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EPA head: 'Journey to Justice' tour 'really personal for me'

RESERVE, La. (AP) — Michael Coleman's house is the last one standing on his tiny street, squeezed between a sprawling

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Look forward to Bills on data privacy and cryptos: Mukesh Ambani

New Delhi, Dec 3 (UNI) Stating that India is putting the most forward-looking policies and regulation in place, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani on Friday said that he is looking forward to Bills on data privacy and crypto....

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Health Minister accuses oppn of politics over Covid, says India has one of the lowest death rates

New Delhi, Dec 3 (UNI) Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday accused the Opposition of indulging in "politics" over Covid-19, and stressed that the Union government took appropriate actions to manage the pandemic, adding that India recorded one of the lowest death rates of Novel Coronavirus.

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No Chinese 'incursion' in Arunachal during Modi's regime: Tapir Gao

New Delhi, Dec 3 (UNI) Lok Sabha MP from Arunachal Pradesh Tapir Gao on Friday categorically said that no Chinese 'incursion' took place in Arunachal Pradesh under the current dispensation led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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Naidu decries 'forcible OTS collections' by AP government

Vijayawada, Dec 3 (UNI) Telugu Desam Party National President and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday slammed the YSRCP Government for resorting to 'forcible OTS collections' from the poor beneficiaries for houses built since the NT Rama Rao regime.

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Results of 28 flyers tested for Omicron awaited: Min Tope

Mumbai, Dec 3 (UNI) Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Friday informed that the blood samples of 28 inbound international passengers have been sent for testing to check for COVID variant Omicron.

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Yorkshire cricket club cleans house amid racism probe

The English cricket club at the center of a racism investigation has announced the departure of its entire coaching staff and director of cricket

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Growth in US service sector reaches new heights in November

Growth in the services sector, where most Americans work, hit an all-time high in November, surpassing the previous record set in October

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Kohli's lbw dismissal sparks umpiring debate

India skipper Virat Kohli's controversial leg before dismissal on day one of the second Test against New Zealand left the

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Study suggests past COVID infection may not fend off omicron

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — South African scientists are warning that reinfections among people who’ve already battled COVID-19 appear to

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Census Bureau works to improve confidence in 2020 headcount

The Census Bureau is looking to improve trust in the numbers it gathered during the 2020 census by fixing problems

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Chinese govt summons Evergrande founder after warning on funds

The Chinese government summoned the embattled founder of real estate firm Evergrande Friday, after the group issued a statement warning

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Clashes rock Arab town in Israel, alleged car-rammer killed

A night of violence ignited when a man was killed in an Arab town in northern Israel has ended with police shooting and killing a man involved in an alleged car-ramming attack

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Pope Francis condemns 'prejudice' in migrant mass in Cyprus

Pope Francis held an ecumenical prayer service for migrants and refugees in a church on the divided island of Cyprus

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No currency manipulator labels from US, China on watch

The Biden administration will not designate any country as a currency manipulator, but it did name China, Vietnam and Taiwan among the nations that have failed to live up to global agreements not to use their currencies to gain unfair trade advantages

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Wall Street's wild swings continue as stocks rise, then fall

Stocks are churning in mixed trading on Wall Street Friday following a tough-to-parse report on U.S. jobs, as markets continue to swirl at the tail end of a dizzying week

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German football mourns last of 1954 World Cup winners

Horst Eckel, the last remaining member of the West Germany team which won the World Cup in 1954, died Friday

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Duggar trial focusing on computer where child porn was found

Testimony is continuing in the federal trial for former reality TV star Josh Duggar, who is charged with downloading and possessing child pornography

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Road accidents kill six people in four districts

