Bangladesh, India keen to boost collaboration in radiation technology

Bangladesh and India have expressed their desire for collaboration in societal applications of radiation technologies in areas such as cancer care, nuclear medicine and food preservation.

The two sides expressed satisfaction at the ongoing collaboration on the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project and discussed avenues to further enhance bilateral cooperation in the field of science and technology.

A joint committee meeting on peaceful uses of nuclear energy was held in Dhaka on May 11-12.

The Indian delegation was led by Ranajit Kumar, Chairman Advisory Council, GCNEP & Head, NCPW, DAE and the Bangladesh delegation was led by Md. Ali Hossain, Additional Secretary (NP), Ministry of Science and Technology of Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh side expressed appreciation for the services being rendered by the Indian experts currently deployed at the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.

Bangladesh, India keen to boost collaboration in radiation technology

Both sides also stated their desire for collaboration in societal applications of radiation technologies in areas such as cancer care, nuclear medicine and food preservation.

The meeting was fruitful and covered the entire gamut of our bilateral cooperation in peaceful uses of Nuclear Energy applications in the field of health, agriculture, water purification including capacity building and training, said the Indian High Commission in Dhaka on Friday.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

’Monkey Trial’ staged at National Theatre Hall

Young and promising theatre troupe Batighar staged the fourth show of its new play ‘Monkey Trial’ at National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on Thursday.

Directed and staged by Sanjoy Sarker Muktnil, the play is based on Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee’s ‘Inherit the Wind’ fictionalising the 1925 ‘Scopes Monkey Trial’, an American legal case.

The storyline of the play showcases the trial of Bertram “Bert” Cates, a science teacher at a public school in Hillsboro, Tennessee, who was convicted of ignoring the 1925 Butler Act and teaching students Darwin’s theory of theism and evolution in his class.

Known in its days as ‘The Trial of the Century’, later as the ‘Monkey Trial’, the Scopes trial pitted two famous lawyers against one another — three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan for the prosecution and renowned attorney Clarence Darrow for the defence.

The Butler Act was originally passed by the Tennessee Legislature in March 1925, declaring the teaching of any doctrine that denies divine creation illegal. The case was widely reported in the media and caught the attention of the whole world.

The judicial process sparked a national debate over the truth of evolution, helping to bring scientific evidence to the public’s attention.

Such debates continue today across the world, and very recently Hridoy Chandra Mandal, a science teacher at Binodpur Ramkumar High School in Munshiganj, was sent to jail and later released on April 11 after spending 19 days behind bars on charges of “hurting religious sentiments”.

Batighar’s ‘Monkey Trial’ was first staged on December 31, 2021, at BSA’s experimental theatre hall.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

7 of drug & human trafficking gang held in Teknaf

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) on Friday claimed to have detained seven members of a drug and human trafficking gang from Teknaf.

The detainees have been identified as MD Shafi Ullah, 55, his wife Tyeba Begum, 40, their son Md Anwar Hossain,19, his wife Lucky Aktar, 19, Md Parvej, 16, Md Jalal, 26, and Md Redwan, 19, BGB-2 said in a release.

The seven were detained during two separate drives carried out by the Teknaf battalion of BGB-2, on a tip-off.

Some 40,000 yaba tablets worth Tk 1.27 crore, Kyat (Myanmar currency) worth Tk 10,784, 14 grams of gold jewellery worth Tk 88,000, and three mobile phones were seized from the possession of the detainees, the BGB said.

During questioning, the detainees admitted to peddling drugs and trafficking Rohingyas from Myanmar to different countries.

The seized jewellery and Kyat will be deposited with the treasury branch of Cox’s Bazaar district administration and cases will be filed against the detainees, said BGB.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Bizman shot dead in Khulna, wife injured

A 32-year-old businessman returning home with his wife on his bike died after being shot by two men near Kapalia Bridge of Khulna on Thursday night, police said.

The deceased was identified as Khandaker Rafiqul Islam, son of Mahabub Mistri of Alka village under Phultala upazila. He was also the sports affairs secretary of Phultala Bazar Banik Kalyan Society.

