Flying high with Brand SA

first_imgSeventy-five competitors and officials from 15 countries around the world battled it out for global domination at the recent 20th Precision Flying World Championships held in Brits, North West province.last_img

‘Business unusual’ for a greener future

first_img5 December 2011New ways of producing goods, which will reduce both energy consumption and emissions from energy production, have to be found, South African President Jacob Zuma told the World Economic Forum Green Partnership Dialogue in Durban on Sunday.This, according to Zuma, would require profound and far-reaching changes in economies, and would affect how business is done.The potential benefits were huge, however, as transforming the means of production to make them more environmentally sustainable in the long term would open the door to new investment, production and employment prospects.‘We must work on this together’“It is not a job just for government or business or labour alone,” Zuma said. “It is something we must work on together.”South Africa is the largest producer of electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, generating 90% of its electricity from coal. The country has committed to securing 4 000 megawatts of renewable energy for the national grid by 2016. This is more than the City of Durban uses in a year.South Africa’s solar and wind energy industries have targeted the creation of at least 50 000 “green” jobs by 2020, with the government pledging its support for the installation of one-million solar water heating systems by 2014 to 2015.This will also provide the basis for expanding local production of components and heating systems.Business’ technological, managerial expertise neededZuma said that bringing in new sources of electricity required the government to regulate the national grid, and that it needed business to invest and bring its technological and managerial expertise to the table.“Above all, we must make sure that poor communities do not end up footing the bill, whether through job losses or high prices,” Zuma said.“We are encouraging more labour-intensive activities that can create employment opportunities on a mass scale.”Zuma added that the country’s electricity utility, Eskom, and business would continue to work on technologies to further reduce emissions from coal-fired plants.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Intel’s New Innovation Engine Enables Differentiated Firmware

first_imgHistorically, platform embedded firmware limits the ways system-builders can customize, innovate, and differentiate their offerings. Today, Intel is streamlining the route for implementing new features with the creation of an “open engine” for system-builders to run firmware of their own creation or choosing.This important advance in platform architecture is known as the Innovation Engine. It was introduced this week at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.The Innovation Engine is a small Intel® architecture processor and I/O sub-system that will be embedded into future Intel data center platforms. The Innovation Engine enables system builders to create their own unique, differentiating firmware for server, storage, and networking markets.  Some possible uses include hosting lightweight manageability features in order to reduce overall system cost, improving server performance by offloading BIOS and BMC routines, or augmenting the Intel® Management Engine for such things as telemetry and trusted boot.These are just a few of the countless possibilities for the use of this new path into the heart of Intel processors. Truthfully, the uses for the Innovation Engine are limited only by the feature’s capability framework and the developer’s imagination.It’s worth noting that the Innovation Engine is reserved for system-builder’s code, and not Intel firmware. Intel supplies only the hardware, and the system builder can tailor things from there. And as for security, the Innovation Engine code is cryptographically bound to the system-builder. Code not authenticated by the system-builder will not load.As the name suggests, the Innovation Engine will drive a lot of great benefits for OEMs and, ultimately, end users. This embedded core in future Intel processors will foster creativity, innovation, and differentiation, while creating a simplified path for system-builders implementing new features and enabling full customer visibility into code and engine behavior.Ultimately, this upcoming enhancement in Intel data center platforms is all about using Intel technology advancements to drive widespread innovation in the data center ecosystem.Have thoughts you’d like to share? Pass them along on Twitter via @IntelITCenter, you can also take a listen to our IDF podcasts for more on the Innovation Engine.last_img read more

Did a Swedish researcher eat the first CRISPR meal ever served?

