Nation this week
Order on the bail of Prothom Alo senior reporter Rozina Islam in a case filed by the Health Ministry under the Officials Secrets Act will be delivered on Sunday. Dhaka chief metropolitan magistrate court virtually held the hearing on Thursday. The court said the order on the bail will be delivered on Sunday. A virtual hearing on the case took place at the court of Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate on Thursday.
Rozina Islam's lawyers joined in the bail hearing in the court. Media workers also have gathered in front of the court while a number of law enforcement members have been deployed on the premises. Rozina Islam's husband Monirul Islam and relatives are also waiting outside the court. Earlier the case was transferred to Detective Branch (DB) of police. Deputy commissioner of DB's Ramna zone, HM Azimul Haque, told Prothom Alo that they were given responsibility to investigate the case. They will collect the documents from Shahbagh police station. Rozina Islam was picked up by police from the residential quarters of the Health Ministry.
Bangladesh's rice production is expected to rise 3.5 percent to 35.8 million tonnes in the year to April from the corresponding period last year, due to higher acreage and yields, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said. Speculation in the market and consumers stocking rice due to the pandemic and associated lockdowns have strengthened domestic demand, driving up market prices.
Bangladesh, traditionally the world's third biggest producer, has emerged as a major buyer after repeated floods last year destroyed crops and sent local prices to record highs. Neighbouring Indian rice export prices rose for the first time in seven weeks on a stronger rupee, while poor demand pushed Thai rates to a more than six-month low. Top exporter India's 5 per cent broken parboiled variety was quoted at $379 to $385 per tonne this week, up from last week's $370-$374 range.
The number of internet users in the country registered moderate growth in March as people started to rely on various online platforms once again, as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic started taking a hold in the country. According to industry insiders, more people have resumed working from home due to the resurgence of Covid-19 infections. The number of internet users stood at 11.61 crore in March, up 3 percent from a month ago and 12.5 percent year-on-year, as per data from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
An official of a mobile phone operator said that many people began WFH, which has quickly taken its place as one of the most widely recognised acronyms in the language, since early March. The number of mobile phone users also rose to a nine-month high in the same month. Mobile phone users stood at 17.46 crore in March, up three quarters of a percent from a month ago, and 5.6 percent year-on-year.
A High Court bench today expressed hope that the problems regarding tree felling at Suhrawardy Udyan will be resolved amicably through discussions between the government and environmentalists. "We do not want to interfere with this issue at this moment. We hope that all the issues regarding Suhrawardy Udyan will be settled keeping a balance -- in a beautiful way -- as the government will take necessary decisions after consulting with the environmentalists including the writ petitioners," the HC bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice SM Maniruzzaman said.
The bench said this while hearing on a writ petition filed seeking its directive on the government not to cut trees and not to damage environment at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital. The court adjourned the hearing of the petition for four weeks, saying that it will pass necessary order later on after being conveyed about the government steps over Suhrawardy Udyan.
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