World briefs (5/13/13)

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Higher wages in Bangladesh?

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Bangladesh's government plans to raise the minimum wage for garment workers, a Cabinet minister said Sunday, after the deaths of more than 1,100 people in the collapse of a factory building focused international attention on the textile industry's dismal pay and hazardous working conditions.

A new minimum wage board will issue recommendations for pay raises within three months, Textiles Minister Abdul Latif Siddiky said. The Cabinet will then decide whether to accept those proposals.

The April 24 building collapse, the world's worst garment industry disaster, has raised alarm about conditions in Bangladesh's powerful textile industry, which makes clothing for major retailers around the world.

No majority in Bulgaria

SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Bulgaria's center-right party and its main challenger, the Socialists, finished first and second in Sunday's parliamentary election, with neither winning a majority needed to form a government, two exit polls indicated.

If that outcome is confirmed, it could lead to more political and economic instability in this financially strapped Balkan nation. That was clear late Sunday when dozens of angry people clashed with police in front of the election press center.

The Alpha Research exit poll said former Prime Minister Boiko Borisov's GERB party won 30.1 percent of the votes, with the Socialists second at 26.1 percent. Official results are expected today.

Warrant for journalist

SEOUL, South Korea -- Prosecutors have sought an arrest warrant for a South Korean journalist and podcast star for reporting an unconfirmed suspicion that the only brother of President Park Geun-hye might have been involved in the murder of a relative, the journalist's lawyers said Sunday.

Choo Chin-woo, a reporter with the leading newsweekly SisaIN, has been charged with violating the country's election law. In their indictment, a copy of which was made available Sunday, the prosecutors said that through articles and a podcast a few weeks before the Dec. 19 presidential election, Mr. Choo "defamed" and "spread false information" about the president's brother, Park Ji-man, with "an aim of blocking her election."

'Django' back in theaters

BEIJING -- Quentin Tarantino's violent slave-revenge movie "Django Unchained" returned to Chinese theaters Sunday, about a month after it was pulled on opening day for unspecified "technical reasons."

The rare suspension order April 11 by the movie's importer, China Film Group Corp., led to speculation that the Hollywood film had run afoul of Chinese censors despite weeks of promotion.

"Django Unchained" reportedly already had some violent scenes cut and had been cleared by China's rigorous censors, who generally remove violence, sex and politically edgy content.

Expensive night's sleep

JERUSALEM -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will seek alternate sleeping arrangements when traveling after receiving a sky-high bill for installing a customized bed on a recent flight to London, officials close to the Israeli leader said.

Mr. Netanyahu found himself facing a public uproar Sunday after Channel 10 TV reported that he had spent $127,000 in public funds on a special sleeping cabin for the five-hour flight to attend Margaret Thatcher's funeral last month.

His office initially defended the decision, saying the prime minister had a busy schedule ahead of the flight and needed to be fresh for important meetings in Britain.

-- Compiled from news services



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