Bangladesh reports 4 more deaths, 115 cases


Bangladesh reported four more Covid-19-linked deaths and 115 fresh cases in 24 hours till Sunday morning.


With the new numbers, the country’s total fatalities rose to 29,423 and caseload to 2,035,152, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).


The daily case test positivity rate rose to 2.84 per cent from Saturday’s 1.88 per cent as 4,054 samples were tested.


The latest deceased were two men and two women.


Of them, two were from Dhaka division, one from Rajshahi and another from Mymensingh division.


The mortality rate remained unchanged at 1.45 percent while the recovery rate rose to 97.32 per cent from Saturday’s 97.30 percent.


In August, the country reported 32 Covid-linked deaths and 6,689 cases.


Bangladesh registered its highest daily caseload of 16,230 on July 28 last year and daily fatalities of 264 on August 10 the same year.


Source: United News of Bangladesh

Dry weather likely over country: Met Office

Weather may remain dry with temporary partly cloudy sky over the country in next 24 hours commencing 9am on Sunday, the met office said.


Day and night temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country, said the latest bulletin from Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD).


There will be no marked change in weather in the next 72 hours, it said.


There was no trace of rain across the country in the last 24 hours till 6am Sunday.


The lowest temperature was recorded in Rangpur’s Tetulia at 16.1 degrees Celsius, while the highest temperature was 33 degrees in Sandwip, SItakunda and Rangamati of Chattogram division.


Source: United News of Bangladesh


Seoul Halloween stampede: World leaders offer condolences

World leaders expressed sadness and condolences after at least 151 people were killed in a crowd surge Saturday night in Seoul, South Korea.


The tragedy occurred in Seoul’s Itaewon district during Halloween festivities when a huge crowd surged into a narrow downhill alley. At least 82 others were injured in the South Korea’s deadliest accident in years.


U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden sent their “deepest condolences” to the families of the deceased.


“We grieve with the people of the Republic of Korea and wish for a quick recovery to all those who were injured,” said President Biden in a tweet. “The United States stands with the Republic of Korea during this tragic time.”


Similarly, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described the news from Seoul as “horrific” on Twitter.


“All our thoughts are with those currently responding and all South Koreans at this very distressing time,” Sunak wrote.


Itaewon’s international character was shaped by its proximity to a U.S. military garrison nearby. The area is still home to restaurants, bars and other businesses catering to the American community in Seoul.


U.S. Forces Korea, which commands the sizable American military presence in the country, expressed its condolences in a Facebook post.


“The Itaewon community has opened its arms to us for many years and is part of the reason our Alliance is so strong,” the command said, writing in English and Korean. “During this time of grief, we will be there for you just as you have been there for us.”


Leaders from countries including Japan, France, China and Singapore reacted with shock and sadness over the tragedy in Seoul.


“I’m hugely shocked and deeply saddened by the extremely tragic accident in Itaewon, Seoul, that took many precious lives, including those of young people with their future ahead of them,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in a tweet.


In France, President Emmanuel Macron — who tweeted in both French and in Korean — offered support to Seoul residents and South Korea.


“France is with you,” he said.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau echoed similar sentiments on Twitter, sending his “deepest condolences” to the people of South Korea “and wishing a fast and full recovery to those who were injured.”


Chinese President Xi Jinping also sent condolences to South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, expressing condolences and shock over the stampede accident in Seoul, according to a statement by the Chinese foreign ministry. He also expressed condolences to the victims of the accident and their families.


Hong Kong leader John Lee said in a statement on Facebook that he was saddened by the accident in Seoul.


“I express profound sorrow over the passing of the victims, extend my deepest condolences to their families and wish for a speedy recovery to all those who were injured,” said Lee.


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that the “tragic events in Seoul come as a shock to all of us.”


“Our thoughts are with the numerous victims and their families,” Scholz said in a tweet. “This is a sad day for South Korea. Germany stands by their side.”


German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said she was “heartbroken” by the tragic news from Seoul.


“They were looking for a night of lighthearted Halloween festivities but instead found real horror and death,” said Baerbock. “My thoughts are with the victims, their friends and families, and those who still fear for their loved ones.”


Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob described the loss of lives as “tragic” and said it was “hard to imagine” the trauma and grief experienced by the families, loved ones and friends of those affected.


