WWH/CJE Wednesday News Briefs
Fires engulf Pakistan factories, killing 261 workers
(Reuters) – At least 261 people burnt to death as fires swept through two factories in Pakistan, police and government officials said on Wednesday, raising familiar questions about industrial safety in the nuclear-armed South Asian nation.
Flames raced through a garment factory in the teeming commercial capital of Karachi, killing 236 people. Weeping relatives in hospitals and morgues heaped criticism on the deeply unpopular government.
“People started screaming for their lives,” said Mohammad Asif, 20. “Everyone came to the window. I jumped from the third floor.”
In the eastern city of Lahore, a fire raged in a shoe factory, killing at least 25 people.
Critics say Pakistan’s corrupt and ineffective government has failed to tackle the country’s problems. The country is racked by a Taliban insurgency, widespread poverty, spiraling crime and daily power cuts.
“The owners were more concerned with safeguarding the garments in the factory than the workers,” said garment factory employee Mohammad Pervez, holding up a photograph of his cousin, who is also a worker there and is missing. More…
US AMBASSADOR KILLED IN CONSULATE ATTACK IN LIBYA
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three American members of his staff were killed in the attack on the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi by protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, Libyan officials said Wednesday.
They said Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed Tuesday night when he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as the building came under attack by a mob guns and rocket propelled grenades.
The three Libyan officials who confirmed the deaths were deputy interior minister for eastern Libya Wanis al-Sharaf; Benghazi security chief Abdel-Basit Haroun; and Benghazi city council and security official Ahmed Bousinia. More…
ANTI-ISLAM FILMMAKER IN HIDING AFTER PROTESTS
LOS ANGELES (AP) — An Israeli filmmaker based in California went into hiding Tuesday after his movie attacking Islam’s prophet Muhammad sparked angry assaults by ultra-conservative Muslims on U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya, where one American was killed.
Speaking by phone from an undisclosed location, writer and director Sam Bacile remained defiant, saying Islam is a cancer and that the 56-year-old intended his film to be a provocative political statement condemning the religion.
Protesters angered over Bacile’s film opened fire on and burned down the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, killing an American diplomat on Tuesday. In Egypt, protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo and replaced an American flag with an Islamic banner.
“This is a political movie,” said Bacile. “The U.S. lost a lot of money and a lot of people in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we’re fighting with ideas. More…
Boy quits team over pink glove ban
EGG HARBOR CITY, N.J., Sept. 11 (UPI) — A New Jersey 12-year-old quit the local football team when his coach would not allow him to use the pink gloves he wore to support his cancer-afflicted mother.
Julian Connerton said he acquired a pair of pink football gloves to show support for his mother, Mayra Cruz-Connerton, who recently underwent a double mastectomy as part of her breast cancer treatment, but Egg Harbor City Crusaders Coach Paul Burgan would not allow him to wear the gloves, The Press of Atlantic City reported Tuesday.
“I took them off and I looked at my friend and he said ‘that’s messed up,’” Connerton said Monday. “So [my friend] said just to put them back on and when I put them back on, [my coach] told me to take them off again. So I said I won’t play. So I watched my team while I’m sitting on the sidelines.”
Louis Barrios, a member of the Crusaders Youth Athletic League Association’s board of directors, said Burgan did not know the reason behind Connerton’s choice of gloves. More…
The Rock Hill mother of five, who identified herself as Tracy, said her one-year relationship with the 44-year-old man, whose name was not released, ended 12 years ago due to his drug use and conviction for robbing a flower shop, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer reported Tuesday.
Tracy, whose children range in age from 3 to 20, said she does not know how long the man was staying in her attic before being discovered by her nephew Sunday, but she started noticing strange noises and insulation falling from her ceiling Saturday evening.
The mother, who said the man helped install new doors on her home a year ago, said her nephew found the man sleeping in a heating unit in her attic Sunday. She said the man was near a vent he could have used to look into her bedroom.
“It’s got me flabbergasted,” she said. “How can you look at someone through an air vent?” More…