HC halts DNCC mayoral by-polls

HC halts DNCC mayoral by-polls

The High Court's three-month stay on the process of Dhaka North City Corporation polls yesterday triggered a blame game between the Awami League and the BNP.

The voting was scheduled to take place on February 26.

The BNP held the AL and the Election Commission responsible for the situation while the ruling party claimed that the BNP was "guilty of the same crime".

The HC also questioned the legality of the schedule of the DNCC mayoral by-polls and the elections to 18 new wards under the city corporation on February 26. Besides, it issued two rules asking the authorities concerned of the EC and the government to explain in four weeks why the schedule should not be declared illegal.

The bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Zafar Ahmed came up with the order and rules following two writ petitions filed on Tuesday seeking the stay order.

Deputy Attorney General Mokhlesur Rahman told The Daily Star that the HC stayed the polls on the grounds that the ward councillors would be elected for five years while the mayor for over two years. There might be confusions over the fate of those 18 ward councillors when the next DNCC polls would be due after two years, he said.

The court also took into consideration the grounds mentioned in the petitions that the EC did neither publish the voter list of the 18 new wards nor provide the candidates with compact discs, containing the list, he said.

Jahangir Alom, chairman of Beraid union parishad, and Ataur Rahman, chairman of Bhatara union parishad, filed the two writ petitions with the HC.

Concluding hearing the petitions, the HC bench set yesterday for passing orders on them. Advocate Quamrul Haque Siddique appeared for Jahangir and barrister Mustafizur Rahman Khan and barrister Ahsan Habib Bhuiyan argued for Ataur.

Jahangir is also the general secretary of Badda Thana Awami League while Ataur is the treasurer of Dhaka North City BNP.

The BNP yesterday alleged that the EC staged an "election drama" on instructions from the government as the AL feared a defeat in the by-polls.

Party Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the HC stay order proved that the EC was incompetent and irresponsible.

They [EC] announced the election schedule without even consulting anyone and without closing the loopholes," he told reporters.

Rejecting the allegation, AL Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif told The Daily Star, "If the writ petitioners filed the pleas based on their political identities then both the BNP and the Awami League should be held guilty of the same crime. The allegation from the BNP is baseless.

AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader said his party had nothing to do with the HC order. The government is not involved in this. We don't believe in dirty politics,” he said at a press briefing at the party president Sheikh Hasina's Dhanmondi office.

Soon after the EC announced the polls schedule on January 9, there were rumours that the AL would not want the elections months before the parliamentary polls, scheduled for the end of this year.

It's because the party morale would be down if its candidate faced a defeat, said party insiders, adding that the AL would probably not like to risk that right before the national polls.

The insiders also said although the AL officially said it had nothing to do with the elections, a section of party leaders felt relieved after the HC passed the stay order yesterday.

Those leaders believed the government would have to be in a dilemma over the polls. On one hand, it would have to ensure a free and fair polls and one the other, such an election might put the victory of the party candidate at risk, said the leaders.

Meanwhile, Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday said the HC order would not have any negative impact on the regular activities of the DNCC.

He said panel mayor Osman Gani, president of Badda Thana AL, would be running the DNCC.

The post of the DNCC mayor fell vacant after Annisul Huq had passed away on November 30 last year. The Local Government Division declared the post vacant on December 1. The EC set January 18 as the deadline for filing nomination, while January 21 and 22 were set for scrutinising the nominations. Deadline to withdraw candidacy is January 29.

The AL-led government had split the Dhaka city corporation into two in November 2011.

In the last election held on April 28, 2015, BNP-backed mayoral candidate Tabith Awal boycotted the polls on the voting day, alleging widespread rigging.

This week, the Awami League named businessman Atiqul Islam while BNP Tabith Awal for contesting the mayoral polls.

Talking to The Daily Star over phone yesterday, Atiqul said, “I was ready to contest the polls and I still am. I will bring some changes to my election strategy now.

I am respectful to the court and the party. So I will abide by the decisions of the court and the party.

