Exclusive Stories

PM keeps 24-hour contact with Dhaka about cyclone


MNA Editorial Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, now in Austria on a two-day official visit, is keeping 24-hour contact with Dhaka about the cyclonic storm ‘Mora’. “The prime minister is maintaining round-the-clock communication with Dhaka on the storm situation. She has ordered all-out preparation to tackle the storm,” said Ihsanul Karim, Prime Minister’s press secretary. The press secretary said the prime minister also asked the authorities concerned to take necessary steps and perform their respective duties properly in this regard. Earlier, the severe cyclone has crossed Bangladesh coast near Chittagong as per the Bangladesh Meteorological Department around 7:00 AM. The ...

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Lady Justice Statue removed from SC premises


MNA Editorial Desk: The statue of the Greek goddess, Themis, has been removed from the Supreme Court premises on Thursday night. There was no official comment from the court or the government, but Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said the statue’s removal was “a decision of the court”. Sculptor Mrinal Haque choked back tears as he oversaw the statue’s removal, saying it felt like “clearing a dead body”. Mrinal Haque also told media that he was told about the removal of the statue on Thursday afternoon. The removal process started around 11:30pm, Thursday, he added. The sculpture was installed in front ...

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Heat wave to continue

heat wave

MNA Editorial Desk: A roasting heat wave sweeping across vast swathes of Bangladesh is likely to continue for more days, Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) said. Besides erratic load shedding, and low voltage, during the last couple of days have been causing untold sufferings to people across the country out of gear. Many preferred to remain indoors as it has become difficult to travel outside. Day-labourers have been the worst victims. Country’s highest temperature on Wednesday was recorded 37.8 degree Celsius at Jessore and minimum temperature was recorded 21 degree Celsius at Rangpur. Day temperature may rise slightly but night temperature ...

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Trump participated in Saudi Arabian sword dance

sword dance

MNA Editorial Desk: Donald Trump along with other male White House officials participated in a ceremonial sword dance in Saudi Arabia outside the Murabba Palace, reported news agency. Trump arrived here accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump on Saturday on a two-day trip, beginning his first foreign trip as President that includes visits to Israel, the Vatican City, Belgium and Italy where he is to take part in NATO and G7 summits. Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner were also travelling as part of the presidential entourage. Video of the dance shows Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and ...

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Trump to give speech on Islamic faith in Saudi Arabia

Islamic faith

MNA Editorial Desk: United States President Donald Trump will give a major speech on the Islamic faith during his upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia, home to the religion’s holiest shrines, the White House said on Tuesday. “He will meet and have lunch with leaders of more than 50 Muslim countries, where he will deliver an inspiring, direct speech on the need to confront radical ideology and the president’s hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam,” National Security Advisor HR McMaster told reporters. Trump is set to visit Riyadh next week and meet with Saudi officials, as well as 56 Arab ...

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Apan Jewellers & Raintree Hotel owners summoned by CIID


MNA Editorial Desk: The owner of Apan Jewellers to verify the source of its stock of gold, diamond and jewellery and the owners of Raintree hotel over the illegal possession of alcohol was summoned by the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Division (CIID). The directorate’s Director General Moinul Khan said that, they would have to appear with the necessary documents at CIID headquarters at 11 am on May 17. Dildar Ahmed, The sole owner of Apan Jewellers has been in the focus of the media in a recent incident involving his son Safat Ahmed, who was declared the prime suspect in ...

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GDP growth to hit 7.24pc this fiscal year


MNA Editorial Desk: Bangladesh’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is expected to reach 7.24 percent at the end of the current fiscal year (2016-17), breaking all the previous records in the history of the country’s economy. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) came up with the provisional estimate on Sunday attributing encouraging exports and robust agricultural outputs to the record high growth. The GDP growth was recorded 7.11 percent in the fiscal year (2015-16). The per capita income has risen to $1,602, which was $1,466 in the last fiscal year, according to the BBS. Planning Ministry AHM Mustafa Kamal submitted the ...

