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Japan police investigate arson after 27 feared dead in clinic blaze – media

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(Last Updated On: December 17, 2021)

At least 27 people were feared dead after a fire swept through a psychiatry clinic in the Japanese city of Osaka on Friday, and media said police were investigating suspected arson, Reuters reported.

Some 27 people were in cardiopulmonary arrest, an official at Osaka’s city fire department told Reuters, the term used in Japan before a death is officially confirmed. Another person was injured, the official said.

According to the report nineteen people had been confirmed dead, Kyodo News said, adding that police were investigating reports that a man started the fire in the multi-storey office building.

The fire broke out shortly after the clinic opened at 10 a.m. (0100 GMT) and it was largely extinguished within 30 minutes, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Video from NHK showed smoke pouring out of the windows of the fourth floor, where the clinic was located, as well as the roof of the building. Footage later showed the windows, blackened and charred.

“When I looked outside I saw orange flames in the fourth-floor window of the building. A woman was waving her hands for help from the sixth floor window,” a 36-year-old woman who works at a company nearby told Kyodo.

Located in a shopping and entertainment district not far from Osaka’s main train station, the building also houses a beauty salon, a clothes shop and an English-language school, NHK said.

The father of a doctor who ran the clinic was not able to reach his son by mobile phone, he told the Yomiuri newspaper.

“Around noon I heard there was news of a fire on television and was surprised. My wife went to the site but we still don’t know what’s going on. I can’t get through to my son’s phone.”

The clinic’s webpage was not accessible but an internet archive from earlier this year showed it treated patients for depression and panic problems, as well as physical issues such as sleep apnea and anemia, Reuters reported.

Another woman who said she saw smoke coming from the window told Kyodo that power briefly went out in the surrounding area.

An arson attack at an animation studio in the city of Kyoto in 2019 killed more than 30 people and injured dozens.

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FBI searches Trump’s Florida home as part of presidential records probe

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(Last Updated On: August 9, 2022)

Former US president Donald Trump said FBI agents raided his Mar-a-Lago estate on Monday and broke into his safe in what his son acknowledged was part of an investigation into Trump’s removal of official presidential records from the White House to his Florida resort.

The unprecedented search of a former president’s home would mark a significant escalation into the records investigation, which is one of several probes Trump is facing from his time in office and in private business. 

The U.S. Justice Department declined to comment on the search, which Trump in a statement called a raid and said involved a “large group of FBI agents.” The FBI’s headquarters in Washington and its field office in Miami both declined comment, Reuters reported.

Eric Trump, one of the former president’s adult children, told Fox News the search concerned boxes of documents that Trump brought with him from the White House, and that his father has been cooperating with the National Archives on the matter for months.

A source familiar with the matter also confirmed to Reuters the raid appeared to be tied to Trump’s removal of classified records from the White House.

“After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” Trump said, adding: “They even broke into my safe!”

Trump was not present at the time as he was in New York on Monday, Fox News Digital reported, publishing a photo of Trump that a Fox reporter said showed him leaving Trump Tower.

Trump, who has made his club in Palm Beach his home since leaving the White House in January 2021, has generally spent summers at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, because Mar-a-Lago typically closes for the summer.

A federal law called the U.S. Presidential Records Act requires the preservation of memos, letters, notes, emails, faxes and other written communications related to a president’s official duties.

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China continues military drills around Taiwan

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(Last Updated On: August 8, 2022)

China’s military said on Monday it is continuing drills in the seas and skies around Taiwan.

The Eastern Theater Command of China’s People’s Liberation Army said on social media Weibo that it will practice conducting anti-submarine attacks and sea raids, Reuters reported.

The military has carried out an unprecedented set of naval and air force drills in areas near Taiwan following U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island last week.

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Bus crash in Croatia leaves 12 Polish pilgrims dead, 32 injured

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(Last Updated On: August 7, 2022)

Twelve people were killed in Croatia on Saturday when a Polish bus filled with religious pilgrims slipped off a road and crashed near Varazdin, authorities said, Reuters reported.

Thirty-two people were injured in the crash which happened at 5:40 a.m. (0340 GMT) on the highway between Varazdin, in northwest Croatia, and capital Zagreb.

Croatian Health Minister Vili Beros said 19 people were in a serious condition.

According to Reuters Marcin Przydacz, deputy head of the Polish Foreign Ministry, who was travelling to the site on Saturday, said the injured were being treated at five hospitals in Croatia.

He said there were 44 Polish pilgrims on the bus driving from Poland to Medjugorje, a Roman Catholic shrine in southern Bosnia, including two drivers. Among them were three priests and six nuns, a ministry spokesman said.

Police cleared the area where the accident took place after firefighters and medical teams recovered all the occupants of the vehicle which had Warsaw registration plates, read the report.

Polish police officers, in Croatia as part of project “Safe Tourist Destination” project, were helping Croatian authorities in communicating with the survivors.

An investigation has been started into the cause of the accident.

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