Nation/World

World in brief: Strong earthquake rattles north Japan

A powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked a rural area of northern Japan today, killing at least two people, triggering landslides and reportedly knocking down a bridge. News reports said dozens of people were injured.

Two nuclear power plants in the area were undergoing inspections but there were no immediate reports of damage. Electricity had been cut to about 29,000 households in the quake zone.

The 8:43 a.m. quake was centered about 280 miles north of Tokyo. It was felt as far away as the capital.

One of the deaths was a man who ran out of a building in fear and was hit by a passing truck, and the other confirmed death was a man who was buried in a landslide while he was fishing.

Islamabad, Pakistan

Lawyers lead massive protest

Tens of thousands of protesters swarmed into Pakistan’s capital Friday for a raucous rally led by lawyers demanding the reinstatement of judges and the ouster of President Pervez Musharraf.

The gathering, which continued until around dawn today, threatened to widen a rift within the governing coalition. Some analysts said it could prod the partners to find a way to restore the justices and hasten the exit of the unpopular U.S.-backed president.

After about 30 hours on the road, senior lawyers, joined by politicians, took to a stage a few hundred yards from Pakistan’s floodlit parliament. They addressed a crowd of about 20,000 people.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif unleashed a blistering attack on Musharraf, demanding he be put on trial and held accountable for his eight and a half years in power.



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