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A fire during a party in a warehouse that housed artists' studios in Oakland, California killed at least nine people and left some 25 missing, and authorities said on Saturday they were preparing for a jump in the death toll. Fire officials have not yet determined how the fire started or an exact number of fatalities, said Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed, who called it the worst single-structure fire she had seen in her career. "It's just so hard to accept that some really wonderful people's lives got cut short," said artist and activist Jenny Yang, 34, waiting for news of missing friends at Eli's, an Oakland bar that opened early as a gathering spot.
Syria's army advanced in east Aleppo Saturday in a devastating assault that has placed it in control of more than half the former rebel stronghold and sparked a civilian exodus. Tens of thousands of civilians have fled eastern neighbourhoods of the battered city since President Bashar al-Assad's regime began its latest offensive in mid-November. Overnight, government troops and allied forces seized the district of Tariq al-Bab where heavy fighting had raged a day earlier, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.