News for October 9, 2005
* ( UPDATE ) * Death Toll Surpasses 30,000 in Asia Quake (October 9, 2005) - Villagers desperate to find survivors dug with bare hands Sunday through the debris of a collapsed school where children had been heard crying beneath the rubble after a massive earthquake killed more than 30,000 people in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir alone. “I have been informed by my department that more than 30,000 people have died in Kashmir,” Tariq Mahmmod, communications minister for the Himalayan region, told The Associated Press. Saturday’s magnitude-7.6 quake also struck India and Afghanistan, which reported hundreds dead. Pakistan’s army called the earthquake the country’s worst-ever disaster and appealed for urgent help. Rival India, the United States, the United Nations, Britain, Russia, China, Turkey, Japan and Germany all offered assistance. more...
Encephalitis Death Toll Hits 1,038 in India (October 9, 2005) - Japanese encephalitis claimed 15 more lives in northern India, as a health official on Sunday expressed surprise that the recent outbreak which had appeared to be fading was spreading again. The outbreak has killed 1,038 people, mostly children, in the impoverished northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, according to government figures. About 300 deaths have also been reported in neighboring Nepal. The disease is easily preventable by vaccinations, but many medical facilities in the area are underfunded and understaffed. “Cases are now being reported from newer areas,” said O.P. Singh, Uttar Pradesh’s director general of health services. Reported cases of the mosquito-borne illness had been dropping with the end of the rainy season when there’s more water for mosquitoes to breed and officials had thought it was coming under control. “It is baffling, as new cases are being reported from western part of the state (Uttar Pradesh),” Singh said, adding that a team of specialists has been sent to the area to study the problem. Japanese encephalitis breaks out every year in eastern Uttar Pradesh. This year has been exceptionally rainy, leaving many pools of water and providing the perfect breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that spread the incurable disease. Symptoms include blinding headaches, seizures, nausea and high fever. The disease is sometimes fatal. more...
Earthquake Rattles San Simeon Area (October 9, 2005) - An earthquake shook Central California early Saturday, about five miles northeast of San Simeon, home to Hearst Castle. There were no immediate reports of damage, officials said. The magnitude 4.2 temblor hit at 5:17 a.m., according to a preliminary report from the U.S. Geological Survey. A magnitude 4.4 quake hit the area Oct. 2. Sgt. Rex Reece of the San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s Cambria station said there was no structural damage or injuries. more...
Iran’s radicals in control of nuke program (October 9, 2005) - Hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s new president, has given the West new reason to doubt his claim that Tehran’s nuclear program is intended only for peaceful purposes – he’s placed it under the control of militant commanders of the Revolutionary Guard. Ahmadinejad initiated a purge of moderates in the government at the national and provincial level shortly after being elected two months ago. Now he has put fellow radicals in charge of a program many believe is designed to develop nuclear weapons. Many of the appointees, the London Telegraph reports, are from the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds (Jerusalem) Force, where the president previously served as brigadier general. The Revolutionary Guard was responsible for seizing U.S. diplomatic hostages during the Carter administration and this particular unit is the main backer of Hezbollah in Lebanon. As WorldNetDaily has reported, Ahmadinejad was involved in the assassination of a Kurdish leader in Austria in 1989 and has helped recruit and train thousands of suicide bombers in his country over the last year. Now, the young radicals of the 1979 Islamic revolution are the hardliners controlling Iran's nuclear weapons program.
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