Death Toll In London Apartment Building Fire Rises To 17

At least 17 people have died from the fire that engulfed a 24-story apartment building in London, police say, and the figure could rise further. Fire and rescue crews worked at Grenfell Tower throughout a second night, searching for victims in a building that is still smoldering. "Our absolute priority for all of us is identifying and locating those that are missing," Cmdr. Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police Service said in an update Thursday. "My heart goes out to those that are trying...

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NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports from Lagos, Nigeria, on the death of one of Africa's greatest contemporary writers. Quoting his publisher, AP, CNN, and the BBC are reporting Chinua Achebe has died.

Chinua Achebe who taught at colleges in the United States made literary history with his 1958 best-seller Things Fall Apart, a sobering tale about Nigeria at the beginning of its colonization.

As a deadline on Cyprus to come up with a financial bailout plan nears, a possible rescue from Russia looks to have fallen apart, leaving the island nation few options for staving off default.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said as far as Moscow was concerned "the talks have ended," but Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev left the door open, saying aid from Moscow would be contingent on Cyprus gaining European Union backing for its other money-raising ideas.

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

President Obama wrapped up his trip to Israel and the West Bank on Friday with visits to three symbolic pilgrimage sites: First he laid a stone on the grave of Theodor Herzl, the father of modern Zionism, then he laid a wreath and a stone on the grave of Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli leader assassinated in 1995. Finally, Obama made a somber visit to the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem.

In Chicago, officials have released a long-feared list that places more than 50 schools on the chopping block. The public school district faces a $1 billion shortfall, and the mayor says many of the city's school buildings are half empty. Some angry parents and teachers say the plan will harm children and they'll fight to keep the schools open.

A Marine opened fire at a Virginia base Thursday night, killing two other Marines before turning the gun on himself.

Quoting Marine Base Quantico spokesman Lt. Agustin Solivan, the AP reports the shootings happened after 11 p.m. near the Officer Candidate School. The AP adds:

"Authorities entered the barracks early Friday and found the suspect dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound along with a second victim. Solivan could not say what prompted authorities to enter the barracks, which are at the base's officer candidate school.

For eight decades, Daily Variety has been a Hollywood must-read for everyone from studio heads to actors looking for a big break. But the days of assistants running out to grab the "trades" are over: This week, the Los Angeles institution published its last daily edition.

Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, who went to North Korea in January, is making a short visit Friday to Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Why is the senior executive of a U.S. technology powerhouse visiting some of the poorest and least wired countries in Asia?

Schmidt will be the first top U.S. executive to travel to the Southeast Asian nation since it began emerging from decades of international isolation under a military dictatorship.

This generation of video game consoles will be remembered for over-the-top, knock-you-out-of-your-seat extravaganza games like Halo, Call of Duty — and Gears of War, a juggernaut of a game. The first three Gears of War sold 19 million units, making it a $1 billion franchise. And the latest, Gears of War: Judgment, has just hit stores at a crucial time in the video game industry — sales are down, new Xbox and PlayStation consoles are due out, and mobile gaming is growing.

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