Tsunami alert after Chile earthquake
‘State of catastrophe’ is declared as tremors devastate city of Concepción and death toll tops 200 with more casualties feared
Rory Carroll and Jonathan Franklin in Santiago
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 27 February 2010 22.25 GMT
A huge earthquake has shaken Chile, killing more than 200 people, causing buildings to collapse, starting fires and unleashing a tsunami across the Pacific. With a magnitude of 8.8, it opened cracks in the earth, flipped cars and devastated the city of Concepción, 70 miles from the epicentre.
The number of dead quickly rose to 214, and is expected to increase. David Miliband, the foreign secretary, last night said there was no information yet on British casualties.
The Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet, declared a “state of catastrophe” as emergency teams scrambled over rubble looking for survivors.
Climate panel seeks outside review
Scientists say errors minor but warrant independent look
WASHINGTON – The Nobel Prize-winning international scientific panel studying global warming is seeking independent outside review for how it makes major reports.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says it’s seeking some kind of independent review because of recent criticism about its four 2007 reports.
Critics have found a few unsettling errors, including projections of retreats in Himalayan glaciers, in the thousands of pages of the reports.
Civil rights-era killings yield secrets to FBI probe
By Carrie Johnson
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Three years after the FBI pledged to investigate more than 100 unsolved civil rights killings, the agency is ready to close all but a handful. Investigators say they have solved most of the mysteries behind the cases, but few will result in indictments, given the passage of decades, the deaths of prime suspects and the challenge of gathering evidence.
“There’s maybe five to seven cases where we don’t know who did it,” said FBI Special Agent Cynthia Deitle, who is heading the bureau’s effort. “Some we know; others we know but can’t prove. For every other case, we got it.”
‘Like a car on a slingshot’
At least 56 people have died in Toyota accidents in which sudden acceleration has been alleged.
By Stuart Pfeifer, Carol J. Williams and Robert Faturechi
February 28, 2010
One car barreled through a stop sign, struck a tree and landed upside down in a Texas lake, drowning four people. Another tore across an Indiana street and crashed into a jewelry store. A third raced at an estimated 100 mph on a San Bernardino County street before striking a telephone pole, killing a restaurant owner.
At least 56 people have died in U.S. traffic accidents in which sudden unintended acceleration of Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles has been alleged, according to a Times review of public records and interviews with authorities.
Two retired generals charged in alleged Turkish coup plot
From The Times
February 27, 2010
Two retired generals were charged and eighteen more Turkish soldiers detained yesterday in the investigation into an alleged 2003 military coup plot.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister, said that no one would be considered above the law as the two most senior of those arrested – Cetin Dogan, a former head of the First Army, and Engin Alan, a former special forces commander – faced charges.
The arrests were over involvement in the purported Sledgehammer plot to justify a military takeover.
“Those who make plans behind closed doors to crush the people’s will must see that from now on they will face justice,” Mr Erdogan said.
Genocide case opens against Bosnian Serb general
By ARTHUR MAX
Associated Press Writer
THE HAGUE, Netherlands – U.N. prosecutors opened the genocide trial Friday of a senior Bosnian Serb army general, accusing him of supervising the execution and burial of thousands of Muslims during the climax of the Bosnian war.
Gen. Zdravko Tolimir, 61, was the top intelligence officer and trusted aide of Ratko Mladic, the commander of Bosnian Serb forces and the most wanted alleged war criminal still at large from the Balkan wars of the early 1990s.
Family slain amid election terror in Iraq
From The Sunday Times
February 28, 2010
Marie Colvin in Baghdad
THE slaughter of the al-Kaabi family last week horrified Iraqis who had prayed that the parliamentary elections next Sunday would be free from political violence.
Eight-year-old Ahmed was found hanging from a ceiling fan, blood dripping from slashed wrists tied behind his back. Little Rafel, her throat cut, was still in the purple and pink T-shirt she had worn to bed.
UK police in Israel to probe use of fake passports
British police officers are in Israel to investigate the use of fake British passports by suspects in the killing of a Hamas leader in Dubai.
The BBC Sunday, 28 February 2010
They will interview six British-Israeli nationals whose identities were stolen by the suspected killers.
The officers said the men were being treated as potential witnesses to a crime and not as suspects.
It is widely believed Israel’s secret service, Mossad, killed Mahmoud al-Mabouh in a Dubai hotel last month.
Israel has declined to confirm or deny that it was responsible.
Officers from the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) are investigating the use of the fake British passports.
It said the meetings with the six British-Israeli nationals were taking place with the full knowledge of the Israeli authorities.
Apple admits using child labour
Apple has admitted that child labour was used at the factories that build its computers, iPods and mobile phones.
By Malcolm Moore in Shanghai
Published: 12:21PM GMT 27 Feb 2010
At least eleven 15-year-old children were discovered to be working last year in three factories which supply Apple.
The company did not name the offending factories, or say where they were based, but the majority of its goods are assembled in China.
Apple also has factories working for it in Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, the Czech Republic and the United States.
Apple said the child workers are now no longer being used, or are no longer underage. “In each of the three facilities, we required a review of all employment records for the year as well as a complete analysis of the hiring process to clarify how underage people had been able to gain employment,” Apple said, in an annual report on its suppliers.
Japan gets first tsunami waves from Chile quake
February 28, 2010
Tsunami waves from the deadly 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile rippled across the Japanese coast on Sunday, but the initial ones did not appear large enough to cause damage.
Authorities urged residents to stay away because a second and third round of waves could gain strength. The first one, a 4-inch wave, hit Minami Torishima, according to the Japanese meteorological agency.
Minami Torishima is a small island in the Pacific Ocean.
An 11-inch wave was later recorded in the port of Nemuro, Hokkaido. It hit the port at 1:57 p.m. local time. Another 8-inch wave hit Hamanaka-cho, Hokkaido, at 2:05 p.m. local time.
African leaders show there are many countries for old men
Robert Mugabe is the eldest statesman on a continent where age is seldom a barrier to power
David Smith in Johannesburg
The Observer, Sunday 28 February 2010
Let them eat cake. That is one of the likely headlines after an all-night birthday gala for Robert Mugabe, the autocratic president of Zimbabwe, which was due to finish in the early hours of yesterday. Mugabe, who last week turned 86 in a country where average life expectancy stands at 45, is the eldest statesman on a continent where age is seldom a barrier to power.
But events confronting both Nigerians and Nigeriens in the past week have demonstrated that the next generation of African leaders might find it somewhat harder to crush all comers.
President Mamadou Tandja of Niger, who had rewritten the constitution rather than quit when his term expired, paid the penalty when soldiers stormed the presidential palace and spirited him away in a military coup. Diplomats were ambivalent about whether to condemn the means or praise the ends.
Coup draws praise in Niger
In twist, junta seen as protector of democracy
By Todd Pitman
Associated Press / February 28, 2010
NIAMEY, Niger – It’s politics, upside down.
The elected president of a uranium-rich nation morphs into a despot and refuses to relinquish power, prompting the army to stage a popular coup with guns blazing in the name of democracy.
Most governments check executive excesses through sister branches – the Legislature, the judiciary. In Niger, the military has assumed the bizarre yet vital role of safeguarding democratic institutions by force – most recently by blowing a hole through the front gate of the presidential palace this month and taking hostage an entire government.The soldiers who overthrew Mamadou Tandja are vowing to restore civilian rule, an assertion that has often proved hollow among Africa’s myriad juntas. The difference in Niger, though, is profound: Most people here actually believe them.
Chile earthquake much stronger than Haiti’s but far less damage. Why?
The Chile earthquake — at a magnitude of 8.8 — was much stronger than the one that hit Haiti, but casualties and damages appear to be far less. Why?
By Benjamin Witte and Sara Miller Llana Correspondent and Staff writer / February 27, 2010
Santiago, Chile and Mexico City
The earthquake that struck Chile was far stronger than the one that struck Haiti in January.
But, initial reports show that damage was much more contained. While the death toll of 214 is only preliminary and is expected to grow, it’s still a thousand times lower than that of Haiti’s.
One emergency official quoted by Reuters said the number of deaths was unlikely to increase dramatically.
IN PICTURES: Images from the 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile
Because of its long history with earthquakes, which has contributed to an earthquake “consciousness” in Chile, and infrastructure that is built to higher standards, many hope that Chile will be spared the vast destruction that struck Haiti, even as it deals with one of its worst natural disasters in decades.