Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, May 15th 2017: DNA Leader, Branville McCartney is uncertain whether he will remain at the party’s helm. Following Wednesday’s poll, the Party leader took responsibility for the DNA’s performance at the 2017 General Election. He adds his future will be determined by the Party’s board. In his message titled ‘the way forward’, which comes post Wednesday’s election, McCartney says his party accepts the choice of Bahamians, and assures its supporters that the DNA will not fold.The party in acknowledging the loss at the second consecutive poll it has contested, says in the coming weeks and months “those who continue to support a two-party system”, and even its own supporters, will witness a re-engineering of the DNA, as it seeks to become the “real change which Bahamians demand and deserve”.McCartney thanked the hundreds of Bahamians who stood by the DNA with their unwavering support, describing them as “the glue that has kept the organisation together”. In continuing his direct message to his supporters, he thanked them for “believing in the dream of the DNA and for making the often-unpopular choice to be different”, as they “have affirmed his belief that a third party can and will have a place in our country’s political story”. He adds that the DNA may not have gotten it right this time, “but Bahamians can be certain that every action, every plan and every policy position taken by the Democratic National Alliance has been in pursuit of an ideal which he believes most Bahamians believe in”.The Party leader, took time to extend congrats to FNM leader, Dr.Hubert Minnis on his “resounding victory at the polls”. McCartney wished the newly elected Prime Minister and his new administration great success over the next five years, and called on them to live up to the “mandate given to them by the people of this country and truly create better lives for all Bahamians”.The election marks the party’s six year anniversary since its inception in November 2011.#MagneticMediaNews#BahamasGeneralElections2017#DNAGreenParty#BranvilleMcCartney
Justin BieberReutersJustin Bieber has apparently stepped down from making any songs for the time being, and fans are not only unhappy about it, but they are concerned for the singer too.Bieber has been under mental stress for quite some time and he has been pretty vocal about it. Recently, the ‘Baby’ singer took to Instagram and informed his fans that he will be focusing on his mental health for the time being.In a lengthy message, the singer starts by addressing his fans’ demands, who all badly want an album from him. “I read a lot of messages saying you want an album,” Bieber started his post. “”I’ve toured my whole teenage life, and early 20s, I realized and as you guys probably saw I was unhappy last tour and I don’t deserve that and you don’t deserve that, you pay money to come and have a lively energetic fun light concert and I was unable emotionally to give you that near the end of the tour,” he wrote.Bieber released his last album, Purpose in 2015 and two years later, he ended his tour early due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Later, he explained to his fans about the reason behind he ending his tour early, “I want my career to be sustainable, but I also want my mind heart and soul to be sustainable,” Bieber wrote. So that I can be the man I want to be, the husband I eventually want to be and the father I want to be,” he further added explaining his mental desire at that point of time. Justin BieberJustin Bieber Official Instagram (justinbieber)Since then he got married to model Hailey Baldwin, and in his recent Instagram post, he tried to explain his current situation by addressing them as “deep-rooted issues.””I have been looking, seeking, trial and error as most of us do, I am now very focused on repairing some of the deep-rooted issues that I have as most of us have, so that I don’t fall apart, so that I can sustain my marriage and be the father I want to be,” Bieber explained. The popstar later consoled his fans by saying that “Music is very important to me but nothing comes before my family and my health. I will come with a kick a** album ASAP, my swag is undeniable and my drive is indescribable his love is supernatural his grace is that reliable…. the top is where I reside period whether I make music or not the king said so,” Bieber said. “But I will come with a vengeance believe that.”
Indian workers store steel coils unloaded from an Indian Railways train at a new private freight terminal in Sachana village near Viramgam, some 50 kms from Ahmedabad on January 27, 2016.SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty ImagesIndian economy’s growth estimate for the current financial year (FY19) has been lowered to 7 per cent, the lowest during the term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is expected to face the electorate again in a couple of months.This follows the Central Statistics Organisation’s (CSO) estimate that growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) slowed to 6.6 per cent in the third quarter that ended in December, the lowest for six quarters. The CSO estimates that this happened because of subdued growth in agriculture, manufacturing, and government expenditure.The CSO has lowered the growth estimate for Q1 for the 2018-19 financial year to 8 per cent from 8.2 per cent and for Q2 to 7 per cent from 7.1 per cent, newly released data show.Only the manufacturing sector is projected to show a higher growth this year when compared to the previous year because of the high growth in the sector in the first quarter of FY19, according to media reports.The CSO has also lowered its projection for the last quarter of the financial year to 6.5 per cent. “FY19 GDP growth at 7 per cent is the lowest in the past five years, and Q3 growth at 6.6 per cent is at sixth-quarter low. This indicates the economy is losing steam,” the Business Standard quotes Devendra Pant, chief economist at India Ratings, as saying. A labourer stacks concrete blocks on his head at the construction site of a residential complex on the outskirts of Kolkata in this November 2, 2015 file photo. The construction sector has continued the upswing, growing at 9.6 per cent in Q3, up from 8.5 percent in the previous quarter.Some economists expect the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) monetary policy committee to further cut the repo rate to boost growth in an election year. The RBI cut the recently cut the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.25 per cent, hoping to increase the economy’s liquidity beleaguered by lower than desirable employment growth. “The lower growth in GDP could prompt the RBI to lower interest rates as economic growth has been cited as a concern,” CARE Ratings said. Another interest rate would, however, depend on the economy’s performance on the inflation front in the coming months.The growth in the gross value added (GVA) by agriculture, forestry and fishing slowed to 2.7 per cent in Q3 from 4.2 per cent in Q2. At current prices, the sector’s growth is pegged at 2 per cent in Q3 down from 3.4 per cent in Q2. The sector’s growth for the whole financial year is now projected at 2.7 per cent, down from 5 per cent in FY18, according to CSO estimates. A farmer standing on a plastic drum winnows wheat in a field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. The growth in the gross value added (GVA) by agriculture, forestry and fishing slowed to 2.7 per cent in Q3 from 4.2 per cent in Q2.ReutersManufacturing activity has also slowed over the year with GVA growth estimated at 6.7 per cent in Q3, down from 12.4 per cent in Q1. The Q2 growth was 6.9 per cent. However, the high growth of Q1 is expected to help the sector post 8.1 per cent growth in FY19, up from 5.9 per cent in FY18.The construction sector has continued the upswing, growing at 9.6 per cent in Q3, up from 8.5 per cent in the previous quarter. The CSO estimates 8.9 per cent for the financial year, up from 5.6 per cent the year before.
