7.1 magnitude quake kills 139 as buildings crumble in Mexico(Source Associated Press) A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 139 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped. Dozens of buildings tumbled into mounds of rubble or were severely damaged in densely populated parts of Mexico City and nearby states. Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said buildings fell at 44 places in the capital alone as high-rises across the city swayed sickeningly. The quake is the deadliest in Mexico since a 1985 quake on the same date killed thousands. It came less than two weeks after another powerful quake caused 90 deaths in the country’s south. Luis Felipe Puente, head of the national Civil Defense agency, tweeted Tuesday night that the confirmed death toll had risen to 139. Mancera, the Mexico City mayor, said 50 to 60 people were rescued alive by citizens and emergency workers in the capital. Authorities said at least 70 people in the capital had been hospitalized for injuries.
Vatican recalls priest from US embassy amid child porn probe (Source nypost.com) A high-ranking priest working in the Vatican’s embassy in Washington has been recalled after U.S. prosecutors asked for him to be charged there and face trial in a child pornography investigation, Vatican and U.S. officials said Friday. The diplomat was suspected of possessing, but not producing or disseminating, child pornography including images of pre-pubescent children, a U.S. source familiar with the case said. The source was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. The Vatican declined to identify the priest, but said he was currently in Vatican City and that Vatican prosecutors had launched their own probe.
Puerto Rico entirely without power as Hurricane Maria hammers island with devastating force (Source The Washington Post)
Hurricane Maria delivered a destructive full-body blow to this U.S. territory on Wednesday, ripping off metal roofs, generating terrifying and potentially lethal flash floods, knocking out 100 percent of the island’s electrical grid and decimating some communities.
With sustained winds of 155 mph at landfall — a strong Category 4 storm and nearly a Category 5 — Maria was so powerful that it disabled radar, weather stations and cell towers across Puerto Rico, leaving an information vacuum in which officials could only speculate about property damage, injuries or deaths. “Definitely Puerto Rico — when we can get outside — we will find our island destroyed,” Abner Gómez, director of Puerto Rico’s emergency management agency, said in a midday news conference here. “The information we have received is not encouraging. It’s a system that has destroyed everything it has had in its path.” The entire island experienced hurricane conditions, with 20 inches or more of rain falling, often at torrential rates of up to seven inches per hour, leading to reports of raging floodwaters and people seeking help to escape them. The storm, having passed through the U.S. Virgin Islands earlier, made landfall on the Puerto Rican coast near Yabucoa at 6:15 a.m. It was the first Category 4 storm to strike the island directly since 1932. By midmorning, Maria had fully engulfed the 100-mile-long island.