Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 14th 2013 Contents NEW ORLEANS---New
Orleans police hope a
US$10,000 reward and blurry
surveillance camera images
will lead to arrests in a Moth-
er s Day shooting that wound-
ed 19 people.
Video released early yesterday
shows the crowd suddenly scat-
tering in all directions, with
some falling to the ground after
the shooting on Sunday. They
appear to be running from a
man in a white T-shirt and dark
pants who turns and runs out
of the picture.
A medical student who wit-
nessed the shooting said the
gunman appeared to be firing
in a controlled manner, but it
wasn t clear if he was trying to
hit specific people. Jarrat Pytell
said he was walking with
friends near the parade route
when the crowd suddenly began
to break up.
"I saw the guy on the corner,
his arm extended, firing into
the crowd," Pytell said yester-
"He was obviously pointing
in a specific direction he wasn t
swinging the gun wildly," Pytell
Three people remained in
critical condition yesterday.
Authorities said it appeared that
nobody suffered life-threatening
wounds and most had been
discharged from the hospital.
Ten men, seven women and
two ten-year-old children were
wounded. The children suffered
only graze wounds.
Police believe more than one
gun was fired in the burst of
Sunday afternoon violence and
they have vowed to swiftly track
down those responsible.
Mary Beth Romig, a spokes-
woman for the FBI in New
Orleans, characterised the
shooting as street violence.
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NEW YORK---A United States-based
human rights group has given the Unit-
ed Nations 60 days to reach a com-
pensation deal or face a lawsuit from
victims of Haiti s cholera epidemic.
The United Nations has already indi-
cated that it is immune from legal action
over the epidemic that afflicted some
half a million people.
But the Boston-based Institute for
Justice and Democracy in Haiti said it
is ready to open legal proceedings in
New York with claims totalling billions
of dollars unless the United Nations
adhered to the deadline.
The group has blamed UN peace-
keepers for introducing the disease into
the French-speaking Caribbean Com-
munity (Carico) country that killed more
than 8,000 people and left hundreds
The human rights group also wants
the UN to apologise to Haiti, one of the
poorest countries in the hemisphere, for
introducing the disease and to launch
a major effort to improve sanitation.
UN given deadline for Haiti cholera lawsuit
SAVAR---Four of the biggest Western
retailers embraced a plan that would require
them to help pay for factory improvements
in Bangladesh as the nearly three-week
search for victims of the worst garment-
industry disaster in history ended yesterday
with the death toll at 1,127.
Bangladesh s government also agreed to
allow garment workers to form unions with-
out permission from factory owners. That
decision came a day after it announced a
plan to raise the minimum wage in the
The collapse of the eight-story Rana Plaza
factory building April 24 focused worldwide
attention on hazardous conditions in
Bangladesh s garment industry, where work-
ers sew low-cost clothing that ends up on
store shelves around the globe, including
the US and Western Europe.
It came months after a fire at another
garment factory in Bangladesh in November
killed 112 workers.
Swedish retailing giant H&M, the largest
purchaser of garments from Bangladesh;
Britain s Primark Stores; C&A; and Inditex,
owner of the Zara chain, said they would
sign a contract that requires them to conduct
independent safety inspections, make reports
on factory conditions public and cover the
costs of repairs.
It also requires them to stop doing business
with any factory that refuses to make nec-
essary safety improvements.
Two other companies agreed to sign last
year: PVH, which makes clothes under the
Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Izod labels,
and German retailer Tchibo. Others have
refused to sign, complaining that the plan
would be legally binding and costly.
"This agreement is exactly what is needed
to finally bring an end to the epidemic of
fire and building disasters that have taken
so many lives in the garment industry in
Bangladesh," said Scott Nova, executive
director of the Worker Rights Consortium,
a worker rights group that had been one of
the organisations pushing for the agree-
H&M said the agreement is a "pragmatic
step," and urged more brands to reach a pact
that covers the entire industry of 5,000 fac-
tories in Bangladesh.
"Our strong presence in Bangladesh gives
us the opportunity to contribute to the
improvement of the lives of hundreds of
thousands of people and contribute to the
community s development," H&M spokes-
woman Helena Hermersson said. "We can
slowly but surely contribute to lasting
Mohammed Amir Hossain Mazumder,
deputy director of fire service and civil
defence, said the search for bodies at Rana
Plaza was called off yesterday evening.
The last body was found on Sunday night.
A special prayer service will be held today
to honour the dead, said Army Brig Gen
Mohammad Siddiqul Alam Shikder.
For more than 19 days, Rana Plaza in Savar
had been the scene of frantic rescue efforts,
anguished families and the overwhelming
smell of decaying flesh.
Miracles were few, but on Friday, search
teams found Reshma Begum, a seamstress
who survived under the rubble for 17 days
on cookies and bottled water.
Begum told reporters yesterday from the
hospital where she is being treated that she
never expected to be rescued, and she vowed,
"I will not work in a garment factory again."
The Rana Plaza owner and eight other
people, including garment factory owners,
have been detained in the investigation.
Authorities say the building owner added
floors to the structure illegally and allowed
the factories to install heavy equipment that
the building was not designed to support.
Bangladesh s Cabinet approved an amend-
ment to the 2006 Labour Act yesterday lift-
ing restrictions on forming unions in most
industries. The old law required workers to
obtain permission before they could unionise.
Union leaders responded cautiously.
"The issue is not really about making a
new law or amending the old one," said
Kalpana Akter of the Bangladesh Centre for
Workers Solidarity, a group campaigning for
garment workers rights. "In the past, when-
ever workers tried to form associations they
were subjected to beatings and harassment.
The owners did not hesitate to fire such
Bangladesh has 3.6 million garment work-
Bangladesh search ends;
death toll put at 1,127
Reshma Begum, the 19-year-old seamstress who
spent 17 days trapped in the rubble of a collapsed
factory building speaks to the media at a hospital in
Savar, Bangladesh, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Police vow to solve shootings of 19 in New Orleans
In this image
taken from video
yesterday by the
suspect in a white
into a crowd of
people, Sunday in
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