first_imgIn what Swedish plant scientist Stefan Jansson declares “maybe” a historic event, he cultivated, grew, and ate a plant that had its genome edited with CRISPR-Cas9. Umeå University, where Jansson studies how trees know it’s autumn and how proteins allow plants to harvest light, released a 5 September press release about his meal, a pasta dish that included 300 grams of cabbage he grew from seeds that had been genetically modified with CRISPR-Cas9. The revolutionary technology vastly simplifies the editing of genes, and has triggered many debates about whether its plant products should be considered a genetically modified organism (GMO) and subject to regulation.As noted by Science Daily and other media outlets, Jansson enjoyed the lunch with Gustaf Klarin, host of a Radio Sweden gardening show, which broadcast it earlier this week (in Swedish). “To our delight—and to some extent to my surprise—the meal turned out really nice,” Jannson wrote in a blog entry on 16 August, the actual day that history might have been made. “Both of us ate with great relish. Gustaf even thought the cabbage was the best tasting vegetable on the plate. And I agreed.” Jansson’s lab did not create the seed, but he told ScienceInsider he received it from a colleague “in another country” who wants to remain unidentified. As Jansson notes, the European Union has yet to determine whether CRISPR-Cas9 modification that eliminates a gene should be classified as a GMO and thus illegal to grow. But he received approval from the Swedish Board of Agriculture to grow a similar CRISPR-Cas9 seed that his lab had engineered, which the authorities determined was not a GMO as long as it didn’t contain foreign DNA. Jansson told Science that because the plant they ate was by definition not a GMO, “we do of course not need to ask for a permit or even inform them.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Jansson writes on his blog that he attempted to find out whether eating a CRISPR-edited plant was “a world première,” and no one he knew could think of a precedent.In April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture told Yinong Yang of Pennsylvania State University, University Park, that his CRISPR-tweaked mushroom was not subject to its regulations. Yang told Science he has eaten mushrooms from his lab, but they may have been the unmodified controls in his CRISPR experiment and, anyway, mushrooms are fungi, not plants.“In some countries, I wouldn’t be surprised if people kept it [eating CRISPR plants] a secret,” writes Jansson on his blog. “One thing is clear: it’s the first time ever this is done publicly (and legally).”  For more CRISPR news and research check out our CRISPR topic page.last_img read more

HTC makes One E9+ available in India for Rs.36,790

first_imgThe HTC One E9+ dual sim has been launched in India at a price of Rs 36,790. The device was announced for the Indian market in April. The smartphone sports a 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 pixels  qHD and is powered by a 2GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio X10 64-bit processor alongside 3GB RAM.It also comes with  32GB internal memory, expandable via microSD card, 20MP rear camera with LED flash, and an ultrapixel front camera, along with a 2,800mAH battery.  The smartphone will be powered by Android 5.0 Lollipop based Sense UI. Speaking at the launch, president, HTC South Asia, Faisal Siddiqqui, said “Our newest HTC One E series builds on the momentum of the flagship phones with sophistication and style. The HTC One E9+ dual sim, continues to build on HTC’s innovation and design, with a 2K 13.97 cm (5.5-inch) large display, 20 mega-pixel camera, and a MediaTek Helio X10 processor and 2GHz octa-core chipset. Our popular UltraPixel is now on the front facing camera with tons of features, HTC BoomSound with Dolby Audio Surround and more, all this in a slim form factor. We are certain that this offering will delight many of our consumers.”Connectivity options on the device include 4G LTE/3G HSPA+, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS with GLONASS. Also on the device are dual front-facing BoomSound speakers with Dolby Audio. Also read: Our review of the HTC One M9+last_img read more

Video: Dabo Swinney Hit The Whip During Clemson’s Post-Game Dance Party

first_imgHead coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers is dunked with Gatorade during the fourth quarter of the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes.GLENDALE, AZ – DECEMBER 31: Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers is dunked with Gatorade during the fourth quarter of the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Clemson picked up a massive win, knocking off Notre Dame at home on Saturday night, so you know head coach Dabo Swinney was ready to dance. After the game, and a very awkward post-game interview that was accidentally cut off by ESPN, Swinney got down in the locker room, swinging a towel and hitting the Whip. We cannot confirm whether or not he added in the Nae Nae as well.With the win, Clemson danced its way to sixth in both the AP and Coaches Polls this week. The Tigers look to be in very good position to make a run at an ACC Championship, with Florida State struggling in recent weeks.last_img read more

Luxury property ad blitz heralds Trump sons visit to India

first_imgNEW DELHI – “Trump has arrived. Have you?” shout the barrage of glossy front-page advertisements in almost every major Indian newspaper.The ads, which have run repeatedly in the past few days, herald the arrival not of the American president but of his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., who is in New Delhi to sell luxury apartments and lavish attention on wealthy Indians who have already bought units in a Trump-branded development outside the Indian capital.The newspaper ads promise that buyers who order apartments in the development by Thursday will get “a conversation and dinner” with Trump Jr. a day later.President Trump has pledged to avoid any new foreign business deals during his term in office to avoid potential ethical conflicts. While the projects that Trump Jr. is promoting in India were inked before his father was elected, ethics experts have long seen the use of the Trump name to promote even existing business ventures as tricky territory.The distinction between old and new projects can be hazy, they note, and new deals can be shoehorned into old.Several foreign deals touted over the past year by the Trump sons have “stretched the definition of what ventures were previously in the works,” said Scott H. Amey, general counsel for the non-partisan Project on Government Oversight in Washington.“The president should be putting the public’s interest before his business interests. That can’t happen if his son is flying around the world trying to trade on the fact that his father is sitting in the Oval Office.”This isn’t the first time that President Trump’s sons have raised ethical concerns as they promote their eponymous brand across the world.Early last year Trump Jr. and his brother Eric opened a Trump-branded golf club in Dubai.The brothers, who now lead the Trump Organization, watched as fireworks lit the sky over the Trump International Golf Club to mark the event.On Tuesday morning, Donald Trump Jr. posed for photos in New Delhi with Indian developers building complexes in four cities. Among the business partners accompanying him was Kalpesh Mehta who heads Tribeca, the firm described as the main Indian partner for Trump-brand real estate projects.Mehta came to notice soon after President Trump’s November election victory, when pictures of him and two other Trump Indian real estate partners with the president-elect in New York made a big splash in Indian and American media.Later in the week, Trump Jr. is scheduled to give a speech about Indo-Pacific relations at a New Delhi business summit, sharing the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Trump Jr. may be raising another set of ethics concerns by offering his thoughts on international relations, said Lawrence Noble, senior director of the non-profit Campaign Legal Center in Washington.“The assumption is he has his father’s ear,” Noble said. “By talking about international relations and sharing the stage with government officials, he’s acting as an informal ambassador for the U.S. at the same time he’s selling properties in India. It just blurs the lines even more.”Trump Jr. is on a private visit and the State Department has not interacted with him regarding his meetings or his speech, spokesman Heather Nauert said from Washington. “Mr. Trump’s comments during the trip reflect his personal views and not necessarily those of the U.S. government.”In Gurgaon, the sprawling and ever-growing New Delhi satellite city where a new Trump Towers will eventually rise, the construction site is just mountains of dirt and unruly shrubbery, one of many residential projects yet to be built. Buyers can hope to move into their swanky homes sometime in 2023.For miles upon miles, the landscape is little more than tin-roofed huts for construction labourers and tiny makeshift food shacks to keep them fed.And while there’s almost nothing at the Trump construction site, a handful of burly guards enthusiastically insisted on keeping journalists out of the area.The Trump Organization has licensing agreements with all its Indian business partners, who build the properties and acquire the Trump name in exchange for a fee. The organization has five projects in India, making it the brand’s largest market outside the United States. A luxury complex is already open in the central city of Pune, with other developments in varying stages of construction in the coastal cities of Mumbai and Kolkata, and two in Gurgaon.The apartments are expensive, though not outrageously so in the overheated real estate world of the Indian rich. Still, in a country of 1.3 billion, where many people can barely afford $100 a month to rent a shack in a crowded shantytown, apartments in the Trump Towers complex in Gurgaon run between $775,000 and $1.5 million.The rest of the details of Donald Trump Jr.’s itinerary are hazy despite repeated emails to the Trump Organization and its Indian partner Tribeca. However, local media have reported that he is slated to visit other Trump projects across India.On Wednesday he is expected to be in the eastern city of Kolkata to promote luxury housing bearing his family name there. On Thursday he is reported to be in India’s business capital, Mumbai, where he is to quaff champagne with the city’s elite at a reception hosted by the Lodha Group, the real estate company that is building the golden-hued Trump Tower there.Trump Jr.’s visit so far has been very different from his sister Ivanka Trump’s high-visibility visit to India in November, when she led the U.S. contingent at a global business conference. The city of Hyderabad filled up potholes and cleared away beggars ahead of her visit. Modi flew to Hyderabad for the conference and hosted her for dinner at a historic palace turned hotel. Television stations broadcast her speech live.In contrast, Trump Jr.’s visit seems all about keeping the spotlight on business.___AP Writers Stephen Braun and Matthew Lee contributed to this report from Washington.last_img read more

