-A man died of electrocution while trying to steal bulb from an electricity pole in Khanjarpur area in the district town early Friday.The deceased is Shamim Hossain, 34, son of late Mojahar Ali of Chakgopal area in Joypurhat municipality.Joypurhat police station officer-in-charge Selim Hossain said local people found Shamim’s body lying on the ground near an electric pole in Khanjarpur area on Joypurhat-Dhamoirhat road and informed police.Later, police sent the body to Joypurhat Adhunik Hospital morgue for an autopsy.
Renata Lok-Dessallien is the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Myanmar. Photo–UNThe United Nations has announced that its top official in Myanmar is being recalled to headquarters in New York, reports BBC.Renata Lok-Dessallien was the focus of a BBC investigation last month in which she was accused of suppressing internal discussion on Rohingya Muslims.More than 500,000 Rohingya have fled a military offensive following deadly militant attacks on police in August, with many now in camps in Bangladesh.The UN said Dessallien would leave by the end of October, said the BBC report.It said in June that she would be rotated from her position but stressed then the decision had nothing to do with her performance.Diplomatic and aid community sources in Yangon, however, told the BBC’s Jonah Fisher the decision was linked to her failure to prioritise human rights.Since then Dessallien has remained in post with the government of Myanmar (Burma) rejecting her proposed successor.Two weeks ago the UN secretary-general said he had full confidence in Dessallien but BBC correspondent says that now appears to be in doubt.In the BBC investigation, sources in the UN and aid community told the BBC she had also tried to stop human rights officials from visiting areas where the army allegedly persecuted the Rohingya minority.A statement from the UN in Myanmar, in response to a BBC inquiry, defended Dessallien’s handling of the Rohingya issue and said her departure was part of a succession process.Who will replace her remains to be announced, the BBC report concluded. read more
Nojibur RahmanNational Board of Revenue (NBR) chairman Md Nojibur Rahman has been made the principal secretary to the prime minister, reports UNB.The public administration ministry issued a gazette notification in this regard on Sunday morning.Nojibur Rahman will replace Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury.Nojibur , who joined BCS administration cadre in 1982, served as the environment and forests secretary, the statistics and informatics division secretary and the director general of Department of Environment prior to assuming office as the NBR chief.Born in Chhatak upazila of Sunamganj district in 1960, Nojibur Rahman achieved his graduation and post-graduation degrees from the Sociology department of Dhaka University.Meanwhile, the government has appointed information ministry additional secretary Nasir Uddin as its acting secretary, additional secretary at the environment and forest ministry Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury as its acting secretary and additional secretary at the finance division Shahabuddin Ahmed as the acting secretary of food ministry.Moreover, additional secretary at local government division Nasreen Akhter has been made the acting secretary of the National Academy for Planning and Development. read more
ASKAt least 25 women were either tortured to death or committed suicide over dowry across the country in the first three months of the year, according to the human rights group, Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK).ASK published a statement on Saturday providing numbers for such HR violations where it said its numbers were derived from its own findings that collate reports published in eight leading national dailies, reports UNB.It found at least 55 women were tortured over dowry. Among them 21 were tortured to death, 4 committed suicide and 9 were driven from the husband’s homes, the report added.In the report ASK also said that 187 women had been raped and 19 of them were killed after rape between January and March.They also found two women committed suicide after being raped, and 21 women survived rape attempts.At least 107 women were tortured by their families. Some 75 women were killed, 14 were committed suicide over the tortures and 18 were tortured physically, according to the report.At least 422 children were either killed or tortured across the country in the three months since January. Among them 71 children were killed, and 26 committed suicide, it mentioned.Twenty-seven cases of women being sexually harassed were reported by its sources, ASK said. Among them one committed suicide and two males were even killed while protesting such incidents, the report said.At least 11 housemaids were tortured in different ways. Among them three were killed mysteriously.The incidents of sexual harassment and violence, family violence, torture over dowry, housemaids tortures, throwing Acid, tortures by arbiter and Fatawa also increased in last three months, it added.In the statement ASK also found that at least 109 incidents of political violence occurred in the period under review. In those incidents 11 were killed and 1488 were injured.At least 46 people were killed in “crossfire” with law enforcement agencies during the period, it added.Among them, 16 were killed in “crossfire” with Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), 19 with police, five with Detective Branch (DB) of police and the rest were killed in “crossfire” with other agencies, it said.They also said the word ‘crossfire’ was taken from the national dailies.In the report, ASK said 25 prisoners were ”killed” in police jail custody. Of them 11 were prisoners and 14 were jail inmates.At least 65 journalists were tortured and harassed in different ways, received threats and faced obstruction during discharging their duties, it added.At least three were tortured to death, seven sustained injuries, three were abducted by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) in different bordering areas of the country, ASK said.Some 16 people were killed in mass beating and section 144 was imposed in 8 different places over the country during the period.Five houses of Hindu community were vandalised and torched while 17 idols and temples and Puja mandaps were attacked in last three months, ASK said.The rights group also said plainclothes men identifying themselves as law enforcers picked up four people. Among them two were returned while one was shown arrested. read more
