A powerful earthquake hit southeastern Iran early today (Tuesday), killing at least 230 people, injuring hundreds more and destroying several villages. The quake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale was centered near the city of Zarand in Kerman province, some 740-kilometers southeast of Tehran. Local officials say the casualty figures are likely to rise as rescue teams dig through rubble in villages flattened by the quake.
President Bush is taking part in back-to-back summits with NATO and European Union leaders today (Tuesday) in Brussels, where he is expected to urge them to play a greater role in helping to bring peace and stability to the Middle East. Mr. Bush is seeking more European help in training Iraqi security forces and will likely make his case for increased EU pressure on Iran to curb its nuclear program.
Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is coming under criticism for his plan to fight a growing Muslim insurgency in the country's troubled south. A former Thai army commander-in-chief and current advisor to Thailand's King, says the designation of security zones will lead some people to feel they are being segregated. Surayud Chulanont also warned the plan could bring a return of violence similar to that of the 1970s.
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