Exclusive Stories

We are not your enemy: Tillerson to N Korea


MNA Editorial Desk: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson promised on Tuesday that the United States is not trying to topple Kim Jong-Un’s North Korean regime, but warned it must halt its nuclear missile program, reported news agency. Briefing reporters on diplomatic efforts to pressure Pyongyang, Tillerson said Washington would be willing to talk to the North if its leaders accept that they must disarm. “We don’t think having a dialogue where the North Koreans come to the table assuming they’re going to maintain their nuclear weapons is productive,” he warned. But he sought to reassure the isolated authoritarian regime that ...

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UNESCO reiterates concern over Rampal


MNA Editorial Desk: UNESCO has reiterated concern about the environmental impact of the Rampal coal-fired power plant near the Sundarbans, in a new report contrary to the government’s claim that the UN agency has withdrawn its objection. The final report on the decisions adopted during the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee held in Poland was published on Sunday. It stated that the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has requested that a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) be carried out regarding the impact of the Rampal power project on the Sundarbans and ...

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Six Bangladeshis killed in Saudi road crash


MNA Exclusive Desk: Six Bangladeshi workers, including two siblings, were killed in a road accident in Saudi Arabia on Thursday night. Five of the deceased were identified as Ershad Bepari, 25, his younger brother Humayun Bepari, 20, sons of Ohed Ali Bepari, hailing from Daraper Dangi, Miraz Mondol, 26, son of Saher Mondol of Shamsu Mondol Bazar and Kobbat Khan, 25, son of Osman Khan of Matubbar Para in Goalanda upazial of Rajbari district, and Idris Dewan, 30, son of Haran Dewan, of Zahiruddin Matubbar Dangi in Faridpur Sadar upazila. The six Bangladeshis along with five Saudi citizens were returning ...

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Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif resigned


MNA Editorial Desk: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday resigned from his post, his office said hours after the country’s Supreme Court disqualified him over corruption claims against his family. The Supreme Court said Sharif is not fit to hold office and ordered a criminal investigation into him and his family. The court also disqualified finance minister Ishaq Dar. The prime minister’s office said in a statement that Sharif has “stepped down” despite having “serious reservations” about the judicial process. The ruling came after a probe into his family’s wealth following the 2015 Panama Papers dump linking Mr Sharif’s ...

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Govt to introduce 4,500 buses in Dhaka


MNA Editorial Desk: The government has adopted a plan to introduce 4,500 new buses in the capital to ease the existing transport sufferings of the city dwellers, said Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) mayor Annisul Huq on Monday. “Government is going to replace aged and unfit fleet of buses from the city road with these new ones. It is also mulling the idea of deploying air-conditioned buses for women. Sufferings of women, school going children and office goers will be reduced significantly once these new buses come to the streets,” the DNCC mayor said. Annisul came up with observations while ...

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Sec 57 to be scrapped soon: Iqbal Sobhan


MNA Editorial Desk: Prime Minister’s information affairs adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said that the Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act will be cancelled soon. He said that the government has taken the initiative of scrapping the Section 57 of ICT Act following movement of the journalists across the country. The adviser on Saturday also urged the children to prepare themselves to lead the country in future. “Besides education, our children should obey parents and take part in different activities, including sports and culture and they should also prepare themselves to lead the country,” Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury ...

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Congestion kills 3.2m working hours per day: WB


MNA Exclusive Desk: The traffic congestion in Dhaka eats up 3.2 million working hours per day, according to a new World Bank analysis shared at a high-level international conference in the city on Wednesday. The average traffic speed in capital Dhaka has dropped from 21 kms per hour to 7 kms, slightly above the average walking speed, in the last 10 years, it said. The World Bank arranged the daylong conference on ‘Development Options for Dhaka Towards 2035’ at Songaon Hotel. The participants discussed the preliminary findings of the draft report ‘Towards Great Dhaka: A New Urban Development Paradigm Eastward,’ ...

