A strong earthquake struck an underdeveloped mining region in northern Myanmar, collapsing a bridge and a gold mine, damaging ancient Buddhist pagodas and leaving as many as 12 people dead. A slow release of official information left the actual extent of the damage unclear after Sunday morning's 6.8-magnitude quake. Myanmar has a poor official disaster response system and lost about 140,000 people to a cyclone in 2008. The nation's second-biggest city of Mandalay is the nearest major population center to the main quake but reported no casualties or major damage. The region is a center for mining of minerals and gemstones.
A Southwest Airlines jet slid off a taxiway at Denver International Airport amid light snow and freezing temperatures. There were no reports of injuries. Passengers of Flight 1905 were taken by bus to the concourse, said an airport spokeswoman. The Denver-bound Boeing 737 had departed Saturday afternoon from Metropolitan Oakland International.
The daily use of cigaretters has fallen, suggesting that more than half of American smokers tried to quit the habit, U.S. health officials say. About 19 percent of U.S. adults, or 43.8 million, reported smoking daily or most days in 2011, little changed from 19.3 percent a year earlier, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. That's down from more than 20 percent in 2005.Coke revamping site to look like a webzine
Coca-Cola plans on Monday to give its website site a makeover that executives describe as the most ambitious digital project they have undertaken. The corporate website will be more like an online magazine and will be called Coca-Cola Journey after a magazine named Journey that was published for the Atlanta-based company's employees from 1987 to 1997.
West African leaders began meeting Sunday in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, to "validate" the terms for military deployment in Mali to retake the northern region that has been occupied by rebel groups since April. The 15-member Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, needs to "address the root cause of the Malian crisis and put an end to terrorists' threat" in the region, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, who is chairman of ECOWAS, said in opening comments.
Israeli forces in the Golan Heights fired into Syria after a stray mortar round from fighting between Syrian troops and rebels hit an army post, the Israeli military said, calling the response a "warning." The incident was said to be the first time Israel had fired across the Golan frontier into Syria since the 1973 Middle East war. It underlined concerns that Syria's civil war could draw in neighboring countries and trigger wider conflict in the region.
A woman in Spain jumped to her death as bailiffs approached to evict her Friday from her fourth-floor apartment for failing to pay the mortgage. It was the second apparent suicide linked to evictions, and it further illustrates the dire conditions many Spaniards find themselves in as the country's economy sinks.
High-profile talks on forbidding weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East have been called off. Two diplomats said the United States, one of the organizers, likely would make a formal announcement soon, saying that with tensions in the region remaining high, the "time is not opportune" for such a gathering.
Lawmakers approved the 2013 austerity budget early Monday, an essential step in Greece's efforts to persuade its creditors to unblock a vital rescue loan installment that the country needs or it will go bankrupt. The vote came days after a separate bill of deep spending cuts and tax hikes for the next two years squeaked through.