Author Archives: News Desk

E-passport is a ‘Mujib Year’ gift for nation: PM


MNA National Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has launched the much-awaited electronic passport (e-passport) along with the automated border control management programme, saying that it (e-passport) is a gift for the nation in the “Mujib Year”. “We’re handing over the e-passport to the people of the country in ‘Mujib Barsho’, the special year, coinciding with the birth centenary celebration of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It (e-passport) is a gift for the nation in the Mujib Barsho,” she told the inaugural function of the e-passport and automated border control management programme at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) ...

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Bangladesh moves up eight notches on Democracy Index 2019


MNA Editorial Desk: Bangladesh has gained eight places on the latest Democracy Index 2019, compared to the previous year, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Although there was no big movement at the top and bottom of the index, there have been sizeable movements in the rankings elsewhere with Bangladesh among the countries making ‘notable improvements’, according to EIU’s findings. Bangladesh ranks 80th with an overall score of 5.88 on the Democracy Index 2019, improved from the 88th position with a score of 5.57 a year ago, reports Despite gains on the latest index, Bangladesh is still classified ...

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Google CEO eyes major opportunity in healthcare


MNA Business Desk: Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet Inc and its Google subsidiary, said on Wednesday that healthcare offers the biggest potential over the next five to 10 years for using artificial intelligence to improve outcomes, and vowed that the technology giant will heed privacy concerns. US lawmakers have raised questions about Google’s access to the health records of tens of millions of Americans. Ascension, which operates 150 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities across the United States, is Google’s biggest cloud computing customer in healthcare. “When we work with hospitals, the data belongs to the hospitals,” ...

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Indian SC says no stay on citizenship law for now


MNA International Desk: The Indian Supreme Court on Wednesday made it clear that it will not grant any stay on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) without hearing the Centre and said it may refer pleas challenging the validity of the Act to a larger Constitution bench. A Bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde is hearing a batch of 144 pleas challenging the validity of CAA, including those filed by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. Attorney General of India K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, told the Bench that the government has been given ...

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3 rockets fall inside Baghdad’s Green Zone

Green Zone

MNA International Desk: Three Katyusha rockets fell on Tuesday inside Baghdad’s Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign missions, Iraqi police sources told Reuters. The three rockets were launched from Zafaraniyah district outside Baghdad, the sources said, adding that two rockets landed near the United States embassy Sirens could be heard across the zone immediately after the rockets made impact. The US has blamed Iran-backed paramilitary groups for a spate of similar attacks in recent months on the Green Zone, but there has never been a claim of responsibility. Tensions in Iraq have risen since the US assassinated Qassem ...

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Bangladesh airports on alert for deadly coronavirus spreading from China


MNA Editorial Desk: The authorities have put the airports on alert to prevent deadly coronavirus from spreading in Bangladesh by screening travellers from China where the number of patients has more than tripled in days and a third person has died. The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) has in a letter asked the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh to act to avoid the possible risk related to the Chinese virus, Meerjady Sabrina Flora, a director at the institute, said on Monday, reports bdnews24. The government’s disease wing has also trained health workers at the airports for detection ...

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Merchant bankers’ plea for raising funds


MNA Business Desk: Merchant bankers on Monday called for increased fund support and quality public offerings to help restore stability in the country’s capital market. To attract good and sound companies to the stock market, they also called upon the authorities concerned to introduce a lucrative incentive package by eliminating the existing barriers like double-taxation. A special committee of the ministry of finance tasked with monitoring the market made the calls at a meeting held at the Investment Corporation of Bangladesh, or ICB, in the city. After the meeting, president of the Bangladesh Merchant Bankers Association, or BMBA, Md Sayadur ...

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President, PM mourn death of AL MP Ismat Ara Sadique

Ismat Ara

MNA National Desk: Awami League lawmaker and former State Minister for Public Administration Ismat Ara Sadique died at a hospital in Dhaka on Tuesday. She was 78. She breathed her last around 11am at the United Hospital while undergoing treatment there. Ismat, wife of former education minister ASHK Sadique, was born in Bogura on December 12, 1942 and completed her honors from Eden Mohila College in Dhaka in 1960. Meanwhile, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of the MP elected from Jashore-6. Former State Minister for Public Administration Ismat Ara ...

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DSCC & DNCC Elections: People’s welfare must be at core


MNA Editorial Desk: The election of two Dhaka City Corporations is going to be held on Feb 1. Though initially it was scheduled to be held on Jan 30, due to a major festival of the Hindu community, Saraswati Pooja, it was shifted. The mayoral and councillor candidates are running their campaigns in full pace as this year’s city corporation election has brought huge festivity in all areas of Dhaka city. The roads are all covered with festoons, banners and posters of the candidates. The environment is filled with loud innovative songs praising the candidates. In the Dhaka South City ...

