L’ISLE-VERTE, Quebec (AP) — Crews recovered two more bodies yesterday as they struggled with frigid temperatures and ice as thick as two feet (60 centimeters) to search the ruins of a burned-out Quebec retirement home. Ten bodies of the 32 presumed dead have been recovered.
A massive blaze swept through the three-story building in L’Isle-Verte, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) northeast of Quebec City early Thursday. Quebec Provincial Police lowered the number of missing from about 30 to 22 based on more detailed information.
The coroner’s office identified two victims on Saturday, Juliette Saindon, 95, and Marie-Laureat Dube, 82. A third person has been identified, but his or her name will not be released until Sunday.
The cause of the blaze that burned down the Residence du Havre was under investigation, and police asked the public for any videos or photos that might yield clues. Quebec Police Lt. Guy Lapointe declined to confirm media reports that the fire began in the room of a resident who was smoking a cigarette, describing it “is one hypothesis among many.”
“When you conduct an investigation of this magnitude, you have to determine all the facts and not simply just one or two in order to achieve a conclusion,” he said.
Texas hospital considers response to order it end life support for pregnant, brain-dead woman
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Hospital executives in North Texas were conferring yesterday with the district attorney’s office to determine their next step following a judge’s ruling that they must disconnect life support for a pregnant, brain-dead woman, according to a hospital official.
John Peter Smith Hospital spokeswoman J.R. Labbe said “discussions are ongoing” as administrators weigh the order issued a day earlier by Judge R. H. Wallace Jr. The hospital is owned by Tarrant County and is being represented in the contentious case by the DA’s office.
Wallace agreed with a request by Erick Munoz to have life support removed for his wife, Marlise Munoz. She was 14 weeks pregnant with the couple’s second child when her husband found her unconscious Nov. 26, possibly due to a blood clot.
The judge’s ruling could give Erick Munoz a long-awaited chance to bury his wife and move forward to care for their son and his relatives. It would also mean the fetus would never be born.
Wallace gave the Fort Worth hospital until 5 p.m. CST Monday to remove life support. Labbe declined to elaborate yesterday on what the hospital’s next step might be — whether to appeal the judge’s order or comply with it. The hospital previously has said it has a legal duty to protect the fetus.
Official: French president ends relationship with first lady 2 weeks after report of affair
PARIS (AP) — French President Francois Hollande has split with the country’s first lady two weeks after a tabloid reported that the leader was having an affair with an actress, an official said yesterday.
A presidential aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter, confirmed that Hollande ended his seven-year relationship with Valerie Trierweiler.
The breakup was first reported by French news agency Agence France Presse, which said Hollande told it in a telephone conversation last night that “I make it known that I have put an end” to the relationship with Trierweiler.
Hollande, who has four children with former presidential candidate Segolene Royal, told the news agency that he was speaking in a personal capacity and not as head of state.
He and Trierweiler have lived together since 2007, and while they’re unmarried, Trierweiler occupied the so-called madame wing of the presidential palace, traveled abroad with Hollande and functioned as the first lady.
With change at Westminster show, mixed breeds get a slice of US dogdom’s biggest spotlight
NEW YORK (AP) — When the nation’s foremost dog show added an event open to mixed breeds, owners cheered that everydogs were finally having their day.
They see the Westminster Kennel Club’s new agility competition, which will allow mutts at the elite event next month for the first time since the 1800s, as a singular chance to showcase what unpedigreed dogs can do.
“It’s great that people see that, ‘Wow, this is a really talented mixed breed that didn’t come from a fancy breeder,’” said Stacey Campbell, a San Francisco dog trainer heading to Westminster with Roo!, a high-energy — see exclamation point — husky mix she adopted from an animal shelter.
“I see a lot of great dogs come through shelters, and they would be great candidates for a lot of sports. And sometimes they get overlooked because they’re not purebred dogs,” Campbell said.
Roo! will be one of about 225 agility dogs whizzing through tunnels, around poles and over jumps before the Westminster crowd. And, if she makes it to the championship, on national TV.
29 killed in Egypt during third anniversary of uprising
CAIRO (AP) — The anniversary of Egypt’s 2011 uprising brought a violent display of the country’s furious divisions yesterday, as giant crowds danced at government-backed rallies and security forces crushed demonstrations by rival Islamists and some secular activists.
Clashes nationwide killed at least 29 protesters, health officials said. The starkly contrasting scenes reflect the three years of turmoil Egypt has faced since the Jan. 25, 2011 revolution began and ultimately toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak, replacing him with a transitional military council.
Last summer’s millions-strong demonstrations against Mubarak’s elected successor, Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, led to a military coup removing him. And as Egypt looks forward to presidential elections later this year, many celebrating Saturday in the famed Tahrir Square demanded army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi run for president.
“El-Sissi saved the nation. It was up in the air like this helicopter and he carried it to safety,” said Mervat Khalifa, 62, sitting on the sidewalk and waving to a helicopter overhead.
Military helicopters showered crowds in Tahrir with small flags and gift coupons to buy refrigerators, heaters, blankets and home appliances. State-backed rallies also showcased prancing horses and traditional music for ecstatic crowds.
In searching root cause of Air Force nuke ills, Hagel seeks to make nuke jobs more attractive
WASHINGTON (AP) — In taking a deep look at trouble inside U.S. nuclear forces, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is searching for the root causes of recent Air Force missteps but also for ways to make the nuclear warrior’s job more attractive at a time when the military has turned its attention away from such weapons.
Nuclear missile duty has lost its luster in an era dominated by other security threats. It’s rarely the career path of first choice for young officers. And yet Hagel and others say it remains important to U.S. national security.
On Friday he put the magnitude of the Air Force’s nuclear responsibilities in stark terms, quoting President John F. Kennedy who said in 1963 that nuclear airmen “hold in their hands the most awesome destructive power that any nation or any man has ever conceived.” And so it is worrisome, Hagel said, to realize that some of those same airmen may use drugs, cheat on their proficiency tests and have engaged in other dangerous misbehaviors.
The Associated Press in 2013 exposed a number of serious missteps in the nuclear missile force, including training gaps, leadership lapses, inspection failures, deliberate violations of security rules and elevated levels of domestic violence and other misconduct.
Hagel now wants to know what ails the force.
Ukraine opposition says protests will continue despite offer to make leader prime minister
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A top opposition leader in Ukraine’s two-month-long political crisis said yesterday that protests will continue despite the embattled president’s offer to appoint him as prime minister.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk told a large crowd on Kiev’s central square that while the opposition is generally ready to accept leadership of the government ,President Viktor Yanukovych must still meet several key demands of the opposition and that talks will continue.
Yatsenyuk said a special session of parliament called for Tuesday could be decisive. Yanukovych has said that session could discuss a government reshuffle and changes to harsh new anti-protest laws that set off a wave of violent clashes between police and protesters over the past week.
The protests began in November in Kiev when Yanukovych shelved a long-awaited trade pact with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia, and boiled over into violence a week ago over the new anti-protest laws.
“Tuesday is judgment day,” Yatsenyuk told a large crowd of protesters on Independence Square. “We do not believe a single word of theirs. We believe only actions and results.”