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    Sinkholes around the world


    The sinkhole that appeared in Guatemala City this week was not the first of its kind






    Taichung, Taiwan, 1999: A man looks at an earthquake-opened sinkhole filled with molasses spilled from nearby storage tanks



    Lighthouse Reef System, Belize, 2000: The Blue Hole is a karst-eroded sinkhole, the result of the repeated collapses of a cave system formed during lower sea level stands

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    Orlando, US, 2002: Emergency personnel stand by a giant sinkhole that opened up inside the Woodhill Apartment complex, forcing dozens of residents to evacuate their apartments



    New York, US, 2006: A Ford Explorer sits nose-first inside a 15ft by 20ft-wide sinkhole in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn

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    La Jolla, US, 2007: A massive sinkhole in the Mount Soledad neighbourhood



    Guatemala City, Guatemala, 2007: A giant sinkhole, 150 metres deep and 20 metres wide, in the neighbourhood of San Antonio. The sink hole swallowed close to twenty homes and left three people missing

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    Jordan, 2008: A sinkhole near the Ein Gedi Spa on the shores of the Dead Sea



    Picher, US, 2008: Years of lead and zinc mining turned the town into a superfund site with sinkholes, lead-laced mountains of rock, and tainted water



    Texas, US, 2009: The Devil's Sinkhole, with people gathered to view bats

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    Beijing, China, 2010: Workers inspect a sinkhole



    Guatemala City, Guatemala, 2010: A sinkhole covers a street intersection after tropical storm Agatha hit the area



    Oman: The Bimah Sinkhole, a limestone crater filled with blue-green water, is a popular visitor attraction near Qurayat

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    An unprecedented view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights, shows the shuttle on its way home as photographed by the Expedition 28 crew of the International Space Station through a window of the station, July 21, 2011

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    Supporters hold a cut-out of the newly appointed chief minister of eastern Indian state of West Bengal and Trinamool Congress (TMC) Mamata Banerjee during a rally in Kolkata July 21, 2011.



    View of the Vasilikos power station, destroyed on July 11 2011 in a blast of confiscated Iranian munitions stored at a nearby military base July 21 2011.

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    Qin Kai of China perform during the preliminary round of the men's 3m springboard diving event at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai July 21, 2011.



    Models pose for a picture wearing wrist watches to promote the upcoming motion picture "In Time" at Comic Con in San Diego, California July 21, 2011.

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    Arid Conditions
    A photograph released on Thursday shows women and girls fetching water during a sandstorm in Wajir, Kenya. A wide swathe of east Africa is experiencing a severe drought, with Somalia suffering the worst famine in 20 years.



    Train Hits Car in Illinois, Killing 2
    Two people were killed on Thursday when an inbound Metra Rock Island train struck a car at a rail crossing near the Oak Forest station in Illinois.

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    Norway: Blast near prime minister's office in Oslo



    A large explosion has hit near government headquarters in the Norwegian capital Oslo.

    The blast is thought to have caused damage to the offices of Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and a number of other official buildings.

    Mr Stoltenberg was unharmed, said local media, but witnesses said at least eight people were injured in the city centre explosion.

    Pictures from the scene showed glass from shattered windows in the streets.

    All roads into the city centre have been closed, said the NRK newspaper.

    An NRK journalist, Ingunn Andersen, said the headquarters of tabloid newspaper VG had also been damaged.

    "I see that some windows of the VG building and the government headquarters have been broken. Some people covered with blood are lying in the street," Associated Press news agency quoted him as saying.

    Last edited by Mr Lick; 22-07-2011 at 09:19 PM.

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    Spain jails Basque Eta leader for 377 years



    A court in the Spanish capital Madrid has jailed Garikoitz Aspiazu, a former military leader of the Basque separatist group Eta, for 377 years.

    Aspiazu, arrested in France in 2008 and moved to Spain in May, was convicted of a role in the attempted assassination of a mayor in 2002.

    At the time of his arrest, the man who went by the alias "Txeroki" (Cherokee), was the most wanted Eta fugitive.

    More than 820 deaths have been blamed on Eta over 40 years.

    Aspiazu was convicted of involvement in a bomb attack on the mayor of the northern town of Portugalete, Esther Cabezudo, the Spanish news agency Efe reports.

    He was captured in a pre-dawn raid on a rented apartment in the French Pyrenees spa resort of Cauterets in November 2008.

    Born in 1973, he personifies the radical young generation who took control of Eta over the past decade.

