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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bar blaze kills 26 near Hong Kong

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Beijing

A fire at an unlicensed bar killed at least 26 people and injured eight in a Chinese city near Hong Kong, the government said today.

The fire broke out at 11 p.m. on Sunday in Zhongshan, which abuts the former Portuguese colony of Macau west of Hong Kong, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

It said the cause of the blaze was under investigation.

“This small bar is an illegal business inside a restaurant,” said an official in the propaganda office of Zhongshan’s Communist Party branch.

“The bar owner has been detained for investigation,” said the official, who would not give his name.

Police and fire officials in Zhongshan refused to release any information.

Witnesses quoted by Hong Kong Cable TV said there was an explosion before the bar fire. Police were shown cordoning off the building and nearby roads as debris was cleaned up.

Ash flies, lava flows in volcano’s eruption

Mexico City Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano staged a spectacular pre-dawn explosion Sunday, sending a column of ash two miles into the air and spewing red-hot lava.

There were no reports of ash raining down or any other threat to nearby communities, Mexico’s National Disaster Prevention Center reported.

The explosion was the latest in a series of moderate eruptions from the 17,886-foot volcano located 40 miles southeast of the Mexican capital.

Known as Popo, the volcano has been erupting intermittently since December 1994. In July, it sent a column of hot ash more than a mile into the air and spat red-hot rocks but didn’t threaten residents living at the base.

Council sworn in to govern Mogadishu

Mogadishu, Somalia Warlords and civilians installed a council Sunday to govern Somalia’s capital, an action that further fragments the nation but could bring the city under the control of a single group after 14 years of anarchy.

The swearing-in of the 64 new legislators formalized a break with Somalia’s transitional government, which was formed last year under President Abdullahi Yusuf after lengthy peace talks in Kenya.

Somalia has been without a central government since warlords in 1991 ousted a dictatorship. They then turned on each other, carving the nation of 8.2 million into a patchwork of fiefdoms.

The new council contains mainly members of the Hawiye clan that dominates the capital of about 2 million people, which previously was divided under the control of rival warlords. There was no immediate comment from Yusuf, whose transitional government is based in Jowhar, north of Mogadishu.

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