Reckless buses at Mahakhali

first_imgAfter the Eid holiday people are returning to Dhaka. The city is still not crowded. The roads and highways are free. But bus drivers in Dhaka do not care about traffic rules. They are hell-bent on competing with other buses, dropping passengers indiscriminately in the middle of the road, making unlawful U-turns, unnecessarily creating obstructions for other buses, risking the lives of passengers as well as pedestrians.Prothom Alo on Tuesday afternoon took a visit to the Mahakhali intersection. Here are selective shots from the spot.Photo: Dipu MalakarThree buses compete to enter the same lane, obstructing the whole width while other vehicles are forced to slow down, creating a jam. Photo: Dipu MalakarDespite enough space on the road. the bus drops its passenger in the middle of the street, causing a traffic jam.Photo: Dipu MalakarA passenger in a hurry to cross the road as three buses race. Photo: Dipu MalakarThough the yellow buses are of the same transport company, they are in a competition with each other. Photo: Dipu MalakarA bus suddenly overtakes, crossing the line.Photo: Dipu MalakarU-turns are regular at the Mahakhali intersection.last_img read more

JabaleNoor bus owner on 7day remand

first_imgRAB detains Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan owner Shahadat HossainA Dhaka court on Thursday placed owner of ‘Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan’ bus, Shahadat Hossain, on a seven-day remand for interrogation over killing two college students in a recent road accident on Airport Road, reports UNB.Dhaka metropolitan magistrate Noor Nahar Yasmin passed the order when DB police inspector Kazi Shariful Islam, the investigation officer of the case, produced him before the court seeking a 10-day remand for him.Members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested Shahadat Hossain, the owner of the killer bus (DM-Ba-11-9297), from the city on Wednesday noon.Asked by the court whether he has anything to say, Shahadat said, “I bought the bus with my life’s savings. It was my mistake to buy the vehicle. If I knew that such a situation would occur, I wouldn’t have bought the vehicle. I also have no idea about such matters of drivers.”Diya Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib, students of the college section of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin School and College, were killed as the bus of ‘Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan ploughed through some students on the Airport Road on Sunday last.A case was filed over the accident with Cantonment Police Station on Sunday night.last_img read more

Tourists wont be allowed to stay overnight in St Martins

first_img.The government has taken a decision to ban tourists’ overnight stay in St Martin’s Island from 1 March.Also, no visitors would be allowed to go to Chhera Dwip and Golachipa area of the island.An inter-ministry committee on 23 September took the decision to save the endangered biodiversity of the lone coral reef island of the country.The decision was taken based on a report of the Department of Environment (DoE) filed on 9 September.According to the report, some 10,000-20,000 tourists visit St Matin’s everyday and stay there at night, risking the island’s biodiversity.Moreover, the roads built by the local government and other authorities are also damaging the island.The DoE report pointed out that the tourist influx has led to the depletion of the groundwater in the island.The saline water of the sea might replace the groundwater anytime, ruining the biodiversity of the island completely, according to the report.Human wastes, it found, have made the water of the island contain 10 times more bacteria than other places of the country.The committee has recommended that no motor cycle, car or speedboat should be allowed to run in the island. It has also recommended ban on GO bags which are being used to check erosion.Such bags are harming coral reef of the island, the report mentioned.The report insisted that no lights should be put on at night as the lights are disturbing the breeding of turtles.The report has said these decisions should be implemented within six months to one year.“All the infrastructures of the St Martin’s Island are illegal. We have served notice to the owners to evict these infrastructures and we would evict the structures if they don’t comply with our notice. But we would give them some time for removal of these structures,” environment and forest secretary Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury told Prothom Alo.”In the long run, the island would be preserved only for biodiversity,” he added.In the medium term, the report has recommended bringing down the number of ship that would travel to St Martin’s to 2 from 20, online registration for visiting the island, and limiting the number of visitors to 500 maximum every day.The recommendations include ban on construction of new infrastructures and eviction of existing ones, banning generators and use of solar power instead, and a complete ban on sales of the land in the island.The long-term decisions include acquisition of land evictiion of all the hotels and motels, and relocation of the residents of the island elsewhere.About such recommendations, IUCN Bangladesh’s country director Rakibul Amin said there is no alternative to such steps as many countries around the world have banned tourists in the places where biodiversity is endangered.Recently, he cited example, Thailand has banned all kinds of tourism-related activities in Phi Phi Island of the Southeast Asian country.According to the report, the island is home to some 68 kinds of coral, 151 algae, 191 mollusca, 40 species of crab, 234 species of sea fish, four types of amphibian, 28 types of reptile, 120 kinds of bird, and 20 types of mammals.Also, 175 kinds of plants, 2 types of bat and five types of Dolphins live in the island.In 1999, the government declared the island an ecologically critical area (ECA) under the Bangladesh Environment Protection Act (1995). The law forbids any act that can possibly damage the biodiversity of the island.Four other laws also suggest the preservation of biodiversity of the island.Dwelling on the matter, biodiversity expert Reza Khan wondered how so many infrastructures were built in the island while so much laws were there to prevent such activities.“What has the authorities done so far? Corruption has brought the island at the edge,” he regretted and added that there is still a chance to save the island by following the directives of the environment department.* This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Galib Ashraflast_img read more

