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In brief: 6.8 quake shakes north-central Chile

SANTIAGO, Chile – A magnitude-6.8 earthquake shook offices, toppled supermarket shelves and broke windows on Wednesday in north-central Chile, where people fled some buildings in panic.

A 55-year-old woman in the city of Atacama died of a heart attack, said Mayor Rafael Prohens, who attributed her death to fear during the quake.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered 27 miles north of Vallenar, Chile.

The quake shook the capital of Santiago, causing office buildings to sway, but was felt most powerfully in the north.

Chile’s Emergency Office, ONEMI, said no injuries were immediately reported and damage to infrastructure appeared minimal.

French forces oust militants from Kidal

SEGOU, Mali – French forces seized control of the town of Kidal in northeastern Mali, the last remaining urban stronghold in the country for Islamic militants, officials said Wednesday.

The overnight offensive was the latest success in advances that have seen al-Qaida-linked militants ousted from two other major cities, Gao and Timbuktu, since Saturday, officials said.

Members of the rebel group, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, or MNLA, had moved to the outskirts of town, officials said.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said France, Mali’s former colonial ruler, would withdraw from the country swiftly after removing Islamist militias from major urban centers, the newspaper Le Parisien reported Wednesday.


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Palestinians want international court to investigate Israel

new  Calling it a “historic step” toward justice, the Palestinian foreign minister asked the International Criminal Court on Tuesday to open an “immediate investigation” into alleged Israeli crimes committed against the Palestinian people.