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Friday, February 21, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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World in brief: Fire kills dozens at rehab center

By From Wire Reports

TALDYKORGAN, Kazakhstan – Fire roared through a drug treatment center in Kazakhstan with a history of safety violations, killing 37 people Sunday as patients tried to escape through barred windows, officials said.

The blaze broke out around 5:30 a.m. and quickly spread through the single-story Soviet-era building. About 40 people were evacuated.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known. Locked doors on wards and bars on the windows blocked some escape routes, Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Bozhko said.

He said inspectors had found a number of violations in the 7,000-square-foot building during a visit in May and that the building had no alarm system. Some of the violations had been fixed, but work on installing an alarm system hadn’t begun, he said.

Astronaut’s son dies in F-16 crash

JERUSALEM – The son of an Israeli astronaut who died in the space shuttle Columbia disaster six years ago was killed Sunday when his F-16 warplane crashed on a routine training flight south of the West Bank city of Hebron, the Israeli military said.

The military identified the dead pilot as Capt. Asaf Ramon, son of Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first and only astronaut. One of seven crew members killed when the Columbia exploded as it re-entered the atmosphere in 2003, Ilan Ramon is seen as a national hero in Israel, and radio and TV stations broke into their broadcasts Sunday to report the news of his son’s death.

Ramon, 21, was the eldest of Ilan Ramon’s four children.

Five soldiers killed in fire at base

MOSCOW – Five soldiers died Sunday in a fire at a military base in Russia and a state news agency said the blaze may have destroyed sensitive security documents.

The RIA-Novosti agency said the fire at the base in Tambov damaged a large section of a building of the GRU, the military’s foreign intelligence unit.

It quoted an unnamed source in the Russian special services as saying that the fire-damaged section included an area where very important documents are kept.

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