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Will send 10m Bangladeshi Muslims back: BJP West Bengal unit chief


MNA Editorial Desk: BJP’s West Bengal unit chief Dilip Ghosh has said that the government is committed to implementing the proposed nationwide National Register of India and will send back 10 million (1 crore) Bangladeshi Muslims living in the state illegally. Addressing a rally in the North 24 Parganas district on Sunday, Mr Ghosh said that those opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) are anti-Bengali and against the idea of India. He said 10 million illegal Muslims in the state are “thriving” on the government’s Rs 2 per kg subsidised rice, NDTV reported. “We will send them back,” he announced. ...

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Cold-wave likely from tomorrow


MNA National Desk: A fresh spell of mild cold-wave, also likely to be the last of this winter season, may sweep over some parts of the country from tomorrow (Tuesday). Besides, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) said in its weather forecast that in 24 hours light rain or drizzle is likely to occur in different regions of the country, although the weather may remain dry in most other parts until 9.00 am on Monday. The cold-wave may not be as long as other cold-waves of this year, a meteorologist at the BMD told the FE on Sunday. The mild cold-wave ...

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BB rolls out capital market support plan this week

capital market

MNA Business Desk: The central bank is set to announce a long-term comprehensive plan this week aiming to support sustainable development of the country’s capital market. Under the plan, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) will provide both liquidity and policy supports to the banks along with other capital market intermediaries, according to officials. The central bank is working on such liquidity supports to all the share market-related financial institutions at an ‘affordable cost’ through the scheduled banks in the form of repo (repurchase agreement), they explained. As part of the move, BB Governor Fazle Kabir heard from the leaders of Bangladesh ...

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World’s richest 2,000 people hold more than poorest 4.6 billion combined: Oxfam


MNA International Desk: The world’s richest 2,153 people controlled more money than the poorest 4.6 billion combined in 2019, while unpaid or underpaid work by women and girls adds three times more to the global economy each year than the technology industry, Oxfam said on Monday. The Nairobi-headquartered charity said in a report released ahead of the annual World Economic Forum of political and business leaders in Davos, Switzerland, that women around the world work 12.5 billion hours combined each day without pay or recognition. In its “Time to Care” report, Oxfam said it estimated that unpaid care work by ...

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Chinese president begins ‘historic’ Myanmar visit

Xi Jinping

MNA Editorial Desk: Chinese President Xi Jinping reached Nay Pyi Taw on Friday for a state visit to Myanmar. It is Xi’s first overseas trip this year, and the first visit to the Asian neighbour by a Chinese president after an interval of 19 years. Two Myanmar fighter jets escorted Xi’s plane as it entered the country’s airspace. Myanmar’s First Vice President U Myint Swe and several cabinet ministers warmly welcomed Xi upon his arrival at the Nay Pyi Taw International Airport. Myanmar children presented flowers to the Chinese president, and local youths and artists in national costumes performed traditional ...

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PM mourns death of Bogura-1 MP Mannan

Abdul Mannan

MNA National Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of Awami League leader and Member of the Parliament Abdul Mannan. In a condolence message, the Prime Minister on Saturday recalled the contribution of the former president of Bangladesh Chhatra League in various democratic movements, reports UNB. “Awami League lost a skilled organiser and a devoted activist,” she said. The Prime Minister prayed for the eternal salvation of the departed soul and expressed sympathy to the bereaved family. Abdul Mannan, an Awami League lawmaker from Bogura-1, has died during treatment for a heart ailment ...

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Vladimir Putin to attend Berlin Conference on Libya


MNA International Desk: Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed over the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday the Berlin Conference on Libya, which he plans to attend Sunday, the Kremlin said in a statement. According to the statement, the participants at the Berlin event are expected to exchange views on resolving the Libyan crisis, including on the speedy cessation of hostilities, the reconciliation of warring parties and the launch of a broad political dialogue under the auspices of the United Nations (UN). Key agreements will be recorded in the final document of the conference, reports Xinhua citing the statement. ...

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SpaceX to simulate rocket failure in final astronaut capsule test


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Elon Musk’s SpaceX is gearing up to destroy one of its own rockets on Saturday to test a crucial emergency abort system on an unmanned astronaut capsule, the company’s final milestone test before flying NASA astronauts from US soil. Less than two minutes after liftoff from a launchpad in Florida, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule will fire on-board thrusters to eject itself off a Falcon 9 rocket mid-air, simulating an emergency abort scenario that will prove it can return astronauts to safety. “I will tell you tomorrow will be an exciting day,” Kathy Lueders, NASA’s commercial ...

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Investors welcome PM’s directives on securities market


MNA Business Desk: Some market supportive measures helped Dhaka stocks end the sharp losing streak in the week ended on Thursday. Out of five trading sessions, the DSE broad index witnessed sharp fall in first three sessions hitting 56-month low. The last two sessions closed positively following a meeting called by the ministry of finance (MoF) to discuss the market supportive proposals. On Thursday, the DSE broad index closed the session with a sharp rise of 2.0 per cent or 81.62 points. On the day, Prime Minister gave six-point instructions for revitalizing the country’s stock market, including ensuring easy credit ...

