World news briefs: 2/10/14

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Factory owners turn selves in

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- A husband and wife whose factory in Bangladesh was consumed by fire in 2012, a disaster that killed 112 employees, surrendered to a court Sunday in Dhaka, the capital.

In December, more than a year after the fire, the police filed charges of culpable homicide against the owner of the Tazreen factory, Delowar Hossain; his wife, Mahmuda Akther; and 11 associates, including the factory's manager and an engineer.

On the night of the fire, more than 1,150 people were at their work stations in the eight-story building, working on a tight deadline to fill orders for international buyers. When the fire broke out and an alarm sounded, some managers told their employees to ignore the alarm and continue to work.

As the fire spread, many workers found themselves trapped in smoke-filled staircases or behind windows that were covered with iron grilles.

Bangladesh's garment industry is extraordinarily powerful, both economically and politically, and in the past the state has sought to protect their interests. Factory owners are rarely held responsible for safety violations.

Pol resigns over migrant

LONDON -- The British immigration minister resigned Saturday after revealing that his house cleaner of six years was living in the country illegally.

Mark Harper, who had been leading a crackdown on illegal immigration in Britain, was an important part of a "go home" campaign, which included posters pasted on vans across the country encouraging illegal immigrants to leave the country.

Immigration is an increasingly fractious issue in Britain. In 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to reduce the number of new immigrants "by tens of thousands" by 2015, from the 200,000 a year expected under current trends.

Israel launches Gaza strike

JERUSALEM -- The Israeli military said that it carried out an airstrike early Sunday against a Palestinian militant in Gaza responsible for firing rockets into Israel. Medical officials in Gaza reported that the target of the strike, who was riding a motorcycle, was critically wounded and that a bystander was hurt, as well.

The resumption of such strikes comes amid an increase in rocket fire by small radical groups operating in Gaza, as well as Israeli retaliatory airstrikes against facilities associated with militant groups and clashes along the Israel-Gaza border fence, straining a 14-month-old cease-fire on both sides.

Tokyo election result

TOKYO -- Yoichi Masuzoe, a former health minister backed by Japan's ruling party, won Tokyo's gubernatorial election on Sunday, defeating two candidates who had promised to end nuclear power.

The ballot was widely seen as a test for Japan's public opinion on atomic power in a nation shaken by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

But the anti-nuclear camp was divided between two candidates -- former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa and human rights lawyer Kenji Utsunomiya.

Also in the world ...

Gunmen threw grenades at a Sufi Islamic religious gathering Sunday in Karachi, Pakistan, and then opened fire on the people assembled to offer prayers, killing eight, officials said. ... A gunman opened fire on worshippers at a Russian Orthodox cathedral on Sakhalin Island off Russia's Pacific coast, killing a nun and a parishioner.


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