- - Monday, February 6, 2012

PHILIPPINES

Rescuers dig to reach victims trapped in quake

MANILA — Rescuers dug with picks and shovels trying to reach dozens of people trapped under houses collapsed by a strong earthquake Monday that shook a central Philippine island and set off landslides.

At least 13 people were killed and 40 are believed missing, most of them along the shore near the epicenter of the 6.9-magnitude quake that struck in a narrow strait just off Negros Island.

In the mountain village of Planas, 9 miles from coastal Guihulngan town in Negros Oriental province, as many as 30 houses were buried with at least 40 residents believed trapped.

Army troops and police were deployed to help in the rescue.

At least 10 people were confirmed dead in Guihulngan, including students at a college and an elementary school and others in a town market that collapsed. About 100 were injured.

The quake, which hit at 11:49 a.m., triggered another landslide in the mountain village of Solongon in La Libertad town, also in Negros Oriental. An unknown number of people were trapped.

ROMANIA

Government collapses after protests

BUCHAREST — Romania’s government collapsed Monday following weeks of protests against austerity measures, the latest debt-stricken government in Europe to fall in the face of raising public anger over biting cuts.

Emil Boc, who has been prime minister since 2008, said he was resigning “to ease the social situation” after thousands of Romanians took to the streets in January to protest salary cuts, higher taxes and a widespread perception that the government was not interested in the problems of ordinary people in this nation of 22 million.

Opposition parties called for early parliamentary elections, which are currently scheduled for November.

President Traian Basescu appointed Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu - the only minister in Mr. Boc’s Cabinet who is not a member of a political party - to be interim prime minister pending the formation of a new government.

UNITED KINGDOM

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