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May 26, 2013

Kamchatka deep-focus underwater earthquake reaches Moscow

Kamchatka deep-focus underwater earthquake reaches Moscow

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Friday, an undersea earthquake off the far east coast of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula was felt in the capital city of Moscow, 10,000 kilometers away. The earthquake occurred 600km below sea level in the Okhotsk Sea and recorded an 8.2 magnitude on the Richter Scale, with the Moscow shock measured as 1.0 on the scale. No casualties or damage were reported.

Citizens in Moscow said that the tremors were not “really strong” but they were enough to shake things hanging on walls. The last time such a shock was felt in Moscow was in 1984.

Alexei Lyubushin, chief researcher of the Institute of Physics of the Earth at the Russian Academy of Sciences said it is common for such quakes to have large scale but low damage, “This is a so-called deep-focus earthquake, that’s why it was felt at such a large territory. If an earthquake happens at such a low depth, the waves move along low layers, practically the mantle, but weaken significantly before reaching the earth surface. This is why there usually is no injuries or casualties in such cases. … The waves can even move through the Earth’s core.”

Sahkalin Island was under a tsunami warning on Friday, however, it was lifted soon after. The island may have to prepare for a tsunami situation again, with another under sea earthquake predicted in the next week with a magnitude of over 7.0.



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April 1, 2013

Quakes push Canary Islands up eleven centimetres

Quakes push Canary Islands up eleven centimetres

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Monday, April 1, 2013

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A submarine volcano explosion near El Hierro Island in 2011
Image: NASA’s Earth Observatory.

Multiple earthquakes over the Easter weekend around El Hierro Island, one of the Canary Islands, have raised some parts of the island by as much as 11 centimetres (4.3 inches). This includes a 4.9 magnitude earthquake Sunday, following 129 quakes below 1.3 magnitude through Saturday.

The majority of quakes making up this seismic event occurred at depths between 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) and 15 kilometers (9.3 miles), and ranged between 2.0 and 4.5 on the Richter Scale. VolcanoDiscovery reports this may be a sign magma is rising to the surface, but stuck around 20km deep where the 4.9 quake took place; these are signals there may be a volcanic eruption in the near future.

The 4.9 magnitude quake occurred roughly 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) off shore of El Hierro Island, the southern-most of the Canary Islands chain. It was felt by around 10,000 residents of the island. In response, local authorities closed western roads on the island, and other steps, after raising the alert level on the island to the second-highest civil level.

El Hierro, itself, was likely created as a result of volcanic activity taking place over a million years ago.



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September 5, 2012

Magnitude 7.6 earthquake strikes Costa Rican coast, tsunami warnings issued

Magnitude 7.6 earthquake strikes Costa Rican coast, tsunami warnings issued

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

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The United States Geological Survey (USGS) are reporting a 7.6-Mw earthquake striking the Costa Rican coast, prompting the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) to issue tsunami warnings including the following countries in the region: Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Peru; and a tsunami watch in Chile.

The initial alert was based upon an evaluation of the earthquake, not on confirmation that a tsunami has been generated. Later reports indicate the alert was cancelled, the PTWC having predicted that any wave would have reached Puerto Sandino in Nicaragua shortly before 16:00UTC.

The epicentre of the quake was 140 kilometres west of the Costa Rican capital, San José. A 6.1-Mw quake in January 2009, just 30km from the capital, killed at least 34 amid mudslides, falling rocks and trees. The emergency response to that earthquake included over 400 volunteers and Red Cross workers.



Related news

  • “Strongest earthquake in 150 years hits Costa Rica” — Wikinews, January 10, 2009

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August 31, 2012

Magnitude 7.6 hits the coast of the Philippines

Filed under: Asia,Disasters and accidents,Earthquakes,Philippines,Review — admin @ 5:00 am
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Friday, August 31, 2012

An earthquake occured on Friday night in the coast of the Philippines. The United States Geological Survey reported that the earthquake occured at 8:47 pm local time (1247 UTC).

