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NATION — Baja earthquake less devastating than Haitian one

Baja earthquake less devastating than Haitian one

LOS ANGELES — Twenty million people in three U.S. states and Mexico felt Sunday's Baja California earthquake — a more powerful temblor than the Haiti quake yet the death toll and devastation were far less.

Why? Scientists say part of the answer is location, location, location.

Only about 500 people in the agricultural communities south of the growing city of Mexicali were exposed to the most violent shaking.

‘‘If you had to place a large earthquake, this was a good location,'' said seismologist Susan Hough of the U.S. Geological Survey.

The magnitude-7.2 Baja quake is believed to have begun in the southeast section of the Laguna Salada fault and moved toward the northwest, focusing much of its energy on a vast, largely vacant desert region.

Small quakes occurring at Alaska volcano

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A volcano near Anchorage could be waking up.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory says a series of small earthquakes began occurring early Monday near the summit of Mount Redoubt, about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Scientists do not know if the earthquakes will result in the volcano becoming explosive, but they say there is a heightened possibility. Last year, the volcano was very active for months, at times producing huge ash plumes and sending mud flows down its flanks.

Space shuttle blasts off with seven astronauts

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Discovery and seven astronauts headed for a rendezvous with the International Space Station after a pre-dawn liftoff Monday on one of the last missions for NASA's shuttle program.

The launch — the last one scheduled in darkness for NASA's fading shuttle program — helped set a record for the most women in space at the same time. Three women are aboard Discovery, and another is already at the space station, making for an unprecedented foursome. The shuttle should arrive at the orbiting outpost Wednesday.

Discovery's main antenna failed after takeoff and could impact the radar needed for the rendezvous. NASA officials said there were other tools to work around the situation.

ATV plunges 700 feet in park; six survive

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. — Authorities said six people survived when their all-terrain vehicle plunged 700 feet off a cliff overnight in a Massachusetts park.

South Hadley District Fire Chief David Keefe says the victims are in serious to good condition after the ATV went over the cliff in Skinner State Park around 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

It took more than 50 rescuers about four hours to rescue the victims using ropes to scale down the cliff and pull the victims back up.

The victims are all 27 to 29 years old and have been taken to hospitals. They are all expected to recover.

The cause of the crash wasn't immediately clear, but ATV riding is prohibited in the park.

Deputies shoot suspect in killing of two in Calif.

POWAY, Calif. — A man who had been feuding with two neighbors opened fire on their home and killed them during an Easter dinner before he was slain by San Diego County sheriff's deputies, authorities said Monday.

The couple's son, daughter-in-law and 8-year-old granddaughter were not hurt, sheriff's Lt. Dennis Brugos said.

Two deputies who answered a report of a shooting on Sunday shot an unidentified man who pointed a shotgun at them as they approached and refused commands to drop it, Brugos said.

The gunman, who was in his 50s, died at the scene.

Newborn baboon is killed by father at S.Carolina zoo

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Officials at a South Carolina zoo said a newborn baboon died after being attacked by its father in front of nearly 50 people who had gathered after the baby's birth just minutes earlier.

Riverbanks Zoo officials said Monday's birth and attack happened while the animals were in their exhibit and within public view.

Zoo staff knew about the impending birth and were observing when the male picked up the infant and threw it.