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    AP Top News at 11:51 p.m. EST

    January 10, 2022 GMT

    Bronx apartment fire kills 19, including 9 children

    NEW YORK (AP) — A malfunctioning space heater sparked a fire that filled a high-rise Bronx apartment building with thick smoke Sunday morning, killing 19 people including nine children in New York City’s deadliest blaze in three decades. Trapped residents broke windows for air and stuffed wet towels under doors as smoke rose from a lower-floor apartment where the fire started. Survivors told of fleeing in panic down darkened hallways and stairs, barely able to breathe. Multiple limp children were seen being given oxygen after they were carried out. Evacuees had faces covered in soot. Firefighters found victims on every floor, many in cardiac and respiratory arrest, said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

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    Harrowing tales of escape after fire hits NYC building

    NEW YORK (AP) — Rancid black smoke filling hallways, rising from floor to floor. People tripping and falling as they rushed down darkened stairwells, unable to see. Panic turning to sorrow, as residents who escaped a fire at a high-rise Bronx apartment building learned of neighbors who did not survive. “We all got out. My friend, her husband didn’t make it out. So I’m just thanking God that my family made it,” said one resident, Winter Thomas, who escaped from the ninth floor with her mother, stepfather and siblings. In all, Sunday’s fire killed 19 people, including nine children ages 16 and under, fire officials said.

    Stay home or work sick? Omicron poses a conundrum

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    As the raging omicron variant of COVID-19 infects workers across the nation, millions of those whose jobs don’t provide paid sick days are having to choose between their health and their paycheck. While many companies instituted more robust sick leave policies at the beginning of the pandemic, some of those have since been scaled back with the rollout of the vaccines, even though omicron has managed to evade the shots. Meanwhile, the current labor shortage is adding to the pressure of workers having to decide whether to show up to their job sick if they can’t afford to stay home.

    Bob Saget, beloved TV dad of ‘Full House,’ dead at 65

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bob Saget, the actor-comedian known for his role as beloved single dad Danny Tanner on the sitcom “Full House” and as the wisecracking host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” died while on a stand-up tour. He was 65. Deputies in Orange County, Florida, were called Sunday about an “unresponsive man” in a hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando and found Saget dead, according to a sheriff’s statement on Twitter. Detectives found “no signs of foul play or drug use in this case.” Saget was in Florida as part of his “I Don’t Do Negative Comedy Tour.” After warm audience receptions to his gigs Friday in Orlando and Saturday in the Ponte Vedra Beach resort area, he celebrated online.

    Comedians, friends, co-stars react to death of Bob Saget

    Bob Saget, the comedian and actor known for his role as a widower raising a trio of daughters in the sitcom “Full House,” was found dead Sunday in Florida. His death at 65 shocked peers and fans and tributes came flooding in on Twitter, praising the veteran comedian for his talent and kindness. ___ “Bob Saget was as lovely a human as he was funny. And to my mind, he was hilarious. We were close friends and I could not have loved him more.” — Norman Lear, via Twitter “I am broken. I am gutted. I am in complete and utter shock.

    Chicago fight with teachers union stretches into 2nd week

    CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago school leaders canceled class a fourth day in the nation’s third-largest district as negotiations with the teachers’ union over remote learning and other COVID-19 safety protocols failed to produce an agreement over the weekend. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez said in a joint statement Sunday evening that there wasn’t “sufficient progress” in talks to resume in-person classes Monday, extending disruptions into a second school week. But they vowed negotiations would continue “through the night.” Disputed issues included testing and metrics to close schools. The Chicago Teachers Union wants the option to revert to districtwide remote instruction, and most members have refused to teach in-person until there’s an agreement, or the latest COVID-19 spike subsides.

    Judge asks what more Djokovic could have done for a visa

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — An Australian judge who will decide whether top-ranked tennis star Novak Djokovic plays in the Australian Open questioned on Monday what more the Serbian could have done to meet Australia’s coronavirus entry requirements. The 34-year-old is fighting deportation and the cancellation of his visa in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. The Australian government canceled his visa shortly after he arrived in Melbourne late Wednesday because officials decided he didn’t meet the criteria for an exemption to an entry requirement that all non-citizens be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Djokovic, who court documents say is unvaccinated, argued he did not need proof of vaccination because he had evidence that he had been infected with the coronavirus last month.

    Russia, US hold working dinner to open Geneva talks

    GENEVA (AP) — A top Russian diplomat predicted “difficult” talks with the United States this week after attending a working dinner with U.S. officials in Geneva on Sunday as part of the kickoff to a string of meetings in three European cities this week, with ties at a low over Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and other Russian officials met for over two hours with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, the head of the U.S. delegation, and her team at the luxury residence of the U.S. ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament that overlooks Lake Geneva.

    Prospects dim as US, Russia prepare to meet over Ukraine

    WASHINGTON (AP) — With the fate of Ukraine and potentially broader post-Cold War European stability at stake, the United States and Russia are holding critical strategic talks that could shape the future of not only their relationship but the relationship between the U.S. and its NATO allies. Prospects are bleak. Though the immediacy of the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine will top the agenda in a series of high-level meetings that get underway on Monday, there is a litany of festering but largely unrelated disputes, ranging from arms control to cybercrime and diplomatic issues, for Washington and Moscow to overcome if tensions are to ease.

    Death toll in rockfall on Brazilian lake rises to 10

    BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — The death toll from an accident in which a slab of cliff rock toppled onto pleasure boaters on a Brazilian lake has risen to 10, police said Sunday. Authorities worked to identify the dead and divers were searching the lake in case there were more victims. Police Chief Marcos Pimenta said there was a possibility that some people were missing following the accident Saturday in Minas Gerais state. At least 32 people were injured, though most were released from hospitals by Saturday evening. The accident occurred between the towns of Sao Jose da Barra and Capitolio, from which the boats had left.