The earthquake occured at a depth of 34.9 kilometers (21.7 miles) and the epicenter was located 96 kilometers (60 mi) East of Sulangan, Philippines.

At least one person was killed in the earthquake and there was a minor tsunami. However, there was no tsunami warning issued.



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August 14, 2012

Students from Liceo María Luisa Bombal of Rancagua, Chile detained after taking control of school

Students from Liceo María Luisa Bombal of Rancagua, Chile detained after taking control of school

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Liceo María Luisa Bombal of Rancagua.
Image: Arsenalero.

San Fernando, Chile — Ten students from the Liceo María Luisa Bombal of Rancagua, O’Higgins Region were detained by the local police yesterday. Following their release, the students told the media they were required to remove their clothes at the police station.

The students, seven men and three women, took control of the building of the school early yesterday morning in response to the long delay in re-construction of the liceo, following the earthquake of 2010. At around 08:00 local time (1200 UTC), Leonardo Fuentes, general secretary of the Municipal Educational Corporation of Rancagua, authorized the police to clear out the students.

Pedro Larraín in October 2011.
Image: Diego Grez.

Student leader Jennifer Olivares told Diario VI Región the police “stripped off [their] clothes”((es)) upon their arrival at the police station, Comisaría de Rancagua, something which Lieutenant Colonel of Carabineros Iván Guajardo did not deny. However, police stated the students will be charged by the public prosecutor with robbing food from the school. “It’s a bit illogical that they stripped off our clothes, with the knowledge that there were minors and without [us] being delinquents, but students who took the school peacefully”((es)), said Olivares. Ignacio Muñoz, former leader of the occupation of the Liceo María Luisa Bombal, told El Rancahuaso “the Mayor [Eduardo Soto] promised to begin the reconstruction works last summer, and it’s August already and they don’t even begin to take the debris outside”((es)). Education Regional Secretary (Seremi de Educación) Pedro Larraín said the government “does not share”((es)) such actions, “because they harm education”((es)).

The Region of Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins was one of the first in 2012 to resuscitate the previous year’s student protests, more specifically at the Liceo Industrial de San Fernando, which was taken control by the students in late July, and which as of yesterday was still taken. The students of the Liceo Industrial were particularly affected, after the president of the school’s centro de alumnos Guillermo Horta Farías was stabbed outside the educational establishment on July 31; his fellow schoolmates subsequently organized a march in his honour in Rancagua, on August 8. As of August 11, eight high schools have been taken control of by students, in response to the government’s failure to satisfy the secondary and university students’ requests.



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April 25, 2012

Disposal of fracking wastewater poses potential environmental problems

Disposal of fracking wastewater poses potential environmental problems

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

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A recent study by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) shows that the oil and gas industry are creating earthquakes. New information from the Midwest region of the United States points out that these man-made earthquakes are happening more frequently than expected. While more frequent earthquakes are less of a problem for regions like the Midwest, a geology professor from the University of Southern Indiana, Dr. Paul K. Doss, believes the disposal of wastewater from the hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) process used in extracting oil and gas has the possibility to pose potential problems for groundwater.

Map showing significant earthquakes in the Midwest region of the United States. It was analyzed to show links between felt earthquakes and energy development.
Image: United States Geological Survey.

“We are taking this fluid that has a whole host of chemicals in it that are useful for fracking and putting it back into the Earth,” Doss said. “From a purely seismic perspective these are not big earthquakes that are going to cause damage or initiate, as far as we know, any larger kinds of earthquakes activity for Midwest. [The issue] is a water quality issue in terms of the ground water resources that we use.”

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique used by the oil and gas industries which inject highly pressurized water down into the Earth’s crust to break rock and extract natural gas. Most of the fluids used for fracking are proprietary, so information about what chemicals are used in the various fluids are unknown to the public and to create a competitive edge.

