Japanese billionaire seeks ‘life partner’ for Moon voyage


MNA Feature Desk: Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is looking for a female “life partner” to accompany him on Space X’s maiden tourist voyage to the Moon. The fashion mogul, 44, is set to be the first civilian passenger to fly around the moon on the Starship rocket. Planned for 2023, the mission will be the first lunar journey by humans since 1972. In an online appeal, Mr Maezawa says he wants to share the experience with a “special” woman. The entrepreneur, who recently split up from actress girlfriend Ayame Goriki, 27, has asked women to apply for a “planned match-making ...

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84 children violated in every month in 2019: BSAF


MNA Feature Desk: Some 84 children were violated in every month in the just-concluded year, according to a report of Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF). It said some 1,383 children were sexually assaulted in 2019. The BSAF revealed the report at a press briefing at Dhaka Reporters Unity in the capital on Wednesday. The report is the compilation of reports published in 15 daily newspapers. As per the report, 4,381 children were the victims of various kinds of torture. Of them, 2,088 children were the victims of unnatural death and 1,383 were sexually assaulted. The rate of rape is increased ...

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Cold-related diseases claim 50 lives since November 1


MNA Feature Desk: At least 50 people have died in Bangladesh from November 1 to December 28 due to cold-related diseases as cold weather continues to sweep across the country. The country’s lowest temperature this year was recorded at 4.5 degrees Celsius (40.1° Fahrenheit) early on Sunday in Tetulia, a border town in Panchagarh, the weather office said. Ayesha Akhter, a senior official of the government’s health directorate, said at least 17 people died of acute respiratory infection and 33 from diarrhea and other diseases during the period. Hospitals were crowded with people suffering from cold-related illnesses, such as influenza, ...

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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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9-year-old child genius to graduate university


MNA Feature Desk: A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9. Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age. Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December. He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN. His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when ...

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Nation paying homage to four national leaders


MNA Feature Desk: The nation is observing the Jail Killing Day today (Sunday) with due solemnity, marking the brutal killing of four national leaders inside the jail. On November 3, 1975, four national leaders and heroes of the country’s Liberation War — Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmad, Captain Mansur Ali and AHM Quamruzzaman — were assassinated inside the Dhaka Central Jail. The four leaders played a key role in forming the Mujibnagar government in exile that led the Liberation War in 1971 with Syed Nazrul Islam as the acting president, Tajuddin Ahmad as the prime minister, Mansur Ali as the ...

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Natural remedies to treat seasonal viral infection


MNA Feature Desk: Many of us who fall ill due to viral infections as the season changes and in fact there are some, more than others who fall prey to these. It happens because some of us have lower immunity than others which makes us more susceptible to illnesses. Seasonal Vegetables The solution to most of our ailments lies in the season itself. According to celebrity nutritionist Kavita Devgan, “There’s a reason why we get an array of saags (greens) in the winter season; they are naturally warming and are loaded with nutrition that helps the body fight against seasonal ...

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Rohingya crisis at UNGA: Actions is required, not promises

MNA Feature Desk: Over two years have been passed since an enormous Rohingya influx had hit Bangladesh. More than 1.1 million Rohingya people, rightful citizens of Myanmar, are now sheltering on Bangladeshi soil. Our government has provided all sorts of support to them to ensure their shelter, food, water and sanitization even at the cost of our environment, ecology and economy. The global community also extended their support by providing aid for these refugees from all corners of the world. But unfortunately their repatriation is still under doubt as the Myanmar government has portrayed serious lack of intent in creating ...

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Rooppur nuclear power project fund: An open sesame to foreign tour


MNA Feature Desk: Around 200 public officials have so far visited Russia in connection with the capital-intensive Rooppur nuclear power plant project. Spending a substantial amount from the project fund, insiders said on Saturday, some officials went to Russia for inspecting nuclear power facilities and some others either for training or for other purposes. A number of ministers, directors of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC), personal and administrative officials of science and technology ministry were among the visitors. For an official visit, the government pays between $178 and $328 in “comprehensive allowance” daily to a policymaker or a public servant ...

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West Bengal govt to introduce law against mob lynching


MNA Feature Desk: The West Bengal government is planning to introduce a Bill in the Assembly to check incidents of mob assault and lynching. Mamata Banerjee government is planning to table West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019 in the House on August 30, sources said. The legislation will seek a jail term, which may vary from three years to life, for those involved in assaulting and injuring a victim, according to media reports. a) In case of death due to mob lynching, the accused would be punished with rigorous life imprisonment and fine up to Rs 0.50 million. b) ...

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Nepal bans single-use plastics in Everest region


MNA Feature Desk: Nepalese authorities have banned single-use plastics in the Everest region in a bid to cut down on waste left by climbers. The ban will take effect in the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu municipality from January 2020. Authorities recently cleared 11 tonnes of rubbish from Mount Everest. All plastic drinking bottles and plastics of less than 30 microns in width will be banned in the province. No penalty has yet been announced for violators. Trekking companies, airlines and the Nepal Mountaineering Association will work with local officials to enforce the ban. Khumbu Pasang Lhamu receives tens of thousands of ...

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Chinese ancient town to enter 5G era


MNA Feature Desk: Pingyao, an ancient town in north China’s Shanxi Province, will enter the 5G technology era before October, local authorities said. The 5G technologies are scheduled to be first applied in two demonstration zones — one in a diesel engine plant and another in the new campus of the People’s Hospital of Pingyao County, according to Chen Hongjin, director of the information centre with Pingyao’s culture and tourism bureau. Covering an area of around 70,000 square metres, the diesel engine plant is a venue for many key events, such as the Pingyao International Film Festival and the Pingyao ...

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Boss the bull fetches record price in Bangladesh


MNA National Desk: “Boss,” a Brahman bull born in the USA but raised in Bangladesh, has been sold for a record price as Bangladesh prepares to sacrifice over 10 million animals to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Azha next week, officials said on Thursday. Tens of millions of Bangladeshis travel back to their homes across the country to celebrate the annual three-day religious holiday, which is known as the festival of sacrifice. Muslims slaughter an animal — a goat, sheep, cow, or camel — during the festivities in a ritual stemming from the story of Prophet Abraham, commanded by God ...

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Rabindranath Tagore’s 78th death anniversary observed


MNA Feature Desk: The 78th death anniversary of the Bard of Bengal, Rabindranath Tagore, was observed on Tuesday. Tagore, who enriched the Bengali language and literature with his astounding talent and merit, died on this day in 1941 at the age of 80. Different organizations held many programs while television channels are airing special productions based on Rabindranath Tagore’s works. Bangla Academy, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Shishu Academy and different government and non-government institutions and cultural organizations chalked out elaborate programs on the occasion. Tagore was a poet, visual artist, playwright, novelist, as well as a composer whose works reshaped Bangla ...

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Fogging a ‘myth’ in dengue control: WHO expert


MNA Feature Desk: Source detection of Aedes mosquito breeding is the key to curb dengue fever, says a mosquito expert of the World Health Organisation, with 40 years of experience. Dr B N Nagpal, senior entomologist of WHO Southeast Asia region, also dismissed fogging to kill Aedes mosquito as a “myth”. The mosquito expert came up with the statement at a special briefing organised by the health department, DGHS, in Dhaka on Monday, reports bdnews24.com. “Fogging on the street and open areas is a myth. Clean your own house and spray aerosol in the morning and evening because Aedes rest ...

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Ethiopia breaks tree-planting record to combat climate change


MNA Feature Desk: Ethiopia has planted more than 350 million trees in a day, officials say, in what they believe is a world record. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is leading the project, which aims to counter the effects of deforestation and climate change in the drought-prone country. Some public offices have been shut down to allow civil servants to take part. The UN says Ethiopia’s forest coverage declined from 35 per cent of total land in the early 20th Century to a little above 4.0 per cent in the 2000s. Mr Abiy launched the tree-planting exercise as part of his ...

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US embassy celebrates 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon landing


MNA Feature Desk: US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller attended a daylong series of programes at the American Center on Tuesday to mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon landing. In his opening remarks, he referenced Neil Armstrong’s famous quote – “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind” – to highlight the achievement as a landmark event for the humanity. Throughout the day, nearly 400 students and visitors participated in 10 programmes, including talks by Bangladeshi-American NASA engineers, female Bangladesh Air Force pilots, a visiting US science envoy, and robotics instructors, UNB reported ...

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Tree fair witnesses rise in sapling sales this year


MNA Feature Desk: The month-long National Tree Plantation Campaign and Fair-2019 has got an overwhelming response from plant and nature lovers as saplings worth around Tk 110 million were sold during the fair. The fair, inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on June 20 last, concluded on Sunday. A total of 105 nurseries, including 13 public ones, showcased thousands of fruit-producing, timber-producing, ornamental and medicinal and herbal-contributing plants at the fair arranged aiming to motivate people to plant more and more trees. Dr Zahidur Rahman, divisional forest officer (social afforestation, Dhaka), said they got an outstanding response from the nature ...

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Toxic lake in Siberia becomes selfie sensation


MNA Feature Desk: Residents of a city in Siberia don’t need to fly off to tropical locales for picturesque selfies taken by pristine turquoise waters. Thousands of Novosibirsk residents — ranging from scantily clad women to newlyweds — have been busy instagramming near a bright blue lake nicknamed the “Siberian Maldives.” The lake is blue, however, as a result of a chemical reaction between toxic waste elements from a local power station, and environmentalists are warning people against coming into contact with the water, reports AP. “We can compare it only with photos of the Maldives,” said Sergey Griva, a ...

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Himalayan glaciers melting far faster this century: Study


MNA Feature Desk: Himalayan glaciers have been melting twice as fast since the start of this century, underscoring the threat the climate crisis poses to water supplies for hundreds of millions of people across Asia, according to a study published on Wednesday. Scientists have long been trying to establish how quickly rising global temperatures caused by the burning of coal, oil and gas are eating away at the region’s icebound landscapes, sometimes referred to as Earth’s third pole. The new analysis, spanning 40 years of satellite observations across India, China, Nepal and Bhutan, showed glaciers have been losing the equivalent ...

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Anis Ahmed

MNA Feature Desk: One year has passed since veteran journalist of the country Anis Ahmed left this world. His first death anniversary will be observed on July 2, 2019. Along with being an honest, knowledgeable and dynamic journalist, he was known for many qualities among his peers, friends and family. He had significant contribution in shaping up the journalism career of many successful journalists of today. To many, he was a mentor not only as a senior journalist but also as a philosopher as well as possessor of real humane characteristics. He was my father – a great pride of ...

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Dengue cases on the rise despite huge spending on mosquito control


MNA Feature Desk: The authorities have spent nearly half a billion in the outgoing fiscal year only on killing mosquitoes in Dhaka, but the number of the insect-borne dengue infections has started rising in the beginning of the monsoon – the peak season for the disease. Relatives of the patients have pointed the finger at the two city corporations in the capital, but they refute the allegation of insincerity and cite slack vigil by the citizens. Until June 15 this year, as many as 486 people have been diagnosed with dengue in Bangladesh, two of whom have died, according to ...

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UNESCO to put Sundarbans on ‘World Heritage in Danger’ list


MNA Feature Desk: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the official advisor on natural World Heritage, has recommended putting the Sundarbans on a list of natural sites in danger. It recommended for three natural sites, including the Sundarbans, to be listed as ‘World Heritage in danger’ as the country has continued implementing a coal-fired power plant project near the forest. The other two sites are Mexico’s Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California and the Ohrid region in North Macedonia. IUCN’s advice has been released on June 7 by UNESCO and is addressed to the World Heritage ...

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Thyroid Test: A necessity in today’s health


MNA Feature Desk: The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped endocrine gland located at the front of the neck below Adam’s apple. It is basically responsible for the secretion of thyroid hormones which regulates body processes such as respiration, body temperature, pulsation, digestion and almost all the metabolic processes in your body. Thyroid Gland produces mainly two hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) whereas thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which is produced by the pituitary gland, monitors the number of hormones secreted. The two hormones secreted by thyroid gland in the bloodstream are T3 and T4. T4 which is also known ...

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Eid journey: Lack of road safety and hassles spoil festivity

Anis Ahmed

MNA Feature Desk: After fasting and performing religious customs for a month, the end of holy Ramadan is going to bring us the most cherished festival of the Muslims –Eid-ul-Fitr. We, the Bangladeshi citizens, along with the Muslim Ummah around the globe will celebrate this festival with our friends and family. Not only the Muslims but also people from all religions celebrate this festival. Millions of people are all set to leave the busy city Dhaka for their roots to enjoy the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr. Not only from Dhaka but also from other districts people will rush to their homes to ...

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Kazi Nazrul Islam’s birth anniversary celebrated

Kazi Nazrul Islam

MNA Feature Desk: People from all walks of life today paid rich tributes to national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam on the occasion of his 120th birth anniversary. To mark the day, different organizations and cultural bodies in line with government took elaborate programme at national levels with the theme ‘Bangabandhu’s Bangladesh in Nazrul’s Conscience’. The main programme was arranged at Trishal in Mymensingh, where the poet had a lot of memoires. Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni attended the function as the chief guest at 3pm with State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid in the chair, BSS reports. Visva-Bharati University ...

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Migrants take perilous voyage as employment at home scarce


MNA Feature Desk: Limited employment opportunities at home are forcing Bangladeshi fortune-seekers to opt for risky migration to the European Union countries, experts said. They said a large number of youths remain jobless who cannot do business or other work at home, which prompts them to embark on a perilous sea journey to realise their dream. About 45 Bangladeshis remained missing since Thursday when a boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea as they attempted to reach Europe from Libya. Tunisian Navy and fishermen on Saturday rescued 16 survivors. Of them, 14 were Bangladeshis. Of 60 migrants, some 37 who perished ...

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