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WORLD IN BRIEF: Aftershock sets off panic

Aftershock sets off panic

CONCEPCION, Chile -- A strong aftershock to Chile's deadly earthquake provoked a brief panic in the city of Concepcion, but no tsunami warning was issued and no injuries or damage have been reported.

Some residents started running for high ground when they felt the aftershock to Saturday's earthquake, which itself produced a deadly tsunami.

The U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday's tremor had preliminary magnitude of 5.9. The agency initially reported two aftershocks occurred.

Fire officials used loudspeakers to assure residents that no tsunami was imminent. Concepcion was badly damaged by Saturday's magnitude-8.8 quake.

Mice infest palace in UK

LONDON -- The House of Lords has a momentous decision to make: Should it get cats to chase the mice that have infested one of Britain's most famous buildings?

London's Houses of Parliament, also known as Westminster Palace, has rodents, and the peers aren't exactly sure what to do about it.

Ivan Anthony Moore-Brabazon, the House's administration chief, on Wednesday turned down suggestions to acquire cats. He says the felines could ingest mice poison or wander around the chamber and disrupt business. He favors the current tactic of using poison and mousetraps.

Three bombs kill 32 ahead of Iraqi vote

BAGHDAD -- Suicide bombers struck in quick succession Wednesday in a former insurgent stronghold northeast of Baghdad, killing at least 32 people just days before a crucial election that will determine who will govern the country as American forces depart.

The blasts in Baqouba -- including one by a bomber who rode in an ambulance to a hospital and blew himself up there -- were the deadliest in more than a month and illustrated the challenges facing Iraqi forces trying to prove they can secure the country after the withdrawal of U.S. forces by the end of next year.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombings, but they bore the hallmark of al-Qaida, which has promised to violently disrupt Sunday's parliamentary vote and warned Sunnis not to participate in the balloting. Iraqi authorities vowed not to let the insurgents derail the democratic process.