Bulbul intensifies into category 2 cyclone

News Desk, Barta24.com
photo: collected

photo: collected

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The cyclone Bulbul has intensified into a category 2 cyclonic storm over the Bay of Bengal and is moving towards Bangladesh and India’s West Bengal with a wind speed of 100 kilometres per hour.   

Met office said on Friday (Nov 8) that the cyclone might intensify further and lash the coastal areas on Saturday, inflicting huge damage on crops and property.

World Meteorological Organization has described the cyclone as ‘very severe’.

Cox’s Bazar Met office in-charge Md Abdur Rahman said the storm was 645 kilometres away from the Cox’s Bazar coast on Friday. “It might hit the Bangladesh coast with a wind speed of 100 kilometres per hour.”

The cyclone was 450 kilometres away from West Bengal’s Sagardwip, 310 kilometres from Paradip and 550 kilometres from Bangladesh’s Khepupara.

The cyclonic storm has left the sea rough and caused rain in coastal districts, including Barisal, Khulna and Patuakhali, on Friday leading to a decline in temperature.

State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman said the government has taken all-out preparations to tackle the cyclone.

It has canceled leaves of officials and employees of 22 ministries and Upazila-level government employees to tackle cyclone Bulbul.

 “Instruction has been given to prepare the cyclone centres in the coastal areas. Instruction has also been given to send 2,000 packets of dried food and Tk 500,000 in cash to every centre,” he said.

Like the Arab world, Israel has increased its relations with Asia

Dr. Mahfuz Parvez
Like the Arab world, Israel has increased its relations with Asia

Like the Arab world, Israel has increased its relations with Asia

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After dramatic diplomatic achievement in Middle East and Arab world, Israel is gradually moving to build a shared future between Israel and Asian nations, and successfully preparing Israel for a secure and prosperous future in the 'Asian Century'.

For more than 20 years, Israel’s ties with countries in Asia have gradually increased, enough to warrant talk of Israel’s own pivot to the region. But it is not just a pivot. Instead, it is a major realignment of Israel’s foreign policy on a broad scale, supported by geopolitical developments and motivated by Israel’s slowly eroding political relations with Europe and the United States. According to World Polities Review Israel deepens Asia ties in gradual realignment of Foreign Policy.

Two years ago, on 13 August 2020, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Israel and the US released a joint statement publicly announcing the normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern countries. On 15 September 2020 the Emirati Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, and the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, signed the peace agreement known as the 'Abraham Accords' at an official ceremony chaired by the former US President Donald Trump at the White House.

The formalisation of the UAE-Israel entente has brought about a major reconfiguration of the political and security makeup of the Middle East by broadening the scope of Israel’s allies in the Arabian Peninsula. The Emirati and Israeli leaderships welcomed the 'Abraham Accords' and presented the diplomatic achievement to their citizens as a powerful political construct that would allow the two countries to better deliver on their national priorities.

The UAE and Bahrain’s mutual recognition deal with Israel broke 50 years’ policy. Following Sudan, Saudi Arabia became the next Arab state to normalise relations. Israel’s longest-serving prime minister pops up on Saudi state-run television from Tel Aviv. An Israeli-American declares himself the “chief rabbi of Saudi Arabia” after arriving on a tourist visa. A prominent Saudi family invests in two Israeli companies and doesn’t bother to hide it. According to media reports Israel and Saudi Arabia: No Longer Enemies But Not Quite Friends Previously clandestine links are increasingly visible as rivalries cautiously give way to pragmatic economic and security ties.

Meanwhile, Israel is also willing to work towards establishing ties with Southeast Asia's Muslim majority nations, its ambassador to Singapore said media frequently.

All these recent events would have been unthinkable not long ago. But previously clandestine links between Saudi Arabia and Israel are increasingly visible as some of the Middle East’s deep-seated rivalries cautiously give way to pragmatic economic and security ties. Saudi crown prince and de facto leader Mohammed bin Salman is seeking to accelerate his plans to overhaul an oil-reliant economy, while Israel is keen to build on 2020’s diplomatic breakthroughs with smaller Gulf nations.

“We do not view Israel as an enemy, but rather as a potential ally,” Prince Mohammed said in a striking reassessment of one of the region’s most consequential fault-lines.