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Dhaka world’s most populous city: UN data


MNA Editorial Desk: Dhaka is the most populous city in the world, according to the United Nations’ habitat data. The data collected from the national census offices has given the number one spot to Dhaka with a density of 44,500 people per square kilometre. It is mostly Asian cities in the top of the list: Mumbai is second, while Manila is fourth, with Singapore high up as well. Medellin is South America’s most dense city at third overall, with Casablanca and Lagos in Africa close behind. However, the UN’s Demographic Yearbook gives a different result. This smaller measurement of area ...

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6 killed during Rajshahi anti-terror drive


MNA Editorial Desk: Five suspected militants and a firefighter were killed in a police drive at an alleged militant hideout in Godagari upazila of Rajshahi. Before setting off a suicide blasts on Thursday morning, the terror suspects speared a fireman to death. Two policemen have been also injured and admitted to the Rajshahi Medical College Hospital. Godagari police said they surrounded the house at Benipur village at wee hours of Thursday after intelligence inputs suggested presence of militants there. Two children have been rescued from the house. Police claimed the deceased are militant Sajjad Ali Mishthu and his wife Beli ...

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Engagement with Hifazat-e-Islam is ‘positive’: EU


MNA Editorial Desk: The European Union Head of the Delegation in Dhaka finds the government’s approach in engaging with the Islamist group Hifazat-e-Islam ‘positive’. “If initiatives are taken to engage with some components of society who otherwise would have been left aside….i think it is positive,” ambassador Pierre Mayaudon said on Monday. The question raised in light of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s recent invitation to Hifazat leaders to visit her residence. “This inclusive society rallies long objectives which are consensual objectives of bringing forward socio-economic agenda, and development agenda of Bangladesh. No quarters, no segments of the society, of population ...

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Jatiya Party formed 58-party alliance

Jatiya Party

MNA Editorial Desk: Jatiya Party (JaPa) formed a new political coalition ahead of next national parliamentary election named ‘United National Alliance’ (UNA) with fifty eight political parties. JaPa Chairman Hussain Muhammad Ershad announced the formation of the alliance at National Press Club at about 11:30am on Sunday. In the press briefing the former president said, “We will join the next polls and candidates will be given in 300 seats. JaPa is no more with the Awami League led 14-party alliance.” However, only two among the fifty eight parties are registered with the Election Commission. The two parties are, Jatiya Party ...

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PM Sheikh Hasina walks barefoot on Inani Beach

Inani Beach

MNA Editorial Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has walked barefoot on Inani Beach at Ukhia upazila in Cox’s Bazar. She spent some time on the beach along with her entourage and military members around 12pm. The Prime Minister earlier inaugurated Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf 80 Kilometer Marine Drive from the beach ground in front of Bay Watch Resort. The marine drive has already contributed to an attractive tourist-friendly ambiance along with economic growth in Ukhia and Teknaf where hotels, cottages and resorts are being constructed. In the speech of inaugural ceremony, Sheikh Hasina said that the main tourist town of Bangladesh, Cox’s ...

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Bangladesh media faces more restrictions: Amnesty


MNA Editorial Desk: The Bangladeshi government has stifled freedom of expression by failing to protect dissenters and using repressive laws and tactics, London-based Amnesty International has said in a report. “Between the violence of armed groups and state repression of the state, secular voices in Bangladesh are being consistently silenced,” said Amnesty’s Bangladesh researcher Olof Blomqvist. Most media workers, interviewed by Amnesty, said media freedom was at its worst since Bangladesh returned to democracy in 1991, although the government insists that there was “enough freedom” for journalism in Bangladesh. In a statement, Amnesty claimed that Bangladesh had frequently invoked “archaic, ...

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Muhith, FBCCI exchange heated words over new VAT law


MNA Editorial Desk: A forum of businessmen today exchanged heated words with Finance Minister AMA Muhith centering Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI)’s proposal over new VAT law. The argument took place at a meeting jointly organized by National Board of Revenue (NBR) and Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka this noon. At one point in the discussions Business Unity Forum Secretary and FBCCI Director Abu Motaleb claimed the government was levying the new VAT without providing small businesses sufficient training in how to deal with the new tax. Abu ...

