Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina returned home on Wednesday morning after attending the International Conference on Women in Islam and performing Umrah in Saudi Arabia. A commercial flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, carrying the prime minister and her entourage members landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) at 7:41 am. PM Hasina to leave Saudi Arabia for home tonight Earlier, the flight departed King AbdulAziz International Airport here at 10:54 pm on Tuesday local time. On November 5, the premier went to Madina on a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia. On that day, she performed Ziarat of the Rawja Mubarak of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) at Masjid Al-Nabawi in Medina and offered Fateha there after Asar prayers. China becomes important partner of Bangladesh in terms of economic development, beyond: Ambassador Yao Then she left for Makkah and performed holy Umrah at the Al Masjid Al-Haram ((Kaaba Sharif)) after Esha prayers ob the same day. On November 6, the prime minister attended the conference and delivered her speech. On the sidelines of the conference, she also held meetings its top officials of OIC and member countries. Indian states vote in key test for opposition and PM Modi ahead of 2024 national election Apart from joining the conference, she attended the opening of the Women in Islam Exhibition and banquet dinner in honour of her. The Kingdom in coordination with the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) hosted the conference on November 6-8.
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) has emphasised signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia. The point was raised in a meeting of the FBCCI delegation held with the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Saudi Arabia on Monday. At this time, FBCCI raised the need to sign an FTA for the sake of expanding trade between the two countries. FBCCI President Mahbubul Alam said business and trade patterns are changing all over the world. Along with that, new challenges are coming up. Bangladeshi businesses would take advantage of South Korea's preferential trade policy, ambassador hopes “After graduation from LDC by 2026, Bangladesh will also face several challenges. In such a situation, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia should take the initiative to sign an FTA now to take advantage of the integrated supply chain and meet the challenges of the future,” he added. Referring to Saudi Arabia as one of Bangladesh's labour force export destinations, the FBCCI president said Saudi Arabia has currently taken strong steps in high-tech infrastructure development and industrial diversification. At this point, they will need a hugely skilled workforce. Meanwhile, Bangladesh is now experiencing the benefits of the "demographic dividend". That is, the country has a large number of active, experienced, and skilled young manpower in science and technology. BGMEA President clarifies media report on ‘apparel ban’ He urged the Saudi government to expand employment opportunities for skilled young workers in Bangladesh in various sectors. It was informed in the meeting that Saudi Arabia has investment potential in several sectors, including environment-friendly energy, infrastructure, car parts, chemicals, food processing, information and communication technology, artificial intelligence, and robotics in Bangladesh. At this time, the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry assured Bangladesh of its cooperation in the development of port management. Sri Lanka's central bank governor reflects on keeping economy afloat during year of turmoil Besides, they will help in organising the Branding Bangladesh Expo to introduce Bangladeshi products in Saudi Arabia, they said.FBCCI Vice President Md Khairul Huda Chapal, Md. Rashedul Hossain Chowdhury Roni, Md. Munir Hossain, directors Habib Ullah Don, Hasina Newaz, Khandaker Ruhul Amin, Munal Mahbub, Md. Ali Hossain Shishir, Md. Enayet Ullah, BM Soheb, Sahidul Haque Molla, Fakhrus Salehin Nahian, Salma Hossain, Md. Amir Hossain Noorani, Md. Faizur Rahman Bhuiyan, and Syed Mohammad Bakhtiar, among others, were present.