‘Watch out for role of regional parties’

first_imgKandi/Jangipur: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched an all-out attack against the BJP at Kandi and Jangipur rallies on Wednesday. Stating that the regional parties would play a vital role to form the government at the Centre, the Chief Minister added: “The BJP will be voted out of power and the Congress will not be able to form the government singly. The BJP will not get more than 100 seats.”Addressing two rallies at Kandi and Jangipur, she maintained: “The BJP will get zero seats in Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Moreover, if they get fewer seats in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan as well, how will they become the hero in the 2019 election,” she said. Jangipur will vote on April 23 while Berhampur will go to polls on April 29. In 2014, Congress candidates had won both the Berhampur and Jangipur seats. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaBanerjee alleged that RSS and BJP are backing the Congress candidates in these seats and maintained: “The RSS is trying to buy votes. If you see them distributing money, take their photographs and send us. The RSS has no work and they are here to create division among people.” The Chief Minister further said people had lost respect for political leaders and had developed fear in the mind about them. “People are scared of the BJP leaders. The moment you go against them, agencies such as CBI, ED and DRI will harass you. People have never seen a political party with so much vengeance ever. See their body language, it is scary,” she said. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayTalking about DMK leader K Kanimozhi, whose residence was recently searched by the Income Tax officials, she said: “They sent the Income Tax department officials to the house of (DMK chief) M K Stalin’s sister Kanimozhi to conduct raids. He is harassing (Telugu Desam Party chief) Chandrababu Naidu and Jaganmohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh and (Janata Dal-Secular leader) H D Kumaraswamy in Karnataka. “Even Arvind Kejriwal, Mayawatiji or Akhilesh (Yadav) have not been spared. Lalu Prasad has been put to jail. He is harassing everyone. People of Bengal are still living in peace because we are here,” Banerjee said.last_img read more

House Beautiful Uses Watermark To Gain Visitor Info Boost Engagement

first_imgHearst’s House Beautiful magazine is taking advantage of the newest publishing technology trend—digital watermarks—to provide expanded content options and to tap insights about readers.“I see this Digimarc water mark as the next technology to be incorporated into the magazine experience,” says Newell Turner, editor-in-chief of House Beautiful. “This allows us to be able to deliver additional content and different content in ways that we haven’t been able to do before.”The November issue of House Beautiful will be one of the first magazines to feature a a digital watermark on its cover, placed in the lower right-hand corner (pictured). The watermarks allow the magazine to see what devices a person is using to access the content. “Whether it’s an Android device, an iPhone or an iPad 2, the watermark tells us,” he says. “We’re really interested in getting that information because it will be revealing in some ways.” Turner says digital watermarks are like QR codes in that they can enhance editorial content. However, he says, a digital watermark can do so without disrupting a publication’s style and format with a QR code graphic. Additionally, the editor says it can help engage younger audiences and expand demographics. “It’s all natural to them to be able to connect to different mediums,” he says. “This can be a seamless, obvious next evolution for them.”center_img The editorial mission can be expanded—and keep people in-app longer—through utilizing the watermark to integrate features a traditional magazine could never provide. In the case of House Beautiful, which may photograph a beach home, capturing a view of the ocean out a window was difficult. Now within a photo placed next to an article, a watermark can be incorporated to provide readers with a 360-degree view.According to the most recent comScore figures, House Beautiful has 489,000 unique visitors and over 13 million page views. The average time spent on its website is 20 minutes. The group would not disclose how many users have download the magazine’s iPad app.Turner says the publication will commit to doing at least 5 digital watermarks per issue beginning with the October edition—he says the number was picked to create a minimum presence within the digital pages. An area in the table of contents of the digital magazine is also devoted to links that include all the watermarks in the publication.So far, readers seem to be engaged with the new watermark and product.Ambience Inspired Interiors wrote on the editor’s Facebook page, “I’m enjoying the highly interactive November issue! Thanks for taking HB to the next level—it is so enjoyable!!!”More on this topic House Beautiful Uses Watermark To Gain Visitor Info, Boost Engagement House Beautiful Steps Up Social Engagement Efforts House Beautiful Launches Integrated Marketing Campaign Using Digimarc Technology MediaNext Preview: Using New Platforms to Create Audience Revenue Hearst Launches Text-for-More Program Digital Magazine Leverages Facebook AudienceJust In Shanker Out, Litterick In as CEO of EnsembleIQ PE Firm Acquires Majority Stake in Industry Dive Four More Execs Depart SourceMedia in Latest Restructuring The Atlantic Names New Global Marketing Head | People on the Move Editor & Publisher Magazine Sold to Digital Media Consultant This Just In: Magazines Are Not TV NetworksPowered bylast_img read more

