deadly quakes set off fears of new tsunami
A series of powerful earthquakes at dawn killed at least three people in remote eastern Indonesia today, cutting power lines and badly damaging buildings. A 7.6-magnitude quake struck at 4:43 a.m. local time about 85 miles from Manokwari, Papua, at a depth of 22 miles, the U.S. Geological Agency said. It was followed by a strong 7.5 aftershock. Three bodies were found including a 10-year-old girl, hospital director Hengky Tewu told the Associated Press. Papua police chief Maj. Gen. Bagus Ekodanto said he received reports that a hotel and rice warehouse had been "destroyed," but he did not know if anyone had died. Electricity went off and people fled their homes in the dark, fearing a tsunami, said Hasim Rumatiga, a local health official. The Indonesian Meteorology and Seismology Agency issued a tsunami alert, but it was revoked within an hour after it was determined the epicenter was on land.
Lawmakers plead for end to fighting
Sri Lankan forces launched air strikes and ground assaults on ethnic Tamil rebels in the north Saturday, a day after dealing the separatists' struggle for autonomy a devastating blow by capturing their de facto capital, the military said. Ethnic Tamil politicians, warning that the beleaguered rebels would simply turn to guerrilla warfare, appealed for an end to the fighting and for new talks to resolve the Indian Ocean island nation's ethnic conflict. In a sign the insurgents remained determined to battle on, a small bomb planted under a car exploded on a busy street in Colombo on Saturday, wounding three people. The rebels have been fighting since 1983 to create an independent homeland for Tamils. The conflict has killed more than 70,000 people.
Germany: Berlin police say vandals have daubed swastikas on some of the slabs that make up the capital's Holocaust memorial. Authorities ordered the graffiti's swift removal. Similar vandalism has occurred several times.
Pakistan: In an unusual instance of cross-border cooperation, Pakistani authorities arrested Ustad Yasar, a senior aide to Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, after receiving a tip he had crossed over into Pakistan, officials disclosed Saturday.
Denmark: Denmark says it is keeping five suspected pirates in custody while it explores legal action after an attack on a Netherlands Antilles-registered freight ship off the coast of Somalia.