Dhaka, Dec. 3 -- At least six people were killed in separate road accidents in Chandpur, Rajshahi, Pabna and Chattogram districts on Thursday night and Friday. Among the deceased, three were killed in Chandpur and the rest of the fatalities were reported from three other districts, according to UNB. In Chandpur, three youths riding a motorbike on way to a tourist spot were killed after a collision with a speeding bus on Chandpur-Cumilla highway on Friday, police said. The accident near Hajiganj's Dherra CNG station occurred at around 1.30 pm during the Jumma prayers. The deceased were identified as Sohag Hossain, 30, Md. Monir Hossain, 30, and Md. Sujan Hossain, 28. All of them were residents of Belashwar area of Chandina in Cumilla. Citing eyewitnesses Hajiganj police sub-inspector Joynal Abedin six young men were going from Chandina in Cumilla to Chandpur Molhead tourist spot on two motorcycles. At Dherra under Hajiganj one of the motorcycles collided head-on with a passenger bus coming from the opposite leaving three riders of a bike dead on the spot. Hundreds of vehicles were stranded on road after the accident. Meanwhile, locals managed to seize the bus but the driver managed to escape. Joynal said that the bodies were taken to the police station. Legal action would be taken after the autopsy, he said. In Pabna, a foreign engineer of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant was killed after a goods-laden vehicle hit him in Ishwardi Upazila of Pabna district on Friday noon, police said. The deceased was identified as Barjahan, 35. He was an engineer of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in Pabna's Ishwardi Upazila. Barjahan was a Tajik national working as an engineer of the Russian-owned Nikimoth Company. According to police, Engineer Barjahan was seriously injured when a goods-carrying vehicle hit him from behind while working inside the project. Later he was rescued and taken to Ishwardi Upazila Health Complex where on-duty doctors declared him dead. Being informed, police recovered the body, said inspector of Ishwardi police station (investigation) Hadiul Islam. Arrangements will be made to send the body of the engineer to his country after the autopsy. An unnatural death case has been filed at Ishwardi police station in this regard, said the OC. In Rajshahi, a child was killed after a passenger bus hit him while he was crossing a road in Godagari upazila on Friday, police said. The incident occurred at around 10 am on the Rajshahi-Chapainawabganj highway at the Jamdani intersection. The child was identified as Tawfiq, 5, son of Md. Babu in Charghat area of Bagha upazila. Witnesses said Tawfiq was going to his grandfather's house in Jamdani village with his mother. His mother was paying the auto rickshaw fare at the Jamdani junction. While the child was crossing the road all by himself, he was hit by a Dhaka-bound Grameen Travels bus from Chapainawabganj and died on the spot. Godagari Model Police officer-in-charge (OC) Kamrul Islam said the bus was stopped by locals at Baslitala area and later handed over to the police. The OC said necessary action would be taken if any complaint was received from the child's family. In Chattogram, a driver of an auto-rickshaw was killed and four others were injured in a road accident on the Dhaka-Chattogram Highway in Kumira union of Sitakunda upazila on Thursday night. The deceased was identified as Md Jewel, the driver of the autorickshaw, who was a resident of Uttar Bashbaria village in the upazila. The injured were identified as Manik (26), Kazi Moinul Islam (25), Nurul Islam (24), and Sagor (25). They are undergoing treatment at Chattogram Medical College Hospital, said Md Firoz Mia, second officer of Kumira fire service station. The accident occurred around 9:00 pm in front of a petrol pump near the Sultana temple area of the highway, he said. According to locals, the speeding truck hit the auto-rickshaw that overturned in the impact, leaving Jewel dead on the spot. A fire service team rushed the four injured to the hospital. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at contentservices@htlive.comThe Financial Express

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Bangladesh puts borders on alert after India detects omicron

Dhaka, Dec. 3 -- The government has alerted officials at borders after two people tested positive for the new Covid-19 variant omicron in India's Karnataka. No one will be allowed to cross the border into Bangladesh without a Covid-negative certificate, the Directorate General of Health Services said on Friday. No travellers from India will require institutional quarantine, for now, said Ahmedul Kabir, an additional director general at the DGHS, reports bdnews24.com. "We've sent a message to all officials at borders with India. They are carrying out health screening of anyone who enters Bangladesh, while everyone is being asked for COVID test certificates. Anyone with positive results is barred from entering." The omicron variant, which was first detected in South Africa in November, has been identified in several European countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Portugal and Italy, while cases were also found in Australia and the United States. The National Technical Advisory Committee on COVID recommended barring the entrance of travellers into Bangladesh from countries where omicron has been identified. Individuals who had travelled to these countries two weeks prior to arriving in Bangladesh should also face a 14-day quarantine, the committee said. The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh on Friday announced a 14-day institutional quarantine for travellers coming from seven African nations in a bid to prevent the spread of the variant. Any passenger who arrives directly from or has been to any of these countries in the past 14 days must go into quarantine. They must book a room at a designated quarantine hotel before travelling to Bangladesh. Also, the travellers must carry a COVID-negative certificate after undergoing the RT PCR test within 48 hours of the flight. However, the rule does not apply to children under the age of 12. Ahmedul said the DGHS was yet to decide whether to put travellers from India in quarantine. "[We are going to] keep the significant ports open and bar anyone from entering there without a COVID-negative certificate." India's health ministry confirmed two cases with the omicron variant in the southern state of Karnataka on Thursday and the government advised states to ramp up testing. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at contentservices@htlive.comThe Financial Express

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Microbus-auto collision kills two in Chapainawabganj

Dhaka, Dec. 3 -- Two people were killed and three others injured in a microbus-auto-rickshaw collision on Chapainawabganj-Sonamasjid land port road in Shibganj Upazila of Chapainawabganj on Friday. The deceased were identified as Ziaur Rahman, 38, son of Md Ali of Pirojpur village of the upazila and Jahangir, 35, son of Jan Mohammad of Bholahat upazila, reports UNB. Witnesses said a microbus collided head-on with an autorickshaw coming from the opposite direction at the Koylabari Truck Terminal area around 4 pm, leaving auto-rickshaw passenger Ziaur dead on the spot and four injured. The injured were sent to Shibganj Upazila Health Complex where Jahangir succumbed to his injuries, confirmed Farid Hossain, Officer-in-charge of Shibganj Police Station. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at contentservices@htlive.comThe Financial Express

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Female education in improving healthcare indicators of Bangladesh: an econometric evidence

Dhaka, Dec. 3 -- Bangladesh has made significant improvements in the health of women and children and has achieved its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 (to reduce child mortality) and is on track to MDG 5a (to reduce maternal mortality). In 2010, the United Nations recognised Bangladesh for its exceptional progress towards MDG 4 and 5a to reduce child and maternal mortality in the face of many socio-economic challenges. Several factors outside of the health sector have supported reductions in maternal and child mortality. Female education is one of those factors which may have significant effect on the improvements in health outcomes of Bangladesh. In order to investigate deeper into these facts, Bangladesh Institute of Governance and Management (BIGM) has conducted a scientific econometric research assuming that rapid progress in female education may reflect the Bangladeshis' social responsiveness to change towards the improvement of health outcomes. The purpose of that paper was to see how the health outcomes (in case of life expectancy, under-5 mortality and adolescent fertility) are impacted by health expenditure (both public and private), per capita income in presence of overall governance and female education. The paper uses autoregressive distributed lag technique to estimate the models with data ranges from 1990 to 2016 under two different scenarios. Figure 1 shows trend of selected variables over the period 1990 to 2016. The composite governance issue variable is generated using Principal Component Analysis method, combining all 12 dimensions of International Country Risk Guide. For the first scenario, individual health outcome (defined in terms of three major indicators, such as Life Expectancy , Under-5 Mortality and Adolescent Fertility were taken as dependent variables. Public and private health expenditure as percentage of GDP, per capita GDP and composite governance issue were taken as independent variables. Female Secondary School enrolment ratio was taken as explanatory proxy variable. It was found that the composite governance issue shows expected positive impact on life expectancy and negative impact on other two health outcomes at 1 per cent level of significance. Female secondary school enrolment ratio provides ambiguous insignificant impact on life expectancy though it shows expected negative impact on under-5 mortality and adolescent fertility at 10 per cent and 1 per cent level of significance, respectively. So it provides statistically significant evidence that female education and female participation in the labour force are actually improving the health outcomes of Bangladesh. Moreover, public health expenditure has significant positive impact on life expectancy at 10 per cent, whereas it has strong negative impact on under-5 mortality and adolescent fertility at 1 per cent level of significance. Private health expenditure has positive impact on life expectancy at 1 per cent and negative impact on other two health outcomes at 10 per cent level of significance. Income level of people is represented by per capita GDP which also provides expected significant impacts on all the three health outcomes. The effect of public health expenditure augmented governance issue on selected health outcomes was examined in presence of relevant variables in second scenario. It also shows significant positive impact on life expectancy at 5 per cent and strong negative impact on under-5 mortality and adolescent fertility at 10 per cent and 1 per cent level of significance, respectively. Basically, it can be said that 1 per cent increase in public health expenditure augmented governance issue and will lead to 0.15 per cent increase in life expectancy; moreover, it will decrease under-five 5 rate by 11.5 per cent and adolescent fertility rate by 9.7 per cent in the long run. However, female secondary enrolment ratio and per capita GDP shows statistically significant impact on the health outcomes with expected signs. In this case, coefficient of female secondary enrolment ratio statistically improves with improved significance level than previous section. The coefficient of private health expenditure has also shown significant impact on health outcomes with expected signs except on under-5 mortality though insignificant. Our findings of the study econometrically prove the fact that the rapid improvement of female education has significant positive impact on current health status of Bangladesh. The relationship among the health outcomes and the composite governance issue, female secondary school enrolment ratio and public health expenditure calls for the government to maximise the positive externality of social attitude to change through women empowerment. This female education programme enhances the participation of female in the labour force and indirectly helps to achieve this remarkable achievement in heath sector. However, the governance issues plaguing the health sector needs to be identified and addressed as a priority to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the public funds and also achieve better health outcomes which will once again enable the country to achieve its health-care goals and agenda outlined in the SDGs. Nevertheless, the increase of health care budget is also necessary as it has significant impact on health outcomes. In that case, public spending on health issue can be increased to ensure Universal Health Coverage goals to reduce the burden of private heath expenditure. Tahmina Sultana is Research Fellow, Bangladesh Institute of Governance and Management (BIGM). tahmina.sultana@bigm.edu.bd Faroque Ahmed is Research Associate, BIGM faroque.hossain@bigm.edu.bd For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at contentservices@htlive.comThe Financial Express

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Role of heritage branding to make Muslin global

