Nation this week
The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party announced countrywide protest rally and procession programmes for January 16 to press home their 10-point demand, including the resignation of the government and poll-time caretaker government. BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced the programmes at a mass sit-in programme in front of the party's Naya Paltan central office, attended by thousands of leaders and activists. Fakrul said that the programme would be observed in all metropolitan cities, district towns, upazilas, and municipality headquarters.
As part of their collective movement against the current government, the BNP and other opposition political parties, alliances, and organisations staged mass sit-ins in Dhaka and other divisions of the country. BNP leaders complained that their sit-in programme came under attack from the ruling Awami League activists and police in Faridpur and Mymensingh. Police fired birdshots to ward off BNP leaders and activists in Faridpur, while the opposition programme came under attack in Mymensingh by Awami League activists.
The death of a young Bangladeshi man in a police shooting in Cambridge, Massachusetts sparked protests in the community and in Bangladesh, from where he migrated with his family in 2010. The district attorney said the preliminary investigation suggested that 20-year-old Arif Sayed Faisal ran away with a machete-like knife after seeing police. Police then say after attempting to verbally engage with him, Faisal moved towards the officers while still in possession of the knife.
One police officer shot Faisal with a "less-than-lethal" sponge round to stop his advance, then after he continued moving towards the police, an officer fired their gun and shot Faisal. He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital where he died from his wounds. An eyewitness told local news that they did not see Faisal attacking police at the moment he was shot. According to local activists, Faisal was suffering from a mental health crisis at the time. The district attorney's office is conducting an investigation into the incident.
The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research revealed Bangladesh has so far logged a fatality rate of 71 percent due to the Nipah virus - second highest fatality rate after Rabies. According to the IEDCR statistics, 231 NiV deaths occurred out of 326 positive cases since the country first detected the disease in 2001 and started surveillance. The infective agent continues to pose a threat in silence to public health across the country.
The IEDCR recorded another death in Rajshahi district on January 3 due to the virus. A 35-year-old woman died in the district hospital after she drank date juice while the country recorded three NiV deaths in 2022. IEDCR director professor Tahmina Shirin at a seminar on said that analysing history they found all the patients were infected with the disease after being consuming raw palm juice contaminated by bat saliva or urine and by the secondary contact with Nipah-infected persons or any food prepared from raw date/palm juice.
The number of active mobile internet connections in the country has decreased by 30 lakh over a span of four months, according to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission data. The BTRC data showed that in July 2022, the number of mobile internet connections was 11.64 crore, while the figure stood at 11.34 crore in November 2022. In August, September and October, the number of active mobile internet connections was 11.61 crore, 11.47 crore and 11.46 crore respectively.
The number of internet connections, including mobile and broadband, has fallen by about 25.3 lakh since July, when the total subscriber base was at 12.75 crore. In November 2022, the number of mobile connections dropped to 18 crore from 18.17 crore in October. Grameenphone and Teletalk lost 10.7 lakh and 2,000 connections respectively while Robi and Banglalink gained 60,000 and 1.6 lakh connections.
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