JAKARTA, Indonesia

West Indonesian earthquake injures 25, kills at least 3

A powerful earthquake struck western Indonesia yesterday, killing at least three people, injuring 25 others, and damaging several buildings, officials said. No tsunami was detected.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.6 and struck under the island of Simeulue off the western coast of Sumatra – the region worst hit in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Minutes after the quake hit, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a bulletin saying parts of the Sumatran coast closest to the epicenter were at risk of a possible tsunami.

TOKYO

Kilpatrick addresses City Council for first time since scandal

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said his first appearance before the Detroit City Council since a text-messaging sex scandal was reported last month was “cordial.”

But he also added that his focus Wednesday morning was on the city’s economic stimulus plan, not controversy surrounding the scandal and recent appeals by his office and the council to the state Supreme Court.

“I didn’t come here to talk about it,” Kilpatrick told reporters following the council meeting and referencing the high court. “Whatever happens there is going to happen.”

Kilpatrick also said he “can’t worry” about a decision Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy makes while investigating if he and his former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty committed perjury during a whistle-blower’s trial last summer.

ST. LOUIS

Sears to pay more than $500M for sales of faulty ovens

Sears Holdings Corp. will install safety brackets on its stoves in millions of households or offer gift cards in settling an Illinois class-action lawsuit over the appliances’ supposed propensity to topple.

Under an agreement signed off on last month by a Madison County judge, Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears will offer to fix all brands of its freestanding or slide-in kitchen ranges in as many as 3.9 million homes by bolting them to a wall or floor.

The deal covers Sears ranges sold from mid-2000 through last Sept. 18, when a judge granted the settlement temporary approval. The deal resolving the lawsuit dating to July 2004 also requires Sears to install safety brackets in newly purchased ranges for the next three years.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs estimate the settlement could cost Sears more than $500 million.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.

After 5 million-mile ride, shuttle comes back to Earth

Space shuttle Atlantis and its crew returned to Earth on Wednesday, wrapping up a 5 million-mile journey highlighted by the successful delivery of a new European lab to the international space station.

The shuttle and its seven astronauts landed at 9:07 a.m. at NASA’s spaceport at Kennedy Space Center, where the crew’s families and top space program managers gathered to welcome them home.

NASA wanted Atlantis back as soon as possible to clear the way for the Navy to shoot down a dying spy satellite on the verge of smashing into Earth with a load of toxic fuel.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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