Budget 2019 Government may cut taxes on biz hike spending for

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi’s government on Friday will unveil a budget that is expected to cut taxes on business and raise spending in a bid to shore up consumption and faltering economic growth. Analysts say Modi, boosted by a sweeping election victory, hopes to use the budget to restart reforms and deal with a series of economic woes. In January-March, annual growth slumped to 5.8%, the slowest pace in 20 quarters. Growth for the financial year that ended in March was 6.8%, also a five-year low, and indicators such as plummeting industrial output and automobile sales have stoked fears of a deeper slowdown. Also Read – This is why Denmark, Sweden and Germany are considering a meat tax Advertise With Us A shortfall in monsoon rains, pivotal for the farm sector that employs nearly half of India’s workers, has increased concerns of rural distress and strengthened the case for intervention, a leader of Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said. “The focus of the budget will be to boost domestic consumption, address the rural crisis and support small manufacturers,” Gopal Krishna Agarwal, BJP’s economic affairs spokesman, told Reuters. Also Read – Judge refuses to halt UK Parliament suspension Advertise With Us Shilan Shah at Capital Economics in Singapore said in a note “Given the recent economic slowdown, the finance minister is likely to announce more accommodative tax and spending measures.” In February, then-Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presented an interim budget for the year beginning April 1, to maintain government functions while a weeks-long election was under way. Advertise With Us BIG INVESTMENT PLANS On Friday, new minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present a full-year budget that Agarwal said could lower corporate taxes for small and medium-sized businesses as well as personal ones to revive consumption by the middle class that gave Modi a second term, while withdrawing some tax exemptions. In 2018, Indian government reduced the corporate tax rate to 25% from 30% for companies with annual turnover of 2.5 billion Indian rupees ($36.3 million) or less. Following election promises, the government could present a plan for investing up to 100 trillion rupees ($1.45 trillion) on highways, railways and ports while budgeting another 25 trillion rupees for increasing farm productivity over five years, BJP officials said. To meet the funds required for all that, Sitharaman may need to increase February’s 3.4% target for fiscal deficit to gross domestic product to 3.6%, said a senior government official. A Reuters poll showed economists expected a 3.5% target. Sitharaman is also likely to seek a higher dividend from the central bank, draw up plans to raise funds from a 5G telecom auction and propose more privatisation, sources said. After becoming prime minister in 2014, Modi improved public finances, trimming the fiscal deficit to 3.4% from 4.5% in 2013/14, mostly through cuts in subsidies and higher retail taxes on fuel. However, he is now under pressure to loosen the purse strings to meet election promises and jack up the growth rate. FALLING RURAL DEMAND “A large part of the economy is facing a recession with a fall in rural demand and private investments,” said Ashwani Mahajan, chief of the economic wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of Modi’s ruling group. “It is the right time to expand the fiscal deficit up to 4% of GDP,” he said adding the budget could provide tax incentives for food processing, logistics and small businesses as well as affordable housing. Private investment in India rose an annual 7.2% in January-March, down from 8.4% the previous quarter. Capital investment growth slowed to 3.6% from 10.6%. Economists expect spending to rise as the government plans to expand cash benefits to farmers and inject more funds into state-run banks – saddled with nearly $150 billion stressed assets – to support lending. Modi has set an ambitious target of turning India into a $5 trillion in the next five years from $2.7 trillion, which will require an annual growth rate of over 10%, economists said. But that will require a big second wave of reforms that Modi shied from during his first term, economists say. To unlock potential and growth more robustly, in their view, India needs to make land acquisition easier and amend labour laws that make hiring and firing of workers difficult. BJP’s Agarwal says the budget speech “will lay a roadmap of economic reforms for the next five years, with an objective of boosting economic growth.”last_img read more


Road restoration works left midway

first_imgQuthbullapur: The road repair works at Qutubullapur came to a standstill. The road was dug up to lay water pipelines a few months ago. The work resulted in potholes and is uneven.No official has bothered to complete the road, which is causing a lot of distress to local residents and motorists. During night times it gets more difficult to travel as there is less visibility and chances of tripping are more, according to Rohan, a local. The locals over here had complained to the authorities concerned about this perennial problem several times and also asked them to construct a proper road in this area, but no step has been initiated as yet.last_img


