In brief: Little damage after quake rattles Japan
TOKYO – A strong earthquake jolted Tokyo early today, rattling windows and nerves though there were no initial reports of major damage. The national broadcaster NHK, citing local authorities, said 17 people were reported injured, some of them from falls as the quake struck.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake at 5:18 a.m. local time had a magnitude of 6.0 and was centered 99 miles under the seabed near Izu Oshima island, south of Tokyo.
The quake was felt across a wide area of Japan, with the strongest shaking registered in central Tokyo, the agency reported.
Outgoing leader’s rival wins election
PANAMA CITY – Panamanians delivered a rebuke to President Ricardo Martinelli’s attempt to extend his grip on power, electing as his successor a former ally turned rival in one of the toughest-fought contests since democracy was restored two decades ago.
Vice President Juan Carlos Varela won Sunday’s presidential election with 39 percent of the votes, compared to 32 percent for Martinelli’s choice, political newcomer Jose Domingo Arias. Juan Carlos Navarro, a former mayor of the capital, got 28 percent to finish third in the seven-candidate field.
Court announces Assad challengers
BEIRUT – Embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad will face two other candidates in the coming June presidential election, the country’s Supreme Constitutional Court announced Sunday, a vote he’s widely expected to win amid the country’s raging civil war.
Assad, who is seeking a third seven-year term, will face Hassan bin Abdullah al-Nouri, a 54-year-old lawmaker from Damascus, and 43-year-old Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar, a lawmaker from the northern city of Aleppo.
Libyans swear in interim premier
TRIPOLI, Libya – Libya’s parliament swore in an Islamist-backed businessman as the country’s new interim prime minister Sunday after a disputed vote and a walkout by secular lawmakers, the latest political turmoil in a country where powerful militias hold sway years after its civil war.
Despite the protest, the interim parliament named 42-year-old businessman Ahmed Matiq as prime minister in a rushed televised session headed by the second deputy of parliament, Saleh al-Makhzoum, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction Party. But with lawmakers promising to challenge the decision, it remains unclear who will be prime minister in Libya, which is still plagued by insecurity following the ouster and the killing of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in an eight-month civil war.
Passenger train derails; 19 dead
NEW DELHI – A passenger train derailed in western India on Sunday, killing at least 19 people and injuring more than 100, police said.
The engine and four of the 20 coaches jumped the tracks near Roha station, 70 miles south of Mumbai, said police officer Ankush Shinde.
The rescue operation was continuing and the death toll was expected to rise, Shinde said.
Saxena said 123 injured passengers, some of them in serious condition, were taken to a hospital.
The cause of the derailment was not immediately known.