Iran and Saudi Arabia are among six nations invited Thursday (August 24, 2023) to join the BRICS bloc of developing economies. United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Egypt and Ethiopia are also set to join the bloc from 2024. The announcement was made at the BRICS summit in Johannesburg by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, whose country is the current BRICS chair. Also read: China to support Bangladesh in joining BRICS: XI tells Hasina during talks BRICS is currently made up of the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Those five members agreed at this week's summit to expand the bloc. It's the second time that BRICS has decided to expand. The bloc was formed in 2009 by Brazil, Russia, India and China. South Africa was added in 2010. The BRICS bloc represents around 40% of the world's population and contributes more than a quarter of global GDP. Three of the group's other leaders are attending the summit and were present alongside Ramaphosa for the announcement, including Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Also read: BRICS: China, Russia and other emerging economies turn to main summit agenda in South Africa Russian President Vladimir Putin did not travel to the summit after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for him in March for the abduction of children from Ukraine. He has participated in the summit virtually, while Russia was represented at the announcement in Johannesburg by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said here on Thursday the relations between his country and Saudi Arabia are moving in the right direction and both sides will advance cooperation in various fields. Also read:Iranian Ambassador discusses potential of enhancing bilateral trade with Bangladesh Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a joint press conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud after their meeting in the Saudi capital Riyadh. The Iranian top diplomat, who is on his first official visit to Saudi Arabia since the two countries agreed to restore diplomatic relations in a China-brokered deal in March, said his meeting with the Saudi minister was "fruitful." Also read:Neymar completes Saudi move to Al Hilal after 6 seasons with Paris Saint-Germain Iran is committed to implementing the agreements reached between the two countries in the security and economic fields, and will set up a technical and executive committee to promote their implementation, he said. Amir-Abdollahian confirmed that the Iranian president will visit Saudi Arabia soon. Read also:Bangladesh to benefit from new SAUDIA fleet expansion He also voiced his support for Saudi Arabia to host the World Expo 2030. While stressing the importance of cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the Saudi minister said the restoration of diplomatic relations with Iran is the key to maintaining regional security. He said Saudi Arabia will maintain communication and coordination with Iran and promote new progress in bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect. The Saudi official also welcomed the Iranian president's planned visit to Saudi Arabia.
Amidst the success of Bangladeshi films in theatres across the country on the festive occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, makers of Afran Nisho’s debut feature film ‘Surongo’ have said that the film is all set to make its global release across different continents. However, a particular country being on that list sparked interest among film enthusiasts, as this is reportedly the first time a Bangladeshi film will hit theatres in Saudi Arabia. On Monday (July 03, 2023), the film’s lead actors Afran Nisho and Tama Mirza, director Raihan Rafi, Chorki CEO Redoan Rony and Alpha-i Managing Director Shahriar Shakil addressed several issues regarding the film, including the global release details, to journalists during a press briefing at Star Cineplex in SKS Tower, Mohakhali, Dhaka. Why is the Barbie movie banned in Vietnam? Addressing the media, Shahriar Shakil said, “As part of our global release, ‘Surongo’ will be released in seven countries in the Middle East in phases. This is most probably the first Bangladeshi movie to be released in Saudi Arabia, a country which has a great fanbase of Nisho among the expat Bangladeshi community.” “We have also finalised Surongo's release in the United States, Canada, and Australia as well. It will be released on July 7 in six cities, including Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, and Darwin in Australia, and then on July 21 in New York, USA, and Canada. Then will be released in other states across the US from July 28,” Shakil added. At the press briefing, the makers of ‘Surongo’ informed that the film is slated to be released by India's Shree Venkatesh Films (SVF) under import-export policy. Dhallywood eyes a festive Eid as movies become the talk of the town again SVF is one of the film conglomerates in India, and Surongo has already been sent to the Indian censor board for approval. If the film gets approved, it will be released across India on a large scale, makers of the film said. In the Middle East, ‘Surongo’ is scheduled to be released with Arabic subtitles, they added. Released on the day of Eid-ul-Azha, ‘Surongo’ has been successfully running at multiplexes and single-screen movie theatres across the country. 10 Most Hyped Bangladeshi Movies Releasing on Eid-ul-Azha 2023
The beginning of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah, one of the holiest months in the Islamic calendar, has been announced by the Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia. Eid-ul-Azha 2023 will be celebrated on June 28 in the kingdom with the crescent’s sighting, according to an Al Arabiya report. The Hajj pilgrimage, one of Islam’s “Five Pillars”, is performed in Makkah during Dhul Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the Islamic lunar calendar. During this time, Muslims from all over the world congregate there. Read: Astronomers reveal expected date of Eid-ul-Azha 2023 The ninth day of Dhul Hijjah is known as the Day of Arafat. Millions of pilgrims from around the world congregate on this day in an act of faith and devotion on the plain of Arafat, close to Makkah. Muslims all over the world will commemorate Eid-ul-Azha, popularly known as the “Festival of Sacrifice,” after the Day of Arafat. This significant Islamic holiday honours Prophet Ibrahim’s readiness to offer his son as a sacrifice to Allah. But before he could offer his son, Allah gave him a lamb, which he was to sacrifice in place of his son. Muslims recall this miraculous intervention each year. Read: 90 lakh Eid holidaymakers to leave Dhaka by road: SCRF Muslims sacrifice an animal, usually a lamb or a cow, in accordance with ritual on Eid-ul-Azha to commemorate this occasion. Following that, the meat is divided into three portions: one for the family, one for relatives and friends, and one for the underprivileged. This act of giving emphasises the importance of the community, empathy, and charity that are fundamental to both the holiday and the Islamic faith.
