightly

upward revisions expected.

The inflation projections for 2022

and 2023 -- currently at 1.5 percent and

1.4 percent respectively-are

nevertheless expected to remain well

below the bank's 2.0 percent target.

"More inflation, more growth but

also more uncertainty," said Berenberg

Bank economist Holger Schmieding.

"Against this backdrop the European

Central Bank will probably still duck

the major question," he said. "When

will the ECB taper its bond buying in

earnest?"

Fritzi Koehler-Geib, chief economist

at German public lender KfW, said she

expected concrete decisions "only in

December".

China's factory gate

prices hit 13-year

high in August

BEIJING : China's factory gate inflation jumped in

August to a 13-year high, with data on Thursday

showing a surge in commodity prices as the global

emergence from the pandemic sees demand

picking up but supplies limited, reports BSS.

The producer price index (PPI), which measures

the cost of goods at the factory gate, rose to 9.5

percent last month from 9.0 percent in July, the

National Bureau of Statistics said.

The reading was above forecasts for 9.0 percent

and is the highest since 2008, when the figure hit 10

percent.

The surge was "affected by a rise in prices of coal,

and chemical and steel products", NBS senior

statistician Dong Lijuan said in a statement.

Industries have seen "strong demand and tight

supply overall", pushing up prices in coal mining,

while earlier pick-ups in costs of crude oil and coal

have weighed on other production costs.

The rises come despite government measures to

ease pressure on factory costs such as cracking

down on firms hoarding goods and ramping up

supplies.

However, the spike in manufacturing costs is still

to filter through to shoppers as Thursday's data also

showed the consumer price index (CPI), a key

gauge of retail inflation, dipped to 0.8 percent from

one percent in July and below expectations.


england trail 2-1 in the five-match series after a 157-run defeat at the oval on Monday and the bowling

attack has limited time to recover ahead of the start of the final game on Friday. photo: Ap

England sweat on fitness of Anderson

ahead of India Test finale

SportS DeSk

Joe Root says England will weigh up the

fitness of pace spearheads James

Anderson and Ollie Robinson as they

attempt to avoid a series defeat by India

in the fifth Test at Old Trafford, reports

BSS.

England trail 2-1 in the five-match

series after a 157-run defeat at the Oval on

Monday and the bowling attack has

limited time to recover ahead of the start

of the final game on Friday.

Veteran seamer Anderson and

Robinson have both played all four Tests

and shared a heavy workload of more

than 96 overs between them at the Oval.

The pacemen have together taken 36

wickets in the four games and England

captain Root will be desperate to call on

them as he bids to level the series.

"These two days are really important

for recovery, making sure they're in a

position to play Test cricket," Root said

on Wednesday.

"I think one thing you have to do is

trust the medical advice that's been given,

speak to the guys that understand the

science behind this and also speak to the

players as well that know their own

bodies better than anybody else.

"You never want to go into a Test

match playing someone under risk of

injury. You want to make sure you do the

best thing for the player but you also

don't want to go into a Test match and

someone go down injured and you've got

one less bowler at your disposal."

Root said Jos Buttler, who missed the

fourth Test for the birth of his second

child, would return as England's vicecaptain

and wicketkeeper.

It means Jonny Bairstow, who kept

wicket at the Oval, or batsman Ollie Pope

will miss out at Old Trafford.

Root also confirmed that Moeen Ali

remains the side's number one spinner

after Somerset left-arm spinner Jack

Leach was recalled to the squad.

The Test skipper said England must

learn to cope better with high-pressure

moments after coming unstuck at crucial

times during the series against Virat

Kohli's men.

"Within this series there have been

half-an-hour periods in the game where

we've not managed it as well as them and

it's really cost us and we're sat 2-1 down

instead of potentially 3-0 up," he said.

Root, who has shouldered the

burden of run-making during the

series, said it was down to individual

batsmen to step up.

"Can you be the one to go and make

that big score and to really put us in a

position of strength, be part of a really big

partnership?" Root asked.

"It just takes that one person to go on

and do it," he said. "It can very quickly

spread like wildfire, feed into the rest of

the group so hopefully that can

materialise this week.

Pray for me': former

Phoenix ace Ceballos

battling covid

SportS DeSk

Former NBA player Cedric

Ceballos said Tuesday he has

been battling Covid-19 for the

past 10 days, asking for

prayers and support in a

Twitter post made from his

hospital bed, reports BSS.

Ceballos, 52, who spent 11

seasons in the NBA, helping

the Phoenix Suns reach the

NBA finals in 1992-1993, said

he was struggling to fight off

the effects of the deadly virus.

"On my 10th day in ICU

(intensive care unit), COVID-

19 is officially kicking my

but(t)," Ceballos wrote

alongside a picture of him

breathing through an oxygen

mask.

"I am asking ALL family,

friends, prayer warriors

healers for your prayers and

well wish for my recovery.

"If I have done anything to

you in the past, allow me to

publicly apologize. My fight is

not done.. Thx."

Ceballos enjoyed two stints

with Phoenix during his

career after being chosen as

the 48th overall pick in the

1990 NBA Draft.

He also played for the Los

Angeles Lakers between 1994

and 1997, leading the scoring

for the team in 1994-1995

with an average 21.7 points

per game.

FriDAY, SepteMBer 10, 2021

9

Germany star Jerome Boateng

to face assault charges in

Munich court

SportS DeSk

German 2014 World Cup winner Jerome

Boateng is expected to appear in court in

Munich on Thursday to answer accusations

he assaulted the mother of his twin

daughters in 2018, reports BSS.

After 10 successful years at Bayern

Munich, the 33-year-old defender joined

French Ligue 1 side Lyon last week on a free

transfer, but is due to return to Munich to

face the allegations in court.

His lawyer has said that Boateng denies

claims he injured his ex-girlfriend, named as

Sherin S., during a heated argument while

the pair were on holiday with their daughters

three years ago.

A verdict could be returned the same day.

If found guilty, he could be fined or jailed

for up to five years.

The original date for the hearing was

postponed last December because a witness

was unable to appear due to the Covid-19

virus.

Boateng has celebrity status in Germany

with millions of followers on social media

platforms.

He and Sherin S. are locked in a separate

on-going legal battle over custody of their

twins.

It has been a turbulent year so far for the

footballer.

His ex-girlfriend, influencer and model

Kasia Lenhardt, was found dead having

committed suicide in a Berlin flat in

February while he was away playing for

Bayern at the Club World Cup in Qatar.

He was immediately given permission to

fly home after news of her death.

The 25-year-old took her life six days after

Boateng finished their relationship, then

gave details of the break-up during a frank

interview with top German daily Bild.

After making 363 appearances for Bayern,

winning nine Bundesliga and two

Champions League titles, Boateng's contract

was not extended when it expired in June

before he was snapped up last week by Lyon.

He was a key part of the Germany squad

which won a fourth World Cup crown in

Brazil, but has not played for his country

since being axed by former German coach

Joachim Loew in March 2019.

However, Boateng still hopes to add to his

73 international appearances under Loew's

successor Hansi Flick, his former coach at

Bayern Munich, who masterminded the

Bavarian giants claiming a treble of titles in

2019/20.

The son of a German mother and

Ghanaian father, he found himself at the

centre of a debate over integration when he

was attacked for his skin colour by the leader

of Germany's far-right party in 2016.

Germany's leader Angela Merkel got

involved and invited Boateng to an event at

the chancellery, where she made a point of

telling Boateng's father, who was also there,

"You have a great son, you can be proud".

Sweden withdraw from

Qatar training camp over

workers' rights

SportS DeSk

Sweden Football Association

(SVFF) said on Wednesday

they had pulled put of

January's training camp in

Qatar due to concerns over

migrant workers rights

involved in the preparations

for the 2022 World Cup,

reports BSS.

The decision to withdraw

came after discussions

between the SVFF and

Swedish domestic outfits

late on Tuesday. "It is clear

there is a consensus among

the clubs against organising

this camp in Qatar," SVFF

president Hakan Sjostrand

said in a statement. "The

January camp is sportingly

important to us and we will

work to ensure that it can

take place elsewhere next

year."

Sweden and their fellow

Nordic countries have been

at the forefront of a

campaign to pressure FIFA

into obtaining better

conditions for migrant

workers in Qatar.

Robert Falck, president of

Swedish giants AIK

Stockholm, had labelled the

proposed trip as "idiotic"

when asked about it on

Swedish TV channel TV4.

As next year's global

football showpiece

approaches, Qatar has

repeatedly come under the

spotlight over worker

welfare issues, including the

death rate, prompting

protests from European

sides including Germany.

In late August, Amnesty

International called on

Qatar to do more to

investigate worker deaths,

alleging a string of labourer

fatalities had gone

unexplained.

It was this report that

sparked Sjostrand and his

fellow heads of the Nordic

country federations to send

a letter to FIFA on

September 1 to "bring

pressure to bear on the

Qatari leaders." Norway had

even threatened to boycott

the finals but at an

extraordinary congress in

June they threw out that

option by a large majority.

Mane scores as African giants make

mark in World Cup qualifying

SportS DeSk

Liverpool star Sadio Mane was among the

goals for Senegal who, along with Nigeria

and Tunisia, took significant steps on

Tuesday toward qualifying for the 2022

World Cup in Qatar, reports BSS.

All three nations are seeded first in minileagues

and have a maximum six points

after two rounds having started with home

victories over the lowest-ranked sides

before winning away to the second seeds.

Another of the 10 four-team groups is

led by lowly Tanzania, who scored off a

penalty awarded after just five seconds

when defeating Madagascar.

Reigning African Footballer of the Year

Mane shrugged off being yellow-carded in

Congo Brazzaville to complete a 3-1 victory

by converting an 87th-minute penalty.

Boulaye Dia gave Senegal a lead

cancelled by a Silvere Ganvoula penalty in

first-half added time before Watford

forward Ismaila Sarr nudged the visitors

ahead again and Mane put the result

beyond doubt.

Seeking a second straight World Cup

appearance, Senegal have six points in

Group H, Namibia four, Congo one and

Togo are pointless.

Ahmed Musa made his 100th

appearance for Nigeria, who overcame the

handicap of lacking seven players because

of British coronavirus travel restrictions

to defeat Cape Verde 2-1 in Mindelo.

Among the absentees was Leicester

City star Kelechi Iheanacho, whose two

goals got the Super Eagles off to a

winning start in Group C four days ago

against Liberia. Victor Osimhen

equalised on 29 minutes for Nigeria after

Dylan Tavares put the hosts ahead and

the Group C clash was settled by a Kenny

Rocha own-goal 14 minutes from time.

Nigeria, six-time qualifiers for the

World Cup, have six points, Liberia three

and Cape Verde and the Central African

Republic one each.

Early and late goals sealed a 2-0

triumph for Tunisia over Zambia in

Ndola, giving the north Africans an early

three-point advantage in Group B.

Former Premier League forward

Wahbi Khazri converted a ninth-penalty

and substitute Anis Ben Slimane

pounced on a loose ball to net from close

range two minutes into stoppage time.

Tunisia have six points, and Equatorial

Guinea share second place with Zambia

after an Ivan Salvador penalty earned a

1-0 win over Mauritania in Malabo.

Libya also have maximum points,

winning 1-0 in Angola through a Omar al

Khoja goal to build a two-point lead over

Egypt in Group F.

Algeria stretched an unbeaten run to 29

matches after drawing 1-1 with Burkina

Faso, who levelled through Abdoul

Tapsoba on 64 minutes after Sofiane

Feghouli had put the African champions

ahead.

Each side has four points in Group A

with Algeria occupying first place on goal

difference in a section completed by

Niger and Djibouti. The match was

staged in Moroccan city Marrakech

because no stadium in Burkina Faso

meets international standards.

Sweden Football Association (SVFF) said on Wednesday they had pulled put of

January's training camp in Qatar due to concerns over migrant workers rights

involved in the preparations for the 2022 World Cup.

photo: Ap

German 2014 World Cup winner Jerome Boateng is expected to appear in court in Munich on

thursday to answer accusations he assaulted the mother of his twin daughters in 2018. photo: Ap

British Open to

return to Royal

Portrush in 2025

SportS DeSk

The British Open is to

return to Royal Portrush

Golf Club in Northern

Ireland in 2025, organisers

the R&A announced on

Wednesday, reports BSS.

