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Briefs

Earthquake leaves dozens dead on Iran-Pakistan border

– 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 first, Iran’s state-in Press TV said at least 40 people died. But it later retreated from its account, and other Iranian outlets stepped in with a far less dire picture.

Despite the conflicting reports on the Iranian side, a Pakistani military official said at least 34 were killed on their side of the border and 80 were injured. Up to 1,000 mud homes were damaged, Pakistan Television added.

Nation

Report: US definitely engaged in torture

An independent review of the U.S. government’s anti-terrorism response after the 9/11 attacks reported Tuesday that it is “indisputable” the United States engaged in torture and the George W. Bush administration bears responsibility.

The report by the Constitution Project, a nonpartisan Washington-based think tank, is an ambitious review of the Bush administration’s approach to the problems of holding and interrogating detainees after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Bush, called the report “completely divorced from reality” and stressed that the procedures were “lawyered, and lawyered again, and lawyered again.”

Strangers canít bail out Maine hermit

A judge approved new bail conditions Tuesday for a Maine man who lived as a hermit for 27 years after he attracted a telephoned marriage proposal and a stranger’s offer to bail him out.

Kennebec Superior Court Justice Nancy Mills set bail for Christopher Knight at $25,000 cash but stipulated that it cannot come from a “third party” unknown to Knight. He’s charged with stealing food, clothing and other essentials from lakeside camps during nearly three decades of next to no human interaction.

Authorities have said Knight, 47, may have been responsible for as many as 1,000 burglaries during his decades in seclusion, breaking into cottages for food, cooking gear, sleeping bags, tents and other goods to help him survive.

Veteran job training sees huge vacancies

Federal auditors say a job-training program designed to help veterans re-enter the workforce has more than 60,000 empty slots, left unfilled despite efforts to reduce the jobless rate among veterans.

The program is geared toward unemployed veterans between the ages of 35 and 60. It covers up to one year of tuition for training in high-demand jobs at local community or technical colleges.

The program is just one of a range of education benefits for veterans. Most of those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan qualify for one of the others, so they’re not eligible for this particular program.

Sanfordís ex accuses him of sneaking in

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford must appear in court two days after running for a vacant congressional seat to answer a complaint that he trespassed at his ex-wife’s home, according to court documents acquired by The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The complaint says Jenny Sanford confronted Sanford leaving her Sullivans Island home Feb. 3 by a rear door, using his cellphone for a flashlight. The couple’s 2010 divorce settlement says neither may enter the other’s home without permission.

Study links colic to later migraines

The distressing nonstop crying in babies with colic is often blamed on tummy trouble, but a new study says the problem could be linked with migraine headaches in at least some infants.

Children and teens treated for migraine headaches at three hospitals in Italy and France were much more likely than other kids to have had colic in infancy.

The link has been suggested in other research, and if it can be proved, it could offer new hope for treating colic, the researchers said.

World

Venezuelaís deadly unrest blamed on US

Venezuela’s president-elect blamed the opposition Tuesday for seven deaths and 61 injuries that the government claims have occurred in disturbances protesting his election, and he accused the U.S. of being behind the unrest.

“The (U.S.) embassy has financed and led all these violent acts,” President-elect Nicolas Maduro, the chosen heir of the late Hugo Chavez, said during a televised meeting at the headquarters of the state oil company.

Maduro’s accusation came after the U.S. State Department said it would not recognize the results of Sunday’s unexpectedly close election without the vote-by-vote recount being demanded by opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.

Musharraf canít run for office in Pakistan

High court judges disqualified former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday from running in the parliamentary election, likely ending any hope of a political comeback.

The ruling was the latest blow for Musharraf, who 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.

North Korea wants apology from South

North Korea lashed out anew Tuesday at South Korea over a small public protest in Seoul in which demonstrators burned effigies of the North’s leaders, saying it would not hold talks with its southern neighbor unless it apologized for anti-North Korean actions “big and small.”

The statement came amid international fears that the North is preparing to conduct a medium-range missile test.

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