Author Archives: News Desk

Bangladesh a role model of development in world: PM


MNA National Desk: Highlighting Bangladesh’s tremendous development in the last one decade, prime minister Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has graduated to a developing country and is a role model of development in the world. She said the country’s GDP rate increased to 8.13 per cent and poverty rate was brought down to 21 per cent from 41 per cent, she said. Sheikh Hasina was addressing a reception accorded to her by Bangladesh Embassy in Spain at Hotel Villa Magna in Madrid on Sunday evening local time. Expatriate Bangladeshis, including Awami League leaders and workers living in Spain and other European ...

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Saudi Arabia assures to take steps for female workers’ safety: Secretary

Saudi Arabia

MNA Editorial Desk: Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment secretary Md Salim Reza on Monday said authorities in Saudi Arabia have assured that they will take necessary steps to ensure the safety of Bangladeshi female workers in their country. He came up with the remark while speaking at a press briefing at Probashi Kallyan Bhaban in the capital. Reza said the third joint technical committee meeting was held between the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment and Saudi Ministry of Labour and Social Development on November 27 in Riyadh. In the last four years, over 5,000 Bangladeshi women have returned ...

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Masatsugu Asakawa elected ADB new president

Masatsugu Asakawa

MNA Business Desk: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced on Monday that its Board of Governors has “unanimously elected” Masatsugu Asakawa as ADB president. Asakawa, 61, currently special advisor to Japan’s prime minister and minister of finance, will assume office as ADB’s 10th president on Jan 17, 2020. He will succeed Takehiko Nakao, who will leave office on Jan 16, 2020. Asakawa will finish the unexpired term of Nakao, which ends on Nov 23, 2021, reports Xinhua. “Asakawa’s extensive and diverse experience in international finance and development will serve ADB well in pursuing its vision of a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, ...

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Hong Kong gears up for lunchtime rallies after weekend unrest

Hong Kong

MNA International Desk: Hong Kong protesters geared up for a week of lunchtime rallies on Monday, a day after a mass demonstration showed the anti-government movement can still draw people to the streets even after sweeping recent gains by democrats in district elections. After a rare lull in demonstrations following the polls, police on Sunday fired tear gas to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters as residents chanted “revolution of our time” and “liberate Hong Kong”. Protesters are planning two-hour rallies at lunchtime for the next five days in the Asian financial hub’s central business district, according to online posts. The ...

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Dipu Chakma clinches first gold for Bangladesh in SA Games

Dipu Chakma

MNA Sports Desk: Dipu Chakma won the first gold medal for Bangladesh in taekwondo in the ongoing 13th South Asian Games (SA Games) in Nepal on Monday. Dipu beat the athletes from India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal in 29+ age group category in poomsae taekwondo event to secure the first gold for Bangladesh at Satdobato Sports Complex. The Rangamati-born athlete scored 16.24 points in the event. Sri Lanka’s Lakshman IIandarige won silver with 8.22 points to his name while India’s Gangphung Gangsa won the bronze with 8.14 points. Earlier, Bangladesh won the first medal when Humayra Akter won Bronze ...

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Facebook bows to Singapore’s ‘fake news’ law


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Facebook has added a correction notice to a post that Singapore’s government said contained false information. It is the first time Facebook has issued such a notice under the city-state’s controversial “fake news” law. Singapore claimed the post, by fringe news site States Times Review (STR), contained “scurrilous accusations”. The note issued by the social media giant said it “is legally required to tell you that the Singapore government says this post has false information”. Facebook’s addition was embedded at the bottom of the original post, which was not altered. It was only visible to ...

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‘Miss Universe Bangladesh 2019’ Shela flies to USA


MNA Culture & Entertainment Desk: Miss Universe Bangladesh 2019 Shirin Akhter Shela has left Dhaka for the USA on November 28 to participate in the 68th edition of the Miss Universe competition. Miss Universe 2019 will be held on December 8, 2019 at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. Women from more than 90 countries will compete for the crown of Miss Universe. Miss Universe 2018, Catriona Gray from the Philippines, will crown the new Miss Universe at the end of the program. Bangladesh is participating in Miss Universe for the first time. Shirin Akhter Shela ...

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Iraqi PM submits resignation amid mounting pressure


MNA International Desk: Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi submitted his resignation to parliament amid continuing anti-government protests in the capital Baghdad and in southern Iraq. The prime minister announced on Friday he would resign amid mounting pressure a day after more than 40 demonstrators were killed by security forces. The formal resignation came after an emergency cabinet session on Saturday, in which ministers approved the document and the resignation of key staffers, including Abdul Mahdi’s chief of staff, reports Al Jazeera. The Iraqi parliament is scheduled to meet today (Sunday) where legislators will vote on whether to accept Abdul ...

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President comes down heavily on food adulterators


MNA National Desk: President M Abdul Hamid on Sunday came down heavily on food adulterators and urged all concerned to gear up campaign against the adulteration of foods and the unscrupulous traders. “We have already become champion in food adulteration”, the President said with a note of sarcasm. “I visited 80 to 85 countries till date. I haven’t seen this type of food adulteration and use of formalin in fruits in other countries, even in neighbouring India and Nepal,” he said. The head of the state made the remarks while addressing the fifth convocation of Rajshahi University of Engineering and ...

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64 parking spots to be set up in city


MNA Editorial Desk: Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) on Sunday approved a proposal to set up 64 parking places in the city. Besides, the two city corporations have been given the responsibility to construct a small ‘city forest’ at a suitable location after evicting encroachers and a ‘bus bay’ adjacent to the streets in Dhaka. The decisions were taken at the 13th meeting of DTCA at its conference room. Road Transport and Bridges (RTB) Minister Obaidul Quader chaired the meeting where decision to free footpaths, as well as removing illegal motorised and non-motorised vehicles from the streets was also taken. ...

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Govt to form panel to ensure single digit interest rate


MNA Business Desk: The government is set to form a panel with the task of bringing interest rates down to a single digit. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal gave the information after a meeting with leaders of the banking sector on Sunday, reports “A seven-member committee led by a deputy governor of the central bank will be formed by the end of the day,” said Kamal. The panel will consist of chairmen and managing directors of public and private banks, said the finance minister. “The committee will submit a strategy on reducing the interest rate to the governor of ...

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Greed for money a disease: PM


MNA National Desk: Mentioning that the trend of making money now has become a disease, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday renewed her vow to continue the ongoing drive against corruption and drugs. “[Greed] to accumulate wealth has become a disease. It’s sickening … we want those who lead the life with honest income to get the dignity,” she said. Addressing the triennial council of Dhaka North and South City units of Bangladesh Awami League (AL), the Prime Minister said, “The hard-earned money of people will be spent on ensuring the welfare of people, not for lavish lifestyle of anyone.” ...

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London Bridge sealed off amid reports of gunfire

MNA International Desk: London Bridge has been cordoned off by police, with a BBC journalist reporting hearing gunfire. BBC reporter John McManus said he saw a group of men involved in a fight on the bridge. Police then arrived and shots were fired, he said. The Met Police confirmed that it was dealing with an incident at London Bridge and advised people near the scene to follow directions from officers on the ground. McManus told the BBC News channel: “Just a few minutes ago I was walking across London Bridge on the south bank to the north bank of the ...

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Brazil president accuses DiCaprio of financing Amazon fires


MNA Editorial Desk: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro claimed on Friday that Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio financed fires being set in the Amazon rainforest, without presenting any evidence, the right-wing leader’s latest broadside in casting blame over forest fires that have generated international concern. Bolsonaro appeared to be commenting on social media postings claiming that the environmental organisation the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) had paid for images taken by volunteer firefighters that it then supposedly used to solicit donations, including a $500,000 contribution from DiCaprio. The WWF has denied receiving a donation from DiCaprio or obtaining photos from the firefighters. “This ...

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Taka losing value against dollar


MNA Business Desk: The local currency has depreciated by Tk 1.0 against the US dollar so far this year in the inter-bank foreign exchange market as demand for the greenback grew. The dollar was quoted at Tk 84.90 each in the inter-bank forex market on November 27 against Tk 83.90 on January 02 this calendar year, according to the market operators. The demand for the greenback is gradually increasing, mostly driven by higher import payment, particularly for intermediate goods, oil and capital machinery for power plants. The Bangladesh Taka’s erosion was equally blamed on the falling trend in the export ...

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Ex-president of Maldives sentenced to five years in jail


MNA International Desk: A criminal court of the Maldives found former president Abdulla Yameen guilty of money laundering on Thursday and sentenced him to five years in prison, the judge said. Yameen, who drew the Indian Ocean island country closer to China during his tenure, was accused of receiving $1.0 million of government money through a private company as part of a deal to lease a number of tropical islands for hotel development, reports Reuters. The court also slapped a fine of $5.0 million on Yameen, who is under arrest, Judge Ali Rasheed said. A lawyer for Yameen said he ...

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PDB proposes 23pc hike in bulk power prices


MNA Business Desk: The Bangladesh Power Development Board or BPDB has proposed to the energy regulator to increase bulk electricity tariff by 23.27 per cent per unit to trim its losses. The state-owned agency made the proposal at the public hearing on bulk power tariff and transmission cost, held by the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission or BERC on Thursday. However, after reviewing the proposal, the BERC said the price can be increased by 19.5 per cent per unit to adjust transmission costs. At the hearing, BPDB General Manager (commercial operation) Md Kausar Ameer Ali said that the bulk electricity transmission ...

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Extremely tough to set a timeline for Rohingya return: UNHCR


MNA Editorial Desk: The UN Refugee Agency on Thursday said it is extremely difficult to set a timeline when the conducive environment for the return of Rohingyas will be created. The UNHCR called on the international community to continue its support to Bangladesh and the humanitarian response while, in parallel, working with the Myanmar government to support Myanmar to create the conditions conducive to sustainable return, reports UNB. “It’s extremely difficult to set a timeline (when the conducive environment for Rohingya return will be created). There’re too many factors,” UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner Kelly T Clements told reporters at a ...