The links course

previously hosted the

championship in 1951 and

again in 2019, when

Irishman Shane Lowry won

the claret jug.

R&A chief executive

Martin Slumbers said: "We

could not be more thrilled to

be bringing the Open back to

Royal Portrush in 2025.

"There will be huge

excitement among golf fans

around the world to see the

best men's players facing the

challenge of this magnificent

links once again."

Early and late goals

sealed a 2-0 triumph for

Tunisia over Zambia in

Ndola, giving the north

Africans an early threepoint

advantage in Group

B.Former Premier League

forward Wahbi Khazri

converted a ninth-penalty

and substitute Anis Ben

Slimane pounced on a

loose ball to net from close

range two minutes into

stoppage time.

US golfer Collin Morikawa

won this year's British Open

at Royal St George's in July.

The 150th Open next year

will be played at St Andrews

in Scotland, with the

following two championships

being held at Royal Liverpool

and Royal Troon.

Berhalter defends McKennie

sanction ahead of Honduras clash

SoprtS DeSk

United States coach Gregg Berhalter

defended his decision to send Italy-based

star Weston McKennie home for Covid-19

protocol breaches on Tuesday ahead of his

team's crucial 2022 World Cup qualifier

against Honduras, reports BSS.

Juventus midfielder McKennie was

dropped for Sunday's 1-1 draw with Canada

before being expelled from the squad

altogether, as the United States traveled to

Honduras for Wednesday's CONCACAF

qualifier in San Pedro Sula.

ESPN reported on Tuesday that

McKennie had been kicked out of the squad

after spending a night outside the team's

Covid-19 bubble in Nashville last week, as

well as allowing an unauthorized person into

his hotel room on a separate occasion.

Berhalter, whose team have started the

final round of qualifiers for the 2022 World

Cup by taking just two out of a possible six

points, declined to go into the details

surrounding McKennie's case on Tuesday.

However, he emphasized that it had been

necessary to take a stand, even though it

meant depriving the US squad of one of their

most accomplished players.

"When you talk about team policies and

team rules and what we're trying to

accomplish as a team, the team absolutely

comes first," Berhalter told reporters on a

video call.

"We made this decision not only for the

short-term but for the long-term health of

the program. It's not an easy decision, trust

me. But we did it for what we think is the

good of the group."

Berhalter said McKennie had apologized

following the incident that led to his

dismissal, and emphasized that the 23-yearold

still had a future with the US team.

Fans call on FIFA to abandon

biennial World Cup plans

SportS DeSk

Supporters groups from across the globe said on

Tuesday they were against proposed plans to

hold a World Cup every two years, reports BSS.

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger,

who is now director of development at world

governing body FIFA, has called for football's

showpiece competition to become a biennial

event. "The overwhelming majority of fans

oppose a biennial World Cup cycle-and if

FIFA had bothered to engage with us on the

subject, they would have known this to be the

case," 58 national fan organisations across the

sport's six confederations said in a jointstatement.

"Why abandon almost a century's worth of

tradition on a whim and with no evidence that

it will improve the global game?

"On the contrary, such a move threatens to

destroy the already fragile balance between

local, domestic, continental, and international

competitions and calendars," they added. On

Monday, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin

warned holding the World Cup every two

years would "dilute" the "jewel" of world

football. "We, therefore, call on FIFA and

supportive national football associations to

abandon their proposals to impose a biennial

World Cup and include fans' voices in any

decisions that affect the future of the game

that we fund and make a global spectacle.


FRIDAY, sepTeMBeR 10, 2021

10

Actress Daisy

Ahmed in CCU

TBT RepoRT

Veteran actress Daisy Ahmed, wife of late eminent film actor Bulbul

Ahmed, has been admitted to the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) in a private

hospital in the capital due to serious illness.

Daisy Ahmed's daughter actress Oindrila Ahmed has confirmed the

matter to the media.

Asking for prayers for her mother, Oindrila Ahmed told the media that

her mother had contracted coronavirus a few days ago. Although she

recovered from the disease, recently she has faced some physical

complications and was admitted to the hospital. She is now in CCU.

Apart from acting, Daisy Ahmed is also known as a Rabindra Sangeet

artiste. She is the mother of three children - one son Shuvo and two

daughters Tilottama and Oindrila.

Maya's poster unveiled

TBT RepoRT

Bangladeshi popular actress of present time Rafiath

Rashid Mithila has been cast in the role of Lady

Macbeth from William Shakespeare's tragedy

'Macbeth' in her upcoming Indian film titled 'Maya.'

In the film Mithila is playing the lead role of Lady

Macbeth. Directed by Raajhorshee De.

Mithila will portray women of three generation in

the film 'Maya'. A woman of three different age

groups - 17-18 years old, 30 years old and 50 years

old. The story is written from the perspective of

women. Maya is actually the symbol of all women.

Those who do not want to live in society with their

head held high and want to move forward with

determination towards their goals. This is what is

shown in the whole story.

Along with Mithila a bunch of Tollywood stars

including Rahul Arunodaya Banerjee, Gaurab

Bubly

resumes

shooting for

'Talash'

Chatterjee, Gaurab Chakraborty, Tanushree

Chakraborty, Sudipta Banerjee are featured in the

film titled 'Maya'

Most of the films shooting will be shot in Kolkata.

According to reports, last year due to the

coronavirus pandemic the filming was postponed.

The cast is currently in Kolkata to complete the

shooting.

Recently Maya's poster was unveiled at a

restaurant in Kolkata's Salt Lake Sector 5 name Five

Mad Men. On the occasion everyone's clothes were

seen in red or black. Actress Sudipta Banerjee will

be seen in an important role in the film titled

'Maya'. Rahul Arunodaya Banerjee is also starring

in the film.

On the work front Mithila's Dhallywood debut

with Anonno Mamun's film titled 'Omansuh'

alongside actor Nirab Hossain release date is yet to

be announced.

