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Massive Earthquake Devastates Haiti


HAITI - EARTHQUAKE: The most powerful earthquake to strike Haiti in more than 200 years has left parts of the impoverished Caribbean nation in ruins, destroying buildings and burying people in the rubble. The magnitude 7.0 quake struck Tuesday afternoon, sending a cloud of dust from falling buildings into the sky. The quake was centered about 16 kilometers from the capital, Port-au-Prince, and struck at a depth of just 10 kilometers. It was followed by several aftershocks, one of which had a 5.9 magnitude. Reports from the capital say much of the city is in ruins, and witnesses report seeing bodies lining city streets.

GOOGLE - CHINA: U.S. search engine giant Google says it will no longer censor its search results and may end its operations in China after uncovering a massive cyber attack on e-mail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. In an online posting Tuesday, Google's Chief Legal Officer David Drummond said the company had discovered a "highly sophisticated and targeted attack" aimed at its corporate infrastructure originating from China. Drummond said the primary goal of the attack was to access the Google e-mail accounts (Gmail) of Chinese human rights activists.

CLINTON - ASIA: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has outlined the U.S. security strategy for Asia and the Pacific, saying an "active and engaged United States" is critical to the success of regional cooperation. During a speech in Honolulu, Hawaii, late Tuesday, Clinton said the futures of the U.S. and Asia are linked by both economic and security cooperation. She said nations in the region should work together to counter security threats like nuclear proliferation, territorial disputes and military competition. She said lowering trade and investment barriers will enhance economic development, and political progress will result from protecting human rights and promoting open societies.

KOREAS - TENSION: North Korea is demanding that South Korea stop activists from launching propaganda leaflets across their divided border. The demand was issued Wednesday by North Korean military officials during talks with their counterparts from Seoul. The message said Pyongyang "will never tolerate even the slightest acts" of undermining the communist regime. North Korea is urging South Korea to punish activists who launch balloons over the border carrying the leaflets. The South Korean government has urged the activists to stop the activity, but says it can not legally stop them, citing freedom of speech.

THAILAND - SAUDI - MURDER: Thai authorities have filed murder charges against five police officers allegedly involved in a Saudi businessman's disappearance 20 years ago. The attorney general's office says it indicted Lieutenant General Somkid Boonthanom and four other officers on charges of premeditated murder and illegal detention in connection with the death of Mohammad al-Ruwaili in 1990. The alleged crimes are linked to the 1989 theft of millions of dollars of royal jewelry from a Saudi palace. A Thai employee of the palace was jailed in Thailand in connection with the theft.

YEMEN: Yemeni security forces have killed the head of an al-Qaida cell in the eastern province of Shabwa. The governor of Shabwa province, Ali Ahmadi, said Wednesday security forces killed the suspected militant leader during a raid on his home. Also in Shabwa province, security officials say two Yemeni soldiers were killed in a road ambush Wednesday. Yemen came to the foreground of U.S.-led efforts to battle Islamic militants after the Yemen-based wing of al-Qaida said it was behind the failed Christmas Day (December 25) plot to bomb a U.S.-bound jetliner.

US - HONEST CAB DRIVER: A New York City cab driver says he returned a lost purse containing more than $21,000 in cash and jewelry because his mother always advised him to be honest. An Italian tourist left the purse in Mohammad Asadujjaman's cab when she got out of his cab at a New York train station. After discovering the loss, police advised the tourist she had little chance of getting the money back. But Asadujjaman, a native of Bangladesh, drove to an address he found in the purse and made sure the money and valuables were returned to his passenger.

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