by Robin Greninger | 10:16 am


An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.8 struck in the Mexican state of California del Norte on Monday, shaking some buildings and sending shockwaves to nearby Yuma, Ariz., and parts of Southern California. The quake originated roughly 20 miles (32.1km) below the surface. The strike was 56km southeast of Mexicali.

United States Geological Survey (USGS) officials reported the quake hit at 1:18 p.m. Arizona time on Monday, and that two other quakes hit in a close proximity not longer after the first one. USGS reported a quake in an area 9km west of Alberto Oviedo Mota just seven minutes after the intial quake, and then another one 10km west-northwest of Alberto Oviedo Mota 39 minutes after the first quake.

USGS also reported data that folks in Yuma felt tremors from the first earthquake. KSAZ in Phoneix reported that residents in the California cities of El Centro and parts of San Diego also felt tremors from the first quake.

The USGS site ranks strength of earthquakes, and categorized the Alberto Oviedo Mota, B.C., MX a III, meaning it was noticeably felt by people who were indoors, especially on higher-level floors. The site says most people don’t recognize the earthquake as one of this magnitude, as it typically sounds and feels like the vibration of a large, passing truck.

No casualties or injuries have ben reported.

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by Robin Greninger | 10:12 am


The agreement signed Tuesday between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un left many open questions about how the two countries will pursue denuclearization, according to a classified Israeli government report.

The Israeli foreign ministry report also says that the Trump administration backtracked on many of the demands it had said it would make in the run-up to the meeting with Kim, according to some of the classified document’s highlights published by Axios.

“Regardless of the smiles in the summit many in Japan, South Korea and the U.S. Congress doubt that North Korea is sincere in its intentions. Our assessment is that regardless of President Trump’s statements about quick changes that are expected in North Korean policy, the road to real and substantive change, if it ever happens, will be long and slow,” the report indicated.

The report also noted that Trump’s decision to halt joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea while denuclearization, a proposal known as “freeze to freeze,” was a significant reversal of Washington’s previous position. China had proposed this option last year and was completely rebuffed by the Trump administration.

The assessment appears to be in line with that of many North Korea experts, who say that the agreement between the Trump administration and the regime of Kim Jong Un contained very few concrete plans of action. Experts also noted that the two regimes likely have very different ideas about what denuclearization means.

South Korea, who lives under constant threat of an attack from North Korea, has been strengthening its military in the wake of the meeting. Seoul will soon finalize the purchase of F-35A stealth aircraft from Lockheed Martin.

Meanwhile, researchers have cast doubt on Trump’s claim that North Korea would destroy one of main missile engine testing facilities.

“Chairman Kim has told me that North Korea is already destroying a major missile engine testing site,” Trump said in the wake of the summit in Singapore on June 12, without detailing which site Kim had pledged to dismantle. But an analysis by monitoring group 38 North revealed that there is still no evidence that North Korea is destroying anything.

“38 North has conducted a survey of the North Korea’s rocket and missile launch and engine test facilities using recent high-resolution satellite imagery and has not yet identified any activity associated with the dismantlement of facilities at Sohae or any other test sites in North Korea,” the report said.

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by Robin Greninger | 10:07 am


A commuter train has derailed near Barcelona, Spain, killing at least one person.

Police reports suggest the accident was caused by a landslide close to the the village of Vacarisses, which is about 20 miles outside of Barcelona. As many as 44 other passengers have been injured, according to El País, three of which are believed to be seriously hurt.

The derailment occurred at around 6:15 a.m. local time when the train was carrying 131 people. The train was approximately one hour from Barcelona when it was struck by the landslide. Train operator Adif confirmed that the landslide was the cause of the crash.

Catalonia Civil Protection said 11 ambulances and 14 fire engines had been sent to the scene. Eleven of the injured have been taken to hospital for treatment. One of those injured in the crash was the train’s driver, according to El País.

Images from the scene showed the train’s carriages off the rails as emergency workers rescued passengers and evacuated the injured. Two of the train’s six wagons were derailed, La Vanguardia explained.

Police established an emergency center in a nearby sports facility where victims could gather and where psychologists were offering counselling, The Guardian reported. Relatives of those onboard the train were being assisted at Barcelona Sants, the city’s main rail station.

The northern regions of Spain have been dealing with heavy rains in recent days, resulting in significant flooding and multiple landslides. The Associated Press quoted Spanish railway operator spokesman Antonio Carmona who told local media recent heavy rain could have caused the landslide.

The downpours have already been associated with the death of one person. On Sunday, a woman was killed when a river flooded its banks in the northwestern Galicia region. Video footage spread online Monday when massive waves swept away the balconies of a coastal apartment building on the Canary island of Tenerife.

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