Chatter: Ex-premier's son kidnapped in Pakistan




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Kidnap in Pakistan. Former Pakistani prime minister Yousef Raza Gilani says his son has been abducted. Ali Haider, a candidate representing the center-left party PPP in this weekend's polls, was apparently seized by unknown gunmen during one of his final election rallies.

Gilani is in no doubt that his son's political opponents are behind the attack, though the Pakistani Taliban have also threatened to do anything within their power to disrupt the campaign and vote. Sounds dangerous? Sounds confusing? Never fear, GlobalPost's new blog is here to bring you Pakistan inside out.

Not again. At least eight people are dead after a fire broke out at a garment factory in Bangladesh. Thankfully for most of the workers employed at the multi-story building in an industrial district in the capital, Dhaka, they had already clocked off before the blaze began.

It could have been so much worse. It has been so much worse. This morning emergency services confirmed that the death toll from last month's factory collapse has now risen above 900, making it by far the deadliest industrial disaster Bangladesh has ever known. How do we make sure it stops there?


Blowing the whistle on Benghazi. A veteran US diplomat stationed in Libya when the consulate in Benghazi was attacked last September gave his version of events yesterday at a packed-out hearing on Capitol Hill. It was the first time an American official who was on the ground at the time had testified publicly, and it may have had the White House wishing that he hadn't.

Gregory Hicks, deputy chief of mission in Tripoli at the time, gave an account that suggested terrorist involvement was clear from the start, and claimed that he'd had since been punished for asking why some in the administration said otherwise. As lawmakers concluded yesterday: "The hearing is now closed, but the investigation is not over."

What if missiles aren't the most dangerous thing in North Korea? A medical NGO has warned that the country faces a potential epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis, a powerful new strain of the disease that has plagued impoverished North Koreans for years. And contagion knows no borders: if the outbreak continues to grow, South Korea and China could be at risk too.

North Korean patients' access to drugs is limited to say the least, due in no small part to Western sanctions that cut off key pharmaceutical supplies. Aid groups are appealing to donors and governments to allow medical cooperation, before TB gains any more ground.

Knowledge can be dangerous. US officials investigating the Boston Marathon bombings reportedly found copies of the Al Qaeda magazine Inspire on a computer belonging to Katherine Russell, the widow of suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. If these reports are true, and if this case took place in the UK, no other evidence would be needed to arrest and prosecute her.

Under the UK's 2000 terrorism act, simply having a copy of Inspire – or any other materials deemed "likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism" – is illegal. GlobalPost reports on what it means when information is a crime.


Volcanos, eh. You just about get the hang of pronouncing one of them when another one erupts. This time it's the Paluweh volcano on one of Indonesia's islands, which NASA has captured mid-spew from space.  

See the photo here. We like it 'cos it looks awesome, there's no one around, and it's a lot easier to say than "Popocatépetl."