Last Monday four researchers from the University of New Brunswick released an editorial that sheds light on the potential risks that the current wastewater disposal system could have on the province’s water resources. The researchers share the concern that Dr. Doss has and have come out to say that they believe fracking should be stopped in the province until there is an environ­mentally safe way to dispose the waste wastewater.

“If groundwater becomes contamin­ated, it takes years to decades to try to clean up an aquifer system,” University of New Brunswick professor Tom Al said.

While the USGS group which conducted the study says it is unclear how the earthquake rates may be related to oil and gas production, they’ve made the correlation between the disposal of wastewater used in fracking and the recent upsurge in earthquakes. Because of the recent information surfacing that shows this connection between the disposal process and earthquakes, individual states in the United States are now passing laws regarding disposal wells.

Cquote1.svg The problem is that we have never, as a human society, engineered a hole to go four miles down in the Earth’s crust that we have complete confidence that it won’t leak. Cquote2.svg

—Dr. Paul K. Doss

“The problem is that we have never, as a human society, engineered a hole to go four miles down in the Earth’s crust that we have complete confidence that it won’t leak,” Doss said. “A perfect case-in-point is the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010, that oil was being drilled at 18,000 feet but leaked at the surface. And that’s the concern because there’s no assurance that some of these unknown chemical cocktails won’t escape before it gets down to where they are trying to get rid of them.”

It was said in the study released by the New Brunswick University professors that if fracking wastewater would contaminate groundwater, that current conventional water treatment would not be sufficient enough to remove the high concentration of chemicals used in fracking. The researchers did find that the wastewater could be recycled, can also be disposed of at proper sites or even pumped further underground into saline aquifers.

The New Brunswick professors have come to the conclusion that current fracking methods used by companies, which use the water, should be replaced with carbon diox­ide or liquefied propane gas.

“You eliminate all the water-related issues that we’re raising, and that peo­ple have raised in general across North America,” Al said.

In New Brunswick liquefied propane gas has been used successfully in fracking some wells, but according to water specialist with the province’s Natural Resources De­partment Annie Daigle, it may not be the go-to solution for New Brunswick due its geological makeup.

“It has been used successfully by Corridor Resources here in New Bruns­wick for lower volume hydraulic frac­turing operations, but it is still a fairly new technology,” Daigle said.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working with U.S. states to come up with guidelines to manage seismic risks due to wastewater. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the EPA is the organization that also deals with the policies for wells.

Oil field located in Lost Hills in California
Image: Arne Hückelheim.

Oil wells, which are under regulation, pump out salt water known as brine, and after brine is pumped out of the ground it’s disposed of by being pumped back into the ground. The difference between pumping brine and the high pressurized fracking fluid back in the ground is the volume that it is disposed of.

“Brine has never caused this kind of earthquake activity,” Doss said. “[The whole oil and gas industry] has developed around the removal of natural gas by fracking techniques and has outpaced regulatory development. The regulation is tied to the ‘the run-of-the-mill’ disposal of waste, in other words the rush to produce this gas has occurred before regulatory agencies have had the opportunity to respond.”

According to the USGS study, the increase in injecting wastewater into the ground may explain the sixfold increase of earthquakes in the central part of the United States from 2000 – 2011. USGS researchers also found that in decades prior to 2000 seismic events that happened in the midsection of the U.S. averaged 21 annually, in 2009 it spiked to 50 and in 2011 seismic events hit 134.

“The incredible volumes and intense disposal of fracking fluids in concentrated areas is what’s new,” Doss said. “There is not a body of regulation in place to manage the how these fluids are disposed of.”

The study by the USGS was presented at the annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America on April 18, 2012.



