5,900 Gopalganj farmers get incentive for Aush, jute cultivation

A total of 5,900 small and marginal farmers in Sadar upazila of the district were given seeds and fertilizers free of cost as agro incentive for the cultivation of Aush paddy and jute in the current Kharif-1 season.

To increase the interest of farmers in Aush paddy and jute cultivation, the amount of incentive support and the number of farmers have been increased significantly in the current financial year 2022-23 in the district, Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said.

Chairman of Gopalganj Sadar Upazila Parishad and Bir Muktijoddha Sheikh Lutfar Rahman Bacchu inaugurated the distribution function and handed over the incentive among the famers of the upazila as the chief guest this morning with agriculture officer of the upazila agriculturalist Mafaroza Akhtar in the chair.

The distribution function was held on the Sadar Upazila Parishad premise this morning.

Under the programme, each of 2,400 farmers was given five kilograms of Aush paddy seed, 10 kgs of Di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) fertilizer and 10 kgs of Muriate of potash (MOP) fertilizer free of cost for cultivating one bigha of land. Meanwhile, 3500 farmers were given one kg of jute seed each.

SOURCE: BANGLADESH SANGBAD SANGSTHA

Chinese yuan strengthens to 6.8374 against USD Friday

The central parity rate of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, strengthened 335 pips to 6.8374 against the U.S. dollar Friday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System.

In China's spot foreign exchange market, the yuan is allowed to rise or fall by 2 percent from the central parity rate each trading day.

The central parity rate of the yuan against the U.S. dollar is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the opening of the interbank market each business day.

Source: Xinhua Finance Agency

China’s benchmark interbank gold prices up Friday

China's benchmark prices for spot interbank gold transactions were up Friday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System.

The benchmark price for gold that is 99.95 percent pure or above stood at 438.5 yuan (about 64.13 U.S. dollars) per gram, up 3.15 yuan from the previous trading day, while the price for gold that is 99.99 percent pure or above went up 4.06 yuan to 438.2 yuan per gram.

Spot transaction prices on the interbank price inquiry market are allowed to rise or fall within 15 percent from the benchmark prices each trading day.

The interbank gold price inquiry business was introduced in 2012 to enhance market liquidity and enrich trading models.

Source: Xinhua Finance Agency

The following are the indices of major stock markets worldwide on Friday.

The following are the indices of major stock markets worldwide on Friday.

IN ASIA

The Shanghai Composite Index opened at 3,282.74 points, down 3.91 points, or 0.12 percent.

The Shenzhen Component Index opened at 11,616.46 points, up 11.17 points, or 0.10 percent.

The Hang Seng Index opened at 19,919.65 points, down 129.99 points, or 0.65 percent.

The SandP/ASX 200 index opened at 6,947.80 points, down 20.80 points, or 0.30 percent.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average opened at 27,368.62 points, down 50.99 points, or 0.19 percent.

The Straits Times Index opened at 3,210.97 points, down 8.03 points, or 0.25 percent.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index opened at 2,421.27 points, down 3.21 points, or 0.13 percent.

IN THE UNITED STATES

The SandP 500 Index closed at 3,948.72 points, up 11.75 points, or 0.30 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 32,105.25 points, up 75.14 points, or 0.23 percent.

The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 11,787.40 points, up 117.44 points, or 1.01 percent.

IN EUROPE

The DAX Index closed at 15,210.39 points, down 5.80 points, or 0.04 percent.

The FTSE 100 Index closed at 7,499.60 points, down 67.24 points, or 0.89 percent.

The Paris CAC 40 closed at 7,139.25 points, up 8.13 points, or 0.11 percent.

(This article is generated by Xinhua News Robot.)

Source: Xinhua Finance Agency

Monitchem Holdco 2 S.A.: Thomas H. Ahrens will become new CEO of CABB Group

EQS Newswire - 24 March 2023 - CABB Group today announced that Thomas H. Ahrens (61) will become the new CEO. He is currently CEO of the COMPO EXPERT Group, a leading global producer of specialty fertilisers for professional applications based in Münster (Germany). Ahrens will join CABB on 1 June 2023 and succeed Valerie Diele-Braun after a transition period of a few months. She will take on a new professional challenge on 1 October.

