Iran thrash Turkmenistan 7-1 to start AFC U-20 Women’s Asia Cup qualifiers

Iran thumped Turkmenistan 7-1 Wednesday to start their Group H match of the AFC U-20 Women’s Asia Cup qualifiers at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Shipahi Mohammad Mustafa Kamal Stadium in the capital’s Kamalapur.


They dominated the first half 4-0. Midfielder Hasti Forouzandeh made a hat-trick, with goals in the 47th, 67th and 901st minutes. Captain and striker Mohaddeseh Zolfu struck twice (28th and 42nd); Rahil Jafari (37th) and Kimia Rahiminia (48th) netted one goal each.


Mingazova Kamila pulled one back for Turkmenistan in the 76th minute.


Bangladesh, placed in Group H with Iran and Turkmenistan, will start their campaign by taking on Turkmenistan Friday at 5pm. The hosts will face a stronger Iran Sunday in the last group match.


The second round of the tournament, with eight group champions, will be held during June 1-11.


Four teams from the second round will earn the right to play in the eight-team final round in Uzbekistan during March 3-16 next year along with Japan, North Korea, South Korea and the hosts.


Source: United News of Bangladesh


Bangladesh signs MoU with Qatar Fund for Development

Bangladesh has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) under the Education Above All Foundation project.


The signing of the MoU is considered a milestone in accessing finance to the QFFD.


Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and QFFD Director General Khalifa Bin Jassim Al Kuwari signed the MoU during the sideline event of the LDC5 Conference in Doha Tuesday at the Qatar National Conference Center.


According to the deal, Qatar will channel funds through the QFFD to support the education sector in Bangladesh by expanding opportunities for 6.5 lakh out-of-school children at the primary level with $12.68 lakh.


The project would be conducted by the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education.


Momen was delegated to sign the contract on behalf of the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education.


Education Above All is an outreach program conducted in some countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia under the QFFD having an annual budget of $600 million.


Qatar aims to provide this assistance to the LDCs to fulfil their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of its commitment to international cooperation under the Qatar National Vision 2030.


Qatar Charity, another humanitarian organisation, conducts some humanitarian assistance and relief support to the Rohingya and marginalised people in various places in Bangladesh.


Source: United News of Bangladesh


IU VC’s audio conversation goes viral again

An audio conversation between Islamic University vice-chancellor Professor Shaikh Abdus Salam and a person again went viral on Facebook early Tuesday.


The audio conversation between the vice-chancellor and a person was shared from a Facebook account named Farah Jebin where the VC was heard saying to the person over phone that he would make the relative of the person first or second in the university’s economics department recruitment board.


But the candidate will have to meet the recruitment requirements, the VC said.


He told the person to ask his relative to meet with him after applying for the post by giving his (the person) reference.


Campus sources said that a total of ten audio clips containing conversations between the vice-chancellor and different persons including a job seeker of Mass Communication and Journalism Department went viral on social media from February 16 to March 7.


The university administration postponed the recruitment process of its three departments on February 19 following the audio leak.


The recruitment test for the IU transport office and engineering office was also postponed due to the leaked audio conversations on February 22.


The Islamic University Teachers’ Association and Shapla Forum, a progressive teachers’ alliance, have submitted written statements to the vice-chancellor to know about his leaked audio conversation on February 18.


Shahbub Alam, a job seeker of the IU finance and banking department, on February 27 lodged a written complaint to the chairman of Anti-Corruption Commission against the university vice-chancellor over irregularities in recruiting teachers at the finance and banking department.


IU vice-chancellor Professor Shaikh Abdus Salam told UNB that he did not hear the audio conversations going viral on social media. ‘There are my authorities, the University Grants Commission and the government. They would look into the matter,” he added.


IU acting registrar HM Ali Hasan filed a general diary with the Islamic University police station in this connection on February 17 night after an audio clip containing conversation between the VC and a job seeker of the IU Mass Communication and Journalism Department had gone viral.


Source: United News of Bangladesh


Orion Amateur Golf: Bangladesh B take solo lead after first round

The Bangladesh B team of Shafiqul Islam and Liton Mondal took the solo lead in the men’s team event of the Orion 36th Bangladesh Amateur Golf Championship 2023 Wednesday, scoring 143 after the first round on the first day at the Kurmitola Golf Club.


The South Korean team scored 145 and the Indian team 147.


The Bangladesh A team finished in the fifth spot, scoring 150. The Bangladesh C team finished in the sixth spot, scoring 154.


In the men’s singles, Arav D Shah of Australia and Shat Mishra of India topped the list making two under par 70 each.


Liton Mondal of Bangladesh and Beonggu Kim of South Korea finished in the third spot with one under par 71.


Source: United News of Bangladesh


Jubo Dal leaders Munna, Jahangir held in city

Police arrested Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal general secretary Abdul Monayem (Munna) and its Dhaka North City unit former president SM Jahangir Hossain on Wednesday from the city’s Malibagh area.


Shahjahanpur police arrested both Munna and Jahangir while they were returning home after a party programme in the Institute of Engineers, Juba Dal president Sultan Salahuddin Tuku told UNB.


Contacted, Monir Hossain Molla, officer-in-charge of Shahjahanpur police station, said they arrested the duo from Malibagh in a case filed against them earlier.


Meanwhile, leaders and activists of Jubo Dal brought out a procession in front of BNP’s Naya Paltan Central office protesting against the arrest of their two leaders.


BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir strongly condemned and protested the arrest of Munna and Jahangir.


In a statement, he demanded the immediate release of the Juba Dal leaders and withdrawal of the ‘false’ case filed against them.


Source: United News of Bangladesh

Siddique Bazar Blast: Relatives seek at least dead bodies

As it is not clear whether 37-year-old Mehedhi Hasan Swapon is still alive or dead after over 24 hours of the massive blast in the capital’s Siddique Bazar that left 19 dead, uncertainty grips his family members including wife about having him back —alive or dead.


However, the rescue operation at the explosion site has not ended yet as at least one man has remained missing, said Deputy Director of Fire Service and Civil Defense Dinmoni Sharma.


Though two dead bodies were rescued in the afternoon, one is still missing, said the officer adding that the operation will be continued as long as we have one missing person.


Abdul Mannan, maternal uncle of his wife who rushed to the spot from Chattogram on Tuesday night soon after hearing the news of the terrible blast, said that they are yet to know whether Swapon is alive or dead.


“We want at least his body to be buried if he died in the blast,” he said.


He used to work as a manager at Bangladesh Sanitary housing in a 5-storey building that was badly damaged in the massive blast in the capital’s Gulistan area.


Swapon’s wife went to her maternal uncle’s house in Chattogram two days ago and is now apparently mute when she came to know about the blast, Mannan said.


“I asked Swapon to come with his wife but he didn’t go due to job,” the uncle said, adding that his niece used to lead a happy life with Swapon since their marriage.


“I came here to request the rescuers to hand over his body (Swapon) to them after recovering from the debris of the building once he died,” said the uncle.


Earlier, a massive explosion occurred on Tuesday with a big bang at Siddique Bazar.


A total of 19 people died in the explosion.


A sanitary materials shop on the ground floor of the building, Brac Bank office on one of the other floors and an adjacent 7-storey building were damaged because of the impact of the blast.


Source: United News of Bangladesh



Int’l attention to Rohingya diverted due to Ukraine war: PM tells Al Jazeera

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the international attention to forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals was diverted to the war in Ukraine and the Ukrainian refugees—a reality that has created the Rohingya situation more difficult to resolve.


“The whole focus is now on the war and the refugees from the Ukraine,” she said in an interview with the Qatar-based broadcast station Al Jazeera.


A part of the interview was aired on Wednesday, but its full episode will be run on Saturday (March 11).


Al Jazeera journalist Nick Clark interviewed Sheikh Hasina about the future of Rohingya refugees during her just-concluded visit to Qatar.


PM joins ‘Joy Bangla’ concert


The PM talked about a number of issues, including the situation in the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar, relocation of Rohingya to Bhashan Char, and the future of the Rohingyas from Myanmar.


Hasina visited Qatar to attend the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) held in Doha on March 4 last and returned home on Wednesday afternoon.


Hasina said Myanmar is not positive in taking their nationals back to their country despite Dhaka has long been engaging in talks to resolve the issue.


She said Bangladesh gave shelter to Rohingyas – the victims of persecution, murder and rape in Myanmar– on humanitarian grounds.


PM returns home from Qatar


“When the Rohingya persecution started in Myanmar and Rohingyas were subjected to torture, murder and rape… we felt sorry for the Rohingyas… after that we opened the border… we let them come. Besides, we provide shelter and treatment for all of them from the humanitarian side,” she said.


She said simultaneously Bangladesh started talks with Myanmar and tell them that the displaced people should be repatriated.


“Unfortunately, they are not responding positively. These people should go back to their own land,” she went on.


The PM said: “The international community is exerting pressure on Myanmar. But it is really difficult. We arranged accommodation for them in a separate place. Bhashan Char is a good place, a good place to live (in) …We have arranged good accommodation and excellent facilities for children there.”


On living conditions in the Rohingya camps and the loss of shelters of more than 12,000 Rohingyas in the fire, she said “actually the situation in the Cox’s Bazar Rohingya camps is not very good.”


The Rohingyas are fighting with each other, and they are engaged in different types of criminal activities including drugs, arms, and human trafficking, said the Prime Minister.


Source: United News of Bangladesh

Women’s Day events highlight gaps in gender equality

Demonstrations, conferences and artistic events around the world Wednesday marked International Women’s Day, an annual observance established to recognize women and to demand equality for half of the planet’s population.


While activists in some parts of the planet noted advances, repression in countries such as Afghanistan and Iran — and the large numbers of women and girls who experience sexual assaults and domestic violence worldwide — highlighted the ongoing struggle to secure women’s rights.


United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres noted this week that women’s rights were “abused, threatened and violated” around the world and gender equality won’t be achieved for 300 years given the current pace of change.


Progress won over decades is vanishing because “the patriarchy is fighting back,” Guterres said.


Even in countries that have pioneered advances for women, there have been recent setbacks for the feminist cause: This is the first International Women’s Day since the U.S. Supreme Court ended the constitutional right to abortion last year and many states adopted restrictions on abortion.


The United Nations recognized International Women’s Day in 1977, but the occasion has its roots in labor movements of the early 20th century. The day is commemorated in different ways and to varying degrees in different countries.


Women gathered in Pakistan’s major cities to march amid tight security. Organizers said the demonstrations were aimed at seeking rights guaranteed by the constitution. Some conservative groups last year threatened to stop similar marches by force.


Women’s rights activists in Japan held a small rally to renew their demand for the government to allow married couples to keep using different surnames. Under the 1898 civil code, a couple must adopt “the surname of the husband or wife” at the time of marriage.


The activists argued the law contributes to gender inequality because women experience strong pressure to take their husband’s name. Surveys show majority support for both men and women keeping their own names.


In the Philippines, hundreds of protesters from various women’s groups rallied in Manila for higher wages and decent jobs.


“We are seeing the widest gender pay gap,” protest leader Joms Salvador said. “We are seeing an unprecedented increase in the number of women workers who are in informal work without any protection.”


The United Nations identified Afghanistan as the most repressive country in the world for women and girls since the Taliban takeover in 2021. The U.N. mission said Afghanistan’s new rulers were “imposing rules that leave most women and girls effectively trapped in their homes.”


They have banned girls’ education beyond sixth grade and barred women from public spaces such as parks and gyms. Women must cover themselves from head to toe and are also barred from working at national and international nongovernmental organizations.


Russian President Vladimir Putin gave state awards to women during a Kremlin ceremony to mark International Women’s Day, which is celebrated as a national holiday.


He singled out a military paramedic and a journalist for fulfilling their duties in the area of the fighting in Ukraine.


“There are no fields and professions in our country where women haven’t scored serious, remarkable results,” Putin said. “Your talents, knowledge, competence, responsibility and determination contribute greatly to the development of our country.”


In Ireland, the government announced that it will hold a referendum in November to enshrine gender equality and remove discriminatory language in the country’s constitution.


Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said people will be asked to vote on a series of amendments to the constitution — including removing an “outmoded” reference to women’s place being in the home.


The constitution, which was drawn up in 1937, currently states that the state shall endeavor to “ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labor to the neglect of their duties in the home.”


In Spain, more than 1 million people were expected to attend evening demonstrations in Madrid, Barcelona and other cities. Big rallies were also organized in many other cities around the world, while in some countries only minor events were held.


Although Spain has for years produced one of the world’s biggest turnouts on March 8, this year’s marches are marked by a division within its own left-wing government over a sexual liberty law that has inadvertently led to the reduction of sentences for hundreds of sexual offenders.


Spain’s feminists are also split over a new transgender rights law that went into effect last week, allowing the free change of gender by anyone 16 and older. The tension spilled over Wednesday in a public event for Women’s Day when a group of young women interrupted Equality Minister Irene Montero to argue with her over the transgender law that some feminists argue threatens to erase or displace women.


Activists and left-wing governments in Spain have advanced women’s rights in areas such as abortion access, menstrual leave and parental leave over the past two decades. Many European countries also have made strides toward gender equity.


Hundreds of Kosovar Albanian women held a protest in its capital against domestic violence, throwing black-and-red smoke bombs at the police headquarters.


“We march, do not celebrate,” was their main slogan. The marchers accused police, the prosecutor’s office and the courts of gender discrimination.


Source: United News of Bangladesh

Chattogram: Expo on smart home appliances, consumer electronics to start in May

The three-day International Exhibition on Smart Home Appliances and Consumer Electronics is set to be held at the GEC Convention Center in Chattogram on May 18.


For the first time in Bangladesh, a hybrid B2B and B2C event will bring exhibitors directly from various countries like Malaysia, Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, Turkey, the UAE, China, Taiwan, and India, the organisers said in a media statement Wednesday.


The areas to be focused on at the expo are home appliances, consumer electronics, HVAC, home automation, smart energy and lighting, parking systems, and smart indoor entertainment, they added.


The event is supported by the ASHRAE Bangladesh Chapter and the Electronics Traders’ Association of Bangladesh along with various international media partners such as Asia Pacific Security Magazine, Smart Cities Tech, ASEAN Tech and SEC, MySecurity Media, and EE Times Asia.


Canada and Malaysia-based organiser Intra Exhibitions and Events together with Brilliance Expo Bangladesh will co-organise the international event which will feature over 150 participating brands and companies.


Although it is an international event, there will also be select prominent local companies from the nine industry zones.


This expo will be open from 10am to 8pm for all.


Source: United News of Bangladesh

Oldest reference to Norse god Odin found in Danish treasure

Scandinavian scientists said Wednesday that they have identified the oldest-known inscription referencing the Norse god Odin on part of a gold disc unearthed in western Denmark in 2020.


Lisbeth Imer, a runologist with the National Museum in Copenhagen, said the inscription represented the first solid evidence of Odin being worshipped as early as the 5th century — at least 150 years earlier than the previous oldest known reference, which was on a brooch found in southern Germany and dated to the second half of the 6th century.


The disc discovered in Denmark was part of a trove containing about a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of gold, including large medallions the size of saucers and Roman coins made into jewelry. It was unearthed in the village of Vindelev, central Jutland, and dubbed the Vindelev Hoard.


Experts think the cache was buried 1,500 years ago, either to hide it from enemies or as a tribute to appease the gods. A golden bracteate — a kind of thin, ornamental pendant — carried an inscription that read, “He is Odin’s man,” likely referring to an unknown king or overlord.


“It’s one of the best executed runic inscriptions that I have ever seen,” Imer said. Runes are symbols that early tribes in northern Europe used to communicate in writing.


Odin was one of the main gods in Norse mythology and was frequently associated with war as well as poetry.


More than 1,000 bracteates have been found in northern Europe, according to the National Museum in Copenhagen, where the trove discovered in 2020 is on display.


