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One dead after magnitude 5.9 earthquake in China

At least one person has died after a strong earthquake struck a lightly populated, mountainous area of western China, officials said.

The US Geological Survey said the 5.9-magnitude quake had a depth of nine miles. It struck in the late afternoon on Saturday about 20 miles from the town of Kangding in Sichuan province. China's seismological agency gave the magnitude as 6.3.

A woman in her 70s died after being struck by a falling window pane, state media reported.

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Report into Lee Rigby killers to be released

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of of Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo as they were found guilty of the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby. Credit: Elizabeth Cook/PA Archive

The extent of the security and intelligence agencies' prior knowledge of soldier Lee Rigby's murderers will be revealed this week as a long-awaited report from a parliamentary watchdog is finally published.

Michael Adebolajo and his younger accomplice Michael Adebowale slaughtered Fusilier Rigby in broad daylight in May last year.

It quickly emerged in the wake of the killing that secret services were aware of both Adebolajo, then 29, and Adebowale, then 22, but questions remain over whether they could have been more closely monitored.

An investigation by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), which has been subject to much debate over its bite, has now concluded and a report, described by Whitehall officials as "very substantial", will be released on Tuesday.

Magnitude 6.8 earthquake hits central Japan

Rescue workers are seen between collapsed houses after an earthquake in Hakuba town, Nagano prefecture. Credit: Reuters

A strong earthquake has struck a mountainous area of central Japan that hosted the 1998 winter Olympics, knocking down at least 10 homes in a ski resort town and injuring several people.

Authorities say at least 39 people were injured in the initial tremor

The magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck near Nagano city at a depth of six miles, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The US Geological Survey measured the quake's magnitude at 6.2. Since the quake occurred inland, there was no possibility of a tsunami.

One of the hardest-hit areas appeared to be Hakuba, a ski town west of Nagano that hosted events in the 1998 games. Ten homes collapsed there, said Shigeharu Fujimura, a Nagano prefecture disaster management official.

Nine people were trapped underneath the collapsed houses, but they all were rescued, and none had life-threatening injuries, said Hakuba official Tomoyuki Shimokawa.

Officials at Japan`s Meteorological Agency are warning people to be on the alert for aftershocks in the days ahead

Headmaster survives brutal Kenyan bus massacre

Non-Muslims onboard the bus were singled out and shot. Credit: Reuters

The primary school headteacher who was the only survivor of the Kenya bus massacre has said he was saved because his would-be killers became confused as he lay waiting to be murdered.

Non-Muslim Douglas Ochwodho, who was singled out to to be killed, said one gunman shot from the right and one from the left, each killing their victims lying in a line on the ground.

They grew closer and closer to Mr Ochwodho, who was in the middle, then the shooting stopped. Apparently each gunman thought the other shot Mr Ochwodho, who perfectly still until the 20 Islamic extremists left the scene.

Mr Ochwodho, the head of a private primary school in Mandera, said was travelling home for the Christmas holidays since school had closed. Seventeen of the dead were teachers, according to the police commander in Mandera County.

He said the passengers, who did not look Somali, were separated from the others. The non-Somali passengers were then asked to recite the Islamic creed declaring oneness with God. Those who could not were ordered to lie down and the massacre began.

Mr Ochwodho said when the killers reached him they were confused on whether either had shot him. After the gunmen left, he ran back to the road and flagged down a pick-up truck which took him back to Mandera.

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Gordon Brown to step down as an MP 'on a high'

Credit: Garry F McHarg/PA Wire

Former prime minister Gordon Brown and key 'Better Together' campaigner is to announce that he is standing down as an MP, according to reports.

Mr Brown, 63, will soon confirm that he will quit at the general election in May, after playing a key role in the Scottish independence referendum campaign, sources have said.

The Labour MP has focused on charity work and his role as United Nations special envoy for global education since his resignation as prime minister in 2010.

An ally told the Sunday Mirror newspaper: "Gordon has confirmed to friends that he will stand down at the election in May.

"He wants to go out on a high after effectively salvaging the campaign to keep the UK together in September. He will focus on his charity work."

Mr Brown was first elected to Parliament in 1983 and was prime minister from 2007 to 2010 and chancellor from 1997 to 2007.

His last-minute intervention in the referendum debate was widely credited with helping the pro-union Better Together campaign to victory.

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