Kerala rain toll touches 23

first_imgThiruvananthapuram, Aug 9: Incessant rain in Kerala have claimed 23 lives in the past two days. Over 22,000 people have been shifted to some 315 relief camps across the state, officials said. Till late on Thursday the toll was eight, but a fresh count took the numbers to 23 on Friday. The worst affected districts include Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, Wayanad, Kasargode and Idukki and the deaths have also been reported from these areas. Also Read – War propaganda delays removal of internet restriction in Jammu and Kashmir Advertise With Us There has been 260 mm of rain in Wayanad — the parliamentary constituency of former Congress President Rahul Gandhi. A huge landslide has marooned around 2,000 people in Meppadi in the district. A temple, mosque and estate workers quarters have collapsed in the area. It’s from this area that four bodies have been recovered from under the debris. Also Read – Congress MLA Shivakumar moves High Court seeking protection from arrest Advertise With Us With the area still cut off, Gandhi has urged for help from the Centre. Authorities are trying their best to get the Air Force to begin rescue operations. All schools, colleges and other educational institutions were shut in all the 14 districts on Friday keeping in mind the devastating rain and flood that had hit the state in a century last year. Advertise With Us Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has sought the Indian Army’s help in relief and rescue operations. A dozen teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are already at the job. The situation worsened as the pace of the rising level of water is causing serious concern in parts of Pathanamthitta and Thrissur with most of the rivers there in spate. Around 500 of those marooned in Meppadi have been moved to relief camps, a medical professional of the state government who is giving the required medical attention told the media that even though there are no serious ailments, all of them are in a state of mental shock. “We have assured all people, that they do not have to worry , as the state government will take care of their needs,” State Education Minister C. Raveendranath said. The railways have cancelled 12 trains and many had to be diverted. Road traffic has also been thrown out of gear with many stretches vanishing under water. The Cochin airport has been closed till Sunday leaving hundreds of passengers stranded.last_img read more


Durki village to be developed as spiritual centre Speaker

first_imgBanswada: Durki village should be developed as a spiritual and tourist hub to convey the glory of Sri Somalingeshwara Swamy temple to the world, said Speaker Pocharam Srinivas Reddy.He visited Somalingeshwara Swamy temple in Durki village of Nasrullabad mandal on Monday and offered special prayers. Later, he checked the developmental works going on in the temple. Also Read – Man tied up to a tree and thrashed in Nalgonda for harassing woman Advertise With Us Speaker Srinivas Reddy directed the officials concerned not to disturb the original structure while carrying the work and also ordered them to complete the Kalyana Mandapam, being constructed at a cost of Rs 30 lakhs, at the earliest. He felt that the Kalyana Mandapam will fetch additional income to the temple. The Speaker said that other development works with an expenditure of Rs 50 lakhs were also taken up and directed the officials looking after these works to maintain quality. PACK Chairman Erwala Krishna Reddy, AMC ex-Chaiman Narulu Suresh and others accompanied the Speaker on his visit.last_img read more


Arvind Kejriwal offers school initiatives to Nepal

first_imgNew Delhi : Nepal’s envoy to India Nilambar Acharya on Wednesday called on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who offered to share his government’s initiatives with the neighbouring country for its schools, according to a statement. The chief minister shared with the ambassador, the keen interest shown by many private schools in Nepal in the ‘Happiness Curriculum’ in Delhi government schools, it stated. The curriculum was launched last year. Acharya greeted Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia on the eve of India’s Independence Day and extended best wishes on behalf of the Nepalese government. Also Read – Enforcement Directorate summons Karnataka Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar Advertise With Us “People of Nepal are deeply attached with Delhi physically and emotionally, since a large number of Nepalese people live and work in India’s national capital,” the statement quoted the envoy as saying in the meeting. On his part, Kejriwal said the Delhi government will be happy to share its initiative with the Nepal government for its schools. The Nepalese government has appreciated the work of the Delhi government in fields of education and health, and has also remarked that the successful management of electricity in a big city like Delhi is remarkable, according the statement. Sisodia has invited Nepal’s envoy to visit Delhi government mohalla clinics and schools.last_img read more


