November 11, 2012

Nation/World Dispatches

From news service reports

LOUISVILLE, Ky.

Earthquake rattles nine states, causing no serious damage

The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting that an earthquake centered in Kentucky also rattled at least eight other states.

The USGS website said the epicenter of the 4.3-magnitude earthquake Saturday afternoon was about 10 miles west of Whitesburg, near the Virginia line. People in both states, as well as West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana, Ohio and Georgia, also reported feeling the temblor.

National Weather Service spokesman Jeff Carico said employees at the office in Jackson, which is about 60 miles northwest of Whitesburg, felt the ground shake for about 15 seconds. He said the office has gotten numerous calls, but so far no one has reported any serious damage.

LONDON

BBC head resigns after show wrongly accuses politician

George Entwistle, the director general of the BBC, resigned Saturday night over a TV program the network had aired that wrongly implicated a British politician in a child sex-abuse scandal.

In a brief statement outside BBC headquarters, Entwistle said he decided to do the "honorable thing" and step down after just eight weeks in the job.

Entwistle assumed the mantle as head of the BBC just two months ago from Mark Thompson, who was appointed chief executive of The New York Times Co. in August and is due to take up the post next month.

Earlier Saturday, Entwistle had said the BBC should not have aired the piece and admitted it further damaged trust in a broadcaster already reeling from the fallout over its decision not to air similar allegations against one of its late star hosts.

BAGHDAD, Iraq

Iraqi arms deal with Russia unlikely to go through now

Iraq is reconsidering plans to buy more than $4 billion in arms from Russia, officials said Saturday, throwing the proposed purchase into question just weeks after it was announced.

The turnaround follows the ouster of Russia's defense minister earlier this week, and allegations by Iraqi lawmakers and local media that the pending deal is tainted by graft.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki traveled to Moscow in October and outlined plans to buy the weapons, including helicopter gunships and air defense missiles.

The deal would have strengthened Russia's ties to oil-rich Iraq at a time when the ruling regime of longtime Mideast ally Syria risks falling.

It now appears unlikely the sale will go through as previously planned.

"When the prime minister returned from his trip to Russia, he started reviewing the deal as a whole," the prime minister's spokesman, Ali al-Moussawi, said Saturday. "The deal now is under investigation."

The comments came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin reshuffled the nation's top military brass following the removal of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov earlier in the week.

LONDON

Teen who wore disguise sentenced for armed heists

British police say a 16-year-old boy who used prosthetics and dreadlocks to conduct armed robberies in disguise has been jailed for five years.

By using facial prosthetics, makeup and a hairpiece, Miles Alura pretended to be an elderly man in order to steal $79,500 in jewelry from a shop in Kent in July, according to police. They said he produced two handguns and tied up employees before fleeing.

That robbery was linked to one in London a month earlier, when Alura wore fake dreadlocks to rob a jeweler of $159,000 worth of stock.

Two teenage accomplices were sentenced to three years in jail and a 12-month detention order.

 

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