HARI SREENIVASAN: Two industrial fires in Pakistan claimed the lives of more than 280 people overnight; 258 of them died at a garment factory in Karachi.
Firefighters there said many of the victims could not escape because there were no emergency exits or basic safety equipment. The plant had only one accessible exit, and all the other doors were locked. The other fire killed 25 people at a shoe factory in Lahore.
President Obama had a late-night phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Later, the White House insisted there’s no rift between them.
Netanyahu had publicly complained about the failure to set red lines for Iran while at the same time restraining Israel from any military action.
Germany’s highest court today OKed participation in a huge fund to bail out indebted Eurozone nations. It’s designed to provide up to $640 billion. Germany is expected to put up about a quarter of the total.
In Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed Parliament and welcomed the court’s decision.
CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL, Germany (through translator): Today, Germany is once again sending a strong signal to Europe and beyond. Germany is assuming with determination its responsibility as the biggest economy and as a reliable partner in Europe.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Opponents of the bailout fund had argued it violates Germany’s constitution.
Wall Street turned cautious today. Stocks mostly marked time as investors waited for a possible Federal Reserve decision tomorrow on new economic stimulus.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 10 points to close at 13,333. The Nasdaq rose nearly 10 points to close at 3,114.
Archaeologists in Britain may have found the remains of King Richard III. He was killed in battle in 1485 and buried in a church in the English city of Leicester. Today, the site is a downtown parking lot.
An archaeological dig began there three weeks ago, and researchers quickly found remnants of medieval walls. Now they have turned up the skeleton of an adult male with signs of battle wounds and curvature of the spine. That’s consistent with descriptions of Richard III in Shakespeare and other sources. A DNA comparison with a direct descendant is now under way.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.