The United States has said it looks forward to working with Bangladesh to "enhance economic investment" over the next 50 years and beyond. The visiting US delegation met Salman F Rahman, Private Industry and Investment Adviser to PM Sheikh Hasina, to hear how government and private companies are collaborating. Eileen Laubacher, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for South Asia, US National Security Council (NSC); Michael Schiffer, USAID Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Asia; and Afreen Akhter, US Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, are on a three-day visit to Bangladesh. For over 50 years, the US has partnered with the government and the people of Bangladesh, providing over $8 billion to tackle issues like public health, education, energy, environment, food security, natural disasters, and more. Read: Want to create a new chapter in our relations: Foreign Minister says after meeting with US delegation The United States is one of the largest investors in Bangladesh and its largest single country export market, said the US Embassy in Dhaka. "Our leadership from Washington D.C. joined local economic experts to discuss a range of issues impacting the bilateral trade relationship," said the US Embassy. The United States "stands ready" to help Bangladesh create a business climate that attracts more investment from the US. The delegation discussed ways to improve the business environment, making investment in Bangladesh more attractive to American companies. Read: Bangladesh-US relations will be stronger based on environment, climate actions: Environment Minister The three officials, according to the US side, are visiting Bangladesh to discuss with the government of Bangladesh ways to "strengthen diplomatic ties, address challenges, and promote a shared vision for the advancement of mutual interests in the Indo-Pacific region." They also met Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, civil society representatives, labour leaders, youth activists and those engaged in developing a free and uncensored media. "We discussed with the Foreign Minister how our two countries can work on mutual interests, including economic development, security, refugees, climate, labor, and trade," said the US Embassy in a separate message after the meeting. Bangladesh is an important partner in the Indo-Pacific region, it said. Read more: US Deputy Assistant Secretary meets Bangladeshi civil society members including Zillur and Adilur
The United States has emphasized the critical role of civil society in nurturing a robust democracy and catalyzing positive societal changes. Following a significant meeting between US Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Afreen Akhter and key figures from Bangladesh's civil society, the US Embassy in Dhaka expressed satisfaction on Sunday. "Very pleased to meet today with courageous and committed figures in Bangladesh’s civil society to share views on its present state," the Embassy stated. Environment Minister inaugurates 2nd National Forest Inventory The US said it will continue to engage on democracy and human rights issues. "We call on the government of Bangladesh to do so too," the message shared by the US Embassy from its verified Facebook page said. Notably present at the meeting were journalist Zillur Rahman and Odhikar’s Secretary Adilur Rahman Khan. Meanwhile, a US delegation led by the USAID Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Asia, Michael Schiffer, accompanied by Deputy Assistant Secretary Afreen Akhter met with Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen at State guesthouse Padma to discuss issues for strengthening bilateral relations. Read more: US to work with Bangladesh to ‘enhance economic investment’ in next 50 years and beyond
The United States is closely monitoring the situation in Myanmar, noting that like others, they are very concerned over the growing tensions amid ongoing conflict, an official at the US Embassy in Dhaka said on Monday (February 05, 2024). “We are following it very closely. Obviously, we are very concerned, as the world is concerned. We are also monitoring the situation very very closely,” said Stephen F Ibelli, spokesperson of the US Embassy in Dhaka. He made the remarks while responding to a question on the sideline of the opening of the first ever TechCamp in Bangladesh to empower young journalists. Responding to a question, he said they are looking to work with Bangladesh in key areas like economy and climate change. Read more: What Foreign Minister said on Myanmar’s BGP men taking shelter in Bangladesh He said the United States is the number one foreign direct investor in Bangladesh and the number one location for goods and services exported from Bangladesh. “I think that is very indicative of the interest of the United States and that is also indicative of the fact that we try to partner in the areas in which we have mutual interest,” he added. Asked if the US would withdraw the sanctions imposed on RAB in 2021 and review the visa policy announced in May last year, Stephen said he has no information in this regard, but that after the sanctions, the number of extrajudicial killings declined. On the three-day TechCamp being hosted by the US Embassy in Dhaka, he said it aimed to empower 50 aspiring journalists to fact check, learn best practices on artificial intelligence, and combat misinformation. Stephen Ibelli said, “Every day, we are exposed to so much information that we can barely keep track of. Oftentimes, we mix rumors with facts and truths. It is really easy to become confused. To deal with this challenge, we need to equip ourselves with critical thinking and the correct tools to identify.” Those participating in the workshop can later compete with their ideas on fact-checking, and the best ideas will be supported by the US embassy. Organized by the Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau (ECA) at the US Department of State, in partnership with the Global Youth Leadership Center (GYLC) Inc., TechCamp fosters technological innovation and empowers future leaders to address real-world challenges through pragmatic solutions. Read more: Here’s how many Myanmar border guards are taking shelter in Bangladesh, according to BGB
In a significant gesture of international diplomacy, US President Joe Biden has extended a letter of commitment to work in unison with Bangladesh across various sectors, including the economy. This announcement has sparked a pointed query from Obaidul Quader, general secretary of Awami League and the Minister of Road Transport and Bridges, directed towards the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP): “What will BNP say now?” Committed to supporting Bangladesh's economic goals, Biden writes to PM Hasina During a press interaction at the Awami League President’s office in Dhanmondi, Dhaka, earlier today (February 05), Quader criticized the BNP leadership for their absence and evasion, questioning the source of their confidence in regaining power. He remarked, “The people have already distanced themselves from you. Your international allies have also turned their backs. The US has now pledged to work alongside Sheikh Hasina’s government. What hope does the BNP have for returning to power?” Quader also expressed concern over the recent conflicts near the Myanmar border, where violence has forced citizens from several Bangladeshi villages to flee. The ongoing internal conflict in Myanmar, resulting in gunfire and mortar shells landing within Bangladeshi territory, has prompted communication between the foreign ministries of Bangladesh and Myanmar. “The conflict is Myanmar’s internal issue, but its resolution should ensure that the panic does not spill over to neighboring countries,” Quader added, mentioning the potential role of the United Nations in mediating a solution. Programmes on streets without permission won’t be allowed: Quader Addressing the issue of the Rohingya refugees amid Myanmar’s continued unrest, the minister firmly stated that Bangladesh would not show leniency in accepting more refugees: “We cannot bear this burden anymore.” In response to a question about negative activities within the student wing of the ruling party at Jahangirnagar University, Quader emphasized Awami League’s zero tolerance for misconduct. “Not everyone in a party can be virtuous, but we do not condone wrongdoing. Any criminal activity should be dealt with according to the law. No one has been spared for committing crimes while we are in power,” he asserted. Can the new Parliament perform its role perfectly, wonders GM Quader The meeting was also attended by Awami League’s Organizational Secretary BM Mozammel Haque, SM Kamal Hossain, and other central and metropolitan leaders.
In a striking revelation reported by the Guardian, CNN faces internal criticism and a growing backlash over its coverage of the Israel-Gaza conflict. Journalists from CNN’s newsrooms, both in the United States and internationally, have raised concerns about the network’s editorial policies. These policies, they claim, have led to the dissemination of Israeli perspectives while marginalizing Palestinian voices in the coverage of the war in Gaza. The core of the discontent centers around the network’s handling of key events, particularly the October 7 Hamas massacre and Israel’s subsequent retaliatory attack on Gaza. One CNN staffer lamented, “The majority of news since the war began, regardless of how accurate the initial reporting, has been skewed by a systemic and institutional bias within the network toward Israel,” branding it as “journalistic malpractice.” According to detailed accounts from six CNN staff members and a review of over a dozen internal communications, the daily news output is heavily influenced by directives from CNN headquarters, the Guardian says. These directives have imposed strict guidelines on reporting, including significant restrictions on quoting Hamas and presenting Palestinian perspectives, while often uncritically broadcasting Israeli government statements. Read more: UN experts condemn killing, silencing of journalists in Gaza Mark Thompson, CNN’s new editor-in-chief and CEO, who assumed his role shortly after the October 7 incident, is at the heart of the controversy. Staffers express concern over Thompson’s history of yielding to external pressures in his previous position at the BBC, fearing a similar pattern at CNN. The coverage, as a result, has been criticized for disproportionately highlighting Israeli suffering and narratives, with a notable deficiency in reporting on the Palestinian civilian casualties and the devastation in Gaza. A particularly contentious point is the editorial process, where every story related to the conflict requires approval