Harassment of IU student: fellows demand punishment of BCL activist

A section of Islami University (IU) students carried out a protest rally demanding punishment of a Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activist for allegedly harassing a female student and attacking her male friend on Thursday.

 

The alleged harasser is Mehedi Hasan Hafiz, a student of the 2015-16 session of Political Science department and a follower of BCL IU unit General Secretary Nasim Ahmed Joy.

 

According to eyewitnesses, victim student Popy went to the main gate area of the university with a male friend, where she was interrogated by Hafiz and some of his associates. At one point, Hafiz harassed Popy and beat up her friend.

 

Read: IU student found dead in Meherpur

 

The altercation stemmed from taking control of a hall seat. Using Hafiz’s reference, a student named Sayma got allotted to the room where Popy was living. As Sayma tried to get hold of a window seat, a heated exchange of words ensued between the two, which later resulted in Hafiz’s intervention.

 

Hafiz denied his involvement when asked about the incident.

 

“I don’t know the girl (Popy). An issue arose when a junior student did some foul talk. The allegation of managing the hall seat against me is false and fabricated,” said Hafiz.

 

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Iranian troops in Crimea supporting Russian drone attacks, says US

The White House said Thursday the U.S. has evidence that Iranian troops are “directly engaged on the ground” in Crimea supporting Russian drone attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure and civilian population.

 

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that Iran has sent a “relatively small number” of personnel to Crimea, a part of Ukraine unilaterally annexed by Russia in contravention of international law in 2014, to assist Russian troops in launching Iranian-made drones against Ukraine.

 

Members of a branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps were dispatched to assist Russian forces on how to use the drones, according to a British government statement.

 

“The information we have is that the Iranians have put trainers and tech support in Crimea, but it’s the Russians who are doing the piloting,” Kirby said.

 

He added that the Biden administration was looking at imposing new sanctions on Tehran and would look for ways to make it harder for Tehran to sell such weapons to Russia.

 

The U.S. first revealed this summer that Russia was purchasing Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles to launch against Ukraine. Iran has denied selling its munitions to Russia.

 

U.S. officials believe that Iran may have deployed military personnel to assist the Russians in part because of the Russian’s lack of familiarity with the Iran-made drones. Declassified U.S. intelligence findings showed that Russians faced technical problems with the Iranian drones soon after taking delivery of the weapons in August.

 

“The systems themselves were suffering failures and not performing to the standards that apparently the customers expected,” Kirby said. “So the Iranians decided to move in some trainers and some technical support to help the Russians use them with with better lethality.”

 

Read: Ukraine’s Kyiv attacked with Iranian-made kamikaze drones

 

The Biden administration released further details about Iran’s involvement in assisting Russia’s war in Ukraine at a sensitive moment. The administration has levied new sanctions against Iran over the government’s brutal crackdown on antigovernment protest in recent weeks spurred by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in Iranian security custody.

 

Morality police had detained Amini last month for not properly covering her hair with the Islamic headscarf, known as the hijab, which is mandatory for Iranian women. Amini collapsed at a police station and died three days later.

 

Her death and the subsequent unrest have come as the administration tries to bring Iran back into compliance with the nuclear deal that was brokered by the Obama administration and scrapped by the Trump administration.

 

But Kirby said that the administration has little hope for reviving the Iran nuclear deal soon.

 

“We’re not focused on the on the diplomacy at this point,” Kirby said. “What we are focused on is making sure that we’re holding the regime accountable for the way they’re treating peaceful protesters in their country and supporting those protesters.”

 

The White House spoke out about Iranian assistance to Russia as Britain on Thursday announced new sanctions on Iranian officials and businesses as the Russians use the drones to bombard civilian infrastructure.

 

“These cowardly drone strikes are an act of desperation,” British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement. “By enabling these strikes, these individuals and a manufacturer have caused the people of Ukraine untold suffering. We will ensure that they are held to account for their actions.”

 

Among the individuals hit with asset freezes and travel bans by the British were Major General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, chairman of the armed forces general staff overseeing the army branches supplying Russia with drones; Brigadier General Seyed Hojjatollah Qureishi, a key Iranian negotiator in the deal;. and Brigadier General Saeed Aghajani, the head the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Aerospace Force UAV Command.

 

Shahed Aviation Industries, the Iranian manufacturer of the drones being used by Russia, was also hit by an asset freeze.

 

Source: United News of Bangladesh

 

At least 60 killed in Chad protests

Chadian security forces opened fire on anti-government demonstrators in the country’s two largest cities Thursday killing at least 60 people, the government spokesman and a morgue official said.

 

Authorities imposed a curfew after the violence, which came amid demonstrations in the central African nation against interim leader Mahamat Idriss Deby’s two-year extension of power.

 

Chadian government spokesman Aziz Mahamat Saleh said 30 people were dead in the capital, N’Djamena. Organizers of the march, though, placed the toll higher, at 40.

 

Another 32 protesters were killed in Chad’s second-largest city, Moundou, according to an official in the city’s morgue. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, said more than 60 people were wounded.

 

Other protests were held in the towns of Doba and Sarh.

 

Read: 15 killed, 50 injured in anti-UN protests in Congo’s east

 

These were the deadliest anti-government protests since Deby took over last year in the wake of his father’s assassination after more than three decades in power. Officials said the late President Idriss Deby Itno was killed by rebels while visiting Chadian troops on the battlefield in the country’s north in April 2021.

 

At the main reference hospital in N’Djamena, overwhelmed doctors tended to scores of people with gunshot wounds. Some of the wounded were taken to Liberty Hospital by army vehicles and bore signs of having been tortured, witnesses said.

 

Witnesses say demonstrators began to blow whistles at 3 a.m. all over the capital of N’Djamena. Police fired tear gas at the crowds but the demonstrators continued advancing and their numbers grew. It was then that security forces opened fire, leaving protesters struggling to gather the dead from the scene amid the tear gas.

 

Among those killed was a Chadian journalist, Narcisse Oredje, who worked for CEFOD radio and was struck by a bullet.

 

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Home Minister inaugurates Viewer’s Gallery of BGB-BSF Joint Retreat Parade

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Thursday inaugurated the Viewer’s Gallery of BGB-BSF Joint Retreat Parade in Panchagarh’s Banglabandha Zero Point.

 

During the inauguration, the Minister planted a tree on the gallery premises. Later, he witnessed a joint parade of Bangladesh’s BGB and India’s BSF administered by BGB’s Panchagarh Battalion (18 BGB).

 

The parade was an effort to bolster friendly relations and brotherhood between the people and increase trust between the border forces of the two countries.

 

Read: Militants’ involvement with CHT’s KNF group being investigated: Home Minister

 

After the parade, Asaduzzaman thanked BGB and BSF personnel for their efforts, distributed sweetmeat among them and took part in a photo session.

 

Welcome gifts were also exchanged between BGB and BSF members during the event.

 

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Bangladesh is one of the key Asian markets: edotco Group CEO

Edotco Group Director and Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mohamed Adlan Ahmad Tajudin has said Bangladesh is one of the key markets for the regional and integrated telecommunications infrastructure services company.

 

“We also recognise our talent in Bangladesh and have established a Centre for Design Excellence here, serving as an innovation research centre for our clients in the country and the rest of our footprint markets across the Group,” Adlan said during a discussion with the Telecom and Technology Reporters’ Network Bangladesh Thursday.

 

The edotco Group CEO arrived in Dhaka from Kuala Lumpur for his first official visit to Bangladesh earlier this week.

 

Read: edotco wins multiple awards at the Global Best Employer Awards 2022

 

The core agenda of Adlan’s visit was to get a first-hand perspective of the fastest-growing markets in Asia and to gain insight into how Bangladesh contributes to Asia’s resilience, dynamism, and growth.

 

As part of his work visit to Dhaka, Adlan had meetings with the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission officials, telecom operators, edotco’s clients, and other industry stakeholders.

