World Briefs: 23 die in fire at Russian psychiatric hospital

23 die in fire at Russian psychiatric hospital

MOSCOW • At least 23 psychiatric patients, most of them elderly, died when a fire ripped through their care facility last Saturday night.

Russian police said they had begun an investigation into possible negligence in the fire at the village of Alferovka in the Voronezh region.


Gambia declared 'an Islamic state'

BANJUL (Gambia) • Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has declared the west African country "an Islamic state". But Mr Jammeh has stressed that the rights of the Christian minority in the country would be respected, and that women would not be held to a dress code.


UK denies PM softening on welfare demands

LONDON • British Prime Minister David Cameron's government yesterday dismissed reports that he is backtracking on demands for changes to the welfare system, as he renegotiates Britain's membership of the European Union. He will not use this week's meeting with fellow European leaders to drop his proposal that EU migrants entering Britain wait four years before they can claim benefits, a spokesman said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2015, with the headline 'WorldBriefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe