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DhAkA: March6, 2022; Falgun 21, 1428 BS; Shaban 2,1443 hijri

www.thebangladeshtoday.com; www.bangladeshtoday.net

Regd.No.DA~2065, Vol.19; N o. 303; 12 Pages~Tk.8.00


US Embassy

calls power plant

attack war crime

>Page 7


Shane Warne,

spin genius with

soap-opera life

>Page 9

Arts & Culture


in Nipun's web

series 'Sabrina'

>Page 10


The evacuation of around 200,000 Mariupol civilians has been postponed after kyiv claimed

russian forces were not observing a partial ceasefire designed to allow humanitarian corridors out

of two ukrainian cities.

photo : Collected



on hold

Ukrainian authorities have delayed plans

to evacuate the Azov Sea port city of

Mariupol on hold, citing that Russia violated

the ceasefire agreement, CNN


Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the eastern

Donetsk region, tweeted "EVACUA-



added "Due to the fact that the Russians

do not observe the regime of silence and

continue shelling of Mariupol and its environs,

for security reasons, the evacuation

of the population has been postponed".

A partial ceasefire agreement had been

reached, with the humanitarian corridor

being opened for a five hour period,

Reuters reported citing TASS, the Russian

state-run news agency.

The Mariupol city council instructed

civilians to make their way towards the

city of Zaporizhzhia, saying they could use

both buses and their individual vehicles.

Mayor Vadym Boychenko, of Mariupol,

said in a statement, "Given that our hometown

is constantly under ruthless fire from

the occupiers, there is no other solution",

Reuters reported.

A little before the reported ceasefire violation,

Iryna Vereshchuk, the Ukrainian

Minister of Reintegration of Temporarily

Occupied Territories, released a statement

addressing the Russian troops, CNN


Vereshchuk said, "Our military report

that in the area of the declared route [of

the evacuation corridor] Russian troops

are using the ceasefire and moving forward.

I would like to address the Russian

authorities and say the following: We have

agreed about ceasefire through the Red

Cross, using international conventions.

There should be no advance of Russian

troops. We use this channel to evacuate

civilians-women, children, and also to

deliver humanitarian goods to those who

stayed-medicine and food".

05:02 AM

12:15 PM

04:24 PM

06:08 PM

07:20 PM

6:15 6:04

Attack on Ukrainian nuke plant

triggers worldwide alarm

KYIV, UKRAINE : Russian troops Friday

seized the biggest nuclear power plant in

Europe after a middle-of-the-night attack that

set it on fire and briefly raised worldwide fears

of a catastrophe in the most chilling turn yet in

Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, reports UNB.

Firefighters put out the blaze, and no radiation

was released, U.N. and Ukrainian officials

said. Russian forces pressed on with their

week-old offensive on multiple fronts, though

they did not appear to gain significant ground

in fighting Friday. The number of refugees fleeing

the country eclipsed 1.2 million.

With world condemnation mounting, the

Kremlin cracked down on the flow of information

at home, blocking Facebook, Twitter, the

BBC and the U.S. government-funded Voice

of America. And President Vladimir Putin

signed a law making it a crime punishable by

up to 15 years in prison to spread so-called fake

news, including anything that goes against the

official government line on the war. CNN

announced that it would stop broadcasting in

Russia and Bloomberg temporarily suspended

the work of its journalists there, saying they

were assessing the situation.

While the vast Russian armored column

threatening Kyiv remained stalled outside the

capital, Putin's military has launched hundreds

of missiles and artillery attacks on cities and

other sites across the country, and made significant

gains on the ground in the south in an

apparent bid to cut off Ukraine's access to the

sea. In the attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear

Drug dealers in Khulna adopts

innovative ways of doing business

TiTas ChakrobarTy, khulna CorrespondenT

Drug trade is rampant in Khulna district and

city following various strategies. About 200

drug traffickers were arrested in February by

17 police stations in the district and the city,

members of the Narcotics Control

Department and the Coast Guard. More

than one hundred and fifty cases have been

registered during this period.

According to the sources, the drug menace

has increased alarmingly in Khulna

district and 17 police station areas of the

city. At one time drugs were sold in certain

places of Khulna city. This made it easier

to conduct anti-drug campaigns. But not

anymore. Drugs are being sold through

bKash platform. According to the demand

of the user, the drug dealer leaves the drug

at the specified place. And drug money is

paid through bKash.

According to another source, the smugglers

have chosen the waterway as a safe

route for drug trafficking. In particular,

some coastal areas of the district including

Koira, Dakop, Paikgacha are considered as

safe places by drug dealers. Then there are

the border areas of districts and cities.

There are several drug dealers in

Gallamari of the city and in the border of

plant in the southeastern city of Enerhodar, the

chief of the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy

Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi, said a Russian

"projectile" hit a training center, not any of the

six reactors.

The attack triggered global alarm and fear

of a catastrophe that could dwarf the world's

worst nuclear disaster, at Ukraine's

Chernobyl in 1986. In an emotional nighttime

speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr

Zelenskyy said he feared an explosion that

would be "the end for everyone. The end for

Europe. The evacuation of Europe."

But nuclear officials from Sweden to China

said no radiation spikes had been reported, as

did Grossi. Authorities said Russian troops

had taken control of the overall site but plant

staff continued to run it. Only one reactor was

operating, at 60% of capacity, Grossi said in

the aftermath of the attack.

Two people were injured in the fire, Grossi

said. Ukraine's state nuclear plant operator

Enerhoatom said three Ukrainian soldiers

were killed and two wounded.

In the U.S., Pentagon spokesman John

Kirby said the episode "underscores the

recklessness with which the Russians have

been perpetrating this unprovoked invasion."

At an emergency meeting of the U.N.

Security Council, Ukraine's U.N. ambassador,

Sergiy Kyslytsya, said the fire broke out

as a result of Russian shelling of the plant

and accused Moscow of committing "an act

of nuclear terrorism."

Batiaghata upazila of the district with

whom some of the identified Yaba dealers

of Teknaf area are related. The number of

drug dealers is higher in Rupsha,

Batiaghata and Fultala areas of the district.

In these areas, drug addicts come from the

city before midday and return safely to the

city after consuming drugs. There are

about 200 drug dealers in Aichgati

Rupsha upazila of the district. Similarly,

there are drug dealers in Dighalia, Fultala,

Dumuria, Dakop, Paikgachha, Koyra and

Batiaghata areas of the district.

They are carrying cannabis from

Benapole. Police, RAB and drug dealers also

have a list of their names. However, it is not

possible to arrest them due to some tactical

reasons. Sources again have a significant

number of traders. For this reason, the drug

dealers identified before the operation

became cautious. They remain elusive.

However, the anti-drug drive to arrest

drug dealers and recover drugs continues.

In February, district and city police, the

Coast Guard and members of the

Narcotics Control Department arrested

200 drug dealers from 17 police stations.

About 200 drug traffickers have been


Vested quarter

tried to change

liberation war's

history: Kamal

MANIKGANJ : Home Minister

Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said yesterday

that a vested quarter tried to change the history

of country's liberation war after the

killing of Bangabandhu, reports BSS

"They tried to make the freedom fighters

questionable making falsehood against

them. The quarter is trying to make the

country inactive still now," he told a gathering

of freedom fighters at Manikganj

Shaheed Miraj-Tapon Stadium.

The home minister said, "The quarter

attempted 19 times to kill Prime Minister

Sheikh Hasina, but we are marching forward

under the dynamic leadership of

Sheikh Hasina facing all the conspiracies."

Liberation War Affairs Minister A K M

Mozammel Haque said Ziaur Rahman did

not want to fight under the Mujib government.

He said the freedom fighters will be

given digital identity cards and certificates

from 27 March the Independence Day.

With Benjir Ahmed, MP, and convenor

of "Dhaka West Area Freedom Fighters

gathering preparatory committee" in the

chair, it was attended, among others, by

Health Minister Zahid Maleque, Jute and

Garments Affairs Minister Gazi Golam

Dastagir (Beer Protik), State Minister for

Relief and Disaster Management Dr. Md.

Enamur Rahman, Industries Adviser to

the Prime Minister Salman F Rahman,

Former Shipping Minister Shahjahan

Khan, State Minister for Water Resources

Enamul Haque Shamim, former minister

Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, former

lawmaker Mafizul Islam Khan

Kamal, A M Naimur Rahman Durjoy, MP,

Momtaj Begum, MP, former lawmaker M

P Sudeb Ali Tipu, freedom fighter Nur Ali,

DIG Dhaka Division Md. Habibur

Rahman, SP Golam Azad Khan, District

Awami League President Advocate Golam

Mohiuddin and District Awami League

General Secretary Advocate Abus Salam.

Maritime ports asked

to stay vigilant

DHAKA : With a depression over the

southwest Bay and adjoining areas intensifying,

the maritime ports of Chattogram,

Cox's Bazar, Mongla and Payra have been

advised to stay vigilant.

In fact, the depression over the southwest

Bay and adjoining areas moved

north- northwestwards and intensified

into a deep depression and lay centred

over the same area at 6am on Saturday.

It was centred about 1,615km of southsouthwest

of Chattogram port, 1,565km

south-southwest of Cox's Bazar port,

1,495km south-southwest of Mongla port

and 1,495km south-southwest of Payra port,

the Met office said in a special bulletin. It is

likely to intensify further and move in a

northwesterly direction, it said.

Metro rail to have elevators,

escalators, stairs on both

sides of each station

DHAKA : The country's first elevated electric

metro rail from Uttara to Kamalapur

in the capital will have elevators, escalators

and stairs on both sides of each station for

providing better facilities to passengers.

"It's a modern and latest mode of metro

train for city dwellers and Japan has been

constructing it. Each station of the metro

rail will have facilities for passengers,"

Managing Director of Dhaka Mass Rapid

Transit Limited (DMTCL) MAN Siddique

told BSS.

He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

has undertaken the most important project

for the capital's residents aimed at giving

them improved public transport facility."Once

operational, the metro rail will be

able to transport 60,000 people per hour

and reduce travel time from Uttara to

Motijheel from about two hours to only 40

minutes," Siddique said.

According to the project details, the

entire 20.1-kilometre viaduct of the country's

first metro rail project became visible

last January with the installation of a segment

of its last span near the National

Press Club.Besides, the overall progress of

construction work of 21.26-kiolomterelong

elevated metro rail service from

Uttara to Motijheel-Kamalapur Railway

stands at more than 73 percent now, while

91 percent civil work between Uttara and

Agargaon has been done.

Construction works for 11.73 kilometer

viaduct, station column and other related

works of metro rail between Uttara and

Agargaon have been completed.

Mass-Rapid Transport (MRT) Line-6, a

dream public transport, under the Fast

Track projects is expected to begin its journey

on Uttara-Agargaon route from the

month of victory this year.

Integrated test and trial run of metro

train is underway while functional and

performance test is going on in full swing.

Bangladesh is set to embark on a new

era of commuting with a new mode of

transport hitherto unseen on the land-the

elevated metro rail of Dhaka.

This is a big moment in the country's

transport sector. Although the train service

will be launched initially from Uttara to

Agargaon-and later to Motijheel, covering

a distance of 21.26 km-one can imagine a

successful period of run may eventually

lead to its replication across other busy

parts of Dhaka and also in other metropolitan

areas of Bangladesh.

28 Bangladeshi crew reach

Romania : FM

DHAKA : Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul

Momen on Saturday said 28 crew members

of Bangladeshi vessel "Banglar Samriddhi"

have safely reached Romania from war-torn

Ukraine and they will soon return home. He

shared the updates while talking to reporters

at a programme at the Jatiya Press Club.

Regarding the video posted by five

Bangladeshis, he said the government is

scrutinising their statements to know the

facts and their position. The Foreign

Minister said Bangladesh wants peace and

stability in the world. He said Bangladesh

wants to see that the issue is resolved peacefully

through discussion.

Earlier on Friday, Foreign Secretary

Masud Bin Momen said efforts were underway

to bring 28 crew of Bangladeshi ship

"Banglar Samriddhi" to Romania from warravaged


Talking to reporters at the Ministry of

Foreign Affairs, he also said around 600

Bangladeshis are now in Poland.

The crew had been taken to a relatively

safe place from the ship that came under

attack leaving its third engineer dead on

Wednesday. The ship had also been declared


Expressing deep condolences to the near

and dear ones of deceased Hadisur Rahman,

the Russian Embassy in Dhaka on Thursday

said the Russian side "bends every effort" to

ensure safe departure of the Bangladeshi

ship from the port.

The Command of the Armed Forces of the

Russian Federation, relying on the objective

monitoring data, has repeatedly stated that,

during the retreat, the Ukrainian nationalists

open indiscriminate fire and deliberately

capture hostages, use them as a "human

shield", resorting to the well-known terrorists'

tactic, said the Embassy.

The BSC ship was positioned in the inner

anchorage of Olvia port (Ukraine), when

Hadisur was killed due to a missile attack.

"The circumstances of the incident are being

established," said the embassy.

For resolving the humanitarian issues

arising from the special military operation in

Ukraine, including the requests for evacuation

of the civilians, the Ministry of Defence

of the Russian Federation has launched the

hotline +7 495 498-34-46, +7 495 498-42-

11, +7 495 498-41-09.

Mahananda river is a transboundary river between bangladesh and india. The only tributary of the

Ganges in bangladesh is the river Mahananda. lifting stones from the river Mahananda has changed the

wheel of fortune of many working people. in addition to rocks, plenty of fish are available during the

rainy season. This river is located in Tetulia union of Tetulia upazila of panchagarh district. The amazing

beauty of the four sides of this river fascinates the tourists.

photo: pba

2 killed, 4 injured

in Pirojpur road


PIROJPUR : Two persons

have been killed and four

others injured in separate

road accidents in Pirojpur,

police said on Saturday,

reports UNB.

The deceased were

identified as Delwar Hossain

Sardar, 60, a van driver from

Bhandaria upazila, and Mia

Md Faruk Hossain, 65, a

former chairman of

Dhanisafa union of

Mathbaria upazila and a local

Awami League member.

Delwar died after his van

was hit by a tractor trolley on

a bridge near Zila Parishad

Market in Pirojpur's

Bhandaria upazila on

Saturday morning. He died in

the impact of the crash, said

Bhandaria Police Station OC

Masumur Rahman Biswas.

"The body has been sent to

the local hospital morgue for

an autopsy. The killer vehicle

has been seized and efforts

are on to arrest its driver," the

OC said.

On Friday evening, Faruk

Hossain was killed in a headon

collision between a truck

and a three-wheeler. Three

other occupants of the threewheeler

and its driver

sustained injuries in the

accident, police said.

7-yr-old boy

found dead in

Ctg orphanage

CHATTOGRAM : A sevenyear-old


student was found dead

with his throat slit at an

orphanage in Boalkhali

upazila of Chattogram

district on Saturday,

reports UNB.

The deceased was

identified as Iftekhar

Malikul Mashfique, a

student of Allama Hazrat

Sheikh Asiar Rahman

Farooque Orphanage and

Madrasha located in the

Charandwip area of the


Department of Dance Day-2022 was celebrated at Dhaka University yesterday.

Covid-19: Bangladesh logs 13 more

deaths, positivity rate stands at 2.11%

DHAKA : Amid the declining trend in Covid-

19 cases and fatalities, Bangladesh reported

13 more Covid-linked deaths with 368 fresh

cases in 24 hours till Saturday morning.

The daily positivity rate slightly declined to

2.11 per cent from Friday's 3.20 per cent after

testing 17,463 samples during the period,

according to the Directorate General of

Health Services (DGHS).

On Friday, Bangladesh reported six more

Covid-linked deaths with 604 fresh cases.

The fresh numbers took the country's total

fatalities to 29,077 while the caseload to


Among the new deceased, seven were men

and six women.

Eight of the deaths were reported from

Dhaka division while two from Barishal and

one each from Chattogram, Rangpur,

Mymensingh divisions.

Meanwhile, the mortality rate remained

unchanged at 1.49 per cent.

However, the recovery rate rose to 94.52 per

cent with the recovery of 4,108 more patients

during the 24-hour period.

On January 28, Bangladesh logged its

previous highest daily positivity rate at 33.37

per cent reporting 15,440 cases and 20


On December 9 last year, Bangladesh logged

zero Covid-related death after nearly three


Newly appointed Director General of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Major

General Shakil Ahmed paid tribute to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu

Sheikh Mujibur at Tungipara in Gopalganj yesterday. Photo : Courtesy

The country reported first zero Covid-related

death in a single day on November 20 last

year along with 178 infections since the

pandemic broke out in Bangladesh in March

2020. Besides, the country registered the

highest daily caseload of 16,230 on July 28

last year, while the highest number of daily

fatalities was 264 on August 10 last year.

National Jute

Day today

DHAKA : The National Jute Day-2022 will be

observed today throughout the country with a

view to making jute goods popular among the

people.This year's theme of the day is 'Golden

country of olden fibre - Environment friendly

Bangladesh'.On the eve of the day, President M

Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina issued separate messages greeting the

people involved with the jute sector.

In their messages, they hoped that jute will

play a positive role in the economic

development of the country as well as

protection of the environment once its multiple

usages are ensured. President Hamid in his

message said the government has taken various

initiatives, including modernization of the

state-owned jute mills, to bring back the

glorious past of the jute sector.

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Photo : Courtesy

Ershad Sikder's daughter

found dead in city

DHAKA : The hanging

body of a young lady was

recovered from a flat in

the Gulshan area of Dhaka

early Friday, reports UNB.

She was identified as

Jannatul Nowrin Esha,

22, daughter of Ershad

Sikder, who was hanged

by the state in 2004 for a

litany of crimes, and his

second wife Shova Akter.

Esha was found hanging

around 5:30 am on

Friday. She was rushed to



department of Dhaka

Medical College Hospital

(DMCH) in the morning

where doctors declared

her dead.

Her cousin Russo said

Esha passed HSC from the

capital's City College. She

had been living with her

mother at Subasto Tower

in Gulshan. She was said

to be facing relationship

problems in her love life.

She and her boyfriend

locked into an altercation

10 shot in

Magura clash

MAGURA : At least 10

people were shot and

wounded on Saturday

during a clash between two

rival groups over arranging

a waj mahfil at Urura

village in Mohammadpur

upazila in Magura.

Ten injured people were

admitted to a hospital and

all are currently out of

danger, said Dr Zahidur

Rahman, Associate

Professor of Magura

Medical College Hospital.

There was a longstanding

rivalry between the

supporters of Monirul ,

current member of ward-5

of Binodpur Union

Parishad, and former

member Liakat Molla, said

local people.

Their supporters locked

into a clash over arranging

a waj mahfil around 10 am

on Saturday, said Nasir

Uddin, Officer-in-Charge

of Mohammadpur police


He said police were

forced to fire bullets of

shotgun and rubber bullets

to bring the situation under


on Thursday evening, the

cousin said. Then Esha

went to sleep after having

dinner. She made no

response when her

mother called her early in

the morning. With the

help of neighbours, the

door of the room was

broken and she was found

hanging from the ceiling


Several injury marks

were also found on her

hands, he added.

The body has been kept

at the morgue for autopsy,

said Bachhu Mia, in

charge of the DMCH

police outpost. The

information was revealed

to Gulshan Police Station.

This was informed to

Gulshan police, Bachhu

Mia added.

GD-389/22 (5x4)

SUNDAY, MARCh 6, 2022


Dhaka is world's most

polluted city

DHAKA : Dhaka has once again topped the list

of world cities with the worst air quality.

The capital's air quality index (AQI) was

recorded at 184 at 8.48 am on Saturday.

Saudi Arabia's Riyadh and China's Wuhan

occupied the next two spots, with AQI scores of

180 and 173, respectively.

An AQI between 101 and 200 is considered

'unhealthy', particularly for sensitive groups.

Similarly, an AQI between 201 and 300 is

said to be 'poor', while a reading of 301 to 400 is

considered 'hazardous', posing serious health

risks to residents.

AQI, an index for reporting daily air quality, is

used by government agencies to inform people

how clean or polluted the air of a certain city is,

and what associated health effects might be a

concern for them.

In Bangladesh, the AQI is based on five

criteria pollutants-Particulate Matter (PM10

and PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2 and Ozone.

Dhaka has long been grappling with air

pollution issues. Its air quality usually turns

unhealthy during winter and improves during


A report by the Department of Environment

(DoE) and the World Bank in March 2019

pointed out that the three main sources of air

pollution in Dhaka "are brick kilns, fumes from

vehicles and dust from construction sites".

With the advent of winter, the city's air quality

starts deteriorating sharply due to the massive

discharge of pollutant particles from

construction works, rundown roads, brick kilns

and other sources.

Air pollution consistently ranks among the

top risk factors for death and disability

worldwide. Breathing polluted air has long

been recognised as increasing a person's

chances of developing heart disease, chronic

respiratory diseases, lung infections and cancer,

according to several studies.

As per the World Health Organization

(WHO), air pollution kills an estimated seven

million people worldwide every year, largely as

a result of increased mortality from stroke,

heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary

disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory


Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque MP attended the triennial meeting

Delduar upazila Awami League yesterday. Photo : Nasir Uddin

Protest against price

hike: 5 hurt in BCL-JCD

clash in Lalmonirhat


five people were injured in

a clash between activists of

Bangladesh Chharta

League (BCL) and

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal

(JCD) in Hatibandha

upazila headquarters of

Lalmonirhat district on

Saturday, reports UNB.

Witnesses said BNP's

upazila unit brought out a

procession from the party

office in Hatibandha

protesting the recent price

hike of commodities.

At one stage, police

obstructed them.

Tension mounted when

BCL activists led by BCL

upazila unit president

Fahim Shahriar Jihan

along with some party

leaders and activists tried

to march towards the BNP


A clash broke out near

medical junction area,

leaving five people


Cop found dead next

to his bike in Rajshahi

RAJSHAHI : A 40-year-old police officer was

found dead next to his bike off a busy road in

Godagari upazila of Rajshahi in the early

hours of Saturday.

The body of Nur Islam, a sub-inspector

with Chapainawabganj Sadar Police Station,

was found off Godagari-Amanura Road in

the Bhutpukur area of the upazila at

12.30am. Police suspect the officer, who was

originally from Abhaynagar upazila of

Jessore, died in a road accident as his bike

was found lying next to him.

SUNDAy, MARCh 6, 2022


Why don't we treat all refugees like they were Ukrainian?

Acting Editor & Publisher : Jobaer Alam

e-mail: editor@thebangladeshtoday.com

Sunday, March 6, 2022

The changing global

balance of power



pulling out of treaties to denigrating allies to starting

trade wars, the impulsive actions of successive US

administrations are upending the international order that

has been in place since the end of World War II. But even before

belligerent foreign policy positions, America had been gradually

losing its dominant role in world affairs.

A power shift among the nations of the world began at the end of

the Cold War and has been accelerating this century. It is not as

simple as saying "America is in decline," since America remains a

powerful country. But American global power has been eroding for

some time. The power of other countries has grown, giving them

both the ability and the desire to effect global affairs independently

of U.S. desire.

Since the end of WWII, the U.S. has been the central player in the

international system, leading in the creation of new international

organizations like the United Nations, NATO, the International

Monetary Fund and the World Bank. American diplomacy has been

essential to multinational agreements on trade, climate, regional

security and arms control. Americans could and did claim to be at

the center of a rules-based international order. Those days are gone.

Not only do China and Russia contest America's global role, a

growing number of other countries are asserting an independent

and increasingly influential role in regional economic and security

developments. Neither American political party has come to grips

with this sea change. Until they do, U.S. global actions are likely to

be less effective, even counterproductive.

The power shifts are increasingly visible. In the Middle East, the

U.S. hoped for decades to isolate Iran as a pariah and weaken the

regime until it fell. Today, that goal is unimaginable. Iran is and will

remain an increasingly assertive and influential power in the region,

defending and promoting its interests and competing with the

Saudi regime. The Russians are in the Middle East region for good,

building on their long-standing relationship with the family of

Syria's dictator. Turkey, a rising regional power, acts increasingly

independent of the preferences of the U.S., its NATO allies, playing

its own hand in the regional power game.

In Asia, decades of U.S. condemnation and efforts to contain the

rise of Chinese power have failed. An assertive China has risen. China

now plays almost as powerful a role in the global economy as the U.S.

It has defended an authoritarian model for economic growth, armed

artificial islands in the South China Sea, and built a military base in

Djibouti. China has created new multilateral organizations for

security discussions and one for infrastructure loans, which the U.S.

declined to join. It has developed a global lending program - the Belt

and Road Initiative - and has stepped into a stronger global role on

climate change. And China is spreading its political and economic

influence into Africa and Latin America.

The U.S. cannot slow Chinese economic growth nor contain its

power. China is changing the rules, whether the U.S. likes it or not.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan moves toward a renewed nationalism and

has removed restrictions on its defense spending and the

deployment of its military in the face of growing Chinese power.

North Korea behaves more and more like a regional power,

winning a direct meeting with the U.S. President while making only

a general commitment to denuclearize. The prospect of a unified

Korea would bring into being another major regional power center

in the Northern Pacific. Other countries, like the Philippines and

Australia, hedge their bets by improving bilateral relations with

China. And India is a growing economic and military presence in the

Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia.

Nor will the U.S. contain Russia. Russia is rebuilding its military and

intruding in others' elections. The Russian regime is threatening its

near neighbors and actively engaging in the Middle East. President

Vladimir Putin asserts Russia's interests and role in the world, like any

other great power. Russia is consciously and actively rebalancing the

power of the United States, with some success.

Military power, the American global trump card, is not as useful a

tool as it once was. While the U.S. continues to have the world's only

truly global military capability, able to deploy anywhere very

quickly, it is no longer evident that this capability effectively sustains

U.S. leadership. Clear military victories are few - the Gulf War in

1991 being an exception. The endless U.S. deployment in

Afghanistan carried the whiff of Vietnam in its inability to resolve

that country's civil war.

Meanwhile, the militaries of other countries, acting

independently of the U.S., are proving effective, as both Turkish

and Iranian operations in Syria suggest. The transition to this new

era is proving difficult for American policy-makers. The Trump

"America First" foreign policy was based on the view that the U.S.

needs to defend its interests by acting alone, eschewing or

withdrawing from multilateral arrangements for trade, economics,

diplomacy or security. Trump praises "strong" nationalistic

leadership in authoritarian countries, while democratic leadership

in allied countries is criticized as weak. In response, allies distance

themselves from the United States. Others are emboldened to act

in an equally nationalistic and assertive way.

Some conservatives, like Sen. John McCain, call for confrontation

with Russia and strengthening traditional American alliances,

particularly NATO. Others, like John Bolton, call for regime change

in assertive powers like Iran. Liberals and many Democrats

criticized Trump for alienating traditional allies like Canada, France

and Germany while befriending dictators. Policy-makers once

critical of confrontational policies now condemn Trump for failing

to confront Russia and China.

A different president in Washington, D.C., will not restore the

"rules-based" international order. The underlying changes in global

power relations have already undermined that order. A neoconservative

foreign policy, featuring unilateral American military

intervention, will only accelerate the global shift. Liberal

internationalists like Hillary Clinton would fail as well, because the

rest of the world rejects the assumption that the U.S. is

"indispensable" and "exceptional." Barack Obama appeared to

recognize the changing reality, but continued to argue that only the

U.S. could lead the international system.

America will need to learn new rules and play differently in the

new balance-of-power world, where others have assets and policies

the U.S. does not and cannot control. US President Joe Biden

cannot afford to be unmindful of these hard realities in the world

stage while forming and implementing his policies.

It was inevitable that when

brown-skinned Afghan

refugees fleeing war were

turned away from European

borders over the past few years, the

callous actions of these

governments would come back to

haunt them.

A whopping 1 million people have

fled Ukraine after Russia's violent

invasion in the span of only a week.

They are being welcomed - as

refugees should be - into

neighboring nations, inviting

accusations of racist double


Poland offers the most egregious

example of national racism. Its

government, whose nation borders

Ukraine, has warmly welcomed

traumatized Ukrainians, just

months after turning away

Afghans. If these optics weren't bad

enough, Polish nationalists have

sought out people of color who are

among the refugees fleeing Ukraine

and violently attacked them.

According to The Guardian,

"three Indians were beaten up by a

group of five men, leaving one of

them hospitalized." African

nationals studying in Ukraine

joined the exodus after Russia's

invasion, and have been stopped at

the Polish border. Poland might as

well erect a giant sign on its border

declaring, "whites only."

In elevating such disparate skintone-dependent

attitudes toward

refugees, Europe is giving its

colonialist heritage a new lease on

life. We see echoes today of the

dehumanization that enabled

European colonization of the

Global South and the enslavement

of generations.

It's not just Poland. The Arab and

Middle Eastern Journalists

Association has denounced the

overtly racist language of many

Western journalists, including

Americans like Charlie D'Agata of

the Columbia Broadcasting System,

who said of Ukraine that "this isn't

a place, with all due respect, like

Iraq or Afghanistan, that has seen

conflict raging for decades." (In

fact, Ukraine has seen plenty of

conflict in the past years.)

D'Agata's insertion of "with all

due respect" was perhaps his

belated realization that he was

veering into dangerous territory by

contrasting Ukrainian civilization

against the presupposed barbarity

Racism and hypocrisy of the 'civilized' reaction to war

With each passing day,

international support for

Ukrainians grows.

Landmarks across the world are lit up

with the country's yellow and blue,

and many rightly praise the bravery

of Ukrainians holding out against

numerically superior forces.

This is all a heart-warming reaction

to aggression and occupation, but

there are many oppressed people -

not least in the Middle East - who can

only dream of even a fraction of such

international solidarity.

A key international legal principle

underpins the world's reaction to the

latest Russian invasion, and forms

the basis of the entire international

order - the inadmissibility of the

acquisition of territory through war.

Put simply,no state may gain land

through conquest.

This was why an international

coalition was formed to liberate

Kuwait after the Iraqi invasion in

1990. It is why,quite rightly, Russia is

encountering massive opposition to

what is clearly an illegal and

unwarranted war against a neighbor

who had threatened nobody and was

living in peace.

For Palestinians, the West's reaction

to Russia's war on Ukraine does not

just leave a whiff but a stink of

hypocrisy, double standards and even


All of a sudden, international law

matters. In Ukraine, the acquisition of

territory is clearly not permitted, and

must be countered with meaningful

consequences. But Israel occupies

Palestinian and Syrian land, and

nothing meaningful has happened in

54 years; worse, all too often

Palestinians are held responsible for

their own occupation in an epic

exercise in victim-blaming. Last week

in the British Parliament one

politician dared to claim that one

should not compare Palestinians

of the darker nations. But then he

continued, saying of Kiev, "this is a

relatively civilized, relatively

European - I have to choose those

words carefully, too - city where

you wouldn't expect that, or hope

that it's going to happen."

Again, D'Agata likely realized as

the words were escaping his mouth

just how racist he was sounding. He

needed to choose his words

carefully in order to avoid the

appearance of bias. He clearly

failed. His later apology was not

very convincing.

D'Agata exposed his personal

allegiance with the Global North

when he expressed "hope" against

war breaking out in a nation whose

people look like he does. The

implied flip side is that he harbors

no such hope when the conflictridden

nations of the Global South

are embroiled in violence.

Serena Parekh, professor of

philosophy at Northeastern

University in Boston, told me in a

recent interview that "it is very

human to feel connections to

people that you perceive to be like

you and to feel more remote from

people you perceive as being not

like you." At the very least, this is a

good reason that newsrooms need

to diversify their staff.

Parekh, who has written two

books, No Refuge: Ethics and the

Global Refugee Crisis and Refugees

and the Ethics of Forced

Displacement, says one

"assumption" she has heard

justifying favorable treatment of

the latest wave of refugees in

Europe is that "Ukrainians are not

terrorists and they are not

criminals, and so we can let them in

safely, without having to worry

about screening them." She calls

such views "racialized assumptions

… largely unsustainable by any


under occupation with Ukrainians

under occupation, as if there were

acceptable occupations and

unacceptable ones.

All of a sudden, an illegal invasion

and occupation are met with sanctions

that will hurt the aggressor. The

Ukrainian government has handed its

civilians weapons to resist the Russian

forces. If the Palestinian Authority did

that to fight off Israeli forces,

international actors and Israel would

be screaming "terrorism." One TV

news correspondent even told a

Ukrainian woman that she

"understood" her decision to take up

arms and resist the occupier. Can

anyone imagine this being said to

Palestinian civilians arming

themselves to fight Israeli occupying

forces? I do not recall Western

journalists expressing such empathy

for Iraqis who chose to fight the

invasion of their country in 2003.

Syrians, too, might question where

the outrage is when Russian planes

have been bombing them, flattening

their civilian infrastructure, and

targeting their hospitals; in fact, Syria

was the testing ground for the

weapons systems Russia is using in


No one called for Russia to be

thrown out of the World Cup, the

Paralympics or the Eurovision Song

Contest when its bombs were



Such assumptions are infectious.

Social media platforms abound

with images sporting the nowubiquitous

blue and yellow of the

Ukrainian flag. Ukrainian

President Volodymyr Zelensky has

emerged as a larger-than-life hero

to the morally outraged.

So invested are people in

believing Zelensky's heroism that

many have shared a photo

(including several of my own

Facebook friends) of him in

military fatigues as evidence of his

courage in standing up to Russian

militarism, when in fact the image

was captured well before Russia's


Similar expressions of solidarity

with brown-skinned resisters of

Western militarism or victims of

Western wars have been far less


Pointing out the double standards

Parekh, who has written two books, No Refuge: Ethics and the Global

Refugee Crisis and Refugees and the Ethics of Forced Displacement,

says one "assumption" she has heard justifying favorable treatment of

the latest wave of refugees in Europe is that "Ukrainians are not terrorists

and they are not criminals, and so we can let them in safely,

without having to worry about screening them." She calls such views

"racialized assumptions … largely unsustainable by any evidence."

of governments and the press at a

time when Ukrainians are watching

their nation getting utterly

destroyed will inevitably spark

accusations of insensitivity and of

engaging irresponsibly in

"whataboutism" to make a point.

But now is the time clearly to call

out what human-rights groups and

independent journalists have for

years been saying: that the US- and

NATO-led wars in Afghanistan,

Iraq, Syria, Somalia, and elsewhere

are racist, and that the callous

dismissals of the resulting

humanitarian catastrophes are

equally barbaric.

There's another reason brownskinned

refugees are seen as

undesirable. Welcoming those

people fleeing wars that the West

has fomented would be an

admission of Western culpability.

Not only do Ukrainian refugees

offer palatable infusions of

whiteness into European nations,

but they also enable governments

terrorizing Syrians.

For Palestinians, the West's

reaction to Russia's war on Ukraine

does not just leave a whiff but a stink

of hypocrisy, double standards and

even racism.

The attitude to refugees is also

telling. Too many in Europe and

North America share the opinion of

the Bulgarian prime minister: "These

are not the refugees we are used to,

people with obscure past, maybe

terrorists … these are intelligent

people, educated people."

Daniel Hannan, a member of the

British House of Lords and a leading

The Ukrainian government has handed its civilians weapons to resist

the Russian forces. If the Palestinian Authority did that to fight off

Israeli forces, international actors and Israel would be screaming

"terrorism." One TV news correspondent even told a Ukrainian

woman that she "understood" her decision to take up arms and

resist the occupier. Can anyone imagine this being said to Palestinian

civilians arming themselves to fight Israeli occupying forces?

member of the governing

Conservative Party, wrote: "They

seem so like us. That is what makes it

so shocking … war is no longer

something visited upon impoverished

and remote populations. It can

happen to anyone."

Charlie D'Agata, a reporter for a US

news channel, said: "This isn't a place

like Iraq or Afghanistan that has seen

conflict raging for decades, this is a

relatively civilized, relatively

European city." At least he had the

decency to apologize later.

Another reporter declared: "Now

the unthinkable has happened to

them, and this is not a developing,

third-world nation, this is Europe."

David Sakvarelidze, Ukraine's former

deputy general prosecutor of Ukraine,

to express self-righteous outrage at

Russia's imperialist ambitions and

violent militarism.