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April 11, 2012

Massive earthquake hits Indonesia, no tsunami risk

Massive earthquake hits Indonesia, no tsunami risk

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

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An 8.6 magnitude earthquake occurred off the Indonesian coast at 08:38:37 UTC today, causing a tsunami watch to be issued over the entire Indian Ocean.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake struck at a point 308 miles (495 km) southwest of Banda Aceh, the provincial capital, located on the northern extremity of the country’s Sumatra island, at a depth of 20.5 miles (33 km). Local media reports suggest that people in Sumatra fled from their homes and offices in fear. The 8.6 quake was followed by a quake measuring 8.2 on the Richter Scale.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) advised authorities to “take appropriate action”, stating that they were not aware whether a tsunami had occurred yet. The earthquake, initially believed to be 8.9 on the Richter Scale was later revised to be an 8.7 and finally an 8.6 quake. In reaction to the earthquake, the Indonesian disaster management agency noted that power had been shut down in Aceh. Moreover, people were being warned by sirens of the danger and were going to higher ground. Agency spokesman Sutopo said: “The electricity is down, there are traffic jams to access higher ground. Sirens and Koran recitals from mosques are everywhere.”

In its report, the PWTC issued a tsunami watch for 28 countries, including, but not limited to Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, Maldives, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, Bangladesh, miscellaneous Indian Ocean islands, Pakistan, Somalia, Oman, Iran, Bangladesh, Kenya, South Africa and Mozambique. They mentioned that “[e]arthquakes of this size have the potential to generate a widespread destructive tsunami that can affect coastlines across the entire Indian Ocean basin.”

The tsunami warnings were initially issued for Indonesia after the 8.6 earthquake and later issued for a further two hours after the 8.2 earthquake hit the Aceh province. The watch was lifted for Myanmar, Australia and Malaysia. Later, India too ended its tsunami watch, with a scientist at the Indian tsunami warning center noting that “the danger has passed”.

Earlier, the tremors were felt as far away as Bangkok in Thailand and south India, particularly in Bangalore and Chennai. According to locals, people left their buildings in Bangalore on feeling the tremors. The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Service issued a red high-level warning for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The southeastern coasts of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu were put on lower warnings. According to Sky News, people residing near the coast were asked to move away from the sea in India. The tremors there reached upto the northern city of Kolkata. Kolkata and its surrounding areas felt tremors, also felt in North 24 Parganas and the town of Siliguri in the same state. Several people rushed out of their office as windows and doors rattled due to the quake, while some buildings developed cracks. Metro Rail services were suspended in the city, and people were asked to leave the stations.

Similar warnings were issued by the governments in Sri Lanka, where mild tremors were experienced at Colombo. The tsunami warning was however lifted after 6 p.m. local time. But the government advised people not to go close to the sea. Smith Dhamasoroja, of the National Disaster Warning Foundation, predicted that Thailand would have to face a tsunami as the earthquake was so powerful. Thai Meteorological Department deputy chief Somchai Baimoung however stated that no warning had yet been issued. Later a warning was issued in the country and subsequently lifted. In Bangladesh, two tremors were felt. But the authorities stated there was no fear of a tsunami.

Amy Vaughn of the U.S. Geological Survey told Sky News that because the earthquake was so massive, “a large body of water is disturbed by the movement of the fault”. Therefore, since the epicenter was so close to the west coast of Sumatra, “it could be devastating for the region.” In Malaysia, high-rise buildings shook for over a minute.

Indonesia straddles the Pacific Ring of Fire, a major earthquake belt. On December 26, 2004 a 9.2-magnitude earthquake in the same area triggered massive tsunami waves, killing almost 220,000 people.



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March 26, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: March 26, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: March 26, 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: March 26, 2012

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A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, March 26, 2012.

Australian Broadcasting Company releases content to Wikimedia under free license

The first broadcast on ABC, November 5, 1956

In lieu of the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) turning 80 this year, they have decided to release a collection of historic audio and visual content under a Creative Commons free license for use on Wikipedia and for use by the public. Project officer Liam Wyatt hopes that “this release from the Australian public broadcaster will be the beginning of an ongoing relationship with the Wikimedia projects and the Wikimedia community, and encourage other broadcasters – especially those that are publicly funded – to join us.”

