4 JMB men held in Natore drive

first_imgNatore police superintendent Biplob Bijoy Talukder speaking with reporters after conducting a drive where four suspected activists of JMB surrendered to the law enforcers in Natore. Photo: Muktar HossainPolice in a drive arrested four suspected activists of banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from Dighapatia, on the outskirts of Natore town, early Tuesday, reports news agency UNB.The arrestees are—Anisur Rahman Anis, a resident of Arkandi village in Singra upazila, Shafikul Islam and Fazlur Rahman, residents of Chapapukur village in Bagatipara upazila and Jakir Hossian, a resident of Kholabaria village in Naldanga upazila.Acting on a tip-off, a police team cordoned off a house adjacent to the Uttara Gonobhaban around 3:00am and started operation at the house from 5:30am and asked the insiders to surrender to the law enforcers after nine rounds of firing, claimed police.After one hour, the four suspected activists of JMB surrendered to the law enforcers.Police, later, recovered five hand bombs, petrol, a laptop, one motorcycle and books searching the house.Details will be come to light after interrogation of the arrestees and investigation, said Natore police superintendent Biplob Bijoy Talukder.last_img read more

120 firefighters tackle blaze at central London hotel

first_imgFirefighters tackle a blaze at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in central London on 6 June 2018. A fire broke out at London`s Mandarin Oriental hotel, with dozens of firefighters deployed to tackle the blaze that pumped smoke high into the air over the British capital. Photo: AFPFire broke out at London’s Mandarin Oriental hotel on Tuesday, with dozens of firefighters deployed to tackle the blaze that pumped smoke high into the air over the British capital.The fire brigade said “around 120 firefighters” and 20 fire engines were involved in tackling the fire on the roof of the 12-storey hotel in Knightsbridge, a luxury area of central London where Harrods department store is also located.The fire service said the blaze was “producing a lot of smoke” and was “very visible” and its cause “is not known at this stage”.Firefighters were called to the fire at 1455 GMT.”We are aware that there is a fire at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, and that the fire brigade is at the hotel,” a hotel spokesman said.”As the situation is still unfolding, we have no further details to share at this time, but will provide an update soon”.Roads were closed off at Scotch Corner and Hyde Park Corner, busy junctions near the hotel — an Edwardian-style building that opened its doors in 1902 and was bought by Mandarin Oriental in 1996.The hotel has 198 rooms and suites.Transport for London, which manages the city’s public transport system, said an entrance to Knightsbridge Underground station had been closed “at the request of the emergency services”.Anna Whiteley, a TV presenter, tweeted that she was evacuated from the hotel.”Just evacuated Mandarin Oriental hotel to see this… absolutely crazy! So impressed by the organisation in bringing everyone to safety,” she wrote on Twitter.The London Ambulance Service said had sent “a number of resources” to the scene of the incident.last_img

