Rescuers dug all night in deep snow and debris in search of some 30 missing people who were staying in a luxury mountain hotel in Italy when an avalanche struck almost two days ago. Officials have confirmed finding two bodies, while Italian media said two more were located overnight. The only survivors so far are two men who were outside the hotel when the avalanche hit.
Rescuers have vowed to keep looking for survivors of a devastating avalanche that buried an Italian mountain hotel, as they begin a second day of searching. Rescue work continued Thursday night but the prospects of anyone being rescued alive looked bleak, with search efforts hampered by heavy snow that blocked access roads to the remote site until the early hours of the morning after the avalanche hit. "We're holding on to hope that there are survivors inside," Deputy Interior Minister Filippo Bubbico told reporters Thursday in the town of Penne, where a camp for rescue workers has been set up.
An unexpectedly weak December dragged on British retail sales growth in the fourth quarter of last year, although consumers still spent strongly over the October-December period as a whole. Shoppers have driven Britain's economy since June's referendum decision to leave the European Union, just as other sources of growth like investment and trade have lagged. Official data on Friday showed retail sales volumes dropped 1.9 percent year-on-year in December, far below economists' forecasts in a Reuters poll for a 0.1 percent decline and the biggest fall since April 2012.