TBT RepoRT

Popular Dhallywood actress Shabnom Bubly has

begun shooting of her new film 'Talash' recently.

Directed by Saikat Nasir, some parts of the filming of

the movie took place at Savar and Film Valley in

Dhamrai in the capital last month. Now, the shooting

of the film is going on in Cox's Bazar.

Actors AK Azad Ador and Asif Ahsan Khan will be

seen opposite Bubly in the film. Saikat Nasir said, "One

of the songs of 'Talash' is going on at

different attractive places, including,

Marine Drive in Cox's Bazar.

Bubly and Ador are taking

part in the shooting. Popular

singer Dilshad Nahar Kona

and Imran Mahmudul

have sung the song. Lyrics

written by Prosenjit

Mondol, the track has

been composed by

ShariarAlam Marcel. I

hope the audience will

like this romantic

number."

On the other work

front, Bubly has

completed shooting

of a new film

called 'Leader

Ami Bangladesh',

opposite Shakib

Khan. She played

the role of a

policewoman for

the first time, in the

Topu Khan

directorial.

She also has

completed the work of

another film called

'Chokh'. Actors Roshan

and Nirab will play

roles opposite her. The

film has been directed by

Asif Iqbal Jewel.

Shazam 2's Levi would love to fight

The Rock's 'Black Adam'

Dwayne Johnson with infinite

bulging muscles and that

gigantic frame is out there

making the most ambitious

anti-hero film ever. The actor

has conspired to be the 'Black

Adam' in DCEU for more than a

decade and fulfilled his wish to

step in the character's shoes

himself. But isn't it a bit of

dismay that he is not making an

appearance in 'Shazam! Fury Of

The Gods', or vice versa? Well,

even Zachary Levi feels so. Also,

he wants to punch The Rock in

the face.

It took the world by storm

when Dwayne announced Black

Adam last year. Ever since then,

the actor has been only

prepping and trying to make it

the best. The fact that he has

bulked up so much that his suit

Getting ready for the release of his

latest film Bhoot Police, Saif Ali

Khan says he is spiritual but not

particularly religious and has the

"very sad feeling… it's just lights

out" after you die.

Too much religion worries him,

said the actor who describes

himself as "agnostic", much like

his character in the horrorcomedy

that also stars Arjun

Kapoor. In Bhoot Police, directed

by PavanKirpalani, Saif Ali

Khan's character Vibhooti is a

ghostbuster, in it for the money,

while fellow ghosthuner, Arjun

Kapoor's Chiraunji, takes his job

needs no padding anymore is

the proof. Now Zachary Levi has

opened up on how he wishes

that the two met on a movie

where they clash. He even talks

Saif Ali Khan

Too much religion worries me

far more seriously.

"I am agnostic in real life. I am

very secular in the sense that I

think too much religion worries

me because they put an emphasis

on the afterlife. And not enough

emphasis on this life," Khan told

PTI in a Zoom interview while

sharing his thoughts on ghosts

and god.

"I find too much of religion to

be an organisation and too many

problems - associated with

basically my god, or your god or

whose god is better."

The actor said he is religious in

a way as he believes in a higher

about punching The Rock and

fans could only say 'High

Hopes'! 'Shazam! Fury Of The

Gods' star was talking at a panel

related to his DCEU flick at the

power. But "what that power is, I

have absolutely no idea," he

added. "I pray and I try to focus

my own energy on things. I'm

more spiritual."

Saif Ali Khan, the son of actor

Sharmila Tagore and former

Indian cricket team captain

Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, said

he's not particularly religious.

"…I am not about the afterlife…

I have a very sad feeling that once

you die, it's just lights out. That's

the end, nothing more. I

sometimes hope there is more.

And I'm not hundred per cent

sure that there isn't one.

"I fancy the older I get the less

convinced I am, I think that's a

self-defence mechanism in the

brain. I think the younger you are

the more you can be like this. But

certainly, I don't get very carried

away by the rules and regulations

of religion."

Saif Ali Khan's beliefs about

ghosts and god aside, what

attracted him to Bhoot Police was

its space, set up and his look in the

film. The decision to do any

project is primarily instinctive, he

said. "Something has to grab you

that you would want to be part of

the whole process. When you

hear a story or when you read a

script, you visualize the movie in a

way and you think, 'Is this what I

wanted to do?' This is one of the

better scripts that I have read.

There's more depth to it than I

convention. As per The Direct,

while talking about joining

forces with Dwayne Johnson on

a movie, Zachary Levi said, "I

would love to punch The Rock

in the face…it would be a

dream."

However, Zachary Levi is

eager for the union to happen

onscreen but has no idea if he

and the makers are on the same

lines or not. He says those

details were way ahead of his

pay grade, so he has no idea

about the possibility. But he also

expresses that he will be

disappointed if Dwayne

Johnson's 'Black Adam' and his

Shazam don't cross paths at

least once considering they have

a good history in the comics

together.

Source: PTI

think people would expect and it

is a really interesting film."

Bhoot Police also turned out to

be tiring as he had to put on

prosthetics for the shoot.

"This film is on location, very

dramatic, there's a lot of things

going on, and I remember being

very, very tired, very often even

though I enjoyed it every day, but

it was tiring."

Talking about acceptance and

appreciation from the audience

for Hindi horror-comedy movies,

the Go Goa Gone actor said it is a

great genre but there is a need to

work hard to find something

fresh. Being scared and laughing

go well together if done properly,

he added.

Bhoot Police was initially

scheduled to arrive in cinema

halls on September 10, but the

pandemic derailed its theatrical

plans. The film will now release

on Disney PlusHotstar on the

same date.

Personally, the pandemic hasn't

changed much for Saif Ali Khan,

who welcomed his second son with

Kareena Kapoor Khan in February

this year. There has been "no

learning" or "no sudden epiphany",

he said, because for him it has

always been about finding joy in

simpler things like taking your kid

for a walk, getting some fresh air

and to run around a little bit in

nature among other things.

Source: Times Of India

H o R o s c o p e

ARIes

(March 21 - April 20) : Today family

members might be less than honest

with you, Aries, particularly

regarding working around the house.

Don't be surprised if you hear excuses! This could

be irritating, but don't let it get to you. Let the

chores go. Do something you enjoy. It's more fun

than taking out the trash.

TAURUs

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

start a new creative project, Taurus,

and several ideas may float through

your head. However, you might not be

able to decide which one you like the most or how to

turn it into reality. Sit down and list the possibilities

and then do something else. Think about it again

tomorrow. It may be difficult to stay focused on

anything right now.

GeMINI

(May 22 - June 21) : Some

equipment at home that you

usually take for granted might go

haywire today, Gemini. More than

one machine may not work as well as it usually

does. This could prove frustrating, but don't get

impatient and fix it yourself. Call a professional

or things could get even more fouled up than

they are.

cANceR

(June 22 - July 23) : Your

communications equipment may not

be working well today, Cancer. If you

absolutely need to reach someone,

perhaps the best course of action is to hop in the

car and visit them if they live nearby. Otherwise,

you may have to wait until everything's working

again. Hang in there, and don't give up on

technology.

Leo

(July 24 - Aug. 23): Confusion

surrounds financial matters today,

Leo. Someone close to you could be

hit with unexpected expenses, and

this person might ask you for a loan. You'll want

to help out, but no matter what they say, it doesn't

look like their situation is going to improve

anytime soon. If you decide to lend the money,

accept that you won't see it again for a while.

VIRGo

(Aug. 24 - Sept. 23): Today you

could feel especially adventurous,

Virgo. You might be tempted to take

part in risky adventures like hiking in

the wilderness. This isn't a good day for it. Plan a

trip for the near future if you want to, but today it's

better to sublimate your adventurous nature by

reading thrillers, watching spy movies, or

exploring places close to home.

LIBRA

(Sept. 24 - Oct. 23): You may have been

exercising too enthusiastically over the

past few days, Libra, and today you

might wake up with more than your

share of muscle aches and pains. You should keep

exercising, but tone it down. Forget jogging and

aerobics. Go for a little yoga or tai chi, which will

enhance fitness with minimal strain. If you can,

soak in a warm tub later.

scoRpIo

(Oct. 24 - Nov. 22) : It's possible that

someone will question your motives or

wonder whether or not you're genuine,

Scorpio. Don't take it the wrong way. You

don't take everything at face value either. Show your

sincerity by following through and sticking by your

word. If you can't avoid going back on your word,

explain the situation to the person involved. This will

show that you're sincere.

sAGITTARIUs

(Nov. 23 - Dec. 21): There could be

some confusion, discord, and upset

in the air today. There may be

arguments and misunderstandings

among friends and family. Try not to add fuel to

the fire. If a person is getting a little hot under the

collar, just listen. Be understanding and

empathetic instead of trying to prove that you're

right, especially if you are!

cApRIcoRN

(Dec. 22 - Jan. 20): This isn't a good day

to plan or start a trip by air, Capricorn.

Wait a few days if you can. However, if

you must confirm plans now, travel

light, check all arrangements for accommodation

and rental car before you leave, and collect phone

numbers for those you intend to meet. Confusion,

delays, and misplaced bags could otherwise result.

Take a book, music, and chocolate!

AQUARIUs

(Jan. 21 - Feb. 19) : Malfunctions on

the part of computers, ATMs, and

phone systems could interfere with

financial transactions today,

Aquarius. You might have to pay for purchases in

the old-fashioned way - cash or checks. This isn't

a good day to begin or complete any major

financial transactions. There's too much

confusion right now. Wait a few days.

pIsces

(Feb. 20 - Mar. 20) : Today you may feel

a powerful need to be with friends,

Pisces, but once you seek them out, you

may not enjoy their company very much.

Someone is in a bad mood, and being with this person

could put a damper on your day. It might be better to

take some time for yourself, perhaps go for a workout.

This will enable you to get some exercise and increase

your self-confidence as well.


friDAY, SePTeMBer 10, 2021

11

Sheikh Kamal Memorial T20 Cricket

promotes Bangladesh-US ties: Envoy

DHAKA : The 4th Sheikh Kamal Memorial

T20 Cricket championship was held at the

Woodley Cricket Fields in suburban Los

Angeles recently, reports UNB.

The tournament was introduced in 2017 in

memory of Shaheed Sheikh Kamal, a

freedom fighter and a pioneer sports

organiser in post-independence Bangladesh.

The Sheikh Kamal Cricket Championship

was held under the auspices of the Southern

California Cricket Association during

September 4-6, said the Ministry of Foreign

Affairs Wednesday.

Twelve teams from different states of the

US participated in the Sheikh Kamal Cricket

championship.

Bangladesh Ambassador to the US M

Shahidul Islam attended the prize

distribution ceremony on the final day of the

tournament as chief guest.

Ambassador Shahidul expressed his

appreciation to the Southern California

Cricket Association and the members of the

organising committee for dedicating the T20

cricket championship to the memory of

Shaheed Sheikh Kamal.

The ambassador hoped that holding

cricket tournaments regularly in the US

would promote people to people contact and

cultural exchange between communities and

countries.

Pradeep Patel, president of the Southern

California Cricket Association; Ahmed

Sajjadul Alam Boby, director of the

Bangladesh Cricket Board; Dr Rabi Alam,

chief coordinator of Sheikh Kamal Memorial

Cricket Championship, were present during

the prize distribution ceremony.

Minister (Consular) Habibur Rahman,

Deputy Consul General Md Waliur Rahman

and Commercial Counsellor SM Khurshid Ul

Alam were also present. Expatriates, including

California State Awami League President

Shafiqur Rahman, attended the event.

Rangpur division records 7.08pc

Covid-19 positivity rate

RANGPUR : Rangpur division recorded 7.08

percent Covid-19 positivity rate as 26 fresh

cases were reported on Thursday after testing

367 new samples at two laboratories in the

division."The Covid-19 situation is improving

steadily in the division during the last one

month," said Focal Person of Covid-19 and

Assistant Director (Health) for Rangpur

division Dr ZA Siddiqui told BSS.

