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News Summary: Fire highlights Bangladesh factories

The Associated Press

TRAGIC IMPETUS: Bangladeshi garment workers hope that a fire Saturday that killed 112 people at a factory that made T-shirts and polo shirts for Wal-Mart and other retailers worldwide will change their working conditions.

EXTREME POVERTY: Workers sometimes earn less than $40 a month and are barred by law from forming trade unions, even though Bangladesh allows workers in other industries to unionize.

VESTED INTERESTS: There have been many garment-factory fires in Bangladesh — since 2006, more than 300 people have died. The factory owners themselves are powerful, holding parliamentary posts in both major parties.