Fourteen people have been declared missing.Authorities also indicated that at least 28 people had been injured and were receiving treatment at a local hospital.More than 90 local residents have been evacuated due to the disaster.Over a hundred homes have been destroyed or badly damaged.Local media pointed out there were three twisters that had swept through the area, and heavy rain carried on during the rescue efforts. Huge hail from storm that produced deadly tornado in Texas tonight: RT@krazyace35: @bradtraviswaff Hail in Granbury: twitter.com/krazyace35/sta…” — Wayne Hart (@Wayne_C_Hart) May 16, 2013 …
H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson has urged Bangladesh to raise its minimum wage, days after the Swedish fashion giant agreed to back a building safety agreement in the wake of the world’s worst single garment industry disaster, which killed more than 1,100 people. …
Phyllis Bennis: The humanitarian disaster in Syria is mostly ignored as external powers vie for position to
control outcome of civil war …
The announcement marks the third time this year that the Greek government has invoked emergency laws to force strikers to return to work. Greece is due to receive €7.5 billion in loans soon, the latest tranche of a €240-billion rescue package signed in 2010; Athens currently has no money to pay pensions and wages. To cope with the personnel gaps, Athens plans to require two additional hours of work each week from high school teachers, and plans to transfer 4,000 of them to remote regions of the country. The government broke a longstanding taboo last month by agreeing to dismiss some 15,000 public-sector workers by the end of 2014, a key demand by the EU and International Monetary Fund for Greece to qualify for further rescue loans, Reuters reported. According to OLME, the union representing the teachers, about 10,000 part-time teachers could be dismissed once their temporary contracts expire. The union has called for a 24-hour strike when university exams start on May 17. However, under Greek law the government has the right to forcibly mobilize workers in the event of a civil disorder, natural disaster or public health risk.“This is a very authoritarian move from the government because it has issued civil mobilization orders for secondary education teachers in the public school system even before they decided to stage a strike during the university entry exams. Geek law is very explicit that civil mobilization refers to wars and natural disasters, not forms of civil protest,” Panagiotis Sotiris, sociology lecturer at the University of the Aegean, told RT.“It’s really interesting to see that one of the legal experts, who has insisted for many years on the unconstitutionality of these emergency laws, is no other than the current Minister of Justice in the Greek government, Mr Antonis Roupakiotis,” he said. Education Minister Constantine Arvanitopoulos justified the ban by arguing that students had a right to take exams without disruption; teachers will be served a civil mobilization order to go to work on that day, or risk arrest.“These threats by the prime minister and his government are directly against the overwhelming majority of workers and society,” Greece’s Syriza party, which opposes the bailout, said in a statement. The Greek government has in recent months intervened frequently to shut down mounting anti-austerity strikes. Earlier this year, it interrupted week-long walkouts by local sailors that led to food shortages on Greece’s islands, and strikes by metro workers that disrupted transport in Athens.“The Greek government tries to meet the nominal terms of the bailout agreements in terms of budget cuts, reducing public investment of preparing lay off of thousands of public servants and public-sector workers of making extremely dangerous decisions, for example, there is no money currently for HIV tests for blood samples. The Greek government puts all the cost on Greek society in order to remain within the terms of the bailout agreements,” professor Sotiris told RT. The Greek economy has been struggling to gain traction amid the austerity measures mandated in country’s bailout terms. Deep spending cuts and tax hikes have reduced Greece’s budget deficit, but have also left the country stuck in recession, now in its sixth year. Last year, the financial crisis reached boiling point: It was feared that Greece would be forced to abandon the Euro currency used by 17 European Union nations, sparking a chain reaction in financial markets and further aggravating the eurozone debt crisis. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), over the last three years Greece has nonetheless made progress in bringing down its budget deficit, austerity has nearly tripled Greece’s jobless rate since its debt crisis began in 2009. Greek unemployment is said to be more than twice the Eurozone average, with overall joblessness at a record high of 27 percent. Athens cut the minimum monthly wage for those under 25 years old by 32 percent to about 500 euros in a bid to boost hiring, but joblessness in the 15-to-24 age bracket recently soared from 59.3 percent in January to 64.2 percent in February.Medical patients at risk in crisis-stricken Greece Morale has been particularly hard-hit in the crisis: The number of Greeks who attempted suicide has been on the rise in recent years. There were 677 suicide attempts in 2009, 830 in 2010 and 927 in 2011, according to official figures. A number of Greek pharmacists have also faced serious medicine shortages due to price controls and tight cash flows. “We are in a critical situation and we don’t know what’s going to happen even the next day,” pharmacist Dionysis Evgenidis told RT. Greeks in need often visit the Doctors of the World charity in Thessaloniki. RT’s Tom Barton spoke to patients who said they fear for their future. “I went to the pharmacy to buy injections for my baby but couldn’t find any so now that I’m unemployed I came here,” one desperate mother said. The highest risks are for those with serious health conditions like diabetes or cardiologic problems, who must receive treatment every day. “It’s very serious for them not to have their medicine. If they do not they could die,” Sofia Gorane, from Doctors of the World told RT. …
http://www.youtube.com/v/0K-Qihf-7UQ?version=3&f=videos&app=youtube_gdata More: Bangladesh union representative speaks to Al Jazeera
ILO pushes Bangladesh to improve work safety standards 03/05/2013 20:04 CET
Death toll tops 500 in Bangladesh factory disaster 03/05/2013 11:06 CET
Bangladesh workers dying for lack of responsible… 02/05/2013 19:44 CET
Search for bodies continues in Bangladesh factory… 04/05/2013 12:42 CET
Bangladesh mayor suspended over factory building… 02/05/2013 18:06 CET
The number killed in Bangladesh’s worst -ever industrial disaster now stands at over 600, and with hundreds more still missing over a thousand dead is a strong possibility.
The original architect has spoken of his shock at seeing the changes made to a structure he had originally planned in 2004.
“Among the dead bodies recovered over the last few minutes, we’ve identified three by their mobile handsets and identity cards,” said the Fire Service and Civil Defence Deputy Director Sheik Md Mizanur Rahman.
Many of the dead are, however, unidentifiable, as their bodies have been crushed to nothing.
When Rana Plaza opened in 2004 it had five above-ground floors, with the lower three a commercial centre and the last two for offices.
At the time of the collapse three extra floors had been added, and heavy generators and equipment were installed on every floor. It is thought vibrations from the generators were the final straw for the already-weakened structure.
Installing heavy machinery in such a building would have been in violation of national building regulations, but the extra floors were added after the local planning authority gave its authorisation.
Copyright © 2013 euronews
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladesh’s finance minister downplayed the impact of last week’s factory-building collapse on his country’s garment industry, saying he didn’t think it was “really serious” Friday, hours after the 500th body was pulled from the debris.Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith spoke as the government cracked down on those it blamed for the disaster in the Dhaka suburb of Savar. It suspended Savar’s mayor and arrested an engineer who had called for the building’s evacuation last week, but was also accused of helping the owner add three illegal floors to the eight-story structure. The building owner was arrested earlier.The government appears to be attempting to fend off accusations that it is in part to blame for the tragedy because of weak oversight of the building’s construction.During a visit to the Indian capital New Delhi, Muhith said the disaster would not harm Bangladesh’s garment industry, which is by far the country’s biggest source of export income.”The present difficulties … well, I don’t think it is really serious — it’s an accident,” he said. “And the steps that we have taken in order to make sure that it doesn’t happen, they are quite elaborate and I believe that it will be appreciated by all.”Continue Reading… …