Not Just Another Brick In The Geopolitical Wall

By leveraging its ties with non-western powers, BRICS can check US hegemony

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A different worldview?BRICS leaders profess a shared vision of inclusive global growth and the rapid socio-economic transformation of their own nations. Photo: Roberto Stuckert Filho/PR
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Building blocks?The BRICS bank will give priority to loans for developing countries to finance infrastructure projects and environmentally sustainable development. Photo: Media Club South Africa

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Justice Still Elusive in Factory Disasters in Bangladesh

by Jim Yardley. The New York Times

DHAKA, Bangladesh ? Inside Courtroom 21, the two judges peered down from high wooden chairs as lawyers in formal black robes presented their motions. Activists and victims watched from the back. And a few steps away, a portly man with a thick black beard remained silent. He was the suspect. He did not seem especially nervous. Continue reading “Justice Still Elusive in Factory Disasters in Bangladesh”

Dawn-to-Dusk Opposition Strike

Photos by Monirul Alam, text by bdnews24.com

The opposition enforced countrywide shutdown protesting against the latest hike in fuel oil prices began on Sunday amidst tight security necessiated by incidents of explosions and vandalism yesterday evening.

BNP supported lawyers shout slogan during the dawn to dusk strike in Old Dhaka on Sunday. The Bangladesh National Party BNP and its 18 party alliance enforced a countrywide dawn to dusk shutdown protesting against the latest hike in fuel oil prices January 06 2013/ Dhaka, Bangladesh- ? Monirul Alam
BNP supported lawyers shout slogan during the dawn to dusk strike in Old Dhaka on Sunday. The Bangladesh National Party BNP and its 18 party alliance enforced a countrywide dawn to dusk shutdown protesting against the latest hike in fuel oil prices January 06 2013/ Dhaka, Bangladesh- ? Monirul Alam

The government on Thursday increased prices of octane, diesel, petrol and kerosene for the fifth time in four years, despite a threat by the opposition alliance to enforce a strike within a day of the hike.
A Bangladeshi  policeman fires a rubber bullet to disperse the procession during the dawn to dusk strike in Old Dhaka on Sunday. The Bangladesh National Party BNP and its 18 party alliance enforced a countrywide dawn to dusk shutdown protesting against the latest hike in fuel oil prices January 06 2013/ Dhaka, Bangladesh ? Monirul Alam
A Bangladeshi policeman ?in Old Dhaka fires a rubber bullet to disperse the procession during the dawn to dusk strike on Sunday. The Bangladesh National Party BNP and its 18 party alliance enforced a countrywide dawn to dusk shutdown protesting against the latest hike in fuel oil prices January 06 2013/ Dhaka, Bangladesh ? Monirul Alam

Incidentally, the shutdown has come on a day when the ruling Awami League led coalition completes four years in office.
A Bangladeshi  polices carries a water drum to  try to remove  fires on the burning car during
Bangladeshi policemen carry a water drum to try to quench the fire on a burning car during the dawn to dusk hartal enforced by the opposition 18 party alliance on Sunday. January 6 2013. Dhaka Bangladesh. ? Monirul Alam

Dhanmondi Brickbreakers on Vimeo


Dhanmondi Brickbreakers on Vimeo
The traditional form of brick breaking has now been replaced by machines that do the bulk of the job. As with most low paid jobs in Bangladesh, there are many associated risks.

We

We!
The children are reduced to bones
And skin.  Their tiny bodies
Have heads appearing far too large
And eyes that cry for help.
But there’s no shortage yet of guns
And bullets — or of bombs.
And soon enough, you hear them come —
The jets that scream through skies
And drop the rain that’s so obscene
That voices then fall still.
******
 
The drones that fly like sightless birds,
The tanks that roll through streets,
The men who fire on passers by,
Who buys and pays these?
We!
****** Continue reading “We”

Bangladesh opens its gas fields to US company

Saturday, 31 December 2011 09:45 David Bergman

New AgeThe United States?multinational?energy company?ConocoPhillips?will soon start looking for gas in a deep offshore area in the Bay of Bengal.

With a short fall in the supply of gas and with declining reserves, the?Bangladeshi?government is desperate to find new supplies of gas.?It is the first time that the government has opened up its offshore territory to foreign exploration.?However, some are criticizing the government for signing this new deal with an international oil company.
David Bergman?hears?from both sides.
Bangladesh not only uses gas to fire its power stations to produce electricity; gas has also become essential for many other parts of its economy.
Ijaz Hossain, is one of the country?s leading energy experts and a director of the country?s own gas exploration company, BAPEX. Continue reading “Bangladesh opens its gas fields to US company”

Bangladesh in the Brazilian Amazon

By Gabriel Elizondo in Americas

Aljazeera
Wed, 2012-01-11 03:55.
In the northwest Brazilian Amazon town of Brasileia, population 20,238, there are almost 1,200 Haitians.
They often mill around during the day, clustered in groups in the shade trying to keep cool from the steamy heat, waiting for weeks for their work documents to be processed so they can get a job in another part of Brazil.
But on Tuesday it was the two other guys sitting alone who caught my attention. They could have been Bolivian perhaps, or even Brazilian. But I knew they weren?t.
?We are from Bangladesh,? AHM Sultan Ahmed, 36, tells me with a smile when I approach and ask to talk with them.
His friend, Abdul Awal, and my photojournalist, Maria Elena Romero, and I, all sit together on the grass and begin to chat.