Earlier, the daily positivity rates were 7.07

percent on Wednesday, 8.46 percent on

Tuesday, 11.17 percent on Monday, 9.79 percent

on Sunday, 9.80 percent on Saturday and 6.88

on Friday last in the division.

Among the 26 new patients, 12 were reported

positive after diagnosing 179 new samples at the

Covid-19 Laboratory at Rangpur Medical

College (RpMC) in Rangpur city at the highest

ever daily positivity rate of 6.70 percent on

Thursday. "The 12 new patients include six

from Rangpur, one each from Kurigram and

Lalmonirhat and four from Gaibandha and one

from Nilphamari districts," Principal of RpMC

Professor Dr AKM Nurunnobi Lyzu told BSS at

7:10 pm. On the other hand, 14 new patients

were reported after diagnosing 188 samples at

the Covid-19 Laboratory at M Abdur Rahim

Medical College (MARMC) in Dinajpur at the

daily positivity rate of 7.45 percent on

Thursday.

"The 14 new Covid-19 infected patients

include seven from Dinajpur, one from

Nilphamari, two from Thakurgaon and four

from Panchagarh districts," Principal of

MARMC Professor Dr Syed Nazir Hossain said.

Talking to BSS, Divisional Director (Health)

Dr Md Motaharul Islam said the number of

Covid-19 patients rose to 53,990 as 26 new

positive cases were reported on Thursday from

across the division.The district-wise break up of

total 53,990 patients include 12,248 of

Rangpur, 3,622 Panchagarh, 4,345 of

Nilphamari, 2,706 of Lalmonirhat, 4,574 of

Kurigram, 7,316 of Thakurgaon, 14,407 of

Dinajpur and 4,772 of Gaibandha districts in

the division.

Sewing machine

distributed in

Meherpur

MEHERPUR : Sewing

machines were distributed

at Zila Parishad auditorium

in the town on Thursday.

Zila Parishad chairman

Golam Rasul distributed the

sewing machines among 84

people from Bagoun Union

under Mujibnagar Thana.

Assistant Engineer of the

Zila Parishad Mojibur

Rahman, Zila Parishad

members Shahin Alam and

Abdul Quddus were present

among others in the

distribution Function.

Dengue: 317 patients

hospitalized, 1 more

die in 24 hrs

DHAKA : Dengue claimed

one more life in 24 hours till

Thursday morning, raising

the death toll from the

mosquito-borne fever to 54,

reports UNB.

Besides, 317 patients were

hospitalised with dengue

caused by Aedes mosquito,

said the Directorate General

of Health Services (DGHS).

Among the new patients,

259 were admitted to

different hospitals in Dhaka

while the remaining 58 cases

were reported from outside

the division, according to

DGHS. Some 1,245 patients

diagnosed with dengue fever

are receiving treatment in the

country as of Thursday

morning, according to DGHS.

Of them, 1,075 patients are

receiving treatment at

different hospitals in the

capital while the remaining

170 were listed outside

Dhaka. Among the deceased,

50 were in Dhaka city alone,

two in Chattogram division,

one in Khulna and one in

Rajshahi.

Two people have been killed in a road accident at Kaliganj in Jhenaidah. Jhenaidah-4 MP Anwarul

Azim Anna visited the spot.

Photo : TBT

Storm-hit Philippines braces

for powerful typhoon

MANILA : At least one person died and 17 were missing after

a storm dumped heavy rain and caused flooding in the

Philippines, authorities said Thursday, as a powerful typhoon

barrelled towards the country.

Tropical Storm Conson hit the central province of Eastern

Samar as a typhoon on Monday before weakening as it passed

over the archipelago, forcing around 10,000 people to flee their

homes, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and

Management Council.

One person drowned on the island province of Marinduque,

said Mark Timbal, spokesman for the disaster agency. Another

two deaths reported in Masbate province were yet to be

confirmed by the authorities.At least seventeen people, mostly

fishermen, have been confirmed missing. Floods were

recorded in the provinces surrounding the national capital

region along with communities in central regions, according to

the disaster agency.

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Leaders and activists of the two factions of the local Awami League have been protesting in Kabirhat

upazila of Noakhali district all day demanding the cancellation of the partial committee of the Noakhali

district Awami League and the announcement of a possible convening committee. Meanwhile, police

arrested 18 youths from a microbus with 8 cocktails and three iron bars.

Photo : TBT

1007 09.09.2021

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Friday, Dhaka: September 10, 2021; Bhadra 26, 1428 BS; Safar 2, 1443 Hijri

T20 World Cup

Bangladesh announces

15-member squad

DHAKA : Bangladesh Cricket Board

(BCB) on Thursday announced a 15-

member squad for the upcoming T20

World Cup. The tournament is slated to

take place from October 17 to November

15 in Oman and the UAE.

Along with the 15-member squad, two

additional players will tour with the team-

Rubel Hossain and leg-spinner Aminul

Islam Biplob.

"We have been doing well in T20Is for

a while now. We hope we can do well in

the World Cup," Minhajul Abedin, the

chief selector of BCB, told the media on

Thursday.

Bangladesh are, however, set to miss

the services of veteran opener Tamim

Iqbal as he had earlier withdrawn from

the mega tournament citing lack of

preparations. Minhajul said the team

would miss him, but it was his decision.

"He is one of our best cricketers in every

format," Minhajul said about Tamim.

"But it's unfortunate that he decided to

not play the World Cup. We hope that he

Covid-19

58 more die in

Bangladesh

DHAKA : Bangladesh logged 58 more

Covid-19 deaths and 2,588 cases in 24

hours till Thursday morning, showing a

further decline in single-day fatalities

and cases, reports UNB.

The country reported 52 Covid-related

deaths and 2,497 cases on Wednesday,

indicating a slight increase in both cases

and fatalities.

But the daily case positivity rate

dropped further to 8.76 % from

Wednesday's 9.07%, suggesting that the

pandemic may be easing in Bangladesh.

The fresh numbers pushed the country's

total fatalities to 26,798 while the

cases reached 15,24,890, according to a

DGHS handout. The new cases were

detected after testing 29,541 samples

during the 24-hour period.