from the Jerusalem bureau, effectively filtering the content that reaches the public. This process has been condemned for introducing biases, as reports undergo modifications that detract from the Palestinian plight, according to some CNN journalists. Critics within the network have pointed out a notable imbalance, citing an early November directive by David Lindsay, senior director of news standards and practices, that limited the reporting of Hamas statements, labeling them as “inflammatory rhetoric and propaganda.” This contrasts starkly with the network’s approach to Israeli officials’ statements, which have been aired frequently and often without challenge. Amidst these editorial decisions, CNN’s coverage has been accused of utilizing a framework that implicitly justifies Israeli actions by continuously referencing the Hamas attack as the conflict’s “immediate cause.” This narrative, staff members argue, marginalizes other contexts and histories that are crucial for a balanced understanding of the conflict. The network’s spokesperson has defended CNN’s reporting, emphasizing the care taken to attribute claims across their coverage. However, the restrictions on foreign journalists’ access to Gaza, except under Israeli Defense Forces control, have further complicated efforts to present a balanced view, keeping the full impact of the war on Palestinians largely unseen on CNN and similar channels. This internal critique of CNN’s coverage echoes past accusations of bias, reminiscent of the network’s approach post-9/11 and its coverage of the Afghan conflict. The current discontent among CNN staff highlights a deep-seated concern over journalistic integrity and the challenge of maintaining balanced reporting amidst external pressures and editorial mandates. Read more: Hamas shows signs of resurgence in parts of Gaza where Israeli troops largely withdrew weeks ago
US President Joe Biden has written to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressing his willingness to work together to achieve Bangladesh's economic goals. He also expressed willingness to partnering with Bangladesh on their shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific. "The United States is committed to supporting Bangladesh's ambitious economic goals and partnering with Bangladesh on our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific," President Biden said in his letter seen by UNB. Entire world willing to work with Bangladesh as PM Hasina placed it in dignified position: FM Hasan As the two countries embark on the next chapter of the U.S.-Bangladesh partnership, the US President said he wants to convey the sincere desire of his Administration to continue their work together on regional and global security, economic development, climate change and energy, global health, humanitarian support, especially for Rohingya refugees, and more. "We have a long and successful history of working together to solve problems, and our strong people-to-people ties are the foundation of this relationship," the US President wrote to PM Sheikh Hasina. Hungary, Kyrgyzstan greet PM Sheikh Hasina on her re-election The Embassy of the United States of America shared the letter with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently.
Former champions Bangladesh will play the United States in their last Group A match of the ICC U-19 Men's Cricket World Cup 2024 at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein, South Africa on Friday (January 26). The match will kick off at 2: pm Bangladesh time. Earlier, Bangladesh, the champions of 2020, made a frustrating start in the ongoing Youth World Cup losing to defending champions India by a huge 84-run in their first match last Saturday. Australian pacer becomes best cricketer of 2023 But, they smartly bounced back in the race beating Ireland by six wickets in their 2nd match, also at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein, South Africa last Monday. In the day's lone Group A match, holders India further consolidated their top slot in the group crushing Ireland by 201 runs. After the day's matches, India comfortably dominated the Group A with all-win run securing full four points from straight two matches having a run rate of +2,850; Bangladesh followed the leader collecting two points from two matches with run rate of -0,667. BPL 2024: Sylhet phase begins Friday Ireland are in the 3rd slot securing two points from all the three group encounters with a run rate of - 0,778 while United States remained at the bottom without any point playing one match with a run rate of -2,674. A total of 16 teams, divided into four groups of four teams each are competing in the first phase. The event is being held according to a new format for this edition, where the three teams progressing from each of the four groups will enter a new Super Six stage, starting on January 30. Shoaib Malik's BPL 2024 Campaign Abruptly Ends Two groups of six teams will clash to determine the semifinalists and the subsequent finalists. The bottom-placed teams will then meet in placement games to determine finishing positions
The United States will continue to take steps to deepen partnership with Bangladesh. "There are a number of steps that we have and will continue to take when it comes to deepening our partnership with Bangladesh," said Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel during a regular briefing at the US Department of State in Washington on January 22. The US official made the remark when a journalist wanted to know what specific action the US is considering to deepen its partnership with Bangladesh. Read more: No possibility of any 'diplomatic crisis' in country: Law Minister Patel specifically mentioned cooperation in addressing climate issues and security where the US believes there is opportunity. "Of course, through that there – we have the opportunity to also engage with non-government actors as well, which we believe is also key and critical to deepening this relationship also," Patel said. After the formation of the new government, US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas had a meeting with Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud and discussed how the two countries would work together on issues of mutual importance such as climate change, business opportunities, and the Rohingya crisis. “I look forward to working closely in the coming months to advance our relations based on mutual interest,” Haas said. Read more: China keen to enhance security cooperation with Bangladesh
In an era marked by financial unpredictability, nations worldwide are increasingly anchoring their economic stability in gold reserves. Even after the gold standard was abandoned in the 1970s, gold's role in bolstering a country's economic health remains significant, according to NDTV. Woman arriving from Dubai arrested with over 8 kg gold at Dhaka airport Top 10 Countries by Gold Reserves 1. United States: Leading the pack, the US boasts 8,1336.46 tonnes of gold 2. Germany: Close on the heels with 3,352.65 tonnes 3. Italy: Securing third place with 2,451.84 tonnes. 4. France: Holding the fourth position with 2,436.88 tonnes. 5. Russia: Completing the top five with 2,332.74 tonnes, as reported by Forbes. Notably, China, an emerging economic powerhouse, ranks sixth with 2,191.53 tonnes, highlighting the shift in global economic dynamics. Switzerland, Japan, India, and the Netherlands round out the top 10, each maintaining significant reserves between 1,040 to 612.45 tonnes of gold. Gold worth Tk 7-cr seized at Airport; 4 held Why Do Countries Stockpile Gold? Gold's primary appeal lies in its ability to act as a dependable value store, ensuring economic stability during tumultuous times. Despite moving away from the gold standard, many countries view substantial gold reserves as crucial for currency stability. Diversification of assets is another compelling reason. Gold serves as a physical, tangible asset, offering a buffer against other asset value fluctuations. Its inverse relationship with the US dollar enhances its appeal, especially as a hedge in volatile markets. 4.5kg gold recovered from Biman flight at Ctg airport Gold also plays a vital role in international trade and finance. Some nations use it to balance trade deficits or as collateral for loans, thereby boosting their global economic standing. In crises, gold emerges as a safeguard against economic downturns and geopolitical tensions, protecting economies from inflation and currency devaluation. As central banks reaffirm the importance of gold, these gleaming assets continue to shape the economic futures of countries worldwide, the report concludes. Where was the CCTV camera? Investigators wonder about missing gold at Dhaka Airport customs
The Awami League government is not in the slightest discomfort over the statement of the United States about the January 7 parliamentary election, said AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Friday. In a statenent Washington has recently said the 12th parliamentary polls were not free or fair. Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, said this at a press conference at the AL president's office at Dhanmondi in the capital. BNP will continue street protests to restore democracy: Moyeen Khan “We have a relationship with the United States. We are patient enough to make the relationship better. And US ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas talked about taking the relationship with Bangladesh forward,” he said. “BNP's non-participation in the election was part of a conspiracy against the country's sovereignty. Even after the election, the evil forces identified under the leadership of BNP are trying to make the election controversial,” said the AL leader. World Bank to continue to help Bangladesh in economic development: Finance Minister “There were local and foreign forces in play to install an unelected person in power in an undemocratic way,” he said. “Sheikh Hasina has proved that an election is possible under an elected government. If BNP had participated in this election, it would have been more competitive. However, the election was not voter-free and uncontested in their absence,” added Quader. Regarding BNP's being quiet, AL general secretary said, “They (BNP) are now gathering strength for major violence. I want them to return to positive politics from negative politics,” he also said. Govt to go tough on price hike and hoarding: State Minister of Commerce “We don't have time to waste on the crisis. Those in responsible positions should talk about responsibility,” he said. AL Organizing Secretaries BM Mozammel Haque, Mirza Azam, Afzal Hossain, Sujit Roy Nandi and Office Secretary Barrister Biplab Barua, among others, were present at the press conference.