.Three college teachers have been relieved of exam duty for providing wrong question papers to examinees at a centre during the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examinations on Monday, reports UNB.The punitive action was taken against Lutful Haq, Ritamoni and Akhter Ali of Beelchalan Shahid Shamsuzzoha Govt College in Gurudaspur. They were also served show-cause notices.Manir Hossain, Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Gurudaspur, said a total of 51 students sat for the Bangla first paper examination at the college centre on Monday. Of them, 15 examinees were regular.The teachers who were performing duty as the invigilators at the exam centre provided the question papers for irregular students of 2016, he said.As the matter came to light, the college authorities talked to the Education Board concerned.The three teachers were relieved of the exam duty on Tuesday and served show-cause notices over the matter, the UNO said. read more
Israeli officials gave final approval Thursday to 153 east Jerusalem settler homes, the deputy mayor said, adding to a sharp increase in such projects since US President Donald Trump took office.Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman told AFP the approvals by a city planning committee were among those held up due to pressure from former US president Barack Obama’s administration.Following Trump’s inauguration, Turgeman spoke of plans for some 11,000 homes in process for annexed east Jerusalem.“I’m going to deliver permits for thousands of homes in Jerusalem in the coming months,” Turgeman said.Thursday’s approvals were for the settlement neighbourhood of Gilo.Israel has announced a major settlement expansion in the days following Trump’s January 20 inauguration.On Sunday, the city planning committee approved building permits for 566 settler homes in east Jerusalem.Two days later, the defence ministry announced plans for 2,500 settler homes in the occupied West Bank.Trump has pledged strong support for Israel, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has moved quickly to take advantage.In a telling break with the Obama administration, Trump’s White House has not condemned Israel’s settlement expansion.The announcements have deeply concerned those seeking to salvage a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Settlements are viewed by much of the world as illegal and major stumbling blocks to peace efforts as they are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state.Obama’s administration, like much of the world, warned that settlement expansion was gradually eating away at prospects for a two-state solution. read more
Soldiers are seen at the Paramacay Fort, headquarters of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces’ 41st Infantry Brigade, in Venezuela’s third city, Valencia. Photo: AFPVenezuela’s military said Sunday it repelled a “terrorist” attack on a base in the city of Valencia and was hunting some of the assailants who made off with pillaged weapons.A group of around 20 “mercenaries” led by an army officer who had deserted battled troops in the base for three hours, ending with two of the attackers being killed and eight captured, President Nicolas Maduro said on state television.The other 10 escaped with an arsenal taken from the base, according to officials who said an “intense search” was underway.Maduro claimed the group had ties to Colombia and the United States.The incident heightened fears that Venezuela’s deepening political and economic crisis could explode into greater violence.Officials insisted afterward that all was normal across the country.Military helicopters flew overhead and tactical armored vehicles patrolled the streets in Valencia, a major northwestern city, in a climate of tension after the attack.Locals said a nighttime curfew had been imposed. Police dispersed protesters who set up flaming barricades across roads.The armed forces said in a statement “a group of civilian criminals wearing military uniforms and a first lieutenant who had deserted” carried out the attack.Maduro said the lieutenant, among those captured, was “actively giving information and we have testimony from seven of the civilians.”Loyal military chiefsMaduro congratulated the army for its “immediate reaction” in putting down the attack, saying they earned his “admiration.”Venezuela’s opposition has repeatedly urged the military to abandon Maduro.But Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino, the head of the armed forces, has said the military’s loyalty was unshakable.After Sunday’s attack in Valencia, Padrino tweeted that the assailants “couldn’t do anything against” the army.In a video posted online just before the attack, a man presenting himself as an army captain named Juan Caguaripano declared a “legitimate rebellion… to reject the murderous tyranny of Nicolas Maduro.”Speaking with 15 men in camouflage standing by