Prothom Alo IllustrationA local Jubo League leader was gunned down by armed miscreants at Naikhongchhora in Rangamati’s Rajasthali upazila on Sunday night, reports UNB.The victim was Chongkla Ching Marma, president of Bangalhalia Ward unit of Jubo League.Jubo League is the youth front of the ruling Awami League.Ashraf Uddin, officer-in-charge of Chandraghona police station, said a gang of terrorists stormed into Chongkla’s house around 11:00pm and opened fire on him, leaving him dead on the spot.On information, police and army men visited the spot.
Logo of arrestThe Border Security Force (BSF) of India has detained around 16 Bangladeshi nationals, including six women and children for ‘illegally entering into its territory’, reports the Business Standard.Later, the BSF handed over the Bangladeshis to the Gaighata police.Quoting Indian police, the India media outlet on Sunday said 10 men, three women and three children were held from Angailail border on 24 June.The police, however, did not disclose identities of the detainees.The India police claimed that the Bangladeshis entered India by crossing the border illegally, the report added.
Logo of fire IllustrationThree more bodies were pulled out of the wreckage of a spinning mill in Faridpur of Sreepur upazila in Gazipur on Wednesday, taking the death toll to four, reports UNB.Two of the deceased are Shahjalal Mia and Anwar.Mohammad Aktaruzzaman, deputy director of Gazipur Fire Service Control room, said firefighters recovered the charred bodies of three more people after extinguishing the blaze at night.The bodies were sent to Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmad Medical College Hospital for autopsy.On Tuesday, a security guard, identified as Russel Mia, was burned to death after the fire broke out at the spinning mill around 2pm.Eighteen firefighting units extinguished the blaze after 12 hours of frantic effort. Valuables, including cotton and machineries, were destroyed in the fire.A three-member committee was formed to identify the cause of the fire.
Discarded rawhides are seen on the streets. Photo: Prothom AloThe drastic fall of leather export earnings and rawhide price during this Eid-ul-Azha is the outcome of the government’s failure of setting up an industrial park even after 16 years.Initiated in 2003, the 200-acre park in Savar is yet to complete the Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) while the work of its dumping yard has not yet begun. The authorities have also failed to hand over the deeds of the land pieces to a single tanner till now, documents suggest.Leather industry’s stakeholders said the prices of rawhide have been low for the past three years.This year, they added, the prices have hit the rock bottom.About the industrial park, Dhaka University’s development studies’ teacher Abu Yusuf said there is a ‘lack of foresight in building the leather industrial park.’As per the tradition, the tannery owners usually pay dues to the rawhide merchants during Eid-ul-Azha. They then buy the rawhide and supply to the tanners.The tannery owners said, as the amount of export money dipped and they could not manage enough loans from the banks, they failed to provide enough money to the merchants.During this Eid-ul-Azha, people were seen throwing rawhides on the streets as they failed to get fair prices. Despite the fact, Bangladesh imported processed leather worth nearly Tk 9.45 billion in fiscal 2018-19 from abroad.Recognised foreign brands do not purchase goods made of Bangladeshi leather as the country’s industrial park is not environment-friendly. So, local footwear manufacturers like Apex import leather and make goods with them.“If the leather industry had been environment-friendly, we could have exported domestic rawhides to Europe and America. We could even use leather in our factories. But, we can’t,” said Apex Footwear’s deputy managing director Abdul Momen Bhuiyan.Just three years back, local factories used to export leather goods to European markets. But, an International Non-government Organization (INGO), Momen added, wrote a letter to the buyers alleging environmental pollution and it brought an end to the use of domestic leather.He also said China had been the top buyer of Bangladeshi rawhides. The rawhide exportation slipped further low following the US’s imposition of tariff on China.But, he thinks, if the industrial park has been prepared, leather goods might have been exported directly from Bangladesh to the European and American markets.Villagers inhume around 900 rawhides as they could not sell those. File PhotoDecline in exportThe leather industry is the country’s second largest export commodity. The estimated target of exporting leather was set for $ 5 billion by 2021 amid a sharp decline in export.In fiscal 2018-19, the total value of rawhide export was recorded $1.02 billion, which is 6 per cent less than that of the last year. In 2016-17 financial years, the amount was $ 1.23 billion.The tannery owners said it took a long time to start production at Savar following a sudden closure of tanneries in 2017.Meanwhile, the owners added, many buyers of India and Japan left Bangladesh.“China is now our sole buyer. They are taking the chance and offering very low prices,” said Maizdi Tannery director Shahidul Islam.