Tabith said, “It's painful. The possible candidates and the media had talked about the loopholes but the Election Commission did not take any initiative [to fix them]. I am hopeful that commission will take some steps [in this regard] immediately.

Read more...

Why is K-Pop so popular?

Why is K-Pop so popular?

You might think you know a thing or two about K-pop if you've listened to Gangnam Style but K-Pop is so much more than this one song.

Ingenious approaches to music videos, genuine talent, and pure hard work set K-Pop apart from any other genre of music present nowadays. Here are some of the reasons why K-pop is so popular.

If you've seen any K-pop videos, the first things that catch your attention are the bright colors and the clothes the artists wear. K-pop stars bring a whole new meaning to fashion. They never shy away from making a statement, and they have a decidedly unique way of interpreting current trends. Since most K-pop music videos have a certain theme or story behind it, their costumes and sets reflect just that.

Which brings me to my next point, storytelling. Almost all Korean music lyrics and videos tell stories rather than just random dancing and meaningless choruses. A great example of this is the WINGS album by the boy group, BTS which contains themes of youth and adolescence. There are stories of each of the seven members of the group struggling with a different aspect of growing up and learning about life.

You don't have to worry about not understanding the words, because as soon as you hear one of the catchy beats, it's going to be stuck in your head and you won't be able to stop singing it despite the language barrier. Seventeen's “Clap”, Twice's “TT” and BTS's “Mic Drop” has been stuck in my head for weeks now, and there's no escaping it.

K-pop idols can not only sing and dance but, they can also perform dance numbers so complicated that it would usually require professional dancers. This takes an insane amount of hard work, practice, and skill, but they are well-known for performing these routines live. Just go watch Seventeen's “Don't Wanna Cry” or BTS's “Fire” if you don't believe me.

K-pop artists are usually groomed and mentored by managers or agents for years at a time before recording their first song. G. Soul a Korean R&B singer trained for 15 years before releasing his music. Intensive training, make these young artists seasoned performers by the time they debut.

K-pop artists almost always act as well as sing. While you can certainly find stars who don't act very well, usually a true K-pop idol is just as skilled as an actor as they are as a singer and dancer. Not only are K-pop artists super talented, incredibly hard workers, and star in perfectly executed music videos, they often mix other cultures into their songs. Singers frequently mix in English words with their lyrics. Some K-pop stars are even from different countries like Thailand, China, Japan, Canada and even America.

Other than making amazing music videos and performing live in countless concerts; most K-pop idols are always making videos about something or other. A lot of the famous groups have their own variety shows and they do live streams frequently. This way, fans can connect with their idols more.

K-pop is so much more than just “music in some unknown language”, it's an entire culture.

Read more...

Neymar hits four in Dijon rout

Neymar hits four in Dijon rout

Neymar netted four goals and Edinson Cavani became Paris St Germain's joint top scorer ever as the runaway Ligue 1 leaders demolished visitors Dijon 8-0 on Wednesday.

Brazilian forward Neymar, just back from injury, took his season's tally to 15 goals and the rout was completed by Angel Di Maria's double and goals by Cavani and substitute Kylian Mbappe.

Cavani bagged his 156th goal in all competitions for PSG, matching the club record of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who played for the club from 2012-16.

PSG have 56 points from 21 games and lead second-placed Olympique Lyonnais, who won 2-0 at En Avant Guingamp earlier on Wednesday, by 11 points.

Di Maria put the hosts ahead on four minutes when he found the top corner from the edge of the box after collecting Giovani Lo Celso's pass.

The Argentine made it 2-0 11 minutes later from point-blank range with Dijon in disarray.

It got worse for the visitors, who fell 3-0 in the 21st as Cavani headed home from Di Maria's cross.

Three minutes before the break, Neymar curled a superb free kick past Baptiste Reynet as PSG continued to pile the pressure.

Neymar doubled his tally 12 minutes into the second half, beating Reynet from close range.

The Brazilian was at hit again in the 73rd, slaloming past six Dijon players before finding the back of the net with a powerful shot from just inside the box.

Four minutes later, Mbappe was set up by Neymar and the French international scored PSG's seventh goal with a left-foot shot and Neymar rubbed salt in the visitors' wounds when he converted an 83rd-minute penalty.