 

Adlan was appointed as Group CEO of edotco Group in November 2020, with over 17 years of experience in the telecommunications field. Before his current role, he served as the chief financial officer and director of PT XL Axiata Tbk (Indonesia).

 

Over the years, edotco brought many unique and environment-friendly designs such as bamboo towers, carbon towers, low-cost structures, SPC towers, and hybrid solar wind towers to fulfil connectivity demands in Bangladesh. It has employed more than 400 people nationwide.

 

Source: United News of Bangladesh

 

Q3 2022: Grameenphone reports 6% revenue growth despite ban on SIM sales

Telecom operator Grameenphone has reported revenues of Tk11,286.75 crore for the first nine months of 2022, logging a growth of 5.7 percent from the same period last year, despite a regulatory ban on SIM sales amid complaints about the quality of services.

 

In the third quarter, the company lost 2.9 million subscribers, taking the subscriber base down to 81.8 million at the end of the quarter.

 

“Grameenphone’s growth momentum continued in the third quarter driven by strong market execution aided by higher revenue and usage amid several external challenges. It was adversely affected by a regulatory ban on SIM sales from the end of June, resulting in a 3.4 percent quarter-on-quarter decline in subscriber base,” Grameenphone CEO Yasir Azman said.

 

“As we continue to engage with our regulator to overcome this restriction, we received a partial withdrawal of the embargo from mid-September, allowing us to resume SIM sales immediately. We are also facing a tense macroeconomic climate in Bangladesh driven by higher inflation, rising energy prices and austerity measures by the government to curb energy usage.”

 

Read: Grameenphone turns to work from home for Thursdays

 

Grameenphone’s total revenue for the third quarter saw a growth of 6.7 percent, reaching Tk33,864.93 crore, while subscription and traffic revenue grew by 6.9 percent from last year.

 

“Our investment in network rollout and spectrum deployment resulted in higher data usage of 52.1 percent year-on-year supported by a higher 4G active user base,” Jens Becker, CFO of Grameenphone, said.

 

“Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) for the quarter grew by 5 percent year-on-year driven by top-line growth, while EBITDA margin was 62.2 percent. Net profit after tax for the third quarter stood at Tk907.66 crore, with a margin of 23.5 percent.”

 

During the third quarter of 2022, Grameenphone invested Tk278.15 crore in network coverage and expansion.

 

At the end of the quarter, Grameenphone’s total number of sites stood at 19,719.

 

The company paid Tk7,850 crore equaling 69.5 percent of its total revenues, to the national exchequer in the form of taxes, VAT, duties, fees, 4G licence and spectrum assignment during the first nine months of 2022, according to a media statement.

 

Source: United News of Bangladesh

EU leaders avoid deep rift on gas price cap at energy summit

European Union leaders struggled to find immediate practical solutions on how to deal with the energy crisis but avoided an open rift between Germany and France on Friday that would have exposed a divided bloc as it confronts Russian President Vladimir Putin over his war in Ukraine.

 

After daylong talks in Brussels dragged well into the night, the 27 EU leaders papered over divisions between some of the biggest member states and at least agreed to continue working on ways to impose a gas price cap in case of big price increases.

 

French President Emmanuel Macron highlighted his work with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to create a veneer of unity after talks that started early Thursday. He said that together with close technical advisers, “I will see Chancellor Scholz in Paris next week so that we can move forward, with our teams, on all the issues.”

 

Scholz said the main issue was curbing “spikes” in gas trading that may last only a few hours but still send prices excessively upward. He said measures to counter that should be further examined.

 

“How can we avoid these spikes? There is still a lot of concrete work to be done. But we must look at ways to contain it, which certainly makes sense,” Scholz said.

 

When the axis between Paris and Berlin is aligned, usually the rest of the EU follows.

 

“There is a strong and unanimously shared determination to act together, as Europeans, to achieve three goals: lowering prices, ensuring security of supply and continuing to work to reduce demand,” said summit host Charles Michel, the EU Council president.

