Bangladesh police fire tear gas to scatter opposition protesters

Tear gas is seen while police takes their position in the street Dhaka, Bangladesh, February 8, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 08 February 2018

Bangladesh police fire tear gas to scatter opposition protesters

DHAKA: Bangladesh police used tear gas on Thursday to disperse thousands of opposition activists who took to the streets of the capital ahead of the verdict in a graft case against a former prime minister.
Protesters swarmed the roads, defying a police ban on rallies, as opposition leader Khaleda Zia headed to the court, set to deliver the verdict in a case about an orphanage trust set up when she was last prime minister, from 2001 to 2006.
“Security has been ramped up in the capital and elsewhere in the country to thwart any untoward incidents,” Dhaka Police Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia told reporters outside the court.
Television broadcast images of motorcycles set on fire.
Earlier on Thursday, the normally clogged streets of Dhaka were almost bare, after authorities cut off bus and ferry services into the city and thousands of riot police spread out in anticipation of unrest.
Prosecutors have accused Khaleda, her son and aides of stealing 21 million taka ($253,000) in foreign donations received by the trust.
If convicted, Khaleda faces sentences ranging up to life in prison, which would keep her from running in parliamentary polls set for December.
Khaleda and her Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) say the charges are part of a plot to keep the leader and her family out of politics. Party leaders said more than 3,500 supporters were detained over the past few days.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda, both related to former national leaders, have nursed a long and bitter rivalry, and have dominated politics in Bangladesh for more than two decades.
The renewed tension between them raises the spectre of a long, destabilising spell of unrest for Bangladesh and its economy.


US coronavirus death toll tops 100,000

Updated 28 May 2020

US coronavirus death toll tops 100,000

  • Nearly 1.7 million infections have been tallied nationwide

WASHINGTON:: The United States has now recorded more than 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths, Johns Hopkins University reported Wednesday — a somber milestone and by far the highest total in the world.
The country reported its first death about three months ago. Since then, nearly 1.7 million infections have been tallied nationwide, according to the Baltimore-based school.
The actual number of deaths and infections is believed to be higher, experts say.
In the last 24 hours, the death toll was on the rise once again, with 1,401 deaths added, after three straight days of tolls under 700. The full death toll stood at 100,396.
The state of New York has seen nearly a third of all coronavirus-related deaths in the United States, where President Donald Trump ordered that flags fly at half-staff last weekend to honor the victims.
The first US virus death was reported on February 26, though officials now say they believe that others may have died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, before that.
The country passed the 50,000-death threshold barely more than a month ago.
The number of deaths per capita in the United States is nevertheless lower than in several European countries, including Britain, Belgium, France, Italy and Spain.
Despite the grim toll, most US states are now moving toward ending the strict stay-at-home measures that were implemented to curb the spread of the virus.
President Donald Trump, who is running for reelection in November, is eager to stem the economic pain of the lockdown, which has left tens of millions of Americans without jobs.