A joint forces team including Bangladesh Army, police and members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) on Monday rescued four people including the drivers of two covered vans, who were abducted by the members of United People's Democratic Front's (UPDF) from the hilly areas of Khagrachhari district on Sunday night. The victims were identified as Anwar Hossain, Monir Mia—drivers of the two covered vans and their helpers—Hannan Mia and Zayed Khan. Mizanur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Ramgarh Police Station, said the UPDF men abducted the four people from ‘Jointfarm’ owned by one Belayet along with two covered vans at gunpoint from Ramgarh upazila around 9 pm. 14 fishermen rescued four days after being stranded on sea Later, a joint team of law enforcers conducted the drive in the area and rescued them. However, no one was arrested in this connection. DU student rescued 7 hours after abduction in Rangamati Earlier, on September 6, a student of Dhaka University, who was abducted by the criminals in the hilly area of Rangamati, was rescued by the Army personnel hours after the abduction.
After the sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters started furiously working the phones to find out what was going on with the failed lender — and what would happen to its panicked depositors. Waters, former chair of the House Financial Services Committee, had her doubts that another bank would step up as a savior and buy the defunct institution. “Banks don’t just wake up and say: ‘Oh, there’s a problem with another significant bank and they’ve collapsed. Let’s just take it over,”’ she said. So began a frenetic weekend of nonstop briefings with regulators, lawmakers, administration officials and President Joe Biden himself about how to handle the demise of the nation’s 16th-biggest bank and a go-to financial institution for tech entrepreneurs. At the core of the problem was tens of billions of dollars — including money companies needed to meet payrolls — sitting in Silicon Valley Bank accounts that were not protected by federal deposit insurance that only goes up to $250,000.Something needed to be done, federal officials agreed, before Asian stock markets opened Sunday evening and other banks faced the potential for waves of panicked withdrawals Monday morning. “We were racing against the clock,” said Bharat Ramamurti, deputy director of the National Economic Council. Waters was right to be skeptical about a sale being closed on the fly. The bank’s size — $210 billion in assets — and complexity made it difficult to quickly wrap up a deal. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. officials told Republican senators Monday that they received offers for the bank over the weekend but didn’t have time to close; they said they could put Silicon Valley Bank up for auction again, according to a person familiar with the conversation who requested anonymity to discuss a private call. But another plan was coming together. On Sunday, Waters was on the phone with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who briefed her on how it would work. The Fed was creating a new emergency program that allowed it to lend directly to banks so they could cover withdrawals without having to sell off assets to raise cash. The idea was to reassure depositors and prevent bank runs at other institutions. By Sunday night, the Treasury Department, the Fed and the FDIC said the federal government would protect all deposits — even those that exceeded the FDIC’s $250,000 limit. “It’s miraculous, really,” Waters said, calling it “an example of what working together and what government can do with the right people in charge.’’ The praise was not unanimous. In the call Monday with officials from the FDIC and the Treasury Department, Republican senators expressed concern that millionaire Silicon Valley depositors were being rescued — and the cost might be passed onto community banks in their home states in the form of higher assessments for federal deposit insurance, according to the person familiar with the discussion. The trouble started last Wednesday when Silicon Valley Bank said it needed to raise $2.25 billion to shore up its finances after suffering big losses on its bond portfolio, which had plunged in value as the Federal Reserve raised interest rates. On Thursday, depositors rushed to pull their money out. An old-fashioned bank run was underway.At a House Ways and Means committee hearing on Friday morning, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said