Around 27,528 samples were tested

on the previous day.

Besides, the recovery rate rose to

96.28 %, while the case fatality

remained unchanged at 1.76 per cent

compared to the corresponding period.

The country last saw 54 Coronavirusrelated

deaths on June 18 and the

upswing in the fatalities reached its peak

on August 5 and 10 when 264 deaths

were recorded.

However, the situation was much

more catastrophic than June in the latter

part of August as the country experienced

a surge of Covid-related caseloads

and deaths during that time.

Between May and June this year,

there was a 273% rise in monthly caseloads

and 162% in fatalities. In July,

there was a 150% increase in caseloads

and a 170% rise in deaths compared to

the previous month, according to the

World Health Organization (WHO).

will return to the team when he is fit and

prepare to play for the Tigers."

In Tamim's absence, three players are

in the fray for Bangladesh's opening slots-

Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar and

Mohammad Naim. According to

Minhajul, the T20 World Cup came as a

big chance for them to prove their mettle.

Bangladesh included Shamim Hossain

in the World Cup squad. Shamim was

part of Bangladesh's U-19 team that won

the World Cup in 2020.

"He has been part of the national team

since the Zimbabwe series. He played

well for the Bangladesh U-19 team. We

believe the style he follows will help him

do well in the T20 format," Minhajul told

the media.

While most of the other teams included

at least one leg-spinner in their main

squad, Bangladesh added Aminul as a

standby player. The chief selector said

the spinner was out of the squad for a

long time due to illness, and they are not

including Aminul in their initial plan.

"However, Aminul will be with the team

for keeping an eye on the young spinner's

future."

Bangladesh didn't include the experienced

pacer Rubel in the main squad. He

will also be a standby player.

Naim, Liton, Afif, Sohan, Mahedi,

Saifuddin, Nasum, Shoriful, and

Shamim are going to play their first T20

World Cup.

Bangladesh will start their World Cup

campaign with the first-round match

against Scotland on October 17, and they

will then face off the hosts Oman and

Papua New Guinea on October 19 and 21,

respectively.

The squad: Mahmudullah Riyad,

Mohammad Naim, Liton Das, Shakib Al

Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Afif Hossain,

Nurul Hasan Sohan, Mahedi Hasan,

Nasum Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman,

Shoriful Islam, Taskin Ahmed,

Mohammad Saifuddin, Shamim Hossain

Two on standby: Rubel Hossain,

Aminul Islam Biplob

30 more Bangladeshis rescued

from the Mediterranean

DHAKA : Thirty more Bangladeshis, rescued

in the Mediterranean Sea on their

way to Italy, returned to Dhaka Thursday

from Tunisia.

All of them, who were victims of human

trafficking, arrived home on a Turkish

Airlines flight at around 12:00 pm, Brac

Migration Programme head Shariful

Hasan said.

They are now under the care of the

Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport

authority and being provided with

emergency support, including food and

water.

Of them, 7 are from Shariatpur,6 from

Madaripur, 4 from Gopalganj, 3 from

Tangail, 2 each from Faridpur, Kishoreganj

and Sylhet and 1 each from Cumilla, Dhaka,

Noakhali and Munshiganj.

Earlier this year they went to Dubai with

visit visas and then moved to Libya and

finally to Tunisia. Next, they crossed the

Mediterranean through Tunisia and headed

towards Italy.

Similarly, 13 Bangladeshi victims

returned from Tunisia on August 19, 17 on

July 1 and 7 more on March 24.

According to information provided by

BRAC, around 5,278 Bangladeshis

entered Europe this year in similar ways.

As many as 65,000 people entered

Europe illegally from Bangladesh in the

past 12 years among which 40,000

crossed the Mediterranean Sea in risky

voyages. Most of them belong to the age

group 25-50, added BRAC sources.

Many of them have become victims of

either trafficking or smuggling into several

countries - Libya, Tunisia, Malta, Bosnia

and Herzegovina even amid the Covid-19

pandemic. Untold numbers have perished

of course.

Bangladesh now tops the list of source

countries whose nationals have tried to

cross into Europe through the dangerous

voyage across the Mediterranean Sea.

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency,

recorded 937 deaths in just the first six

months of this year in the Mediterranean,

many of them Bangladeshis.

Also, Covid-19-induced worsening

poverty situation can be linked with people's

desperation to take risky journeys,

crossing the Mediterranean Sea and land

routes to reach Europe.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 has increased the

risk of trafficking not only for potential

migrants who are looking for better opportunities

in Europe. Recent trends also suggest

that traffickers are using social media

platforms to lure potential victims of

human trafficking.

Around 4,510 irregular Bangladeshi

nationals entered Italy, Malta, Spain or

Greece in 2020 through sea and by land,

according to the International

Organization for Migration Displacement

Tracking Matrix.

At least 17 Bangladeshi migrants

drowned in a shipwreck off Tunisia as they

tried to cross the Mediterranean to reach

Europe, the Tunisian Red Crescent said in

July.

On July 3, at least 43 migrants, including

Bangladeshis, went missing while 84 were

rescued after a boat heading towards

Europe drowned off the coast of Tunisia.

Several migrant boats sank recently while

trying to reach Europe as more people are

now trying to make the dangerous voyage

across the Mediterranean to the continent

amid warmer summer weather.

Autumn is actually a combination of white cloud in the blue sky. After the sky has been cloudy for a few days,

the view was witnessed on Thursday.

Photo : Star Mail

No room for confusion

over Nagad ownership:

Postal Department

DHAKA : The Postal Department on

Thursday called for an end to the ongoing

propaganda against Nagad in the

media and social networking platforms

following some recent issues, reports

UNB.

In a video message, Director-General

of the Postal Department Siraz Uddin

said Nagad is a mobile financial service

run on the basis of a revenue-sharing

model with the postal department that

has financially included about 5.5 crore

people of the country in just two and a

half years.

"The postal department signed an

agreement with Third Wave

Technologies Limited in 2017, and

Nagad has been providing services on

the basis of that deal. I want to say

unequivocally that there's no room for

misleading people about the ownership

of Nagad and the partnership with the

postal department," he said.

