Farroque Alam Sarker, central vice president of Krishak League joined BNP on Wednesday. Photo: CollectedKrishak League central committee vice president Farroque Alam Sarker on Wednesday joined BNP ahead of the 11th Parliamentary elections, reports UNB.Hailing from Gaibandha-5 constituency, Farroque formally joined BNP by presenting a bouquet to party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir around 7:00pm at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office, said a press release.Farroque also bought party’s nomination paper from Gaibandha-5 constituency.More than one hundred leaders-activists of ruling party student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League and Juba League also joined BNP with Farroque, said Gaibandha district unit BNP president Syed Moinul Hasan Sadik.BNP’s Rangpur divisional organising secretary Asadu Habib Dulu, and general secretary Mahmud Nabi Tutul were, among others, present on the occasion.
Jatiya Oikya Front leader Kamal Hossain speaking at a programme organised by Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rob) at Jatiya Press Club on Friday. Photo: Prothom AloStating that the government is in trouble, Jatiya Oikya Front convener Kamal Hossain on Friday warned that it will not be able to run the country for long with ‘falsehood’, reports UNB.”This government is in trouble as it’s running the country staying in power without (proper) election. It’s now making various promises which are very difficult to fulfill,” Kamal said while speaking at a discussion arranged by Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rob) marking the historic first flag hoisting day. “What happened on the night of 29 December? Was it a free, fair and neutral election? What was it actually? I would like to say it’s difficult to run a country of 160 million people based on falsehood and wrong information. It can’t be done, ” said the noted lawyer.Kamal, also the president of Gono Forum, said there is no disagreement among the people over some basic issues and they all believe that they are the owners of the country.”Nobody wants a monarchy here and nobody wants to see any king or queen here. Bengalee is such a nation which will never accept any king or queen in the country.”He said people now feel some sort of helplessness as the government is not showing respect for them as the owners of the country.”But no one should feel helpless when there are 17 crore people who can play the role of owners of the country. Those who think they have become the country’s owners dividing people they are making a mistake.”The Oikya Front chief said the country’s people ousted the autocratic rulers, including HM Ershad, through their united efforts in the past. “We’ll also get united now and bring the country under our occupation through a democratic and constitutional process.”Mentioning that the country was liberated based on unity of people; he said people’s ownership of the country will also be restored now based on unison among them.Speaking at the programme, JSD president Abdur Rob recalled the memory of hoisting the country’s flag for the first time on 2 March, 1971.Describing the current government as autocratic one, he said it will not leave power easily unless people come up with a united and strong resistance against it.Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna said Awami League has snatched people’s voting rights on 29 December by using the state machinery.”The Awami League which liberated the country under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujiubur Rahman doesn’t exist in the country. The current Awami League is an associate body of police league.”He said people on Thursday sent out a message to the government that they do not want any election under it by not going to polling stations to cast their votes in the by-polls to Dhaka North City Corporation’s mayoral post.
email@example.com Del. Antonio Hayes has submitted a bill to the General Assembly to raise the maximum fine for a first-time offense of selling alcohol to minors in Baltimore City. (Photo courtesy of Del. Antonio Hayes)Baltimore City has the lowest maximum fine – tied with Calvert County – for a first-time offense of selling alcohol to minors. Del. Antonio Hayes (D-Baltimore City) has introduced a bill in the General Assembly to double the current maximum fine, from $500 to $1,000.“This bill, like other pieces of my legislation, is really the brainchild of people in communities that I represent,” said Hayes, who tells the AFRO that his bill was spurred by the advocacy of Dr. Marvin Cheatham, president of the Matthew A. Henson Neighborhood Association, on the issue of liquor sales to minors.Currently, in Baltimore City, the Board of Liquor License Commissioners (BLLC) can impose a fine of up to $500 on an establishment for its first offense of selling alcohol to minors. Subsequent offenses allow a maximum fine of $3,000, and Hayes says his bill, House Bill 868 (HB0868), would simply put the initial fine more on par with the fine for subsequent offenses.Baltimore City’s current maximum fine is well below that of other counties in the state, according to the freshman delegate. In adjacent Baltimore County, the maximum fine for a first offense of selling alcohol to minors is $2,000. In Prince George’s it is $12,500, and in Montgomery County it is $20,000, says Hayes.“Most liquor stores, $500 is what they do in two to three hours, so it’s not really sending them a message of the importance of [not] serving alcohol to minors,” said Hayes.Cheatham tells the AFRO that there are 15 establishments selling or serving alcohol in the vicinity of his neighborhood, four of which were fined last year for selling alcohol to minors.“What we were seeing was not only violence and crime associated with the liquor stores, but we were beginning to see an uptick in the sale of liquor to young people because they weren’t checking the IDs,” said Cheatham, who says the current BLLC has been more aggressive in policing sales to minors, but that its penalties need more teeth.“Where it is now . . . that’s far too little when you consider you sold liquor to a minor,” said Cheatham.According to Michelle Bailey-Hedgepeth, executive secretary of the BLLC for Baltimore City, 44 establishments were fined for selling alcohol to minors in fiscal year 2013, with approximately 75 establishments being fined for, or charged with, selling alcohol to minors in fiscal 2014 (running from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015).The process for fining an establishment begins with a police vice operation, generally involving an underage cadet, who attempts to purchase alcohol. If the undercover cadet is not ID’d and sold alcohol (or sold alcohol despite an ID showing the cadet was underage), the police file a report with BLLC who then holds a hearing to determine guilt and the appropriate fine.“Last year [vice] visited approximately 150 locations throughout the city,” said Bailey-Hedgepeth.“The majority of the liquor stores and taverns in the district are responsible establishments,” said Hayes, “it’s just that there’s a couple of bad apples that are not responsible, so this [bill] is really to go after the ones who are not being responsible.”Because HB0868 simply raises the maximum fine that can be assessed against an establishment for a first offense of selling alcohol to minors, the bill has no direct costs for implementation.