him, some of them armed, he demanded a transitional government and “free elections.”It was not known if he was the lieutenant referred to in the military statement.That statement said the officer had deserted three years ago and taken refuge in Miami, in the US state of Florida.Venezuela isolatedVenezuela has become increasingly isolated internationally as Maduro tightens his hold on power through a contested loyalist assembly that started work this week.The opposition, which controls the legislature, has been sidelined. Its leaders are under threat of arrest after organizing protests, fiercely countered by security forces, that have left 125 people dead in the past four months.One prominent leader, Leopoldo Lopez, was returned to house arrest after being hauled off to military prison four days ago.The new Constituent Assembly, packed with Maduro allies including the president’s wife and son, has quickly used its supreme powers to clamp down on dissent.On Saturday, it ordered the dismissal of the attorney general, Luisa Ortega, who had broken ranks with Maduro to become one of his most vociferous critics.On Sunday it announced—then suspended—the creation of a “truth commission” sought by Maduro to probe alleged crimes by the opposition.The United States accuses Maduro of installing an “authoritarian dictatorship” that has turned Venezuela into an international pariah.The United States, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Peru have slammed the “illegal” sacking of Ortega.And Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil have indefinitely suspended Venezuela from the South American trading bloc Mercosur for its “rupture of the democratic order.”“Each step by the Constituent Assembly is a step towards the precipice by this government,” the leader of the opposition parliament, Julio Borges, told a news conference in Caracas on Sunday.“The only thing it has left is brute force… The only thing it wants is to cling to power,” he said, calling for more protests. read more
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina and AQM Badrudozza ChowdhuryPrime minister and Awami League president Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday night invited Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) to join dialogue at Ganabhaban on Friday evening.Responding to the BDB president’s letter to her, Sheikh Hasina sent a letter to B Chowdhury inviting his party to join the dialogue, reports UNB.Awami League publicity affair secretary Hasan Mahmud and party cultural affairs secretary Ashim Kumar Ukil handed over the letter to B Chowdhury at his Baridhara residence.In the letter, the prime minister said, “Take salam and greetings. Thank you for your letter dated 30 October 2018. My door is always open for discussions on all constitutional issues for the continuation of the democratic trend earned through immense struggles and sacrifices. So, I invite you (BDB leaders) to Ganabhaban on 2 November at 7:30pm for discussions as per the time you sought.”Earlier in the evening, BDB president B Chowdhury sent a letter to Sheikh Hasina seeking dialogue with her party.In the letter, B Chwodhury said, “We’re pleased that you’ve extended offer to engage in political dialogue to resolve the problems over the election. We, on behalf of Jukta Front and Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh, sincerely thank you.”“We’ll be happy if you invite us to join dialogue with you at your convenient time. We believe it’s possible to resolve all the problems through our will and cordiality,” he wrote in the letter.On Sunday, Kamal Hossain, in favour of Jatiya Oikya Front, sent a letter to prime minister Sheikh Hasina seeking dialogue over the national election.In response to it, Sheikh Hasina sent a letter to Kamal on Tuesday morning and invited Oikya Front leaders to join the dialogue at 7:00pm on Thursday at Ganabhaban. read more
Top leaders of Jatiya Oikya Front have sat in a meeting this (Monday) evening to work out its next course of action after a massive debacle in the 11th parliamentary elections, reports UNB.The meeting is scheduled to be held at Oikya Front convener Kamal Hossain’s Motijheel chamber, Gono Forum leader Amin Afsari told UNB.He said the senior leaders of the alliance will evaluate the election results and finalise their future action programmes.Kamal Hossain, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, JSD president ASM Abur Rob, Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna and other senior leaders of Oikya Front are expected to join the meeting.Earlier in the day, the alliance cancelled its press briefing scheduled to be held at the National Press Club at 12:00pm.Meanwhile, BNP standing committee members sat in an emergency meeting at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office at 4:00pm to analyse election results and finalise their future course of action.BNP senior leaders are also scheduled to hold another meeting with the top leaders of the 20-party alliance at the same venue at 6:00pm. read more
