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BREAKING: San Francisco hit by earthquake

10:19pm: The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting that an earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 3.6 on the Richter scale struck the city of San Francisco at approximately 7:05pm local time. More on this story as it develops. 10:29pm: The epicenter was reportedly located 8 miles north of Berkeley.…

California prison riot leaves two stabbed, many injured

LOS ANGELES — At least two inmates were stabbed Friday in a “large scale riot” at a maximum security prison in California, where gunfire was used to quell the unrest, authorities said. Around 150 inmates were involved in the disturbance that started mid-morning in the main exercise yard of the…

Democratic senators propose ending tax breaks for big oil

WASHINGTON — Democrats in the US Senate on Tuesday proposed eliminating tax breaks for big oil firms and applying the expected $21 billion savings over 10 years to help reduce the deficit. “We all need to tighten our belts to help address the deficit, even the oil companies,” said Senator…

Mississippi tornado topped the scale with 205 mph winds

SMITHVILLE, Miss (Reuters) – The small town of Smithville, Mississippi may have endured the strongest tornado of the dozens that pounded the southern U.S. this week, packing such force that it hurled bodies into nearby fields, weather experts and local officials said on Friday. While other tornadoes got more attention,…

Japan upgrades nuclear emergency to highest level

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan upgraded its nuclear emergency to a maximum seven on an international scale of atomic crises on Tuesday, the first time the highest ranking has been invoked since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. The regrading to a “major accident” with “widespread health and environmental effects” puts Fukushima…

Israel preparing for ‘large scale war’: cable

OSLO — Israel’s army chief told a US Congress delegation in late 2009 he was preparing for a large war in the Middle East, probably against Hamas or Hezbollah, leaked US diplomatic cables showed on Sunday. “I am preparing the Israeli army for a large scale war, since it is…

Israel preparing for ‘large scale war’: cable

OSLO — Israel’s army chief told a US Congress delegation in late 2009 he was preparing for a large war in the Middle East, probably against Hamas or Hezbollah, leaked US diplomatic cables showed on Sunday. “I am preparing the Israeli army for a large scale war, since it is…

Gen. Petraeus stunned at Karzai’s suggestion that US scale back military operations

US war commander General David Petraeus expressed “astonishment and disappointment” over Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s recent call for a scale back of US military operations, a report said Monday. Petraeus warned Afghan officials that Karzai’s weekend comments — in which he demanded dramatic reductions in operations such as night raids…

Morgues and crematoria ‘overcrowded’ as toxic smog chokes Moscow

The toxic smog smothering Moscow showed little sign of abating Monday as media accused officials of covering up the scale of the disaster and the authorities raced to put out a fire near a nuclear site. Amid Russia’s worst heatwave in decades, the raging wildfires and burning peat bogs in…

European researchers close in on invisibility cloak

European researchers have taken the world a step closer to fictional wizard Harry Potter’s invisibility cape after they made an object disappear using a three-dimensional “cloak”, a study published Thursday in the US-based journal Science showed. Scientists from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany and Imperial College London used the…

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