World Wrap

Bangladesh garment industry examined after deadly collapse

Tragedy spotlights Bangladesh’s garment trade, Pakistani prosecutor killed by gunmen, and Myanmar’s Muslims react to steady sectarian violence. Today is Friday, May 3, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.


A woman holds a picture as she waits for news of her relative, a garment worker who is still missing after the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Savar, outside Dhaka, May 3, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj

Bangladesh’s garment industry examined. The death toll from last week’s building collapse in Bangladesh topped 500, bringing to light poor conditions in the country’s hefty garment industry:

Until now, there has been little pressure here to improve safety conditions and wages for the 4.5 million Bangladeshis working in the industry. That inertia stems, in part, from how deeply the industry has woven itself into the power structure. More than 30 garment industry bosses are members of parliament, accounting for about 10 percent of its lawmakers. Other owners, like Mohammed Sohel Rana, the owner of the building that collapsed, have strong political ties: He was a local leader of the youth wing of the ruling party, the Awami League.

Western retailers also face heat for their role in the tragedy. Activists say that western companies secure the lowest cost by forcing local factory owners to compete for their business, forcing down wages in the impoverished country. Bangladesh ranked lowest in minimum wages in 2010, according to World Bank data, and one plant owner estimate that prices for their goods have fallen by 40 percent in the past two years. Nine people have been arrested in relation to the collapse, including the building’s engineer, who warned the building was unsafe hours before it fell. Human rights say that factory owners have not been prosecuted in similar past cases.

North Korea sentences American to 15 years hard labor

North Korea orders hard labor for U.S. man, local Bangladeshi mayor suspended after garment factory tragedy, and the ECB cuts rates to record low. Today is Thursday, May 2, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

An undated still image of video footage released in Seoul by Yonhap News Agency on May 2, 2013, shows a portrait of U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae. Credit: Reuters/Yonhap

Paging Bill Clinton. North Korea sentenced American citizen Kenneth Bae to 15 years hard labor for crimes against the state, most likely to give Pyongyang bargaining power with the U.S.:

EU may review trade agreement with Bangladesh

The European Union threatens to reconsider trade agreements with Bangladesh, Pakistan’s military is not pleased with Musharraf’s treatment, and Boston bombers’ ethnic background highlights modern-day Chechnya. Today is Wednesday, May 1, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.


Rescue workers attempt to save garment workers from the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building, in Savar, 19 miles outside Dhaka, April 29, 2013.  REUTERS/Khurshed Rinku

EU responds to Bangladesh tragedy. The European Union may take trade action against Bangladesh in an attempt to force the country to take workplace safety more seriously, following last week’s building collapse which killed hundreds of workers and injured thousands.

Euro zone unemployment hits record high

The euro zone’s jobless rate reaches an all-time high, the Dutch queen abdicates, and aid workers struggle to get food to Syria. Today is Tuesday, April 30, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

People wait for an employment office to open in Badalona, near Barcelona, April 25, 2013. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Euro zone’s high unemployment, low inflation could affect ECB decisions. Unemployment in the euro zone hit a record high of 12.1 percent, leaving 19.2 million people without jobs and suggesting that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates when it meets on Thursday. Euro zone inflation fell to a three-year low, increasing expectations of a longer recession In Europe:

Syrian prime minister survives bomb attack

Rebels strike Assad’s prime minister, Bangladesh building owner brought to court, and explosion in Prague injures forty. Today is Monday, April 29, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

People stand near debris and a damaged vehicle after an explosion at al-Mezze neighborhood in Damascus, April 29, 2013, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria’s national news agency SANA. REUTERS/SANA/Handout

No place is safe for symbols of Assad. Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halki survived a bomb attack by rebel forces. The attack targeted his convoy and killed six people in Damascus’ Mezze district, according to Syrian media:

Blaze kills dozens in Russian psychiatric hospital

A deadly blaze engulfs a Russian hospital, South Korea removes workers from joint industrial park, and survivors are pulled from rubble in Bangladesh as number of dead death toll rises. Today is Friday, April 26, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.


A Russian emergency service worker sprays water at the site of a fire at a psychiatric hospital in the village of Ramensky, north of Moscow, April 26, 2013.  REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

Psychiatric hospital fire rips through Russian village. Police officers said that 38 people were killed in a fire that quickly swept through a psychiatric hospital north of Moscow, fueling criticism from local villagers who say the tragedy highlights the state’s neglect of citizens who live outside of major cities:

Details emerge in deadly clothing factory collapse

Death toll rises in Bangladesh as factory safety decried, Spain’s unemployment hits record high, and Iran’s unlikely al Qaeda ties explained. Today is Thursday, April 25, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

People mourn in front of the remains of their relatives, who died inside the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building, in Savar, 19 miles outside Dhaka, April 25, 2013.  REUTERS/Andrew Biraj

Cheap clothes and questions of worker saftey. Mostly female workers were killed when a building housing several textile factories collapsed in Bangladesh on Wednesday. The death toll climbed to at least 228 people today – a number local police said could continue to rise – in a disaster that once again highlights safety shortcomings in factories producing low-cost goods for Western companies:

Building collapse kills scores in Bangladesh

An eight-story building crumbles in Bangladesh, Obama’s red line wriggles on Syria, and China condemns attack as terrorism. Today is Wednesday, April 24, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.


People weep for their relatives, who are trapped inside the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Savar, April 24, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj

Building buckles in Bangladesh. A building housing five garment factories and a shopping complex collapsed in Savar, Bangladesh, killing almost 100 people and injuring more than 700:

Iraq sees worst clashes this year

Gun battle breaks out in Iraq, Canadian police arrest terror plot suspects, and a car bomb rocks the French embassy in Libya. Today is Tuesday, April 23, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.


A man is brought to a hospital on a stretcher after being wounded in a clash between Iraqi forces and Sunni Muslim protesters in Kirkuk, 155 miles north of Baghdad, April 23, 2013. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed

Sectarian clashes intensify in Iraq. At least 23 people were killed when Iraqi security forces raided a Sunni Muslim protest camp in the worst sectarian clash since December’s demonstrations:

Paraguay elects business magnate as new president

A wealthy businessman wins the presidency in Paraguay, victims mobilize after deadly China quake, and Indians rage as another suspect is arrested in relation to a young girl’s rape. Today is Monday, April 22, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.



Paraguayan presidential candidate Horacio Cartes of the Colorado Party gestures before speaking to supporters as he claims victory in the election in Asuncion, April 21, 2013. REUTERS/Jorge Adorno

Paraguay magnate becomes president. Horacio Cartes, one of Paraguay’s richest men, was elected president on Sunday, returning the center-right Colorado Party to office and raising hopes of a leader who won’t succumb to greed:

  • # Editors & Key Contributors