Dhaka, Dec. 3 -- Muslin is a historical fabric with high potential. According to statistics, the loom industry demonstrated a consistent growth from 1946 to 1990, then it showed a decline. The two prominent historical pieces of cloth are Muslin and Jamdani. Muslin was produced during pre-colonial times and was extremely valued in the Mughal court. Furthermore, it was imported by Europe and was regarded as a luxurious piece of fabric for much of the 17th and 18th centuries. However, the British colonial rulers hindered the growth of the hand woven muslin to replace with machine-spun British textiles. Now Bangladesh has applied for the geographical indication (GI) of muslin, a designation that would protect it as a unique product of the country. Although this is an immense stride on behalf of the government towards the revival of the muslin, it is not sufficient to bring this cultural artifact in the limelight. As Bangladesh is approaching the least developed country (LDC) graduation, it has become even more crucial to dig deeper into the roots and rediscover its strengths that can be capitalised on for a smooth transition. One way is to rebrand and reposition the prestigious handloom muslin in the global high value apparel scene. In order for this to happen, heritage branding has become as relevant as ever. Tangail is greatly known for its historical context of the loom industry. However, traditional handloom mechanisms are on the verge of extinction, taken over by power loom. In an interview with Palash, one of the weavers in the Pathrail union, famous for Tangail sarees, mentioned, "Despite being a profession passed down the family line for generations, handloom weaving is a less profitable occupation for us. Furthermore, there is a lack of political willingness and governmental funding to preserve the heritage." Reviving the wonders of muslin has been on the government's agenda for a while. However, it is crucial that a broader vision of going global is a priority as well. Aarong, despite being a leading Bengali ethnic wear business for over 20 years, has set a precedent in the local context but lacks an aggressive strategy of positioning itself globally. Both the leading international clothing lines and the manufacturing firms in Bangladesh have developed a symbiotic relationship, where both parties have gotten accustomed to each other in the sense that they are comfortable associating the unique selling proposition (USP) of Bangladeshi textile industry to cheap labour. With the upcoming LDC graduation, it is essential to acknowledge that repositioning the traditional muslin fabric will be difficult with this USP because Bangladesh has been adding value in terms of low cost and high product quality, whereas muslin is a fabric that is prestigious in both respects. The reason behind this is that the productivity level of human beings is undoubtedly lower than that of technology-a reality that applies to the handloom industry too, where intensive human contribution is required. Keeping all these factors into consideration, the handloom muslin fabric should be branded and positioned globally by targeting a niche market, which can not only afford the high value apparel but also appreciate human touch, culture, history and humanity. The differentiating factor here would be accepting the difference between powerloom and handloom. Heritage branding has multiple facets and it is not as simple as it seems. Manish Arora, the Indian world celebrated designer, established his fashion brand by registering it as a UK business and partnered with reputed multinational corporations to gain access to global resources, markets. It was done to avoid the country of origin bias and alleviate the negative perception of place of manufacturing by portraying itself as a global corporation with native origins, which is essential for promoting in nascent markets such as Australia and South America that do not associate the South Asian countries in respect of fashion wear. This has been a proven technique that the handloom entities in Bangladesh can adopt alongside perfecting the art of storytelling of the muslin brand. The history of the prestigious "woven air" fabric, the struggle of the artisans, geography-centric heritage, the meticulous techniques adopted in weaving- all constitute an all-encompassing story towards branding the Dhaka muslin in the international fashion scene. Additionally, it is also imperative to disseminate the message that the handloom sector is equally celebrated by the country of origin. One way to do this is tying it with tourism with heritage in geographies specialised in the manufacture of muslin, establishing "handloom museums'' in Narsingdi, Cumilla, Manikganj, Tangail and so on -- basically, in handloom hubs, thus reaffirming the prestige of this craft by using the powerful art of storytelling. National branding is an emotive tool that has been effective for Peru -- the country that used creative campaigns showing its government integral to the promotions, showcased historical narratives to tourist spots as a means of demonstrating an experientially rich cultural tourism. PromPeru, the official tourism board for Peru, was successful in eliminating any negative connotations associated with the country in the global eye-- something Bangladesh can learn from to reinvigorate its heritage textiles. Nowshin Noor Aysharzo, founder of Drape-o-Canvas, a platform that sells hand-painted muslin sarees and dupattas, said, "In this 21st century, Muslin can again establish a very significant place in the global market by creating fusions in this fabric, and utilising it for various modern purposes. The Western world is very enthusiastic about using traditional materials, and Muslin by catering this demand can create a new position in the global arena." Shanjida Hossain is a final year student of BBA programme at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka. shanjida7f@gmail.com. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at contentservices@htlive.comThe Financial Express

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Barca UCL decider at Bayern to be without fans

Barcelona's vital Champions League game at Bayern Munich next week will be played without fans to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Bavaria.

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Weak US jobs data a boon for stocks

Equities pushed higher on Friday after weak US jobs data reduced the likelihood of a quick tightening of US monetary

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