Top News Stories For Today
6 killed in London fire
A massive fire engulfed a residential high-rise building in London on Wednesday, leaving scores injured and at least six people dead. The London Fire Brigade dispatched at least 40 fire engines, 20 ambulance crews and more than 200 firefighters in an effort to battle the conflagration at the 24-story Grenfell Tower in West London.
Authorities said they were still monitoring the stability of the structure, but firefighters had managed to enter the building and had checked as many as 20 floors for remaining people. It is not known yet what caused the fire, which firefighters continue to battle. The blaze has left the building almost totally charred, and there were fears in the morning about the building’s structural integrity as it appeared to lurch slightly to one side. The tower, built in 1974, contains 120 apartments, according to its management company Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation. ABC news via Yahoo
Sessions testifies in Senate
While testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday about the ongoing Trump-Russia probe, Attorney General Jeff Sessions faced repeated questions about his role in President Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Sessions said that his decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe was “not because of an asserted wrongdoing,” and insisted his recusal did not preclude him from presiding over other Justice Department matters, such as FBI management.
Sessions also dodged questions about whether he’d met a third time with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, saying he could not “recall,” and he remained mum about his talks with Trump regarding Comey’s ousting, citing an unnamed DOJ policy against officials discussing their conversations with the president. CNN, PBS , The Week
Aides warn Trump over firing Mueller
Trump received pushback from his WH staffers after they learned he wanted Special Counsel Robert Mueller fired, several people with knowledge of the discussions told The New York Times. Mueller is heading the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and Trump was told he would make a bad situation worse, with Reince Priebus, White House chief of staff, and Don McGahn, White House counsel, especially concerned.
Trump reportedly believes Mueller isn’t impartial because he is reportedly friendly with fired FBI Director James Comey, and is part of a “witch hunt” led by people who want him out of office. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has the power to fire Mueller, has said he won’t dismiss him without “good cause.” The New York Times
Trump said GOP health bill is mean
At a White House lunch Tuesday, President Trump told 15 assembled Republican senators that the GOP health-care bill that passed the House last month was “mean,” The Associated Press reports. Trump then instructed the senators to make their version of the American Health Care Act “more generous,” two GOP congressional sources who were knowledgeable about the lunch told AP, though he did not specify what aspects of the plan he was referring to.
When the bill passed the House, Trump called it “great”; the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated the House’s version would result in an additional 23 million people being uninsured by 2026. Senate Republicans have been working to craft their own version of the bill since it passed the lower chamber. The Associated Press, The Week
US student released by N Korea
An American college student held in North Korea for 17 months has returned home. Twenty-two-year-old Otto Warmbier was immediately transported to a hospital after the airplane carrying him from North Korea landed in Cincinnati, Ohio late Tuesday night. Warmbier’s parents said their son has been in a coma for more than a year, and described his release as a medical evacuation.
North Korea had sentenced Warmbier, a student at the University of Virginia, to a 15-year prison term for attempting to steal a propaganda poster. Fred and Cindy Warmbier said they were told their son was given a sleeping pill shortly after his trial last March, and he never woke up. The announcement of Warmbier’s release came as former professional basketball star Dennis Rodman travelled Tuesday to North Korea on a trip he said he hopes will “open a door” between U.S. President Donald Trump and leaders in Pyongyang. VOA
Aspirin linked to bleeding in the elderly
People who are aged 75 or older and take aspirin daily to ward off heart attacks face a significantly elevated risk of serious or even fatal bleeding and should be given heartburn drugs to minimize the danger, a 10-year study has found.
Between 40 percent and 60 percent of people over the age of 75 in Europe and the United States take aspirin every day, previous studies have estimated, but the implications of long-term use in older people have remained unclear until now because most clinical trials involve patients younger than 75. The study published on Wednesday, however, was split equally between over-75s and younger patients, examining a total of 3,166 Britons who had suffered a heart attack or stroke and were taking blood-thinning medication to prevent a recurrence. VOA
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