Modi concedes state election defeats ahead of 2019 India vote

first_imgIndian Congress party supporters celebrate outside the party headquarters in New Delhi on 11 December 2018, as vote counting in five Indian states began. India`s ruling party looked set on 11 December for stinging election defeats in at least two stronghold states, in a big blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of national polls in 2019. — Photo: AFPIndia’s ruling party suffered stinging election defeats in at least two stronghold states, results showed Tuesday, in a big blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi before national polls in 2019.The votes held earlier this month and in November were seen as a dress rehearsal for next year when Modi will likely go head-to-head with a emboldened Rahul Gandhi of the Congress party for a second term.”We accept the people’s mandate with humility,” Modi said late Tuesday on Twitter.”I thank the people of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan for giving us the opportunity to serve these states. The BJP Governments in these states worked tirelessly for the welfare of the people.””We defeated the BJP today, we will defeat them in 2019 too,” Indian media quoted Gandhi as saying. “Mr Modi sold a vision to the country five years ago. India had the patience to give them five years. But they have failed.”In both the central state of Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan in the west, the chief ministers from Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) conceded defeat, while in Madhya Pradesh the outcome was on a knife-edge.In Chhattisgarh, ruled by the BJP for 15 years, initial results showed the BJP winning just 16 seats, down from 49 in the outgoing parliament, trailing Congress on 68 in the 90-seat state parliament.Congress also trounced the BJP in Rajasthan, governed since 2013 by the BJP’s Vasundhara Raje, an unpopular local princess, winning 99 seats ahead of the BJP on 73 — 89 fewer than in the last election.Television footage showed jubilant Congress workers bursting firecrackers and dancing at regional party offices in both states.In neighbouring Madhya Pradesh the BJP also suffered from voter fatigue after 15 years in office, with Congress set to be two seats short of a majority and five ahead of the BJP.In two other smaller states also releasing results Tuesday, Telangana in the south and remote Mizoram in the northeast, regional parties looked to be leading.Congress’s five-time Mizoram chief minister Lal Thanhawla was routed by the regional Mizo National Front, a BJP ally. In Telangana the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi won handsomely — at the expense of Congress.- Cow Belt -But it was Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh that mattered most for the Hindu nationalist BJP, which swept to power nationally under Modi in 2014.They form part of the “Hindi Belt” or “Cow Belt” region of around 475 million people — more than the United States, Canada and Mexico combined — where the right-wing BJP has its core support base.Before the recent five elections, the BJP ruled 19 out of 29 Indian states either outright or in alliance with local parties. Congress rules just two states, including one in partnership.But the latest results are a blow to the image of Modi as an invincible vote-winner, and puts the 68-year-old on the back foot months before he seeks a second term in office.It also strengthen 48-year-old Gandhi — scion of the Gandhi-Nehru dynasty — with Congress having lost more than a dozen states to the BJP since Modi took office in 2014.The results could also help his party cobble together a grand alliance of smaller parties to take on the BJP next year, with Gandhi at its head.”The message (from voters) is very clear. (Modi) needs to address the main issues of employment, corruption, and damage to economic structures,” Gandhi said on Tuesday.Analysts have linked the BJP’s apparent dwindling support to growing rural distress and unemployment.Nearly 55 percent of India’s 1.25-billion population is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture, and farmers form an important voting bloc for parties.”The verdict is the cumulative result of the issues faced by people in these states,” Gurpreet Mahajan, a political scientist at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University told AFP.”Victory and defeat are an integral part of life,” Modi said in a second tweet.”Today’s results will further our resolve to serve people and work even harder for the development of India.”last_img