"We are very pleased that with Thomas Ahrens, we have attracted an experienced leader who has an outstanding track record in driving sustainable growth and profitability. Building on his extensive industry expertise, he will further strengthen CABB's position as a premier contract development and manufacturing organisation and leading producer of proprietary ingredients for customers in the Life Science and Performance Materials industries. We are convinced that after a smooth transition from Valerie he will successfully lead CABB into the next chapter of its growth story", said Roberto Gualdoni, Chairman of the Advisory Board.

Ahrens has more than 20 years of industry experience at executive board level with a strong focus on driving global expansion strategies and delivering long-term profitable growth. Prior to his time at COMPO EXPERT where he took over as CEO in March 2016, he spent four years as Vice President Europe at ENTHONE, a global leader in chemical solutions for surface finishing in a variety of industries. Both companies have seen a strong performance improvement during Ahrens' tenure.

"CABB with its high-quality products and services is ideally positioned to excel in an exciting industry," said Ahrens. "I very much look forward to joining forces with my more than 1'000 colleagues around the globe, the whole management team, and the owner Permira. Together, we will continue to unlock CABB's full potential and drive our sustainable growth agenda."

The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

About CABB

The CABB Group is a leading Crop Science contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), supplying customized active ingredients. CABB also offers high-complexity and high-purity chemical ingredients to customers in the Life Sciences and Performance Materials markets. The company operates six production sites in Pratteln (Switzerland), Kokkola (Finland), Galena (USA), Knapsack and Gersthofen (Germany), Jining (China). With around 1,200 employees, CABB recorded an annual turnover of about €755 million in the 2022 financial year.

Source: Xinhua Finance Agency

Malaysia Healthcare Offers Advanced Orthopaedic Treatments

Employing top-notch medical technology and expertise, Malaysia provides orthopaedic care for optimal recovery.

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - Media OutReach - 24 March 2023 - Keeping pace with the current demands and trends in the healthcare industry, Malaysia Healthcare offers innovative solutions to patients with advanced orthopaedic treatments, employing top-notch medical technology and expertise.

MHTC-Press-Release-General-Orthopedics.jpeg

Over the past 20 years, the orthopaedic industry has undergone significant global advancements, some of which include the use of robotics for less invasive procedures and reproducible precision, which shorten hospital stays and expedite recovery. Surgical procedure improvement solutions, such as motion preservation techniques, minimally invasive surgeries, tissue-guided surgeries and cementless joint replacements are a few of the advancements that have evolved over time to promote speedier recovery[1].

The advancement of the industry is shaped by the demand for personalised treatments and implants, as well as advancements that can expedite procedures, improve efficiency and outcomes, and facilitate the recovery and comfort of the patient are currently influencing the orthopaedic field to ensure a better patient experience.

In its commitment to offering world-class healthcare, most of Malaysia's healthcare professionals are trained internationally, and its hospitals are equipped with the latest, cutting-edge medical facilities and equipment, ensuring that patients receive the best health treatments and services.

Robotic-assisted surgery, according to Dato' Dr. Lee Keat Hwa, a Consultant Orthopaedic and Arthroplasty Surgeon at Island Hospital, combines robotics and artificial intelligence. Surgeons carefully examine patients' radiographs to record the anatomy of the relevant body part. The robots will then analyse the data and help determine the best implantation method from there. "The robots are intelligent, as they assist with accurate data. Thus, we as surgeons do not have to open a big wound when performing major surgeries on patients. Instead, we can make smaller, more precise incisions. As a result, robotic-assisted surgeries have a potential to be more successful and faster than conventional orthopaedic surgery," she added.

In the Asian population, knee arthritis is a common arthritis. As a result, we are likely to see more knee replacements than hip replacements. "I perform a lot of fast-track knee replacements, which allow patients to walk almost immediately after surgery. Typically, patients are operated on in the morning and can walk the same day," said Dato' Dr. Siva Kumar Ariaretnam, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Subang Jaya Medical Centre.

The benefit of this is that patients have a lower risk of complications like Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Venous Thromboembolism (VTE), which are severe blood clots in the leg. "Many patients, including those from abroad, would undoubtedly want to keep their hospital stays to a minimum while also recovering as quickly as possible. Therefore, I have also created techniques for wound closure that do not require the patient to return to the hospital for the removal of the stitches," explained Dato' Dr. Siva.

According to Dr. Prashant Narhari, Consultant Orthopaedic, Traumatologist and Orthopaedic Oncologist at Penang Adventist Hospital, bailout is another treatment aspect that orthopaedic surgeons undertake. "Basically, we reconstruct the limb after doing a large resection to remove a sizeable piece of the tumour from it. This is also done for severe fractures that develop in elderly people. When using a plate to treat the fracture is not an option, we will remove the broken pieces and apply an implant in their place. The patient can walk the day following surgery since we are employing an implant," he said.

