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Hindu priest killed in Bangladesh

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DHAKA — Unidentified attackers slaughtered a 70-year-old Hindu priest in western Bangladesh on Tuesday, police said, the latest in a series of attacks on minorities by suspected Islamist militants.

The body of Ananda Gopal Ganguly was found with his head nearly severed in a rice field near his home in the village of Noldanga in Jhenidah district, the area’s deputy police chief Gopinath Kanjilal said.

“He left home this morning saying that he was going to a Hindu house to offer prayers. Later farmers found his near-decapitated body at a rice field,” Kanjilal told AFP.

Kanjilal said it was too early to point fingers at any group, but added that “pattern of the killing is similar to ones carried out by local Islamist militants in recent time”.

Bangladesh is reeling from a wave of murders of secular and liberal activists and religious minorities that have left more than 40 people dead in the last three years.

Ganguly is the 11th person to be killed in the last ten weeks with most of the attacks being claimed by Islamic State jihadists’ group.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government has blamed homegrown Islamists for the attacks, rejecting claims of responsibility from the IS and a South Asian branch of Al-Qaeda.

Experts say a government crackdown on opponents, including a ban on Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami following a protracted political crisis, has pushed many towards extremism.

AFP

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Over 70% of deep-sea fish of Atlantic Ocean have ingested plastic : Study

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Fragments of plastic are found throughout the world, from nearly every continent to nearly every body of water. But, researchers recently have found 73 percent of Northwest Atlantic deep-sea fish are also eating it — the highest reported frequency of plastic-eating fish in the world.

Plastic particles were found in some of the most remote parts of the Atlantic Ocean with almost three quarters of a sample of more than 230 deep-water fish collected by NUI Galway scientists having ingested plastic particles.

The contamination level among the fish species, located in the northwest Atlantic thousands of kilometres from land and 600m down in the ocean, is one of the highest reported frequencies of microplastic occurrence in fish worldwide, according to the study published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

The NUIG scientists, as part of the study, participated in a transatlantic crossing onboard the marine institute’s Celtic Explorer vessel.

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PhD candidate and lead author Alina Wieczorek said, “Deep-water fish migrate to the surface at night to feed on plankton [microscopic animals] and this is likely when they are exposed to the microplastics.”

During this research cruise they took dead deep-sea fish from midwater trawls such as the spotted lanternfish, rakery beaconlamp, stout saw-palate and scaly dragonfish.

Microplastics are small plastic fragments that commonly originate from the breakdown of larger plastic items entering the ocean. Other sources may be waste water effluents carrying plastic fibres from clothing and microbeads from personal care products. Due to their low density, most of these microplastics float at the sea surface.

The fish ranged in size from the smallest species the Glacier Lantern at 3.5cm to the largest species, the stout saw-palate at 59cm.

Agencies

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