Abdul Malek is going to work in Tripoli in Libya. The day before his departure the family camps outside the airport. At night they pray for his safe travel. Dhaka, Bangladesh. 1996. Photo: ? Shahidul Alam/Drik

They are from Dhaka, and arrived in Brasileia the night before. They slept on the ground in the main plaza, having nowhere else to go. For obvious reasons, they look tired, but still muster the energy to smile wide and often.
Why did you come to Brazil?
?I heard Brazil?s economy is growing, and that here is good for us and good jobs,? Ahmed says. ?Soon we can hopefully get our papers and find a job. I am happy?
?I think there is a lot of work in South America now, and a lot of people from my country are wanting to come here now,? he continues.
Neither has been to Brazil before, nor speak a word of Portuguese.
Continue reading “Bangladesh in the Brazilian Amazon”

Wahid Adnan Wins Award of Excellence in CPOY


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Story: Graphics of Deadliest Crash
Graphics of Deadliest Crash
Angry protesters took to the streets as the Dhaka stocks have crashed by a record 551 points marking a 6.71 percent decrease in late December 2010. The stocks began to plummet almost immediately after trading began in the morning and plummeted by almost 200 points within an hour. The general index ended at 7654 by the close of the session. Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Continue reading “Wahid Adnan Wins Award of Excellence in CPOY”

CONCLUDING PART: The Federal Reserve Bank. America's privately-owned central bank

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By rahnuma ahmed


It is not only the American corporate media which keeps the lid on the Federal Reserve System — since, contrary to what most ?Americans believe, it is `not federal’, has `no reserve’, is `not even a bank’ but actually a banking cartel which serves and furthers the interests of the wealthiest men in the world ? American universities too play their role. As Stephen Lendman points out, his MBA curriculum 46 years ago, had `left out the most important parts of the story and never hinted at anything sinister about how the banking system works in fact’ (The Federal Reserve, Z Magazine, June 29, 2006).

A similar situation seemingly prevails in the UK, for, when I asked a relative who teaches business and finance at a British university about who owns the Bank of England, I was told, its nationalised. Its a public organisation wholly-owned by the government. ?Corroborating the official storyline secured in place by the powers-that-be, reflected in the Bank’s website: ?’As a public organisation, wholly-owned by Government, and with a significant public policy role, the Bank is accountable to Parliament.’
But this account ? unfailingly subscribed to by most Brits, `You ask the question, Who Owns The Bank Of England? to one thousand Britons, and I kid you not, all of them will say that it is owned by the Government’ (The Tap Blog, February 27, 2010) ? glosses over actualities. For instance, the setting up of? a wholly owned subsidiary called Bank of Nominees Limited (BOEN), a private limited company, by the Bank of England in 1977, which was granted an exemption from disclosing its shareholders. ‘It was considered undesirable that the disclosure requirements should apply to certain categories of shareholders.’ This exemption is separate to the fact that the Bank of England is also protected by its Royal Charter status, and the Official Secrets Act. To put it briefly, members of the British public are ‘not allowed to know who the shareholders are who own the company which carries out Central Banking in the UK.’ Continue reading “CONCLUDING PART: The Federal Reserve Bank. America's privately-owned central bank”

A Struggle From Dawn to Dusk

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By?ANDREA RICE

Photographs by Taslima Akhter


Lens - Photography, Video, and Visual Journalism

The garment industry is one of the?largest industrial sectors in Bangladesh. It accounts for a good portion of the country?s exports and employs more than three million workers. Most of them are women.
?Workers toil from dawn to dusk on minimum wage,? said?Taslima Akhter, a Bangladeshi photographer who has spent more than four years capturing the workers? movement for ?The Life and Struggle of Garment Workers.?
Ms. Akhter, 37, was compelled to bring to light some of the industry?s darker aspects, like dangerous working conditions and low salaries. As an activist, a photographer and a resident of Bangladesh, she sees the ongoing project as both a personal agenda and a civic duty.
Ms. Akhter said she believed that the struggle of garment workers ? particularly women ? was one of the country?s most pressing issues. A transition to democracy in Bangladesh would raise questions about women?s rights, she said, expressing hope that her project could help speed the country toward that goal? ? and inspire the workers to make their own voices be heard.
In 2006, garment workers in Bangladesh made less than $25 per month, Ms. Akhter said. Following a tremendous protest in 2010, their wages increased to just under $45 monthly ? still not a living wage.
That strike ? and the number of women who participated ? drove Ms. Akhter to continue her work on the project, most of which she photographed in and around her hometown, Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. (Outside Dhaka, she shot in Gazipur, to the north, and Narayanganj, to the east.) Ms. Akhter studied photojournalism at the?Pathshala South Asian Media Academy in Dhaka in 2007. She completed a master?s degree in philosophy from theUniversity of Dhaka. She just completed a six-week course on photography and human rights at New York University?s?Tisch School of the Arts as part of a?Magnum Foundation scholarship she was awarded in 2010.