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EC boss hopeful of talks with political parties


MNA Editorial Desk: Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda says he does not find the BNP’s reaction to the polls roadmap to be worrying and has described it as political rhetoric. The Election Commission or EC announced its work plan leading to the next general elections. Among several other issues, the EC’s work plan stipulates a series of talks with stakeholders, centering on seven specific matters, including legal reforms and delimiting the constituencies to finalize their territorial areas. While unveiling the roadmap on Sunday, CEC Huda said they will initiate legal measures to ensure a congenial atmosphere for the polls ...

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Rob’s house raid: Politicians come down on govt


MNA Editorial Desk: Politicians on Saturday came down heavily on the government and police for raiding and cordoning off a tea party where several senior political leaders met on Thursday night. Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia condemned and protested at the ‘unwarranted’ presence of law enforcers at the house of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal faction president ASM Abdur Rob during a meeting with political leaders and eminent persons of the society. Police cordoned off the house of ASM Abdur Rob at Uttara in Dhaka on Thursday evening as he invited leaders of different political parties to the tea party. In ...

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Action against dishonest rice mill owners: FM


MNA Editorial Desk: The government has blacklisted 16,000 rice miller owners for hoarding in an effort to manipulate prices, Food Minister Qamrul Islam said on Thursday. “We have black listed 16,000 dishonest owners of rice mills for three years when the government would not procure any rice from them,” the minister said. He said the country’s rice stock will be increased to 10 lakh tonnes by August. “There is no food crisis in the country”, the minister asserted during a press conference at his secretariat office. According to the minister, 1.10 lakh tonnes of rice would reach in Chittagong Port ...

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No EVM in next national polls: EC

MNA Editorial Desk: The Election Commission (EC) made it clear in their roadmap that Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) won’t be used in the next parliamentary election. However, the EC will begin dialogue with political parties and other stakeholders from July 31 to hold the next parliamentary elections. “The roadmap was finalized after reviewing it in the commission meeting and it will be formally published as a book form on July 16,” Secretary at the EC Secretariat Mohammad Abdullah told the reporters. Abdullah said the EC will begin dialogue with the political parties, stakeholders, civil society, media personnel, observer organizations and ...

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MPs express dissatisfaction over SC verdict scrapping 16th amendment


MNA Editorial Desk: Parliament Members on Sunday expressed their dissatisfaction over the recent Supreme Court’s verdict scrapping the 16th constitutional amendment that restored the parliament’s authority to remove Supreme Court judges on grounds of incapacity or misconduct. Taking part in an unscheduled debate in the House, they strongly criticized appellate division and its pronouncement that the Jatiya Sangsad has no power to remove Supreme Court judges, reported news agency. Speaking in the JS on points of order, the ministers and MPs, including Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Civil Aviation Minister Rashed Khan Menon, and Information Minister Hasanul ...

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Main accused of Gulshan Café attack detained

Gulshan cafe attack

MNA Editorial Desk: Police have arrested Gulshan cafe attack suspect Sohel Mahfuz and three other suspected militants in Chapainwabganj. Three others were described as associates of Sohel. They were named as Hafiz, Jewel and Jamal. Police said Sohel Mahfuz is one of ‘masterminds’ of Holey Artisan Bakery attack in 2016 that claimed 22 lives. Two police officers were killed in grenade blasts while responding to the café attack. Sohel is accused of supplying the grenades used in the attack on Jul 1, 2016. He was an executive member of the JMB and later joined neo-JMB, police counterterrorism unit Chief Monirul ...

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Another girl raped in Banani after responding to birthday party

birthday party

MNA Editorial Desk: Months into the alleged rape at Banani’s Raintree hotel, a university girl was reportedly been raped after responding to a birthday party invitation at Banani. The victim filed a case against a certain Bahauddin Ivan with Banani police station on Wednesday morning. Banani police said Bahauddin, son of a businessman, lives with his family at NAM Village apartment in the area. On Tuesday night, Bahauddin called the university student to his apartment, alluring her to celebrate his birthday party. Responding to the call, the victim went to his house on Tuesday night. At one stage, host Bahauddin ...

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Around 2000 Bangladeshis stranded in Turkey

2000 Bangladeshis

MNA Editorial Desk: Around 2000 Bangladeshis, mainly regular migrants from Iran, Lebanon and Jordan, got stuck in Turkey as their attempts to illegally enter Europe through Turkey have become difficult. Bangladesh Ambassador in Ankara M Allama Siddiki fears a humanitarian crisis and slower repatriation of stranded Bangladesh nationals and conveyed the overall situation to the relevant ministries in Dhaka. The number of Bangladesh nationals from various countries in the Middle East, especially from Iran, Lebanon and Jordan is increasing in Turkey with a hope that they will get entry to Europe illegally, reported news agency. Describing the scenario, the Ambassador ...

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Gazipur factory blast Death toll hits 10


MNA Editorial Desk: Another body was recovered on Tuesday morning from a readymade garment (RMG) factory in Gazipur’s Kashimpur area that was hit by a deadly boiler blast on Monday. At least ten people were killed and around 50 others injured as a boiler exploded in the area. Meanwhile, the authorities of Multi-Fabs Ltd, where the boiler exploded, closed the factory for an indefinite period, said workers of the factory. Besides, the authorities of 10 garments factories of the area closed their factories for Tuesday following the incident. The death toll may rise as some of the victims are injured ...

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Government shifted position on budget focusing election


MNA Editorial Desk: The government has shifted its position on budget specially VAT, excise duty hike as they are focusing on the upcoming general election in 2019. Finance Minister AMA Muhith backtracked from his decisions to impose 15 percent uniform VAT and raise excise duty on bank accounts of smaller balance to meet the huge expenditure of the next fiscal year after severe criticism. The businessmen kept protesting the new VAT law for a period of over one year. The opposition leaders as well as leaders from the government have raised voices following public concern after Muhith presented the proposed ...

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Road accidents claim 46 lives in 6 days

road accidents

MNA Editorial Desk: About 46 people were killed and 68 others injured in road accidents across the district in the last six days till Tuesday. Of them, 23 were killed on Saturday (June 23) alone with 17 in a single road accident in Rangpur while five on Tuesday, reported news agency. In Rangpur, at least 17 people, including five members of a family, were killed and nine others injured in a fatal road accident on Dhaka-Rangpur highway at Kolabari in Pirganj upazila in the small hours of Saturday. In Comilla, three people were killed and two others injured as a ...

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More than 400 construction workers killed in 5 yrs: BILS

construction workers

MNA Editorial Desk: At least 456 construction workers were killed and 463 others sustained injuries during their respective works across the country in last five years till December 31 in 2016. M Yusuf Al Mamun, Information Coordinator of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS) disclosed this while presenting a paper titled ‘Professional Protection of Construction Workers and Social Security: Bangladesh Perspective’ at a journalists’ orientation workshop at BILS’ Dhanmondi office on Wednesday. Among the casualties, 85 workers were killed and 97 others injured in 2016, 61 killed and 119 other injured in 2015, while 102 were killed and 64 injured ...

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Ruling party MPs came down heavily on Muhith


MNA Editorial Desk: Several parliament members of ruling Awami league on Monday came down heavily on finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith for imposing excise duty on bank accounts and unified 15 percent VAT in the proposed national budget, reported news agency. Claiming that the 15 percent VAT and excise duty on bank deposits have created panic among the countrymen, the ruling party lawmakers urged Muhith to scrap the excise duty and reduce the VAT rate. “Your [finance minister’s] responsibility is just to place the budget… it’s the 350 MPs who determine what will be there in the budget and ...

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Fakhrul’s motorcade attacked on his way to Rangamati


MNA Editorial Desk: Miscreants attacked the motorcade of BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir near Rangunia in Chittagong on his way to Rangamati on Sunday morning. Several central leaders of the party including Mirza Fakhrul, Amir Khashru Mahmud Chowdhury were injured as the miscreants vandalized their vehicles. The BNP leaders in the motorcade said the miscreants equipped with sticks and other lethal weapons carried out the attack and smashed the windows of the cars. BNP claimed the leaders and activists of ruling party are involved with the attack. President of Rangamati district BNP Hazi Mohammad Shah Alam said the ...

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Landslide death toll hits 140, rescuers digging for survivors


MNA Editorial Desk: Rescuers went from door to door searching for information on people who might be missing Wednesday after massive landslides crashed onto villages and killed at least 140 in the southeastern area. As many as 106 people died in Rangamati alone while 21 bodies were revered from Rangunia and Chandanaish and three from Bandarban and one from Khagracchari. With some roads collapsed and others blocked by mud, soldiers were erecting a portable bridge to reach the worst-hit district of Rangamati, where government shelters housed about half of the 4,500 people whose homes were swamped by mud and debris ...

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Bangladesh diplomat charged with labour trafficking in US

labour trafficking

MNA Editorial Desk: Bangladesh’s deputy consul general in New York was indicted on Monday on charges of labour trafficking and assault for forcing his servant to work without pay through threats and intimidation, a New York City prosecutor said. Mohammed Shaheldul Islam has limited diplomatic immunity and was ordered to surrender his passport when he appeared before Queens Supreme Court Justice Daniel Lewis, said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown in a statement. Bail was set at $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. According to the indictment, Islam brought another Bangladeshi, Mohammed ...

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Garment factory owner held for supplying arms, funding militancy

factory owner

MNA Editorial Desk: A garment factory owner and his driver have been detained by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) for their alleged connection in supplying firearms and funding militancy. Imran Ahmed, 37, managing director of Jim Tex, is said to be a Majlish-e-Sura member of Sarwar-Tamim group of “Neo JMB”, Dhaka City West unit, according to a press release sent from Rab headquarters. Imran, hailed from Pirojpur, was arrested from Rupganj upazila in Narayanganj and Shamim was arrested in Brahmanbaria, said Mufti Mahmud Khan, director of the force’s legal and media wing, at a press briefing at its media centre at ...

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‘Three daughters’ again win in UK polls


MNA Editorial Desk: Three Bangladeshi-origin female politicians dubbed as “tin kanya” or “three daughters” have shined again the UK general elections with their re-election in Thursday’s polls. The three — Bangabandhu’s granddaughter Tulip Rizwana Siddiq, Rushanara Ali and Dr Rupa Huq — retained their seats with a resounding victory on Labour Party ticket. Tulip, Sheikh Rehana’s daughter and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s niece, retained her Hampstead and Kilburn seat with a margin of 15,560 votes. She polled 34,464 against her Conservative rival’s Claire-Louise Leyland 18,904. This year’s polls she widened the margin of votes to 15,560 from 1,138 in 2015. ...

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Canadian fugitive living freely in Dhaka

Canadian fugitive

MNA Editorial Desk: A Canadian fugitive wanted for incitement to commit genocide against Jews is currently living in Dhaka, according to Canada’s National Post. Salman Hossain, who is wanted by Canadian authorities and Interpol, was photographed in Dhaka’s Gulshan on Sunday. Hossain first drew the attention of Canadian authorities a decade ago over Internet posts urging ‘Muslim militants’ to attack Canada and for the ‘extermination’ of Jews. In 2009 Canada declined to press charges against Hossain after he stopped posting online and underwent rehabilitation. But Hossain resumed his activities soon afterwards, calling for the ‘extermination’ of Jewish peoples in North ...

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Police seized huge arms from canal in Narayanganj


MNA Editorial Desk: Police have seized a huge arms cache from a canal in Narayanganj following information gleaned from a detained drug peddler. The drive that started on Thursday night continued into Friday afternoon in Purbachal residential area in Rupganj. Divers from the fire service joined the drive and recovered 62 submachine guns or SMGs, two rocket launchers, five pistols and some boxes filled with bullets. Although police did not name the group who belonged to those arms, they claimed to have found similarities with the arms and bags recovered from Diabari in the capital’s Uttara on June 18 last ...

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