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Archive for Sunday, October 28, 2001

Nation/World Briefs

October 28, 2001

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NEW YORK: Small earthquake rattles NYC region

A minor earthquake early Saturday shook the New York City area, rattling the nerves of some residents still jumpy in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

A magnitude 2.6 earthquake hit under Manhattan around 1:42 a.m., said John Ebel, director of the Weston Observatory at Boston College, which monitors seismic activity in the Northeast.

"That's more than a tremor. That's a small earthquake," Ebel said.

At first, police scrambled to determine the source as 911 calls flooded in reporting shaking buildings and a booming sound, said Detective Edward Reuss, a spokesman for the New York Police Department.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

California: $600 million gift announced to Caltech

Gordon Moore, the co-founder of computer chip maker Intel Corp., and his new foundation have pledged $600 million to the California Institute of Technology, by far the largest donation ever given to a U.S. college or university.

The twin contributions, announced at a Caltech trustees board meeting Saturday, continue a series of huge gifts to higher education despite the continuing economic downturn.

Earlier this year, an anonymous donor pledged $360 million to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. That gift was followed in May by a $400 million gift to Stanford University from the foundation started by high-tech pioneer William Hewlett.

Caltech, one of the nation's most selective higher education institutions, is located in Pasadena, Calif., and has an enrollment of 1,900 students.

MOSCOW: Footage of sunken sub shows interior carnage

The first footage of the internal damage to the salvaged Russian nuclear submarine Kursk tells the story of a catastrophe last year when the vessel sank in the Barents Sea.

Heavy steel pipes and walls were torn from the sub's interior by the force of the second and larger of two explosions, leaving a hollow molten shell.

Russian investigators have recovered 20 bodies in the submarine in the past three days. That brings the number found to 32 of the 118 crew members who perished in the Aug. 12, 2000, disaster.

Russia said efforts to raise the sub have confirmed there was never a chance of rescuing any of the crew because the vessel was flooded within eight hours of the two blasts.

Northern Ireland: Protestant party backs minister who resigned

David Trimble won the backing Saturday of the ruling council of Northern Ireland's largest Protestant party in a bid to reclaim his position atop a shaky coalition government.

The victory came as hard-line party members warned they were unimpressed by recent Irish Republican Army moves on disarmament, suggesting they may not give Trimble the crucial legislative backing he needs to reclaim his job as First Minister.

Trimble quit his post atop the joint Protestant-Catholic government in July, fed up with the IRA's refusal to fulfill past promises to put its weapons "beyond use."

As the government stumbled to the brink of collapse, the IRA announced Tuesday that it had destroyed an undisclosed stash of guns and explosives. An independent body witnessed the event, calling it "significant."

Trimble declared his satisfaction and announced plans to seek re-election.

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