Police said the two assailants shot Rafiqul around 8pm while he and his wife Barsha alias Piari Begum were returning home from Abhaynagar.

“He was rushed to Phultala upazila health complex where doctors declared him dead on arrival. Barsha also sustained bullet injuries in the attack,” a police officer said.

Barsha has been shifted to Khulna Medical College Hospital for better treatment, he said.

Phultala Bazar Banik Kalyan Society has demanded exemplary punishment for the killers.

Illias Talukder, officer-in-charge of Phultala police station, said that the body was sent to Khulna Medical College Hospital morgue for an autopsy.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Man held for ‘raping’ stepdaughter in Lakshmipur

Police have arrested a man for allegedly raping his 13-year-old stepdaughter in Kamalnagar upazila of Lakshmipur.

Locals told UNB that the accused had been living at his parents-in-law’s house since his marriage with the rape survivor’s mother three years ago.

On Wednesday, when the girl’s mother went to her sister’s house, the accused raped the girl after spiking her juice with sleeping pills. The girl narrated her ordeal to her aunt the next morning, following which the police were informed and a complaint was lodged.

“A case of rape has been filed and the accused has been arrested. The girl has been sent for a medical test,” Mohammad Solaiman, officer-in-charge of Kamalnagar police station, said.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Two cops among 4 stabbed by drug peddlers in Lalmonirhat

Four people, including two police officers, were stabbed allegedly by drug peddlers in Lalmonirhat’s Kaliganj upazila on Thursday night.

The injured have been identified as assistant sub-inspectors Shahjahani Ali and Momtaz Uddin of Kaliganj police station, and two local residents — Mojmul Islam, 32, and Abdul Khalek.

Golam Rasul, officer-in-charge of Kaliganj police station, said a police team stopped a private car during a routine checking drive on Kakina-Mahipur bypass road near Sirajul Market around 9.30pm.

“As they tried to carry out a search, its driver and his assistant stabbed them. The two locals also sustained stab wounds when they tried to intervene,” said OC Golam.

“The attackers, however, managed to flee. We later found 180 bottles of phensedyl and a knife inside the car,” he said.

A case has been filed under the Narcotics Control Act, 1990, and the injured are currently being treated at Kaliganj Upazila Health Complex, the OC added.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Two govt officials among four sued for ‘raping’ domestic help

A case has been filed against two government officials and two others for allegedly violating a domestic help in Fatikchhari upazila of Chattogram.

The victim filed the case at Fatikchhari police station on Thursday, said Md. Masud Ibne Anwar, officer-in-charge (OC) of the police station.

The accused are-Ansar and VDP officer Md. Saidul Islam and former Upazila Election Officer Md. Humayun Kabir. The identities of the two others are yet to be known.

According to the case statement, the accused officials lived in a rented house near the upazila complex as bachelors. The victim and another girl named Shikha Shil used to work in their house.

On March 27, around 3pm, Shikha called her on her mobile phone and asked her to come in the house.

When she reached at the house, they raped her in turns and threatened her not to disclose the matter to anyone.

On May 11, the victim narrated her ordeal to the upazila chairman and female vice-chairman, following which the police were informed and a complaint was lodged.

“A case of rape has been filed against them following the complaint”, said the OC.

When contacted, Ansar-VDP officer Saidul Islam denied the allegations and termed it as conspiracy.

On the other hand, the Election Officer Mohammad Humayun Kabir declined to talk about the matter on his mobile phone.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Ukhia camp: 6 Rohingyas burnt in gas cylinder fire

Six Rohingyas, including children, sustained burn injuries from a gas cylinder fire at Ukhia camp in Cox’s Bazar Thursday, police said.

The injured were identified as Nur Alam, his wife, their two sons and two others from a nearby home.

They are being treated at Kutupalong MSF Hospital, said Naimul Haque, commander of Cox’s Bazar Armed Police Battalion-14 (APBn-14).

