A 7.0-magnitude earthquake has struck 10 miles outside of Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince. A Reuters reporter on the scene hasreported seeing dead bodies in the city and devastated buildings, with CNN calling the event “catastrophic.”
At least two large aftershocks have been reported since the initial quake, measuring at magnitudes of 5.9 and 5.5. A third aftershock of 5.1 is now being reported. Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas and its cities suffering from serious overcrowding, MSNBC.
Italy’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, has overturned a law that allowed the Prime Minister to be immune from prosecution. The decision will allow a bribery trial against Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to continue. Berlusconi says he will not resign, Los Angeles Times.
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan has requested President Obama send up to 40,000 more U.S. and NATO led soldiers to the war-torn country.104,000 soldiers are already stationed in Afghanistan, but efforts against the Taliban have stalled, New York Times.
A new ring has been detected around Saturn. The ring is about eight million miles away from the planet and is believed to be made up of fragments from Saturn’s moon Phoebe. The pieces of dust from Phoebe have also been seen on another of Saturn’s moons, Iapetus, which may solve the mystery of why Iapetus is two-toned, BBC News.
A tsunami warning was issued for 11 Pacific nations today after two huge underwater earthquakes hit. A 7.8 and 7.3 struck between Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. The warning has since expired and there are no reports of damage or injuries, Sky News.
A second major earthquake struck Indonesia yesterday, only a day after a 7.6 magnitude quake that killed at least 770 people. Yesterday’s earthquake, a magnitude 6.8, is reported to have caused damage, but no fatalities have been reported so far. Hundreds of people are still believed to be trapped in the rubble from the the first quake. The death toll from the earthquake and tsunami that hit the islands of Samoa, American Samoa, and Tonga has reached 150, AP.
The Romanian government has collapsed after the resignation of the Social Democrat Party (PSD). The party resigned as a protest against the firing of Dan Nica, the interior minister, after he expressed concern about possible fraud in next month’s elections, BBC News.
An inquest into the death of a 14-year-old girl after receiving a cervical cancer vaccine shows the vaccine did not cause her death. Experts say the HPV vaccine is safe for girls and only one in a million may have a life-threatening reaction to the vaccine, Sky News.
Hot Topic: Unity Is Rallying Cry Ahead of Iraq Elections.
The death toll from the 8.0 earthquake that hit near Samoa and American Samoa has reached over 110. The majority of the fatalities occurred on the island of Samoa, where 84 people died. 24 people in American Samoa are confirmed dead and another seven in Tonga. Last night President Obama declared American Samoa a major disaster area, allowing the islands to receive federal relief, Voice of America. Peace Corps volunteer in Somoa Sara Reeves is blogging about the disaster here.
Another earthquake that rocked Indonesia has killed 13 people and toppled buildings on Sumatra Island. The earthquake was a magnitude 7.6 and thousands of people are feared trapped under rubble, Houston Chronicle. Update: BNO News has just reported the death toll has risen to 76 in Padang.
Israel has agreed to release 20 imprisoned Palestinian women in exchange for a video of an Israeli soldier, proving that he is still alive. The soldier is Cpl. Gilad Shalit who was captured by Hamas in 2006. Officials from both countries say the exchange will happen on Friday, New York Times.
Peter Galbraith, a senior UN official in Afghanistan, is being removed from his post after questioning the validity of the country’s presidential election, which President Karzai won handily. Galbraith reportedly angered Karzai after calling for a complete recount, BBC News.
An 8.3 magnitude earthquake has struck 139 miles southwest of Pago Pago on American Samoa. BNO News is reporting a 13.1 foot tsunami has hit off the coast of Pago Pago and that villages located on the southeast coast of Samoa’s Upolu have been “flattened” by the earthquake.
Update: Reuters is now reporting that police say there are multiple deaths from the tsunami. The U.S. National Park Service confirms four 15-20 feet waves hit the island of Tutuila (where Pago Pago is located). MSNBC reports some low-lying buildings have been damaged and power and phone lines are down.
Police in Milwaukee, Wisconsin have arrested 49-year-old Walter E. Ellis, who is suspected of murdering nine women over a span of 21 years. Ellis’ DNA was found on all nine of the bodies. Eight of the women were prostitutes and the other was a runaway, BNO News.
A 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit the country of Georgia today. The quake was shallow at only 6.2 miles deep and there are no reports so far of damage or causalities, BBC News.
President Obama delivered an energetic speech today at the A.F.L.-C.I.O. Labor Day picnic in Cincinnati about healthcare reform. Watch part of the remarks:
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An official says the massive California wildfire that is still burning was “human-caused.” However, deputy incident commander Carlton Joseph has said there are many possibilities as to how the fire began and there are no clues yet that show how it started, AP.
The death toll from the earthquake that struck 150 miles from Jakarta has been raised to at least 35. The toll is expected to rise as a landslide triggered by the quake destroyed many houses, BBC News.
Next Wednesday, President Obama will address a joint session of Congress to speak about his healthcare reform plan. Rumors have been circulating that the White House is planning on dropping the public option from the plan, but officials have not confirmed this. Three House committees have passed healthcare reform bills, but the Senate has not been able to reach a compromise, Washington Post.
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The tropical storm Claudette is expected to hit the Florida panhandle tonight. Thre are some flood warnings issued for counties along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. There is also the possibility of tornadoes in northern Florida, CNN.
Japan has officially exited the recession after reporting second quarter growth. The economy grew .9% from April to June and a recent stimulus package is said to be the cause. Germany, France, and Hong Kong have also recently shown growth, BBC News.
Usain Bolt broke the 100m world record today with a time of 9.58 seconds at the World Championships in Berlin. The runner won three gold medals in last year’s Olympics and set world records in each of those wins, BBC Sport.
A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck off of Okinawa, Japan about an hour ago, but so far there are no reports of any damage. Tsunami warnings were issued as a precaution, BNO News.