Midday Roundup: Miraculous escape from garment factory rubble

Newsworthy | Leigh Jones

Midday Roundup: Miraculous escape from garment factory rubble

A woman rests on a stretcher after being rescued from the collapsed garment factory.
Associated Press photo

Garment factory miracle. Crowds gathered at the site of the collapsed Bangladesh garment factory cheered Friday as rescuers freed a woman trapped in the rubble for 17 days. The seamstress, identified with the single name of Reshma, told a Bangladesh television station she survived by eating dried food and drinking sparingly from bottles of water she found in the rubble around her. She attracted the attention of workers by waving and crying out. They passed her food and water and began digging with hand tools as the dramatic events played out on live television. Reshma’s rescue offered the first glimmer of good news as workers continue to pull bodies from the collapsed structure. The death toll has now risen above 1,000. Reshma told police three other people trapped with her in the small space had died. She told them she never thought she would see daylight again.

IRS targeted conservatives. The Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny during the 2012 election year, a bias officials apologized for today. Lois Lerner, the IRS’s director of exempt organizations, said employees singled out Tea Party groups for further examination based solely on their names, not the information they gave when requesting tax-exempt status. “They didn’t do it correctly,” Lerner said today at a conference of tax lawyers in Washington. This news won’t come as a surprise to a group of Senate Republicans who accused the IRS of bias in March 2012.

Tall tower. Construction crews working on New York’s One World Trade Center installed the tower’s silver spire today, bringing it to its full height of 1,776 feet and making it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The height symbolizes the Declaration of Independence, which was signed in 1776. In addition to giving the building some extra height, the spire will serve as a broadcast antenna. The building, which will include an observation deck, is scheduled to open next year.

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Shut down. Just a few days after the designers of a 3-D plastic gun posted the blueprints for the weapon online, the government forced them to shut down their operation. According to a letter sent to Defense Distributed by the U.S. Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance, the gun’s creators are free to make the weapon for their own use but cannot share the blueprints without a license or permission from the government. Earlier this week, Cody Wilson, a Texas law student and founder of Defense Distributed, said more than 100,000 people had downloaded the CAD drawings needed to make the gun. Although gun-control advocates claimed Defense Distributed would unleash thousands of untraceable weapons onto the streets, it’s unlikely many of the people who downloaded the blueprints have access to the high-tech 3-D printers required to make the gun a reality.

Space walk. The International Space Station has sprung a leak in a critical cooling system, forcing astronauts to prepare a space walk to repair it. Earlier today, the astronauts saw small, white flakes drifting away from the station—“a very steady stream of flakes, or bits,” Cmdr. Chris Hadfield told mission controllers in Houston. Hadfield, of Canada, and two other astronauts also are preparing for a pre-arranged flight home on Monday. A NASA spokesman said the leak poses no danger to the crew.

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