Dhaka, Dec 23 (UNB)- The leading digital service provider of the country, Robi, has come up with a unique digital initiative, “Mission Kombol” to help the cold affected people of the country.
Mission Kombol, is a digital platform that allows the compassionate people of our society to donate blankets to the neediest.
Anyone can visit a specially created microsite: www.missionkombol.com to make their donation. The site is accessible through Robi’s facebook page. Minimum donation set on the site is only 400 taka, which covers for a blanket and the cost for distribution to the ones who are most deserving. Well-known NGO, TMSS, is working as a partner organisation in the project.
The donated amount will go directly to TMSS’s account and they will complete the blanket distribution process.
An individual can donate up to 100 blankets (kombol) at a time. Once the donor sets the number of blanket he/ she wants to donate, the site will lead him to the payment gateway which will offer very convenient mechanism (Debit/ credit card and popular MFS services) to settle the payment.
After the successful blanket distribution, the donor will get a notification with a unique image of winter victim for each of the donated blankets.
Moscow, Dec 22 (AP/UNB) — World Anti-Doping Agency inspectors are leaving Moscow empty-handed after Russian authorities prevented them from accessing key doping data that the country's authorities had agreed to hand over.
WADA reinstated the suspended Russian Anti-Doping Agency in September on the condition Russian authorities hand over lab data, which could help confirm a number of violations uncovered during an investigation that revealed a state-sponsored doping program designed to win medals at the Sochi Olympics and other major events.
But Friday, WADA said its delegation "was unable to complete its mission" because Russia unexpectedly demanded its equipment be "certified under Russian law." WADA says the demand wasn't raised at earlier talks. The deadline to turn over the data is Dec. 31.
WADA says team leader Toni Pascual will now prepare a report on the failed mission. The WADA compliance review committee that recommended RUSADA's reinstatement will meet Jan. 14-15, where it could recommend the ban on RUSADA be re-imposed. WADA kept open the option of returning to the lab before year's end if Russia resolves the issue.
Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov told local media the WADA team would return, but there was no word on the date and no mention of the issue raised by WADA.
WADA leaders portrayed Russia's willingness to turn over the data as a key reason for agreeing to reinstate RUSADA despite its failure to comply with key requirements on the "roadmap" WADA had set out.
"We've tried to come to terms with the Russians on how this was to be done, and this is the first time since discussing it that they've actually said 'yes,'" WADA director general Olivier Niggli in September, in an impassioned defense of the decision. "We hope they'll fulfill that promise."
It was a widely criticized decision, and the reaction to Friday's news was predictable.
"Surprise, surprise — anyone shocked by this?" said Travis Tygart, the CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. "Let's hope WADA leadership has finally learned the lesson and immediately declares them non-compliant. Anything else is simply another shiv in the back of clean athletes."
Moscow, Dec 20 (AP/UNB) — Three astronauts returned to Earth Thursday after more than six months aboard the International Space Station.
A Russian Soyuz capsule with NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, Russian Sergey Prokopyev and German astronaut Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency landed on the snow-covered steppes in Kazakhstan, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) southeast of the city of Dzhezkazgan. They touched down a minute ahead of schedule at 11:02 a.m. local time (0502 GMT; 12:02 a.m. EST).
The crew radioed that they were feeling fine. Russian rescue teams in helicopters and all-terrain vehicles rushed to the landing site to extract the astronauts from the capsule charred by a fiery ride through atmosphere.
The trio has spent 197 days in space. It was the first mission for Aunon-Chancellor and Prokopyev, while Gerst flew his second to a total of 362 days in orbit, setting the ESA's flight duration record.
The rescue crews helped the crew in their balky space suits leave the capsule and conducted an initial medical examination. The astronauts will be taken to Dzhezkazgan for a brief welcome ceremony before being flown to their respective countries for more thorough check-ups.
NASA astronaut Anne McClain, Russian Oleg Kononenko and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, who have arrived at the station earlier this month, are set to remain in orbit until June.
Bangkok, Dec 20 (AP/UNB) — Facebook has announced its third and biggest purge of military-linked accounts in Myanmar, where critics have charged that the social network did too little to block inflammatory material that fueled communal hatred and violence, particularly against the country's Muslim Rohingya minority.
The social media giant said in a statement Wednesday that it had removed 425 Facebook pages, 17 groups and 135 accounts in Myanmar for engaging in "coordinated inauthentic behavior," meaning they misrepresented who was running the provocative accounts. It also removed 15 Instagram accounts.
Some 700,000 Rohingya fled their homes in western Myanmar since last year in response to a brutal counterinsurgency campaign by the military, which has been accused of massive human rights violations. Rights activists and U.N. investigators have charged that the military in Buddhist-dominated Myanmar was carrying out a policy of ethnic cleansing, or even genocide.
"As part of our ongoing investigations into this type of behavior in Myanmar, we discovered that these seemingly independent news, entertainment, beauty and lifestyle Pages were linked to the Myanmar military, and to the Pages we removed for coordinated inauthentic behavior in Myanmar in August," said Facebook's statement. "This kind of behavior is not allowed on Facebook under our misrepresentation policy because we don't want people or organizations creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are, or what they're doing."
In its initial action in August to fight the problem, Facebook said it had banned Myanmar's powerful military chief and 19 other individuals and organizations in order to "prevent the spread of hate and misinformation."
Last month, Facebook admitted that it didn't do enough to prevent its services from being used to incite violence and spread hate in Myanmar.
It was reacting to a report it commissioned from the nonprofit group Business for Social Responsibility, which said that "A minority of users is seeking to use Facebook as a platform to undermine democracy and incite offline violence, including serious crimes under international law."
Washington, Dec 20 (AP/UNB) — The District of Columbia has fired the latest legal salvo against Facebook with a lawsuit seeking to punish the social networking company for allowing data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica to improperly access data from as many as 87 million users .
The complaint filed Wednesday by Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine alleges that Facebook misled users about the security of their data and failed for years to properly monitor third-party apps.
"We're seeking to hold Facebook accountable for jeopardizing and exposing the personal information of tens of millions of its users," Racine said. "We hope this lawsuit will ensure Facebook takes better care with its data."
Facebook said it's reviewing the complaint and will continue to hold discussions with Racine and attorneys general scattered across the country who have raised red flags about the company's mishandling of personal information.
The lawsuit is the latest blow to Facebook in a year fraught with privacy scandals and other problems for the world's biggest social network.
Facebook already has been buried in an avalanche of other lawsuits filed in federal and state courts, as well as regulatory investigations in both U.S. and Europe into whether the company has violated laws by repeatedly allowing unauthorized access to the personal information of the nearly 2.3 billion people on its private network.
Most of the headaches began in March after revelations that Cambridge Analytica, which had been working with the 2016 campaign of President Donald Trump, had been able to vacuum up potentially valuable information about U.S. voters off of Facebook profiles.
That bombshell triggered congressional hearings and changes in what sorts of data Facebook lets outside developers access.
The Washington lawsuit alleges that about half of the District of Columbia's roughly 700,000 residents had their data scooped up by Cambridge Analytica in violation of local laws. That is a relatively small number, but the case could attract outsized attention, given it will unfold in the nation's capital, where U.S. lawmakers are mulling imposing new regulations restricting how much personal information Facebook and other internet companies can collect on their mostly free services.
"Every time we see another lawsuit, or investigation, it helps keep attention on what has been happening and should help create a framework for holding Facebook accountable," said Mike Chapple, an associate teaching professor of information technology, analytics and operations at the University of Notre Dame. "People are getting fed up with having their information mishandled."
It remains unclear, however, whether the allegations that are being made against Facebook in the District of Columbia and in other complaints were against the law at the time, said Dora Kingsley Vertenten, professor of public policy at the University of Southern California.
"It looks like they are throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks," she said.
Facebook has repeatedly assured lawmakers, regulators and the media that it is battening down its hatches in an effort to do a better job preventing unauthorized access to the pictures, thoughts and other personal information that its nearly 2.3 billion users typically intend to share only with friends and family.
But revelations of more privacy lapses continue to crop up, sometimes through breakdowns that Facebook has periodically disclosed, such as a software flaw that improperly exposed the photos of about 7 million users, or other times though media investigations such as a New York Times report documenting the company's agreements to share its audience's information with its partners, including Microsoft and Netflix.
With each breakdown, Facebook risks losing credibility with both its audience and the advertisers whose spending generates most of the company's revenue. That threat has spooked investors, causing Facebook's stock price to plunge by more than 24 percent so far this year, wiping out more than $100 billion in shareholder wealth.
Some of the lawsuits allege Facebook misled investors as its privacy problems unfolded. Other lawsuits, as well as regulatory inquiries by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Irish Data Protection Commission, are focused on Facebook's sharing of personal information with other companies. Depending on how they turn out, the lawsuits and government probes could cost Facebook billions of dollars more in penalties.