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Thu, 24 Oct 2019
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Minor Earthquake Shakes Southern Calif.

A minor earthquake rattled parts of southern California on Monday but there were no reports of injury or damage.

The magnitude-3.6 quake struck shortly after 5 p.m. and was centered in the Pacific Ocean, about 13 miles off the coast of suburban San Diego, according a preliminary report from the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Fourth Quake In Four Days Off Southern Italy

Lipari - There has been yet another tremor from an earthquake in the Aeolian Islands, this time near Filicudi. Seismic activity was recorded around 9.40 am by the National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanic studies in Rome, with an intensity between the fourth and fifth degree on the Mercalli scale and with an epicentre located in the lower Tyrrhenian Sea.

The tremor was felt by the inhabitants of Filicudi and by those of the nearby Alicudi. There weren't any damages reported to people or houses. It is the fourth earthquake in 4 days in the archipelago, where two tremors were felt in Stromboli and one in the channel between Salina and Lipari.

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Volcano erupts on Kamchatka peninsula

The Bezymyanny volcano has erupted on the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia's Far East, a local seismology official said Tuesday.

Alexei Ozerov, a senior researcher at the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, said the eruption started at 12.25 p.m. Moscow time (08.25 a.m. GMT) on Tuesday. The eruption does not pose any threat to local population, he said.

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Reshuffle rumours swirl despite denials

Rumours swirled over the fate of France's damaged prime minister Dominique de Villepin Monday, despite weekend denials from President Jacques Chirac that any reshuffle is planned in reaction to the dirty tricks scandal known as the Clearstream affair.

With a demoralised government plunging in the polls following claims of an internecine smear campaign, the future of the 52 year-old prime minister remained deeply uncertain after he was accused last week of lying to cover up his own alleged role.

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Bolivia nationalization further sidelines US

WASHINGTON - By nationalizing Bolivia's energy industry, President Evo Morales lived up to a pledge to be Washington's nightmare and highlighted waning U.S. influence in Latin America.

Last week's action from the leftist, whose allies are U.S. adversaries Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuban leaderFidel Castro, was another step in the region's retreat from U.S.-prescribed free-market economics.

And the United States can do little to stem a tide of Latin American voters turning to leftists like Morales who rail at free trade and foreign investment for failing to improve the lives of the region's impoverished majority.

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Defiant Blair refuses to set timetable to quit

LONDON - A defiant British Prime Minister Tony Blair has rejected calls by rebels within his party to name the day he will stand down, saying it would "paralyse" government.

After one of the most bruising weeks of his nine years in power, Blair vowed to forge ahead with market-inspired education and other reforms and to fight "all the way" traditional Labour Party leftists trying to block them.

Speaking at his monthly press conference in London, he also confirmed that he saw ambitious Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, the finance minister who has been waiting impatiently in the wings, as his obvious successor.

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Earth-Hitting Asteroids: Katrina From Space

LOS ANGELES, California - Natural events such as hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes rock this planet from time to time. But when the Earth gets stoned by an asteroid, consider it akin to a Katrina from outer space.

When Hurricane Katrina slammed into the United States in August of last year, it became a deadly, destructive, and costly episode--one that has also become a metaphor for lack of government action, both pre- and post strike.

At the current time there is no agency of the U.S. government--nor of any government in the world--with the explicit responsibility to develop and demonstrate the technology necessary to protect the planet from near-Earth object (NEO) impacts.�

The U.S. Congress needs to be encouraged to take a step in demonstrating the ability to deflect a menacing NEOs believes former NASA astronaut, Russell Schweickart, Chairman of the B612 Foundation. He presented an update today on dealing with troublesome asteroids here at the 25th International Space Development Conference.

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102 dead after four months of heavy rains in Colombia

BOGOTA - Heavy rains and flooding since the beginning of the year have killed 102 people and damaged thousand of homes across much of Colombia, according to state rescue agency Socorro Nacional.

On Sunday, four more people died in a landslide in a poor Bogota neighborhood, and much of the capital remains under emergency warning due to elevated river levels.

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Italian lawmakers reach stalemate on first day of presidential vote

ROME - The first round of voting for Italy's next president ended in stalemate with no candidate obtaining a majority of two-thirds of parliamentary votes needed.

Italian lawmakers were unable to break a deadlock which threatens to further stall incoming prime minister Romano Prodi's accession to power, a month after winning a general election.

The presidential candidate presented by the right-wing coalition, Gianni Letta, outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's close aide and undersecretary, received 368 votes, according to a first count.

There were 438 blank votes after Prodi said that the centre-left would leave their ballots blank, in a signal that he could not muster the votes to have his candidate elected in the first round.

Comment: Comment:
"More than 150 voters ignored voting orders and gave their support to people who were not on voting lists. Berlusconi received two votes and his friend, lawmaker and lawyer Cesare Previti, in prison for corrupting magistrates, received three votes."
Voting officials later revealed that in an unheard of act of selflessness, Berlusconi had actually cast five votes: two for himself, and three for his friend in prison. They noted, however, that Berlusconi had also signed his ballots and wrote a little note at the bottom that read, "Dear little person, Save this signature. It'll be worth billions. Now, get back to work! What do you think I'm paying you for, you [expletive deleted]?!"


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Cindy Sheehan pressures Canada

OTTAWA -- Canadian soldiers have no business being in Afghanistan and their presence there merely enables the United States to carry on its "illegal and immoral" war in Iraq, prominent U.S. anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan said yesterday.

"I believe my country shouldn't be in Afghanistan anyway," Ms. Sheehan said at a news conference on Parliament Hill. "It's never about spreading freedom or democracy or making the world safe, it's about lining the war profiteers' pockets."

While lambasting President George W. Bush and the U.S. government for the Iraq war, Ms. Sheehan also fired broadsides at the UN-backed international mission in Afghanistan.

"My country supported Osama bin Laden in the fight against Russia," she said. "And now they go in and tear down that country. It's back in the hands of the drug lords, it's producing more opium than ever, and it's not safe. There's not any rebuilding going on, because it's being occupied by occupying forces."