MA MannanGazipur City Corporation mayor MA Mannan on Monday resumed office three days after his suspension.Also a leader of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Mannan along with pro-BNP councillors went to Gazipur Nagar Bhaban on Monday noon and sat in his office.Leaders and activists of BNP and its associate bodies welcomed Mannan with flowers in front of the main gate of the city corporation office around 1:00pm.Speaking to journalists, Mannan said, “I have won the legal battle and now I am here to discharge my duties.”The government on Saturday suspended the pro-BNP mayor for the third time, in connection with a case filed by Anti-Corruption Commission.But on the very next day, Sunday, the High Court stayed the suspension order for three months when Mannan challenged the suspension.The authorities had appointed pro-Awami League Ward Councillor Asadur Raman Kiron as the acting mayor barely half an hour after the letter of Mannan’s suspension reached the Gazipur City Corporation office.On 12 June last year, the ACC filed a case against pro-BNP mayor Mannan and Golam Kibria with Joydebpur police station on charge of misappropriating over Tk 4.9 million of the city corporation by creating 999 unsigned fake vouchers.ACC submitted the charge sheet with Gazipur special judge court on 12 January this year last. Later on 18 January, the court accepted the charge sheet.
Mother of slain Bangladesh Chhatra League’s (BCL) Chittagong University unit leader Diaz Irfan Chowdhury went on hunger strike on the university campus on Monday morning demanding arrest of killers of her son.She also demanded removal of university’s vice-chancellor and proctor, reports UNB.Diaz’s mother started the strike in the morning carrying a banner demanding the arrest of the killers, said university officers’ association president Mahfuzur Rahman Khokon.Wearing funeral dress Diaz’s mother Jaheda Amin Chowdhury started the hunger strike at Banghabandhu Chattar in front of the registrar office at 9:00am.She continued her strike till filing of this report at 3:00pm despite the university authorities’ efforts to end the hunger strike.On 20 November 2016, the body of Diaz, assistant secretary of the central BCL committee and joint secretary of CU unit BCL, was found hanging from the ceiling fan of his bedroom at his family’s rented house in Gate-2 area of the university.On 23 November of that year, the Forensic Department of Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) conducted Diaz’s first postmortem and described the incident as a suicide in its report.However, his family members rejected the autopsy report, alleging that he had been murdered in a planned way by his rivals following a dispute over tender for the construction of some university buildings.According to the report of second autopsy, conducted by the Forensic Medicine Department of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), the BCL leader was murdered. The report was published on 30 July this year.
A truck knocks a stationary BRTC double-decker bus from behind in Taraganj upazila of Rangpur, killing at least six people. Photo: Prothom AloAt least 31 people were killed and over 100 others injured in road accidents in seven districts early Saturday.Among the victims, 16 were killed in Gaibandha, six in Rangpur, two each in Natore, Gopalganj, Sirajganj, Faridpur districts and one in Savar of Dhaka district, reports UNB.In Gaibandha, at least 16 people were killed and 37 others injured as a bus crashed into a tree in Palashbari upazila around 5:30am.Details of the victims are still awaited.The accident took place when the bus hit the roadside tree as its driver lost control over the steering, leaving eight passengers dead on the spot and 45 injured, said Palashbari police station officer-in-charge Akhtaruzzaman.Later, eight of the injured died on the way to hospital.In Rangpur, at least six people were killed and 13 others injured as a truck hit a bus on Rangpur-Dinajpur highway in Thakurtari area of Taraganj upazila around 2:00am.The deceased could not be identified till the filing of this report.The accident took place when a Rangpur-bound sand-laden truck hit a stationary BRTC double-decker bus, leaving six passengers of the bus dead on the spot and 13 others injured, said Taraganj highway police station officer-in-charge Abdullah Hel Baki.On information, three fire service units from Rangpur and Taraganj rescued the injured and sent them to Rangpur Medical College Hospital, he said.A bus plunges into a roadside ditch on Dhaka-Barishal highway in Bhanga upazila in Faridpur district on Saturday. Photo: UNBA fire service official said the condition of the deceased are almost unidentifiable.The law