her agency was “monitoring very carefully” developments related to the bank. “When banks experience financial losses, it is and should be a matter of concern,” she told lawmakers. Biden was briefed about the situation on Friday morning, according to a White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. Then he celebrated an unexpectedly strong February jobs report, met with the leader of the European Union and jetted off to Wilmington, Delaware, to mark his grandson’s 17th birthday. His weekend would soon be consumed with phone and video calls focused on preventing a nationwide banking crisis. Regulators were so concerned, they didn’t even wait until the close of business on Friday — the usual practice — to shut the bank down; they closed the doors during working hours. It was the second-biggest bank failure in U.S. history and trickier than most: An astonishing 94% of Silicon Valley Bank’s deposits — including large cash holdings by tech startups — were uninsured by the FDIC. As administration officials and regulators worked through the weekend, Biden expressed concern about small businesses and their employees who relied on accounts that were now in jeopardy, the White House official said. There were also fears, the official said, that if Silicon Valley Bank depositors lost money, others would lose faith in the banking system and rush to withdraw money on Monday, causing a cascading crisis. Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Jake Auchincloss’ phone had started lighting up even before the weekend. Silicon Valley Bank had eight branches and offices in his home state, and word of its failure was traveling fast on social media.“The panic within Massachusetts industry and nonprofit sectors became acute within a matter of hours,” Auchincloss said. “My phone started just exploding.’’ Silicon Valley Bank wouldn’t be the only bank to collapse. By Sunday evening, federal officials announced that New York-based Signature Bank, a major lender to New York landlords, had also failed and was being seized. The government’s plan to cover deposits over $250,000 ended up applying to Signature’s customers as well. In a statement Sunday, Biden said, “The American people and American businesses can have confidence that their bank deposits will be there when they need them.″ On Monday, Powell announced that the Fed would review its supervision of Silicon Valley Bank to understand what went wrong. The review will be conducted by Michael Barr, the Fed vice chair who oversees bank oversight, and be released May 1. Now Biden and lawmakers are calling for legislative changes to tighten financial rules on regional banks, perhaps restoring parts of the Dodd-Frank law that tightened bank regulation after the 2008-2009 financial crisis but were rolled back five years ago. Waters said it might be time to raise deposit insurance thresholds. “We can’t just say this is an emergency and forget about it,″ she said.
Six days after the earthquake that flattened parts of Turkey and Syria, two survivors emerged from the rubble. They were dogs, the focus of a parallel rescue effort underway. “One of the dogs clung to its owner’s corpse, and it was absolutely a miracle that it was rescued six days later,” said Csenay Tekinbas, a representative of the local HAYTAP animal welfare group. “I hope it holds on to life,” Tekinbas said of the dog that finally left its dead owner. “I hope we can give it a new life.” Already, field hospitals have been set up in four cities to care for rescued pets. Read More: Rescuers find more alive in Turkey on 8th day after quake Survival is just the first step. Those hurrying to find and care for pets also struggle to give them proper care. “There is no food, bird food, chicken feed or anything in any pet shop at the moment. Because everywhere is either closed or collapsed,” Tekinbas said. Large bags of pet food are stacked at a relief station in one Antakya square, their crisp images of green lawns and happily panting pets contrasting with the grim surroundings. Nearby, a burly dog nibbles at a bowl. The outreach to save pets goes as far as pounding down doors. After being alerted to a dog apparently left alone on the fourth floor of a building, HAYTAP workers put on hard hats and broke into the apartment to rescue a large, fluffy German shepherd. As the dog slurped noisily at a metal bowl of water downstairs in a crumbling alley, the workers lavished affection on it. ___ Robert Bandendieck in Istanbul contributed to this report.