If Ukrainian refugees are

evidence of Russian brutality, then

Afghan and Iraqi refugees are

evidence of the same kind of

brutality on the part of the US and

the North Atlantic Treaty


While Europe's double standard

toward refugees is on full display in

Russia's war on Ukraine, the

United States is certainly not

innocent either. Former president

Donald Trump in effect slammed

shut the door on refugees during

his tenure and bolstered his antirefugee

policies with racist


President Joe Biden, who

campaigned on reversing Trump's

anti-refugee rules, initially faltered

on keeping his promise when he

took office. But even after the limits

on allowing refugees into the US

were eventually lifted, few have

been admitted into the country.

Last year, when US troops left

Afghanistan at the mercy of the

Taliban, Afghans were, naturally,

desperate to flee. While the Biden

administration laudably fasttracked

US resettlement for

Afghans, problems remain, with

one refugee advocate calling the

process "kind of abysmal."

Parekh says decisions by Poland

and other nations to admit fleeing

Ukrainians with open arms show

"that the European Union can take

in large numbers of asylum seekers

and can do so in a relatively

efficient way."

In light of the sudden wellspring

of compassion toward Ukrainian

refugees emerging from Western

nations, media and the public, a

simple thought experiment could

protect governments, journalists,

and us from further accusations of

racist double standards: We could

treat all refugees as though they

were white-skinned Ukrainians, as

though they were human.

This article was produced by

Economy for All, a project of the

Independent Media Institute,

which provided it to Asia Times.

[Sonali Kolhatkar is the founder, host and

executive producer of Rising Up with Sonali,

a television and radio show that airs on Free

Speech TV and Pacifica stations.]

told a news channel how emotional he

was at the sight of "European people

with blue eyes and blond hair being

killed." Another American

commentator piped up with: "It just

occurred to me that this is the first

major war between civilized nations

in my lifetime."

Underlying all this is the reaction of

sheer astonishment that war could be

breaking out in Europe, with one state

invading another. Many say this has

not happened since the Second World

War, conveniently forgetting what

happened in the Balkans.

Nevertheless, the overwhelming

impression is that wars are meant to

happen elsewhere in "uncivilized"

places, and that those in the comfort of

Europe and North America do not

have to worry too much about the

realities of these events and their roles

in them.

The reaction to Russia's behavior,

the desire to hold Moscow

accountable and to reverse the

invasion of Ukraine, is laudable. It

could even have been swifter, more

decisive and unified. It should have

been strong back in 2014 when Russia

annexed Crimea.

But it would have been so much more

uplifting if these noble sentiments and

this sudden newfound admiration for

international law and accountability

could be applied elsewhere too.

Perhaps the more wealthy and

privileged world could wake up to all

the wars waged elsewhere, and the

horrors they produce.

This racism must be addressed.

Europe and America have a huge

problem, once again highlighted in a

crisis that will affect their relations

with the rest of the world long after this

war ends.

[Chris Doyle is director of the Londonbased

Council for Arab-British

Understanding. Twitter: @Doylech ]

sUnDaY, March 6, 2022


When Should we use at-home rapid Covid tests?

Julia Ries

If you've stopped by a drug store lately, you may have

noticed there are now shelves of over-the-counter rapid

COVID-19 antigen tests available for purchase. They're

cheap, they're easy to use and they provide COVID-19 test

results within minutes.

Health officials have said rapid antigen tests are a useful

public health tool that can help us better screen for infections

and slow the spread of the coronavirus. The tests aren't as

sensitive as the PCR tests most places have relied on

throughout the pandemic, but infectious disease experts say

the rapid tests are excellent at quickly identifying infected

individuals who may be very contagious.

If you have symptoms and suspect you may have COVID,

most infectious diseases doctors recommend skipping the

rapid antigen test and going straight for the PCR. There are

treatments that may help people at the onset of their illness,

so if you're symptomatic "you want a test that's going to

effectively diagnose illness with COVID and the antigen test

is probably not that test. It's best thought of as a test for being

really contagious," Sheldon Campbell, a pathologist,

microbiologist, and professor of laboratory medicine at Yale

School of Medicine, told

Rapid tests scan for antigens (a protein located on the

surface of the virus). PCR diagnostic tests look for the virus's

genetic material, or RNA.

The main difference between rapid tests and PCR tests is

how sensitive they are. PCR tests are incredibly sensitive and

can detect very tiny traces of virus. Rapid tests, on the other

hand, are very insensitive - especially in people who don't

have symptoms.

Though they could miss small amounts of virus, they're

great at identifying large amounts. "You have to have quite a

bit of virus to turn the antigen test positive," Campbell said.

A large meta-analysis from March 2021 found that rapid

antigen tests detected about 72% of symptomatic cases

confirmed positive by a PCR test. The rapid tests were less

sensitive with asymptomatic infections, catching on average

about 58% of those cases.

"These rapid antigen tests, particularly the popular ones,

are not good at detecting patients who are asymptomatically

infected," said Benjamin Pinsky, medical director of

Stanford's Clinical Virology Lab.

But this doesn't mean the rapid antigen tests are useless ?

and they might even be getting better. A December 2021

study found that BinaxNOW's COVID-19 antigen test

identified 87% of symptomatic cases and 71% of

asymptomatic cases when performed by health care workers

in a controlled setting. Of course, that number is likely to go

down a bit when conducting them at home because of issues

like user error. Other studies have found that rapid antigen

tests catch most of the cases (93%) that have a solid chance

You can find FDa-authorized rapid tests at many different drug stores.

of being transmissible. The rapid antigen tests do this by

their ability to identify large viral loads, which indicate a

person could be pretty contagious. (People with smaller viral

loads are generally believed to be less contagious than those

with high viral loads.)

"Someone who is antigen-negative but PCR-positive is

almost certainly less contagious than someone who is

antigen-positive and PCR-positive," said Campbell, adding

that further research is needed to determine how infectious a

person is who produces a negative rapid test but a positive

PCR test.

When shopping for a kit, look for a brand that has been

authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. Ellume,

another brand that was authorized by the FDA, is another

option. However, the FDA recalled more than 2 million

Ellume tests in November due to higher rates of false

positives. The tests affected were those manufactured

between Febraury 24 and August 11, and those distributed

between April 13 to August 26.

Many of these kits tend to sell out quickly due to high

demand, so it may be worth keeping some handy in your

Photo: Getty

medicine cabinet (more on storing them in a minute) or

signing up to be notified when more kits are in stock.

If you're sick or don't want to be around others, many

retailers offer curbside pickup. Lastly, experts recommend

avoiding buying from unverified sellers, resellers or via social

media. That's because, of course, there are fraudulent test

kits out there.

The question of when and how we should be using rapid

antigen tests is heavily debated in the medical community.

Many health experts say the tests aren't sensitive enough to

pick up on all infections. Others argue that rapid tests

identify the most useful thing: people who may be highly


Campbell said the best time to use a rapid test is right

before you're around a large group of people.

"By far the most important time to use an antigen test is not

three to five days after you did something risky to find out if

you've already suffered the consequences - it's right before

you do something risky so you aren't the one who spreads

disease there," Campbell said.

If you want to test yourself, the most prudent thing to do is

take a PCR test a few days after being exposed or doing

something risky. But they're harder to come by. If you're

opting for a rapid antigen test ? particularly before you're

visiting someone who is high-risk for severe COVID ? swab

yourself as close to your visit as possible, Campbell said.

If you have symptoms, like a cough or fever, you should

take a PCR test, not a rapid antigen test, Pinsky advised. At

this point, you really want to know if it's COVID, since there

are treatments like monoclonal antibodies that may reduce

the severity and duration of the infection.

Pinsky said we shouldn't be using rapid antigen tests to rule

out infections. Because these tests aren't that sensitive,

especially with asymptomatic individuals, "a negative result

doesn't mean very much," Pinsky said.

According to Pinsky, another best use for them is in

congregate living settings, such as a dormitory or long-term

care facility, where they can identify an ongoing outbreak in

which individuals are at different points in the infection cycle

- some would be recently exposed, others would be newly

infected or symptomatic and have detectable levels of virus.

This is how other rapid antigen tests, like those used to detect

norovirus, are traditionally used, Pinsky explained.

Access to quick PCR tests remains an issue, whereas rapid

tests are available at pharmacies. That said, they can be

expensive; people are now calling on the government to

intervene and offer them to households for free. Especially

since, in many cases, a rapid antigen test is the easier choice.

If you keep some on hand, keep in mind that these tests

have a shelf life ranging from six months to a year. You can

store them until the expiration date printed on the box, but

don't use them beyond that.

If you don't have symptoms but take a rapid antigen test for

screening purposes and test negative, it's not a guarantee

you're in the clear. It is, however, an indication that even if

you were infected, your viral load probably would be too low

to be transmissible. There is always the chance that you have

small amounts of virus that the test just didn't pick up, or that

you could become contagious in a couple of days. This is why

so many rapid antigen tests recommend retesting the next


If you have symptoms and get a negative rapid test result,

tread carefully, Pinsky said. Though it's generally believed

that people who produce a negative rapid antigen test aren't

as contagious, since they have smaller viral loads, there's still

a chance they could be infected and shedding small amounts

of the virus, which can then be passed on. It's not yet known

exactly if and how contagious a person with a small viral load

may be.

Finally, if you take a rapid antigen test and get a positive

result, that's a pretty sure sign you're infected, though as is

the case with any diagnostic test, false positives do happen.

"If you're antigen-positive, you've got quite a bit of virus

and are probably pretty contagious," Campbell said.

The pandemic is leading to missed

cancer diagnosis

caTherine Pearson

Throughout the pandemic, health care

providers working in the trenches have

warned of the ripple effect of COVID

surges. When cases jump, hospitals that

are overrun with COVID patients must

put off lifesaving "elective" procedures,

including cancer surgeries and heart

valve replacements.

Sobering new research also warns that

there has been a substantial decline in

new cancer diagnoses - a decline that has

extended beyond the earliest stage of the

pandemic, when shutdowns were


The study, published in the journal

Cancer, used nationwide data from the

Veterans Health Administration from

2018 to 2020. The researchers found

that cancer-screening procedures

declined dramatically amid the


Colonoscopies (which are used to

screen for colon cancer) dropped by 45%

in 2020, prostate biopsies (used to

screen for prostate cancer) dropped by

29%, chest CT scans (used to detect lung

cancer) dipped by 10% and cytoscopies

(used to look for bladder cancer)

dropped by 21%.

New cancer diagnoses also decreased

by anywhere from 13% to 23%,

depending on the type of cancer.

"I fully anticipate that we're going to

see the consequences of this play out

over the next decade," study researcher

Brajesh Kumar Lal, an associate

professor of surgery and director of

endovascular surgery with The

University Of Maryland Medical System,

told HuffPost.

Indeed, detecting cancer early - ideally

before a person has any symptoms - is

often a matter of life or death.

Researchers have found, for example,

that colonoscopies can slash the risk of

death from colon cancer among highrisk

patients by more than half. Every

month of delay in getting a person

cancer treatment can raise the risk of

death by 10%.

Studies have sounded alarms over the

direct impact of COVID on cancer

outcomes around the world.

"A research study from Brazil has

shown that short-term decreases in

cancer care led to increased cancerrelated

deaths, with the mortality rate of

hospitalized patients with cancer

increasing by 14% in 2020 compared to

2019," said Diane Reidy Lagunes,

associated deputy physician-in-chief

and a medical oncologist with Memorial

Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New

York City. "Similar increases in cancerrelated

mortality are expected in the

U.K. as well, with the UK Lung Cancer

Coalition estimating that the delays in

lung cancer diagnoses could increase

deaths in the five years after diagnosis by

about 5%."

Lal argued that his findings are

important to consider now, because they

do not simply show that cancer

screenings dropped early on the

pandemic when the world largely shut

down; they suggest they're persisting.

"We still haven't recovered," he said.

There are, however, relatively

straightforward solutions that can help,

Lal said, like continuing to leverage

telemedicine. Nearly every state has

loosened its regulations to allow

healthcare providers to offer

telemedicine to patients who are unable

to come into the office or prefer not to

during the pandemic, and Lal believes

doctors can use that technology to reach

out to patients who have missed routine

screenings and "bring them back into

the fold."

Hospitals can also separate COVID

patients from non-COVID patients to

the extent they're able as cases surge yet

again. "Organize these screening

activities in areas of the hospital that

don't have a lot of traffic, or perhaps even

outside the main hospital in smaller

offices, so patients are not exposed to

high-risk conditions," Lal said.

The research raises alarms over missed opportunities for early detection that could cause a surge in

later-stage patients.

Photo: aja Koksa

When you're the only one wearing a mask at work.

Monica Torres

Under the latest Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention guidance, more

than half of the U.S. population lives in

an area now considered to be low or

medium risk for COVID, and residents

there can go indoors without a mask.

Many states have also loosened mask

mandates, and a lot of workplaces no

longer require employees to wear masks

as a result.

If you're still most comfortable with a

mask on indoors in an office setting, you

may suddenly find yourself to be in the

minority. And when you are one of the

only people with a face mask during

meetings, it can feel socially awkward.

That's why it can help to remember

why masks are effective and to have a

strategy in place if a colleague does

inquire about your mask.

Epidemiologists and other COVID

experts weighed in on one-way masking

benefits, and offered conversation

strategies for mask-wearers.

If none of your co-workers are

wearing masks, you may wonder if

there's a point to you wearing one. But

well-constructed, tightly-fitting masks

do offer protection, even when others

are not wearing them, too.

"They do work. Somebody who is

wearing a respirator in an office setting

is going to get a fair degree of protection

from doing that," said Dr. Mark Rupp,

chief of the Infectious Diseases Division

at the University of Nebraska Medical


"Any mask is better than no mask,"

said Jose-Luis Jimenez, a professor at

the University of Colorado Boulder and

an aerosols scientist. "To make up for

the fact that other people are not

masking, you should wear a highquality


Jimenez described high-quality

masks as ones that are breathable, with

a good filter that prevents most aerosols

from being inhaled, and with a secure fit

that has no gaps on your face, such as an

N95 mask.

And keep in mind the public health

stakes. "What you are doing is

minimizing the chance that you inhale a

respiratory disease. That's the big

reason to stay masked," said Charlotte

Baker, an epidemiologist in public

health at Virginia Tech. Although cases

are declining in the U.S., there is still

plenty of COVID out there. Around

1,800 deaths continue to be announced

most days. "There is no need to feel

embarrassed or apologetic for wearing a

mask," Rupp said. "In most

communities in the United States today

the level of transmission continues to be

substantial. ... It's headed in the right

direction, but there is still a lot of

COVID that is being transmitted in our

Photo: Getty

How to cope when you're the only

one wearing a mask at work

communities." Rupp said masking

should not be seen as a choice between

never wearing your mask at work or

always having to wear a mask at work.

You should be open to changing your

mind depending on individual


"You may feel safe and not wear a

mask going into a setting where there is

a lot of room and few people and a short

duration of time," Rupp said. "Whereas

you might feel very uncomfortable

making that same decision in a smaller,

crowded setting that you are going to

have to be present for an hour."

Rupp cited your community's virus

transmission rates, your building's

indoor ventilation, your colleagues'

vaccination status, and your own health

risks as factors to consider before taking

off your mask. Here's the CDC tracker

for checking out your county's

transmission rates.

Be open to putting a mask back on

as we learn more about the latest

COVID developments, too. "Six weeks

from now, or three months from now

as a new variant starts to be described,

they may decide, 'You know it's time

for me to put the mask back on,'"

Rupp said.

"Social pressure is very real. We can

be talked out of anything if enough

people dissent to our point of view," said

clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula.



Rangpur records

5.26pc Covid-19

positivity on Saturday

RANGPUR: The Rangpur

Division yesterday recorded

5.26 percent Covid-19

positivity rate as four fresh

cases were diagnosed after

testing 76 persons in

different districts of the

region, reports BSS.

Health officials said the

Covid-19 pandemic situation

has been improving as the

number of positive cases is

decreasing amid increasing

of recovery rate of infected

patients during the last three


Earlier, the daily Covid-19

positivity rates were 0.65

percent on Friday, 2.06

percent on Thursday, 3.31

percent on Wednesday, 4.76

percent on Tuesday, 4.93

percent on Monday and 2.56

percent on Sunday last in the


The four new patients

were reported positive after

testing 76 samples at the

Covid-19 Laboratory at M

Abdur Rahim Medical

College (MARMC) in

Dinajpur at the 5.26 percent

positivity rate yesterday.

"The four new patients

include two each from

Dinajpur and Nilphamari

districts," said Principal of

the MARMC Professor Dr

Syed Nazir Hossain.

One more dies of

Covid-19 in

Rangpur division

RANGPUR: One more

Covid-19 fatality was

reported during the last 24

hours ending at 8 am

yesterday in the division

where the pandemic



improving almost during the

last three weeks, reports


Health officials said the

number of Covid-19 positive

cases continues declining

amid rising recovery rate of

patients in recent weeks in

the division.

"With the one more death

reported from Lalmonirhat

district, the total number of

casualties reached 1,283 in

the division," Divisional

Director (Health) Dr. Abu

Md. Zakirul Islam Lenin told

BSS yesterday.

The district-wise breakup

of the 1,283 fatalities stands

at 300 in Rangpur, 84 in

Panchagarh, 92 in

Nilphamari, 74 in

Lalmonirhat, 69 in

Kurigram, 259 in

Thakurgaon, 340 in

Dinajpur and 65 in

Gaibandha of the division.

The average casualty rate

stands at two percent in the


Meanwhile, only one fresh

Covid-19 case, the lowest

number in the last two

months, was diagnosed after

testing 155 samples at the

0.65 percent positivity rate

on Friday in the division.

Govt procures 1.62

lakh tonnes of Aman

rice in Rajshahi


government has, so far,

procured around 1.62 lakh

tonnes of Aman rice during

the current procurement

drive contributing a lot

towards ensuring food

security, reports BSS.

As part of the nationwide

ongoing Aman rice

procurement drive, the

government has procured

the food grain from all eight

districts in Rajshahi division.