“We purchased 45,000 rawhides after the previous Eid-ul-Azha. Half of them are still unsold,” he addedThe industrial park at a glanceOn 3 October 1951, the government shifted the leather industry from Narayanganj to Hazaribag. As the authorities failed to develop any waste refinery treatment system there, nearly 24,000 cubic metre tannery wastes were flown into Buriganga river.Documents say the government launched a project to build a Leather Industrial Park in Savar for an estimated cost of Tk 1.76 billion. Later, the cost was lifted to 10.79 billion. The work order for waste treatment plant was issued on 11 March 2012.Following a High Court order, the tanneries were shifted from the Dhaka’s Hazaribagh to Savar.A total of 158 tanneries were given land. Of them, 124 tanneries have already started their operations.In a visit, the reporters saw that the solid waste is being dumped into a nearby pond.Bangladesh Tannery Association’s (BTA) general secretary Md Shakhawat Ullah said the crisis will not crop up if the progress made in the past six months was achieved earlier.Asked about the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation’s (BSCIC) responsibility for the delay, its chairman Md Moshtaq Hasan said the BSCIC was responsible.Many along with the BSCIC showed their negligence as land requisition took a long time despite the project’s inception in 2003.The waste treatment plant will launch in full-fledged in December next, the BSCIC chairman said adding that the deed of the land will be handed over once the prices of the land pieces are paid.Dhaka University teacher Abu Yusuf also said a small organisation like BSCIC may not have the capacity to build such a big industrial park.On the other hand, he added, futuristic thinking is missing in building CETP as the plant has a capacity of refining waste of 25 cubic metres.“Once the industrial park goes into operation, it may produce waste of 38,000 cubic metres,” he added.*This report appeared in the print edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Toriqul Islam
Share X Listen 00:00 /01:14 Houston rents went down 0.8 percent from June to July, according to a report by Apartment List. It found the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Houston is $1,160 and $1,500 for a two-bedroom.Andrew Woo, a data scientist with Apartment List, said usually rents tend to go up during the summer, and that is what’s happening in other parts of the state and the country.“Houston hasn’t seen that this year, I think partly because of the oil bust, the economy has slowed down a little bit,” he said. “So rents have tended to be kind of flat or slightly declining.”Rents here grew only 0.1 percent since June of last year. Compare that to 2.1 percent nationwide and 2.9 percent in Texas.Houston renters also fare well compared to similar-sized U.S. cities.Still, incomes are not catching up with rent growth.“In Houston, actually, inflation-adjusted incomes fell from 1980 to 2014 by nearly 10 percent, but rents continued to climb,” Woo said. “They increased by more than 15 percent.”The Museum District, Downtown and River Oaks are among the most expensive neighborhoods in the Bayou City.In the greater metro area, Sugar Land is on par with Houston, although rent here decreased by 5.2 percent from a year ago. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:
To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Associated PressDallas Police officers salute during a memorial service for fallen peace officers in downtown Dallas, Wednesday, May 17, 2017. The Dallas Police Department and city leaders held a ceremony to honor fallen officers as part of the annual Police Memorial Day less than a year after five officers were slain. (AP Photo/LM Otero)Ray Hunt is the president of the Houston Police Officers Union.He says he remembers exactly what he was doing on July 7 2016.“I recall it vividly,” Hunt says. “I was talking to the vice president of the Dallas Police Association about an issue and he told me that he was in route to a shooting of multiple police officers, and it sounded like at least one of them was going to be fatal.”Hunt says from then on out officers in Houston were reminded to be more vigilant regardless of where they are.He mentioned donations made by local groups to help officers have more protective vests while on duty.“We now have high power rifle vests that can handle a high power rifle round through the vital organs of an officers,” Hunt says.Hunt says he knows that a shooting can deter people from wanting to become an officer, but it also may have an opposite effect.“I also think that you have people out there who say, ‘You know what this a tragic situation that happened in Dallas. I want to go out and I want to do something to make this place better,’” Hunt says.Officers on patrol turned on their red and blue lights for one minute in remembrance of the officers who were killed. 00:00 /01:06 X Listen Share
Photo by Dreamactivist.orgRosa María Hernández, an undocumented 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy, was taken into custody by federal agents after emergency surgery at a Texas hospital.The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) contends in a federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday in San Antonio that federal authorities didn’t follow due process during the detention of Rosa María Hernández, according to a senior staff attorney with the Texas chapter of the organization.Hernández is a 10 year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico who suffers from cerebral palsy.Immigration authorities detained her last week, while Hernandez was travelling to Corpus Christi to undergo emergency gallbladder surgery.Hernández was taken into custody after the surgery and she is now staying at a shelter managed by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, and is facing deportation.ACLU’s Edgar Saldivar told Houston Public Media the detention violates both Rosa María’s and her mother’s “fundamental right to liberty and family integrity under the due process clause of the Fifth amendment [of the United States Constitution].”Another main argument of the ACLU’s lawsuit, according to Saldivar, is that Hernández has never been unaccompanied and, therefore, she should have never been sent to the Office of Refugee Resettlement.“She has never been without the custody of her mother, she was travelling actually with her adult cousin at all times and, so, for authorities to take her under custody as an unaccompanied child is wrong, and to remove her the custody of her parents, the lawful custody she’s always been in since she was born, is a violation of different laws and that’s what we are asserting,” Saldivar noted, while adding that Hernández’s cousin is a U.S. citizen.The ACLU attorney added that his organization thinks Hernández’s detention can have violated the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008.The ACLU will ask the Court for a hearing “as soon as possible.” Share
