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HINDUSTAN TIMES, FIRST POST (India), BBC (UK)

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MUMBAI - As many as 40 people were killed, including 11 children, in the collapse of a building illegally under construction near Mumbai, police said Friday.

Dozens of people were injured in the disaster late Thursday night, The Hindustan Times reported, as authorities continued searching for others who might be trapped beneath the seven-story building in Thane in the state of Maharashtra. Two toddlers were among more than 50 pulled from the rubble alive.

Police have already determined that the structure was an illegal construction and building work was still going on even though four floors were already occupied. It collapsed “like a house of cards,” in the words of one witness, according the news website First Post.

The resulting eight-meter-high mangled heap of steel and concrete complicated rescue efforts, which continue into Friday afternoon, with diggers and steel cutters working to reach victims.

The causes are yet unclear, but police inspector Digamber Jangale said it appeared to be due to the use of substandard building material. Local police commissioner K.P. Raghuvanshi said he had opened a case of death by negligence. “There are two builders and we are looking for them,” he told reporters.

Most of the victims were migrant laborers who had come to Mumbai to find work on building sites, often bringing their family and living on-site. Others had already moved into homes in the building, The Hindustan Times reports.

Building collapses are not uncommon in India, with poor construction practices and a lack of surveillance from authorities often to blame. Rajini Vaidyanathan, the BBC correspondent in Mumbai, says a growing population and lack of space have encouraged an increase in the number of high rises, but many builders fail to take sufficient safety precautions, or to get proper permission to build.

In December, at least 13 people died when part of a half-constructed building collapsed in the Wagholi area of Maharashtra. In the same region, at least six people were killed in September in Pune city, for similar reasons.

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Economy

In Uganda, Having A "Rolex" Is About Not Going Hungry

Experts fear the higher food prices resulting from the conflict in Ukraine could jeopardize the health of many Ugandans. Take a look at this ritzy-named simple dish.

Zziwa Fred, a street vendor who runs two fast-food businesses in central Uganda, rolls a freshly prepared chapati known as a Rolex.

Nakisanze Segawa

WAKISO — Godfrey Kizito takes a break from his busy shoe repair shop every day so he can enjoy his favorite snack, a vegetable and egg omelet rolled in a freshly prepared chapati known as a Rolex. But for the past few weeks, this daily ritual has given him neither the satisfaction nor the sustenance he is used to consuming. Kizito says this much-needed staple has shrunk in size.

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Most streets and markets in Uganda have at least one vendor firing up a hot plate ready to cook the Rolex, short for rolled eggs — which usually comes with tomatoes, cabbage and onion and is priced anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 Ugandan shillings (28 to 57 cents). Street vendor Farouk Kiyaga says many of his customers share Kizito’s disappointment over the dwindling size of Uganda’s most popular street food, but Kiyaga is struggling with the rising cost of wheat and cooking oil.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has halted exports out of the two countries, which account for about 26% of wheat exports globally and about 80% of the world’s exports of sunflower oil, pushing prices to an all-time high, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, a United Nations agency. Not only oil and wheat are affected. Prices of the most consumed foods worldwide, such as meat, grains and dairy products, hit their highest levels ever in March, making a nutritious meal even harder to buy for those who already struggle to feed themselves and their families. The U.N. organization warns the conflict could lead to as many as 13.1 million more people going hungry between 2022 and 2026.

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