Bangladesh to buy first submarines

Updated 24 January 2013
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Bangladesh to buy first submarines

DHAKA: Bangladesh is to acquire its first submarines to boost its naval power in the Bay of Bengal, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced Monday, only days after she signed the country’s largest defense deal.
“We have made a decision to add submarines with base facilities to Bangladesh’s navy very soon to make it a deterrent force,” Hasina said, as she commissioned the country’s first domestically produced warship at a base in the southern city of Khulna.
“We will build a modern three-dimensional navy for future generations which will be capable of facing any challenge during a war on our maritime boundary.”
The announcement is the latest sign of Hasina’s willingness to spend heavily on defense, coming only nine days after she signed a $1 billion defense deal in Russia for the purchase of training fighters, helicopters and anti-tank missiles.
Analysts have said the deal with Moscow represents the biggest military purchase agreement since impoverished Bangladesh won its independence in 1971.
Hasina did not give details of how many submarines the country would be purchasing and from where, but a senior army general told reporters on Monday that Bangladesh was in negotiations with China on the subject.
Bangladesh, a third of whose 153 million population lives below the poverty line, has been expanding its defense capabilities in recent years, building a new air base close to neighboring Myanmar and adding new frigates.
A UN tribunal ended a territorial dispute between Bangladesh and Myanmar last March, but the row had brought the two sides close to military conflict in 2008 when Myanmar sent naval ships to support drilling for gas.
Bangladesh has also a long-standing dispute with neighboring India over their maritime boundary in the resources-rich Bay of Bengal.
Hasina said the amicable settlement of the sea dispute with Myanmar has ensured the country’s sovereignty over 111,631 square kilometers (43,100 square miles) of maritime area, nearly the size of the country itself.
She added the defense purchase was essential to ensure security of the huge area, in which Dhaka last month invited bidding from international oil companies to drill for new gas and oil reserves.
According to the state-run BSS news agency, the new warship that Hasina officially commissioned on Thursday was made in Khulna Shipyard under the supervision of the Bangladesh Navy.
The “BNS Padma” is armed with four 37-millimeter and two 20-mm cannons to resist land and air attacks and capable of laying mines.


Man killed in random knife attack at California steakhouse

Updated 22 April 2018
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Man killed in random knife attack at California steakhouse

  • The victim was dining with his family when the suspect came and stabbed him without warning
  • Police say suspect is a felon who had been convicted for burglary and unlawful sexual intercourse since the 1990s

LOS ANGELES: A homeless man who randomly stabbed a patron in a crowded Southern California restaurant to death as he was holding his daughter was reported just a few hours earlier for disruptive behavior, but police ultimately determined he was not a threat, authorities said Saturday.
Jamal Jackson, 49, is facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of 35-year-old Anthony Mele. He was being held in Ventura County jail on a $1.5 million bail. It was unclear if Jackson, who is also a convicted felon, had an attorney to speak on his behalf.
Mele and his wife were eating dinner with their 5-year-old daughter Wednesday at Aloha Steakhouse in the seaside city of Ventura. The girl was sitting on her father’s lap when prosecutors say Jackson walked up and stabbed Mele in the neck.
Prosecutor Richard Simon said customers and a restaurant employee followed Jackson out of the restaurant, even though he still had the knife. They kept track of him until Ventura police arrived and arrested him.
Mele was taken to a hospital and died Thursday after being taken off life support.
“It’s horrible,” Simon said. “You don’t think you’re going to be killed when you go out to dinner at a nice restaurant with your family and you didn’t do anything.”
Simon said the two men had not interacted before the attack.
“He was just sitting there with his daughter in his lap,” Simon said. “You’re not supposed to die that way.”
Mele’s loved ones started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for a funeral and to support his wife and daughter.
Mele’s Facebook page was filled with photos of his daughter and said he was a manager at an AT&T store.
Police confirmed that a bystander reported a man — who turned out to be Jackson — for disruptive behavior several hours before the stabbing.
According to the bystander, a man was yelling on the promenade not far from the beachside restaurant about three hours before the attack.
Patrol officers were out on other calls so command center staff monitored the man via a pier security camera system for more than 20 minutes before deciding he didn’t seem to be a threat, police said.
Police are asking anyone who spoke with Jackson during that time to contact investigators in the city 70 miles (113 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles.
Jackson also had half a dozen contacts with police in Ventura since the beginning of the year, including an arrest after a physical fight at a park, said Commander Tom Higgins.
He was also stopped on March 31 after a passer-by reported he was brandishing a knife. Police searched his bag and found a knife but there was no victim so no charge was filed, Higgins said.
Jackson has a lengthy rap sheet including charges in San Bernardino County, Higgins said, as well as convictions for burglary and unlawful sexual intercourse dating back to the 1990s.
The killing prompted the Ventura City Council to increase police patrols in the area and add staff members to monitor security cameras, among other measures.
“We are extremely disheartened and infuriated by this criminal attack,” Mayor Neal Andrews said in a statement. “We will not tolerate this in our community. Nothing is more important than the safety of our visitors, residents and businesses.”
If convicted, Jackson faces up to 55 years in prison.