At least one person was killed and several hundreds were injured in violent clashes across the country as leaders and activists of Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) took to the streets across the country in a show of force ahead of the next general election. A young man was killed and 50 people were injured in sporadic clashes between leaders and activists of BNP and Awami League in Laxmipur district town on Tuesday. According to Mahfuzzaman Ashraf, superintendent of Laxmipur police, both BNP and Awami League brought out processions across the city. Also read: Not a victory march, it’s a defeat march: Quader on BNP’s program At 4 pm, the procession of BNP and Awami League mingled at Samad Academy intersection. At one stage, the BNP men tore down banners of Awami League, triggering a chase and counter chase. The BNP men, numbering 30/40, chased some 15/20 men of Awami League, forcing them to take shelter in a building inside Madin Ullah Housing. Sajib of Chandraganj was found lying on the ground floor of the building, and he died due to profuse bleeding, police said quoting locals. Also read: Quit now, people don’t want to see you in power anymore: Fakhrul asks govt Earlier on Tuesday, BNP's Dhaka march for its one-point demand came under attack near Mirpur's Govt Bangla college. As part of their one-point movement, BNP started a march towards Old Dhaka from Gabtoli Bus Station around 11:20 am. Also read: 50 injured in AL, BNP, police clash in Feni When the march reached near the college in Mirpur around 11:45 am, some youths attacked them, resulting in a clash, witnesses said.
The poll to elect the Board of Directors of the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) will be held on July 31. On the polling day, the FBCCI members will cast votes in favor of their chosen candidate from 9 am to 4 pm. The names of elected directors will be announced on that day. The election to the posts of FBCCI president, senior vice-president, and six vice-presidents will be held on August 2 by the vote of elected directors for the period of 2023-2025. FBCCI-HSBC to work together to boost exports between Bangladesh-UK The FBCCI election schedule was announced on May 11, 2023. Mahbubur Alam has submitted his nomination papers as the panel leader for the 2023-25 term of the board of directors of the FBCCI. He is the President of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce & Industry and former Vice President of FBCCI. If Mahbubur Alam is elected as the panel leader, then he will be the next president of the FBCCI. He submitted nomination papers on Saturday (July 1) to the Chamber Bhaban in Motijheel on Saturday. FBCCI and Faction sign MoU to boost research, innovation The chairman of the Election Board A Matin Chowdhury accepted the nomination papers while election board members Shamsul Alam and KMN Manjurul Haque were present at that time. FBCCI president Jasim Uddin, Senior Vice President Mostafa Azad Chowdhury Babu, Vice President MA Momen, Amin Helali, Habib Ullah Don, MA Razzak Khan Raj, Former Senior Vice President Md. Ali, former vice president Helal Uddin, BGMEA president Faruk Hassan and other senior leaders of different associations were present. Policy support needed in budget for import-alternative industry in Bangladesh: FBCCI President tells ERF discussion
Voting in the by-election for Gaibandha-5 constituency, which was suspended due to irregularities, is underway with participation of voters in a festive mood. Voting started at 8 am and will continue till 4:30 pm. No untoward incident was reported till the filing of this report around 10 am. People were seen standing in long queues since morning, ignoring the cold. The presence of female voters is comparatively higher than their male counterparts. A total of 3,39,743 people are expected to exercise their franchise in 145 polling centres. Of them, 1,70,160 are females and 1,69,583 are male. District Election Officer and Returning officer Abdul Motaleb said that of the 145 polling centres, 72 are consider "important" while 32 are counted as "most important". Read: EC has 'no legal obligation' to bring parties to election All preparations have been taken to hold a smooth, free and fair election, he said. Elections will be monitored through CCTV cameras as done before. Rab, police, BGB and Ansar members will remain deployed to hold the election peacefully, said Motaleb. The candidates of the Gaibandha-5 by-election are: Awami League candidate Mahmud Hasan Ripon, Jatiya Party candidate AHM Golam Shaheed Ranju, Bikalpa Dhara candidate Advocate Jahangir Alam and independent candidate Syed Mahbubur Rahman. The constituency consists of Saghata and Phulchhari upazilas. On October 12 last year, the Election Commission (EC) suspended the by-election due to “rampant irregularities” on the election day and later the commission fixed January 4 for holding the polls. Following the death of Gaibandha-5 lawmaker and Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Fazle Rabbi Miah on July 22, 2022, it became a constitutional obligation to hold election for the parliamentary seat by October 20, 2022. Accordingly it was scheduled for October 12. A three-member committee was formed to look into the election irregularities on October 12 last year. Following the recommendations of the committee, the Election Commission took punitive actions against 133 officials including an additional deputy commissioner, five sub-inspectors and returning officer of the election. Read More: EC to delve into slow voting complaint in Rangpur City Corporation Polls
