8 are confirmed dead in Quebec fire

Canada

8 are confirmed dead in Quebec fire

Canadian investigators searched the frozen-over ruins of a retirement home Friday for victims of a fire that left at least eight people dead and about 30 missing. The cause of the blaze that swept through the three-story building in the Quebec village of L'isle-Verte early Thursday was under investigation, and police asked the public for any videos or photos that might yield clues. Many of the 50 or so residents were over 85 and used wheelchairs or walkers. Some had Alzheimer's. The spray from firefighters' hoses left the senior citizens home resembling a macabre snow palace, the ruins encased in thick white ice dripping with icicles. Search teams of police, firefighters and coroners slowly and methodically picked their way through on Friday, working in shifts in the extreme cold about 140 miles northeast of Quebec City.

Washington

Federal court system hit by cyberattack

Unknown cyberattackers hit the federal court system, making it difficult for the public to access cases and making it impossible in some instances for lawyers to file documents, a court spokeswoman said Friday. Karen Redmond, a spokeswoman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, said the denial of service attack affected an unknown number of courts around the country.

Richmond, Va.

Former governor, wife enter not guilty pleas

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife pleaded not guilty Friday to federal charges that they traded their influence for tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and loans. U.S. District Court Judge James Spencer set a July 28 start for a jury trial.

South Korea

North Korea agrees to family reunions

Reversing its earlier stance, North Korea on Friday agreed to a South Korean proposal to resume a long-suspended humanitarian program of arranging reunions of elderly relatives separated by the Korean War six decades ago. South Korean President Park Geun Hye raised the idea during a news conference Jan. 6, suggesting that the reunions would be an important first step toward building trust and improving relations. As recently as Jan. 9, North Korea rejected her overture.

Elsewhere

Gaza Strip: Palestinian officials said the Israeli military killed a Gaza man and wounded six others near the border fence Friday evening, the latest in a series of violent exchanges.

Times wires

8 are confirmed dead in Quebec fire 01/24/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 24, 2014 11:01pm]

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