News in Brief

Honduras  Late on Tuesday night, a roaring fire broke out in a prison in Comayagua, Honduras, killing over 300 prisoners. Taking over an hour to bring under control, the fire spread throughout the cells, burning many prisoners beyond recognition and suffocating others by smoke. Amid the confusion, many inmates fled for their lives, breaking out of their cells any way they could. “The only thing that we were able to do was start breaking the roof apart so we could go out from above,” one prisoner later told reporters. “We started ripping apart the ceiling above us.” Despite reports that there had been a riot in the prison prior to the outbreak of the fire, prison service head Daniel Orellana denied that this was the cause of the fire. “We have two hypotheses. One is that a prisoner set fire to a mattress and the other one is that there was a short-circuit in the electrical system,” said Orellana to Reuters.

United States  Mobile phones are expected to outnumber human beings this year, according to the latest analysis of mobile data traffic by Californian networking firm Cisco. At the end of 2011, 7 billion mobile phones were connected across the world, accounting for 0.9 devices per capita, and by the end of this year, that figure is expected to rise to 1.4. With the rise of smartphone usage, data consumption is rapidly increasing and, while the average smartphone currently uses about 150MB, this is expected to jump exponentially by 2016, to 2.6 GB, BBC reports. “By 2016, 60% of mobile users — three billion people worldwide — will belong to the Gigabyte Club, each generating more than one gigabyte of mobile data traffic per month,” said Cisco Vice President of Products and Solutions Suraj Shetty to BBC.

Greece After a tumultuous month of heated arguments amidst the eurozone nations, Greece —the region’s economic black sheep — hopes to clinch a bailout deal on Monday. The second bailout of in two years, the deal would provide Greece with 130 billion euros, money which they desperately need in order to avoid a default when debt repayments fall in March, Reuters reports.  Greece enters the meeting on Monday with confidence after having met demands of the EU and IMF which included further austerity measures. However, many finance ministers have not yet forgotten Greece’s failure to pull its economy together with the aid of the first bailout and remain skeptical.

Iran On Feb. 15, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad touted significant advancement in the country’s nuclear technology program, claiming to have developed faster uranium enrichment centrifuges and domestic fuel rods. The announcement has been viewed as a defiant move in response to Western sanctions, which were initially put into place in hopes of curbing the threat of Iran’s rapidly growing nuclear program. “The era of bullying nations has passed. The arrogant powers cannot monopolize nuclear technology. They tried to prevent us by issuing sanctions and resolutions but failed,” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a live television broadcast. “Our nuclear path will continue.”