More than half of 17.5 million users who responded to a Twitter poll created by billionaire Elon Musk over whether he should step down as head of the company had voted yes by the time the poll closed Monday. There was no immediate announcement from Twitter, or Musk, about whether that would happen, though Musk said that he would abide by the results. Musk attended the World Cup final on Sunday and may be midflight on his way back to the U.S. early Monday. Musk has taken a number of unscientific polls on substantial issues facing the social media platform, including whether to reinstate journalists that he had suspended from Twitter, which was broadly criticized in and out of media circles. Musk has clashed with some users on multiple fronts and on Sunday, he asked Twitter users to decide if he should remain in charge of the social media platform after acknowledging he made a mistake in launching new speech restrictions that banned mentions of rival social media websites on Twitter. The results of the unscientific online survey, which lasted 12 hours, showed that 57.5% of those who voted wanted him to leave, while the remaining 42.5% wanted him to say. The latest poll followed yet another significant policy change since Musk acquired Twitter in October. Twitter had announced that users will no longer be able to link to Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon and other platforms the company described as “prohibited.” That decision generated immediate blowback, including criticism from past defenders of Twitter's new owner, that Musk promised not to make any more major policy changes without an online survey of users. The action to block competitors was Musk's latest attempt to crack down on certain speech after he shut down a Twitter account last week that was tracking the flights of his private jet. The banned platforms included mainstream websites such as Facebook and Instagram, and upstart rivals Mastodon, Tribel, Nostr, Post and former President Donald Trump's Truth Social. Twitter gave no explanation for why the blacklist included those seven websites but not others such as Parler, TikTok or LinkedIn. A test case was the prominent venture capitalist Paul Graham, who in the past has praised Musk but on Sunday told his 1.5 million Twitter followers that this was the “last straw” and to find him on Mastodon. His Twitter account was promptly suspended, and soon after restored as Musk promised to reverse the policy implemented just hours earlier. Policy decisions by Musk have divided users. He has advocated for free speech, but has suspended journalists and shut down a longstanding account that tracked the whereabouts of his jet, calling it a security risk. But he has changed policies, and then changed them again, created a sense of confusion on the platform about what is allowed, and what is not. Musk permanently banned the @ElonJet account on Wednesday, then changed Twitter's rules to prohibit the sharing of another person’s current location without their consent. He then took aim at journalists who were writing about the jet-tracking account, which can still be found on other social media sites, alleging that they were broadcasting “basically assassination coordinates.” He used that to justify Twitter's moves last week to suspend the accounts of numerous journalists who cover the social media platform and Musk, among them reporters working for The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Voice of America and other publications. Many of those accounts were restored following an online poll by Musk. Then, over the weekend, The Washington Post’s Taylor Lorenz became the latest journalist to be temporarily banned. She said she was suspended after posting a message on Twitter tagging Musk and requesting an interview. Sally Buzbee, The Washington Post's executive editor, called it an “arbitrary suspension of another Post journalist” that further undermined Musk’s promise to run Twitter as a platform dedicated to free speech. “Again, the suspension occurred with no warning, process or explanation — this time as our reporter merely sought comment from Musk for a story,” Buzbee said. By midday Sunday, Lorenz's account was restored, as was the tweet she thought had triggered her suspension. Musk was questioned in court on Nov. 16 about how he splits his time among Tesla and his other companies, including SpaceX and Twitter. Musk had to testify in Delaware’s Court of Chancery over a shareholder’s challenge to Musk’s potentially $55 billion compensation plan as CEO of the electric car company. Musk said he never intended to be CEO of Tesla, and that he didn’t want to be chief executive of any other companies either, preferring to see himself as an engineer instead. Musk also said he expected an organizational restructuring of Twitter to be completed in the next week or so. It’s been more than a month since he said that. In public banter with Twitter followers Sunday, Musk expressed pessimism about the prospects for a new CEO, saying that person “must like pain a lot” to run a company that “has been in the fast lane to bankruptcy.” “No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor,” Musk tweeted. ___AP writer Brian P. D. Hannon contributed to this report.