Rescue crews on Monday pulled a 40-year-old woman from the wreckage of a building a week after two powerful earthquakes struck, but reports of rescues are coming less often as the time since the quake reaches the limits of the human body's ability to survive without water, especially in sub-freezing temperatures. The magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 quakes struck nine hours apart in southeastern Turkey and northern Syria on Feb. 6. They killed at least 33,185, with the toll expected to rise considerably as search teams find more bodies, and reduced much of towns and cities inhabited by millions to fragments of concrete and twisted metal. On Monday rescuers pulled a 40-year-old woman from the wreckage of a 5-story building in the town of Islahiye, in Gaziantep province. The woman, Sibel Kaya, was rescued after spending 170 hours beneath the rubble by a mixed crew that included members of Turkey’s coalmine rescue team. Also REad:After quake, war-hit Syrians struggle to get aid, rebuild Earlier, a 60-year-woman, Erengul Onder, was also pulled out from the rubble in the town of Besni, in Adiyaman province, by teams from the western city of Manisa. “We received the news of a miracle from Besni which helped put the fire raging in our hearts a little,” wrote Manisa’s mayor Cengiz Ergun on Twitter. Eduardo Reinoso Angulo, a professor at the Institute of Engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico said the likelihood of finding people alive was “very, very small now.” The lead author on a 2017 study involving deaths inside buildings struck by earthquakes, Reinoso said that the odds of survival for people trapped in wreckage fall dramatically after five days, and is near zero after nine days, although there have been exceptions. David Alexander, a professor of emergency planning and management at University College London, agreed, saying the window for pulling people alive from the rubble is “almost at an end.” But, he said, the odds were not very good to begin with. Many of the buildings were so poorly constructed that they collapsed into very small pieces, leaving very few spaces large enough for people to survive in, Alexander said. “If a frame building of some kind goes over, generally speaking we do find open spaces in a heap of rubble where we can tunnel in,“ Alexander said. “Looking at some of these photographs from Turkey and from Syria, there just aren’t the spaces.” Wintery conditions further reduce the window for survival. Temperatures in the region have fallen to minus 6 degrees Celsius (21 degrees Fahrenheit) overnight. “The typical way the body compensates for hypothermia is shivering — and shivering requires a lot of calories,” said Dr. Stephanie Lareau, a professor of emergency medicine at Virginia Tech. “So if somebody’s deprived of food for a number of days and exposed to cold temperatures, they’re probably going to succumb to hypothermia more rapidly.” A week after the quakes hit, many people were still without shelter in the streets. Some survivors were still waiting in front of collapsed buildings waiting for the bodies of their loved ones to be retrieved. Many in Turkey blame faulty construction for the vast devastation, and authorities have begun targeting contractors allegedly linked with buildings that collapsed. At least 131 people were under investigation for their alleged responsibility in the construction of buildings that failed to withstand the quakes, officials said. Turkey has introduced construction codes that meet earthquake-engineering standards, but experts say the codes are rarely enforced. In Syria, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths said that the international community has failed to provide aid. Visiting the Turkish-Syrian border Sunday, Griffiths said Syrians are “looking for international help that hasn’t arrived.” “We have so far failed the people in northwest Syria. They rightly feel abandoned,” he said, adding, “My duty and our obligation is to correct this failure as fast as we can.” The earthquake death toll in Syria’s northwestern rebel-held region has reached 2,166, according to the rescue group the White Helmets. The overall death toll in Syria stood at 3,553 on Saturday, although the 1,387 deaths reported for government-held parts of the country hadn’t been updated in days. Turkey’s death toll was 29,605 as of Sunday. In the Syrian capital of Damascus, the head of the World Health Organization warned that the pain will ripple forward, calling the disaster an “unfolding tragedy that’s affecting millions.” “The compounding crises of conflict, COVID, cholera, economic decline, and now the earthquake have taken an unbearable toll,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. __ Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey, and El Deeb from Adana, Turkey. Ben Finley in Norfolk, Virginia contributed.
A joint rescue team of Bangladesh continues to play its part in the rescue effort in Turkey following last Monday's earthquake, one of the deadliest natural disasters ever to hit the region. The Bangladesh team has so far brought out a 17-year-old girl alive from the debris and recovered nine bodies, Shahjahan Sikder, deputy assistant director of the fire service headquarters media cell, said Sunday. The team consisting of 34 members from the army and 12 from the fire service left Dhaka Wednesday at 10pm and reached Turkey's Adana Military Air Base Thursday at 9:46pm. Later, they reached Adiyaman city in southeastern Turkey and started search and rescue operations, Shahjahan said.
