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  • iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Canada and a slew of European countries on Monday vowed to kick out Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England, just as the United States announced it was responding by expelling 60 Russian intelligence officers.The United Kingdom earlier this month sent home 23 Russian diplomats -- after saying Russia was behind the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, England -- and the following countries said Monday they, too, are expelling Russian diplomats - over 100 total:U.S.: 60 diplomats (and it said it would close Russia's consulate in Seattle)Ukraine: 13 diplomatsFrance: 4 diplomatsGermany: 4 diplomatsCanada: 4 diplomats (and it said three others' applications to serve in Canada)Poland: 4 diplomatsLithuania: 3 diplomatsCzech Republic: 3 diplomatsNetherlands: 2 diplomatsItaly: 2 diplomatsDenmark: 2 diplomatsSpain: 2 diplomatsEstonia: 1 diplomatLatvia: 1 diplomatRomania: 1 diplomatFinland: 1 diplomatCroatia: 1 diplomatHungary: 1 diplomatSweden: 1 diplomatNorway: 1 diplomatThe president of the European Community, Donald Tusk, suggested there could be more measures to come.Russia’s foreign ministry issued a statement on Monday protesting the U.S. and European expulsions of Russian diplomats, calling it a “provocative step” and warning that Russia will respond. It did not say explicitly how it would act, but after the U.K. kicked out 23 Russians this month, Russia expelled 23 British diplomats.Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, were found slumped over, unconscious on a park bench in the southern English town of Salisbury. The U.K. has accused Russia of bearing responsibility for the March 4 attack, which British officials say involved a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed secretly by Russia -- an assessment shared by the United States.Russia has denied any involvement. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABCNews.com(KEMEROVO, Russia) -- The number of people killed in a devastating fire that swept through a shopping mall in Siberia has grown to at least 64, Russian emergency services have said.The fire engulfed the upper floors of the Winter Cherry Mall in the city of Kemerovo on Sunday. Among the dead are feared to be dozens of children. On Sunday, Russia’s emergencies ministry said that 40 children were missing and at least nine had been killed.Russian police said another 44 people had been injured, with 10 hospitalized.Firefighters were still searching the gutted fourth floor of the mall for bodies on Monday. The fourth floor contained a cinema and an amusements area where many of the children were when the fire broke out. The blaze was so intense that firefighters struggled to reach it. On Monday, part of the smouldering building briefly caught fire again before it was extinguished.Russia’s Investigative Committee, which handles especially serious crimes, said it had opened a criminal investigation around the fire due to possible safety violations. It said it had detained four people for questioning, including the director of the company that owns the mall.The cause of the fire has yet to be established.The Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that the fire is one of the most deadly in recent Russian history and the worst since a blaze in a club in 2009 in the Siberian city of Perm killed 153 people.Regional authorities have declared three days of mourning. Russia’s main state channel, Channel 1, said it was cancelling entertainment programs in view of the catastrophe, the state news agency, TASS reported.Russia’s emergencies ministry said the identification of bodies has begun. Psychologists have been dispatched to provide support to victims’ relatives. Over 650 emergency service workers were deployed at the site of the fire, the ministry said.Much of the mall’s roof has collapsed and workers were checking the building’s structural integrity.
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