Philippine cops kill 32 in single day during antidrug raids

first_imgPhilippine police killed 32 people in dozens of anti-drug operations in a province north of the capital, Manila, in the single deadliest day of President Rodrigo Duterte’s unrelenting war on drugs.About 109 petty criminals, including street-level drug peddlers were arrested and dozens of guns seized in police operations across Bulacan province from Monday night until Tuesday afternoon, said provincial police chief, Romeo Caramat.“We have conducted ‘one-time, big-time’ operations in the past, so far, the number of casualties and deaths, this is the highest,” Caramat told a news conference.He defended police action and said the deaths were during shootouts, and were not executions, as activists have often alleged.“There are some sectors that will not believe us, but, we are open for any investigation. All we can say is that we don’t have any control of the situation. As much as possible, we don’t want this bloody encounter.”Thousands of people have been killed in the anti-drugs campaign, Duterte’s signature policy, since it was launched on June 30 last year, most users and small-time dealers from poor neighborhoods.The intensity of the crackdown has alarmed the international community, and activists and human rights groups say police have been executing suspects and planting drugs and guns at crime scenes. Police and the government officials reject that.Police also deny involvement in thousands of murders by mysterious gunmen, blaming them on gang turf wars, drug dealers silencing informants, or vigilantes targeting drug users.“There were 32 killed in Bulacan in a massive raid, that’s good,” Duterte said in a speech.“Let’s kill another 32 every day. Maybe we can reduce what ails this country.”Police conducted 49 sting drug operations in Bulacan that resulted in about 20 armed encounters, Caramat said. Ten other gunfights ensued when police tried to serve arrest warrants to suspects who fought back.He said 93 of those held were wanted for other crimes, as well as drugs offences.Bulacan has been a major target in the drugs war, with some 425 people killed and 4,000 offenders arrested, according to Caramat, making it the second-biggest hot spot in the crackdown outside of the Manila area.Political opponents of Duterte have filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) accusing the president and top aides of crimes against humanity, arguing they failed to address allegations of widespread police abuses that have been brought to their attention.Duterte has welcomed the ICC complaint, and said he was willing to rot in jail to protect Filipinos.He has often complained about human rights groups criticizing and undermining his campaign and on Wednesday said he would instead investigate them, or worse.“If they are obstructing justice, shoot them,” he said.last_img read more

