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Fantasy & Reality – This is World News in Focus


Korea: A deadly fire broke out on Friday (Jan. 26) at Sejong hospital in Miryang, a southeastern city approximately 165 miles from Seoul.

At least 37 people died and dozens were injured in the fire.  A doctor, a nurse and a nursing assistant were among the dead.

Korean authorities were still investigating, but the fire was believed to have started in the emergency room, probably due to a short circuit in the heating and cooling system.

The lack of fire fighting sprinklers in the six-story hospital might have also been to blame for the extent of the tragedy.

Nearly 200 patients were inside the building and an adjoining nursing home when the fire broke out in the morning.

The blaze followed a similar incident about a month ago at a fitness club in Jecheon, another South Korean city, where 29 people perished.  Insufficient emergency exits, flammable finishing materials, and illegally parked cars blocking access to emergency vehicles were to blame.

The timing of the two disasters gave rise to concerns about building safety in Korea.

For more we go to Guardian News:


Literary: Legendary American science-fiction writer Ursula K Le Guin, aged 88, died last Monday (Jan. 22) in her Portland home.

While Le Guin was suffering from poor health for several months, the cause of her death was not announced.

The science-fiction master authored more than 50 books, including more than 100 short stories (collected in multiple volumes), seven collections of essays, 13 books for children and even a translation of the “Tao Te Ching.”

Some of her books have been translated into more than 40 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide.

Le Guin received the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement, and was made a Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. In 2014, she was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

For a 2014 interview with Le Guin, we go to Portland Community College:


US: President Donald Trump offered, on Thursday (Jan. 25), a path to citizenship for up to 1.8 million young illegal immigrants who were brought into the United States as children.

These young people, who are referred to as “Dreamers” could apply to become citizens in 10 to 12 years providing they had jobs and did not commit crimes.

The President’s proposal may be seen as a follow up to his decision made in September to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

By ending the program, nearly 700,000 young immigrants would have to be deported starting from March 5.  The “Dreamers” proposal would allow these immigrants to live and work in the US legally.

But the president expects the Congress to agree to his other proposals of investing $25 billion on a border wall along the US-Mexico border, a crackdown on undocumented people, and a drastic cut in family-based immigration.

As part of the proposal, Congress is also expected to appropriate another $5 billion to border guards and immigration judges to step up border security.

For more we go to NBC News:


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Lead-In Image Courtesy of Rena Schild / – “WASHINGTON SEPTEMBER 9: A DACA supporter holds a sign at a rally in Washington DC on September 9, 2017, after President Trump announced that he would end the DACA program.”

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