Siraz said the postal department and

the Nagad authorities are now in the

process of moving towards the ownership

from the partnership as per the

instructions of the Bangladesh Bank.

"Based on the agreement between the

two parties, the postal department is

going to own 51 percent of the share and

Nagad Limited will own 49 percent of

the share. The matter is now awaiting

approval under the state law. I hope no

one will mislead people by providing

fabricated information in this regard,"

he said.

Uncertainty looms

over reopening of

10 flood-hit schools

in Goalanda

GOALANDA (RAJBARI) : Flooding has

swamped 10 schools in Goalanda upazila

making uncertain their reopening

along with other educational institutions

next week after over 17 months of Covidinduced

closure, reports UNB.

The authorities at these schools - nine

primary and one secondary - are in a fix

since the premises these schools are still

under water, according to sources at

Upazila Primary Education Office. Water

has entered into even some classrooms.

The authorities can't decide on

whether to ask the students to return to

classrooms or wait until the flood water

recedes. Good news is that floods have

started easing in the area with water

level in Padma River dropping.

According to the Goalanda Water

Development Board, Padma River was

flowing 62 centimetres above its danger

level at Goalanda point even after it

started receding.

Masudur Rahman, Upazila Secondary

Education Officer, said "The school

ground of Daulatdia Akkass Ali High

School went under water and if the flood

situation improves we hope that we can

take classes on September 12."

Primary Education Officer

Mohammad Kabir Hossain, said "Nine

school grounds are under water in the

upazila while the classrooms of the

schools were also inundated. The Padma

river water started to recede for the past

two days and we are hopeful about taking

classes.

DHAKA : European Union Ambassador

to Bangladesh Rensje Teerink on

Thursday said the EU countries will help

Bangladesh fight the adverse impacts of

the climate change, reports UNB.

"EU member countries will support

Bangladesh to face climate changes," the

outgoing EU Ambassador said when she

met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the

latter's official residence Ganobhaban.

PM's Press Secretary Ihasnul Karim

briefed reporters after the meeting.

Rensje Teerink said the Netherlands

have some ambitious plans to help the

climate vulnerable countries to fight the

climate change issues. She said the

Netherlands have expertise over the climate

change issue. The Netherlands can

help Bangladesh with the expertise in

this regard, Rensje Teerink added.

The Prime Minister saidBangladesh

has attached priority with the environment

in all development programmes as

it is a climate vulnerable country.

She said Bangladesh can share its experiences

with others to handle the natural

disasters. "We can share our experiences

in handling natural disasters like floods,

cyclones and river erosion."

The Prime Minister said Bangladesh

has adopted the Delta Plan 2100 which

will help face the climate change

impacts.

The outgoing

EU Ambassador

to Bangladesh

Rensje Teerink

met Prime

Minister Sheikh

Hasina at the

latter's official

residence

Ganobhaban.

Photo : Star Mail

EU to help BD fight climate

adversities: Rensje Teerink

DHAKA : Awami League General

Secretary Obaidul Quader on Thursday

said the ruling party has decided to take

preparation for the next general election.

"The Awami League has decided to start

preparation for the next parliamentary

election. To this end, the sub-committees

of the party have been instructed to update

its election manifesto," he told reporters

after a meeting of the AL executive committee

this afternoon.

AL President and Prime Minister

Hasina has sought the EU's support to

check the unexpected heat created from

nature and appraised the EU envoy that

Bangladesh has been dredging rivers.

At the meeting, they also discussed the

Covid-19 situation.

The PM said her government has been

able to control the Coronavirus and the

people of the country are showing interest

to get vaccinated.

About the Rohingyas, Hasina said it is

becoming a security threat as many of

the forcibly-displaced Rohingyas have

been engaged in different anti-social

activities.

The Prime Minister hoped that the

Bangladesh-EU relations will continue

to be strengthened further.

The outgoing EU envoy also commended

Bangladesh for handling the

Covid-19 situation successfully.

Describing Bangladesh as a stable

country, she commended the overall

development of Bangladesh.

Rensje Teerink said the Padma

Multipurpose Bridge was an important

part of the development.

The EU envoy said they have worked

with Bangladesh in the Social Safety Net

Programmes. PM's Ambassador-atlarge

Mohammad Ziauddin and PM's

Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus

were present at this time.

AL decides to take preparation

for next general election: Quader

42nd special BCS

results published

DHAKA : The final results of 42nd

Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examination

were published on Thursday, reports

UNB.

Altogether, 4,000 candidates were recommended

for assistant surgeon's post,

said a press release of Bangladesh Public

Service Commission (PSC).

Meanwhile 1,919 candidates passed as

non-cadre who were not recommended

due to shortage of post.

Details of the results are available at PSC

website: www.bpsc.gov.bd. The results

can be known through text messages by

typing PSC42Registration

Number and sending to 16222.

To fill up the 2,000 vacant posts of assistant

surgeon amid the crisis of Covid-19

situation the PSC published a circular on

November 30, 2020.Later PSC added

2,000 more posts of assistant surgeons

through another notice.

Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting

held at Ganabhaban here.

Quader, also the road transport and

bridges minister, said the meeting was

held during 10.30 am to 3 pm, focusing on

organisational issues and election preparation.

He said the AL sub-committees have

been instructed to update the election

manifesto and the AL president also listened

to the statements of some members

of the sub-committees.

The AL general secretary said eight

organisational secretaries of the party submitted

their written reports at the meeting,

while AL joint general secretary

Mahbubul Alam Hanif also presented a

report.

He said they also submitted their union

parishad level reports, highlighting the

ground reality, before the AL president

and she gave necessary directives in this

regard.

Quader said the rebel candidates, who

participated in the Pabna municipality

election, sent letters to the AL office seeking

apology and they were forgiven.

In this context, he said, it was also

warned that immediate action should be

taken against those who were violating the

party's discipline in different places and

they would not be spared.

"AL chief Sheikh Hasina also warned

there are propaganda and conspiracy

against the government. As the election is

getting closer, the level of propaganda is

on the rise.

We have to respond to these propaganda

and must get united against these

plots," the AL general secretary said.

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