Malaysia’s graft-tainted coalition that had ruled the country for decades was losing ground to rival Malay blocs but could still return to power depending on post-election alliances, according to partial results Sunday from general elections. Among other key election losers was two-time former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who at 97 is leading a separate Malay movement. The alliance led by the United Malays National Organization, which ruled Malaysia since independence from Britain until 2018, suffered upsets in a number of seats in an apparent swing of support to former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s Malay-based Perikatan Nasional, or National Alliance. Many rural Malays, who form two-thirds of Malaysia’s 33 million people, which include large minorities of ethnic Chinese and Indians, fear they may lose their rights with greater pluralism. This, together with corruption in UMNO, has benefited Muhyiddin’s bloc, especially its ally, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, or PAS, that touts Sharia. PAS rules three states and has a strong Muslim base. The Election Commission’s website showed UMNO’s Barisan Nasional, or National Front alliance, with only 24 seats so far. Muhyiddin’s bloc is neck-and-neck with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s reformist bloc with about 60 seats each. Anwar’s bloc espouses greater pluralism and has strong support in urban areas. Mahathir lost his seat in northern Langkawi island in a shock defeat to Muhyiddin’s bloc. A total of 220 seats in Parliament are up for grabs in Saturday’s vote. Polling for two federal seats has been postponed after the death of a candidate in one constituency and bad weather in another. Many surveys had put Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan, or Alliance of Hope, in the lead, though short of winning a majority. This could spark a new crisis if rival blocs again join hands to block his ascent. Anwar, 75, won his seat in northern Perak state. Read more: Suu Kyi lost Malaysia’s support for her role against Rohingya: Mahathir “Malays who don’t like UMNO swung to PAS, as they could never accept Harapan, which they perceived as too liberal and accommodating to non-Malays,” said Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. PAS leader Hadi Awang earlier told reporters that he was confident Muhyiddin’s alliance could form the government. UMNO leader Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said in a statement that his alliance accepted the results and is committed to ensure a stable government can be formed. In an allusion to a revival of its partnership with Muhyiddin’s bloc, Zahid said the National Front is willing to set aside differences. With vote counting underway early Sunday, there was still no clear winner. If Anwar’s bloc fails to win enough seats or seek alliance for a majority in Parliament, it may be sidelined again by the UMNO-Muhyiddin alliance. Both sides will have to court support from two states on Borneo island, which account for a quarter of parliamentary seats. The two states are traditionally aligned to UMNO. The economy and rising cost of living were chief concerns for voters, though many are apathetic due to political turmoil that has led to three prime ministers since 2018 polls. Anger over government corruption had led to UMNO’s shocking defeat in 2018 to Anwar’s bloc that saw the first regime change since Malaysia’s independence in 1957. The watershed polls had sparked hopes of reforms as once-powerful UMNO leaders were jailed or hauled to court for graft. But political guile and defections by Muhyiddin’s party led to the government’s collapse after 22 months. UMNO bounced back as part of a new government with Muhyiddin’s bloc, but infighting led to continuous turmoil. Initially confident of a strong victory due to a fragmented opposition, UMNO pushed incumbent caretaker Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob in October to call snap polls. But the UMNO campaign has been relatively muted as infighting and corruption charges against Zahid cast a shadow over its election promise of stability and prosperity. Anwar was in prison during the 2018 vote on a sodomy charge that critics say was trumped up. Mahathir led the alliance’s campaign and became the world’s oldest leader at 92 after the victory. Anwar was pardoned shortly after and would have succeeded Mahathir had their government not crumbled. His bloc has promised a reset in government policies to focus on merits and needs, rather than race, and good governance to plug billions of dollars it said was lost to corruption. Critics say the affirmative action policy that gives majority Malays privileges in business, housing and education has been abused to enrich the elites, alienate minority groups and has sparked a brain drain. Read more: Malaysia, Asean members will work to resolve Rohingya crisis: Mahathir
