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Sat, 05 Dec 2020
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Major Quake Rocks Islands Near New Zealand

A powerful earthquake hit deep under the South Pacific late Tuesday north of New Zealand, and it rocked a wide area of the country, but no damage or injuries were reported.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a bulletin saying the magnitude 7.4 quake had not generate a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami but warned it could spawn a small tsunami within 60 miles of its epicenter.


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Egyptian Police Kill Militant Leader

EL-ARISH, Egypt -- Police on Tuesday killed the leader of an al-Qaida-inspired Islamic militant group wanted for the terrorist attacks that killed 21 people in a Sinai beach resort town last month, officials said.

Nasser Khamis el-Mallahi, head of Egypt's Monotheism and Jihad, was shot dead and an accomplice was captured in a battle with police in an olive grove, said Lt. Gen. Essam el-Sheik, commander of the North Sinai security police.

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5.4 Quake Hits Colombia

Bogota - An earthquake of 5.4 degrees in the open scale of Richter Monday shook great part of the Colombian territory although no victims or material damages have been reported so far.

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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.