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First 100 days of Donald Trump administration


MNA Editorial Desk: The first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s administration is remarking today (Saturday). By any account, this presidential honeymoon of sorts was a mixed bag. The 45th president’s biggest achievement was the confirmation to the Supreme Court of Neil Gorsuch. His biggest defeat was the failure to live up to a campaign promise to get Congress to repeal Obamacare—officially known as the Affordable Care Act. The current 100 days administration will claim several crowning achievements that fall somewhere in between the president’s Supreme Court victory and his healthcare reform defeat. Online privacy took a hit as well ...

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Hillary Clinton’s aides threatened Sajeeb Wazed Joy


MNA Editorial Desk: Hillary Clinton’s Department of State aides allegedly threatened Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s son Sajeeb Wazed Joy with an IRS audit in an attempt to stop a government investigation of a close friend and donor of Clinton’s, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group reported. A Bangladesh government commission was investigating multiple charges of financial mismanagement at Grameen Bank, beginning in May 2012. Muhammad Yunus, a major Clinton Foundation donor, served as managing director of the bank. “They threatened me with the possibility of an audit by the Internal Revenue Service,” Joy told the pro-Republican conservative news outlet. ...

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12,000 Bangladeshi illegal immigrants to leave Saudi

illegal immigrants

MNA Editorial Desk: About 12,000 Bangladeshis are set to return from Saudi Arabia before June 30, after Riyadh set a deadline for illegal immigrants to leave the kingdom, reported news agency. The Saudi government made the announcement on 20 March. The Bangladeshi nationals have received clearance from the Saudi government to leave the kingdom.  But those failing to honour the deadline will face jail terms and fine. Until Tuesday, 7,309 Bangladeshis collected the out pass (clearance letter) in Riyadh and 4,855 others in Jeddah, according to the Bangladesh embassy. The Saudi authorities have reportedly formed a task force to filter ...

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About 10,000 hectares crops lost as dam breaks at Shonir Haor

Shonir Haor

MNA Editorial Desk: About 10,000 hectares of cropland has been as part of the dam at Shonir Haor in Tahirpur upazila of Sunamganj collapsed on Sunday. The embankment collapsed around 2.00am due to increased water level in the haor, said upazila chairman Kamruzzaman Kamrul. Incessant rainfall paired with water flowing down from the upstream hilly areas increased the water level on the hoar. Shanir Haor, was the lone haor which remained safe from the upstream hill water as villagers were trying to repair the dam for the last 24 days. There are total 22 haors, including Shanir Haor, in Tahirpur ...

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Police cordon off another militant den in Jhenaidah


MNA Editorial Desk: Police on Saturday kept another house cordoned off at Porahati village in Jhenaidah sadar upazila suspecting it to be a militant den. Earlier on Friday, huge explosives, and several firearms and suicidal vests were found at a militant den at Thanthalia village in the same upazila. The law enforcers condoned off the house at Thanthalia village in the evening suspecting it to be a militant den. Law enforcement agencies including members of Rapid Action Battalion, Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT), and of police took position around the house around 5:00pm on Friday. However, the CTTC team did ...

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PM unveils foundation stone of Chancery in Thimphu


MNA Editorial Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday unveiled the plaque of foundation stone of Chancery of Bangladesh Embassy at Hejo in Bhutan’s Thimphu. The prime minister unveiled the plaque through a colorful function in the presence of Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Prime Minister Dasho Tshering Tobgay. Earlier, an agreement on the allotment of land for Bangladesh Embassy at Hejo was inked between the two countries. Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and Bhutanese Foreign Minister Lyonpo Damcho Dorji signed the agreement on behalf of their respective governments. Later, the national flag of Bangladesh was hoisted ...