The fire broke out at the house of Nur Alam of at Block D/4 in Ukhia Rohingya Camp 1/East.

“Nurul Alam’s wife was trying to light their gas stove in the morning but it did not work. She might have left the gas cylinder on to light the stove with a match stick, which caused the fire,” said Naimul.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Online alcohol marketing increasingly targets young people, heavy drinkers

Alcohol is increasingly being marketed across borders, with young people and heavy drinkers particularly targeted, according to a recent report by the UN health agency.

The study shows how the digital revolution in marketing and promotion is being used to advertise alcohol across national borders, and in many cases regardless of social, economic, or cultural environments.

Drinking alcohol is causally linked to an array of health problems, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, ranging from alcohol dependence and other mental and behavioural disorders to major non-communicable diseases such as liver cirrhosis, cancers and cardiovascular diseases, as well as injuries and deaths resulting from violence and road traffic accidents.

Around 3 million people die each year worldwide as a result of the harmful use of alcohol – one every 10 seconds – nearly five percent of all deaths.

Young people account for a disproportionate number of these alcohol-related deaths, with 13.5 percent of all deaths among people aged 20-39 being alcohol-related.

“Alcohol robs young people, their families and societies of their lives and potential,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“Yet despite the clear risks to health, controls on the marketing of alcohol are much weaker than for other psychoactive products. Better, well enforced and more consistent regulation of alcohol marketing would both save and improve young lives across the world.”

The WHO report highlights how recent changes in alcohol marketing have created new opportunities to reach audiences.

The collection and analysis of data on users’ habits and preferences by global internet providers have allowed alcohol marketers to target messages to specific groups across national borders.

The study found that targeted advertising on social media is especially effective, and further bolstered by influencers and through sharing posts.

One data source quoted in the report calculated that over 70 percent of media spending of leading alcohol marketers based in the US in 2019 was through promotions, product placement and online advertisements on social media.

“The rising importance of digital media means that alcohol marketing has become increasingly cross-border,” said Dag Rekve of the alcohol, drugs and addictive behaviours unit at the WHO.

“This makes it more difficult for countries that are regulating alcohol marketing to effectively control it in their jurisdictions. More collaboration between countries in this area is needed.”

Alcohol companies are also sponsoring major sporting events at the global, regional and national levels, which, according to the report, can also significantly increase brand awareness among new audiences.

They are also partnering with sports leagues and clubs to reach viewers and potential consumers in different parts of the world.

Other opportunities include sponsorship of competitive gaming events or product placement in movies and serials streamed on international subscription channels.

The report “Reducing the harm from alcohol – by regulating cross-border alcohol marketing, advertising and promotion” also examines how specific audiences are targeted, with particular concern for children and adolescents, women, and heavy drinkers.

The WHO said studies have shown that starting to drink alcohol at a young age is a predictor of hazardous drinking in young adulthood and beyond.

Marketers are also particularly targeting areas of the world with young and growing populations, such as Africa and Latin America.

While men consume three-quarters of the alcohol that the world drinks, the lower rate among women also presents an opportunity for growth. Alcohol marketers often depict drinking by women as a symbol of empowerment and equality, according to the report.

“Alcohol-dependent people frequently report a stronger urge to drink alcohol when confronted with alcohol-related cues, yet they rarely have an effective way to avoid exposure to the content of the advertising or promotion,” the WHO said.

The report recommends that comprehensive restrictions or bans on alcohol marketing, including its cross-border aspects, are integrated into public health strategies. It also calls for greater collaboration between countries.

The WHO said although many governments have implemented some form of restrictions on alcohol marketing, they tend to be relatively weak.

A 2018 study by the UN agency revealed that while most countries have some form of regulation for alcohol marketing in traditional media, almost half have no regulation that applies to the internet and social media.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Police: 2 children drown in Dinajpur

Two children drowned at separate places in Dinajpur on Friday, police said.

