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Bangladesh's PM Sheikh Hasina speaks with reporters during the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York.

REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

In Bangladesh, a powerful premiership is transforming into a brutal dictatorship

The world’s longest-ruling female leader is facing the most serious threat to her power in years.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has run Bangladesh since 2009 and has been lauded as the Iron Lady of South Asia for her firm decision-making and economic prowess, faces a united opposition, an economic downturn, and international pressure against her regime’s deteriorating human rights record as fresh protests have swelled in the country over the past few days.

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Paige Fusco

Hard Numbers: More good food news, runaway Argentine inflation, Ivorian pardon, Bangladesh fuel price hike

170,000: Four more ships carrying almost 170,000 metric tons of grain left Ukraine's Black Sea ports on Sunday, the same day the first foreign-flagged vessel arrived there since the Russian invasion in February. More welcome news for mitigating the global food crisis, although it'll take months to reach pre-war export levels.

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Police detain a man on the 33rd anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations at Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989, in Hong Kong, China.

REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Hard Numbers: Hong Kongers arrested, British cucumber shortage, Japan’s dwindling population, deadly blaze in Bangladesh

6: Six Hong Kongers were arrested over the weekend for publicly marking the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Beijing bans commemorating the event on the mainland, but Hong Kong was, until recently, one of a few Chinese territories where it was allowed. That changed in 2020, when Beijing imposed a draconian national security law on the city.

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In El Salvador, security forces continue with the massive arrests of alleged gang members, during an operation called "war against the gangs."

Reuters

Hard Numbers: Bukele goes after gangs, Banglade​shis sentenced to death, NZ's inflation woes, COVID death toll milestone

10,000: According to President Nayib Bukele, 10,000 suspected gang members have been arrested by police in El Salvador, where officials have declared a state of emergency due to gang violence. This news has alarmed human-rights advocates, who accuse Bukele of authoritarian tactics.
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What We're Watching: Bangladesh religious violence, Ecuadorian drug emergency, Lebanese to vote, Russia ditches NATO

Religious tension rising in Bangladesh: Clashes between Hindus and Muslims in Bangladesh have surged over the past week, leaving at least four people dead. After an image was posted on Facebook showing the Quran at the feet of a statue at a Hindu temple, Muslims burned Hindu-owned homes and attacked their holy sites. Both sides have taken to the street in protest, with Hindus saying that they have been prevented from celebrating Durga Puja, the largest Hindu festival in the country. Such acts of sectarian violence are not uncommon in Bangladesh, a majority-Muslim country where Hindus account for nine percent of the population. Indeed, as Eurasia Group's Kevin Allison recently warned, unverified social media content stoking inter-ethnic conflict is a massive problem throughout South Asia, where for many people Facebook is synonymous with the internet.

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Happy US Independence Day! Now can you sing it?

When the United States celebrates its Independence Day on July 4th, many Americans will be singing the Star-Spangled Banner at sports games, parties, and other patriotic-themed events. To mark the date, we take a look at some fun facts about national anthems around the world.

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A woman scales a fish her husband caught, as she sits in the sea just off South Tarawa in the central Pacific island nation of Kiribati.

REUTERS/David Gray

The climate homeless

Even if the US, Europe, China, and India reduce carbon emissions at the rate they've promised, much climate damage has already been done. That shouldn't stop these and other countries from doing all they can to meet their net-zero emissions targets, but they also better start preparing for a world of people on the move.

Climate change will displace an unprecedented number of people in coming years, creating not just a series of humanitarian crises in many parts of the world, but lasting political, economic, and social upheaval as those of us who live on higher ground try to find a sustainable place for these climate refugees to live.

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Bangladesh ships Rohingya refugees to remote island despite protests

December 04, 2020 1:07 PM

Bangladesh says it is only moving refugees who are willing to go and that this will ease chronic overcrowding in camps.

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