“My thoughts and prayers are with the people of South Korea during this difficult time, and I wish a quick and full recovery to all those who are injured,” she said.


Source: United News of Bangladesh

More pre-deployment training needed for improving policing skills: Home Minister

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Sunday stressed the need for more efficient and targeted pre-deployment training for improving basic policing skills.


As security scenarios across the world are changing every day, the Strategic Guidance Framework for International Policing has to be updated regularly and adhered to strictly, he said.


The home minister came up with the remarks while addressing the opening session of United Nations Police Day (UNPOL Day-2022) at a Dhaka hotel on Sunday.


Read more: Police becoming people-friendly: Home Minister


International police activities fundamentally differ from domestic policing, said the minister adding that UN Police normally operate in unstable environments where culture and criminal justice systems are significantly different and the notion of rule of law and social interaction dynamics are largely fluid and obscure.


He said that Bangladesh government has taken a number of pragmatic initiatives to increase the efficiency, capabilities and professionalism of Bangladesh Police, particularly in the field of fighting extremism and terrorism, investigating tech-based crime, organized and transnational crime as well as community engagement through community policing during the last decade.


“I believe, if deployed in greater numbers, officers from Bangladesh Police will be able to make their mark with their expertise in the service of the world community,” Khan added.


Read more: Tetultala playground now police property: Home Minister


At present around 10,000 UN police officers from around 90 countries are working towards peace and security in conflict, post-conflict and crisis situations by supporting the member states to achieve effective, efficient, representative and responsive police services that serve and protect the public.


Bangladesh is the top contributor of female police officers to the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. Bangladeshi female peacekeepers have placed themselves as the key driving force to reduce gender-based violence, conflict and confrontation, providing a sense of security especially for women and children and thus promoting social cohesion.


More pre-deployment training needed for improving policing skills: Home Minister


At present around 500 efficient Bangladeshi police personnel are deployed as UN Police in different peacekeeping missions of the United Nations who have been performing duties with utmost sincerity, professionalism and dedication


Among others, Senior Secretary of the Public Security Division under the Home Ministry Md. Akhter Hossain, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chowdhury Abdullah Al Mamun, Acting Police Adviser Commissioner of the United Nations Police Division Jun Tan, Chief of UN Integrated Training Service Mark Pedersen and IAPTC Executive Board Police Chair Brigadier General Giovanni Barbano also addressed in the function.


Source: United News of Bangladesh


Already battered by Covid-19, load shedding hits hard Kuakata tourism, fisheries sectors

Already hit-hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, when tourism and fisheries sectors in Kuakata are trying to make a recovery, frequent load shedding have dealt another blow.


Bearing the brunt are hotel and motel owners in Kuakata, wholesale fish traders in the district’s Alipur and Mahipur landing stations, and trawler owners.


When the government decided to stop buying liquified natural gas (LNG) from the international spot market because of a sharp price hike in July, the power supply situation began to deteriorate. Daily hour-long area-based load shedding started across Bangladesh from July 19, 2022 to tackle the ongoing energy crisis.


Owners of hotels, motels, ice mills and fish traders said they are counting huge losses due to incessant power cuts.


Read More: Kuakata Sea Beach, Bangladesh: Magnificent sunrise, sunset views to remember


Motaleb Sharif, General Secretary of Kuakata Hotel Motel Owners Association and Owner of Kuakata Guest House, said that the number of tourists in Kuakata is dwindling due to rampant load shedding.


“There are a total of 150 big and small hotels and motels in Kuakata. Although these establishments were abuzz with tourists, this isn’t the case anymore. We’re frustrated with up to six load shedding every day. Tourists are losing interest because of the inconvenience,” Motaleb said.


He added that although they had informed the Prime Minister’s Energy Advisor Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury about the problem and demanded establishment of a power sub-station in the area, no steps have been taken yet.


Rahim Khan, owner of Khan Palace, said that refrigerators and air conditioners are being damaged due to the frequent power cuts.


Read More: Dead dolphin washes ashore on Kuakata beach


“We have to spend more than what we earn from the boarders. We experience load shedding even on weekends, which is discouraging tourists. Although a 1320 MW thermal power plant has been set up in Payra, people of Patuakhali are yet to reap its benefits,” Rahim said.


