- - Sunday, May 20, 2012


SANT’AGOSTINO DI FERRARA — One of the worst quakes to hit northeast Italy in hundreds of years rattled the region around Bologna early Sunday, killing at least four people, collapsing factories and sending residents running into the streets, emergency services said.

The magnitude-6.0 temblor struck at 4:04 a.m., with its epicenter about 22 miles north of Bologna at a relatively shallow depth of 3.2 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Civil defense agency official Adriano Gumina said the quake was the worst in the region since the 1300s. It left bell towers cracked, chunks of church facades lying in the streets, and roofs caved in.

Agency chief Franco Gabrielli put the death toll from quake damage at four - all overnight-shift factory workers who died as buildings collapsed in three separate locations. In addition, he said, two women died - apparently of heart attacks possibly sparked by fear, shortly after the quake rocked the area.

Sky TG24 TV reported one of them was about 100 years old.

Mr. Gabrielli said “dozens” were injured, although it was too soon for a definitive count.


Falklands War memorial unveiled in Britain

LONDON — A new memorial to the Britons who died in the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina in 1982 was unveiled Sunday, nearly 30 years since the landing of the British task force on the islands.

More than 600 veterans and their families attended the event at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, central England.

The service ended with a flyover of the last airworthy Vulcan in Britain, the giant bomber that played a key role in the war.

It was flown by Flight Lt. Martin Withers, the pilot who led a strategically crucial raid code-named Black Buck 1 on the runway in the Falklands’ capital, Port Stanley.

The new cream-colored stone tribute, which is designed to reflect the islands’ craggy landscape, is the first permanent memorial to the victims at the arboretum.

Until now, only a bench and a flagpole honored the British service personnel and merchant seamen who died in the war.

The memorial is a partial replica of one in San Carlos Bay in the Falklands, where British troops began their assault May 21, 1982.


President nixes treatment for Tymoshenko

KIEV — President Viktor Yanukovych on Sunday nixed the idea that imprisoned and ailing ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko be released for treatment abroad ahead of next month’s Euro soccer tournament.

Germany has offered to provide medical care to the 2004 Orange Revolution leader and hinted of a possible boycott by Chancellor Angela Merkel of matches played in Ukraine once the tournament kicks off June 8 in Poland, which is co-hosting the event.

Mr. Yanukovych told national television that pro-government deputies were firmly against the idea of changing the country’s laws to allow convicts to receive treatment abroad.

“If they suddenly adopt this law, only imagine - thousands of convicts with money will begin corrupting the medical profession,” Mr. Yanukovych, who is Mrs. Tymoshenko’s archrival, told Channel One. The deputies “told me they cannot do this.”

Mrs. Tymoshenko, 51, was sentenced to seven years in October on abuse of power charges that she claimed were a part of a vendetta by Mr. Yanukovych against her and her former government team.

EU leaders have rallied to her cause, and some already have vowed to skip all soccer-related events hosted by Ukraine.

The spat has halted Ukraine’s progress toward EU membership and nudged it further into Russia’s orbit amid attempts by Moscow to build closer economic and military alliances with former Soviet republics.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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