China offers not only ‘basket of money’ but also “affordable” proposals: FM

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said China has come forward with a “basket of money” along with “aggressive and affordable” proposals amid Bangladesh’s growing infrastructure needs when help from many countries is “declining”.

However, Indian External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar laid emphasis on making an “informed decision” and cited the problems that they have seen in some countries in the region.

The Foreign Ministers of Bangladesh and India came up with their own views during a panel discussion titled “A Sea Change: Regional Order and Security in the Indo-Pacific” on the second day (Saturday) of the Munich Security Conference 2022.

While asking a question, Dr Momen said Bangladesh is doing “pretty well” in terms of economic development and since Bangladesh is doing pretty well, the aspirations of common people have also gone up.

“They want more facilities and more opportunities for their better life and there’s a demand for more infrastructure facilities in the country. But we don’t have money. Neither do we’ve technology,” said the Foreign Minister.

He said they need to have further development to face this public demand while help from many countries is declining.

Dr Momen thanked Japan saying they are one of the best friends and the country is investing in Bangladesh’s infrastructure.

He also thanked India with remarks that the country has been giving line of credit to Bangladesh for various projects.

Dr Momen said the development process is going on in Bangladesh in line with people’s demand for more infrastructure development.

“And there we need a completion. We need more funding from our development partners,” he said, adding that unfortunately they come with a lot of strings making things very difficult.

The Foreign Minister said till today Bangladesh borrowed maximum loans from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Responding to Dr Momen’s question, his Indian counterpart Dr Jaishankar said international relations is “competitive” and every country will look for opportunities and see what it can do.

“But while doing so, it’s in their own interest to be prudent and do due diligence about what they are getting into…we’ve seen now countries, including in our region, being saddled with large debts, we’ve seen projects which are commercially unsustainable, airports where aircraft doesn’t come, harbours where ship doesn’t come. I think people would be justified and ask themselves what I am getting into,” said the Indian External Affairs Minister.

He said it is in the interest of the country concerned and also in the interest of the international community because unsustainable projects do not end there. “There’re real concerns over there.”

“I think it’s very important that all of us make an informed decision but of course a very competitive decision,” said Dr Jaishankar.

The 58th Munich Security Conference (MSC) is scheduled to end today (Feb 18-20) at its usual venue in Munich, the Hotel Bayerischer Hof.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

BGMEA for promoting RMG industry globally

Faruque Hassan, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Sunday said Bangladesh’s RMG industry has made tremendous progress especially in the past decade, earning more trust and confidence of brands and buyers.

He said this when President and Group Managing Director of CEMS Global, Meherun N. Islam, paid a courtesy call on him at his office in Gulshan.

“Today our clothing factories are not only safer, but also have become more dynamic, modern, energy-efficient and environment-friendly. Bangladesh has by far the highest number of green garment factories in the world,” he said.

The BGMEA chief said buyers and international stakeholders should be given opportunity to have first-hand experience of the excellence Bangladesh has achieved in the areas of workplace safety, environmental sustainability, ethical manufacturing.

They had discussions about how BGMEA and CEMS Global could collaborate to promote the apparel industry of Bangladesh at home and abroad, especially by organizing international exhibitions.

The international stakeholders also should be given opportunity witness the industry’s developments in terms of product diversification, skills development, technological upgrade, innovations in product development and process optimization, said the BGMEA chief.

Highlighting the need for organizing international expositions on Bangladesh’s garment industry, Faruque said when international stakeholders including buyers will come to Bangladesh and see the garment industry, their perception of what they heard or learnt earlier from others will change.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Nagad, TBS unveil joint publication to pay tribute to 19 language heroes

To commemorate 70 years of the Language Movement, Nagad and The Business Standard (TBS) unveiled a special publication Sunday to pay tribute to 19 language heroes of 1952 from Chattogram.

The cover of the publication “Chattogram in Language Movement” was revealed in the capital Sunday ahead of Shaheed Dibash (Martyrs’ Day) and International Mother Language Day Monday.

Chattogram in Language Movement features untold tales of 19 veteran language heroes from the region, who actively participated in the Language Movement to achieve the recognition of Bangla as the state language of then Pakistan.

The heroes are Shaheed Saber, Maulana Ahmedur Rahman Azmee, AKM Emdadul Islam, Krishna Gopal Sen, Abdus Salam, AKM Rafique Ullah Chowdhury, Abdullah Al Harun, Kobial Ramesh Shil, MA Aziz, Abul Kalam Azad, Chemon Ara, Mohammad Solaiman, Binod Behari, Prothiba Mutsuddi, Shawkat Osman, Mahbub Ul Alam Chowdhury, Zahur Ahmad Chowdhury, Prof Abdul Fazal and Sayadul Haque.

Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhoury Nowfel was present at the event as the chief guest. Nasiruddin Yousuff Bacchu, freedom fighter and Ekushey Padak winning thespian, and Barrister Biplab Barua, special assistant to the prime minister, were present as special guests.

Tanvir A Mishuk, managing director of Nagad, also attended the event.

The joint publication will be circulated across the country along with TBS’ daily newspaper Monday.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Driver of truck that killed 5 in Cumilla held

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) detained the driver of the truck that hit an auto-rickshaw leaving five people dead in Burichang upazila from Kaneshtala in Sadar Dakkhin upazila of Cumilla district early Sunday.

The detainee is Rakibul Hasan Rony, 19, of Mirpur village in Burichang upazila.

Tipped off, a team of Rab-1 conducted a drive in the area and detained Rony, said Company Commandar of Rab-11, Major Mohammad Sakib Hossain.

Rony has no driving liscense, he said.

Earlier on Friday, five people were killed when a truck hit a CNG run-auto-rickshaw at Sinduria in Burichang upazila.

A case was filed in this connection.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Man arrested in fatal shooting of student at SUNY-Potsdam

A music education student at the State University of New York in Potsdam campus died from gunshot wounds in what was described as an isolated incident, authorities said Saturday.

New York state police charged Michael J. Snow, 31, of Massena, NY, with one count of second-degree murder. He was arraigned in the town of Potsdam court and remanded to St. Lawrence County Jail with no bail, police said. It was unclear whether he had an attorney who could comment.

Potsdam police responded to a report of an unconscious woman shortly before 6 p.m. Friday when they found 21-year-old Elizabeth Howell of Patterson, N.Y., lying with gunshot wounds on the side of College Park Road in the village.

She was pronounced dead about an hour later after she was taken to Canton Potsdam Hospital, authorities said.

In a news release Saturday, SUNY Potsdam said it was “deeply saddened” to share that the victim of the shooting was a student at the school’s Crane School of Music who was in the Class of 2022. The school’s website calls the music school “one of the best public music programs in the country.”

“We mourn Beth’s loss as one campus community, and hold her family, friends, and loved ones in our hearts at this difficult time,” it said.

The school said it was canceling Monday classes “as we work to support each other through this tragedy.” It advised students that the College Counseling Center would offer drop-in support all weekend as it also posted crisis and suicide hotline numbers.

Earlier Saturday, the school had warned people in St. Lawrence County and neighboring Franklin County “to be vigilant, as there may still be an active threat to the community. Lock your doors, and report any suspicious activity.”

But a later news release copied language from the State Police report, saying “the preliminary investigation has determined that this appears to be an isolated incident.”

SUNY Potsdam, founded in 1816, was one of the country’s first 50 colleges. With fewer than 3,000 undergraduate students. Nearly half of its students pursue studies in the sciences, social sciences or mathematics.

The Village of Potsdam is located in the Town of Potsdam in the Adirondack foothills in St. Lawrence County, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the Canadian border.

State police said they were asked to lead the investigation.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Federal officials confirm bird flu detected in New York

A highly pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in a non-commercial backyard flock of birds on Long Island in New York, federal authorities confirmed Saturday.

Samples from the flock were tested at the Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostic Center and confirmed at the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service laboratories in Ames, Iowa.

New York state officials have quarantined the site in Suffolk County and birds on the affected properties “will be depopulated to prevent the spread of disease,” said the USDA in a statement, noting that birds from the flock will not enter the food system.

The virus has been detected at commercial turkey farms in southern Indiana, a flock of commercial broiler chickens in Kentucky and a backyard flock of mixed species birds in northern Virginia.

State officials in Indiana confirmed Saturday the virus has been detected in a fourth commercial poultry flock in that state. Officials have begun euthanizing the 15,200 birds at the latest farm to prevent the spread of the disease.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says the recent detections of the bird flu do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these viruses have been detected in the U.S., according to the USDA.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Queen Elizabeth II tests positive for COVID; mild symptoms

Queen Elizabeth II tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday and is experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, Buckingham Palace said, adding that the famously stoic 95-year-old monarch plans to carry on working.

The palace said the queen would continue with “light” duties at Windsor Castle over the coming week.

“She will continue to receive medical attention and will follow all the appropriate guidelines,” the palace said in a statement.

People in the U.K. who test positive for COVID-19 are required to self-isolate for at least five days, although the British government says it plans to lift that requirement for England this week.

The queen has received three doses of coronavirus vaccine.

Both her eldest son Prince Charles, 73, and her 74-year-old daughter-in-law Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall both contracted COVID-19 earlier this month. Charles has since returned to work. There are also thought to be several recent virus cases among staff at Windsor Castle, where the queen is staying.