Faruque Hossain Patwary,

Regional Controller of Food,

said they procured around

1,62,312.85 tonnes of boiled

rice at the rate of Taka 40 per

kilogram till Tuesday last.

He said the procurement

drive of the newly harvested

rice is going on in full-swing

everywhere in the division

that created a high hope of

ensuring food security.

Faruque Patwary said the

government has set a target

of procuring 1,62,374 tonnes

of boiled rice during the

current drive.

SM Abraham Lincoln was accorded a reception by Citizens Reception Committee at Sheikh Russell

Auditorium in Kurigram on Saturday for receiving Ekushey Padak 2022. Photo: Badshah Saykot

Reception accorded to Abraham

Lincoln for receiving Ekushey Padak

Badshah Saykot, Kurigram


SM Abraham Lincoln, a prominent

lawyer from Kurigram, has been

given Ekushey Padak 2022 recently

for his special contribution in social


Marking the occasion a reception

ceremony was organized by the

Citizens Reception Committee at

Sheikh Russell Auditorium in

Kurigram on Saturday afternoon.

President of Kurigram Press Club

Ahsan Habib Nilu presided over the

reception. During the time, Begum

Rokeya University Dean of the

Faculty of Arts Dr. Tuhin Wadud,

District Awami League General

Secretary Aman Uddin Ahmed

Monju, Superintendent of Police

Syeda Jannatara, NGO Association

General Secretary Manik

Chowdhury, Advocate Enamul

Haque Chowdhury Chand, Convener

of Sammilita Sangskritik Jote

Shyamal Bhowmik and Former

Director of Rangpur Medical College

Hospital Dr. Ajay Kumar Roy were

Parliament member of Bhola 4 constituency Abdullah Al Islam Jacob MP

inaugurated the foundation stone of South Aicha Bazar Road to Sub-

Registrar's Office via Beribadh road and reconstruction of Beribadh road

at a cost of Tk 2.56 crore on Saturday. Photo: Taybur Rahaman Tuhin

Sheikh Hasina will fulfill all

dreams in stages. MP Jacob

Taybur Rahaman Tuhin, Char Fasson


President of the Parliamentary Standing

Committee on the Ministry of Youth and

Sports and Parliament member of Bhola 4

constituency Abdullah Al Islam Jacob MP

inaugurated the foundation stone of South

Aicha Bazar Road to Sub-Registrar's Office

via Beribadh road and reconstruction of

Beribadh road at a cost of Tk 2.56 crore. He

inaugurated the groundbreaking ceremony

on Saturday (March 5) at South Aicha Bazar

Zero Point.

At the same time, MP Jacob said that

during the tenure of any other government,

there was no development in the land of

Char Fasson and Monpura which the Awami

League government has done in only 14

years. As a result, people are erasing the

name of BNP under the banner of Awami

League irrespective of party affiliation. The

BNP has established itself and spread money

abroad by looting without any development

of its election promises. And the daughter of

Bangabandhu, Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina has done only development since she

came to power.

Later, MP Jacob inaugurated the

foundation stone of the reconstruction work

of Chairman Bazar to Khejurgachhia Road

and Chairman Bazar to Oli Bepari's Shop

Road constructed at a cost of Tk 2.76 crore.

During the time, Upazila Chairman Joynal

Abedin Akhan, Upazila Awami League

General Secretary Nurul Islam VP,

Municipal Mayor SM Morshed, Jinnagar UP

Chairman Hossain Mia, Char Kukri Mukri

UP Chairman Principal Abul Hashem

Mahajan, Municipal Awami League General

Secretary Principal Monir Ahmed Shuvro

and Charmanika UP Chairman. Leaders of

other organizations including Shafiullahha

Oladar, President of Charmanika Union

Awami League Abdur Rob Mia and General

Secretary Saidur Rahman Sohag were

present on the occasion.

A mourning meeting and doa mahfil was held at Chatkhil Press Club recently

on the sudden death of Mukhtar Hossain Muktar, a member of the executive

committee of Chatkhil Press Club of Noakhali district. Photo: Md Rafiq Ullah

among others also present at the


Speakers at the reception

discussed the details of Ekushey

Medal winning social activist

Advocate Abraham Lincoln.

Later, honorary mementos and

best wishes were given by more than

200 organizations and institutions

of the district including Kurigram

Press Club, Sammilita Sangskritik

Jote, Jibika, Solidarity, Procchod

Kurigram and Shamprotik


Covid-19 affected

ethnic people gets

relief in Magura

Rokibul Hoque Dipu,

Magura Correspondent

Covid 19 affected ethnic

people got relief in Magura.

Magura Sadar Upazila

Nirbahi officer Yashin

Kabir distributed relief

among 50 covid affected

people of village Bishnupur

under Magura sadar


Among others local union

council chairman Osman

Mollik and ISADO

executive Diretor Abu

Imam Md Baker were

present. ISADO distributed

the relief with help of

Prottasha Shamajik

Unnayan Shangshtha and

financial support of GAIA.

Subsequenlty they

distributed relief among 50

cleaning workers of

Magura municiplaity.

Mourning meeting

marking death of

journalist held at

Chatkhil Press Club

Md Rafiq Ullah,

Chatkhil Correspondent

A mourning meeting and

doa mahfil was held at

Chatkhil Press Club on

Tuesday evening, the last

day of the three-day

program of the Press Club

on the sudden death of

Mukhtar Hossain

Muktar, a member of the

executive committee of

Chatkhil Press Club of

Noakhali district.

Press Club President

Senior Journalist Md

Habibur Rahman chaired

the occasion and general

secretary Md. Shoaib





programme. Chatkhil

Municipal Mayor Nizam

Uddin (VP) was present

as the chief guest in the

mourning meeting.



journalists Didar Ul

Alam, Prof. Deen

Mohammad, Gulzar

Hossain Saikat, Mamun

Hossain and Jasim

Mahmud were also

present at the occasion.

All the speakers shared

various memories of the

career of journalist

Muktar Hossain and

prayed for the forgiveness

of his soul. At the end of

the meeting, Maulana

Mofizul Islam conducted

the munajat.

Rajshahi became volatile from

beginning of March, 1971

RAJSHAHI: The overall situation in the

Rajshahi city became volatile amid the

spontaneous protest of general masses since

March 1 in 1971 when the then Pakistani

rulers had postponed the scheduled March 3

session of National Assembly, reports BSS.

Suspension of the scheduled parliament

session by the Pakistani junta, as part of a

heinous conspiracy, instantly turned the

Rajshahi people revolutionary since the

beginning of March in 1971 with impulsive

protest of the common people.

Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh

Mujibur Rahman rejected cancellation of the

scheduled parliament session and called for

strike on March 2 in Dhaka and on March 3

throughout the country.

Dr Tasiqul Islam Raja, retired principal of

Shahmukhdum Degree College, said

thousands of people thronged the city streets

spontaneously under the banner of

Sarbadaliyo Chhatra Sangram Parishad and

Sramik Sangram Parishad.

He said the people demonstrated their

protest and demanded immediate handover

of power to Awami League, the party which

secured a great majority in the 1970 general


Covid 19 affected ethnic people got relief in Magura recently.

Photo: Rokibul Hoque Dipu

56 more Covid-19 patients

recover in Rajshahi

RAJSHAHI: With the healing of 56 more

patients from the Covid-19 on Friday, the

total recovery count in the division rose to

1,14,497 since the pandemic began in March,

2020, reports BSS.

A total of three more people have tested

positive for the deadly virus in three districts

of the division on the day, raising the

caseload to 1,19,021 so far.

The new positive cases are showing a

significant falling trend compared to the

previous day's figure of 23, Dr Habibul

Ahsan Talukder, divisional director of

Health, said.

The death toll remained static at 1,747,

including 705 in Bogura, 341 in Rajshahi

with 219 in its city and 179 in Natore, as no

new fatality was reported during the last 24

hours, he said.

Besides, all the positive cases of Covid-19

have, so far, been brought under treatment

while 26,015 were kept in isolation units of

different dedicated hospitals for institutional


Public and private offices and business

activities came into a total halt, academic

activities of the educational institutions

were suspended while production in mills

and factories throughout the city

remained stopped for an indefinite


It was part of a spontaneous protest that

turned the city into a place of fierce

movement and demonstrations. Total

general strike was observed in the city

paralyzing the civic lives and business


To gear up the movement, a crosssection

of freedom-loving people staged

processions stretching eight-kilometer

from Rajshahi University to Rajshahi

court breaking curfew on March 3 in line

with the central programmes.

The pro-liberation Bangalees paraded

the city streets here chanting slogans

'Jago Jago Bangali Jago,' 'Beer Bangalee

astro Dhoro, Bangladesh Swadheen koro.'

At around 11.30 am on the same day,

the then occupation forces from the

adjacent Telephone Exchange Building

opened fire on procession in Ranibazar

area killing one person and injuring many

Of them, 22,930 have been released.

Meanwhile, one more people has been sent

to home and institutional quarantine afresh

while four others were released from

isolation during the same period.

Of the three new infected cases, one each

was detected in Rajshahi city, Bogura and

Sirajganj districts.

With the newly detected patients, the

district-wise break-up of the total cases now

stands at 33,899 in Rajshahi including

27,893 in its city, 6,518 in

Chapainawabganj, 7,702 in Naogaon, 9,881

in Natore, 5,661 in Joypurhat, 24,906 in

Bogura, 13,722 in Sirajganj and 16,732 in

Pabna districts.

A total of 1,24,815 people have, so far,

been kept under quarantine since March 10,

2020 to prevent community transmission of

the deadly COVID-19.

Of them, 1,23,115 have, by now, been

released as they were given clearance

certificates after completing their


Prizes have been distributed among the winners of the 21-day online competition

in Pirganj on the occasion of International Mother Language Day

in the hope of spreading the practice of pure Bengali to the new generation

on Saturday.

Photo: Bishnupada Roy

1,15,203 Covid-19 patients

recover in Ctg

CHATTOGRAM: The number of recovered

Covid-19 patients reached 1,15,203 with

the recovery of 237 more people till

Saturday morning raising the average

recovery rate to 91.04 percent in the

district, reports BSS.

Meanwhile, Chattogram district

recorded Covid-19 positivity rate of 0.89

percent while 13 fresh cases were

reported after testing 1,458 samples

during the last 24 hours till last morning.

With the diagnosis of 13 new cases, the

total number of Covid-19 patients

climbed to 1,26,532 in Chattogram

district, Dr Ilias Chowdhury, civil

surgeon of Chattogram told BSS

yesterday. With no new death recorded

during the period, the death toll steady at


A total of 139 infected patients are now

undergoing treatment at different

designated hospitals here.



Scientists think an old rocket just

hit the Moon going 5,800 mph

WASHINGTON : Add one more crater

to the long list of pockmarks on the

lunar surface.

According to orbital calculations, a

rocket hurtling through space for years

crashed into the Moon on Friday, but

the strike wasn't directly observed, and

there might be a wait for photographic


The impact would have taken place at

7:25 am Eastern Time (1225 GMT), on

the far side of the Moon, said the

astronomer Bill Gray, who was the first

to predict the collision.

Racing through the cosmos at around

5,800 mph (9,300 kph), the roughly

four ton object should make a crater "10

or 20 meters across," Gray told AFP.

Its speed, trajectory, and time of

impact were calculated using Earthbased

telescope observations.

"We had lots (and lots) of tracking

data for the object, and there is nothing

acting on it except the forces of gravity

and sunlight," he said, with the latter

pushing the cylinder gently away from

the Sun.

"Unless the object was removed by an

occult hand, it hit the Moon this


The identification of the rocket has

been a subject of debate, since there is

no official entity responsible for listing

and tracking junk in deep space.

Gray, an independent contractor who

has created orbital calculation software

used by NASA, hunts for and monitors

human-made debris, so that scientists

do not confuse it for asteroids and study

it unnecessarily.

He initially thought what he was

seeing was a SpaceX rocket, but later

changed his mind and said it was a

third-stage booster of Chang'e 5-T1,

launched in 2014 as part of the Chinese

space agency's lunar exploration


Beijing denied responsibility, saying

the booster in question had "safely

entered the Earth's atmosphere and was

completely incinerated".

But according to Gray, the statement

by China's foreign ministry conflated

two missions with similar names, and

was actually talking about a rocket

launched much later.

Whatever the case, only NASA's

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and

India's Chandrayaan-2, both of which

orbit the Moon, will be able to image the


The US space agency said in late

January it wanted to survey the crater,

but said that finding it would be a

challenge that might take "weeks to





US Embassy

calls power

plant attack

war crime


Embassy in Ukraine is calling

Russia's attack on a nuclear

plant a war crime.

"It is a war crime to attack a

nuclear power plant," the

embassy statement said.

"Putin's shelling of Europe's

largest nuclear plant takes his

reign of terror one step


Russian troops seized the

plant Friday in an attack that

set it on fire and briefly raised

fears of a nuclear disaster.

The blaze was extinguished

and no radiation was

released, reports UNB.

Ukrainian President

Volodymyr Zelensky called

Russia's action "nuclear

terrorism" and appealed to

the U.N. Security Council for

action to safeguard Ukraine's

endangered nuclear facilities.

Ukrainian Prime Minister

Denys Shmyhal appealed to

the International Atomic

Energy Agency and the EU to

send representatives to all

five of Ukraine's nuclear

power plants. "This is a

question of the security of the

whole world," he said in a

nighttime video address.

China to raise defense spending

by 7.1% to $229 billion

BEIJING : China is raising

its defense spending in

2022 by 7.1% to $229

billion, up from a 6.8%

increase the year before.

S a t u r d a y ' s

announcement marks a

continuation of the robust

spending that has given

China an increasingly

powerful military that is

challenging the U.S.

armed forces' dominance

in the Indo-Pacific region.

China has the world's

second-largest defense

budget after the U.S.,

allowing it to maintain the

largest standing military,

with 3 million personnel

and an arsenal of

advanced weaponry,

including two aircraft

carriers with more on the

way, stealth fighters, an

advanced missile force

and nuclear-powered


China has maintained

the drive to expand and

modernize its armed

forces despite high levels

of government debt and a

slowing economy, partly

as a result of the

coronavirus pandemic.

The government says

most of the spending

increases will go toward

improving welfare for

troops. Observers say the

budget omits much of

China's spending on

weaponry, most of which

is developed domestically.

The People's Liberation

Army exercises a strong

political role as the

military branch of the

ruling Communist Party,

overseen by President and

party leader Xi Jinping,

who heads the

government's armed

forces commissions.

The military is largely

designed to maintain its

threat to use force to bring

self-governing Taiwan

under its control,

although it has also grown

more assertive in the

South China Sea, the

western Pacific, the

Indian Ocean and


In his address to

Saturday's opening

session of the ceremonial

legislature, the National


People's Congress,

Premier Li Keqiang said

China would "fully

implement Xi Jinping's

thinking on strengthening

the armed forces and the

military strategy for the

new era ... and strengthen

party leadership and party

building in all aspects of

the military."

Li indicated no change

in China's approach to

Taiwan, which it threatens

to annex by force if


China will "advance

peaceful growth of

relations across the

Taiwan Strait and the

reunification of China," Li

said. "We firmly oppose

any separatist activities



independence and firmly




Russia's invasion of

Ukraine sparked

conjecture that China

might be more disposed to

use force against Taiwan if

it sensed a lack of

resolution on the part of

the U.S. and its allies.






announces sanctions

against Russia

SINGAPORE : Singapore

has announced sanctions

against Russia over its

invasion of Ukraine,

becoming one of the few

governments in Southeast

Asia to do so.

"The sovereignty, political

independence and

territorial integrity of all

countries, big and small,

must be respected," said an

announcement by the

Foreign Ministry.

The tiny city-state imposed

controls on exports or

transshipments of militaryrelated

or dual use items

considered "strategic

goods." It said the sanctions

were aimed at constraining

Russia's ability to wage war

and engage in "cyber


The regional commercial

hub also said it would

prohibit all financial

institutions from doing

business with four Russian

banks: VTB Bank, Bank



Promsvyazbank Public

Joint Stock Co., and the

Corporation Bank for

Development and Foreign



V n e s h e c o n o m b a n k .

Companies with existing

dealings with the four must

freeze their assets, it said.

The order also bans

providing financial services

or enabling financing for

the Russian central bank,

Russian government and

entities owned or controlled

by them.

Strategic Ukrainian port

Mariupol 'blockaded' by

Russian forces: mayor

KYIV : Ukraine's strategic

port city of Mariupol is under

a "blockade" by Russian

forces after days of "ruthless"

attacks, its mayor said on

Saturday, calling for the

establishment of a

humanitarian corridor.

Located on the Sea of Azov,

the city of 450,000 people

has been bombarded by

shellings and cut off without

water or electricity in the

depths of winter.

"For now, we are looking

for solutions to

humanitarian problems and

all possible ways to get

Mariupol out of the

blockade," said Vadim

Boychenko in a message

posted to the mayor's

Telegram account.

"Our priority is the

establishment of a ceasefire

so that we can restore vital

infrastructure and set up a

humanitarian corridor to

bring food and medicine into

the city," he added.

Capturing Mariupol would

give Moscow's invasion a

strategic advantage,

connecting it to the Russian

forces coming from annexed

Crimea-which have already

taken the key ports of

Berdiansk and Kherson-as

well as to the troops in the


Earlier this week, the

Mariupol mayor had accused

Russian troops of destroying

bridges and trains to prevent

residents from leaving.

Russia cracks down on dissenting

media, blocks Facebook

DUSSELDORF : Russian President Vladimir

Putin on Friday intensified a crackdown on

media outlets and individuals who fail to hew

to the Kremlin line on Russia's war in

Ukraine, blocking Facebook and Twitter and

signing into law a bill that criminalizes the

intentional spreading of what Moscow

deems to be "fake" reports.

The moves against the social media giants

follow blocks imposed on the BBC, the U.S.

government-funded Voice of America and

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, German

broadcaster Deutsche Welle and Latviabased

website Meduza. The government's

sweeping action against the foreign outlets

that publish news in Russian seeks to

establish even tighter controls over what

information the domestic audience sees

about the invasion of Ukraine.

