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Small Earthquake Shakes Southern Illinois

EQUALITY, Ill. - No major damage was reported after a minor earthquake shook areas around this small town in southern Illinois on Monday.

The quake struck at 3:48 p.m. and registered magnitude 3.6, according to Rafael Abreu, a geologist at the National Earthquake Information Center in Denver.

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Tornadoes Hit Parts of Eastern U.S.

Unseasonably warm weather brought severe storms to parts of the Ohio Valley and the South on Monday, spawning tornadoes, dropping hail and contributing to the death of a utility worker in Indiana.

Tornadoes were reported in Georgia and Kentucky. Three people were hospitalized with minor injuries in Georgia's Pike County, about 50 miles south of Atlanta.

Comment: Comment: Nothing to worry about folks! Tornadoes happen in January all the time! Go back to sleep!


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UK Prisoners skip lunch to help solve food shortages

Thousands of prisoners skipped their annual New Year's lunch yesterday and instead sent the food to hundreds of thousands of Kenyans affected by food shortages.

Most of the country's estimated 50,000 prisoners gave up their ration of beans and stiff porridge made from maize on the day that President Mwai Kibaki declared the food shortages a national disaster in an attempt to speed up relief efforts.

Prisoners wanted to help after watching starving Kenyans on television, reading about food shortages in newspapers and discussing the situation with visiting relatives.

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Australia battles wildfires as new year brings record heatwave

Sydney sweltered through its hottest New Year's Day on record yesterday as blowtorch conditions pushed the mercury to 44.2C (112F), causing power blackouts and sparking more than 40 bushfires along Australia's east coast.

Homes and cars were destroyed, towns isolated and roads cut off as firestorms raged across parts of New South Wales, Victoria and the capital, Canberra.

At least 35 people were treated for heat exhaustion at Sydney's beaches and 100 people were rescued by lifeguards.

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Death toll in Indian cold snap tops 100

NEW DELHI, India : A cold snap sweeping northern India has killed another five homeless people, taking the toll to 101 since the start of December.

Most of the fatalities were reported in northern Uttar Pradesh state, India's most populous and one of its poorest states. One-fifth of its population are homeless.

Comment: Comment: One fifth of the population is homeless??? !! We find that difficult to understand when you consider all the Western industry and money that has been outsourced to India... Obviously, somebody isn't planning things very well.


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Tropical Storm Zeta Drifts Across Atlantic

MIAMI (AP) - Tropical Storm Zeta was expected to weaken Monday as it drifted westward over the central Atlantic, forecasters said.

The 27th named storm of a record-breaking hurricane season, Zeta had top sustained winds near 50 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Forecasters said Zeta was not expected to become a hurricane or threaten land.

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Fires Ravage Oklahoma City, Texas Towns

CARBON, Texas (AP) - Bill Sandlin and his wife saw smoke on the horizon as they returned home from church and started watering their yard.

But as flames approached, they packed clothes, pictures and his gun collection. They drove off just as flames started to engulf their house and three barns, located about 125 miles west of Dallas.

``We hate losing our stuff, but at least everybody's OK,'' Sandlin said.

Wildfires raged across Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico on Sunday, burning homes and sparking a patchwork of flames across the region as gusting winds blew flaming embers into the dry grass.

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Moderate Earthquake In Banda Sea, Indonesia

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 2 (Bernama) -- A moderate earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale occurred in the Banda Sea, Indonesia, at 3.33am Monday, according to the Malaysian Meteorological Services Department.

The centre of the earthquake was located 1,180km southeast of Tawau, at co-ordinates 2.9 South, 125.9 East, it said in a statement here.

Based on its location and magnitude, the earthquake was not expected to generate a tsunami, it added.

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Moderate earthquake strikes sea near Guam

HONG KONG -- A moderate earthquake struck under the sea near the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean, Hong Kong seismologists said Monday. It was not immediately clear whether there were casualties or damage.

The magnitude-5.7 quake was recorded at 0108 GMT Monday, the Hong Kong Observatory said in a brief statement. The epicenter was about 90 kilometers (60 miles) south of the city of Agana, Guam, it said.

The small island of Guam is a US territory about 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) east of the Philippine capital, Manila.

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7.3 Earthquake Located East of the South Sandwich Islands

USGS 2006-01-02 -- A major earthquake occurred at 06:10:49 (UTC) on Monday, January 2, 2006. The magnitude 7.3 event has been located EAST OF THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)