The former Barcelona player, who also set up two goals, was booed when he took the penalty as Cavani would have broken the club scoring record had he taken and converted it.

Earlier, Nabil Fekir and Houssem Aouar helped Lyon move above Olympique de Marseille and Monaco into second place.

They lead Marseille, who beat RC Strasbourg 2-0 on Tuesday, by one point and Monaco, who were held to a 2-2 draw with Nice, by two.

Read more...

UN cuts food for east Africa as Bangladesh gets priority

UN cuts food for east Africa as Bangladesh gets priority

Cuts in food rations for 1. 5 million refugees in east Africa, due to funding shortages, could increase school dropouts, crime and malnutrition, a United Nations official said on Wednesday.

said Peter Smerdon, the World Food Programme (WFP)’s east Africa spokesman.

As a result, refugees in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda fleeing drought and conflict have had maize, beans and vegetable oil rations cut by almost a third over the last seven months, he said.

In my 15 years at WFP, I have never seen this number of refugees, at this time of year, having cuts to their food rations,” he said.

Needs have gone through the roof for the whole of the humanitarian system, and donors really can't keep up with these increased needs. And the longer they continue, the more likely people will fall through the cracks.

The four east African nations provide sanctuary for millions fleeing drought in the Horn of Africa and protracted conflict in Somalia and South Sudan - the world's youngest nation - where civil war has created the continent's biggest refugee crisis.

WFP has only received about one-fifth of almost $360 million required to support refugees in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania in 2018, Smerdon said.

He warned that WFP would have to further reduce rations if funding did not come through.

If you a cut a refugee family's rations, they will take their kids out of school to save money on costs such as uniforms and books, and send them out to either find food or work,” he said.

In a refugee camp, crime is likely to go up as people are likely to go into debt as people are already pretty poor. Over the longer term, child malnutrition will go up.

Read more...

Now HC stays DSCC polls

Now HC stays DSCC polls

The elections were scheduled to be held on February 26.

The court also issued a rule asking the Election Commission and the government why the schedule issued by the EC for holding the elections should not be declared illegal.

The HC bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Faruque came up with the order and rule following a writ petition filed by Mozammel Mia, a voter of Demra union, challenging the legality of the election schedule.

submitted the petition saying that all the posts of union parishads (UPs) have to be dissolved before including them as wards in the city corporation and then a gazette notification has to be issued to this effect under the Local Government (Union Parishad) Act, 2009. But, the posts of UP chairman have not been dissolved yet. Nor have the new voter lists for the new wards been published, the petition added.

The HC stayed the process of holding elections to the councillors’ post under DSCC a day after the court halted for three-month the process of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) polls.

Read more...

PAK SCAN: India Being Rewarded For Serving US Interests

PAK SCAN: India Being Rewarded For Serving US Interests

The continued violations of the ceasefire agreement 2003 by India, which last year claimed 54 civilian lives and inflicted injuries on 254 of them besides a number of casualties of the Pakistan army personnel, is a calculated attempt to achieve two objectives. One is in the context of Indo-Pak relations premised on the conflict in Kashmir and the

Read more...

Full-Fledged Chinese Military Complex In Doklam, Show Satellite Pics

Full-Fledged Chinese Military Complex In Doklam, Show Satellite Pics

Images show military structures along East-West road in disputed region. Trenches visible at another site where there is Chinese construction. There are two helipads, clearly demarcated by an H marking

by Vishnu Som

A massive, full-fledged Chinese military complex is being built within Doklam, show new satellite images five months after India and

Read more...

Army Keeps Close Watch On Chinese Troops, Infra Build-Up In Doklam

Army Keeps Close Watch On Chinese Troops, Infra Build-Up In Doklam

Satellite images reveal massive Chinese mobilisation in Doklam

India is keeping a hawk eye on the continuing presence of Chinese troops and their construction activities in north Doklam near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet trijunction, even as Army chief General Bipin Rawat said bilateral bonhomie had returned to the same level that existed before the

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed