Mar. 26 News Briefs


Russian shopping mall fire kills 64; no alarms reported

MOSCOW (AP) — With the fire alarms silent and staff reportedly nowhere to be seen, a fire at a shopping mall packed with children and their parents on the first weekend of the school recess killed 64 people in eastern Russia. The fire at the Winter Cherry mall in Kemerovo, a city in Siberia, about 1,900 miles east of Moscow, was extinguished by Monday morning after burning through the night. Firefighters were still recovering bodies as parts of the buildings were still smoldering. Some of the dead were found inside a cinema. Sixty-four deaths were confirmed after the firefighters finished combing through the four floors of the mall, Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov told a televised briefing. Six of the bodies have not yet been recovered. Puchkov would not immediately say how many of the victims were children. Ten people have been hospitalized. The Investigative Committee said it has detained four people for questioning, including one of the mall’s tenants, but would not immediately give the cause of the fire, which started on the top floor on Sunday evening. The investigators have launched a probe into possible negligence and violations of the fire safety rules.

Santorum: Students should learn CPR, not seek gun laws

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum says students who are rallying for gun control should instead learn CPR to help their classmates during a school shooting. The Republican said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that teenagers shouldn’t look to other people to solve their problems but find their own way to prevent violence in schools. The former presidential candidate says students could take CPR classes, work to stop bullying in their communities or respond themselves to a shooter instead of asking lawmakers to pass a law to protect them. Santorum’s comments prompted outrage on social media a day after hundreds of thousands of teens and their supporters rallied across the U.S. for tougher laws to fight gun violence.

Report: Bombing suspect called himself a ‘psychopath’

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A congressman says the suspected Austin bomber left a confession calling himself a “psychopath” and saying he felt no remorse for his actions. Rep. Michael McCaul made the comments at a news conference Saturday, where he thanked law enforcement officials for stopping the deadly three-week bombing spree that terrorized the capital of Texas. Police have said that 23-year-old Mark Conditt left a lengthy recorded confession on his cell phone, which was discovered Wednesday after he blew himself up as officers closed in on him. Investigators have declined to release the recording, saying they are still looking into Conditt’s motive and whether anyone else was involved. Conditt is suspected of assembling and plating package bombs on doorsteps beginning March 2 that killed two people and injured others. McCaul, chairman of the House homeland security committee, said that Conditt questions himself on the recording “for why he didn’t feel any remorse for what he did.”

Spokesman: Trump still has confidence in VA’s Shulkin

WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House spokesman says the president still has confidence in embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. Three administration officials told The Associated Press Sunday that Trump is planning to oust the embattled secretary amid an extraordinary rebellion at the agency and damaging government investigations into his alleged spending abuses. The three officials demanded anonymity to discuss a sensitive personnel matter. But Gidley is dismissing reports of Shulkin’s imminent dismissal. He’s telling Fox News Channel, “we hear these types of rumors every day.” Gidley says, “At this point in time, though, he does have confidence in Dr. Shulkin.” But he says the president “wants to put the right people in the right place at the right time, and that could change.”

US gun maker Remington files for bankruptcy protection

(AP) — U.S. gun maker Remington Outdoor Company has filed for bankruptcy protection, after years of falling sales and lawsuits tied to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Records from the bankruptcy court of the district of Delaware show that the company filed late Sunday. Remington had in February reached a deal with lenders to reduce its debt by about $700 million and add about $145 million in new capital. But that only bought time for it to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Remington makes the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle that was used in the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead in 2012. The company was cleared of wrongdoing in the shooting, but investors distanced themselves from the company’s owner, investor Cerberus Capital Management.

US stocks sharply higher; Dow up more than 400 points

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rose sharply in early trading Monday as the market made up some of its huge losses from last week. The broad gains sent the Dow Jones industrial average up more than 400 points after losing more than 1,400 last week. Investors drew encouragement from signs that the U.S. and China are open to negotiating to avert a potential trade war. Technology and financial stocks, which took some of the biggest losses last week, accounted for much of the market’s broad gains.