Charges urged in factory fire

DHAKA, Bangladesh - Criminal charges for "unpardonable negligence" should be brought against the owner of the Bangladeshi garment factory where a fire last month killed 112 people, according to a preliminary report from a government inquiry submitted Monday.

"The owner of the factory cannot be indemnified from the death of large numbers of workers from this fire," Main Uddin Khandaker, the official who led the inquiry, said in an interview. "Unpardonable negligence of the owner is responsible for the death of workers."

The Nov. 24 fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory has focused attention on the unsafe work conditions and low wages at many garment factories in Bangladesh.

Khandaker submitted a 214-page report to Bangladesh's Home Ministry on Monday, saying factory owner Delowar Hossain and nine of his managers and supervisors kept employees from leaving their sewing machines.

The report also stated that the fire was "an act of sabotage" but did not provide any evidence. - N.Y. Times News Service

Bahrain forces, protesters clash

MANAMA, Bahrain - Security forces in Bahrain fired tear gas and arrested protesters Monday during marches in the traditional market area of the Persian Gulf nation's capital, forcing many businesses to close.

The clashes underlined the volatility of the tiny, strategic island nation, home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, where the Shiite Muslim majority is demanding more say from the Sunni monarchy.

The Interior Ministry said it made a "number" of arrests. Among them was rights activist Yousef al-Muhafedha, the acting head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, said his wife, Zainab al-Sairafi.

On Monday, authorities set up checkpoints and expanded patrols across Manama before rallies to mark an annual commemoration for two protesters killed in 1994. - AP

Kim's body put on display

PYONGYANG, North Korea - North Korea unveiled the embalmed body of Kim Jong Il, still in his trademark khaki jumpsuit, on the anniversary of his death Monday.

Kim lies in state a few floors below his father, national founder Kim Il Sung, in the Kumsusan mausoleum, the former presidential palace. Kim Jong Il is presented lying beneath a red blanket, a spotlight shining on his face in a room suffused in red. The hall bearing the glass coffin was opened to select visitors - including the Associated Press - for the first time since his death. - AP

Elsewhere:

Ukrainian police

are investigating the murder of a judge and three family members whose beheaded bodies were discovered over the weekend in the judge's apartment, officials said Monday. Investigators believe the slayings could either be related to the judge's work or his renowned antique collection.