Bangladesh hands over first phase Rohingya repatriation list to UNHCR

first_img.Bangladesh has handed over to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, a list of the Rohingyas to be sent to Rakhine towards the middle of this month. The list was handed over so that UNHCR can begin preparations accordingly regarding the return of Myanmar’s Muslim minority community to their ancestral home.The UN secretary general’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric has said that the decision to send the first batch of Rohingyas to Rakhine was taken unilaterally by Bangladesh and Myanmar.Speaking to Prothom Alo on Friday morning, foreign secretary M Shahidul Haque refuted this allegation, saying that Bangladesh had signed an MOU with UNHCR and had accordingly handed over a list to the UN organisation.  UNHCR could now carry out its preparations regarding the return of these Rohingyas back to their ancestral home in Rakhine.He said that the plan was to send back 485 families back in the first phase  and the relevant list had been given to UNHCR.A senior official of the foreign ministry told this correspondent that Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to repatriate 2260 Rohingyas of 485 families to Rakhine in the first phase.At the joint working group meeting last Tuesday, Bangladesh and Myanmar decided to send the Rohingyas back to Rakhine mid-November. Before that, foreign secretary Shahidul Haque held a meeting in Dhaka on Monday with UN resident coordinator Mia Seppo and representatives of UNHCR. After the discussions, the government issued the letter for work on the repatriation process to begin at the field level, according to a senior official of the ministry.When asked, Firas Al-Khateeb, UNHCR spokesperson based in Cox’s Bazar, told Prothom Alo, “Yes, we’ve officially received a request from the Bangladesh government to work on checking the voluntary repatriation of the Rohingyas in Rakhine. As our principal is to ensure the repatriation must be safe, dignified and with voluntary as well as sustainable, we will work on that.”Government officials have begun talking to the Rohingyas in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps about their return to Rakhine. In fact, the officials have been speaking to the refugees on this matter, about a month before the joint working group meeting was held in Dhaka on Tuesday. They are basically contacting the persons whom Myanmar has agreed to take back. Several official involved in this process have told Prothom Alo  that initially some of the Rohingyas were reluctant to return. Later they were apprised of the situation in Rakhine and told that Bangladesh would continue in its efforts to ensure their fundamental rights including citizenship. After that, the Rohingyas were more positive about their return.last_img read more

Oikya Front decision on polls participation today

first_imgDr Kamal Hossain. File PhotoKamal Hossain led-Jatiya Oikya Front will unveil its decision on joining or boycotting the 11th parliamentary elections on Sunday, reports UNB.Kamal Hossain will announce the decision at a press conference at the National Press Club at 1:00pm, said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.Talking to reporters at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office after a meeting of the Oikya Front, he said, “BNP standing committee and 20-party leaders had meetings before the Jatiya Oikya Front’s one to decide about election participation. After a long discussion, we’ve taken a decision that Jatiya Oikya Front leader Kamal Hossain will inform the nation about our decision through a press conference.”Earlier, the BNP standing committee members followed by 20-party leaders held the meeting at the same venue.After the meeting of the 20-party alliance, LDP president Oli Ahmed said their alliance will come up with its final decision on joining the 11th parliamentary elections within a day or two.”We discussed the election issue and the country’s overall situation. We didn’t take the final decision yet whether we’ll participate in the election or boycott it. Our alliance’s main partner BNP will make the decision public after discussion with Jatiya Oikya Front within a day or two,” he added.Oil said their alliance is now giving its main focus on the release of their leader Khaleda Zia. “She’ll have to be freed to ensure an election atmosphere.”Accusing the government of arresting the leaders and activists of the 20-party alliance, he said a level-playing field is yet to be created.Replying to a question, Oli said the registered political parties under the 20-party will write letters to the Election Commission on Sunday informing it that they may contest the polls either with their own election symbols or with BNP’s election symbol if they decide to participate in the election.He, however, said his party, LDP, will contest the election with its own symbol if they finally join it.Top leaders of the 20-party alliance joined the hour-long meeting that began around 6:15pm.Earlier, BNP standing committee members held a meeting there and discussed the election issues.After the meeting with the 20-party, top leaders of the Jatiya Oikya Front also sat in the meeting with the BNP senior leaders.However, Oikya Front chief Kamal Hossain could not join the meeting due to his illness.On Thursday evening, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda in a televised address to the nation announced the schedule for the next general election.As per the schedule, the 11th parliamentary elections will be held on 23 December (Sunday) while the last date for submitting nomination papers is 19 November, the date for scrutinising nomination papers is 22 November and the last date for the withdrawal of nomination papers is 29 November.last_img read more

Nepals poor air safety record

first_imgAn airplane takes off at the international airport in Kathmandu on 13 March, 2018, near the wreckage of a US-Bangla Airlines plane that crashed on 12 March. Photo: AFPThe crash-landing of a passenger plane at Kathmandu airport that killed 49 people has put Nepal’s aviation safety record in the spotlight once again.Air travel is popular in the poor Himalayan country, but its mountainous terrain, poor regulation and a lack of investment in planes and infrastructure have led to large numbers of accidents over the years.Here are five things to know about flying in Nepal:- Poor national record -There have been 27 fatal plane crashes in Nepal in the past three decades — an average of almost one per year, according to the independent Aviation Safety Network database.More than 20 of these occurred in the last decade alone and seven killed 18 people or more.All its airlines are barred from flying in European Union airspace.The majority of crashes happened at small domestic airports where pilots negotiated small planes onto tiny strips of tarmac — in some cases hewn into steep mountainsides.But the worst have occurred at Kathmandu’s single-runway airport, which services both international and domestic routes.In 1992, two planes crashed near Kathmandu within just two months of one another, killing a total of 280 people.- Capital overstretched -Aviation experts say challenging terrain is a key reason for the high accident rate in Kathmandu.Nepal’s only international airport sits in a narrow valley 1,338 metres above sea level, meaning planes have a relatively tight space to turn in.The airport also lacks the sophisticated radar technology found elsewhere in the world, forcing pilots to navigate by sight, known as a non-precision landing.The airport has only one runway, so planes have to remain in long holding patterns in the air — a problem that has only worsened in recent years.Nepal Airlines pilot Vijay Lama said Kathmandu provided the “basic minimum” and congestion at the airport was “creating havoc”.- Lack of investment -Investment in Nepal’s aviation sector has failed to keep pace with the boom in commercial flights — both international and domestic.Tiny Nepal, with a population of just 30 million, has 11 domestic airlines, almost as many as giant neighbour India.Plans to upgrade airports in major tourist destinations Pokhara and Lumbini for international flights have been in limbo for years.- Mountain landings -Although most of the biggest accidents have occurred in Kathmandu, most pilots acknowledge that the precipitous landing strips high in the Himalayas are the toughest to negotiate.Lukla — the gateway to Mount Everest — has been dubbed the world’s most dangerous airport, requiring the pilot to navigate through narrow mountain gorges before landing on a steep runway just 500 metres (yards) long with precipitous drops on either side.In 2008 a passenger plane crashed on landing at Lukla, killing everyone on board except the pilot.”The country’s beautiful but rugged terrain makes the safety of air operations more challenging than in other areas of the world,” says the International Civil Aviation Organization, a UN special agency.- Lessons not learned -Some experts accuse Nepal’s civil aviation authority of failing to act on recommendations from past crash investigations.Lama, the pilot, said investigations teams usually did not widely circulate their conclusions, making it difficult for the industry to learn lessons.But UK-based aviation expert Andrew Blackie, part of a team that investigated a crash in Nepal’s south in 2016, said resources were an issue.”In Nepal there are some very tough choices about where the government is spending its money… they are very aware that an expensive investigation means less money spent on other things,” he said.last_img read more

Trump confirms summit date with N Koreas Kim

first_imgUS president Donald Trump speaks with North Korean Kim Yong Chol (L) on the South Lawn of the White House on 1 June 2018 in Washington, DC, after a meeting, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (C) looks on. Photo: AFPUS president Donald Trump said Friday he will meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as originally scheduled on 12 June for a historic summit after extraordinary Oval Office talks with a top envoy from Pyongyang.Speaking after more than an hour of talks with Kim Yong Chol in the Oval Office, Trump told reporters that denuclearisation-and a formal end to the decades-old Korean war-would be on the table in Singapore.But the US leader warned that he did not expect to immediately sign a deal to bring a halt to the North’s nuclear program.“I never said it goes in one meeting. I think it’s going to be a process, but the relationships are building and that’s very positive,” he said, after waving farewell to the North Korean envoy, Kim’s right-hand man.Ending the warTrump said they had discussed formally ending the Korean War, which has been largely frozen since an armistice ended hostilities, but not the underlying conflict, in 1953. Since then, there have been occasional clashes on the divided peninsula.“We talked about it. We talked about ending the war,” Trump said.“Historically it’s very important, but we’ll see. We did discuss that, the ending of the Korean War. Can you believe we’re talking about the ending of the Korean War?”Washington is determined that Kim should agree to what US officials call the “complete, verifiable and irreversible” end of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and intercontinental missile programs.Kim says he is committed to “denuclearisation” in some form, but he is expected to demand security guarantees-one of which could be a formal end to the conflict with the US and South Korea.Most expert observers are sceptical that even an unprecedented summit between the two leaders can lead to a rapid breakthrough, and Trump admitted it would be a long and difficult process.“We’re not going to go in and sign something on 12 June. We never were. I told him today, ‘Take your time’,” he said, adding nevertheless that he expects “a really positive result in the end.”Kim Yong Chol, the most senior North Korean to visit the United States in 18 years, spent almost 90 minutes in the Oval Office.Afterwards, Trump and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo walked the North’s small delegation to their waiting cars, smiling and shaking hands in front of the media before the motorcade pulled away.Security guaranteesNorth Korean officials said Kim Yong Chol was expected to return to Pyongyang shortly. Meanwhile, discussions between US and North Korean officials continue in Singapore and in the Demilitarised Zone between North and South Korea.On Thursday, Kim Jong Un told Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov that his commitment to denuclearisation remains “unchanged and consistent and fixed,” but experts warn he will seek concessions from Washington.In addition to an end to the war, he is likely to seek international recognition as well as guarantees against any strike by the US forces stationed in South Korea.As expected, Kim Yong Chol handed Trump a letter from Kim that may clear up some of the questions. The US leader said the missive was “very nice”-but then admitted he had not yet read it. An aide later confirmed he did after the talks.The Oval Office talks and letter delivery came only a week after Trump threatened to consign the entire process to history, abruptly cancelling the summit in a sharply worded letter, only to revive preparations shortly afterwards.Trump said that, after Friday’s talks, the parties are “totally over that and now we’re going to deal and we’re going to really start a process.”Since the short-lived boycott threat, diplomats from both countries have conducted an intense flurry of talks, culminating this week when Pompeo sat down in New York with Kim’s envoy.‘Their decision’Pompeo said on Thursday that, after what have now been two meetings with Kim Jong Un and three with Kim Yong Chol, he believes the North is at least ready to consider addressing US demands for denuclearisation.“I believe they are contemplating a path forward. They can make a strategic shift. One that their country has not been prepared to make before. This will obviously be their decision,” he said.The flurry of diplomacy has also seen a rapprochement on the Korean peninsula, with the two Koreas holding high-level talks Friday at the border truce village of Panmunjom.The meeting followed two landmark summits between the leaders of North and South Korea in the last five weeks.North and South Korea agreed to hold more meetings throughout this month to carry out the agreements reached between their leaders at the April summit, according to a joint statement issued after Friday’s talks.Seoul welcomed Trump’s meeting with Kim Yong Chol at the White House.“The delivery of a letter from chairman Kim Jong Un to president Trump has apparently broadened and consolidated the road to the North Korea-US summit,” said Kim Eui-gyeom, spokesman for South Korea’s presidential Blue House.“We will calmly, and with expectation, watch the historic meeting in Singapore.”last_img read more

Plasticlike rice seized

first_imgPolice conduct a drive in search of `plastic-like rice` in Gaibandha on Monday. Photo: Prothom AloPolice in a drive seized ‘plastic-like rice’ from a shop in Gaibandha town on Monday morning.Police said that one Rony Miah identified the rice as plastic while cooking it.Later, he went to Gaibandha sadar police station along with the rice and lodged a complaint.Following his complaint, police raided the shop of one Noman Miah at Natun Bazar and seized one and a half sacks of ‘plastic-like rice’.Later, police conducted drives in some other rice shops.Rony Miah said that the rice takes plastic shape when boiled.last_img

Traffickers take 4000 to help migrants reach US destination

first_img.While the Trump administration fortifies the southern border, there’s growing concern over the number of foreigners entering the country illegally across the porous northern border with Canada.People crossing the border between Vermont and Quebec have paid smugglers up to $4,000, usually payable when the immigrants reach their US destination, according to officials and court documents.While the number of arrests is tiny compared with the southern border, the human smuggling is just as sophisticated.”They are very well organized. They have scouted the area. They have scouted us,” said US Border Patrol Agent Richard Ross. “Basically, we are not dealing with the JV team; this is the varsity.”Driving the increase here, officials say, is the ease of entry into Canada, where visas are no longer required for Mexicans, and a border that receives less scrutiny and resources than the southern border, where thousands fleeing violence in Central America are being detained.Much of the illegal border crossing activity in Vermont appears to be focused on a 30-mile (50-kilometer) segment of the Vermont-Quebec border where Interstate 91 reaches the Canadian border at Derby Line, about 50 miles (80 kilometres) southeast of Montreal.From Derby Line, it’s about a six-hour drive to New York and its teeming immigrant communities.Guarding the border here is tricky because Derby Line and the neighbouring Quebec town of Stanstead comprise one community where homes and buildings happen to be bisected by an international border.The community library was purposely built straddling the border to serve people in both communities. Quebecers simply cross an international boundary marked outside the library by pots of petunias. Occasionally, illegal border crossers will walk, or even drive, across near the library.”This is really a town with an invisible border going through it,” said Stanstead resident Matthew Farfan, who has written a book about life along the border, after he left the library’s Vermont entrance and prepared to cross back into Canada.Against this bucolic backdrop, however, there is a growing sense of unease among US law enforcement authorities.”The number of illegal alien apprehensions at the Vermont-Canada border has skyrocketed,” said Christina Nolan, Vermont’s United States attorney, whose office oversees the prosecution of people caught at the Vermont border.So far this fiscal year, there have been at least 267 apprehensions along Vermont’s border with Canada, compared with 132 all of last year, according to statistics compiled by Nolan’s office.In the Border Patrol sector that covers 300 miles (480 kilometres) of border with New York, Vermont and New Hampshire, agents have apprehended 324 people who crossed illegally from Canada so far this fiscal year, compared with 165 in all of 2017. Last month, agents apprehended 85 people across the three states, compared with 17 in June 2017 and 19 in June 2016, statistics show.The statistics show no corresponding spike in illegal immigration or apprehensions elsewhere along the northern frontier. Border Patrol agents speculate it’s because the area that includes Vermont is the first stretch of land border east of the Great Lakes and is a short drive from the population centres of Canada and the US East Coast.As part of a broader recent immigration crackdown, US Customs and Border Protection has set up highway checkpoints in Maine, New Hampshire and upstate New York. One person was apprehended in New York on charges she had picked up four people who had crossed from Canada.Visa-less entry into Canada for countries like Mexico and Romania, another nationality noted by Nolan and Border Patrol agents as contributing to a spike in apprehensions, play a role by making the northern border more attractive for people seeking to enter the US illegally, Nolan said. A plane ticket from Mexico City to Montreal or Toronto can cost less than $350.The Canadian government in late 2016 lifted its requirement that Mexican citizens apply for visas to enter the country as part of broader efforts to strengthen ties with Mexico. A similar requirement for Romanian citizens took effect in late 2017.Canada views the recent visa changes for Mexico and Romania as having a minimal impact on the border, said Beatrice Fenelon, a spokeswoman for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.In the past two months, agents in Vermont have chased border crossers through the woods near Derby Line; there have been car chases and cases in which agents have lost sight of suspects in the woods, only to apprehend them days later.”They have kind of gone southern-border style where they are taking a hike and they are coming through the tall grass,” Ross said. “It’s something I would have seen years ago when I worked in Harlingen, Texas.”The agents won’t guess how many make it across.The flow of illegal border crossers goes in both directions. Since around the time President Donald Trump took office, thousands of immigrants in the US have fled north to Canada seeking asylum.Last October in the largest single case in memory of Border Patrol agents in the Derby Line area, 16 people were apprehended at a hotel after 14 had entered the United States west of Derby Line. The other two were the smugglers.In another case east of Derby Line, a group of eight Mexican immigrants met at a McDonald’s restaurant in Montreal after flying into Toronto and Montreal, where they hired two taxis to take them to Stanhope, Quebec, not far from where Quebec meets Vermont and New Hampshire.After the immigrants walked six hours through the forest, they were apprehended by US Border Patrol agents in Norton, Vermont, while riding in a taxi from Albany, New York, court documents say.The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, responsible for border security in Canada, made arrests last month in two human-smuggling cases between Stanstead and Derby Line.In one case, the suspect, a Mexican who did not have legal status in Canada, has been convicted of bringing immigrants to the Vermont border and was sentenced to six months in jail, after which he will be deported.The Mounties are aware of the cases and ready to help their US counterparts, said RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Camille Habel.But the RCMP doesn’t appear to view the problem with the same urgency as US officials: “It’s not a trend yet,” Habel said.last_img read more

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