Americans are less concerned now about how climate change might impact them personally — and about how their personal choices affect the climate — than they were three years ago, a new poll shows, even as a wide majority still believe climate change is happening. The June Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, which was conducted before Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act on Friday, shows majorities of U.S. adults think the government and corporations have a significant responsibility to address climate change. The new law will invest nearly $375 billion in climate strategies over the next decade. Overall, 35% of U.S. adults say they are “extremely” or “very” concerned about the impact of climate change on them personally, down from 44% in August 2019. Another third say they are somewhat concerned. Only about half say their actions have an effect on climate change, compared with two-thirds in 2019. Black and Hispanic Americans, women and Democrats are especially likely to be strongly concerned about the impact of climate change on them personally and about how their personal choices affect the climate. Many climate scientists told The Associated Press that the shifts are concerning but not surprising given that individuals are feeling overwhelmed by a range of issues, now including an economy plagued by inflation after more than two years of a pandemic. In addition to being outpaced by other issues, climate change or the environment are mentioned as priorities by fewer Americans now than just a few years ago, according to the poll. Diane Panicucci in West Warwick, Rhode Island, believes climate change is happening and that it needs to be addressed. But for her, it’s a lower priority compared with other issues, including inflation and food and drug costs. “There’s so much unrest in this country right now,” the 62-year-old said. “People are suffering.” Panicucci added solar panels to her house, and she’s cut back on driving. She thinks individuals should do what they’re told will help, but “it doesn’t start with little ol’ me. It has to be larger scale,” she said. While the climate crisis will require an “all of the above approach,” it’s “reasonable” that individuals don’t feel they have the bandwidth to tackle climate action “on top of everything else,” said Kim Cobb, director of the Institute at Brown University for Environment and Society. Roughly two-thirds of Americans say the U.S. federal government, developed countries abroad and corporations and industries have a large responsibility to address climate change. Fewer — 45% — say that of individual people. Jack Hermanson, a 23-year-old software engineer, feels strongly that corporations are the “major culprits” of emissions and that the government is complicit in that behavior. “I don’t know if that makes sense to say that individuals should have to work and fix the climate,” the Denver resident said. “I would say my individual actions hardly mean anything at all.” Read: Climate Change: Biden's administration urged to take genuine leadership role U.S. household greenhouse gas emissions are not as much as those from cars, trucks and other transportation, electrical power generating and industry. A 2020 University of Michigan study of 93 million U.S. homes estimates that 20% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions comes from home energy use, with wealthier Americans’ per capita footprints about 25% higher than low-income residents. But like many others that spoke to the AP, that difference hasn’t stopped Hermanson from trying. He’s been a vegetarian for four years, and he tries to bike or take public transportation, buy products with less packaging and recycle. Among Americans who believe in climate change, 70% say it will be necessary for individuals to make major lifestyle changes to combat the issue. Most think individuals have at least some responsibility. Individuals can believe they personally don’t have a direct impact while also recognizing that collective action is essential to combatting climate change, said Shahzeen Attari, who studies human behavior and climate change at Indiana University. The poll shows about 6 in 10 Americans say they have reduced their driving, reduced their use of heat or air conditioning and bought used products instead of new ones. Nearly three-quarters are using energy efficient appliances. Among those who are taking those steps, most say the main reason is to save money, rather than to help the environment. Fewer — roughly a quarter — say they use an electricity supplier that gets power from renewable sources, and only about 1 in 10 live in a home with solar panels or drive a hybrid or electric car. Brad Machincia, a 38-year-old welder, said he wouldn’t switch from his gas car to an electric vehicle. While he said he grew up in a West Virginia household that used renewable energy sources, he hasn’t adopted those practices for his family in Christiansburg, Virginia. Climate change used to be a concern for him, but at this point, he feels like it’s “beating a dead horse.” “There’s nothing we can do to fix it,” he said. Individuals should feel empowered to make climate-driven decisions that not only help reduce emissions but also improve their lives, said Jonathan Foley, executive director at climate nonprofit Project Drawdown. Foley thinks the findings show that efforts to engage Americans need to shift away from doomsday scenarios, include diverse messengers and focus on the ways climate solutions can intersect with Americans’ other priorities. Julio Carmona, a 37-year-old financial clerk, said he recently transitioned his home in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to solar energy because the switch will help reduce his carbon footprint and his expenses, even if modestly. “I thought that it was just something smart for us to do long term,” he said. “I just kind of wanted to do my part, whether or not it’s gonna make a difference.”
Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif on Monday said BNP will join the next parliamentary election under the current government as the party did in 2018. “The next election will also be held under the present government in line with the constitution and BNP must take part in that poll,” he said. Hanif came up with the comment while talking to journalists during the inauguration of the newly constructed District Seed Certification Agency office building in Saddam Bazar area. He said the government will do whatever is necessary for holding the forthcoming election in a free, fair and neutral manner with the participation of all parties. The ruling party leader recalled that BNP joined the 2018 election under the Awami League government. He said Awami League is the only party in Bangladesh which believes in democracy and handing over power through an election. “Awami League has so far handed over power through elections. The Awami League does not resort to any trick over the election. The BNP has the habit of rigging votes and manipulating the elections.” READ: BNP is opposing election commission law to embarrass the govt: Hanif Earlier on Sunday, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader assured that the 12th parliamentary polls will be held in a free and credible manner, and urged all registered political parties to join it. However, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Monday said Awami League’s assurance of a fair election is only a trap to deceive their party. Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, Rizvi also said what the ruling party leaders and the prime minister are saying about the fair election is nothing but a deception.
Pakistan’s embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan said Sunday he will seek early elections after sidestepping a no-confidence challenge and alleging that a conspiracy to topple his government had failed. The deputy speaker of Pakistan's Parliament threw out the opposition parties' no-confidence resolution and abruptly ended the session. Minutes later, Khan went on national television to say he will ask Pakistan's president to dissolve Parliament and call early elections. The developments came after Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry accused the opposition of colluding with a “foreign power” to stage a “regime change.” “I ask people to prepare for the next elections. Thank God, a conspiracy to topple the government has failed,” Khan said in his address. The opposition, which said it would stage a protest sit-in in Parliament, called the deputy speaker's ruling throwing out the no-confidence vote illegal and vowed to go to Pakistan's Supreme Court. The opposition arrived in Parliament ready to vote Khan out of power. They needed a simple majority of 172 votes in Pakistan's 342-seat Parliament to unseat Khan, a cricket star turned conservative Islamic politician. Khan's small but key coalition partners along with 17 of his own party members joined the opposition to oust him. The no-confidence vote had been expected some time after Parliament convened Sunday but parliamentary rules allow for three to seven days of debate. The opposition had said it has the numbers for an immediate vote. Giant metal containers blocked roads and entrances to the capital's diplomatic enclave and to Parliament and other sensitive government installations in the capital. A defiant Khan called for supporters to stage demonstrations countrywide to protest the vote. Khan has accused the opposition of being in cahoots with the United States to unseat him, saying America wants him gone over his foreign policy choices that often favor China and Russia. Khan has also been a strident opponent of America’s war on terror and Pakistan’s partnership in that war with Washington. Khan has circulated a memo which he insists provides proof that Washington conspired with Pakistan's opposition to unseat him because America wants “me, personally, gone ... and everything would be forgiven.” READ: Pakistan's PM faces tough challenge with no-confidence vote A loss for Khan would have given his opponents the opportunity to form a new government and rule until elections, which had been scheduled to be held next year. Residents of Pakistan’s largest province Punjab were set to vote Sunday for a new chief minister. Khan's choice faced a tough challenge and his opponents claimed they had enough votes to install their choice. With 60% of Pakistan's 220 million people living in Punjab, it is considered the most powerful of the country's four provinces. Also on Sunday the government announced the dismissal of the provincial governor, whose role is largely ceremonial and is chosen by the federal government. But it further deepened the political turmoil in Pakistan. Pakistan's main opposition parties, whose ideologies span the spectrum from left to right to radically religious, have been rallying for Khan's ouster almost since he was elected in 2018. Khan's win was mired in controversy amid widespread accusations that Pakistan's powerful army helped his Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (Justice) Party to victory. Asfandyar Mir, a senior expert with the Washington-based U.S. Institute of Peace, said the military's involvement in the 2018 polls undermined Khan's legitimacy from the outset. “The movement against Imran Khan’s government is inseparable from his controversial rise to power in the 2018 election, which was manipulated by the army to push Khan over the line,” said Mir. “That really undermined the legitimacy of the electoral exercise and created the grounds for the current turmoil. ” Pakistan's military has directly ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 75-year history, overthrowing successive democratically elected governments. For the remainder of that time it has indirectly manipulated elected governments from the sidelines. The opposition has also accused Khan of economic mismanagement, blaming him for rising prices and high inflation. Still, Khan's government is credited with maintaining a foreign reserve account of $18 billion and bringing in a record $29 billion last year from overseas Pakistanis. Khan's anti-corruption reputation is credited with encouraging expatriate Pakistanis to send money home. His government has also received international praise for its handling of the COVID-19 crisis and implementing so-called “smart lockdowns” rather than countrywide shutdowns. As a result, several of Pakistan's key industries, such as construction, have survived. Khan's leadership style has often been criticized as confrontational. “Khan’s biggest failing has been his insistence on remaining a partisan leader to the bitter end,” said Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program at the Washington-based Wilson Center. READ: Imran to skip Biden's democracy summit “He hasn’t been willing to extend a hand across the aisle to his rivals,” said Kugelman. “He’s remained stubborn and unwilling to make important compromises. As a result, he’s burned too many bridges at a moment when he badly needs all the help he can get.” Khan’s insistence there is U.S. involvement in attempts to oust him exploits a deep-seated mistrust among many in Pakistan of U.S. intentions, particularly following 9/11, said Mir. Washington has often berated Pakistan for doing too little to fight Islamic militants even as thousands of Pakistanis have died in militant attacks and the army has lost more than 5,000 soldiers. Pakistan has been attacked for aiding Taliban insurgents while also being asked to bring them to the peace table. “The fact that it has such easy traction in Pakistan speaks to some of the damage U.S. foreign policy has done in the post 9/11 era in general and in Pakistan in particular,” said Mir. “There is a reservoir of anti-American sentiment in the country, which can be instrumentalized easily by politicians like Khan.”
Police on Friday sued 385 people over attacking police by supporters of defeated candidates of UP election in Chapainawabganj Sadar a day earlier. The case was filed at Chapainawabganj Sadar Police Station on Friday noon. Mojaffar Hossain, officer-in-charge (OC) of Chapainawabganj Sadar Police Station, said 135 named and 250 unnamed people have been made accused in the case. So far, 15 people were arrested in this connection and presented before the court, said the OC. READ: Post UP-polls violence: 10 injured in Khajra union in Satkhira On Thursday, Shariat Ali was elected as a UP member in Ward No. 8 of Jhilim Union in Sadar Upazila of the district in the 5th phase of UP election. Unable to accept defeat, former UP member Monirul Islam Moni and other candidate Abdul Quddus Seratal along with hundreds of their supporters went to attack newly elected member Shariat Ali's house on Thursday afternoon. On information, police rushed to the spot when the supporters attacked the police as they tried to control the situation. READ: Violence mars UP polls again: 8 killed in Chattogram, Bogura, Chandpur Five policemen were injured in the attack. Three of them were admitted to Chapainawabganj Sadar Hospital. Later, additional police were deployed to bring the situation under control.
Ninety-four percent of Palestinians reject President Donald Trump's Mideast initiative, according to a poll released Tuesday, which also found plummeting support for a two-state solution with Israel and nearly two-thirds backing armed struggle.