Rush for ‘mail in’ vote increasing at the last moment in US poll



Dr. Mahfuz Parvez, Associate Editor, Barta24.com
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The importance of the ‘mail in’ vote has increased in the last moments of the US presidential election, frustrated by the global pandemic corona attack. In the United States, 'mail in' voting is a provision for voting by post.

About 15 lakh North Carolina voters have applied for ‘mail in’ vote by post this time. This number is almost six times more than in 2016.

According to international media reports, in the context of the Corona threat, the majority of voters are expected to vote by post in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. That is why a number of federating states have sent ballot papers of ‘mail in’ votes to voters.

In some states, votes are counted two weeks before the election. That was done after the rest of the state elections. According to experts, the overall picture will not emerge on election night due to the record number of postal votes. Because in many states the counting of votes continues even after election day is over.

November 3 is the day of the US presidential election. However, in some states, the postal voting process is starting from the next day (November 4). One such state is North Carolina. The people of this state are barely being sent 'mail in' voting papers.

There is controversy in the United States over the 'mail in' vote. There are pros and cons. As a group, Republicans do not like this 'mail in' system. The party's candidate and current president Donald Trump is a staunch opponent of the 'mail in' vote.

The Republicans allege that the risk of electoral corruption and vote rigging in the 'mail in' process is high. They want the count to end on election night. But that is not happening. The postal vote count has been extended in two states, taking into account the existing rules and especially the Corona pandemic.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of North Carolina. The verdict came by a 5-3 vote of the judges. The Republican camp went to the lower court against it when the North Carolina Board of Elections allowed to vote by post. The Higher Court upheld the lower court's decision, a major legal defeat for Republicans.

In the US federal system, the electoral authority has the power to temporarily change the rules of the election, considering the state of emergency in state law. There have been instances of changing postal voting rules twice in the last three years after a hurricane hit the North Carolina coast. The court has upheld that tradition, and Republicans have lost the legal battle. There is also a sense of elation in the Democrat camp.

Four years ago, Republican President Donald Trump won the North Carolina state by a margin of 173,315 votes. But this time there is a hint of fierce competition between Trump and Biden. Biden is also ahead in opinion polls. The record number of voters who vote in the 'mail-in' system is thought to be unhappy with Republicans and sympathizers with Democrats for opposing the system.

12 international human rights groups write to UN to exclude RAB



International Desk, Barta24.com
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Twelve international human rights groups have demanded the exclusion of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) from UN peacekeeping missions. 

The agencies have written to UN Under-Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix. 

The letter was published on the Human Rights Watch (HRW) website on Thursday (January 20). 

The letter was signed by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Asian Federation Against In-Voluntary Disappearances (AFAD), Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development or Forum Asia, Asian Human Rights Commission, Asian for Free Elections (Unfrel), Capital Punishment Justice Project, International Federation for Human Rights, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, The Advocates for Human Rights, World Organization Against Torture (OMCT). 

In the letter, human rights groups have accused the RAB of torture, enforced disappearances and other human rights abuses. UN human rights experts have expressed concern about this.

Although the letter was sent on November 8, 2021, the UN peacekeeping operations department has not yet responded to the letter. 

Earlier, on December 10 last year, the United States issued sanctions on seven former and current members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) for alleged human rights abuses. .The sanction  was imposed separately by the US Treasury Department and the State Department on International Human Rights Day.

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Tsunami warning for the coastal area of USA & Japan



International Desk, Barta24.com, Dhaka
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After the volcanic eruption below the South Pacific Ocean floor, a tsunami alert was issued. People have already been told to stay at a safe distance from the coast.

The BBC reports that waves up to 3 meters high in the sea off the coast of Japan and 1.2 meters high in the south of the country have been warned.

Extreme levels of flood danger were announced in at least two places in the United States.

A tsunami alert was issued in the Pacific island nation of Tonga on Saturday (January 15) following a volcanic eruption.

Footage released through social media showed a church and several houses flooded after a volcanic eruption on the seabed.

The New Zealand national daily, the New Zealand Herald, reported that the country's volcanic mountains, Hunga Tonga and Hunga Hapai, became active on Thursday. The eruption has caused huge waves in the sea.

In addition, ash, gas and smoke from volcanic eruptions have risen up to 20 km above sea level. Volcanic ash has been falling like rain for two days in the capital Nuku'alofa.

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Bangladesh is on the ‘exceptional red list’ of travel policy of Qatar



News Desk, Barta24.com, Dhaka
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Qatar's Ministry of Public Health has included nine countries, including Bangladesh, in the COVID-19 exceptional red list. Qatar will introduce new travel rules for passengers from these countries, which are expected to take effect on Saturday (January 8).

As a result, Bangladeshi passengers will have to face many difficulties in coming and going to the country. However, Bangladesh Civil Aviation said Bangladeshis have nothing to worry about.

Counselor of the Bangladesh Embassy in Qatar Muhammad Mustafizur Rahman said that the country's Ministry of Public Health has put Bangladesh on its website as 'Covid-19-Exceptional Red List Countries'.

As can be seen on the website of the Ministry of Health of the country, there are names of nine countries including Bangladesh in this list. The rest are Egypt, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

An official of Bangladesh Civil Aviation, who did not want to be named, said there was nothing to worry about coming and going from Bangladesh because of the list. This is done to make sure that the Covid protocol is being followed properly.

Qatar had two lists, red and green, based on the risk of Covid-19. Now the country has made an 'exceptional red list' outside of it.

Even if a full dose of the vaccine is taken, Qatari residents will have to be quarantined for two days after returning from the exceptional red list countries, including Bangladesh. The PCR test should be done within 72 hours before landing in Qatar and within 36 hours after arrival.

And non-vaccinated passengers will have to do home quarantine for seven days after arriving in Qatar. In addition to the PCR test within 72 hours of arrival in the country, the test must be done on the sixth day of quarantine. The passenger will be released from the quarantine only on the seventh day if the test is negative. The Ministry of Health has said that no unvaccinated passenger will be allowed to enter the country.

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Even though they are twins, their birth year and month are different!



International Desk, Barta24.com, Dhaka
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Preparations to welcome a new guest into a family begin as soon as it is known while the news comes that twins are coming together, that joy seems to double. There is a lot of curiosity around them.

It is estimated that 3 percent of the world's population is twins. According to medical science, when two sperm fertilize two eggs together, twins are born. In terms of age, they are usually one to 10 minutes older or younger than each other.

Can the birth year of twin children in the womb of the same mother be considered different? Surprisingly, two such babies were born in 2021 and 2022 in Greenfield, California, USA. Residents Fatima Madrigal and Robert Trujillo recently welcomed twin children.

Alfredo, the son of the Fatima-Robert couple, was born on December 31, 2021 at 11:45 pm, according to a report in the Western Daily Mail. Their daughter, Eileen Alfredo, was born 15 minutes later, on January 1, 2022.

Fatima, the mother of Alfredo-Eileen, was overwhelmed by the incident. "Even though my children are twins, their birth dates are different," she said. This is a great thing. Eileen was born on January 1, 2022 and gave me a gift. '

In the United States, 120,000 twins are born each year. But births of twins on different dates or years are rare.

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