Las Vegas Metro Police and medical workers stage in the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas. ReutersA gunman killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 200 at a country music festival on the Las lass Vegas Strip on Sunday, raining down rapid fire from the 32nd floor of a hotel for several minutes before he was shot dead by police.The death toll, which police emphasized was preliminary and tentative, would make the attack the deadliest mass shooting in US history, eclipsing last year’s massacre of 49 people at an Orlando night club.Thousands of panicked people fled the scene, in some cases trampling one another as law enforcement officers scrambled to locate and kill the gunman. Shocked concertgoers, some with blood on their clothes, wandered the streets after the attack.The suspect was a Las Vegas man who acted alone and was not believed to be connected to any militant group, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters.“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Lombardo said. “Right now, we believe he was the sole aggressor and the scene is static.”Authorities were seeking a woman they named as Marilou Danley, the suspected gunman’s roommate. Lombardo described her as Asian, 4 foot 11 inches (1.5 m) tall, 111 pounds (50 kg). He gave no details of whether she was suspected of involvement in the attack but described her as an “associate”.Police had located two cars that belonged to the suspect and also believed they had located the woman.Lombardo said rumors of other shootings or explosives such as car bombs in the area were false. Video taken of the attack showed panicked crowds fleeing as sustained rapid gunfire ripped through the area.Las Vegas’s casinos, nightclubs and shopping draw some 3.5 million visitors from around the world each year and the area was packed with visitors when the shooting broke out shortly after 10 pm (0400 GMT).Mike McGarry, a 53-year-old financial adviser from Philadelphia, said he was at the concert when he heard hundreds of shots ring out.“It was crazy – I laid on top of the kids. They’re 20. I’m 53. I lived a good life,” McGarry said. The back of his shirt bore footmarks, after people ran over him in the panicked crowd.
MillerNewly appointed US ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller is scheduled to arrive Dhaka on 18 November to begin his Bangladesh assignment, says an official on Saturday.Upon arrival, he will present his credentials to president M Abdul Hamid.The US senate, earlier, confirmed the appointment of Earl R Miller as the next US ambassador to Bangladesh as ambassador Marcia Bernicat completed her tenure.Ambassador-designate Miller, a career member of the senior foreign service, served as the US ambassador to Botswana- a position he has held since 2014.Prior to his role as chief of mission (COM) in Botswana, he served as consul general in Johannesburg, South Africa (2011 – 2014), and regional security officer (RSO) at embassies in New Delhi, India (2008-2011), Baghdad, Iraq (2007-2008), and Jakarta, Indonesia, (2004 – 2007).Ambassador Miller has served as senior regional security officer, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2000-2003), assistant special agent in charge, diplomatic security service (DSS), Boston field office, Boston, Massachusetts (1998-2000) and senior regional security officer, Gaborone, Botswana (1995-1998).He served in DSS headquarters in Washington (1994 – 95) and field offices in Miami (1990 – 93) and San Francisco (1987 – 88).He was assistant RSO in San Salvador, El Salvador (1988 – 90). He served as an officer in the US marine corps (1981-1984) and US marine corps reserve (1985-1992).Miller earned a BA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1981 and graduated from the US Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Quantico, Virginia in 1994, according to the website of US Department of State.
.As many as 578 lawsuits were filed for incidents of sabotage including 90 attacks on the police only in Dhaka city in the month of September alone, police and court records say.Law enforcement personnel of 50 police stations in the metropolis are the plaintiffs in almost all the cases that have implicated several thousand leaders and activists of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).The official records show, as high as 1,186 crude bombs, 370 petrol bombs and 20 kilograms of explosives were recovered in September — only two months before the announcement of the election schedule.The number of cases and explosives claimed to have been recovered have exceeded all previous records of a single month, and also less than half the number of cases filed during the years of political turbulence — 2013 and 2014.Even a police official, seeking anonymity, has said there is no previous instance of filing 196 cases under the Explosives Act, in a month.However, when the policemen were allegedly struggling with such a huge attacks and incidents of sabotage, Dhaka city dwellers did not experience any violence in what, official reports suggest to be, a “deadly September”.Rather, life in the mega-city was normal, according to interviews with a number of residents in the reported spots.When approached, a number of high officials of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) declined to formally comment on the matter.National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque admitted the number of cases as ‘certainly high’ and said any scary situation should not be created before the elections and the law enforcement should not harass anyone.“The number of sabotage cases for a month is of course quite high. It is the authorities who have to investigate it,” he told Prothom Alo.After filing cases, the DMP has begun special raids to arrest the accused, mainly the opposition leaders and activists, when the country is going to hold the ballot for the 11th parliament, on 30 December.A new table has been inserted into the DMP’s everyday report on law and order for the arrested leaders and activists of the 20-party alliance. The opposition men are being shown arrested every day.“Such atmosphere cannot be created before the elections when people can feel fear. At the same time, the law enforcement must make sure that no innocent person is harassed,” the NHRC chief added.In such a context, leaders and activists of the BNP mostly remain absent from the scene when they are supposed to campaign for their candidates in the upcoming elections.The police men are yet to make a pause as 76 more cases were filed in October and 43 in November.More than 1,500 (1,509 to be specific as of 14 December) BNP and Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami leaders and activists, arrested between September and December, were produced before the chief metropolitan magistrate court of Dhaka.Six hundred of them were shown arrested in cases filed in September, according to DMP and Dhaka CMM court records.Dhaka Bar Association president Golam Mostafa Khan, also a lawyer of many BNP men, alleged that most of those cases are fictitious.“The cases were filed against the thana (police station) and ward level leaders because they are the main force in the elections,” he pointed out.A legal expert, however, argued, “This is only normal that the police force will be concerned since 122 people were killed in pre-polls violence between 26 November 2013 and 4 January 2014 following the announcement of polls schedule.”“The only difference is those incidents had actually taken place then. The people witnessed them, watched reports on TV and read them in newspapers but no one witnessed the latest incidents, as police claimed to have taken place in September. No newspapers published reports on such attacks and no TV channel aired reports such reports,” the legal expert pointed out.No confirmed information of crude bomb blasts, rallies or sabotage was available during the visits in the past one month to the said places of occurrence mentioned in 34 such cases.Also, an assistant commissioner of DMP, wishing not to be named, said the DMP uses the recently developed Citizen Info Management System (CIMS) and local leaders of the ruling party to get details of the BNP-Jamaat leaders before filing cases.About the ‘fictitious’ cases, the assistant commissioner said they have been replacing the names, dates and places of incidents on older cases filed for politically-motivated violence.“We’re doing it reluctantly as per directives from of the superiors,” the police official added.Attacks on policeThe law enforcement, the police headquarters records claimed, came under attack for 90 times in September. The number of such attacks was 15 in January, 14 in February, 8 in March, 10 in April and 8 in May.However, the number of attacks on police increased to 25 in August, when school students were demonstrating demanding safe roads.The reasons of sudden increase of attacks on police in September still remained unexplained.The police records suggest most of those attacks, including hurling crude bombs aiming the policemen to kill them, were carried out by the BNP men every day as on 30 September. As many as 40 cases were filed with 30 police stations on that day against them.The case statements say the BNP-Jamaat men attacked the police blocking roads of several areas with the intention to kill them with sticks.The BNP leaders have already termed the cases as fictitious saying that those were being filed to stop them from joining the election, compelling them to pull out of race or to discourage party men and voters to go to the polling stations.Most of the sabotage cases, in which the BNP men were implicated, were filed with Tejgaon industrial area police station.Sub-inspector Mostafizur Rahman of the police station registered a case naming 145 BNP leaders on 30 September on charge of blasting crude bombs in front of Sikder CNG station around 3:15pm.What witnesses sayAn employee at the pump said no crude bomb was blasted on that day.Four cases were filed against the BNP men with Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police station for exploding crude bombs in front of Nazneen School and College in Purba Razabazar area on 10 and 20 September. The law enforcement authorities said they recovered 27 crude bombs also from the spot on 10 September.A Prothom Alo correspondent talked to a security guard, who stays in the area all the time, about the matter.Stunned, the security guard said, “Who said this to you? Wouldn’t I know if any such thing had happened here?”Another case was filed against 61 BNP men for explosion of crude bombs inside a hostel of Dhaka Dental College in Sobhanbagh.A security guard there said on Friday, “What are you saying? Crude bomb blast would have rocked the building! There can be no question of my not knowing the incident.”The police filed another case against 70 BNP men for blasting crude bombs at the eastern corner of T&T ground in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.On Friday, a Prothom Alo correspondent talked to a shoe-repairman, who sits there regularly. He could not recall any incident of crude bomb blast or no one informed him of such incident, he said.The statement of another case, filed against the opposition BNP leaders and activists, said several crude bombs were blasted at the Eidgah Ground near the BNP Bazar in West Agargaon on 4 September. The police recovered shards of the blasted crude bombs, it added.Local boys, who play at the ground, said they had not heard about any such incident.A rickshaw mechanic, who sits at a corner of the ground, was astonished when he was told about the allegation. “Such things don’t take place here at all.”Afterwards, no such attacks were carried out on policemen in the areas under jurisdiction of the police stations that registered those sabotage cases, police now say.Dubious recovery of crude bombsIn 2013, the police recovered 570 crude bombs and 4 petrol bombs in Dhaka and the number came down to 265 and six the next year. The number of crude bombs and petrol bombs recovered was 630 and 172 in 2015, and 1,746 and 579 in 2016, DMP reports show.In 2017, the law enforcement recovered 1,879 crude bombs and 2,099 petrol bombs, according to their records. But, the reports confirmed, the number of crude bombs recovered in September this year alone was over 1000.The media were not briefed about these recoveries although the police headquarters update newsmen after any such incidents and actions. A number of detectives expressed unwillingness to talk officially about these issues.Also, the bomb disposal unit members of the DMP’s counter terrorism and transnational crime unit were not aware of the recovery of bombs in Dhaka, according to officials.In September, the CTTC’s bomb disposal unit members, who are called to deactivate recovered bombs, were called only once.A former inspector of general of police (IGP) Nurul Huda said to Prothom Alo, “Magistrates take charge of the cases even if those are filed by the police. He can take action if he finds discrepancies in any stage of investigation.”“The government tries to use the policemen in various ways. Earlier, the police didn’t easily succumb to any illegal order but now that culture is no longer there … The police has become a part of the political party,” said Abdul Qayum, another former IGP and an adviser to the BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia.He is afraid if such actions disrupt the chain of command in the police force.Supreme Court lawyer Shahdeen Malik said, “It’s clear from the incidents that the law enforcement members have become the ruling party activists instead of becoming officers of the republic.”“It would become tough for any government to run the state a day when the law enforcement members are used as a tool to harass the citizens instead of fighting criminals. It seems our country is turning into a state devoid of welfare concept” he feared.
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School attend a memorial following a school shooting incident in Parkland, Florida, US, 15 February 2018. Photo: ReutersEvery school day, Zion Kelly passes by the locker once used by his slain twin brother, Zaire, who was shot in the head during an attempted robbery in their Washington, DC neighbourhood last September.Zaire is one of more than 170,000 youths between the ages of 5 and 24 that have been killed by gun violence in the United States since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began collecting data in 1981.A statistical analysis released on Friday by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics shows the rate of gun deaths among adolescents aged 10 to 19 rose between 2014 and 2016 after a seven-year decline.In the wider 5 to 24 age group, gun deaths in 2016 reached their highest level since 2006.Since his twin’s killing, Kelly, 17, has made it his mission to draw attention to the scourge of urban gun violence that disproportionately affects racial minorities but often does not get the same media attention as mass shootings.”After the rally, a lot of people understood that students just like me face gun violence a lot more than students in Parkland,” Kelly, who is black, said, referring to a speech he gave at the March For Our Lives rally on March 24.The event in the nation’s capital was organized by survivors of the February shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed.In 2012, for example, 90 people in the United States were killed in mass shootings. That same year, 6,000 black men were killed by firearms, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a legal advocacy group for gun control.The number of 10- to 19-year-olds killed by guns has fluctuated in recent years, the CDC said in its analysis, which did not discuss reasons for rises and falls.The figure declined from 2,115 killed in 2006 to 1,354 in 2014, but rose again by about 25 percent to 1,706 in 2016, the last year for which data is available. The data excludes unintentional shooting accidents and suicides.Zion Kelly’s brother is one of two students shot fatally in separate incidents in the past year at Thurgood Marshall Academy, a school attended predominantly by black students that is a short drive across the Anacostia River from the U.S. Capitol.Their empty lockers sit just down the hall from one another, the facades now adorned with messages from grieving students.The Kelly family has proposed the Zaire Kelly School Zone Amendments Act, a law that increase protection for students traveling to and from school. Along with more gun-free zones, it would expand the definition of a student to include those in secondary school through vocational school and university.Zion Kelly has also become a local public advocate for changes to gun laws, sharing his brother’s story at speaking engagements around the city.While Kelly takes comfort in his newfound activist role, he is still haunted by the events leading to the murder of his brother, with whom he ran track and called “my best friend.””It’s like a roller coaster, because … through grief you never know when you could be triggered by something,” he said. “Especially in school, I can’t focus.”The events of that night are etched in his memory: A man with a gun tried to mug him as he walked home from school, but he ran. Once safe, he texted his brother, warning him to be careful. Zaire texted back: he would be fine; he had a knife.After that, Zion Kelly never heard from his brother again. Just steps from their home, Zaire was killed by the same man who had confronted the twin earlier. The assailant also died after being stabbed by Zaire.Now, just weeks from graduation, Kelly is preparing to pass into adulthood without him. He wants to attend college in Florida in the fall but hopes to keep pressing his message of gun reform.”I think that my brother would be very proud of me,” Kelly said. “I just wanted to try to do something for him, so I can make change.”
Jatiya Sangsad. File PhotoSixty-three jute mills in Bangladesh are currently inoperative, textiles and jute minister Golam Dastagir Gazi told parliament on Tuesday, reports UNB.Of them, 56 are private. Currently, there are 281 private jute mills and 33 state-owned mills in the country, according to him.Seven state-owned jute mills also remain closed, he said, replying to a question from treasury bench MP Tanveer Imam (Sirajganj-4).Gazi said the number of mills under Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) was 27 in July 2018. The number increased to 33 after the government took back ownership of six mills.These six mills and another one remain inoperative due to legal complications, he added.Replying to another question from Awami League MP Abdul Aziz (Sirajganj-3), the minister said jute was cultivated on 618,632 hectares in the last fiscal year.Gazi said jute was exported to Pakistan, India, China, Nepal, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Vietnam, Brazil, El Salvador, Russia, UK, Tunisia and Germany.Railways minister Nurul Islam Sujan told parliament that the Bangladesh Railways carried some 90 million passengers in the last fiscal year.”The Bangladesh Railways carried 77.8 million passengers in the 2016-17 fiscal year and 90.05 million passengers in 2017-18 fiscal,” he said replying to a question from AL MP Nizam Uddin Hazari (Feni-2).
The election to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) for 2019-21 is underway on Saturday, reports UNB.The voting started at the BGMEA Bhaban in Karwan Bazar, Dhaka at 8:00am and will continue until 4:00pm.According to BGMEA sources, aspirants split into two groups–Sammilita Forum and Shadhinata Parishad–are contesting for 26 posts of director in the election.The voting is being held per the rules 1994 of the commerce ministry.The board of directors is comprised of 35 posts. Of which, nine from Chattogram zone have already been elected unopposed.Shadhinata Parishad will contest for 18 posts, while the Sammilita Forum will vie for 26 posts for Dhaka zone.Mohammadi Group managing director Rubana Huq, also wife of former Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Annisul Huq, is leading Sammilita Forum while Design and Source Limited managing director Jahangir Alam leading Shadhinata Parishad.However, a total of 59 apparel makers have submitted nominations to contest for 35 director posts in the election.In this election, a first vice-president, a senior vice-president and five vice-presidents will be elected for the next two years.A total of 1955 members of export oriented woven, knit and sweater garment manufacturers and exporters of the country will practice their voting right in the election.The last election to BGMEA was held on 22 September 2015.
Mirza Fakhrul Islam AlamgirBNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday alleged that the government’s assertion over achieving 8.13 per cent GDP growth in 2018-19 fiscal year is nothing but a trick of mathematics, reports UNB.”The government used to talk about widespread development of the country. Are they (govt) really developing the country? Economists are saying the government’s statistics on the GDP growth rate are not correct,” he said.Speaking at an iftar party, the BNP leader further said, “The government is showing the GDP growth with some inflated mathematical figures.”Bangladesh Labour Party, one of the components of the BNP-led 20-Party Alliance, arranged the iftar event at a city hotel.Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal at a recent programme said Bangladesh’s GDP growth is set to hit 8.13 per cent in the current fiscal year.Fakhrul said the current government usurped power using the guns and muscle power. “They imposed an undemocratic and fascist rule on the country’s people obliterating democracy and the election system.”He said their party chairperson Khaleda Zia has unfairly been kept in jail by ‘influencing the judiciary’ as she did not make any compromise with unfairness and the current ‘despotic’ government.The BNP leader alleged that homebound people are going through immense sufferings due to chaos and mismanagement on roads and highways before the upcoming eid. “There’s an anarchic situation on roads and railways ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr.”Fakhrul also alleged that the ruling party men are indulging in plundering in every sector as the government has no accountability to people.
A forensic official works at the Masjid al Noor mosque after a shooting incident in Christchurch on 15 March, 2019. Photo: AFPFollowing the gruesome terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday, Bangladesh high commission in Canberra has intensely engaged with the New Zealand authorities for safety of members of Bangladesh diaspora and early safe exit of the Bangladesh national cricket team from New Zealand, reports UNB. There are reports of death of three Bangladeshis among 49 and a few are critically injured, said the foreign ministry in a statement. “We still await details of them from the New Zealand security officials and hospital authorities officially,” reads the statement. The two attacks were made on Masjid Al Noor and Deans Avenue Mosque during Friday prayers. The incident had happened minutes before the Bangladesh cricket team arrived at the mosque. The team members are safe at hotel, though traumatised. New Zealand police has assigned dedicated security personnel for the team. New Zealand Cricket, in consultation with Bangladesh Cricket Board, is making arrangement for their safe exit early. Meanwhile, the cricketers will return home from New Zealand on Saturday night, said team manager Khaled Masud Pilot. The high commission directly and through the honorary consul of Bangladesh in Auckland disseminated message to the Bangladeshis and diaspora living in New Zealand in general and Christchurch in particular to remain calm, be indoor, avoid places of congregation and to obey the instructions of the law enforcers. The honorary consul of Bangladesh Shafiqur Rahman will arrive at Christchurch on Saturday morning to extend support to the Bangladeshi victims. He may be contacted at his mobile phone number at +64 21024 65819. Deputy high commissioner Tareq Ahmed along with a Consular officer of the high commission will also proceed to Christchurch at the earliest possible time on Saturday to provide all kinds of support. Ahmed may be contacted at his mobile phone number at +61 450 657 046. Additionally, all the diplomats at Bangladesh High Commission, Canberra are available round the clock for information and assistance. Two additional numbers for emergency contact are +61 424 472544, +61 450173035.
An attentive dog in northeastern Thailand is being hailed as a hero after finding and saving an infant allegedly buried in a field by his teenage mother, police said Saturday.The newborn was lying under a layer of dirt near a farm in the Chumpuang district of Nakhon Ratchasima province but was found the same day — 15 May — by a curious canine named Ping Pong.The dog dug around the area and began barking, alerting his owner a cattle herder, who went to the site.”I don’t think it was long after his mother buried him before the dog found him,” case officer Panuvat Udkam told AFP.He added that the boy was healthy, was recovering in hospital, and was so young he had not been named yet.The teenage mother was charged with attempted murder and abandonment of children.Officer Panuvat said the suspect was 15 years old and had tried to dispose of the child because she was afraid her parents would get angry.”So after she delivered the baby by herself she buried it,” he said.Local media coverage hailed the achievement and social media users praised Ping Pong’s good deed.A dog is the “best friend” of human beings, a Facebook user commented on the page of media outlet Khaosod English.