On the other hand, in the case of Indonesia, despite the lack of diplomatic ties with Israel, there is currently about $500 million of direct and indirect annual bilateral trade between the two countries (not including defense). But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Tremendous untapped potential exists between Israel and Indonesia in sectors such as education, healthcare, agtech, foodtech, water technology, fintech, cybersecurity and mobility, to name just a few.

Ms. Rebecca Zeffert, the founder and executive director of the 'Israel-Asia Center', an Israeli not-for-profit organization dedicated to informing, empowering and connecting the Israel-Asia leaders of tomorrow toward building a more sustainable future in the 'Asian Century' wrote, "I was in Indonesia to lead a unique delegation of Israelis in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country: alumni and advisers of our Israel-Indonesia Futures program. This was the second year that we had run this program with this Southeast Asian giant – despite the lack of diplomatic ties with Israel. The program had been borne out of COVID, when all of the Israel-Asia Center’s leadership programs had to be put on hold."

Currently, the 2022 host of the G20, Indonesia is projected to become the world’s fifth largest economy by 2030. This growth is not surprising when you look at the figures. With a population of 275 million spread across 17,500 islands, Indonesia ranks as the fourth-largest country in the world – and the world’s third-largest democracy, she mentioned in her article published in a leading Israeli newspaper adding "Indonesia has 202 million Internet users and an Internet economy growth rate of 49% per year – projected to reach $330 billion by 2030. The country also has the world’s fastest-growing smartphone adoption rate, estimated to reach 239 million users by 2026."

However, Rebecca further pointed out that this economic giant is still being largely overlooked by Israelis. In all of our meetings that week, responses from our Indonesian counterparts were warm, welcoming, overwhelmingly positive and inspiring – and opened our eyes to the future we can build between our two nations. What’s more, they are eager to visit Israel and take these relationships to the next level.

Diplomatic ties, if and when they eventually happen, won’t take place overnight and shouldn’t necessarily be viewed as the only option for Israel. Unlike the UAE and Bahrain, Indonesia is the world’s third-largest democracy. Any normalization with Israel would likely follow formal ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia. However, in the case of Indonesia, it would be a gradual process. Israel should be open to other arrangements that could look similar to what we have with Taiwan: an economic and cultural representative office in each country, rather than high-profile diplomatic ties. Whatever that future looks like, so much is possible in the interim. And as ties do warm up gradually, existing barriers will be removed. Israel has a unique opportunity to start preparing for that moment.

Ultimately, this is all about people-to-people relationship-building. The Israel-Asia Center is paving the way for that, and we are seeking partners who wish to work with us in growing these relationships and investing in the human capital that is bringing these two countries together in a way that’s making the world better for everyone.

Apart from specific observations on Indonesia, Rebecca Zeffert focused on Israel-Asia Relations that according to her 'balancing economic And National Security of the region'. In an interview with Mercy A. Kuo that published on May 21, 2018 in a prestigious journal named 'The Diplomat', Rebecca Zeffert identify three key areas of cooperation in Israel–Asia relations: It is hard to speak of cooperation between Israel and Asia as a whole. Asia is a vast continent and each country in the region has unique bilateral relations with Israel, while some don’t have diplomatic relations with Israel at all. What is important to note about these relationships in recent years, is that we see a clear acknowledgment from both the public and private sectors in Israel of the strategic importance that Asia holds, both politically and economically.

This is evident through the numerous visits over recent years by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin to China, India, Japan, Singapore, and Vietnam, and recent visits to Israel by [Indian] Prime Minister Modi, [Japanese] PM Shinzo Abe, [Chinese] Vice Premier Liu Yandong, [Singaporean] PM Lee Hsien Loong and senior members of Vietnam’s politburo.

When we look at Asia’s superpowers, the Israeli government has been very clear about its intention to advance these relations, going as far as to pass a specific resolution obligating different ministries to allocate funds to enhance relations with China, India, and Japan specifically.

We are also seeing increased efforts on the Israeli side to engage with Asia beyond the traditional areas of agritech, defense, and security. These include collaboration across a range of innovation and technology sectors, in education, and even in disaster relief, resilience-building, and sustainable development.

Meanwhile, automotive, telecoms and electronics companies – from China, India, Japan, Korea, and Singapore – are establishing R&D centers in Israel to tap into the country’s tech talent and innovation ecosystem.

