RSS
10 things you need to know today: November 25, 2012
A Bangladeshi factory fire kills 100 workers, a U.S. civil rights leader dies, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
A Bangladeshi firefighter douses the inside of a garment factory outside Dhaka, Bangladesh on Nov. 25. At least 100 people were killed in the late Saturday night blaze that raced through the multi-story building.
A Bangladeshi firefighter douses the inside of a garment factory outside Dhaka, Bangladesh on Nov. 25. At least 100 people were killed in the late Saturday night blaze that raced through the multi-story building.
AP Photo/Khurshed Rinku

1. EGYPT'S STOCKS TUMBLE AS PROTESTS DRAG ON
Egypt's stock market plunged nearly 10 percent Sunday as Cairo's violent protests against President Mohamed Morsi's power grab dragged into a third day. The losses on the Egyptian exchange are among the biggest since the turbulent days and weeks after the ouster of authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak last year. Earlier this week, Morsi declared that his decisions cannot be appealed by courts or any other authority. He also barred the judiciary from dissolving the upper house of parliament and an assembly drafting a new constitution — both groups are dominated by Morsi's supporters, the Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi's supporters planned to demonstrate on Sunday and again on Tuesday, when Morsi's opponents also plan to protest, increasing fears of further violence. [Voice of America]
………………………………………………………………………………

2. WORST-EVER BANGLADESHI FACTORY FIRE KILLS 100
A fire swept through a garment factory on the outskirts of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on Saturday, killing at least 100 people in the country's worst factory blaze ever. Working conditions at Bangladeshi factories are notoriously poor, with little enforcement of safety laws, and overcrowding and locked fire doors are common. The cause of this fire was not immediately known. Witnesses said the workers, mostly women, tried to escape, but many were unable to get through narrow exits at the same time. Bangladesh has about 4,500 garment factories and is the world's biggest exporter of clothing after China, with garments making up 80 percent of its $24 billion annual exports. [Reuters]
………………………………………………………………………………

3. CATALONIA VOTES IN KEY ELECTION
Catalonia, an autonomous region of Spain, voted Sunday in elections that are likely to install a government committed to pushing through a referendum on independence. Madrid has said that such a move would be illegal under Spain's constitution. The elections were called after a disagreement between Spain's ruling Popular Party and Catalan President Artur Mas over the way the heavily indebted region is financed. Mas argued that Catalan must be given greater control of its tax revenues. Mariano Rajoy, Spain's prime minister, has campaigned fiercely against any possible breakaway of the region, arguing that it could be disastrous for Spain and Catalonia, which could risk losing membership in the European Union. [Financial Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

4. SYRIAN REBELS CAPTURE AIR BASE NEAR DAMASCUS
The director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdul-Rahman, says rebels seized control of the Marj al-Sultan helicopter base on the outskirts of Damascus on Sunday morning. The rebels reportedly destroyed two helicopters with rocket-propelled grenades and captured a tank. At least 15 rebels and eight Syrian soldiers were killed in the fighting that began Saturday. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

5. CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER DIES AT 73
Lawrence Guyot, a civil rights leader who worked for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and served as director of the 1964 Freedom Summer Project, died Thursday at the age of 73. The Freedom Summer Project brought thousands of young people to Mississippi to register blacks to vote despite a history of violence and intimidation against their right to do so. Guyot also chaired the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which sought to have blacks included among the state's delegates to the 1964 Democratic National Convention. The bid was rejected, but another civil rights activist, Fannie Lou Hamer, addressed the convention during a nationally televised appearance. He survived jailhouse beatings and continued to speak on voting rights until his death, including encouraging people to cast ballots for President Obama. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

6. INSURANCE FIRM MADE CHINESE PM'S FAMILY RICH
Relatives of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao were able to gain immense wealth from shares they held in Ping An Insurance, a company that Wen personally lobbied to keep afloat in 1999 when he was head of the country's central bank, according to The New York Times. Ping An went on to become one of China's largest financial services companies, a $50 billion powerhouse now worth more than A.I.G., MetLife, or Prudential. [New York Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

7. BOMBING OF PAKISTANI SHIITE PROCESSION KILLS SIX
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Shiite religious procession on Sunday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Dera Ismail Khan, which left at least six people dead and wounded 90 others. Since last Wednesday, at least 31 people have been killed in bombings aimed at Pakistani Shiites and claimed by the Taliban, who espouse an extremist interpretation of Sunni Islam. The procession was part of the annual celebration of the Ashoura holiday. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

8. POWERBALL JACKPOT AT RECORD $425 MILLION
Lottery officials say that there were no jackpot winners in Saturday's Powerball drawing, so the top prize will now increase to a record $425 million. The jackpot could increase for the next drawing, which is scheduled for Wednesday. The previous top Powerball prize was $365 million, won in 2006 by ConAgra Foods workers in Lincoln, Neb. [CBS News]
………………………………………………………………………………

9. OBAMA MARKS 'SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY'
President Obama and his daughters Sasha and Malia showed support for "Small Business Saturday" by shopping at One More Page Books in Arlington, Va. The third annual event encourages consumers to shop at independently owned shops. Over the past two decades, small businesses have created two of every three U.S. jobs. In attempts to spur job growth, the Obama administration says it will aim to cut taxes for small businesses and expand entrepreneurs' access to financing. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

10. 'GANGNAM STYLE' MOST WATCHED YOUTUBE VIDEO
South Korean rapper PSY's "Gangnam Style" video has become the most watched YouTube video ever. The video had been viewed 805 million times as of Saturday, surpassing singer Justin Bieber's "Baby," which has 803 million views. PSY's video, featuring his ubiquitous horse-riding dance, premiered on YouTube in July, while Bieber's "Baby" was uploaded in February 2010. [Associated Press]

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week