Friday, 9 December 2011

The World at a Glance

At least 88 people are recorded dead in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata following a fire at a private hospital. Authorities say the blaze swept through the AMRI Hospital early Friday in the capital of West Bengal state.

Local television channels showed patients being rolled out on stretchers and distraught relatives waiting outside the hospital as smoke engulfed the multi-story building.

A senior official at the hospital says there were 160 patients at the facility at the time of the blaze.

Botswana has been ranked the least corrupt country in Africa by a non-governmental organisation for the 16th successive year. Leading NGO Transparency International released its annual corruption perception index which ranked Botswana 32 out of 183 countries.

Other African countries with high ranking include Cape Verde, Mauritius and Rwanda. Botswana’s success has been attributed to its establishment of several anti-corruption agencies.

In Honduras, MPs have approved a law that bans motorcyclists from carrying passengers in a bid to stem drug-related killings. The move followed the killing of a radio show host, and a security expert/activist by men on motorbikes.

Reports estimate Honduras to have one of the world’s highest murder rates. In 2010, there were around 82 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Five Chinese officials have been suspended from their jobs after they were observed sleeping or reading newspapers during a video conference on stamping out laziness at work, state media reported on Friday.

The officials, all high-level workers at tax bureaux in the northern province of Shanxi, were supposed to be participating in a meeting to push better work discipline, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Chinese officials frequently have to sit through long, tedious meetings and listen to turgid reports on the latest missives from Beijing on Communist theory or other dry subjects.

Norway is facing a butter crisis due to the growing popularity of a fat-rich diet among its citizens. The low-carb diet favoured by many Norwegians emphasises a higher intake of fats.

Butter is so scarce right now, that it's selling for $20 a pound, that's four times its normal price.Lars Galtung, head of communications at TINE, the country’s biggest farmer-owned cooperative said sales jumped to 20 percent in October then 30 in November.

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