Senior British politicians sent get-well messages. Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “I’m sure I speak for everyone in wishing Her Majesty The Queen a swift recovery from COVID and a rapid return to vibrant good health.”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid wrote that he was “Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a quick recovery,” while opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer wished the queen “good health and a speedy recovery. Get well soon, Ma’am.”

Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, the queen reached the milestone of 70 years on the throne on Feb. 6, the anniversary of the death in 1952 of her father King George VI.

A fixture in the life of the nation, Elizabeth has been in robust health for most of her reign and has been photographed riding a horse as recently as 2020. In the past year she has been seen using a walking stick, and in October she spent a night in a London hospital for unspecified tests.

The queen’s doctors ordered her to rest after that and she was forced to cancel appearances at several key events, including Remembrance Sunday services and the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland in November.

This month she returned to public duties and has held audiences both virtually and in person with diplomats, politicians and senior military officers. During one exchange caught on camera last week, she walked slowly with a stick and said “as you can see I can’t move” in apparent reference to her leg.

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said members of the royal family would be concerned by the COVID-19 diagnosis, given the queen’s age. She turns 96 on April 21.

“In the coming days a very close eye will be kept on her and the indications are that, all being well, it’s nothing more than a minor inconvenience,” he said.

The queen has a busy schedule over the next few months of her Platinum Jubilee year, and is scheduled to attend in-person public engagements in the coming weeks, including a diplomatic reception at Windsor on March 2 and the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on March 14.

On March 29, she has a remembrance service at Westminster Abbey for her husband Prince Philip, who died in April 2021 at the age of 99.

Public celebrations of the Platinum Jubilee are scheduled for June, with festivities including a military parade, a day of horse-racing and neighborhood parties over a June 2-5 long weekend.

The queen is the latest monarch from around the world to catch COVID-19. Queen Margrethe of Denmark, 82, and Spain’s King Felipe VI, 54, both tested positive for the illness earlier in February and had mild symptoms.

Her diagnosis comes after a difficult week for Britain’s royal family.

On Tuesday the queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, settled a U.S. lawsuit brought by a woman who claimed he had sexually abused with her when she was 17 and traveling with the late financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew strenuously denied the claim by Virginia Giuffre. He agreed in a settlement to make a substantial donation to his accuser’s charity.

On Wednesday, London’s Metropolitan Police launched an investigation into allegations that people associated with one of Prince Charles’ charities offered to help a Saudi billionaire secure honors and citizenship in return for donations.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Mobile users to receive SMS-notifications in Bangla from telecom operators

Telecom operators will send all SMS or notifications in Bangla text on the occasion of International Mother Tongue Day.

Telecom Minister Mustafa Jabbar inaugurated the service at an event at the conference room of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on Sunday.

The Minister said that 91 percent of the technical activities related to sending SMS in Bangla by all the operators have already been completed. He also called on all operators to complete the remaining nine per cent work by June.

BTRC Chairman Shyam Sunder Sikder said that 16 types of mobile SMS / notifications will be sent in Bengali.

BTRC Vice-Chairman Subrata Roy Maitra said that Bangla typing system has already been introduced in all mobile handsets and SMS service has been launched in Bangla for customers at half cost.

Mentioning that many customers do not understand if a message is sent in English, he said that all Bangla speaking people will benefit from the introduction of SMS in Bangla.

Director General (Systems and Services) of BTRC Brigadier General Md Nasim Parvez presented the activities related to the introduction of SMS service in Bangla in detail.

He said that Banglalink is at the forefront in sending Bangla SMS to the customers as five per cent of the company’s work is still left. Grameenphone is in the next position completing 90 percent of the work of sending SMS in Bangla.

Meanwhile, state-owned operator Teletalk has completed 85 per cent of the work while Robi 78 per cent operations.

At present, 151.85 crore daily text messages are delivered to the subscribers, he added.

Secretary of Posts and Telecommunications Division Md Khalilur Rahman said the government is trying to make Bengali the official language of the United Nations.

The Posts and Telecommunications Division has taken initiative to convert most of the laws printed in English of this Ministry into Bangla.

Commissioner of Engineering and Operations Department of BTRC Engineer Mohiuddin Ahmed, Commissioner of Legal and Licensing Department of BTRC Abu Syed Diljar Hussain, Director General (Spectrum) Brigadier General Md Moniruzzaman Jewel, Director General (Finance, Accounts and Revenue) Engineer Md Mesbahuzzaman and other senior officials of BTRC and mobile operators were present at the event.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Son held for beating mother to death in Khagrachari

Police arrested a man on Saturday for allegedly beating his mother to death over family feuding at Ramgarh upazila in Khagrachari. Police said.

Son Ibrahim, 24, was immediately held with a murder case lodged with police against him, said local OC Md Shamsuzzaman.

According to police, at one point of altercation Ibrahim started beating his mother Bibi Rahima,60, around 10:30 pm leaving her with a head injury at their house in Chowdhury Para area.