Prothom alo illustratio.Militant leader Mufti Abdul Hannan and eight other convicts were sentenced to death 18 years ago in the Ramna bomb blast case. Mufti Hannan was hanged in connection with another case. The death reference and appeal in the Ramna killing case remains pending in the Supreme Court. Similarly, the court sentenced 14 persons to death five years ago in the sensational 10 truck arms case. That too remains pending approval of the High Court.A total of 1,704 convicts wait in the condemned cells for the final court verdict. The death reference hearing of many of their cases is being held in the High Court. The death reference hearing of some of the cases has been completed and the accused have filed appeal with the Appellate Division where the cases remain pending.The home ministry sent a letter to the law ministry on Wednesday, asking that the state counsel to settle these cases pending in the Supreme Court without further delay.The letter stated that till 30 June this year, among the convicts sentenced to death in various jails of the country, there are 1,467 unresolved cases with the High Court and 237 with the Appellate Division. These cases have been under trial for between 6 months to 15 years.According to relevant sources, from May 2015 to May 2019, the appeal of 48 convicts sentenced to death has been settled. The law has no deadline for settling death references. However, the cases pertaining to the murders of Rajib and Rajan, the Saudi embassy official Khalaf Al Ali, the sensational Narayanganj seven-murder, and the Pilkhana killing, were settled once the paper book was prepared.According to prison officials, delay in preparing the paper book keeps the death references pending for years on end. With the cases remaining unsettled for years after years, the accused and those seeking justice are both frustrated. Convicts awaiting final decision in the condemned cells undergo immense mental pressure. And over half the jail guards are deployed to keep watch on this large number of convicts and so cannot pay due attention to the other inmates. Then again, in some cases the Supreme Court may lessen the sentences meted out by the judicial court. That is why it is imperative for the death references to be settled as soon as possible.Senior lawyer of the Supreme Court Khandakar Mahbub Hossain on Thursday told Prothom Alo that the government has no idea of what pitiful lives the convicts condemned to death are living and so do fail to take action. He said, the lower courts almost every day pass death sentences, but there is a shortage of judges with the experience to conduct such cases. Appointing experienced judges on an ad hoc basis could be a solution to the problem.Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan, speaking to Prothom Alo, said, “We have requested the law ministry to take rapid steps to settle the death references and appeal cases pending with the Supreme Court. We are monitoring the matter. Also, the relevant persons of the law and justice department hold regular meetings in this regard. It has been said that initiative will be taken to conduct special hearing of the cases pending for over 10 years.”The High Court’s approval is needed to carry out the death sentences passed by the judicial court. This is known as the death reference. After the High Court decision, the accused can appeal with the Appellate Division. The accused can also appeal again after the decision of the Appellate Division.In preparation of the death reference hearing, a paper book is prepared comprising the case description, charge sheet, deposition of the witnesses, the verdict of the judicial court, and so on.When asked what the state is doing to speed up the process of these cases, law minister Anisul Huq told Prothom Alo, “We are taking necessary action regarding these condemned convicts. We want the sentences of those condemned to death to be carried out speedily. The death reference hearing and settlement of several such cases are being dealt with on a priority basis after the preparation of the paper book.”Sensational cases in death referenceThe Speedy Trial Tribunal -2 of Dhaka condemned 10 persons to death on 20 August 2017 under the Special Powers Act for the attempting to kill the prime minister Sheikh Hasina with a bomb planted in Kotalipara, Gopalganj. Almost 17 years after the incident, the death reference hearing was taken up in the High Court after the lower court verdict.Ten persons were killed in the militant attack on 14 April 2001 at Ramna during the Bangla New Year celebrations. Around five years ago the judicial court condemned eight persons to death in this case and sentenced another six to life. The murder case is now under trial at the High Court. The death reference and jail appeal is at the hearing stage.On 27 April 2014, members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) set up a check post at Lamapara along the Dhaka-Narayanganj Link Road and halted the vehicle of councillor Nazrul.They picked up Nazrul, three of his associates and the driver. Lawyer Chandan Sarkar, who happened to be passing, witnessed the incident and so he too was picked up along with his driver.All of them were later killed and thrown into the river. Six of their bodies were later discovered on 30 April and one more on the next day.Then on 16 January 2016 the lower court condemned 26 persons to death and nine others to sentences of various terms in this sensational case.The death sentences were placed with the High Court for approval. And also 20 accused persons appealed to the High Court against the sentences.On 22 August 2017 the death reference and appeal hearing were completed and the death sentence of 15 persons was upheld.The High Court lessened the death sentence given by the lower court against 11 of the accused to life imprisonment. The full verdict of the High Court was published on 19 November 2018.The accused then appealed to the Appellate Division and the hearing of this writ remains pending.* This piece appeared in the print edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabir