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Chatter: Deadly building collapse in Dhaka

Scores are dead after a high-rise collapses in Bangladesh's capital, there's fighting in China's ethically divided northwest, investigators turn to Dagestan to find answers for Boston, and isn't that robot cute?
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
           

                      

   

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NEED TO KNOW

High-rise topples in Bangladesh. At least 70 people are dead and hundreds injured after an eight-storey building collapsed in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka. Many more are feared trapped, and emergency services, joined by frantic friends and family, are leading a massive hunt for survivors.

Witnesses said that the building, which housed a garment factory, several stores and a bank, was reduced to rubble "within minutes." According to local media, cracks had begun appearing in it a full day earlier, but apparently workers were still expected to return. It's unfortunately only the latest in Bangladesh's long series of workplace tragedies

What's going on in Xinjiang province? Twenty-one people are reported killed in China's restive northwest corner, after a gun battle that authorities put down to a "terrorist" gang.

Chinese state media says the firefight broke out after police attempted to search gang members' homes. Fifteen officials and six so-called terrorists were killed, most of them members of the Uighur ethnic group that has long complained of repression at Beijing's hands. The government frequently accuses Uighurs of violent acts of sedition; Uighurs say authorities are exaggerating the danger to justify maintaining their iron grip.

WANT TO KNOW

Do Boston's answers lie in Dagestan? US diplomats have travelled to the mountainous republic in Russia's North Caucasus region to interview the family of Boston bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, where they hope they'll find clues – any clues – as to what motivated the attack.

They'll be following in the footsteps of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who spent most of the first half of 2012 visiting relatives in Dagestan. What did he do there? Who did he meet? Can it begin to explain what he's accused of going on to do? Investigators, like the rest of us, are still struggling to make it make sense.

Not LOLing now. Police in Australia have arrested the self-proclaimed leader of hacker collective LulzSec, the cyber trouble-makers behind attacks on Sony Pictures, News International and the CIA.

The 24-year-old man, identified only by his alias "ozshock," is accused of hijacking a government website earlier this month, with the help of sensitive data gleaned from his day-job at an IT company. Police say he presented "a considerable risk to Australian society." Not bad for a nerd.

Silvio Berlusconi is on a roll. You might think that economic disaster, sex scandals and political deadlock would be enough to keep a good man down. But this is no good man: this is Il Cavaliere.

Inconclusive elections in February followed by a failed attempt to elect a new president last weekend have left Berlusconi's opponents looking chaotic, and the former prime minister and his allies looking calm, collected and cohesive – and in prime position to impose their will on the new government. GlobalPost studies how Berlusconi just keeps on bouncing back.

STRANGE BUT TRUE

We humans are a soppy lot. Researchers have found that people have empathy for robots, whether they be Terminator-, 'droid- or dinosaur-shaped. (They discovered this, apparently, by making participants watch videos of a dino-bot being abused. Aww.)

The study's authors hope their findings could one day help the development of robot companions for lonely or old people. And, y'know, help cyborg overlords take over the world. Because while we're weeping over busted circuit boards, they definitely won't be feeling a thing for us.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/chatter-deadly-building-collapse-dhaka