Gunfight IllustrationTwo people were killed in what the law enforcement called gunfights in Meherpur and Cox’s Bazar districts early Saturday.The person killed in the Cox’s Bazar was an drug trader while the person killed in Meherpur was a rape accused, claimed the police.In Cox’s Bazar, Dudu Mia, 38, son of a certain late Sultan Ahmed from Nazirpara in Teknaf upazila was killed in a “gunfight” in Mundal Dail area of Marine Drive in Teknaf around 12:30am, Teknaf police station officer-in-charge Pradip Kumar Das told Prothom Alo.He said Dudu Mia was a listed yaba trader. He was accused in nine lawsuits filed with Dhaka, Cox’s Bazar and Teknaf police stations, Pradip Kumar Das added.The OC said acting on tip off police arrested Dudu Mia from Nazirpara area around 9:30pm on Friday and grilled him.Later police went to recover arms and yaba pills in Mundal Dail area. Sensing presence of the law enforcement, his cohorts opened fire on the police, prompting them to shoot back triggering the gunfight, he said.Dudu Mia “came in the line of fire and sustained bullet injuries”. He was taken to Teknaf upazila health complex where a physician of the emergency section declared him dead.Assistant sub-inspectors Sanjib Dutta and Nizam Uddin and constable Mohammad Ibrahim also sustained injuries in the gunfight, Pradip added.Teknaf upazila health complex physician Shahidul Alam said to Prothom Alo, “Dudu Mia died before being brought to the hospital. He bore three marks of bullet injuries. Three policemen are being treated.”Policemen recovered five local firearms, 13 rounds of bullet and 4,000 yaba pills from the spot, OC Pradip said.In Meherpur, a rape accused was killed in a reported gunfight with police at Garadob village in Gangni upazila.The deceased is Yakub Ali Kajal, 23, son of a certain Jalal Uddin Habu, a resident of the village, reports UNB.Sajedul Islam, inspector (investigation) of Gangni police station, said Kajal was the prime accused in a case filed over the gang rape of a schoolgirl in the village on 20 December 2018.“Since then, he remained absconding and took shelter at his relative’s house in Dhola village. He used to disturb a housewife there.”“As the woman did not respond to his illicit proposal, he threw acid on her on Thursday. She is now undergoing treatment at Gangni hospital.”Police arrested Kajal from the village when he confessed to his involvement in the rape and acid attack incidents, said Sajedul Islam.He also informed police that several young men of Garadob village are involved in criminal activities and they had arms.Following his information, a team of police conducted a drive at the village to recover arms.Sensing the presence of police members, some miscreants opened fire on them, forcing them to fire back, triggering the gunfight that left Kajal dead, he said.Four policemen were also injured during the exchange of gunfire.The law enforcement began anti-drugs drive across the country on 4 May 2018. Since then, 98 people, including 19 Rohingyas, were killed in alleged gunfights with RAB, police and BGB members.According to the human rights organisation, Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), at least 421 people were killed in alleged gunfights, crossfire or shootouts with the law enforcement agencies in 2018.In January and February of 2019, the number of such killings was at least 50, the rights body said on its website.
By Ellen Knickmeyer, The Associated PressThe Trump administration on Dec. 28 targeted an Obama-era regulation credited with helping dramatically reduce toxic mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants, saying the benefits to human health and the environment may not be worth the cost of the regulation.The 2011 Obama administration rule, called the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, led to what electric utilities say was an $18 billion clean-up of mercury and other toxins from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants.FILE – In this July 27, 2018, file photo, the Dave Johnson coal-fired power plant is silhouetted against the morning sun in Glenrock, Wyo. The Trump administration on Friday targeted an Obama-era regulation credited with helping dramatically reduce toxic mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants, saying the benefits to human health and the environment may not be worth the cost of the regulation. The 2011 Obama administration rule, called the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, led to what electric utilities say was an $18 billion clean-up of mercury and other toxins from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)Overall, environmental groups say, federal and state efforts have cut mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants by 85 percent in roughly the last decade.Mercury causes brain damage, learning disabilities and other birth defects in children, among other harm. Coal power plants in this country are the largest single manmade source of mercury pollutants, which enters the food chain through fish and other items that people consume.A proposal Dec. 28 from the Environmental Protection Agency would leave current emissions standards in place. However, it challenges the basis for the Obama regulation, calculating that the crackdown on mercury and other toxins from coal plants produced only a few million dollars a year in measurable health benefits and was not “appropriate and necessary” — a legal benchmark under the country’s landmark Clean Air Act.The proposal, which now goes up for public comment, is the latest Trump administration move that changes estimates of the costs and payoffs of regulations in arguing for relaxing Obama-era environmental protections.It’s also the administration’s latest proposed move on behalf of the U.S. coal industry, which has been struggling in the face of competition from natural gas and other cheaper, cleaner forms of energy. The Trump administration in August proposed an overhaul for another Obama-era regulation that would have prodded electricity providers to get less of their energy from dirtier-burning coal plants.In a statement, the EPA said Friday the administration was “providing regulatory certainty” by more accurately estimating the costs and benefits of the Obama administration crackdown on mercury and other toxic emissions from smokestacks.Hal Quinn, head of the National Mining Association, charged in a statement Friday that the Obama administration had carried out “perhaps the largest regulatory accounting fraud perpetrated on American consumers” when it calculated that the broad health benefits to Americans would outweigh the cost of equipment upgrades by power providers.Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, the top Democrat on the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, condemned the Trump administration’s move.The EPA has “decided to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory” after the successful clean-up of toxins from the country’s coal-plant smokestacks, Carper said.He and other opponents of the move said the Trump administration was playing with numbers, ignoring what Carper said were clear health, environmental and economic benefits to come up with a bottom line that suited the administration’s deregulatory aims.Janet McCabe, a former air-quality official in the Obama administration’s EPA, called the proposal part of “the quiet dismantling of the regulatory framework” for the federal government’s environmental protections.Coming one week into a government shutdown, and in the lull between Christmas and New Year, “this low-key announcement shouldn’t fool anyone — it is a big deal, with significant implications,” McCabe said.