Top 5 Stories to Know Today

5 Things You Need to Know Today

Here's a quick round-up of all the major stories today.

Plane with 72 people on board crashes in Nepal

At least 67 people were confirmed dead Sunday when a plane with 72 on board crashed in Nepal, police said, in the Himalayan country's deadliest aviation disaster in three decades. No Bangladeshi casualties have been reported so far. 

"Thirty-one (bodies) have been taken to hospitals," police official AK Chhetri told AFP, adding that 36 other bodies were still in the 300-metre (600-foot) gorge the aircraft plunged into. 

Nepal plane crash

"The aircraft crashed into a gorge so it is difficult to bring the bodies Search and rescue is ongoing. No survivors have been found yet," army spokesman Krishna Prasad Bhandari told AFP. 

The Himalayan country also has some of the world's most remote and tricky runways, flanked by snow-capped peaks with approaches that pose a challenge even for accomplished pilots. 

First phase of Biswa Ijtema ends with prayer for peace

The first phase of the Biswa Ijtema concluded today with the Akheri Munajat (final prayers), seeking peace on earth and prosperity for the Muslim Ummah.

Thousands of devotees of all ages gathered at the Ijtema ground on the Turag banks and on the roads adjacent to the Ijtema venue during the munajat.

Many joined the prayers even from rooftops buildings, nearby houses, and on the roads.

Total seven devotees have died from old age and respiratory problems at the Biswa Ijtema venue during the first phase of the congregation that started on January 13.

The second phase of the Ijtema is scheduled to be held on January 20-22 at the same venue.

Move towards market-based exchange rate by FY23-end: Bangladesh Bank

The central bank today said it is taking necessary measures to gradually move towards a market-based, flexible and unified exchange rate regime by the end of the ongoing fiscal year. The move will aim at getting rid of the volatility in the exchange rate regime owing to multiple exchange rates.

Bangladesh Bank also said it would pursue a cautiously accommodative policy stance in the second half of the current fiscal year to contain inflationary and exchange rate pressures. With this, the BB has returned to the biannual monetary policy stance after a gap of three years, since 2020. 

China reports huge rise in Covid-19 deaths after data criticism

China said on Saturday nearly 60,000 people with Covid-19 had died in hospital since it abandoned its zero-Covid policy last month, a huge increase from previously reported figures that follows global criticism of the country's coronavirus data.

In early December, Beijing abruptly dismantled its strict three-year anti-virus regime of frequent testing, travel curbs and mass lockdowns after widespread protests in late November, and cases have surged since then across the nation of 1.4 billion.

Between Dec. 8 and Jan. 12, the number of Covid-related deaths in Chinese hospitals totalled 59,938, Jiao Yahui, head of the Bureau of Medical Administration under the National Health Commission (NHC), told a media briefing.

Russian missiles kill at least 12 in Ukraine's Dnipro

Russia unleashed a new wave of major attacks on Ukraine on Saturday, hitting energy infrastructure across the country and killing at least 12 people in a missile strike on a nine-storey apartment building in the city of Dnipro, officials said.

Rescue teams toiled through the night in freezing temperatures in the aftermath of the Dnipro attack, in east-central Ukraine, with local officials saying people were still alive underneath the massive pile of wreckage.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the number of those killed in the Dnipro apartment attack was likely to rise and he issued a fresh appeal to his Western allies for more weaponry to end "Russian terror" and attacks on civilian targets.