Hamas freed 11 hostages in exchange for 33 prisoners



International desk, Barta24.com
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Israel has again released 39 Palestinians from prison in the fourth phase of the ongoing ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. In return, 11 hostages were freed by Hamas, the pro-independence organization of Gaza.

Among those freed were six Argentines, three French nationals and two German nationals, a spokesman for Qatar's foreign ministry said.

On Tuesday (November 28), Hamas and the Israeli army confirmed the matter, according to news agency AFP and news outlet Al Jazeera.

Israel's prison authorities said early Tuesday that 33 more Palestinian prisoners were released "overnight" under a ceasefire agreement signed to bring back prisoners from the Gaza Strip, reports said.

The release of this latest prisoner brings the total number of Palestinian prisoners released by Israel to 150 in the four days of the ceasefire.

On the other hand, the Israeli military said that 11 prisoners from the Gaza Strip were released by the Palestinian independence armed group Hamas.

In a statement on Monday, the Israeli military said, "The 11 prisoners released based on information received from the Red Cross are currently on their way to Israel."

Shortly thereafter, the released prisoners arrived in Israel. An Israeli military spokesman later said the released prisoners would be medically examined and then reunited with their families.

Earlier, the four-day Hamas-Israel ceasefire was due to expire early Tuesday morning local time. The ceasefire was extended for another 2 days before the end of the scheduled period.

According to Israel, they will start attacking Gaza again after rescuing the hostages through the ceasefire. It may take a minimum of one to ten weeks. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that the operation they have launched in Gaza will only end with the elimination of Hamas.

But the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestinians - UNRW said the situation will worsen if Israel starts attacking southern Gaza to eliminate Hamas.

It should be noted that after more than a month and a half of war, Hamas and Israel reached a four-day ceasefire agreement last Friday. According to the agreement, Hamas released 50 prisoners. On the other hand, Israel released 150 Palestinians from their prisons. Monday was the last day of this deal.

Although Israel has threatened to resume attacks on Gaza once the ceasefire expires. But at the last minute, Israel's ceasefire with Hamas in the besieged Gaza Strip was extended for two more days.



   

Asif Zardari set to be the president of Pakistan again, PTI lost the game



International Desk, Barta24.com
ছবি: সংগৃহীত

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After 2013, Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of Pakistan People's Party (PPP), the former president of the country, is going to be the president again for the second time. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and PPP finalized such a decision in a midnight meeting on Tuesday (February 20). The PML-N-PPP gave the information on Wednesday (February 21) after the consensus.

This information has been reported by the Pakistani media Dawn and news agency AFP.

According to the report, Pakistan, which is plagued with economic tension, is almost bankrupt. As of January 26, the country's reserves were only 8.21 billion dollars. By the end of the year, the global debt will be 7 billion dollars.

The report also says that Shehbaz Sharif, the younger brother of Pakistan's former prime minister and PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif, is going to be the country's prime minister. Shehbaz became the prime minister in 2022 after ousting popular leader and former prime minister Imran Khan. The Sharifs are one of the Pakistani families that have ruled Pakistan for decades. On the other hand, Khan's party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is set to lose to the alliance despite getting more votes.

Asif Ali Zardari was born in 1955 into a prominent Baloch family of the Nawabshah of Sindh. His political career began in 1987. Zardari was also jailed for several years on corruption charges. He was married to a prominent political family of Pakistan. His wife Benazir Bhutto was the daughter of the former Prime Minister of the country. who herself later became the prime minister. A year after their marriage, Benazir Bhutto assumed the post of prime minister in 1987. Pakistan's first woman prime minister.

The same year, Zardari began his own political career as a member of the National Assembly. While prime minister, Bhutto invited Ali Zardari to join his administration as Pakistan's minister of Investment and Environment which created a lot of controversy. The opposition accused Zardari of widespread corruption during his time in the cabinet. He was also accused of embezzling public funds. Since then, due to corruption and scandal, he was called 'Mr. 'Ten Percent' is given the title. In other words, without 10 percent commissions, he would not advance a step forward. Both the opposition and government investigators alleged that Zardari had smuggled hundreds of millions of dollars out of the country. He was in jail from 1997 to 2004, although the charges were not proved.

Before 2007, Ali Zardari was not a well-known face outside of Pakistan. But after militants killed his wife, Zardari's name came to the international stage. After the death of Benazir Bhutto, he was easily elected to the presidency in 2008, gaining public sympathy. But his journey to higher political power was once again marred by controversy and allegations of widespread corruption. He has repeatedly faced allegations of misconduct and corruption in his political career. However, nothing was proved in court. He is also known as a shrewd political leader. Last year Dawn reported that Asif Ali Zardari is undoubtedly one of the most intelligent political figures in the country.

During his tenure as president, he signed two bills to provide harsher punishments for various crimes against women. The first bill called for severe punishment for forcibly marrying women under various customs and depriving them of their rightful inheritance. The second bill demands stricter punishment for those involved in acid attacks.

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India gives permission for onion export to Bangladesh



International Desk, Barta24.com
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On the recommendation of the Ministry of External Affairs of India, India has officially allowed the export of onions in five countries including Bangladesh.

On Monday (February 19), the Indian media, Economic Times, reported this information. However, the media could not tell how much was allowed to be exported.

According to the sources, the media said that although no decision has been taken to lift the complete ban on onion export, a limited quantity of onion has been allowed to be exported for bilateral purposes.

Other countries are - Nepal, Bhutan, Bahrain and Mauritius.

The government of Bangladesh has issued a formal letter to India to allow the export of certain quantities of sugar and onions in order to reduce the prices of sugar and onions in the domestic market during the holy month of Ramadan.

India is the second largest onion exporter in the world. The country imposed a ban on exports in December 2023. Later, the export ban was extended till March this year when the price of onion rose in the country's domestic market ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

India initially imposed a 40 percent tariff on onions to discourage exports. But it also imposed sanctions when it was not working.

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What's happening in Gaza is genocide, calls for world leaders to stop'



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
What's happening in Gaza is genocide, calls for world leaders to stop'

What's happening in Gaza is genocide, calls for world leaders to stop'

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has commented that what is happening in Gaza now is genocide. She called on the world leaders to stop this genocide.

She said the Palestinian people have the right to live and have their own state.

Bangladesh Prime Minister gave an interview to Turkish news agency Anadolu on Saturday (February 16) on the sidelines of participating in the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

In the interview, Sheikh Hasina said, "Bangladesh has always stood against genocide. What is happening in Gaza is genocide. So we never support it. They have the right to live. So we should help them and stop this war very soon."

Anadolu wrote that Bangladesh has sent aid to the besieged Gaza. Sheikh Hasina called on the world to support and help the people of Palestine, including women and children.

In response to a question about the planned operation of the Israeli forces in the southern town of Rafah in Gaza, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh will never support such an attack. UN proposals for a two-state solution should be implemented.

She also said that the UN resolution of 1967 contains the theory of two states. It should be implemented.

Anadolu writes that about 15 lakh Palestinians displaced by the Israeli offensive have taken refuge in Rafah. But the Israeli forces are planning to attack the city. Many countries have called for an end to that campaign or attack.

Israel has been wreaking havoc in Gaza since the attack by Hamas on October 7 last year. Their attacks killed more than 28,000 people, including women and children. Gaza has been reduced to rubble by the repeated attacks. A massive shortage of the essentials of life has created an inhumane situation.

According to the United Nations, 85 percent of Gaza's population has been displaced. The shortage of food, water, electricity and medicine has intensified. 60 percent of the buildings in Gaza were destroyed by the Israeli attack.

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Myanmar Youths are fleeing to Thailand, visa is strict



Special Correspondent, South East Asia, Barta24.com, Bangkok (Thailand)
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The Youths including young women of that country are fleeing from Myanmar. The junta government has already announced compulsory military training for all 18-year-olds in the country. Since then, the number of people fleeing the country is increasing. Most young women flee the country to neighboring Thailand. Meanwhile, the Thai embassy in Yangon said it will not accept more than 400 passports a day. Also, a tourist visa cannot stay in Thailand for more than 14 days.

On Saturday (February 17), Myanmar's Tak My Sot district police arrested 27 young women from a forest in Phop Phra district, bordering Thailand. Out of which 13 are men and 14 are women.

It is known that all of them are residents of Myawaddy town in Taks My Sot district of Myanmar. They crossed the Thai border with the help of human-trafficking gangs.

Also last week, Myanmar army detained 27 citizens from this border. There were 11 young men and 16 young women. They were trying to enter Thailand through the border jungle.

Recently, Myanmar's junta government announced compulsory military training for all young men between the ages of 18 and 35 and all women between the ages of 18 and 27. Anyone who fails to participate in this training is punished with 5 years imprisonment. The country's government has announced the implementation of this directive from next April. Since then, the young women have become desperate to leave the country.

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