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Nation in brief: Boy with matches started huge fire

Wed., Oct. 31, 2007

A boy playing with matches started a fire in north Los Angeles County that consumed more than 38,000 acres and destroyed 21 homes last week, authorities said Tuesday.

The boy, whose name and age were not released, was interviewed a day after the Buckweed fire was sparked Oct. 21, said sheriff’s Sgt. Diane Hecht.

“He admitted to playing with matches and accidentally starting the fire,” Hecht said in a statement.

The boy was released to his parents, and the case will be presented to the district attorney’s office, Hecht said.

SAN JOSE, Calif.

Moderate quake rattles Bay Area

A moderate earthquake shook the San Francisco Bay Area Tuesday night, rattling homes and nerves, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.6 and struck shortly after 8 p.m., about nine miles northeast of San Jose, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Residents reported feeling the quake, which lasted about a minute, as far east as Sacramento and as far north as Sonoma in California wine country.

The California Highway Patrol has received no reports of damage or injuries, spokesman Tom Marshall said.


Ralph Nader sues Democratic Party

Consumer advocate and 2004 independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader sued the Democratic Party on Tuesday, contending officials conspired to keep him from taking votes away from nominee John Kerry.

The lawsuit, filed in District of Columbia Superior Court, also alleges that the Democratic National Committee conspired to force Nader off the ballot in several states.

Among other things, the lawsuit alleges that the DNC tried to bankrupt Nader’s campaign by suing to keep him off the ballot in 18 states. It also suggests the DNC sent Kerry supporters to crash a Nader petition drive in Portland in June 2004, preventing him from collecting enough signatures to get on the ballot.


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