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Bangladesh banker credited with saving lives in factory disaster

As Bangladesh marks one year since the Rana Plaza factory disaster, Zaed bin Hassan feels grief and anger at how he saved his employees from harm while others sent theirs to their deaths. The bank manager ran a busy branch located inside the factory building complex, where several thousand workers spent long hours stitching clothes for Western retailers for low wages on the floors above.

Most Bangladesh factory survivors still too sick to work

Most survivors of the Bangladesh factory collapse that killed 1,138 garment workers are still too traumatised or injured to work 12 months after the tragedy, a survey released Monday said. Other survivors, who are able to work, have been refused jobs in garment factories because owners fear they would now be too slow or could be involved in some kind of labour activism, the survey said. British charity Action Aid said 74 percent of the 1,436 survivors they questioned are not working a year after being pulled alive from the rubble of the Rana Plaza garment factory complex.

Bangladesh detains students for 'defaming Prophet'

Two students were detained in Bangladesh's port city of Chittagong after they were attacked by a mob over allegations they defamed the Prophet Mohammed on Facebook, police said Tuesday. Police filed primary charges against the two 18-year-olds under the country's Information Communications Technology (ICT) laws after investigators found anti-religious comments on their Facebook pages, local police chief Atiq Ahmed Chowdhury told AFP. "Our officers rescued them from a mob of angry students who were beating them in a Chittagong college on Sunday," he said.

Victims file claims for Bangladesh garment disaster

Families of Bangladesh textile workers killed in the Rana Plaza tragedy started Monday submitting claims for compensation, 11 months after the disaster that killed more than 1,100 people. The first batch of 22 claims were filed with officials overseeing a $40 million compensation fund, made up of donations from leading Western retailers in the wake of the country's worst textile disaster.

$40 million fund being set up for victims, families of Bangladesh factory collapse

DHAKA, Bangladesh - A compensation fund to benefit the victims of an April factory building collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 people is being created. The fund, estimated at $40 million, would compensate injured workers and dependents of those of who died, according to a statement by the organizers of the fund. Spanish retailer El Corte Ingles, UK's Bonmarche, Canada's Loblaw and the Dublin-based Primark have pledged to contribute to the fund.

Bangladesh factory owners and employees charged in fire that killed 112 workers last year

DHAKA, Bangladesh - Police charged the owners of a Bangladeshi garment factory and 11 employees with culpable homicide Sunday for alleged negligence leading to the death of 112 workers in a raging fire that engulfed the factory last year.

AFP Asia News Agenda

Duty Editor: Sarah Titterton Tel: +852 2829 6211 ASIA NEWS HIGHLIGHTS ON WEDNESDAY + Thai protesters refuse to give up 'people's revolution' + India's top court to rule on legality of gay sex + Bangladesh Islamist given stay of execution + Google to open data centre in Taiwan THAILAND -- Monitoring political developments as opposition protesters refuse to give up their self-styled "people's revolution" (THAILAND-POLITICS-PROTEST) INDIA

World Bank provides 390 mln USD financing for Bangladesh education projects

World Bank provides 390 mln USD financing for Bangladesh education projects DHAKA, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank has approved 390 million U.S. dollarsadditional financing for two educational projects in Bangladesh, said the Washington-based lender Thursday. It said the projects aim at supporting the Bangladeshi government effort to improve educational outcome. "Investing in education is investing in a country's future," Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Nepal, was quoted as saying in a statement.

U.S.-led group's Bangladesh garment factory reviews halfway done

By Jessica Wohl (Reuters) - More than half of the Bangladesh garment factories that do work for a group of North American retailers and apparel makers have already been inspected for fire and building safety, the group said on Tuesday. Last week, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety released a list of more than 620 factories its 23 current members do business with.

Retailers launch talks to fix Bangladesh factories

Top retailers launched talks on Tuesday with Bangladesh factory owners and the government as part of a safety accord signed earlier this month following a deadly factory collapse. Around 80 mainly European retailers, including Inditex and H&M, signed the legally-binding agreement, which stipulates inspection of all of their factory suppliers in Bangladesh to ensure they comply with safety standards.
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