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first_img.Three minors died in two separate suspected incidents of drowning in Bijoynagar and Nasirnagar upazila of Brahmanbaria on Tuesday.The deceased are Zannat, 7, daughter of a certain Mizan Mia of Chatur village in Bijoynagar upazila, Sharmin, 8, daughter of one Motaleb Mia, from Noorpur village of the same upazila and Dihan, 4, son of one Manu Mia of Guniauk village in Nasirnagar upazila.Locals said, the two minor girls — Zannat and Sharmin — were playing on the bank of the Khaliajuria river beside Zannat’s house in the afternoon, reports UNB.All on a sudden Sharmin fell into the river around 5:30pm. Seeing her playmate going down the water, Zannat dived into the water to rescue her and drowned as well, they said.Later, locals rescued them and sent the bodies to Akhaura Health Complex where duty doctor declared them dead.In another incident, Diahan fell into a pond near his house unnoticed at noon.Failing to trace their son for a long time, parents conducted a frantic search in the afternoon and spotted their child’s body floating on the water.last_img read more

first_imgNoor Hossain. File PhotoShaheed Noor Hossain Day, commemorating the martyrdom of a young pro-democracy activist during the movement against autocractic Ershad regime in the late 1980s, is being observed in the country on Saturday.Different socio-cultural and professional organisations have chalked out elaborate programmes to observe the day in a befitting manner, reports UNB.Leaders and activists of different political parties, including ruling Bangladesh Awami League and opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, their associate bodies, paid tributes to the martyr by placing wreaths at Noor Hossain Square, in the morning.Capital’s ‘Zero Point’ in Gulistan area was renamed as ‘Noor Hossain Chattar’ (square) after the young man was gunned down in the area by police on 10 November 1987.President Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the eve of the day.President Abdul Hamid, in his message, said 10 November is an important day in the history of movement for democracy in the country.In her message, prime minister Sheikh Hasina said the country’s democracy was restored through the sacrifice of the lives of many. She prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls of all martyrs, including Noor Hossain, and conveyed deep sympathy to the bereaved family members.On 10 November 1987 Noor Hossain, an activist of Awami Juba League, was killed in police firing during staging protest against the autocratic rule of then lieutenant general HM Ershad at the capital’s zero point, painting the historic slogan ‘Gonotantra Mukti Pak, Swairachar Nipat Jak’ (Let democracy be freed, down with autocracy) on his back and chest.last_img read more

first_imgWomen wait with their children under a shed for food rations at an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp on the outskirts of Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria on 6 June 2017. Reuters File PhotoPersistent conflicts and extreme weather are currently driving high levels of severe food insecurity, particularly in Southern African and Near East countries, which continue to require humanitarian assistance, said a report issued on Thursday by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.Some 39 countries, 31 of which are in Africa, seven in Asia and one in the Caribbean (Haiti), are in need of external food assistance—unchanged from three months ago, according to the Crop Prospects and Food Situation report.FAO stresses that protracted conflicts, extreme weather events and displacement continue hampering food access for millions of vulnerable people.Civil conflicts and population displacement remain the key drivers of food insecurity in East Africa and the Near East, whereas dry-weather conditions reduced cereal outputs in Southern Africa, according to the report.FAO’s latest forecast for global cereal production in 2018 is pegged at 2587 million tonnes, a three-year low and 2.4 per cent below last year’s record high level.Cereal production in the 52 Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs) is projected this year at around 490 million tonnes, about 19 million above the past five-year average. The unchanged aggregate output reflects weather-reduced outputs in Southern Africa, Central Asia and the Near East that are foreseen to be offset by production gains in Far East Asia and East Africa, said the report.Civil conflicts, often coupled with climate-related extreme events, have taken their toll on food security of vulnerable populations in Central African Republic, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen among others, the report underlined.In Yemen, due to the ongoing civil war, an estimated 17.8 million people are food insecure and require urgent humanitarian assistance, a five percent increase from 2017, the report said.In the Central African Republic, about 2 million people, or 43 per cent of the total population, are estimated to be in need of urgent assistance for food due to the civil conflicts, several consecutive years of reduced agricultural production and poorly functioning markets, especially for displaced populations, host families and returnees, fuelled by violent clashes and inter-communal tensions.Poor rains in Southern Africa at key cropping stages curbed this year’s cereal production, with the largest reductions reported in Malawi and Zimbabwe. In Malawi, with this year’s cereal output estimated to be below average, the number of food insecure people in 2018 could more than double from last year to reach 3.3 million people.In Zimbabwe, 2.4 million people are estimated to be food insecure in 2018 as a result of a reduced cereal output and food access constraints stemming from low incomes and liquidity problems of vulnerable households.The Near East region has also suffered from insufficient rains that have reduced cereal output particularly in Afghanistan and Syria. In Syria, around 6.5 million people are estimated to be short of food and another 4 million people are at risk of food insecurity, according to the report.Dry weather conditions in South America have lowered cereal output in 2018 from last year’s record, particularly for maize. In Central America and the Caribbean, unfavourable rains also curtailed this year’s maize production, except in Mexico, the report noted.In Far East Asia, cereal production in 2018 is forecast to rise, primarily reflecting gains in Bangladesh and India, with the latter seeing a record wheat output this year due to favourable weather conditions.Similarly, in Bangladesh, beneficial weather supported by prospects of remunerative prices triggered an expansion in paddy plantings that drove up cereal production in 2018, following reduced outputs last year.And as a result of beneficial weather, cereal harvests in East Africa are also forecast to rebound from the reduced levels of 2017; however, torrential rains earlier this year and more recently in August resulted in floods causing localised crop losses.The 39 countries currently in need of external food assistance are: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini (former Swaziland), Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe.last_img read more

first_imgTitled ‘Words Matter: Writings Against Silence’  (Penguin Random House India), the book has been edited by award-winning poet and scholar K Satchidanandan.It contains essays written by scholars and writers including Romila Thapar, Githa, Salil Tripathi and Ananya Vajpeyi among others. “In their perceptive and insightful essays, the contributors argue that we must nurture critical thinking to fight all kinds of discrimination and insularity,” publishers said. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ The book includes excerpts from writings of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare and scholar M M Kalburgi, who were killed by fundamentalists, besides articles and speeches by eminent public figures like Markandey Katju and Nayantara Sahgal among others. In the past, some of them were also part of the Award Wapsi campaign where over 40 artists and writers returned their Sahitya Akademi awards protesting against the killings of Kalburgi, Dabholkar and Pansare. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe book emphasises the need for intellectuals to take the responsibility of safeguarding the democratic nature of the nation and advocates free speech. It also highlights that the status quo (of traditions) must be challenged to enrich the diversity of India. “Myths, texts and systems of faith and thought have been cherished, revisited and also challenged. It lies in our interest as a modern nation to preserve our cultural strength and help democracy flourish,” reads the book.last_img read more