Kuakata tourism load shedding


Hotel in Kuakata


Kuakata Palli Bidyut Samity authorities, however, seem unwilling to accept the fact. According to them, load shedding has had no impact on the hospitality industry in the district.


Ahsan Kabir, Assistant General Manager of Kuakata Palli Bidyut Samity, said that they supply sufficient electricity to the southern part of the district.


“We have kept 6 MW-7 MW electricity in reserve for Kuakata. There is no shortage in electricity supply. Sometimes load shedding happens if branches of trees fall on the transmission lines during natural disasters,” Ahsan said.


Read more: Covid-19 casts gloom on tourism in Rangamati, Bandarban


Catching and selling fish are the primary sources of income for the coastal people. There are a total of 5,000 fishing trawlers, 25,000 fishermen and 86 warehouses in Alipur and Mahipur of Patuakhali. Besides, a total of 46 ice mills have been built on both sides of Khapravanga river to preserve fish.


Almost half of the district’s ice mills have been shut down due to load shedding. As a result, traders have to spend extra bucks for buying ice from Khulna and Barishal and have it transported to Patuakhali.


“The government bans fishing for 22 days and 65 days during six months of the fishing season. Besides, the met office hoists cautionary and danger signals for 30 days during the disaster-prone months. The few fish that the fishermen catch in 2-3 months can’t be stored in ice mills due to load shedding. We have to buy ice worth Tk 130 at a rate of Tk 250 from other districts. Fish traders are losing interest in the business,” said Fazlu Gazi, President of Mahipur Ice Mill Owners’ Association.


Read more: Temporary ban on tourism at Rowangchhari and Ruma to fight ‘militants and criminals’


Read more: Bangladesh unlocks tourism


Monir Hossain, President of Warehouse Owners’ Association, said that they have to incur losses of Tk 20 lakh after selling fish worth Tk 1 crore in a year.


“Freezing fish has become impossible due to load shedding. Many ice mill owners have gone bankrupt due to lack of business,” said Monir.


Md Moin Uddin, Executive Engineer of Patuakhali West Zone Power Distribution Company Limited (WZPDCL), said Patuakhali municipality needs 12 MW electricity, which is supplied from the 132/133kv grid sub-station.


“Sometimes power cuts last 1-2 hours due to grid failure during storms and rains. We even supply electricity to Barishal from the Patuakhali sub-station,” said Moin.


Shah Md Razzakur Rahman, General Manager (GM) of Patuakhali Palli Bidyut Samity, said that the electricity problem will be resolved once power supply starts from the Payra grid.


“We have allocated 107 MW electricity for eight upazilas of Patuakhali and four upazilas of Barguna. We can meet the electricity demand of these two districts by combining the grids of Patuakhali, Barguna and Bhola. We have six power sub-stations in operation and if one of these stations malfunctions, the other stations are also impacted,” he said.


Source: United News of Bangladesh

HSBC partners with NBR to facilitate statutory payment solution for corporate clients

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Bangladesh has established a smooth online statutory payment processing solution for VAT (Value added tax), VAT Deduction at Source (VDS), Excise Duty, Supplementary Duty and Penalties payments in association with National Board of Revenue (NBR).


HSBC introduced the online statutory payment solution partnering with NBR along with Bangladesh Bank, according to a press release.


With the help of this online payment system, transactions can be carried out more efficiently and it will provide convenience and faster service to the clients.


Statutory payments were being collected manually before through paper based instruments like Pay Order which required clients to wait for several days.


Read more: HSBC introduces domestic foreign currency transaction through RTGS


However, due to the introduction of this online system, businesses and organisations will be able to complete their statutory payments online through HSBCnet easily and securely. Transactions will be completed near real-time through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) of the central bank.


Through HSBC’s online platform HSBCnet, businesses and organisations will be able to easily pay their VAT, VDS, Excise Duty, Supplementary Duty and Penalties electronically without the need of visiting banks or government offices physically.


This automated end-to-end process will significantly reduce the time of processing too. The online payment process is very simple and intuitive which enables multiple BIN (Business Identification Number) validations in real-time.


Upon successful payment, clients will receive challan no. (receipt) promptly through SMS. The challan copy will be emailed to the client on the next day.


HSBC is one of the few banks that started online statutory payment solution for collecting government payments in Bangladesh. The multinational bank has always been prioritising its client and trying to give them the best service possible through adaption of new, convenient technologies.


