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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 bdnews24.com. Despite gains on the latest index, Bangladesh is still classified ...

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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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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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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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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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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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Work to expand export to Middle East countries: PM to envoys


MNA Editorial Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed Bangladeshi envoys to work for expanding export to import-dependent Middle East countries alongside attracting investment to Bangladesh. “In the case of investment and export, you’ll have to assess which country has what kind of demand. You’ll have to decide and proceed accordingly,” she said pointing at the envoys deployed in nine Middle East countries. The prime minister was speaking at the Envoys’ Conference at Shangri-la Hotel in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on Monday. The envoys are Golam Moshi (Saudi Arabia), Muhammad Imran (United Arab Emirates-UAE), maj gen (retd) KM Mominur Rahman (Bahrain), ...

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Australian ‘megablaze’ brought under control


MNA Editorial Desk: Exhausted firefighters said they had finally brought Australia’s largest “megablaze” under control Monday, as wet weather promised to deliver much-needed respite for countryside ravaged by bushfires. New South Wales firefighters said they finally had the upper hand in the fight against the vast Gospers Mountain fire on Sydney’s northwestern outskirts, which has been burning out of control for almost three months, reports AFP. Visiting the area on Monday, New South Wales Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said there was a “small area of burning still to complete” but the “containment prognosis looks promising.”The fire seared an ...

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Bangladesh, India want zero death along border: Foreign Minister


MNA Editorial Desk: Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Sunday said Bangladesh and India want zero death along Bangladesh-India border but it is happening. He said they are also “concerned” like others about the deaths along the border and hoped that India will comply with their “zero death” position. The Foreign Minister was talking to reporters at a press conference at his ministry which was arranged hours ahead of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). “We’re concerned like you. We would relay the message to India so that they comply with their position what ...

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Bring an end to crimes against humanity, genocide: BD to UNSC


MNA Editorial Desk: The Permanent Representative (PR) of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima has urged the UN Security Council to bring an end to crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes. She was addressing the Security Council Open debate on Friday on “Upholding the United Nations Charter to maintain International Peace and Security.” Reiterating Bangladesh’s abiding commitment to the UN, Ambassador Rabab Fatima recalled the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s maiden speech at the UN in 1974 where he said, “The noble ideals enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations are the very ideals ...

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PM opens countdown to Bangabandhu’s birth centenary celebration


MNA Editorial Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally inaugurated the nationwide countdown to the birth centenary celebration of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on Friday. A gala ceremony was held to mark the opening at the National Parade Square, where Bangabandhu landed in the newly liberated and sovereign Bangladesh on January 10, 1972. Sheikh Hasina opened it through unveiling the logo of the Mujib Year, to be celebrated from March 17, 2020 to March 26, 2021. Through observing Bangabandhu’s birth centenary, the government aims to present the life and works of Bangabandhu before the people, especially the ...

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Countdown to Bangabandhu’s birth centenary celebration begins Friday


MNA Editorial Desk: The countdown to the observance of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s birth centenary will begin tomorrow (Friday) at the Tejgaon Old Airport in the city where Bangabandhu landed in the freshly liberated and sovereign Bangladesh on January 10, 1972. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the countdown on Friday afternoon for the observance of Bangabandhu’s birth centenary from March 17, 2020 to March 17, 2021 aimed at presenting the life and works of Bangabandhu before the people, especially the new generation. Through the inauguration, the countdown will begin simultaneously in every district, upazila and ...

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Iran attacks US forces in Iraq in retaliation for killing of commander


MNA Editorial Desk: Iran launched a missile attack on US-led forces in Iraq in the early hours of Wednesday in retaliation for the US drone strike on an Iranian commander whose killing has raised fears of a wider war in the Middle East. Tehran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles from Iranian territory against at least two Iraqi facilities hosting US-led coalition personnel at about 1:30 a.m. local time, the US military said on Tuesday. US President Donald Trump said in a tweet late on Tuesday that an assessment of casualties and damage from the strikes was under way ...

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ACC not authorised to arrest anyone directly: PM


MNA Editorial Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is not authorised to arrest any suspect directly. She also urged public organisations and statutory bodies, including the ACC, to perform their jobs maintaining own jurisdictions. “The ACC is not authorised to create any prison to detain anyone after one’s arrest. The commission can issue directives to law enforcement agencies to apprehend the suspects,” the prime minister said. “Appropriate organisations will have to do their respective works and this will have to keep this in mind,” Sheikh Hasina said. She came up with the statement on Monday ...