The football community was shaken on June 7 by the announcement that Lionel Messi, widely regarded as one of the all-time greats in the sport, will be joining Major League Soccer (MLS) and playing for Inter Miami CF following his departure from Paris Saint-Germain. The Argentine football star is set to become the newest addition to the star-studded roster of Major League Soccer. Despite rumored offers from Saudi Arabia and a potential return to Barcelona, Messi has decided to make his way to Miami, Florida in the US, for the concluding phase of his illustrious career. Messi’s Contract and Salary Detail at Inter Miami Messi was earning an estimated $45 million per year (net) during his time in Paris. However, it’s important to note that MLS has a strict salary cap and roster regulations in place to prevent excessive contracts with individual players. As a result, the specific details of the deal Messi could potentially secure in MLS would be subject to these regulations. The terms of his contract would need to follow the salary cap and roster rules set by the league. Read Mission completed: Man City beats Inter Milan to end wait for first Champions League title According to reports, Messi has reached an agreement on a two-and-a-half-year contract with Inter Miami, with the inclusion of a 12-month option for 2026. This complex agreement, reportedly involving contributions from Apple and Adidas, has been planned to facilitate the move, benefitting all parties involved in the long term. The contract entails Messi receiving a base salary along with additional bonuses. Messi’s contract is reportedly valued at around $125 million to $150 million. MLS sponsors Apple and Adidas are said to be working on agreements that will be tied to the revenue Messi generates as a prominent figure in the league. Additionally, there is a possibility of Messi being granted an ownership stake, similar to the arrangement given to David Beckham when he joined MLS. Read more: No homecoming for Messi as Barcelona again fails to do enough to lure him back When is Messi’s First Match with Inter Miami? The specific date of Lionel Messi’s debut in MLS with Inter Miami CF has not been officially announced at the moment. Various reports suggest different dates, but it is widely believed that Messi’s proposed debut could take place on July 21. However, alternative timeframes such as “later in July, at the earliest” or even “August” have also been mentioned. The MLS regular season will end on October 21 and playoffs will start from October 25. And the final game is set to take place on December 9. So, Messi might get a few matches in the regular season. However, July 21 is a significant date as Inter Miami will host Mexican club Cruz Azul for the Leagues Cup. Another date to keep an eye on is July 19, as it marks the grand unveiling event: the 2023 MLS All-Star Game at DC United’s Audi Field. On this occasion, the MLS All-Star XI will face English Premier League team Arsenal in the highly anticipated annual showcase match. If Messi is not participating in this game, it is highly likely that he will be introduced to a thrilled crowd during a prime-time presentation. Read more: Lionel Messi picks MLS's Inter Miami in a move that stuns soccer after exit from Paris Saint-Germain What Kind of Impact Can Messi Make? To begin with, Inter Miami is expanding DRV PNK Stadium by adding approximately 2,500 to 3,000 seats. This development indicates that the capacity will likely increase to 22,000 spectators. Moreover, Miami Freedom Park is set to debut in March 2025. Just envision the spectacle of opening night with Messi in the starting lineup.