Why AssistantAsApp Might Be the Next Big Tech Trend

first_img 8 min read Whenever I feel uncomfortable writing about a topic, that’s when I know I should write about it. So here goes. This article is about how a new way of designing apps changed my life. But to explain the power of this trend, I need to tell you about poop. That’s the uncomfortable part.For the past five years or so, I’ve struggled with intestinal discomfort. (I’ll spare you the gory details.) I spent countless hours crawling the web searching for a possible diagnosis and tried dozens of different remedies and diets. Nothing seemed to help.Finally, I saw a gastroenterologist. He listened for all of five minutes while I described my symptoms and quickly jotted down a prescription for antibiotics. They worked for a while but soon the symptoms returned. I went back to the doc. A few tests were done and more antibiotics were dolled out. But the problems came back. Then again. And again.After a few cycles, I could see he was running me through a gambit of various gut bug killers until my symptoms stopped or he was out of drugs. I decided I’d rather live with the problem (whatever it was) and hope for the best.Recently however, a chance encounter with a total stranger led me to start using a new kind of app that does things my physician and the specialist never could.Related: People Don’t Want Something Truly New, They Want the Familiar Done Differently.This app helped me get to the bottom of my problem. I’ll explain how later but what makes the design of this app important has implications in all sorts of industries, including outside health care. At its core, the app facilitates a conversation to solve a complex problem with greater ease than ever before.Over the next few years, smart entrepreneurs and savvy designers will use similar techniques to dramatically improve the way they connect and serve their customers.Going NativeApp makers are returning to the roots of what our phones are for. They are after all communications devices. So called “invisible apps” engaging in “conversational commerce” are popping-up in all sorts of unrelated industries.For example, a few weeks ago, my friend Stephen and I chatted at the park while we watched our kids play. As Silicon Valley tech geeks do, we got to talking apps. “Have you started using any good apps lately?” he asked. “Actually, yes.” I said. “Have you heard of Native?” I don’t usually recommend apps, but Native is special.What is Native? It’s a virtual travel agent. If you’re not impressed, neither was I the first time I heard the idea. But when I started using the service, I realized they were onto something.Here’s how Native works: every time I need to do anything related to travel, I just ask Tim to handle it. Tim lives inside Native and while he appears to be a human, I’m not 100% sure he is. For all I know he may be a bot, artificial intelligence, or any number of people working behind the scenes under the persona of the fresh-faced Tim. To be honest, I don’t much care. Every time I need him he’s there, ready to assist me.For example, I recently had to book a gnarly itinerary in and out of two countries using various airline loyalty points. Normally, booking this sort of trip would have taken me hours of comparing prices, flight times, connection difficulty, and frequent flyer point requirements. Instead, I just opened the app and told Tim what I needed in plain English — like sending a text message. Then, I went about my day and an hour later I received a notification from Tim telling me he found the best two options. Would I like itinerary A or itinerary B? I picked one and he booked the flight. Done!I didn’t have to use any dropdown menus, sift through hundreds of options, or spend half an hour attempting to pay for my ticket only to learn that the price I wanted was suddenly not available. Nope! I left it up to Tim to handle everything. Native charges $25 per month. Considering that Tim can complete any and all travel-related requests — from booking me on another flight if I miss a connector to calling the airline to request a seat change — it is well worth the money. Of course, whether Native can actually make money with this business model is an open question.As I described Native to my friend Stephen, a woman pushing her child on the swing next to us interjected. “Excuse me,” she asked, “What app are you talking about?” I showed her Native on my phone. “Funny,” she said “my company does the exact same thing but for health.”Related: 4 Ways to Use Psychology to Win Your Competition’s CustomersThe woman, I would come to learn, was Stephanie Tilenius, CEO of Vida Health. As she explained her app, Stephanie told me “Vida is great for irritable bowel syndrome if you happen to know anyone with that.”Did I ever!I told her I’d be interested in giving her app a try. “We’ll connect you with a coach to help you figure out what’s going on,” she said, and by the time I left the park I had received an invitation to use the service.Meeting MindyDiagnosing a digestive problem is fiendishly difficult. It requires looking back through a detailed log to find what might be causing symptoms that don’t manifest until the food has time to work it’s way through the body a day or so later. Finding a solution involves not only understanding what I ate that might be causing the symptoms, but also what I did not eat that I should have. I had done this sort of detailed record keeping before on my own but it was incredibly time consuming and I always gave up after a few days.I started using Vida. Over the next several weeks, I shared what I ate and how I was feeling with my coach Mindy who, like Tim from Native, was a helpful face on the other side of the app. Like Native, there was no complicated interface to learn. The app felt more like messaging with a friend than diagnosing a health problem.Along with helpful suggestions, Mindy sent me regular reminders to send her snapshots of what I was eating. She also requested I text a number from 1 to 10 to quantify my symptoms — my “poo score,” we called it.Soon, something interesting happened. Mindy started analyzing my diet in ways neither my doctor nor I ever could. She looked at the nutritional content of what I was eating and searched for correlations with how I felt. Like a detective, she was on the hunt for the intestinal who-done-it. She started eliminating suspects from the food line-up and narrowing in on what might be triggering my symptoms by looking for clues in my diet. She told me what I should eat instead and after changing my diet, I’m feeling better.Just the BeginningMindy’s ability to diagnose the source of my problem was something my physician just didn’t have the time or ability to address. Without a way to carefully monitor and analyze what was going in and coming out of my body, how could he? Conversational apps like Vida however are designed to always be accessible; allowing users to send the kind of information a professional can use to provide more insights in less time.Similarly, Native’s highly trained travel agent on the other side of the conversation allows the app to provide just the right itinerary, eliminating all the hours spent sorting and culling travel options I previously had to do myself.This trend is bigger than travel and diet apps. The fact that these two very different services both use what I call an “assistant-as-app” to help users accomplish complex tasks, makes me think there’s more to this trend.How About You?Do you use any assistant-as-app services? Do you have any favorites? Can you think of other products or services that should use the conversational interface but don’t yet? Where would you like to see an assistant-as-app service?Related: 5 Questions to Ask Before Developing a Mobile App Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals This story originally appeared on NirAndFar.com Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. July 9, 2015 Register Now »last_img read more