Source: United News of Bangladesh

Dengue death toll rises to 136 as two more die

Two more deaths from dengue in 24 hours till Sunday morning raised this year’s fatalities from the mosquito-borne disease in Bangladesh to 136.


During this period, 1,020 more patients were hospitalised with the viral fever, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).


The two deaths were reported from Dhaka and Mymensingh divisions.


With this, the Dengue death toll in Dhaka division rose to 82 and to 4 in Mymensingh division..


The death toll remained unchanged at 38 in Chattogram, at five in Barishal, at five in Khulna, and two in Rajshahi division.


Of the new patients, 618 were admitted to different hospitals in Dhaka and 402 outside it, according to the DGHS.


A total of 3,630 dengue patients, including 2,350 in the capital, are now receiving treatment at hospitals across the country.


The directorate has recorded 37,151 dengue cases and 33,385 recoveries so far this year.


Source: United News of Bangladesh


Biman to launch Sylhet-Sharjah direct flight on Tuesday

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (Biman) is going to launch direct flight from Sylhet to Sharjah of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from November 1.


The BG-251 flight of Biman’s Boeing-737 model will leave Sylhet’s Osmani International Airport for Sharjah with 164 passengers on board at 10:30pm on the day.


According to airport officials, the runway and terminal of Osmani International Airport is being expanded, which is increasing the capacity of the airport.


Read more: Take care of Biman aircraft, improve passenger services: PM


“We’re currently focusing on the successful operations of Sylhet-Jedda and Sylhet-Sharjah flights. We’ve a plan to launch another direct flight from Sylhet to Medina shortly,” said Mansur Ahmed Bhuiyan, Biman’s Manager for Sylhet district.


Earlier on October 24, Biman launched direct flight from Sylhet to Jedda of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).


Source: United News of Bangladesh


AL programmes won’t counter BNP rallies: Quader

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader today said that his party does not believe in holding programmes just to counter those of other political parties.


“Programmes of the party will be held as per schedule. Various preparation meetings and series of programmes are being held by Awami League ahead of its national council,” he said.


Quader, also Road Transport and Bridges Minister, said this at a preparatory meeting for the national council at AL president’s political office in Dhaka’s Dhanmondi.


He warned that if BNP initiates chaos and violence, people of the country will give fitting response. “BNP is still a big sponsor of militancy and communal forces,” he said.


Regarding Mirza Fakhrul’s comment that BNP MPs are ready to resign from the parliament, he asked whether the parliament will be paralysed after their resignation.


He said it is BNP’s call to make, not that of the government.


Dr. Abdur Razzaq, Md. Farooq Khan, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Abdur Rahman, Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya and Advocate Kamrul Islam, Joint General Secretary Mahbub Ul Alam Hanif and Dipu Moni, among other AL leaders, were present at the meeting.


Source: United News of Bangladesh


Crude bomb blasts at Chapainawabganj newspaper office

Some unknown miscreants blasted a crude bomb at the office of Daily Chapai Chitra, a local newspaper, in Chapainawabganj town early Sunday.


The bomb was thrown around 1:30 pm but no one was at the office that time, said Alamgir Zahan, Officer-in-Charge of Chapainawabganj sadar police station.


The incident occurred after all the employees left the office around 10:30 pm, said editor of the newspaper Kamal Uddin.


Night guards of the office informed police about the blast, he said.


Kamal Uddin said he suspects someone aggrieved by any report published by them has made the attack.


OC Alamgir Zahan said police collected evidences from the spot immediately after being informed and investigating the matter seriously.


Meanwhile, Shahidul Huda Alak, president of Chapainawabganj Press Club demanded immediate arrest and punishment of those involved in the attack.


Source: United News of Bangladesh


Fakhrul slams Quader for making personal attack, accuses AL of plundering public money

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday slammed his ruling party counterpart Obaidul Quader for what he said making personal attack and said the people know it very well how the Awami League leaders prospered from rags to riches.


Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he also said many of the party’s leaders are doing politics with their own earnings or by selling their ancestral property.


The BNP leader alleged that Quader made some objectionable comments about him on Saturday going beyond all moral decency.