The major oil-producing countries led by Saudi Arabia and Russia are wrestling with whether to make another cut in supply to the global economy as the OPEC+ alliance struggles to prop up sagging oil prices that have been a boon to U.S. drivers and helped ease inflation worldwide. The 23-member group is meeting Sunday at OPEC headquarters in Vienna after sending mixed signals about possible moves. Saudi Arabia, dominant among the oil cartel's members, has warned speculators that they might get burned by betting on lower prices. Russia, the leader of the non-OPEC allies, has indicated no change to output is expected. The decision comes amid uncertainty about when the slow-growing global economy will regain its thirst for fuel for travel and industry, and with producers counting on oil profits to bolster their coffers. Oil prices have fallen even after OPEC+ slashed 2 million barrels per day in October, angering U.S. President Joe Biden by threatening higher gasoline prices a month before the midterm elections. Then, several OPEC members led by the Saudis made a surprise cut of 1.16 million barrels a day in April. International benchmark Brent crude climbed as high as $87 per barrel but has given up its post-cut gains and been loitering below $75 per barrel in recent days. U.S. crude has dipped below $70. Those lower prices have helped U.S. drivers as the summer travel season kicks off, with prices at the pump averaging $3.55, down $1.02 from a year ago, according to auto club AAA. Falling energy prices also helped inflation in the 20 European countries that use the euro drop to the lowest level since before Russia invaded Ukraine. The U.S. recently replenished its Strategic Petroleum Reserve — after Biden announced the largest release from the national reserve in American history last year — in an indicator that U.S. officials may be less worried about OPEC cuts than in months past. The Saudis, on the other hand, need sustained high oil revenue to fund ambitious development projects aimed at diversifying the country's economy. The International Monetary Fund estimates the kingdom needs $80.90 per barrel to meet its envisioned spending commitments, which include a planned $500 billion futuristic desert city project called Neom. That may have been one motivation behind Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman's warning to speculators that they will be "ouching" if they keep betting on lower oil prices. Bin Salman's pointed comment isn't necessarily a prelude to a cut at Sunday's meeting, said James Swanston, Middle East and North Africa economist at Capital Economics. "Our expectation is that OPEC+ will stick with current output quotas," he said, adding that "there have been signs that the government may be readying to live with lower oil prices and running budget deficits." On top of that, Russia may find current prices to its liking because its oil is finding eager new customers in India, China and Turkey. Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine have forced Russian oil to sell at discounts of around $53 to $57 per barrel. At those prices, Moscow's shipments avoid triggering the $60 price cap imposed by the Group of Seven major democracies to try to limit oil profits flowing into Russia's war chest. The price ceiling allows the world's No. 3 oil producer to keep supplying non-Western customers to avoid a global shortage that would drive up prices for everyone. Insurers and shipping companies largely based in Western countries are barred from handling Russian oil if it is priced above the cap. Russia has found ways to evade the limits through "dark fleet" tankers, which tamper with transponders showing their locations or transfer oil from ship to ship to disguise its origin. An OPEC+ "production cut could push the price of Russian oil above the G7 price cap of $60 per barrel, which would make it difficult to transport and thus to sell the oil," commodity analyst Carsten Fritsch at Commerzbank wrote in a research note. "Russia appears to be doing good business at the current price level." The International Energy Agency said in its April oil market report that Russia has not completely followed through on its announcement to extend a voluntary cut of 500,000 barrels per day through the end of the year. In fact, Russia's total exports of oil and refined products such as diesel fuel rose in April to a post-invasion high of 8.3 million barrels per day. That is in spite of a near-total boycott from the European Union, formerly Russia's biggest customer. Analysts say OPEC+ faces conflicting pressures. A cut could support prices or send them higher, with demand expected to pick up later this year. "The impact of higher oil prices on the global economy will weigh heavily on the ministers' minds," said Jorge Leon, senior vice president of oil market research at Rystad Energy. "High oil prices would fuel inflation in the West right when central banks are starting to see inflation gradually recede." "This could prompt central banks to continue increasing interest rates, a detrimental move for the global economy and oil demand," Leon wrote in a research note.