 

Diplomats said the execution of the proposals, including the possibility of a price cap, should be first properly assessed by energy ministers next Tuesday and might even need a new summit of leaders in the coming weeks.

 

“There is a lot of work ahead,” said Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. “We are pushing ourselves into unchartered territory, where we don’t have experience yet.”

 

To make sure the runaway cost of gas doesn’t further tank struggling EU economies, the Commission has proposed a system to pool buying of gas and offered a compromise that would allow for a correction mechanism to kick in in exceptional circumstances.

 

Countries like the Netherlands and Germany were loathe to start such market intervention, but agreed to study a system that would be failproof and not allow suppliers to stop delivering and go to more lucrative markets.

 

“It is incredibly complex but you see that everyone wants to get the gas prize further down, but in a way that we continue to get gas deliveries and that it doesn’t move to Asia or Latin America. We need it here, too,” said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

 

In addition, the leaders are also pushing for the creation of a new LNG gas index better reflecting the market following the drastic reduction of imports of pipeline gas from Russia.

 

Divisions were so big at the start of the summit that agreeing on further exploration of the plan proposed by the Commission was seen as almost an achievement in itself.

 

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said a price cap would send suppliers away. The “gas price cap is like going to a bar and telling the bartender you want to pay half price for your beer. Not going to happen,” he said on Twitter.

 

The traditional driving duo of the EU — Germany and France — were in opposing camps, with Germany expressing doubts and holding off plans for the price cap, while most others want to push on.

 

Scholz said any dispute was on the method, not the goal. “Prices for gas, for oil, for coal, must sink; electricity prices must sink, and this is something that calls for a joint effort by all of us in Europe,” he said.

 

Natural gas prices spiraled out of control over the summer as EU nations sought to outbid one another to fill up their reserves for winter. The member states have already agreed to cut demand for gas by 15% over the winter. They have also committed to filling gas-storage facilities to at least 80% of capacity by November and — as a way of reducing gas-fired power generation — to reducing peak demand for electricity by at least 5%.

 

The question of possible EU gas-price caps has moved steadily up the political agenda for months as the energy squeeze tightened, with 15 countries such as France and Italy pushing for such blunt intervention.

 

At the opening of the summit, the need for rock-solid EU unity in confronting Russia was highlighted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who addressed the 27 national leaders by video conference from Kyiv, asking for continued help to get his nation through the winter.

 

Russia is increasingly relying on drone strikes against Ukraine’s energy grid and civilian infrastructure and sowing panic with hits on Ukrainian cities, tactics that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called “war crimes” and “pure terror” on Wednesday.

 

Diplomats are already assessing more sanctions to come. But Orban’s perceived friendliness toward the Kremlin makes life tougher. Even though the previous EU sanctions targeting Russia have been approved unanimously, it has increasingly become difficult to keep Orban on board by agreeing to exemptions.

 

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Amid nationwide gas shortages, new exploration work continues in Sylhet

Amid criticism that the government has not done enough to explore new gas sources in recent years Petrobangla has started exploration work at Beanibazar and its neighbouring Baralekha and Kanaighat upazilas under Sylhet Gas Field Ltd, officials say.

 

Mizanur Rahman, Managing Director of Sylhet Gas Field, said on Thursday that land has been acquired through local administration to dig new wells, hoping to explore new gas sources.

 

He said currently seismic survey was going on as part of the exploration work in the area.

 

“We will be able to understand if we have gas reserves in the new areas once more technical tests are done. If everything goes well, we will finally go for installing gas production plants,” he told UNB.

 

He said China petroleum corporation’s EGP International has been contracted to conduct the exploration work across 191 square kilometres of area in three upazilas, and already it has completed 24 percent of the project work with a December, 2023 deadline to finish the job.

 

Petrobangla officials in Dhaka say the initiative to dig new wells is part of the government’s plan to drill a total of 46 exploration, development and work-over wells during the period 2022-2025 to increase production of natural gas from local sources against the backdrop of nagging gas crisis.

 

Petrobangla statistics show that the country currently produces about 2,648 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd) against a demand for over 4000 mmcfd.

