Wikinews Shorts: February 19, 2012

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A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, February 19, 2012.

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New York house fire kills four youngsters

File photo of Rochester, the city where the fire took place.

Four youngsters have died after an overnight fire in Rochester, New York. Firefighters believe the bodies belong to teenagers at the oldest. Four people were rescued from the multilevel wooden building.

The fire department was called to a small fire amongst rubbish near the home. After putting it out, they began a routine check on the area and discovered a second fire at the back of the building "that appeared to have occurred while we were here," said the local fire chief. Firefighters entered the building but the fire spread with unusual speed. An investigation is underway.


Murder conviction reduced in beating death of Native Canadian

A Canadian man who beat a native to death has had his murder conviction reduced to manslaughter on appeal. Bradley Frances Gray attacked brothers-in-law George Many Shots and Percy Panther Bone in 2008, killing the former. He claimed the men were fighting each other but witness testimony disputed that.

A panel of three justices ruled the trial judge failed to adequately inform the jury of the possibility of a manslaughter verdict, although one noted the attack was severe enough a murder verdict may have been appropriate. Many Shots's family called the result racist and expressed intent to move away from the area. Gray will be resentenced later, and faces a possible life sentence.