The United States and Saudi Arabia called on warring sides in Sudan to extend a cease-fire due to expire Monday. The Sudanese army and a rival paramilitary force, battling for control of Sudan since mid-April, had agreed last week to the weeklong truce, brokered by the U.S. and the Saudis. However, the cease-fire, like others before it, did not stop the fighting in the capital of Khartoum and elsewhere in the country. In a joint statement early Sunday, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia called for an extension of the current truce which expires at 9:45 p.m. local time Monday. "While imperfect, an extension nonetheless will facilitate the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the Sudanese people," the statement said. The statement also urged Sudan's military government and the rival Rapid Support Forces to continue negotiations. The fighting broke out in mid-April between the military and the powerful RSF. Both military chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan and RSF leader Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo led the 2021 coup that removed the Western-backed government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. The fighting turned Khartoum and the adjacent city of Omdurman into a battleground. The clashes also spread elsewhere in the country, including the war-wracked Darfur region. The conflict has killed hundreds of people, wounded thousands and pushed the country to near collapse. It forced more than 1.3 million out of their homes to safer areas inside Sudan, or to neighboring nations. Residents reported renewed sporadic clashes Sunday in parts of Omdurman, where the army's aircraft were seen flying over the city. Fighting was also reported in al-Fasher, the provincial capital of North Darfur. The U.S.-Saudi statement came two days after Burhan demanded in a letter to the U.N. secretary-general that the U.N. envoy to his country be removed, The U.N. chief was "shocked" by the letter, a spokesman said. The envoy, Volker Perthes, has been a key mediator in Sudan, first during the country's fitful attempts to transition to democracy and then during efforts to end the current fighting. Burhan's letter came after Perthes accused the warring parties of disregarding the laws of war by attacking homes, shops, places of worship and water and electricity installations. In his briefing to the U.N. Security Council last week, Perthes blamed the leaders of the military and the RSF for the war, saying that they have chosen to "settle their unresolved conflict on the battlefield rather than at the table."
SpaceX sends Saudi astronauts, including nation’s 1st woman in space, to International Space Station
Saudi Arabia's first astronauts in decades rocketed toward the International Space Station on a chartered multimillion-dollar flight Sunday. SpaceX launched the ticket-holding crew, led by a retired NASA astronaut now working for the company that arranged the trip from Kennedy Space Center. Also on board: a U.S. businessman who now owns a sports car racing team. The four should reach the space station in their capsule Monday morning; they'll spend just over a week there before returning home with a splashdown off the Florida coast. Sponsored by the Saudi Arabian government, Rayyanah Barnawi, a stem cell researcher, became the first woman from the kingdom to go to space. She was joined by Ali al-Qarni, a fighter pilot with the Royal Saudi Air Force. Also Read: UAE spacecraft takes close-up photos of Mars' little moon They're the first from their country to ride a rocket since a Saudi prince launched aboard shuttle Discovery in 1985. In a quirk of timing, they'll be greeted at the station by an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates. "Hello from outer space! It feels amazing to be viewing Earth from this capsule," Barnawi said after settling into orbit. Added al-Qarni: "As I look outside into space, I can't help but think this is just the beginning of a great journey for all of us." Rounding out the visiting crew: Knoxville, Tennessee's John Shoffner, former driver and owner of a sports car racing team that competes in Europe, and chaperone Peggy Whitson, the station's first female commander who holds the U.S. record for most accumulated time in space: 665 days and counting. Also Read: SpaceX takes second shot at launching biggest rocket "It was a phenomenal ride," Whitson said after reaching orbit. Her crewmates clapped their hands in joy. It's the second private flight to the space station organized by Houston-based Axiom Space. The first was last year by three businessmen, with another retired NASA astronaut. The company plans to start adding its own rooms to the station in another few years, eventually removing them to form a stand-alone outpost available for hire. Axiom won't say how much Shoffner and Saudi Arabia are paying for the planned 10-day mission. The company had previously cited a ticket price of $55 million each. NASA's latest price list shows per-person, per-day charges of $2,000 for food and up to $1,500 for sleeping bags and other gear. Need to get your stuff to the space station in advance? Figure roughly $10,000 per pound ($20,000 per kilogram), the same fee for trashing it afterward. Need your items back intact? Double the price. At least the email and video links are free. The guests will have access to most of the station as they conduct experiments, photograph Earth and chat with schoolchildren back home, demonstrating how kites fly in space when attached to a fan. After decades of shunning space tourism, NASA now embraces it with two private missions planned a year. The Russian Space Agency has been doing it, off and on, for decades. "Our job is to expand what we do in low-Earth orbit across the globe," said NASA's space station program manager Joel Montalbano. SpaceX's first-stage booster landed back at Cape Canaveral eight minutes after liftoff — a special treat for the launch day crowd, which included about 60 Saudis. "It was a very, very exciting day," said Axiom's Matt Ondler.