Twitter via @ElFinanciero_MxRuben Ramirez CardenasA Mexican citizen on death row in Texas was executed Wednesday night for the slaying of his 16-year-old cousin who was abducted from her family’s apartment and fatally beaten.Ruben Ramirez Cardenas, 47, was given a lethal injection after several federal court appeals failed to halt his punishment for the February 1997 killing of Mayra Laguna.Asked by the warden to make a final statement, he replied, “No, sir.”As the lethal dose of pentobarbital began, he took a couple of breaths and then began snoring. After less than a minute, all movement stopped.Twenty-one minutes later, at 10:26 p.m. CST, he was pronounced dead, making him the seventh convicted killer put to death this year in Texas, which carries out capital punishment more than any other state.In a handwritten statement released afterward, Cardenas thanked his family, attorneys and the Mexican consulate for their help.“Now! I will not and cannot apologize for someone elses crime, but, I will be Back for Justice,” he wrote. “You can count on that!”His punishment was delayed for about four hours as last-ditch appeals for the former security guard focused primarily on efforts to have trial evidence undergo new DNA testing. In a filing to the U.S. Supreme Court hours before his execution, lawyers argued Texas was violating Cardenas’ due process rights and a state statute that covers forensic testing. They asked the justices to halt the execution for a court review.They also asked the justices for more time to appeal a lower court’s rejection of a federal civil rights lawsuit in which they claimed his due process and civil rights were being violated because Texas officials wouldn’t release evidence so it can undergo new DNA testing. Attorneys for the state said the lawsuit was improper and that state courts already refused the DNA request because Cardenas could not show that more advanced tests would exonerate him. DNA results in evidence at Cardenas’ trial were not false, state attorneys said.The high court, without comment, rejected both appeals.Earlier this week, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest criminal court, rejected a similar appeal seeking DNA tests. Cardenas’ attorneys argued the new testing would be better than the now-obsolete testing that left “persistent doubts about his guilt and the integrity of his conviction.”Laguna was snatched from a bedroom she shared with a younger sister at her family’s public housing apartment in McAllen in South Texas. In a confession to police, Cardenas said he and a friend drove around with the high school student in his mother’s car. He said he had sex with the teen and then punched her as she fought him after he unbound her arms to let her go.“I didn’t plan on doing this, but I was high on cocaine,” he told authorities.He said after he hit the teen in the neck, she began coughing up blood and having difficulty breathing. After trying unsuccessfully to revive her, he said he tied her up “and rolled her down a canal bank.”Her body was found in a canal near a lake in the Rio Grande Valley in far South Texas.Laguna’s sister, Roxana Jones, said she had waited 21 years for justice to be served.“Words can’t begin describe the relief it feels to know that there is true peace after so much pain and sorrow,” she said in a statement released by prison officials. “Mayra can be remembered as loving, caring, funny and dimples when she smiled. She will continue to watch over family and friends.”Cardenas’ attorney, Maurie Levin, contended eyewitness testimony against Cardenas was shaky, that little physical evidence tied him to the killing and that his confession was obtained after 22 hours of isolation and intense police questioning.She also said that authorities acted improperly when not telling the Mexican-born Cardenas that he could get legal help from the Mexican consulate.Being born in Mexico, which does not have capital punishment, made Cardenas eligible for legal help from the Mexican consulate when he was arrested, according to provisions of the Vienna Convention of Consular Relations, which is a 1963 international agreement. The courts have allowed executions to move forward in several previous Texas death row cases in which the agreement was said to have been violated.“For the Mexican government, capital punishment constitutes one of the most essential violations of human rights,” Jacob Prado Gonzalez, the Mexican government’s general director for consular protection, said.Cardenas grew up in the Texas Rio Grande Valley.The friend who was with Cardenas during the abduction, Jose Antonio Lopez Castillo, now 45, was convicted of aggravated kidnapping and is serving a 25-year prison term. Share
Share Michael Stravato for The Texas TribuneThis archive photo shows voters casting their votes in Houston during the November election in 2016. Nine early voting locations have opened in Harris County for voters to cast a ballot during the early voting period for the December 9, 2017 joint runoff election.Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart announced that nine early voting locations are opening Wednesday in Harris County for voters to cast a ballot during the early voting period for the December 9, 2017 joint runoff election.The races are for the Houston Community College (HCC) Trustee District IX position, the Houston Independent School District (HISD) Trustee District I position and the Houston Independent School District Trustee District III position.The early voting period for the runoff election runs from November 29 to December 2 and resumes December 4 to December 5.An estimated 90,000 registered voters meet the requirement to vote in the Houston Community College Trustee District IX race, 78,000 in the Houston ISD Trustee District I race and 55,000 in Houston ISD Trustee District III race. Stanart advised the public to visit the website www.harrisvotes.com to find out if they reside in one of the three districts where an election is taking place and the address for the voting locations.That website also shows sample ballots and provides information about acceptable forms of identification to vote.Additionally, you can also call (713) 755-6965 for election information.