Conceived over 10 years ago, Malaysia Healthcare is the backbone that ensures the delivery of seamless end-to-end patient care. Led by the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), which is under the auspices of the Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia, it brings together the nation's dual heritage of medical innovation and hospitality to provide healthcare travellers with a memorable experience from the moment they begin their enquiries until the time they head back home.

Source: Xinhua Finance Agency

Economic Watch: Chinese auto enterprises roll out stimulus measures to spur consumption

Zhou Min, a car salesperson at an Audi 4S store in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, handed over the key of an Audi Q4 to a buyer, marking his 16th sale of an Audi vehicle this year.

"We have had a promotional campaign recently. The cash discount for the Audi Q4 has been increased from 23,000 yuan (about 3,368 U.S. dollars) to 60,000 yuan," Zhou said.

Stimulated by preferential measures, such as giving discounts and offering gift packs, the Audi retail dealer has attracted more potential buyers coming for a closer look since the campaign launched at the beginning of March.

Due to some incentive policies in 2022, such as halving the car-purchase tax for passenger vehicles priced at no more than 300,000 yuan and with 2-liter engines or smaller, and purchase tax exemption for new energy vehicles (NEV), China's auto market maintained growth last year.

Data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) showed that the country's auto sales reached 26.86 million units last year, up 2.1 percent year on year. During the same period, the country's NEVs sales rose 93.4 percent to about 6.89 million units. The total production and sales volume of automobiles in China has ranked first in the world for 14 consecutive years, according to the CAAM.

However, affected by the epidemic and the termination of the car-purchase tax cut policy and the government subsidy program for NEVs at the end of last year, China's auto sales significantly declined in the first two months of this year, according to the CAAM.

The country's domestic demand has not yet been fully released. The steady growth of the Chinese automobile industry still needs relevant policies to boost it, said Chen Shihua, deputy secretary general of the CAAM.

The first quarter is usually a period of slack sales of vehicles. But with stimulus policies and measures, sales will gradually pick up, said a senior manager from SAIC-GM-Wuling (SGMW), a major Chinese automobile manufacturer based in Liuzhou in Guangxi.

To stimulate auto consumption, SGMW has cooperated with local commerce authorities to roll out various incentive policies, including providing government subsidies and consumption coupons to buyers to reduce their costs, according to sources with SGMW.

Auto enterprises and some local governments have launched a series of sales campaigns.

In central China's Hubei Province, the Dongfeng Motor Corporation launched a massive car sales promotional campaign in March. Buyers who purchase certain Dongfeng Motor models can enjoy a 90,000 yuan cut in price with subsidies offered by the local authorities and the company, according to Dongfeng Motor.

Thanks to the continuous provision and implementation of suitable local policies, including offering financial subsidies and coupons for consumers to support and encourage the development of the NEV industry and automobile consumption nationwide, sales of NEVs in China maintained a positive growth trend.

The production and sales of NEVs in the country reached 977,000 and 933,000 units in the first two months of 2023, up 18.1 percent and 20.8 percent year on year, respectively, the CAAM said.

In February, the recovery of the NEV market was notably on the rise. BYD, China's largest NEV manufacturer, said its NEV sales jumped 112.6 percent to 193,655 units.

Looking at startup carmakers, NIO delivered 12,157 NEVs in February, up 98.3 percent from 2022. Li Auto delivered 16,620 units during the same period, up 97.5 percent.

"We are optimistic about the annual sales growth," said Li Bin, founder of NIO, noting that the company's overall sales have improved significantly recently, and its market share in the high-end, pure electric market has continued to increase.

"The auto market did not have a good start in January. It is a reasonable trend in line with expectations," said Cui Dongshu, secretary general of the China Passenger Car Association.

Stabilizing and expanding auto consumption is a significant part of consumption promotion. The stimulus policies of the government and auto manufacturers to boost auto consumption will stimulate the auto market, Cui added.

"China's domestic auto market still has enormous potential, with economic growth and personal consumption gradually strengthening. I have confidence in the development of the auto market this year," Cui said.