The state communications watchdog

Roskomnadzor said it cut access to Twitter

and Facebook in line with a decision by the

prosecutor general's office. The watchdog

has previously accused Twitter of failing to

delete the content banned by Russian

authorities and slowed down access to it.

Twitter said in a statement Friday

afternoon that while the company is "aware

of reports" that its platform is blocked in

Russia, it has not been able to confirm

whether this is the case.

The bill, quickly rubber-stamped by both

houses of the Kremlin-controlled parliament

and signed by Putin, imposes prison

sentences of up to 15 years for those

spreading information that goes against the

Russian government's narrative on the war.

The question regarding Russia is no longer

"what we do to stop disinformation," former

U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul

said on Friday. "The question has to be how

do we promote information inside Russiaand

I don't have the answer." Multiple

outlets said they would pause their work

inside Russia to evaluate the situation.

Among them, CNN said it would stop

broadcasting in Russia while Bloomberg and

the BBC said they would temporarily

suspend the work of their journalists there.

Russian authorities have repeatedly and

falsely decried reports of Russian military

setbacks or civilian deaths in Ukraine as

"fake" news. State media outlets refer to

Russia's invasion of Ukraine as a "special

military operation" rather than a war or an


Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the

lower house of parliament, said the measure

"will force those who lied and made

statements discrediting our armed forces to

bear very grave punishment."

"I want everyone to understand, and for

society to understand, that we are doing this

to protect our soldiers and officers, and to

protect the truth," he added.

The law envisages sentences of up to three

years or fines for spreading what authorities

deem to be false news about the military, but

the maximum punishment rises to 15 years

for cases deemed to have led to "severe


In blocking Facebook, Roskomnadzor

cited its alleged "discrimination" of the

Russian media and state information

resources. The agency said in a statement

that the restrictions introduced by Facebook

owner Meta on the Russian news channel RT

and other state-controlled media violate

Russian law.

"Obviously Putin is shutting these people

down because he is afraid. He wouldn't be

shutting them down if everything was going

peachy keen," McFaul said during a call with

reporters and experts hosted by Stanford's

Cyber Policy Center. "This is an indicator of

his state of mind."

North Korea fires 'unidentified

projectile': South's military

SEOUL : North Korea fired at least one

"unidentified projectile" on Saturday, South

Korea's military said, the nuclear-armed

country's ninth suspected weapons test this


"North Korea fired an unidentified

projectile eastward," Seoul's Joint Chiefs of

Staff said in a statement, without giving

further details.

Pyongyang carried out an unprecedented

seven weapons tests in January, including of

its most powerful missile since 2017, when

leader Kim Jong Un baited then-US

president Donald Trump with a spate of

provocative launches.

Diplomacy has languished ever since, and

despite biting international sanctions,

Pyongyang has doubled down on military


In January the North threatened to

abandon a self-imposed moratorium on

testing long-range and nuclear weapons.

Pyongyang said Monday it had carried out

a test of "great significance" towards

developing a reconnaissance satellite, a day

after Seoul said it had detected a ballistic

missile launch.

Analysts had widely predicted Pyongyang

would seek to capitalise on the United States'

distraction over Russia's invasion of Ukraine

with more tests.

Ukraine, which emerged from the Cold

War with sizeable Soviet-era nuclear

weapons stocks of its own, gave up its arsenal

in the 1990s.

North Korea last month accused the

United States of being the "root cause of the

Ukraine crisis" saying in a statement on its

foreign ministry's website that Washington

"meddled" in the internal affairs of other

countries when it suited them but

condemned legitimate "self-defensive


Pyongyang's latest testing comes at a

delicate time in the region, as South Korea

gears up to elect its next president on

Wednesday. One of the two frontrunners,

dour former prosecutor Yoon Suk-yeol of the

People Power Party, has threatened a preemptive

strike on South Korea's nucleararmed

neighbour if needed.

Under Trump's successor Joe Biden, the

United States has repeatedly declared its

willingness to meet North Korean

representatives-an offer Pyongyang has


Domestically, North Korea is preparing to

celebrate the 110th anniversary of the birth

of late founder Kim Il Sung in April, which

experts say Pyongyang could use as an

opportunity to carry out a major weapons


Zelensky condemns

NATO for ruling out

Ukraine no-fly zone

KYIV : Ukrainian President Volodymyr

Zelensky lashed NATO on Friday for ruling out

a no-fly zone over his country saying the

Western military alliance knew further Russian

aggression was likely.

Earlier Friday, NATO rejected Ukraine's

request to impose a no-fly zone to halt Russia's

bombing, but Western allies did warn

President Vladimir Putin of fresh sanctions if

he does not stop the war."Knowing that new

strikes and casualties are inevitable, NATO

deliberately decided not to close the sky over

Ukraine," Zelensky said in a video published by

the presidency."We believe that the NATO

countries themselves have created a narrative

that the closing of the skies over Ukraine would

provoke direct Russian aggression against

NATO." NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg had said

the alliance would not intervene in the conflict

over fears of a direct clash with Moscow that

could spiral into a wider conflict."The only way

to implement a no-fly zone is to send NATO

fighter planes into Ukraine's airspace, and then

impose that no-fly zone by shooting down

Russian planes," Stoltenberg urgent meeting.



Dhaka Central Zone and Dhaka East Zone of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited organized Agent

Banking Business Development Conference and Workshop on Prevention of Money Laundering

& Combating Financing of Terrorism on March 3, 2022 at Institution of Diploma Engineers,

Bangladesh in the capital. Md. Omar Faruk Khan, Additional Managing Director of the Bank

addressed the conference as Chief Guest. Taher Ahmed Chowdhury, CAMLCO, Md. Mahmudur

Rahman and Md. Maksudur Rahman, Senior Executive Vice Presidents, A S M Rezaul Karim,

Md. Aminur Rahman and Md. Shamsuddoha, Executive Vice Presidents of the Bank addressed

the program. Head of branches and proprietors of the agent banking outlets under the two

zones attended the conference.

Photo : Courtesy

Russian parliament

adopts anti-sanctions


MOSCOW : Russia's

parliament on Friday

approved legislation aimed

at countering the effects of

sweeping Western sanctions

on the country's economy

imposed after Moscow's

invasion of Ukraine.

The package of bills aims

at "defending the economy

and citizens in the face of

foreign sanctions,"

according to the website of

the State Duma, the Russian

parliament's lower house.

"The economy is subjected

to such an aggressive

environment," said Kremlin

spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

"We need to cushion, to

minimise the attacks aimed

at our economy now."

Western nations slapped

Russia with unprecedented

sanctions in retaliation for

launching a brutal war

against Ukraine. The

penalties prompted the

Russian ruble to plumet and

foreign companies to leave

the country.

The legislation approved

Friday allows the

government to raise

pensions and the minimum


China 2022

GDP growth

target 'around

5.5%': premier

BEIJING : China's

government has set a target

for GDP to grow "around 5.5

percent" this year-its lowest

goal in decades-the

country's premier said

Saturday, as it faces virus

outbreaks, a property slump

and uncertainty over war in


Premier Li Keqiang

announced the target in a

speech to open China's

annual legislative session,

saying "our country will

encounter many more risks

and challenges, and we must

keep pushing to overcome

them." The target was based

on a need to maintain stable

employment, basic living

needs and "guard against

risks", according to his

speech, which is China's

version of an annual state of

the nation address.

Economic stability must

be a "top priority", Li added.

Growth in China's

maturing economy has

slowed markedly in recent

years from the boom phase

triggered by market reforms

four decades ago, during

which annual expansion

sometimes exceeded 10


More recently, it has

grappled with the economic

impact of a cascading

property market slump,

regulatory crackdowns on

the property, tech and

financial sectors, and virus

outbreaks resulting in

smothering containment

measures under the

government's zero-tolerance

approach to Covid.

imo brings in new feature 'iBubble' to

facilitate convenient communication

Popular instant messaging app imo has

recently launched a new feature in Android

version of imo called as 'iBubble' to empower

tech-savvy people to communicate in a more

convenient and efficient way. This feature

will enable friends' messages to float on

screen as bubbles so that users do not miss

any important messages, and thus

strengthen connections with their close ones,

a press release said.

This feature will help the users to notice

messages (that will float as bubbles on the

screen) while doing other tasks at the same

time and consequently, empower them to

maintain or strengthen connections in a

more effective way with their close contacts.

The users will have freedom while using this

feature. For 'message alert', users can apply

this feature for 'all contacts' or select close

ones up to 5 people. If selected contacts

commence the communication with the

user, friends' avatar and chats, if there is any,

will float on the screen, making it visible to

the user instantly. -

This new iBubble chat feature comes with

a number of benefits including a functional

design focused on the users' close

relationship, here an imo user could

prioritize their most important connections,

a smaller space requirement on screen for

imo's iBubble chat and notification

regarding the online status of the users' close

contacts are also enabled.

To activate this feature, the user will enter

the profile page in imo app, find out the

feature 'iBubble' and tap it. On the iBubble

feature page, activate the 'turn on switch'.

After activation, the users can choose

different user groups for 'messages' and

'online notification'. However, the users can

also remove it out on demand, by keep

pressing 'floating bubble' and dragging it

down to the 'X' in the bottom center of the


White House says looking for ways

to cut use of Russian oil

WASHINGTON : The White House is looking

for ways to reduce US consumption of

Russian oil while protecting American

families from price hikes, an administration

spokeswoman said Friday.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has sent oil

prices soaring to their highest levels since

2014. While Western allies' severe financial

sanctions on Moscow have so far exempted oil

transactions, pressure has been building for

new sanctions targeting Russia's main source

of cash-oil exports.

"We are looking at ways to reduce the

import of Russian oil while also making sure

that we are maintaining the global supply

needs out there," White House spokeswoman

Jen Psaki told reporters.

"We are very focused on minimizing the

impact to families," she said.

Amid reports buyers are already shunning

oil from Russia, futures prices on Friday were

above $115 a barrel. The US Commerce

Department on Friday announced additional

restrictions on Russian industry, including

barring exports of key refining equipment to

"limit Russia's ability to raise revenue from the

sale of its refined products, including gasoline,

that it can use to support its military efforts."

White House chief economic adviser Brian

Deese told financial channel CNBC on Friday

that the administration is keeping close tabs

on the global oil market. "We're tracking the

energy market on an hour by hour basis in

terms of overall supply chain fluidity," he said.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced

the United States would release 30 million

barrels from the strategic petroleum reserves

to help stabilize the market. But prices

continued to rise.

"It's an incredibly fluid and fast moving

situation," Deese said.

Jim Krane at the Baker Institute, a Rice

University think tank in Houston, said he sees

momentum in Congress for a US ban on

Russian oil imports but said it would be a

largely symbolic move since the quantity

purchased by American clients is relatively

small. "There would be a small short-term

impact and potentially a longer-term impact

on the Russian economy," Krane told AFP.

Deese said the administration is continuing

its focus on ensuring smooth functioning of

the supply chain, including finding enough

workers and drivers to allow goods to "flow

from ports to trucks to warehouses" and on to

consumers, he said.

Social Islami Bank Limited & Farazy Hospital Limited have signed a

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) recently at its head office. Zafar

Alam, Managing Director & CEO of SIBL, was present at the signing ceremony

as chief guest. Md. Moniruzzaman, SVP& Head, Marketing & Brand

Communication Division, SIBL and Dr. Anower Farazy Emon, Chairman,

Farazy Hospital &Farazy Dental Research Center, signed the MoU in favor

of their respective organization. Md. Tajul Islam and Abu Reza Md. Yeahia,

Additional Managing Directors, and Abu Naser Chowdhury, Md. Sirajul

Hoque, Md. Shamsul Hoque, Mohammad Forkanullah, Deputy Managing

Directors, and Md. Sharif Al Kashem, SVP& Head, Card Department, and

Md. MozammelHoque, Head of Corporate of Farazy Hospital, were also

present in the program.Under the MoU, the employees and clients of the

bank can avail discount facilities at Farazy Hospital &Farazy Dental

Research Center.

Photo : Courtesy

Russian tech

giant Yandex

says might


NEW YORK : Russian tech

giant Yandex warned

Thursday it may default on

its debt after it was

suspended from trading on

New York's digital stock


Nasdaq and the New York

Stock Exchange this week

halted all listings of Russian

companies until they explain

how they will be impacted by

sanctions imposed by the US

and its allies in the wake of

Moscow's invasion of


In a press release

published Thursday,

Yandex, which is legally

headquartered in the

Netherlands but has its main

offices in Russia, said that it

was not targeted by the


"There are currently no

regulatory restrictions on

the ability of US, UK or EU

persons to acquire and trade

in Yandex's securities," it


Nonetheless, the

company, often called the

"Russian Google" for its size

and breadth of services, said

that if it is suspended for

more than five trading days,

owners of certain bonds will

legally be able to redeem

their debt with interest.

"The Yandex group as a

whole does not currently

have sufficient resources to

redeem the notes in full," the

company said.

Even if the company was

able to secure financing to

pay them in full, Yandex said

such a large expenditure

would "have a material

adverse effect on our shortterm

financial position and

liquidity and may affect our

ability to meet our other


The company added that it

was exploring what

financing options were

available to it. Nasdaq, in a

response to an AFP inquiry,

said that the Yandex listing

"remains halted."

In 2021, Yandex earned

about 356 billion rublesabout

$4.77 billion at the

December exchange rate.

Meghna Bank launches "MGBL

Access - a Digital Platform for

Corporate Customers"

Meghna Bank has recently launched online

banking platform for its Corporate

Customers. The project was successfully

launched by a real time log in and a

transaction performed by a Senior Officials

of United Group, one of the valued

customers of the Bank. "We are enjoying

online banking platforms from many Banks

but the interface of MGBL Access is very

user friendly, also there are options which

many other banks yet to incorporate. Most

importantly, our requirements were

implemented by Meghna Bank Team in a

very short period of time" - said Mr. Atiqul

Islam, Finance Controller, United Group.

"This is a part of our transformation

process that we aim for. We are

transforming the Bank for the last one and a

half year, we are hoping many such

innovations and products will be in

existence that our customers and

stakeholders would love to see." - Mr. Sohail

R K Hussain, Managing Director & CEO of

Meghna Bank said.

US adds 678,000 jobs in February

amid pandemic recovery

WASHINGTON : The US economy saw a

hiring surge in February, pushing the

jobless rate closer to its pre-pandemic level

as hard hit sectors recover from the impact

of Covid-19.

American employers added 678,000

workers to their payrolls last month, driving

the unemployment rate down to 3.8 percent,

the Labor Department reported Friday.

The report is good news for President Joe

Biden, who has highlighted the strong

economic recovery even as inflation has

accelerated and undermined his approval

rating. Due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine,

inflation could see further acceleration as oil

and other prices surge.

"Today's report shows that my plan to build

an economy from the bottom up and the

middle out is working," Biden said of the

report. Pointing to the success in combating

the virus, Biden noted that "Since I took office,

the economy has created 7.4 million jobs."

He repeated his pledge to "tackle head on

the challenge" of rising prices but said the US

economy "is uniquely well positioned" to deal

with inflation.

The surge in hiring last month far surpassed

the consensus forecast, although some

economists were calling for a big increase as

the world's largest economy gets back on

track. The Omicron variant wave in the United

States has faded, leading many local

authorities to lift mask restrictions. Many

Americans have also started traveling more

and bars and restaurants are rebounding.

"The February jobs report showed an

economy moving powerfully past the

pandemic," said. Robert Frick, corporate

economist at Navy Federal Credit Union.

He cited advances "in sectors beaten down

by the pandemic... that show Americans

getting back to normal spending patterns."

Mongla has been declared as 'LPG City' by Bashundhara Group Vice Chairman Shafiat Sobhan Sanvir. He made the

announcement at a memorial billboard at Katakhali intersection in Bagerhat on Saturday morning. Photo : Courtesy

Beijing wary of extending economic

lifeline to Russia

BEIJING : An isolated Russia could be

driven further into China's arms

economically in the wake of sanctions

imposed over the invasion of Ukraine,

but Beijing appears wary of offering a

warm embrace.

Western countries have hit Russia's

economy hard including by closing

airspace, freezing assets and excluding

seven banks from the SWIFT interbank

messaging network. The impact is

expected to be wide-ranging and

impede Moscow's ability to shore up

the beleaguered ruble and purchase


China has avoided openly

condemning Russia's attack and has

the financial strength to soften the blow

against its giant neighbour.

But analysts say Beijing will likely

tread carefully to avoid violating the

most severe international restrictions.

China is the only country with the

"financial muscle to help Russia", said

Paola Subacchi, professor of

international economics at the

University of London's Queen Mary

Global Policy Institute. Beijing holds

massive foreign exchange reserves and

a swap agreement between the Chinese

and Russian central banks has been in

place for years, Subacchi noted.

"When the ruble fell as a result of the

sanctions during the Crimea invasion

(in 2014), the swap agreement was

activated and helped to pay for Russian

imports," she told AFP.

"But it is not enough. It's negligible

compared to what they (Russia) need in

order to support their currency," she

said. Analysts also note that China is

not a major importer of wheat-a key

Russian export-and neither can it step

in to provide all of the goods that Russia

needs. This week, Russian gas giant

Gazprom said it had signed a contract

to design a pipeline to China, taking a

step towards a new supply agreement

that could ease Russia's reliance on

European buyers. Chinese firms could

export more to Russia and buy more

Russian energy, but the gains for

Moscow would be minimal considering

the overall impact of the war, Julian

Evans-Pritchard said in a report for

Capital Economics.

While China can in some cases

provide yuan to Russia to help it buy

what it needs from abroad, Beijing will

likely "tiptoe" around anything more

overt for now, said Leland Miller, CEO

of data analytics firm China Beige


Beijing will not want to appear to

openly flout sanctions especially while

fighting still rages, and probably "won't

risk violating the more severe

restrictions on SWIFT, central bank

transactions, and technology exports",

he added. Violations could bring

secondary sanctions on key Chinese

companies that sell products to Russia

containing US intellectual property,

Miller said, meaning China will need to

tread a fine line.