enforcement have kept the bodies at the police station and seized the two vehicles, the OC added.In Natore, two people were killed and three others injured when a sand-laden truck hit an easy-bike in Alaipur area of the district town around 7:00am, said Mohiuddin, station officer of Natore Fire Service.The deceased are Sulta Rani Debnath and Kanailal Debnath, residents of Sonapatil village of Naldanga upazila.The injured were admitted to sadar hospital.In Gopalganj, two motorcyclists were killed as a bus hit their vehicle after the bus driver lost control over the steering on Gopalganj-Tungipara road in Ghonapara area of sadar upazila around 7:45am, said sadar police station sub-inspector Shawkat.The deceased were not identified immediately.In Sirajganj, at least two people were killed and 19 others were injured following head-on collision between a truck and a bus on Dhaka-Bogura highway in Kaliakapur area of Raiganj upazila around 6:30am, said Hatikumrul highway police officer-in-charge Abdul Kader Zilani.In Faridpur, two people were killed and 20 others injured as a bus plunged into a roadside ditch on Dhaka-Barishal highway in Purba Sadardi area of Bhanga upazila around 9:00am, said Faridpur fire service senior station officer Saifuzzaman.In Dhaka, a man was killed and 20 others were injured as a bus hit a truck on Dhaka-Aricha highway in Turag area of Savar upazila around 7:00am.The accident took place when the bus hit the truck from behind, leaving one dead on the spot and 20 people injured, said Aminbazar police outpost in-charge Jamal Hossain.
MunshiganjTwo girls were abducted during their tiffin time in school in Srinagar upazila of Munshiganj district on Wednesday afternoon.The abducted girls are students of Class-IX at the Bhaggokul Harendra Lal High School and College and residents of Kamargaon village and Uttar Kamargaon village in the upazila, reports UNB.Members of the two families lodged two separate complaints with Srinagar police station after their girls did not return home after school hours.Confirming the abduction charge, Srinagar police station officer-in-charge Farid Uddin said police is trying to arrest whoever is behind the incident.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina attends the High-Level Leaders’ Dialogue on Climate Change: Implementation of the Paris Agreement Towards COP24 and Beyond at the UN Headquarters in New York on Wednesday. Photo: PIDPrime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday urged the developed countries and world leaders to come forward with support for climate change adaptation and wider ‘capacity building’, reports UNB.“We need support for climate change adaptation and wider ‘capacity building’ and also for technology development and transfer in areas like agriculture, public health and disaster management,” she said.The prime minister was delivering her statement at the High-Level Leaders’ Dialogue on Climate Change: Implementation of the Paris Agreement Towards COP24 and Beyond held at the UN Headquarters.UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was present at the programme.Sheikh Hasina hoped that member states will utilise the opportunity in COP24 to have a more focused discussion on climate finance to put the world on track to meet pre-2020 ambition and long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.Mentioning that Bangladesh is one of the most climate vulnerable countries, she said, “Climate change threatens our life and livelihood of our 160 million people.”In Bangladesh, she said, they have mainstreamed climate actions and disaster risk reduction in the national plan. “We’ve investment of over 1 per cent of our GDP to address the climate change impacts. Moreover, US$ 450 million has been allocated from our own resources for adaptation and mitigation purposes,” she said.The prime minister said Bangladesh has also transformed its agriculture making it more resilient to the impacts of climate change.Hasina recalled that she announced in New York five years back that as a responsible member of the international community, Bangladesh would never exceed the average per capita emission of the developing world.“Our commitment to low-carbon, climate-resilient development is firm. We plan to move to ‘Carbon budgeting’ and resilient industrialisation. We wish to ‘de-carbonise’ our ‘manufacturing pathways’,” she said.Hasina said Bangladesh has installed around six million solar home systems and provided two million improved cook stoves among the poorest.She also said Bangladesh is developing stress-tolerant crop varieties to cope with climate change impacts.“In spite of our limitations, we allocated US$385 million to our own funds for adaptation and mitigation.”