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Iran to finalize its next nuclear step on Sunday night


MNA Editorial Desk: Iran will finalize its next step to further roll back its commitments to a 2015 nuclear deal with major powers on Sunday night, days after the US killing of top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani. “Tonight, there will be a very important meeting to decide about our next nuclear step and the implementation of the deal … considering the recent threats (by America) it should be underlined that in politics, all developments and threats are linked to each other,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, reports Reuters quoting Iran’s state news agency IRNA. US President Donald ...

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Myanmar has not denied mass killing charges: FM


MNA Editorial Desk: Bangladesh is making every diplomatic effort to send Rohingya refugees back to Myanmar, which has “not denied charges of mass killing” in the world court, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said. “Myanmar did not deny carrying out mass killing. It only objected to the charges that genocide took place there,” he told an event in Dhaka on Thursday. Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s state counsellor and Nobel Peace laureate, defended the military rejecting accusations of genocide committed against the Rohingya Muslims as “incomplete and misleading” in the International Court of Justice hearings last ...

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Army to be further modernized: PM Hasina


MNA Editorial Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said the Armed Forces of Bangladesh will be built as the most modern one equipped with ICT knowledge. “This is an ICT era. Keeping this in mind, the government has given due importance to information technology in the army,” she said while speaking at the President’s Parade 2019 of the 77 BMA Long Course at the Bangladesh Military Academy in Chattogram. Describing the army as a symbol of the country’s independence and sovereignty, Sheikh Hasina said this force needs to be developed with ICT knowledge. She said it is the duty ...

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Follow security rules at airports: PM to VIPs


MNA Editorial Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday asked VIPs of the country to follow the security rules at airports and warned that anyone flouting the regulations will face air travel restrictions in future. “I want to say it clearly, here there are members of Parliament, ministers, chiefs of the services and other high officials, you have to follow the security measures at the airports of the country like you do in other countries’ airports,” she said while inaugurating the construction work of the ‘Third Terminal’ of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA). She also inaugurated Biman Bangladesh Airlines’ two ...

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Sheikh Hasina re-elected AL president, Quader remains gen secy


MNA Editorial Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been re-elected as the president of Bangladesh Awami League for ninth term while Obaidul Quader as general secretary for second term. They will lead the party for the next three years. The duo were elected at the second-day session of the two-day national council of the Awami League at the Institute of Engineers, Bangladesh in the capital on Saturday. UNB adds: “You (the councilors) have to consider my age,” Sheikh Hasina said in an instant reaction, and sought everyone’s cooperation to run the party. She also congratulated Quader. Some 7,500 councilors of ...

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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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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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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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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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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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Myanmar solely responsible for Rohingya repatriation failure, says Bangladesh


MNA Editorial Desk: Bangladesh on Sunday said Myanmar is solely responsible for the non-commencement of Rohingya repatriation as it fails to ensure conducive environment in Rakhine state. Myanmar must not expect Bangladesh to cooperate in repatriation in an uncertain environment in Rakhine, the foreign ministry said in response to Myanmar’s allegation that repatriation could not be started due to the non-cooperation of Bangladesh. Bangladesh observes that Myanmar is entirely responsible for failure in encouraging the displaced Rohingya to return voluntarily in an appropriate manner. Unfortunately, Myanmar has utterly failed to demonstrate any political will to fulfil its obligations and it ...

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PM Hasina urges against propaganda mentioning recent rumours on salt, onion


MNA Editorial Desk: Mentioning the recent rumours over the scarcity of onion and salt in the market, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday urged all not to pay heed to such propaganda. “We see confusion being created carrying out false propaganda on many occasions. I would like to tell you all not to pay heed to such propaganda,” she said while addressing a reception at Army Multipurpose Complex in Dhaka Cantonment. The prime minister hosted the reception for the close relatives of the Bir Shresthas and other gallantry award-winning freedom fighters and their family members on the occasion of the ...

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UN court to hear Myanmar genocide case next month


MNA Editorial Desk: Gambia will open its case against Myanmar before the UN’s top court in December accusing the mainly Buddhist state of genocide against its Rohingya Muslims, the tribunal said Monday. The small, majority-Muslim African country will ask the International Court of Justice to make an emergency injunction to protect the Rohingya, pending a decision on whether to deal with the wider case. Gambia’s case at the ICJ accuses Myanmar of breaching the 1948 UN Genocide Convention through a brutal military campaign targeting the Rohingya minority in Rakhine state. The ICJ said in a statement that it “will hold ...

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