World News Roundup May 20

By: AP
By: AP

Reports: 3 dead in quake near Bologna
ROME (AP) -- Italian news reports say three people have been killed in a 5.9-magnitude earthquake that struck northern Italy near Bologna.
The quake that struck at just after 4 a.m. Sunday was centered 35 kilometers (21.75 miles) north-northwest of Bologna at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Italian news agency ANSA, citing emergency services, said two people were killed in Sant'Agostino di Ferrara when a ceramics factory collapsed. Another person was killed in Ponte Rodoni do Bondeno.
In late January, A 5.4-magnitude quake shook northern Italy. Some office buildings in Milan were evacuated as a precaution and there were scattered reports of falling masonry and cracks in buildings.

Taiwan's Ma signals no China change as term starts
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- Taiwan's president has signaled that he will continue the China policy that helped him get re-elected as he begins his second four-year term.
Speaking at a low-key inaugural ceremony Sunday, Ma Ying-jeou hewed to the same formula for China relations he championed during his first term -- "no unification, no independence and no use of force."
That policy has substantially reduced tensions between the sides, while offering Beijing little early hope of realizing its long term goal of unification.
Ma's comments Sunday are likely to disappoint hard-liners in Beijing, intent on bringing democratic Taiwan under their rule as soon as possible.
The two sides split amid civil war in 1949, and China continues to regard Taiwan as part of its territory.

Trapped Chinese coal miner rescued after 17 days
BEIJING (AP) -- A Chinese coal miner has been rescued after being trapped underground for 17 days by an underground flood that killed at least 10 others.
State television and the official Xinhua News Agency say rescuers brought 39-year-old Si Li out of the Junyuan No. 2 Coal Mine in the northeastern city of Hegang on Saturday. The reports Sunday said he was hospitalized in stable condition.
Xinhua said 28 miners were in the mine when it flooded May 2. Ten died, three are still missing and the rest escaped as the water rose or were rescued shortly after the disaster.
China Central Television said Si survived in part by eating straw bags used in the mine.

Guatemala's Fuego volcano belches ash, lava
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) -- The Fuego volcano in central Guatemala has begun shooting lava and columns of ash into the air, and authorities have raised the alert level in the area.
The volcano overlooks the tourist city of Antigua and is one of Central America's most-active volcanoes.
Guatemala's National Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology Institute said in a statement Saturday that Fuego shot ash 16,400 feet (5,000 meters) into the air. Lava flows reached up to 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) in length.
David de Leon, spokesman for the national disaster agency, said authorities have raised the alert level because Fuego is in an effusive stage. The measure involves closing nearby highways, installing monitoring stations and readying emergency workers.
De Leon said while no evacuations have been ordered, there might be if Fuego's activity increases.

Car bomb in eastern Syrian city kills 9
BEIRUT (AP) -- At least nine people have been killed by a car bomb in Syria today.
The bomb went off in the parking lot of a military compound in an eastern city (Deir al-Zour). Video broadcast on Syrian state TV showed damaged buildings, smoldering cars and trucks flipped upside down as well as a street stained with blood.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. The government blamed it on "terrorists," who it says are behind the uprising against President Bashar Assad.
A spokesman for the city's rebel military council denied the opposition was behind the attack and blamed the blast on the regime.
In Damascus, top United Nations' peacekeeping and military officials met with Syrian officials to try to salvage a U.N. peace plan, which has been marred by daily violence and dismissed by the opposition as unrealistic. A cease-fire that was supposed to start last month has never really taken hold, undermining the rest of international envoy Kofi Annan's plan.

Libya: Benghazi hold first post-Gadhafi vote
BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) -- Residents of Benghazi have voted for a local council in the first elections in the eastern Libyan city since the capture and killing of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi last year.
Benghazi is Libya's second-largest city. It was the birthplace and hub of the bloody uprising that toppled Gadhafi after more than four decades in power.
More than 400 people are running for 41 seats up for grabs on the local council in Saturday's elections.
Libya's third-largest city of Misrata voted for a local council in February.

Egypt's election body promises free, fair election
CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's election commission is vowing that next week's presidential election will be free and fair.
Commission deputy chief Hatem Bagato showed reporters Saturday a number of new security measures that will be used to ensure the vote is transparent and fair. They include ballots with embedded security stamps that cannot be photocopied and transparent folders in which judges monitoring the vote will place their results.
The May 23-24 presidential election is the first since last year's ouster of longtime authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak. It marks the first time Egyptians will choose their leader in a race overseen by international monitors.
Mubarak's regime routinely rigged elections and intimidated voters during his nearly 30-year rule

Rights group accuses Egypt's military of torture
CAIRO (AP) -- Human Rights Watch has accused the Egyptian military of beating and torturing protesters arrested during demonstrations early this month.
The New York-based group says in a statement Saturday that by permitting such behavior from its soldiers, the military "enables further abuse."
Joe Stork, the group's deputy director for the Middle East, says that "the brutal beating of both men and women protesters shows that military officers have no sense of limits on what they can do."
HRW also criticized soldiers who did nothing as apparent supporters of Egypt's military rulers opened fire May 2 on protesters holding a sit-in outside the Defense Ministry, killing nine people.
Days later, the military detained some 350 protesters. HRW says at least 256 of them remain in detention.

Yemen: 36 killed in fighting with al-Qaida
SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Yemeni officials say fresh clashes with al-Qaida fighters in the south have left at least 34 people dead, while a suspected U.S. drone strike has killed two militants.
The officials say the drone attack took place in the central province of Bayda, killing a Somali and a Yemeni militants.
Al-Qaida briefly ovverran parts of Bayda earlier this year.
Further south in Abyan province, fighting between Yemeni troops and al-Qaida fighters killed 12 soldiers and 22 al-Qaida militants.
The officials say the clashes took place some 10 kilometers (six miles) outside Jaar, a key town that has been under the control of militants since last year.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with military regulations.

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