Leaders and activists of the Jatiya Oikya Front join the rally in Sylhet on Wednesday. Photo: Anis MahmudLiberal Democratic Party (LDP), one of the components of the BNP-led 20-party alliance, on Wednesday extended its full support to Jatiya Oikya Front led by Kamal Hossain, reports UNB.LPD general secretary Redwan Ahmed came up with the announcement at the maiden public rally of Jatiya Oikya Front at the city’s Registry Field in Sylhet.Speaking at the rally, he said, “LDP will wage a movement together with other parties for the restoration of democracy and people’s voting rights. We’re giving our full support to Jatiya Oikya Front in this regard.”Redwan criticised the government for what he said its ‘limitless’ repression on opposition leaders and activists.LDP was very critical of BNP’s move to form a new alliance with Kamal Hossain-led Oikya Prokriya and Badruddoza Chowdhury-led Jukta Front.Even, the party leaders threatened to quit the 20-praty if BNP forms such an alliance as its president Oli Ahmed had long been at loggerheads with B Chowdhury.As the Oikya Front was finally formed without B Chowdhury, LDP changed its stance.Jatiya Oikya Front arranged the rally to mobilise public support in favour of the alliance’s seven-point demand, including holding the next election under a non-party administration.It was the first political programme of the new alliance of four parties–BNP, Gano Forum, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rob) and Nagorik Oikya– since its formation on 13 October.
Air China has suspended flights to North Korea, further limiting the secretive state’s links with the outside world, in what the government said was a business decision with no political motives.The suspension comes shortly after US President Donald Trump visited Beijing and pressed his counterpart Xi Jinping to do more to rein in North Korea’s nuclear program.China sent a special envoy, Song Tao, to the North last week but his four-day trip ended with no direct statement on the crisis, after Pyongyang’s series of nuclear and missile tests triggered global alarm.Air China last cancelled flights to North Korea in April, citing low customer demand, but resumed them soon after.A customer service representative for the airline said Wednesday there were no flights scheduled for the Beijing to Pyongyang route through June.China has denied any political motives behind its flag carrier’s suspension of the route.“The airliners just work out their own operation plans based on the state of operation and the market,” foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a press briefing on Tuesday when asked about the apparent move.Passengers flying from Beijing to North Korea are now left with just three regularly scheduled flights each week, on the North Korean state airline Air Koryo.Air Koryo also operates flights from the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang to Pyongyang, though it halted flights from the Chinese border city of Dandong earlier this year.Beijing is Pyongyang’s only major ally and biggest trade partner, though in August China said it would abide by new UN sanctions which heavily curtail the North’s exports of its most profitable goods.The US on Tuesday unveiled new sanctions targeting North Korean shipping and Chinese traders doing business with Pyongyang, again raising the pressure on the pariah state to abandon its nuclear program.
The bodies of two workers, who along with 18 others went missing after a sand-laden trawler capsized in the Meghna River on Tuesday, were recovered Sunday on the 6th day of the rescue operation, reports UNB.The identities of the deceased could not be known yet.Mostofa Mohsin, assistant director (Diving) of Fire Service and Civil Defence, said they recovered one of the bodies from Munshiganj Launch Ghat around 9am while the other one from Shatnal area in Chandpur district around 12 pm.”We are not sure whether the bodies are of the missing workers of the capsized trawler,” he added.Two rescue teams started their operations around 8am Sunday and have been trying to trace the trawler through side scan sound wave.Besides, divers of Bangladesh Navy, Fire Service, BIWTC, Coast Guard and River police are also trying to locate the trawler.Earlier on Friday, a case was filed accusing three people in connection with the incident.The trawler, carrying 34 workers from Cumilla, sank in the river at Charjhapta in Sadar upazila around 3am on Tuesday after it collided with an oil-laden tanker while heading towards Fatulla in Narayanganj.Although 14 workers managed to swim ashore, the rest went missing. All the workers hail from Pabna and Sirajganj districts.
An anthropologist (R) examines the remains of a dog found in a bathtub in a home destroyed by the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, US, on 14 November 2018. Photo: ReutersThe number of people missing in a devastating wildfire in northern California jumped to more than 1,000 on Friday, authorities said, as the remains of eight other victims were found by rescuers.Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said the number of missing had soared from 631 on Thursday to 1,011 as more reports of missing were sent in and a review of emergency calls made when the fire broke out on 8 November.The eight additional victims brings to 71 the number of people who have died in the so-called Camp Fire.Three other people have died in southern California in an another blaze dubbed the Woolsey fire.
.Make-up artist Solongo Batsukh braves Mongolia’s below-freezing temperatures in just a skimpy black dress and light pastel pink coat — the country’s trailblazing transgender beauty queen wants to look good in any weather.”I don’t like to look puffy,” the 25-year-old said as she drove to a beauty salon that hired her to promote its products and services via Facebook live videos.It’s with this typical bluntness, confidence and attitude that taboo-breaking Batsukh strutted into the country’s first ever Miss Universe Mongolia competition in October.Though she fell short of representing her country at the Miss Universe contest in Thailand on December 17, her participation shed another light onto a group living on the edges of a deeply patriarchal country with conservative views about sexual orientation.Had she won, she would have joined Miss Spain’s Angela Ponce as the first transgender contestants in Miss Universe’s 66-year history.”I wanted to inspire as many women as possible,” Batsukh told AFP.”But I’m still proud that I got the chance to compete in this contest, and the ‘Solongo’ I created was a true winner in my heart,” she said.Her participation didn’t please everyone, dredging up negative reactions on social media.”The world would have a negative image of our country if a man represents us while there are thousands of beautiful and real women in our country,” one person wrote on the Facebook page of Miss Universe Mongolia.’Correct misunderstandings’But Batsukh isn’t deterred by such abuse.Born Bilguun Batsukh, she grew up as a boy in the semi-arid central province of Dundgovi.She couldn’t pinpoint her gender identity until she learned about different gender orientations as a university student in her early 20s.It was when she started working as a programme officer at Youth for Health, a non-governmental organisation that provides safe-sex education for LGBT people, that she realised she was a woman born in a man’s body.She started wearing wigs, putting on dresses and taking hormone therapy.Batsukh is among the few LGBT people who have dared to come out in Mongolia, where some 80 percent of the community remain in the closet, according to a UN survey.”It is extremely difficult for transgender people to be employed,” said Baldangombo Altangerel, legal programme manager at the LGBT Centre.A video of a young transgender woman who had repeatedly been beaten in the streets went viral in Mongolia last year, highlighting the prejudices LGBT people face.Batsukh wants to dispel the image that transgender women can only be sex workers or strippers living on the fringes of society.She flaunts her wealth, regularly travels abroad and is a celebrity in her country of three million people.Batsukh found fame in 2014, when she represented Mongolia in Miss International Queen, finishing in the top 10 of the international transgender beauty pageant organised in Thailand.She pursued a modelling career and became a make-up artist.”I had to reveal myself (as transgender) so I could correct the misunderstandings in society. If we keep hidden, society will keep on hating us. They don’t know us,” she said.Batsukh has used her public image to speak up on television and social media, fighting against perceptions that transgender people are suffering from mental illness.But she has tough words for Mongolia’s transgender community, too, complaining that they should focus on working rather than talking about human rights.”Instead of saying ‘we’re human like everyone else’, we need to prove ourselves through our actions. Just show others that we’re making a living like ordinary people,” she said.’Her goals inspire me’Batsukh is seizing on the popularity of her Facebook page, which has more than 120,000 “likes”, to create a reality show featuring women seeking a makeover.The beauty queen will help the women lose weight, change hairstyles and apply make-up.Sarangoo Sukhbaatar, 25, who works in a cashmere company and was among 25 women competing to be among the five participants, said she trusted in Batsukh’s ability and skills to transform her looks.”Solongo truly understands what women feel,” said Sukhbaatar, who started following Batsukh on social media two years ago.”Her goals and patience inspire me,” she said. “If a man can be beautiful like her, women can be much more beautiful than we are today.”