- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 22, 2003

MEXICO
Powerful quake kills at least five
MEXICO CITY A powerful earthquake shook west-central Mexico last night, sending panicked residents spilling into the streets of major cities and knocking out power to many areas.
At least five persons were killed, an Interior Ministry source told Reuters news agency.
"We have five deaths confirmed, but we think the number will rise," the source said.
He said the deaths were confirmed in the Pacific coast state of Colima, where the quake struck.
The first estimate from Mexico's national seismological service put the quake's magnitude at 7.6. The agency said it struck at 8:07 p.m. in the state of Colima, a small state that includes the port city of Manzanillo, roughly 300 miles west of Mexico City.
Butch Kinerney, a spokesman for the U.S. Geological Survey in Washington, said scientists there calculated the preliminary magnitude at 7.8, upgrading it after receiving additional information from monitoring stations from around the world.
"There are general reports of damage from the states of Colima, Michoacan and Jalisco," Mr. Kinerney said. "Because of the size of the earthquake and its shallow depth, USGS is expecting substantial damage."
There were few details of damage available last night because it was difficult to communicate with the Colima area by telephone, partly because of overloaded lines.

PAKISTAN
Rockets hit pipeline, gas supplies disrupted
ISLAMABAD Rockets fired by unknown assailants yesterday ruptured a gas pipeline in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province, threatening domestic gas supplies to the capital, Islamabad.
Officials said at least three rockets were fired, hitting the main pipeline near Dera Bugti, 400 miles southwest of Islamabad.
An official linked the attack to problems with local tribal people over electricity supplies that were stopped a few days ago owing to nonpayment of bills.

SOUTH AFRICA
Zulu prince dies after shooting
JOHANNESBURG A member of South Africa's Zulu royal family died in a hospital yesterday after being shot in the head during a drive-by attack.
Prince Mazwi Zulu, 38, son of KwaZulu-Natal province Welfare Minister Prince Gideon Zulu and cousin to King Goodwill Zwelithini, was hit when gunmen fired shots at a car carrying him and his mother on Monday, police said.

CANADA
Dense fog halts avalanche probe
REVELSTOKE, British Columbia Heavy fog prevented investigators yesterday from reaching the remote site in British Columbia's jagged mountains where an avalanche killed seven backcountry skiers, including three Americans. One skier was hospitalized after Monday's avalanche.

AFGHANISTAN
Chief justice bans cable television
KABUL In a move reminiscent of the ousted Taliban, Afghanistan's chief justice has stopped cable-television broadcasts, complaining of images that violate Islamic morals.
Chief Justice Fazl Hadi Shinwari told the Associated Press yesterday that he issued the ban, which took effect over the weekend, after a group of citizens said they were outraged by images of scantily clad women and men.

PANAMA
Three journalists kidnapped in jungle
PANAMA CITY Three journalists were kidnapped in a remote Panamanian village by armed Colombian attackers, police said yesterday. Panama's national police issued a statement identifying the three as Mark Wedeven, Megan A. Smaker and Robert Pelton. At least two are believed to be U.S. citizens, while one may be Canadian. Mr. Pelton produces television documentaries on the world's most dangerous places.


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