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    Competitors dive into the water in the mens open race in the World Swimming Championships, China

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    A gardener puts the finishing touches to a flower display in Edinburgh, ahead of the Britain in Bloom competition.

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    Phone hacking: PM says James Murdoch has 'questions to answer'



    David Cameron says James Murdoch "clearly" needs to answer questions from MPs after his evidence on phone hacking was challenged.

    Labour's Tom Watson wants a police probe after the evidence was disputed by two ex-News of the World executives.

    The News International chairman had said he was not "aware" of an email suggesting hacking went wider than a "rogue" reporter at the firm's paper.

    But ex-NoW editor Colin Myler and legal manager Tom Crone said they told him.

    In a statement later, Mr Murdoch, said: "I stand by my testimony to the select committee."

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    Salford burglar death: No prosecution over stabbing



    A man who fatally stabbed a burglar at his home in Salford will not be prosecuted, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said.

    Peter Flanagan, 59, who was confronted by machete-wielding intruders, "did what he believed necessary" to defend his home in Pendlebury, the CPS ruled.

    John Bennell, 27, of Hyde, died following the stabbing on 22 June.

    Three men from Greater Manchester, aged between 23 and 27, have been charged with aggravated burglary.

    Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for the North West, said: "I am satisfied that Peter Flanagan acted in self defence after being woken by noises downstairs in his house shortly before midnight.

    "On investigating the disturbance he was confronted by intruders, one of whom was armed with a machete."

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    Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce in second police interviews



    Chris Huhne and estranged wife Vicky Pryce have been interviewed for a second time at police stations in Essex over speeding offence allegations.

    Essex Police say a file will be prepared and submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service, paving the way for a possible prosecution.

    Officers are investigating claims Mr Huhne had asked Ms Pryce to accept penalty points on his behalf.

    The Lib Dem energy secretary says the allegations are "simply incorrect".

    The pair were interviewed by police last month over the claims he persuaded her to accept a three-point penalty on his behalf in March 2003 so he could avoid a driving ban.

    Both Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy, the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, have rejected calls for Mr Huhne to resign.

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    Australia: Forklift mishap destroys $1m of shiraz wine




    More than A$1m ($1.07m; 664,000) of wine has been destroyed in a forklift accident in Australia.

    The 2010 Mollydooker Velvet Glove shiraz sells for A$185 a bottle ($199; 122), the AFP news agency said.

    Winemaker Sparky Marquis told reporters he was "gut-wrenched" that 462 cases of wine had been smashed while being loaded for export to the United States.

    "When they opened up the container they said it was like a murder scene," he said. "But it smelled phenomenal."

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    China: Bus fire in Henan kills dozens



    A bus has caught fire on a highway in central China, killing at least 41 people on board, state media say.

    The Xinhua news agency reported that six passengers and the driver had escaped the inferno in Xinyang City, in the province of Henan.

    State television said that the bus had 35 sleeper berths, suggesting it had been overcrowded.

    The cause of the fire is not yet known, but state TV said the bus was also carrying hazardous goods.

    The BBC's Martin Patience in Beijing says some of the survivors reportedly heard an explosion at the back of the vehicle, which started the fire.

    Xinhua said a police officer had described the bodies inside the bus as "carbonised", saying they could only be identified by DNA tests.

    The fire happened at 0400 local time (1000 GMT), on a section of the highway linking the capital, Beijing, to the southern city of Zhuhai.

    Officials are heading to the scene of fire from Beijing to begin an investigation.

    China has a poor road safety record - in 2009, almost 70,000 people died in road accidents.

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    DADT: Pentagon to end US military gay ban




    The Pentagon is set to announce that the ban on openly gay people serving in US military is to end, officials say.

    Defence Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to certify the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT), seven months after the law was overturned in the US Congress.

    The Pentagon had asked for time following the repeal to prepare troops for the arrival of openly gay comrades.

    The ban officially ceases 60 days after certification.

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    Oslo blast near PM's offices






















    Last edited by Mr Lick; 22-07-2011 at 11:17 PM.

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    From goat dragging to folk songs: a Kyrgyzstan festival




    Kyrgyz men compete in the Oodarysh horse fight






    Horsemen take part in a Kok-boru, or goat dragging, competition. Considered Kyrgyzstan's national sport, Kok-boru is a traditional Central Asian game where players grab a goat carcass from the ground while riding their horses and try to score by placing it in their opponent's goal

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    Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva watches the festivities through binoculars





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