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story.lead_photo.caption Firefighters dig Monday for victims of a dam collapse in Brumadinho, Brazil, as searchers concentrated on the buried cafeteria of the Vale mining company.

Deaths set to climb at Brazil dam break

BRUMADINHO, Brazil -- Brazilian firefighters walked, and sometimes crawled, over treacherous mud Monday as they searched for survivors or bodies after a dam collapse.

No one had been recovered alive Sunday, a stark difference from the first two days of the disaster, when helicopters whisked people out of the mud that buried an iron ore mining company's buildings and inundated nearby neighborhoods.

The confirmed death toll rose to 60, with 292 people still missing, according to the fire department in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, where the dam is located. The death toll was expected to grow "exponentially" by today, the Minas Gerais Fire Department said.

Search efforts were extremely slow because of the treacherous sea of reddish-brown mud that surged out when the mine dam breached Friday afternoon. The mud was up to 24 feet deep in some places, forcing searchers to carefully walk around the edges or slowly crawl so they would not sink and drown.

Rescue teams Monday morning focused their searches on areas including the cafeteria of mining company Vale SA, where many workers were eating lunch when the dam ruptured.

The Brazilian company's American depository shares plunged 15.8 percent Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Church keeping celibacy, pope asserts

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE -- Pope Francis is ruling out any lifting of the celibacy requirement for priests but says there's reason to consider ordaining older, married men in remote communities where priests are in short supply.

Francis said he believes priestly celibacy is a gift for the Catholic Church and opposes a blanket change to make it optional. But he said "pastoral necessity" might justify alternative options in certain parts of the world.

"I think the problem should be opened in this sense: Where there's a pastoral problem because of a lack of priests," he said. "I'm not saying it should be done, because I haven't reflected or prayed enough about it. But theologians must study it."

Francis ruled out an across-the-board opening, repeating a famous phrase by Pope Paul VI, who was also under pressure in the sexual revolution of the 1960s to allow married priests.

"I'd rather give my life before changing the law on celibacy," Francis said.

The celibacy question has been a mainstay in Catholic debate given that it is a discipline, not a doctrine, and therefore can change. The church has had the tradition since the 11th century, imposed in part to spare the church the financial burdens of providing for large families and also to ensure that any assets of the priest would pass to the church, not his heirs.

Singapore says HIV-registry data leaked

Records of as many as 14,200 people with HIV and their 2,400 contacts have been "illegally disclosed online," Singapore's health ministry said in a statement, marking the second cyberattack the city-state has suffered in a year.

The HIV-registry data was leaked by a U.S. citizen, Mikhy K. Farrera Brochez, who was deported from Singapore after serving jail time for fraud and drug-related offenses, the ministry said. The leaked information included names, test results and contact details of 5,400 Singaporean citizens and 8,800 foreigners.

The latest data spill comes less than a year after a cyberattack on SingHealth that exposed the medical data of about 1.5 million people, including outpatient details of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. This breach is especially problematic since it compromises the identity of those living with HIV in a region where there's still heavy social stigma around the condition.

"While access to the confidential information has been disabled, it is still in the possession of the unauthorized person, and could still be publicly disclosed in the future," the ministry said in a statement. The ministry is scanning the Internet for signs of further disclosure of the breached information.

Pilot error cited in Nepal airliner crash

KATHMANDU, Nepal -- A Bangladeshi airliner was misaligned with the runway and its pilot was disoriented and tried to land in "sheer desperation" when the plane crashed last year in Nepal, an investigation report said.

US-Bangla Airlines Flight BS211 from Dhaka crashed on its second landing attempt at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport on March 12, 2018. The crash killed 51 people, including the pilot and co-pilot, and injured 20 others.

The investigation report compiled by Nepalese officials and made available Monday said the probable cause of the crash was the pilot's disorientation and loss of situation awareness.

"Contributing to this, the aircraft was offset to the proper approach path that led to maneuvers in a very dangerous and unsafe altitude to alight with the runway. Landing was completed in a sheer desperation after sighting the runway, at very close proximity and very low altitude," it said.

The report also said the pilot had been released from the Bangladesh air force in 1993 because of depression and was allowed to fly only civilian planes from 2002 after a detailed medical evaluation.

Photo by AP/ANDRE PENNER
Rescue workers walk Monday on a rail bridge that was destroyed after a dam collapse in Brumadinho, Brazil.

A Section on 01/29/2019

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