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News Briefs

November 22, 1995
Web posted at: 12:30 p.m. EST (1730 GMT)

Quake jolts Mideast at dawn

CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) -- At least six people were killed Wednesday and more than 20 injured in a powerful dawn earthquake that shook the Mideast from Lebanon to the borders of Sudan.

map The quake was centered under the sea floor of the Gulf of Aqaba 68 miles south of Eilat, a resort town in Israel. Seven hotels and over 50 other buildings in Eilat were damaged.

The quake, which lasted for over a minute beginning at 6:15 a.m. (0415 GMT) was felt in Cairo, Beirut, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Eight buildings collapsed in Cairo, but there were no reports of injuries.

Seismological readings on the quake varied from 5.7 to 7.2, making Wednesday's quake the strongest to hit the region since 1927, when a quake killed more than 200 people in the West Bank town of Jericho. Cairo was hit by an earthquake in 1992 that killed more than 450 people and injured thousands.


Bomb attacks threaten Chechnyan elections

GROZNY, Russia (CNN) -- A bomb exploded in the capitol of the breakaway Russian republic of Chechnya Wednesday morning -- the second such explosion in a month. Two people were injured. The Interfax news agency also said that a second bomb was discovered and defused.

Earlier this week, a similar bomb attack injured Doku Zavgayev, the current leader of the Moscow-backed Chechen government. And, a bombing last month left the head of Russian forces in Chechnya in a coma.

Elections are scheduled for December 17 in Chechnya, but rebels advocating a separate Chechen republic have condemned the process as illegal and provocative. It's not known who is responsible for the bombings or if they're related to the upcoming elections.

Thousands of people have been killed in the conflict between Russia and Chechnya since 1991, when Dzhokhar Dudayev unilaterally declared the republic independent. Dudayev is now in hiding in the mountains.

Russia sent in some 40,000 troops to crush the rebel's independence drive in December. An agreement on the partial withdrawal of Russian troops and rebel disarmament broke down on July 30.


South Korea's ruling party to change its name

SEOUL, South Korea (CNN) -- Embarrassed by former president Roh Tae-woo's private slush fund, South Korea's ruling party announced Wednesday that it would change its name in order to distance itself from the scandal.

Roh was arrested on November 16, charged with taking more than $300 million from 30 business conglomerates. Roh admitted last month to amassing over $650 million while president of South Korea, and said he still had over $200 million in secret accounts.

Opponents of President Kim Young-sam's Democratic Liberal Party have tried to link Kim to the scandal. In announcing the name change, the party said in a statement that it would strive to "wipe out evil political legacies form the past and be reborn in a new shape."

"The change of our party's name will be the first step towards legal and institutional reforms," the statement said. "We want to sever close politics-business links and realize clean politics."


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