Workers of state-owned jute mills can expect to get their arrear wages ahead of the Eid, thanks to an allocation of Tk 169.14 crore following a late-stage intervention by the government. The Finance Ministry sent a letter to the Textiles and Jute Ministry about the funds for clearing ahead of the Eid the wages of 29,000 workers of 25 mills under the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC).
The development came after nearly two months of widespread demonstrations by workers demanding fair wages and arrears across several districts of the country where the mills are located. “We are going to get our due wages at last… But we had to suffer a lot in the last two months,” said Nasima Begum, a worker at Khalishpur Jute Mills in Khulna.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina left Dhaka for a 12-day visit to Japan, Saudi Arabia and Finland, and possibly a stopover in Delhi. A number of important ministers are accompanying the PM for the Japan leg of the trip, where Dhaka and Tokyo are expected to sign their 40th Official Development Assistance agreement to facilitate $2.5 billion financing for Bangladesh to implement five projects of critical importance.
Hasina will leave Japan for Saudi Arabia to attend the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s annual conference. She is scheduled to then depart for Finland, where she will meet the country’s president, Sauli Niinistö. After leaving Helsinki, on her way back to Dhaka there are plans for the PM to make a 12-hour stopover in New Delhi on June 8, to make up for failing to honour his invitation to attend his inauguration a second time.
Bangladesh is among the countries with the highest levels of antibiotic river pollution, along with Kenya, Ghana, Pakistan and Nigeria, a study revealed. At one location in Bangladesh, concentrations of a widely used antibiotic, metronidazole, were 300 times above the limit, according to the findings unveiled at the annual conference of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in Helsinki.
Scientists found one or more common antibiotics in two-thirds of 711 samples taken from rivers in 72 countries, they told the meeting of environmental toxicologists. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the world is running out of antibiotics that still work, and has called on industry and governments to urgently develop a new generation of drugs. Overuse and misuse of the drugs are thought to be the main causes of antimicrobial resistance.
The so-called Islamic State reportedly claimed responsibility for an incident in which an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) and two others were injured by explosives initially thought to have been hurled at a police vehicle at Malibagh intersection in Dhaka. Senior police officials have since said the explosives that led to the blast in a police pick-up van might have been planted.
Talking about the blast, DMP commissioner Asaduzzaman Miah said: “Based on primary investigation, we think it was an improvised bomb, but it was more powerful than the usual ones used here. Earlier, on April 30, two traffic police constables and one community traffic member were injured in a blast in Dhaka's Gulistan area, for which IS also claimed responsibility, as they heralded a new strategy targeting the country’s police force.