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In brief: Earthquake shakes Iran, Pakistan, Dubai


Tehran, Iran – An earthquake toppled homes and shops on both sides of the Iran-Pakistan border Tuesday, killing dozens of people and causing skyscrapers to sway in Dubai. It also forced Iranian officials – for the second time in less than a week – to issue assurances that its main nuclear reactor wasn’t damaged.

At least 34 people were killed in a single village in Pakistan, a military official said. But the overall death toll became clouded after conflicting reports from Iran.

At first, Iran’s state-in Press TV said at least 40 people died, which would push the two-nation tally to 74. But it later retreated from its account, and other Iranian outlets stepped in with a far less dire picture.

Musharraf nixed for parliament election

Peshawar, Pakistan – High court judges disqualified former military ruler Pervez Musharraf from Pakistan’s parliamentary election, likely ending any hope of a political comeback.

Musharraf has faced paltry public support, a raft of legal challenges and Taliban death threats since he returned to Pakistan last month after years in self-imposed exile.

Many experts predicted Musharraf’s fate and have been scratching their heads at what drove his decision to return. Some have speculated he misjudged how much public backing he would get, while others guessed he was simply homesick.

Venezuela riots leave seven dead

Caracas, Venezuela – Venezuela’s attorney general said Tuesday that seven people have been killed and 61 injured in post-presidential election clashes between police, supporters of newly elected President Nicolas Maduro and challenger Henrique Capriles, who has demanded a recount.

Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz also said 135 people had been arrested since election results were announced late Sunday that gave Maduro a victory by 1.5 percentage points. Capriles, the governor of Miranda state, has charged that Maduro stole the election, citing 3,200 alleged irregularities in Sunday’s balloting.

The developments Tuesday included Maduro, favored by the late former President Hugo Chavez as his successor, saying in a nationally televised speech that he would not permit an opposition march planned for today to the Caracas headquarters of the National Electoral Council.


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