World/ Nation this week

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017


Coming up to nearly three months of the India-China standoff over the Doklam Valley in Bhutan (who mostly stayed out of it), it seems a sense of calmness, of wisdom bestowed by thousands of years of civilisation, and restraint that recognises humanity’s common struggle, has finally prevailed in Delhi and Beijing. It was always on the cards of course, but some of the jingoism and e-bravura on display from both sides, particularly in their respective media, was more than a bit unseemly.


The essence of the deal — mutual disengagement and restoration of the situation before the Chinese construction of a road towards the Indian border and the deployment of Indian troops blocking that activity — is close to what Delhi wanted. Beijing, which had demanded an unconditional Indian withdrawal from Doklam, has had a greater difficulty in presenting the return to status quo as victory. But the Indian decision to announce the withdrawal first seems to have given sufficient political space for Beijing to accept the outcome while affirming its sovereignty over a territory that is also claimed by Bhutan, reported the Indian Express.


Hurricane Harvey lashed the US state of Texas, bringing record rainfall that ended up causing catastrophic flooding. Thousands upon thousands had to be evacuated or rescued and boats took over highways inundated by floodwaters. At least 13 people are dead, with many more injured, as parts of the Houston area were inundated with more than 40 inches of rain, according to forecasters. They say totals could reach 50 inches as rainfall continues through Wednesday.


Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, calling the storm “one of the largest disasters America has ever faced,” said the region would not recover anytime soon. “This event is unprecedented & all impacts are unknown & beyond anything experienced,” the National Weather Service tweeted Sunday morning.


The water level in all of the major rivers fell further this week, improving overall flood situation in the northern districts, according to Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre. As the Ganges-Padma river basin continued falling, the flood-affected districts in the country’s central zones would also improve soon, the FFWC officials hoped. Floodwater is receding in most of the affected areas, andd so the government has further intensified relief activities in 10 districts of northern region to mitigate the flood-affected people’s sufferings.


Officials of Rangpur district administration said the government has allocated 8,169 tons of rice, Tk2.73 crore and over 40,000 packets dry foods for flood victims of Rangpur region. Fish producers and traders in the flood-affected northern districts have incurred a massive loss as fishes from most enclosures were swept away. In Nilphamari alone, fishes of 2,230 hectares of pond disappeared in the recent spate of heavy shower coupled with flash flood, causing losses worth over Tk8 crore.


According to the district fisheries office, 18,107 fish farmers were directly and indirectly affected in the flood.


The board of Uber, the ride-sharing app that is increasingly popular in Dhaka, appointed a new CEO to replace Travis Kalanick, its embattled founder whose force of personality proved both a boon and a curse for the company. Following a high-profile search to replace him that drew the interest of Jeffrey Immelt, the man who followed Jack Welch at GE, the Uber board picked Dara Khosrowshahi of Expedia, for his reputation turning around troubled tech companies.


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