Bibi died on the spot. Informed by the neighbours later police recovered the body, said the officer-in-charge of Ramgarh police station.

The body has been sent for an autopsy, said the OC.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Covid positivity rate in Bangladesh drops to 7.82and

Bangladesh logged 21 more Covid-linked deaths with 1,987 fresh cases in 24 hours till Sunday morning following a downtrend in the cases.

The daily positivity rate declined to 7.82 per cent from Sunday’s 8.71 per cent after testing 25,411 samples during the period, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

On Saturday, Bangladesh reported 13 more Covid-linked deaths with 2,150 fresh cases.

The fresh numbers took the country’s total fatalities to 28,965 while the caseload to 19,33,291.

Among the new deceased, 14 were men and seven women.

Twelve of the deaths were reported in Dhaka division while four in Chattogram, two in Rangpur and one each in Barishal, Rajshahi, and Sylhet divisions.

Meanwhile, the mortality rate remained static at 1.50 per cent.

However, the recovery rate slightly rose to 90.76 per cent with the recovery of 9,252 more patients during the 24-hour period.

On January 28, Bangladesh logged its earlier highest daily positivity rate at 33.37 per cent reporting 15,440 cases and 20 deaths.

On December 9 last year, Bangladesh again logged zero Covid-related death after nearly three weeks as the pandemic was apparently showing signs of easing.

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.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

‘Lizard Lick Towing’ star says son killed in N.C. shooting

The owner of Lizard Lick Towing, a towing and repossession business featured in a reality TV show, has confirmed that his son was killed in a shooting in North Carolina.

In a post on Facebook, Ronnie Shirley confirmed that Harley Shirley, 21, was fatally shot in Garner late Thursday. Shirley and his wife, Amy, own Lizard Lick Towing and starred in a truTV reality show based on their family business from 2011 to 2014.

The shooting is being investigated by the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office.

“He’s at peace now — waiting on the rest of us to arrive at those gates — we will be there soon Big Shur — and will always cherish the times we had while you were with us son,” Ronnie Shirley wrote on Facebook.

The News & Observer reports that deputies responded to a reported shooting at a home around 8 p.m. Thursday. Capt. Jeff Caldwell said in a news release that soon after that, a caller reported people with gunshot wounds in the parking lot of a Sheetz gas station, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) north of the home.

There, deputies found Shirley, who was pronounced dead at the scene. A 20-year-old woman who also had been shot was taken to the hospital, but her wounds were not thought to be life-threatening, Caldwell said.

WRAL-TV reported the shooting happened while family members were holding a balloon release memorial for a relative who died in a single-car crash on Tuesday in Fuquay-Varina. Right after the shooting, multiple suspects fled the home in a yellow vehicle, Caldwell said. Investigators are working to identify the suspects.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy calls on Putin to meet as tensions soar

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, facing a sharp spike in violence in and around territory held by Russia-backed rebels and increasingly dire warnings that Russia plans to invade, on Saturday called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet him and seek resolution to the crisis.

“I don’t know what the president of the Russian Federation wants, so I am proposing a meeting,” Zelenskyy said at the Munich Security Conference, where he also met with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris. Zelenskyy said Russia could pick the location for the talks.

“Ukraine will continue to follow only the diplomatic path for the sake of a peaceful settlement.”

There was no immediate response from the Kremlin.

Zelenskyy spoke hours after separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine ordered a full military mobilization on Saturday while Western leaders made increasingly dire warnings that a Russian invasion of its neighbor appeared imminent.

In new signs of fears that a war could start within days, Germany and Austria told their citizens to leave Ukraine. German air carrier Lufthansa canceled flights to the capital, Kyiv, and to Odessa, a Black Sea port that could be a key target in an invasion.

NATO’s liaison office in Kyiv said it was relocating staff to Brussels and to the western Ukraine city of Lviv. Meanwhile, top Ukrainian military officials came under a shelling attack during a tour of the front of the nearly eight-year separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The officials fled to a bomb shelter before hustling from the area, according to an Associated Press journalist who was on the tour.

Violence in eastern Ukraine has spiked in recent days as Ukraine and the two regions held by the rebels each accused the other of escalation. Russia on Saturday said at least two shells fired from a government-held part of eastern Ukraine landed across the border, but Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba dismissed that claim as “a fake statement.”

Sporadic violence has broken out for years along the line separating Ukrainian forces from the Russia-backed rebels, but the recent shelling and bombing spike could set off a full-scale war.

The United States and many European countries have alleged for months that Russia, which has moved about 150,000 troops near the Ukrainian border, is trying to create pretexts to invade.

“They are uncoiling and are now poised to strike,” U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Saturday during a visit to Lithuania.

Harris opened her meeting with Zelenskyy by saying the world was at “a decisive moment in history.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh