Warehouse fire death toll climbs to 33, and includes teens OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The death toll from a fire that tore through a warehouse hosting a late-night dance party climbed to 33 on Sunday as firefighters painstakingly combed through rubble for others believed to still be missing. Less than half of the charred remains of the partly collapsed structure had been searched, and crews clearing debris were expected to find more bodies as they advanced, Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly said. Officials said they have identified seven people who were killed. Among them is Donna Kellogg, according to her father, Keith Slocum. He declined additional comment. Kelly said those killed range in age from teenagers to 30-plus years old.
Ex-tenant: Oakland warehouse was often frigid, lacked water OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Shelley Mack says she didn't know the converted Oakland warehouse known as the "Ghost Ship" was an illegal residence until after she moved in, when she was instructed to tell visitors it was a 24-hour workspace for artists. The building was often freezing cold. Water and power were sometimes stolen from neighbors, who would get angry and shut them off. Once, a generator blew up, and residents quickly doused the flames, she said. Mack, a 58-year-old tech sales worker and jewelry maker, lived in the warehouse for four or five months about two years ago. On Friday night, fire ripped through the cluttered space during a dance party, killing at least 33 people.
Federal government blocks Dakota Access oil pipeline route CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Sunday that it won't grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in southern North Dakota, handing a victory to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters, who argued the project would threaten the tribe's water source and cultural sites. North Dakota's leaders criticized the decision, with Gov. Jack Dalrymple calling it a "serious mistake" that "prolongs the dangerous situation" of having several hundred protesters who are camped out on federal land during cold, wintry weather. U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer said it's a "very chilling signal" for the future of infrastructure in the United States.
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Gun-rights backers vow to 'go on offense' during Trump years IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Firearms enthusiasts who embraced Donald Trump's campaign and his full-throated support of the Second Amendment are expecting a sweeping expansion of gun rights under his administration and a Congress firmly in Republican hands. Among their priorities: eliminating gun-free zones at schools, reducing requirements for background checks and ensuring that concealed carry handgun permits from one state are recognized everywhere in the U.S. "This is our historic moment to go on offense and to defeat the forces that have aligned against our freedom once and for all," Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the National Rifle Association, said in a video after the Nov.
Trump faces pushback from base, allies over Romney musings NEW YORK (AP) - As President-elect Donald Trump stood onstage during the debut night of his "thank you" tour and teased that he was about to announce a surprise Cabinet pick, some in the Ohio crowd bellowed: "No Romney! No Romney!" Trump's administration selections have largely been cheered by close allies and supporters. Many have deep ties to Washington and Wall Street that would seem contradictory to the populist, outsider campaign Trump ran with a promise to "drain the swamp" of corruption and elitism in government. But the possible selection of Romney, who has been on Trump's shortlist for secretary of state despite being a forceful critic throughout the campaign, has been met with trepidation from many of the working-class voters that propelled the Republican to his astonishing victory.
Renzi quits after losing reforms referendum by big margin ROME (AP) - Italian Premier Matteo Renzi announced he will resign Monday after suffering a stinging loss in a reforms referendum, triggering immediate calls from a populist party and other opposition forces for elections to be held soon. "The 'No's' have won in an extraordinary clear-cut way," Renzi told reporters in Rome about an hour after polls had closed in Sunday's balloting. "I lost and the post that gets eliminated is mine," Renzi said. "The government's experience is over, and in the afternoon I'll go to the Quirinal Hill to hand in my resignation" to President Sergio Mattarella. Leaders of the populist 5-Star Movement, which is led by comic Beppe Grillo, joined the chorus for early elections.
Fidel Castro laid to rest in private ceremony in east Cuba SANTIAGO, Cuba (AP) - A wooden box containing Fidel Castro's ashes was placed by his brother and successor on Sunday into the side of a granite boulder that has become Cuba's only official monument to the charismatic bearded rebel who seized control of a U.S.-allied Caribbean island and transformed it into a western outpost of Soviet-style communism that he ruled with absolute power for nearly half a century. The private, early-morning ceremony was attended by members of Fidel Castro's family, the ruling Politburo of the single-party system he founded, and Latin American leaders who installed closely allied leftist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Brazil.
No more room for the dead as Syria's Aleppo is crushed BEIRUT (AP) - The old Aleppo cemetery filled up a year ago. The new one filled up last week. Now the dead are left in the besieged enclave's streets, buried in backyards and overwhelming the morgues. Medical officials secured yet another plot for the dead. But they say they have no way to dig graves with government troops now crashing into opposition-held eastern Aleppo, shelling civilians as they flee and forcing thousands to squeeze into a chaotic, devastated and shrinking pocket of neighborhoods. "We have no more room," said Mohammed Abu Jaafar, the head of the local forensic authority. His department is so overwhelmed, the staff registering the dead pleaded with him not to take any more bodies.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key resigns after 8 years WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - New Zealand's popular Prime Minister John Key stunned the nation on Monday when he announced he was resigning after eight years as leader. Key had been widely expected to contest his fourth general election next year. But he said he wanted to ensure he didn't make the mistake that some other world leaders have done, and instead wanted to leave while he was on top of his game. Speaking in a shaking voice, Key said he had made personal sacrifices for the job and the role had taken a toll on his family. Key said his National Party caucus would meet on Dec.
Rare weasel returns to historic range in Washington state MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, Wash. (AP) - The elusive weasel-like mammal poked its head out of the wooden crate, glanced around and quickly darted into the thick forest of Mount Rainier National Park - returning to a landscape where it had been missing for seven decades. One by one, 10 Pacific fishers that had been trapped in British Columbia were set free at the park south of Seattle as part of a multiyear effort to reintroduce the native species to its historic range. A large crowd gathered Friday to herald the return of the dark-brown member of the weasel family with its lush fur and bushy tail.