A woman carrying 14 gold bars weighing 1.37kg in her rectum was arrested at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on early Saturday.
Nilufer Yasmin, the arrestee, came to Dhaka on a flight of Thai Lion Air from Bangkok around midnight.
A team stopped her at the green channel acting on a tip-off, said Sulaiman Saif, assistant commissioner of Customs.
During interrogation, she confessed that she was carrying gold bars in her rectum.
Later, the gold worth around Tk 70 lakh were recovered and she was handed over to police.
The air quality in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka has not improved in recent days and its residents continue to face health risks. The megacity ranked second among cities with worst air quality on Saturday morning.
It had an AQI score of 214 at 08:51am. The air was classified as ‘very unhealthy’ and in this condition everyone may experience serious health effects.
When the AQI value is between 201 and 300, the entire population is more likely to be affected while children are advised to limit outdoor activities.
Moreover, the situation notifies health warnings of emergency conditions.
Mongolia’s Ulaanbaatar and Vietnam’s Hanoi occupied the first and third spots in the list of cities with the worst air quality with AQI scores of 245 and 202 respectively.
The AQI, an index for reporting daily air quality, informs people how clean or polluted the air of a certain city is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for them.
In Bangladesh, the AQI is based on five criteria pollutants – Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2 and Ozone (O3).
The Department of Environment has also set national ambient air quality standards for these pollutants. These standards aim to protect against adverse human health impacts.
Dhaka has long been grappling with air pollution. Its air quality usually improves during monsoon.
The Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) gave its residents and traders seven days to stop the sale and use of polythene bags.
In a press release, SCC said the incumbent government has taken various initiatives to make the country free of polythene bags.
As part of the initiatives, the SCC said it took steps to stop the sale and use of polythene bags in the city corporation area.
It requested all traders and people to shun polythene bags and warned of legal actions.
In 2002, Bangladesh banned thin polythene, becoming the first country in the world to do so. But polythene bags are still widely used thanks to a lax implementation.
Bangladesh needs to invest an estimated extra $7.8 billion over the next decade to halve its road crash fatalities, says a new World Bank report.
The report, Delivering Road Safety in Bangladesh, released in conjunction with the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Stockholm, points to the high death rate on Bangladesh’s roads caused by chronic lack of investment in systemic, targeted, and sustained road safety programmes.
It also identifies relevant investment priorities to reverse the trend.
The report is part of a broader study on road safety in South Asia’s eastern sub-region comprising Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal that calls for regional measures to make roads and vehicles safer, even while making national-level actions a top priority.
The eastern subregion accounts for an estimated 86 percent of South Asia’s population, 92 percent of its vehicles, and 87 percent of its road crash fatalities.
“Years of rapid economic growth in South Asia, followed by a steep rise in vehicle ownership have led to mounting traffic deaths and contributed to lost economic opportunities,” said Hartwig Schafer, World Bank Vice President for South Asia.
“South Asia’s road safety crisis is unacceptable but preventable. The good news is that South Asian countries recognise the urgent need to protect their people, save lives, and sustain their journey toward greater prosperity. We at the World Bank stand ready to support their efforts.”
The report says annual road crash deaths per capita in Bangladesh are twice the average rate for high- income countries and five times that of the best performing countries in the world.
It highlights that children and working age population are most affected by road crash injuries in Bangladesh, according to a media release issued from Stockholm on Friday.
In 2017, road accidents became the fourth leading cause of death for children from the ninth leading cause of death in 1990.
The report calls for a new focus on safe road infrastructure design that meets the needs of all road users and vehicle types - animals, pedestrians, bicycles, rickshaws, motorcycles, motorized three-wheelers, cars, minibuses, buses, mini trucks, trucks, and agricultural vehicles.
A human-centered, rather than a purely vehicle-centered focus is required, with a rebalancing of "right-of-place" and "right-of-way" road functions.
“For Bangladesh, improving road safety is a national development priority, which will help the country boost economic growth,” said Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan. “Bangladesh must take urgent steps to address road safety and minimise this tragic loss of human capital.”
Nirapad Sarak Chai, a road safety advocacy group, in a report said that 5,227 people were killed in 4,702 road accidents in Bangladesh last year.
The World Bank report emphasises the need to focus on regional trade corridors where crashes are significant, and roads are unsafe. All categories of road users and vehicle types are represented in these corridors with narrow lanes, limited or no shoulders, and inadequate pedestrian facilities.
Road safety conditions on these regional corridors mirror the nature and scale of conditions prevalent on national highways.
Crash data collected in a sample of highway sections across Nepal, India, and Bangladesh reveal annual fatality rates ranging from 0.3 to 3 fatalities per kilometre, at a yearly average of 0.87 fatalities per kilometre, which is an alarming death rate by any standard.
To better monitor the effectiveness of road safety efforts, the report recommends a shared regional initiative to harmonise crash data management and analysis systems across South Asia.
Currently, South Asian countries are in varying stages of developing crash data and performance management systems that analyse the underlying factors behind each crash – whether it was defective road infrastructure, faulty vehicle design or human error.
To complement these efforts and to facilitate more rapid and effective knowledge transfer, the report suggests South Asian countries could join the proposed regional road safety observatory for Asia and the Pacific.
The nation paid deep respects to the martyrs of the 1952 Language Movement on Friday, marking 'Amar Ekushey', the Language Martyrs’ Day and the International Mother Language Day.
The Language Movement, a significant event in the nation’s history, was aimed at establishing the right of the mother tongue as well as protecting self-entity, and culture and heritage.
Walking barefoot to the Central Shaheed Minar with wreaths and flowers, singing 'Amar Bhaiyer Rakte Rangano Ekushey February', people from all walks of life paid rich tributes to the heroes of the Language Movement who laid down their lives for achieving the recognition of Bangla as the state language of erstwhile Pakistan.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led the nation in paying homage by placing wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar at one minute past midnight. At a programme later in the day, the Prime Minister urged everyone not to neglect the mother tongue and criticised Bangladeshis who cannot properly speak Bangla.
The day also brought together thousands of people from Bangladesh and India at no-man’s land in Benapole. The Bangla-speaking people of the two neighbouring countries paid rich tributes to the language heroes placing wreaths at a Shaheed Minar built temporarily at no-man’s land.
Ekushey February was observed at home and abroad by Bangladeshis and Bangladesh missions. The day also saw the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bangladesh launching the UN Bangla font and Bangla version of the Human Development Report 2019.
On February 21, 1952, students and common people in Dhaka took to the streets in protest against the then Pakistani government's denial of Bangla as the national language and imposition of Urdu as the only official language of Pakistan.
Salam, Barkat, Rafiq, Jabbar and a few other brave sons of the soil were killed in police firings when students came out in a procession from the Dhaka University campus breaching section 144 to press home their demand for the recognition of Bangla as a state language of then Pakistan.
Being a source of ceaseless inspiration, ‘Amar Ekushey’ inspired and encouraged the nation to a great extent to achieve the right to self-determination and struggle for freedom and the Liberation War.
With the bloodshed passage of Language Movement, the nation got the recognition of Bangla as its mother tongue and attained its long-cherished independence under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The day was observed across the world as Unesco recognised Ekushey February as the International Mother Language Day on November 17, 1999.
The theme of this year’s International Mother Language Day is "Languages without borders". The theme focuses on cross-border languages and helps preserve indigenous heritage.
Bangladesh has long trying to make Bangla as one of the official languages of the UN. Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said efforts are ongoing to that end.
“Government’s efforts will always be there so that it (Bangla) is made an official language (of the UN),” he said.