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Ctg AL leaders Mahiuddin, Nasir join hands on stage


MNA Editorial Desk: The two rival leaders of Chittagong city Awami League, ABM Mahiuddin Chowdhury and AJM Nasir Uddin, shared the same stage and joined hands during a programme on the historic Mujibnagar Day on Monday. President of the unit, Mahiuddin, at the end of his speech, called out the unit general secretary, Nasir, who was seated on the stage, to the dais. When Nasir arrived, the ex-mayor took his hand, raised it, and announced, “We don’t have any differences. We’ll work together for the party. You, too, will do the same.” Mohiuddin and the incumbent mayor, Nasir, had been ...

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USS Carl Vinson steams toward North Korea


MNA Editorial Desk: The U.S. Navy’s Carl Vinson strike group suddenly changed course from Australia to the Korean Peninsula amid concerns that North Korea could soon conduct a sixth nuclear test or more missile launches. The move gave more ground to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat of unilateral action to solve the problem of North Korea’s nuclear program. North Korean state media warned of a nuclear attack on the United States if there was any sign of American aggression. Statements made by the U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis show that the approach of Carl Vinson strike group to the ...

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Mufti Hannan, his accomplices hanged


MNA Editorial Desk: Harkat-ul-Jihad (Huji) chief Mufti Abdul Hannan and his accomplices Delwar Hossain Ripon and Sharif Shahedul Alam Bipul— were executed on Wednesday night. He walked the gallows at Kashimpur in Gazipur along with his accomplice Bipul at 10:01pm. His other accomplice Ripon was executed at the same time in Sylhet jail, police said. They have paid for killing three in a grenade attack on the then British high commissioner Anwar Choudhury in Sylhet in 2004. Inspector General of Prisons Brigadier General Syed Iftekhar Uddin was present at Kashimpur Central Jail. Their bodies have sent to their respective villages ...

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Family members meet death row convict Mufti Hannan

family members

MNA Editorial Desk: The family members of death row Mufti Mohammad Abdul Hannan met him at Kashimpur Central Jail on Wednesday. Hannan’s wife, two daughters and elder brother met him at the jail gate, said Mizanur Rahman, senior jail super of Kashimpur Central Jail in Gazipur adding that they talked with Hannan around 7:10am. Meanwhile, the family members of Delwar Hossain alias Ripon, the other condemned militant, also met him at Sylhet Central Jail at yesterday afternoon. The Harkat-ul Jihadi al Islami (HuJI) leader and two of his accomplices will have to walk the gallows over the 2004 attack on ...

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Hasina’s four-day visit to India: Full list of agreements, MoUs


MNA Editorial Desk: India and Bangladesh inked nearly 22 pacts in strategic areas of defence and civil nuclear cooperation after productive talks between their prime ministers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held extensive discussions with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on ways to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries. Here is the list of agreements and MoUs: MoU on Defence Cooperation Framework. Agreement between India’s Defence Services Staff College and Dhaka’s Defence Services Command and Staff College for Enhancing Cooperation in the Field of Strategic and operational studies. MoU between Dhaka’s National Defence College and India’s National Defence College ...

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Bangladesh, India sign 22 agreements, MoUs

22 agreements

MNA Editorial Desk: Bangladesh and India signed 22 agreements, including deals and memorandums of understanding (MoUs), in presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. Modi announced $4.5 billion line of credit to Bangladesh and both countries signed 22 pacts in different sectors in New Delhi, reported news agency. The documents signed cover a host of issues including border posts, information exchange, nuclear power, science, technology, cyber security, electricity, energy and defence. The defence MoUs will cover a whole of issues, including training of submariners, information sharing, cooperation between coast guards and information sharing between the ...

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Swedish Radio exposes RAB officer’s conversation on ‘extrajudicial killings’

Swedish Radio

MNA Editorial Desk: The Swedish Radio has revealed a recording over extrajudicial killings and human rights violations conducted by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in Bangladesh. In the secret recording, a high ranking officer in the elite police force, RAB revealed the working methods of RAB. According to the report the measures are used on people who RAB suspects of serious crimes but who they consider too difficult to convict in a trial or impossible to rehabilitate, reports Swedish Radio. The investigative report published today is based on a two hour long recording in which the officer reveals how RAB regularly ...

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