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Chatter: Bangladesh mourns building collapse victims

Bangladeshi garment workers protest after one of the worst factory disasters in history, Spain's unemployment hits a record high, US intelligence agencies face questions over what they did - and didn't - know about the Boston bombing suspects, and the Mars rover reveals its penchant for toilet humor.
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NEED TO KNOW

Dhaka counts its dead. The search is not yet over for people trapped under a collapsed multi-story building outside the Bangladeshi capital, but it's already clear that this is one of the worst industrial disasters in a country that's had many of them. At least 175 people are dead and hundreds more feared trapped, the victims mostly women workers at garment factories that are believed to supply several Western retailers.

While the government declared a period of national mourning, thousands of Dhaka's garment workers took to the streets to demand factories close for the day. Will foreign customers join them in demanding safer conditions for the people who make our cheap clothes?

More than one in four Spaniards are out of work. The latest figures reveal that unemployment in Spain has risen to an eye-popping 27.2 percent, the highest it's been in more than 35 years. Youth unemployment, meanwhile, is at 57.2 percent, for which frankly we've run out of adjectives.

The government is due to present its latest plan to tackle the recession tomorrow, but short of a worldwide boom in castanets, it's hard to see what could make an immediate difference to the lives of Spain's 6.2 million unemployed.

When is a recession not a recession? When it's not the third. The UK has been saved, by a wafer-thin margin, from a dreaded "triple-dip" recession. Above expectations its economy managed 0.3 percent growth in the first three months of 2013, and thereby, to avoid the UK's third recession in five years.

It's a bullet dodged for the government and its austerity program; with growth that measly, however, few others have reason to celebrate.

WANT TO KNOW

They knew his name. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the suspected mastermind of the Boston Marathon bombings, was placed on a US terrorism database a full 18 months before the attacks, officials say.

The CIA ordered his name added to a vast list of potential threats after receiving a tip-off from Russia that he had become a follower of radical Islam. The FBI, however, which investigated Tsarnaev six months earlier at Russia's request, said it never found any of the warning signs that would have prompted it to put him on the higher-alert terror watch list.

Those decisions will inevitably leave questions about what could have been done differently, some of which intelligence officials will attempt to answer in a senate briefing later today. But so far it seems that Tsarnaev and his co-accused younger brother can't be traced to a known extremist group. Is it possible they learned terrorism online – and if so, who else is doing the same?

All aboard. Nigeria has resurrected its Lagos-Kano railway, a 700-mile route that links the two regional hubs of the country's north and south. The government says the cross-country train line will breathe new life into the economy and, even more ambitiously,  give Nigerians a powerful symbol of national unity.

GlobalPost rides the railway that Nigeria hopes will get it back on track.

STRANGE BUT TRUE

Is NASA's Mars rover a teenage boy trapped in an exploration bot's body? It's a valid question now we see what, fresh from the rover's return from spring break, its tracks have drawn in the Red Planet's dust. It looks like... well, you can see what it looks like.

Let's just hope that toilet humor is, truly, universal.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/chatter-bangladesh-mourns-building-collapse-victims

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