Plot to grab four houses in Dhaka

first_imgHouse No. 140, Motijheel police station building at Motijheel commercial area.A plot drawn up by vested quarters to occupy four state-owned houses in the capital, has been foiled.A Pakistani citizen was brought to Bangladesh so he could take over as the owner of these houses. He was speedily issued a birth certificate and passport to facilitate his taking possession of the property.Vice chairman of Beximco Group Salman F Rahman aided and abetted the Pakistani citizen Waqar Ahmed in this dubious plan.One of the houses is Sada Bahar, House No. 104, Road No. 3, Dhanmondi. The house is being now used as the training office of the National Security Intelligence (NSI). Another is house No. 140, the Motijheel police station building.Two others are houses are No. 10, Motijheel and No. 64, Dilkusha. These two houses are leased out to five persons including the owner of Bangladesh Typewriter Mahbubur Rahman and late state minister Ziaul Haque Zia. There are commercial establishments in these two buildings. The buildings are owned by the housing and public works ministry.A bench of justice Mohammed Nuruzzaman and justice SH Mohammed Nurul Huda Jaigirdar passed an order in this regard on 13 April.Speaking to Prothom Alo, assistant attorney general Sukumar Biswas said the papers, which were submitted claiming the ownership of these four houses, were forged. Through the verdict it has been established that no one can claim these houses. These are now abandoned property. These houses were under the control of the government and the government is still the owner of these four houses.In a written statement to Prothom Alo, Beximco Group vice chairman Salman F Rahman denied that fake documents were used to take over the houses illegally.The power of attorney was legally taken. The claimant of these houses Waqar Ahmeds son Gulzar Ahmed was a classmate of Salman F Rahman at Notre Dame College. Gulzar met Salman F Rahman in London recently and asked for his assistance. Salman F Rahman took up legal procedures to help with Gulzar Ahmed.Before independence, when GM Madani was the chairman of DIT (currently Rajuk), he allotted lands to Pakistani citizens in Dhaka city at the market price. Madani allotted the land of these four houses to somebody named Waqar Ahmed in 1960-63. After the independence of Bangladesh, the family of Waqar started to live permanently in Pakistan. These houses were included as abandoned properties as none was claimant of these houses in 1972. In this regard, a gazette was published on 23 September 1986.After the publication of the gazette, a certain Waziuddin was given power of attorney by a forged signature of the previous owner Waqar Ahmed. Through that power of attorney, he filed a case with a civil court in Dhaka on 13 August 1986 challenging the government gazette. He concealed information and filed four cases at the settlement court, claiming that these houses were included among the abandoned properties. He also forged the signature of Waqar in the document.The settlement court in its verdict on 14 October 1992 said these houses were not abandoned properties. Waziuddin, however, could take not over the houses.Earlier, identifying himself as son of Waqar, a certain Firoz Ahmed claimed to be owner of property in Boro Katra of Dhaka (holdings 11 and 13), filed a case and lost the case. He filed a review petition. In the petition, Firoz Ahmed claimed to be only son of Waqar Ahmed and claimed his father has gone to Europe for treatment. But the actual Firoz Ahmed and his father Waqar Ahmed were still in Pakistan. Waziuddin made these forged records.Dhanmondi police arrested Waziuddin as the leader of a land forgery gang on 12 July 2007. He confessed to police that he occupied land through fake documents. After remaining in jail for a couple of days, he died in 2010. Waziuddins family now lives in a house on Road No 7 in Dhanmondi. His son Ekabbor Hossain is an Awami League member of parliament from Tangail-7. He said he knows nothing about the land and has no interest in it.A new chapterAlthough these houses were under the occupation of the government, the verdict of the settlement court was in favour of Waziuddin. As a result, the houses were dropped from the abandoned property list. Then certain influential quarters grabbed this opportunity. They brought Waqar Ahmed to Bangladesh from Pakistan.According to the verdict, Beximco Group vice chairman Salman F Rahman used the letterhead of the group to write to the home ministry on 8 March 2015, asking them to issue a visa to Waqar Ahmed. The home ministry accordingly sent a recommendation to Bangladesh High Commission in Karachi to issue a visa to Waqar. Waqar came to Bangladesh on flight PK-266 on a five-day visit on 13 April. On that very day, he received a birth certificate as a citizen of Bangladesh from Zone 1 of Dhaka South City Corporation. But he submitted the photocopy of his national identity card as a permanent resident of Pakistan when taking the visa for Bangladesh.The verdict also said Waqar applied for a machine readable passport (MRP) passport on 15 April within two days after arriving in Bangladesh. He himself, however, did not go to the passport office. Citing illness, he applied and his fingerprint was taken from a residence. The passport was issued in his favour on that very day.Director general of the immigration and passport directorate Major General Masud Rezwan said a written passport was issued in favour of Waqar Ahmed in 2007. The MRP was issued based on that passport.Asked how Waqar was given a Bangladeshi passport being a citizen of Pakistan, the DG said an investigation is underway in this regard. Waqar Ahmed did not come to Bangladesh after independence. The directorate of immigration and passport could not explain how the passport was issued in favour of Waqar Ahmed in 2007. The directorate is also investigating this.The permanent address Waqar Ahmed mentioned in his passport belongs to Rabeya Khatun, wife Abu Yunus. A security guard of the residence in the capitals Azimpur said no one named Waqar lived in the house.The phone number Waqar used in filing his passport papers is now used by Beximco Group senior manager Tasnin Hossain.When Tasnin was contacted over phone, he said, Waqar is the friend of my boss. I cant tell you more than that.The emergency address Waqar stated in his passport is a flat in a multi-storey building in Eskaton. The residents of the building said on Tuesday that the flat belongs to Beximco Group. But, papers say the flats owner is Jupiter Business Limited. The owner of the Jupiter is Mushfiqur Rahman. The flat, however, has been kept locked for one and a half years.The verdict of the court says Waqar Ahmed applied for the power of attorney with the sub-registrar office, immediately after receiving the passport. He also met the secretary of the housing and public works.The sub-registrar sent the power of attorney appeal to the inspector general of registration, saying such appeals are not issued as per rules. Waqar went back to Karachi on 17 April.Waqar, according to the verdict, appointed Ivy Real Estate Limited managing director Mushfiqur Rahman. From court documents, the address of the Ivy Real Estate is in Road 1, Dhanmondi. This is the address of Bell Tower, an office of Beximco.An investigation officer of the case said Mushfiqur was an employee of Beximco Group but he left his job two years ago.The government filed a writ petition on 4 May 2015 after Waqars power of attorney appeal.According to the writ petition, the verdict the settlement court passed was based on fake documents. Because, Waqar Ahmed submitted his passport to the housing and public works ministry on 18 June 2015 but he was invited to Bangladesh on 8 March.He came to Bangladesh using a Pakistani passport. While taking a Bangladeshi visa, he gave information that he has been living in Pakistan since 1952.The verdict also says the settlement court passed the verdict going beyond its jurisdiction. And so, the buildings will be considered as abandoned.Asked whether there would be any criminal case for occupying the governments property, attorney generalMahbubey Alam told Prothom Alo, This isnt my work. But this is true that those who claimed the property have lost (the case).In a written statement, Salman F Rahman told Prothom Alo, Nowhere in the High Court verdict was it mentioned that Waqar Ahmeds documents were fake. The attorney general tried to prove Waqar a Pakistani citizen. But even the AG nowhere in his statement said those documents fake.Salman F Rahman, ruling Awami League president Sheikh Hasinas adviser, did not comment on Waqars activities like quick issuance of Bangladeshi passport, managing Bangladeshi birth certificate and using of Beximcos address.The four building are still in the possession of the government. According to the court verdict, the houses have been abandoned property since independence of Bangladesh.Executive director of the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Iftekharuzzaman told Prothom Alo that many influential people try to become owners of property using fraudulent ways.Sometimes they are successful in their attempts. However, these four houses will remain an example that if concerned persons are conscious, they can protect government property, he added.*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam and Imam Hossainlast_img read more