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World Digest: Earthquake Injures Hundreds in China

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Friday, July 10, 2009

CHINA

Hundreds Injured In Earthquake

A magnitude-6.0 earthquake rocked southwestern China on Thursday evening, injuring at least 336 people and collapsing 10,000 houses, state news media said.

The temblor, centered in Yunnan province's Yao'an county, damaged an additional 30,000 homes, the New China News Agency said.

Thirty people suffered severe injuries, the news service reported.

Yunnan is a quake-prone, mountainous region bordering Sichuan province, where a magnitude-7.9 quake last year left almost 90,000 people dead or missing.

-- Associated Press

NORTH KOREA

U.S. Reporter Admits To Breaking Law

One of two U.S. journalists detained in North Korea and accused of illegally entering the country has told her sister that they broke the law, prompting the United States to urge Pyongyang on Thursday to grant them amnesty.

Laura Ling and Euna Lee of the U.S. media group Current TV, were arrested in March near the China-North Korea border. They were convicted in June and sentenced to 12 years of hard labor.

Lisa Ling said her sister Laura told her by telephone Tuesday: "We broke the law, we are sorry, and we need help. We need our government's help to try and get amnesty because that really is our only hope."

Soon afterward, U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly called on North Korea to release the women on grounds of "amnesty," implying for the first time that the U.S. government thinks they committed an offense.

The State Department previously had called for their release on "humanitarian" grounds.

-- Reuters

AFGHANISTAN

Government Revises Shiite Marriage Law

Afghanistan's government has revised a law that stirred an international outcry because it essentially legalized marital rape, officials said Thursday. The new version no longer requires a woman to submit to sex with her husband, only that she do certain housework.

Parliament is expected to approve the changes.

Karzai had pledged in April to expunge the offensive parts of the marriage law, which applies only to the minority Shiite Muslims.

-- Associated Press

More Victims of Yemeni Airlines Crash Found: Three more bodies were found off Tanzania, bringing the total to 16, as the French navy arrived to help search for wreckage and remains from Yemenia airlines Flight 626, which crashed off Comoros on June 30. Meanwhile, 12-year-old Bahia Bakari, the only survivor of the crash, underwent facial surgery at a Paris hospital, where she was listed in satisfactory condition.

Sweden to Extradite Genocide Suspect: Sweden will extradite a man accused of taking part in mass slaughter in Rwanda to his homeland, marking the first time a member nation of the European Union has sent back a suspect to face charges in the 1994 genocide, officials said. Prosecutors say Sylvere Ahorugeze, 53, was involved in the killings of 25 people.

-- From News Services


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