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina addressing officials at her office — Photo: BSSReiterating her stand against corruption, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said her government will continue its fight against graft to keep up the country’s development spree and uphold its achievements.“Though it’s not possible for any country to root out cent percent corruption, it’s a responsibility of our government to check corruption so that it cannot impede the uplift of the country and ruin our all successes,” she said while exchanging views with senior officials of the prime minister’s office (PMO) on the first working day of her office at the PMO after her reelection as the prime minister for the fourth time.The premier continued: “Our war to stamp out terrorism, graft and narcotics will continue”.Sheikh Hasina said once the incidents of tender hijacking took place frequently in the country. “But, we’ve been able to free the country from this curse…the success came due to the use of technology and it’s a good result of Digital Bangladesh,” she added.Asking the public servants to give more labour for the country’s evelopment, the prime minister said: “All will have to work hard and this labour will be an achievement of the people who are our near and dear ones”.“We want to build Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous nation…we have already got the recognition of the developing country and this achievement will have to be retained,” she said.Extending thanks to the government officials for their cooperation, Sheikh Hasina said whenever her government came to power, it received sincere cooperation of the public servants.“We were able to complete all the development works fast due to cooperation of all government officials and thus advanced the country rapidly,” she said.Stressing the need for making the country self-reliant in all fields, the premier said Bangladesh will have to move keeping pace with the world.“We shouldn’t be dependent on others….we’ll have to stand on our own feet,” she said.Sheikh Hasina urged all to stay alert so that the anti-liberation forces never come to power. “We want that whoever comes to power they will believe in the spirit and thought of independence and the country will move ahead through it.”She said the world people now see Bangladesh in the eyes of honour due to its tremendous development. “But, once we had to hear that Bangladesh means a country of flood, cyclone and famine, which always hurt our self-dignity…we couldn’t tolerate it,” she said.“From that time, I took a vow that none can undermine us. We earned independence through the liberation war and we will move keeping our head high,” she said. read more
Cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), speaks to members of media after casting his vote at a polling station during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan on 25 July, 2018. Photo: ReutersPakistan’s cricket star turned politician Imran Khan said India and Pakistan should resolve their dispute over the divided Kashmir region through talks, as he declared victory on Thursday in Pakistan’s still-disputed general election.”The leaders of Pakistan and India should sit down at a table and resolve the Kashmir issue,” Khan said in a victory speech on Thursday.Khan’s party has a commanding lead in partial election results, but supporters of jailed ex-prime Nawaz Sharif alleged rigging in the vote count, calling the process an assault on democracy in a country that has a history of military rule. read more
Aysha Siddika MinniThe High Court on Thursday turned down an appeal seeking cancellation of slain Rifat Sharif’s wife Ayesha Siddiqa Minni’s remand and said that HC would not interfere in this matter right now, reports UNB.A bench of justice FRM Nazmul Ahsan and justice Kamrul Kader passed the order when Supreme Court lawyer Faruk Hossain brought a newspaper report titled “Minni’s remand; no one beside her” to the court’s notice.”Now Minni has been accused in the case, right now we don’t want to interfere in it. There is also a scope to file the appeal with the subordinate court,” the court said.Minni’s husband Rifat Sharif, 22, was attacked with sharp weapons near the main gate of Barguna Government College. His wife Aysha Siddiqa Minni appeared to be trying to protect him during the attack in broad daylight caught on surveillance camera.Police arrested Minni on Tuesday night after a daylong interrogation. A court granted police five days to interrogate her in custody.Apart from Minni, 13 suspects have so far been arrested. Seven of them have reportedly confessed to their involvement in the murder. read more
Red CrescentBangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) has opened hotline for safe blood and blood platelets (01811458537, 02- 9139940), reports UNB. It has also started distributing leaflets among homebound people ahead of Eid-ul-Azha as part of its drive to raise countrywide public awareness to control dengue. They distributed leaflets among passengers at Kamalapur railway station and Sadarghat launch terminal on Sunday. Red Crescent Blood Centre and Holy Family Red Crescent Blood Centre in Mohammadpur are open for 24 hours to provide emergency blood platelets for dengue patients, said Red Crescent Blood Centre in-charge Zahidur Rahman. BDRCS said they are working across the country to raise public awareness to prevent dengue. Distribution of awareness leaflets and conveying awareness messages continue in all places of residence and workplace in various districts, including the capital, it said. BDRCS secretary general Md Feroz Salah Uddin said they have been conducting various campaign programmes across the country to check dengue. read more
MissingA young boy went missing after a speed boat sank in the Padma River on Tuesday morning, reports UNB.The boy is Deen Islam Hossain, 8, son of Siddiqur Rahman of Mollar Hawla village in Kauarchar of Barishal.Md Aminul Islam, in-charge of Mawa river police camp, said a speed boat overturned because of strong wind while going to Kathalbari terminal from Shimulia around 8:00am.It was carrying 19 passengers.Other speed boats rescued 18 passengers but Deen Islam remained missing, Aminul said. Members of Bangladesh Army, Fire Service and River Police are scouring the river.The eight-year-old, a grade three student, was going to his village home with his father Siddiqur Rahman and uncle Babul Hawlader from Dhaka.