Pieces Together:

“The Mexican telecoms magnate Carlos Slim Helu has been named the world’s richest man, with a net worth of $53.5 billion (£36 billion), the first time since 1994 that the top spot has been held by a non-American. The annual billionaires list published by Forbes magazine shows that the number of billionaires increased from 793 to 1,011.” (Times, 11 March)

“The President of Azerbaijan suffered embarrassment yesterday when it was reported that nine luxury mansions in Dubai worth millions of pounds had been bought in the name of his 11-year-old son. … The Washington Post newspaper reported that they were bought in a two-week shopping spree last year for about $44 million (£29 million) -10,000 times the average annual salary in Azerbaijan.” (Times, 6 March)

“One of the many stresses of being a billionaire is the difficulty in choosing between purchasing a yacht or an island. Happily, designers this week unveiled plans for a ‘moving island’ that renders the conundrum redundant. Designs for WHY 58×38 were unveiled at the Abu Dhabi yacht show this week. … The motor yacht is, as the name suggests, 58 metres long and 38 metres wide, providing a total guest area of 3,4oo square metres, and weighs in at 2,400 tonnes. It boasts a maximum speed of 14 knots, and a price tag, when built, of $160 million.” (Guardian, 3 March)

“Several hundred people protested in Dhaka and Gazipur yesterday after locked gates were blamed for the death of 21 people in a fire at a Bangladeshi factory that made sweaters for H and M. Most of the victims of the blaze were women who suffocated on the top floor of the seven-storey Garib and Garib factory. The nephew of one of the victims said that the gates had been locked, trapping them. The National Garment Workers’ Federation said: ‘These workers were killed by the factory’s blatant disregard for worker safety’.” (Times, 27 February)

“More workers are taking on a second job to make ends meet. A survey for the law firm Peninsula suggested that the proportion having two jobs had risen from 26 to 28 per cent in the past year.” (Times, 1 March)

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