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Employers find NUB graduates’ quality below the mark


MNA Career & Education Desk: Employers do not find the quality of the graduates of National University, Bangladesh (NUB) up to the mark; which is way a good number of them are deprived of decent jobs and also face the risk of unemployment, according to a study. Consequently, some 70 per cent of the employers suggested that NUB students improve their skills in five areas- computers/ICT skill, English language proficiency, communication skill, presentation skill and (e) technical knowledge, the study disclosed. The study, conducted by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), revealed the employers’ view that the NUB graduates ...

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EC working independently: Quader on Dhaka city polls

Obaidul Quader

MNA National Desk: Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader has said the government is not interfering with elections to the Dhaka south (DSCC) and north (DNCC) city corporations. “The Election Commission (EC) is not working at the order of the government. It is working independently,” he told reporters, responding to BNP’s allegation of influencing the EC’s work. The minister said on Thursday that the government is not interfering with the election process. “It never will,” he added. Obaidul Quader said the people should abide by the order passed by the High Court regarding deferment of the Dhaka city polls, ...

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Three African nations reach preliminary deal in Nile dam dispute


MNA International Desk: Officials from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan say they have reached a preliminary agreement aimed at clearing the way for the filling and operation of a $5 billion dam project on the Nile River. The foreign ministers and water resources officials of the three countries concluded three days of meetings in Washington Wednesday with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and World Bank President David Malpass. The project, called the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, is around 70 per cent complete and promises to provide much needed electricity for Ethiopia’s 70 million people. However, Egyptian officials are concerned that filing the ...

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Russian PM, govt resign after Putin speech

Vladimir Putin

MNA Editorial Desk: Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday that his government was resigning to give President Vladimir Putin room to carry out the changes he wants to make to the constitution. The unexpected announcement, which came shortly after Putin proposed a nationwide vote on sweeping changes which would shift power from the presidency to parliament, means Russia will also get a new prime minister. Possible candidates include Sergei Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow, Maxim Oreshkin, the economy minister, or Alexander Novak, the energy minister, reports Reuters. Medvedev made the announcement on state TV sitting next to Putin ...

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BD open to raising palm oil imports from Malaysia

palm oil

MNA Business Desk: In some good news for Malaysian palm oil sellers, Bangladesh is open to increasing palm oil imports from the Southeast Asian country if it offers competitive prices. “If they approach us we’ll welcome them,” Reuters reported quoting agriculture minister Abdur Razzak on Thursday. “We can raise imports from Malaysia if we get a better price from them.” When asked about India’s move to stop palm oil imports from Malaysia, the world’s second biggest producer and exporter of the commodity after Indonesia, he said, “It’s rather good, prices of palm oil are coming down.” Bangladesh mainly buys palm ...

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Le Méridien Dhaka is organizing a 10-day-long ‘Pitha Fest’ from today


MNA Lifestyle Desk: Guests will be able to delve into the delicacies of pitha with regular buffet dinner at the Latest Recipe, says a press release. The Pitha station will feature more than 25 types of delicious and traditional pithas, like Dudh Khejur, Mug Shola, Golap Pitha, Lobongo Lotika, Shewai Pitha, Badshahi Pitha, Rosh Monjuri, Vhapa Puli, Jhal Pantua and many more. There will also be a Live Station for Shahi Vapa and Chitoi with Vorta. General manager of Le Méridien Dhaka Constantinos S Gavriel said, “Pitha is a part of life and culture of Bangladeshi people. Pithas are made ...

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SSC: Coaching centres to be shuttered for a month


MNA Career & Education Desk: Education Minister Dipu Moni made the announcement to reporters after a meeting of the National Monitoring and Law and Order Committee on the exams at the Secretariat on Thursday. “All coaching centres across the country will remain shut from Jan 25 to Feb 25,” the minister said. The government is making such adjustments with the coaching centres before SSC exam for few years as these coaching centres were found involved in question paper leaking which was almost destroying the education system of Bangladesh. This year also the government has decided to follow the same policy ...

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ICJ to rule in Myanmar genocide case on Jan 23


MNA Editorial Desk: The International Court of Justice, the United Nations’ highest court, will issue a decision on a request for emergency measures in a genocide case against Myanmar on January 23, the Gambian Ministry of Justice said on Twitter on Monday. The mainly Muslim west African country filed the suit in November, alleging Myanmar was committing “an ongoing genocide” against its minority Muslim Rohingya population. The ICJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Gambia has accused Myanmar of violating the 1948 Genocide Convention in a military campaign that expelled more than 730,000 Rohingya from the country. ...

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BD on right track to attain SDGs: PM Sheikh Hasina


MNA National Desk: Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has said Bangladesh is now on right track to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) due to her government’s time-befitting initiatives. “We achieved spectacular success in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and we’re already on right track to achieve the SDGs,” she said while replying questions in an interview session at the “Future Sustainability Summit” on Tuesday. The interview session titled ‘The Critical Role of Women in Delivering Climate Action’ of the Future Sustainability Summit was held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in Abu Dhabi. PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim ...

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