Wednesday February 21, 2018 03:28 AM

  • 10 dead as rumour leads to stampede at Hindu festival

    10 dead as rumour leads to stampede at Hindu festival

    At least 10 Hindu pilgrims were killed and 40 injured in a stampede yesterday during the Astami Snan bathing ritual in the Old Brahmaputra River at Langalbandh in Narayanganj.

    The annual religious ceremony, observed this year from precisely 5:48am yesterday to 6:59am today, had received large numbers of visitors around the time of the accident at 9:15am. Of the 16 quays set up for bathers, Rajghat, near where the stampede took place, was considered the most auspicious.

  • BNP-Jamaat to run city polls jointly

    BNP and Jamaat are poised to contest Dhaka and Chittagong City Corporation polls jointly as the Islamist party that earned infamy for its role in 1971 assured its ally of not fielding any candidates.

    BNP has finalised Abdul Awal Mintoo for Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), Mirza Abbas for Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Monjurul Alam for Chittgagong City Corporation (CCC) elections.

    Some other leaders of the party also collected nomination forms as its back-up candidates.

  • Hasina: Khaleda lost strength to stand again

    Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said Khaleda Zia has no more strength to stand again as she has extremely failed in her hartal and blockade in the name of movement.

    “She [Khaleda] has failed extremely and she has no strength to stand again due to her such failure…they [BNP-Jamaat] have failed and they would never succeed,” she said.

    All have turned back to the BNP chief, Hasina said adding “To whom will she [Khaleda] now set her face?”

  • Astami Snan: A chance for redemption

    Believing that a dip in the Brahmaputra on an auspicious day in Chaitra washes away all sins, Hindu pilgrims gather along the two kilometre bank of the river at Langalbandh for Astami Snan every year. 

    Devotees bathe in the river at 16 places, but the most auspicious of these is the Rajghat.

    The story behind this holy ceremony goes like this: Ages ago, Renuka, the beautiful wife of the sage Jamadagni, enraged her ascetic husband by yearning for the luxuries of her parents’ home. 

  • Alternative livelihoods can save Sundarbans

    Alternative livelihoods can save Sundarbans

    India found success in stopping large-scale depletion of resources by curbing human interventionReducing human intervention is the cornerstone of conserving the mangrove forest Sundarbans. India has found out that providing alternative livelihood for people dependent on forest resources can be effective as well.

    Authorities in West Bengal of India have found some success in deterring rampant extraction of natural resources by turning them into farmers and fishermen and promoting eco-tourism.

  • BNP’s Mirza Abbas, Ripon join Dhaka mayoral polls fray

    BNP Standing Committee member Mirza Abbas and International Affairs Secretary Asaduzzaman Ripon have joined the mayoral race for Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC).

    They collected nomination papers from the returning officer’s office yesterday.

    Chittagong Mayor M Manjur Alam, who had announced his desire to run for a second term, yesterday resigned from the city corporation post and collected nomination form.

  • Four JMB men arrested in Dhaka

    Four JMB men arrested in Dhaka

    The Rapid Action Battalion yesterday arrested four JMB members from the capital and recovered grenades and explosives from their possession.

    RAB forces carried out the drive at a house in Kashai Bazar of Dakkhin Khan area at around 2am to arrest the members of banned Islamist militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh.

    At a press briefing later in the day, RAB authorities said 12 petrol bombs, 30 crude bombs, an Arges grenade and 60 detonators were recovered during the raid, along with a number of books on jihad.

  • Cutting fuel oil and LNG dependency the way forward

    Power sector leaders recommend reducing the dependence on fuel oil and LNG-based power plants and called for quick decision-making on domestic coal development in order to hit the targeted electricity generation capacity of 40,000MW by 2030.

    They offered seven recommendations in support of the government’s plan to achieve electricity for all by 2021 and achieving a power generation target of 40,000MW by 2030. 

  • HRW: Brands’ lack of transparency kept BD RMG problems unaddressed

    The Human Rights Watch has observed that the lack of supply chain transparency by the brands was a key reason for not addressing the problems at Rana Plaza before the catastrophe happened.

    “Brands’ lack of supply chain transparency was a key reason why the problems at Rana Plaza were not addressed,” said the New York-based rights watchdog in an article published in its website yesterday.

  • Arabs inch closer to old dream of joint Arab force

    Arab leaders meeting this weekend in this Egyptian Red Sea resort are moving closer than ever to creating a joint Arab military force, a sign of a new determination among Saudi Arabia, Egypt and their allies to intervene aggressively in regional hotspots, whether against Islamic militants or spreading Iranian power.

  • The godfather of Nigeria’s opposition

    The godfather of Nigeria’s opposition

    Officially, the man in the kaftan is nothing more than an ordinary party member, but the crowd knows better than that
    The cheering sets in as soon as the crowd in the gallery spots the small figure in his white kaftan strolling over the tracks of Teslim Balogun Stadium. The voices swell to a roar when the frail man begins to climb the gallery steps. He squeezes a path through the horde of young men wearing hats and t-shirts with the logo of the Nigerian opposition party APC; he is applauded, patted on the shoulders, blocked in his way.

  • Use financial levers to fight climate change

    Support global carbon taxes and join up with growing internaional campaigns to reduce emissionsThe government needs to harmonise national policies to work better with international efforts to cut greenhouse emissions and increase investment in renewable energy.

    Since 2010, an international movement for fossil fuel divestment has persuaded 180 institutions and long-term investors with assets of over $50bn to divest funds away from unsustainable business models which make climate change worse by putting resources into carbon assets that are likely to be become unusable as climate change grows.

  • Raise awareness to end malnutrition

    Awareness and access to good nutrition are key to breaking the cycleBangladesh needs to improve awareness of good nutrition and better co-ordinate programs to fight poverty and build social safety nets, to ensure that everyone in the nation has access to a healthy diet. This is absolutely essential to help save some of the over  53,000 children who die each year from complications arising from child and maternal malnutrition.

  • Obesity and gender-discrimination

    Yes, they’re related in BangladeshAbout a week ago, an alarming report regarding female obesity in the metro areas was published on the front pages of this newspaper. It goes without saying that obesity is one of the foundational phenomena of any number of chronic, debilitating, and often fatal diseases.

    The report was alarming but not quite surprising.

  • The great grilling

    The great grilling

    In most instances, I would be the first to bemoan the UK’s drift towards the American-style, big budget, media-heavy electioneering campaigns. Not so when TV debates were introduced during the last election.

  • Last suppers

    Death row confessions, like beads of sweat, reek of fear. It is natural for any human being, faced with the prospect of execution, to unburden his or her soul before catching up with it lighter in the hereafter.

    Dr Samuel Johnson once said: “When a man knows that he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” Saulat Mirza (a MQM worker) has been on death row since 1999.

  • Five secret ways to a good western university degree

    Five secret ways to a good western university degree

    At this time of the year many students will be considering university applications for the next year. Of course, the dream of many students in Bangladesh is to get a degree from a renowned western university, but huge barriers stand in the way.  A ferocious combination of high fees, challenging admission requirements and a complicated visa process come first, then there may be English language tests to deal with, not to mention the various cultural, social and travel challenges to manage in order to succeed at a foreign university.

  • Wealth, trade, and Bangladesh

    Wealth, trade, and Bangladesh

    Throughout these dramatic years, Dhaka remained, firmly, capital, and the centre of this vast revenue-collecting area of Bihar, Orissa and BengalIt was the sixth Mughal Emperor, the fratricide and father imprisoning, Aurangzeb, one of the greatest and most militarily successful of the Mughal emperors, who is famously said to have described the Bengal of his time, the capital of which was Dhaka, as “The paradise of nations for its wealth and trade.”

    A man much in need of wealth to finance his considerable, and mostly successful, military ventures, he had every reason to be grateful for that wealth.

  • Investing in children to prepare for disasters

    Investing in children to prepare for disasters

    The investments in children’s knowledge and ability to deal with disasters will remain with them throughout their lives and enhance a nation’s capacity to respond to disasters and deal with its after effects
    When a disaster happens, children are at high risk to health, malnutrition, and exploitation due to hazardous and unstable conditions. According to UNICEF, there are two critical issues for the future of climate change impacts on children — health and economy.  Unsanitary conditions, loss of homes, and increased waterborne diseases are health risks children are exposed to. On the other hand, loss of livelihoods and assets to a child’s family makes them susceptible to child labour as the family tries to cope with reduced income.

  • Bangladesh’s contribution to the climate change solution

    2015 is when the new Climate Deal is anticipated to be signed by over 190 countries.

    The deal is envisioned to hold the major economies accountable for the repercussions of their green house gas emissions directly caused by increased industrialisation and urbanisation over the last few decades. These gases build up in the atmosphere and warm the climate, leading to multiple changes in the atmosphere, land, and the oceans; ultimately resulting in frequent flooding, sea level rise, droughts, and other disasters. 

    Mitigation goals beyond 2015

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