Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

1. Bangladeshi woman survives 17 days in factory rubble

A woman has been found alive in the rubble 17 days after a garment factory collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing more than 1,000 people. The woman, who was discovered Friday at 3 p.m. (Dhaka is 11 hours ahead of CST), had survived by breathing through a pipe for air, scavenging biscuits from dead colleagues, and drinking rainwater. [Guardian]

2. North Korea gives details of U.S. prisoner’s ‘crimes’

North Korea has released information as to why U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour in one of the country’s brutal prison camps. So what were Bae’s heinous crimes? Well, that’s difficult to say—so far North Korea’s kept Bae’s crimes very vague, such as setting up “plot-breeding bases” to “infiltrate students” in the hopes of “bringing the government down”, committing “such hostile acts as egging on overseas citizens and foreigners to perpetrate hostile acts to bring down its government while conducting a malignant smear campaign”, and, of course, “hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership.” [BBC]

3. Eight people steal $45 million in bank heist

In a plot that puts Ocean’s Eleven to shame, a group of eight cybercriminals have been charged with stealing $45 million in a crime that stretches throughout 26 countries. To acquire the cash, the group hacked into bank data systems and moved money to pre-loaded cards, which they simply swiped through ATMs. The largest single heist was from BankMuscat in Oman, which was taken for $40 million in only 10 hours. [BBC]

4. Incurable citrus disease ravaging Florida crops

All 32 citrus-growing counties in Florida have been hit with a bacterial disease, turning the fruit green and causing it to drop from trees before it’s ripe. Orange production is already 10 per cent lower than expected, and, at this point, there’s still no known cure for the disease.

“The long and short of it is that the industry that made Florida, that is synonymous with Florida, that is a staple on every American breakfast table, is totally threatened,” said Florida Senator Bill Nelson. “If we don’t find a cure, it will eliminate the citrus industry.” [CNBC]

5. One World Trade Center becomes tallest building in U.S.

This morning, the spire was finally put atop the One World Trade Center in New York, giving it a total height of 1,776 feet, a number commemorating the year of American independence. The building was constructed on the former site of the World Trade Center, originally going by the name of the Freedom Tower. Though it’s not the tallest building in the western hemisphere as the following link suggests (the CN Tower is 1,815 feet tall), it is the tallest building in the U.S., surpassing Chicago’s Willis Tower by more than 300 feet. [Atlantic]

Mark Schram grew up on a ranch in southwestern Manitoba and now writes out of Winnipeg. If you would like to offer him a job or ask him about how to pull a calf, you can contact him at