Explaining key commercial trends in Israel’s relations with China Rebecca said: as the world’s most populous nation and second largest economy, China’s commercial interests in Israel – the “Start-Up Nation” – are largely focused on Israel as a source of technology and innovation. Israel’s commercial interest in China is clear: Israel’s market is too small for its flourishing tech and innovation ecosystem and Israeli companies tend to think global from the outset. As the world looks east for market opportunities and financial resources, so too does Israel.

The traditional areas of collaboration between the two countries (even before diplomatic relations were established) were agriculture and water technologies, especially measures to combat desertification in the more arid parts of China. As China increasingly seeks solutions to challenges of food security, clean water, an aging population, air quality, and mounting strains on its growing mega-cities, these traditional areas are taking new shape and scale to include not only agritech and water-tech but also biotech, medtech, cleantech, artificial intelligence, smart city technology, waste management, and food security and safety. A clear demonstration of this has been seen in investments in and acquisitions of Israeli homegrown brands by Chinese companies – such as Tnuva dairy products. Other commercial trends beyond tech include China’s interest in Israeli insurance and infrastructure development (including sea ports, tunnels, and railways).

Explaining the focal points of Israel’s relations with Japan and India, Rebecca said: after years of what can only be described as stagnant relations resulting from the from the Arab Boycott and Japan’s dependence on Arab oil, the Japan-Israel relationship has finally started to thaw – and even flourish – with two visits by PM Shinzo Abe to Israel in the past three years. The relationship, which still has a long way to go in fully realizing its potential, is based mainly on trade, technology, and innovation – particularly cybersecurity technology in the run-up to the 2020 Olympics. But there is also potential for growing collaboration in fields such as intelligence and defense. However, two key obstacles from Israel’s perspective, that are preventing advancements in trade and tourism in particular, are the lack of direct flights between the two countries and the travel warning issued by Japan on visiting Israe

It is becoming increasingly clear that we are living in a multipolar world order. As such, Israel’s relations with the United States, China, India, and other nations are not a zero–sum game. Israel has always enjoyed a strong and close relationship with the United States – and will continue to do so. However, there is no reason why this relationship should come at the cost of Israel’s growing relations with China, India, and other countries in the Asia region. My feeling is that these are each bilateral relationships that will only continue to flourish, explained Rebecca'.

It is important to note here that with an important geographic position, Israel is a country in the Middle East and is considered the Holy Land by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The country’s capital city is Jerusalem, while its financial and technology hub is Tel Aviv. The official languages spoken in Israel are Hebrew and Arabic. Israel has a total land area of 20,770-22,072 square kilometers, 440 square kilometers of which are water. In 2017, the country has an estimated population of 8,760,000, and a population density of 395 people per square kilometer.

Israel is located on the continent of Asia having close connection with other continents of the worls. Israel is, however, geographically located in Asia. The country borders Lebanon to the north, Jordan to east, Syria to the northeast, and Egypt to the southwest. Israel also borders the Palestinian territories of the Gaza Strip and West Bank to the west and east, respectively. The continent of Asia covers regions that range from Turkey in the far west, through Japan and Russia, to the islands of Indonesia in the south. Israel is located on the far left of Asia.

Since Israel's independence in 1948, it has been in conflict with most of its Arab neighbors in the Middle East. Moreover, in spite of Israel being located in Asia, the country has strong cultural, historical, and economic ties with Europe. In fact, since the 1990s, Israel has been competing in European sporting contests. Currently, the country is a member of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

Furthermore, Israel borders one of Africa’s largest countries. As such, there is some level of confusion about the continent in which Israel is located. This confusion was further increased by a 2013 article by Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs claiming that Israel “…lies at the location of three continents: Europe, Asia, and Africa.”

Dr. Mahfuz Parvez, Professor, Political Science, University of Chittagong and Associate Editor, barta24.com


Chef Santosh- Flavours of india at Amari Dhaka

Mansura chamily
Chef Santosh- Flavours of india at Amari Dhaka

Chef Santosh- Flavours of india at Amari Dhaka

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Experience the exotic flavours of India at Amari Dhaka. Mouth-watering delicacies will be prepared by Indian culinary maestro, Chef Santosh, at Amaya Food Gallery from 29 September to 5 October 2022.