iPhones battery life is overstated Apple denies

first_img iPhone XS And XS Max: 7 Things You Need To Know About Apples Updated Premium Phone Close The battery life problem with iPhones isn’t new for users who have long complained that their smartphones don’t last as long as other phones. But Apple has always claimed that the iPhones’ battery life is just as good as other phones in its league, at least that’s what the battery life claims on specific models suggested. But Which?, the UK consumer advocacy group, decided to challenge Apple’s claims and found shocking results.According to the report published by Which?, Apple significantly overstates the battery life of its iPhones. The claims are made after testing nine iPhone models and Which? found that none of the Apple smartphones lived up to the official battery time claims made by the Cupertino tech titan.In one example, Which? noted that Apple claims the battery life of the newly-released iPhone XR is 25 hours of talktime, whereas the independent investigation revealed the handset lasted only 16 hours and 32 minutes. This was the highest discrepancy of 51 percent noted in all smartphone models tested by Which? Apple iPhone 7Apple Press KitWhich? also noted that Apple’s battery life claims are exaggerated by at least 18 percent. The method used by Which? for testing iPhones’ talk time battery life was not revealed, which gave Apple the grey area to deny the claims. Apple’s methodology for testing the battery life of iPhones is published on the company’s official website.”We rigorously test our products and stand behind our battery life claims. With tight integration between hardware and software, iPhone is engineered to intelligently manage power usage to maximize battery life. Our testing methodology reflects that intelligence,” Apple was quoted as saying in response to Which? investigations. Apple iPhone XrApple Event Page (screen-grab)According to the report, Which? also tested phones from other brands and found that HTC’s battery life claims were overstated by 5 percent. It doesn’t fall anywhere close to 18-51 percent exaggeration by Apple.On the other hand, some brands like Sony, Nokia and Samsung seemed to have understated the battery life of their smartphones. Sony’s Xperia X5 Compact is said to have a battery life of 17 hours, whereas Which? found the handset actually lasted 25 hours and 52 minutes.”Which? is warning people to be wary when looking at the expected battery life of mobile phones as they may vary from the manufacturer’s claims,” the body noted in its report.last_img read more


PUBG Mobile is dead in China but theres official gorefree clone

first_imgClose PUBG addiction: Groom plays PUBG at his own wedding’ ignores his new bride While the popular online battle-royale game, PUBG celebrated its popularity in India with Baahubali-themed outfits, its situation in China has not been as good. After a tussle for revenue that lasted more than a year, developers Tencent decided to withdraw their popular game in favour of a clone which has received regulatory approval to generate revenue.The anti-terrorism themed game is called ‘Game for Peace’ and has the same mechanics as the original game. Players can continue from the progress they had in PUBG and the maps are quite similar too. However, the game has a completely different lobby, with an aeroplane hangar and several jets parked around the place. As Reuters reported, the game has been described as a “tactical shooting game” which “pays tribute to the blue sky warriors that guard our country’s airspace”, referring to the Chinese air force. Forwarding the socialist agenda of the Chinese market, several gory effects of PUBG Mobile have been replaced with paintball effects after a public outcry over excessive gore in games. The textures on some items have also been changed, possibly to resemble the Chinese military colours.A change that confounded several players was the animation for deaths. Upon death, characters kneel and wave before fading away instead of dropping to the ground. Game for Peace (former PUBG Mobile) for ChinaTencentThis decision has moved players to call out China for being ‘brainwashed’. A YouTube comment on a gameplay video read, “Oh China, you are so funny^^ Oh no, ‘brainwashed’ was the word I am looking for.”Even after being the largest gaming company in China, Tencent Holdings Ltd. has had to deal with the new regulations about the kind of games that are approved for Chinese audiences.However, business for Tencent looks good. Analysts at China Renaissance said, “With PUBG Mobile having around 70 million average daily active users in China now, we expect Game for Peace could potentially generate 8 billion yuan to 10 billion yuan (8,200 crores to 10,250 crores of rupees) in annual revenue.” PUBG Mobile banned in China permanentlyIBTimes IndiaPlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds was released for PCs in March 2017 and its mobile version came almost a year later in February. Since then, PUBG has garnered international popularity with over 70 million players reported from China alone.Watch Game of Peace aka PUBG Mobile Chinese version gameplay here:last_img read more


Rats are ticklish just like humans

first_imgIBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPlayMute0:00/0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE0:00?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.The media could not be loaded, either because the server or network failed or because the format is not supported.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Close Just like humans, rats are ticklish and can giggle when tickled. Scientists believe rats could thus provide them with an insight into how the human brain reacts to tickles.Ticklishness is one of the strangest sensation experienced by the body and the way it works remains puzzling to scientists. When we are tickled, we laugh – a positive emotion – even though tickles are only a simple touch on the bodys surface and even if they may become uncomfortable after a while.To learn more about how ticklishness arise and what in the brain causes us to laugh, scientists have worked with rats, because these animals are very similar to humans in this area.In 1999, a study had already revealed that rats emit high pitched noises that resemble chuckles when scientists tickle them. In a research paper due to be published on 11 November 2016 in the journal Science, researchers have now identified the brain areas responsible for this phenomenon.Ticklishness is one of the most mysterious form of social touch, it is still poorly understood. What we set out to do, is understand what happens in the brains of humans and animals during tickles. In particular, we looked at what goes on in the brain of rats – who experience similar ticklishness to humans, says study author Michael Brecht, from Humboldt University in Berlin.Laughing at being tickledThe scientists tickled laboratory rats and their first observations confirmed what previous studies had found: tickles are rewarding for rats and elicit laughter. The rats didnt turn away from the hand that was tickling them, preferring to chase it and to play with it. They also performed unsolicited jumps which suggests they were experiencing some form of joy at being tickled.The scientists also recorded the noises made by the rats – typically these can only be heard at frequencies that the human ear cannot perceive – but here they were converted so that researchers could listen to them. The rodents appeared to make short calls at 50kHz, a frequency which in rats is associated with joy.During the tickling sessions, the researchers also monitored neuron activity in the somatosensory cortex. This region of the brain is particularly sensitive to touch and they believed it could be the key to understanding ticklishness.They measured the activity of neurons in this brain area and discovered they were activated when the rats were being tickled. This was correlated with greater laughter. The scientists also showed that activating these neurons artificially, without tickling the rats, produced the same reaction as when they were being tickled. This confirms the important role of the somatosensory cortex in ticklishness. Just like in humans however, the degree of joy felt at being tickled varied with the rats mood. When the little animals were anxious, laughter and neural firing during tickling were significantly reduced. Scientists now want to conduct more research to see how these findings may be applicable to humans.center_img Rats are ticklish just like humanslast_img read more


Kannada TV actor Tejas Gowda arrested for raping TV actress

first_img[Representational Image] Tejas Gowda alias Abhi Gowda arrested by Chikkaballapur police over rape allegations.Creative CommonsA lesser-known Kannada TV actor, Tejas Gowda alias Abhi Gowda, who is also said to be a production manager, has been arrested by Chikkaballapur police over rape allegations made by a TV actress. She has accused him of raping her several times since 2012In the complaint, the victim claims that they studied engineering in the same college. After trying to be her friend, he confessed to being in love with her before raping her in 2012. Her opposition was silenced with a promise of marriage.It happened on numerous of occasion and even after they started working for a TV channel. The actress further alleges that Tejas Gowda forced himself on her in December 2018 in her room and got her pregnant.He asked her to abort the baby upon realising about her pregnancy. The actress adds that she decided to break her silence after he planned to marry another girl.She says that Tejas Gowda threatened to leak their private pictures and videos on the internet if she files a complaint, while also threatening to spray acid on her face.last_img read more


