Last updated 14/12/10

At least 22 killed, 100 injured in Bangladesh factory fire.
DHAKA – At least 22 killed and 100 people were injured in a fire at a multi-storey garment factory near the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on Tuesday, fire service officials said.

“Firefighters are trying to douse the huge blaze and rescuers are retrieving the injured and evacuating trapped workers,” said an official monitoring the fire at Ashulia, 25 km (16 miles) north of the capital.

At least 50 people with serious burn injuries were taken to local hospitals. Some of them were injured in a stampede as several hundred workers tried to escape to safety.

Troops from the nearby Savar cantonment joined the rescue operation and Air Force helicopters rescued some trapped people from the roof of the 12-storey building, witnesses said.

“More than 10,000 workers mostly women were on duty, but good luck was that many of them were out for lunch,” Arifa Ahmed, an official of the factory owned by Hamim Group, told Reuters.

The fire broke out on the 9th floor and quickly spread. The cause of the fire could not be determined immediately. [Reuters]

Hamas marks 23rd anniversary with Gaza rally
On Tuesday, tens of thousand of Palestinians are gathering in Gaza City to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the founding of resistance movement, Hamas.

Large pictures of Hamas' leaders, including the group's assassinated spiritual guide Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, were displayed under a banner reading "I remain committed to the cause." [AFP and Ahram Online] FULL STORY

Bangladesh stands 27th in most favourite destinations for FDI
Monday, 13 December 2010 Author / Source : BSS
Bangladesh is the 27th country among the most favourite destinations for foreign direct investment (FDI), according to a report of the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
The MIGA, responsible for promoting foreign direct investment (FDI) into developing countries to support economic growth, reduce poverty and improve people’s lives, released the report on December 9.
The report titled “World Investment and Political Risk’ aims to foster a better understanding of investors’ perceptions of political risk as they relate to FDI.
The MIGA sought responses from the entrepreneurs across the globe to know their favourite destinations for investment and listed 40 most favourite countries from the findings.
China topped the list as around 50 per cent of the respondents said that they mostly invested in the fast growing economy. India was the second favourite destinations for FDI when Lebanon was at the bottom of the list after Iraq.
Among south and east Asian nations, the Philippines stands 10th, Malaysia 11th, Indonesia 13th, Thailand 14th, Vietnam 18th, Pakistan 24th and Sri Lanka 26th.
According to the report, Bangladesh received US$1.01 billion in 2008, but the inflow came down to US$0.69 billion in 2009 when global recession cut worldwide FDI movements by 40 per cent.
The report, however, forecast that FDI inflow to the developing countries including Bangladesh would increase by 17 per cent to an estimated US$416 billion in 2010.
It would continue growing by a modest 20 per cent and 13 per cent a year in 2011 and 2012 respectively as the global economic recovery strengthens.
By 2012, FDI flows to the developing world are expected to reach $575 billion, the report said. For the second year running, MIGA surveyed multinational executives and found that their top worry when operating in developing countries over the next three years is political risk.
The political risk, as MIGA defines, includes disruption of the operations of multinational enterprises by political forces or events, whether they occur in host countries or result from changes in the international environment.
“In host countries, political risk is largely determined by uncertainty over the actions not only of governments and political institutions, but also of minority groups such as separatist movements” the report said.

Iran not a rogue state: Australia
SYDNEY, Dec 13 - Australia is at odds with its major security ally the United States over Iran, saying it is not a "rogue state" and its nuclear weapons program is for deterrence, not attack, according to US cables released by WikiLeaks.

The documents, published in the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday, also reveal that Australia's top security organization believes Tehran sees a "grand bargain" with the United States as its best way to ensure national security.

But the Office of National Assessments (ONA) shared Washington's fears that Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons could lead to conventional or nuclear war, noting a conflict between Israel and Iran was the greatest challenge to Middle East stability. [] FULL STORY

Hingis ties knot with Hutin
Monday, 13 December 2010 Author / Source : AFP
GENEVA - Retired tennis star Martina Hingis has married French showjumper Thibault Hutin in Paris, Swiss celebrity magazine Schweizer Illustrierte said.
According to the magazine’s website, the 30-year-old former Grand Slam champion and the 24-year-old rider held their civil wedding on Friday in the presence of close family. “Our wedding came as a surprise for many, but it has been in planning long in advance,” Hingis told the magazine, which said it would publish on Monday exclusive photos of the event.
The pair intends to hold their wedding feast next summer, said the magazine.
Hingis won five Grand Slam singles titles before retiring in 2007, when she was suspended for two years for testing positive for cocaine at Wimbledon. She denied taking the drug but did not appeal the ban, which ended last September.

>Hijacked Ship, fate of 26 unknown as yet
>4 of family acid-burnt
>Indian BSF routinely kills on border
>Police, most corrupt institution in Bangladesh
>Train driver guilty, found in primary probe

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