SUNDAY, MArCh 6, 2022


Warne, who died at the age of 52 from a suspected heart attack, was never one for half-measures

throughout his extraordinary 15-year test career.

photo: Ap

Shane Warne, spin genius

with soap-opera life

SportS DeSk

Shane Warne mixed legendary cricket

deeds with lurid headlines away from

the pitch in a career as bewitching as

his famed wrong 'un, reports BSS.

Warne, who died at the age of 52

from a suspected heart attack, was

never one for half-measures

throughout his extraordinary 15-year

Test career.

The greatest leg-spinner of them all

carved out a flamboyant lifestyle cast

outside the mould of a traditional

cricketing icon, often putting himself at

odds with the game's purists.

While his discipline, passion and

sheer talent drove him to the 708 Test

wickets in a 145-Test career that made

him the scourge of batsmen worldwide,

the tubby blonde kid who became a

superstar did things his way.

Along with flowers laid by his statue

at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on

Saturday, there was a can of beer, a

packet of cigarettes and a meat pie-a

nod to the unconventional sporting

lifestyle that won him legions of fans on

and off the field.

"Shane was one of our nation's

greatest characters," Australian Prime

Minister Scott Morrison said.

"His humour, his passion, his

irreverence, his approachability

ensured he was loved by all."

Warne is entrenched in Australia's

sporting pantheon-in the eyes of many

Ukrainian athletes dig

deep on day one of

Winter Paralympics

SportS DeSk

Ukrainian athletes showed

resilience in the face of the

turmoil engulfing their wartorn

homeland Saturday,

racing to the top of the

medal table on day one of

the Beijing Winter

Paralympics with an

impressive haul of seven,

reports BSS.

With more than 1.2

million of their fellow

citizens now refugees and

fears of a food crisis

mounting, the Ukrainian

Paralympians on the slopes

in Zhangjiakou dug deep.

The team claimed three

golds, three silver and a

bronze in the biathlon

events, just days after an

arrival in the capital their top

official had dubbed a

"miracle" following an

arduous journey.

Host country China,

meanwhile, grabbed eight

medals Saturday, including

two gold.

Ukraine made a clean

sweep in the men's visionimpaired

biathlon race, with

Vitalii Lukianenko, 43,

adding a seventh Paralympic

gold to his collection and 25-

year-olds Oleksandr Kazik

and Dmytro Suiarko

claiming silver and bronze,


"They are my brothers in

sport and brothers in life.

We are really close to each

other," Lukianenko said

after his win.

In the men's biathlon

standing event, Grygorii

Vovchynskyi, 33, also used

his victory to pay tribute to

the bravery of Ukraine's

embattled citizens.

he is second only to cricket's immortal

Don Bradman.

He not only resurrected the waning

art of leg-spin, but became the first

bowler to take 700 Test wickets and

delivered the most famous ball in the

sport's history.

Warne posted inauspicious figures of

1-150 in his 1992 Test debut but

knuckled down under spin guru Terry

Jenner. Eighteen months later, Warne

riveted the cricketing world with the

"ball of the century" against England.

Warne's first leg-break delivery in an

Ashes Test turned viciously to

bamboozle England's Mike Gatting at

Old Trafford in 1993 that heralded the

arrival of a cricketing superstar.

He was a master of mind games,

targeting batsmen ahead of a series and

warning he was working on a new

mystery ball to bowl out his "bunnies"

in the opposition line-up.

He gave a man-of-the-match

performance when Australia won the

World Cup in 1999, and was known for

a sharp and inventive cricketing brain

which saw him long touted as

Australian Test skipper.

But even Warne himself once

described his life as a soap opera, such

was the litany of off-field controversies.

"Warnie", also nicknamed

"Hollywood", survived several scandals

and pursued an energetic love life

which is widely thought to have cost

him the Australian captaincy.

In 1998 it emerged that Warne and

Australian team-mate Mark Waugh

had been fined three years earlier for

supplying information to an Indian

bookmaker, and he was stripped of the

Australian team vice-captaincy in


A series of infidelities culminated in a

public break-up from his wife of 10

years, Simone, with whom he had three

children. At one point he was engaged

to British actress Liz Hurley.

And yet his performance in

Australia's failed Ashes campaign in

England in 2005 is regarded by some

pundits as the pinnacle of his career,

when he overcame his disintegrating

marriage and a tabloid frenzy to take 40


He also missed the 2003 World Cup

in South Africa after he tested positive

on tournament-eve for a banned

diuretic-a weight-loss pill sometimes

used to mask steroids-in a scandal

which saw him banned for a year.

Warne returned to Test cricket in

March 2004 but never again played

international one-day matches, instead

preferring to concentrate on the longer

form of the game.

He continued playing after ending his

Test career in January 2007 and

scripted a title triumph with a rag-tag

Rajasthan Royals team in the Indian

Premier League's first edition in 2008,

highlighting his nous and motivational


Tigresses concede defeat to

South Africa in WC opener

SportS DeSk

Bangladesh Women's team tasted a 32-run

defeat to South Africa in their opening game

of the ICC Women's World Cup at Dunedin

in New Zealand yesterday, reports BSS.

In their first match of the first appearance

in the World Cup, Bangladesh gave South

Africa a tough fight but simply couldn't close

the game due to their lack of experience.

Ayabonga Khaka's superb seam bowling

helped South Africa overcome Bangladesh.

Put in to bat in Dunedin, the Proteas were

bundled out for a below-par 207 with

Marizanne Kapp (42) and hard-hitting Chloe

Tryon (39) lifting them to a competitive total,

an ICC press release said.

Bangladesh made a steady start, reaching

69 for one before Khaka let rip and reduced

them to 85 for four.

A late flurry from Nigar Sultana and Ritu

Moni came too late as they managed 175 as

South Africa prevailed by 32 runs in


Teenager Fariha Trisna should have

dismissed Tazmin Brits with her second

World Cup ball, only to watch Nahida Akter

spill a dolly of a catch at mid-on.

Jahanara Alam's experience and Trisna's

youth made for a pleasing new ball

partnership and it took Brits 19 balls to get

off the mark when she lifted the latter for

four over mid-on.

Brits, a former world junior javelin

champion, never got off the ground and

flicked to Rumana at midwicket, departing

for eight at 30 for one.

Wolvaardt and Lara Goodall steadied the

ship with the powerful opener profiting from

the introduction of spin, carving Salma

Khatun's second ball for four behind point.

Medium-pacer Moni's nagging accuracy

was rewarded with the big wicket of

Wolvaardt as she drew the ball back through

her defences, dismissed for 41 from 52 balls.

One brought two for Bangladesh as

Khatun induced Goodall into a mistimed

reverse sweep that Rumana Ahmed pouched

down to her left, making it 69 for three.

Mignon du Preez initially took a liking to

Rumana's loopy leg spin but patted a simple

Bangladesh Women's team tasted a 32-run defeat to South Africa in their

opening game of the ICC Women's World Cup at Dunedin in New Zealand


photo: BCB

20th Square Cup

Golf Tournament-

2022 ends

SportS DeSk

The 3-day '20th Square Cup

Golf Tournament 2022'

concluded at Kurmitola Golf

Club at the Cantonment

here on Friday last, reports


Principal Staff Officer of

Armed Forces Division

Lieutenant General Waker-

Uz-Zaman distributed the

prizes among the winners of

the tournament in a

programme as the chief

guest, an Inter-Services

Public Relations (ISPR)

press release said today.

Brigadier General Md

Amirul Islam Sikder

clinched the championship

title while Sehzad R Majid

was adjudged runners-up.

Song Eun Hee became

triumphant in women's


About 600 golfers from all

the golf clubs of the country,

senior officials of square

group, concerned high civil

and military officials with

their families attended the


Pakistan's Azhar

completes century against

Australia in first Test

SportS DeSk

Veteran Pakistan batsman

Azhar Ali completed his

century against Australia

Saturday on the second day

of the opening Test in

Rawalpindi, reports BSS.

The 37-year-old lofted

spinner Nathan Lyon for his

eighth boundary towards

mid-wicket to complete his

19th hundred in his 92nd


With that, Pakistan

reached 312 without losing

another wicket after starting

the day on 245 for one.

He has been Pakistan's

mainstay in the Test batting

line-up since making his

debut in 2010, and boasts a

triple hundred against the

West Indies-the first since

day-night Tests were


'Shocked to the core':

Cricket world mourns

Shane Warne

SportS DeSk

Cricketers past and present

from Sachin Tendulkar to

Viv Richards and Joe Root

paid shocked tribute to

Australian spin maestro

Shane Warne who died of a

suspected heart attack at 52,

reports BSS.

Indian legend Tendulkar,

who had many memorable

battles with Warne during

their playing days, said he

was "stunned & miserable"

after news of his sudden

passing in Thailand on


"There was never a dull

moment with you around,

on or off the field. Will

always treasure our on field

duels & off field banter,"

Tendulkar tweeted.

"You always had a special

place for India & Indians

had a special place for you.

Gone too young!"

Warne, one of the greatest

players to ever grace the

game, often referred to

Richards as the best

batsman he had seen and

the West Indian great said

he was "shocked to the core".

"There are no words to

describe what I feel right

now," he said.

Richards' countryman

Brian Lara, who also crossed

swords with Warne in his

prime, was equally


"I literally don't know how

to sum up this situation. My

friend is gone!! We have lost

one of the Greatest

Sportsmen of all time!!"

Lara tweeted, while English

great Ian Botham said he too

had lost a long-time mate.

"I've lost a great friend on

and off the playing field," he

said. "One of the best."

The announcement came

just hours after the death

was announced of fellow

Australian great Rod Marsh.

No Nadal, no problem as 'super special'

Alcaraz enjoys flying Davis Cup start

SportS DeSk

Teenager Carlos Alcaraz made a stunning

start to his Davis Cup career on Friday,

helping six-time champions Spain to a

comfortable 2-0 lead over Romania on the

first day of their qualifying tie, reports BSS.

The 18-year-old Alcaraz, ranked 19 in the

world, swept past experienced Marius Copil

6-4, 6-3 on the clay courts of Marbella.

"I was nervous, but no more than usual.

Having an experience like this in the Davis

Cup helps you grow as a player and as a

person," said Alcaraz widely seen as Spain's

heir apparent to Rafael Nadal who has

skipped this tie.

"I try not to put the pressure on myself of

being the future of Spanish tennis, world

number one or the best player, as many

people tell me. I don't give it any more

importance than it has and I follow the path

that the team and I have set for ourselves."In

the first rubber, Roberto Bautista Agut,

ranked 15, was equally untroubled, cruising

to a 6-3, 6-1 win over Gabi Adrian Boitan,

who was shown up by his modest 721


France, the 10-time Davis Cup champions,

also opened up a 2-0 lead over Ecuador in


World 59 Arthur Rinderknech defeated

Emilio Gomez, ranked at 144, by 6-2, 7-5

before 58th-ranked Adrian Mannarino saw

off Roberto Quiroz, who played way above

his 381 ranking, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.

Canada, without ninth-ranked Felix

Auger-Aliassime and world number 13 Denis

Shapovalov, slipped to a 2-0 deficit against

the Netherlands in The Hague.

Botic Van de Zandschulp defeated Alexis

Galarneau 7-5, 7-6 (11/9) while Tallon

Griekspoor eased past Steven Diez 6-4, 6-4.

Twelve Davis Cup ties are being contested

on Friday and Saturday, with the winners

progressing to the finals, the first stage of

which will be played in September with 16


Croatia, Great Britain and Serbia are

already through, with Davis Cup chiefs to

decide next week who will replace defending

champions Russia after they were axed over

the invasion of Ukraine.

Alex de Minaur got 28-time champions

Australia off to a blistering start in Syndey,

but Thanasi Kokkinakis couldn't maintain

the momentum as they split their opening

singles rubbers with Hungary.

World number 30 De Minaur was pushed

hard by young Hungarian number two

Zsombor Piros, ranked 240, before

prevailing 7-5, 6-2.

Almost seven years since he last played

Davis Cup, Kokkinakis was recalled after

claiming a first ATP singles title in Adelaide

in January then winning the Australian

Open doubles crown with Nick Kyrgios.

But the gamble didn't pay off, as he fell 7-6

(7/4), 1-6, 6-3 to 35th-ranked Marton


Alexander Zverev, who reversed his

decision not to play Davis Cup, gave

Germany a 1-0 lead over Brazil in Rio with a

6-4, 6-2 victory over Thiago Seyboth Wild.

the 18-year-old Alcaraz, ranked 19 in the world, swept past experienced

Marius Copil 6-4, 6-3 on the clay courts of Marbella.

photo: Ap

Tuchel says no need for

panic over Chelsea sale

SportS DeSk

Thomas Tuchel said Friday there was no need

to panic over the future of Chelsea after Roman

Abramovich's dramatic announcement that he

is selling the Premier League club following

Russia's invasion of Ukraine, reports BSS.

Russian billionaire Abramovich, alleged to

have close links to President Vladimir Putin,

said it was in the "best interest" of the

Champions League holders that he cut ties

after 19 trophy-laden years at the helm.

Abramovich has not been named on a

growing British sanctions list targeting Russian

banks, businesses and tycoons following

Putin's attack on Ukraine last week.

But the 55-year-old's concern about the

potential seizure of his assets by UK authorities

is understood to have sparked the move to sell

London club Chelsea.

The Blues have already reportedly received

several bids, with Swiss billionaire Hansjoerg

Wyss and American magnate Todd Boehly

teaming up in a consortium offer, with Turkish

billionaire Muhsin Bayrak the latest bidder to

throw his hat into the ring.

Tuchel, who has led Chelsea to the

Champions League, European Super Cup and

Club World Cup titles since arriving in January

2021, said staying in his post at Stamford

Bridge remained the "perfect fit" for him

despite the uncertain situation. The German,

speaking on the eve of his third-placed side's

Premier League match at struggling Burnley,

said he had not had direct contact with

Abramovich since the announcement, but

appeared unfazed.

"The owner is selling the club and he's selling

a well-structured, top organisation and right

now I don't see why we should be in fear and

concern about what is obviously so wellplaced,

so well-organised and so functional,"

said former Paris Saint-Germain boss Tuchel.

"It's a pleasure to work here and as I've been

here for a year I can say this is the highest level

that I have experienced. We will have a new

owner but does that mean the organisation is

in question or the structure? I don't think so."

Tuchel said it was hard to put into words his

feelings following Abramovich's dramatic

announcement, although he said it had not

had that much impact on the day-to-day

running of the club as the Russian operated at

arm's length.

"It's strange," he said. "We didn't see this

coming for a very long time.

"Chelsea was always a Roman Abramovich

club in my point of view and was run by an

unbelievably passionate and committed owner

who took the sport that we all love so


Injured Chun takes control

in Singapore

SportS DeSk

South Korea's Chun In-gee endured neck

spasms Saturday as she cruised to a bogeyfree

six-under-par 66 to snatch the outright

lead after round three of the HSBC Women's

World Championship, reports BSS.

Chun was almost forced to withdraw from

the US$1.7 million tournament, but she

battled through the pain barrier to put herself

in contention for her fourth win on the LPGA

with her three-day total of 12-under-par 204.

The world number 34 will take a one-shot

advantage over compatriots Lee Jeong-eun

and world number one Ko Jin-young as the

contest heads into its final 18-hole showdown

on Sunday at Singapore's Sentosa Golf Club.

"I almost thought like I was going to

withdraw on Thursday because it really hurt,

and the pain was really sharp. But at the same

time, I also felt like my golf game was good

and I had a chance," Chun said.

"It worked out very well today and I need to

see the physio and get some rest to get ready

for tomorrow."

Chun made several changes to her strategy

and her focus on her short game around the

tricky greens at the Tanjong course paid off.

"I tried to focus on the putting green

because of the spasm in my neck. I didn't

want to hit the ball too hard. It went really

well on the putting green, and that was key to

my good score today," she added. Ko is ready

to stage a strong fightback after enduring a

tough day where she was left to rue several

missed opportunities, especially on her frontnine.

sUNdAY, MARcH 6, 2022


Mehazabien in Nipun's web

series 'Sabrina'


After almost three years, director Ashfaque Nipun

and small screen popular actress Mehazabien

Chowdhury working together in the upcoming

web series titled 'Sabrina'.

Recently one of the popular Indian OTT

platform Hoichoi released the first look of their

much-anticipated web original titled 'Sabrina',

across social media directed by Ashfaque Nipun,

the series features Mehazabien Chowdhury in the

titular role. With this series, Mehazabien's journey

also started on the OTT platform of Upper Bengal.

Last year in September Ashfaqu Nipun's new

web series 'Sabrina' was announced by Indian

OTT platform 'Hoichoi'. However, he did not say

who will play the lead role. Earlier, Ashfaque

Nipun directed web series titled 'Mahanagar' and

it was highly acclaimed so, the audience's

interested with Nipun's next series.

According to a source, the shooting of the series

has ended. However, the director Nipun said,

'There are still some parts left to shoot. Hoichoi

will officially announce the entire cast of 'Sabrina'

on Women's Day (March 8), at A S Mahmud Hall

after the completion of the work. It is learnt that

'Sabrina' is a thriller based story centering on two

women. Sabrina, who is a doctor by profession,

gets involved in an event that is constantly

happening even if she doesn't want to. 'Sabrina' is

a story or character that everyone wants to get, but

also gets scared.'

Cavill's 'Sherlock' gets full

focus in 'Enola Holmes 2'

first footage

Henry Cavill's Sherlock takes center

stage in the first footage from Netflix's

'Enola Holmes 2'. Back in 2020, Netflix

debuted the first film adaptation of

Nancy Springer's best-selling young

adult 'Enola Holmes' books. The series

follows the adventures of the brilliant

and witty Enola, younger sister to

famous detective 'Sherlock Holmes'.

Netflix's movie stars Millie Bobby

Brown as Enola and follows her on her

first case, which involves her missing

mother (Helena Bonham Carter) and a

young runaway marquess (Louis

Partridge). 'Enola Holmes' also features

Susan Wokoma, Adeel Akhtar, Sam

Claflin, and Fiona Shaw.

After Enola Holmes' successful

launch on Netflix in September 2020,

there were talks of a sequel possibly

entering development. Those like

Brown and director Harry Bradbeer

signaled their interest in returning, but

it wasn't until May 2021 that Netflix

confirmed 'Enola Holmes 2' would

soon become a reality. Brown, Cavill,

Partridge, and Carter are all set to

return, while newcomers to the cast

include David Thewlis and Sharon

Duncan-Brewster. Filming on 'Enola

Holmes 2' started up in the back half of

2021 and wrapped in January.

Though a release date hasn't been

given just yet, Netflix has debuted the

first Enola Holmes 2 footage within its

massive 2022 movie preview trailer. At

about 1 minute and 5 seconds into the

trailer below, Enola can be seen

running through the crowded streets of

London. However, it's soon Cavill's

Sherlock who gets the biggest focus,

even addressing the audience in a

fourth-wall-breaking moment that

matches the rest of the trailer.

Amusingly, Enola is quick to call him

out on this, since "I thought that was

my thing."

Source: Variety

Salman Khan secretly got

married to Sonakshi Sinha?

Salman Khan is one of the

most popular and influential

superstars in the film

industry. While his films

break all the records at the

box office, his relationships

have been of keen interest to

the media and his fans. Now

a viral picture showcases the

superstar and Bollywood

actress Sonakshi Sinha

getting married. But is it

genuine? The superstar is

one of the highest-paid

actors in Bollywood. His film

career spans over thirty years

and has bagged several

awards including two

National Film Awards as a

film producer, and two

Filmfare Awards for acting.

Salman Khan's personal

life has often made

headlines. Now, the picture

shows the superstar in the

groom's clothes and is also

seen filling vermilion on

Sonakshi Sinha's forehead.

The pictures are going viral

claiming that the Dabangg

star got married secretly.

However, it is worth pointing

out that the viral picture is

fake and it seems some

miscreant has used

photoshop to edit the


Salman and Sonakshi

share a great bond of

friendship. She made her

Bollywood debut with the

2010 film 'Dabangg'.

Meanwhile, Salman

recently returned to the city

from his Da-Bangg Tour -

Reloaded in Dubai and was

spotted at the airport. While

often the superstar is seen in

a good mood but it seems he

was super angry at the

paparazzi at the airport.

Bollywood Life report

quoted a source as saying,

"Salman usually gets out

from Gate B at the airport as

the walking distance is very

less and the celebs can easily

reach to their car parked.

Niloy, Himi's 'Beshorom' released


Actors Niloy Alamgir and Jannat Akhter Himi featured in the

romantic-comedy-drama 'Beshorom' directed by Ziauddin Alam.

'Beshorom' is a Romantic, comedy, family story drama which is

made up of some funny stories.it was released on Laser Vision's

YouTube channel on February 27th.

The drama is written by Ferrari Farhad. Apart from Niloy and

Himi, Saberi Alam, Rocky Khan, Shahbaz Sunny, Bashari, Mostaq

Mukul, Tiger Mamun, and many others have acted in 'Beshorom'.

Beshorom's cinematography is done by Nahyan Belal, Habib was

the editor, and Sajeeb directed the music.

In its story, Maliha Begum can be seen as the wife of Sharafat, a

prominent businessman. Because of her husband's business

influence and her own behaviour and intelligence, she is living her

life by influencing the social aristocrats or in the circle of friends.

Sharafat is a successful businessman and is now living a life of

luxury. Their two sons settled abroad with their families. Now

Maliha Begum wants to be relaxed and tension free by marrying off

her daughter Ranu to a good man.

But she does not allow any other profession for her daughter

except a BCS cadre. In such circumstances, a young man named

Shafi appears on the scene house. Shafi is unemployed and lives in

a mess house. Shafi left the mess house saying "Why should I stay

lead a miserable life like a fool when my father-in-law has a big


The story progresses this way.

However this time Khan was

asked to leave from Gate A

and he had to walk very far to

reach his car and this left him

extremely angry. He was in

no mood to walk as he had a

long flight plus he was super


Source: Times of India

M Miraz Hossain's 'ApanNama' has made a surprise at the book fair

Author M Miraz Hossain is walking to a

successful path with 'ApanNama' after

the first book 'HayayVesheHajarMaile"'.

His autobiographical book 'ApanNama'

is at the top of sale in the Amar Ekushey

Book Fair 2022.

It is learned that the book published by

NowrozKitabistan has already been

declared as the best seller book.

According to the publication, 5,800

copies of book have been sold since the

publication of the book on February 19,

2022. The book has been widely

acclaimed by readers of all ages.

The book is written about the

memorable events of the life of the

author M Miraz Hossain. His childhoodadolescence,

family, deprivation,

struggle for survival, education, hard

work-success, social activities etc. have

come up in the book.

The author says, 'Every moment of life

adds a new story. In the life of that story

we have been running for a long time.

ApanNama is the story of my life.'

Manzoor Khan Chowdhury Chandan,

the head of NowrozKitabistan, said,

"everyday readers are crowding the stall

for the book. We are happy with the

success."The book is available at book

fair stall number 288-290. The printed

price of the 165 page book is 350 tk. The

book will be available at a special

discount at the fair for 265 tk.

H O R O s c O P E


(March 21 - April 20) : Today you might learn

something about a friend that could be rather

disconcerting, Aries. There could be a dark

side to this person that you weren't previously aware of, and

this could cause you to want to withdraw for a while and

reevaluate your involvement with this individual. When

considering it, remember that we all have our dark sides.

Could what you've discovered simply be this factor, or does

this go too far beyond it for you? Think about it!


(April 21 - May 21) : Outside responsibilities

might temporarily interfere with your love

life, Taurus. You may feel a strong desire to

get together with a love partner early in the

evening, but circumstances may necessitate your working

odd hours. This can be frustrating, as you've been looking

forward to this for a long time, but you could meet your

friend later in the evening. Don't be afraid to ask. Most

people understand when situations like this crop up.


(May 22 - June 21) : Today you're likely to find

your routine too boring for words, Gemini,

and may have a sudden powerful urge to cut

loose and play some serious hooky. Still, you

may feel the pull of obligation. This conflicted feeling should

pass. If it persists beyond today, however, you might need to

reevaluate certain areas of your life. There are lots of

opportunities out there, and life is too short to be stuck in a

situation that doesn't allow you to grow.


(June 22 - July 23) : You could be feeling

especially sensual and passionate today,

Cancer, and you'll want to get together

with a love interest. However, other responsibilities

could get in your way. This could provide you with the

perfect excuse to sink into gloom, but don't fall into this

trap. Get whatever business you're facing handled and

out of the way. Or perhaps you can arrange to finish it

tomorrow. Then set up that hot date!


(July 24 - Aug. 23): You may feel a bit of

disappointment today, Leo. You might

tend to view whatever snags you've hit on

the path to accomplishing your goals as

personal failures, and if you let it, this idea could persist

with you throughout the day. Try to remain objective,

and don't lose sight of the big picture. You haven't even

lost a battle - at worst, it's a minor conflict! Chances are

that if you continue working hard you'll still win the war!


(Aug. 24 - Sept. 23): A rather disheartening

phone call could come to you today, Virgo.

This might bring news of a setback in one

of your projects that is only temporary but

nonetheless frustrating. You'll probably have to deal with

some trivial little details you'd rather not bother with,

and this could take up too much valuable time. Hang in

there - you're still doing well! Don't let your frustrations

get the best of you.


(Sept. 24 - Oct. 23): After the rush of

energy over the past few days, Libra,

today you may feel a powerful letdown.

Not every day can be filled with

adventure and excitement. For now, you just need to

take care of the routine matters that are a byproduct

of life on Earth. However, keep in mind that there are

many weekends coming up, and with the right kind

of planning you can get excitement back into your life.


(Oct. 24 - Nov. 22) : A goal that you've been

trying to reach may be temporarily

stalled, Scorpio, and you could be

tempted to slip into despair, wondering

if it will ever really happen. Remember that the

keyword for today is "temporary." Whatever obstacles

are in your way will eventually be overcome and your

goal should be to continue to advance in the direction

you want. In the meantime, take care of your chores.


(Nov. 23 - Dec. 21): Today you might realize

that you need to make a certain purchase,

Sagittarius. Perhaps your home or car

requires some important repairs, or maybe

some new equipment is necessary for your work. This could

prove rather disheartening, as it might involve spending

money that you'd rather use for something more exciting.

Think of the trouble this expenditure should save you,

however, and you'll see the value of it all.


(Dec. 22 - Jan. 20): The weight of too many

responsibilities, perhaps involving family, a

job, or group affiliation, could be very much

on your mind today, Capricorn. You may feel like Atlas,

carrying the world on your shoulders! You're tired. Perhaps

you need to reevaluate your commitments - your innate

kindness may have caused you to make too many. Fulfill the

ones you have, but think twice before making any new ones.

You're important too, after all.


(Jan. 21 - Feb. 19) : You may have your

ups and downs today, Aquarius. You

could get at least one phone call of the

"good news, bad news" variety, and this

could have your moods swinging back and forth like a

pendulum. Try to stay centered. Take the good news

as encouragement, and as for the bad news, try to

consider it objectively and figure out ways to turn it to

your advantage. There's always a way. Hang in there!


(Feb. 20 - Mar. 20) : Normally you tend to be a very

spiritually oriented person, Pisces, but today you

might find metaphysical concepts of all kinds

rather baffling. Whether these are ideas you've

embraced for a long time or new ones you've just discovered, you

may find nagging little doubts creeping in, temporarily causing

your faith to waver. This is a healthy development, however. A

little doubt now and then can weed out concepts that don't work

for you and reaffirm your belief in others.

SUnDAY, MARCH 6, 2022


In Belkuchi upazila of Sirajganj, Muzammel and his family have allegedly received death threat and

his house has been vandalizing and looting took place recently.

Photo: TBT

Muzammel and his family receives

death threat in Belkuchi


In Belkuchi upazila of Sirajganj,

Muzammel and his family have

allegedly received death threat and his

house has been vandalizing and looting

took place. The allegation was made by

Muzammel Haque, son of Badula

Pramanik of Chala village.

In the written complaint, he said that

his son Shakil Hossain had a love affair

with Sadia Afrin, daughter of Ali Akbar

of nearby Garamashi village. Ali Akbar

and his son Zahid, Akul Pramanik's son

Abdullah, Tofazzal Hossain and Tota

BNP lacks leadership,

now looks at foreign

lords: Bahauddin

PIROJPUR : Awami League

(AL) joint general secretary

Agriculturist AFM

Bahauddin Nasim yesterday

said the BNP, being isolated

from people and leaderless,

is now looking at foreign

lords to assume power.

"BNP is now facing lack of

leadership and people have

moved away from them . . .

Now BNP is looking at the

foreign lords," he told an

extended meeting of district

unit of AL at Shilpakala

Academy Auditorium

yesterday morning.

Bahauddin added: "The

people of Bangladesh will no

longer support them (BNP)

as they cannot trust them

because of their activities."

He said BNP usually

participates in polls but they

always boycott or withdraw

their candidacy one day

before the election or on the

polls day, fearing their


AL Organizing Secretary

Advocate Afzal Hossain,

International Affairs

Secretary Dr Shammi

Ahmed, Central Committee

members Anisur Rahman

and Md Golam Rabbani

Chinu spoke there. District

AL President AKMA Awal

presided over the meeting

while general secretary MA

Hakim Hawlader conducted


Referring to BNP's waging

of movement to unseat the

incumbent government, the

joint general secretary said

the BNP has been trying to

dislodge the government

even through daily

movement for last 13 years

but there is no movement at

all. "BNP's acting chairman

Tareq Rahman, a fugitive

convict, formed a committee

from London virtually with

the terrorists while his party

chairperson is also a convict.

So, they are now dreaming

of coming to power with the

help of foreign lords," he


Nasim told the meeting

that BNP wanted to foil the

prevailing communal peace

by creating unrest.

Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina is trying to save the

17 crore people from the evil



strengthening the Awami


Mia tactfully called Shakil after the

incident and Sadia and got them

married on 24/10/2021 at the registry

office. Later, Sadia's brother Zahid filed

a case with Belkuchi police station as

case plaintiff No. 1 dated 1/11/2021

which is pending in the court. After

filing a case with the police station,

Sadia's relative abducted Shakir's sister

Nasreen Khatun and took her away.

Upon receiving the news of the case,

Sadia's relatives demanded Tk. 60 lakh

from Muzammel on 5/2/2022.

When Muzammel filed a case in this

regard, they came to the wise court and

got rid of the case with a bond. On

9/2/22, when Muzammel and his

family members were visiting a

relative's house, Sadia's relatives

entered Muzammel's house and looted

gold, money, CCTV camera, wall TV

and clothes worth Tk 2 crore and other

items from the godown.

Muzammel and his family cannot go

home. Sadia's relatives have threatened

to kill them through mobile phone. In

this regard, Muzammel Haque and his

family have appealed to the locals and

the Prime Minister to get rid of this


Optimistic female Afghan students

attend university classes

KABUL : At Mustaqbal Pohanton University

on the eastern edge of Kabul, the new

academic year has just begun. Universities in

Afghanistan have been closed since August

last year, reports UNB.

"Learning and education are the tools for

the country's development," said student

Shagofa Mohammadi. "I am very happy that

the universities have reopened."

Mohammadi studies Sharia Law. Sitting

among more than two dozen female

students, she said that it was natural for

everyone to want an education. Mohammadi

is concerned by a shortage of female

lecturers, and some of the classes are taught

by male teachers. "According to Islamic Law

boys and girls should be educated

separately." Established in 2014, Mustaqbal

Pohanton University has a history of

encouraging women to get an education, in

spite of prevailing challenges and economic

problems. Vice chancellor of the university

Najibullah Nasrat is also concerned about

teacher shortages.

Following the end of the U.S.-led

occupations, many academics fled the

country to escape any Taliban retribution.

Nasrat said both male and female lecturers

left the country in numbers last year.

"We have about 800 students, including

300 women, studying here. We have 45

teachers and only 14 of them are women,"

Nasrat told Xinhua. The vice chancellor is

more worried about economic problems.

Many students are unable to pay their

tuition. Lecturer Shamsudin Ahmadzai is

hopeful of a solution, but is critical of

Western attitudes to women's education in

Afghanistan. He called on the international

community to "come in and help us" instead.

FFs fought for independence at

Bangabandhu's call: Mostafa

RANGPUR : Mayor of Rangpur Mostafizar

Rahman Mostafa has said heroic freedom

fighters (FFs) had fought for independence at

the call of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

"Bangabandhu declared independence in his

historic March 7 speech at the then racecourse

ground in 1971 uniting the nation and giving

clear directions to achieve independence," he

said. Mostafa was speaking yesterday as the chief

guest at a commemoration, discussion meeting

and cultural program arranged by RpCC

marking the golden jubilee celebration of the

independence at Rangpur Nagar Bhaban

premises. Chief Executive Officer of Rangpur

City Corporation (RpCC) Md. Ruhul Amin Miah

presided over the functions, participated by

heroic freedom fighters, City Councilors and

RpCC Officials and employees and civil society

members. Former Commander of Rangpur city

unit Command of Bangladesh Muktijoddha

Sangsad heroic freedom fighter Sadrul Alam

Dulu and heroic freedom fighter Advocate Md.

Elias Ahmed commemorated the War of

Liberation. The two heroic freedom fighters

highlighted the overall situation in Rangpur

before the War of Liberation, including the

language movement, six points, eleven points,

Sunamganj Deputy Commissioner Md. Jahangir Hossain visited the ongoing

construction work of houses in Adarbazar area of Rangarchar Union of

Sunamganj Sadar Upazila on Saturday.

Photo : AK Milon

27 soldiers

killed in Mali

jihadist attack:


BAMAKO : A jihadist attack

on a military camp in central

Mali on Friday killed 27

soldiers and 47 "terrorists"

were "neutralised", the

country's army said.

The fighting left 33

soldiers injured, 21

seriously, and seven are

missing, the army added in a

statement, while 23 other

suspects were "neutralised"

later in the day.

The West African state has

been battling jihadist

movements affiliated with

Al-Qaeda and the Islamic

State group for almost a

decade, with around twothirds

of its territory outside

state control.

A French military source

speaking on condition of

anonymity said hundreds

of jihadists attacked the

camp of around 150

soldiers close to 0600

GMT, putting the death toll

between 40 and 50.

Mali's army said the attack

happened around 0530


The jihadists seized 21

vehicles, including tanks,

and injured more than 20

soldiers, the source added.

The source said Mali's

army did not request

support from France's

Barkhane military operation

because the camp was

"where Barkhane was asked

not to operate, probably

because of the presence of

Wagner mercenaries",

referring to the Russian

paramilitary group.

A military official had told

AFP the army and air force

"reacted vigorously".

The Mondoro base is near

Mali's border with Burkina

Faso and has previously

been targeted by jihadists

fighting the Malian state and

foreign forces.

Around 50 soldiers died

after an attack on Mondoro

and the nearby Boulkessi

camp in September 2019.

France's military said

around 100 attackers were

"routed" following a mission

between Barkhane and

Mali's army against jihadists

attempting to take the base

in January 2021.

UN Security Council to

meet Monday on

humanitarian crisis in

Ukraine: diplomats


UN Security Council will

hold an emergency meeting

Monday on the

humanitarian crisis

triggered in Ukraine by the

Russian invasion, diplomats

said Friday.

After this public session,

the 15 members of the

council will confer behind

closed doors to discuss a

possible draft resolution, a

diplomat speaking on

condition of anonymity told


This latter meeting has

been proposed by Mexico

and France, who are

pushing a draft that calls for

an end to hostilities in

Ukraine, unhindered flow of

humanitarian aid and

protection of civilians.

But it has run into

obstacles, namely a warning

from the United States that

it will not support such a

draft unless it states

explicitly that Russia has

caused the humanitarian

crisis, another diplomat told


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Russia to observe ceasefire

in 2 areas of Ukraine

KYIV, UKRAINE : The Russian military will

observe a ceasefire in two areas of Ukraine

starting Saturday to allow civilians to

evacuate, Russian state media reported, but

there was no immediate confirmation from

Ukraine. It would be the first breakthrough

in allowing civilians to escape the war.