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3.1 earthquake aftershock rattles central Virginia

Another aftershock has rattled central Virginia last night. The 3.1-magnitude earthquake was focused around Mineral, Virginia which served as the epicenter for an August 2011 earthquake that was strong enough to damage American landmarks in Washington, D.C. like the Washington Monument. It was felt as far away as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Charlotte, North Carolina. As of press time, no damage was reported.

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Central Chile rocked by second earthquake in 24-hours

Central Chile experienced two earthquakes within 24 hours. Saturday morning, at 4:28 a.m., a magnitude 5.1 earthquake shook Santiago. No injuries or damages were reported. A second earthquake, of 7.1-magnitude, took place on Sunday, at 6:37 p.m. in Maule, which is approximately 219 kilometers south-south-west of Santiago. As of this report, no injuries or major damages have been reported. Coastal evacuations are being promoted by authorities, however, the Chilean Navy is doubtful of a tsunami.

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Tiger Woods secures first PGA Tour win in 30 months

Tiger Woods is back.
Image: Angela George.

American pro golfer Tiger Woods has secured his first PGA Tour win in 30 months, winning at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida. This makes his seventh Arnold Palmer Invitational. Woods beat runner up Graeme McDowell, posting a score of two-under 70. “Tiger’s back,” stated Jay Busbee of Yahoo! Sports.

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New leader of Hong Kong chosen while protestors seek ‘true democracy’

Leung Chun-ying was declared the new Chief Executive of Hong Kong today. He won 689 out of 1,193 election committee votes. Pro-democracy protests took place throughout the weekend, including the protestors waiting for the election committee upon their arrival at the convention center to cast their votes. The demonstrators also attempted to storm the convention center, and when election results were announced the police used pepper spray to ward off the protestors. Demonstration organizer Avery Ng describes Hong Kong as not being a “true democracy,” with other protestors believing that Hong Kong would never gain the right to vote, which would be given to them by China.

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March 21, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: March 21, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: March 21, 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: March 21, 2012

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A compilation of brief news reports for Wednesday, March 21, 2012.

Help Wikinews! Contribute to Wikinews by expanding these briefs or add a new one.

Iraq bombings cause security concerns for Arab summit

A series of car bombings in Iraq left around 50 dead and more than 200 wounded on Tuesday. Seven of Iraq’s 18 provinces were attacked. The attacks were described as coordinated although no group behind them has been identified.

The bombings raise safety concerns ahead of next week’s Arab League summit meeting. In response, Iraqi officials will declare a holiday beginning Sunday that will run through April 1 in Baghdad, allowing restriction of traffic around the summit meeting area.

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Mexico damaged by quake

Mexico Earthquake Density Map

Mexican authorities continue assessing damages from yesterday’s earthquake. Around 800 homes were damaged in the town of Igualapa, Guerrero, and close to the epicenter in the south. The number of injuries totaled eleven so far but no deaths have been reported. Most of the injuries were reported in Oaxaca, which borders Guerrero. Mexico’s government has sent out helicopters to assess damage and set up shelters for residents in need.

Yesterday’s incident was measured by the U.S. Geological Survey as a 7.4 magnitude quake, which makes it one of the strongest since 1985.

Related news

  • “Magnitude 7.4 earthquake strikes Mexico; no fatalities reported” — Wikinews, March 21, 2012

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Apple officials scorch iPad 3 concerns

The iPad 3

Consumer Reports revealed through testing that Apple’s iPad 3 can reach a sizzling 116 degrees Fahrenheit, or 46 Celsius. The new iPad was found to operate hotter than the previous versions. Apple Computer did not agree that its product was overheating. The company said the latest iPad runs within a normal range and would warn users if it passed its limit, but the company declined to state what that range was.

