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Fire Outbreak Rips Through Shopping Centre And Kills Over 37 People

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A devastating fire swept through a shopping mall in the Philippines, killing at least 37 people. Most of those killed were workers at a call center, city government officials said .

The vice mayor of the southern city of Davao, Paolo Duterte, said the chance of survival for any of the 37 people missing at the NCC Mall was “zero”.

“Let us pray for them,” said Duterte, the eldest son of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The fire broke out on Saturday at a furniture store on the mall’s third level and quickly engulfed an outsourcing business on the upper floor, said a spokeswoman for the city government, Ma. Teresita Gaspan.

The cause was not known but an investigation was being launched, she said.

24 Hours Across Africa

Tunisia: former President Ben Ali confirmed dead

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All time, former Tunisia’s President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali has died in exile aged 83, his family says.

Ben Ali led the country for 30years and was credited with delivering stability and some economic prosperity.

But he received widespread criticism for suppressing political freedoms and for widespread corruption.

In 2011, he was forced from office following mass street protests. This triggered a wave of similar uprisings across the Arab world.

At least half a dozen countries in the region saw their president fall or conflicts break out in the wake of the former Tunisian leader’s downfall, in what became known as the Arab Spring.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Gantz refuse’s Netanyahu offer on unity government

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After a vote tally showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tied with his main rival.

Israel’s weakened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw his offer on Thursday for a coalition with his strongest political rival,  Gantz, swiftly rebuffed after failing to secure a governing majority in a tight election.

Netanyahu’s surprise move was an abrupt change of strategy for the right-wing leader. Its rejection could spell weeks of wrangling after Tuesday’s election, which followed an inconclusive national ballot in April.

Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party emerged from the second round of voting this year slightly ahead of Netanyahu’s Likud, but also short of enough supporters in the 120-member parliament for a ruling bloc.

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, said in a video clip in which he urged Gantz, the country’s former military chief, to meet him “as soon as today”, that he had pledged during the election campaign to form a right-wing, Likud-led government.

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