“He (Quader) attacked me personally and said we get money from Dubai and I am lying on money. I would like to tell Obaidul Quader, don’t push us too hard. Earthworms can come out of the soil while digging,” he warned.


Fakhrul said everyone of Bangladesh knows what the Awami League leaders do and how they make money. “The people of this country know what you have been doing since the creation of Bangladesh. You are going from rags to riches overnight.”


He said the people of Bangladesh also have all information about who among the ruling party leaders are making the second homes in Canada, Singapore and Malaysia and who are siphoning off money abroad in many ways.


“We also know who own how many banks and who made how many houses in America…this is the money of taxpayers of this country. You’re looting that money,” the BNP leader taunted.


Fakhrul said this is very unfortunate that the general secretary of a major party made personal attack on his counterpart in an indecent manner. “If you attack on a personal level, you will not be able to deal with it. One day the information about how you plundered public money will be revealed.”


Earlier on Saturday, addressing a rally organised on the occasion of the triennial council for Dhaka district AL in the city’s Sher-E-Bangla Nagar area, Obaidul Quader alleged that Mirza Fakhrul is receiving funds from foreign countries to launch movements against the government.


“We have received information that Fakhrul is receiving money from Dubai,” he added.


Trashing Quader’s allegation, Fakhrul said, “We do politics by selling our ancestral property. We don’t do politics with anyone’s money. The people of our party and our every member are giving their own money to hold our rallies. This is our characteristics.”


Criticizing the AL general secretary for his comment that their Saturday’s rally was much bigger than that of BNP’s in Rangpur, he said the ruling party brought people to their programme by vehicles and using public money, but it could not fill 22,000 chairs kept at the venue. “So, you determine how many people gathered there.”


Fakhrul also questioned as to why the ruling party stop transport movement, let loss its cadres and attack opposition activists to obstruct BNP’s rallies if the party is so stronger.


Source: United News of Bangladesh


“I can do this!”: Mosaddek to Shakib before last ball against Zimbabwe

Despite a last-minute scare, Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe by three runs today at the ongoing T20 World Cup in Brisbane. A no-ball came to the fore at the last moment, which could have cost the Tigers the match.


But Mosaddek Hossain, who bowled the last over, held his nerve well, and delivered a dot that earned Bangladesh a win — second at the T20 World Cup 2022.


After the match, Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh captain, said that Mosaddek told him he is “strong enough” to manage a dot in the last ball.


The no-ball was not Mosaddek’s fault at all. It was Nurul Hasan, the wicketkeeper, who grabbed the last ball of the 20th over from in front of the stump – a clear violation of the cricketing rule.


A wicketkeeper is bound to grab the ball from behind the stump. If a keeper violates this rule, the delivery is a no-ball, and this is exactly what happened in today’s match in Brisbane.


Zimbabwe needed 16 runs off the last over to seal the game. Mosaddek conceded one run off the first ball and scalped the wicket of Brad Evans on the second ball. The third and fourth deliveries were hit for four and six respectively by Richard Ngarava. Zimbabwe got close to sealing the match.


But off the fifth ball, Nurul did a wonderful job when Ngarava stepped up aiming a big shot and missed the ball. Nurul grabbed the ball and shattered his stumps in the blink of an eye.


At this point, Shakib warned Nurul about grabbing the ball from in front of the stumps. The TV replays showed that he grabbed the ball nearly from in front of the stumps. Shakib said he warned Nurul so that he doesn’t repeat it on the next delivery.


Nurul, however, forgot the pointer in the last ball (which was actually the sixth delivery) and grabbed the ball from in front of the stumps when Blessing Muzarabani missed it. Bangladesh broke into celebration before the umpires declared the sixth delivery a no-ball!


At that point, Zimbabwe’s target came down to four runs off a single delivery. Bangladesh were on the verge of an unexpected defeat. A bad delivery from Mosaddek or a good shot from Muzarabani could have written the story of the match in a different way.


Mosaddek held his nerve well, very well. He delivered a fullish delivery. Nurul, this time, picked it from behind the stumps and that’s it!


Bangladesh won the match by three runs in the midst of chaos and drama.


It was the first time when Bangladesh took on their familiar foe Zimbabwe in a World Cup encounter and they managed to win.


Ahead of all-important matches against subcontinental opponents Pakistan and India, this will surely boost the confidence of Shakib and his troops.


Source: United News of Bangladesh