This special promo will be held at the Amaya food gallery of the Amari Dhaka where guests will be presented with famous authentic Indian delicacies from Kashmir, Punjab, Gujrat, Maharashtra, Hyderabad, Goan and Kerala such as jodhpur pulao, laal mass, banjara chicken, maachli jaisamandi, jodhpuri vegetables, lakhnawi mutton briyani, kashmiri chicken pulao, maharashtra food, fish amrisari, palak saag, dal tadka, chicken masala bhat, mutton nu keeme, patra ni machchi, batata tomato nu saag, maratha chicken rice, mutton kolhapuri, fish koliwada, mangalore chicken briyani, nandan kozhi curry, malabar fish, mix veg poriyal, dum ka ghosht, fish masala, sabz handi, bombay chicken briyani, mutton kolhapuri, fish koliwada, kadi pakodi and many more. Every single day guests can enjoy different flavours of India.
The special buffet will be available during dinner only and is priced at Tk5499 NET per person. For the delectable buffet, guests will be able to avail of the Buy One Get Two (B1G2) offers from the selected bank cards. The other live kitchens will be also available throughout this festive period.
For dining, guests will have to make prior reservations by calling Amaya Food Gallery at 01777796444 or 01777796445.


Renaissance Décor introduces three new Italian Brands

News Desk, Barta24.com
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photo: collected

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Renaissance Decor Limited launched three of the world’s renowned interior brands Roberto Cavalli Home Interiors, ETRO Home Interiors, and Gianfranco Ferré Home in Banani, Dhaka. Enrico Nunziata, Ambassador of Italy to Bangladesh inaugurated these brands on Saturday morning at Banani in the capital.

This new showroom of Renaissance Decor Limited is located in Level 5, Plot 76, Road 11, Banani.

The inauguration event was ordained by H.E. Enrico Nunziata, Italian Ambassador to Bangladesh as Chief Guest, along with Mr. Federico Brambilla and Mr. Roberto Curati, as Special Guests representing Roberto Cavalli Home Interiors, ETRO Home Interiors, and Gianfranco Ferré Home brands on behalf of ONIRO Group srl.

Enrico Nunziata, the Italian ambassador, stated during the chief guest's speech at the occasion, “It’s truly an honor and privilege to be part of this launching ceremony at Renaissance Decor Limited. The company made a remarkable journey in the last 8 years, bringing over 40 Italian manufacturers and brands to Bangladesh. Renaissance Decor has definitely created a world class stage in this showroom where a walk-in customer or even an architect will be mesmerized. Renaissance’s aspiration is to build the demand in the local market for high quality furniture. I am confident that a joint collaboration could start in the near future with various Italian companies. It would create new job opportunities and would increase export from Bangladesh of upscaled best designed furniture. With utmost pleasure, I announce the inauguration of the showroom and launching of Made in Italy brands: Roberto Cavalli Home Interiors, ETRO Home Interiors and Gianfranco Ferré Home in Bangladesh.”

Mr. Federico Brambilla, Special Guest of the event said, ““We are proud to be represented by Renaissance Decor as our official exclusive dealer in Bangladesh. We believe Renaissance’s strength lies in product knowledge and a management structure where the entire Sales and Design Team has the ability to offer interior design for home and commercial projects, according to the furniture and material selection that serves best the needs of their client. This allows a unique depth of vision. Which becomes a value.”

Mehreen Asaf, Managing Director, Renaissance Decor thanked all the clients and brand partners for their trust and support which enabled the company to keep evolving. She stated, “As a company we owe our success to our 50-member team and all gratitude to The Almighty. Our Sales and Design Team are continuously trained by our foreign brand partners in Bangladesh and abroad. We are specially blessed to have a team of young talented architects and managers who eagerly take the challenge of creating a lifestyle driven bespoke solution for space and interior design that exceeds clients’ expectations. We look forward to delighting our clients with end-to-end products and design services both home and abroad.”

Another Special guest Mr. Roberto Curati said about the event, “Over the last few years Renaissance Decor has demonstrated value and trust in our brand partnerships. We are confident in their ability to promote these world class, Made in Italy brands in Bangladesh. The arrival of these prestigious brands has enhanced Bangladesh’s image globally as an emerging market for fashion and design.”

The 17,000 sqft showroom display demonstrates installed products for clients and architects to walk into an imaginary lifestyle setting providing a unique and comely experience for the first time ever in Bangladesh.
Renaissance Decor offers complete interior design with product solution for every lifestyle. Product categories composed by 50+ brands include: Doors, Windows, Kitchen, Wardrobes, Bathroom Furniture, exterior and interior Surfaces for walls and floors, office and home Furniture, Outdoor Furniture, Lighting, Carpets, Architectural Wallpapers, Paneling, Marbles, Ceramics, Mosaic, Porcelain Stoneware, Home Linen and Textiles, Home Accessories and Ceramics. All brands work exclusively with Renaissance Decor for the territory of Bangladesh. The vast portfolio allows Renaissance Decor to be competitive and technically trained for complete project deployment.