Source: Xinhua Finance Agency

Artwork That Secretly Honored Hong Kong Dissidents Removed

A Hong Kong department store took down a digital artwork that contained hidden references to jailed dissidents, in an incident the artist says is evidence of erosion of free speech in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

It was unclear whether the government played a role in the decision to remove the artwork, it came just days after a slasher film featuring Winnie the Pooh, a figure often used in playful taunts of China's President Xi Jinping, was pulled from local cinemas.

Patrick Amadon's "No Rioters" was put on display on a billboard at the SOGO Causeway Bay Store for an exhibition that started last Friday, as the city was promoting its return as a vibrant cultural hub following years of pandemic travel restrictions. Art Basel Hong Kong, a prominent art fair in Asia, began this week, alongside other art events.

Hong Kong is a former British colony that returned to China's rule in 1997, promising to retain its Western-style freedoms. The city was rocked by a massive pro-democracy protest movement in 2019, which ended after China imposed a "National Security Law" that criminalized much dissent. The city's government has since jailed and silenced many activists.

Amadon said he had followed the protests in Hong Kong closely, and he wanted his work to show solidarity with the protesters and remind people about the new reality of the city.

"It was too much watching Art Week in Hong Kong pretend the Chinese government didn't crush a democracy and turn Hong Kong into a vassal surveillance state... because it's a convenient location for a good market," the Los Angeles-based artist said.

Amadon said he knew the work would be controversial and was surprised it had been displayed in public for days. It featured a panning surveillance camera.

Flashes of Matrix-like text showcased the names and prison sentences of convicted activists and other prominent figures in the pro-democracy movement, including legal scholar Benny Tai and former student leader Joshua Wong, who were both charged with subversion in the biggest case brought under the National Security Law.

This image provided March 23, 2023, by Patrick Amadon, shows part of his "No Rioters" digital artwork. The US-based artist said his installation that showed solidarity with Hong Kong protesters was taken down due to legal concerns.

This image provided March 23, 2023, by Patrick Amadon, shows part of his "No Rioters" digital artwork. The US-based artist said his installation that showed solidarity with Hong Kong protesters was taken down due to legal concerns.

These details were shown too fast to be seen by the naked eyes Amadon said, but viewers could see the details if they used a camera to capture stills. It also referred to journalist-turned activist Gwyneth Ho who was assaulted when she was live-streaming a mob attack in July 2019 during the massive protests sparked by an extradition bill.

The gallery that arranged the exhibit did not know whether the government ordered the work taken down, Francesca Boffetti, CEO at Art Innovation Gallery said in an email.

"Our intermediary told us that the owners of SOGO were concerned about the sensitive political content hidden behind Patrick's work, so they decided to remove the work from the exhibition immediately," Boffetti said.

No one mentioned any law or threatened them with fines, she added, but SOGO's legal team asked the gallery whether it was aware of the content and message of Amadon's work.

Local police and SOGO did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau told the Associated Press that it did not contact SOGO.

Amadon said the gallery told him in an urgent call that it was very concerned about its legal exposure after a conversation with SOGO.

Since the passage of the National Security Law, the city's art and media communities have learned to be wary of crossing vaguely defined red lines. Pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily was forced to close after authorities arrested its top editors and executives and accused them of foreign collusion. Some artists known for their political work left Hong Kong under the shadow of the law. Some filmmakers have stopped showing their work in the city. Even those producing non-political content have become cautious. But the government insisted that its residents continue to enjoy promised freedoms after the enactment of the law.

Amadon said what happened to his work showed that the city had lost its freedom of expression and artistic freedom.

"This objectively shows that they are no longer here in the same way that they once were," he said. "From a narrative standpoint, I mean, it did have to get censored and taken down, I feel like, to be a completed piece."

Source: Voice of America

Japan supermarket sales drop for first time in 8 months

Supermarket sales in Japan fell for the first time in eight months in February as food prices continue to soar, according to the latest industry data.

According to the Japan Chain Stores Association, sales at major stores across the country totaled about 1 trillion yen (7.6 billion U.S. dollars) last month, down 2 percent in yen terms from the previous year.

Food sales, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the total, fell 1.7 percent, the association said, while sales of clothing and cosmetics rose as people went out more as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

Officials at the association said that consumers are buying less per shopping trip as they are becoming more cost-conscious and thrifty amid rising food prices.

Source: Xinhua Finance Agency

2 die in Jhalokati road accident

Two people were killed and 15 others injured as a BRTC bus plunged into a roadside ditch in Rajapur Upazila of the district today.