Swadhin Islam, 13, son of Sirajul Islam of Aftabganj of Nawabganj upazila drowned while taking bath in a pond at the Shiv Mandir area with other children, said sub-inspector Rezaul Islam, in-charge of the Aftabganj police outpost in Nawabganj.

The fire service divers later recovered his body and handed it over to his relatives, he said

Meanwhile, a 9-year-old girl, Shimla Akhter, daughter of Abdus Salam of Shankarpur in Birol upazila, drowned in a pond at Shankarpur mahalla on Friday afternoon, police said.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Sonia Bashir, 2 other Bangladeshis among 100 Global Tech’s Changemakers

Bangladeshi tech entrepreneurs Sonia Bashir Kabir, Afeef Zaman, and Morin Talukder have been named on the Rest of World (RoW)’s 100 Global Tech’s Changemakers’ list.

RoW had set out to find 100 of the most influential, innovative, and trailblazing personalities in fintech, e-commerce, policy, digital infrastructure, and a range of other sectors that intersect with and influence technology.

From tech leaders, innovators, and investors to activists, it identified those people outside Silicon Valley and the West, whose efforts directly impact countries where the majority of the world’s population lives.

Among the three Bangladeshis, Sonia Bashir Kabir is the founder and managing director of SBK Tech Ventures, a Bangladesh-focused venture capital fund, which invests in startups that support the digital development of rural areas.

SBK’s portfolio includes Dmoney, Solshare, and Praava Health.

Previously, as the country manager of Microsoft Bangladesh, Sonia partnered with donor agencies, banks, telecommunications companies, and students, to mobilise and grow the company’s initiatives.

She also worked to provide microloans to women to start IT businesses.

Afeef Zaman is an expert in problem-solving in emerging markets, especially in Bangladesh.

He is the CEO of ShopUp, the country’s largest full stack business-to-business commerce platform for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.

Afeef bootstrapped Ice9 – a venture builder providing solutions for emerging economies – to success in his 20s. Following this, he decided to help the entrepreneurs who run the country’s 4.5 million popular mom-and-pop stores but struggle to access its formal financial system due to a lack of digital presence.

Thanks to ShopUp, they can now access digital credit, B2B sourcing, logistics, and business management solutions. After closing South Asia’s largest funding round worth $75 million in 2021, the company has added to its funds with a $34 million series B extension round.

Morin Talukder is the co-founder and CEO of Pickaboo, a Bangladesh-based e-commerce platform.

Though still in his 20s, he is a seasoned expert in the booming e-commerce industry, having founded the online shopping platform ehatbazaar.com in 2015, which he sold a year later to focus on Pickaboo.

During its six years of operation and five funding rounds, it has gained the confidence of its customers.

To stay competitive, Morin has prioritised offering a high-speed delivery service with turnarounds of as little as three hours and has turned Pickaboo into one of the first e-commerce retailers in Bangladesh to introduce monthly payment plans and customer membership plans.

“Together, the individuals featured on our Global Tech’s Changemakers list influence how products are made and distributed, how entrepreneurs are funded, and how tech is regulated and its users protected far beyond their local markets,” RoW said.

“As a result of the extraordinary headwinds they face, our editorial team believes these leaders are more innovative, more thoughtful, and better at sharing new ideas than most people in the Western world understand.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Hajj registration to start from May 16

The registration process for this year’s Hajj will start from May 16, the ministry of religious affairs has said.

Pilgrims, who want to perform the holy Hajj in Saudi Arabia, after a Covid-induced hiatus of two years, will have to complete the registration process by May 18, which is also the payment deadline.

Pilgrims need to possess a passport with at least seven months validity (till January 4, 2023) for completing the registration process, the ministry said.

If a pilgrim is unable to go to Saudi Arabia for Hajj post-registration, he will be refunded the plane fare and the cost allocated for food. However, if any Haji cancels his trip after confirmation of the plane ticket, he will not get back the airfare.

Each pilgrim will have to carry an additional 810 Saudi Riyal with them for sacrificial purposes, according to the ministry.

Source: United News of Bangladesh