International news roundup – Jan. 28
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Two major companies in Britain announced plans to hire 8,000 new employees, injecting some cheer into an otherwise grim economic scene. ASDA, a supermarket chain (and Wal-Mart subsidiary), said it needs 7,000 more people to work at new stores and in its home shopping unit. The remaining 1,000 jobs were announced by satellite broadcaster BSkyB.Skip to next paragraph
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Clients of Spanish financial giant Banco Santander who lost money in Bernard Madoff’s alleged pyramid scheme were offered compensation by the company. It said Tuesday night it will reimburse initial investments by a total of $1.83 billion. But interest was not included in the offer, and no mention was made of institutional investors. Banco Santander was sued this week in Miami by some investors on grounds that it didn’t adequately scrutinize Madoff before commissioning him to manage one of its funds. Bank officials said they’d acted with “due diligence.” Above, a pedestrian passes a Santander branch in Madrid.
Twenty-two more people were found shot to death near Mexico’s border with Texas, reports said Wednesday. Authorities said turf wars between drug cartels almost certainly were responsible for the casualties. Four of the dead were on property belonging to the state oil company, Petróleos de Mexico. Five others were discovered in Ciudad Juárez, where 116 people have been murdered so far this month.
Daytime temperatures soared above 100 degrees F. Wednesday across southern Australia for the fourth time this month, extending the worst heat wave there in a century. The weather was blamed for at least two deaths and brought public transportation in the cities of Melbourne and Adelaide to a halt. Forecasters said the system responsible for the searing heat isn’t expected to “move for several days.”
– Compiled from the wires