One of the deceased was identified as Mehedi Hasan, supervisor of the bus.

Officer-in-Charge of Rajapur Thana Pulok Chandra Rai said the accident occurred at around 10 am in the Kanudashkathi area on Barisal-Patharghta Regional Highway as the driver of the bus lost his control over the steering wheels, leaving two persons dead on the spot and 15 others injured.

Bodies were sent to Jhalokati Sadar Hospital for autopsy while injured people were admitted to Bhandaria Upazila Health Complex.

SOURCE: BANGLADESH SANGBAD SANGSTHA

2 drug traders held with Phensidyl in Ctg

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested two alleged drug traders with 321 bottle of contraband Phensidyl from Salimpur area under Sitakunda upazila here this morning.

The arrested persons were identified as Abdul Karim, 35, and Abu Taher 41. Both are the residents of the district.

Acting on a tip-off, a team of the RAB-7 arrested Abu Taher, with 221 bottles of phensidyl and a microbus after setting up a temporary check post in the Salimpur area on the Dhaka-Chattogram Highway under Sitakunda upazila of the district at 4:30 am today.

The elite forces, later, detained bus passenger Abdul Karim with 100 pieces of Phensidyl from his travel bag at the same check post at about 11am.

A case was lodged with Sitakunda police station. The detained persons were sent to jail.

SOURCE: BANGLADESH SANGBAD SANGSTHA

President for building ‘Sonar Bangla’ to pay respect to 1971 martyrs

President Md Abdul Hamid today emphasized on collective efforts to turn the country into 'Sonar Bangla' as dreamt by Bangabandhu as part of paying everlasting tributes to the martyrs of the 1971 genocide.

"We can pay our eternal respect to every soul, who gave his or her life in 1971 genocide, by turning the country into 'Sonar Bangla' as dreamt by Bangabandhu," he said in a message on the eve of the Genocide Day.

The President said, "Today is the dreadful 25th March, the Genocide Day. On this day in 1971, Pakistani occupation forces carried out the most brutal killings in the history throughout the country, including Dhaka".

Numerous people from different classes and professions, including students, teachers, intellectuals, members of different forces especially from police and the then EPR, were killed in the genocide, he said.

The President said the observance of this day as the genocide day is a great recognition to the supreme sacrifices made by three million Bangalees in the struggle for freedom of Bangladesh as well as a symbol of vigorous protest against the brutal genocide of the then Pakistani occupation forces.

He said: "On this day, I with profound respect recall Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman under whose leadership and direction our great independence was achieved through a nine-month long armed Liberation War".

He also remembered with deep respect all the martyrs who were killed in the fateful night of March 25 and all others martyrs who were victims of genocide carried out by Pakistani occupation forces.

"I also recall with deep respect our four national leaders, valiant freedom-fighters, organizers, supporters and countrymen who had immense contributions and sacrifices to attain our independence," the President said.

The then Pakistani occupation forces, armed with sophisticated weapons, indiscriminately carried out genocide on the unarmed Bengalees on March 25, 1971, he said.

Under the codename 'Operation Searchlight', they carried out the operation to stun the resistance of the freedom-loving people, he said.

Massacres took place simultaneously on Dhaka University campus, Rajarbagh Police Lines, Pilkhana (now BGB Headquarters), Jashore, Khulna, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Syedpur, Cumilla, Sylhet, Chattogram, he said.

Noting that the news of this genocide was covered in all world media with utmost importance, the head of the state said, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was arrested by the Pakistani army in the early hour of March 26.

Before that (arrest), Bangabandhu proclaimed the country's independence and following the declaration, the War of Liberation began, he added.

Three million people were the victims of the brutal killings of Pakistani occupation forces and their local collaborators during the nine-month long War of Liberation, the President said, adding that one crore Bangalees took shelter in neighbouring India due to the horrors of killings and oppressions.

Mentioning that the horrific genocide of 1971 is a black chapter not only in the history of Bangladesh but also of world humanity, the President said through the observance of the Genocide Day, the demand will be reflected worldwide that such genocide would not take place anywhere else.

Imbued with the spirit of the War of Liberation, he said, today Bangladesh is moving towards progress and prosperity by overcoming all obstacles.

He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced 'Vision-2041' to turn Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous country in 2041.

He called upon all, irrespective of party affiliations and opinions, to contribute from their respective positions to achieve the vision.

SOURCE: BANGLADESH SANGBAD SANGSTHA