Coastal salinity has a severe impact on agriculture

Pinky Akter
Coastal salinity has a severe impact on agriculture

Coastal salinity has a severe impact on agriculture

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Md: Abbas Uddin. Bholar is living in high fashion. According to family sources, his occupation is agricultural work. 52-year-old Solaiman Miah has been working in agriculture for about 32 years.

He cultivates paddy and various kinds of vegetables in his 2 acres of land. However, in recent years, his agricultural land has not yielded as expected. And this farmer blames the effect of climate change on less rain, and weather variation as the main reason.

Climate change has had a negative impact on agricultural land. Agriculture in saline areas is at grave risk. They are facing various problems including irrigation water.

Talk to more farmers in Charfashion. They said that this year's low rainfall has adversely affected production. There has been an increase in the number of insects on the land. Green leafhoppers eat rice chlorophyll. There may also be various crop diseases

But the bigger problem is salt water. which mixes with agricultural soil and destroys crops. Talked to Solaiman of the local farmers association. He said the arable land is becoming uncultivated due to the intensity of salinity. Yields are falling, crops are deepening economic wounds in coastal areas. Farmers said that they could not sow rice seeds on time due to the weather this year.

But the acute problem is that of irrigation water in the land. The decrease in the navigability of the rivers and the increase in the height of the salt water of the sea is due to the fact that the salt water of the sea is entering the agricultural land through tributaries from the river. In this area, it is not possible to irrigate the land from river or pond water in the coastal agricultural land, so the farmers have to irrigate the land by raising water through tube wells.

Farmers say that we used to irrigate the agricultural land by retaining the rainwater, but this year due to less rain, it will have a negative impact on paddy cultivation. In addition, due to less rain, irrigation will have to be done by extracting underground water, in this case, the production cost will also increase.

in this regard, Dr. Ainun Nishat, former vice-chancellor and climate expert of BRAC University, said that the situation is getting worse due to salinity. Farmers are unable to use surface water for irrigation, she further added that if the land is not made arable, it will affect people's life and ecology. Apart from this, salt water should be prevented from entering by constructing and rebuilding dams in this area. Integrated planning and its implementation are essential for overall development.

Researchers from Ohio State University and Arizona State University have conducted a study on the effects of climate change. The study was published in the journal Nature Climate Change under the title 'Coastal Climchange The study was published in the journal Nature Climate Change under the title 'Coastal Climate Change, Soil Salinity and Human Migration in Bangladesh'. The researchers estimated that a moderate increase in salinity would reduce a farm's agricultural income by 21 percent annually. 40 percent of agricultural land in southern Bangladesh will be under serious threat.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Founder Director Professor Dr. M. Tofazzal Islam Shaheen said, due to climate change, the agriculture sector is suffering severe damage. Crop diseases are increasing. Day by day the underground water level is going down, rivers are drying up, and deserts have appeared in some areas. He also said that high yield is possible without water irrigation in agriculture. The problem of climate change is becoming more pronounced on the coast of Bangladesh. Due to saline water in agriculture, they are not able to provide artificial irrigation. He talks about the discovery of agricultural production with less irrigation. Besides, Tofazzal Islam also suggested developing new technology and increasing research in agriculture.

3,000 liters of water is required for the production of each kilogram of rice. Maize and wheat require one-tenth of water.

A study by the Soil Resources Research Institute (SRDI) has revealed that coastal districts are deprived of more than 3 million tonnes of foodgrain production every year due to salinity alone.

SRDI recently conducted a study to assess the impact of salinity on agriculture in coastal areas. It has emerged that salinity has a large negative impact on the overall socio-economic situation including food security in the southern part of the country. As the salinity increases, the activity of microorganisms in the soil of the coastal region is decreasing. At the same time, the availability of organic matter, nitrogen, and phosphorus in the soil is also decreasing. On the contrary, copper and zinc levels are increasing.

Ripon Kumar Mandal, Chairman of the Department of Agricultural Economics of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University said, "we have started climate tolerant agricultural production. Various adaptations including aqua culture are being adopted on the coast.