Apple tops 800 billion market cap for first time

first_imgReutersApple Inc (AAPL.O) became the first US company to top the $800 billion mark in market capitalisation on Tuesday, slightly more than two years after it crossed the $700 billion threshold.The iPhone maker’s shares have gained 33 percent this year and almost 50 percent since the US election in November. The company represents about 4 percent of the $21.7 trillion that makes up the entire S&P 500 .SPX index.Apple accounted for as much as 4.9 percent of the S&P 500 in September 2012 but is a smaller percentage now as the index as a whole has rallied more than 7 percent this year.”It’s just reflective of how powerful a franchise it is. It may be the most powerful franchise in the country today,” said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey, whose firm does not own the stock.”Considering that it has a limited number of products, it has really dominated that market in a way that few companies have, and it’s been able to retain margins despite lots of competitors.”If Apple continues on its growth path, the company will top the $1 trillion market cap level later this year.Stock buybacks have also bolstered Apple shares, with the company reducing its actual share count by 20.9 percent and the average diluted shares outstanding by 20.5 percent over the past four years, according to Standard & Poor’s data.The median price target on Apple is $160, up from the $140 median three months ago. Shares closed at $153.99 on Tuesday.The closing market cap of $802.8 billion was larger than the economies of 45 of the 50 US states, topped only by Illinois, Florida, New York, Texas and California.Billionaire Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N) has disclosed a stake of roughly $20 billion in Apple, said on Monday he had grown more fond of the company because he could “very easily determine” the iPhone maker’s competitive position “and who is trying to chase them.”last_img read more


WATCH Shame on you Canadian journalist calls Pak minister Qureshi censorious thug

first_imgPakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood QureshiSpencer Platt/Getty ImagesA Canadian journalist confronted Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi calling him a “censorious thug” at a media event in London.The journalist, Ezra Levant, was angry with Qureshi over Pakistan’s media censorship and called him out for his government censoring tweets of users from the United States and Canada. During his angry tirade, Levant also claimed that his Twitter handle was shut down.“Shame on you”: @EzraLevant challenges #Pakistan’s Foreign Minister over Twitter censorship!WATCH the FULL video here: https://t.co/hHqJklTVoS #tcot #news pic.twitter.com/9wUBSiq8dd— The Rebel (@RebelNewsOnline) July 11, 2019 The incident happened during the ‘Defend Media Freedom’ conference in London, where Qureshi was a part of the panel. The event took place on July 10 and 11. The event was boycotted by international media who were protesting lack of free speech for journalists and media personnel in Pakistan.Levant asked Qureshi, “Can you explain, why the Islamic supremacy in Pakistan is silencing my personal and journalistic freedom in Canada?”He went on to tell the panel that they should be embarrassed to invite “the censorious thug” for this event.Qureshi attempted to brush off the matter and tried convincing Levant to not fall prey to the negative portrayal of Pakistan in the media.”I urge you not to be swayed by negative characterisation in international media about Pakistan, which tends to overlook Pakistan’s accomplishments in media and other areas,” said Qureshi.”You have double standards and what you are propping up a certain sections agenda. I have been respectful to you,” he added.Levant then said that Pakistan dislikes ‘free speech’ and went on to ask, “Who the hell are you to censor me in Canada? I know because you don’t like free speech. You censored me, shame on you.”last_img read more


Pakistan stock exchange sees a rise as nation awaits election results

first_imgA woman casts her vote during Pakistan’s general election at a polling station in Islamabad on July 25, 2018. – Polls opened on July 25 in a tense, unpredictable Pakistani election that could be former World Cup cricketer Imran Khan’s best shot at power, after a campaign marred by allegations of military interference and a series of deadly attacks.AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty ImagesWith Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) seemingly in the lead, the Pakistan stock market witnessed a bullish trend on Thursday morning, gaining 767 points in the early trade.With the country voting for its second consecutive democratic transfer of power, the KSE-100 index reached 42,106 points early in the day, a new high for the nation struggling to combat terrorism and corruption.Unofficial results have shown that so far, the PTI, helmed by the former world cup winning captain is leading the national assembly with 118 seats, just short of the magic 137 required. Despite not winning a clear majority, party workers across the country are busy celebrating the success.However, the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has rejected the results, calling them “outright rigging”. However, these claims have been denied by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), who said that the elections were 100 percent fair and transparent, despite a few glitches with the new electronic results system.Earlier this month, Sulaiman S Mehdi, the CEO of private equity firm Cyan Limited was appointed as the chairman of the PSE following the removal of Hussain Lawai. Lawai was removed after a directive by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, following his arrest on July 6 on money laundering charges.Lawai was accused by the Federal Investigation Agency in connection with an Rs. 35 billion scams, that involved multiple bankers, politicians and businessmen including former president Asif Ali Zardari and several of his close associates.last_img read more


Stockbrokers seek securities transaction tax rationalisation in budget

first_imgStockbrokers have sought the rationalisation of the securities transaction tax (STT) in the Union budget, which will be the last one of the Narendra Modi government’s current term.The demand has been raised on a wish list that the Association of National Exchanges Members of India (Anmi) and Bombay Stock Exchange Brokers Forum have jointly presented to market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).Though the government in an election year is expected to present only a vote-on-account, the traders hope Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will look into their demands.Another major issue on which the traders want Sebi to put pressure on the North Block to consider is a withdrawal of the dividend distribution tax (DDT), according to media reports.Market sources say the traders are also pressing for an exemption from the long-term capital gains tax (LTGC), which they think is a major irritant for the market.The brokers have sought a rethink of the additional STT on the exercise of options as it is causing “inefficient pricing” at settlement. The government levies additional STT at the rate of 0.125 per cent on option contracts that are exercised.”We would like to state that extensive thought process has been put in and we as associations have pondered over each and every suggestion from our members,” Anmi and Brokers Forum have said in the representation to Sebi.The trade bodies say an increase in the STT rate, the withdrawal of a tax rebate, and the introduction of GST (goods and services tax) without subsuming the statutory levies related to stock exchange transactions are hurting the market.An overall rationalisation would help increase trade volumes and boost government revenue, they say.The government has from this financial year withdrawn an exemption from LTCG tax for securities held for a period exceeding three years. The LTCG is levied at the rate of 10 per cent. Earlier, the gains from the sale of shares held for a period of one year or more were exempt from taxes.”It is pertinent to mention that in India, the percentage of total population investing in stock exchange-traded instruments is abysmally low. Hence, there is need to attract and incentivise the investors for holding the investment for long-term so as to attract conventional investors who invest in gold, fixed return instruments or real estate,” the letter to Sebi says.The brokers’ bodies have sought the withdrawal of the DDT saying it is adversarial taxation. “The present form of adversarial taxation on a dividend of around 20 per cent results into triple taxation of corporate earnings. The tax on the dividend should be in the form of equalisation to balance the difference between corporate and personal tax. Hence, it is recommended that DDT is withdrawn and the tax should be levied at 10 per cent on the recipient.”last_img read more


Bangladesh accuses two Myanmar journalists of espionage

first_img-Two Myanmar photographers covering the Rohingya crisis for a German magazine have been arrested in Bangladesh on suspicion of espionage, officials said Friday.Minzayar Oo and Hkun Lat were detained more than a week ago in the border town of Cox’s Bazar, where around 389,000 Rohingya Muslims have sought refuge from violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state since 25 August.The pair’s lawyer said they were charged with “false impersonation” and providing “false information” after police accused them of using the cover of tourist visas to enter the country, instead of journalist visas.Cox’s Bazar police chief Ranjit Kumar Barua told AFP the pair were also “primarily accused of espionage”.”They were collecting information on the Rohingya for Myanmar,” he said.An award-winning photographer from Bangladesh also arrested with the pair was later freed.Scores of foreign journalists have poured into Bangladesh to cover the Rohingya exodus.The UN has accused Buddhist-dominated Myanmar of waging an ethnic cleansing campaign against the stateless group, who say the military has launched a brutal crackdown in Rakhine.Minzayar Oo and Hkun Lat arrived in Cox’s Bazar in early September on assignment for Hamburg-based magazine Geo to cover the refugee crisis, which has strained relations between Muslim-majority Bangladesh and Myanmar.Their arrest was only announced on Wednesday and a court on Thursday rejected a bail plea, their Bangladeshi lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua told AFP.He described Minzayar Oo as “an award winning photographer whose work was published in reputed dailies and magazines including the New York Times, Guardian and National Geographic”.last_img read more


Zafar Iqbal returns to SUST campus

first_imgZafar Iqbal returns to SUST campusNoted writer professor Muhammed Zafar Iqbal, who was undergoing treatment at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka after a knife attack on him, returned to Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) in Sylhet on Wednesday after 11 days, reports UNB.He arrived at Sylhet Osmani International Airport by a flight of Novo Air at 12.45pm. His wife professor Yeasmin Haq and daughter Yeashim Iqbal accompanied him.SUST vice chancellor Farid Uddin Ahmed and treasurer Illias Uddin Biswas welcomed Zafar Iqbal.Escorted by police, they reached the campus at 1:30pm. He will join a reception programme at Mukta Mancha of the campus at 4:00pm where he came under attack.A young man, Foyzur Rahman, swooped on professor Zafar Iqbal and stabbed him with a knife at the Mukta Mancha during a celebration programme, ‘Robofight,’ of the Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) department on 3 March.The renowned writer was first taken to Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital and then airlifted to the CMH in Dhaka on the same day at the directive of prime minister Sheikh Hasina.last_img read more


Housewife commits suicide over family feud

first_imgMap of FaridpurA housewife allegedly committed suicide by taking poison over a family feud at Bangapocha village in sadar upazila Faridpur on Wednesday night, reports UNB.The deceased is Rupa Khatun, 20, wife of Tayeb Ali of the village.Bipul Chandra Dey, officer-in-charge of Kotwali police station, said Rupa took poison following a family feud on last 20 August. Sensing the matter, neighbours got her admitted to Faridpur Medical College Hospital.She, however, died at the hospital at night. The body was sent to the hospital morgue for autopsy, the OC added.last_img


Chemical weapons allegedly used 45 times in Syria

first_imgExperts from the world’s watchdog tasked with destroying chemical weapons are probing reports that toxic arms have been used 45 times in Syria since late last year, the body’s chief said Friday.Director general Ahmet Uzumcu said there was “a huge list of allegations” of the use of toxic arms reported to the operations hub of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).In the “second part of 2016, 30 different incidents, and since the beginning of this year, 15 separate incidents, so 45,” he told a reporters, brandishing a list of several pages which he chose to keep confidential.They include the April 4 sarin gas attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun that was reported to have killed 88 people, including 31 children.“All these allegations are recorded by our experts, who follow this every day from our operations centre,” Uzumcu said.The OPCW is currently trying to ensure it is safe enough to deploy its fact-finding team to the town for further analysis, after Uzumcu said last week that “incontrovertible” test results from OPCW-designated labs on samples taken from victims showed sarin gas or a similar substance had been used.The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has “already stated that they would support this mission, actually they have invited us to go via Damascus,” he said.“The problem is that this area is controlled by different armed opposition groups, so we need to strike some deals with them to ensure a temporary ceasefire, which we understand the Syrian government is willing to do,” he added.“If we can put all this together then we will deploy. The team is ready, and we have the volunteers.”However, it is not yet mandated to also visit the Shayrat air base in the central Syrian province of Homs.The base was the target of a US strike launched in the wake of the Khan Sheikhun attack, and Russia has called for the allegations that it was stocking chemical weapons to be investigated.Uzumcu also confirmed that the OPCW, based in The Hague, believed jihadist rebels from the so-called Islamic State group had used “sulphur mustard” near Iraq’s second city of Mosul last week.The Iraqi military said some security personnel were injured in the April 15 attack as part of the operation to recapture Mosul.The OPCW has offered to help Iraqi forces investigate, but “they have not yet requested any assistance,” Uzumcu said.last_img read more


Overseas jobs for Bangladeshis decline

first_imgGrowth in overseas jobs secured by Bangladeshis has decreased by almost 30 per cent this year, according to a Xinhua report published by Borneo Bulletin.It said over half a million Bangladeshis found overseas jobs during eight months of 2018.This shows a decline of about 27 per cent over the same period last year.This overseas employment situation contrasts the prediction made by overseas employment minister Nurul Islam earlier this year that 1.2 million overseas jobs would be secured by the country’s skilled and semi-skilled workforce in 2018.The report said more than two-thirds of Bangladeshi workers found jobs in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Singapore.Saudi Arabia alone recruited 172,379 workers to engage in infrastructure development and the service sector in January-August period, the agency reported quoting the BMET.Malaysia reportedly emerged as the second largest destination for Bangladeshi workers in January-August period after the country received 125,819 workers, he said.last_img read more


Transport workers issue 21day ultimatum

first_imgThough people awfully suffered for the second straight day for the 48-hour transport strike, Bangladesh Road Transport Workers’ Federation on Monday threatened to go on a 96-hour work abstention if the government does not take any effective step to meet their eight-point demand by 21 days, reports UNB.”We give the government 21 days to resolve the problem and if it doesn’t take any effective step by the time, we’ll go on a 96-hour work abstention,” Usman Ali, general secretary of the federation, told UNB over phone.He, however, expressed the hope that the government will resolve the problem through talks within the deadline.People endured awful sufferings on the second consecutive day on Monday due to the 48-hour transport strike enforced by transport workers. The strike which was enforced at 6am on Sunday will end at 6am on Tuesday.In the capital, there was no public transport on the roads like the previous day. However, no untoward incident occurred on second day.In the morning, transport workers took position at several points in the capital obstructing movement of vehicles.CNG-run auto-rickshaws, private vehicles and rickshaws were seen plying roads with a large number of commuters waiting on roads for transport to reach their destinations.The number of government-run Bangladesh Road Transport Commission (BRTC) buses was also very negligible.No inter-district buses left Gabtoli, Mohakhali or Sayedabad terminal throughout the day like Sunday.UNB correspondents from different districts reported that no long-route buses left their respective bus stands following the strike.In Habiganj, a group of transport workers swooped on Nazrul Islam Talukdar, a local journalist of Dainik Protidiner Bani, while picketing at Kalarduba on Habiganj-Baniachang road in Baniachang upazila in the morning.They also threw his motorbike and a newspaper into a roadside water body while he was going to his office by the bike.The demands of the transport workers include amending the Road Transport Act, making all the offences by road accident ‘bailable’, cancellation of the provision of fining Tk 500,000 for involvement in a road accident, keeping a representative from their federation in any probe body formed for road accident, fixing minimum educational qualification for getting driving licence to class-V, and stopping police harassment on roads.Earlier on 12 October, the workers’ association decided to stage demonstrations by going on a two-day work abstention from 28 October to press home their eight-point demand that included amendments to the Road Transport Act, if their demands are not met by 27 October.last_img read more


Mainul shown arrested in Digital Security Act case

first_imgFormer adviser to a caretaker government Mainul Hosein being taken to the jail.Former adviser to a caretaker government Mainul Hosein was shown arrested on Thursday in a case filed under the Digital Security Act for defaming journalist Masuda Bhatti during a TV talk show on October 16, reports UNB.Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Muhammad Asaduzzaman Noor passed the order after sub-inspector Ziaul Haque of Gulshan Police Station, who is also the investigation officer of the case, submitted a petition to show Mainul as arrested.After the hearing, the court also fixed November 29 for submission of the police report.On October 24, Sumona Akhter Lily, Awami League’s youth and sports sub-committee member, filed a case against Mainul under the Digital Security Act with Dhaka cyber tribunal judge Ash-Shams Jaglul Hussein under sections 25 (2) and 29 of the act.After hearing the statement of the complainant, the court also ordered Gulshan Police Station to list the case as FIR.On October 22, a team of Detective Branch (DB) of police arrested him from the capital in a defamation case filed in Rangpur district. He was sent to jail the following day.During the talk-show ‘Ekattorer Journal’ on private TV channel Ekattor TV, on September 16, Masuda Bhatti asked Mainul, “You say you’re there in the Jatiya Oikya Front as a citizen of the country but in social networking sites, many people are saying you’re there as a representative of Jamaat.”Angered by the comment, Mainul said, “I’m thanking you for your audacity and I want to believe you as ‘characterless’. There’s no question about Jamaat link’s with me and what question you have asked is embarrassing for me.”last_img read more