Bangladesh

One year ago Thursday, an eight-story factory building in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka collapsed, killing more than 1,100 workers. The disaster at Rana Plaza brought new attention to safety conditions in the country's booming garment industry.

In the year since then, some of the world's biggest retailers have begun inspecting Bangladesh's factories more aggressively. But in other ways efforts to reform the industry have fallen short.

Bangladesh Sentences 152 Soldiers To Die Over Mutiny

Nov 5, 2013

A court in Bangladesh has handed down the death penalty for 152 soldiers in connection with a mutiny by border guards in 2009.

The Associated Press says that "the sentences followed a mass trial involving 846 defendants — a process criticized by a human rights group who said it was not credible and that at least 47 suspects died in custody."

joiseyshowaa / Flickr Creative Commons

Editor's Note: The following article comes from Abeda Sultana, a journalist working with KGOU in October. Her reflection on transportation issues in her home city presents a view of life in a growing area of the world.

More than 20 million people live in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. As a consequence, Dhaka city’s traffic congestion problem has grown to alarming proportions, and it is one of the most challenging issues.

There's been a deadly fire at a garment factory in Bangladesh — the latest in a series of such tragedies and just six months after the worst disaster in the history of the global garment industry.

At least 10 people were killed at the Aswad garment factory outside the capital, Dhaka, early Wednesday. The immediate cause was not known. This factory, like others where tragedy has struck, produced clothes for a number of Western companies.

As President Obama and Congress decide how to respond to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Joshua Landis outlines some of the implications for both the United States and the Middle East.

Later, a conversation with Chad and Tara Jordan of Cornerstone International. The siblings and Oklahoma native founded the consulting firms to teach businesses and non-profits how to provide humanitarian aid more efficiently.

Chad Jordan / Cornerstone International

Chad Jordan volunteered in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, but seeing the state of infrastructure, sanitation conditions, and the lack of financial services after decades and billions of dollars of humanitarian aid affected him even more than the temblor’s destruction.

“It’s really been used for projects that are corrupt,” Jordan says. “It doesn’t really go toward projects that are really sustaining people and focusing on business.”

(We updated this post at 11:58 a.m. ET to include a statement released Wednesday by Walmart. Click here to see that)

It's been 2 1/2 months since the Rana Plaza collapsed on garment workers in Bangladesh, exposing abysmal safety conditions in the country's factories.

China hosted back-to-back visits this week with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. More and more detainees are participating in a hunger strike at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

So far more than 1,000 have died in the April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza in Dhaka. ABC Radio Sima Bhowmik joins Suzette Grillot for a conversation about the lack of government oversight in Bangladesh's garment industry.

(Most recent update: 1:15 p.m. ET.)

There's incredible news from Bangladesh:

"Miraculous as it may sound," a survivor was rescued Friday from the rubble of the eight-story building that collapsed 17 days ago near Dhaka, The Daily Star reported this morning.

That story from Bangladesh's English-language newspaper has been followed with these bulletins from other news outlets:

Sudipta Das / Wikimedia Commons

Bangladeshi police say the death toll from the collapse of a building housing five garment factories has passed 800 and continues to climb.

Sima Bhowmik, a journalist with ABC Radio in Bangladesh, worked at KGOU for several weeks as part of a U.S. State Department program.

She followed the unfolding events of the building collapse in her country, and told World Views a lack of oversight and high rent contribute to a disturbing trend of tragedies in the garment industry.

“The owners, they want to save money, and they go for a cheap building, which is not really fit for his industry,” Bhowmik says.

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