 

Different trade bodies say that their production is suffering because of lack of gas supply to their factories across the country.

 

In another development, Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (Bapex) has resumed the excavation of an abandoned well (Well No. 1) of Beanibazar Gas Field.

 

The officials involved in the project said they were hoping to get 7 million cubic feet of gas per day from this well. The plant has two wells. The production of gas began at the Well No. 1 in 1999, but it was shut in 2014. Production resumed from that well again at the beginning of 2016 and stopped at the end of that year.

 

Managing Director Mizanur Rahman said that three more wells were being dug under Sylhet Gas Fields.

 

He said a significant amount of gas would be added to the national grid by 2023 if everything goes well.

 

Daily gas production from Sylhet Gas Fields Limited is expected to increase by 164 million cubic feet by 2025 after implementation of all projects, he said.

 

The officials say the production and supply from local gas fields has been declining since 2015 and will continue to decline in the future unless new exploration work is not done.

 

Source: United News of Bangladesh

 

Contenders who could replace resigned UK PM Truss

Liz Truss’ resignation as British Prime Minister on Thursday triggered another leadership race — the second in just four months — for the U.K.’s fractured and demoralized Conservative Party.

 

Truss, who quit after just 45 days in office, said her successor will be chosen in a leadership contest to be completed by the end of next week. Graham Brady, a senior Conservative lawmaker who oversees the party’s leadership challenges, said each candidate must secure 100 nominations from legislators to run and that the race will conclude by next Friday.

 

Former Treasury chief Rishi Sunak, ex-Cabinet minister Penny Mordaunt and Defense Secretary Ben Wallace are among those considered credible contenders for the top job. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson may also return. Jeremy Hunt, who has been brought in as new Treasury chief to steer the economy, has ruled out running.

 

Whoever wins will become the fifth British prime minister in six years.

 

Here’s a look at the potential runners and riders:

 

RISHI SUNAK, FORMER TREASURY CHIEF

 

Sunak, 42, came second to Truss in the last Conservative leadership race, gathering 60,399 votes compared to her 81,326.

 

He quit as Treasury chief in July, in protest against then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s leadership. In the contest to replace Johnson, Sunak positioned himself as the candidate who tells hard truths about Britain’s public finances. He argued that climbing inflation must be controlled first, and called promises by Truss and other rivals to immediately slash taxes reckless “fairy tales.”

 

Sunak was proved right when Truss’ unfunded tax-cutting economic stimulus package tanked the British pound and triggered chaos in the markets in September.

 

Sunak became Treasury chief in 2020 and steered Britain’s slumping economy through the coronavirus pandemic. He oversaw billions of pounds in government handouts to help businesses and workers hard hit by COVID-19.

 

Sunak was regarded by many as the Conservatives’ brightest rising star. Born to Indian parents who moved to Britain from East Africa, Sunak attended the exclusive Winchester College private school and studied at Oxford. Some see his elite education and work for the investment bank Goldman Sachs and a hedge fund as a liability because it makes him seem out of touch with ordinary voters.

 

In the past year he faced heavy criticism for being slow to respond to Britain’s cost-of-living crisis. His reputation also took a hit after he was fined by police for attending a lockdown-flouting birthday party at Downing Street in June 2020.

 

Some also criticized him following revelations that his wife, Akshata Murthy, avoided paying taxes on her overseas income.

 

PENNY MORDAUNT, HOUSE OF COMMONS LEADER

 

Mordaunt, 49, came third after Sunak and Truss in the last Tory leadership race, when she ran with a campaign named “PM 4 PM.” Mordaunt did not hold a senior post in Johnson’s Cabinet, and she positioned herself as offering a clean break from his scandal-tainted government.

 

A former international trade minister, Mordaunt is popular among Conservative lawmakers. Some believe she could be the right candidate to help heal the party’s divisions. But she is largely an unknown figure to most Britons, and outside Conservative circles she remains best known for appearing on the 2014 reality TV show “Splash!”