Parliamentarians from Southeast Asia have urged ASEAN member states and other countries in the region to urgently rescue a boat carrying up to 200 Rohingya refugees, including women and children, which has reportedly been adrift off the coasts of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and India for weeks. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the boat has been adrift in high seas since late November, and dozens on board have already died during the journey, while survivors have no access to food, drinking water or medication. “We urgently call on ASEAN member states and other countries in the region to fulfill their humanitarian obligations and launch search and rescue operations for the boat if it enters their waters, and to allow for the proper disembarkation of the refugees. It is disgraceful that a boat filled with men, women, and children in grave danger has been allowed to remain adrift. Neglecting the people on the boat is nothing short of an affront to humanity,” said Eva Sundari, Board Member of ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), and former member of the Indonesian House of Representatives. According to media reports and information from human rights organizations, two other boats carrying Rohingya refugees have been adrift in the past weeks. One, carrying 154 refugees, was rescued by a Vietnamese oil service vessel on December 8. They were handed over to the Myanmar navy. Read More: https://unb.com.bd/category/Bangladesh/very-limited-spaces-offered-for-rohingya-resettlement-unhcr/106307 Another, carrying 104 refugees, was rescued by the Sri Lanka navy on December 18 and disembarked at Kankesanturai Harbor. The Rohingyas have been suffering persecution in their country of origin, Myanmar, for decades. The overwhelming majority of them were rendered stateless in the early 1990s by the authorities, and have suffered the most serious human rights violations since at least the late seventies. In 2016 and 2017 they were the target of brutal military operations, displacing over 730,000 to neighbouring Bangladesh and for which the Myanmar army has been accused of genocide. In these desperate conditions, many of them put themselves at the hands of unscrupulous human smugglers to seek a better life in countries like Malaysia, in extremely dangerous journeys through the Andaman Sea. “In all likelihood, the delay in rescuing these boats has already caused untold suffering and loss of life. Any further delay is unconscionable. This neglect of Rohingya refugees stranded in the sea is nothing new, as it has been going on for years, and has resulted in hundreds, if not thousands, of deaths that could have been easily been prevented if the countries in the region fulfilled the most elementary humanitarian principles,” said Charles Santiago, Chairperson of APHR, and former member of Parliament from Malaysia. Read More: 16 Rohingya including children and women detained in Sreemangal APHR urged ASEAN to devise a comprehensive and coordinated regional response to the issue of refugees stranded at sea, in order to act effectively, and according to humanitarian principles, in such situations, as saving lives at sea must be a collective effort. But ASEAN should also address the root causes of the tragedy that befell the Rohingya for so many years, including putting pressure on the Myanmar authorities to restore their citizenship, and receiving the refugees currently living in camps in Bangladesh, APHR said on Tuesday. ASEAN should also help to hold the perpetrators of atrocities against the Rohingya people accountable, especially now that the army that launched the genocidal military operations against them in 2016 and 2017 has thrown Myanmar into chaos since staging an illegal coup d’état on February 1, 2021. “ASEAN and the international community at large have stood idly for too long as the Rohingya tragedy unfolded over the years. Those countries who claim to defend human rights have a moral obligation to address the root causes of the human rights crisis afflicting the Rohingya, or these humanitarian tragedies will only repeat again and again. ASEAN member states, as well as their partners in the region and beyond, must ensure that Myanmar restore the rights of the Rohingya people, end all discriminatory practices and holds those responsible for crimes against humanity to account,” said Kasit Piromya, APHR Board Member and former Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Philippine coast guard personnel and volunteers have rescued more than 80 passengers and crew of an inter-island ferry that caught fire as it approached a port south of Manila, prompting many to jump into the water as flames spread fast in windy weather, officials said Saturday. Only two passengers are unaccounted for and authorities are checking if the two are missing or had been rescued but immediately went home without notifying officials who led the search efforts Friday, the coast guard said. The M/V Asia Philippines was listed as carrying 49 passengers and 38 crewmembers. The ferry, which came from Calapan city in Oriental Mindoro province, was more than a kilometer (about a mile) away from the Batangas port, when smoke emerged from the second deck followed by flames, according to one of the rescued passengers. The ferry’s proximity to the port allowed the rapid rescue of the victims even after nightfall by coast guard vessels and nearby ships, motor bancas and tugboats. One ship helped the coast guard extinguish the fire, which gutted the ferry that also carried at least 16 cars and trucks, coast guard officials said. Passenger Benedict Fernandez told DZMM radio Friday night that smoke and flames suddenly rose from the second deck as crew members were apparently trying to turn an engine on and off as the ferry approached the port. There was no immediate order to abandon ship, but when it became hard to see because of the smoke, he said he decided to jump into the water with his two children from the third deck, along with other passengers. “I pushed my children off because if we didn’t jump from the top, we would really get burned because the soles of our feet were already feeling the heat,” Fernandez said. They were rescued from the water by another boat that approached the burning ship and then transferred to a tugboat, which brought them to port, he said. Pictures released by the coast guard showed its personnel trying to revive a rescued passenger, a 43-year-old woman, at the port before she was taken to a hospital with injuries. Fernandez said he and his two children, who were shaken by the experience, and other passengers were taken to a hotel by officials of the company that owned the ferry. Read: Philippine ferry carrying 82 people catches fire; 73 rescued The ferry, which has been towed to an anchorage area, can carry about 400 passengers, the coast guard said, adding an investigation was underway. In the past, there have been instances when ferries carried unlisted passengers in defiance of regulations. Sea accidents are common in the Philippine archipelago because of frequent storms, badly maintained boats, overcrowding and spotty enforcement of safety regulations, especially in remote provinces. In December 1987, the ferry Dona Paz sank after colliding with a fuel tanker, killing more than 4,300 people in the world’s worst peacetime maritime disaster.
Bangladesh Coast Guard (BCG) on Sunday rescued 44 fishermen from the Bay of Bengal after their fishing boats remained stranded at the rough sea for five days. BCG teams spotted the boats while conducting search and rescue operations off Mahipur sea estuary and the Sundarbans' Akram point, Lieutenant Commander Khandaker Munif Taki, media officer at BCG headquarters, said. They promptly responded to provide assistance to fishermen in distress. All the occupants of the boats were evacuated to safety. Read: Indian Coast Guard rescues 10 Bangladeshi fishermen from Bay On August 16, 21 fishermen boarded the fishing boat River Mate and set sail for the Bay from Lakshmipur's Ramgati upazila to bait and catch fish for their businesses. They got stranded after their boat's engine went out of order the next day amid rough seas and strong winds. Also, 23 fishermen from Chattagram's Banshkhali got onto FB Mayer Doa and remained stranded at sea for five days after their boat's engine stopped working. "All the rescued fishermen will be sent back to their families soon," Khandaker Munif said.
Indian Coast Guard rescued 17 more Bangladeshi fishermen from the Bay of Bengal Sunday after rescuing 10 fishermen Saturday amid rough seas and strong winds. In three operations, the ICG has rescued 27 Bangladeshi fishermen so far in its continuous effort to provide assistance at sea during inclement weather. The search for missing Bangladeshi fishermen is in progress, the ICG tweeted.
At least 11 fishermen went missing in the Bay of Bengal Friday after another fishing boat carrying them capsized due to rough weather near Nazirartek Channel in Cox's Bazar, according to the Bangladesh Coast Guard. Nineteen fishermen boarded the boat that got caught in a ferocious storm around 1pm and at least 8 of them were rescued by the Coast Guard members, said Jane Alam Putu, President of the Fish Traders Association. The missing fishermen had gone into the Bay of Bengal in the fishing boat 'FB-Mayer Doa' to bait and catch fish for their businesses. "A search and rescue operation is underway for the missing fishermen," BCG added. However, the identities of the missing men could not be confirmed. Earlier, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) advised the maritime ports, including Payra, to hoist the local cautionary signal three to alert vessels of a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal. Read: Bay of Bengal trawler capsize: 4 bodies recovered A depression over the northwest Bay of Bengal and adjoining area has moved west-northwestward and intensified into a deep depression. At 12pm, the depression was centered over northwest Bay and adjoining Bangladesh and India's West Bengal. It is likely to intensify further and move more northwestward. The BMD advised all fishing boats in the northern Bay of Bengal and deep sea to take shelter immediately.