Apple’s forums house several consumer concerns about the new iPad overheating. Some debated whether to return the product.

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Moto2 Wraps up final pre-season test at Jerez

Taltrans Racing rider Claudio Corti made his way to the top of the time sheets with a blazing 1’41.983 on the third and final day of testing at Jerez circuit. The Italian Moto2 rider was just .004 ahead of Thomas Lüthi of Interwetten Paddock GP who was fastest the first two days. All riders except Scott Redding (7th), Randy Krummenacher (21st), Gino Rea (23rd), and Elena Rosell (33rd) ran their fastest times today.

The test at Jerez was the first to feature the official Moto2 engine, and the last chance for an official practice before the first race in Qatar April 5-8.

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NFL Fines New Orleans Saints for “bounties”

Head coach for the New Orleans Saints American football team Sean Payton has been suspended for the entire 2012 season and the team fined US$500,000 for operating a bounty program to injure opponents in games. Gregg Williams, the former defensive coach who is now with the St. Louis Rams, has been suspended indefinitely, and will have his status reviewed at the season’s end.

The team will lose it’s second round draft picks for the 2012 and 2013 season. General Manager Mickey Loomis was suspended without pay for the first eight regular-season games of the 2012 season, the National Football League (NFL) said. The assistant head coach was also suspended for six games without pay.

The NFL is currently receiving class action law suits from former players for multiple injuries.

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January 20, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: January 20, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: January 20, 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: January 20, 2012

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A compilation of brief news reports for Friday, January 20, 2012.

If you believe any of these stories deserves more in-depth coverage, feel free to write a full article on the issues raised.

Dissident Republicans bomb Londonderry

No injuries were suffered when two bombs were exploded in Londonderry, Northern Ireland by Republican dissidents. A coded message was received by the police half an hour before they were detonated in streets around the city’s main shopping centre.

Police Service of Northern Ireland Superintendent Stephen Martin has described the attacks as “cowardly and callous”, and said that the city centre will remain sealed off to allow for the search for other devices and forensic evidence.



Kodak files for bancruptcy

Eastman Kodak Co has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to complete its transformation from its traditional wet film business, with which it made its name, into a specialist digital printing company.

The move would allow the company to sell off assets to pay off pension liabilities and creditors.


Republican contender Newt Gingrich refutes open marriage accusations

Newt Gingrich refutes claims by his second wife, Marianne Ginther, that he demanded that they have an open marriage so that he could continue an affair with Callista Bisek, who later became his third wife.

The accusations, aired on ABC News on Thursday, come just before the Republican party’s South Carolina presidential primary. If true, the allegations would mean Gingrich was having an affair whilst pillorying President Bill Clinton over his involvement with Monica Lewinsky.


Dolce & Gabbana make apology over Hong Kong photography ban

Italian luxury goods brand Dolce & Gabbana has issued an apology over its ban on Hong Kong citizens taking photographs of its shopfront in Hong Kong, even when taken from a public sidewalk. The ban enforced by its security guards against locals but not mainland Chinese and foreigners infuriated locals, who have staged a number of protests against the retailer.

Photography from a public place of subjects normally visible from that place is legal in Hong Kong, and the local government has been condemned for not confronting Dolce & Gabbana, leaving things to protesters to bring about the apology.


Magnitude 6.1 earthquake strikes New Zealand, no damage reported

An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 struck South Island, New Zealand yesterday. The epicenter was located off the coast about 204 kilometers west of Invercargill at a depth of 18 kilometers.

The earthquake struck late in the day local time. No damage or injuries were reported and no alerts were issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. An aftershock measuring 5.2 magnitude hit the area two hours later.

An earthquake measuring 6.3 magnitude hit Christchurch last year, killing over 180 people. There may be as many as 15,000 shocks per year in New Zealand, which is on the “Ring of Fire“.





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