 

Mordaunt played a prominent role in the pro-Brexit campaign. She was the first woman to become British defense secretary in 2019 — though she was removed by Johnson after just three months in the post because she had backed another candidate for party leader, Jeremy Hunt.

 

SUELLA BRAVERMAN, EX-HOME SECRETARY

 

Braverman, 42, resigned as Home Secretary late Wednesday, with a scathing letter criticizing Truss’ “tumultuous” premiership. Her move kicked off a chaotic night in British politics that ended in Truss’ resignation hours later.

 

A former barrister who became England’s attorney general in 2020, Braverman was the first to put her hat in the ring during this summer’s leadership race to replace Johnson.

 

During her short tenure as Home Secretary, a top government post overseeing immigration and counterterrorism, Braverman vowed to crack down hard on asylum seekers, saying it was her “dream” to see a flight deporting those seeking refuge in Britain to Rwanda. She also wanted to pull the U.K. out of the European Convention on Human rights.

 

She made headlines — and was mocked by opponents — when she complained recently in Parliament that travel disruptions caused by trade union strikes were to be blamed on left-wing, “tofu-eating wokerati.”

 

BEN WALLACE, DEFENSE SECRETARY

 

Wallace, a 52-year-old army veteran, is popular within the Conservative Party. He has won admirers for his straight talk, particularly among Conservative lawmakers who pressed for the U.K. to increase its defense spending.

 

Wallace has raised his profile as a key government voice in Britain’s response to Russia’s war in Ukraine. But he recently said he wanted to remain in his current job. Earlier this week, he reportedly said “I want to be the Secretary of State for Defense until I finish” when asked if he wanted the top job.

 

BORIS JOHNSON, FORMER PRIME MINISTER

 

There was intense speculation Thursday that Johnson, 58, may return and put himself forward as prime minister again — just weeks after he was forced out of office by a series of ethics scandals.

 

Within hours of Truss’ resignation, several Conservative allies of Johnson’s voiced their support for him to return.

 

“The only person who has a mandate from the general public is Boris Johnson,” said one lawmaker, Marco Longhi. “He is the only person who can discharge the mandate from the people.”

 

Johnson led the Conservatives to their biggest win in decades in the 2019 general election, largely on the back of his promise to “get Brexit done.”

 

But his time in office was overshadowed by scandals over alcohol-fueled parties held at his official residence while national COVID-19 restrictions were in place. He still faces an ongoing investigation by Parliament’s privileges committee into whether he lied to lawmakers about COVID-rule breaking at Downing Street.

 

He was forced to announce his resignation on July 7 after former allies in his Cabinet joined a mass exodus of government officials protesting his leadership.

 

Source: United News of Bangladesh

 

Commuters hit as 2-day bus strike begins in Khulna

Thousands of commuters in Khulna have been hit, with buses staying off the roads since Friday morning in the wake of a two-day strike called by bus-minibus owners and workers.

 

Khulna Bus-Minibus Owners’ Association and the Motor Workers’ Union decided to go on the strike in protest against the plying of unauthorised three-wheelers in the district.

 

Read:Transport strike in Khulna ahead of BNP rally after government’s ‘signal’: Shamsuzzaman

 

Since morning, not a single bus left or entered Khulna as the strike was called on all the 18 routes of the division.

 

In many areas, UNB found people waiting on the roads, desperately looking to hail some public transport to reach their respective destinations.

 

Satkhira-bound passenger Aklima Hossain, who works for a private firm in Khulna and heads home every weekend, said, “Today, I don’t think I will be able to go back home due to the strike. My mother will be waiting.”

 

Many Jashore-bound passengers had to return from Sonadanga bus stop in Khulna as no bus left since morning.

 

Sanatan Roy, one of the aggrieved passengers, said that he had to shelve a plan to attend a wedding in Jashore due to the strike.

 

On October 19, Khulna Bus-Minibus Owners’ Association, in the presence of the Motor Workers’ Union leaders, announced their decision to go on the strike on October 21 and 22.

 

The union leaders had said that the strike would be to protest against the movement of unauthorised three-wheelers, locally known as Nasiman, Kariman and Bhatbhati.

 

Their another demand included the shutting of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) bus counters at every nook and corner of the district.

 

However, BNP leaders claimed that the bus strike was called to create an artificial crisis to obstruct their mass rally in Khulna slated for Saturday.

 

Read: BNP ready to defy ‘curfew’ even to hold Khulna rally, says Mirza Fakhrul

 

SM Shafiqul islam Mona, BNP’s Khulna metropolitan unit convener, said the strike was called so that opposition leaders and activists couldn’t join the mass divisional rally on Saturday.

 

“But our rally will succeed in defying all obstructions and the mass rally at Sonali Bank Chattar on Saturday will turn into a sea of people,” he said.

 

BNP divisional co-organising secretary Jayanta Kumar Kundu said that activists from different districts, including Magura, have already reached Khulna and the mass rally will be successful.

 

Source: United News of Bangladesh

 

Elon Musk plans to cut 75% of Twitter workforce

Elon Musk plans to lay off most of Twitter’s workforce if and when he becomes owner of the social media company, according to a report Thursday by The Washington Post.

 

Musk has told prospective investors in his Twitter purchase that he plans to cut nearly 75% of Twitter’s employee base of 7,500 workers, leaving the company with a skeleton crew, according to the report. The newspaper cited documents and unnamed sources familiar with the deliberations.

 

San Francisco-based Twitter and a representative for Musk attorney Alex Spiro did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

 

While job cuts have been expected regardless of the sale, the magnitude of Musk’s planned cuts are far more extreme than anything Twitter had planned. Musk himself has alluded to the need to cull some of the company’s staff in the past, but he hadn’t given a specific number — at least not publicly.

 

“A 75% headcount cut would indicate, at least out of the gates, stronger free cash flow and profitability, which would be attractive to investors looking to get in on the deal,” said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives. “That said, you can’t cut your way to growth.”

 

Ives added that such a drastic reduction in Twitter’s workforce would likely set the company back years.

 

Already, experts, nonprofits and even Twitter’s own staff have warned that pulling back investments on content moderation and data security could hurt Twitter and its users. With as drastic a reduction as Musk may be planning, the platform could quickly become overrun with harmful content and spam — the latter of which the Tesla CEO himself has said he’ll address if he becomes owner of the company.

 

After his initial $44 billion bid in April to buy Twitter, Musk backed out of the deal, contending Twitter misrepresented the number of fake “spam bot” accounts on its platform. Twitter sued, and a Delaware judge has given both sides until Oct. 28 to work out details. Otherwise, there will be a trial in November.

 

Source: United News of Bangladesh

 

Global Covid cases cross 632 million

The overall number of global Covid-19 cases has now crossed 632 million.

 

According to the latest global data, the total case count mounted to 632,046,555 while the death toll from the virus reached 6,579,768on Friday morning.

 

The US has recorded 99,037,439 cases so far, while 1,092,409 people have died from the virus in the country, both highest counts around the world.

 

India’s daily Covid-19 caseload Thursday decreased to 1,494, officials said.

 

According to federal health ministry data released on Thursday morning, 1,494 new cases of Covid were reported in 24 hours, taking the total tally to 44,638,011 in the country.

 

With the reporting of fresh cases, India’s active caseload currently stands at 27,004.

 

The country also logged 20 related deaths in 24 hours, pushing the overall death toll to 528,943 since the beginning of the pandemic, the ministry said.

 

Covid in Bangladesh

 

Bangladesh reported another Covid-19-linked death and 243 fresh cases in 24 hours till Thursday morning.

 

The country’s total fatalities rose to 29,411 with the new deaths and the new cases raised the total caseload to 2,033,662, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

 

The daily case test positivity rate dropped to 5.82 per cent from Wednesday’s 7.18 per cent as 4,174 samples were tested during the period.

 

The latest deceased was a woman from Sylhet division.

 

The mortality rate remained unchanged at 1.45 per cent and the recovery rate rose to 97.18 per cent.

 

Source: United News of Bangladesh