The Russian Defense Ministry statement

said it has agreed on evacuation routes with

Ukrainian forces to allow civilians to leave

the strategic port of Mariupol in the

southeast and the eastern town of

Volnovakha "from 10 a.m. Moscow time." It

was not immediately clear from the vaguely

worded statement how long the routes

would remain open.

The head of Ukraine's security council,

Oleksiy Danilov, had called on Russia to

create humanitarian corridors to allow

children, women and the elderly to escape

the fighting, calling such corridors "question

No. 1."

As Russian forces batter strategic

locations, Ukrainian President Volodymyr

Zelenskyy has lashed out at NATO for

refusing to impose a no-fly zone over his

country, warning that "all the people who

die from this day forward will also die

because of you."

NATO says a no-fly zone could provoke

widespread war in Europe with nucleararmed

Russia. But as the United States and

other NATO members send weapons for

Kyiv and more than 1 million refugees spill

through the continent, the conflict is already

drawing in countries far beyond Ukraine's


GD-390/22 (6x3)

Russia continues to crack down on

independent media reporting on the war,

also blocking Facebook and Twitter, and

more outlets say they are pausing their work

inside the country.

And in a warning of a hunger crisis yet to

come, the U.N. World Food Program says

millions of people inside Ukraine, a major

global wheat supplier, will need food aid


Ukraine's president was set to brief U.S.

senators on Saturday on a video conference

call as Congress considers a request for $10

billion in emergency funding for

humanitarian aid and security needs.

In a bitter and emotional speech late

Friday, Zelenskyy criticized NATO over the

lack of a no-fly zone, saying it will fully untie

Russia's hands as it escalates its air attack.

"The alliance has given the green light to the

bombing of Ukrainian cities and villages," he

said, warning that "the history of Europe will

remember this forever."

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg

earlier Friday ruled out the possibility of a

no-fly zone, saying NATO planes would have

to shoot down Russian aircraft.

In a separate video message to antiwar

protesters in several European cities,

Zelenskyy continued to appeal for help. "If

we fall, you will fall," he said. The U.N.

Security Council will hold an open meeting

Monday on the worsening humanitarian

situation. The U.N. estimates that 12 million

people in Ukraine and four million fleeing to

neighboring countries in the coming months

will need humanitarian aid.

A sit-in program was carried out demanding implementation of 500 beds

of Jashore Medical College Hospital. The program was held at Shankarpur

Batalata on Saturday afternoon.

Photo : Shahid Joy

Tasmiah's 1st death anniversary observed

DHAKA : The first death anniversary of

Tasmiah Parveen Chowdhury Hridi, eldest

granddaughter of eminent journalist and

columnist ABM Musa and Setara Musa, was

observed yesterday. Marking the death

anniversary, doa mahfils were arranged at

Hridi's residence in Amherst, USA. Prayers

were also offered at a mosque on Iqbal Road

at Mohammadpur in the capital Dhaka and

Sotero village under Chhagalnaiya of Feni.

She died of cancer at 34 last year at the

Dana Farber Cancer Institute of Boston in

the US. Hridi left behind two children,

husband, parents, a younger sister and many


She was a graduate of pharmacy from the

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and

Health Sciences, Boston in the United States.

She worked as a clinical pharmacist at Bay

State Hospital in Springfield and later as a

pharmacist manager at Mercy Medical

Center. Hridi was the eldest daughter of

journalist Parveen Sultana Jhuma and

pharmacist Selim Azad Chowdhury.

(Notice No : 02/2021-2022)

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Sunday, Dhaka: march 6, 2022; falgun 21, 1428 BS; Shaban 2, 1443 hijri

Majestic Shaplapata

being driven to


BAGERHAT : The stingrays of the Bay of

Bengal, locally known as Shaplapata, are

vital for conserving its biodiversity and

the marine ecosystem, but it is now

endangered due to its lucrative value on

the market for the fishing community.

For the last 30 years, Md Rustom Ali

Howladar, a fisherman from Porgola village

of Pirojpur upazila in Bagerhat, has

seen plenty of Shaplapata being captured

by fishermen during his ventures to the sea.

"Fishermen usually plant fish-hooks

along the seashore to catch the large

Shaplapata and smaller ones are often

caught easily with fishing nets," Rustom

Ali said. The high price it fetches at markets

in the coastal districts of Bagerhat,

Barguna is the reason behind their interest

in catching Shaplapata.

Recently, one weighing 400kg was sold

for Tk 52,000 at a wholesale fish market

in Bagerhat's KB Bazar through open

auction. Given that the retail price per kg

was Tk 300, the fish was sold to consumers

at a total price of Tk 1,40,000

minimum, it is said.

"As there is a great demand for

Shaplapata in the market and a typical

large one can go for Tk 30-40,000 at the

wholesale market, they are the big catch

but even small ones are sold handsomely,"

said some fishermen of the Bagerhat

region. None of them however, would

state on the record any specific incident

of someone catching a Shaplapata.

You see, the fish is listed as an endangered

species by the International Union

for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).



hung in city

ahead of the

celebration of


historic speech

on march 7.

The photo

was taken in

front of the




Center in the

capital on


Photo :

Star mail

Bibi Saibani's Dargah

An archaeological relic and a site

of religious importance

azhar ali, Bogura

Govt to provide one cr

farmers smart cards

Safiqul iSlam

The government has decided to give smart

cards to more than one crore farmers.

Farmers living in 9 districts and metropolitan

areas of 14 agricultural regions of the

country, including the head office of the

Department of Agricultural Extension

under the Ministry of Agriculture, will get

this smart card. Area and demand based

agriculture services will be provided to

each farmer using smart agriculture card

as digital identity of the farmer. At the

same time it will be possible to ensure the

exchange of necessary agricultural information

through digital analysis and management

via the use of this card. This information

has been known from the sources

of the Ministry of Agriculture.

It is learned that the Ministry of

Agriculture has taken up a project titled

'Smart Agriculture Card and Digital

Agriculture (Pilot)' at a cost of TK 107.92

crore provided by the government from

its own funds. The project will be implemented

by the Department of

Agricultural Extension. If all goes well,

the project will be completed by

September 30, 2024. The project will be

implemented in all the upazilas and metropolitan

areas of the district including

Gopalganj, Sunamganj, Tangail, Barisal,

Jashore, Dinajpur, Rajshahi, Bandarban

and Mymensingh districts, including the

head office of the Department of

Agriculture Extension.

According to the Planning Commission,

The Sonatola upazilla of Bogura has a

unique reputation for hosting archaeological

sites in the villages of Garfatepur,

Kabilpur and Garhchaitanyapur such as

Raja Nilambar Roy's house (extinct) and

Pathar Saheb's Dargah. Another important

archaeological site where spirituality

thrived is four hundred year old 'Bibi

Saibani's Dargah' located in the village of

Naodabga in Jorgachha union of the

upazila. As a visitor trave;omg from

Sonatala Upazila Sadar to Sonatala-

Gabtali via Bogura road, you can see the

government Nazir Akhtar College decorated

with rare species of trees. Leaving

behind the college, a little further along

Gabtali Road is the 'Dargah of Pathar

Saheb' in Kabilpur.

The movement of birds in the forest covered

with trees spanning about five-six

acres of land. The chirping of the birds will

make them feel as if they are welcoming

visitors. As you enter through a gate a

short distance away, you will see a beautiful

mosque, a former zamindari house

where elites used to live, an old tomb and

a dargah built during the Mughal period.

Although this dargah, built following the

Mughal architecture, has long been called

the 'old place of worship', but the story of

Bibi Saibani, the spiritual woman who

built the dargah was unknown. Adjacent

to the Dargah is the home of the wellknown

former UP chairman Shah Aman

Ullah Tepa and his wife Rizia Aman, the

former female vice chairman of Sonatala

Upazila Parishad. The history of the

Dargah revolves around their family. It is

learned that former chairman Shah Aman

Ullah Tepa's ancestors Anaar Akand came

and settled at Naodabga in Sonatla.

Bibi Sabiani, daughter-in-law of Anar

Akand, was a very religious woman. She

spent most of her time in worship and

spiritual practice. This small, two-room

dargah was built for his spiritual practice,

especially for indulging into deep meditation.

The place of worship on a brick complex

about two feet high from the ground

has Mughal architectural style.

One is 14 feet long and 8 feet wide and

under the project, digital profiles of 1 crore

62 lakh farmers will be prepared in Krishi

Batayan. 1 crore 9 lakh farmers will be

given smart agriculture cards. Citizenship

information of 1 crore farmers will be verified

by the Election Commission. Smart

agriculture card database clusters, farmer

services, reporting software and apps will

be prepared in 31 modules. Training on

digital agriculture and information management

will be given to TOT training, officer

training, assistant agricultural officer

training, ICT champion farmers or agrientrepreneurs.

14 agricultural innovation

showcasing will be done and 3 national

and 14 regional workshops will be organized.

The Planning Commission said in its

presentation of the project at ECNEC

meeting that implementation of the project

would facilitate decision making and planning

of farmers' agricultural production

with the help of information obtained

through creation of digital agriculture profile,

distribution of smart agriculture cards,

and analysis of digital agricultural data and

proper management of data.

In this context, the Minister of

Agriculture Dr. Abdur Razzak told The

Bangladesh Today that a database of

farmers across the country would be created

in phases. This will also create a

complete list of farmers. That work is

starting with the implementation of the

project. Later this activity will be conducted

all over the country. This will benefit

the farmers.

the other is 10 feet long and 10 feet wide.

Two houses made of small bricks without

plaster. Above the two houses is a small

dome. One room has two doors and the

other room has one door.

Both houses have special designs.

During the construction of the Dargah, a

mosque was built next to it which has got

a modern look now. The matter was discussed

with Shah Kalimullah Raj, the

second son of former UP chairman Shah

Aman Ullah Tepa. He said that the

Dargah was established in the second

decade of 1600 AD in the Mughal style in

the name of Bibi Saibani, daughter-inlaw

of our ancestor Anar Akand. It was

founded by Bibi Saibani's husband

Dewan Akand (son of Anar Akand).

Sheikh Kamal Training

Center to ensure jobs

for 1 lakh youths : Palak

BANDARBAN : State Minister for

Information and Communication

Technology (ICT) Zunaid Ahmed Palak

yesterday said if the 'Sheikh Kamal IT

Training and Incubation Center' is established

in 64 districts of the country,

employments will be ensured for one

lakh youths every year.

"When the construction works of the

'Sheikh Kamal IT Training and Incubation

Center' are completed in 64 districts,

employments for more than one lakh

youths will be created every year. This center

will play an important role in fulfilling

the goal of building a knowledge-based

innovative Bangladesh by 2041," he said.

The state minister said this after laying

the foundation stone of 'Sheikh Kamal IT

Training and Incubation Center' to be

built at a cost of Taka 84 crore on a threeacre

site in Bandarban.

Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) Affairs

Minister Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing was also

present there.

Besides, Vice Chancellor of Bandarban

University Prof Dr A F Imam Ali, 69 Infantry

Brigade's Commander Brigadier General

Md Ziaul Haque, Bandarban Hill District

Council acting chairman Satyaha Panji

Tripura, Bandarban Deputy Commissioner

Yasmin Parvin Tibriji, Bandarban

Superintendent of Police Jerin Akhtar and

Managing Director of Bangladesh Hi-tech

Park Authority Dr Bikarna Kumar Ghosh

attended it, among others.

"The people of Bandarban are happy to

get this IT training and incubation center.

Through this, Bandarban has entered into

the modern age. When it is completed, our

hill boys and girls will advance in science

and technology," said Chattogram Hill

Tracts (CHT) Affairs Minister Bir Bahadur

Ushwe Sing.

Later, the minister and the state minister

attended a discussion jointly organized

by Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park and the district


Bangladesh tumbled for 115 for nine in 20 overs in the 2nd T20i against afghanistan on Saturday at

Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

Photo : Star mail

Drive to control



Two onion traders fined

DHAKA : The Directorate of National

Consumers' Right Protection (DNCRP)

under the Commerce Ministry conducted

drives at different wholesale markets

in the capital and fined two wholesalers

for selling onion at higher prices.

A DNCRP team fined owners of two

warehouses at Shyambazar in the capital

Tk 50,000 each for selling onions at

higher prices.

The team, led by Manzoor Mohammad

Shahriar, DNCRP director and head of

Dhaka divisional office, conducted the


Magfur Rahman and Mahmuda

Akhter, assistant directors of DNCRP,

were other members of the team.

The companies - Rajiv Traders and

Panama Trades- were selling onions at

Tk 49 per kg even though the prices of

imported onions were shown at Tk 45

per kg in the displayed chart.

On the other hand, the team found

traders were selling soybean at Tk 185

per liter on Saturday. The government

did not agree with the Bangladesh

Vegetable Oil Refiners and Vanaspati

Manufacturers Association (BVORVMA)

for raising price of edible oil.

Govt aims at boosting revenue

collection amid recovery

from Covid shocks

DHAKA : The government has projected

an increase in revenue collection in the

coming days as the country's economy has

started recovering gradually from the

shock of COVID-19 pandemic.

According to an official document, the

revenue collection for 2023-24 fiscal has

been projected Tk 4999.7 billion while it

will be Tk 4362,4 billion for the 2022-23


In the running fiscal of 2021-22 the revenue

collection has been fixed at Tk 3890


The document said that on-going and

the proposed reform plans undertaken by

the government are expected to boost the

domestic revenue reaching the target in

the medium term.

The government has set revenue target

of Tk 3890 billion for running 2021-22 fiscal,

which is 10.7 per cent higher than that

of the revised target in fiscal 2020-21.

The document mentioned that revenue

collection needs to grow at a rate of 21.0

per cent (on average) from the actual collection

in fiscal 2020-21 for achieving the

revenue target in fiscal 2021-22.

Revenue mobilization is expected to be

strengthened in the medium term when

the economy would recover from the

COVID-19 pandemic and the NBR reform

programs are implemented fully.

The total target of the revenue collection

for the running 2021-22 fiscal is Tk 3890

billion. Of the total amount tax revenue

will contribute Tk 3460 billion. The share

for the National Board of Revenue (NBR)

is Tk 3300 billion.

The government projects to collect Tk

1049.5 billion from Income and profit

taxes, Tk 379.1 billion from customs duties

and Tk 1822.10 billion from VAT and supplementary

duties in fiscal 2021-22.

The non-NBR tax will be Tk 160 billion

with Tk 430 billion from non-tax revenue.

Income and profit taxes, customs duties,

and VAT and supplementary duties

require to grow by 9.4 per cent, 2 per cent,

and 11.4 per cent

respectively, on an average, from the

revised collection in fiscal 2020-21 to

achieve revenue targets in fiscal 2021-


For the 2022-23 fiscal, the total target of

the revenue collection has been projected

at Tk 4362.40 billion. Of the total amount

tax revenue will contribute Tk 3916.5 billion.

The share for the National Board of

Revenue (NBR) is Tk 3718.7 billion.

The government projects to collect Tk

1202.1 billion from Income and profit

taxes, Tk 434.3 billion from customs

duties and Tk 2008.6 billion from VAT

and supplementary duties in fiscal 2022-


The non-NBR tax will be Tk 197 billion

with Tk 445 billion from non-tax revenue.

Income and profit taxes, customs duties,

and VAT and supplementary duties

require growing by 14.5 per cent, 14.6 per

cent, and 10.2 per cent respectively, on

average, from the collection in fiscal 2021-

22 to achieve revenue targets in fiscal


The total target of the revenue collection

for the 2023-24 fiscal is Tk 4999.7 billion.

Of the total amount tax revenue will contribute

Tk 4480.30 billion. The share for

the National Board of Revenue (NBR) will

be Tk 4253.4 billion.

Tigers fail to inflict T20

whitewash on Afghans

DHAKA : A dismal batting performance

caused Bangladesh's eight-wicket defeat to

Afghanistan in the second and final T20

game at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket

Stadium yesterday.

In doing so, the Afghans leveled the

series 1-1 and also denied Bangladesh a T20

whitewash, which was on the cards. The

Afghanistan similarly avoided a clean

sweep in three-match ODI series earlier by

winning the third game. Opener

Hazratullah Zazai struck an unbeaten 59 off

45 and shared a 99-run partnership with

Usman Ghani for the second wicket to help

Afghanistan race to the victory with 14 balls

to spare after Bangladesh put up 115-9.

Darwish Rasooli who was not out on 9

wrapped up the game, pulling left-arm

spinner Nasum Ahmed a six over deep

mid-wicket as Afghanistan made 119-2

Afghanistan lost the first T20 match by 61

runs. Both teams lined up before the start of

play and observed a minute's silence in memory

of Australian legend Shane Warne and

Rodney Marsh. Usman Ghani who survived

twice on 39 and 41, scored 47 off 48 with five

fours and one six. Zazai and Ghani's matchdefining

partnership came after Afghanistan

lost Rahmanullah Gurbaz for 3.

Zazai's innings was almost chanceless. He

slog-swept left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan

for six over deep square-leg to reach his third

fifty off 37 balls and hit three fours and five

sixes in his match-winning knock. Earlier,

Mushfiqur Rahim, playing his 100th T20

game as only the second Bangladesh player

after captain Mahmudullah Riyad, top-scored

for the side with 30.

Riyad however made 21 and in the

process became the first Bangladeshi batter

to go past 2000-run mark in this format.

Only two other Bangladeshi batters -Liton

Das and Naim Sheikh could reach double

digits in this match, making an identical 13.

Pacers Fazalhaq Farooqi and Azmatullah

Omarzai were the wrecker-in-chief, claiming

three wicket apiece, conceding just 18

and 22 runs respectively.

Opting to bat first in a wicket that had a

slight grass, Bangladesh made a disastrous

start, losing Munim Shahriar for just 4. In

form Liton Das though hit a six at the start

of the innings, couldn't make his start count

and Naim Sheikh was dismissed after an

uncomfortably stay in the crease.

Shakib Al Hasan too looked shaky during

his stay in the crease and eventually was out

for 9. Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah

appeared set to bail the side out of danger,

putting on 43-run for the fifth wicket stand,

which was instrumental in helping

Bangladesh propel past 100.

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