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Marshall Islands President exchanges pleasantries with Hasina

Marshall Islands

MNA National Desk: President of the Marshall Islands Hilda C Heine on Thursday phoned Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and exchanged pleasantries. Hilda Heine made the phone call to the Prime Minister at noon and exchanged greetings, said PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim, reports UNB. He said Hilda Heine wished continued peace, progress and prosperity of the people of Bangladesh. The Prime Minister also wished peace, progress and prosperity of the people of the Marshall Islands, the press secretary said.

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IS may shift operations to Southeast Asia, Malaysia says

Islamic State

MNA Editorial Desk: A Malaysian minister warned on Wednesday that the Islamic State militant group may shift its base of operations to Southeast Asia after the death of its leader, according to a media report. Authorities in the region have said it will be a long battle to thwart the jihadist group’s ideology, even after Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed himself by detonating a suicide vest during a raid by US special forces in northwest Syria in October. Malaysia will remain on guard against threats posed by fighters returning from abroad, online radicalisation and possible lone-wolf attacks, home ...

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India launches Cartosat-3, 13 nanosatellites onboard PSLV-C47


MNA Science & Technology Desk: The Indian Space Research Organization has launched Cartosat-3 and 13 commercial nanosatellites into sun synchronous orbit onboard Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV C47), officials said. The satellite was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, off the Bay of Bengal coast located in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday morning. “PSLV-C47 successfully injects Cartosat-3 spacecraft into orbit,” according to a statement issued by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) after the successful launch of the satellite. “The 13 commercial satellites from the United States successfully placed in their designated orbits.” ...

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BASIC Bank in deeper trouble


MNA Business Desk: The scam-hit state-run BASIC Bank is finding it hard to procure funds from depositors, officials have said. Its battered image is thought to be the number one problem. BASIC Bank managing director Md Rafiqul Alam wrote to finance ministry last Wednesday seeking funds as well as support to boost bank’s public image. He has sought government intervention to help remove roadblocks to the bank making a comeback. According to the officials, the bank does desperately need to find ways to improve its deposit base as it has long been facing problem in this connection. The bank has ...

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More than 300 children, adolescents die every day from AIDS-related causes


MNA Feature Desk: Some 320 children and adolescents died every day from AIDS-related causes in 2018, or 13 every hour, according to a global snapshot on children, HIV and AIDS released by the UNICEF on Tuesday. Low access to antiretroviral treatment, in addition to limited prevention efforts, is a leading cause for these deaths, with only 54 per cent of children aged 0-14 living with HIV in 2018– or 790,000 children – receiving lifesaving antiretroviral therapy, according to the release. “The world is on the cusp of making great gains in the battle against HIV and AIDS, but we must ...

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Holey Artisan attack: Seven militants sentenced to death

Holey Artisan

MNA National Desk: Seven men were sentenced to death on Wednesday for their roles in the Holey Artisan café attack, the deadliest terror attack in Bangladesh’s history that claimed the lives of 22 people, including 17 foreigners. Judge Mohammad Mujibur Rahman of Dhaka Anti-terrorism Special Tribunal handed down the verdict. The convicts are – Jahangir Hossain, Aslam Hossain Ryash, Hadisur Rahman, Rakibul Hasan Rigen, Abdus Sabur Khan, Mamunur Rashid Ripon and Shariful Islam Khaled. Each of them was fined Tk 50,000. One of the accused, Mizanur Rahman alias Boro Mizan, was acquitted as charges brought against him could not be ...

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UN conference opens with call to make gender equality a reality


MNA International Desk: Over 500 ministers, senior policymakers, UN officials and civil society from across Asia and the Pacific region on Wednesday gathered in Bangkok to chart out priority actions aiming to support accelerated progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment. The three-day Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on the Beijing+25 Review, jointly organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, will provide a platform for countries to explore policy options and innovative strategies, towards addressing barriers to gender equality and realising women’s rights for ...

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Road Transport Act 2018 must ensure welfare of citizens

Road Transport Act 2018

MNA Editorial Desk: The Road Transport Act 2018 had come into effect few days back. Though it is yet to be implied in full extent, it has already created severe chaos and panic. We have been the victims of transport strike for a short period immediately after the implementation of this law. The law was passed in parliament on September 19, 2018. More than a year after it was passed into a law, the Road Transport Act, 2018 officially came into effect across Bangladesh. The authorities in charge of enforcing the law, however, are not fully prepared for the job ...

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BB brings simplification in online transactions

international cards

MNA Business Desk: The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has waived the formalities of online transaction authorisation form (OTAF) for online payments through international cards. The central bank issued a new notice on Sunday over the matter after it came under intense criticism for introducing the OTAF, report BSS and “To bring further simplification in online transactions, it has been decided to waive OTAF formalities for online payments abroad through international cards,” according to the BB circular. Authorities had introduced the online transaction authorisation form to stop illegitimate online payments to participate in gambling or stock trading. In this context, Sunday’s ...

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