Krister Vasshus, an ancient language specialist, said that because runic inscriptions are rare, “every runic inscription (is) vital to how we understand the past.”


“When an inscription of this length appears, that in itself is amazing,” Vasshus said. “It gives us some quite interesting information about religion in the past, which also tells us something about society in the past.”


During the Viking Age, considered to be from 793 to 1066, Norsemen known as Vikings undertook large-scale raiding, colonizing, conquest and trading throughout Europe. They also reached North America.


The Norsemen worshipped many gods and each of them had various characteristics, weaknesses and attributes. Based on sagas and some rune stones, details have emerged that the gods possessed many human traits and could behave like humans.


“That kind of mythology can take us further and have us reinvestigate all the other 200 bracteate inscriptions that we know,” Imer said.


Source: United News of Bangladesh

Embassies of France, Germany celebrate International Women’s Day 2023

The French and German embassies in Dhaka observed International Women’s Day 2023 Wednesday in honour of the influential and successful women in the society at their shared building in the capital’s Baridhara.


Several prominent women personalities from different sectors, including politicians and policymakers, cultural personalities, dignitaries from home and beyond, artists, and media professionals, joined the event.


Hosted by French Ambassador Marie Masdupuy and German Ambassador Achim Tröster, the event was joined by internationally acclaimed eminent Bangladeshi fashion designer Bibi Russell, Ekushey Padak 2023 winner artist Kanak Chanpa Chakma, actress Azmeri Haque Badhan, Friendship Executive Director Runa Khan, actress-choreographer Naila Azad, Diana Award 2021 winner Sidratul Moontaha Chowdhury, Alliance Française de Dhaka Director François Grosjean and others.


Ambassador Marie Masdupuy said: “I am really impressed by the assertive qualities of women of this country. Women here have been taking many leading positions and ascertaining themselves in different areas and playing roles also in businesses, civil society and promoting many initiatives to help other people of the country – and all these are very impressive.”


“They don’t give up anytime and are determined and courageous to help others. If we look at the trends here in social development and professional development, much progress has been achieved because of the courage of your determination.”


German Ambassador Achim Tröster said: “Some of you might have heard that, like France, Germany also recently adopted a feminist policy approach – not only to our foreign policy but also to development policy. Even more than before, women’s cause and gender equality and a fair representation of women in all aspects of political life and society are now the focus of our foreign policy and development policy.”


“We have the ambition to expand our links and expend our funds on projects that serve to empower especially women paving the way for themselves so that they can occupy the space in different societies all over the world where they have their legitimate right to explore.”


Embassies of France, Germany celebrate International Women’s Day 2023


“On this special occasion today, a great number of successful women representing different sectors of our society gathered at this Franco-German space and it was wonderful to meet and talk to them. A great thing is that this event has been joined by several prominent male personalities as well, and I believe that our women can conquer all the hurdles with the proper support and cooperation of our male friends and counterparts,” artist Kanak told UNB.


The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day was “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.”


This theme was aligned with the priority theme for the upcoming 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”


Source: United News of Bangladesh

Transport strike on Sylhet-Zakiganj route called off

The transport strike called from Thursday to protest against the plying of government BRTC buses on the Sylhet-Zakiganj route has been withdrawn.


Transport owners and workers’ leaders announced the withdrawal of the strike after an emergency meeting at the deputy commissioner’s office on Wednesday.


Ziaul Kabir Palash, general secretary of the District’s Road Transport Owners’ Association, said the decision was taken unanimously at a meeting held at the deputy commissioner’s conference room to give five trips of BRTC buses up and down on the Sylhet-Zakiganj route.


According to the decision, these four buses of BRTC will run on this route, he said.


Based on the opinions of both the parties, the strike was called off by the owners and workers on the Sylhet-Zakiganj route, he said.


Earlier on Sunday, owners and workers at the the District Road Transport Owners Association office threatened to enforce an indefinite transport strike from March 9 in protest against the plying of BRTC buses on the Sylhet-Zakiganj road.


Source: United News of Bangladesh